Father John Brendan Hart

Friday, Aug. 03, 2018
Father John Brendan Hart + Enlarge
Father John Brendan Hart

May 10, 1935 ~ July 27, 2018

Reverend John Brendan Hart, prominent Utah Catholic pastor and military chaplain, died July 27, 2018, following a long illness.  A native of Clonakilty, County Cork, Ireland he was born May 10, 1935 to Daniel and Margaret Foley Hart. Following his theological education at Saint Patrick College, Thurles, he was ordained to the priesthood June 12, 1960 in the Thurles cathedral. On September 2, 1960, Father Hart arrived in the missionary Diocese of Salt Lake City, where he had promised to serve.

Fr. Hart served in a variety of assignments where he dedicated himself tirelessly to the pastoral care of the communities.  As associate pastor, he served at Saint Joseph Parish, Ogden; Notre Dame de Lourdes Parish, Price; and the Cathedral of the Madeleine. He generously accepted temporary assignments as pastor in Moab, Copperton and Park City.  

In 1972, Fr. Hart joined the Naval Reserve Corps and two years later entered the Utah National Guard, providing Catholic chaplaincy for the military reserves. In 1975, he became pastor of Saint Francis Xavier Parish, Kearns, where he remained five years and then was two years as pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Salt Lake City. In 1982, Father Hart entered active duty as a hospital chaplain at Fort Lewis, Wash., followed by military assignments in Germany.

Returning to the diocese in 1987, he was named pastor of Saint Joseph the Worker in West Jordan and three years later was released to serve as a chaplain in the Persian Gulf with the 144th Evacuation Hospital Unit during Operation Desert Storm.  He was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Following that service he returned to Saint Joseph the Worker Parish, where he remained until 1999. Following that, Fr. Hart served as chaplain at Christus Saint Joseph Villa, for the Carmelite nuns, as pastor of Saint Christopher Parish, Kanab and temporarily at Holy Family Parish, Ogden.  

Fr. John Hart retired August 1, 2006 and resided in Salt Lake City.

Fr. Hart made lifelong friends in every pastoral assignment and will be remembered for his personal generosity to help those in need, his hearty laugh, smile and love of Irish folklore.

He was one of 10 children and is survived by his sisters Mary Whooley and Frances Byrne, both residing in Ireland.

The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated Aug. 3 at the Cathedral of the Madeleine. His final resting place will be alongside his parents in Clonakitty, County Cork, Ireland.  

Funeral arrangements handled through Neil O’Donnell & Sons Mortuary. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Priests Mutual Benefit Society, 27 C St., Salt Lake City, UT 84103.

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