Msgr. Phil Johnson, longtime diocesan parish priest, dies at 74

North Texas Catholic

April 22, 2013

Monsignor Phil Johnson
Monsignor Phil Johnson

Monsignor Phil Johnson, pastor emeritus of St. Michael Church in Bedford, as well as founding pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Arlington, passed away Saturday morning, April 20.

Born May 25, 1938 in Fort Fairfield, Maine, Msgr. Johnson was ordained a priest for what was then the Diocese of Dallas-Fort Worth on May 30, 1964. After ordination he served as assistant pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Parish in Dallas 1964-67, St. Bernard Parish in Dallas 1967, St. John the Apostle Parish in North Richland Hills 1968-73, and as pastor of St. John the Baptizer Parish in Bridgeport, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Decatur, and St. Mary Parish in Jacksboro 1973-75.

In 1975, he was assigned to start a parish in Arlington, St. Vincent de Paul, an assignment he would hold for 26 years.

“I found him to be a great mentor and good friend,” said Father Tom Craig, who replaced Msgr. Johnson as pastor of St. Vincent in 2001. “He prepared me when I came to the parish – he took me around and introduced me to people, and made me feel at home.”

In 2001, Msgr. Johnson became pastor of St. Michael. In 2008, at the recommendation of Bishop Kevin Vann, Pope Benedict XVI named him a “prelate of honor” granting him the title “Monsignor.”

Joanne Werner, director of liturgy and music at St. Michael, said that she remembers Msgr. Johnson for his love of the liturgy and worship.

“Msgr. Johnson taught me everything I know about being a pastoral musician, and to really consider the people when it comes to worship,” she said. “We also remember him because he sang the Eucharistic prayers so beautifully.”

Msgr. Johnson will lie in state from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, April 24 at Thompson’s Harveson and Cole Funeral Home, 702 Eighth Ave., Fort Worth. A vigil will be held Wednesday at St. Vincent de Paul Church, 5819 W. Pleasant Ridge Rd., Arlington. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, April 25, at St. Vincent, followed by interment at Moore Memorial Gardens.

Memorials may be made to Catholic Charities, 249 Thornhill Dr., Fort Worth, 76115; the Sisters of St. Mary of Namur, 909 W. Shaw St., Fort Worth, 76110; and the Arlington Night Shelter, 325 W. Division St., Arlington, 76011.

For full feature, click here.

Monsignor Phil Johnson, pastor emeritus of St. Michael Church in Bedford, as well as founding pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church in Arlington, passed away Saturday morning, April 20.

Published (until 12/31/2031)
Back