REV. ARTHUR JOHN KING, OMI
MISSIONARY OBLATE PRIEST FOR 54 YEARS
LOWELL, MASSACHUSETTS- Rev. Arthur John King, OMI, 81, died on March 24, 2014, in Lowell, Massachusetts, after a lengthy illness. He was born in South Acworth, New Hampshire, on January 25, 1933, the son of the late Leon and Catherine (Dobek) King and was raised in New York City and Woonsocket, Rhode Island.
After graduation from high school, Fr. King entered the minor seminary of the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate. He made his first religious profession on September 8, 1953. Upon completion at the major seminary, he was ordained a priest on May 28, 1959, in the Chapel of the Oblate College in Washington, DC, by Bishop Francis McSorley, OMI, DD, Vicar Apostolic of Jolo, Philippines.
Fr. King is a graduate of Oblate College, Washington, DC (Master of Arts and Master of Divinity degrees); Catholic University of America, Washington, DC (Bachelor’s degree in Sacred Theology); and Canisius College of Buffalo, New York (Master of Science in Education degree). He also completed a sabbatical year at the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana.
His first assignment in 1960 was treasurer of the major seminary in Washington, DC. He then went on to teach in three Oblate high schools from 1963 to 1969: Bishop Neumann, Williamsville, New York, where he held the Chair of Social Studies; Bishop Fallon, Buffalo, New York; and Cardinal Newman, West Palm Beach, Florida, where he was also assistant coach for the boys' swim team.
He served in many parishes over the years. He was pastor at St. William, Millington, Tennessee; St. Alphonsus, Covington, Tennessee; St. Margaret Mary, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; St. Joseph Calasanctius, Jefferson, Ohio; and Immaculate Conception, Perry, Florida. He was Associate Pastor at Immaculate Conception in Lowell and also resided at Sacred Heart in Lowell. From 1990 to 1992 he was Retreat Master and Spiritual Director at Our Lady Queen of Apostles Oblate retreat house in Hudson, New Hampshire.
Fr. King was a member of the former Eastern U.S. Province. He was on the Provincial Renewal Team and was Secretary for the Provincial Liturgical Commission. He was a charter member of the Oblate Association for Research and Study. He produced several studies on the life of Oblate Founder, St. Eugene deMazenod, OMI. His last full time assignment was parochial vicar at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and chaplain for Metropolitan Hospital.
In 1997, due to ill health he went into semi-retirement while residing in Jefferson, Ohio. He continued to assist the pastors of his deanery and to teach fall and spring religious courses for adults at St. Joseph's Parish in Jefferson.
He became a member of the community at the Immaculate Heart of Mary Residence, Tewksbury, Massachusetts, in July of 2012 and remained there until his death.
Fr. King had many other notable accomplishments, both religious and civic. From 1970 to 1975, in the Diocese of Memphis, Tennessee, he was a member of the First Presbyteral Council; on the Board of Directors and Executive Staff for the Permanent Diaconate; instructor in the diocesan adult religious education program; member of the Commission for Consultation for the National Catechetical Directory; and a consultant for the Race Relations Program for the U.S. Navy.
From 1976 to 1980, in the Diocese of Youngstown, Ohio, Bishop James Malone appointed him to the Diocesan Liturgical Commission. He served on the advisory board for youth ministry; was a member of the diocesan religious education department; was on the finance committee at St. John's Catholic High School; and was first president of the Jefferson Ministerium. He was also trustee of Henderson Memorial Public Library; was on the Board of Conservators for Henderson Foundation; and was founder and curator of the Henderson Memorial Archives.
Fr. King was a professional illustrator and produced liturgical illustrations for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops which were syndicated to the international Catholic press. In 1965 the late Tere Ríos (the pen name of Marie Teresa Ríos Versace) created Sr. Bertrille, the flying nun, in her book published here and abroad, The Fifteenth Pelican, for which Fr. King did the illustrations.
Fr. King's remains were cremated and burial was with his family in Blackstone, Massachusetts. A private committal service for the family was held on Monday, March 31, 2014.
There will be a Memorial Mass for Fr. King at the Oblate Residence in Tewksbury at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, April 7, 2014.
Fr. King is survived by a sister, Catherine King Egan, and her husband, Robert, of Woonsocket, Rhode Island; by a niece, Catherine Egan Abate, and her husband, Charles; by three nephews: Robert Egan, Jr., and his wife, Stephanie; Richard Egan, and his wife, Denise; and John Egan, Sr., and his wife, Tina; by 10 grandnieces and grandnephews; and by a close friend and mentor, Rev. Daniel Duggan, of Virginia.
Donations in memory of Fr. King may be made to the Oblate Infirmary Fund, 486 Chandler Street, Tewksbury, MA 01876-2849.
The McKenna-Ouellette Funeral Home, 327 Hildreth Street, Lowell, MA, is in charge of arrangements. For condolences or directions, please visit
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