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Happy retirement, Msgr. Fogarty

St. Gregory parishioners bid farewell to pastor, retiring after 54 years of ministry

Msgr. Noel Fogarty prays at altar during his last Mass as pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish in Plantation.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO | Muņoz Studio, Inc.

Msgr. Noel Fogarty prays at altar during his last Mass as pastor of St. Gregory the Great Parish in Plantation.

PLANTATION -- The people of St. Gregory the Great Parish and School bid a loving farewell this June to their longtime pastor, Msgr. T. Noel Fogarty, who retired effective July 1 after 54 years of priestly service in the Archdiocese of Miami.

"We were blessed to have had such a visionary leader and devout follower of Christ with us for the past 20 years," said Donna Wells, director of development at St. Gregory.

Born in County Galway, Ireland, Msgr. Fogarty was ordained on June 2, 1957. His missionary spirit led him to the Diocese of St. Augustine, Fla., which within a year was divided to create the then Diocese of Miami.

Msgr. Fogarty has worked tirelessly since then as a parish priest, administrator and member of numerous boards and councils in the Archdiocese of Miami. His early assignments included serving as associate pastor at St. Mary Magdalen in Sunny Isles, Epiphany, St. Mary Cathedral, and St. Brendan in Miami. He also taught English at Notre Dame Academy (now Archbishop Curley Notre Dame High School) and Christopher Columbus High School in Miami.

In 1962, he was named administrator of the newly established parish of St. Bartholomew in Miramar, where he served as founding pastor until his transfer in 1971 as pastor of St. Rose of Lima in Miami Shores. During his tenure at St. Rose, he also served as chancellor and vicar general of the archdiocese under Miami's first archbishop, Coleman F. Carroll.

Father Fogarty was elevated to the rank of Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor in 1974 by Pope Paul VI and to Protonotary Apostolic by Pope John Paul II in 1995.

Since August 1991, Msgr. Fogarty has been the pastor of St. Gregory where he has definitely left his mark.

In 1992, he launched a building fund campaign, "Building Together in Faith," for the rebuilding and renovation of the school and parish facilities. In September 1995, the state-of-the-art school and "gymnatorium" were completed and opened for Pre-K through eighth grade with an enrollment of 870 students. The new school facilities were blessed and dedicated by Archbishop John C. Favalora on Jan. 14, 1996.

Shortly afterwards, to ensure the financial stability of St. Gregory School in the upcoming years, Msgr. Fogarty established an endowment fund, "Growing Together in Faith." This endowment helps to ensure a constant cash flow that will contiinue forever to help meet operational expenses and to help keep tuition costs within the economic reach of parishioners.

In the summer of 2000, the school was expanded to provide a faculty lounge, counseling office, conference room and a student bookstore.

In 2004, a much-admired Prayer Garden was completed.

In the fall of 2006, Msgr. Fogarty launched a $6 million drive, "Worshipping Together in Faith." This campaign was to raise funds for the much needed renovation, refurbishing, expansion and beautification of the parish church. Construction started in July 2008 and was completed in April 2010, with Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski celebrating the Mass of rededication on Nov. 28, 2010.

"We are privileged and honored to have had Msgr. Noel Fogarty as our pastor and shepherd for the past 20 years," said Wells. "The wisdom, dedication, leadership and pastoral care of Msgr. Fogarty have touched many of our lives. Our prayers will continue to ask the Almighty Father to sustain his good health, bless him with an abundance of gifts from the Holy Spirit, and preserve the joy of his vocation."
Msgr. Noel Fogarty poses after his retirement Mass with Ann Schandelmayer and Connie Sessions, who have been parishioners at St. Gregory since the 1960s.

Photographer: COURTESY PHOTO | Muņoz Studio, Inc.

Msgr. Noel Fogarty poses after his retirement Mass with Ann Schandelmayer and Connie Sessions, who have been parishioners at St. Gregory since the 1960s.


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