Pastors & Clergy

First Diocesan Pastor
First Diocesan Pastor of Nativity BVM

Reverend Francis J. Quinn, First Diocesan Pastor

A father to his people in every way, this pioneer priest labored generously and courageously for sixteen years in the Lord’s Vineyard of Port Richmond. Notable among his achievements in building up the Nativity Faith Community was the building of the rectory in 1886, improved school facilities in 1892, dedication of the lower Church in 1891 and the upper Church in 1901. Buried within the shadow of his beloved church, he remains forever a symbol of the pioneer faith of a people who labored, loved and died with him in building up this parish of Mary’s Nativity.



Monsignor James F. Loughlin, Second Pastor
MsgrLoughlinWith the turn of the century, new people and ideas gave fresh root to the beauty of Nativity Parish. Led by the scholarly Monsignor Loughlin, the people came in touch with the arts, music, classics and love for learning. A capable administrator, he built the convent, completed the interior of the upper church with its beautiful frescoed ceiling and renovated the lower church. Declining in health, Monsignor Loughlin sought recovery in a voyage to the Barbadoes, West Indies. He died there on March 17, 1911. Truly a giant of a man, intellectually and spiritually, his first love was to be a pastor of souls. To Nativity men, women and children, this he truly was and more.


Monsignor James P. Turner, Third Pastor
MsgrTurnerIn a truly Christ-centered parish, no one can be left behind. Now was the time to consolidate the God-given graces and gifts of all the Nativity faithful. Leadership now passed on to Monsignor Turner who organized parish societies like so many branches on a firmly rooted tree. For the adults there was the League of the Sacred Heart, the Sodality and Holy Name Societies and the Temperance groups. For the young, the famous Nativity Catholic Club and Children of Mary. New parish growth led to the building of the new school in 1918 and the start of the Business School. This man of faith and priestly zeal was laid to rest beside Father Quinn both greatly loved by a grateful people.


Most Reverend Gerald P. O’Hara, Fourth Pastor

The havoc of the Depression of 1929 on the people of Port Richmond required a special brand of leadership so ably filled by the new auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia, Bishop Gerald O’Hara. The reorganization of the St. Vincent de Paul Society and the establishment of a Ladies’ Auxiliary brought assistance and encouragement to many caught in the economic depression. The Nativity – Soup Lines” in those days saved many of our people. His Excellency added three new classrooms to relieve overcrowding and also made needed renovations in the rectory. Despite the hard times, the parish celebrated in grand style its Golden Jubilee. A generous people led by their pastor renovated the upper church for the occasion, which to this day stands as a memorial to their loyalty and love for God and His Blessed Mother.

Most Reverend Hugh L. Lamb, Fifth Pastor

As Bishop O’Hara moved on to become Ordinary of the diocese of Savannah, Georgia, he was succeeded by Bishop Hugh L. Lamb, auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia. Although pastor of Nativity for only nine months, he continued the good works and traditions of his predecessors in administering to the spiritual and temporal needs of his devoted people.



Monsignor Philip E. Donahue, Sixth Pastor

War clouds hovered over our land and men and women of Nativity marched off to war. It was time for rationing, war bond campaigns and prayers for peace. A special priest for a special time was needed. He came in the person of Father Philip Donahue whose walking tours of the parish brought the compassion, encouragement and understanding that was needed. With zeal and determination, humor and pleasantness, he endeared himself to his people. During his administration he completely renovated the lower church and built for seamen the Pier Chapel. During this time, parish societies, shows and parish activities flourished. After sixteen years of faithful service he was appointed pastor of St. Barbara’s Parish. He was truly a man for his time.

Reverend James W. Gibbons, Seventh Pastor

From the Malvern Retreat House of St. Joseph’s-in-the-Hills where he gained renown for his outstanding literary and oratorical ability, came Father James Gibbons. Doctor Gibbons brought his own unique style of pastoral care and affection for the people, broadening their knowledge of God and Church with his own spiritual and intellectual leadership. To this end, he opened the Ave Maria Room in the Lower Church and conducted Inquiry classes in the Catholic Faith in the old school. During his pastorate, he established also the Jubilee Room, installed new lighting and amplification in the upper church and refurbished all parish buildings. To the delight of the young and sports enthusiasts, he renovated completely the old school building, the scene of many hard fought basketball games and youth activities. In 1957, he led the people in celebrating the parish’s Diamond Jubilee. On September 16, 1958, God called him to Himself and he was laid to rest in the Hills of Malvern on the grounds of his beloved Retreat House.

Monsignor John L. Nugent, Eighth Pastor

The Monsignor Nugent era was marked with significant changes in the liturgy and understanding of the church in the Modern World due to the Second Vatican Council. Nativity Parish adjusted well to it under his patient and able leadership. To meet the new liturgical changes, he had consecrated the new marble altar in the Upper Church and completely renovated the lower church with air-conditioning for the comfort of the people. Also during his administration the convent was refurbished as well as the parish school with the help of the men of the parish. Monsignor Nugent’s friendliness and affection for his people, especially the children, is well known. Many parishioners today hold him in fond affection, particularly those who first hand experienced his support and generosity in time of trouble. Poor health in later years contributed to his retirement in 1978 after fifty years in the priesthood. In retirement at Villa St. John, Darby, as Pastor Emeritus, he kept in close touch with Nativity parishioners and events, thereby continuing to make his presence felt among a people he loves and served so well for twenty years.

Reverend William L. Cotterall, Ninth Pastor
The Nativity story moves into its second century. To lead the parish into another era of God’s goodness is the task of its present pastor, Father William Cotterall. With enthusiasm he launched into his work, noticing at once that time seemed to catch up to all the parish buildings that for so long brought God’s Word and Presence to the Nativity Community. The celebration of the Parish’s Centennial renewed parish spirit, pride and generosity. Mustering the support of his loyal parishioners, Father Cotterall was able to put new roofs on the church, rectory and convent, install new heating units in the school and parish buildings and make plans for the interior renovation of the upper and lower churches. His spiritual leadership has renewed most significantly the spiritual life of the parish through the home and public outdoor neighborhood Masses and special liturgies during the Centennial Celebration.

Reverend Charles Bonner, Tenth Pastor
Ordained in 1965 and came to Nativity from St. Anne’s where he was assistant pastor.

Reverend Bernard Farley, Eleventh Pastor
Father Farley was ordained in 1968 and came to Nativity from Epiphany parish

Reverend Richard McAndrews, Twelfth Pastor

Reverend Anthony Orth, Thirteenth Pastor

Reverend Dennis Fedak, Fourteenth Pastor


Vocations to the Priesthood

Since 1892, Nativity men and women have generously heeded God’s call to labor in His Vineyard. In parishes, schools, hospitals, social institutions and monasteries throughout the world, the prayers and energies of our sons and daughters are heard and expended.

Monsignor John P. McPeak
Rev. Richard T. Powers
Rev. Joseph Rock
Most Reverend Edward J. Schlotterback, 0.S.F.S
Rev. James Behan, 0.S.F.S
Rev. Bernard Donahue, 0.S.F.S
Rev. James Fanrak, 0.S.F.S.
Rev. Neil Kilty, 0.S.F.S.
Rev. Thomas Langan, 0.S.F.S.
Brother Hugh McGuigan, 0.S.F.S.
Rev. Henry Paul, 0.S.F.S.
Brother James A. Petrait, 0.S.F.S.
Rev. George Shugrue, 0.S.F.S.
Rev. Peter (John A. Aikens), 0.C.S.O.
Rev. Joseph Kline, 0.C.S.0.
Brother Malachy (Edward Samanns), 0.C.S.0.
Rev. Philip Haggerty, C.S.Sp.
Rev. George McPeak, M.M.
Rev. Anthony Augustine, 0.F.M.
Rev. Henry J. Erhart, S.J.
Rev. Daniel Lawler, S.J.
Rev. Joseph J. McGovern, S.J.
Rev. John L. Ryan, S.J.
Rev. M. Gerald Gordon, T.O.R.
Rev. Robert Feeney
Rev. Edward Ogden
Rev. John Kolodziej
Rev. George Szparagowski


Vocations to the Sisterhood

Sr. Admirabilis Flynn, S.S.J.
Sr. Agnes Immaculate McGuigan, S.S.J.
Sr. Alice Regina Martin, S.S.J.
Sr. Emiliana Byrne, S.S.J.
Sr. Gertrude de Sales O’Brien, S.S.J.
Sr. Helen Roberta Keenan, S.S.J.
Sr. Hyacinth Connolly, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Josephita Franklin, S.S.J.
Sr. Margaret Aloysia Kelly, S.S.J.
Sr. Maria Bona Shea, S.S.J.
Sr. Pierre Julian Tierney, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Bridget Coll, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Edward Lavery, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Laura O’Drain, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Marguerite Friel, S.S.J.
Sr. Matthew Marie McHugh, S.S.J.
Sr. Regina Teresa Costello, S.S.J.
Sr. Rose de Lourdes McHenry, S.S.J.
Sr. St. Ebba Graham, S.S.J.
Sr. St. Edmund McBeth, S.S.J.
Sr. Madeleine Donovan, S.S.J.
Sr. Sophia Kelly, S.S.J.
Sr. Wilfred Coyle, S.S.J.
Sr. Angela Fox, S.S.J.
Sr. Angela Teresa Diamond, S.S.J.
Sr. Ann Bernadine McGarvey, S.S.J.
Sr. Ann Catherine Williams, S.S.J.
Sr. M. Cecilia Gorham, S.S.J.
Sr. Benigna Consolata, S.S.J.
Sr. Anna Maria O’Donnell, S.S.J.
Sr. Charlotte Marie Kent, S.S.J.
Sr. Anne Rosarii Hanratty, S.S.J.
Sr. Anselma Keenan, S.S.J.
Sr. Clara Maria Fenningham, S.S.J.
Sr. Elizabeth Anita Sharkey, S.S.J.
Sr. M. Emeline McCuen, S.S.J.
Sr. Maria Felicitas Martin, S.S.J.
Sr. Margaret Celine, S.S.J.
Sr. Marianna Halloran, S.S.J.
Sr. M. Paschall Cooper, S.S.J.
Sr. Patrick Francis McCormac, S.S.J.
Sr. Marie Denise Reice, S.S.J.
Sr. Regina de Sales Lavin, S.S.J.
Sr. Marie Gervase Smith, S.S.J.
Sr. Regina Gervase Gallagher, S.S.J.
Sr. Ann Virginia Kauffman, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Dolores Kelly, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary George McPeak, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Helen Smith, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Lourdes McGee, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Peter Fabey, S.S.J.
Sr. Michael Joseph Brady, S.S.J.
Sr. Rita Agnes McCloskey, S.S.J.
Sr. Terese Elizabeth Cunningham, S.S.J.
Sr. Terese Immaculate Diamond, S.S.J.
Sr. Therese Anita Corrigan, S.S.J.
Sr. Virginia Mercedes Driscoll, S.S.J.
Sr. Virgo Regina Gibbons, S.S.J.
Sr. Walter Clare Vanderslice, S.S.J.
Sr. Dorothy Patricia Quinn, S.S.J.
Sr. Miriam Therese McPeak, S.S.J.
Sr. Theresa Consilii Stahl, S.S.J.
Sr. Miriam Andrew Suplick, S.S.J.
Sr. Michael Bernard McDonald, S.S.J.
Sr. Mary Samuel Kline, S.S.J.
Sr. Maria Teresa Griffin, S.S.J.
Sr. Helen Patrick Clifton, S.S.J.
Sr. Joseph Richard Brown, S.S.J.
Sr. Miriam James McGovern, S.S.J.
Sr. James Therese Bones, S.S.J.
Sr. Joan Frances St. Clair, S.S.J.
Sr. Miriam Denis McConomy, S.S.J.
Sr. Thomas Germaine McCormac, S.S.J.
Sr. Claire Carroll, S.S.J.
Sr. M. Carmilita Sattler, I.H.M
Sr. Marie Rosaire Ryan, I.H.M.
Sr. Maria Angelica McGovern,
Sr. Joseph Maura Glackin, LH.]
Sr. Catherine Edward Glackin,
Sr. Eileen Regina Graham, I.H.l
Sr. Joseph Fidelis Dorwart, I.H.
Sr. Majella Hubbert, I.H.M.
Sr. Marian Genevieve Daley, I.
Sr. Marian Henry Cloran,
Sr. Miriam Rose Porter, I.H.M.
Sr. Miriam Glowacz, I.H.M.
Sr. Regina Kathleen Doherty, I.
Sr. Rose Caritas Batcho, I.H.M
Sr. M. St. Gertrude Sattler, I.
Sr. Marie Alphonsus, I.H.M.
Sr. Mary Kathleen Scannell, R
Sr. Marie Patrice Razler, R.S.M
Sr. Jean Marie Houghton, R.S./
Sr. Marie Noel Bannon, R.S.M.
Sr. Pierre Marie Zabor, R.S.M.
Sr. M. Gerald Veronica Carter,
Sr. Mary Alberta Chelius, O.S.
Sr. Mary Godfrey Church, 0.S
Sr. M. Dennis Ann Curran, 0.1
Sr. Constance Davis, 0.S.F
Sr. M. Theresa Kevin Donahue
Sr. Margaret Bernadette Hallor
Sr. M. John Joseph Martin, 0.E.
Sr. M. Clare Wiechowski, O.S.
Sr. Peggy Doherty, S.H.C.J.
Sr. Rita Cliggett, S.H.C.J.
Sr. M. Cyprian Hennessy, S.
Sr. Mary Ackerman, S.C.
Sr. Eleanor Caviston, L.S.A.
Sr. Rita Gillen, S.B.S.
Sr. Mary Carmella, S.B.S.