Josephite Father Joseph Nicholas Begay passed to a new life suddenly on Monday, October 30. Failing health had seen his retirement three years ago. He was 90 years old.
Father Begay was born in Scranton, PA, on Jan. 31, 1927, the fourth of five children of Anna and Nicholas Begay. He was baptized in St. Vladimir Church in Scranton and attended local public schools. In 1945 and 1946, he served in the U.S. Navy Medical Corps. He then attended the University of Scranton before entering the Josephite minor seminary in Newburgh, N.Y. in 1949.
He made his first year of profession as a Josephite at the end of the novitiate year and continued at St. Joseph Seminary in Washington until his ordination at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in 1959.
His first assignment was to St. Richard’s Josephite parish in Boston and after two years, transferred to St. Pater Claver parish in Baltimore for two more years. Moving to Washington and St. Cyprian parish, he served until 1967 when sent to Our Mother of Mercy parish in Houston, Texas.
For the next six years, Father Begay was pastor of St. Joseph’s in Tuskegee, Alabama and also served as Newman chaplain at Tuskegee Institute in 1976. He moved over as pastor of St. Josephs in Welsh, LA, serving for eight years. Then he served as pastor for three years each at St. Peter Claver, Baltimore and Our Lady of Grace, Reserve. LA. Then, came a six-year term as pastor of Holy Redeemer in Washington and his final period of 13 years of ministry was at St. Luke’s parish in Washington.
While in Washington, Father Begay delighted in serving as chaplain to the police department of several cities of his ministry and attending anniversaries of retirees and assisting at their funerals.
Father Begay’s Funeral Mass will be held at St. Luke’s Church, Washington, D.C., on Monday, November 6 at 11 a.m. Burial will be in Mt. Olivet Cemetery also in Washington, D.C. May his priestly soul rest in peace.


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