Retired Priest Finds Opportunity during Pandemic
By Eileen Connelly, OSU
The stay-at-home orders, social distancing and changes to our routines during the COVID-19 crisis have certainly presented some challenges, but Father Pat Crone, a retired priest of the Archdiocese, points out that there have also been opportunities.
“It has been really tough on people, especially those in the high risks groups. You’re scared to go out, and do this or that,” admitted Father Crone, who has served as the weekend Associate at St. Veronica Parish since 2011. “But it also brings out the reality that God is in control and has deepened a lot of peoples’ faith. It has been a good chance to examine where God is in our lives, how much He truly is present with us, and to really take the time to read and reflect on the Scriptures.”
Father Crone grew up in Owensville, a member of St. Louis Parish. He graduated from Clermont Northeastern High School and spent some time in the U.S. Air Force before attending the University of Cincinnati, and then the University of Dayton, where he majored in accounting. It was around this same time, he explained, that “my life took a different direction. I was involved in a serious relationship, but I realized God was asking me to do something else.”
After much prayer, discernment and lengthy discussions with both his pastor and a Marianist priest from UD, Father Crone entered the seminary to begin his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained on May 29, 1971. Over the years, he served as Pastor at Nativity, Pleasant Ridge; St. Columbkille, Wilmington; St. Andrew, Milford; St. Mary, Bethel; Our Mother of Good Counsel, Felicity; and St. Saviour, Rossmoyne. Father Crone said he has also been “privileged” to be involved in a variety of other ministries, including serving as a Hospital Chaplain at Bethesda North, teacher at Carroll High School, Juvenile Court Chaplain for Montgomery County, Campus Minister at Wilmington College, Associate Youth Director and Vocation Director for the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, and Dean of St. Martin Deanery.
Although he retired from Administration in July, 2010, Father Crone emphasized “you do not retire from being a priest.” In addition to his ministry at St. Veronica, he assists with Masses, Confessions, funerals, Baptisms, etc. at many parishes throughout the Archdiocese as time allows.
He currently shares a home with his sister Marlene Rhodes. “She had a stroke and I had a heart attack, so we take care of each other,” he said.
In his free time, Father Crone especially enjoys working in the yard, and said the pandemic has provided the chance to get to know his neighbors better, from a distance, of course. “It used to be that people would just wave to each other if we were outside, but now they stop and talk.”
Father Crone is grateful for the support the One Faith,
One Hope, One Love campaign provides for Archdiocesan retired priests. “It’s reassuring to know that support is there, and it gives you a warm feeling,” he said.
Go To News Story Archives