In a lifetime of service, Fr. Patrick Fogarty made a distinctive contribution to Catholic education in Ontario and across Canada. As a teacher, administrator, trustee, executive member and priest, he brought a committed heart and a convincing gentility to every task he encountered.
Patrick Fogarty was born and raised in New Brunswick. He entered the Holy Cross community in 1940, was ordained in 1945, and became a teacher of English in Holy Cross schools. He is fondly remembered as a teacher and principal of Notre Dame College School in Welland.
Fr. Fogarty was the founding principal of Denis Morris High School in St. Catharines. For 19 years he acted as executive director of the Federation of Catholic Education Associations of Ontario and secretary of the Association of Catholic High School Boards of Ontario. At the time of his death, in January 1985, he was executive secretary and treasurer of the Canadian Catholic School Trustees’ Association and the Catholic Education Foundation of Ontario. He also found time to serve as a trustee on the Metropolitan Separate School Board and as a visiting priest in several parishes.
In these various roles, Fr. Fogarty was central in the struggle for equitable government support for Catholic schools. Through his columns in the Catholic media, his work with a variety of commissions and committees, and his contacts with the organizations connected with Catholic education in Ontario and across the country, Fr. Pat never wavered in his determination to have Catholic high schools fully recognized and supported by the provincial government.
It was ironic that Fr. Pat's death occurred only a few months after the announcement about completion of Catholic secondary schools in Ontario. His wisdom would have been invaluable in the challenges that have followed that event, and in the developments we have all experienced in the last three decades.
The Fr. Patrick Fogarty Dinner recognizes the achievements and contributions of Catholic educators and honours the winners of the C.E.F.O. Student Awards. The patron would have been proud of the growth of our secondary schools since completion.
Fr. Pat would have appreciated the presence of the participants at this Annual Award Dinner, but he would not have been surprised by the quality of the award recipients. He was a person of vision.