Monsignor John Raymond Snyder, 86, died Tuesday, June 25, 2013, at his residence in Erie.
Monsignor Snyder was born in Erie on Oct. 16, 1926, the son of John R. and Rosemary Eckl Snyder. He was raised in Ridgway and attended Ridgway public elementary school and graduated from St. Leo Parish High School. During World War II he served in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps.
Following the war, he enrolled at Gannon College, Erie, with residence at the old St. Mark Seminary on Third Street to begin studies for the priesthood. Archbishop Gannon assigned him to study philosophy and theology at Christ the King Seminary at St. Bonaventure, New York. He received his degree in philosophy from St. Bonaventure University, and later pursued graduate work at John Carroll University in Cleveland.
He was ordained to the priesthood for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Erie on Ascension Thursday, May 27, 1954 by Auxiliary Bishop Edward P. McManaman, S.T.D. Auxiliary Bishop of Erie. He celebrated his first solemn Mass in his home parish, St. Leo in Ridgway, on May 30, 1954.
His first assignment was as Assistant Pastor at St. Michael Parish in Greenville where he also taught in the parish high school. When the new St. Mark Seminary was opened in Erie in 1959, he was named a member of the first faculty and at the same time served as an assistant at St. Luke Parish for two years. He continued on the faculty full-time while assisting St. Cyprian Parish in Waterford until June 1969.
He was pastor of St. Raphael Parish in Eldred with its missions of St. Mary in Sartwell and St. John in Duke Center from 1969 to 1975. During his tenure he renovated both mission churches and St. Raphael Church and rectory. Bishop Watson appointed him the Dean of McKean and Potter Counties in 1973.
In April of 1975, he was appointed pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Franklin where he remained for 21 years. During his time in Franklin, he renovated the entire parish complex and purchased and renovated a new convent for the Sisters of Mercy who staffed the parish. He continually fostered the growth of the parish school by his presence and financial support. He served as Dean of Venango and Clarion Counties for 10 years.
Monsignor Snyder served as a diocesan consultor under both Bishop John F. Whealon and Bishop Alfred M. Watson. He was one of the Erie diocesan priests present in Rome during the final session of the Second Vatican Council in 1965. He was named a Prelate of Honor with the title of Monsignor by Pope John Paul II in 1991. He has served as a member of the priests’ retirement board and the Diocesan Finance Council.
Upon retirement from St. Patrick Parish in Franklin on Aug. 1, 1996, he took up residence at Mercy Terrace Apartments in Erie where he served as Chaplain and as a weekend assistant at Holy Rosary Parish. In 1997 Bishop Trautman named him the Bishop’s Delegate for retired priests.
From 2000 to 2010 he served as Chaplain at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse during which time he also served as spiritual director for the Erie Carmelite Sisters. In 2010 he became a resident at the Sisters of Mercy Health Care Center where he died peacefully on June 25, 2013.
Friends visited on Sunday, June 30, 2013 at the Sisters of Mercy Motherhouse, 444 East Grandview Blvd., Erie, PA 16504, from 2 p.m. until the time of the Vigil service at 7 p.m. Also, on Monday, July 1, 2013 at St. Patrick’s Church, 949 Liberty St. Franklin, PA 16323, from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Visitation will continue on Tuesday, July 2, 2013 from 9 a.m. until the Funeral Mass at 11 a.m. with the Most Reverend Lawrence T. Persico, JCL, Bishop of Erie, officiating.
Burial will be in St. Leo's Cemetery in Ridgway.
Memorials may be made to the Sisters of Mercy, 444 East Grandview Blvd. Erie, PA. 16504, Mercy Terrace Apartments, 430 East Grandview Blvd. Erie, PA. 16504 or to St. Patrick Church, 949 Liberty St. Franklin, PA. 16323.
The Francis V. Kloecker Funeral Home, Inc. is in charge of Arrangements. Send condolences to www.kloeckerfuneralhome.com .