Father Joseph Jugan Retires after 58 years in Ministry

Pastor of Canonsburg Parish honored at Farewell Socials

Screenshot004On Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8 in their church hall, the parishioners of St. Michael Byzantine Catholic Church in Canonsburg, Pa. bid “farewell” to their pastor of 48 years – Father Joseph Jugan, who officially retired from active ministry May 1. It was an emotional farewell, since for many parishioners Father Jugan married them, baptized their children and buried family members. A vocation from St. Mary Church in Johnstown, Pa. and the youngest of six children, Father Joseph was born in Johnstown, a son of the late John and Mary Jugan.

He attended parochial school in his hometown and graduated from Johnstown Catholic High School (currently Bishop McCort High School) in 1949. Father Joseph was a standout athlete in little league baseball and junior high football, was the 7th grade table tennis champion and, in his junior year of high school in 1948, helped to lead his basketball team to the state finals.

After graduating from high school he entered the seminary and in 1954 received a bachelor degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Pa. Father Joseph was ordained a priest on June 1, 1958 by Bishop Nicholas T. Elko. After serving Pennsylvania parishes in Braddock, Hazelton and Girard, in October 1968 he settled in at St. Michael’s in Canonsburg, where in 2008 he celebrated the 50th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Each year from Fall through Spring, the sale of nut rolls, initiated by Father Joe, is a fundraiser for St. Michael Church. It therefore was no coincidence that in addition to donuts, cookies and coffee, those delicious nut rolls also were served at his farewell socials.

In addition to parishioners, Father Jugan’s family and many community leaders were in attendance, as well
as the following clergy and religious: Very Rev. Andrew Deskevich, Protosyncellus of the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh,
who represented Archbishop William; Very Rev. Joseph Raptosh, Protopresbyter of the Tri-State Protopresbytery
and pastoral successor to Father Jugan; Sister Ruth Plante OSBM, Provincial of the Sisters of St. Basil at Mount
St. Macrina; Sister Seraphim Olsafsky OSBM and Sister Margaret Kapusnak OSBM, dear friends of Father Joe.

Father Joseph also served as a Consultor for the Archeparchy of Pittsburgh under +Metropolitan
Archbishop Judson M. Procyk and until September 2015 had served as Protopresbyter of the Tri-State
Protopresbytery since 1997. May God grant Father Joe Jugan many blessed, happy years in retirement back in
his hometown of Johnstown. He will be missed!


Sisters of St. Basil and dear friends of Father Joseph Jugan (from left), Sister Margaret Kapusnak OSBM, Sister Ruth Plante OSBM, and Sister Seraphim Olsafsky OSBM were on hand May 8 at St. Michael Church in Canonsburg, Pa. to wish him well in his retirement. Sister Margaret and Father Joe also were childhood neighbors.