John R. Skehan ’78 died on August 3, 2022, in Gray Maine.
(The following was provided by the Portland Press Herald on September 3, 2022)
AUGUSTA – Rev. John R. Skehan, 66, Pastor of St. Michael Parish, passed away unexpectedly on Aug. 31, 2022, at the home of friends in Gray.
Born in Bangor on Feb. 15, 1956, Fr. John was the son of the late John and Patricia (Theriault) Skehan. Fr. John grew up in Bath and Hampden. He graduated from Hampden Academy in 1974 and received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Bowdoin College in Brunswick in 1978. Prior to entering seminary, Fr. John followed in his dad’s footsteps and became an educator. He was the educational coordinator for “Up with People” and a junior high science teacher in Oakland. In addition to his teaching duties, he was also involved in coaching various sports.
Fr. John completed his clerical studies at the Theological College at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. and was ordained to the priesthood by Bishop Edward C. O’Leary on May 24, 1986, at St. Matthew’s Church in Hampden. His first assignment was serving as parochial vicar at Notre Dame Parish in Waterville, including campus ministry at Colby College and Unity College.
In the late 1980s, Fr. John was appointed chaplain of Maine Medical Center in Portland, where he would serve until being named pastor of St. Mary of the Visitation Parish in Houlton.
Following his time in Houlton, Fr. John was appointed as the director of the Office of Parish Planning for the Diocese of Portland. In the mid-2000s, he was named pastor of St. Michael Parish in South Berwick and Our Lady of Peace Parish in Berwick. In addition to his duties in South Berwick and Berwick, Fr. John was appointed pastor of St. Christopher Parish in York and St. Raphael Parish in Kittery. He also volunteered as the Chaplain for the Berwick Fire Dept.
After leaving York County, Fr. John was named pastor of the Parish of the Transfiguration of the Lord, Stella Maris Parish, and St. Joseph Parish in Hancock County. In 2018, Fr. John was named pastor of St. Michael Parish in Augusta, which also serves the communities of Winthrop, Gardiner, Hallowell, and Whitefield. Fr. John served the Catholic Communities of Maine with the core values expected of any priest: he was kind, thoughtful, compassionate, and above all, he had an innate desire to be in service of God and others.
Fr. John was the epitome of a caring and kind priest who went above and beyond to help in any way he could. He will be deeply missed by his family, the entire Diocese of Portland and the parishioners of the communities he served.
Fr. John lived life to the fullest. He traveled all over the world with “Up with People” and continued those travels throughout his life. His most recent trip was bringing together a group of parishioners on a pilgrimage to The Holy Land. He loved Theriault Family reunions, music, cooking, sports, and making home repairs and renovations. He loved musical theater and had season tickets for many years to the MSMT in Brunswick, as well as the Ogunquit Playhouse. His sense of humor and optimism were contagious to all who knew him. He would be your friend for life.
Fr. John was predeceased by his parents John and Patricia; and his brother, William E. Skehan.
He is survived by his sister, Mary E. Skehan, of Topsham, brother, Robert A. Skehan and his wife, Michelle, of Vassalboro; and nephew, Conor Skehan; in addition, he is survived by aunts Phyllis Theriault of Portland, Dorothy Theriault of Scarborough, and Joan Theriault of Bangor; as well as many extended family members and friends.