SALT LAKE CITY — Fr. Patrick Elliott, a retired priest of the Diocese of Salt Lake City who died Nov. 29, was “an inspiring witness of a selfless, dedicated servant of God,” said Bishop Oscar A. Solis in his homily at the funeral Mass at the Cathedral of the Madeleine on Dec. 11.
Bishop Solis was the principal celebrant and homilist at the Mass. Concelebrating were Msgr. Colin F. Bircumshaw, vicar general; Msgr. J. Terrence Fitzgerald, vicar general emeritus; and numerous priests of the diocese. Among the clergy from other faiths present were the Very Rev. Rick Q. Lawson, former dean, and the Rev. Canon Carol Marsh of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Mark in Salt Lake City. Deacon George Reade, chancellor, was the Deacon of the Mass; numerous other deacons, consecrated religious and laity attended.
In his homily, Bishop Solis recalled Fr. Elliott as a man who was very special to his brother priests and family.
“Many of us were blessed with Fr. Patrick’s gift of the priesthood and friendship. Like many others, I was blessed not only by the exercise of priestly ministry, which we shared, but also his friendly care and affection,” the bishop said. “His life, relationships and priestly ministry are testaments to God’s precious blessings to him and to many of us.”
Noting that Fr. Elliott responded to the call to priesthood late in his life, and gave up a high-paying job to enter the seminary, “I heard that when he was ordained for a priest of the diocese of Salt Lake City some 18 years ago, the diocese has never been the same after that,” the bishop said, getting a chuckle from those attending the funeral.
On a more serious note, “Fr. Patrick Elliott lived a dedicated priestly life, a life for God and his people, marked by great enthusiasm and fidelity,” the bishop said. “Holy Family Church in Ogden, where he served for 12 years, and where he retired, stands today as one of the living monuments of Fr. Elliott’s zeal and industry, as he worked with the parishioners, building a gorgeous and high-class place of worship. In the process, he did not only construct a building, he built and left a vibrant faith community.”
After retiring last year, Fr. Elliott asked to return to active ministry, wanting to prove that “even his poor health wouldn’t stop him from serving the Lord and exercising his ministry. Fr. Patrick gave an inspiring witness of a selfless, dedicated servant of God,” the bishop said.
In retirement, Fr. Elliott had hoped to serve as a chaplain to The Madeleine Choir School and the Cathedral of the Madeleine, “a ministry he was anticipating with great joy,” wrote Gregory Glenn, pastoral administrator of the school, on the school’s Facebook page. “We will miss his forthright and guileless conversations, his prayerful and material support of our work, and his wonderful sense of humor.”
In his remarks at the vigil, Msgr. Joseph M. Mayo said Fr. Elliott was a unique treasure “not only for the faith community of Ogden and Salt Lake City but also around the country, where he had worked in his younger years. We will miss his quick wit, candid smile and laughter.”
Fr. Elliott had a special place in his heart for the Church, the friends he met through his years as a seminarian and then as a priest, and especially his mentor, the late Archbishop George H. Niederauer, Msgr. Mayo said.
In 2000, Msgr. Mayo, who was then rector of the Cathedral of the Madeleine, met the newly ordained Fr. Elliott and “together we shared common goals and challenges that are part of a major diocesan church. He loved his ministry, he loved preaching; he was always here to give to us all,” he said.
Patrick Henry Elliott was born Sept. 8, 1940 in Detroit, Michigan, the eldest of two children. He attended Holy Ghost Missionary Seminary and College in Pennsylvania, intending to become a priest, but dropped out. After serving as an organist and boys choir director in the Archdiocese of Detroit, working for Delta Airlines, and doing custom designing in Los Angeles, he felt called to pursue the vocation to the priesthood he had considered when he was younger. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in humanities at Holy Apostles College and Seminary and a Master of Divinity from Sacred Heart School of Theology. He was ordained to the priesthood on May 19, 2000 in the Cathedral of the Madeleine by the late Most Rev. George H. Niederauer, eighth Bishop of Salt Lake City and Archbishop emeritus of San Francisco.
After ordination, Fr. Elliott served for five years as associate pastor at the Cathedral of the Madeleine and 12 years at Holy Family Parish, where he was the founding pastor. He was a fourth degree member of the Knights of Columbus and a Knight Commander of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem.
Fr. Patrick is survived by his sister, Sharon Lee (Roger) Bernard; two nephews, Christopher and David; and a niece, Laura.
Burial was at Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Arrangements entrusted to Starks Funeral Parlor. The funeral may be viewed, and memories and photos shared, at http://www.starksfuneral.com/.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Holy Family Church Endowment, c/o The Catholic Foundation of Utah, 27 C Street, Salt Lake City, Utah, 84103.