Priest who served across Maine dies

Posted Nov. 16, 2010, at 9:57 p.m.
Father Coleman O'Toole. (Courtesy of Portland Diocese) Goes with Deadpriest1116 by Harrison
Father Coleman O'Toole. (Courtesy of Portland Diocese) Goes with Deadpriest1116 by Harrison

PORTLAND, Maine — A funeral Mass will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at St. Patrick Catholic Church for the Rev. Coleman “Coley” Patrick O’Toole, who died Saturday after having served in parishes throughout Maine. Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in South Portland after the Mass.

O’Toole, who was the pastor of St. Patrick’s, 1342 Congress St., for 16 years, died at his family’s home in Portland at the age of 82.

He had suffered from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, for 15 months, according to an obituary published Sunday in the Portland Press Herald.

During his nearly five decades as a priest with the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland, O’Toole served in parishes from Peter Dana Point in Washington County to Old Orchard Beach in York County. O’Toole retired last year.

“He was known for being never too busy or tired to visit the sick or answer a hospital call or to respond to those in need,” his obituary stated.

O’Toole was born in Portland on Jan. 29, 1928, the son of Patrick and Delia, nee Curran. He graduated in 1946 from Cheverus High School and worked at the Portland Terminal Co. until 1950, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, according to his obituary. He served at Fort Benning, Ga., and in Frankfurt, Germany, during the Korean War.

He entered the seminary three years later and was ordained Feb. 2, 1961, at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland after completing his theological studies at St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass.

O’Toole served the following parishes, according to the diocese:

ä St. Mary Catholic Church, Biddeford, 1961-67.

ä St. Ann Catholic Church, Peter Dana Point, 1957-69.

ä St. Martha Catholic Church, Kennebunkport, 1969-70.

ä St. Joseph Catholic Church, Portland, 1970-75.

ä St. Thomas Parish, Dover-Foxcroft, 1975-81.

ä St. Mary Catholic Church, Houlton, 1981-87.

ä St. Patrick Catholic Church, Portland, 1987-2003.

ä St. Margaret’s Parish, Old Orchard Beach, 2003-09.

In addition to his parish work, O’Toole served as the auxiliary chaplain to the 765th Radar Squadron at the Charleston Air Force Radar Station; spiritual director of Charismatic Renewal for the Bangor, Old Town and Millinocket region; as a chaplain to various councils of the Knights of Columbus; and as moderator of the Maine Diocesan Council of Catholic Women.

Donations in O’Toole’s memory may be made to Sisters of Mercy Retirement Fund, 605 Stevens Ave., Portland 04103, or to St. Joseph’s College Scholarship Fund, 278 Whites Bridge Road, Standish 04084.

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