Msgr. Joseph Desmond Woods
The death of Msgr. Joseph Desmond Woods, Pastor of St. Bridgetâ€™s Parish, Renous, occurred at his residence, St. Bridgetâ€™s Rectory, on Wednesday evening, November 29, 2017, at the age of ninety-six. Msgr. Woods was born in Craigville, NB, December 12, 1920, the eldest of eight children born to Ambrose Joseph Woods and Mary Agnes Desmond. After studies in St. Thomas High School and St. Thomas University, Chatham, he entered Holy Heart Seminary, Halifax, NS, as a seminarian for the Diocese of Bathurst. He was ordained a priest of Bathurst in Halifax, on June 15, 1947, by the Most Rev. John McNally, Archbishop of Halifax. After ordination he served as a curate in St. Michaelâ€™s Church, Chatham, from 1947 until 1952, and in St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Campbellton, from 1952 until 1963. After incardination in the Diocese of Saint John in 1962, he was appointed Pastor of St. Raphaelâ€™s Parish, Blackville, in 1963, serving there until 1969 when he was appointed Administrator of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Saint John. In 1975 he was appointed Pastor of the Cathedral where he continued to serve until 1980. At that time, Msgr. Woods became Pastor of St. Dunstanâ€™s Parish, Fredericton, where he served until 1989. In 1989, Msgr. Woods was appointed Pastor of St. Bridgetâ€™s Parish, Renous, where he served for over twenty-eight years until his death. Msgr. Woods has also served the Diocese of Saint John as a member of the Diocesan Liturgy Commission, the Council of Priests, the College of Consultors, and the Priestsâ€™ Personnel Committee. In addition to his work as a parish priest, Msgr. Woods was also a great supporter of the ministries of the Religious Hospitallers of St. Joseph, the Sisters of Mercy, and the Sisters of Charity of the Immaculate Conception, supporting their missions in both Jamaica and Peru. On December 24, 1996, Msgr. Woods was named a Prelate of Honour by Saint John Paul II. This honour expressed on the part of the Holy Father the great respect in which the bishops, clergy, religious and people of the Diocese of Bathurst and the Diocese of Saint John have always held Monsignor. He was a true gentleman, a true priest, and a true pastor. He will be deeply missed by many.
Msgr. Woods is survived by his brothers Leo Woods, and his wife Margaret, Adrian Woods, and his wife Elizabeth, both of Miramichi, and his sister Susan Ewing, of Kemptville, ON, as well as by several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents, his sisters Mary Ewing, Theresa Woods, Sr. Margaret Woods, RHSJ, and Sister Mary Marjorie Woods, RSM, as well as by his brother-in-law Ken Ewing, his nephews Kenneth Ewing and Brian Woods and his niece Marjorie Ewing.
Msgr. Woodâ€™s body will be resting at St. Bridgetâ€™s Slumber Room, 12 St. Bridgetâ€™s Crescent, Renous, on Saturday from 2-4 pm and 7-9 pm, and on Sunday from 2-4 pm. His body will be translated to St. Bridgetâ€™s Church for Solemn Vespers at 7 pm followed by visitation until 9 pm. Visitation will continue on Monday morning from 9-10:30 am. His funeral Mass will be celebrated by Bishop Robert Harris in St. Bridgetâ€™s Church on Monday at 11 am. Interment will follow in St. Patrickâ€™s Cemetery, Miramichi. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Maher's Funeral Home Miramichi, NB. Telephone 773-4321 or www.mahersfh.com