Funeral arrangements were pending at press time for Monsignor Patrick Thompson, 77, pastor emeritus of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in Lomita, who died Oct. 20 in Glendale where he was living in retirement at Incarnation Church. A St. John’s Seminary 2011 “Distinguished Alumni” honoree, Msgr. Thompson was a native Angeleno whose 52 years of active ministry in the archdiocese included service as an associate priest and pastor, seminary theology professor, Newman Apostolate director, and Commission on Evangelization chairman.A fourth-generation Californian, he attended St. Paul School and Loyola High School (Los Angeles) and the University of Santa Clara as a chemistry major before entering the seminary. He finished his theological studies at St. John’s and was ordained in 1960 by Cardinal James Francis McIntyre.His numerous appointments over the years included associate priest at Assumption and St. Philip, Pasadena; St. Jerome, Los Angeles; Our Lady of Peace, North Hills; and Santa Clara, Oxnard. He taught at St. John’s Seminary (1964-69) and Mount St. Mary’s College; served as Newman Center chaplain at Los Angeles City College (1969-73); and was director of the Archdiocesan Newman Apostolate and the Faith & Order Commission (1973-78).Returning to parish ministry, he was co-administrator at St. Frances Cabrini, Los Angeles (1978-81); pastor of St. Anthony, San Gabriel (1981-94); and pastor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Lomita (1994-2010). During his time at St. Anthony, he took a sabbatical at the Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Mass.Msgr. Thompson received a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Gregorian University in Rome. He was named a prelate of his holiness (monsignor) in 1988.In presenting Msgr. Thompson at the 2011 St. John’s Distinguished Alumni dinner, Msgr. Joseph Greeley, pastor at St. Pancratius in Lakewood, noted his amazement of his colleague’s energy and enthusiasm. “Pat Thompson at 50 percent would leave most of us in the dust,” he said. “You don’t come away from a conversation with Pat without knowing more than you did before,” he added.Msgr. Thompson recalled at the time that “a seminary rector once told me, ‘Let the church make your life.’ Well, I believed it, and that’s what has happened. I’ve also believed in saying yes, to welcoming people, and believing that God is always present.”He stressed the importance of knowing that first, one is human, then a Christian, and then a priest. “If you don’t get that right, it’s hell for everybody,” he said with a chuckle. And he emphasized the importance of giving thanks. “I am extremely thankful for all I’ve received,” he said.Upon his retirement as pastor of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, Msgr. Thompson wrote: “The Lord has certainly let his face shine upon me these 50 years of priesthood. There has never been in all these years a doubt that this is what God has given me to be and to do. I treasure the love and joy that has come to me through the interaction with people in all the really important situations of their lives and my life. If you believe with your whole heart and soul in what you are doing, then everything becomes grace and constant blessing and this is how I see my life with you as your priest and pastor.”{gallery width=100 height=100}gallery/2012/1026/obits/{/gallery}