COLUMBIA—Father Frederick F. Masad, retired pastor of St. John Neumann Church, died July 16. He was 79.
The Mass of Christian Burial was held July 21 at St. John Neumann and burial was at St. Patrick Cemetery.
Father Masad was known as a pastor who took the time to get to know his flock. In a 2012 article on his 50th jubilee, retired U.S. Army Col. James Higgins described his priest.
“He’s just really been the good shepherd of everything at St. John Neumann, the church, all the members and the school. The church and the school have grown so much over the years and he’s worked really hard to make it a really comfortable Catholic community all the way around. He’s a wonderful man doing a pretty tough job.”
Father Masad made his commitment to his parishioners apparent.
“The people here have been wonderful to me,” he said during his golden jubilee. “They are wonderful, faithful, first order Catholics. I’ve baptized people here, married them and in many cases buried members of the parish. I’m now holding weddings for the children of couples whose weddings I celebrated.”
A native of Columbia, he was born Oct. 9, 1934, to Frederick F. and Cathleen Metz Masad. He was a 1952 graduate of Bishopville High School in Bishopville, and immediately entered St. Bernard Seminary in Cullman, Ala. He earned a master’s degree from the Catholic University of America Theological College in Washington, D.C.
Father Masad was ordained on May 21, 1960, by Bishop Paul J. Hallinan in St. Peter Church in Columbia.
His first assignment as an associate pastor was at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Charleston, followed by St. Joseph Church in Columbia; Stella Maris Church on Sullivan’s Island; Church of the Nativity on James Island; and St. Joseph Church in Charleston. He was also a faculty member at Bishop England High School in Charleston and a chaplain for St. Francis Hospital in Charleston.
His first assignment as pastor was at St. Mary Church, the Virgin Mother, in Hartsville, and St. Joseph Mission in Darlington from 1971-1975; and he went on to serve as pastor at St. Anthony Church in Florence from 1975-1981; Our Lady of the Hills Church in Columbia from 1981-1987; St. Andrew Church in Myrtle Beach from 1987-1988; and then to St. John Neumann Church, where he ministered for 22 years until his retirement in 2010.
Father Masad said the best part of his work was “being able to be with the lay people, to deal with them on a personal basis and help them. It’s also such a privilege to celebrate the Eucharist together. That is so important to us as Catholic people.”
He encouraged young men considering vocations to make kindness the center of their mission.
“If you can practice kindness to all people, then you can do all kinds of things,” he said. “It’s important to relate to people as human beings, and then relate to them as an ordained priest. If you relate to them first with kindness, then you can relate to them as Christians and then talk to them about the faith, about doctrine and worship. With the increased diversity of Catholics in this diocese, we need to be able to practice our faith with tolerance and understanding.”
Father Masad is survived by his brother, Cleve Masad of Petaluma, Calif.; a niece, Jolene Masad; a nephew, Marquan Masad; a great-nephew, Bradin Masad; a sister-in-law, Jaffra Masad; and his cousin, Bette Blankenship of Columbia.