Rev. Msgr. Henry Francis Fawcett (1934-2019)
Though he was named a Monsignor by Pope John Paul II, he preferred to be called Fr. Frank. He served as pastor of our parish from 1984-2008. One of the central themes of his ministry here was Sacrificial Giving. As he explained it: “Everything we have received is a gift from God. The air we breath, the time we have on this earth, our talents: All if gift. In recognition of this reality, we are invited to respond to these gifts and return a portion of them to God. After prayerfully reflecting on what we have received, we make a decision on how we will use our talents in the service of others and how much time and treasure we will return to God.” Many ministries flourished at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel during his time as a result of Sacrificial Giving spirituality. Donations from which ministries were funded and volunteers to make ministries happen reflected this spirit of giving. An outreach to several colonias in Tijuana and to migrant workers living near the parish are among the legacies of his pastoral leadership, not to mention the money he helped raise over the years to construct a new church building.
Fr. Frank served the people of God in many ways before arriving at OLMC, including as the first diocesan Director of the Diaconate Formation program, Rector of St. Francis Seminary, work with the ongoing formation of priests, and chaplain in the California National Guard and later Air Force Reserve.
For the detailed biography of Fr. Frank published on the occasion of his 40th priestly anniversary, click here:
OLMC’s beloved pastor of 24 years, Fr. Frank Fawcett, died peacefully on September 26th. The funeral Mass was held at OLMC on Tuesday, October 1st. Celebrating the Mass were three bishops and seventy priests, joined by a full church of Fr. Frank’s former parishioners, friends, and family.
"I am truly saddened to hear the passing of Father Frank. I have known him since 1984. He came to our home several times to pray for my mother who had a tumor in the brain. I believe his strength in prayer saved her life. The surgeon was amazed she came out with minimal damage. He was there for me and for my wife during times we needed a shoulder to cry on. We loved going to mass knowing he was there. He helped ensure my closeness with Jesus Christ. He is the reason my faith stands strong today. We will miss you dearly but I know where you are. I can look to the skies anytime I need to talk to you or I can simply smile. Your impact has been huge on so many. We love you Father Frank may God continue to bless you." Skertich Family
"Beloved Father Frank - it was your loving kindness humility and servitude that changed my life and brought me back into the church after decades of searching. I always think of you warmly and am so grateful to God for the gift he gave us, in you." J June Cox
"From kindergarten to marriage, Father Frank was always there for my family. I've never met anyone who was so in touch with the Holy Spirit. He had such courage. He went through some tough times but had nothing to hide. He taught me that adversity could make you stronger and closer to God. He saw the good in everyone and everything. He is the most humble man I've ever met. I am a better Christian, better husband, and better father because of him. He is one in a million and will be sorely missed." Matt Aneshansley
"Father Frank presided over my first communion when I was in the second grade!!! He taught me that the love of our Lord was very important for us and that with Him by our side nothing is impossible!!! Rest In Peace Father Frank! You will be missed! " Anne Marie Perry
"We loved Fr. Frank. He taught us the importance of sacrificial giving, that all we are and all we have is gift. We carry those ideals with us always. Fr. Frank will be in our hearts always until we meet again in Heaven with our Lord Jesus." Elizabeth Mcgee
"Father Frank was an amazing man. A true spiritual leader and inspiration to me in my conversation to Catholicism. He walked many paths with me, Chi and Jack. He was a mentor through my personal and spiritual journey, he married us and baptized our beautiful son. He was open minded and non-judgmental and always had a beautiful message and beautiful smile. Rest in Peace dear Father. You will be missed!" Amy Lamott Vargas
"Fr. Frank anointed me in 2004 July 15, before I checked in at the hospital for surgery early following day July 16th. My surgeon doesn’t know the extent of my stomach cancer. He said when he opens me up and has metastasized, he’ll just close me back up. I told Fr. Frank that I don’t want to go yet, my daughter was just in junior high school. He said, “Irma beg for your life!” I DID! He even asked me if I want reconciliation too. I said Yes, please give me those sacraments. I am a living miracle! Fr. Frank you were an instrument when I keep receiving God’s grace, love and healing mercy!" Irma Delapena
"Father Frank was a beloved pastor at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. It was a beautiful faith filled spirit Father Frank shared. a deep, quiet peaceful spirit that permeated the spirit of our church community. His message, his homilies, always resonating the loving giving spirit of the Lord. His legacy lives in the programs of sacrificial giving and the sharing of our gifts. When my family from out of the area would come to visit, I will never forget hearing what a spiritually gifted pastor we had, and that our small multipurpose room/ church was a community where the real spirit of Christ could be found in abundance. Fr. Frank fostered that spirit, that love, that warmth that was so strong. God Bless you Father Frank you helped in creating the religious foundation of our family. May the light of God shine upon you, Rest In Peace." Adele Rancourt
“Personally- You took the time out to sit and speak with me during one of the hardest moments in my young adult life! The wisdom bestowed upon me has stuck with me ‘til this day! " Elisa Milcarzyk
"We loved Father Fawcett! He was such a faithful pastor who first taught us about sacrificial giving. He challenged us all to do better and he lived the message of Christ. Rest in Eternal Peace, Father Fawcett! You were one of the main reasons why we chose Our Lady of Mount Carmel after searching for a parish to call home." Kirsten Bates
"He was such a comfort to our daughter as she was dying in June 2012, and of course to us! Not too long ago we had gone to a movie and then dinner. Not sure how we got on the topic but he said when he died, he wanted something TO DO in Heaven. "I'm not playing any dumb harp!" 1 Oct is the perfect day for his funeral." Paul Maruszak
"Msgr Frank, thank you so much for all your support to OLMC Filipino-American community. And most of all, thank you for treating me like your own family. I will always missed you. I’m so grateful that I was able to serve you at Mercy Hospital. May you Rest In Peace and perpetual light shine upon you" Salvacion Peralta
"Fr Frank Lived for the community , and so dearly loved by OLMC Parishioners, pastored us for >20 years, encouraged us to take care Of the marginalized esp the migrants , the feeding of homeless and many community outreach, his daily mass sermon felt like God directly speaking to us, that year after year , same homily poked our hearts in the different stages of our lives . I still have my notebook of notes on his sermon . Fr frank taught us to protect our peace and it ok to temporarily separate ourselves from those who caused us unpeacefulness and that day after day we make sure we commune and not separate from God. You’ll be missed Fr Frank and thank you for helping us all grow faithfully to God." Sandra Magalong