Rev. Patrick Francis Rice, Ph.D.

June 25, 1949September 3, 2015

Reverend Patrick Francis Rice, 66, of Sparta, NJ went home to the Lord on September 3, 2015. Father Patrick was born in Monaghan, Ireland and came to the United States in 1974. He was ordained as a Roman Catholic priest on June 16, 1974 at St. Mary’s, Scotstown, Ireland. Father earned his PhD in Theology from Fordham University in NYC. Father Pat was a priest at St. Thomas Moore in Convent Station, NJ from 1974-1979; Holy Spirit Church in Pequannock from 1979-1994; St. Francis de Sales Church in Vernon, NJ from 1994-1997; St. Catherine of Siena, Mountain Lakes from 1997-2009 and St. Kateri Tekakwitha in Sparta, NJ from 2009 to the present. Father Rice is survived by his devoted sisters: Margaret Keenan and Agnes Kelly both of Ireland; 19 nieces and nephews in Ireland and the US; and countless friends and cousins in the US. Father Pat will be missed by all who had the pleasure to know him. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, September 8, 2015 from 3-9pm at St. Kateri Tekakwitha, 427 Stanhope Rd, Sparta, NJ 07871. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11am Wednesday at St. Kateri Tekakwitha. A wake will be held Thursday, September 10th from 4pm at St. Mary’s Church, Scotstown, County Monaghan, Ireland. A Funeral mass will be held at 11am Friday at St. Mary’s Church followed by burial at St. Mary’s Church Cemetery. In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in his name to: Sparta Ecumenical Food Pantry, 32 Main St., Sparta, NJ 07871.


  • VISITATION Tuesday, September 8, 2015
  • MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Wednesday, September 9, 2015
  • IRISH WAKE Thursday, September 10, 2015
  • MASS OF CHRISTIAN BURIAL Friday, September 11, 2015

Rev. Patrick Francis Rice, Ph.D.

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Christine Dilkes Cook

January 19, 2016

I am so very sad to learn of Father Pat's passing. That is how we referred to him at Holy Spirit. He was Father Pat to us. He was such a kind and gentle man, and he will be missed. I remember the special attention he showed to my daughter, as her father and I had recently divorced. I was working at the carnival and he took her on rides for me. When he left Holy Spirit for St. Catherine of Siena in Mountain Lakes, he invited us to his going away party. This meant so much to my daughter, and I will never forget him or his kindness. He made a difference in our lives and I'm sure in the lives of many.

Martin Scanlan III

December 9, 2015

Rest in Peace!

Melanie Manley Kondroski

October 4, 2015

You were a gentle priest. I loved having you as a priest when I was little at St. Thomas More parish. May you watch over us and tell Fr. Feehan we say hello.

Dana Friedl

September 17, 2015

He was a wonderful shepherd leading souls to Christ. I loved celebrating mass with him when visiting my home-town Sparta. I am sure he is relishing in meeting his Savior face to face. Dana Friedl, Purcellville, VA

September 13, 2015

I am sorry to hear of Father Pat's passing. He was a a great Minister and a great friend at Holy Spirit

Kathy Fairclough

September 12, 2015

Though our hearts are broken, it is wonderful to know that Fr. Pat, so faithful, loving, gentile and kind to all of us whose lives he touched, is now at peace, at home in the arms of God. Thank you for touching us all and making such a difference in so many lives ❤

Rich Wisneski

September 12, 2015

In a world that seems to be full of Can you top this noise, I was doubly blessed to know Fr. Pat during his long tenure in Pequannock as well as his twelve years in Mountain Lakes. His gentle, soft-spoken yet focused approach to life has been a quality that I've tried to embrace in my life, and I will remember him for that forever. My condolences to his family.

Mike Murph

September 10, 2015

Rest easy Father Rice. The Murphys are thankful for the time you served at Saint Thomas More. Hope you see Fr Feehnan. hanks for visiting me when I was housebound, you were a great gift, a humble Priest
Mike Murphy
Morristown, NJ

jo aprecena

September 10, 2015

saddened by the passing of Fr. rice.. words cannot express the sorrow...

September 10, 2015

Father Pat was a kind man. He his me feel welcomed as part of the St kateri congregation. Father Pat always greeted me with a smile, and remarkably knew everyone by name. He will be missed. I know he will watch over all who knew him.