Saint Meinrad Seminary & School of Theology

Formation and Education for the Life of the Church

Alumni Obituaries

Fr. Edward Toner

Fr. Edward Toner, a priest of the Diocese of Covington, who spent more than 20 years as a US Navy Chaplain has died at the age of 83. He took up residence in Sarasota after retiring from active ministry in 1987.Fr. Toner was a native of Newport, KY and attended Immaculate Conception School in Newport. He was one of 12 children in the family.He attended Covington Latin School and Villa Madonna College. He prepared for the priesthood at Saint Meinrad Seminary in Indiana and the North American College in Rome. Fr. Toner was ordained in Rome by Bishop Martin OGÇÖConnor, the seminary rector, in 1952. He was the first Latin School graduate to be ordained a priest in Rome.From ordination until 1963 Fr. Toner served as assistant at four parishes (Christ the King, Lexington; Holy Cross, Latonia; St. Mary, Alexandria and St. Francis de Sales, Newport). Along with those assignments Fr. Toner taught at four high schools: Lexington Catholic High School; Holy Cross High School; St. Mary High School (now Bishop Brossert High School); and Newport Central Catholic High School.In June of 1963 Fr. Toner began service as a naval chaplain. His first assignment took him to the US Navy Hospital in Portsmouth, VA. Later he served on the USS Kitty Hawk, an aircraft carrier. Throughout his chaplaincy he served a wide variety of assignments, usually in two-year stints.GÇ£I have traveled all around the world," Fr. Toner said, in a Messenger article in November of 1999 about clergy who were military veterans. The Kitty Hawk, he said, traveled up and down the east and west coasts of the United States as well as to Australia, Europe, Hawaii, Hong Kong, the Indian Ocean, Japan and the Philippines.Fr. Toner said that he celebrated Mass every day for the servicemen and was also much involved in pre-Cana conferences and convert instruction.GÇ£There is a tremendous amount of opportunity to do priestly work in the military. It is easy for someone on a ship for an extended period of time to forget about God. But if there is a chaplain there who can say Mass for them, give them instructions and remind them of their obligations, it is a big service. I have thoroughly enjoyed my work as Navy chaplain.GÇ¥Msgr. John Schulte, pastor of All Saints Church, Walton, who is Fr. TonerGÇÖs nephew said GÇ£He served his country and his Church. He was a very generous man.GÇ¥Bishop Roger Foys said, GÇ£When one of our brother priests dies all of us are in some way diminished and suffer a void. But, believing in the resurrection of the dead for those who are faithful to the Lord and His Church in this life, we likewise give thanks to God for the life of our brother and for the example and witness to the faith that he provided. We commend him to the loving care of our heavenly Father.GÇ£Fr. Toner served well in our Diocese and as a chaplain in the Navy, spending himself in the service of the Lord and the care of GodGÇÖs people. He always stopped by to visit me when he was back in the Diocese and was eager to know about his home diocese. May he now rest in the peace and light of Christ.GÇ¥Information obtained from The Messenger.