MADISON -- Msgr. Joseph Patrick Higgins died on Sunday, June 3, 2012, at his home.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Bernard Church, 2015 Parmenter St., Middleton, on Friday, June 8, at 11 a.m. Bishop Robert C. Morlino was the main celebrant.
Interment was in Resurrection Cemetery, Madison. A memorial fund has been established in his name.
Monsignor Higgins was born June 24, 1932, to Martin and Dora (Conlon) Higgins in Beloit, Wis.
After attending Brother Dutton Catholic Grade School in Beloit, he entered St. Francis Minor Seminary, Milwaukee, for high school. He continued his studies at St. Francis Major Seminary, Milwaukee, with his collegiate studies in philosophy. He received his S.T.B. and S.T.L. degrees from the Gregorian University in Rome, Italy.
Father Higgins was ordained on December 15, 1957, at the Pontifical North American College in Rome for priestly service in the Diocese of Madison. His Investiture as Prelate of Honor was conferred in 1997.
Monsignor Higgins was associate pastor at St. Patrick Parish, Madison; pastor at St. Mary Parish, Pine Bluff; and pastor of St. Bernard Parish, Middleton.
He also served the diocese in the chancery office beginning as assistant to the chancellor, vice-chancellor, secretary to the bishop, and chancellor.
He retired in 2002 and celebrated his golden jubilee as a priest in December, 2007.
He was also vocations director, part-time instructor at Holy Name Seminary, chaplain for the Serra Club, dean for the West Dane Deanery, a diocesan consultor, and co-secretary of the Diocesan Pastoral Council. He was a board member of Catholic Charities; Madison Diocesan Cemeteries; St. Raphael Society; diocesan Presbyteral Council; and the Diocesan Corporate Board.