Msgr. Ronald J. Bacovin, who served as a priest of the Diocese for 57 years, died Jan. 24 after a brief illness. He was 83.
Msgr. Bacovin had been a pastor in a number of parishes in the Diocese, most recently St. James Parish in Pennington. He also served for many years as director of the diocesan Office of Priest Personnel. Following his retirement in 2012, Msgr. Bacovin continued to minister in the Diocese, serving four years as chaplain of Holy Cross Academy in Delran and celebrating weekend Masses in several Burlington and Mercer County parishes.
Funeral services will be held in St. James Church, 115 E. Delaware Ave., Pennington, beginning Feb. 2 with Visitation from 4 to 6 p.m. On Feb. 3, Visitation will be held from 9 to 10 a.m. at which time a Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated. Burial will be in St. Mary Cemetery, 1200 Cedar Lane, Trenton.
Ronald Bacovin was born in Trenton in May, 1940, to John and Helen Bacovin. He attended Sacred Heart Parish and Blessed Sacrament Parish, both in Trenton, and went to St. John School, Trenton. He later graduated from Trenton Catholic Boys High School before attending Villanova University, Villanova, Pa., for two years. He then completed his priestly formation in St. Mary Seminary, Baltimore. He was ordained a priest May 28, 1966 in St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral, Trenton, by Bishop George W. Ahr.
During the early years of his priesthood, he served as parochial vicar in parishes that are now part of the Metuchen Diocese – Christ the King, Manville; St. James, Jamesburg, and St. John Vianney, Colonia, before returning to serve in his home parish of Sacred Heart, Trenton, as parochial vicar.
In 1980, he took a sabbatical year from priestly ministry to study in the Institute for Spirituality and Worship at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Calif. He returned to the Diocese of Trenton the following year and was named pastor of St. Joseph Parish, Keyport (eight years). Other parishes where he was pastor were St. John Parish, Lakehurst, (10 years), and St. James, Pennington, (12 years).
Msgr. Bacovin held a number of diocesan positions including director of the Office of Priest Personnel; vice chairman of the Priest Council, and member of the Episcopal Council for Clergy Personnel and the Priest Retirement Committee.
On June 16, 2008, Pope Benedict XVI bestowed papal honors on then-Father Bacovin, naming him a Chaplain to His Holiness with the title of monsignor. An investiture of papal honors was celebrated in St. James Church, Pennington, Nov. 16, 2008.
Since his retirement, Msgr. Bacovin has resided in Villa Vianney, the diocesan retirement facility for priests in Lawrenceville. In addition to his chaplaincy at Holy Cross Academy, he served weekday Masses in the parishes of Corpus Christi, Willingboro; Jesus the Good Shepherd, Beverly; St. David the King, Princeton Junction, and St. James, Pennington.
Msgr. Bacovin was predeceased by his parents, John J. and Helen Kramer Bacovin; his brother, sister and sister in law. He is survived by his brother, Dr. James Bacovin of Landrum, S.C.; two nephews and two nieces; several grandnieces and grandnephews; one great-grandnephew, and three great-grandnieces.
Memorial donations may be made to Catholic Relief Services at crs.org.