A well-known Lancaster priest died Tuesday after a battle with COVID-19.
The Rev. Stephen Casey, who retired from St. Edward’s Episcopal Church in 2018, was taken off life support Tuesday morning. According to a letter from Bishop Audrey C. Scanlan, Casey also served at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lancaster and at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Hershey.
A post on St. John’s Facebook page Tuesday said that Casey would “transition from this earthly life to the next,” and invited its community in join together in prayer.
In a 2018 interview to LNP | LancasterOnline prior to his final sermon at St. Edward’s, Casey, who previously lived in England and Scotland, laughed at the irony of his Pennsylvania assignment.
“It’s one of God’s little jokes that he placed a Yorkshire man in Lancaster,” Casey told LNP | LancasterOnline.
Bishop Scanlan spoke highly of Casey in the letter, addressed to the Diocese of Central Pennsylvania.
“His contributions to the life and health of our diocese were great, and his wisdom, insight, and humor will be sorely missed,” the letter reads. "Please join in praying in thanksgiving for his life and ministry and for the comfort of his family: Rayelenn, his wife; and daughters Elizabeth and Emily. Notice of a service of Christian burial will be made when details for livestreaming are available.”
The Rev. Rick Bauer, Casey’s successor as priest at St. Edward’s, said via email he was “personally touched by his friendship and support” when he was chosen as St. Edward’s next priest.
“The Rev. Canon Stephen Casey selflessly served the people of St. Edward’s for 20 years, and he was instrumental in the growth and impact of the parish in our community,” Bauer wrote. “He was known for his attention to, and skill for, pastoral care. He held space for families in crisis, sat with the sick and the dying, and offered up a brand of wisdom gifted to him by years of rich and manifold life experience. His style of preaching and his appreciation for ‘the laying on of food’ holds a special place in the hearts of the people who have called him pastor. Simply stated, Father Casey was loved and he will be remembered.”