Rev. Monsignor William Neal Pharr ’53

Reverend Monsignor William Neal Pharr ’53, of Charlotte, N.C., passed away on Apr. 5 at his residence at Sharon Towers. He was born on Feb. 24, 1931, son of the late William Neal Pharr and Anne McLaughlin Heath Pharr. He became interested in Catholicism while a student at Belmont Abbey Prep from 1946–49. His interest deepened in the next few years and he became a Catholic in 1952 while a student at Davidson College. After graduation from Davidson, he began studies for the priesthood at Christ the King Seminary in St. Bonaventure, N.Y. He was ordained a priest at Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Charlotte on May 26, 1960. Father Pharr spent his first year as a priest with the Missionary Fathers Apostolate as an assistant at St. John’s in North Wilkesboro. He then served as an assistant at St. Leo parish in Winston-Salem when he became temporary administrator of St. Charles parish in Ahoskie. Father Pharr became an assistant at St. Eugene’s in Asheville. He served there until he became pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes in Monroe and Sacred Heart in Wadesboro. Father Pharr also served as pastor of St. Benedict the Moor and Our Lady of Fatima Chapel in Winston-Salem, St. James in Concord, Immaculate Conception parish in Hendersonville, as well as serving as chaplain and director of Our Lady of the Hills Camp near Hendersonville, a vicar for religious of the Diocese and director of the Diocesan Planning Council and the development of parish pastoral councils. The late Pope Paul VI appointed him a Prelate of Honor in October 1976 with the title of Monsignor. Monsignor Pharr was appointed pastor of St. Pius X in Greensboro. He later served as pastor of Our Lady of Grace in Greensboro, vicar of the Greensboro Vicariate, was named to the Diocesan Seminarian Formation Committee twice, pastor of Our Lady of Consolation parish in Charlotte, and pastor of Saint Vincent parish in Charlotte. After his retirement in July 2001, Monsignor Pharr continued to assist in various parishes and ministries in the Diocese of Charlotte.