Father Joe Carroll’s funeral will be on Tuesday, July 20

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Services for Carroll, who died at age 80 after a battle with diabetes, are scheduled to take place at St. Rita Catholic Church in Lincoln Park on July 20.

SAN DIEGO – The funeral will be next week for Father Joe Carroll, a San Diego charitable service icon whose decades of working for the homeless have made him a nationally recognized figure and civic element beloved in his adopted hometown.

The service for Carroll, who died Saturday at the age of 80 from a battle with diabetes, is scheduled to take place at St. Rita Catholic Church in Lincoln Park on July 20.

Carroll was President and CEO of the Village of Saint-Vincent-de-Paul from 1982 until his retirement in 2011, after which the facility was renamed Father Joe’s Villages.

Over the past 39 years, the organization has helped thousands of homeless people find shelter, medical assistance, child care, housing and other resources.

Over the weekend, former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer hailed Carroll as “a champion for those others have forgotten – the poor, the sick, the homeless.”

“He inspired an entire city to care as much as he did, creating enduring organizations that have helped so many people,” said Faulconer. “And he did it all with a sparkle in his eyes.”

Pro Senate President Tem Toni Atkins, D-San Diego, praised Carroll as “a dedicated advocate, someone who has always stood out to help our neighbors in need, in a big and small way.”

“He was a shining light of hope and love for our community,” said Atkins.

Carroll once said he wanted to serve over 1.7 million meals to those in need, so he organized a fundraising race. 5K has become an annual tradition at Balboa Park on Thanksgiving Day. Runners who raised over $ 100 received a Father Joe bobblehead.

In 2019, San Diego State University awarded Carroll an Honorary Doctorate of Human Letters in recognition of his lifelong dedication to underserved communities in San Diego.

Carroll, originally from New York, moved to Southern California in his early 20s. He enrolled in St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, where he was expelled for focusing too much on material gain while running the seminary bookstore.

He then emigrated to San Diego, where he completed his studies at the University of San Diego and was ordained a priest in 1974. He worked at the Catholic Church of St. Rita in Valencia Park, then was in charge of the Saint-Vincent de Paul thrift store. downtown, where he would find his true vocation and build his heritage.

He turned a parking lot near the store into a homeless center and worked to acquire other properties around San Diego to create a “one stop shop” where homeless services could be consolidated. Over the next several years, he built a powerful fundraising effort, and by the time of his retirement the organization employed nearly 500 people and had a budget of $ 40 million.

The public is invited to leave flowers and messages in memory of Carroll at the Joan Kroc Center in Father Joe’s Villages, 1501 Imperial Ave.

WATCH RELATED: News 8 Archive Images: Father Joe Carroll Discusses Plans for Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Center in 1983


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