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Rev. Robert J. McArtney, 83, chaplain at OLV and Mercy hospitals

Feb. 28, 1934 – July 23, 2017

Rev. Robert J. McArtney, the last Catholic chaplain to serve at Our Lady of Victory Hospital in Lackawanna before it closed in 1999, died Sunday in Mercy Hospital. He was 83.

Father McArtney was assigned as chaplain at OLV in 1987 after serving for 11 years as pastor of St. Francis Cabrini Church in Collins Center. From 1983 to 1987, he also was a part-time chaplain at the former Gowanda Psychiatric Center.

He went on to serve as chaplain at Mercy Hospital from 2000 to 2004, when he retired.

Born in Buffalo, he attended the Little Seminary of St. Joseph and the Little Flower in Buffalo. He earned a bachelor’s degree from Our Lady of the Angels Seminary at Niagara University and a master of divinity degree from Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora.

He was ordained March 12, 1960, in St. Joseph New Cathedral by Bishop Joseph A. Burke.

Father McArtney first served in missionary apostolate at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Cherry Creek and St. John the Evangelist Church in Sinclairville.

He then was assistant pastor in four Buffalo churches – Annunciation, St. Brigid, Holy Cross and Holy Family – before he became assistant pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Church in North Evan, where he served from 1968 to 1976.

He completed the Clinical Pastoral Education Program at the St. Jude Center.

He was an honorary life member of Highland Hose Company in Derby, where he was a chaplain, and served on the Town of Evans Recreation and Youth Council. He also was a disaster volunteer and shelter manager for the American Red Cross and served on the board of directors of the Community Grief Center of Western New York.

An advanced class amateur radio operator, he also enjoyed photography and computer and website programming.

In 2004, using his video editing software, he did the technical work to produce a nine-minute video for Pastoral Care Week that was shown in hospitals and other facilities throughout the Catholic Health System. He also was webmaster for a site dedicated to Catholic Ministries in Western New York.

Survivors include a niece and a nephew.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be concelebrated by Bishop Richard J. Malone at 10:30 a.m. Friday in Our Lady of Victory Basilica, Ridge Road and South Park Avenue, Lackawanna.

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