MILFORD – Father James J. Cronin, 75, died on May 5, 2012, at Yale-New Haven Hospital.
He was born in Hartford on Jan. 10, 1937, a son of the late Matthew and Bridget Herlihy Cronin. He was raised in Bloomfield, and attended St. Peter Grammar School in Hartford, St. Joseph's Cathedral in Hartford and St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield.
He graduated from St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore in 1958 and earned a master’s degree in education from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1962 and a licentiate in sacred theology from Yale Divinity School in New Haven in 1982.
Father Cronin was ordained to the priesthood on May 31, 1962, at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Hartford by Archbishop Henry J. O'Brien. He served as an assistant at Sacred Heart Church in Waterbury and at St. Augustine Church in North Branford.
Father Cronin was the assistant, co-pastor and administrator at SS. Peter and Paul Parish in Waterbury for 15 years and then was the assistant and temporary administrator at St. Patrick Parish in Enfield for two years.
He was appointed pastor at St. Joseph in New Haven in 1985 and a dean for the New Haven Deanery the following year. He also served three years on the Presbyteral Council.
Father Cronin was named as the director of the Archdiocese of Hartford’s Pro-Life Ministry in October 1991 and served in that capacity until July 2011. In 1994, he was appointed pastor of St. Mary Parish in Milford, where he served until his retirement in 2012. Upon his retirement, Father Cronin was named pastor emeritus of St. Mary Parish.
Survivors include his brothers, Timothy, of Pocasset, Mass., and Matthew, of Falmouth, Mass.; his sister, Joan Tyler of Avon; 10 nephews; two nieces; 15 grandnephews; and seven grandnieces.
A parish Mass was celebrated on May 8, at St. Mary Church in Milford, where Archbishop Henry J. Mansell celebratef a Mass of Christian Burial May 9. Interment was in Mountain View Cemetery in Bloomfield.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Mary's Church for the benefit of the Twinning Parish in Haiti, 70 Gulf St., Milford, CT 06460.