Father Joseph McCaffrey was born and raised in the former mining town of Muse, PA, Cecil Township, Washington County. In 1983, he graduated cum laude with a major in Philosophy and a minor in Psychology from Duquesne University and St. Paul Seminary. The Diocese of Pittsburgh assigned him to the major seminary of the Pontifical College Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio, where he graduated summa cum laude with a Master’s Degree in Biblical Studies and Master’s Degree in Divinity in 1987. In the same year, Bishop Anthony Bevilacqua ordained him a Priest of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh at St. Paul Cathedral on May 23.
His first priestly assignment was as Parochial Vicar at St. Gabriel of the Sorrowful Virgin Parish in Whitehall, Pennsylvania. He served for 1½ years in that position and was later assigned to St. Benedict the Abbot parish in Peters Township, Washington County. Soon after, he was also appointed the first Chaplain to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the Pittsburgh office. In 1995, Fr. McCaffrey gained the distinction of being the youngest priest assigned as a pastor in the Diocese of Pittsburgh when he was appointed pastor of St. James the Apostle in New Bedford. At the same time, he was appointed Chaplain to the New Castle Youth Development Center, a maximum-security prison for juvenile offenders. Fr. McCaffrey built an interfaith chapel in the center of the facility which was dedicated in November 2001. On June 24, 2002, he became pastor of Saints John & Paul Parish in Franklin Park. As pastor of Saints John & Paul Parish, he oversaw the building of the 1,500-seat church which Bishop Zubik dedicated on May 2, 2010.
Fr. McCaffrey remains Chaplain to the FBI and is a member of the FBI’s Advanced Crisis Intervention Team. He has been called upon to serve after such tragedies as the crash of US Air Flight 427, Egyptian Air, Kosovo War Crimes, 9/11 United Flight 93 in Shanksville, the line of duty deaths of two special agents and numerous interventions and critical incidents. Fr. McCaffrey has also served on several other diocesan boards and councils. You might be surprised to know that Fr. McCaffrey was a Deputy Wildlife Conservation Officer for the state of Pennsylvania and is a licensed private pilot with an instrument rating. He was elected Vice President of the National Association of Priest Pilots in 2015. He was also blessed with the opportunity to fly with the Blue Angels on June 4, 2014!