Published March 2, 2023
SAVANNAH—Father Richard Knox Young, a priest of the Diocese of Savannah, died Feb. 9 in Sri Lanka.
Father Young was born on May 13, 1950, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. He is survived by his nephew, Dr. Lovett Evan Reddick (son Geoffrey), and his niece Alice “Polly” Reddick (daughters Angie and Dani).
His academic interests ranged from philosophy to literature to languages and took him as far as the Sorbonne in France and the Cemanahuac Spanish School in Mexico. He graduated from Emory University in Atlanta in 1972 with a degree in romance languages and later volunteered with the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa. Upon his return to the United States, he worked for 10 years at the University of Georgia in Athens teaching English as a second language. He was received into the Catholic Church on March 25, 1988, and entered Mount St. Mary’s Seminary in Maryland three years later.
He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Atlanta by Archbishop John Francis Donoghue on June 3, 1995. Father Young’s first assignment in the archdiocese was as parochial vicar for the Hispanic community of the Cathedral of Christ the King in Atlanta. He was appointed pastor of St. Bernadette Church in Cedartown in 1997 and in 2000 was appointed chaplain of Our Lady of the Americas Mission in Doraville.
Father Young came to Savannah in 2003 to take care of his mother, who had lost her other children. He served as chaplain of the Port of Savannah from 2003 until his retirement in 2018, while simultaneously serving as Chaplain for Memorial Hospital, Candler Hospital, Hospice Savannah, the Nursing and Rehab Center on 63rd St. and Coastal Prison.
Fluent in Spanish, Father Young helped to provide pastoral care to the Hispanic communities in both of his parochial assignments: parochial vicar at Sacred Heart Church in Savannah from 2009–2013 and parochial administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Port Wentworth from 2013–2015. Of all his assignments, he especially enjoyed serving at the Port of Savannah and loved the ships and meeting the faithful from all over the world.
Before retiring to Sri Lanka to be with his family, he lived for almost 10 years on E. 35th St. in Savannah and enjoyed the neighborhood and the people there immensely. He loved helping people and was ever grateful for the many blessings throughout his life.