The Rev. William Foran, 52, a former Army chaplain and pastor in the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, died Saturday at his home in Adelphi after a long illness.

His last appointment was that of part-time Catholic chaplain at Washington Hospital Center, where he served from 1973 until ill health forced his retirement last month.

Born in Paisley, Scotland, Father Foran studied for the priesthood in Scotland and was ordained in 1956.

He spent two years in parish assignments in Glasgow before coming to the archidocese here.

From 1958 to the end of 1961, he was assistant pastor of Holy Family Parish in Hillcrest Heights.

Father Foran then joined the Chaplain Corps of the U.S. Army. After graduating from the Chaplain School at Ft. Slocum, N.Y., he served as hospital chaplain at Ft. Story, Va., deputy staff chaplain, Yukon Command, and at Ft. Wainwright, Alaska, and letterman General Hospital, San Francisco.

He received a medical discharge from the Army in 1971, and returned here. He was pastor of Our Lady of the Wayside in Chaptico, Md., from 1971 to 1973.

He is survived by his father, John Foran, and sister, Elizabeth Luby, of Hyattsville; two other sisters, Josephine Turnbull, of Paisley, and Mamie Morrow of Barhead, Scotland, and a brother, John, of Paisley.