The Right Rev. Msgr. George L. Gingras, 60, pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Roman Catholic Church in Bethesda and former pastor of Ss. Paul and Augustine Church in Washington, died yesterday at Suburban Hospital after a heart attack.
During his tenure at the inner city Washington church, which coincided with some of the most active years of the civil rights movement, Msgr. Gingras was well known for his work in human relations.
He was appointed in 1964 to serve on the old Commissioners' Council on Human Relations, and served for a time as the council's acting chairman.
Msgr. Gingras also was chairman of the Antipoverty Committee of the Archdiocese of Washington and a member of the archdiocese's Human Relations Committee.
He opened a parish center at St. Paul and Augustine to house neighborhood activites in an effort to counter what he felt was a notion that the Catholic Church cared only for its own flock.
In 1952, he supported parishioners in their efforts to found a credit union at their church.
In March, 1965, he took part in the celebrated civil rights march in Selma, Ala.
Msgr. Gingras was born in Bergenfield, N.J., and came to Washington as a boy. He was educated at Georgetown University and St. Mary's Seminary, in Maryland, and was ordained in 1940.
After serving as pastor fo St. Augustine's parish at 1715 15th St. NW, he became in 1961 pastor of the combined Ss. Paul and Augustine Parish. He went to Our Lady of lourdes in 1971.
As a pastor in Washington, he also had been moderator of the Sodality Union of Washington and director of the summer camp for underprivileged children operated by the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Survivors include two sisters, Helene and Angele Gingras, of Washington.