The Rev. Msgr. Michael J. Arrowsmith, 39, vice chancellor and associate to the vicar general for temporalities for the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, died of cardiac arrest Tuesday at Georgetown University Hospital.

He was hospitalized there Christmas Eve after he was injured in a hit-and-run accident in the area of the Capital Beltway and Little River Turnpike in Fairfax County.

A police spokesman said there were no witnesses to the accident and no arrests. An archdiocesan spokesman said Msgr. Arrowsmith was driving home after visiting a sick child.

He had been in residence of St. Ann's Parish in Washington since 1973.

At the time of his death, he also was director of research and planning and master of ceremonies to Cardinal William Baum, Archbishop of Washington.

Cardinal Baum paid tribute to him Tuesday as "one of our most talented and dedicated young priests."

Msgr. Arrowsmith was born in Detroit, Mich., the son of Marvin and Mary Arrowsmith. His father is retired from the Associated Press and is a former chief of AP's Washington bureau.

Msgr. Arrowsmith was a graduate of St. Charles College in Catonsville, Md., and St. Mary's Seminary in Baltimore, where he received a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.

He later earned a master's degree in administration from the University of Notre Dame and a master's degree in church administration from Catholic University.

Following his ordination in 1966, he was assigned to St. Joseph's Parish in Landover as an assistant pastor. Three years later he was transferred as an assistant pastor to St. Matthew's Cathedral in Washington.

Msgr. Arrowsmith was appointed assistant chancellor of the Archdiocese in 1971 and vice chancellor the following year. In 1978, Pope Paul VI elevated him to the honor of Chaplin to His Holiness with the title of monsignor.

Msgr. Arrowsmith had served on numerous boards and commissions, including the Senate of Priests, the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council and the Archdiocesan Building Commission.

In Addition to his parents, of Santa Fe. N.M., he is survived by five brothers, Lawrence J, of Derwood, Md., Brother Robert E., of Louisville, David F. of Arlington. John M., of Cairo, Egypt, and Thomas G., of Falls Church, and a sister, Kathryn Rabiega, of Northfield, Ill.