Monsignor E. Carl Lyon, 86, the founding pastor of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Silver Spring and a former executive director of the Washington Catholic Youth Organization, died of congestive heart failure Aug. 18 at Providence Hospital.
Monsignor Lyon was appointed the first pastor at St. John the Baptist in 1960 when there were 175 families registered in the parish. When he retired in 1987, the parish had grown to 1,900 families.
He was an advocate of ecumenical endeavors and a founder of the Colesville Council of Community Congregations. He opened Mass every Sunday with an invitation to "celebrate the great fact that God is in love with us," and this became the signature message of his ministry. In 1954, he was executive director of the Catholic Youth Organization.
Monsignor Lyon was born on a farm in Indian Head. He graduated from Lackey High School and St. John's College in Annapolis. He was a social worker in Baltimore and worked for Baltimore Gas & Electric. In 1946, he was ordained into the priesthood.
He was assigned briefly to Holy Comforter Parish in Washington, then for 14 years was associate pastor of the Shrine of the Blessed Sacrament in Washington. In that role, he was known as a supporter of the sports program who always saw to it that the church's youth football team had high-level coaching, uniforms and equipment.
He was an advocate for the diocesan Marriage Tribunal in 1948, vicar of Lower Montgomery County from 1974 to 1980, dean of Lower Montgomery County from 1980 to 1983, and a member of the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council. He was named a prelate of honor in 1984.
His avocations included playing bridge. He was a connoisseur of Southern Maryland cuisine.
Survivors include two brothers, Ellis L. Lyon of Silver Spring and Leonard P. Lyon of Indian Head; and two sisters, Ellen Viola Riddle of Jena, La., and Alice Theresa Dyson of Mesa, Ariz.