Rev. Cargan, a native of Castlerock, in Co. Derry, was ordained to the priesthood in 1978 and served in a number of parishes across the diocese including Omagh, Our Lady of Lourdes Steelstown, Faughanvale, Maghera and, lastly, Kilrea.
He attended St Columb’s College, Derry, as a boarder.
News of his death was confirmed on the St Eugene’s Cathedral website.
A spokesperson said: “Throughout his long life of service, Fr John was passionate about mission, the power of prayer and the good that the Church could do in the world. Many people have benefitted from his wisdom over the years and we thank him for his distinguished contribution towards the life of the church here in the Diocese of Derry.”
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The Parish of the Three Patrons in the city also paid tribute to him.
A post on its Facebook page read: “Fr John was very well known here in Derry, especially through his kind and dedicated service in the neighbouring parish of Steelstown as curate and, later, parish priest. He had a huge influence and made a lasting impression on many of us Omagh priests through the years he served in the parish of Drumragh.
“Also, many past pupils of Thornhill College will also fondly remember him, as we all will, for his larger than life character, full of fun, his eloquent sermons and priceless anecdotes which were guaranteed to make us laugh.
“On this Good Friday, may the Lord welcome Fr John into paradise and reward him for his faithful service to so many of God’s people who will sorely miss him.”
Rev. Cargan’s funeral arrangements will be announced later.