Friday, August 21, 2009

Fr Felix Daley

I was saddened this week to hear of the death of Fr Felix Daley. Fr Daley was 92 years old and the oldest priest of our diocese. When I was 11 years old, in the first year at grammar school in Newcastle, he was on the staff. He had formed a group under the name of the `St Dominic Savio Guild` to promote vocations to the priesthood. I joined the group. It was Fr Daley who enrolled my form in the Brown Scapular and Miraculous Medal. He managed to whip up us into a high degree of religious enthusiasm. I remember a spiritual bouquet he had us contributing to and how we would come into the class in the morning keen to add the number of decades of the Rosary we had added to the cause.

Fr Daley left St Cuthbert`s Grammar School at the end of my first year. He had taught there for 26 years. Immediately after ordination to the priesthood, Father Daley went to St Edmund’s House, Cambridge for further studies from September 1942 – July 1946. I seem to remember he also served in that time as an RAF chaplain. In February 1973 he was appointed as Parish
Priest of St Joseph’s, Murton, Co Durham, where he remained for 23 years until his retirement in August 1998.

There was due to be a gathering last Tuesday of priests who taught with him, of old boys of the school who are now priests and 30 other old boys at the Little Sisters in Sunderland where he lived but he was taken into hospital on 15th August. He died on Wednesday 20th August.

Hs Requiem Mass will be on Friday 28th August at St Joseph’s, Murton at 1.00pm. May he rest in peace.

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