"How are the mosquitas in New Joisey"?
I am sure going to miss Fr. Duffy asking me that every year when I returned from New Jersey.
Our good friend and homeschooling spiritual director passed away last evening. God called his faithful servant home on the feast day of St. Joseph, the patron saint of the departing souls.
It was indeed a blessing that I along with many of his friends, including my old homeschooling group, were able to visit with Father Duffy yesterday and bid our aloha.
Father will be remembered for his Irish wit, his humor and most of all his love of the Catholic faith...of the priesthood. He was always encouraging the boys in our homeschooling group to become a priest. He even called my son "Pope Joey" and that is the name everyone in Fr. Duffy's circle of friends knew him as.
He was also a good confessor and spiritual director to many people. He was one of two priests who could make me laugh out loud literally, during Confession. Yet, I knew I had made a good confession with his gently promptings and guidance.
It didn't matter where you were when you need to go to confession. Father Duffy would always be happy to hear your confession. Many times, after picking Father up, Father Duffy would hear my confession, in the car before driving off to a homeschool meeting.
He had a late vocation. He had a career as a businessman and then the army before entering the Blessed John XXIII Seminary.
He was originally from Brooklyn, which explains why he referred to my home state as New Joisey, and was he proud of that! He never did forgive the Dodgers for moving to L.A., even though he did continue to watch them.
There is just so much to share with all of you about this very holy priest who helped bring so many people into the Church.
He wrote a few books based on his popular Father Duffy's Reflections which appeared regularly in the Hawaii Catholic Herald.
It always amused me how he was unfazed by the notables he knew. He had the privilege of riding in the car with Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen when Bishop Sheen visited the islands a long time ago. Instead of being impressed by this fact, Fr. Duffy wanted to know why the archbishop was so quiet. And, he didn't hesitate to ask. That was Father Duffy's point to the story he was telling.
He also told me the story of how he had a really nice conversation with actor Richard Harris when he was here filming the movie Hawaii.
A few months before Father Groeschel had that terrible accident, I had the opportunity to hear him speak. I also had a chance to say a few words to him. I mentioned I was from Hawaii. I don't know how Father Duffy popped into the conversation but he said "Tell Edwin, I said hello". I passed the message to Father Duffy who didn't seem at all surprised like I had been.
Father loved to hear jokes and he especially loved to tell them. One of his favorites was about a husband and wife were out driving in the car. They had been arguing. They pass a herd of swine. Husband remarks sarcastically, "Relatives of yours?" Yes, the wife replies "In-laws". Boy did he love this joke!
Well, I know Father is happy now. He is with his beloved family and his good friends like Fr. Turk and Fr. Mark Consalves.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and may Your perpetual light shine upon him. May Father Duffy rest in peace.