Friday, March 20, 2009

Father Edwin Joseph. Duffy R.I.P.

Fr. Duffy
Fr. Duffy on his 99th birthday September 11th

"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.


Anonymous said...

that was a beautiful memorial you wrote about Fr.
I like you woke up thinking of many of the things mentioned in your tribute. So may heaven be eternally hearing the swine in-law line. And may da New Joisey mosquitoes rot in the opposite land of heaven. God bless

catholicandgop said...

My condolences. :(

Evann said...

It seems we have all lost a wonderful priest, but he was called home on a most appropriate day. God bless Fr. Duffy.

Heather KL said...

Oh Esther, you have my deepest sympathies. What a wonderful man of God, Fr Duffy was. Wish I knew him.

Hugs, Heather

Esther said...

Thanks A! He was quite a priest.

Thanks Sunny.

Wasn't he Evann!!

Esther said...

You would have loved his sense of humor Heather! TY.


Mimi said...

May his Memory be Eternal.

natalieami said...

You captured his spirit wonderfully. He touched many lives in his years with us. Thank you for sharing your story. The joke I always remember is the one about running red lights.
He will be greatly missed.

Esther said...

Thank you Mimi.

Natalie, TY. BTW, I don't think I remember that joke. Would you care to share :-)

DHF said...

Fr.Edwin's brother died on March 20.

Father Stephen V. Duffy, S.J.
a teacher and tutor at Regis High School in Manhattan for more than half a century, died March 20 at Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center in the Bronx. He was 91. He first came to Regis in 1945 and remained at the Jesuit high school for boys until 2001, with the exception of a year he spent at the Jesuit seminary in Shrub Oak, 1955-1956. During that period, he wrote "The Way to Greek," which became the standard book used to teach the subject in Jesuit schools for many years. In his early years at Regis, an all-scholarship school, he taught general subjects before he went on to concentrate on Greek and religion for a 15-year period. From 1966 to 1974, he taught religion and was moderator of alumni. He continued as a religion teacher for the next 17 years. After his official retirement in 1991, he continued at the school as a tutor until 2001. Father Duffy came to be known by students and faculty members as "Father Regis." The Duffy Award for General Excellence in Studies is given annually to members of the graduating class at Regis who have exemplified his commitment to excellence in scholarship and service. "He embodied the spirit of the place," said Father Vincent Biagi, S.J., principal of Regis. Father Duffy also offered a good example for the Jesuits who followed in his footsteps. "He was open to change and adapting to the times," Father Biagi said. Father Duffy was also recalled as a consistent fund-raiser on behalf of the Jesuit Missions. Born in Brooklyn, he was a graduate of Jesuit-run Xavier High School in Manhattan. He entered the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1931 and made final vows in 1948. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1943 after studying at Woodstock College in Maryland. He held a master's degree in classical languages from Fordham University. He is survived by four sisters, Sister Helen Marie Duffy, S.S.N.D.; Florence Doherty; Jane Burt; and Constance Corroon. He was predeceased by a brother, Father Edwin J. Duffy, a priest of the archdiocese who served as pastor of Our Saviour parish in the Bronx, and a sister, Miriam Scavullo. A Funeral Mass was offered March 23 at St. Ignatius Loyola Church in Manhattan. Burial was in Auriesville.

Esther said...

DHF, although the names are the same, I think this is a different Fr. Duffy. I don't think Father Duffy had any surviving siblings. I will check though. TY.

Carl Sobrado said...

Requiscat in pace, Father Duffy.

Carl Sobrado said...

Requiscat in pace, Fr. Duffy.

Esther Gefroh said...

Mahalo, Carl.