EASTON, Mass. Rev. Thomas Feeley, C.S.C., professor emeritus of philosophy at Stonehill College, advocate for the canonization of the Rosary Priest Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C. and a longtime member of the Congregation of Holy Cross, died Wednesday, April 21, 2004 in Miami, Fla. after a bout with pulmonary fibrosis. He was 74 and lived in the Congregation of Holy Cross community residence in Easton. Fr. Tom served generations of students at Stonehill with distinction and compassion. He was also well loved by countless alumni. His death is a loss for both the college and for Family Rosary to which he has given so much in recent years. Our prayers go out to his family and friends as well as to his brothers in Holy Cross, said Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C., president of Stonehill College. In 1962, Fr. Feeley joined Stonehill and went on to serve the College for almost four decades as a professor, administrator and priest. He taught in the College's philosophy department, which he also chaired on several occasions. In 2001, he became professor emeritus at Stonehill. During his time at the college, he was known not just as a dedicated teacher, but also as a very pastoral priest, one who always reached out to people during difficult times. Stonehill alumna Cathie Sabaitis, class of 1975, took four philosophy courses with Fr. Feeley and recalls her former teacher fondly. I remember his enthusiasm in the classroom, his humor and positive example. He was dedicated to the classics and always encouraged us to read the great books. Outside of class, he rallied students to get involved with campus projects and made his spiritual ministry available to those who needed it, said Sabaitis now first justice with the Plymouth County Probate and Family Court. In 1998, Fr. Feeley became National Director of Family Rosary, a ministry of Holy Cross Family Ministries in Easton, Mass., where he served for three years until being appointed vice postulator of the Cause of Canonization of Fr. Patrick Peyton, C.S.C., the famous Rosary Priest. As vice postulator, a role he relished, Fr. Feeley gathered documentation, as required by the Catholic Church, in support of the case for Fr. Peyton's canonization. He was also cataloging Fr. Peyton's letters, sermons, radio shows and television talks. Fr. Feeley, who was in Fla. preaching when he became ill, held retreats for religious communities in Ireland, England, and the Middle East as well as across North America. With his Stonehill colleague and fellow philosopher Frank Gendreau, he wrote Moral Integrity, a book on moral philosophy. The Pauline Press recently published his Friends in the Lord. He wrote weekly columns for the Holy Cross Family Ministries website: www.hcfm.org. His work also appeared often in several Catholic newspapers. Born and raised in New Bedford, son of the late Michael and Nora (Stinchon) Feeley, he took his First Profession on August 16, 1948 and was ordained as a priest October 30, 1955 when he received a licentiate in Theology from the Gregorian University, Rome. He held a bachelors degree in philosophy from the University of Notre Dame and a doctorate in philosophy from Laval University in Quebec. He also taught at King's College in Wilkes Barre, Pa. from 1956-1959 and 1978-1998 served in campus ministry at Wheaton College, Norton. His interests included Scripture, classical music and gardening. Fr. Feeley is survived by his sister, Mary Pat Feeley Thornton of Miami, Fla.; all his brothers of the Holy Cross Community; several nieces and nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews. He was brother of the late Jane Colgan. Fr. Feeley will lie in state on Tuesday, April 27 from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. at Holy Cross Church, 225 Purchase St., Easton, where a vigil service will be held at 7:30 p.m. A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated Wednesday, April 28 at 10 a.m. at Holy Cross Church, Easton, Mass. Interment will be in the Holy Cross Community Cemetery, Stonehill College, Easton. Funeral arrangements are by the Robert J. Kane Funeral Home, 605 Washington St., Easton. www.kanefuneralhome.com
Published in Albany Times Union on Apr. 27, 2004.