Photo Courtesy of the Diocese of Brooklyn
The Rev. Thomas Daily died on Monday.
By Forum Staff
The Rev. Thomas Daily, Bishop Emeritus of Brooklyn, died on Monday at the Immaculate Conception Center’s Bishop Mugavero Residence in Douglaston. He was 89.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn serves the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens. Daily was installed as the sixth bishop of the Diocese in 1990 and, according to the Diocese, “served during a time of racial tension and financial hardship.” He served as bishop of Brooklyn from 1990 until his retirement in 2003.
According to the Diocese, Daily was born on Sept. 23, 1927 to Mary McBride Vose and John F. Daily, in Belmont, Mass. Upon completion of his studies at first Boston College and later St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass., he was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1952 by Cardinal Richard Cushing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Following ordination, he was assigned as curate for St. Ann’s church in the Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy, Mass. He remained in that post through the rest of that decade.
After returning to Boston, he was assigned again to St. Ann’s, where he served as assistant pastor until 1971. He was appointed to the position of secretary to Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros and later Vicar for Temporalities. In 1975, he was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Boston and in 1976 was appointed vicar general of the archdiocese. Because of his fluency in Spanish, he was given special duties regarding the Spanish-speaking members of the archdiocese.
From 1987 to 2003, Daily also served as the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. Together with the Knights of Columbus, the Diocese of Brooklyn hosted His Holiness Pope John Paul II for a celebration of the Holy Mass at Aqueduct Race Track on October 6, 1995.
On Aug. 1, 2003, Daily announced that his resignation as Bishop of Brooklyn had been accepted by the Holy Father. Daily remained the Emeritus Bishop of Brooklyn, was a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, a member of the boards of the Society of St. James the Apostle in Boston, and a member of the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities in Washington, D.C.
“Bishop Daily was a man who personified the Second Vatican Council’s call for a preferential option for the poor,” said the Rev. Nicholas DiMarzio, Bishop of Brooklyn. “He ministered to indigenous people amidst poverty in Peru, women in crisis pregnancies, as well as new and often poor immigrants living in Brooklyn. He never acted out of malice or to further his own self-interest. At heart he was a missionary. I suspect he wished he could have remained in the missions his entire life.”