Aidan Duffy, OFM
1927 – 2000
Fr. Aidan Duffy, OFM, was born on Dec. 13, 1927 in Malden, Mass. After earning a degree in history in 1951 from Suffolk University in Boston, he enrolled in Christ the King Seminary, Allegany, N.Y., where he earned a master’s degree. He became a priest in the Diocese of Bismarck, N.D., and was ordained in 1956. His only Bismarck assignment was as an associate at the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit and instructor at the University of Mary for four years.
In 1960, Fr. Aidan became a Navy chaplain, performing sea duty in the Pacific theater and serving with the Marines in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crises. After completing active duty, Fr. Aidan served 24 years in the Army Reserve, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. After being received into the Order at the St. Raphael Novitiate, Lafayette, N.J., he made his temporary vows one year and a day later. He served as an instructor at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., before making his solemn vows in 1967.
In 1976, he ministered in Fair Lawn, N.J., before moving to St. Anthony Shrine, Boston, where he served for seven years. During the next decade, he served as chaplain at veterans hospitals in Newington, Conn., and Northhampton, Mass., and as associate in three Boston archdiocesan parishes: St. Florence Parish in Wakefield, St. Frnacis de Sales in Charlestown, and St. Susanna in Dedham. Fr. Aidan served for a year as chaplain at Fort Drum, N.Y., before returning to St. Anthony Shrine in 1986.
He served as Massachusetts State Chaplain of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and of the American Legion, and Chaplain of the Allied War Vets of South Boston. Fr. Aidan was also founding editor of Massachusetts Legionnaire, official organ of the Legion. A crown of his accomplishments was his selection in 1996 to be Grand Marshal of Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade, the only clergyman to be so honored in more than 100 years.
He died on Oct. 19, 2000 at St. Anthony’s Shrine. Fr. Aidan was 72 years old, a priest for 44 years, 36 of them as a professed Franciscan.