Joseph A. Foley, OFM
1928 – 1995
Fr. Joseph Foley, OFM, was born in Scranton, Pa., on Jan. 16, 1928. He served his country as a dedicated Marine before attending St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y.
He was received into the Order at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 11, 1951, and professed temporary vows Aug. 13, 1952. Fr. Joseph made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 16, 1955, and was ordained a priest in Washington, D.C., on April 25, 1958.
Fr. Joseph’s first assignment was as a missionary to Brazil. His Sunday homilies became legendary as he continuously focused on frequent reception of the Eucharist. After eight years in Brazil, Fr. Joe returned to pastoral ministry in Winsted, Conn., East Rutherford, N.J., and Butler, N.J. — ministry he continued for 20 years.
In his retirement years in Butler as a double amputee, Fr. Joe could always be depended upon for his genial smile and good-natured disposition. His “Semper Fidelis Medal” from his Marine days rested on his Franciscan habit at the time of burial, alongside police badges given to him for ministering to countless policemen.
His life of service as a Friar Minor was appreciated by friars and laity alike, and his impact upon the lives of troubled people was evident from the overflowing crowds at his wake and funeral. Fr. Joe died June 28, 1995. He was 67 years old, a professed friar for 42 years and a dedicated priest for 37 years.