For immediate release
Contact: Jocelyn Thomas
BUTLER, N.J. — July 23, 2018 – Fr. William Scully, OFM, 78, a professed Franciscan friar for 55 years and a priest for 50, died in Pompton Plains, N.J., on July 15 – the anniversary of his first profession of vows. A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated by Fr. Lawrence Hayes, OFM, on July 19 at St. Anthony Church in Butler.
Fr. Scully was buried at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Butler.
Fr. Scully was born on Feb. 28, 1940 in the Bronx, N.Y, to William and Sarah (née O’Hara) and was baptized on March 17, 1940 at St. Luke’s Church in the Bronx. He attended All Hallows Institute High School in the Bronx.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree from Fairfield, Conn., University in 1961, Fr. Scully entered Holy Name Province’s formation program at St. Joseph Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon N.Y. He was received into the Order of Friars Minor at St. Raphael’s Novitiate in Lafayette, N.J., on July 14, 1962 and professed his first vows one year later. Fr. Scully professed his solemn vows at Christ the King Seminary in Allegany, N.Y., on Aug. 22, 1966 before Fr. Donald Hoag, OFM. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1967 at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Washington, D.C.
While completing theological studies at Holy Name College in Washington, Fr. Scully began graduate studies at The Catholic University of America and so remained there the year following his ordination to earn a master’s degree in international law and diplomacy in 1969.
Fr. Scully’s subsequent ministry as a friar included both academic and pastoral work.
His first assignment after leaving Washington was to Siena College in Loudonville, N.Y., where he taught political science for four years.
While at Siena, Fr. Scully developed a strong interest in Southeast Asian history, and so when he began doctoral studies in 1974 at New York University, he concentrated in that area, especially Myanmar, then called Burma. His doctoral dissertation was on the Burmese military during World War II, and so in 1975 and 1978, he traveled to Myanmar to study at the Defense Research Historical Institute in Rangoon. Fr. Scully became recognized as an expert in South Asian affairs, and maintained an affiliation with NYU until 1985, earning the title of research associate professor in national security at the school of public administration.
In 1980, he was given permission by the Province to serve as a policy analyst of Asian Pacific affairs at the Heritage Foundation. In 1985, the self-described “political junkie” left the foundation and became a special assistant to the late Sen. William Roth of Delaware. Fr. Scully was Roth’s speechwriter and assisted the Senate chaplain in opening Senate sessions with prayer.
In 1987, Fr. Scully was assigned to St. Mary’s Parish in Pompton Lakes, N.J., beginning nearly 30 years of parish ministry. In 1995, he was appointed pastor of Our Lady Queen Peace Parish in Hewitt, N.J., where he remained until 2004, when he returned to St. Mary’s for a year In 2005, he was appointed pastor of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Narrowsburg, N.Y.
Fr. Scully retired in 2014 to Holy Name Friary in Ringwood, N.J.
Memorial donations may be sent to Franciscan Friars – Holy Name Province, 144 West 32nd Street, New York, NY 10001-3202.
About Holy Name Province
Holy Name Province is the largest of seven entities in the United States belonging to the Order of Friars Minor. With ministries in 12 states along the East Coast, its nearly 300 Catholic priests and brothers serve in colleges, parishes, urban ministry centers and a wide variety of social justice ministries, as well as in overseas missions.
The Order, founded in 1209 by St. Francis of Assisi, commemorated its 800th anniversary in 2009. Today, St. Francis, whose feast day is Oct. 4, remains one of the most widely known saints, revered for his affection for nature and care for creation.
Interview and photo requests should be directed to Jocelyn Thomas, HNP director of communications, at 646-473-0265 ext. 321 or firstname.lastname@example.org.