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Benedict Dudley, OFM

Benedict Dudley

1904 – 1986

Fr. Benedict Dudley, OFM, was born in Philadelphia on Oct. 6, 1904. He graduated from St. Joseph’s Seraphic Seminary in Callicoon, N.Y., and entered the Province’s novitiate at St. Bonaventure Friary in Paterson, N.J., Aug. 20, 1923.

He professed temporary vows Aug. 21, 1924, and made his profession of solemn vows Aug. 21, 1927. Fr. Benedict was ordained a priest June 9, 1930, at St. Bonaventure Church in Paterson.

After teaching at the seminary in Callicoon for one year, Fr. Benedict joined the Mission Band of Holy Name Province, a ministry he enjoyed until 1946. He was the director of the Mission Band from 1938 to 1946. In 1948, Fr. Benedict was appointed guardian of Siena College, Loudonville, N.Y., and in 1952, he was selected to be guardian and pastor of Holy Cross Church in Clason Point, N.Y.

In 1955, Fr. Benedict was elected a councilor of Holy Name Province. In 1958, he was appointed guardian of St. Stephen of Hungary Friary in New York City and began the new friary there. In 1964, he returned to Clason Point as a member of the Mission Band, and four years later he moved to St. Francis Friary on 31st Street in Manhattan, where he served in the Office of Franciscan Art and Architecture from 1968 to 1970.

A personal ministry, which he enjoyed from 1934 until 1978, was his role as chaplain to the New York Giants football team, a unique apostolate which put him on the sidelines at stadia throughout the country.

In 1977, illness forced Fr. Benedict to retire to the infirmary at St. Bonaventure University, Allegany, N.Y., where he lived for nine years.

In 1986, he was transferred to Warwick, N.Y., where he died in St. Anthony Hospital on July 19, 1986. He was 81 years old, a professed friar for 61 years and a priest for 56 years. He was the uncle of Fr. Eugene Dudley, OFM.