The Rev. J. Barry Furey, pastor of Darien’s St. Thomas More Roman Catholic Parish for 13 years and a priest in the Diocese of Bridgeport for more than 40 years, died in New Jersey on Wednesday, June 27. He was 67.
Father Furey was serving as pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Fairfield since being transferred from Darien in February 2011. Funeral services will be held Monday and Tuesday, July 2 and 3.
Born June 11, 1945, in Philadelphia, Pa., Father Furey was the adopted son of the late James P. and Kathleen Quinn Furey. The Furey family lived in Baltimore, where he attended Immaculate Grammar School, before moving to Trenton, N.J., where he attended St. Paul’s Grammar School, Don Bosco Preparatory High School and Seton Hall Divinity School. He received a master’s of divinity degree from St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pa.
Father Furey first served as a deacon at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Trumbull and was ordained by the late Bishop Walter W. Curtis, then head of the Bridgeport diocese, at St. Augustine Cathedral on May 15, 1971. Father Furey served several parishes as parochial vicar, including: St. Joseph Church of Brookfield, Sacred Heart Church of Stamford and St. Jerome Church of Norwalk. He served as administrator at St. Joseph Church of Norwalk, Our Lady of Fatima Church of Wilton and again at St. Jerome.
Father Furey was first appointed pastor of St. Andrew Church of Bridgeport in July 1989, and while at St. Andrew’s, Father Furey served as fire department chaplain and for five years as pastor and president of the Bridgeport and Stamford Catholic Elementary School System.
He served on the Diocesan Presbyteral Council, as a diocesan consultor from 1981-83, and as a member of the Clergy Personnel Committee from 2002-10. He also served on the Clergy Steering Committee for the Bishop’s Appeal. Father Furey was installed in the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in September of 2000, and was currently chaplain the Knights of Malta.
In the past, he served as co-host of a weekly television program, “Good News Magazine,” produced in association with Cablevision of Connecticut.
Father Furey was named pastor of St. Thomas More Church in Darien in 1998.
When Father Furey told his Darien parishioners in January 2011 he would be leaving the parish after 13 years, he received a standing ovation at each of the weekend masses.
“I was overwhelmed and very touched by the outpouring of good will and gratitude. It was very affirming of my priesthood,” Father Furey said that week.
During his tenure at St. Thomas More, the Bridgeport diocese said in 2011 statement, Father Furey “worked tirelessly for the parish and made successful innovations such as the popular Children’s Mass and the continued commitment to the yearly youth group trip to Kentucky in which parishioners helped to build houses for the poor. Under Father Furey’s leadership, the parish also expanded its social service programs to the community by supporting area soup kitchens, and reaching out to the elderly and poor through various volunteer projects.”
He is survived by his brother, James P. Furey and wife Cecilia and their children, Colin and Kaitlyn Furey, of Anaheim, Calif.; cousins, Patricia McGarvey of Englewood, Colo., and Helen Driscoll of Philadelphia; and his dog, Gavin.
Father Furey will be received on Monday, July 2, at 3, at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, 545 Stratfield Road, Fairfield, and will lie in state until the Parish Mass at 7. The mass will be celebrated by the Rev. Joseph Sidera, C.S.C., the homilist will be Deacon Roland Blier.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Tuesday, July 3, at 10:30 a.m. celebrated by Rev. Msgr. Jerald Doyle, J.C.D. Burial will follow in the priest’s circle at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Trumbull.
Memorial contribution may be made to Our Lady of the Assumption School Angel Aid Scholarship Fund, 605 Stratfield Road, Fairfield, CT 06825.
Funeral arrangements are being made by the Redgate-Hennessy Funeral Home, Main Street and Gorham Place, Trumbull.