Father Timothy J. Daley, MM

Born: November 9, 1907
Ordained: June 17, 1934
Died: November 22, 1987

Father Timothy Joseph Daley died at Phelps Memorial Hospital on November 22, 1987. He was 80 years of age.

Timothy Joseph was born on November 9, 1907, in Palmer, New York, son of Patrick and Katherine Murphy Daley. He had one brother, John Edward, and three sisters. He was graduated from Corinth High School, Corinth, New York, studied for two years at Niagara University and then transferred to Our Lady of Angels Seminary, conducted by the Vincentian Fathers. He wrote that he became interested in foreign missions through attending the monthly meetings of the Mission Unit at Niagara University. Letters from missioners with vivid accounts of their work were read at the meetings and appealed to him. The Vincentians directed him to Maryknoll. He joined Maryknoll in September, 1930 and was ordained at the Center on June 17, 1934. He was assigned to Kweilin, South China. He wrote that he felt at home from the beginning with the people, the food and everything.

In 1937, he became ill which resulted in his recall to the States. After two years he was assigned to Cebu, P.I. to work among a large group of Chinese Catholics. There he studied the Amoy Chinese dialect. He was just getting well settled in the new language and parochial work when he was interned as a prisoner of war by the Japanese in Manila, December, 1941. Fr. Daley volunteered to work as an orderly in Hospicio San Jose for the old and infirm interned in Santo Tomas prison camp. After 4 years of internment he was liberated in February, 1945. Although he wished to remain in the Philippines, he was brought home for a rest and then assigned as Spiritual Director at the Venard for a year and then at Lakewood for a year. He seemed good at teaching and as Spiritual Director he worked hard, although his heart was more in doing rough work in the missions. He secured a pilot’s license, and then commercial and instructor’s licenses because he planned to use the skills when he returned to China.

He was assigned to Kweilin in 1948. After some Mandarin study he threw himself wholeheartedly into the mission work at Laipo, where he covered 14 villages, sometimes staying overnight in them. While at Laipo he began the new mission of Hoshien and in short time he had 60 converts and prospects for more. However, the Communists expelled him in August, 1951 and for a second time he was assigned to the Philippines and appointed pastor of Famy, Laguna in the Lipa Diocese. Famy was a rough, backward town which had never had a resident priest but there was a small nucleus of devout Catholics and with their aid he built a rectory.

Father Daley was a strong character with strong personal opinions. As a missioner he was not one to follow only old orthodox mission methods. He liked going it on his own. His superior, Fr. Joseph Regan, allowed him to experiment because it was hard to hold Tim down. Bishop Lane wrote of him: “He makes a good missioner in spite of his idiosyncracies…He has made a good start with these people…They seem to understand him and I must say he is the right man for this Huc paradise. They don’t get him down and nothing seems to bother him”.

After six years, at his own request, he was assigned to Miaoli, Taiwan. There he was made pastor of Chunan and worked hard for the next 12 years. There he built a rectory and a church. Bishop Donaghy wrote of him: “He is interested in his mission and this showed most in an encouraging number of adult converts. His present set-up is impossible and it would require a man of his temperament to endure it.” A year later the Bishop wrote again: “He runs a good mission, stays well on the job and for the past two years has registered more than 100 adult converts.” His next comment was: “He presently has about 1800 children and 14 kindergartens with Catholic Relief Services aid.”

While in Miaoli in 1968, Fr. Daley requested to be assigned to semi-retirement in the U.S. Region with permission to work in Boise Diocese, Idaho. He worked for 6 months at North Shore Lodge,near Cascade, Idaho. Then in the Spring of 1969 he had moved into Holy Rosary Mission, Dillingham, Alaska. The Bishop wrote that “it was one of the most difficult missions in the Archdiocese of Anchorage, particularly because of the isolation. Only a priest filled with a strong love of God and zeal for souls would be happy there. Father Daley is such a priest.” Fr. Daley next helped out in St.Philip Benizi Church, Boise City, Oklahoma, where, according to the Archbishop he did “a great pastoral service to the people.” He served there until June, 1975 when he became ill. After his recovery he did limited work at Cascia Hall High School run by the Augustinian Fathers. In 1977, at his request, he was assigned to the SSU and allowed to continue limited parochial work at St. Joseph Church, Hominy, Oklahoma. He remained there until he entered into residence at Los Altos. During the last 3 years he served at St. Antony Church, in Willits, CA. Due to declining health he transferred to St. Teresa’s in 1987.

Wake service was held at St.Teresa Residence on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Conducted by Fr. Raymond Hohlfeld, another was held at the Center. Biography was read by Fr. Elmer Wurth. Mass of Christian Burial was offered the next day with Fr. John Moran as celebrant and Fr. Raymond Nobiletti Homilist. Graveside ceremony was conducted by Fr. John Geitner.