Fr. Richard L. Foley, O.S.A.

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1934 – 2021 (March 12)

Richard Leo Foley was born on May 21, 1934, in Salem, Massachusetts, the only child of Leo B. Foley and Mary E. Hyde, and was baptized on June 12, 1934, at Immaculate Conception Church, Salem. He attended Saint Clement Academy, Canton, MA, Howe-Manning School, Middleton, MA, Richmond School, Danvers, MA, and Saint John’s Preparatory School, Danvers, MA. He transferred in 1951, before his last year of high school, to Augustinian Academy, Staten Island, New York, as a postulant. Dick was received into the Order as a novice on September 9, 1952, and following a year at Good Counsel Novitiate, New Hamburg, NY, he professed simple vows on September 10, 1953. He then attended Villanova University from which he received a BA degree in Philosophy in 1957. On September 10, 1956 he made his solemn profession of vows at Villanova. He pursued theological studies at Augustinian College from 1957 to 1961 and was ordained to the priesthood at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, Washington, DC, on June 4, 1960, by Bishop John McNamara. He also studied at LaSalle College, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where he received an MA in Religious Education in 1971.

Father Foley was assigned to Saint Joseph Friary and Msgr. Bonner High School, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, where he taught from 1961 to 1968. He then taught for a year at Austin Preparatory School, Reading, MA. Beginning in 1969, and for the next forty-three years, he ministered as an associate in various parishes of the Province. From 1969 to 1976, he was assigned to Saint Mary Parish, Waterford, NY. In that latter year he was transferred to Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, MA, where he remained until 1982. He spent one year at Holy Rosary Parish, Lawrence, MA, and then went to Saint Augustine Parish, Troy, NY in 1983. In 1992 he was reassigned to Saint Augustine Parish, Andover, MA, until, in January 2012, he retired for health reasons to Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Villanova, PA. In the last several years there he was cared for in the Health Care Unit where he passed away on Friday, March 12, 2021 at the age of 86, in the 68th year of religious profession and the 60th of priesthood.

Father Foley was a quiet, reserved friar, who carried out his responsibilities with great thoroughness, especially notable in the preparation of his homilies. Though initially hesitant about the thought of leaving the smaller community lifestyle he had become accustomed to for the larger community experience of the Villanova monastery, he quickly adapted to his new environment and spoke gratefully of the opportunity that had been given him.