Episode 121

Father Francis Duffy was a priest of New York who started as an educator at St. Joseph seminary at Dunwoodie, in Yonkers, New York, before he was made founding pastor of Our Savior Parish in the Bronx. He also volunteered to be an Army chaplain, and was assigned to the New York 69th regiment, known as the Fighting 69th and the “Fighting Irish.” With the 69th he was deployed to fight in World War I, where he acquitted himself well, and was beloved of his men and revered by his peers and superiors. After the War he returned to being a parish priest in New York City, as pastor of Holy Cross parish on West 42nd Street, in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of Manhattan. There he was a true pastor to the workers of all sorts, even getting permission from the Vatican to offer a Mass at 2:15 a.m. on Sundays for those workers who could not make the regularly scheduled Sunday Mass times. He died in 1932, and just five years later a monument to him was erected in Times Square, just blocks from Holy Cross Parish.

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