Cardinal Foley remembered: ‘He had time for everyone’

By Michael Kelly
Deputy Editor, The Irish Catholic

(CNS/Bob Roller)

DUBLIN — I first met Cardinal Foley while I was a naïve young reporter in my early 20s fresh to the Vatican beat in 2002. We met at the Church of Santa Susanna, Rome’s “American parish” where he stayed long after the Mass warmly greeting those who had turned out. He had time for everyone.

When I spoke to him and he realised I was Irish his eyes lit up as he spoke fondly of the Irish priests of his childhood parish. “There’s a reason why my middle name is Patrick,” he joked.

Over my next few years in Rome he was always helpful and kindly, even when he wasn’t always free to answer some of my questions. He had an immediate rapport and openness to the media which was refreshing in an institution that sometimes treats journalists with suspicion and sometimes hostility.

He was always ready to point one in the direction of a good story and offer his insights gleaned over long years in the Roman Curia.

One Response

  1. Great accolade. A delightful human being and priest. I knew “JP” first as Monsignor in the CPA of the USA and we were good friends, He looked so awkward in his new miter and crosier and shy smile as he blessed us going down the aisle after a CPA Mass. Met him once in the Vatican accidentally as he crossed the street by St Peter’s; years later he asked about me. I recall his Vatican broadcasts at Christmas in those days before EWTN took over the feed from the Vatican’ service. Met him much earlier when he helped the media with the Iowa papal trip, before he went to Rome. . Was saddened to hear of his retirement due to illness and this death at too young an age. Ar dheis De go raibh a n-anam may his soul be at God’s right hand. APO’B

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