Good-bye to an old friend

On Saturday morning on my way into Hilbert College for the morning class I’ve been taking on weekends, I called my friend Brother Kevin to see how we was and he told me he couldn’t speak at that time as they were taking Fr. Dan Hurley, OFM to the hospital. He wasn’t feeling well. I sensed that this might be more serious but tweeted to those who follow me on Facebook and Twitter to pray for Fr. Dan. When I got out of class at 1:00pm there was a message from Kevin and I knew in my heart that it wasn’t going to be good news. Kevin’s tearful message gave me the news that Fr. Dan Hurley had been called home. He died in emergency surgery.

Here was a man who lived and well for more than ninety years. A Franciscan Friar since soon after he graduated from St. Bonaventure College (now University) in 1940. Ordained to the priesthood in 1945 and ministering to all of us and our parents too for all these years. Memories have flooded and ebbed in the past several days as I have joined friars and laymen to recall Dan Hurley’s impact on our lives.

I only met him ten years ago when I started attending Masses regularly at Mt. Irenaeus. In that time I came to enjoy his wit, wisdom and keen insights on life. Fr. Dan and his memory will live on in my life. He was an angelic cherub who always brightened my day. My only regret is that I didn’t tell him how much I loved him on Sunday, March 7 when I last saw him. Wednesday of this week the members of the area community will get a chance to say goodbye at St. Bonaventure University and on Thursday there will be a Funeral Mass offered at the University Chapel at St. Bonaventure. I’m pretty sure that seating will be gone and it will be a standing room only event for a man who touched the lives of so many. I think he’s probably in heaven eating a bowl of ice cream or maybe a slice of his famous blueberry pie. I’m very grateful that I got to know him.