Tuesday, January 7, 2014

The passing of a gentle giant - Father Roland J. Faley, T.O.R.

     On Saturday, January 4, 2014 Father Roland Faley, a member of the Province of the Sacred Heart of Jesus of the Third Order Regular Franciscans from Loretto, Pennsylvania, died at his residence in Dubois, Pennsylvania.  He was eighty-three years of age.  Father Roland served the Order and the Church as a noted scripture scholar, professor, author, seminary rector at Saint Francis during my later college days, and in leadership within the Order as Minister General of the worldwide Third Order Regular in Rome  from 1977 - 1983.

     In the title to the post, I describe Father Roland as a gentle giant with gentle as the operative word.  In my experience he was always, as rector and as teacher, a kind and gentle soul who sought to bring out the best in the individual.  I have seen him at a few reunions in the past years, and he had retained those same qualities.  He was a giant, not in the physical sense, but as a noted scripture scholar and author.  Having received degrees from Saint Francis, the Catholic University of America, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and the Angelicum University in Rome, he wrote the section on the Book of Leviticus for the New Jerome Biblical Commentary, a major reference work, as well as numerous books regarding scripture and the Religious Life.  He also served in pastoral work in a number of dioceses and parishes before retiring.   Like Father Demetrius Dumm of the Saint Vincent Monastic Community who died late last year, Father Roland was a gifted man with a love of scripture who served the Church for many faithful years.

     Father Roland will be remembered in a Mass of Christian Burial on Thursday of this week, January 9th, at the Immaculate Conception Chapel on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to his brother Friars and to his Provincial, Father Richard Davis, T.O.R.  Please pray for Father Roland.  May his priestly soul rest in peace.  Amen.

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