FAIRFIELD, Conn. – The Rev. J. Barry Furey, pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church in Fairfield, died June 27 in New Jersey. He was 67.
"The sad news of the loss of our pastor came out the blue," the Rev. Joseph Sidera wrote on the Our Lady of the Assumption Church website. According to Sidera, Furey had been vacationing in Spring Lake, N.J., when he died unexpectedly.
Furey was appointed pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church on Feb. 1, 2011. He previously served as pastor of St. Thomas More Church in Darien since 1998. "He will be remembered as the 'the priest that sings' by many people," Sidera also wrote.
Furey was known to occassionally accompany his sermons with song. According to the Our Lady of Assumption Church website, Furey would sing "Thank You, Lord," a song he wrote after nearly dying from pneumonia while in the seminary.
Furey was born June 11, 1945, in Philadelphia, the adopted son of the late James P. and Kathleen Quinn Furey. The family lived in Baltimore, where he attended Immaculate Grammar School before moving to Trenton, N.J. There, Furey attended St. Paul's Grammar School, Don Bosco Preparatory High School and Seton Hall Divinity School.
He received a Master's of Divinity degree from St. Francis Seminary in Loretto, Pa. Furey served as a deacon at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Trumbull and was ordained by the late Bishop Walter W. Curtis at St. Augustine Cathedral on May 15, 1971.
Furey served several parishes as Parochial Vicar, including St. Joseph Church in Brookfield, Conn., Sacred Heart Church in Stamford and St. Jerome Church in Norwalk. He also served as administrator at St. Joseph Church, Our Lady of Fatima Church in Wilton and St. Jerome Church.
In July of 1989, Furey was appointed pastor of St. Andrew Church in Bridgeport, also serving as the Fire Department chaplain. For five years, he served as pastor and president of the Bridgeport and Stamford Catholic Elementary School System.
Furey was a member of the Diocesan Presbyteral Council. He served as a diocesan consultor from 1981 to 1983 and as a member of the clergy personnel committee from 2002 to 2010.
He served on the clergy steering committee for the Bishop's Appeal. Furey was installed in the Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre in September of 2000. Most recently, he served as chaplain of the Knights of Malta. Furey once served as co-host of "Good News Magazine," a weekly television program produced in association with Cablevision of Connecticut.
Furey is survived by a brother, James P. (Cecelia) Furey, of Anaheim, Calif.; a niece and nephew and two cousins.
Furey will be received at Our Lady of the Assumption Church at 3 p.m. Monday. He will lie in state until the parish Mass at 7 p.m., celebrated by the Rev. Joseph Sidera with Deacon Roland Blier serving as homilist. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at Our Lady of the Assumption Church, with the Rev. Msgr. Jerald Doyle officiating. Burial will follow in the priest's circle at Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Trumbull.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of the Assumption School, Angel Aid Scholarship Fund, 605 Stratfield Road, Fairfield, CT 06825. Redgate-Hennessy Funeral Home in Trumbull is handling arrangements.