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Rev. Msgr. Dominick Joseph Finnerty

Deceased: 2020-08-23


ICTE Spring: 1995

Msgr. D. Joseph Finnerty, a retired priest of the diocese, died on Aug. 23. He was 82. Beloved brother of Sister Mary Finnerty, SSND.

Born on Sept. 11, 1937, in Brooklyn, he was pastor at St. Teresa’s, Woodside, 1984-90; St. Sebastian’s, Woodside, 1990-2002; and St. Kevin’s, Flushing, 2002-12. He attended Cathedral College, Brooklyn, and St. Mary’s Seminary, Baltimore, and was ordained June 1, 1963, by Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Brooklyn.

Msgr. Finnerty served as an assistant at St. Pascal Baylon, St. Albans, 1963-69, and then was assigned to the faculty of Cathedral College, Douglaston, where he taught until 1977. He also was an assistant at St. Brendan’s, Midwood, 1977-84, where he served as chaplain to St. Brendan’s H.S. He acted as temporary administrator at St. Andrew Avellino in 2009 and served as the first coordinator of the Diocesan Irish Apostolate. He was named a monsignor in 1988.

Msgr. Michael J. Hardiman, who succeeded him as pastor of St. Sebastian’s, called him “a really good guy.” “He knew what the people needed, both materially and spiritually,” said Msgr. Hardiman. “He was great at celebrating the liturgy.” Msgr. Hardiman also pointed out that Msgr. Finnerty was an excellent teacher and that many of his students asked him to perform their weddings and baptize their children. “He was a priests’ priest,” added Msgr. Hardiman. “He loved to socialize with other priests.”

A funeral Mass was celebrated on Aug. 28 at St. Kevin’s Church, followed by burial in Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery, Flushing.