Msgr. Graham Served as Pastor Of Rosedale Parish for 30 Years
A Mass of Christian Burial for Msgr. Thomas A. Graham, 75, pastor of St. Pius X parish, Rosedale, for the past 30 years, was celebrated Wednesday, April 25 at the church.
Msgr. Graham, who would have celebrated his 50th anniversary of ordination on June 2, died Saturday evening, April 21, at Mercy Medical Center, Rockville Centre. He had retired in January of this year.
Born in Brooklyn, he was baptized in St. Cecilia’s Church, Greenpoint. He attended Cathedral College, Brooklyn, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. He was ordained June 2, 1962 by Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.
He served as an assistant at Sacred Heart, Cambria Heights, 1962-67; St. Pius V, Jamaica, 1967-74, and as administrator of St. Pius V, 1974-77.
In 1977, he was appointed pastor of St. Pius V, and in 1982 was named pastor of St. Pius X.
He was named a monsignor in 1986.
Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main concelebrant. Special concelebrants included Msgrs. Michael J. Hardiman, John H. O’Brien, George Graham and Fathers Kevin McBrien, Daniel Sabatos, James Sweeney, Angelo Pezzullo, Joseph M. Hoffman, and Louis Uzoh. Msgr. Peter Ryan preached the homily.
Msgr. Hardiman, who was first assigned to St. Pius V when Msgr. Graham was pastor, recalled him “as one of the finest priests I have ever met. He was a down-to-earth, pastoral guy who was always concerned about the people. He would do anything for the people. He even learned a little Portuguese and a little Spanish so that he could celebrate Mass in those languages.
“He always had a prayerful disposition and was always so positive. He was happy to get out and work the parishioners.
“He also was very well-read and could be very opinionated about theology because he kept so up-to-date with it.”
Msgr. Graham is survived by his sister, Ann Ward of Hicksville and his brother Msgr. George Graham of the Rockville Centre Diocese. Burial was in Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury, L.I.
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Sister Mary Cordula Staiger, O.P., a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic, Amityville, for 67 years, died March 20, 11 days short of her 87th birthday.
Born as Irene, she attended Blessed Virgin Mary Help of Christians School, Woodside, and Dominican Commercial H.S., Jamaica. She entered the congregation from Ascension parish, Elmhurst, in 1944.
She taught at St. Aloysius, Ridgewood, 1946-55; and Holy Family, 1955-56; and on the secondary level at St. Agnes, College Point, 1956-68 and St. Nicholas 1968-71.
Beginning in 1971, she continued to reside in St. Nicholas Convent, while travelling to various agencies to share her clerical expertise. She worked as Treasurer at Dominican Commercial from July, 1971 to August, 1978. Then, she handled the financial books at St. Anthony/St. Alphonsus parish, Greenpoint, 1978-79. At St. John’s Queens Hospital from 1979 to 1983, she was the Data Control Clerk.
In 1983, Sister Cordula moved to Rosary Hall, Amityville. Until 2004 she acted as hostess for overnight guests at the motherhouse.
In 2004, she moved to Carlin Hall.
She is survived by her sister, Sister Marie Therese, a member of the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart of Pennsylvania and her cousin, Agnes Reisinger of Hampton Bays.
Interment was in the Sisters’ Cemetery in Amityville.
Sister Adrienne Marie Amato, O.P., a member of the Sisters of St. Dominic, Amityville, for 64 years, died April 17. She was 83.
Born as Helen Marie in Glendale, she moved to St. Boniface, Elmont. She entered the congregation in 1948.
She taught in St. Aloysius, Ridgewood, 1950-61; St. John, Riverhead, 1961-64; St. Patrick, Huntington, 1964-69; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Lindenhurst, 1969-1995. After retiring from the classroom, she helped to coordinate pastoral services in the parish until 2006.
She is survived by her sister Emma Cammelleri of Florida. Interment was in the Sisters’ Cemetery in Amityville.
Sister Thomas Angela Mercurio, C.S.J., a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, for 72 years, died in Maria Regina Residence, brentwood, April 7.
She entered the congregation in 1940 from St. Benedict Joseph Labre parish, Richmond Hill.
She attended Manhattan College, St. John’s University, and St. Joseph’s College, Brooklyn.
She taught at Our Lady of Victory, Floral Park 1942-44; St. Francis de Sales, Belle Harbor, 1944-45; Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Astoria, 1945-49; St. Matthew, Crown Heights, 1949-51; St. Michael, East New York, 1951-54; St. Mary Mother of Jesus, Bensonhurst, 1954-56; St. Pascal Baylon H.S., St. Albans, 1956-59, 1966-68, 1970-74; St. Brendan Diocesan H.S., Midwood, 1959-66; St. Teresa of Avila, Richmond Hill, as Superior/Principal, 1968-70; St. Mel, Flushing, 1974-76; Sacred Heart Academy H.S., Hempstead, 1974-78; St. Agnes H.S., College Point,1978-82; and The Ferrini Welfare League, Ozone Park, as Immigrant Counselor-Director, 1982-93. She was recognized for her faithful efforts when the League named an award in her honor, “The Mercurio Award.”
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated April 10 at Resurrection-Ascension Church, Rego Park. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Thomas E. Donohue was celebrated April 20 at St. Mary of the Isle Church, Long Beach, L.I. A priest of the Rockville Centre Diocese, he was a graduate of Cathedral College, Brooklyn.
Sister Marion Dennis Foley, S.C., (Dorothy Irene), a member of the Sisters of Charity, Halifax, for 63 years, died April 20 at Mount Saint Vincent, Wellesley Hills. She was 86.
She taught at St. Nicholas of Tolentine, Jamaica, 1949-50; Our Lady Help of Christians, Midwood, 1950-55; and St. Sebastian School, Woodside, 1955-61. She also ministered in Massachusetts. She retired in 2002.
Burial was at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Needham, Mass.
Funeral Mass for Msgr. Murphy
As The Tablet went to press, we learned of the death of Msgr. Walter Murphy, 82, a senior priest.
A Mass of Christian Burial was to be celebrated in the chapel at Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, on Thursday, April 26.
A detailed obituary will appear in next week’s issue.