Father Farrell Served Two Parishes as Pastor

Father Farrell

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Dennis Farrell, 71, former pastor of Resurrection parish, Gerritsen Beach, was celebrated at the church on Saturday, March 28. He died March 25 at the age of 71.

Born in Brooklyn and raised in Visitation B.V.M. parish, Red Hook, he attended the parish school, Alexander Hamilton H.S., Brooklyn Tech and St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights.

In 1969, he entered Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, L.I., and was ordained May 26, 1973 by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero.

He served at Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Ozone Park; St. Vincent Ferrer, Flatbush, 1981-86; Mary, Queen of Heaven, Old Mill Basin, 1986; St. Gregory the Great, Bellerose, 1986-89; and St. Mary Star of the Sea, Carroll Gardens, 1989-93.

On Jan. 31, 1993, he was installed as pastor of Holy Name of Jesus parish, Park Slope, where he served 14 years. He actively participated in the Brooklyn Irish-American Parade, leading it as grand marshal in 2007.

He was named pastor of Resurrection parish in 2007, where he served until last year for health reasons.

Active in the Boy Scouts movement, he received the Silver Beaver Award in 2006 from the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America for his distinguished service to youth.

He also was a part-time campus minister at St. Joseph’s College, Clinton Hill.; spiritual director of the Brooklyn Diocesan Union of Holy Name Societies; chaplain to the Rev. Edward J. Matthews, Knights of Columbus Council No. 5989; and chaplain to the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 19.

In 2013, he received the Father Mychal Judge Award at the Great Irish Fair.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio celebrated the Mass of Transferal on Friday evening, March 27.

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgrs. John Tosi, Michael Reid and Kieran Harrington, and Fathers Thomas Leach, William With and Peter Rayder. Msgr. Reid preached the homily.

“The late Bishop Joe Sullivan once referred to Father Dennis as ‘a street priest’ meaning he was always out among the people,” recalled Msgr. Reid. “The Boy Scouts once held a sign in a parade that read ‘Father Farrell rocks’ because he was so good to young people.

“People of all ages loved him because he cared. He wasn’t a professional counselor, yet he consoled. He wasn’t an EMT, yet he gave comfort. He wasn’t a teacher, yet he taught. He did all of this because he was and is a priest of Jesus Christ: A distributor of God’s grace.”

Father Farrell is survived by his brother, James of Cortlandt Manor, N.Y. Burial was in St. Charles Cemetery, Farmingdale, L.I.

One thought on “Father Farrell Served Two Parishes as Pastor

  1. I served as principal of Holy Name School while Fr. Farrell was pastor there. It was my privilege to work along side father. He was was dedicated priest and a advocate for our Catholic schools. He was a believer in the importance of Catholic education and recognized it as one of the foundation ministries of the
    church. He loved the children,and supported our teachers.
    Catholic education in the diocese of Brooklyn, Holy Name parish, and this former principal have all lost a valued friend.
    Fr. Farrell was a simple, honest, and dedicated servant of God and our church.
    You will be missed!