Obituaries

Father Smith’s Priesthood Was a Gift to the Church

Father Smith

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father William A. Smith, a retired priest of the diocese, was celebrated Jan. 8 at Corpus Christi Church, Woodside. He died Jan. 5 at Long Island Jewish Hospital.

Born in Manhattan, he attended Rice H.S.; Cathedral College, Brooklyn and Douglaston; and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. He was ordained March 30, 1974 by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero at St. Matthias Church, Ridgewood.

He served as an assistant at Holy Name, Windsor Terrace, 1974-76; Sacred Heart Chapel of St. Agnes parish, Cobble Hill, 1976-79; Our Lady of Refuge, Flatbush, 1979-85; Incarnation, Queens Village, 1986; and Our Lady of Solace, Coney Island, 1986-90.

In 1990, he was named pastor of St. Lucy-St. Patrick, Fort Greene, and served there until 1997.

He also served as an assistant at Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal, Ridgewood, 1997-99; and St. Cecilia, Greenpoint, 1999-2000.

He became the administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes, Bushwick, in 2000 and served there until 2004 when he was named pastor of St. Martin of Tours-14 Holy Martyrs, while remaining pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes.

From 1977 to 1979, he served on the Diocesan Tribunal.

At the time of his death, he was living at the Bishop Mugavero Residence for retired priests.

From 2007 until 2015, he was pastor of St. Anthony of Padua, S. Ozone Park.

Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgrs. John O’Brien and Vincent Fullum, and Father Patrick West. Msgr. Michael Brennan preached the homily.

“Father William Smith was a gift to the priesthood and now that gift has been returned to the Lord,” said Msgr. Brennan. “He was loyal to God, but also to his friends and family. He was an integral part of the Church and meant so much to the people in his life.

“For more than 20 years, he ran a Friday night homily service and he was able to share so much of his faith. He lived life to the fullest and he truly enjoyed his life.

“Even though he was challenged by illness, he fought and tried to make the best of it. In the end he knew his hour had come and was ready to be returned to God,” the monsignor added.

Burial was in St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village.

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