Msgr. Flanagan Remembered For His Service to Diocese

Msgr. Flanagan

Msgr. Thomas J. Flanagan, who was chaplain of Our Lady of Skies Chapel at Kennedy Airport from 1973 to 1989, died March 25 at his home in Hampton Bays, L.I.  He was 88.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 28 at St. Rosalie Church, Hampton Bays.
Retired Auxiliary Bishop Joseph M. Sullivan was the main celebrant. Special concelebrants included Msgr. Austin Bennett and Father Edward Sheridan.
Born in Queens Village, he attended Cathedral College, Brooklyn, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington.  He was ordained June 11, 1949 by Bishop Thomas E. Molloy at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.
He served as an assistant at Holy Rosary, Bedford-Stuyvesant, 1949-56; St. Brendan, Midwood, 1956-57; and St. Anastasia, Douglaston, 1957-61.
In 1961, he was appointed to the staff of Catholic Charities as assistant director of finance.  He was director of that office from 1966 to 1969.
In 1969, he became the founding director of the diocese’s Public Information Office, where he served until 1973.
While serving at the airport, he resided at Sacred Heart, East Glendale, and St. Anthony of Padua, South Ozone Park.
Named a monsignor in 1982, he retired in 1989 and has lived in Hampton Bays since then.
Msgr. Flanagan also served as co-chaplain at the Convent of Mercy, Fort Greene; a member of the Tri-Faith Chaplains Fund Committee; JFK Chaplains Committee; and as a member of The Tablet’s editorial advisory committee, 1971-73.
Msgr. Thomas J. Colgan, who preached the homily at the funeral Mass, was a friend of Msgr. Flanagan’s for nearly 70 years. They met at the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception, Huntington, in June, 1943.
Msgr. Colgan recalled that his friend was “very affable, outgoing and intelligent. He was concerned about people, especially those who needed his help.”
Following ordination, the men maintained their friendship and discussed their ministries as priests.
“He knew his people well and became friendly with the families he served,” said Msgr. Colgan. “He was himself and he carried on with the gifts he had,” namely “his availability to others, his kindness and sense of peace.”
Msgr. Flanagan is survived by his sister, Mary Alexanderson of Amityville. Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside.
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A Mass of Christian Burial for Anthony J. Gigantiello, father of Msgr. Jamie Gigantiello, Vicar for Development, will be celebrated Saturday, March 31, at Mary, Queen of Heaven Church, Old Mill Basin.
He died March 25 in Florida.
Nicholas M. Funaro, brother of Msgr. Joseph Funaro, pastor of Our Lady Queen of Martyrs parish, Forest Hills, died March 25.
A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated March 28 at Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Church.

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