Obituaries, Week of September 12, 2020

Priest Remembered for ‘Pastor’s Heart’ and ‘Capacity to Empathize’

Msgr. Joseph P. Nagle

Msgr. Joseph P. Nagle, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn for 49 years, died on Sept. 4 at St. John’s Episcopal Hospital, Far Rockaway. He was 75.

Born in the Bronx, on March 6, 1945, he attended Cathedral College in New York City; St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers; the Seminary of the Immaculate Conception located in Huntington, L.I.; and Manhattan College’s Graduate School of Theology. He was ordained a priest on May 29, 1971, by Bishop Francis J. Mugavero.

Msgr. Nagle served at the parishes of St. Luke’s, Whitestone, 1971-75; St. Thomas Aquinas, 1977-80; and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Forest Hills, 1980-86. He served at Bishop Kearney H.S., Bensonhurst, 1975-80, and as a Catholic Chaplain at Queens College, 1986-89.

In 1988, he was appointed the first director of the Immaculate Conception Pastoral Center, Douglaston. He served as pastor of St. Saviour’s Church, Park Slope, 1996-2004, and St. Patrick’s Church, Bay Ridge, 2004-2013.

Msgr. Nagle was director of the Diocesan Mission Office (Propagation of the Faith) from 2014-19.

“Msgr. Nagle was well-liked by the staff of our office and was very hospitable to the many missionaries who visited this diocese. He helped spread the Word of God here in Brooklyn and throughout the world,” Father Charles P. Keeney, current Director of the Propagation of the Faith, said about his predecessor.

Auxiliary Bishop James Massa, rector of St. Joseph’s Seminary, remembers Msgr. Joe Nagle, as someone who “had a pastor’s heart, and his capacity to empathize with other people’s sorrows, and share his faith in God’s nearness to them, eased the burdens we all felt at different times in our lives.”

Bishop Massa also shared in his homily at Msgr. Nagle’s funeral Mass, the feelings of Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi, episcopal vicar for Brooklyn, and pastor of St. Bernard’s parish, Mill Basin: “In a text message to me shortly after we both heard the news last Friday [of Monsignor’s passing], Msgr. Joseph Grimaldi wrote: ‘[Msgr. Nagle] had a way of reading people, and through his humor, help them take their own shortcomings and concerns in life a bit lighter.’

That seems spot on to me,” he added.

Msgr. Nagle received papal honors twice: Chaplain to His Holiness, 1990, and Prelate of Honor, 2007.

A wake was held on Sept. 9, at Saint Francis De Sales Parish, Belle Harbor, followed by a funeral Mass celebrated by Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio. Special concelebrants were Bishop Kevin J. Sweeney of Paterson, N.J.; Msgrs. John J. Bracken, and Kieran E. Harrington; and Fathers William F. Sweeney, James K. Cunningham, Michael L. Gelfant, and Darrell DaCosta.

Burial was at Saint John Cemetery, Middle Village, N.Y.

Mrs. Marie Eva Demosthene Dorelus, mother of Father Patrick Dorelus, a priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, who is presently assigned to Post Ordination Studies at the Pontifical North American College, died on June 14.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Reverend Patrick Dorelus/Destiné Marie Rosiène, 14-12 Rue de l’Orge, 91000 Évry, France.

Mrs. Kathleen C. Frawley, mother of Reverend Patrick J. Frawley, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died on May 30. All arrangements and burial were private.

If you wish to send condolences, please mail to Reverend Patrick J. Frawley, Our Lady of Fatima R.C. Church, 25-02 80 Street, Jackson Heights, NY 11370.