Obituary: Father DeLaura Served as A Priest for 53 Years

A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Felice J. DeLaura, a retired parochial vicar at St. Thomas Apostle Church, Woodhaven, was celebrated there on Friday, Feb. 5. He died Feb. 1. He was 78.

Father DeLaura

Born in Astoria and baptized in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, he attended Immaculate Conception School, Astoria; Brooklyn Prep; Cathedral Prep and College, Brooklyn, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington.

He was ordained June 1, 1963 by Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at St. Fortunata, East New York, 1963-67; St. Joseph Patron of the Universal Church, Bushwick, 1967-71; Holy Family, Flatlands, 1971-79; St. Benedict Joseph Labre, Richmond Hill, 1979-80; St. Luke, Whitestone, 1980-96; and St. Thomas Apostle, Woodhaven, 1996-2008.

He retired in 2008 and lived in a private residence in Hollis since then.

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto, vicar general, will be the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Among the special concelebrants will be Msgr. D. Joseph Finnerty, pastor emeritus of St. Kevin’s parish, Flushing.

“He was very patient and very humble,” said Father Frank Tumino, who served as pastor at St. Thomas Apostle during the time Father DeLaura was living there in retirement.

“He was very generous with his time and he was always willing to assist the people of the parish. That he could continue to minister was very important to him. Whenever I needed help with Mass and confessions, he made himself available.”

Referring to the fact that Father DeLaura is survived by his sister, Sister Joanne DeLaura, C.S.J., of Baldwin, L.I., Father Tumino said, “His mother and father had two children. What a wonderful home they must have had. They raised two children who served the Church.”

Burial was in Calvary Cemetery, Woodside.


One thought on “Obituary: Father DeLaura Served as A Priest for 53 Years

  1. I was reminiscing over the last day about St. Fortunata’s, a church we attended many times from 1961-1968, though my parochial school parish demanded the bulk of my attendance especially throughout the school year. I was trying to come up with the name of the third priest after Frs. Hart and Spina at SF. Ironically, we eventually wound up in Woodhaven as parishioners of STA, with my mom fairly active there from 1973 until her passing in 2008. Because of the timing of her illness, summer vacations and Father’s retirement, she did not have a priest who knew her to celebrate the funeral Mass. We never realized that we knew Fr. DeLaura from the olden days. This is a moment when I would phone her with this discovery. You tell her, Father. Requiescat in pace.