Obituary — Irish-born Father Anthony Casey Was a Priest for 54 Years

Father Anthony Casey


A Mass of Christian Burial for Father Anthony C. Casey was celebrated Oct. 25 in the chapel at Queen of Peace Residence, Queens Village, where he had been living since 2007.

He died Oct. 22 at Queen of Peace Residence. He was 78.

A native of Limerick, Ireland, he attended St. John’s College, Waterford, Ireland, and was ordained June 15, 1958 by Bishop Daniel Cohalan at Waterford Cathedral.

He came to the Brooklyn Diocese for post-ordination studies at Iona College, New Rochelle, and earned a doctorate in clinical psychology in 1977 at St. John’s University, Jamaica. 

In the Brooklyn Diocese, he served as an assistant at Holy Innocents, Flatbush, 1958-61; St. Joan of Arc, Jackson Heights, 1961-67; Holy Family, Flatlands, 1967-79; St. Columba, Marine Park, 1979-98; and St. Rose of Lima, Rockaway Beach, 1998-2004.

Retired Auxiliary Guy Sansaricq was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Concelebrants included Msgr. James Spengler and Fathers Peter Gillen and Brendan Duggan. Msgr. James Kelly preached the homily.

Father Casey holding his book alongside friend, Tom Reynolds, in a 2009 file photo.

“He was a very spiritual person,” said Msgr. Kelly. “He came from what we would call an ‘ecclesiastical family’ of nine siblings. Three of the sons became priests and another a religious brother, and one of the girls became a religious sister. Many families in Ireland at that time had that same situation.

“He was very erudite and competent. He appreciated the arts very much. He was very familiar with the history of art, and he was quite a good artist himself. He liked to draw cartoons. “He was a Renaissance-type in essence. He had a great love for all things Irish, especially the sport which is the national pastime, hurling.

“He was very much involved in prayer groups and the ministry of healing. He was the seventh son of the seventh son, which in Irish lore means that he inherited the gift of healing. He did his healing within the spiritual form.

“He had a very strong personality and dealt with his condition (diabetes, Parkinson’s disease) very affirmatively. He suffered greatly because of it, but he never lost his sense of humor or gave into it.”

Despite the health issues, his lifelong dream came to fruition when he published his book, The Life of St. Therese of Lisieux, a 111-page biography of the Little Flower with whom he enjoyed what he called a lifelong “spiritual friendship,” in a 2009 interview with The Tablet.

There were no immediate survivors. Burial was in Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury, L.I.

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9 thoughts on “Obituary — Irish-born Father Anthony Casey Was a Priest for 54 Years

  1. My best friend.

    A saint on earth…… a saint in heaven.

    I will always feel your love in my heart.

    St. Anthony of Limerick pray for us.

  2. I met Fr. Anthony Casey when I was 6 and he changed my and my parents life with his Faith, his Humor and now in my upper 40s, I prayed for him everyday and never forgot or will forget him. He suffered greatly; however, was always upbeat with the great Faith Christ bestowed upon him from his birth.

    Please pray, Fr. Casey for us down here. God Bless Your Soul, and may you Rest in Peace with Jesus in his great Kingdom of Heaven!

    1. NearFr Anthony Casey enjoyed our years together. We both had a passion for art and we spent so many hours at the Metropolitan museum of art, also the museum of modern art. Visiting my father who lived near the shrine of Kateri Tekakwitha, a Mohawk woman, was born there in 1656. Its was a beautiful trip for us. Casey was my protector as well as my priest and anam kara.

  3. In September of 1969, I met Fr. Casey as I began my education at Holy Family School. My late Dad, Sergio along with my Mom, Louise, and I attended his Masses. Our faith grew immensely from knowing Fr. Anthony Casey and hearing him preach–he was a true Saint indeed!

    It was a friendship of faith that spanned many, many years. He was a true model of Faith which sustained him through adversity, carrying his cross valiantly. We believe the Lord welcomed him with open arms when he reached Heaven! Rest in Peace and may His Perpetual Light shine upon you, Fr. Casey. Until we meet again, may St. Anthony of Limerick rest in peace, Louise & Christina

  4. I knew Fr. Casey when I was a student at St. Joan of Arc School. He was a young priest back then, and I remember a thick shock of black hair and a ready smile. We were both fans of Mad Magazine, a monthly satire publication and I was so impressed that we had this in common. Fr. Casey was very kind to me at a time in my life when I needed kindness.

  5. Fr. Casey arrived at St. Joan of Arc in 1961. I was in the 4th grade and was one of the altar servers then when he became the moderator. He was a giant of a man who inspired us with his energy, enthusiasm, and Irish wit. He served God by serving others.
    I got a chance to visit him a few years ago and saw how his illness had limited him. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.
    R.I.P., Fr. Casey. You were a great man.

    1. Father Casey, you will always be remembered as someone who modeled unconditional love, who taught us “do not judge anyone”. He was the best listener I ever met, and made one want to immediately pour out one’s whole life story. Father Casey loved people, and chose to pursue a PhD in psychology in order to better help his parishioners with their many problems. It was clear that he had touched an incredible number of people’s lives in a positive manner. As his health was declining, I would echo the words of Elisha to Elijah, “Father Casey, if you are taken away from me, would you leave me a double portion of your spirit?”
      Please pray for us, Father Casey: this world badly needs your love.
      Those who knew you and are left behind must keep passing along the love that you gave to us.

  6. I remember Father Casey as the “leader” of the alter boys at St. Joan of Arc in 1965. He made the Latin lessons fun and his wit was something special. He took the fear out of “serving” and his trips to Rye Beach playland was always fun. When he gave out report cards, even if there were bad marks, he would say “You’ll do better next time” RIP Father.