Father Matthew J. Diamond, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died on Feb. 1 at a nursing home in West Palm Beach, Fla. He was 89.
His funeral Mass was offered on Feb. 8 at St. Andrew Avellino Roman Catholic Church, Flushing, where he had lived in residence and earlier had been a parochial vicar. Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass, and Father William Sweeney, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Parish, Belle Harbor, delivered the homily. A vigil Mass was celebrated on Feb. 7 at St. Andrew Avellino. Burial was at St. John’s Cemetery, Middle Village.
“He was very generous with his time, with his efforts and with his energy,” Father Sweeney said, recalling Father Diamond. Father Sweeney served alongside Father Diamond at Holy Family Church in Fresh Meadows. That was Father Sweeney’s first assignment.
“I am the priest I am today because of him,” Father Sweeney said, explaining that as a young priest, he learned from Father Diamond’s humility. “He never wanted to be the center of attention. He just did things quietly, with little fanfare.”
Father Diamond served as temporary administrator at St. Rita, Long Island City, where he also had served as a parochial vicar. He was also a parochial vicar at Ss. Simon and Jude, Gravesend; Holy Family; and St. Cecilia, Greenpoint. He was field director of education at Pope John XXIII Seminary in Weston, Mass., from 1976 to 1978. He had studied for the priesthood at that seminary, and was ordained in 1971 at St. James Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn, by Bishop Francis Mugavero.
“He led a great life,” Father Sweeney said.