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Obituary for Father John J. Feeney

Father John J. Feeney

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Reverend John Joseph Feeney, 90, who died Wednesday,February 21, 2018.  He had been living at Beaumont in Northbridge (a rehabilitation center in Northbridge, MA), near his niece, Anne Vanhaaren, who was overseeing his care.

John, the son of Daniel E. and Catherine Feeney, was born in Portland on August 6, 1927.  He attended St. Dominic’s Grammar School and Cheverus High School, both in Portland.  After completing two years of classical studies at St. Thomas Seminary in Bloomfield, CT, he entered St. Paul’s Seminary in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, where he completed his clerical studies in philosophy and theology.  He was ordained to the priesthood at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Portland by the Most Reverend Daniel J. Feeney, D.D., Seventh Bishop of Portland, on June 12, 1954.

During his years of full-time priestly ministry, Fr. Feeney served in the following assignments:

  • St. Joseph Parish, Portland (Summer 1954), Parochial Vicar
  • St. Patrick Parish, Lewiston (Fall 1954-1969), Parochial Vicar
  • Our Lady of Ransom Parish, Mechanic Falls (1969-1971), Pastor
    •  Added responsibility as the Director of Diocesan Family Life (1970-1974)
  • St. Mary Parish, Bangor (1971-1978), Pastor
  • St. Patrick Parish, Portland (1978-1985), Pastor
    • Added responsibility as Associate Director of Office of Vocations (2 terms spanning from 1985-1991)
  • St. Bartholomew Parish, Cape Elizabeth (1988-1997), Pastor

In addition, Fr. Feeney served the diocese in the following capacities:

  • Chaplain to:  Stella Maris Circle of the Daughters of Isabella, Lewiston; Catholic Nurses Association, Lewiston; First Friday Associates, Portland; Ancient Order of Hibernians, Portland; Greater Portland Council of Catholic Men; Knights of Columbus of St. Bartholomew Parish, Cape Elizabeth; Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, Fr. Sebastian Rasle Assembly, South Portland;
  • Confessor to:  Sisters of Mercy Convent, Lewiston
  • Priest-Consultant to:  Child & Family Mental Health Services Agency, Lewiston
  • Member of the following diocesan advisory bodies:  Diocesan Office of Family Life Ministry; Diocesan Pastoral Council (1981-1984); Council of Priests; Diocesan Board of Education (1987-1990); and Priests’ Personnel Board (1987-1990)
  • Vicar Forane:  Southern Cumberland Deanery (beginning in 1981, with a reappointment from 1982-1985)

After he relinquished the administrative responsibilities associated with being a pastor, Fr. Feeney continued to exercise priestly ministry in many parishes, especially in the greater Portland area.  He also led parish missions, did retreats for people in recovery, and offered spiritual direction.

Fr. Feeney was once described as “a gentleman with nice manners … with dignity in bearing and speech … broad minded … and being pious, humble and zealous.”  At the time of Fr. Feeney’s retirement, Bishop Joseph wrote to him and recapped his many ministries and contributions to the life and faith of the Catholic Church in Maine.  He also recalled that Fr. Feeney “played an important role in a project aimed at bringing peace to Ireland by bringing Catholic and Protestant Irish children to this country for visits so they could experience peace and toleration.”

Please pray also for the consolation of Fr. Feeney’s family and friends. And may Fr. Feeney’s soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in pea