FATHER THEODORE FOLEY, C.P.
A Servant of God
A SAINTLY PASSIONIST
Father Theodore Foley, CP, was born in 1913 in Springfield, Massachusetts into a fervent Catholic family and went to Catholic schools and Sacred Heart Church in Springfield’s North end. As a boy of fourteen he entered the Passionists. Ordained a priest in 1940, he was a respected spiritual guide and teacher of theology.
In 1958, Father Theodore was called to Rome to be a General Consultor for the worldwide Passionist community. In 1964 he became its superior general and led his community through the turbulent 1960s and 1970s when social unrest, political confrontations, assassinations, anti-establishment and anti-war demonstrations shocked the western world and the Catholic Church. He was a rock of hope to those shaken as traditional values were questioned and church membership declined.
A participant at Vatican Council II, Father Theodore worked tirelessly for religious renewal, bringing the message of Jesus Christ to the world. He sought to extend the work of his missionary community in Asia and Africa. He also promoted the study of the Passion of Jesus as a remedy for a world becoming forgetful of God. For him bad times were not time to seek security and do nothing. It was a time for “God’s purification in our lives and we have to accept it and do our best for the future of the congregation and our church.”
On a mission to his communities in Asia, he contacted a deadly virus that on his return to Rome caused his death in 1974.
A gentle man, faithful to prayer and unfailingly kind to others, Father Theodore believed God’s at work in our world, even in bad times. The mystery of the passion of Jesus, which he constantly kept in mind, nourished a steady hope that God is with us, no matter how dark life seems to be.
The cause for canonization of Father Theodore Foley was opened in Rome, May 9, 2008. He is a “Servant of God.”
Prayer for the Beatification of Fr. Theodore Foley, C.P.
"Lord Jesus Christ,
You called Theodore Foley to follow you to Calvary’s heights as a Passionist priest and through your Immaculate and Sorrowful Mother taught him to fulfill your Father’s will by loving God and neighbor.
Let his life inspire us to a life of deeper virtue.
We humbly ask you to glorify your servant Father Theodore according to the designs of your holy will and through his intercession, grant the request I now present to you. (Insert your personal request). Through Christ our Lord. Amen."
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