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Retired Bishop Daily dies; recalled for being a missionary 'at heart'


  • Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, N.Y., applauds as he shares a laugh with President George H. Bush in 1992. Bishop Daily, who retired in 2003, died May 14 at Immaculate Conception Center's Bishop Mugavero Residence in the Queens borough of New York City. (CNS file photo)
  • Archdiocesan priests join then-Boston auxiliary Bishop Thomas V. Daily as he celebrates the 100th anniversary Mass of Our Lady Help of Christians, Newton, Nov. 12, 1978. (Photo courtesy/Archdiocesan Archives)
  • Then-Boston auxiliary Bishop Thomas V. Daily is shown with former, and now deceased, Boston College president Father J. Donald Monan, S.J. (left), at the 1983 BC commencement. (Photo courtesy/Archdiocesan Archives)

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DOUGLASTON, N.Y. (CNS) -- Retired Bishop Thomas V. Daily of Brooklyn, who headed the diocese from 1990 until his retirement in 2003, died early May 15 at the Immaculate Conception Center's Bishop Mugavero Residence in Douglaston in the borough of Queens. He was 89.

Funeral arrangements were not yet available.


"Bishop Daily was a man who personified the Second Vatican Council's call for a preferential option for the poor," Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of Brooklyn said in a statement. "He ministered to indigenous people amidst poverty in Peru, women in crisis pregnancies, as well as new and often poor immigrants living in Brooklyn.

"He never acted out of malice or to further his own self-interest. At heart he was a missionary. I suspect he wished he could have remained in the missions his entire life," Bishop DiMarzio added.

Bishop Daily was installed as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1990 and served during a time of racial tension and financial hardship. In his later years, Bishop Daily suffered declining health.

As a young priest, then-Father Daily served the indigenous people of Lima, Peru, for five years. Ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1952 by Cardinal Richard Cushing, he joined the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle in 1960 and moved to the Minatambo area of Lima. He often referred to his time there, ministering to the poor, as the happiest of his life.

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