Duffy, Francis Patrick
DUFFY, FRANCIS PATRICK
Military chaplain; b. Cobourg, Ontario, Canada, May 2, 1871; d. New York City, June 26, 1932. He was the third of 11 children of Patrick and Mary (Ready) Duffy. He was educated at St. Michael's College, Toronto, Canada, and at St. Francis Xavier College, New York City. In 1894 he entered St. Joseph's Seminary, then at Troy, N.Y., and was ordained in Cobourg Sept. 6, 1896. After two years' study at The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., he was assigned as an instructor in philosophy at the new seminary at Dunwoodie, N.Y., where he remained until 1912. He was also an editor (1905–08) of the New York Review, which ceased publication during the Modernist crisis, and the author of articles in several major Catholic journals. In 1912 he founded Our Savior's parish, Bronx, N.Y. Two years later he became chaplain of the 69th Regiment of the New York National Guard. Following service on the Mexican border in 1916 to 1917, he accompanied the regiment to France, where he won the fame that made him the best-known American chaplain of World War I. After the war he served as president of the Catholic Summer School, Cliff Haven, N.Y., and as pastor (1920–32) of Holy Cross Church, Manhattan. In the presidential campaign of 1928 he helped prepare Gov. Alfred E. Smith's reply to Charles Marshall's aspersions on the loyalty of Catholics to the U.S. Duffy received many honors, including the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal, and the Legion of Honor. His memorial, placed in Times Square (1937), was the first statue of a priest ever erected on public property in the State of New York.
Bibliography: f. p. duffy, Father Duffy's Story (New York 1919). r. j. purcell, Dictionary of American Biography, ed. a. johnson and d. malone (reissue New York 1957; suppl. 1958) 11.1:267–269.
[f. d. cohalan]