Monsignor Thomas Brady, the beloved former pastor of Marine Park’s Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church (1943 Brown Street), passed away Monday evening after more than half a century as a man of the cloth.
Brady lost a long battle with an unspecified form of cancer, said Reverend James Devlin, who succeeded Brady in leading the Good Shepherd parish. Brady passed away at approximately 11:00 p.m. Monday. He was 78 years old, and known to be suffering from lung cancer and had been the victim of several strokes.
“He was very beloved. He served. He was always here for people when they needed him,” Devlin said of Brady. “He was the retired pastor when I arrived and I certainly realized how very much loved he was by the people of the parish.”
Serving at the local church for more than 22 years, Brady was known as a committed member of the community, developing outreach programs and strengthening the ties between the church and the larger Marine Park neighborhood.
“In our interactions he was always very, very nice, very hospitable, and very community-minded,” said Councilman Lew Fidler. “He was always looking out for ways that Good Shepherd’s members could benefit from community involvement, and he always made me feel welcome when I came to Good Shepherd.”
He served as principal of the Good Shepherd School in addition to leading the parish. Brady resigned in June of 2009, suffering from increasing health ailments.
But the final years of Brady’s life did not pass in peace. In addition to wrestling with the effects of chemotherapy and strokes, Brady was put on administrative leave in 2011 after two teenage students from the school alleged the respected pastor had attempted “inappropriate sexual contact.” Members of the community rallied around Brady and expressed their disbelief, and a defiant parish dedicated their annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony to the embattled monsignor amid the controversy.
Ultimately, a grand jury reviewed the complaints and determined them insufficient to merit a criminal complaint.
After returning from administrative leave, Brady remained as a pastor emeritus at the church until his death on Monday. He is survived by nephews and nieces.
A wake for Monsignor Thomas Brady will be held at Marine Park Funeral Home at 3024 Quentin Road on Monday, April 1, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and from 7:00 p.m. until 9:00 p.m. The funeral home can be reached at (718) 339-8900.
The funeral will be held Tuesday, April 2 at 10:30 a.m. at Good Shepherd. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Little Sisters of the Poor (Queen of Peace Residence). Donations can be made at 10-30 221st Street, Queens Village, NY 11429-2597, or by calling (718) 464-1800.
Correction (March 29, 2013 at 8:10 p.m.): The above article originally stated that Brady had served as the principal of Good Shepherd School. That was inaccurate. He had served as rector-principal of Cathedral Prep Seminary in Elmhurst.