Sunday, September 19, 2021

+Bishop Bill Fey, OFM Cap., RIP

Each September, I receive several mailings from religious orders and other organizations offering Masses for the Poor Souls for All Souls Day and throughout the month of November. A couple of days ago, I got the one from the Capuchins, highlighting several from their order who had died since last All Souls Day. One of the faces looked familiar and then I recognized the name: Bishop Bill Fey, OFM Cap, who died January 19, 2021 (just 17 days after my brother Steven here in Wichita, KS) in Pittsburgh, PA. You may find his obituary here. He had retired as the Bishop of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea in 2018 and returned to the USA in 2020; he'd suffered a couple of strokes before his retirement and became ill with COVID-19 after joining a Capuchin friary in Pittsburgh.

The reason I recognized his name is because he was a Newman scholar:

Bill completed his theological studies at Capuchin College in Washington, DC, in 1969 and received a Master of Arts degree from the Catholic University of America in 1970 before enrolling for doctoral studies at Oxford University in England, where he was awarded the degree of D.Phil.Oxon (doctorate in Philosophy) in 1974. His doctoral thesis was entitled John Henry Newman, Empiricist Philosophy and the Certainty of Faith. His interest in the work of that future saint would continue throughout his life; his doctoral thesis was published in book form entitled Faith and Doubt: the Unfolding of Newman’s Thought on Certainty (Patmos Press: 1976). He went on to contribute scholarly articles and to deliver numerous papers and lectures on Cardinal Newman’s thought and writings over the years.

He came to the Newman Center at Wichita State University sometime in the early 1980's to give a day-long program based upon his book. I still have my notes from that day but have lost the program that was printed for the occasion.

The last time I'd seen his name in association with St. John Henry Newman was this blurb for John Henry Newman: Spiritual Director, 1845-1890 by Peter C. Wilcox, STD: 

Drawing on Newman's vast correspondence, Wilcox has given us a very human portrait of a spiritual master of remarkable sensitivity. Readers will find Newman's account of the development of revealed doctrine reflected in his understanding of the spiritual development of ordinary people. Newman comes across as someone who listens with respect and then speaks with careful balance--promoting devotion without excessive piety, reasonableness without rationality, and compassion without sentimentality--always challenging without demanding. --William Fey, OFM Cap., Bishop of Kimbe, Papua New Guinea

May his soul and the souls of all the faithful departed, rest in peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment