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After leaving the priesthood to marry, he’s a priest once again

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 03/26/17

A remarkable odyssey, chronicled in The Boston Globe:

In the basement chapel of Gate of Heaven Church in South Boston, the early arrivals — bundled against a bracing wind — have completed the rosary and rise in unison as the priest enters the sanctuary for the 9 a.m. Mass. Father Frank Daly is 74 now and, like many of the congregants before him, he’s the product of Irish immigrants. He looks the part, a familiar, friendly, white-maned man whose tone is soft and sure, whose homily is blessedly brief. He seems straight out of central casting, the Irish priest in a Boston neighborhood that still celebrates that heritage, except for one thing. When he raises the chalice of consecrated wine, the gold wedding band on his left hand fairly sparkles in the reflective light of candles. “When I first came here, I met a lady and she said, ‘Oh, Father, welcome to South Boston,’ ’’ he said later, while removing his purple Lenten vestments. “Then she stopped and said, ‘We don’t like long homilies.’ And I said, ‘Well, about three months ago, I was sitting where you are. And I don’t like them either.’ ’’ Frank Daly’s remarkable journey back to the altar of the Roman Catholic Church is the story of a thoughtful and accomplished man who studied theology in Rome, who baptized babies in Dedham and Sudbury, who fell in love and left the priesthood for a woman who became his wife and the mother of his two children. It’s also the story of bedrock faith and of a priestly calling that was coaxed back to life after the searing grief of his wife’s death two years ago. “I remember thinking that I would love to see him as a priest again,’’ said his daughter, Meghan Daly Murphy of Mansfield. “He’s just a special man. He has a gift.’’

Read on. God bless him.

Photo: Pat Greenhouse / The Boston Globe

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