Rev. Joseph Grady, In Memory

Fr. Joseph Grady and Our Silver Jubilee

The Silver Jubilee of Epiphany of Our Lord parish was celebrated on Sunday, January 17, 1982. The year coincided with Father Grady’s retirement as pastor. Reflecting on these milestones, Father Grady wrote: “When looking back on 25 years of time, you never got the chance to be able to feel the times as they were then. You never got the time to really get to know the people or even share the events with them that make them so much a part of today. But 25 years later, you can see the results of people working harmoniously together. Here at Epiphany of Our Lord Church, you can see the results of those struggles of time and effort that say much about the past 25 years.”

Activities provided not only much needed revenue but also served to bring the parishioners together as a family. Although times are different, a family feeling has been sustained for the following 25 years into Epiphany’s Fiftieth Jubilee.

A grateful parish community expressed its deep appreciation for Father Grady’s dedication, service, and concern when at the end of the celebration festivities, they sang to the tune of Thanks for the Memories.

Fr. Grady’s Death

In 1983, a year into his retirement and in his 50th year as a priest, Father Joseph Grady died. He had lived long enough to see his dream of building the church fulfilled. He looked after his beloved parish even in death — a bequest in his will paid off the $230,000 left on the church mortgage. For nearly 25 years, Father Grady led his flock with tenacity and conviction. What has been accomplished stands as a memorial not only to him but also to his parishioners, all working together with mutual love, hope, and dedication.

Fr. Grady Remembered

Father Grady could be characterized as a “man’s man,” with the temperament to go with it. I guess he was in his late fifties when this incident occurred. He was obviously annoyed at something I had done or not done. He growled at me several times before summoning me to his room where he started with, “Sit down, Sonny Boy.” He proceeded to dress me down, calling me Sonny Boy again and again. Although I was shaken by his anger, I took it at first, but those Sonny Boys were getting to me. Finally, I interrupted by reminding him that both of us had been to seminary, had both been ordained, and were both entitled to be addressed as “Father.” I said if he was going to keep on calling me Sonny Boy instead of Father McAndrews, then I was going to call him “Pops.” He started to laugh and we were able to have a long conversation, perhaps the best we ever had. He never called me Sonny Boy again.

— Father Richard McAndrews