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Most Rev. Thomas V. Daily, Bishop Emeritus of Brooklyn, dies at 89

May 15, 2017 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Most Rev. Thomas V. Daily in 1994. The Tablet/DeSales Media

The Most Rev. Thomas Vose Daily, bishop emeritus of Brooklyn, died early Monday morning at the Immaculate Conception Center’s Bishop Mugavero Residence in Douglaston, Queens. Bishop Daily served as bishop of Brooklyn from 1990 until his retirement in 2003.

Daily was at his heart a missionary, having selflessly served the indigenous people of Lima, Peru for five years as a young priest. It was 1960 when Daily joined the Missionary Society of St. James the Apostle and moved to the Minatambo area of Lima. He often referred to his time there, ministering to the poor, as the happiest of his life.

Daily was installed as the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Brooklyn in 1990 and served during a time of racial tension and financial hardship. In his later years, Daily suffered declining health.    

Daily was born on Sept. 23, 1927 to Mary McBride Vose and John F. Daily, in Belmont, Massachusetts. Upon completion of his studies at first Boston College and later St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts, he was ordained as a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston in 1952 by Cardinal Richard Cushing at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross. Following ordination, he was assigned as curate for St. Ann’s church in the Wollaston neighborhood of Quincy, Massachusetts. He remained in that post through the rest of that decade.

After returning to Boston, he was assigned again to St. Ann’s, where he served as assistant pastor until 1971. He was appointed to the position of secretary to Cardinal Humberto Sousa Medeiros and later Vicar for Temporalities. In 1975, he was consecrated as an auxiliary bishop in the Archdiocese of Boston and in 1976 was appointed vicar general of the archdiocese. Because of his fluency in Spanish, he was given special duties regarding the Spanish-speaking members of the archdiocese.

On July 17, 1984, Daily was appointed the first bishop of the new Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida. Among his most noteworthy actions was his leading of pro-life prayer vigils at local abortion clinics.

From 1987 to 2003, Daily also served as the Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus. Together with the Knights of Columbus, the Diocese of Brooklyn hosted His Holiness Pope John Paul II for a celebration of the Holy Mass at Aqueduct Race Track on Oct. 6, 1995.

On Aug. 1, 2003, Daily announced that his resignation as bishop of Brooklyn had been accepted by the Holy Father.  Daily remained the emeritus bishop of Brooklyn, was a member of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America, a member of the boards of the Society of St. James the Apostle in Boston and a member of the National Catholic Office for Persons with Disabilities in Washington, D.C.