John A. Duffy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Styles of
John A. Duffy
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor
Posthumous stylenone

John Aloysius Duffy (October 29, 1884 – September 27, 1944) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of Syracuse from 1933 to 1937, and as Bishop of Buffalo from 1937 until his death.

Early life and ministry[edit]

John Duffy was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, to Patrick Joseph and Anna Marie (née Smith) Duffy.[1] A onetime boilermaker,[2] he was ordained to the priesthood on June 13, 1908.[3] Duffy then served as assistant pastor at Our Lady of Grace Church in Hoboken, professor of literature and languages at Seton Hall, and instructor in Church history at the Newark seminary.[1]

He became a Domestic Prelate of His Holiness, and served as chancellor and vicar general for the Diocese of Newark. He was the diocese's Apostolic Administrator between the death of John O'Connor and the appointment of Thomas Walsh, and served as pastor of St. Joseph's Church in Jersey City.[1]

Episcopal career[edit]

On April 21, 1933, Duffy was appointed the fourth Bishop of Syracuse by Pope Pius XI. He received his episcopal consecration on the following June 29 from Archbishop Walsh, with Bishops James Griffin and Alphonse Smith serving as co-consecrators.[3] He selected as his episcopal motto: "Wisdom from Above." In 1934, when fan dancer Sally Rand was scheduled to appear in Syracuse, the Bishop said, "I must regard the presence of the Rand woman on the stage as an act of public defiance of the Catholic people of Syracuse."[4]

Duffy was later named the seventh Bishop of Buffalo on January 9, 1937. He was installed as Bishop on April 14 of that year.[3] In 1939, he said, "[I]f the United States ever joined in a foreign war with Russia, I would advise every Catholic boy to refuse to serve in the United States Army." During his tenure, he established the Diocesan Fund for the Faith for those left in need because of the Great Depression, erected parishes in the sparsely settled areas of the diocese, and organized the Catholic Youth Organization, Bishop's Committee for Christian Home and Family, Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, and Newman Clubs.[5]

Duffy died at age 59, and was buried next to his parents in Holy Name Cemetery.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Most Rev. John Aloysius Duffy". Roman Catholic Diocese of Syracuse. Archived from the original on 2009-06-09.
  2. ^ "Archbishop Up, People Down". TIME Magazine. 1937-04-26.
  3. ^ a b c "Bishop John Aloysius Duffy".[self-published source]
  4. ^ "Legion of Decency (Cont'd)". TIME Magazine. 1934-07-12.
  5. ^ "Diocesan Bishops Through the Years". Roman Catholic Diocese of Buffalo. Archived from the original on 2006-07-18.
Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Daniel Joseph Curley
Bishop of Syracuse
1933 – 1937
Succeeded by
Walter Andrew Foery
Preceded by
William Turner
Bishop of Buffalo
1937 – 1944
Succeeded by
John Francis O'Hara