Introduction to The Path of God, A Collection of the Sermons of Fr. Oliver Moloney, August 11, 2008.
Introduction to My Friend Fr. Oliver Moloney’s Book
By Monsignor Vincent Foy
“The Path to God”, the title of this little collection of sermons, is also the path lived by its author, Fr. Oliver Plunkett Moloney.
Fr. Oliver Moloney was born on August 7th, 1920. He attended St. Michael’s College and St. Augustine’s Seminary in Toronto. On May 31st, 1947, he was ordained a priest for the service of Toronto Archdiocese by Cardinal James McGuigan.
The pastoral experience of Father Moloney was extensive. He served first as a pastoral curate or assistant and then for several years as the chaplain of St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. In the latter capacity he was highly respected by the doctors and staff, as I knew from Dr. J. K. Wilson, the noted heart specialist. He served as parish priest at St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Toronto, St. Mary’s at Victoria Harbour and St. Leo’s in Brooklin. After his mandatory retirement at the age of 75, he served Toronto Archdiocese in many ways, notably at St. Mary of the People parish in Oshawa and replacing pastors when his help was requested.
All who knew Fr. Moloney respected him as a holy priest, completely dedicated to pastoral care, remembered by many for his care of the sick and the needy.
Fr. Moloney was talented in many ways. He was a master carpenter. When he was at Victoria Harbour, he built two sailing vessels, which he gave to others. He built the altar, prie-dieu and lectern, which I used in my private chapel after I retired. He was an excellent gardener and cook. He took joy in inviting fellow priests to the occasional dinner of well-prepared food and good conversation.
Permit me to say a few words about my personal relationship with Fr. Moloney. I am proud to say that for many years he was my closest friend and good confessor. Our friendship blossomed in the mid-sixties when he was pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas parish in Toronto and I was pastor of St. John’s parish in Toronto. We had many of the same interests and concerns, especially in catechetics and life issues. I recall his joy in phoning me in July of 1968 with the good news of the publication of the great encyclical Humanae Vitae. We were both elated at the confirmation of the Church’s constant teaching against contraception.
Father Moloney and I spent many good times together including monthly days of prayer with other priests under the direction of Opus Dei Fathers. Sometimes we visited the sick at La Salle Manor in Scarborough or Providence Villa. We often enjoyed Sunday evening dinners together, sometimes with other priests.
The week before he died, on his way back after visiting his dear sister, Sister St. Henry, at the Sisters of Our Lady Immaculate at Cambridge, we had our last lunch together. Early the following week, he was stricken by a deadly form of pneumonia. After receiving the last sacraments while fully conscious, he died on July 20, 2005.
This little book, “The Path to God”, contains ten short homilies given by Fr. Moloney at St. Mary of the People Church in Oshawa, where he often helped Fr. Paul Cassulo, the pastor. They are gems of spiritual wisdom, as I am sure all readers will agree. Sister St. Henry tells me she had difficulty in deciding which sermons to include in this limited collection. I pray this booklet will have the wide circulation it deserves. It will surely help all who read it in their way to God. So Fr. Moloney continues his good pastoral care.
Msgr. Vincent Foy
Feast of St. Clare, August 11, 2008