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Obituary: Massapequans Remember Msgr. Hurley

The St. Rose of Lima community is mourning the death of Reverend Monsignor Daniel Hurley, who served as pastor of that parish from 1995 to 2008 and who passed away recently at age 78.

A native of Glen Cove and a graduate of Cathedral College and St. John’s University, Msgr. Hurley was ordained in 1959. He served at various parishes on Long Island before first coming to Our Lady of Lourdes in Massapequa Park as an associate pastor. Two years later, he was assigned to St. Rose of Lima, where he served until his retirement in June 2008. In the fall of that year, Msgr. Hurley came back to St. Rose to serve as a temporary administrator.

“He was a true-blue Long Islander,” a longtime local resident told The Massapequan Observer. “After Father Barry died, he came in and ran the parish very well for 13 years. Even in retirement, he kept a full schedule of duties. He was always visible. He never really retired. He was the fifth wheel at St. Rose.”

“He was always around to lend an ear or a shoulder to cry on,” said Father Ken Zach. “He loved his time at St. Rose and he brought that through to the end, all evident by the thousands of people who came to the two masses held after his death.”

“’Honored’ and ‘privileged’ are two terms used when entering and having a relationship with Msgr. Daniel Hurley,” added Danielle LaRose, director of Parish Outreach. “It was his first thought in encountering you.  He was always fully present to whatever your concern or challenge might be. He wanted so much to enter into your life and make you so much more aware of the faith and love God had in you and to motivate you to become what he saw before him. Father Dan had a gift for making you feel that no matter how big or small you saw an obstacle in life, you can and will overcome it and he would walk beside you either literally or through his prayers every step of the way.  The gift of his priesthood is a gift for all. He is and forever will be missed for all his contributions to this parish family, this community and the world at large.  Because of him we have been taught that we are his children and forever will be and we have an incredible legacy to carry on.  We have been honored and privileged and blessed to have shared in journey of a lifetime with this wonderful person of God.”

While a pastor at St. Rose, Msgr. Hurley celebrated his 50th anniversary as a priest in 2009, the same year St. Rose celebrated its own golden anniversary. Among his many activities and achievements, Msgr. Hurley served as president of the Interfaith Clergy Council of the Greater Massapequas. In the 1970s and early ‘80s, he ran a diocesan-wide retreat program known as The Christian Awakening, which attracted thousands of young people from both public and parochial schools.

In 2010, Msgr. Hurley was honored by the New York State Senate for receiving the Stewardship Award from the St. Martin of Tours School in Bay Shore.

The proclamation, which was sponsored by State Senator Charles Fuschillo (R. -Merrick), stated that Msgr. Hurley was receiving the honor for “his extremely positive impact on the Catholic community,” adding that, “This distinguished man of God has always given enlightenment, guidance and wisdom to the many entrusted to his care and has administrated abundantly and unstintingly to the spiritual and corporal needs of all…It is the sense of this legislative body that when a person of such noble aims and accomplishments is brought to our attention, it is appropriate to publicly and jubilantly proclaim and commend that individual for the edification of others.”

Such are sentiments that residents of Massapequa would readily share in themselves, as they remain highly appreciative for Msrg. Hurley’s years of selfless service.