Francis Charles Duffy, O.P.
Born: June 21, 1931
Professed: August 16, 1954
Ordained: June 16, 1960
Died: March 21, 2006
Charlie Duffy began his Dominican life in the Novitiate in 1953, was ordained in 1960, and following one more year of studies, taught at Aquinas High School in Columbus, OH for three years.
Then in 1964 Charlie Duffy began teaching at Providence College in the Political Science Department, and except for two years in the 1990’s when he was elected Prior at St. Dominic’s Parish in Washington, DC, spent all his priestly years in service to this college. Along with his teaching position he held various administrative posts during these years: Administrative Assistant to the President; Dean of Students, Prior of St. Thomas Aquinas Priory at Providence, and a devoted National Chaplain of the Alumni Association. He was truly a faithful presence on the campus of Providence College, as well as at Rhode Island diocesan parishes where for so many years he celebrated Sunday Masses, and also at the College Reunion Masses for the Alumni.
Throughout his life as a friar priest he was faithful to the end in living and practicing the vows he solemnly professed in 1957, despite suffering from a severe chronic back ailment.
The Provincial, V. Rev. Dominic Izzo, O.P., was celebrant at the Mass of Christian Burial. The homilist, Fr. Damian Myett, OP, said “…He never complained or talked about his painful back and blood problems from which he suffered for so many years… Fr. Duffy was a very private person and a man of prayer.”
Fr. Brian Shanley, OP, who also spoke briefly at the Mass, said that Fr. Duffy was a Dominican man of obedience who was devoted to and upheld all his responsibilities. Yet, he was a man of exquisite kindness as well. In his short talk on Father Duffy, he referred to an oft asked question, “Who is accountable for the college being what it is?” Fr. Alan Morris, OP, gave the answer: “The men in the cemetery.”
And now, Fr. Charlie Duffy, OP, a faithful brother and servant, has gone to join that illustrious group, “the men in the cemetery” as he was laid to rest in the Dominican Friars’ Cemetery on the grounds of Providence College in Providence, RI.