Beloved Former Poughkeepsie Pastor Passes Away From Brain Tumor
Father Patrick Curley, who served at St. Mary's in Fishkill and St. Peter's in Poughkeepsie passed away on February 26th, 2023 at the age of 52. His passing follows a two year battle with Glioblastoma, a fast-growing and aggressive brain tumor.
Dutchess County Mourns the Loss of Father Patrick Curley
Father Patrick Curley had served as administrator of St. Peter's Parish in Poughkeepsie since 2014, and later was named pastor in 2017. Prior to that, he was the parochial vicar at St. Mary, Mother of the Church Parish in Fishkill from 2010 to 2014. His first position was held in Staten Island at Holy Child after he was ordained in 2008. Later that year, he moved to Epiphany in Manhattan, where he served until 2010.
Father Patrick Curley was born October 29, 1970 to Patrick Gerald & Carol (nee McTernan) Curley. He was a graduate of Mamaroneck High School Class of 1988 and went on to receive a Bachelor’s Degree from SUNY Oswego. Following college, he worked in finance at both Merrill Lynch and Smith Barney. Father Curley was called to the priesthood in 2003, and was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest on 2008.
Father Curley made making connections with people that he met a top priority, creating strong and meaningful connections with parishioners all throughout his service. Father Curley was passionate about his faith and leading others on their path to help them grow. Outside his religious duties, he was an avid reader and enjoyed his time in the gym and playing golf.
Father Curley was diagnosed with Glioblastoma in May of 2021. He took the diagnosis with acceptance and grace. He was grateful and blessed to have had the 50 years that he had. As a result of his illness, the Archdiocese reassigned him to his final parish, the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in NYC. There, he was accepted and was offered great support.
Father Patrick Curley's Journey to the Priesthood
Some people are drawn to a life of service early on while others find their inspiration later in life. Father Curley would fit in the latter category. He didn't give the priesthood a thought until he was about 25, when he was unhappy with his job working at an investment firm. He was taking a calculus class at a community college, and for an assignment, he was paired with a classmate who was a devote Catholic and former seminarian. Father Curley told Catholic New York back in 2008:
"We got into a long conversation, and I started opening up to him a little. After we talked for a couple of hours, he said, 'You're going to be a priest.' I said, 'What are you talking about? I don't even go to church. I'm not sure I believe what the Church teaches.' "
His new friend and him talked more about religion, and he encouraged Father Curley to return to the Church. Father Curley described the process as going "two steps forward, one and a half steps back."
The following summer, he spent time in Northern Ireland, where his family was from. A week before he left, the parish priest took him on a tour of Ireland. He was having doubts about continuing seminary studies. While on his tour, at the shrine of Our Lady of Knock, he asked for a sign.
Before he could enter St. Joseph's Seminary he needed to buy clothing and other items totaling about $1,500-"a real investment," Father Curley remarked. Shortly before he left Ireland, the priest handed him an envelope and said, "This is for you. I insist that you take it." It held almost $1,500.
Back home, he entered the seminary. "I started feeling more comfortable," he said. He saw a purpose in the tough times he weathered, and believed that he had to be stretched in order to grow.
He was ordained as a Roman Catholic Priest on May 10, 2008. Over the years he faithfully served in the Archdiocese of New York. Reflecting on priesthood, he remarked,
"Everything that the Church teaches I believe to be the truth. That gives me tremendous confidence and satisfaction. I know that what I'm saying is from God, and I know that's what people need in life. That's what their hearts are craving...It brings me joy to know that maybe I can lead people home."