Diocese of Rockville Centre

The Reverend Martin W. Curley who served as a priest for nearly 50 years, died January 17, 2006 at the Broadlawn Manor nursing home in Amityville after a long illness. He was 76 years old.

One of five children of the late Edward A. and Margaret Walsh Curley, Martin Walsh Curley was born in Brooklyn and attended St. Mary Gate of Heaven School in Ozone Park. He entered the Montfort Minor Seminary in Bay Shore and completed his studies for the priesthood at the DeMontfort Seminary in Litchfield, Connecticut. He also earned a Master of Science degree in Education in 1963 and a Master of Arts degree in History in 1967 from St. John’s University in Queens.

He was ordained a priest for the Montfort Fathers in Litchfield, Connecticut by Archbishop Henry O’Brien on February 25, 1956. Father Curley served the Montfort Fathers as an Assistant Novice Master, a professor at the seminary in Bay Shore and as Director of Studies for the Montfort Fathers in Ozone Park.

In 1968, he started working for the Diocese of Rockville Centre as an associate pastor at the Church of Ss. Philip and James in Saint James. Four years later he was transferred to the parish of St. Aloysius in Great Neck where he also served as an associate pastor. During his 10 years there, he worked with several parish groups, including the Rosary Society, Holy Name Society and CYO. He also served as chaplain of the Vigilant Fire Department. Father Curley was incardinated and became a priest of the Diocese of Rockville Centre in 1972.

In 1982, Father Curley was named pastor of the Church of St. Andrew in Sag Harbor. He helped celebrate the 100th anniversary of the parish school in 1983 which became a regional school in 1992 and is currently known as Stella Maris.

In 1984, Father Curley became the temporary administrator for the Church of the Holy Name of Jesus in Woodbury. A year later he was transferred to the Parish of St. Boniface in Elmont where he would serve as an associate pastor for five years. Father Curley was named an associate pastor at St. Rose of Lima Church in Massapequa in 1990, and five years later he was transferred to St. Gertrude’s parish in Bayville where he served in the same capacity. He retired in 1999 and moved to the Broadlawn Manor Nursing home in 2001.

A wake for Father Curley will be held at the Leo F. Kearns Funeral Home in North Richmond Hill on Thursday, January 19 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Bishop William Murphy will preside at the Funeral Mass on Friday, January 20 at 11:00 a.m. at the Church of St. Mary Gate of Heaven in Ozone Park. The homilist will be the Reverend Gerald Fitzsimmons, S.M.M. Burial will follow at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury.

Father Curley is survived by two sisters, Mae Curley and Rosemary Fenton as well as nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, the Reverend J. Robert Curley, S.M.M.

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About The Diocese of Rockville Centre
The Diocese of Rockville Centre was formed in 1957 and covers 1,222 square miles in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. The diocese serves approximately 1.4 million Catholics (total population in both counties is approximately 3.3 million). There are 134 parishes in 115 towns. Last year over 20,000 baptisms, 18,000 confirmations, 20,000 first communions and 5,000 marriages took place in the diocese. There are 2,137 students in Catholic kindergarten, 23,825 in primary or elementary school, 12,628 in secondary school and 3,300 in higher institutions. There are 76 Catholic elementary and high schools and one Catholic college in the diocese. Catholic Health Services of Long Island consists of five hospitals, three nursing homes, two home-care agencies, two senior housing complexes, a community-based home for those with special needs and a hospice. Last year, Catholic Charities assisted more than 68,000 individuals who are poor, vulnerable and disadvantaged on Long Island. For more information, visit www.drvc.org.

For more information:
Sean P. Dolan
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516-678-5800, ext. 625