Fr. William Patrick Farrell
Accessed November 1, 2018
Bill Farrell was born in Rochester, New York, on October 18, 1936. He attended St. Monica's Elementary School and Aquinas Institute High School in Rochester, and later pursued further studies in European History for three years at the University of Toronto before transferring to Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa. He received a BA., in history from Loras in 1958. That same year, he entered the novitiate for St. Albert's Province in Winona, Minnesota. On August 31, 1959, Bill made his first profession. He went on to study philosophy in River Forest, Illinois, and Theology at Aquinas Institute in Dubuque, Iowa. Bill was ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1965.
Bill had a rich and varied priestly ministry. He began with teaching high school at Fenwick in Chicago and Bishop Lynch in Dallas. In 1971 he served as associate pastor at Our Lady of Grace Parish in Edina, Minnesota. Bill worked with the Catholic Charismatic Movement and was active in high school retreats in Minnesota.
In 1973 Bill went to Louisiana as Chaplain at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond. During this period, his health began to deteriorate and he began to lose his sight due to diabetes. Despite his illness, he continued to be active in ministry. He moved to St. Dominic's Priory in New Orleans in 1975, and worked part time at Mount Carmel Academy. He also became active in the Marriage Encounter movement and in 1977, was named to the World Board of Marriage Encounter. Bill also served as chaplain at Dominican College in New Orleans from 1976 till 1978.
In his last years Bill became increasingly limited in his ministerial service. He continued to work with Marriage Encounter as well as the blind. He was named Archdiocesan Chaplain for the Handicapped. Bill's perseverance and courage, despite his infirmities, were a great witness to all who knew him. During his final year, he returned to Rochester so he could be near his family. Passing away in Rochester on Ash Wednesday, on February 8, 1989, Bill's Mass of Christian Burial at St. Dominic's in New Orleans on February 13, was well attended by Dominican men and women as well as many others who mourned his loss. He is buried at Rosaryville in Ponchatoula, Louisiana.