Father William Anthony Finnerty Dies on Oct. 7

By Joe Bollig
The Leaven
October 16, 2009

OLATHE — Father William Anthony Finnerty, 82, a long-serving priest of the archdiocese, died on Oct. 7 at Villa St. Francis here.

Father Finnerty was born on Oct. 10, 1927, in Emporia, one of two sons of Bernard L. Finnerty and Margaret Irene (Lynch) Finnerty. The family attended Sacred Heart Parish. Father Finnerty graduated from Emporia Senior High School in 1945. He received further education at St. John Seminary in Kansas City, Mo., and Conception Seminary in Conception, Mo.

Archbishop Edward J. Hunkeler ordained Father Finnerty on May 28, 1955, at St. Peter Cathedral in Kansas City, Kan. After his ordination, Father Finnerty was named associate pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Overland Park, and he served in a number of parishes until his retirement from active ministry on July 14, 2001. (See sidebar.)

In addition to serving as an associate pastor and pastor, Father Finnerty was appointed archdiocesan director of deaf ministry in 1957.

In 1960, he began advanced studies in social work at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and received a master’s in social work in 1962. He received his doctor of ministry degree from the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley, Calif., in 1983.

He was named assistant director of Catholic Charities of the archdiocese on Aug. 13, 1962, and was appointed director on Sept. 1, 1964. Father Finnerty retired from Catholic Charities on Feb. 1, 1995.

A funeral Mass for Father Finnerty was celebrated on Oct. 12 at Cure of Ars Parish in Leawood. He was buried at Resurrection Cemetery in Lenexa.

Father Finnerty was preceded in death by parents. His survivors include his brother, James E. Finnerty of Phoenix, and nieces and nephews.


• 1955 – Associate pastor of Queen of the Holy Rosary Parish in Overland Park

• 1960 – Associate pastor of Sts. Cyril and Methodius Parish, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1960 – Temporary assignment at Holy Angels Parish in Basehor and St. Francis de Sales Parish in Lansing

• 1960 – Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C.

• 1962 – Assistant director of Catholic Charities, in residence at St. Thomas Parish, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1963 – Administrator of St. Rose of Lima Parish, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1964 – Director of Catholic Charities

• 1969 – Administrator of Our Lady and St. Rose Parish, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1980 – Pastor of St. Mary-St. Anthony Parish, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1981 – Resident at Marian Hall, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1982 – Pastor of St. Agnes Parish, Roeland Park

• 1992 – Senior associate of St. Patrick Parish, Kansas City, Kan.

• 1995 – Retired from Catholic Charities

• 1995 – Senior associate of Holy Spirit Parish, Overland Park

• 2002 -- Retired from active ministry


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