By Fr. Thomas Prendiville, SDB
Fr. Prendiville, a former provincial of the SDB Western Province, is currently vice provincial and province secretary. Your humble blogger contributed to what follows, particularly as regards our Eastern Province. My 1st year here in New Rochelle was with Fr. John at DBM, his last year there (1986-1987). He was a good man to work with, a good priest, and a good "boss" to the employees.
Fr. John J. Malloy, SDB, 91, died on Wednesday morning, March 27, 2013, at St. Mary’s Hospital in San Francisco. He was suffering from congestive heart failure and pneumonia. He had been a Salesian religious for 72 years and a Catholic priest for almost 63 years.
|Photo courtesy of the San Francisco Province|
Fr. Malloy has four living sisters: Louise, Mary, Catherine and Margaret, his twin, and his brother Joseph. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Richard, and his sister Rita. A host of family members mourn his death and celebrate his life.
The growing family moved to San Pablo, Calif., in 1929, where John met the Salesians at their house of studies in neighboring Richmond. In 1935 he joined the Salesian high school seminary in Richmond, graduating from high school in 1939.
In September 1939, John entered the Salesian novitiate at Don Bosco College Seminary in Newton, N.J. On Sept. 8, 1940, he pronounced his first religious vows. In 1943, after studies in philosophy, he received his B.A. degree. From 1943 to 1946 he taught at St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, Calif., and the Salesian house of studies at Richmond. In the fall of 1946 he began theological studies at the Pontificio Ateneo Salesiano in Turin, Italy, where he earned an STL in theology; he was ordained on July 2, 1950 in Turin’s Basilica of Mary Help of Christians.
His first assignments as a young priest were in the Salesian schools of California. In 1952 he became principal of St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower, and later principal of Bishop Mora Salesian High School in Los Angeles.
In the 1960s Fr. Malloy was assigned, also, to help with leadership in the Salesian province of San Francisco. In 1965 he was appointed provincial of the San Francisco Province. Two years later, he was transferred as provincial to the larger Salesian province in the Eastern U.S., based in New Rochelle.
During Fr. Malloy’s tenure as provincial, the province’s membership peaked at more than 400, most of them younger confreres. The Don Bosco Retreat House was built in Haverstraw, N.Y., permitting the confreres to make their annual retreat closer to many of the houses and in much more comfort than in the old summer camp environment of Ellenville, N.Y., as well as providing a valuable ministry to parishes, schools, and youth groups all over the New York metropolitan area. The novitiate was moved temporarily to Ipswich, Mass., while the permanent building in Newton was being renovated. Salesians took up parish ministry in the Bahamas.
Under Fr. Malloy the province carried out a commitment of his predecessor by sending the students of theology to the Pontifical College Josephinum in Worthington, Ohio. He strengthened the PCJ faculty by arranging for Fr. Arthur Lenti of the Western Province to come to the PCJ as professor of Old Testament (1967-1975). In addition, in a short time, the province acquired an old building in downtown Columbus from the Knights of Columbus, which Fr. Malloy and a crew of young Salesians spent many weeks converting into a residence for the theologians. Fr. Malloy was a strong proponent of boys’ clubs in the province, and he saw that one was founded at Columbus’s Salesian Center with a distinct staff supplemented by the theologians.
His term completed, in 1973 Fr. Malloy returned to California as president of Don Bosco Technical Institute in Rosemead. In 1979 he was assigned to Salesian High School in Richmond as director.
When Fr. Joseph Perozzi, co-founder of the Don Bosco Multimedia Center in New Rochelle was dying, in 1983 Fr. Malloy was tapped to assume its leadership, and the enterprise became a venture shared by both U.S. provinces. His four years at DBM were challenging in terms of finances, new product, and interprovincial dynamics. In 1987 he was recalled to California to serve again as director of his alma mater in Richmond. In 1989 he oversaw the conversion of the all-boys high school to a co-educational one.
In 1990, Fr. Malloy became pastor of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Surrey, B.C., a suburb of Vancouver. His administrative skills and his pastoral zeal added new life to the parish; he saw to the building of a youth center which has influenced the lives of countless young people in the area.
In 2001, he returned to San Francisco as pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Parish, the motherhouse of all Salesian ministry in the U.S. and Canada. In this multi-cultural parish, he called the parishioners to a greater sense of unity and cooperation. He ardently supported the San Francisco Archdiocese in all its activities, including the Right to Life annual appeal.
Fr. Malloy’s last years, from 2007, were spent at Salesian High School in Richmond, very close to the area of his childhood. In his last weeks he was compelled to use a breathing tube; at his request it was removed the day before he died, and he rejoiced to be able to receive Communion again that day, which turned out to be the last time.
On Monday, April 1, 2013 at Sts. Peter and Paul Church, there will be viewing at 9:30 a.m., a Rosary at 10:00, and the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30. Fr. Malloy will be buried at the Salesian Cemetery in Richmond. Donations in memory of Fr. John Malloy may be made to the Salesians’ San Francisco Province, 1100 Franklin St., San Francisco, CA 94109.