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Remembering the ‘people’s priest’

Photo by Marcus Yam/New York Times

From today’s “City Room” over at the New York Times online comes a story/obit that will make you stand back in awe of those Catholics — Father Flynn, in particular — who go out and walk the walk, no matter the cost or danger or difficulties.

Be sure to click through to the rest of this story and read more about Father Flynn, who used to tell those who visited him at his nursing home: “I can’t remember my name and address but I can remember we are supposed to be helping poor people.”

Here’s the story by Winnie Hu:

The Rev. John C. Flynn could have been a monsignor, but as he told the story in later years, he refused the elevation because he already held a title more to his liking: the people’s priest.

Father Flynn, 83, who spent a half-century championing the poor, the disadvantaged and the forgotten of the Bronx, died on Monday at the Schervier Nursing Care Center in Riverdale after a long debilitating illness, according to his family.

“He did not need any title, he did not need any accolades, he just wanted to be a parish priest,” said Heidi Hynes, the executive director of the Mary Mitchell Family and Youth Center, who used to receive regular visits from Father Flynn asking what could be done to help the needy. continue reading HERE.

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