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Knights of Columbus Mourns the Passing of Supreme Chaplain Emeritus


Supreme Chaplain Emeritus


The Most Rev. Thomas V. Daily, Bishop Emeritus of Brooklyn, New York, who was Supreme Chaplain of the Knights of Columbus for 18 years and a foremost advocate for the pro-life cause, passed away May 15. He was 89 years old.

"I was saddened to learn today that Bishop Thomas Daily has passed away. He served the Order as Supreme Chaplain with dedication and joy from 1987-2005, and will be deeply missed," said Supreme Knight Carl Anderson. "In life, he followed the example of the good shepherd and cared deeply for his diocesan flock and for the Knights of Columbus. I invite all Knights and their families to remember him in their prayers."

In August 1990, following appointment by Pope John Paul II, he was installed as the sixth Bishop of Brooklyn, where he served until his retirement in August 2003, a month before turning 76. Ordained a priest for the Archdiocese of Boston in 1952, he became an auxiliary bishop there in 1975 and then served as the first Bishop of the new Diocese of Palm Beach, Florida, from 1984 to 1990.

During his time as supreme chaplain, from 1987 to 2005, Bishop Daily was a popular figure at Knights of Columbus Supreme Council events, winning hearts and minds with his easy-going style and regaling audiences with stories told with a Boston-Irish wit.

He was one of the first U.S. bishops to lead rosary processions from local parishes to nearby abortion clinics in peaceful demonstrations against the taking of innocent human life.

Bishop Daily was born September 23, 1927, in Belmont, Massachusetts, and as he often noted, grew up in a Knights of Columbus household. His father, who was a Maine state deputy and later represented the Supreme Council in New England and Eastern Canada, introduced his son to the Order at a young age.

In Bishop Daily's final Supreme Chaplain’s column in the May 2005 issue of Columbia, he wrote, "Just as I was brought up in the Catholic faith, I was brought up in the Knights of Columbus. Both ‘educations’ have helped me as a priest and bishop, but also as a Catholic man seeking to draw ever closer to our God."

He joined the Order in the same year as his ordination, 1952, and was a long-time member of Rev. Charles A. Boyd Council 6654 in Brooklyn, and Bishop Cheverus Assembly 389 in Boston.