Born William Fay on March 28, 1885 in New York City, he was the son of Andrew Fay and Mary Canavan who were Irish immigrants. His mother had been housekeeper to a priest and his father a small businessman. Growing up in the Gilded Age of new wealth and injustices, the young man first set his goal as a lawyer in New York School of Law after a successful public and grade school education He did receive the law degree but never practiced it. A favorite family journey was to take a Sunday excursion across the Hudson River to St. Michael’s Monastery in West Hoboken, New Jersey. At 23 he decided that he was going to enter the Passionists and went to the Pittsburgh novitiate where he professed his vows on January 24, 1909. His religious name was Richard. He was ordained on May 26, 1915 by Bishop John O’Connor of Newark, New Jersey in St. Michael’s Monastery Church. During his first twelve years he was prefect of studies at the Preparatory Seminary, Baltimore, Maryland and in Dunkirk, New York; then he was assistant pastor at St. Michael’s Church, West Hoboken. After that he was chaplain at St. Agnes Hospital, Baltimore. The other twenty five years he was a preacher of missions while living in Jamaica, New York. Over the years he suffered from depression even as he pursued his various ministries. He died at St. Catherine’s Hospital, New York from a heart attack. He had gone there twelve days earlier as a substitute chaplain.
March 28, 1885
January 24, 1909
May 26, 1915
February 21, 1952
Richard of the Sorrowful Virgin Fay