But it wasn’t just any party. What made it so special was that Father Jack decided to celebrate with longtime friend, All Hallows Seminary classmate and fellow graduate, the Rev. Frank Cassidy, a retired priest from Immaculate Conception Parish in Monrovia.
Father Cassidy wasn’t going to celebrate his 50th anniversary, he said during the homily at a special Mass commemorating the anniversaries. In fact, he was going to spend the day resting quietly at home. But upon Foley’s insistence, Cassidy celebrated with him.
“We were there from the very first moment we entered the seminary. We stayed friends all the way through, and he was in two different parishes with me afterward,” said Father Jack as he was pulled in all different directions for a handshake, a hug or to acknowledge a shout of congratulations. Father Jack was certainly the man of the hour.
“Fifty years ago there were 42 of us in the class; we were ordained together,” said Father Cassidy. “It was a very emotional day, but a very important day.”
Father Cassidy and Father Jack will be traveling together to their old seminary in Dublin at the end of July for celebrations there. According to Father Cassidy, 23 priests from the Class of ’59 will be attending.
Foley’s parishes include St. Lauren’s in Redondo Beach; St. Cyprian’s in Long Beach; Immaculate Conception in Monrovia (where Father Cassidy was also a priest); and finally, in 1992, Holy Redeemer, where he became one of the most beloved priests the parish has ever seen.