Fr. William Daly
Father William A. Daly, S.J.
William A. Daly, son of Mr. and Mrs Frederick P. Daly, was born in Japan on April 8, 1909. He was the eldest of four children and at an early age, found it necessary to become head of the family due to the untimely death of his father. Coming from a family rich in Catholic tradition, it was but natural that he should pursue his education under the tutelage of the Jesuits, from whose high school, St. Francis Xavier, he graduated from with honors in 1927.
Shortly thereafter he joined the Great Neck Council of the Knights of Columbus and from there his interest in Columbianism never ceased. The promotion of Knights activities seemed to constantly occupy his attention and the the great zeal he displayed materially accounted for the progress of the Council in all its religious and social functions.
On September 7, 1935 he joined the Society of Jesus, determined to fulfill his burning desire that he had since early boyhood. Twelve years of diligent study culminated with his ordination on June 22, 1947 at the Jesuit Seminary in Woodstock, Maryland.
Father Daly said his first mass at St. Aloysius Church in Great Neck the following Sunday, an occasion still fresh in the memory of his many friends who were privileged to attend.Two more years of study ensued and then Fr. Daly was off to Japan. He had always wanted to return to the place of his birth to give his all to God’s creatures so distraught from the ravages of war. After four years, he was recalled to the United States to teach at St. Peter’s College in New Jersey. On the Sunday of his arrival, September 20, 1953, several members of the Great Neck Council along with family members were on hand to welcome him home. Upon his arrival, his first thought was to say mass. Those present will never forget that Mass at Innisfada in Manhasset. Little did anyone realize that such joyous occasion would be a prelude to one of sorrow. Fr. Bill Daly entered into Heaven on November 12, 1953 after a brief illness.
On Sunday, October 14, 1956, the Great Neck Council, Knights of Columbus, which was founded in 1920, adopted as its name that of one of its most distinguished members, most of whose life had been an inspiration and symbol of Godliness, Father William A. Daly, S.J.