R.I.P. Br. Brendan Alfred Tumalty, OSB
Fr. Benet Caffrey, OSB
Posted March 16, 2012
The monastic community of St. Mary’s Abbey announces the death, at Morristown Medical Center, of Brother Brendan Alfred Tumalty, OSB in the early morning of 16 March 2012. Brother Brendan was in the eighty-first year of his life.
Alfred Tumalty was born in Brooklyn, New York on 21 May 1931, the youngest of the five children of John and Margaret (nee Cunningham) Tumalty. He received the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and First Eucharist at St. Michael’s Church in Brooklyn and attended St. Michael’s School. He graduated from George Washington Vocational High School in Brooklyn in 1949.
Alfred enlisted in the United States Navy and served for two years, mostly aboard the destroyer escort U.S.S. Snowden and was honorably discharged in
1953. Shortly after his return home from the Navy Alfred’s father died leaving him, at age nineteen, with the responsibility of a mortgaged home and the support of his mother. Alfred began an almost forty year banking career with the Irving Trust Company in New York City where he became a trust and estate administrator. He retired from the Irving Trust in 1989.
In 1978, Alfred moved from Brooklyn to New Milford, New Jersey where he became very active in the local Catholic parish, the Church of the Ascension. He contributed his time and effort as a Religious Education instructor and mentor to younger teachers and was asked to serve on the parish Pastoral Council. He was known by a very few friends for his discrete generosity to a variety of organizations that serve the needy. He was also known to the clergy of the parish as a man of deep faith and prayer which overflowed into action in the service of others, for example, the care of an aging aunt and uncle.
For a long time Alfred had been pondering, praying and seeking advice about a desire he had long felt to enter the religious life. This vocation came to fruition when he was accepted as a postulant by St. Mary’s Abbey in 1989. He completed the novitiate and took simple, triennial vows in 1991 at sixty years of age, taking the religious name of Brendan. He professed solemn perpetual vows in 1994.
Entering the monastery at a somewhat advanced age did not mean a life of gentlemanly leisure. Brother Brendan, for almost two decades, filled a valuable position in the community, taking up a number of housekeeping tasks, assisting in the church sacristy, and chauffeuring the elderly and infirm members of the monastery to medical and other appointments. As he approached his eightieth year, infirmities took their toll and he was forced to cede these responsibilities and retire for the second time.
Brother Brendan was predeceased by his parents, by brothers John Joseph, Jr. and Thomas, and by sisters, Margaret Mary Morrison and Elizabeth Ann Lucey. He is survived and remembered by a devoted host of nieces, nephews, and cousins, and by his monastic family of St. Mary’s Abbey. His body will be received at the abbey church. Sunday, 18 March, 4:30 p.m. Friends may call on Sunday, 7-9 p.m. and Monday, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. The Office of the Dead will be prayed Monday the 19th at 7:15 p.m. The Funeral Mass and interment in the abbey cemetery will be Tuesday the 20th at 3:30 p.m.