Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Father Patrick Duffy, a former monk of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, dies

Published July 4, 2013

CONYERS–Father Patrick Duffy, 78, a former monk of the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, and a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, Albuquerque, N.M., passed away on Sunday, June 23, after a long illness. He died with his family at his side.

The burial service at the celebration of the Mass of Christian Burial was Thursday, June 27, at the monastery abbey church. The interment followed at Honeycreek Woodlands, the monastery’s natural burial ground.

Father Pat was loved by many and is well known to many friends and benefactors of the monastery.

Father Pat was born Aug. 15, 1935 in Brooklyn, N.Y. Before entering the monastery, he was a policeman in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, which at the time had the reputation of being one of the most volatile inner city neighborhoods in New York. In an interview with The Georgia Bulletin at the time of his priestly ordination, he said that he had written to a monastery when he was 17 and been told to wait until he was older. He waited 20 years and entered the Monastery of the Holy Spirit when he was 37.

He said policemen who stayed in rough precincts were called “ghetto cops,” wedded to the pace of the action and the neighborhood.

“I delivered 13 babies, saved a lot of lives, developed friendships with people. In the ghetto, you are dealing with life and death situations. You get into the tempo and you don’t want to give it up,” he said.

At the age of 35 he joined the Franciscan Third Order while still working on the force and began searching for the monastery he was drawn to as a teen.

He professed solemn vows as a Cistercian monk in 1978. He was ordained a priest in 1981. While in the monastic community he served as almoner and also was authorized by Rockdale County to patrol the grounds, although unarmed.

Later he became a diocesan priest. Father Duffy served for several years at St. Mary Church in the Archdiocese of Santa Fe, N.M.

He is survived by his brother, Patrick, and his sister, Anne Hunt, both of Pawleys Island, S.C. He is also survived by many nephews and nieces.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit, 2625 Highway 212, SW, Conyers, GA 30094-4044. Please send condolences to his sister: Mrs. Anne Hunt, 1147 Club Circle, Pawleys Island, SC 29585-5682.