Funeral homily: Father Dale Maloy — a great, dedicated, kind and holy priest

Father Dale Maloy

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Catholic Post publishes excerpts, when available, from the homilies given at funeral Masses for priests of the Diocese of Peoria. Following is the homily from the June 22 funeral Mass at Holy Cross Church in Mendota for Father Dale Maloy. The homilist was Father Gary Blake, pastor of Holy Family Parish in Oglesby and vicar of the LaSalle Vicariate.

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“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my Flesh for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

The sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel sums up pretty well the message that Father Dale Maloy would preach on a regular basis. That if we hope for eternal life, you and I must make our faith the very center of what we do. To live that faith and to preach the message of the Gospel by the way that you and I live our lives. We should live in a way that reflects our love for God and of neighbor. We should make the Holy Eucharist the focal point of our day or our week. That as we approach the Blessed Sacrament we do so with reverence and with great love, because it is the very body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ that we receive.

Father Maloy would say time and time again that we cannot give what we have not received. The Eucharist gives us spiritual strength and, yes, spiritual life.

Father Maloy based his life on his love for God and love of neighbor.

VOCATION CALL BEGAN EARLY

His vocation, he said, began on the front porch of their house which was directly across the street from the front doors of this church. Before he even knew what the Latin words that are etched into the stone above the front doors of Holy Cross Church meant (“Venite Adoremus”). In the summer, there was no air conditioning, so the doors to the church would be propped open. And he would be sitting on the front porch and would stare at the tabernacle. The words “Venite Adoremus” mean “Let us Adore.” And that is just what Dale Maloy was doing. Adoring our Lord, Jesus Christ, present in the tabernacle.

Father Maloy based his life on his love for God and love of neighbor.

He also would tell the story that the daily Mass at Holy Cross used to be at 6 a.m. His bedroom window faced the street and, except for fall and winter, it would usually be open. About 5:30 a.m. he would hear: “Dale, I need an altar server.” Thus the voice of Msgr. Wissing when a server didn’t show up. Father Maloy would say that it was a “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening” moment. This happened about two to three days a week.

Even at an early age, he showed the signs of a vocation to the priesthood.

Father Maloy was a great sportsman. He played summer baseball. He and his good friend Stymie Schmitt played in the national tournament in Dayton, Ohio, where he was a catcher. He would later play semi-pro baseball. He played tennis while at St. Ambrose College, where his team won the Iowa Conference Championship. He was an avid golfer, hunter, and downhill skier.

At age 22 he entered St. Paul Seminary in Minnesota and was ordained to the priesthood for the Diocese of Peoria in 1954. His first Mass was offered in this church.

He served in many parishes throughout the diocese, retiring from Holy Rosary in LaSalle. He continued to assist at parishes when needed all throughout his retirement. It wasn’t until his later years that he started slowing down because of his own health.

LOVED JESUS, THE CHURCH, THE PRIESTHOOD

Father Maloy was truly a great priest. When I arrived at Holy Cross in 2008, one of the first people I met was Dale Maloy. He would always be supporting and positive. Of course, he would also critique your homilies. I’m not sure, but I do think the subscription to “Homiletic and Pastoral Review” that he gave me as a gift for Christmas in 2008 might have been a hint.

I was always grateful for his advice and for his great concern for his brother priests. Even when his health was starting to fail, the first question would always be about the priests of the diocese; or, if I had been to Peoria, he would always ask about the bishop.

We have lost a very dedicated, kind, and holy priest. He loved the Mass, he loved the church, he loved Jesus Christ.

And I would have failed in my duty today as the homilist for this Mass if I did not mention to pray for Father Maloy. He always talked about the importance of praying for the dead. He would always ask for prayers for himself.

I encourage you, my brothers and sisters, to say a prayer for Father Maloy today, especially during this funeral Mass. I encourage you to offer Masses for him, for the repose of his soul. That as our brother throughout his lifetime devoutly received the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ, may our Lord’s promise ring true: “Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”

 

 

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