The Most Rev. Father Roland J. Faley, T.O.R., 83, of the Third Order Regular Franciscans of the Province of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, died Saturday at Christ the King Manor, DuBois.
He was born in Pittsburgh and given the name James, son of the late Gerald J. Faley and Ann (McCann) Faley Rees.
Surviving are a sister, Sally Lou Faley Buchanan of Nashville, Tenn.; a nephew, James L. Buchanan Jr. of Old Hill, Va.; two nieces: Sally Ann Buchanan of Nashville, Tenn., and Mari Beth Buchanan Meals of Pittsburgh; several grand-nieces and grand-nephews; and his Franciscan brothers.
He was preceded in death by a nephew, Gerald Patrick Buchanan.
He was a graduate of St. Bernard Grade School in Mount Lebanon, and he attended St. Francis Preparatory School in Spring Grove, graduating in 1946.
Father Roland entered the Third Order Regular Franciscans in Loretto on June 30, 1948. He professed his temporary vows on July 1, 1949, and his solemn vows on July 1, 1952. He was ordained to the priesthood by the late Bishop John M. McNamara, auxiliary bishop of Washington, D.C., at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., on June 9, 1956.
He received a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy from St. Francis College, Loretto, in 1952 and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., in 1957. He then received a Licentiate of Sacred Scripture from The Pontifical Biblical Institute, Rome, Italy, in 1959 and a Doctor of Sacred Theology with a sacred Scripture concentration from the Pontifical Angelicum, Rome, Italy, in 1960.
During his long and very faithful ministry, Father Roland served as follows: from 1960-70 on the faculty of St. Francis Seminary, Loretto; from 1966-69 as rector of St. Francis Seminary, Loretto; from 1971-77 as vicar general of the Franciscans Third Order Regular, Rome, Italy; and from 1977-83 as minister general of the Franciscans Third Order Regular, Rome, Italy. During this time, the Third Order Regular Rule for the Brothers and Sisters was revised and promulgated by Blessed Pope John Paul II.
From 1983-85, Father Roland served as parochial vicar at St. Michael Church, Bedford, Texas, and from 1985-90 as executive director of the Conference of Major Superiors of Men, Cameron, Md. In 1991, he spent nine months in study and writing. From 1991-94, he was on the staff in the Diocese of Austin, Texas, working in Clergy Life; from 1994-99, he served on the faculty of Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington, N.Y.; from 1999-2000, he worked in the foreign missions in Durban, South Africa, doing formation work and as pastor; from 2000-09, he was in residence at St. Edward the Confessor Church, Syosset, N.Y., while continuing his writing; from 2009-13, he was a resident of Vincentian Regency, Pittsburgh, where he wrote and was in the ministry of prayer; and in February 2013, he went to Christ the King Manor, DuBois, where he continued in the ministry of prayer.
Father Roland was a Scripture scholar and prolific writer, not only of Scripture but Franciscan as well. He is popular for his "Book of Leviticus" in "The New Jerome Biblical Commentary," 1989; "Footprints on the Mountain: Preaching and Teaching the Sunday Readings," 1994; "Reflections on Weekday Lectionary Readings," 2010; "Between Book Ends: A Reflection of 50 Years of Ministry," 2012, which documents Father Roland's experiences as a Franciscan friar and priest and provides a personal look at his life; and "To Come and See: Thoughts of Contemporary Religious Life," 1985.
During his lifetime, Father Roland received several awards: Portiuncula Citation given by The Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, in 1982; Doctor of Humane Letters given by St. Francis University, Loretto, in 1985; the Monsignor George Denzer Memorial given by the Seminary of Immaculate Conception, Huntington, N.Y., in 1997; and Master of Sacred Theology given by the Franciscans Third Order Regular in 1999.
Friends will be received from 2 to 5 and 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2014, at the Chapel of St. Francis Friary at Mount Assisi, Loretto, where a vigil service will be celebrated. A funeral Mass will be concelebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 9, 2014, at the Immaculate Conception Chapel on the campus of St. Francis University, the Very Rev. Richard L. Davis, T.O.R., minister provincial, as principal celebrant.
After the Mass, interment will take place at the Franciscan Friars' Cemetery on the campus of St. Francis University, Loretto.
Memorial contributions may be made to support the retired T.O.R. Friars, c/o T. O.R. Retirement Fund, St Francis Friary, P.O. Box 137, Loretto, PA 15940.
Arrangements are by Gibbons Funeral Home, 301 Church St., Gallitzin.