A retired priest who served as a pastor and college faculty member on Long Island and was a prolific sculptor has died.
The Rev. Harold Erwin Buckley died Saturday, May 11. He was 94.
Buckley was born in Brooklyn on March 31, 1925, to a mother, Elizabeth, and a father, Jeremiah, both immigrants from County Kerry, Ireland. He was the middle child in a family of five, his sister Elizabeth and brothers Jeremiah, Eugene, and Robert.
Buckley became interested in the priesthood as a teenager, went to Cathedral College of the Immaculate Conception in 1942 and was ordained to the Catholic priesthood in June of 1953.
He was assigned to the parish of Holy Family in Hicksville until 1959 when he was sent to teach at the St. Pius X Prep Seminary in Uniondale.
In 1970 he went to The College Seminary of the Immaculate Conception n Douglaston where he taught English literature and drama until 1987 when he took a sabbatical to study sculpture at the National Academy School of Fine Arts in New York City. He has left many sculptures mostly in Long Island and Florida.
At the age of 88, Buckley conceived and sculpted the main focus of the Priest Memorial, an impressive sculpture of Christ's descent from the Cross at Our Lady Queen of Peace Cemetery in Royal Palm Beach, Fla.
While at college, he directed a number of plays, Man of La Mancha, Jesus Christ Superstar, Andersonville, and others. He was talented and loved poetry, sculpture and the theater but his first ministry was always to the people he served as a minister of God.
Buckley retired to Florida where he continued to serve God at the Cathedral of St. Ignatius Loyola in the Diocese of Palm Beach.
He is preceded in death by his mother and father; sister, Elizabeth Lynch; brothers, Jeremiah and Robert Buckley.
He is survived by his brother, Eugene and his wife, Anne, and sister-in-law, Margaret Buckley. He is also survived by 20 nieces and nephews, and numerous grandnieces and grandnephews and many loving friends.
A funeral was held Wednesday, May 22 in Florida.
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