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My Cross Has Wheels
U. S. A. | NEWS | NEWS
Fr. Stephen Gormley goes home to God on September 1, 2012

Anyone who went to visit him would meet an enormous smile and be told a joke or two.
Anyone who went to visit him would meet an enormous smile and be told a joke or two.

A life should not be measured by length in years, but by the effect that life has on others.  The life of Fr. Stephen Gormley, LC, is one of those well-measured lives.  

The priest, who was born on June 3, 1954, in New Rochelle, NY, was ordained on December 24, 1987 in Rome.  He was described by other Legionaries who knew him as a young, energetic priest who worked to promote vocations in Brazil, before his life changed dramatically. 

He was involved in a serious car accident in 1990.  From that time on he was confined to a wheelchair and suffered from a progressive loss of his short
Fr. Gormley saying Mass
Fr. Stephen Gormley LC saying Mass
term memory.  Fr. Stephen died on September 1, 2012, at St. Camillus Care and Rehabilitation Center, in Stamford, CT, where he had stayed during the last years of his life.

In a recent entry on Facebook, his fellow Legionaries wrote, “He was an exemplary priest and offered up his cross for the Church, edifying all of us who were blessed to know him.” 

Fr. Stephen is remembered as “full of zeal and enthusiasm to bring Christ to others,” as “athletic,” and “especially enthusiastic for swimming” before his accident.  An article, published in the Spanish language Legionary publication LaRed, reported that following the accident, those who got to know Fr. Stephen and “stayed a little while,” would see him “showing off prayer cards and sharing spiritual reflections.  He might also recite a poem one of the novices wrote for him titled ‘My cross has wheels.’” 

LaRed reported that Fr. Stephen accepted with joy “what God had sent him in life. He saw his extended illness, and the suffering it entailed, as an opportunity to win graces for the souls entrusted to him.  Anyone who went to visit him would meet an enormous smile and be told a joke or two.” 

Fr. Stephen entered the Legionary novitiate in Orange, CT in 1972.   He studied classical humanities in Salamanca, Spain and philosophy and theology in Rome.  At the beginning of the 1980s, he began his internship as a professor of Catholic formation at the Irish Institute in Monterrey, Mexico.  Later he was a prefect in the apostolic school in Ontaneda, Spain.  He made his perpetual profession on April 6, 1980, and was ordained a priest in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Rome in 1987. 

After his accident, Fr. Stephen was transferred to the United States, where he resided in the Legion’s novitiate in Cheshire, CT.  There the brothers in formation took care of his daily needs.

In the last years of his life, his health declined dramatically, and he was moved to the St. Camillus Center.  His family thanks the staff at St. Camillus and the many Legionaries of Christ “for their dedicated care to Fr. Stephen during his years of illness.”

Click here to read Fr. Stephen’s obituary. His funeral was held today in St. Augustine’s Church in Larchmont, NY.




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