Francis James Furey

Francis James Furey (February 22, 1905 – April 23, 1979) was an American prelate of the Roman Catholic Church. He served as Bishop of San Diego, California (1966-1969) and as Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas (1969-1979).

His Excellency, The Most Reverend

Francis James Furey
Archbishop of San Antonio
SeeSan Antonio
InstalledMay 13, 1969
Term endedApril 23, 1979
PredecessorRobert Emmet Lucey
SuccessorPatrick Flores
Other postsBishop of San Diego (1966 - 1969)
Titular Bishop of Temnus (1960-1966)
Coadjutor Bishop of San Diego (1963 - 1966)
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia (1960 - 1963)
OrdinationMarch 15, 1930
ConsecrationDecember 22, 1960
Personal details
Born(1905-02-22)February 22, 1905
Summit Hill, Pennsylvania
DiedApril 23, 1979(1979-04-23) (aged 74)
San Antonio, Texas
DenominationRoman Catholic
Styles of
Francis James Furey
Mitre plain 2.png
Reference styleThe Most Reverend
Spoken styleYour Excellency
Religious styleMonsignor
Posthumous stylenot applicable


The eldest of five children, Francis Furey was born in Summit Hill, Pennsylvania, to John and Anna (née O'Donnell) Furey.[1] After attending public schools in Coaldale, he graduated from St. Mary's High School in 1920 as valedictorian.[2] He attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Overbrook for four years before continuing his studies in Rome at the Pontifical Roman Seminary, from where he received a Ph.D. (1926) and a S.T.D. (1930).[1] He was ordained to the priesthood by Cardinal Basilio Pompili on March 15, 1930.[3]

Following his return to Pennsylvania, he served as private secretary to Cardinal Dennis Joseph Dougherty, the Archbishop of Philadelphia, from 1930 to 1936.[4] He was president of Immaculata College (1936–46) and rector of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary (1946–58).[4] He was named a Domestic Prelate in 1947.[1] Returning from academia, he became pastor of St. Helena's Church in Philadelphia in 1958.[1]

On August 17, 1960, Furey was appointed Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia and Titular Bishop of Temnus by Pope John XXIII.[3] He received his episcopal consecration on the following December 22 from Archbishop Egidio Vagnozzi, with Bishops Joseph Mark McShea and Joseph Carroll McCormick serving as co-consecrators.[3] Furey was named Coadjutor Bishop of San Diego, California, on July 21, 1963.[3] His transfer to California was the first U.S. appointment for the Latin Rite by the newly elected Pope Paul VI. Upon the death of Bishop Charles F. Buddy, Furey succeeded him as the second Bishop of San Diego on March 5, 1966.[3] He was member of the administrative tribunal of the Second Vatican Council.[4]

On May 23, 1969, Furey was appointed the third Archbishop of San Antonio, Texas, in succession to Archbishop Robert Emmet Lucey.[3] He established one of the first diocesan commissions for Mexican American affairs in the United States, and promoted the candidacy of Patrick Flores, the first Mexican American bishop in the country.[4] He was an outspoken supporter of Communities Organized for Public Service.[4] He also supported the Farah strike (October 1973) and the lettuce boycotts of the Texas Farm Workers Union.[4] He held various offices within the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, including chairman of the Committee for the Campaign for Human Development.[4] He was chaplain of the Texas State Council of the Knights of Columbus, bishop protector of the Catholic War Veterans of the U.S.A., and appointed by Governor Preston Smith to the John F. Kennedy Memorial Commission.[4] He was an honorary member of the United States Marine Corps, and received honorary degrees from La Salle College, St. Joseph College, Villanova University, St. John's University, Brooklyn, New York; Mount St. Mary's University, and Our Lady of the Lake University.[4]

Furey died in 1979 at age 74, and was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, San Antonio TX.[4]


  1. ^ a b c d Curtis, Georgina Pell (1961). The American Catholic Who's Who. XIV. Grosse Pointe, Michigan: Walter Romig.
  2. ^ "St. Mary's and Marian". Coaldale High School Alumni.
  3. ^ a b c d e f "Archbishop Francis James Furey".[self-published source]
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "FUREY, FRANCIS JAMES (1905-1979)". Handbook of Texas Online.

5. Francis James Furey's Niece Dolores Fennell

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Philadelphia
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Miguel de Andrea
Titular Bishop of Temnus
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Charles F. Buddy
Bishop of San Diego
Succeeded by
Leo Thomas Maher
Preceded by
Robert Emmet Lucey
Archbishop of San Antonio
Succeeded by
Patrick Flores