Alumni Association of The Pontifical North American College

Fall Cornelius Kneafsey


Obit Kneafsey




A Mass of Christian burial for Msgr. Cornelius T. Kneafsey, the retired pastor of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Richmond Hill, was celebrated in the chapel at the Immaculate Conception Center, Douglaston, on Dec. 30. He died Dec. 24 at New York Medical Center, Flushing. He was 81.

Auxiliary Bishop Raymond Chappetto was the main celebrant of the funeral Mass. Special concelebrants included Msgrs. Joseph Pfeiffer and John O’Brien, and Fathers Richard Donovan, Edmund Brady, John Fitzgerald and Dominick Cutrone, who preached the homily.

Born in Brooklyn, Msgr. Kneafsey was baptized in St. Anthony of Padua Church, Greenpoint. He attended St. Francis College, Brooklyn Heights, and Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington. He was ordained by Bishop Bryan J. McEntegart on May 31, 1958 at St. James Pro-Cathedral, Downtown Brooklyn.

He served as an assistant at Presentation B.V.M., Jamaica, 1958- 60; St. Boniface, Downtown Brooklyn, 1960-69; American Martyrs, Bayside, 1969-76; and St. Fidelis, College Point, 1976-80.

He was named pastor of Our Lady of the Cenacle, Richmond Hill, in 1980 and served there until 2004 when he retired.

“He always loved the priesthood from the very beginning, that was his life,” said Father Cutrone, a friend since seminary. “Once he was a priest he loved to say Mass everyday. He loved the breviary. He was there for people when ever anyone needed help. He was there to comfort them as a priest and as a pastor. He especially loved his family, his nieces and nephews. He loved family gatherings. He baptized all his nieces and nephews. He loved children. He had a great sense of humor. He had a quip. He loved sharing that with the children.”

Among the immediate survivors was his sister, Margaret Mackrell of Hampton Bays, L.I.

Burial was in Mount St. Mary’s Cemetery, Flushing.

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