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12/17/2015 9:00:00 AM
Rev. Richard J. Broderick, 75

A funeral Mass was offered Dec. 16 at St. Thomas the Apostle Church, Delmar, for Rev. Richard Broderick, who died Dec. 10. He was 75 and had been a priest of the Albany Diocese for 45 years.

A native of Cohoes, he did a summer assignment at Sacred Heart parish in Cairo; was associate pastor at St. Thomas in Delmar; worked with the Spanish Apostolate while residing at St. Michael's parish in Amsterdam; was administrator of Blessed Sacrament parish in Hague and St. John the Baptist in Chestertown; and was pastor of St. Mary's parish in Crescent. He ministered in Guatemala through the Pueblo to People project for many years and developed the Albany Diocese's sister diocese project to connect parishes here with those in South America. He also did jail ministry in Schenectady and Rensselaer Counties and was active in helping those living in poverty around the world.

An advocate for environmental issues and the people affected by them, Father Broderick recently told The Evangelist he was heartened by Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Si'," which he described as "a call for everyone to rethink our unthinking patterns of life. We really are connected to everyone else in some way."

Father Broderick, who had repeatedly fought illness, had also published a reflection in The Evangelist in October on the celebrations of All Saints/All Souls Day and the Day of the Dead. His words are prescient: "'I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting.' Nowhere in world religions is so much hope expressed in so few words," he wrote.

"Only a thin veil separates us from those who have gone on before us. The Church's liturgical seasons of life and death are connected to the sacramental seasons of nature. Harvest and homecoming are connected. Life and death are partners in the dance. These special days can be reminders of life's brevity and the precious gift of time left to live it. It offers us the opportunity to focus on what's really important in our lives: our faith and the life shared with our families and friends."

As he crosses through the veil, Father Broderick leaves behind grieving family and friends in several countries. But, as he wrote in that reflection, "I am renewed in the hope expressed in the book of Revelation: 'He will wipe away all tears from their eyes; there will be no more death, and no more mourning or sadness. The world of the past has gone. I am making the whole of creation new' (Rv 21:4-5)."

Survivors include siblings James of Rapid City, S.D., and Mary Ann Ringler of Delmar. May Father Broderick rest in peace.

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