Monday, December 9th, 2013
The Rev. Albert J. Fey, C.PP.S. 92, of the Kansas City Province of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, died Dec. 7, 2013, at St. Charles Center, Carthagena.
He was born Dec. 28, 1920, in McKeesport, Pa., to Leo and Mary Keddie Fey.
Surviving are two sisters, Marie and Isabel, St. Henry.
He was preceded in death by his older brother, the Rev. George Fey, also a Missionary of the Precious Blood, who died earlier this year.
He entered Brunnerdale Seminary in Canton in October 1934 and made Temporary Incorporation on Nov. 30, 1938, at St. Joseph College in Rensselaer, Ind. He was Definitively Incorporated as a Missionary of the Precious Blood on Dec. 3, 1941, at St. Charles Seminary, Carthagena, and ordained to the priesthood at St. Charles on Feb. 2, 1946.
He spent more than 60 years as a priest in parish ministry, beginning on Feb. 27, 1946, when he was assigned as parochial vicar to St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Mt. Vernon. For the next 10 years, he served as parochial vicar in parishes in Ohio and Virginia.
On June 20, 1956, he was named pastor at Immaculate Heart of Mary Parish in Blackstone, Va. He remained there until 1961, when he was named pastor of St. Francis of Assisi Parish in Mystic, Iowa, with a mission at Rathbun. It was during his 16-year tenure as pastor in Mystic, that he delivered the dedication prayer for the Rathbun Lake Dam in 1971. President Richard M. Nixon, attended the dedication and in his speech referred twice to Fr. Fey's "eloquent prayer."
In August 1977, he moved to Sacred Heart Parish in Miami, Okla. He remained pastor in Miami for 17 years. On Nov. 23, 1994, he became pastor at Sacred Heart Parish in Baileyville, Kan., where he celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a priest in 1996 and his 60th anniversary of priesthood on Jan. 29, 2006. He remained in Baileyville until he retired to St. Charles Center in June 2007, at the age of 86.
His long tenures as pastor in Mystic, Miami, and Baileyville left a deep impression on the people he served. As he was leaving Mystic to move to Miami, one parishioner wrote the provincial affirming, "The time that Fr. Fey has spent in Mystic and Rathbun has not only been for the growth of the Catholic faith in these parishes, but he has worked for the growth and betterment of the whole community." Another parishioner attributed this to "his love of our Lord, which shines forth from him like an iridescent light."
This "iridescent light" was seen most clearly in his generous and gracious smile. As his sister, Marie, said, "Fr. Al was a happy priest." Serving the people of God as a pastor was his greatest joy, but he also loved to fish. "If more people went fishing," Fr. Al told a reporter for a Des Moines newspaper in 1973, "there'd be less trouble in the world."
An ardent activist against abortion, the parishioners in Baileyville dedicated a Memorial to the Unborn in honor of Fr. Al in front of Sacred Heart Church in 2005.
The Mass of Christian Burial is 10 a.m. Tuesday at St. Charles Center, the Rev. Joseph Nassal, provincial director, officiating. Burial will follow at St. Charles Cemetery.
Calling is 1-9 p.m. today at St. Charles Center, with a wake service at 7 p.m.
Hogenkamp Funeral Home, St. Henry, is handling the arrangements.