Fr. John Morley

Fr. John Francis Morley

Sunday, October 4th, 1936 - Wednesday, April 8th, 2020
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Rev. John Francis Morley, 83 of Wall Township passed away on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at St. Catharine of Sienna Healthcare Care Center, Caldwell.
Born in Jersey City, Fr. John had graduated from St. Aloysius Grammar School, Seton Hall Prep, South Orange in 1954 as Valedictorian of his Class, Seton Hall University in 1956 and Immaculate Conception Seminary in June 1958 with an A.B in Classical Studies. He then went on to study theology at the American College, the Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium graduating in June 1962 with an S.T.B. and M.A in Religious Education.
He was ordained a priest to the Archdiocese of Newark, NJ on July 1, 1962 by Bishop Honore van Waeyenburgh, Rector Magnificus of the University of Louvain in Louvain, Belgium
His first assignment was to St. Mary’s Parish, Elizabeth until being transferred to Seton Hall University in June 1967. He went on to receive a Ph.D., New York University in June 1979 in Jewish Studies.
He had been the Associate Professor, Department of Religious Studies, the University Sacristan from 1967-1992, and he was also the Minister to the Priest Community and Assistant to the Chancellor. He was the recipient of the McQuaid Medal in 1991, the Humanitarian of the Year on April 14, 2002 of the Rose Thering Endowment at Seton Hall.
He had also served as the Catholic Chaplain for the Military Ocean Terminal, Bayonne from 1986-1999 and had been presented with the Commander’s Award for Public Service by BG Boyd King in July 1995.
Fr. John had served as a weekend assistant at St. Catharine’s-St. Margaret’s Parish, Spring Lake from 1997 until his retirement 2 years ago. He was also a member of the first Presbyteral Council of the Archdiocese of Newark from 1984-1987, and the Commission for Interreligious Affairs of the Archdiocese.
He had been appointed by Cardinal Edward Cassidy, President of the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews in October 1999, to be one of the three Catholic members of a joint Catholic-Jewish group of Scholars whose task was to review the published Vatican documents on the Holocaust.
He was a member of the Church Relations and Holocaust Committee of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.
Father Morley’s contributions to Seton Hall Community and to Christian- Jewish relations go far beyond the parameters of this obituary.
Born to John and Hannah “Nan” (O’Mahoney) Morley, both of Ireland, John was the oldest of the 5 Morley children. He was predeceased by his parents, his sister Rosemary Verbist and husband Bill, his brother in law Robert T. O’Keefe, and nephew Robbie M. O’Keefe and niece Hannah Morley Chaballa.
Surviving to mourn his loss are his sister Joan O’Keefe, his brother Daniel Morley, and sister Cathy Chaballa and husband John, and many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, and lastly his St. Catherine of Sienna family who have cared for Fr. John for the past 2 years.
Private entombment for Rev. John Francis Morley will be on Saturday, April 11, 2020 in St. Catharine’s Cemetery, Sea Girt.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to either the Immaculate Conception Chapel of Seton Hall University, 400 S Orange Ave, South Orange, NJ 07079 or St. Catharine of Sienna Healthcare Center, 7 Ryerson Place, Caldwell, NJ 07006.
O’Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Hwy 35 at New Bedford Rd., Wall Twp. NJ 07719 has been entrusted with the funeral arrangements for Fr. Morley.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, April 11th, 2020 |
    Saturday, April 11th, 2020
    St. Catharine Cemetery & Mausoleum
    1000 West Chicago Blvd.
    SEA GIRT, NJ 08750
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Father William Dunlap
  • Interment

    St. Catharine Cemetery & Mausoleum
    1000 West Chicago Blvd.
    SEA GIRT, NJ 08750
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


  • Celtic Cross
  • Seton Hall University


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Filomena Shah

Posted at 08:09pm
Father Morley married me and my husband at Seton Hall. He even came to our home and blessed it. He was a wonderful person and we send our condolences.

Vincent Trovarelli

Posted at 10:08am
I worked for Fr. Morley at SHU and he married my wife and I in 1990. Special man and priest. Owe him a lot for everything he did for me. All the best to his extended family and everyone he impacted. My love, Vince Trovarelli

Garrett Hansen

Posted at 08:37am
Father Morley was the best professor I / we had at Seton Hall. His class on the Holocaust, while a difficult subject matter, should have been a requirement. He helped me see religion beyond the provincial boundaries I knew before I attended Seton Hall and made me a better person. His is a strong legacy and my continued involvement at Seton Hall, 40 years after I graduated, is due in large part to his influence. He was a friend to many and will be missed.

Garrett Hansen ‘79, member SHU Presidents Advisory Group.

Jerry Barry

Posted at 09:21am
Fr. Morley was my priest all through Seton Hall and in 2008 he married me at Saint Anthonys. I would have dinners with him once a week. I will miss him deeply. Rest In Peace!!! All my love and prayers to the family!!!

Kevin Gannon

Posted at 11:48am
Fr. Morley had an amazing presence in our family and we will forever hold him close in our hearts. Along with Deacon Ed Jennings the two of them never stopped caring for us in great need. Whether it be at the hospital, nursing home, our personal homes, or simply at Mass, always sincerely there re assuring us that with strong faith we will be okay. I know where Father is now and I pray that someday I will get there with him in the eternal life. Thank you Father- you will never be forgotten!

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