Haverhill — Reverend Thomas F. Farley, formerly of Gouldsboro, Maine, and a Roman Catholic Priest with the Archdiocese of Maine, passed away after a period of declining health, on April 5, 2014, in Haverhill, Mass. He was 80 years old.
Father Farley was born in Haverhill on October 4, 1933, and was the son of the late Thomas F. Sr. and Katherine (Ireland) Farley. Tom grew up in the Acre section of the city, was a member of St. James Parish, and was educated in the St. James schools, graduating from St. James High School, Class of 1952. Following high school, Tom’s goal was to enter the priesthood, and he entered the seminary at the Franciscan Seminary in New York, where he received his bachelor’s degree. He then matriculated to St. John’s Seminary in Brighton, Mass. After leaving the Seminary, Tom took an extended sabbatical and began a long career as a high school teacher, teaching Latin and English in various schools in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Maine. While teaching in northern Maine, Tom fell in love with the state, and purchased his first home in Sullivan, Maine, in the early 1970s.
When Tom retired from teaching, he pursued a variety of interests. He served as a volunteer and lived at Haley House in Boston for several years, serving the needy. Thereafter, he became a real estate title examiner for the firm of Peabody Brown in Boston. In the late 1980s, Tom moved back to Maine, and worked as an independent title examiner In Ellsworth, Maine, for many years.
Tom was an active member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ellsworth, and in the mid-1990s, he began to work full-time as the church administrator under Father James Michaud. It was from there that Tom felt the call to return to the priesthood, to the delight of, and with the full support of his family and friends. He enrolled at Loyola University in Louisiana and received his Degree of Master Of Pastoral Studies in 1999. Thereafter, with the support of the Maine Archdiocese, Tom reentered the seminary at Blessed John XXIII National Seminary in Weston, Mass. Tom became a Deacon of the Church in 2001, at the Cathedral in Portland, and was ordained a priest in a ceremony at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Ellsworth in 2002. After his ordination, Father Farley ministered to Catholics throughout Maine, serving as parish priest in a number of locations, including Auburn, Lewiston, Brewer, Old Town, and Augusta. Due to health reasons, Tom retired from the full-time priesthood in 2011, but continued to say daily Mass and offer the sacraments to his family and friends and members of his community.