We'll receive a $25,000 grant if others match it by Pentecost. $24,070 to go. Your gift will be doubled!
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

community service

By Diogenes (articles ) | Dec 05, 2007

Father Michael Jude Fay, the Connecticut priest who pinched $1.3 million from his wealthy parish, is going to jail.

When Fay reported that he is suffering from cancer, Federal Judge Janet Bond Arterton was properly sympathetic. But she was apparently not impressed by his argument that he should avoid jail time because he "spent 28 years performing good works." Oh, and he "has repaid nearly $280,000."

Let's see. Suppose I tell you that I need $1.3 million, and I promise to give back $280,000. Do we have a deal? If so, please give me a call ASAP.

As for the "28 years performing good works," that might have been the wrong argument to raise in court. The evidence of good works is not altogether compelling-- especially when weighed against the devastation he inflicted on the parish, the diocese, and the faith. Fay was hoping to be assigned to community service, but his is a style of "service" that a community cannot afford.

An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:

Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!

Our Spring Challenge Grant
Progress toward our Spring Challenge Grant goal ($24,070 to go):
$25,400.00 $1,330.00
95% 5%
Sound Off! CatholicCulture.org supporters weigh in.

All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!

Show 5 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: - Dec. 07, 2007 1:30 PM ET USA

    Is it just me but shouldn't having a pastor driving a Jaguar throw up a whole pile of flags to somebody in the diocese? Even if the priest has a close relative with the last name of Rockefeller or Gates, the aesthetics of a priest driving a flashy car like that does not provide a good example. Maybe Fay missed his real calling as a televangalist.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2007 1:35 PM ET USA

    Why was his diocese so irresponsible in allowing this to go unnoticed for years? That is criminal negligence from the viewpoint of those for whom the money was held in trust (the poor sap parishioners). In effect, the parish and diocese has a fiduciary responsibility that has been ignored. In the real world such negligence would be punished financially AND criminally. And who takes the fall? Just the embezzler and the whistle blower.... but the big guys walk away... sound familiar?

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2007 11:31 AM ET USA

    Didn't his associate pastor also leave the priesthood after being admonished for hiring a private investigator when the diocese would not respond to the parish council? If so, then this associate pastor is the true hero.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2007 10:30 AM ET USA

    As a former judge I can attest to the therapeutic value of jail and prison in appropriate cases. Embezzlers often plead for mercy, pointing to their blameless prior lives. But when you are dealing with this much money, incarceration is called for.

  • Posted by: - Dec. 05, 2007 10:17 AM ET USA

    He can continue doing community service by making license plates.

Matching Campaign
Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org
Shop Amazon

Recent Catholic Commentary

A silent scandal: Catholic schools promoting morally unacceptable vaccines 11 hours ago
A More Militant Church? 11 hours ago
How we'll know if the Vatican and the US hierarchy are serious about deposing negligent bishops 12 hours ago
Final take on the LCWR: A time to plant, a time to uproot 14 hours ago
With the LCWR, has the Vatican taken Gamaliel's advice? 18 hours ago

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope challenges world leaders' silence on persecution of Christians CWN - April 6
Pope outlines plans for the extraordinary jubilee of mercy CWN - April 13
Vatican completes doctrinal assessment of Leadership Conference of Women Religious CWN - April 16
Pope accepts resignation of Bishop Finn CWN - April 21