Fr. Fee

Father Fee sensed in 1959 that it was time to build: the lovely small church built in 1900 seated just over 300; the School (built in 1928) needed more classrooms; the greater number of classrooms would demand more teachers and, hence, more convent space; and the rectory which had never been large enough, would in any event be demolished if a larger church were to be built.

With Father Fee’s leadership and much work and sacrifice on the part of St. Boniface lay people, a fund-raising campaign began in 1960.

 The goal of a quarter-million-dollars was quickly oversubscribed, six additional classrooms were completed within the original school building; an extension providing for thirteen sisters was added to the Convent; and an adjacent house was bought and made into a Rectory. A new and larger church building was designed and constructed. All of this took until 1964 to complete.

The Parish continued to prosper and to grow, and as one observer from outside the Parish Family noted, Father Fee played “a dignified and important role in Sea Cliff”, as well as in the St. Boniface community. Father Fee was and still continues to be Chaplain of the North Shore Firemen’s Holy Name Society.

Finally he reached the age of obligatory retirement, and on February 23, 1980, his successor, Reverend Donald F. Diederich was installed as Pastor. Father Fee, as Pastor Emeritus, continues to live and serve among us. On April 17, 1980, North Shore Kiwanis Club of Long Island proclaimed Father Fee their “1980 Citizen of the Year” with a dinner at the Swan Club in Glenwood Landing, “in recognition of his leadership and unselfish contributions to his church and the people of this com-muni ty ••• ”

On June 10, 1980, Father Fee celebrated the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination; and on June 15th, the Parish held a dinner in his honor in the School Auditorium to try to express thanks for Father Fee’s countless acts of charity and grace during the nearly quarter-century he had served the Parish as Pastor. (It was later discovered that Father Fee had insisted on picking up the tab for the dinner! )

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