Father Pat Moloney: His Job and His Views and His Experience

Father MoloneyHis Work As Described by a Fellow New York City Priest:

Perhaps one would be scandalised at the sight of a Catholic priest, always in his black pants and black clergy shirt and roman collar, lugging furniture around the neighbourhood or fixing a junk car; people in the neighbourhood were not scandalised, they knew what this was about because it was their life as well. They knew from experience the poor live on the ‘scraps’ that fall from the tables of the wealthy. They knew Jesus told his disciples to go around and ‘collect the scraps so that nothing goes to waste’. This was the work of Father Pat. Those who do not know the poor will not be able to understand. But this is the truth, so help me God.”  

His Work As He Described It:

“I had, unapologetically, over the years, ran safe havens spread out over the city. They were for, say, an undocumented person who we needed time to prepare their papers until they could be presented to authorities, for someone on the run where we didn’t have time to establish their innocence. Or it could have been a wanted Irishman or Palestinian. We helped a lot of people. All through it I circumvented every law in the book but I never broke any of them, so (the authorities) couldn’t get me.” 

About Where He Began Working, The Lower East Side of N.Y. City in the 1950s:

“The Lower East side was the most kaleidoscopic neighbourhood in the whole United States and, probably, the world. It was magical. You had poor Poles, Russians, Germans, French, Irish, Italians. Kids playing around garbage cans with old used tyres. On every street corner you saw beautiful eyes staring out of sockets of poverty. When I arrived there was not one Hispanic or black person here. There were Jewish stores everywhere, greengrocers. It was like an Eastern European village; Polish bakeries, haberdashery stores on every corner.” 

About Natavists both Then and Now:

“Later, as those people climbed the socio-economic ladder, there would be great prejudice, because the first who had arrived felt it was their territory. I heard people saying to me ‘you’re bringing these ‘spic (Hispanic) kids here’ and I was outraged. I said ‘are you a native American? I don’t see feathers coming out of your head!'” 

About Being Irish: 

When accused of being an IRA member: “We Irish suffer from a different affliction; it’s called genius.”

About His Life In Prison in the United States:

“In the system I was treated badly. I was treated as badly as if I was Gotti or someone. They black boxed me, meaning they put your hands in a device so you can’t even feed yourself. They moved me around. That’s the type of stuff they do, they disorientate you, they call it circuit therapy. Your belongings are always following a few weeks behind. I was in about four or five Bastilles of the federal government.”

They put me on the `circuit therapy,’ where they keep you on the road for weeks. They sneak you out and try to lose you in the system.” 

“One day, the guards brought in a prisoner who had 10 bodies [slang for 10 murders] on him, He walked right up to me and embraced me.” From then on, Fr. Moloney was a protected man.

 He was thrown in solitary confinement when the prison officials discovered that he had used a prison pay phone to say the funeral Mass for his adopted son in Hell’s Kitchen via speaker-phone.

“I was thrown from the Age of Reason to the Dark Ages.To the state, the prisoner is a piece of garbage.”

About American Prisoner Guards:

“Up on the wall everywhere [in prison] there was a sign saying ‘in God we trust and I’d say to them ‘you’d better not trust him, you’d better fear him.”

About The Attitude The Prisoners Should Take:

“It was almost a mystical experience. I started a club. It was called the smilers’ club. I would just tell the lads, walk and hold your head up high and smile. They have our bodies but they can’t imprison our souls. Let nobody take your inner equilibrium, they don’t own that. I had a sign up in my cell that said ‘stone walls don’t make a prison nor iron bars a cage’.”

On Sam Millar The Blanket Man Who Jammed Him In:

“Sam was a quiet man. He would never use two words if he could use one, never use one word if he could talk to himself.” 

‘Part of me says Millar was involved, then another part of me says he would never do that to me because he knows my dedication to the undocumented of all nationalities. My God, I’ve even helped out English lads. I did not understand and I am deeply hurt by it. I suppose until I meet him again I’ll never really know. But I cannot believe he would do this to me. Other people believed he stiffed me, I just don’t know.”

On Irish Prisoners of the British:

“Two years ago, I met with seven men who spent 10 or more years in British prisons and were released under the Good Friday Agreement. They didn’t see their comrades die just to surrender.” 

”I had undying admiration for these men. ‘I make no bones about it. Ten men died and this man [Sam Millar] stood up for what he believed in.”  

On the FBI:

I have sympathy and compassion for everyone. I’ve sat in federal and state courts over the years and I would not have believed four years ago the FBI would have been capable of lying like they did before man and God. They knew they were lying. I heard agents repeating things they know I never said.”  

 “The `F-B-Lie’ had me convicted on flimsy, circumstantial evidence. They needed a scapegoat.”

About What He’ll Do After Prison:

”They sent a scapegoat out into the desert to die but he’s come back with two horns of righteousness and justice and he’ll butt them all on his return. I’m going to do it.”


12 thoughts on “Father Pat Moloney: His Job and His Views and His Experience

  1. Father Pat I ask for your intercession with the Lord to help me. I have Gillian Burre Syndrome since 9/11, working as a first responder FDNY Ret. I believe that you have the right connection with the Allmighy let Him hear you for me. Thanks God Bless You sincerely

    1. Father Pat would heartily approve of the Black Lives Matter movement. As always, he’d be in the front-lines fighting injustice. Allah be with him.

  2. I love the stories written about Padre Pio, he is a phenomenon to me and will always be that, I can just tell you about Fr. Pat Maloney, who without him I would probably not be in the US.
    I came here in 1987, and luckily was introduced to Fr. Pat, by my sister/aunt and her husband, and Fr. Pat made me so welcome, and said do you want to give us a wee hand here, and I was delighted. And then I felt comfortable to tell Fr. Pat, what was going on with me – that my birth mother (which by the way I just wanted to know and love) wouldn’t put my papers through. And, Fr. Pat said to me, look come on, she didn’t expect to see you again, she didn’t expect you to come here, blah, blah, and then Fr. Pat said to me, look, I’m going to go to her – and he did, he drove all the way from the East Village to PoughKeepsie, and after another few “hands in the face” I got my papers. So THANK YOU FR. PAT. xx I LOVE YOU FOREVER

  3. Father Pio is a favorite Catholic priest of mine.
    Levitation can be defined as that phenomenon which a person lifts from earth and stays suspended in air. Such phenomenon obviously is a gift given by God to the Mystics of the Catholic Church. St. Joseph of Copertino, for instance, was famous for the levitation phenomenon and also Padre Pio of Pietrelcina had such gifts. Padre Pio was often seen by witnesses while he was lifted above the earth.

    In Bari (Italy) during the Second World War there was the headquarters of the American Air Forces General Command. Many Officers were said to have been saved by Padre Pio during the war. Even the General Commander had been a witness to one amazing episode. The American Commanding Officer wanted to lead a squadron of bombardiers to destroy a depot of German war material that had been located in St. Giovanni Rotondo. The General said, “When the airplanes were near the target, his men and himself, saw in the sky, a monk with the uplifted hands. The bombs had dropped away by themselves and fell into the woods. The airplanes had reversed course without being maneuvered by the pilots or by the other Officers. All wondered who that padrepio10.jpg (11081 byte)monk was which the airplanes had obeyed. Someone told the General, “At San Giovanni Rotondo was a monk who worked miracles”, and he decided that, as soon as the country had been freed, he would have go to seek if he was the same monk they had seen in the sky. After the war, the General went to the Capuchin monastery with some pilots. Just entering the sacristy, the General found himself in front of various monks, among whom he immediately recognized the monk that had stopped his airplanes: he was Padre Pio. Padre Pio walked toward him and as he approached him, he said: “Are you the one who wanted to kill all of us?” Relieved by the look and by the words of the Padre, the General knelt in front of him. As usual Padre Pio spoken to him in dialect, but the General was convinced that the monk had spoken in English. This was another father Pio’s gifts. The two became friends and the General, who was Protestant, became Catholic.

    Here is Padre Ascanio’s story: – “We were waiting for Padre Pio who was coming to hear confessions of the penitents. The church was crowded and everybody watched the door through which Padre Pio would enter. The door stayed closed but suddenly I saw father Pio walking above the heads of the people, he reached the confessional, and then disappeared. After some minutes he started to receive the penitents. I didn’t say anything, and I thought I was dreaming, but when I met him I asked him: “Father Pio, How did you manage to walk above the heads of the people?”. He jokingly responded: “I can assure you, my child, it’s just like walking on the floor… “.

    in other news

    FBI agent Mike Rogers to run for President

    1. MS:

      There is also the story of how he saw that an Italian plane was on fire and he flew up and rescued the pilot. He is also supposed to be a stigmatic. I believe he has been made a saint in the Catholic church. That Church believes in a God who can create miraculous happenings. So it is not strange that it made Pio a saint. For others, who don’t believe in such a God — one that suspends laws of nature and is deeply involved in human endeavors — that would be hard to understand.

  4. Pat detested the Catholic Chaplin at Rochestor FMC. The BOP priest was a hack with a white collar. When air-lift security was short a man, this servant of Christ would volunteer to hold a rifle on the inmates as they shuffled up, or, down, the rear ramp of the weekly con- air jets that moved inmates around the penal archipelago. Pat thought the man a poor excuse for a priest, and, openly derided him to the delight of all inmates within ear-shot.
    It was said that when Father Pat wrote the Pope, the Pope wrote back.

  5. 168K out of 4.7 million? @4% ? Not even a tithe? His operating costs probably needed that on hand to get through a month in Manhattan. Was it the collar that bothered the feds?

    Another irony I find is that Catholic schools used to be fertile recruiting grounds for the FBI, CIA, and other gvt agencies (BC, Georgetown, N.D. at al). What changed?

    1. Paul:

      Whaat surprised me reading about it was that Father Pat said the FBI were lying about what he told them. Now that is so out of character for him that it compels belief. The FBI was confronted with a big big robbery and felt pressured to solve it. If it took a few lies to write “solved” on the folder that was easy to do. Then the big bosses would get off their backs and they could go back to their routine business. The Catholic schools were where a lot of FBI agents came from; J. Edgar who had a distaste for Catholics tolerated the Catholic agents because they were obedient (having been trained by nuns), willing to stretch the truth for the better glory of the FBI, and most importantly were anti-communist. As for the collar that had to be weighed against the security of the job.

    1. dan:

      I missed that. Thanks. I was stunned to see probation recommended another four to five years. That will mean she’ll be getting more time than Martorano.

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