Rev. Thomas Fenlon Jr. – March 20

Reverend Thomas Bolger Fenlon, Jr., born on October 1, 1935, passed away peacefully in Calvary Hospital in the Bronx, NY, on March 20, 2023.  Thomas was the son of Thomas Bolger Fenlon and Juliet Ludford Fenlon and grew up in Pelham, NY.  He became a priest of the Archdiocese of New York in 1961 after studying at Cathedral High and St. Joseph’s Seminary (Dunwoody) in New York and St. Jerome College in Ontario, Canada. Father Fenlon filled positions as associate priest and as pastor of many churches in the New York area: St. John the Evangelist, Beacon; Annunciation in Manhattan; St. Charles in Staten Island; St. Mary’s in Newburgh; St. John the Evangelist in New Windsor; Our Lady of Lourdes, Manhattan; St. Lucy’s in the Bronx; St. Augustine’s in the Bronx; Our Lady of Victory; and St. Charles Borromeo and Resurrection Parish. He studied abroad in Cochabamba, Bolivia, and also in Louvain, Belgium, and earned Master’s degrees in several areas of study, focusing always on social justice. He was a volunteer as a Witness for Peace, 1985, in Nicaragua. Thomas was instrumental in rehabilitating an abandoned building to create housing in a program in the 1990’s and worked with other pastors and ministers in social justice endeavors. In 1965, he participated in the civil rights march in Selma, Alabama, saying, “It opened my eyes to injustice. I wanted to do something about civil rights.”

Father Fenlon loved traveling, sailing, walking, and the people of New York City, and was a beloved figure to parishioners as well as to others in his neighborhoods. His compassion, generosity and ability to gather people together were his great strengths.

He is survived by his sister, Mary Ann Knowles, her children Thomas, Mary and John Cowgill, Timothy, Peter and Lorrie, William and Melissa, Theresa, and Matthew; by his sister, Juliet, and Frederick Nagle, their children Kathleen, Julia and David Dorci, Kerry and Kevin Bonaiuto, Tricia and Timothy Daley, and Elizabeth and partner Daniel Ecklund; by his sister, Lois, and Michael Brinkman, their children Mary Claire and Paul Fredette, Juliet and Kenneth Bogan, Elizabeth and Robert Bromund, Amy and Andrew Schmidt, Jessica and Jaime Urdangarin, and Joshua Luke and Stephanie Brinkman. Thomas Fenlon leaves a large family of cousins, nephews and nieces, and is predeceased by his brother, Henry Ludford Fenlon.

In lieu of flowers the family requests to please donate to the Catholic Relief Services in Rev. Thomas Fenlon’s name:

Make a donation to Catholic Relief Services in memory of Rev. Thomas B. Fenlon.

A celebration of the Rev. Thomas Fenlon’s Life will take place at the Pelham Funeral Home located at 64 Lincoln Ave., Pelham NY on Friday, March 24, 2023, between the hours of 4:00 pm and 8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at the Resurrection Catholic Chapel located at 282 W 151st St, Harlem NY, on Saturday, March 25, 2023, at 9:30 am. Interment will follow at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in New Rochelle, NY. For more information or to leave a condolence please visit

Editor’s note: This obituary was provided by the Pelham Funeral Home.