NORTH SMITHFIELD — Christian Brother Daniel F. Casey, 74, died July 30 at St. Antoine Residence. He was a member of the Christian Brothers for almost 56 years.
Born in Providence, he was the son of the late John F. and Mary Casey.
He graduated from the Cleary School in Providence, and St. Raphael Academy, Pawtucket, and received a bachelor of arts degree from The Catholic University of America, Washington, D.C., in 1954; a master of arts degree in the classics in 1964 from Manhattan College, New York City, from which he also received a master of arts degree in theology in 1969; and a certificate of advanced graduate studies from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA.
Brother Casey entered the Brothers of the Christian Schools in Barrytown, New York, in 1952, and pronounced his first vows there. He professed his final vows in 1959.
He began his long career in education as a teacher at Good Shepherd School, Bronx, New York, and ministered at Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, Brooklyn, New York, and later at St. Mary High School, Waltham, MA., where he became principal in 1964.
He later served as a missionary and teacher at St. Joseph School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. In 1971, he became the headmaster of the school and simultaneously, the auxiliary provincial for that region.
Following a year of advanced studies at Boston College during the 1975-76 academic year, Brother Casey became principal of St. Raphael Academy in 1976, where he served for four years. In 1980, he became the principal of Bishop Loughlin Memorial High School, and at the end of his second term as principal, returned to Providence, where he served as an educational consultant and later as the superintendent of schools for the Diocese of Providence from 1987 to 1996 during the administration of Bishop Louis E. Gelineau.
“He was certainly dedicated to the church and to the Lord,” said Bishop Gelineau, noting that Brother Casey “was a great religious” who always used his many gifts to benefit the diocese, the Catholic Church and God.
“He was most helpful and inspired me,” the bishop recalled. “He was one of the holiest men I have ever known.”
The bishop noted that Brother Casey was a most capable administrator who “had great vision” and the ability to meet all challenges and find solutions to problems.
Bishop Gelineau added that Brother Casey also inspired the staff and residents at St. Antoine Residence with his positive attitude and graceful acceptance of his illness.
In 1996, Brother Casey was named auxiliary provincial for the Christian Brothers Long Island-New England province, and was subsequently elected provincial. After serving a four-year term in that capacity, he resumed his missionary career, and served as president and vice chancellor of Bethlehem University in Bethlehem, Palestine. The university was founded by Pope Paul VI and entrusted to the Brothers of the Christian Schools to provide higher education to members of the Arab community, both Catholic and Muslim.
Brother Casey ministered in the Holy Land from 2005 until earlier this year, when he resigned from the university because of declining health.
In addition to his religious community, Brother Casey is survived by a sister, Barbara Casey; and two brothers, Edward and John Casey. He was the brother of the late Robert and Richard Casey.
A Mass of Christian Burial was concelebrated in the Cathedral of SS. Peter and Paul. Burial was in Christian Brothers Cemetery, Narragansett.