Father Malachy Corley, 99, priest and monk of Monastery of the Holy Spirit died peacefully in the monastery infirmary on Friday May 4th at 3:00AM. with his monastic brothers at his side.
Born on July 10, 1912, James Henry Lamar Corley (Fr. Malachy) grew up in rural Missouri in a small town named Indian Creek, located in northeast Missouri (Monroe County). "Mark Twain country" as Fr. Malachy would describe it. His father, Joseph Bernard (d. 1943) was a medical doctor (general practitioner) and his mother, Sarah Christine McLeod-Corley (d. 1954) was a teacher.
Father Malachy was the fifth of six children who are all deceased. He is survived by 12 nieces and nephews who loved him dearly and were planning to celebrate his 100th birthday in 2 months here at the monastery.
Fr. Malachy was baptized at St. Stephen's Catholic Church in Indian Creek and graduated from Webster Groves High School. He attended St. Louis University from 1931 to 1934, graduating with a bachelor's degree in philosophy. In 1942, he was inducted into the United States Army. Soon after arrival in the Philippines in July 1945, the war came to an end. Father Malachy told of serving under Strom Thurmond who would become governor of South Carolina and then senator. Father Malachy was discharged on February 6, 1946.
On June 22, 1949, Father Malachy, 37 years old, entered Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Monastery where his childhood friend, Father Joachim Tierney, was also a monk and one of the 20 founders of the monastery in 1944. Father Malachy professed solemn vows on August 15, 1954 and was ordained a priest on June 5, 1955. He served the community as mechanic and prior. In his later years, he welcomed visitors to the monastery at the monastery welcome center and was confessor to retreatants.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let your perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.