Please join us in Prayer for
Fr. Dan Freitas
March 5th 1925 --- May 22nd 2012
Fr. Dan had been a 60 year Member of the Knights of Columbus Msgr. Martin B. Power Council 14573 at Ascension Catholic Church.
A little bit about Fr. Dan………..
The Reverend Daniel L. Freitas, son of the late Maria Luz Leonardo and Jose Luiz Freitas, was born on March 5th, 1925, in the village of Terra Cha on the Azorean Island of Terceira in the Azores. Father Dan was educated at the village primary school and then continued his education at the seminary in Angra do Heroismo in Terceira. In 1947 Father Freitas came to the United States to complete his studies for the priesthood at St. Mary’s Seminary in Baltimore, Maryland. He was ordained a priest by Most Reverend James L. Connolly, at St. Mary’s Cathedral on June 11, 1949. He was assigned to Our Lady of Mount Carmel in New Bedford, Mass. for the summer of 1949 and then attended the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. for two years. In 1951, after having spent the summer of 1950 at Santo Christo parish in Fall River, Mass. Father Freitas returned there and served as the parish curate until February 1972. It was at this time that Fr. Freitas was appointed the administrator of St. Elizabeth’s parish in Fall River, Mass. Six months after arriving at St. Elizabeth’s the parish hall was destroyed by a devastating fire. Fr. Freitas then undertook the task of overseeing the construction of a new parish hall and religious education center. No sooner had he completed this task, he was appointed the pastor of St. John of God Parish in Somerset, Mass on February 6, 1974. One of his first tasks at St. John’s was to assess
the feasibility of constructing a new church. Within months of his arrival, plans were made to move the rectory to the site of the old rectory, freeing up space for the construction of a badly needed new church and parish center. By Christmas of 1975 the rectory had been relocated, and in March of 1977 ground was broken for the new church and parish center. On May 29, 1978 the new structure was dedicated and the parish debt was liquidated in November 1988. During the more than twenty two years as pastor of St. John of God parish Fr. Dan was asked to take on some responsibilities within the St. Vincent De Paul Society, first in the Fall River area, then in the Diocesan level, which opened the door for Father’s involvement with the Society in the Regional and National levels. Fr. Dan’s extra parochial activities also included work for the Diocesan Marriage Tribunal as an auditor.
Father Dan’s greatest surprise was when on December 27, 1990, Bishop Daniel Cronin,then the Bishop of Fall River, and now the retired Archbishop of Hartford, Conn. called Father and asked him to succeed Msgr. Gomes, who was going to retire, as the new Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities Appeal, where he served until his retirement on June 26, 1996. After a few weekends concelebrating at one of the weekend masses at Ascension Catholic Community, in Melbourne, Florida, Fr. Smith asked him if he would to preside at one of the weekend masses, and Fr. Dan agreed. Father Dan continued to preside over a weekend mass, and sometimes on weekdays as well,including a Confirmation mass the day before he passed.
Another area that Fr. Dan has been associated with is the Coast Guard Auxiliary. As a boating enthusiast he has been involved with the Coast Guard Auxiliary since November 1958. Since he came to Florida, he has been a member of South Brevard Flotilla 42, where he serves as the Operation Officer. In November 2008 he received the Fifty Year Auxiliary Membership Service Award signed by Rear Admiral R. S. Branham, District Commander, Seventh Coast Guard District. Father Dan also received a Fifty Year Plaque from the Coast Guard Auxiliary.
Funeral Arrangements Viewing and visitation: Thursday, May 24th 5:00 - 6:30 PM - 6:30 PM Vigil Service
Funeral Mass: Friday, May 25th at 11:30 AM with Bishop Noonan presiding.
Fr. Dan will be buried in his home diocese of Fall River, Massachusetts
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