Msgr. William B. Smith, R.I.P.

The New York church lost another distinguished priest this weekend. Just over a month after the death of Avery Cardinal Dulles, and two weeks after the passing Richard John Neuhaus, Msgr. William B. Smith died after a short hospitalization. Msgr. Smith was a longtime professor of moral theology at St. Joseph’s Seminary in Yonkers, also known as Dunwoodie. He was a regular presence on EWTN, and can be seen here on YouTube speaking about "The Moral Magisterium of John Paul II."

I should also note Msgr. Smith was an old family friend who was on the altar when I was married and presided at the funeral of my brother. His homily on the latter occasion was a model of pastoral sensitivity and Scriptural insight and remains a source of comfort these many years later. May he rest in peace.

Tim Reidy

8 years ago
I had the pleasure of first listening to him on Catholic radio here in Sacramento, California. Such a pleasant, reasonable voice that explained the complexity of various moral issues I have never heard and not heard since. I am saddened by the loss that we in Catholic radio-dom have had but rejoice in the hope that he may be with his Maker. God rest his soul; I pray that Msgr. Smith may rest in peace.
8 years ago
What a sad loss for the Church! I had the honor of meeting Msgr. Smith at Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Scarsdale. In medical residency at the time, I had many questions on how to practice medicine in an ethical way that wouldn't compromise my faith. Msgr. Smith gladly gave an hour of his time to help answer them. A generous soul he was and I pray he will now rest in the peace of Christ.
8 years ago
I am saddened that Msgr. is no longer with us. He was my moral professor at Dunwoodie. He was a good priest; a good professor who was respected by his students and faculty. I can still hear him say “… found in Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, and clarified by the Magisterium.” Eternal rest grant to your faithful servant. Amen.
8 years ago
I am a parishioner of Immaculate Heart of Mary and have been going to this church for over 30 years. I remember as a small child not being too happy when Msgr. Smith was the celebrant since his homilies always seemed long. My mother and father were big fans of his and always told me and my 3 older sisters that we would one day appreciate what a great theologian he is and only want to hear his sermons. How right they were! Each week I always try to attend mass he celebrates and look forward to his insight to the Gospel and his correlation to modern day life. His dry humor was unmatched as well! I am so happy I attended his mass about 2 weeks ago; I believe the last mass he celebrated. His funeral today was so moving and beautiful. The sermon given by Msgr. James O'Connor was humorous and telling - a perfect testament to Msgr. Smith. It was wonderful to see the Archbishop and so many priests (at least 50 or more) on the altar celebrating the Eucharist. It was also very moving to have the Little Sisters of the Poor, Sisters of Charity and Sisters of Mercy in attendance as well. Despite the bad weather and dangerous roads, the church was filled with those who truly appreciated his faith, his humanity and the great works he has done for the Church. Sundays at IHM will not be the same without him.
8 years ago
It was my privilege to participate in the wedding ceremony of my niece, Linnea Knollmueller and Geof Smith along with Msgr. Bill on November 15. Geof was Bill's nephew. I met Bill for the first time at the rehearsal and chatted briefly. He did a masterful job conducting the wedding and gave a beautiful Biblically based homily. I regret that our meeting was so brief, but his ministry blessed me and my family and I am grateful for that. Peace to his memory.

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