A community filled with gratefulness for his service, care and love is now mourning a man who gave so much of himself. On Thanksgiving morning, Monsignor John Edward Delendick succumbed to his battle with pancreatic cancer at the age of 74. It seems fitting that he perished on a day devoted to gratitude.
On November 29-30, church members, FDNY and Canarsie residents gathered at the Shrine Church of St. Jude, at 1677 Canarsie Road, to pay respects to the man we all once listened to give us hope. The retired priest and former FDNY Chaplain was honored by his brothers and sisters in only a way that he deserved.
In a statement released by Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, she said, “Monsignor Delendick was a spiritual constant and staple in our Department, in good times and in bad. Immediately after the immeasurable losses of September 11th, he stepped up to provide guidance and comfort to FDNY members and other first responders. In his decades-long career as a chaplain with the FDNY, he was a pillar at Department funerals, graduations, promotions and memorials. He was always quick with a joke and a kind word and had a way of making everyone feel special. He was beloved, and we are heartbroken over his passing.”
John Edward Delendick was born on September 4, 1949, in Queens Village. He was one of four children.
He began serving as an altar attendant in the 4th grade, around 9 or 10 years old.
On February 12, 1977, at age 28, he made his sacraments to become a priest:
St. Catherine of Genoa Church, East Flatbush (1977 – 1982)
Good Shepherd Church, Marine Park (1982 – 1986)
St. Michael-St. Edward Parish, Fort Greene (1982 – 1991)
St. Agnes Church, Carroll Gardens (1993 – 1999)
St. Michael Church, Sunset Park (1994 – 2004)
Shrine Church of Saint Jude, Canarsie (2004 – 2023)
Appointed Chaplain for the FDNY on May 15, 1996
September 11, 2001: survived the collapse of the Twin Towers. Over the next eight months, he would console families at the site and officiate memorial and funeral services.
On February 8, 2003, he was appointed by Pope John Paul II as “Chaplain of His holiness.”
Bishop Robert Brennan, Bishop of Brooklyn, was the main celebrant at the funeral mass for Msgr. Delendick, held at the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph in Prospect Heights on December 1st. The mass was followed by a burial at St. John Cemetery in Middle Village.
Making a Difference!
“Monsignor John was a man of absolute wisdom and integrity. During my years as an altar service for the church, he always reminded me that he believed in me and made sure I knew he was proud of me and our work. On Sundays, Monsignor John would lead mass; he always made it to a point to connect with children using his incredibly witty sense of humor. He told interesting stories that helped us understand the message he was trying to convey. I am forever grateful that I had the opportunity to serve under him. I will miss him terribly, but I am thankful for the conversations and lessons he taught me. I will carry them with me for the rest of my life.”
– Nicholas Vargas, St. Jude Altar Attendant 2012 – 2016
In the Canarsie Courier’s last interview with Msgr. John earlier this year, he was asked about mortality and how we can cope. His reply was, “Remember people in living, not in death.” It was a song by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross, “Thanks For The Memories,” that would remind him of his relationship with others.
“Thank you to a great 18 years to the community of Canarsie.”
– Monsignor John Edward Delendick