Msgr. Charles Fahey, champion of the elderly, dies at 90

December 1, 2023

Msgr. Charles J. Fahey speaks during the Catholic Health Assembly in 2012. He was honored that year with CHA’s Lifetime Achievement Award for his advocacy work on behalf of the elderly.
Photo by Dan Z. Johnson/@CHA


Msgr. Charles J. Fahey, who helped open nursing homes and served on presidential councils as part of his lifelong advocacy for the frail elderly, has died.

Msgr. Fahey passed away Nov. 5 at his home at Nottingham Independent Living in Jamesville, New York. He was 90.

In 2012, CHA honored Msgr. Fahey with its  Lifetime Achievement Award.

As assistant director and later director of Catholic Charities in the Diocese of Syracuse, he helped open five diocesan nursing homes and create the Christopher Community, a nonprofit organization affiliated with Catholic Charities that developed specialized housing for the elderly and disabled.

Msgr. Fahey was a charter member of the Federal Council on Aging and served during the administrations of Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter. He chaired that group as well as the National Council on Aging, the American Society on Aging, the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging and Catholic Charities USA.

He served on the National Commission for Quality in Long Term Care and helped lead the White House Conferences on Aging in 1971, 1981 and 1995.

Msgr. Fahey represented the Holy See at the 1982 World Assembly on Aging; he was the U.S. delegate to the United Nations Second World Assembly on Aging in 2002. He served on the CHA board and the boards of numerous health systems and charities, including ArchCare, the Continuing Care Community of the Archdiocese of New York.

The funeral Mass for Msgr. Fahey was celebrated Nov. 10 in Liverpool, New York.


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