An image of Father Scully was placed in the gathering space of St. Clement Church.
An image of Father Scully was placed in the gathering space of St. Clement Church.
To many of his brother-priests and friends, he was “John,” while to family members he was “Jack” or “Uncle Jack.” Others sometimes just called him “Scully.”

Though the ways in which people who had known, loved and served with Father John J. Scully varied, many at his funeral services shared that he will always be remembered as a man of joy who loved others, his priesthood and his God.

Father Scully, a retired priest of the Diocese, died July 30 in Morris Hall, Lawrenceville, at age 77 after a long illness.

Bishop David M. O’Connell, C.M., was principal celebrant of Father Scully’s Aug. 5 Mass of Christian Burial in St. Clement Church. Father Scully had served as pastor of the Matawan parish for from 1997 to 2015 when he retired from active ministry.

Nearly 50 priests from the Diocese concelebrated. Family members, including Father Scully’s three nieces, participated in the Mass, serving as readers and gift bearers.

Father Eugene Roberts, a close friend of Father Scully and pastor of neighboring St. Gabriel Church, Marlboro, delivered the homily. “He lived the priesthood with love and kindness,” Father Roberts shared. “His gift of humility was evident in how he related to people.”

Father Roberts recalled his friend as a youngster growing up in Trenton, and how “honored” he was to be a an altar boy in the city’s former Blessed Sacrament Parish.

“It was there that he heard the Lord call him to priesthood,” Father Roberts said.

He pointed to the prayer his friend chose when he was appointed pastor of Holy Innocents Parish, Neptune, in November 1982: “May we be instruments of the Lord’s peace by our care and friendship for one another.”

Father Roberts made special note of Father Scully’s great love for serving as chaplain of the Neptune and Matawan Police Departments.  “He always believed in an open-door policy to those in need,” Father Roberts said.

Acknowledging Father Scully’s 50 years in the Lord’s service, Father Roberts recited a special prayer for his friend: “The sun be warm and kind to you; The darkest night some star shines through; The dullest morn a radiance brew; And where dusk comes, God’s hand to you.”

“So may we sing no dirges, or toll no bells, our dear friend, Father John Scully, has gone home to God,” said Father Roberts.

Sentiments of Father Scully’s genuine joy were recalled by many following the Mass.

Father Thomas Vala, current pastor of St. Clement Parish, shared with the congregation that though they had known each other, it wasn’t until he was preparing for his arrival to St. Clement Parish as pastor and Father Scully was retiring, that they established a firm friendship and deep respect for one another.

“He was a good man and always had an encouraging, friendly word,” Father Vala said, extending appreciation to Father Scully for making the transition of pastors that much easier.

Captain Jeremiah Hourihan, commander of police operations for the Matawan Police Department, and Chief Thomas Falco, praised Father Scully for his support of the department and genuine concern he had for the community.

“He’s definitely part of our department,” Captain Hourihan said.

“He would patrol with me, he would ride in the car,” Chief Falco said with a smile.

Equally pleased to note that Father Scully had baptized both of his sons, Chief Falco recalled Father Scully as being a “a quiet man who had done a lot of good” for both St. Clement Parish and the Matawan community.

Father Scully’s death, Chief Falco said, “leaves a hole in the fabric of this town.”

See full obituary on Father Scully on>News>Diocese.