Memories of Father Ford


The bio of Father George Barry Ford (CNY, July 15) struck a chord with me even though he was before my time, and I wasn't a New Yorker.

My mother graduated from Barnard College in 1935 and knew him well as the Columbia University chaplain, so I was raised listening to her loving memories of him. He was an exceptional priest. Yes, he did lock horns with Cardinal Hayes more than once. However, the cardinal was evidently astute enough to appreciate the vital value of such a clergyman in his ministry to the bright young intellectuals of Columbia as they grew through the period of their lives (as many of us do at that age) of rebelling against the Church.

My mother humorously pointed out that the archbishop was not the only figure that Father Ford had to walk a fine line with—one of her Barnard classmates was the niece of then-Pope Pius XI, so a Ford story or two may have reached that exalted quarter! I would hope that our universities of today are blessed with spiritual directors of such quality.

Thomas Curtin
Cortlandt Manor