Saturday, August 18, 2007


Our classmate Dick Daly was one of nearly a dozen graduates of the Notre Dame High Class of 1957 to join the Brothers of Holy Cross. Dick and his pal Dan Zerfas invented an elaborate fantasy baseball game and spent many afternoon hours practicing their beloved game in nearby city parks.
Shortly after most of the graduates began their summer jobs, Richard left for Wisconsin for an orientation and then to Indiana and the Holy Cross novitiate. In the fall, he enrolled in Saint Edward's University in Austin, Texas, where in 1961 he was awarded a Bachelor's degree in English and History. Almost immediately Brother Richard was assigned to his first teaching position at Archbishop Curley High School in Miami, Florida. He began by teaching four classes, English, history, government and religion. A short time later, Dick was assigned the role of Athletic Director and Head Track Coach. Speaking of the track coaching joy, Dick said, “That was the one sport I didn’t know anything about,” he laughs, “but there were some good books in the library.”
Richard Daly remembers Miami as a “magic city” and the school staff as “a great group of people,” but his obvious energy and talents kept him from settling in. In 1964 was assigned as the first Vice Principal of the new coed Notre Dame Catholic High School in Wichita Falls, Texas. He was in charge of the "boys' department", no doubt using examples in discipline learned from Brother Robert Hampton of NDHS in Sherman Oaks. In a short time, he became the Principal of the entire school.
Richard remained in Wichita Falls until 1972, when he accepted the position of Assistant to the President of St. Edward's University and the Director of University Relations. His primary duties for the University included running the Annual Fund, overseeing alumni relations and raising funds for the college. He also mastered the skills needed to work with business and foundations.
According to a Holy Cross publication, "unlike most people in political life, Brother Richard Daly didn’t start out with a burning desire to work for legislative concerns. But like many men in our community, he discovered a new talent after years of rewarding work in other fields."
In 1974, Richard Daly was assigned to the staff of the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, with his chief assignment the monitoring of the Constitutional Convention of Texas. Much was at stake for private colleges in the reformation of Texas government. The job was essentially that of a lobbyist. When the Convention was concluded, an offer from the Texas Catholic Conference (TCC) followed, and he became Director of Education and Government Relations for the next five years. In April 1979, the state bishops requested that he serve as Executive Director.
Somewhere in the excitement of his legislative career, Richard Daly found the time to complete a Master of Arts in History from Santa Clara University in Northern California.
As an advocate for the interests of the Catholic Church in Texas, Richard spoke in 2002 about his plans, "We’re getting ready in the area of public policy concerns, for instance, we’d like kids in private schools to get the loan of free textbooks. We’re also supporting legislation to ban human cloning.”
About his unique position representing the Catholic Church, Richard said, “a lot of my colleagues in other conferences are lawyers or former judges and legislators, and they know the public policy side of it. They are very curious about how we operate here. Being a Brother has made it easier for me to do the non-public policy side of this job, because Brothers are more focused on ministry.”
In the last five years working for the Catholic Bishops of Texas, Richard saw the State's demographics change dramatically. "The transfer of corporate workers from other parts of the country and Texas’ growing Hispanic population has increased the state’s Roman Catholic population to 25 percent." This growing Catholic presence increased Brother Richard’s responsibilities considerably. Brother Richard found himself speaking across the State of Texas
In an interview Brother Daly commented, “[In the space of two weeks] the Peace and Justice Commission at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in El Paso has asked me to talk about the broad spectrum of social justice issues of the Church,” he explains. “Catholic Charities is hosting a luncheon of 27 elected officials in Houston, where I’ll discuss the role of TCC and our legislative agenda. And in Fort Worth activists from the Dallas and Fort Worth dioceses are gathering for an all-day workshop on the death penalty, and I’ll provide a verbal snapshot of the legislature, where we have a new Lieutenant Governor and Speaker of the House, and a first-time Republican majority in the House and Senate.”
In 2006 Brother Richard Daly retired from his position with the Texas Catholic Bishops Conference.


Gerald R. Fecht said...

Note from Tony Fadale

Bro. Richard Daly was in town last week and he stayed at my home. He had not seen the blog yet (his computer at home has some technology glitch so he can't get in). He was very impressed. He can't figure out where you got the information on him.

Gerald R. Fecht said...

I gleaned all of the information in Richard's biography from the Internet. Google reveals it all!