Father Richard John Neilson

CHATHAM, Mass. — Father Richard John Neilson, 92, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of New York, died July 5 on Cape Cod, where he has resided for the past 19 years.

Father Neilson was born in Glasgow, Scotland on Feb. 8, 1924, a son to Frederick and Mary Judith (McClouran) Neilson. He maintained a very close relationship with his aunts, uncles and cousins who were influential in maintaining his well-being. He attended schools in Scotland, St. Peter College, St. Mary College and graduated from St. Aloysius College.

Father Neilson immigrated to the United States in 1946, settling first in Wilmington, Del. where he worked at DuPont Corporation. It was here he became a citizen of the U.S. in 1956. In 1963 he moved to New York City where he worked for Grundfeldt in finance for several years on Wall Street. In the early 70s he and three other men established a Wall Street business, becoming very successful corporate businessmen. 

Being a deeply pious man and inspired by Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman, he set out to live a chaste life in conformity to what he believed the Lord’s Will was for his life. After much encouragement from the late Msgr. William Smith, S.T.D. and Father Benedict Groeschel, founder of C.F.R.’s, he was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 8, 1983, the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception, for the Archdiocese of New York. The late Bishop Joseph Thomas O’Keefe ordained Father Neilson at St. John the Evangelist Church in New York City.

He served in two parishes of the Archdiocese of New York in New York City: St. Peter Parish, Barclay Street, and Our Savior Parish, Fifth Avenue.

In 1997, Father Neilson retired to Cape Cod. In his retirement Father Neilson served Holy Redeemer Parish of Chatham and Our Lady of Grace Chapel of South Chatham. 

He is survived by several cousins.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on July 13 on the grounds of Marycrest at the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, 164 Quaker Hill Road, Monroe, N.Y. Burial followed at Our Lady Assumption Cemetery at Marycrest.

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