Photo: Father Nuss hears confession during a men’s conference in 2009. Gregory A. Shemitz photo.
A wake will be held for Father Francis Bernard Nuss this Sunday, April 12, at St. Matthew’s Church in Dix Hills. The funeral will be Monday, April 13 at 11 a.m. at St. Matthew’s.
The wake will be held April 12 from 3 – 5 p.m. in St. Matthew’s Chapel (35 N. Service Road Dix Hills, 631-499-8520) The Mass of Transferral will be celebrated that evening at 7:30 p.m. in the Church. The Funeral Mass will be Monday, April 13, at 11 a.m. in the church. Burial will be in Holy Rood Cemetery, Westbury.
Father Nuss died April 8. He was 80 years old. He was born in Flushing, Queens, and grew up in St. Aloysius parish, Great Neck, where he attended the parish school and then Xavier High School, Manhattan.
“We had three Jesuit friends who were close to my family,” Father Nuss told The Long Island Catholic newspaper in 2011 on the occasion of his 50th anniversary of ordination. “Their dedication and their availability impressed me… What I learned from them was a commitment to bringing the sacraments to people and the people to the sacraments.”
Following graduation from the College of Holy Cross, Father Nuss went to St. Bernard’s Seminary in Rochester. He was ordained at St. Agnes Cathedral, Rockville Centre, June 3, 1961.
His first assignment was Our Lady of the Snow Church, Blue Point. He then served at Our Lady of Grace Church in West Babylon (1964-1971); St. Hugh of Lincoln, Huntington Station (1971-1980); Chaplain, Suffolk County Fire Chiefs Council (1980-1982); St. Matthew, Dix Hills, (1982-1986); Chaplain, Good Samaritan Nursing Home, Sayville (1986-1995); chaplain while in residence at St. John the Evangelist, Center Moriches (1995-2000) St. Matthew, (2000-2008) He retired to St. Pius X Residence in 2008.
Father Nuss was also known for his work in the pro-life movement and as chaplain for The Knights of Columbus and the Holy Name Society.
On his golden jubilee, Father Nuss was honored by the Knights of Columbus at a dinner. “He is a wonderful man who everybody loves and has served the Church in so many ways — as a chaplain for the Knights and for the Holy Name Society. He visits people in the hospitals at a moment’s notice,” said Keith Wilson, who was president of the association of former Knights of Columbus district deputies in Nassau and Suffolk, which sponsored the event.
Wilson also praised Father Nuss’ involvement with the Life Center of Long Island and the Long Island Coalition for Life. The late Jerry Higgins, then-chairman of the Long Island Coalition for Life, described Father Nuss as “a sweet, big bear of a man,” who has been generous with his time for the coalition. “He was always there” at marches and vigils at abortion facilities.
Reflecting on his priesthood on his anniversary, Father Nuss said, “I was most happy participating in the divine sacraments.”