In Memoriam: Deacon John Fodale, 70

JPMC Marketer Became Catholic Deacon

Deacon John Fodale, who became a Catholic deacon after retiring from a career with JPMorgan Chase, died September 16, 2011. Fodale, 70, was ordained to the permanent diaconate May 13, 1995 and served at St. Catherine of Sienna, Franklin Square, NY.

Fodale was vice president of direct marketing for JPMorgan Chase when he retired, having begun his career on Wall Street as a messenger.

Fodale began at St. Catherine of Sienna as operations manager. He continued to serve in various capacities even after he was diagnosed, in November of 2007, with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also referred to as Lou Gehrig’s disease. On two occasions, invited and encouraged by his pastor, Deacon Fodale preached from his wheelchair. Prior to his illness, Deacon Fodale served as outreach coordinator and was active in RCIA, baptism preparation and as a spiritual director.

Some of Deacon Fodale’s homilies and insight into his spirituality are contained in his book,
The Skipping Stone, published in 2009.

In an ALS Association Greater New York Chapter blog, “A New Chapter of Life,” he shared: “I began to understand that even in my condition of being homebound, I could still help others by sharing my experiences with them and pointing out how valuable their lives are. In spite of any handicap, or whatever we are going through, we can always help others with a kind word or by sharing a feeling. For us, it’s not the end of life but a new chapter.”

He is survived by his wife, Hannah; his three children, Edward, John, and Lynn; his three grandchildren, Christina, Dana and Emily; and his brother, Robert.

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