Neighbors Schools

Community Mourns Loss Of Catholic High School’s ‘Brother Larry’


Brother Larry Hilferty at the Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Bristol Township earlier this year.
Credit: Tom Sofield/NewtownPANow.com

A beloved member of the Conwell-Egan Catholic High School family passed away suddenly this week.

Brother Larry Hilferty, 67, passed away Thursday at the Saint Francis Friary in Cambria County. His family said his passing was sudden.

Hilferty came to Conwell-Egan in 1984 and educated high schoolers on religion and theology over the years. At the end of the 2016-2017 school year, he was reassigned to Saint Francis Friary as the Franciscan Friars reorganized their operations. Along with Hilferty, Rev. Fidelis Weber was also reassigned due to the organizational change.

Just this past March, Hilferty served as one of the Bucks County St. Patrick’s Day Parade’s grand marshals as it marched through Levittown.

Bill Burns, a Bishop Egan Catholic High School graduate, former basketball coach, and current director of institutional advancement, remembers Hilferty starting at the Bristol Township Catholic high school in 1984.

“Brother Larry was a very strong man of faith and known for his sense of humor,” Burn recalled to LevittownNow.com. “He would say the prayers before basketball games and moderate the dances.”

‎Hilferty’s sister-in-law, Cindi Collins Hilferty‎, said he was “one of the kindest, most compassionate people I have ever known.”

“He was loved and respected as a teacher at Conwell-Egan High School, he was a cherished uncle to his nephews and nieces, and a loving son to his Mother. Many of his former students, friends, and family members have posted their memories and condolences on his Facebook page. This was an unexpected loss for our family,” she added.

“I remember being at Friendly’s as a boy and you teaching me silly table tricks, picking water up with my straw. You had a true lightness of being and a slight of magic about your character. To me, you felt like someone who walked out of one my storybooks. Your voice had a gentle quality of timeless wisdom,” Hilferty’s nephew Bill posted to social media.

Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick, a native of Middletown’s Levittown section, recalled Hilferty and called him one of his heroes.

“Brother Larry did not have a bad bone in his body. He was literally the happiest human being I have ever had the privilege to know,” the congressman said.

Fitzpatrick recalled starting the Irish Club at then-Bishop Egan with the encouragement of Hilferty.

“My classmates and I loved Brother Larry, and he will be greatly missed,” said Fitzpatrick’s spokesperson Pat Long, a Conwell-Egan graduate from Bensalem.

“Brother Larry was a much loved teacher of Theology,  a strong man of faith who lived a life emulating St. Francis of Assisi. He was known for his humility as well as his humor. He spent countless hours supporting students at a variety of events, from athletics to prom,” the catholic high school posted on Facebook.

Burns said he learned the news when an administrator arrived to a Thursday morning upset after hearing the news.

“We were obviously very sad and shocked when we heard,” he said.

The catholic high school has organized a memorial at their on-site chapel on Saturday. November 17 at 5:30 p.m., Burns stated.

“Brother Larry is unquestionably in heaven, smiling down on us just as he smiled to us every single day he was alive,” Fitzpatrick said.


About the author

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield

Tom Sofield has covered news in Bucks County for five years for both newspaper and online publications. In 2012, Tom was honored at the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association Foundation's Keystone Press Awards for his coverage of President Obama's visit to Falls Township in 2011. When he's not covering news in the area, Tom enjoys checking out the newest restaurants and bars, exploring forgotten places of industry in the area, going to local parks and spending time with his friends and family. If there's one thing you should know about Tom, he is a local news junkie through and through. Email: tom@newtownpanow.com Phone: 215-431-1001