Father Bill Finch, R.I.P.

silver bill finch
silver bill finch

Please say a prayer for the repose of Rev. Father G. William Finch.

He died of a sudden heart attack shortly after saying the Mass of the Lord’s Supper last night.

Fr. Finch was pastor of St. Raphael parish in Rockville, Md. I was his parochial vicar for my first fourteen months as a priest.

Teaching me how to be a priest was an enormous trial for him, because I was very difficult and obtuse. But Fr. Finch endured the task with kind patience. He succeeded in teaching me a great deal in spite of my ineptitude.

Father’s sudden death is a blow to all of his brother priests and to his people in Rockville. May the angels lead him to parardise, and may the good Lord console us who ache with grief.


21 thoughts on “Father Bill Finch, R.I.P.

  1. Fr White came across your blog while looking for info on Fr Finch. I just wanted to say that my wife and I sill talk about your sermons. They were the most intellectually stimulating and well organized I have heard. Thank You! You are making a difference….

  2. Father Mark, Please receive our condolences for your loss and be assured of our prayers for Fr. Finch and the parish at St. Raphael.

  3. Fr. White,

    Like George above, I found your blog seeking information about what had been released on Fr. Finch’s death. This was all very sudden and we are still in shock. If you are able to attend the Funeral Mass on Tuesday, I will see you there. We miss you and your homilies.

    Jose & Sharon

  4. Prayers for Father Finch–I enjoyed meeting him shortly after you were ordained. I’ll have to search for the obit . . . he seemed quite young . . .

  5. My deepest condolences on the passing of Fr Finch. As a parishioner and CCD assistant at St Raphaels, I can say that he will be sorely missed. We are praying for him.

  6. I am a student of Mrs. Grimm in CCD. I would always see Father Finch in the hallways and visiting our class talking about confirmation. He has visited us a few times as I was in CCD for 4 years. I think the last time we saw him was during Lent. He told us stories about his pets and everything that occurred as he was going through his years in seminary. I just wanted to say he was very nice,loving,gentle, and funny. We will miss him truly. May his soul rest in peace.

  7. Father White, our heart felt condolences to you on the passing of Fr. Finch. You as well as the parishioners at St. Raphaels are in our thoughts and prayers. What a beautiful time to go home to the Lord.

  8. Father White,

    I just saw your blog after attending the Vigil Mass for Father Bill. I have never seen so many priests in one parish Church before. It was holy and impressive. I agree with the other commenters too. We are in shock and will miss Father Bill, greatly, but we still miss you too. Come back and see us some time. Father Bill’s passing reminds us that to be Catholic, you have to live your life ready to die any moment.

  9. Father Finch was my pastor at St. Ambrose Church in Cheverly, MD during my adolescence. I remember his vibrancy, love for children, and passion for life. He loved to dance. His church was a place where all people felt welcome. He was able to reach out and relate to parishioners of all ages. Father Finch encouraged me to explore my spirituality. Please watch over us from heaven. You will be missed dearly.
    ~Michael Heer

  10. We first met Father Finch when he was the assistant priest at St. Mary’s in Rockville, MD. We would have him over for dinner and he always allowed our son, Blaise, to be the first to be blessed on St. Blaise’s Feast Day in February. I just saw him about three weeks ago at Shady Grove Hospital when I was visiting a friend. It was great catching up with him and I remember thinking that we HAD to make time to have him over or at least attempt to – despite his busy schedule. Of course, now I wish I had acted on my good intention. Our family has been thinking of him constantly and have been praying for his peaceful, eternal rest. We will surely miss Father Finch!

    Mark, Frances, Blaise and REbecca Railey

  11. My dear brother, I love him very much. We called him Georgie. He was two years older than me. He had such a love for life, knowledge and history. I was blessed and honored to have him for a brother. I will truly miss him but will remember the joyest times we had together laughing, dancing and sharing memories.
    Susan (sister)

  12. To Fr. Finch’s Family, Fr. White,
    I offer my deepest condolences on the passing of Fr Finch. I never met Fr. Finch but, as a president of 206 Tours, I know that he was adored and loved by pilgrims who went with him on a pilgrimage to Italy which took place in November last year. We are praying for him.
    Milanka Lachman and entire staff of 206 Tours

  13. Thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of Fr Bill we’ll never forget how he welcomed us to St Raphaels and made us feel at home.Last time I saw him on the morning of his birthday he was so happy surrounded by the childern and people who loved him and for that I’m grateful

  14. Such a wonderful showing of respect and love for our pastor! Mass today was sad and very reflective and while we are feeling such loss, we believe Fr. Bill’s presence will always be felt in our church and in the school he loved so much. Every time I have a glass of red wine, I will think of him. Thank you to his family for sharing him with us.
    It was wonderful to see you Fr. White. Your homilies and reverence during the consecration of the mass always inspired me. Your “holy” minute at the elevation of the host always brings to mind the prayer of St. Thomas Aquinas, Devoutly I Adore You, Hidden Deity. We miss you and will always keep you in our prayers.

    Carol & Vince

  15. I also remember Father Bill as Gerogie. We grew up together from birth. My mom went to school with his parents, Barbara and George. I cannot tell you the memories I will carry with me forever. Fun times, youth retreats, school dances as well as family get togethers. Georgie holds a very special place in my heart as does his entire family. May God give you strength and wrap you in his love during this time. My dear…dear friend, rest in peace.

  16. Can someone please tell me where Fr. Finch is buried? I would like to visit his grave.


  17. I lived in Potomac just one year with my family. That was the year Hurricane Katrina hit. Father Finch one Sunday was so full of enthusiam about his great idea to rent a bus and drive down to New Orleans to bring these poor newly homeless people back to Maryland. I was so impressed by that; I never forgot him for it.
    I especially remember what moved him to do it. He said the sight of a hungry and dehydrated little black child, wishing more than anything to have an ice cream cone, made him want to go find a child like that and give them one from a Howard Johnson’s on the bus ride back!! Amazing Man he was!!!
    And yes he did rent that bus and saved some people.

  18. I was a classmate of Fr. Bill in the seminary at Borromeo in Wickliffe, Ohio between 1982 and 1984. He was one year ahead of me and he was both a big brother and truly a good friend to me during my years there. I remember when he found out he was chosen by Bishop Hickey to study in Rome during his senior year at Borromeo and he spent his last days there studying Italian in order to prepare for his studies in Rome. I last saw Bill in 2002 during a trip to D.C. with my family and he hosted me and my family to a nice Italian style lunch and a tour of the parish grounds. I was so proud of Bill and yet I missed that good friend I had found during my seminary years. I am certain he is at peace with our lord and is keeping Him in good company with his wit and humour.

    With best regards, his old friend John

  19. I just ran across your website. Strange story how I cam by it. However I am praying for your church and Rev. Finches family. I knew him not as far as I know. However just looking at your website I feel he must of known God in a mighty way.

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