The Rev. J. Thomas Connery, who served as pastor at Immaculate Conception church in Glenville from 1990 to 2007, died Thursday night after his car was caught in a flash flood. He was 82.
Connery, a longtime priest in the Albany Roman Catholic Diocese, was traveling to deliver Mass for people in Herkimer and Newport when he was caught in flash floods that have ravaged parts of the region Thursday and Friday.
"We are saddened to learn of Father Thomas Connery's tragic death, but we know that he died as he lived -- serving the people of God without fear or concern for himself," Bishop Edward Scharfenberger, head of the Albany Diocese, said in a news release.
Connery served as a priest for 56 years and was just recently assigned to work as a sacramental minister for Saints Anthony and Joseph Church in Herkimer and St. John the Baptist in Newport.
Born July 26, 1937, in Troy, Connery was ordained a priest at Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Albany on May 25, 1963. His first assignment was at St. Mary's Church in Little Falls before spending eight years ministering in Alaska.
Connery returned to the Albany area in the late-1970s, serving as hospital chaplain at Albany Medical Center and returned to Little Falls before taking the Glenville position in 1990.
Funeral arrangements were still being made, according to the Albany Diocese.