The Star-Ledger Obituaries
1931 – 2019
Anne lived a rich and full life with people, books, writings, pets, and a home she loved. She leaves behind friends that she had since childhood and through all the stages of her life. Anne was adventurous and fun and had a great wit and laugh. She was a wonderful friend and daughter. She loved travel, camping with her parents and friends, and her days at the beach.
Her life included meeting St. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Pope John Paul II, Cardinals, and other famous people, but it was talking to and writing about people in her weekly editorial column that she most enjoyed – learning about the lives of others.
Anne was predeceased by her parents, William and Kathryn Buckley and her aunts and uncles. She enjoyed her last years staying in her home with the help of two wonderful aides, Nancy and Rodeline, and her friends.
The following is her obituary as it appears in Catholic New York:
Anne M. Buckley, who served as editor in chief of Catholic New York from 1991 to 2000 and had been one of the founders of the archdiocesan newspaper a decade earlier, died April 23. She was 87.
Ms. Buckley, along with Gerald M. Costello, the founding editor in chief, and Arthur McKenna, the general manager, were the team that established Catholic New York under Cardinal Terence Cooke in 1981.
During the next two decades, first as managing editor and then as editor in chief, Ms. Buckley helped to establish Catholic New York as the standard bearer among Catholic diocesan weeklies in the United States.
At her retirement in late 2000, Ms. Buckley said she found it rewarding to be part of a newspaper well-received from the start “by its readers and its peers in the Catholic and general press, a fact that enhanced the influence of the Church and contributed to its mission of evangelization.”
“The job never lost its excitement,” Ms. Buckley said at the time. “I will look back on it all with a measure of satisfaction.”
In 2001, Ms. Buckley received the Catholic Press Association’s highest honor, the St. Francis de Sales Award, which she called “a great honor and a beautiful crown to my career.” Her award nomination noted she had made “many personal sacrifices to assure that Catholic New York remained a flagship paper for the Catholic press.”
Ms. Buckley, ever the editor, said the first-place honors for general excellence and other prizes CNY took home in the CPA journalism competition that year were “even more precious because they represent the team effort that has gone into making Catholic New York the top diocesan paper in the country.”
She was a “lifer” in the Catholic Press, having served on the staff of The Advocate, newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark, for 29 years, beginning as a reporter right out of college and rising to managing editor, before coming to Catholic New York.
She was known for an elegant writing style most commonly evidenced in her Editor’s Report columns, which were regularly cited for distinction as well as being popular with CNY readers.
Her service as editor in chief fell almost entirely during Cardinal John O’Connor’s tenure as Archbishop of New York.
In a column about the cardinal, written at the time of his 80th birthday in January 2000, just months before his death that May, Ms. Buckley captured him this way:
“Cardinal O’Connor has looked for the best in all of us. It’s not always easy to do that kind of job. But those of whom he has expected much are those who have grown to love him most. It showed during the 80th birthday celebrations.”
The column was headlined, “New York Loves a Winner,” a phrase she undoubtedly selected. Ms. Buckley was an exacting editor,
always searching for a better way to tell the story, another question to ask or one more lead to pursue.
Patrice Liquori, who interned under Ms. Buckley in the summers of 1986-1987, during her student days at Manhattan College, and later was a freelance writer for Catholic New York, called her mentor’s death “a true loss.”
“I can’t think of a time in my professional working life when Anne wasn’t a part of it,” Ms. Liquori said. “She was tough, but fair.”
In 1994, the Ladies of Charity of the Archdiocese of New York honored Ms. Buckley with their St. Louise de Marillac award. Cardinal O’Connor, writing in his own “From My Viewpoint” column in CNY, said Ms. Buckley’s designation “was no mean feat for any newspaper editor in chief, secular or religious.”
The cardinal went on to say that he did not universally agree with CNY’s editorials, or its news judgment. However, his overall assessment was that Ms. Buckley published “a top-drawer, interesting, readable, sometimes provocative, always thoroughly Catholic newspaper.”
He ended by citing Ms. Buckley as a “true professional, true Catholic, true newswoman.”
She served as President of the Catholic Institute of the Press of New Jersey and Director of its journalism School for High School Students. In 1999 Caldwell University awarded her an Honorary Degree in Humane Letters, in 1967 the Alumna of the Year Award and in 1987 the coveted Veritas Award.
Immaculate Conception High School, her Alma Mater, inducted her into their Hall of Fame.
Ms. Buckley also served on the Board of Directors of The Christophers and the Advisory of the Catholic Spirit of the Diocese of Metuchen.
In lieu of flowers, donations to St. John’s Feed the Hungry Program or St. Hubert Animal Welfare Center would be appreciated.
For many years, Ms. Buckley was the caregiver to her elderly mother, Kathryn, who predeceased her.
Published in Star-Ledger on Apr. 26, 2019
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Athanasidy, Patrice Liquori (MC1988)
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