Father Bly And The Legacy He Leaves Behind

Photo courtesy of ABC 57 News


Ellie Curtis

Thursday, January 26th, the Saint Joseph High School and South Bend communities were shocked by the passing of Father Walter Bly’s passing. In the time after his death, both of these communities have come together to remember Father Bly and the legacy he leaves behind.

Father Bly began teaching at Saint Joseph High School over 50 years ago, as a theology teacher and freshman football coach. Bly moved from out east where he attended Fordham University and settled in the Diocese of Fort Wayne/South Bend. He was a long time member of Corpus Christi parish.

Those who knew Father Bly say his commitment to faith, students, and coaching is what made him a special and influential figure in the community. He is remembered as someone who understood his students on a deeper level, and could always get through to them if they needed help. Whether it be some simple advice, or just needing someone to talk to, many who knew Father Bly recall how he loved to talk to his students and his influence on their lives: especially those who were on his beloved football team.

In 2012, when the new Saint Joseph High School was being constructed, the school named its new football field for the beloved football coach, theology teacher, and chaplain. Father Bly Field at Leighton Stadium proudly honors the legacy he left behind at Saint Joseph High School. Even after retiring, he continued to watch his favorite sport from the sidelines – and was famous for riding in on his golf cart these past few decades.

His legacy and memory will live on with those who knew him, and the landmarks Saint Joseph High School has given him. Whether it be his football field thousands congregate on to watch his favorite sport, or the desk from his classroom that sits outside of the schools chapel, Father Bly will always be remembered by those whose lives he touched. He is truly a legend in the community.