The Deacon's Bench

Dallas is mourning the death of a man who had three distinct callings:

The Rev. Paul F. Gray had a ministry that spanned more than 40 years and included service as a chaplain for the armed forces, the Dallas Police Department and the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

He was first ordained as an Episcopal priest, but for the past 24 years he served as the second married man in Dallas to be ordained a Catholic priest.

Father Gray, 73, died Friday in his sleep at his Dallas home. He had numerous medical problems.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. today at All Saints Catholic Church in Dallas, where he was associate pastor.

There will be a viewing of the body from 10 to 11 a.m. today at the church. Dallas police officers will hold a flag ceremony in his honor at 10:30 a.m. outside the church. He will be buried with military honors at Restland Memorial Park.

“He lived his life serving God, his church and his family,” said Frank Milliken, an All Saints deacon.

Father Gray worked hard to demonstrate that a married man could minister to Catholics, said his wife, Judy Gray of Dallas.

“That’s what he concentrated on during the last years of his life,” she said.

Father Gray was beloved by those he served during the 18 years he was at All Saints, Mrs. Gray said.

“The question of his being married was never even brought up,” she said. “He was the perfect example.”

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