Foley was the son of George F. and Ellen Q. Foley of Worcester. He attended St Charles College in Ellicott City, Maryland and earned a bachelor's degree in 1952 and a licentiate in 1956 from St Mary's Seminary in Baltimore.
Foley was ordained a priest for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Washington on May 26, 1956. He was appointed by Pope John Paul II to be the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Richmond in Virginia on May 3, 1986. He was ordained to the episcopacy on June 27, 1986. Pope John Paul II later appointed Bishop Foley to be the Third Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Birmingham on March 22, 1994, and was installed on May 13. He retired on May 10, 2005, and was then elected Diocesan Administrator on May 19.
While serving as Bishop, Foley also served on the Board of Governors of the Eternal Word Television Network, and hosted a live weekly call-in program, "Pillars of Faith", on the worldwide network. At his retirement in October 2007 he was succeeded by Robert Baker as Bishop.
Foley spent his final years at the St John Vianney Residence for Priests on Hanover Circle in Highland Park. He died of complications from cancer in April 2018. He is interred on the grounds of St Paul's Cathedral.
|Bishop of Birmingham
- "David Edward Foley" (December 21, 2007) Wikipedia - accessed December 31, 2007
- Garrison, Greg (April 18, 2018) "Former Catholic bishop of Birmingham dies." The Birmingham News
- "Most Reverend David E. Foley" obituary (April 25, 2018) The Birmingham News
- David Foley at Catholic-Hierarchy.org