Fr Hanley was pastor of St. Joseph R.C. Church in West Milford, New Jersey, died Friday, NorthJersey.com reports.
The Brooklyn-born friar served at St. Joseph's for 18 years, the culmination of a pastoral and teaching career that included stops in Bolivia, Buffalo, New York City and St. Catherine of Bologna R.C. Church in Ringwood.
Father Hanley wrote 13 books, including "The Last Human Face: Franz Stock, A Priest in Hitler's Army." Stock, a German chaplain, ministered to condemned soldiers in French prisons during World War II.
"He was so good to the men who were going to be killed and to their families," Father Hanley said in an interview with the newsletter of the Holy Name Province, the largest group of Franciscan friars in the U.S. "He prepared approximately 1,000 men for their deaths before a firing squad. He was just being a good priest at the time."
Father Hanley wrote "The Last Human Face" in the 1980s but the biography was not published until this year. The impetus was the Vatican's examination of Stock's cause for beatification, the first step to possible sainthood.
Significantly, Father Stock was close to Marc Sangnier, founder of the Sillon movement, which was the major prototype for Cardijn's YCW movement.
At his death, Father Hanley was working on a book about the 109-year history of the Holy Name Province. He began the effort seven years ago but was slowed by colon cancer, shoulder fractures and other health troubles, Holy Name Province Today newsletter reported early this year.
The Rev. Boniface Hanley, teacher, author, dies at 85 (NorthJersey.com)
Author Boniface Hanley Goes Online (Franciscan Friars, Holy Name Province)
Rev. Boniface F. Hanley dead at 85 (NorthJersey.com)