1932 - Foundations

The first three members were: Fr PJ Whitney, who was appointed Superior General, his cousin Fr Patrick Francis Whitney, who had worked in Nigeria and Fr Francis Hickey, a priest who had spent some time in Australia. They took the oath of membership on St. Patrick's Day, 1932, the day that Ireland was celebrating the 1,500th Anniversary of the coming of St Patrick to Ireland.

 

The initial concentration of the Society men was in Calabar and soon after in Ogoja, in the South East of Nigeria. Over the years the numbers of priests increased greatly. The particular concern of the priests was primary evangelization, the preaching of Christianity to those who had not heard of it before. There was also a strong commitment to the work of education and, in cooperation with the Medical Missionaries of Mary, care for those suffering from leprosy. James Moynagh was appointed Bishop of Calabar in 1947. Thomas McGettrick was appointed Bishop of Ogoja in 1955 and Bishop of Abakaliki in 1973. Ned Fitzgibbon became Prefect Apostolic of Minna, in the north of Nigeria in 1964. In these years the Society flourished in Nigeria.

 

The secession of Biafra in 1967, and the subsequent war with Federal Nigeria, were dark days for the country. Members of the Society stayed throughout the war and suffered alongside the people, which was much appreciated: a very authentic Christian witness.

 

In recent years, as the Society ages, the number of men working in Nigeria has declined. At the same time Nigeria remains very important to the future of the Society, as it is one of the centres for the formation of future members of the Society. The initial formation house was established in Ijebu-Ode in 1997. To date thirteen young Nigerians have been ordained as members of St Patrick's Missionary Society and have ministered in Nigeria, Kenya, Brazil and South Africa.

 

Over the years, Diocesan volunteer priests have made a huge contribution to the work of the Society in Nigeria, providing a close link with the origins of the Society.

 

In 2016, members are still working in the Archdioceses of Lagos, Abuja and Calabar, in the Dioceses of Bauchi, Calabar, Ijebu-Ode and Minna and in the Apostolic Vicariate of Bomadi.

 

 

Kenya

St Patrick’s
P.O. Box 25269

Lavington 00603

Nairobi

Kenya

Tel:

+254 20 4343189

or

+254 790494655

Email:

spsclt@spms.org

Ireland

St Patrick’s
Kiltegan
Co Wicklow

W91 Y022
Ireland

Tel:

+353 59 647 3600

Fax:

+353 59 647 3529

Email:

office@spms.ie

England

20 Beauchamp Road
East Molesey
Surrey
KT8 0PA
England

Tel:

+44 208 979 1890

Fax:

+44 208 941 8221

Email:

office@stpatricksuk.co.uk

Scotland

St Patrick’s
8, Abercromby Place
Stirling
FK8 2QP
Scotland

Tel:

+44 1786 447 722

Fax:

+44 1786 464 064

Email:

stpatsbuch@aol.com

 

USA

St Patrick Fathers
8422 West Windsor Avenue
Chicago, IL 60656-4252
USA

Tel:

+1 773 887 4741

Fax:

+1 773 887 3654

Email:

spsil@spms.org

www.stpatrickfathers.com

 

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