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Remembering Our Deceased
Rest In Peace
Eternal rest grand unto them,
O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
Fr James (Jim) English
James (Jim) English was born on the 9th of September 1938 to Patrick English and his wife Kate (née Mackey) of Hollyhill, Newport, Co Tipperary. He received his primary education at Toor National School. For his secondary education he attended the Cistercian College, Roscrea, Co Tipperary as a boarder from 1953 to 1958. He sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1958 and came to Kiltegan in September. He completed the Spiritual Year in June 1959 and went to St Patrick’s, Douglas, Cork for a two year philosophy course. He returned to Kiltegan in September 1961 for his studies in theology and along with seventeen classmates he was ordained priest on April 18th 1965 (Easter Sunday) in St Mary’s Church, Killamoat. The ordaining prelate was Bishop Joseph Rodgers, Bishop of Killaloe.
After ordination Jim was appointed to the Diocese of Ogoja, Nigeria. His first assignment was to St Patrick’s Parish, Kakwagom, where he worked under the watchful eye of Fr John F Sheehan (1939 Class). He then ministered in St Charles Parish, Obudu. After the Civil War he was appointed to Holy Family Parish, Ikom where he remained until 1983. During his time in Ikom he began the work of establishing a new parish at Four Corners, St Peter the Apostle. Jim became Administrator of St Benedict’s Cathedral, Ogoja, in February 1983. He spent the next sixteen years in the biggest parish of the Diocese. He lived in the Presbytery in Ogoja which had been the residence of Bishop Thomas McGettrick for over thirty years. Jim oversaw the extension of the Cathedral and the establishment of a second parish in Ogoja Town, St Thomas Parish. The Society decided to withdraw from Ogoja in 1999 since it believed that its mission there had been successfully completed and that the needs of the Church were greater elsewhere. The three remaining Society priests departed in June 1999. Jim and Ciaran O’Flynn were redeployed to the Archdiocese of Lagos and Maurice Kelly was appointed to South Africa. Jim went to work in St Joseph’s Parish, Kirikiri. It would be his home for the next twelve years. During that time he established many projects in the parish, built a big Health Clinic in association with the Religious Sisters of Charity and opened a new parish, St Monica’s, in Mazamaza. After forty six years of faithful missionary service Jim returned to Ireland in July 2011 and came to live at Kiltegan.
Jim was an outstanding missionary priest who served the people to whom he was sent with every fibre of his being. To use an image from the sporting world: “Jim left everything on the field of play!” His whole life revolved around the people to whom he ministered. He listened to them with great patience, compassion and wisdom. He spent hours in the parish office every week and all who came were welcomed warmly and were assured of a listening ear, an encouraging word and when appropriate received some material help. Jim invested heavily in education and in health projects. There is a school in Ogoja which bears his name: The Fr Jim Inglis International Nursery and Primary School. The parishes where he ministered were hives of activity and places of love, joy and sharing. Jim introduced Marriage Encounter to the people of Ogoja and even became known as The Marriage Priest! He put great emphasis on strengthening family life and organised many events with the aim of encouraging families to be centres of love, acceptance, healing and compassion.
Jim settled into life at Kiltegan very easily. He often led the Community Mass at 12.15 and members appreciated his gentle and encouraging style. He knew he had borne the heat of the day and was now enjoying a more relaxed and leisurely lifestyle. His health deteriorated over the last two years. He died peacefully in the Care Unit on the afternoon of Thursday, the 12th of April, 2018.
Place of Rest: Kiltegan