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Fr Eamon Hanify, 1923 - 1984

Eamon was born in Church Street, Ballaghaderreen, Co. Roscommon on the 25th of February, 1923. After his primary education at Cross N.S. Edmonstown, Ballaghaderreen he pursued his secondary education at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen from 1936 to 1941.

 

In 1941, he entered Kiltegan and was ordained in 1948. His class of 14 was the largest number for ordination up until then. Late in 1948, he went to Calabar Diocese. He taught for a short period in St. Patrick’s College, Ikot Ansa and afterwards ministered in the parishes of Sacred Heart Cathedral, Calabar, Asong, Ndon Ebom, Ifuho and Urua Akpan. He returned to Ireland in 1962 and from that year until 1969, he did promotion work in Ireland. Then from 1969 to 1979, he was Society Superior in Scotland and combined this with promotion work. He left Scotland in 1979 and studied for a year at the Pastoral Institute of Liturgy, Carlow.

 

In 1980, Eamon was assigned to Kenya and on completion of a Swahili course he was appointed Father-in-Charge of Kericho Mission, then in the Diocese of Nakuru. However, ill-health necessitated his return to Ireland in 1982. After a short period of ministry in Bonniconlon, Achonry Diocese, he returned to Kiltegan and worked in the office. He died on the 7th of January, 1984.

 

Ordained: 1948

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Pádraig Hannelly, 1922 - 1991

Pádraig was born in Tarmon, Castlerea, Co. Roscommon on the 4th of December, 1922. Having received his primary education locally, he studied in Summerhill College, Sligo from 1936 to 1941. In that year, he entered Kiltegan and was ordained in 1948. Following his ordination, Pádraig went to Nigeria, to serve in the Diocese of Calabar. There he ministered chiefly in Arochuku, a thickly populated area and a stronghold of pagan worship. Pádraig’s first missionary journey ended in 1968 with the onset of the Biafran war. He suffered imprisonment for a short period in Calabar. Providentially a new mission territory in Grenada was assigned to the Society and in 1970, Pádraig went there as the first Superior.

 

Again war, in the shape of the American invasion, terminated his ministry there and he returned to Ireland in 1978. From 1979 to 1989, he ministered in the Diocese of Ardagh and Clonmacnois, in the parishes of Athlone, Edgeworthstown and Aughnaclifffe where he found great outlets for his love of people, the G.A.A. and Irish music. However, illness in the form of throat cancer cut short his ministry and Pádraig died on the 6th of December, 1991 having been nursed in his final illness by his twin sister, Sister Dympna, MMM.

 

Ordained: 1948

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Vin Hannigan, 1917 - 2001

Vin was born on the 3rd of April, 1917 at Mountain Lodge near Tullyvin, Co. Cavan. After his primary education locally, he had his secondary studies in St. Patrick’s College, Cavan from 1932 to 1937 and in that year he commenced his Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. Having completed this, he went to St. Patrick’s College, Carlow for Philosophy in the years 1938 to 1940. He was ordained in December, 1943, but due to war-time restrictions, he did not reach Nigeria until 1945, or as a colleague wrote afterwards, ‘He left Dublin for Nigeria on the night de Valera addressed the nation at the end of the war in Europe’. He was assigned to the then Prefecture of Calabar. After two years in the large and thriving mission of Anua, Vin transferred to Oron, a mission which in the words of one scribe was “a difficult riverine area, and he logged up many nights on a camp bed on mud floors under a mat roof and in the company of hungry mosquitoes”. His apostolate was directed specifically to the service of the family.

 

Incidentally, it is recorded that he was a pioneer in the introduction of the natural family planning method. Again, in the words of a scribe: ‘His care of the sick was legendary; whether in Calabar, Creek Town, Oron, Use Abat, Ikot Okuru; distances meant nothing to him, and often the means of transport was either walking, cycling or boating.’ He was also Vicar General. of Uyo Diocese. Finally, he was Chaplain to the Catholic Life Centre in Itam, where he died on the 23rd of March, 2001. He is buried in Anua, Nigeria.

 

Ordained: 1943

Place of Rest: Anua, Nigeria

Fr Paddy Hannon, 1925 - 2007

Patrick Joseph Hannon was born in Drum, Athlone, Co. Roscommon on the 8th of March, 1925. He was the second child in a family of nine children born to school-teachers William Hannon and his wife, Annie. He attended Drum and Ardkeenan National School (1930 to 1938) and Summerhill College, Sligo (1938 to 1943).

 

Paddy came to Kiltegan in September 1943. He did his Spiritual Year in Humewood and his Philosophy and Theology studies in St. Patrick’s, Kiltegan. He was ordained in Killamoat on the 9th of April, 1950. Fr. Paddy was awarded an STL degree in the Dunboyne Institute, Maynooth and joined the teaching staff in Kiltegan. He taught there continuously for 16 years. He also taught for a short period at St. Patrick’s, Douglas.

 

In 1969, after a short stint in Elphin Diocese he was appointed to the Promotion Office where he remained until 1973. He taught in Buchlyvie from 1973 to 1983. He did promotion work in Saratoga from 1983 to 1991 and took a sabbatical after that in the Liturgy Centre in Carlow. He went to Lagos in 1993 where he ministered in St Mary’s, Ajegunle, until 1995.

 

He came to Ireland for an operation in 1995 and when he recovered he was appointed Chaplain to Miguel House, the retirement home for the De la Salle Brothers, in Castletown, Co. Laois where he ministered until his retirement in January, 2006. He spent the rest of his life in Kiltegan, passing away peacefully on the 19th of October, 2007.

 

Ordained: 1950

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Christy Hannon, 1926 - 1999

Christy was born on the 19th of December, 1926 in Drum, Athlone, Co. Roscommon. After receiving his primary education at the Local N.S., he had his secondary studies in Summerhill College, Sligo from 1939 to 1945. In that year he followed the footsteps of his older brother, Paddy (1925-2007), and entered Kiltegan. Ill-health prolonged his course and he was ordained at Easter, 1955. Later that year, he went to Kenya and was assigned to the then Prefecture of Eldoret. He would minister in that area throughout the 44 years of his priestly life. This was somewhat chequered in the sense that he had many parish assignments in Kenya.

 

For the record, he did a short stint in Nakuru after his arrival in Kenya and was then appointed to Tartar in West Pokot District, where he remained until 1957 when he went to the newly opened Junior Seminary in Matunda. He remained there until home leave in 1960 after which he went to St. John’s Church, Edloret where he stayed until 1966. In that year he began a second term in Tartar mission, which would last until his home leave in 1968. After leave in 1968, Christy returned to Kenya and to a new Diocese, Nakuru, which had been carved out of the previous Diocese of Eldoret. After a short spell in Nakuru town he took up an appointment in Kericho, which lasted from 1969 to 1981.

 

In the latter year, he found himself back in Nakuru town and then in rather quick succession in Londiani and Elburgon. Then he spent a short period in the Chaplaincy at Egerton University, until finally in 1994, he found himself in Bahati, where he remained for his final appointment. He came on leave in mid–1999, had heart surgery in mid-September and died on the 19th of November of that year.

 

Ordained: 1955

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Maurice Hayes, 1915 - 1996

Maurice was born on the 5th of January, 1915 at Oola, Co. Limerick. He received his primary education at Oola and Solohead National Schools and his secondary education first at the CBS, Tipperary, from 1927 to 1930 and then at St. Joseph’s, Roscrea, from 1930 to 1934. In the latter year, he entered Clonliffe College with a view to a ministry in the Archdiocese of Dublin. He completed his BA studies in 1937 and in that year, he entered Kiltegan for his spiritual year. He was ordained in December, 1941.

 

He was appointed to Nigeria, but due to wartime restrictions on travel, he did not reach there until early 1944. He joined the staff of St. Patrick’s, Ikot Ansa then a fledgling school in its third year of existence. It was there that he spent the remainder of his missionary life, except for an interlude of three or four years as Principal of Holy Family College, Abak. He was regarded as a great teacher; all his students passed Biology in the W.A.E.C exams. Ill-health forced him to return to Ireland in the early 1960’s.

 

After a few years in Kiltegan, Maurice began his post-missionary apostolate in Clacton on Sea in Brentwood Diocese. This was in 1966 and he remained there until 1976. In that year, he returned to Ireland and took up the position of Chaplain to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda. This was followed by a short stint in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin where he ministered in the parishes of Allen and Hacketstown. However, in 1978, he retired to Kiltegan, where he died on the 2nd of January, 1996.

 

Ordained: 1941

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Noel Hayes, 1935 - 2016

Fr Noel Hayes was born in Killarney, Co Kerry, on the 2nd of December 1935.  His parents were Denis and Sadie (née Kelly) Hayes. Denis was from Tulla, Co Clare and Sadie hailed from Ballinagare, Co Roscommon. As Denis was a manager with the National Bank the family moved house a number of times in Noel’s youth.  Noel attended the local primary school in Killarney before moving to Doneraile, Co Cork, and then to Cahirciveen, Co Kerry where he finished his primary and secondary education at the local CBS school. Noel came to Kiltegan in September 1952 and after his Spiritual Year went to St Patrick’s, Douglas, Cork and studied at UCC graduating with a BSc in 1956. After his theology studies in Kiltegan he was ordained on Easter Sunday, 1960, in St Mary’s Church, Killamoat, by Bishop Patrick Cleary SSC, Bishop of Nancheng, China.

 

In September 1960 Noel set sail for Nigeria to take up his appointment in the Diocese of Calabar. He began his teaching career at the recently opened St Columbanus Secondary School, Ikwen. Noel made a major contribution to the development of the school compound and gave the early classes an excellent grounding in mathematics. He was enthusiastic in encouraging sports. He then went to teach at St Patrick’s College, Calabar where he earned the reputation of being a brilliant science teacher. After the Biafran War he transferred to Ogoja Diocese where he taught at Maryknoll College. Noel taught for a short while in Sacred Heart Junior Seminary, Port Harcourt, before transferring to St Mary’s Parish, Ajegunle, Lagos, in 1982. While in Lagos his health began to fail and he returned home to Ireland for treatment. When his health recovered he was appointed to the Diocese of Waterford and Lismore where he worked in the Cathedral of the Most Holy Trinity from 1987 to 1991. He was then appointed to the Diocese of Killaloe where two of his father’s brothers had earlier served as priests. He worked first in Scariff and from 1996 to 2013 in Bridgetown, Co Clare. In early 2013 his health deteriorated significantly and after a spell in University Hospital Limerick he was forced to retire from parish ministry and reluctantly came to live in the Care Unit in Kiltegan. 

 

Noel was a very keen golfer from an early age and for many years his golf handicap was in single figures. He was a very stylish Gaelic football player and was proud of the fact that he had played beside the legendary Mick O’Connell during his days at Cahirciveen CBS. He had a great love of horse racing, an interest which started during his time in Doneraile. This interest remained with him all through his life. He enjoyed the company of others and loved to tell a story and sing a song. He showed a great fighting spirit and a deep desire to live life to the full right up to his last days. He died on Wednesday, the 3rd of August. May Noel rest in peace.

 

Ordained: 1960

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Mossie (Maurice) Healy, 1929 - 1982

Maurice, or Mossie as he was called – was born in Inniskeane, West Cork, on the 17th of April, 1929. His early education from 1935 to 1942 was in Mawleg National School. In that year, he began his secondary education in St. Finbar’s College, Farranferris, Cork and he completed this stage in 1947, the year he entered Kiltegan. After his ordination to priesthood in 1954, he was appointed to Calabar Diocese. There he ministered in Anua Mission and later transferred for a short time to Lagos. Unfortunately, poor health necessitated his return to Ireland in the early sixties, for the purpose of treatment.

 

In the mid-sixties, Mossie returned to Anua mission but the civil war in Nigeria disrupted the mission situation and he worked for some time in Bauchi in the Diocese of Jos in Northern Nigeria.

 

He returned to Ireland in the early seventies and was Chaplain to the Mercy Sisters in Wanstead, Diocese of Brentwood, England. After a short stint there, he was appointed to our house in Douglas, Cork. While there, he studied for a B.A. and H.Dip. Mossie died there on the 14th of December, 1982.

 

Ordained: 1954

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Frank Hickey, 1887 - 1972

Frank was born in Ballinastraw, Tullow, Co. Carlow on the 26th of September, 1887. He received his early education at C.B.S. Carlow and his secondary education in St. Mary’s College, Knockbeg. He studied for the priesthood in St. Patrick’s College, Carlow where in 1913 he was ordained for the Archdiocese of Melbourne. He exercised his ministry there for twelve years, followed by a short stint in Birmingham.

 

He became a founder member of our Society in 1932 and was Director of Probationers from 1932 to 1938. From then, he was on the staff in Kiltegan until he retired in 1962. He became ill in 1966 and died on the 16th of January, 1972. He is buried in Ballon, Co. Carlow, his home parish.

 

Ordained: 1913

Place of Rest: Ballon, Co Carlow

Bishop Joseph Houlihan, 1911 - 1975

Joe Houlihan was born in Ballyferriter, Co. Kerry on the 26th of September, 1911. He received his early education at Ballyferriter N.S. from 1917 to 25 and his secondary education in St. Brendan’s Seminary, Killarney from 1925 to 1930. He studied philosophy in All Hallows College from 1930 to 1932 in which year he entered Kiltegan.

 

He was among the first group to enter the Spiritual Year of our Society. Similarly, his group of four was the first ordination class. After ordination in March, 1937 he was co-opted on to the Superior General’s Council. However, he was also in the first Society group to go to Nigeria in August, 1938 and he worked there until 1944 when he returned as a delegate representing Calabar for the General Chapter of 1944.

 

Following this Chapter, he became a member of the Superior General’s Council and local bursar. This continued until the following Chapter of 1950. In the meantime, the Society decided to extend its promotion activities to the U.S.A. and in 1950 Joe Houlihan went there with the aim of fund-raising. He bought a property in Camden, New Jersey. A more formal promotion drive was put in place when he arrived there and the structures he put in place have continued to be an important asset in the financing of the Society down the years.

 

In June, 1953 Eldoret Prefecture was established and Joe Houlihan took over as its first Prefect in July, 1954. He was ordained Bishop in Eldoret in November 1960 by Bishop Fulton Sheen, the National Director of the Propagation of the Faith in the U.S.A. Joe Houlihan resigned as Bishop of Eldoret in 1970 and was succeeded by Bishop John Njenga. He taught in the National Seminary in Nairobi until the end of 1974.

 

Early in 1975, he took up a pastoral appointment in the Diocese of Kisumu in Awasi where he died while on a visit to an outstation on the 4th of December, 1975. He is buried in Turbo in Eldoret Diocese.

 

Ordained: 1937

Place of Rest: Turbo, Kenya

Fr Ben Hughes, 1918 - 1982

Ben was born in Ohio, U.S.A. to Edward and Margaret Hughes on the 29th of August, 1918. Shortly afterwards however his family re-located to their native Drumlish, Co. Longford. Ben received his primary education from 1923 to 1928 in Fairdrumm N.S. and in Drumlish N.S. from 1928 to 1934. His secondary education from 1934 to 1938 was in Mungret College, Limerick. He entered Kiltegan in 1938 and was ordained in December, 1944. In May, 1945 he went to Nigeria and was appointed to Calabar Diocese. There, he ministered in Ututu, in Ifuho and in Anua where he established an Agricultural School.

 

Ben left Nigeria in 1971 and ministered in the Diocese of Elphin in the parishes of Curraghboy, Ballyfarnon and Kilglass, where he died suddenly on the 1st of January, 1982. He is buried in Drumlish beside Fr. Frank Whitney.

 

Ordained: 1944

Place of Rest: Drumlish

Fr Paddy Hyland, 1923 - 2010

Fr Paddy Hyland who died on the 11th of February, 2010 at the age of 86 was a renaissance man with a consuming interest in all aspects of human endeavour. He himself would say modestly that he was 'a jack of all trades and a master of none'. Far from it, Paddy, a native of Navan, Co Meath, had an enquiring mind and the ability to explore, persevere and practice until he had grasped whatever it was had interested him. We heard at his funeral that, in his eighties, he was discovered learning to fly a jumbo jet with the aid of a computer programme and a joystick and that, recently, when his sight was all but gone and he had time on his hands, he had purchased a CD of James Joyce’s Ulysses in order to do something he had always planned to do. Add nature, music, poetry, art, sport of all kinds (especially golf), chess, reflexology and you get the picture of a man whose interests were only limited by his imagination.

 

On the other hand, Paddy Hyland suffered from depression throughout the sixty years of his priesthood. It prevented him from spending more than a few years on the mission-field and it brought him much suffering. But it was gently borne, never broadcast and scarcely allowed to impinge on the life of those with whom he lived in community. It bore fruit too in terms of empathy and faith which, aligned to his humour and natural charm, contributed to Paddy’s immense popularity and to the genuine love and respect he engendered in so many.

 

It was suggested at Paddy’s funeral Mass that it is providential for the Society that some members are unable to work on the missions as their work at home contributes enormously to the good of the Society. This was so for Paddy. His contribution to promotion and mission awareness and his ministry to our benefactors was an essential service carried out with great generosity and proficiency.

 

Paddy came to Kiltegan in 1942 and was ordained seven years later. He was appointed to Calabar, Nigeria and spent four years there. He was sent to Camden, New Jersey in 1954 to do promotion work for the Society. He did this for three years and was then recalled to Kiltegan where he worked in the promotion office and on Africa magazine. He also did some teaching in the college. From 1963 to 1965 he acted as chaplain to the Patrician Brothers in Tullow, Co Carlow. Then, he returned to Camden for eight more years of promotion work.

 

Paddy was always drawn to parish work and was given the opportunity in 1973 when he took up an appointment in Hollywood in Florida. It was the beginning of fifteen very enjoyable years of parish ministry. The first three years were spent in Hollywood, the next two in Ballyfin Parish in Co Laois and the remaining ten in Baltinglass, Co Wicklow.

 

Paddy returned to Kiltegan, to resume his promotion ministry. His main work was to handle correspondence from members of the mission circle and other benefactors. He also worked in the general archives of the Society ensuring that records were properly catalogued and stored. The Africa has a special reason to be grateful to Paddy. He produced years of Crosswords in cooperation with Mr Gerry Donnelly. His visits to the office were joyful interludes that usually produced a new suggestion, a new challenge or at very least a new angle on something or other.

 

Ordained: 1949

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

Fr Patrick Jude Hyland, 1941 - 2016

Patrick (Paddy) Jude Hyland was born on the 4th of December, 1941, to John Hyland and his wife, Brigid (née Fitzpatrick) of Larch Hill House, Mountrath, Co Laois. He attended Clonin National School from 1946 to 1955 and Patrician College, Ballyfin, from 1957 to 1962. He came to Kiltegan on the 1st of October, 1962, for the Spiritual Year. From 1963 to 1965 he studied philosophy in St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, after which he returned to Kiltegan for four years of theology. He was ordained in St Mary’s Church, Killamoat by Bishop Patrick Lennon of Kildare and Leighlin on Easter Sunday, the 6th of April, 1969.

 

Paddy was appointed to Kenya to the recently erected Diocese of Nakuru and was sent to Kituro mission in Baringo District. After three months there, during which time he got his first lessons in the local language, he was appointed to nearby Eldama Ravine where he was to remain for the next fifteen years. While there he worked closely with the Mercy Sisters who ran Eldama Ravine Hospital. Paddy’s next appointment was to Milimani Parish in Nakuru town where the parish house was also a house of hospitality for Society members and many other visitors and passers-by.After five years there Paddy was moved to Londiani in Kericho District. This was a difficult mission where different tribes had settled on land previously occupied by European farmers. Infrastructure and services in the area were poor and there was an underlying tension between tribal groups that erupted in tribal clashes from time to time.

 

Apart from his pastoral appointments Paddy was often asked to do particular short-term tasks for the diocese and the Society. A number of these related to the diocesan farm at Molo. Paddy took a great interest in the farm and was called in from time to time to help out. He was a friend and admirer of the Franciscan Brothers who established a very successful agricultural college on the farm. In later years, mission awareness and the promotion of the Society in Kenya were ‘extras’ that Paddy took on with gusto. He would fill his car with a load of calendars and diaries and head for Western Kenya telling people about the Society, selling the calendars and diaries and perhaps sowing the seeds of a missionary vocation in some young person’s heart.In December, 1995 Kericho became a separate diocese with Bishop Philip Anyolo in charge. Paddy was appointed diocesan procurator with responsibility for the finances and property of the diocese. He worked out of an office at the Bishop’s house and lived with Fr Gerry Roche in the Society parish in Matobo. Later, he took charge of the parish when Gerry moved on. It was he who accompanied Gerry’s remains to Ireland after his murder on December 11th, 2009.

 

Later, Paddy was appointed chaplain to Kericho Teacher Training College and he remained in that post until he returned to Ireland for a sabbatical year in 2014. He was called back to Kenya in June, 2015 to do duty in Embakasi Parish for a few months in an emergency situation. In August Paddy returned to Ireland to participate in a renewal programme with his former classmates and shortly afterwards decided to retire in his family home and help out in local parishes on an informal basis.Paddy Hyland was a good natured man with a sunny disposition who did his best for everyone he met. He was extremely kind and generous. He was never afraid of work and was one man who could be relied on to take on a task and complete it. He loved his home place and spent as long as he possibly could there during his holidays. It was at home in Larch Hill House that Paddy breathed his last on Monday, the 1st of February, 2016. May he rest in peace.

 

Ordained: 1969

Place of Rest: Kiltegan

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