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Society Obituaries

Announcements and Funeral Arrangements

To read the obituaries of deceased members of St Patrick's Missionary Society, from 1942 to 2021, please click on the following link: Fullness of Life

To view the webcam of St Patrick's Chapel, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, please click on the following link: Kiltegan Webcam.

Please note: Our webcam is used only for funerals of Society priests or for special occasions. When these occur, they are announced on our website and the password is removed 15 minutes before the Mass begins. These celebrations can then be viewed by the general public. Because the chapel in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, is part of the residential home of our retired missionary priests, daily Masses are not available to view. The webcam is password protected due to data protection regulations. 

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.

Amen.

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Fr James Regan, 1929-2022

May 4th, 2022

With sadness we announce the death of Fr James Regan, peacefully, early this morning, May 4th, in the Care Unit in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan. May he rest in peace.

Our sincere sympathy to the Regan family.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, on Friday, May 6th at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

The recording of the Funeral Mass can be viewed at the following link:

Fr James Regan SPS, Funeral Mass, May 6th 2022

Fr. James Francis Regan, 1929-2022

James Francis Regan was born on the 25th of February 1929 to John and Elizabeth Regan in Ardagh, Jamestown, Carrick-on-Shannon. He was one of a family of six, four girls and two boys. He attended Jamestown N. S. and from there went to St. Mel’s College, Longford from 1942-47.

 

On completion of his secondary school, he joined St. Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan. For the next seven years he followed a course of studies there which included Spirituality, Philosophy and Theology. Jim was ordained on Easter Sunday (18th of April) 1954 together with ten classmates and received his first missionary appointment to Nigeria. The ordaining prelate was Bishop J W Heffernan CSSp, Vicar Apostolic Emeritus of Zanzibar, Kenya.

 

Jim was appointed to the then Prefecture of Ogoja, Nigeria and for the next 24 years ministered in a number of parishes in the Eastern part of the country. He returned to Ireland in 1980 due to health problems. In the following years he ministered in Knock, Drogheda and the parish of Clonegal, Co. Carlow. In 1983 he was appointed to Grenada where he worked in the parishes of Carriacou, Victoria, Tivoli and Battle Hill. In 2007 he returned to Ireland where he worked in Ballintober, Strokestown and St. Joseph’s Hospital, Longford. He retired in 2013 to our house in Kiltegan. Jim was a valued member of the community and always had a smile for fellow priests and visitors.

 

Jim was a very committed missionary and loved his time in Nigeria and Grenada. He also however enjoyed his time working in parishes in Ireland. He loved working with young people and nothing brought him more joy than when he saw them succeeding and achieving their ambitions. He was a very soft-spoken man and this reflected his heart; a heart sensitive to the sick and suffering especially. In our community Masses in Kiltegan Jim would often remember the sick and suffering in his prayer. People who were struggling with issues of life and relationship had his special concern. We can say truly that Jim was a man of prayer; his prayer was inclusive and grounded in the issues of life of the day. He had a special devotion to Mary and the rosary prayer.

 

Fr Jim died peacefully in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, during the early hours of Wednesday, May 4th, 2022. May Jim’s gentle soul rest in the fullness of the One who called him to life and missionary priesthood. May Mary and the angels guide him to the eternal presence of God and those of his family and society brothers who have gone before him.

 

We extend our sincere sympathy to Jim’s family and many friends. May he rest in peace.

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Seamus Reihill, 1930-2022

April 17th, 2022

We are sad to announce that Fr Seamus Reihill (1956 Class) died on Easter Sunday morning, April 17th, in the Care Unit in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan. May he rest in peace.

Our sincere sympathy to all the Reihill family.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, on Wednesday, April 20th at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

To view the recording of the Funeral Mass, please click on the following link:

April 20th, Funeral Mass, Fr Seamus Reihill RIP

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

 

Fr Seamus Reihill (1930-2022)

James Francis (Seamus) Reihill was born on the 25th of September 1930 to Patrick Reihill and his wife Agnes (née Breen) of Main Street, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh. He was one of a family of two girls and four boys. He received his primary education at Irvinestown Primary School (1935-1943). He came south to the Republic of Ireland for his secondary education and boarded at St McCartan’s College, Monaghan, from 1943 to 1948. He sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1948 and joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society the following September. After completing the Spiritual Year he went to St Patrick’s, Douglas, Cork and studied at University College Cork where he was awarded a BA degree in 1952. He then returned to St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan, for a four year course in theology. Seamus was ordained priest in St Mary’s Church, Killamoat, on Easter Sunday (1st of April) 1956. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Patrick Cleary SSC, Exiled Bishop of Nancheng, China.

After ordination Seamus was appointed to the Diocese of Calabar where he would spend the next seven years. After a few months in a parish he was assigned to St Mary’s Teacher Training College at Ediene near Abak, in the present Diocese of Ikot Ekpene. The Principal of the College was the late Fr Bill Mullally SPS. Seamus and Bill worked very well together. He then taught in a Commercial School at Opobo. In 1963 Seamus had a very serious health issue which forced him home to Ireland for treatment. At the end of the treatment he had no sight in his left eye and very little sight in his right eye. He was granted a dispensation from reading the Breviary by Bishop Thomas Keogh, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin. Despite this very serious handicap Seamus got on with life and continued to live out his missionary vocation.

In early 1965 the Society opened a secondary school in Buchlyvie near Stirling in Scotland. The school was opened in order to offer education to young men who wanted to become priests but who, for one reason or another, had not completed their secondary education. During the nearly forty years of its existence it helped educate 77 young men who went on to be ordained priests. Seamus was appointed bursar at St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, in March 1965.  It would become his home for over thirty years. As well as being bursar he also helped to establish the Society’s promotion programme in Scotland and founded the Used Stamps Project which continues in operation to this day and generates funds for the support of catechists on the missions. Seamus was also very involved in the annual Open Day which drew thousands of Society supporters to Buchlvie and was a big day in the social calendar of the area as well as an important fund-raising event for the Society.

Seamus celebrated the Silver Jubilee of his ordination in April 1981 and shortly afterwards he was appointed to the Society’s Promotion House at Wexham Road, Slough; he was also appointed Superior for England and Wales for a three year period. During his time in Slough Seamus was involved in moving the Society’s house from Wexham Road to a new premises at Eton Road near Datchet. In 1986 Seamus was re-appointed to St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, and remained there as bursar until 2001. In 2001 he was appointed to St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, where he would spend the rest of his life. In Kiltegan he worked in the Promotion Office for as long as his health permitted and continued his work in the Used Stamps Project with great devotion. When his health began to fail and his mobility became limited he moved to the Care Unit. He died peacefully on Easter Sunday morning, the 17th of April 2022, after taking a full part in the celebration of the Easter Triduum. It was the 66th anniversary of his priestly ordination.

Seamus made an immense contribution to the promotion programme of the Society in Scotland, England and Ireland. He came from a family with a business background and he used all his business instincts for the benefit of the Society. He was noted for his meticulous attention to detail. He gave himself totally to the promotion work of the Society for well over fifty years. He was a wonderful host and many people have very fond memories of the hospitality they enjoyed when on a visit to Seamus. He had a wonderful smile of welcome. He never allowed his poor health to prevent him from living as full a life as possible. He loved classical music and had a fine selection of CDs and DVDs. He also enjoyed watching films. He was a keen card player and was playing “Patience” up to two days before his death. He had a life-long love of philately and accumulated an impressive collection of stamps over the years. He was very proud of his family and the feeling was mutual; he stayed close to them throughout his life and looked forward to the visits of his sister Mary and other members of his family.

Seamus was predeceased by his sister Una, his brothers Patrick, Brian and John, his sisters-in-law Sally, Mary and Teresa and his brother-in-law Philip Mulligan. He is survived by his sister Mary (Mulligan), his nieces, nephews and their families.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Sean McGrath, 1946-2022

March 28th, 2022

With sadness, we regret to announce the death of Fr Sean McGrath on Monday, March 28th, in the Care Unit in St Patrick's, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow. 

 

Our sincere sympathy to the McGrath family.

May Sean's gentle soul rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements

Funeral Mass in St Joseph’s Church, Ederney, Co Fermanagh, on Saturday,  April 2 at 12 noon followed by burial in Lettercran Cemetery, Pettigo, Co Donegal.

Fr Sean McGrath (1946-2022)

John Patrick (Sean) McGrath was born on the 27th of March 1946 to Hugh McGrath and his wife Eleanor (née Leonard) of Edenaveigh, Ederney, Co Fermanagh. He was the fifth born in a family of three girls and eight boys. He received his primary education at Moneyvriece Primary School and then proceeded to St Michael’s College, Enniskillen, where he completed his A Levels in June 1963. He joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1963. After completing the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan he went to St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, and obtained a BA degree at UCC. He returned to St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan, in September 1967 for a four year course in theology. He was ordained priest in St Joseph’s Church, Ederney, on the 18th of April 1971. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Patrick Mulligan DD, the Bishop of Clogher. His cousin Fr Joe McVeigh was ordained in the same ceremony.

After ordination Sean was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, Scotland, where he taught for two years. In 1973 he was appointed to Grenada, a new mission opened by the Society in 1970. It would be Sean’s home for the next six years. He continued his teaching ministry and taught in St David’s School and also served in a number of parishes including Grand Roy. In 1979 he was appointed Assistant Director of the Spiritual Year Programme and was based at Kiltegan.

In 1980 Sean was appointed to Brazil where he would remain for the following thirty eight years. After completing a language course in Petropolis, a city on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, he went to work with Dermot Daly in Jardim Mitsutani which had recently been carved from the parish of São João Batista, Pirajussara. He began a pattern of working in a parish for six years and then moving on to another parish where the needs were greater. In 1986 he moved to the east of São Paulo and worked in the Cohab Itaquera. In 1992 he moved to Jardim São Bernardo in the Diocese of Santo Amaro. Sean took a sabbatical in 1999 and spent some time in Rome where he studied at the Missionaries of Africa. He returned to São Paulo in September 2000 and went to work in Paróquia Cristo Rei off the Rodovia Anhanguera. In 2006 he moved to Paróquia Sagrada Família, Jardim Antartica. He retired to the Society’s Regional House in São Paulo in 2012.

Sean was a great pastoral priest who dedicated himself totally to the people whom he served. He had a special interest in the poor and in those left behind by society. In every parish where he worked he helped to establish crèches for the poorer children. Through the generous support he received from his family and from his local community in Ederney he was able to erect parish centres in all the communities he served. These buildings served as churches and also centres for social projects. One of his favourite ministries was the Pastoral da Criança – ministry to children. He was able to identify very capable and dedicated leaders in the communities who worked closely with him in delivering these social projects. Sean was a very charismatic person who was able to inspire others to give of the best of themselves.

Sean was a very gifted sportsman in his youth. He excelled at Gaelic football and was noted for his athleticism, skill, strength and determination. He was blessed with very big hands which enabled him to catch a Gaelic football with one hand. It was said that once he got the ball into his hand it was impossible to dispossess him because of his low centre of gravity and innate strength. He won a Sigerson Cup medal with UCC and also represented Ulster in the Railway Cup competition as well as being a regular on the Fermanagh Senior Football team. He was also a very faithful member of the Ederney GAA team and nothing gave him greater pleasure than playing alongside his seven brothers in the local colours. Together they won a Fermanagh County Championship in 1968. It was probably the highlight of his sporting life.

The last years of Sean’s life were not easy. His health began to deteriorate during his final tour in São Paulo. He returned to Ireland in the summer of 2018 and settled in Kiltegan. In the first months he was able to continue his pastime of going for long walks but very soon his movement became curtailed and he had to move to the Care Unit. There he got great care and support from the wonderful staff assigned to accompany him. He continued to show an interest in music and song and was happy to join in the singing of some of his favourite ballads whenever the occasion arose. He celebrated his 76th birthday on the 27th of March and spent some time on Zoom calls with his family. He died peacefully in the early hours of Monday morning, the 28th of March.

Sean was predeceased by his sister Sr Bernadette (Our Lady of the Missions), his brother Colm and his sister-in-law Mena.He is survived by his sisters Geraldine and Anne (Hynes), his brothers Anthony, Brendan, Leonard, Ciaran, Tom and Maurice, his sisters-in-law Angela, Anne, Mary, Patricia, Vicki and Mary, his nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, his relatives and friends and his Society family.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Robert (Bobby) Kavanagh, 1931-2022

March 6th, 2022

With sadness, we regret to announce the death of Fr Bobby Kavanagh on Sunday, March 6th, in the Care Unit in St Patrick's, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow. 

 

Our sincere sympathy to the Kavanagh family.

May Bobby's gentle soul rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Removal to St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, Wicklow on Monday, March 7th at 5.30 pm.

Funeral Mass on Tuesday, March 8th at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery, St Patrick's, Kiltegan. Funeral limited to family only. 

 

To view the recording of the Funeral Mass which took place on Tuesday, March 8th, please click on the following link:

Funeral Mass Fr Robert(Bobby) Kavanagh

 

Fr Robert (Bobby) Kavanagh (1931-2022)

Robert Patrick (Bobby) Kavanagh was born on the 17th of August 1931 to Robert Kavanagh and his wife Nora of Moneygarrow, Castletown, Inch, Co Wexford. He was the last born of a family of six girls and three boys. He received his primary education at Castletown National School. He then proceeded to the Technical School in Arklow, Co Wicklow, for two years, before transferring to a private school called St Patrick’s Academy in Arklow where he sat the Intermediate Certificate in 1950. He completed his secondary education in St Peter’s College, Wexford, and sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1952. Bobby joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1952 and after the Spiritual Year and the usual courses in philosophy and theology he was ordained priest along with twenty three classmates on the 23rd of May 1959. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Thomas McGettrick SPS, Bishop of Ogoja. Bobby was a member of the biggest class ever ordained for the Society.

After ordination Bobby was appointed to the then Prefecture of Eldoret which was raised to the status of a Diocese a few weeks after his arrival. He set sail for Kenya on the 20th of August 1959 and arrived in Mombasa twenty eight days later. The ship sailed by Gibraltar and across the Mediterranean Sea before heading for Mombasa via the Suez Canal. The passage through the Red Sea left a deep impression on Bobby as the heat was extremely intense; he felt like he was in a furnace!

Immediately after arriving in Mombasa he went by night train to Nairobi and then on to Nakuru where his first appointment was to Molo which is 8200 feet above sea level; his parish priest was the late Brian Cunningham. A couple of days after arriving in Molo, Bobby began teaching in an Intermediate School which was beside the Mission. He taught forty two classes per week. After a year in Molo he was transferred to Turbo where he continued his teaching ministry. He also helped to open new Christian communities in the area - in one community he said Mass from the back of a lorry!

After five months in Turbo he was transferred to Elburgon which was quite near Molo. He lived on his own in a little house and began getting the parish established. He was no longer full time in teaching but was prepared to help out when the need arose. It was a time when the Land Freedom Movement was at its height and there was some violence in the area. He spent six years in Elburgon and made good progress with the building of the Church.

Bobby’s next appointment was to the Holy Rosary Parish in Nakuru where he worked with the late Paddy Cullen. After a few years in Nakuru he was asked to open a parish at Njoro which was part of Holy Rosary Parish. In 1972 he was transferred to Subukia where he helped build a beautiful Church. He was very proud of the Church in Subukia. He started a secondary school in 1974 and returned to the class hall. After six years in Subukia he took a sabbatical which included a 30 Day Retreat in Manresa, Dublin, and a course on spiritual direction. There were eleven other Society priests on the programme with him.

On his return to Kenya in 1979 Bobby was appointed once again to the Holy Rosary Parish in Nakuru which by then was the Cathedral Parish. While his preference was for a rural appointment he accepted the challenge and spent nearly four years as Administrator of the Cathedral. One of his assistants was Fr Peter Kairo who later became the Bishop of Nakuru. In 1982 he was asked to return to Molo. He moved to a big outstation at Kamwaura and opened schools in Kamwaura and Mwaragania.

1992 was a traumatic year for Bobby as he was expelled from Kenya because he spoke out against some of the actions of the government during the tribal clashes. He was deported on the 25th of May 1992. He wrote afterwards that it was the darkest day of his life. Bobby returned to Kenya in July 1993 and was stationed at Londiani for a few months. In 1994 he was appointed to Bahati and it was in that general area he spent the rest of his time in Kenya serving at Kabazi and later at Arutani Secondary School. During the final years of his life in Kenya Bobby was Chaplain at Arutani Secondary School.

Bobby regarded Kenya as his home and his hope had been to end his days there. Sadly it was not to be. In 2016 he was badly injured in a car accident and he had to come to Ireland for treatment. Much to his great sadness he was never able to return to his beloved Kenya. He died peacefully in the Care Unit at Kiltegan on the morning of Sunday, the 6th of March 2022.

Bobby was a very dedicated and hardworking missionary priest who was always prepared to serve wherever the need was greatest. He was above all a great pastoral priest who had a special ability to relate to people on a one-to- one basis. In his ministry he put a lot of emphasis on catechetics and on education. In all he opened eleven primary schools, four secondary schools and five nursery schools during his fifty seven years of active service. He was a man of deep faith who coped with the trials and tribulations of life with serenity and without undue fuss. He bore the sufferings of his final years with patience, fortitude and good humour. He was very courageous and was not afraid to speak out in the face of injustice; it was this quality that had led to his being deported from Kenya in 1992.

Bobby was a joyful person who enjoyed the company of others. He was blessed with a very rich, resonant and distinctive voice. He loved to sing especially in Church and at social gatherings. Less than two weeks before he died he joined Fr Enda Kelly in a beautiful rendition of “Boolavogue” during a sing-song in the Care Unit. He was very proud of his family and remained very close to them throughout his life. He appreciated their support especially in his last years.

Bobby was predeceased by his sisters Sadie, Nora, Bridget, Mamie, Hannah and Anne and by his brothers Michael and Denis. He is survived by his nieces and nephews and their families.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Patrick Byrne, 1948-2022

January 23rd, 2022

With great sadness, we regret to announce that Fr Patrick (Pat) Byrne (1976 class) died suddenly on Sunday night January 23rd at his family home in Blessington, Co Wicklow, Ireland. He was due to return to Malawi today, Monday. 

 

Our sincere sympathy to the Byrne family.

May Pat’s gentle soul rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements for Fr Patrick Byrne are as follows:

Reposing at Clarke’s Funeral Home, Blessington (Eircode W91 YN79) on Thursday, January 27th from 3pm to 7pm. Removal to the Church of Our Lady, Blessington, for Requiem Mass on Friday, January 28th, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery, St Patrick’s, Kiltegan.

The Mass will be live-streamed on https://blessingtonparish.ie/about/parish-webcam/.

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

 

Fr Patrick Byrne (1948-2022)

Patrick (Pat/Paddy) Camillus Byrne was born on the 27th of February 1948 to John Byrne and his wife Mary (née Quinn) of Burgage, Blessington, Co Wicklow. He was the youngest of a family of 9 girls and 5 boys. He attended St Mary’s National School, Blessington, for his primary education and proceeded to Baltinglass Vocational School for the first part of his secondary education. He left Baltinglass Vocational School in 1964 after completing the Group Certificate. He went to work as an apprentice fitter and attended night classes in Bolton Street School of Technology. He then took up a post as a Junior Draughtsman at Irish Food Machines Ltd, Pearse St, Dublin. Pat drew up designs for kitchens and travelled to places like Lydons in Shop Street, Galway. Thoughts of the priesthood were never far from his mind and he was an avid reader of the Africa magazine. In September 1967 he went to St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, Scotland, to continue his secondary education. After two years of intense study he had sufficient O Levels to begin his training for the priesthood. He joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1969. On completing the Spiritual Year in June 1970 he proceeded to St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, for studies in philosophy. He returned to St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, in September 1972 for a four year course in theology and was ordained priest on the 12th of June 1976 in St Mary’s Church, Killamoat. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Dominic Conway DD, Bishop of Elphin.

After ordination Pat was appointed to the Diocese of Chikwawa, Malawi, where he ministered for the following fourteen years. He was stationed at Misomali, Chikwawa Town and Ngabu. He served as Vocations Director for the Diocese for some years and was also Vicar General to Bishop Felix Mkhori from 1988 to 1990. In 1990 Pat was appointed Assistant Regional Superior for Central Africa. This meant a move to the Society house in Lilongwe where he also took on the role of parish priest of St Kizito’s Parish, Chigoneka. When he completed his term as Assistant Regional Superior for Central Africa, Pat took a sabbatical year. He returned to Malawi in 1998 and after a few months in St Kizito’s Parish, Chigoneka, he moved to St Augustine’s Parish, Mtengowanthenga, a one hour drive from Lilongwe. In 2002 Pat found himself once again in Society leadership as he was appointed Assistant Regional Superior for Central and Southern Africa and had to move to Johannesburg, South Africa. After completing his term as Assistant Regional Superior for Central and Southern Africa in January 2009, Pat returned to Malawi and once again was appointed parish priest of Mtengowanthenga. He also served as the Vocations Director for the Society in Malawi for a number of years.

Pat came to Ireland on leave in November 2021 and stayed at the family home at Burgage, Blessington, where he grew up. He visited St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, on Sunday, the 23rd of January, to return a car he had leased for the holiday period. He went back to Burgage and spent a very enjoyable evening in the company of his family who had gathered to say goodbye to him. Later he went to his room to finish packing his cases for his return journey to Malawi the following day. It was at that moment he died suddenly. He was a missionary right up to the end of his life.

Pat was an extremely dedicated and hard-working missionary who spent his entire priestly life in Africa. He was a very joyful, fun-loving and obliging person who invariably had a twinkle in his eye and enjoyed a practical joke at times. He was a very versatile missionary who generously shared his many gifts and talents with his fellow Society members and with the people whom he was called to serve. Pat remained very close to his family throughout his life and he liked nothing better than spending time at the family home in Burgage where he loved to help out on the farm. He was very highly regarded by his fellow Society priests who elected him Assistant Regional Superior for two terms. He was a very gracious and generous host who loved to make people welcome and who took great delight in serving up a delicious meal. Hospitality was one of his special gifts. Pat was a man of deep feelings and he was not afraid to show those feelings. He readily empathised with those who suffered or who had been bereaved. He was a pastor in the mould of Pope Francis who had “the smell of his sheep”.

Pat was predeceased by his sister Kathy (Tyrrell), by his brothers Jimmy, John, Tom and Dick, by his sisters-in-law Joan and Monica, by his brothers-in-law Odie Tyrrell, Sean Fitzsimons, Bill Murphy and John Geoghegan. He is sadly missed by his sisters Nan Fitzsimons, Sr Greta (Bethlehem), Maura Brennan, Betty Byrne, Phyllis Murphy, Bridie O’Hanrahan, Bernie Kearns, Teresa Geoghegan, his sisters-in-law Annie and Joan, his brothers-in-law Billy Brennan, Brendan Byrne, Jimmy O’Hanrahan and Michael Kearns, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, relatives and friends, Archbishop George Desmond Tambala of Lilongwe and his Society family.

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Leo Flynn, 1937-2022

January 7th, 2022

With sadness, we announce the death of Fr Leo Flynn (1962 class). Fr Leo passed away peacefully in the Care Unit in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan on Friday, January 7th.

May he rest in Peace.

Our sincere sympathy to Leo’s family and friends.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Removal to Our Lady Assumed into Heaven Church, Enniscrone, Co Sligo, on Tuesday, January 11 at 7pm. Fr Leo’s Funeral Mass will be celebrated with family and close friends on Wednesday at 12 noon followed by burial in Killanley Cemetery.

Family flowers only please donations if desired to St Patrick’s Missionary Society C/o McGowan's funeral home, Ballina.

Please adhere to government guidelines on Covid-19.

The Mass will be live-streamed (from 12 noon Irish time) on:

https://www.churchtv.ie/enniscrone/

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

 

Fr Leo Flynn (1937-2022)

Leo Anthony Gabriel Flynn was born on the 29th of March 1937 to Patrick Flynn and his wife Margaret (née McHale) of Ballymoneen, Castleconnor, Co Sligo. He was from a family of one girl and nine boys. He received his primary education at Carragarry National School and for his secondary education he attended St Muredach’s College, Ballina; this involved a round trip of 14 miles every day on his bicycle for four years. He was a boarder for his final year and sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1955. Leo joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1955 and completed the Spiritual Year in June 1956. He then studied philosophy at St Patrick’s, Douglas, Cork, before returning to Kiltegan in September 1958 for a four year course in theology. He was ordained priest on the 22nd of April 1962 (Easter Sunday). The ordaining prelate was Most Reverend Patrick Cleary SSC, Exiled Bishop of Nancheng, China.

After ordination Leo was appointed to the Diocese of Calabar. Within one year of his arrival a new Diocese was carved out of Calabar, the Diocese of Ikot Ekpene. It was in that area Leo was to spend the first six years of his priestly ministry. During that period there was growing civil unrest in South Eastern Nigeria; this unrest would later lead to the outbreak of the Nigerian Civil War which was a very stressful time for all missionaries. Leo served first at Urua Akpan and later at Nko. He left Nigeria in 1968 and was appointed to promotion work in the USA. He was based first in Camden, New Jersey, and later in Chicago. For a decade he was very involved in fund-raising for the Society. He travelled all over the USA making mission appeals in parish churches. He also helped to organise other income generating events such as dinner dances and bingo. During his time in the USA Leo built up a large network of friends who remained loyal to him for the rest of his life.

After ten years in the USA Leo returned to Nigeria and this time he was appointed to the Archdiocese of Lagos. For the next forty years he ministered in some of the poorest parishes in Africa’s most populous city. He began in 1978 in St Mary’s, Ajegunle, and from there helped establish St Charles’ Parish, Olodi. From St Charles he founded many outstations including St Margaret’s, Our Lady of the Rosary, St Vincent’s, Our Lady Help of Christians (all in the greater Olodi area) and finally he established St Philomena’s in Ajegunle. Most of these outstations are now flourishing parishes.

Leo was noted for his hard work and dedication all through his life. He put his heart and soul into everything he did whether it be pastoral work in Lagos or mission promotion work in the USA. He was a very far-seeing pastor and very shrewd. He identified sites for future churches years before anyone set foot in them and with his innate business acumen he was able to purchase the sites for a modest price. He encouraged the people to be self-sufficient and to take ownership of their parish communities. The churches, parish houses and community halls that Leo left behind were funded mostly by contributions from the local people. He fostered strong lay involvement in the pastoral life of the parishes where he ministered. He also introduced lay Eucharistic Ministers and promoted Group Weddings. Care of the poor and the sick was an integral part of Leo’s ministry. He was always willing to make a sick call no matter what hour of the day or night it came.The promotion of vocations to Religious Life was also a hallmark of his ministry. Through his guidance, encouragement and support many young people from the parishes where he ministered went on to join Religious Congregations and Missionary Societies.

Forty years of intense pastoral work in many parishes in Lagos eventually took its toll on Leo’s health. He was forced to leave his beloved people in St Philomena’s in 2017 and return to Ireland. He retired to Kiltegan. In the autumn of 2021 he was diagnosed with a serious illness. After a short spell in hospital he returned to Kiltegan in late November 2021. A few days after Christmas his condition deteriorated. He died peacefully in the Care Unit at Kiltegan shortly after noon on Friday, the 7th of January 2022. At his bedside were his niece-in-law Barbara Flynn along with some members of the Care Unit Staff and some members of the Kiltegan community.

Leo was predeceased by his sister Maura and by his brothers Paddy, Eamon, Vincent, Michael and Fr Mattie. He is survived by his brothers Kevin, Eugene and Brendan, by his sisters-in-law, his nieces and nephews and their families.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr John Kearns, 1957-2021

December 20th 2021

With great sadness we announce the death of Fr John Kearns (1990 Class). John died suddenly this morning (Monday), December 20th, at his home in Garrison, Co Fermanagh. May he rest in peace.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Reposing at the residence of his brother Frank and sister-in-law Pauline, Cromague, subject to Covid 19 guidelines. Removal on Wednesday (22/12/2021) at 10.15 a.m., arriving at St Michael’s Church, Corcaghan, Co. Monaghan for funeral Mass at 11 a.m., subject to Covid 19 guidelines.

 

Burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

 

Funeral Mass available via live webcam at:

https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-michaels-church-1

Our sincere sympathy to John's family and many friends.

 

Fr John Kearns (1957-2021)

John Gerard Kearns was born on the 8th of November 1957 to Michael Kearns and his wife Mollie (née Callaghan) of Annaglough, Stranooden, Co Monaghan. He was the second eldest of a family of one girl and four boys. He received his primary education first at Nart Primary School and then at Corcaghan Primary School before going to the Christian Brothers in Monaghan Town for his secondary education. He sat the Leaving Certificate in 1975 and in September of the same year he joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society. After completing the Spiritual Year he went to St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, in September 1976 for a two year course in philosophy. He returned to Kiltegan in September 1978 for his theological studies but after one year he decided he needed time outside the seminary in order to reflect further on his vocation. He joined An Garda Síochána in late 1979 and after the normal training at Templemore Garda College he began his career as a Garda in 1980. He was stationed at Hackballscross near Dundalk in Co Louth. Thoughts of the priesthood were never far from his mind and in 1986 he made the brave step to seek readmission to the Society. He resumed his theological studies in September 1986 and after a four year course he was ordained priest in St Michael’s Church, Corcaghan, on the 17th of June 1990. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Joseph Duffy DD, Bishop of Clogher.

After ordination John was appointed to the Diocese of Mutare in Zimbabwe where the Society had opened a new mission the previous year. He was sent to St Paul’s Parish, Dangamvura, and worked with Noel McHenry. In 1995 he went to work in Good Shepherd Parish, Dombotombo, in the Archdiocese of Harare. John left Zimbabwe in 1998 and took a sabbatical. In 1999 he went to work in his native Diocese of Clogher and remained there for the rest of his life. He served in Pettigo, Clones, Clogher Parish and finally in Garrison.

John was a very kind and attentive pastor who was very much loved by the people to whom he ministered. His great warmth and humanity always shone through. He was also a very fun-loving person and a great practical joker. From an early age he developed a passion for motorbikes and was in his element when he was riding his Honda 500. He rode a bike in Zimbabwe and had no fear of travelling long distances on it. He once travelled from Mutare to Johannesburg by bike and enjoyed recounting his experiences of what he encountered on the way. His love of bikes opened up a new world to him and gave him access to the lives of many people who would otherwise have little contact with a priest. He became  the unofficial chaplain to bikers in Ireland. He officiated at their weddings, baptised their children and officiated at their funerals. John found this ministry very fulfilling and life-giving.

John became seriously ill in 2013 and for the rest of his life he had to battle with very poor health. He spent many spells in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry where he received excellent medical attention. Throughout his illness John remained positive and never lost his sense of humour. He was always grateful to the doctors who looked after him. He was also very grateful to Bishops Joseph Duffy, Liam McDaid and Larry Duffy for allowing him to stay on in the presbytery in Garrison despite his illness. The last months of his life were particularly difficult. He was often sick and unable to minister. Yet he never complained or lost hope. His sister Eileen visited him on Sunday, the 19th of December, and stayed overnight with him. He died peacefully in the early hours of Monday morning, the 20th of December.

 

John was predeceased by his parents Michael and Mollie. He is survived by his sister Eileen, his brothers Patrick, Frank and James, his sisters-in-laws Pauline and Caitríona, his nieces and nephews, the parishioners of the parishes where he served and a wide circle of friends.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Society Remembrance Liturgy

November 24th 2021

To view the Remembrance Liturgy for deceased Society members, please click on the link below. 

Remembrance Liturgy, November 2021

May they rest in peace.

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Fr Denis O'Rourke

Monday, November 15th, 2021

With great sadness we announce the death of Fr Denis O'Rourke (1967 Class). 

Denis died peacefully in St Vincent's Hospital at 10pm this evening, Monday, November 15th. 

May Denis rest in peace.

Our sincere sympathy to Fr Denis' family and many friends.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass on Thursday, November 18th, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

Recordings:

To view the Evening Reception prayers that took place on Wednesday, November 17th, please click on the following link: Evening Reception Prayers, November 17th

To view the Funeral Mass, please click on the following link:

Funeral Mass, November 18th

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Denis Mary O’Rourke (1942-2021)

Denis Mary O’Rourke was born on the 11th of February 1942 to Jack O’Rourke and his wife B’Mai (née O’Doherty) of “Sunnydale”, Upper Kickham Street, Thurles, Co Tipperary. He was the second eldest in a family of two girls and two boys. He received the first years of his primary education in the Presentation Convent, Thurles. He then went to the Christian Brothers, Thurles,   for the rest of his primary education and for his secondary education. He sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1959 and joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society the following September. After completing the Spiritual Year he went to St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, and obtained a BSc degree at UCC. He returned to St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan, in September 1963 for a four year course in theology. He and his ten classmates were ordained in St Brigid’s Church, Hacketstown, on Easter Sunday (26th of March) 1967. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Patrick Lennon DD, then Auxiliary Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

After ordination Denis was appointed to the Diocese of Minna, Nigeria, but because of the Civil War he was unable to take up his appointment immediately. Instead he was sent to teach science in Baltinglass Vocational School and to study for the Higher Diploma in Education at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth. He set out for Nigeria in September 1968 and spent the next thirteen years ministering in the Diocese of Minna. His first appointment was to Fatima Secondary School in Minna. During his time there he also did pastoral work in Gwada. In 1972 Denis was transferred to Zuru in the north of the Diocese, where he taught in a Co-Ed secondary school. In 1975 the school became a Teacher Training College and Denis became the “unofficial” Vice Principal. When Denis completed his time in Zuru he decided to take a sabbatical and did a nine month course in Liturgy at Mount St Anne’s, near Portarlington.

Denis returned to Minna in July 1978 and was appointed to a provincial town called Abuja which later gave its name to the Federal Capital of Nigeria. He ministered there for three years. He left Nigeria in December 1981 as his father had taken ill. As he wanted to be fairly near his parents he was appointed to St John’s, Tralee, for a number of months. Then he was appointed to promotion work in Ireland and visited some parishes of the Archdiocese of Dublin and also parishes in Waterford and Lismore Diocese and in Cork Diocese. At the end of his time on promotion work he was asked to join the formation team at our House of Philosophy in Douglas, Cork. He served there from 1984 to 1986 as dean and bursar. When our House of Philosophy moved to Maynooth, Denis  continued on the formation team for a further two years.  In 1988 he was re-appointed to St John’s, Tralee, and served there until 1992. In 1992 Denis was appointed Superior for Ireland, a post he held until 1998. During those years he visited the members living in different parts of Ireland and was also very involved in the day to day running of the Kiltegan campus.

After his appointment as Superior for Ireland Denis took a sabbatical year in which he did the Faith and Mission Course in Dalgan Park and a three month renewal course at Marianella, Dublin. He then went to work at a Retreat Centre run by the De La Salle Brothers in Castletown, Co Laois. He helped out with school retreats and found the ministry very rewarding. He was appointed Bursar General of the Society after the 2002 Chapter and he held the post until March 2015. After stepping down as Bursar General Denis continued to live at Kiltegan and helped out in the Promotion Office until he became ill.

In April 2021 Denis began to feel unwell. He was admitted to St Vincent’s General Hospital where he was diagnosed with a serious illness. Over the following months he received treatment for the illness which necessitated fairly long stays in hospital. He was admitted to St Vincent’s General Hospital once again at the end of October. His condition began to deteriorate. He died peacefully at 10pm on Monday evening, the 15th of November. At his bedside were his sisters Claver and Ita.

Denis was very warm, friendly, kind and good humoured. He was a very sociable person who loved the company of other people. He was the life and soul of any party he ever attended and was a gifted master of ceremonies. He loved to sing a song or tell a story or a joke.  He was constantly on the lookout for a good joke and had built up a huge repertoire of funny stories over the years. Denis gave great service to the Society during the 54 years of his priestly life.  He worked in formation, promotion, leadership and finance. He made a tremendous contribution to the life of the Kiltegan community over the last two decades. He took a keen interest in every aspect of Society life and loved to be in regular touch with many members. He was also very interested in Liturgy and was a gifted preacher. His homilies were well prepared, to the point, and illustrated by memorable little stories. He remained very close to his family throughout his life and loved being present for the baptisms, birthdays and weddings of his sisters, his nieces and nephews.   It was very fitting that they were with him at the moment of his death.

 

Denis was predeceased by his parents Jack and B’Mai and by his brother Fr J C (Lismore Diocese, Australia). He is survived by his sisters Claver Hill (UK), Ita Loughnane (Maynooth), his brothers-in-law Robert Hill and Michael Loughnane,  his nieces, nephews and their families.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Thomas Joachim Jude (Tom) Browne (1929-2021)

Thursday, October 14th, 2021

With great sadness, we announce the death of Fr Thomas (Tom) Browne (1954 class) on Thursday evening (October 14th) in Nass Hospital following a short illness. Youngest son of the late Patrick and Margaret Browne. Sadly missed by his Loomes, Browne and Berridge nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews, his relatives and friends and by his Society family.  May he rest in peace.

Our sincere sympathy to Fr Tom's family and friends.

Recordings:

To view the Evening Reception prayers that took place on Sunday, Oct 17th, please click on the following link: Evening Reception Prayers October 17th.

To view the Funeral Mass for Fr Thomas Browne, please click on the following link:

Funeral Mass, October 18th

Fr Thomas Joachim Jude (Tom) Browne (1929-2021)

Thomas Joachim Jude (Tom) Browne was born on the 18th of January 1929 to Patrick Browne and his wife Margaret (née Collins) of 4 Cathedral Villas, Limerick. He was the youngest of a family of four girls and five boys. He received his primary education and the first two years of his secondary education in the Christian Brothers’ School, Sexton Street, Limerick. For the final three years of his secondary education he attended St Munchin’s College, Limerick, where he sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1946. He joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1946 and spent the Spiritual Year in Humewood Castle beside Kiltegan Village. In September 1947 he was sent to Cork as one of the first group of students to study for degrees at University College Cork (UCC). He graduated with a BA degree in June 1950 and returned to Kiltegan for a four year course in theology. Tom was ordained on Easter Sunday (18th of April) 1954 together with ten classmates. The ordaining prelate was Bishop J W Heffernan CSSp, Vicar Apostolic Emeritus of Zanzibar, Kenya.

After ordination Tom was appointed to the Diocese of Calabar, Nigeria, and he ministered there until 1968. He served at Ikot Ananga, Ikot Nseyen, Ikot Itaku and Afaha Obong. His main ministry was as a teacher in Teacher Training Colleges. He was displaced by the Biafran War in 1968 and was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie. He returned to Nigeria in 1969 and was appointed to the Diocese of Ogoja. He taught in Maryknoll College, Okuku. He was then appointed to the Diocese of Port Harcourt and ministered there until 1984. He spent a number of years in St John’s Catholic Church, Rumuokwurusi. After the 1984 Chapter he was appointed Vice Regional Superior for West Africa and lived in the Regional House in Lagos with Tommy Gillooly until 1990. After a short sabbatical he returned to Nigeria and this time he was appointed to the newly established Prefecture of Bomadi where fellow Society priest and great friend Tommy Greenan had been chosen as the Prefect Apostolic. He served in Amarata and Patani. He left Nigeria in 1998 shortly before his 70th birthday.

Tom went to work in the Diocese of San Diego (USA) in 1998 following an invitation from a friend from his childhood. He was encouraged by his friend to go to Mexico to learn Spanish as the majority of Church goers in San Diego Diocese were Spanish speaking. He was sent to a parish in Cuernavaca for language studies. It was a great challenge to begin learning a new language at almost 70 years of age. However, Tom was up for it. After three months he was able to converse and say Mass in Spanish. It was now time to return to the Diocese of San Diego. Then came a Damascus moment! The priest who was his host saw how well Tom had settled into the culture and the life of the parish, and having learned about his 45 years as a missionary in Nigeria he began to sow a seed: would Tom consider staying on in Cuernavaca as a missionary? The seed fell on fertile ground. Tom made a life-changing decision: he decided that the needs of the Church and the needs of the people of Cuernavaca were far greater than the needs in San Diego and he decided to stay with the people whom he had grown to love and admire. For the next twenty years he served the people of Capilla San Juan Evangelista and of Parróquia La Natividad de Maria in the city of Cuernavaca. One of his many achievements was the establishment of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association in Mexico. After celebrating his 90th birthday in January 2019 he decided it was time to return to Ireland. He retired in Kiltegan in July 2019 after 65 years of active ministry as a missionary priest.

Tom settled into life in Kiltegan very easily. He was in very good health and many found it hard to believe that he was 90 years of age. He took a very active part in the life of the community and was always attentive and helpful to all who lived with him. At the beginning of the COVID Lockdown in March 2020 he decided to move to the Care Unit. His main reason for going there was in order to be able to keep a watchful and kindly eye on his many friends who might need his help. He enjoyed excellent health until early September 2021 when he began to feel weak. He was admitted to Naas General Hospital on the 1st of October. His condition gradually deteriorated, and he died peacefully at 8pm on Thursday, the 14th of October. His family kept vigil at his bedside during his last days and three grand-nieces were present with him when he died.

Tom was a man of boundless energy and optimism. His life was totally dedicated to the spread of the Gospel. He was willing to serve happily wherever the need was greatest. He made a deep impression on all who met him because of his sincerity and his genuine interest in people. The students whom he taught during his time at St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, and who are now members of the Society remember a very warm, kind, encouraging and engaging teacher. His life was poured out for others and that remained the case right up to the end. He was a proud Limerick man and felt very blessed to have witnessed a golden age in Limerick hurling over the last four years. He was very devoted to his family and remained close to them throughout his life.

 

Tom was predeceased by his sisters Mary (Bebe) Loomes, Mona Berridge (UK), Eini (UK) and Frances (Limerick), by his brothers Joe (Bristol), Anthony (Limerick), Gus (Liverpool) and Dr Michael (Ratoath). He is survived by his nieces and nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews and their families and by his great friend Fr Hector Gomez (Cuernavaca, Mexico).

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Memorial Mass - Fr Con Cronin

Saturday, October 16th, 2021

A Memorial Mass for Fr Con Cronin will be celebrated in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Saturday, the 16th of October, at 12 noon.

The memorial Mass was recorded and is available for viewing at the following link:

Memorial Mass, Fr Con Cronin, October 16th, 2021

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 Fr John Lalor (1938-2021)

Friday, September 24th, 2021

With great sadness, we announce the death of Fr John Lalor (1964 class) this evening in the Care Unit, in St Patrick's, Kiltegan. 

Our sincere sympathy to Fr John's family and friends. May he rest in peace. 

To view the recording of the Funeral Mass which took place on Monday, September 27th, please click on the following link:

Funeral Mass, Fr John Lalor SPS Monday Sept 27th

Fr John Lalor (1938-2021)

John Patrick Lalor was born on the 5th of January 1938 to Thomas Lalor and his wife Teresa (née Kinsella) of Ballard House, Kilbeggan, Co Westmeath. He was one of a family of two girls and five boys. John received his primary education at Clara National School, Co Offaly, where one of his teachers was George MacNamara, the father of the late Fr Vincent MacNamara. He received his secondary education at St Finian’s College, Mullingar, Co Westmeath, where he was a boarder from 1950 to 1956. John joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1956 and completed the Spiritual Year in June 1957. He then proceeded to St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, and studied at University College Cork where he graduated with an honours degree in philosophy in 1960. He returned to St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan, for a four year course in theology and was ordained with nineteen classmates on Easter Sunday (March 29th) 1964. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Patrick Cleary SSC, the Exiled Bishop of Nancheng, China.

After ordination John was appointed to the Diocese of Ikot Ekpene in Nigeria. His first assignment was as a teacher in Queen of Apostles’ Seminary, Afaha Obong. He was then appointed secretary to Bishop Dominic Ekandem, the Bishop of Ikot Ekpene. He was evacuated because of the Biafran War in 1968 and spent some time in Ireland. During that period he served for a few months as dean at St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan. He returned to Nigeria in 1969 and resumed teaching in Queen of Apostles’ Seminary which had become a Major Seminary. He then became principal of Goretti Girls’ Secondary School and taught English and Maths there. He also returned to the Bishop’s office as secretary and became parish priest of Ifuho parish in the town of Ikot Ekpene. It was an extremely busy time but John was always willing to undertake any assignment entrusted to him. During this time he also helped in Ukana and Adiassim parishes. He returned to Queen of Apostles’ Seminary in 1975 and taught there for a further two years.

1977 was a big year in John’s life. He was asked to teach philosophy at the newly founded Missionary Seminary of St Paul based in Iperu-Remo, Ogun State. It meant leaving a part of Nigeria he loved very much and starting a new life in Western Nigeria. He taught philosophy at Ipreu-Remo for six years. He was then appointed to the Diocese of Port Harcourt. He was rector of Sacred Heart Junior Seminary and he served as pastor of Igwurutu Parish. In 1985 John was appointed to promotion work in Scotland and spent the next six years travelling the length and breadth of the country encouraging the faithful to live out their baptismal calling to be missionaries. Another big change came for John in 1991 when he was appointed to teach philosophy at St Anthony’s Major Seminary, Kachebere, Malawi. As always he showed himself to be available to serve the Church where the need was greatest. At 53 years of age he was prepared to launch out again and go to a new country and people. He taught in St Anthony’s for twenty-one years. John liked to joke that he was asked to go there for one year and ended up spending twenty-one years there!

In 2012 John decided to return to Ireland as his health was beginning to fail. He settled in Kiltegan and took up an appointment in the promotion office. His ministry was to write letters to benefactors, thanking them for their generosity and offering them a word of comfort and consolation in their hour of need. It was a ministry he knew well from his six years in Scotland. John was very dedicated to this ministry and was very pleased to be able to offer such a service to our wonderful benefactors.

John was a very gracious, sincere, refined and prayerful man. He showed himself to be a very adaptable, versatile and generous missionary priest whose whole life was about service of the Gospel. He worked extremely hard and never sought the limelight. He enjoyed very much a short visit he made to Nigeria with his friend Fr Andy Keating in 2013. He was very touched by the great welcome he and Andy received from their former parishioners. The visit renewed and refreshed John and it was a source of deep pride and satisfaction to him for the rest of his days. It was a confirmation of his calling as a missionary priest.

John’s health deteriorated over the last number of years. He went to live in the Care Unit in March 2020. His health deteriorated further in recent months and he had to be admitted to hospital. He was very pleased to return to the Kiltegan community in early September. John died peacefully at 7.30pm on the 24th of September as he was preparing to retire for the night. His brother Pat had visited him earlier in the evening. John died as he lived: quietly and without fuss.

John is survived by his sisters Sr Mary (Holy Faith Sisters) and Margaret (Murphy), by his brothers Willie (Mississippi), Fr Tom (Mississippi), Pat and Gerard, by his sisters in law Linda, Lily and Paula and by his brother-in-law Joe Murphy, his nephews and nieces and their families.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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 Fr James Alphonsus (Alphie) Byrne (1926-2021)

Tuesday, September 7th, 2021

With great sadness, we announce the death of Fr Alphiie Byrne (1953 ordination class) which occurred this morning in the Care Unit, St. Patrick’s, Kiltegan. May Alphie’s soul rest in peace.

We offer our sincere sympathy to his family and SPS colleagues.

To view the recording of the Funeral Mass which took place on Friday, September 10th, please click on the following link:

Funeral Mass, Sept 10th, Fr Alphie Byrne SPS

Fr James Alphonsus (Alphie) Byrne (1926-2021)

James Alphonsus (Alphie) Byrne was born on the 17th of June 1926 to Thomas H Byrne and his wife Margaret (née Doyle) of Main Street, Graignamanagh, Co Kilkenny. He was from a family of three girls and five boys. He began his primary education in the local Convent School in 1930 and then moved to Graignamanagh National School in 1934. 

 

He received his secondary education in St Mary’s College, Knockbeg, Carlow, where he boarded from 1939 to 1944. On the completion of his secondary education Alphie decided to follow in the footsteps of his older brothers Aodh and Paddy and study for the priesthood. While they chose St Patrick’s College, Carlow, Alphie chose to become a missionary priest and joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan, in September 1944. His Spiritual Year was spent in Humewood Castle beside Kiltegan village. After finishing his studies in philosophy the Society Leadership Team decided to send Alphie and a number of his classmates to Cork to study for a BA degree at University College Cork. The Society had recently opened a house in Douglas, Cork, for the purpose of sending students to UCC in order to obtain university degrees.

After ordination these students would be qualified to teach in secondary schools in Africa. Alphie and his classmates got a special exemption and were able to complete the BA degree after two years. 

 

He returned to Kiltegan in 1949 for a four year course in theology. He and his eight classmates were ordained on Easter Sunday (5th of April) 1953. The ordaining prelate was Bishop J W Heffernan CSSp, Vicar Apostolic Emeritus of Zanzibar, Kenya.

After ordination Alphie was appointed to the Diocese of Calabar, Nigeria. He ministered there until 1967. He taught in a number of schools including The Archibong Memorial Secondary School, Ututu Community Girls’ Secondary School and the Diocesan Junior Seminary based at Afaha Obong where he served as rector from 1965 to 1967.  

 

He was then displaced by the Civil War and returned to Ireland at the end of 1967. After a short rest he was appointed to the Chaplaincy Team at the Curragh Army Camp and then spent nearly two years working in a parish in the Archdiocese of Birmingham (UK). 

He was elected a delegate to the Extraordinary Chapter of 1969. Alphie was then chosen to be part of a team tasked with investigating the possibility of a new Society mission in Central Africa. The team chose missions in Malawi and in Zambia. In early 1970 Alphie was asked to be part of the pioneering team which opened a new Society mission in the Diocese of Mzuzu, Malawi. He served as the first Dicio Director. Malawi would be Alphie’s home for the next thirty nine years. He made the transition from Nigeria very easily. He worked in many missions, including Mzimba, Mzuzu, Chilumba and Nkhamenya. He helped to build new churches and schools. He never returned to the classroom, preferring to be out among the people in a parish setting. 

After fifty six years of active ministry Alphie decided that it was time to return to Ireland. He was 83 years of age. He arrived in Kiltegan in 2009 and made it his home for the rest of his life. In a conversation with Bryan MacMahon he admitted that he found it hard to settle into life at Kiltegan at first. He felt he was still able for pastoral work in a parish. After one year at home he suffered a stroke and that put an end to any dream of returning to active ministry. He was very grateful to God for the good recovery he made. He devoted his spare time in the Used Stamps Office. After he turned 90 his health began to decline and he moved to the Care Unit. He was in very good form for his 95th birthday but soon afterwards his condition deteriorated.

His family kept vigil at his bedside during the last days of his life. He died peacefully around 12.45 pm on Tuesday, the 7th of September 2021. At his bedside at the moment of his death were his nieces Deirdre and Marina Byrne, and members of the Care Unit Staff along with Frs Enda Kelly and John Roche of the House Leadership Team. Alphie lived a very long, happy and fruitful life. At the time of his death he had been a member of the Society for longer than anyone else. 

 

Throughout his life he showed himself to be a very versatile and resilient missionary priest. He worked tirelessly for the spiritual and material well-being of the people he was called to serve. He lived a very simple and uncluttered life and he had little interest in material things. He was blessed in having a very close family who offered him wonderful support especially in his last years. He loved their visits. Alphie was a proud Kilkenny man and followed the fortunes of its hurlers very keenly.

One of the happiest occasions in his later life was the visit in September 2016 of his three grandnieces Anna, Shelly and Meighan Farrell proudly carrying the O’Duffy Cup:  they had starred for Kilkenny in the All Ireland Senior Camogie Final victory the previous Sunday!

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Michael Kane, 1941-2021

Thursday, August 19th, 2021

With great sadness we announce the death of Fr Michael Kane (1968 Class) this afternoon in Naas General Hospital. May he rest in peace.

To view the recording of the Funeral Mass that took place on August 25th 2021, please click on the following link.

Funeral Mass, Fr Michael Kane SPS

Fr Michael Kane (1941-2021)

Michael Joseph Kane was born on the 14th of February 1941 to Thomas Kane and his wife Gretta (née Murphy) of Moneytucker, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford. He was one of a family of nine boys and five girls. He attended Courtnacuddy National School from 1947 to 1955 and then proceeded to the Christian Brothers School in Enniscorthy for his secondary education. He sat the Leaving Certificate in 1960 and then helped on the family farm for a year. He joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1961 and completed the Spiritual Year in June 1962. He studied philosophy at St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, before returning to Kiltegan for a four year course in theology. He was ordained priest on the 14th of April 1968 (Easter Sunday). The ordaining prelate was Most Reverend Patrick Lennon DD, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.

 

After ordination Michael was appointed to the Diocese of Kitui where he served for almost thirty years. During his time in Kitui he ministered in many parishes including Mutunue, Migwani, Kyuso, Kitui Town, Mwingi and Nguuni. He was Vocations Director for the Diocese of Kitui from 1986 to 1992. He got very involved in rural development, the provision of clean water for the people being one of his top priorities. With financial aid from his family and from his generous neighbours in County Wexford, Michael helped to provide boreholes for many communities in the Diocese of Kitui. This ministry made a very significant contribution to the quality of life of the local people who lived in semi desert conditions and who invariably struggled to have a reliable supply of good clean drinking water. Even after he had left Kitui Michael continued to support those projects with the help of his family and neighbours. Each year his family organised a Steam Rally, and all the revenue collected was sent to Kitui to help with water projects.

 

Michael returned to Ireland around 2000 and spent a couple of years as curate in Kildare Town Parish. He came to Kiltegan in 2004. It would be his home for the rest of his life. He worked for some time as Assistant House Leader at Kiltegan and also served as Assistant Director of Slí an Chroí. He opened an EcoCentre on the compound which complemented his time growing vegetables and flowers in the community garden. Michael became very involved in the protection of the environment and took a keen interest in making St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, an ecologically friendly compound and he worked tirelessly to promote biodiversity. He was a member of the West Wicklow Environmental Network. One of his many campaigns was to keep to a minimum the areas of the compound designated as “lawns”. Michael was very much ahead of his time in all this pioneering work. He was delighted when Pope Francis published his Encyclical Laudato Si’ in 2015 as it was a vindication of the work he had been quietly promoting for many years.

 

Michael was a very keen photographer and many of his photos have graced the pages of the ‘Africa’ magazine. For the last four years he wrote a regular column for the magazine on nature and ecology under the title In the Family of Things. He wrote about the changing seasons and helped us to appreciate the beauty of creation that surrounds us here. He had a very easy style of writing that attracted many readers to his articles. He had an encyclopaedic knowledge of the trees, shrubs, plants, birds, bees, insects, butterflies and animals that are found on the compound. He attributed his great love of nature to his late father.

 

Michael was very generous in sharing his vast knowledge of nature and inspired many of us who lived in community with him to open our eyes more and take an interest in what was going on around us. He had a very gentle, warm and kindly presence which helped to put people at ease and had a very good sense of humour. He remained very close to his family throughout his life. They offered him great support especially during his three decades as a missionary in Kitui. He loved his regular visits to his family.

 

Michael became ill in the spring of 2021 – shortly after his 80th birthday. He was taken to Naas General Hospital on the 15th of July for medical tests. He died suddenly on the afternoon of Thursday, the 19th of August.

 

Michael was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Gretta, by his sister Angela and by his brothers Edward and Martin. He is survived by his sisters Nora (Furlong), Patty, Mairin and Colette (Lenihan), by his brothers John Joe, Thomas, Seamus, Anthony, Joseph and Bernard, by his sisters-in-law Margaret, Anne, Margie and Mary, by his brothers-in-law Mosie Furlong and Pat Lenihan, by his nieces and nephews and their families.

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal agus dílis.

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Fr Con Cronin, 1948-2021

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2021

It is with great sadness that we learned of the death of Fr. Con Cronin in a tragic traffic accident near his home in Cork. Born in the parish of Bantry, Co Cork in 1948 Con spent his early years in his home community. After the death of his mother, he went to work in the hospitality industry in Dublin.

 

In 1970 he decided to take a new path in life and began his studies for the missionary priesthood with St. Patrick’s Missionary Society in St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, Scotland. After ordination in 1979 he spent 25 years working in the Diocese of Minna in Nigeria. He also spent some time working in Castlerea in Co Roscommon. Subsequently he spent eight years working on missionary promotion for the Society in Ireland before taking up a position in the Diocese of Cork and Ross in 2012.

 

Since then, he has worked in the Harbour Parishes near Cork city. As the public outpouring of grief since Con’s death has manifested, he was a remarkable person. Full of energy and fun he radiated life and enthusiasm wherever he worked. Behind it all lay a very deep faith in God who loves everybody equally. Discrimination and favouritism were foreign to Con.

 

Con has been a blessing to his family, home community, St Patrick’s Missionary Society and parishioners whom he loved dearly, both in Nigeria and in Ireland. On this sad occasion we express our sincere sympathy to everybody who had the privilege of knowing Fr. Con.

 

We send our prayers to all those who were affected by the tragic accident. We send our thanks to the emergency services and all those who assisted the injured following the accident.

 

We express our heartfelt sympathy, support, and prayers to the family of the bus driver, Mark Wills. We can only imagine their suffering and grief at this time.

 

May Con and Mark rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements for Fr Con Cronin are as follows:

In accordance with HSE and Government Guidelines Fr Con will lay in rest in St. Mary's Church, Passage West, from 4-7pm on Friday August 6th in conformity with Church guidance for those who would like to visit for personal prayer. Fr Con will lay in rest in St. Joseph's Church, Coomhola, on Saturday August 7th from 10am to 12.30pm for those who would like to visit for personal prayer.

Private Funeral Mass will take place at 2pm. This will be livestreamed on 

www.memoriallane.ie/livestream with private burial after in Kilmacomogue Cemetery. 

Contact Collins Funeral Directors, Kealkill, Bantry on 02766123, 086 8364683, 0860572473 or email info@collinsundertakers.com.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Con Cronin (1948-2021)

Cornelius Finbarr (Con) Cronin was born on the 17th of September 1948 to Con ThadeCronin and his wife Mary (née Murphy) of “Mine View House”, Borlin, Bantry, Co Cork. Con was the youngest of a family of one girl and three boys. The family was known as the Con ThadeCronins to distinguish them from the other Cronin families in the Borlin Valley. Con received his primary education at Borlin National School from 1953 to 1962. As he was about to enter secondary school his mother became seriously ill and Con was the only member of the family available to look after her. He spent many years as her full time carer. After his mother’s death he went to work in Reenadiseart Hotel, Ballylickey, Bantry, and later found employment in St Lawrence’s Hotel, Howth, Co Dublin. A career in the hospitality sector beckoned. But since his earliest years he thought about being a priest. While in Dublin he made contact with St Patrick’s Missionary Society with the intention of becoming a missionary priest. There was one big obstacle: he had no secondary education. At that time St Patrick’s Missionary Society had a school in Buchlyvie, Scotland, which had been opened for the specific purpose of preparing candidates for the priesthood who had not completed their secondary education. Con went to study at St Patrick’s College, Buchlyvie, in September 1970 and by 1972 he had acquired enough credits to enable him to begin his training for the priesthood. He joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1972 and completed the Spiritual Year in June 1973. He then proceeded to St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork, for a two year course in Philosophy. This was followed by a four year course in Theology at St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan. Con was ordained a priest on the 9th of June, 1979, in St Mary’s Church, Killamoat. The ordaining prelate was Bishop James Moynagh SPS, Retired Bishop of Calabar, Nigeria.

After ordination Con was sent to the Diocese of Minna, Nigeria. He studied the Hausa language under the guidance of Tommy Hayden in Zuru and Bwari and continued his orientation with Jim Noonan at Gwada. When he returned from leave after his first tour he was sent to Zuru. His next assignment was in Bida and this was followed by a four year term in St Michael’s Cathedral, Minna. In 1990 Con took a sabbatical which included a Renewal Course at Gort Mhuire, Dublin, and a three month module of Clinical Pastoral Education in Cork University Hospital. On his return to Minna he spent a short period in Our Lady of Fatima Church, Minna, before being posted to Kontagora in 1992. He worked at St Michael’s Parish, Kontagora, from 1992 to 1997. He then worked for a couple of years in Castlerea, Co Roscommon. He returned to Kontagora in 2000 and spent the following four years in St Peter’s Parish, Bobi. After celebrating the Silver Jubilee of his priestly ordination in 2004 Con was appointed to the promotion team in Ireland. When he finished his term on promotion work in 2012 he went to work in the Diocese of Cork and Ross and was assigned to Passage West. It was to be his home for the rest of his life. Con’s life was cut tragically short on the 3rd of August 2021. As he returned to his car after lunch he was knocked to the ground by a bus which had careered out of control. His last act was to save the person beside him by pushing her from the path of the oncoming bus.

Con was a larger than life character who made a deep impression on everyone he met on the road of life. He was blessed with a very rich and resonant voice which helped to put people at ease. He was very light-hearted and full of fun and had his own unique sense of humour. He was very much a people’s priest. Everyone was the same to him and any form of favouritism or elitism was totally foreign to him. He encouraged people to be their true selves. He made great friends wherever he went and he invested very heavily in personal friendship. He loved his years in Minna and Kontagora and had a profound respect for the local people, priests and religious. He watched out for people and was always willing to offer a helping hand and a kind word. No one was ever turned away from his door and no one was ever refused a place at his table. Many people who had no identification with faith or religion found in him a kind, compassionate and non-judgemental presence. Con remained close to his family throughout his life and he received great support from them especially during his 25 years in Nigeria. Nothing pleased him more than spending time in his beloved Borlin reconnecting with his family and the many friends from his childhood.

Con was predeceased by his sister Betty (Creed), his brother Pat (Bantry) and his brother-in-law Finbarr Creed (Dublin). He is survived by his brother Teddy (Borlin), his sisters-in-law Margaret (Borlin) and Mary (Bantry), his nieces, nephews and their families, his Society colleagues, Bishop Fintan Gavin of the Diocese of Cork and Ross and his predecessor Bishop John Buckley, his colleagues John Galvin and Sean O’Sullivan and his devoted parishioners in the Harbour Parishes, Cork.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Edward Opiyo Anam, 1986-2021

Saturday, April 10th 2021

With sadness we announce the death of Edward Opiyo Anam, in Nairobi Mater Hospital, Kenya on Saturday, April 10th. Edward was a St Patrick’s Third Year Theology Student from Christ the King Parish, Embakasi, Kenya. May Edward rest in peace.

 

Our sincere sympathy to his family, his friends and classmates. 

A requiem Mass for Br. Edward Anam, took place on Tuesday, April 13th at 2pm, local time, in St Patrick's Theology House, Nairobi, Kenya. It can be viewed at the following link:

St Patrick's Theology House, Nairobi, April 13th

The Funeral Service for Edward Opiyo Anam will take place on Wednesday, April 14th at 11am local time. It will be live streamed at the following link:

Funeral Service, April 14th, 2021

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Fr William P. Mauric, 1957-2021

Tuesday, April 6th 2021

With great sadness we announce the death of Fr William (Bill) Mauric, 1992 class, in Rondonopolis Brazil from Corona virus complications. 

Our sincere sympathy to Bill’s family in Michigan, USA, and to his many friends in Brazil. 

The funeral Mass for Fr Bill Mauric SPS took place on Wednesday morning, April 7th, in his parish of Paróquia São José, Alto Taquari. To view the Mass please click on the following link to the parish's Facebook page. May Bill rest in peace.

https://www.facebook.com/Par%C3%B3quia-S%C3%A3o-Jos%C3%A9-e-Nossa-Senhora-Aparecida-1908617822796421

Fr William P. Mauric, 1957-2021

William Patrick (Bill) Mauric was born on the 25th of November 1957 to George Mauric and his wife Mary (née Monaghan) of Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He was the fourth child in a family of ten. In his youth his family moved to Parnell in Michigan where Bill received his education. Bill joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1985. After the Spiritual Year he went to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, for a two year course in Philosophy, graduating in June 1988. He returned to Kiltegan in September 1988 for a three year course in theology. The third year of his theology course was taken at the Kimmage Mission Institute in Dublin. After his deaconate ordination in 1991 he was appointed to pastoral work in Our Lady of the Angels Church, Bayswater, London, under the supervision of Fr Michael Hollings. From January to April 1992 he did a course in Clinical Pastoral Education at Cork University Hospital. Bill was ordained priest in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on the 6th of June 1992. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Francis McKiernan DD, Bishop of Kilmore. He said his First Mass in the Parish Church in Wicklow town on the 7th of June.

Following ordination Bill was appointed to Brazil. After a three month course in the Portuguese language in Brasilia he went to work in São Sebastião Parish, Mitsutani  in the Diocese of Campo Limpo where he ministered until 1998. In early 1999 Bill was chosen to be part of a group of Society priests to open a new mission in the Diocese of Juina in the State of Mato Grosso. He worked in Santo Antônio Parish, Castanheira, in the Sagrado Coração Cathedral, Juina and in São José Parish, Juruena. He was then transferred back home to the USA where he served on the Society’s promotion team first in Chicago and later in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. The call to the missions remained always with Bill and when his six year term finished in the USA he returned to his beloved Brazil in 2011. This time he went to work in São José Parish, Alto Taquari, Mato Grosso, which was then in the Diocese of Guiratinga and in 2014 became part of the Diocese of Rondonópolis- Guiratinga. He remained there for the rest of his life.

Bill became seriously ill with COVID-19 towards the end of February 2021. After a short time in a clinic in Alto Taquari he was transferred to the Santa Casa Hospital in Rondonópolis on the 27th of February. During his long time in ICU there were occasions when it looked like Bill had won the battle and would soon be home. However he disimproved quickly over the last few days and was anointed on Monday morning by the vicar general of the Diocese of Rondonópolis, Padre José Éder. He died on the morning of the 6th of April 2021.

Bill was the first American (and so far the only American) to be ordained for St Patrick’s Missionary Society. While it cannot have been easy for him to leave the comfort of his home in Parnell, Michigan, and cross the Atlantic to Ireland, he adapted very quickly to the culture within the Society and to life in Ireland. He was very popular with his fellow students. He was blessed in having an aunt and her family living in Wicklow town where he was able to spend some of his holiday time. Bill was a very committed and zealous missionary priest. He was always willing to go wherever the Society’s needs were greatest. He was very undemanding and got on with life. He was a straight talker and he believed firmly that actions speak louder than words. Those who were at the 2014 Chapter will remember his inspiring words at one of the last Masses during the Chapter. He held up the document the delegates had produced. He said: “See this document! It is a good document but it can be a great document! We have talked the talk! Now we must walk the walk!” Bill certainly walked the walk.

May his kind and generous soul rest in peace.

Descanse em paz Bill.

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Fr Patrick O'Reilly, 1934-2021

Sunday, April 4th 2021

It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr Patrick O'Reilly (Ordained 1958). Fr Patrick died early this morning, Sunday April 4th, in the Care Unit at St Patrick’s, Kiltegan. May he rest in peace. Our sincere sympathy to Fr Patrick's family in their grief at this time.

 

To view a recording of the funeral Mass, please click on the following link. 

April 7th, Funeral Mass Fr Patrick M O'Reilly SPS.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Patrick M O’Reilly (1934-2021)

Patrick Mary (Paddy) O’Reilly was born on the 16th of February 1934 to Patrick F O’Reilly and his wife Dora (née Browne) of Villiers Road, Dublin 6. He was the youngest of a family of two boys and one girl. Paddy received his primary education at Loreto Primary School, Beaufort, Rathfarnham, and at St Mary’s, Rathmines. He continued at St Mary’s, Rathmines, for the early years of his secondary education before going to Glenstal Abbey, Co Limerick, in 1947. He sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1951. In September 1951 Paddy entered Clonliffe College to study for the priesthood in the Archdiocese of Dublin. He graduated from UCD with a BA degree in 1954 and then proceeded to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, for his theological studies. He was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Dublin in Clonliffe College on the 31st of May, 1958. The ordaining prelate was Most Rev John Charles McQuaid, the Archbishop of Dublin.

After ordination Paddy was appointed Chaplain to the Mercy Convent, Arklow, and he also helped in Arklow Parish. He was transferred to Ballygall Parish in 1962 before moving to Glasnevin Parish in 1964. While in Arklow he helped to found a Youth Club which continued for decades after he had left the parish. In late 1965 Paddy made the big decision to offer his services as a Volunteer Priest with St Patrick’s Missionary Society and he was sent to the Diocese of Kitui in Kenya. It would be his home for the next 30 years. In January 1972 he became a permanent member of St Patrick’s Missionary Society. Paddy had the following appointments: Teacher at St Joseph’s Secondary School, Mwingi (1966-1967); Mutomo Parish (1968-1971); Development Coordinator for Kitui Diocese (1972-1977); Ikanga Parish (1977-1981); Pastoral Coordinator for Kitui Diocese (1981-1984); Financial Administrator of Kitui Diocese (1985-1991); Our Lady of Africa Cathedral, Kitui (1991-1993); Diocesan Secretary (1993-1995).

In 1995 Paddy was appointed Bursar General of the Society and was based at Kiltegan. On reaching the age of 65 Paddy decided “to retire” but he continued to be available for temporary appointments. He helped train people in the use of the Quickbooks Accounts Programme which had been adopted by the Society as its official accounting system. He also facilitated various workshops and Society Meetings. In 2009 he came out of “retirement” to become House Leader at the Society’s House in Rome. He stayed in that post until 2012 when the Society decided to close the House. He returned to Kiltegan and this time retired “officially”.

All agree that Paddy made an enormous contribution to the missionary effort in Kitui Diocese during his three decades of active ministry there. He was a man who thought outside the box. He was innovative and an inspiration to his colleagues. He was full of ideas and had the innate confidence to try them out. He spearheaded the Church’s outreach to the hungry in times of drought and famine. He introduced the Psycho-Social Method to Kitui Diocese and this had a big influence on pastoral policy thereafter. He was also the leading light in the many Church projects and developments aimed at lifting people out of poverty. His organisational ability and drive were spotted early on by Bishop Dunne who made full use of Paddy’s impressive array of talents by appointing him to key positions in the Diocese.

While his work and pastoral ministry were very central to Paddy’s life he also found time for hobbies. He believed that life should be lived. During his years in Kitui he took up painting and this became his main hobby for the rest of his life. Visits to Italy for workshops on art became annual events. He was very generous with his talents and many of his paintings decorate the dining room and corridors of St Patrick’s, Kiltegan. Family was central to Paddy’s life and he enjoyed interacting with his nieces and nephews and their families up to very near the end of his life. They appreciated his openness and his totally non-judgemental style. He encouraged them to broaden their horizons and think outside the box. He took a great interest in his family tree and enjoyed discovering long lost cousins in West Wicklow.

Paddy enjoyed excellent health for most of his life. However, in the Spring of 2019 he was admitted to Naas General Hospital for an extended period and after his return to Kiltegan he was no longer capable of independent living and had to live in the Care Unit. His health began to decline further in early 2021. He became seriously ill on the 29th of March but he held on for a few days. As dawn was about to break on Easter Sunday morning (the 4th of April) he was called to his eternal reward.

 

Paddy was predeceased by his sister Bobbie (Browne), his brother Barry, his sister-in-law Anne and his brother-in-law Paddy Browne. He is survived by his nieces Jean, Marilyn, Valerie and Lanna, his nephews Peter and Patrick and their families.

Every job is a self-portrait

Of the person who did it.

Autograph your work with quality. 

Paddy did his work with quality.

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.