It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Fr PJ (Patrick Joseph) Melican, peacefully this morning, February 15th, in Naas General Hospital. Our sincere sympathy to Fr PJ's family, relatives and friends. May PJ rest in peace.
The funeral arrangements are as follows:
Reposing in the Care Unit, St Patrick's, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow (Eircode W91 Y022) on Monday, February 17th, from 3pm to 5pm with removal to St Patrick’s Chapel at 5.30. Funeral Mass on Tuesday at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.
Fr PJ, from Co Clare, joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society in September 1967 and was ordained on the 7th of June 1975 by Bishop James Moynagh SPS, retired Bishop of Calabar, Nigeria. After ordination PJ was appointed to the Diocese of Abakaliki, Nigeria, where he ministered until 1993. He taught for many years in St Augustine’s Junior Seminary, Ezzamgbo, and also served in the local parish. Ill-health forced him to leave Nigeria in 1993. He was appointed to the Archdiocese of Harare. It was hoped that the milder climate of Zimbabwe would bring about an improvement in his health. Sadly this was not to be. He had to return home after less than a year. He went to work as a chaplain at Knock Shrine for a short period and also spent a year in the De La Salle Retreat Centre, Castletown, Co Laois. By the end of the 1990s he had no option but to retire fully from ministry. He spent some time with his family in Co Clare and later at Carrigoran House Nursing Home before coming to the Care Unit in Kiltegan in 2001. It was there he would spend the rest of his life.
PJ was a very strong man in his youth. He was a very keen Gaelic footballer and soccer player and was noted for his great commitment. He settled into life in Abakaliki with ease and enjoyed his time teaching at St Augustine’s Junior Seminary. By the early 1990s he began to lose power in his arms. He was soon diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease which would gradually curtail his movement. For a man who had been so active and so strong in his youth this was a very hard cross to bear. Yet he bore his infirmity with amazing courage. He continued to be interested in sport and was very proud of his nephew, Damien Hayes, who played for many years on the Galway Senior Hurling team. PJ was taken to Naas General Hospital on Thursday, the 13th of February. He died peacefully in the early hours of Saturday, the 15th of February.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.