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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 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 Seán Smith

September 3rd 2023

With sadness we announce the death of Fr Seán Smith (1970 class). He died peacefully today, Sunday, September 3rd, in the Care Unit, St Patrick's, Kiltegan.

Our sincere sympathy to the Smith family.

May Seán rest in peace.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

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

Our sincere sympathy to Fr Seán’s family, the Coelho Lira family in São Paulo and to his many friends in Ireland, South Africa and Brazil.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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

Funeral Mass Fr Sean Smith SPS - September 6th 2023

Fr Seán Smith (1944 - 2023)

John Joseph Smith, popularly known as Seán, was born on April 29th 1944, in Bohermeen, Co Meath, to Andy Smith and his wife Eileen (née Shea). Seán was from a family of two girls and two boys and both his parents were primary school teachers. After his primary education in Bohermeen National school he proceeded to St Finian’s College, Mullingar, for his secondary education. He sat the Leaving Certificate in June 1962 and joined St Patrick’s Missionary Society the following September. Having completed the Spiritual Year he attended University College Cork. He completed the BA Degree in 1966 and returned to Kiltegan for a four-year course in theology. Seán was among eleven priests ordained for the Society by Bishop Moynagh in Killamoate, Co Wicklow, on March 29th 1970.

 

After ordination Seán was appointed to the Archdiocese of São Paulo, Brazil. He was sent to Cotia where the Society had opened a parish in 1963. He immersed himself in the Portuguese language and became very fluent after a short period of time. He worked closely with Fr Enda Burke, a volunteer priest from Killaloe Diocese. Cotia was a very big parish and very soon a part of it became an independent parish and was entrusted to Seán’s care. In 1971 Seán was joined by the late Fr Pat Connolly and in 1973 by Fr Derek Byrne. After ten years of dedicated ministry in the Cotia area Seán moved to Jardim Nazaré about twenty kilometres from the centre of São Paulo. He ministered there for seven years.

 

In 1989 the Society opened a new mission in South Africa and the Society Leaders asked Seán to work in the new mission. Seán was extremely happy and fulfilled in Jardim Nazaré but in the spirit of obedience he made the big move from his beloved São Paulo to the Diocese of Witbank in South Africa. He ministered there for six years. He found the change very challenging, yet he threw himself fully into life in South Africa and once again immersed himself in a new language and culture. However, he never lost contact with the many great friends he made in São Paulo. After six years in South Africa Seán was appointed to promotion work in Ireland. The years in Ireland gave Seán the opportunity to be near his aging parents and he saw this time as a great blessing. He realised a dream in 2002 when he was reappointed to São Paulo after an absence of thirteen years. He returned to parish work and ministered in the parish of Jesus Bom Pastor, M’Boi Mirim, on the south side of São Paulo city, from 2002 to 2016. In 2016 Seán became very ill and was forced to retire from active ministry. He went to live with the family of Maria Jose and Nivaldo Coelho Lira who were active members of Jesus Bom Pastor Parish. They took wonderful care of Seán during his time with them. He enjoyed his retirement very much and helped out in the local communities when the need arose. Seán’s health declined further in 2023 and he returned to Ireland. After a period in hospital in Dublin Seán moved to the Care Unit in Kiltegan. Having been anointed by Fr Enda Kelly, he died peacefully on the 3rd of September 2023 in the presence of his brother, Cormac, his nephew, and some Society priests.

 

Seán spent most of his priestly ministry in parish work. He established many churches in the various communities where he worked and also set up a thriving nursery school in the parish of Jesus Bom Pastor where he laboured for fourteen years. He took a special interest in the care and well-being of his fellow priests and supported many of his priest friends in their hour of need. He was a very loyal friend. He was a very good linguist and very proficient in Portuguese, Northern Sotho and in the Irish language which he spoke in the home as his mother was a native Irish speaker from the West Kerry Gaeltacht.

Seán is predeceased by his parents Andy and Eileen, his sister Kathleen and by his sister-in-law, Joan. He is survived by his sister Ido Delaney, his brother Cormac, his brother-in-law Pat Delaney, his nieces and nephews and their families, the Coelho Lira family in São Paulo and the many parishioners from the places where he worked in Brazil and in South Africa.

 

Descanse em paz Padre Seán (João).

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Fr Seán Cullen

August 15th 2023

With sadness we announce the death of Fr Seán Cullen (1962 Class), peacefully in the Care Unit, St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, on Tuesday, August 15th.

Our sincere sympathy to the Cullen family.

May Seán rest in peace.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Saturday, August 19th, at 12 noon, followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

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

Funeral Mass - Fr Seán Cullen SPS

 

Our sincere sympathy to Fr Seán’s family and many friends.

 

Fr Seán Cullen SPS, 1936–2023

Fr Seán Cullen was born on October 24th 1936 at Ballymitty, Bannow, Co Wexford, to Elizabeth (née Furlong) and John Cullen. He was the second child of a family of two girls and three boys. Seán attended Danescastle Primary School from 1942 to 1949 and had his secondary education in St Peter’s College, Wexford, from 1949 – 1955.

 

In September 1955 Seán joined the spiritual year in Kiltegan. From 1956 to 1958 he studied philosophy in Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1958 to 1962. Seán was among 19 priests ordained for St Patrick’s Missionary Society on April 22nd 1962.

 

After ordination Seán was appointed to Nigeria. He was first appointed to work with Pat Laffey in the Ajegunle area of Lagos. This was the first time the Society took on pastoral work in Lagos. Seán was the first priest to celebrate Mass in St Mary’s, Ajegunle, which in later years was to be the foundation parish for the Society in Lagos. After two years he was posted to the Diocese of Ogoja when the mission in Lagos stalled. He worked in the parishes of Okposi, Ikwo, Ngbo, Effium, Izo-Imoha, Nkalagu and Mile 50. All these parishes were in the Abakaliki end of Ogoja Diocese which became a new diocese in 1973. Seán stayed with his people during the horror of the Biafran war and endured some scary moments when his life was in danger.

 

In 1993 Seán returned to Ireland and served on the Promotion Team for two years before going to work in promotion in Chicago. In 1996 Seán was reappointed to Nigeria to oversee the building of the new Formation Centre in Ijebu-Ode. For four years Seán worked on this major project and the result is a magnificent testimony to his building skills and attention to detail which will stand the test of time.

 

In the year 2000 Seán began to work on initiating the Society Promotion programme in West Africa. He used all his experience of working in Promotion in Ireland and the USA to set up the foundation of a system and established the “Friends of St. Patrick” which is the bedrock of the promotion programme in West Africa. He began printing Society diaries and calendars to advertise the name of the Society throughout Nigeria and Cameroon. He visited many of the parishes to appeal for new members of the “Friends” and to sell the diaries and calendars. After ten years he handed over the project to our African members after laying a very solid foundation.

 

He rounded off his time in Nigeria where he started, in parish ministry, moving to our Society parish in Abuja to support our younger African missionaries. In 2014 Seán returned to Ireland and worked in the promotion office in Kiltegan and did parish appeals at weekends. Seán played a very important role in the Kiltegan community by giving a great welcome to all visitors and his warm personality made them all feel at ease and at home.

 

Seán was a most generous and humble missionary. He was an exemplary Pastor who inspired his people to work with him in building up the local church in the various parishes he worked in. He put a great emphasis on catechetics and fostering a self-reliant church. Seán used his experience of working with his father and uncle in the building trade in Ireland to good effect in Nigeria. He applied his building skills to construct many churches and parish houses on the missions. His final project, the seminary in Ijebu-Ode, was his Magnus Opus. In appreciation of Seán’s contribution, the Formation team named their football field the Fr. Seán Cullen Park, where the students and the local youths interact in playing football.

 

Seán spent the last years of his life in the care unit in Kiltegan and he died there peacefully on August 15th, 2023, the feast of the Assumption of the blessed virgin Mary, so appropriate for a man who was so dedicated to praying the Rosary.

 

Seán is predeceased by his parents, John and Elizabeth, and his brothers, Francis and James. Deeply regretted by his sisters, Ann and Breda (USA), his nieces and nephews and their families, the Cummins family, (Galway) and his Society family.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Tony Conry - Volunteer priest with SPS

July 25th 2023

We regret to announce the death of Fr Tony Conry (1938 - 2023), Diocese of Elphin and volunteer priest with St Patrick's Missionary Society in Brazil. Tony died in São Paulo, Brazil, on Tuesday, July 25th, after a long illness.

Our sincere sympathy to the Conry family.

May Tony rest in peace.

Tony's funeral took place on July 27th at the Capela Cristo Ressuscitado,  Rua Poética Musical, 63, Cidade Ademar,  São Paulo, followed by burial in Cemitério Gethsêmani Morumbi.

To view the Memorial Mass which took place in St Patrick's, Kiltegan, on August 18th, please click on the following link:

Memorial Mass - Fr Tony Conry RIP

Fr Tony Conry (1938 – 2023)

Anthony (Tony) Conry was born in Tulsk, Co Roscommon, one of eight children born to Anthony and Matilda Conry. After national school locally, he attended Summerhill College, Sligo from 1951 to 1956 for his secondary education. He then began his studies for the priesthood in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, as a candidate for his home diocese of Elphin. Tony was ordained on June 23rd 1963 and was sent for further studies to UCD following which he went to the Lateran University in Rome where he studied Canon Law for two years, qualifying in 1966.

 

For the next three years Fr Tony taught Canon Law in St Patrick’s College, Kiltegan, in response to a request from St Patrick’s Missionary Society to his bishop for his services. When teaching in Kiltegan, Tony heard the missionary call himself and so it was that, with the consent of his bishop, he volunteered to work in Brazil. In September 1969 he arrived in São Paulo with Frs Jim Crowe, Matt Hande and Cathal Cullen. This was to be his home for the rest of his life.

 

Tony’s first job was to learn Portuguese. He quickly appreciated how essential this was as no one spoke English. Within a few months he was able to assist saying Mass, while continuing to study the language for most of his first year in São Paulo. Finally in August 1970 he opened a mission in Pirajuçara, which was on the periphery of São Paulo and had no Catholic church. He was known to the local people as Padre Antônio and started to celebrate Mass in a small church in Jardim Guaciara. The Archbishop of São Paulo, Dom Paulo Evaristo Arns, gave him his first appointment – to be responsible for that community. After some months Tony began saying Mass also in a school in Jardim Roberto. Later a parish church was built and the Parish of St John the Baptist was established in homage not only to the great saint, but also because the man who donated the land was John Baptist Fonseca, a generous supporter and friend of Tony.

 

In 1971 Tony began celebrating Mass in Jardim Flórida where St Peter’s Church was later built and later still, the Church of Saint Judas. As well as building these churches Tony also trained catechists and established prayer groups. At the same time, seeing the concerns of parents to create a better future for their children, Tony turned his attention to education. Young children’s education was only required by law in 2013 and so Tony was well ahead of his time. He continued as parish priest in that area until 1977.

 

From there Tony went to Cidade Ademar, Santo Amaro Region, where he was the first parish priest of St Francis of Assisi parish, also beginning a school for young children. In 1984 Tony opened a college also under the patronage of St Francis of Assisi. Padre Antônio dedicated almost 50 years of his life to the Region and Diocese of Santo Amaro, situated to the south of the huge city of São Paulo.

 

From the outset Tony had the special ability of locating sites and building churches in strategic points. His mantra was ‘try to find a site near a bus stop!’ Many, now well established and well known churches in south São Paulo were founded by Tony. And of course his other passion was for education – from his experience in Ireland he saw schooling as the principal means of escaping from poverty. Of the many schools he founded, the College of St Francis of Assisi is especially testament to his vision. (http://www.colsaofrancisco.com.br/site/index.php)

 

He died on July 25th, 2023, and in accordance with his wishes, he was buried alongside his fellow priests in the Gethsemane Cemetery, south São Paulo.

 

Tony is predeceased by his parents, Anthony and Matilda, by his sister, Maureen, and by his brothers, Paddy, Vincent and Farrell. He is survived by his sister, Adele, and by his brothers, Micheál and Fr Austin, his nieces and nephews, and extended family and friends.

 

Descanse em paz Padre Antônio.

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Fr William (Bill) Greene

June 22nd 2023

With sadness we announce the death of Fr Bill Greene (1969 class). Bill died yesterday afternoon, June 22nd, 2023, peacefully in Marymount University Hospice, Cork.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Reposing at Whelan’s Funeral Home, Bansha Road, Tipperary Town on Saturday June 24th from 5 – 7pm.

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Monday 26th June at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. 

 

Click on the following link to view the Funeral Mass recording:

Funeral Mass, June 26th

 

Our sincere sympathy to Bill’s family and many friends.

May he rest in peace.

Fr William (Bill) Greene (1942–2023) 

William Greene, popularly known as Bill, was born on the 18th of December 1942 in Kingswell, Tipperary Town, son of Paddy Greene and his wife Mai (nee O’Brien). He was the second eldest of two boys and two girls. Bill attended C.B.S Primary School in Tipperary Town from 1946 to 1955 and had his secondary education in Abbey CBS Tipperary Town from 1955 to 1961.

 

In September 1961 Bill joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1962 to 1965 he studied for his B.A. degree in University College Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1965 to 1969. Bill was among 19 priests ordained for the Society on April 6th 1969.

 

After ordination Bill was appointed to Minna Diocese, Nigeria, and began his mission life as a teacher in Zuru Secondary School. In 1975, he was appointed to the Vocations Team in Kiltegan, a position he held until 1978, when he returned to Minna as Bishop’s Secretary. Bill spent the next thirty-four years in Minna involved in pastoral work in various parishes and as Diocesan Coordinator from 1984 to 1996. He also served as Vicar General of Minna diocese from 1996 to 2012, a responsibility he took very seriously. Bill established many new parishes in Minna. With the help of his parishioners, he supervised the building of seven churches and three priest’s houses in seven different parishes. His experience of working in his father’s sand and gravel business was a great asset for this work. Bill felt that “every church was a visible sign of the presence of Jesus Christ in the Muslim dominated Niger state.”

 

In 2012 Bill left Minna to work in the Archdiocese of Abuja with his Society brother from Kenya, Fr. David Kiprono SPS. After a year he realised that the time had come for him to retire to Ireland as he had given all he could to Nigeria and to the mission. He knew that he was leaving behind a vibrant church in which he had played such a key role in building up. However, he was still ready to serve the Society and generously took on the role of House Leader in the Society house in Douglas Road, Cork.

 

Bill was an able hurler in his youth and was part of the Abbey CBS team that won the Harty Cup in 1959. He also won a Munster Minor medal with Tipperary and won a Cork County Championship with UCC. He maintained a lifelong interest in hurling and followed the fortunes of Tipperary down through the years. He also paid homage to the birthplace of his mother, Manchester, by following Manchester Utd. Bill was a missionary to the core and was prepared to do whatever his Society or Bishop asked him. He always had an interest in youth and when he was called to be the vocations director for the Society, he relished the opportunity to impart his zeal for Christ to the young people of Ireland. Later on, this concern for encouraging vocations showed itself in the parishes he served in during his years in Minna. He was a mentor to many of the young diocesan priests and took great care of them. The bond he developed with them was very evident during his years of retirement, when many of them visited him and kept him up to date with all the developments in Minna diocese and Nigeria as a whole. Bill had a very strong faith which enabled him to endure a lot of ill health and sixteen surgical operations. Hospitality and fostering friendship among his missionary colleagues of priests and sisters was a very important part of his spirituality.

 

Bill remained very close to his family who were a great support to him during his missionary life and during his frequent bouts of ill health. Bill moved into Marymount hospice in Cork in May 2023 and died there peacefully on Thursday 22nd June at 5.30pm with his brother Tom, his sister Nellie, his sister-in-law Mai, his niece Rosey and Fr. Jimmy Kelleher by his bedside.

 

Bill is predeceased by his parents Paddy and Mai, his sister Marie and his brother-in-law Tom Lonergan. He is survived by his brother Tom and sister Nellie, his sister-in-law Mai, his nephews and nieces and their families, and his Society family.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Henry (Harry) Parkinson

May 17th, 2023

We regret to announce the death of Fr Henry (Harry) Parkinson (1957 Class) peacefully at home in Glasgow on May 17th, 2023. Fr Harry worked in Kitui Diocese before he was incardinated into Glasgow Archdiocese, Scotland.

Our sincere sympathy to Fr Harry’s family and friends.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

The Reception of Remains and Vigil will take place at Saint Michael’s, Dumbarton, Scotland, on Thursday 1st June 2023 at 6.30 pm.

The Funeral Mass will be celebrated at Saint Michael’s on Friday 2nd June 2023 at 12 noon, with burial thereafter at Cardross Cemetery.

The funeral Mass on Friday, June 2nd at 12 noon, will be available to view live at the following link:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEd6jgmEb9c&ab_channel=SanctaFamiliaMedia

 

May Fr Henry rest in peace.

 

Fr Henry (Harry) Parkinson, 1931-2023

Fr Harry Parkinson, was born on the 30th of November 1931 at Kilmallock, Co Limerick, Ireland. He attended Kilmallock National School from 1934 to 1943 and completed his secondary education in St Munchin’s College, Limerick from 1943 to 1949.

In September 1949 Fr Harry joined the Spiritual Year in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow, and following two years of philosophy studies and four years of theology studies, Harry was ordained for St Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan Fathers) on April 21st 1957.

After ordination Harry was appointed to the newly created Diocese of Kitui, Kenya, where he became quite fluent in the local Ki-Kamba language. Harry ministered in Kitui Diocese until 1965. These years included spells as Head of the Teacher Training College in Mutune as well as Father-in-Charge of Kimangao, where his building skills and his basic mechanic skills came in very useful.

In 1968, following a year teaching in St Patrick’s, Buchlyvie, Scotland, Harry became curate in St Andrew’s Bearsden, Glasgow Archdiocese, and was later incardinated into the Archdiocese by Archbishop Scanlan on June 13th 1972. For the next twenty-four years, Harry ministered in St Peter’s, Partick, and St Michael’s, Dumbarton, where he was both Assistant Priest and later Parish Priest.

Fr Harry retired in 1996 but continued to live an active life helping out and doing supplies until a year or two ago. Harry always maintained a keen interest in St Patrick’s Missionary Society and the missions and kept in close contact with his classmates and many Kiltegan friends. Kiltegan was always a calling point on his many visits to Ireland. A keen Celtic fan, Harry was also a great Munster and Ireland rugby fan, and got particular pleasure from the recent Munster win against Leinster. An avid gardener, it is appropriate that Harry should leave us in the Springtime. Harry died peacefully at home in Glasgow on May 17th, 2023. May he blossom and bloom among family and friends in our eternal home.

To his family and many friends, we offer our sincere sympathy and prayerful support.

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal. 

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Fr James McAuliffe

May 2nd, 2023

With sadness we announce that Fr James McAuliffe (1965 class) died peacefully this afternoon, Tuesday, May 2nd, in the Care Unit, St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.

 

Our sincere sympathy to James' brother Fr Frank, his cousins and their families and his many friends.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Friday, May 5th, 2023 at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

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

Funeral Mass, May 5th 2023

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr James McAuliffe (1938 - 2023) 

Fr James Anthony McAuliffe was born on the 22nd of September 1938 in Kilrush, Co Clare, son of Matilda (née McNamara) and Francis McAuliffe. James was the elder of two sons. James attended CBS Kilrush from 1944 to 1949 for his primary education. He had his secondary education also in CBS Kilrush from 1949 to 1955.

 

In September 1956 James joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1957 to 1961 he studied for his B.A. Phil and B. Mus degrees in University College Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1961 to 1965. James was one of eighteen young men (which included his brother Frank) ordained for the Society by Bishop Joseph Rodgers of Killaloe in Killamoat, Co Wicklow, on Easter Sunday, April 18th, 1965.

 

After ordination James was appointed to Abakaliki (Ogoja Diocese) Nigeria, where he worked until 1968. He was then appointed to St Patrick’s Buchlyvie (Promotion Team) in Scotland. While on the staff in St Patrick’s Buchlyvie James did a sabbatical course on liturgy at the Liturgical Centre, Portarlington from September 1975 to June 1976. James was transferred to our Promotion House in Slough, England in 1980. Later in 1980 James was appointed to the Diocese of Portsmouth, England where he served in two parishes – Our Lady Immaculate Parish and Sacred Heart Parish, Bournemouth – for thirty years. In 2010 James left Portsmouth Diocese and retired to Kiltegan. He was loved and respected by the people in the parishes where he worked. His gentle, unthreatening manner made it very easy for people to approach him. His popularity was seen in the very large number who attended his farewell party in Westbourne. He put his musical talents to good use in making the Sunday Mass a prayerful celebration.

 

Fr James was a very talented musician. He was pitch perfect: he had the ability to identify any musical note by name after hearing it, without reference to other notes. He provided an invaluable service to the community by directing the singing and playing the organ at all Masses and liturgical ceremonies. James was, also, a gifted entertainer, and with Fr Martin Dwan frequently entertained the students in Buchlyvie and the people who came to Open Day in Scotland every year.

 

James had a great interest in sport, with tennis and rugby being his favourite sports. He was very pleased when the number of points for a try in rugby was increased from 3 pts to 5pts as he had written a letter to the newspapers at the time on this very topic.

 

James was a very likable man and had no difficulty fitting into any community. His pleasing personality and his musical talents endeared him to many people. He made many friends in Buchlyvie and in his parish work in Bournemouth.

 

He moved into the Care Unit in 2014 as his health began to decline but he continued to play the piano to entertain the residents. He died peacefully in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, on the afternoon of May 2nd, 2023.

 

James is predeceased by his parents, Matilda and Francis. He is survived by his brother Fr Frank, his cousins and their families, and his Society family.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Maurice Kelly

April 27th, 2023

We regret to announce that Fr Maurice Kelly (1956 class) died peacefully this morning, April 27th, in the Care Unit in St Patrick's, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow.

May he rest in peace.

 

Our sincere sympathy to Maurice's family and friends.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Saturday 29th April 2023 at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

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

Funeral Mass – Saturday April 29th 2023

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Maurice Kelly (1929 - 2023) 

Fr Maurice Kelly was born on the 22nd of June 1929 in Pallasgreen, Co Limerick, to Bridie (née Langan) and Frank Kelly. Maurice was the eldest of two sons. His brother Kenneth predeceased him. The family moved to Galway when Maurice was a very young boy. He attended Presentation National School, Galway from 1932 to 1937 and Nun’s Island Primary School from 1937 to 1942. He had his secondary education in St Joseph’s Secondary School, Galway from 1942 to 1948.

 

In September 1948 Maurice joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1949 to 1952 he studied for his B.A. degree in University College Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1952 to 1956. Maurice was one of ten priests ordained for the Society by Bishop Patrick Cleary SSC (exiled bishop of Namcheng, China) in Killamoat on Easter Sunday, April 1st, 1956.

 

After ordination Maurice was appointed to Ogoja Diocese, Nigeria where he remained until 1981. He spent many years teaching in St Thomas’ Teacher Training College in Ogoja. Maurice was always interested in the contemplative aspect of missionary life and spent 18 months with the Cistercians monks in Mount St Bernard’s Monastery, Leicestershire, England. He returned to Ireland and worked in the Diocese of Galway before returning to Nigeria to work again in the Diocese of Ogoja. In 1990 Maurice was appointed to the Archdiocese of Lagos. He was transferred to South Africa in 1999 where he worked as Parish Priest in Maryvale Parish and St Joseph’s Parish, Primrose in the Archdiocese of Johannesburg.

 

Maurice took his priestly commitments very seriously and constantly updated himself on Church life. He consulted several sources in the preparation of his homilies, always trying to ‘get it right.’ Maurice had a very enquiring mind and was alert right up to the end. He was a very keen amateur ornithologist. He had an extensive collection of books on birds – which were well thumbed in the various parts of the world where he lived. Maurice’s particular trait was his good sense of humour which he never lost. He constantly searched magazines and newspapers to keep his supply of jokes up to date. Mischievous, faithful to his friends far and wide and with a twinkle in his eye Maurice will be sorely missed by all who knew him.

 

In 2012 Maurice returned to Kiltegan as his health began to decline. He is predeceased by his parents, Bridie and Frank, and his brother Kenneth. He is survived by his sister-in-law Maura, his nieces and nephews and their families, and his Society family.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Donal Twomey

April 15th, 2023

With sadness we announce that Fr Donal Twomey (1969 class) died peacefully this morning, Saturday 15th April in the Care Unit, St Patrick's, Kiltegan.

Our sincere sympathy to Donal’s family and friends. May Donal rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick's Chapel, Kiltegan, on Tuesday April 18th at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society cemetery. 

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

Funeral Mass April 19th

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Donal Twomey (1944-2023)

Daniel Twomey, popularly known as Donal, was born on July 4th 1944 in Cork city to Maurice Twomey and his wife Katherine (née Desmond). He was the firstborn child with one sister, Mary. When Donal was five years old his father died and the family moved in with the Hurley family in Midleton. Donal attended Midleton Convent Primary School from 1951 to 1953 and CBS Midleton from 1953 to 1957. He had his secondary education in St Colman’s College, Fermoy from 1957 to 1962.

 

In September 1962 Donal joined the Spiritual Year in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan. From 1963 to 1965 he studied philosophy in Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1965 to 1969. Donal was among nineteen priests ordained for St Patrick’s Missionary Society by Bishop Lennon in Killamoate on April 8th 1969.

 

After ordination Donal was appointed to Minna Diocese, Nigeria. He worked in the parishes of Bwari, Bida, Zuru, Kafin Kora and Beji. Donal was always regarded as a solid and committed missionary with a deep appreciation of, and regard for the people with whom he worked. He was never one for the limelight, but in his own quiet way he worked hard at building up lay leadership in the communities and, in particular, he sought to give women their rightful place. This was very much in evidence when he was in charge of the leadership training programme at Nanati in Kafin Koro parish. Donal was a good team person and always willing to change parish or take on a new apostolate for the overall good of the diocese. What most of his colleagues and co-workers remember him for was his quiet and unobtrusive care and gentleness. He was especially sensitive to the younger missionaries and diocesan volunteers who were settling in and adjusting to life in Africa.

 

Donal returned to Ireland in 1991 and began a period of many years working in the Promotion Office, Kiltegan, as well as offering valuable assistance around the House and compound. Donal was a keen gardener and played a very active role in the grounds committee in the Kiltegan compound for the last 30 years. He had a special interest in the woodlands and many afternoons found him pruning, manuring and weeding around the trees. He was always available to do any task and was a pivotal person when events were organised for visitors such as Family day, Cemetery Sunday and Jubilee celebrations.

 

In 2022, Donal’s health began to decline, and he moved into the Care Unit. For weeks before his death, his family kept vigil by his bedside as his strength weakened. He died peacefully on the morning of April 15th, 2023, with the house leaders Frs Enda Kelly and Jimmy Kennedy, and his colleague from his days in Minna, Fr Billy Fulton, at his bedside.

 

Donal is predeceased by his parents, Maurice and Katherine and his brother-in-law John Brennan. He is survived by his sister, Mary Brennan and his nephews Shane, Aidan and Kieran, and his niece Nicola, his Hurley cousins, and his Society family.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Seán Rynn

March 15th, 2023

With sadness we announce that Fr Seán Rynn (1965 class) died peacefully in the Care Unit, St Patrick’s, Kiltegan on Wednesday evening, March 15th.

Our sincere sympathy to Seán’s family and friends. May Seán rest in peace.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick's Chapel, Kiltegan, on Saturday March 18th at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society cemetery. 

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

Funeral Mass - March 18th 2023

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Seán Rynn (1938-2023)

John Joseph Rynn, popularly known as Seán, was born on the 13th of April, 1938 in Druminalass House, Ballinaglera, Co Leitrim, to John Thomas Rynn and his wife Teresa (née Leydon). Seán had one brother Jim. He attended Urbal National School from 1945 to 1952 and had his secondary education in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, from 1952 to 1957.

 

In September 1957 Seán joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1958 to 1961 he studied for his BA degree in Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1961 to 1965. Seán was among 18 priests ordained for St. Patrick’s Missionary Society by Bishop Cleary on April 18th 1965.

 

After ordination Seán was appointed to Ikot Ekpene diocese in Nigeria where he ministered until the end of the Biafran war in 1970. After completing a sabbatical programme in Glenart, Co Wicklow, he was transferred to Eldoret Diocese, Kenya. After spending twenty-eight years in Africa, he took on a new mission to the people of Grenada. In 1997 he was called to make another change to minister in the parish of St. Augustine’s, Datchet, England. 

 

In 2017 Seán’s health forced him to retire to Kiltegan where he was cared for by the staff of the Care Unit for the last six years. He endured a variety of health emergencies during these years but made numerous recoveries. On the morning of March 16th, he attended a lecture on end of life care wishes, along with the rest of the Kiltegan community and staff. However, after dinner he took a turn and was anointed, but remained conscious. Just after 7 pm he passed away peacefully in the presence of Frs. Enda Kelly and Ned Grace.

 

Seán was a respected teacher in his earlier years in Ikot Ekpene and a much-loved pastor in all the parishes in the four countries he worked in. He was often described as one of nature’s gentlemen, who always had a kind word for everyone, interspersed with wit and funny comments. He was a committed missionary who kept up to date by participating in renewal programmes like “Faith and Mission” in Dalgan in 1980 and the spiritual renewal programme in St. Beuno’s, Wales in 1990. Seán was a missionary to the core, always ready to go where he was needed most, showing great flexibility in settling down in different cultures and adapting to the different pastoral approaches demanded by the particular country he was assigned to work in.

 

Seán is predeceased by his parents John Thomas and Teresa and his brother Jim and his sister-in-law Kay. He is survived by his nephew Seán and his wife Cliona and their family, and his Society family in Kiltegan.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Norbert Reid

March 6th, 2023

With sadness we announce that Fr Norbert Reid (1976 class) died peacefully in the Care Unit in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, this morning, Monday 6th March 2023.

 

Our sincere sympathy to Norbert's family and friends.

Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Thursday, March 9th, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. 

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

Funeral Mass Recording, Thursday, March 9th 2023

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Norbert Reid (1943-2023)

Norbert Anthony Reid, popularly known as Norbert, was born on October 31st 1943 in Creggan Estate, Derry to Cathal Reid and his wife Johanna (née Wilson). He was the eldest child of a family of three girls and five boys. Norbert attended St Eugene’s Boys National School from 1949 to 1956 and had his secondary education in Derry Technical College and Davenport Technical College from 1956 to 1962.  

 

After finishing school in Derry, Norbert emigrated to England where he served his apprenticeship as an electrician in the Navy in Plymouth Dockyard. From 1966-67 he worked as an electrician with the Navy in Sheffield. But thoughts of the priesthood grew stronger and in late 1966 he returned home to Derry to pursue his vocation. Norbert applied to Kiltegan and was sent to St. Patrick’s house of studies in Buchlyvie, Scotland in 1967, and in 1969 joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1970 to 1972 he studied philosophy in Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1972 to 1976. Norbert was one of ten priests ordained for St. Patrick’s Missionary Society by Bishop Dominic Conway on June 12th 1976 in Killamoate.

 

After ordination Norbert was appointed to the diocese of Eldoret in Kenya. From 1986 until 2010, Norbert worked in eight different parishes. He began in Ortum and afterwards served in Tongaren, Turbo, Muiben, Kaiboi, Nerkwo, Ndalat and finally from 2002 he spent eight years in Matunda parish.

 

In June 2010 Norbert returned from Kenya for his home leave. He did his usual medical check-up and was sent for emergency surgery in Altnagelvin Hospital in Derry. He survived this operation against the odds, and for the rest of his life had to deal with numerous health issues and treatments. His doctors and consultants were constantly amazed at his ability to defy medical predictions of his demise and labelled him “a miracle man”.

 

In 2013 he moved into the Care Unit in Kiltegan on a permanent basis, where he was loved and cared for by all the staff. In January 2023 Norbert’s health began to decline. His family members from Derry, England and Norway increased their visits to him during the last few months. On the morning of the 6th  of March, 2023, Norbert died peacefully with his sisters Marie and Carmel and niece Oonagh at this bedside.

 

Norbert was a very committed missionary who went about his pastoral work with an easy going style, which endeared him to the Kenyan people. He was practical in his approach to parish work and was content to serve his parishioners in whatever way the situation demanded. During his time in Eldoret his approach was to encourage and build up the small Christian communities. Norbert never sought the limelight but proved himself to be a solid and reliable pastor, always available to his people by giving them time and listening to their needs and concerns. He took his priestly vocation seriously which showed itself very early on in the way he pursued his studies in Bucklyvie to reach the educational standards required to enter the Seminary in Kiltegan. He had a great interest in sport and especially soccer and it was no surprise that his fellow students elected him to be the soccer captain. He never faltered in his support for Derry City and Arsenal. All his life Norbert kept very close to his family and developed close bonds with all his nieces and nephews. They were a great support and comfort to him during his long years of ill health.

 

Norbert is predeceased by his parents, Cathal and Johanna. He is survived by his sisters, Olivia, Carmel and Marie, brothers, Joseph, Brendan, Martin and Shaun, sisters-in-law Marie and Caroline, brothers-in-law Robin, Phil and Gerry, nephews and nieces and their families, and by his Society family.

 

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Ger O'Carroll

February 24th, 2023

We regret to announce that Fr Gerry O’Carroll (1968 class) died peacefully on Friday Feb 24th at Sligo Hospice.

May he rest in peace.

 

Our sincere sympathy to Ger’s family and friends in Ireland and Kenya.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Reposing in Perry’s funeral home, Ballymote (F56 TK20) on Monday from 5pm to 7pm with removal to St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyrush, arriving at 7:30pm. Funeral Mass on Tuesday at 12 noon followed by burial afterwards in the adjoining cemetery. 

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Gerry O’Carroll (1944 - 2023)

Gerard Joseph O’Carroll, popularly known as Gerry or Ger, was born on the 8th of January 1944 in Cloghogue, Castlebaldwin, Co Sligo, to James and Beatrice O’Carroll (née McDonagh). Gerry attended Cloghogue Primary School (Ballinafad Parish) from 1949 to 1953 and Annagh Primary School from 1953 to 1956. He had his secondary education in Colaiste Muire, Ballymote, from 1956 to 1961.

 

In September 1961 Gerry joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1962-1964 he studied philosophy in Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1964 to 1968. Gerry was one of 23 priests ordained for St. Patrick’s Missionary Society by Bishop Lennon on April 14th, 1968.

 

After ordination Gerry was appointed to the Diocese of Lodwar, Kenya. When Gerry arrived in Lodwar it was still a relatively new mission for the Society with only a few parishes. Gerry worked in most of them beginning in Kaputir, and later Lorugumu, Kerio, Loarengak, Kataboi, Kalokol, Kakuma, Turkwell, Kainuk and finally Kanamkamer.

 

Gerry was a tremendously dedicated missionary who gave everything for the cause of making Christ known and loved. He placed a lot of influence in catechetics and explaining all aspects of the Christian faith. He was fluent in the Turkana language and taught it to many of the younger Saint Patrick’s missionaries who came after him. He also translated the bible into Turkana. Gerry was very influential in providing education for the Turkana people and was instrumental in the construction of Kakuma Girls Primary School, Our Lady’s Girls’ Secondary School in Kakuma, St. Leo the Great Boys’ Secondary School, Kacaimeri Primary School, and Kabulokor Primary School in Turkwell.

 

In 2007 after giving everything to the Church and people of the Turkana desert, Gerry came to live in Ireland and began his ministry in Knock shrine where he dedicated himself once again to serving the people by providing them with a listening ear in the sacrament of confession as well as other pastoral duties. When the Covid lockdown arrived in March 2020, and pilgrims could no longer visit Knock, Gerry went to live with his sister Patricia in his home place and helped out in his parish by celebrating daily mass in St. Patrick’s Church, Ballyrush.

 

In January 2023, Gerry was taken into hospital in Sligo and began to grow weaker. He was visited daily by Fr. John Carroll SPS and Fr. Brian Conway SPS and the hospital chaplain Fr. Brian Conlon. On Shrove Tuesday, February 21st, he moved into the hospice where his family took turns to be at his bedside. On Friday night, the 24th February at 10.55 he passed away peacefully, in the presence of his brother Edmund, his nephew Jim and partner Christine, and Fr. Brian Conway.

 

Gerry is predeceased by his parents, James and Beatrice. He is survived by his sisters Miriam and Patricia, his brother Edmund, his nephews and nieces, Fr. Patrick Esekon SPS and his parishioners in Lodwar and his Society family in Kiltegan.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr James (Jim) Crowe

February 19th, 2023

With sadness we announce the death of Fr James (Jim) Crowe (1969 Class) on Sunday, February 19th, in University Hospital Limerick.

May he rest in peace.

 

Our sincere sympathy to Jim’s family and friends in Ireland and Brazil.

Funeral arrangements are as follows:

Reposing in St Senan's Church, Clonlara, Co Clare, this Wednesday (22nd February) from 5pm to 7pm. Funeral Mass on Thursday (23rd February) at 11am followed by burial afterwards in St Patrick's Missionary Society, Kiltegan, Co Wicklow (arriving at approximately 3pm).

Funeral Mass in St Senan’s will be live-streamed through the following link:

Funeral Mass February 23rd

 

Fr James Crowe (1945 - 2023) 

James Crowe, popularly known as Jim, was born on the 7th of March 1945 in Clonlara, Co Clare, to James Crowe and his wife Josephine (née Heffernan). Jim was one of ten children and he attended Clonlara National School from 1949 to 1957 and had his secondary education in Sexton Street CBS, Limerick from 1957 to 1962.

 

In September 1962 he joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1963 – 1965 Jim studied philosophy in Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1965 – 1969. Jim was one of 19 young men ordained for St Patrick’s Missionary Society, by Bishop Lennon on the 6th April 1969.

 

After ordination he was appointed to São Paulo, Brazil. After some months learning Portuguese, Jim moved into the parish of Embu where he remained for 17 years. In 1975 he was joined by his lifelong friend Fr Eddie McGettrick. Embu was a growing parish in a rapidly expanding city. When Jim began the population of the parish was about 7,000 and a decade later it would be close to 200,000. When Jim arrived in São Paulo, the population of the city was estimated at 7 million, while today it is over 25 million.

 

In 1987 Jim and Eddie moved into a new area on the periphery of the city which became famous as Jardim Angela. In 1986 it was declared the most violent area in the world. It was here that Jim made his home and the locus for his ministry and activism for the next 33 years. In 1991 Jim was elected the Regional Leader of St Patrick’s Missionary Society for South America and the Caribbean, for a 6 year term.

 

Jim was a fully committed missionary who had a heart for all people on the margins and for people impacted by violence and injustice. He became totally engrossed in the implementation of the pastoral strategy promulgated by the Bishops Conference of South America from their famous meetings in Medellin, Columbia in 1968 and in Puebla, Mexico in 1979. This was the time in Brazil when the military were dominating politics, but when the church was preaching and living Liberation theology. Jim was at the forefront of this pastoral strategy, of training lay leaders in the parish to take a very active part in the sacramental life of the Church. Jim worked as part of a parish pastoral team with sisters and lay people. He also collaborated with other Christian churches and groups in civil society to bring about programmes and social schemes to improve the lives of the people. In an area where crime and drugs were rampant, Jim and Eddie organised a March for Life and Peace in 1996 which attracted about 5,000 people the first year and grew to about 20,000 in the following years. Another area of focus for Jim’s work was campaigning against police corruption and torture, which put his life in danger. However, he survived which strengthened his faith and belief in Christ’s protection.

 

Jim was well known in Brazil and was often on state TV promoting the values of human rights and speaking out against corruption.

 

Jim retired from Brazil in 2020 and went to live with his family in his native Clare. At the end of January 2023 he was admitted to hospital in Limerick. On Sunday the 19th February he was visited by his niece Marcella in the afternoon and by Fr Tomás O’Connor at around 7pm. He died unexpectedly later that night around 9.30. His death was broadcast on many media outlets in Brazil and President Lula, a personal friend of Jim, and other prominent politicians tweeted their sadness at his passing.

 

Jim is predeceased by his parents, James and Josephine, his sister May and his brother Tom. He is survived by his sisters Noreen, Marcella (Dorran) and Josephine (Grogan), brothers Pat, George and Raymond, sisters-in-law Kitty and Bernie, brother-in-law Meredith, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, his many friends in Brazil and Ireland and his Society family in Kiltegan.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Timothy (Tim) Galvin

February 9th, 2023

With deep regret we announce that Fr. Tim Galvin (1978 Class) died very suddenly in Nairobi Hospital, Kenya, on Thursday February 9th, 2023.

 

We express our deep sympathy to Tim’s family, and to his many friends and colleagues and to his parishioners in South Sudan. May Tim, an extraordinary missionary, rest in peace.

A memorial mass for Fr. Tim will take place in the Church of the Assumption, Abbeyfeale on Friday evening, 17th February at 7pm.

 

Fr Tim's funeral mass and burial will take place in Nakuru, Kenya, on February 23rd, 2023.

The funeral mass for Fr. Tim Galvin SPS will be live-streamed from Nakuru, Kenya (local time 10.45 am)

on Thursday morning (February 23rd) from 07.45 am (Irish time) through the following link:

Funeral Mass Nakuru February 23rd

Fr. Tim Galvin (1952 -2023)

Timothy Galvin, popularly known as Tim, was born on the 3rd of July 1952 at Kilmanihan, Brosna, Co Kerry to John Galvin and his wife Birdie (née O’Connor). Tim was the second born in the family, with two sisters Mary and Catherine. He attended Feale View National School from 1956 to 1964 and had his secondary education in St Brendan’s, Killarney, from 1964 to 1970.

 

In September 1970 Tim joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1971 to 1974 he studied for his B.A. degree in University College, Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology studies from 1974 to 1978. He was ordained with his classmates for the Society by Bishop John Mahon on June 10th, 1978.

 

After ordination, Tim was appointed to Kitui Diocese, Kenya where he ministered in the parishes of Migwani and Kavisuni. In 1983 the Society opened a new mission in Sudan, in the diocese of Torit. Tim was one of a team of six who entered Sudan via Lokichoggio, (northwest Kenya) on August 15th, just as civil war came to Sudan for a second time. Initially, Torit Diocese was unaffected by the war, so Tim with the others immersed themselves in the language and culture of the people. The war however did soon spread to the diocese. Tim was determined to stay on with the people come what may! He was ever available to go where the Bishop felt he would be needed most. He was ever on the move: Kapoeta, Chukudum, then to Torit, Adjumani and Juba to teach in the minor seminary. In 1989, the diocese came under the “Liberated areas” of the SPLA (Sudan People’s Liberation Army). Tim stayed on, again, ever available where he was needed. From 1994-2009, he moved to “Toposa East” working in Narus, Lotimor, Nanyangachor and Npotisgiria where many of the people in these areas heard the word of God for the first time. Road travel was always treacherous with mines, ambushes and the bad state of the roads made it physically very demanding. From 2009 until his death, Tim worked in the “Toposa West” area moving from Narus, to Kapoeta and to then to his final parish in Riwoto.

 

Tim was a very sincere, prayerful, dedicated and passionate missionary priest. He gave himself totally to the people of South Sudan whom he served faithfully and generously for almost forty years. The provision of high-quality education was an important focus for his mission during his time in South Sudan. Tim spoke many languages – Irish, Arabic, Kikamba and Toposa. He remained close to his family and his home community throughout his missionary life and got great support and encouragement from them. He had a wide network of loyal supporters and friends around Abbeyfeale and Brosna with whom he had a very close relationship. They provided him with the resources to carry out his ministry in South Sudan. He was always extremely grateful to them. Tim was a very proud Kerryman and had a life-long interest in the fortunes of the Kerry gaelic football team. He was particularly proud of his nephew Anthony Maher who wore the green and gold jersey of Kerry with distinction for twelve years.

 

Tim also had a great interest in spirituality and poetry. No doubt this interest sustained him during his nearly forty-five years as a missionary priest in very difficult and challenging situations. Wars and rumours of war were constants in his life. His unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ saw him through these difficult times and enabled him to persevere in his mission until the end. One of his favourite poems was Patrick Kavanagh’s ‘The One’, that describes “A humble scene in a backward place where no one important ever looked”. But it was there Tim discovered “that beautiful, beautiful, beautiful God was breathing His love by a cut-away bog”.

 

Tim is predeceased by his parents, John and Birdie. He is survived by his sisters, Mary (Maher) and Catherine (Walsh), his brothers-in-law Tony Maher and Gerard Walsh, his nephews, nieces, grandnephews, grandnieces, his parishioners in South Sudan and his Society family.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

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Fr Pádraig Flanagan

January 6th, 2023

With sadness we announce the death of  Fr Pádraig Flanagan (1963 Class).

Pádraig died peacefully in the Care Unit in St Patrick's, Kiltegan this morning Friday, January 6th, 2023.

May he rest in peace.

Our sincere sympathy to Pádraig’s family.

Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Monday, January 9th, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. 

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

Funeral Mass, January 9th 2023

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Fr Pádraig Flanagan (1938-2023)

John Pádraig Flanagan, popularly known as Pádraig, was born on the 31st of May 1938 in Ardsoran Co Sligo to James and Katherine (née Rock) Flanagan. He was the fifth child of a family of two girls and six boys. Pádraig attended Killalaght National School from 1942 to 1951 and did his secondary education in St Nathy’s, Ballaghadereen from 1951 to 1955.

 

In September 1955 Pádraig joined the Spiritual Year in Kiltegan. From 1956 to ‘59 he studied for his BA degree in University College Cork and then proceeded to Kiltegan for theology from 1959 until 1963. Pádraig was among sixteen priests ordained for the Society on April 14th, 1963.

 

After ordination Pádraig was appointed to Ikot Ekpene diocese, Nigeria. During the Biafran war Pádraig became relief co-ordinator for the diocese where he set up three centres to provide food and shelter for those who were displaced during the war. One of his most notable contributions was the building of St Joseph’s Major Seminary in Ikot Ekpene which catered for the training of students for the whole of South Eastern Nigeria. In 1978 ill health forced him to return to Ireland.

 

From 1978 to ‘80, he worked with the Irish Missionary Union for two years, during which he helped to organise the Missionary Congress in Knock. For the next five years (1980-‘85) Pádraig taught and acted as chaplain in CBC Monkstown. From 1994 to 2003 Pádraig worked in the diocese of Nottingham, England, before taking up an appointment in Cliffoney parish, Elphin Diocese in 2005.

 

Pádraig was blessed with a practical brain which manifested itself both as a student and later during his co-ordination of different projects. His classmate Sean O’Dowd recalls the time when a printing press was left into the new college in Kiltegan. “Some of us wondered what it was or how it worked! However, Pádraig Flanagan went a bit further and found that it was in perfect working order. He started work on the ordination cards for the 1963 class which were to be shared with students, staff and colleagues”. From the moment he arrived in Nigeria he was able to see the needs of his people and initiated many practical programmes to improve their lives. He was able to draw on his experience of working on the ground in Nigeria, when he went on to study for a MBA in Trinity College, Dublin in 1973-‘74. He worked in other relief projects in Tanzania from 1985-‘87 and in Jordan in 1990-‘91.

 

Pádraig’s main sporting interest was horseracing. His biggest thrill in recent years was when Rachael Blackmore personally wrote to him after she became the leading jockey in Cheltenham in 2021. This led to Pádraig backing her horse for the Aintree Grand National that year, which he was duly rewarded for.

 

Pádraig is predeceased by his parents James and Kate, by his brothers, Bernard, William and Seamus, and by his sister Rita. He is survived by his brothers, Fr Michael (USA), Francis, and his sister Jane Patricia, his nephews and nieces and their families, and his Society family.

 

Ar dheis De go raibh a anam uasal.

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