With great sadness we announce the sudden death of Fr Patrick (Pat) Connolly (1971 class) in St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, on Monday morning, June 22nd. May Pat rest in peace.
Predeceased by his sister Teresa (O’Hare, Cullyhanna) and by his brother Felix (Athlone). Sadly missed by his sister Mary (Portstewart), by his brothers Peter (Roslea), Joe (Portstewart) and Eugene (Omagh), by his sisters-in-law Annie, Mary, Eileen and Mairead, by his brother-in-law Jimmy O’Hare, by his nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, his relatives and friends and by his Society family.
Due to Government restrictions the Funeral Mass and Burial will be private. Funeral Mass on Friday, the 26th of June at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. The Mass will be live-streamed at the following link: https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-patricks-missionary-society.
Our sincere sympathy to Pat's family and friends.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.
Fr Patrick Connolly (1947-2020)
Fr Patrick (Pat) Connolly was born on the 18th of April 1947 to Patrick Connolly and his wife Mary Ellen(née Tierney) of Cordoola, Roslea, Co Fermanagh. He received his primary education at St Tierney’s Primary School, Roslea (1951-1958). For his secondary education he boarded at St Michael’s College, Enniskillen (1958-1964). He came to Kiltegan in September 1964 for the Spiritual Year. He then studied philosophy in St Patrick’s College, Douglas, Cork from 1965 to 1967. Pat returned to Kiltegan in September 1967 for a four year course in theology and was ordained priest at St Mary’s Church, Killamoat, on the 11th of April 1971 (Easter Sunday). The ordaining prelate was Most Rev Patrick Lennon DD, the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin.
Pat was appointed to Brazil in July 1971. After language studies in Anápolis (State of Goiás) he went to work in the parish of Cotia on the western side of São Paulo, where he had responsibility for the Vargem Grande section of the parish. He remained in that area until 1979 when he was appointed to the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife (State of Pernambuco) in the North East of Brazil. He worked in the parish of São Lucas in Ouro Preto. He then transferred to the Diocese of Campina Grande in the State of Paraiba where he worked in the parish of Nossa Senhora do Bom Conselho (Esperança) from 1988 to 1993, and in the parish of Nossa Senhora das Graças (Campina Grande) from 1993 to 1999. The Society opened a new mission in the Diocese of Juina (State of Mato Grosso) in 1999 and Pat served in the Cathedral Parish there for almost three years.
In 2002 Pat was appointed Director of Retirement at Kiltegan, a post he held until September 2005. He returned to Brazil in January 2006 and was based at the Central House in São Paulo. He served as Bursar for the Region, was Vocations Director and helped out in local parishes. He was called home again in February 2009 and returned to the post he had previously held, the Director of Retirement. In 2012 Pat went to work in the Diocese of Clogher and served in his home parish of Roslea. In June 2015 he was appointed Assistant House Leader at St Patrick’s, Kiltegan, and also Irish District Bursar. He finished his term as Assistant House Leader in 2018 but continued as Irish District Bursar until his death.
Pat was a big man with a big heart. He was affectionately known by all as Big Pat or Patricião (in Portuguese).He was very kind, helpful and obliging. He made himself available to serve the Society in whatever capacity he could. He had a great command of the Portuguese language and was very much at home with the people whom he served. He enjoyed the interaction with the people in the parishes where he worked and was noted for his sense of humour and for his efficiency. Wherever he worked he encouraged the people to become self-reliant. He put great emphasis on catechetics and produced a very practical manual which was the basis of a formation course for catechists. He was a very neat worker and paid great attention to detail; meticulous in everything he did. One of his favourite Portuguese words was “caprichar”: to do things with taste and style.
As Director of Retirement in Kiltegan Pat made a great contribution to the quality of life of those who were sick and of those who were near the end of life. His kindly and gentle presence was very much appreciated by all. He often filled in as a carer in the days before the establishment of the Care Unit. Pat went to great lengths to make sure the sick members of the community received the care and attention they needed. He was also a very dedicated and efficient District Bursar and helped many members to manage their financial affairs. He derived a lot of personal satisfaction from this work as District Bursar; he enjoyed getting the books to balance! The role gave him an opportunity to give expression to his innate desire for tidiness and order.
Pat died suddenly on the morning of June the 22nd. Shortly after breakfast he went to visit his classmate and great friend, Fr Tom McDonnell, who was in quarantine in Slí an Chroí on the Kiltegan Compound and near his office. Pat was checking out if Tom needed anything. He was obliging and thoughtful to the very end. Words from George Herbert’s poem, Love, come to mind:
“But quick-eyed Love, observing me grow slack
From my first entrance in,
Drew nearer to me, sweetly questioning,
If I lacked anything.”
Pat was predeceased by his sister Teresa (O’Hare) and by his brother Felix. He is survived by his sister Mary, by his brothers Peter, Joe and Eugene, by his sisters-in-law Annie, Mary, Eileen and Mairead, by his brother-in-law Jimmy O’Hare, by his nieces and nephews and their families.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.