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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

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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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.

The Mass will be live streamed at the following link:

https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-patricks-missionary-society

Please note: A password will not be needed, it will be removed approx 15 minutes before it begins.

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.

Due to Government restrictions the Funeral will be private. Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Monday, October 18, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. The Mass will be live-streamed on https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-patricks-missionary-society

Please note: A password will not be needed, it will be removed at 11.45am

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 Mass will be live-streamed on https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-patricks-missionary-society

May Con rest in peace.

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. 

Due to Government restrictions the funeral will be private. Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Monday, September 27 at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. The Mass will be live-streamed on https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-patricks-missionary-society

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.

Due to Government restrictions, Fr Alphie Byrne’s Funeral will be private. Removal to St Patrick’s Chapel on Thursday, September 9, at 7pm. Funeral Mass on Friday, September 10, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery.

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.

Due to Government restrictions the Funeral will be private. Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Wednesday, August 25th, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. 

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.

 

Funeral arrangements are as follows: Due to Government restrictions the funeral will be private. Funeral Mass in St Patrick’s Chapel, Kiltegan, on Wednesday, April 7, at 12 noon followed by burial in the Society Cemetery. The Mass will be live-streamed on https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-patricks-missionary-society A password will not be needed to view the Funeral, it will be removed approximately 10 minutes before it begins. 

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.