PAGE 12

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Fr Francis Ball

Fr Liam Ludden

Desmond Fitzmaurice

Fr Gerry Burton

Fr James Barry

Fr Patrick Houlihan







Father Francis Ball WF 1922 - 2007
Taken from the White Fathers' International Website

From Father Ian Buckmaster, Provincial of Ireland.
Frank Ball died to-day 6th February 2007 at 6.30am in Dublin, Ireland. His funeral will be on Thursday 8th February in the local Parish church at 10.00am. Remember Frank in your prayers and all of those who are grieving for him. At the age of 84 years of which 55 of missionary life in in Tanzania, in France, in Great Britain and in Ireland.

More to follow.






Nat.: Irleland
Diocese
Dublin
Birthplace
Dublin
10-09-1922
Spiritual Year
Broome Hall
07-09-1947
Oath
Monteviot
29-05-1951
Ordained
Monteviot
31-05-1952

Date
Appointment
Place
Country
27-08-1952
  Bishop's Waltham
G.B.
03-12-1953
Propaganda
Rutherglen
 
01-11-1954
Propaganda
Sutton Coldfield
 
04-06-1955
Départ pour
Karema Tanzania
14-08-1955
Arrive à
Mwazye
 
02-01-1956
  Matai
 
02-10-1956
  Chala
 
26-08-1957
Formation:Frères
Marienthal
France
10-07-1959
Formation:Frères
Totteridge
G.B.
13-04-1961
  Dorking
 
02-12-1961
  St Boswells
 
01-08-1963
  Dublin,Templeogue
Ireland
12-08-1964
  St Boswells G.B.
11-01-1965
  Danby Hall
 
17-07-1966
  Ratho,Scotland
 
12-01-1967
Supérieur 12-01-1967
 
13-01-1968
Grande Retraite
Villa Cavalletti
Italia
01-09-1969
Centre de langue
Kipalapala
Tanzania
01-02-1970
Seminary
Kaengesa
 
01-08-1972
i/c:Etud.tanzaniens
Dublin,Templeogue
Ireland
14-01-1980
  Oak Lodge,Residence
G.B.
15-02-1982
Supérieur Oak Lodge,Residence  
01-08-1984
1st Cycle
Oak Lodge  
01-09-1985
Bursar
London,Corfton Rd
 
01-09-1989
Bursar
Longford
Ireland
01-09-1993
Moves to
Dublin  
12-02-1996
Temporary superior
Dublin  
13-11-2006
Residence H.C.:
Dublin  
06-02-2007
Back to the Father (84)
Dublin
G.B.

Frank was born in Seville Place, Dublin, Ireland, on the 10th September 1922. He was a real ‘Dub’ and proud of it. His father worked for a shipping company in Dublin Port and eventually there were 5 sisters and 2 brothers. Frank was in the middle of the family. As was the custom, Frank was baptised the next day on the 11th September 1922. The family moved house later, but not very far from the original family home and Frank received his early schooling locally. For his secondary education, he went to O’Connell School run by the Irish Christian Brothers. It was a school noted for its academic prowess and sporting success. Frank was a good sportsman and was considered as having a promising future as a soccer player. He passed Irish Leaving Certificate exams with honours in 1942.

During his secondary school studies, a White Father visited the school and Frank was attracted to the missionary life. However, his parents were against his joining straight away. Frank went to work as a clerk in the Civil Service. However, the idea of becoming a missionary priest was never very far from his mind. He applied to join the White Fathers. He did not wish his family to have to pay the fees for his seminary education, so he seems to have saved up some money to defray his immediate expenses. The St. Joseph’s Young Priests Society agreed to cover his fees. (The same Society continues to help our students to-day.)

So in September 1945, Frank left his secure job in the Civil service and joined the Philosophy House in Rossington Hall. He was not considered a brilliant student. It was noted early on that he was good at French and his accent was quite good; however, he spoke English with a Dublin accent! He had great perseverance and application and followed the usual course of studies in Philosophy and Theology. He joined the novitiate in 1947 in Dorking, then went to s’Heerenberg in 1948 before doing the final years of his Theology in Monteviot, Scotland. He took the Oath of the Society on the 29th May 1951 and he was ordained a priest at Galashiels, also in Scotland, on the 31st May 1952.

In all assessments made of Frank, no one suggested that he teach. Nevertheless, Frank’s first appointment was to teach in the junior seminary at Bishop’s Waltham. Frank was fond of telling of his mother’s astonishment on being told that her son was to be a professor! As seems to have happened in the early years of the new British and Irish Province, people were often called to a variety of tasks. Frank helped out in the promotion Office in Sutton Coldfield before his first appointment to Africa in 1955. He had a bit of a scare before he left as he had a severe reaction to the tropical injections necessary for all new missionaries. He arrived in Karema in October 1955. He was to serve in the parishes of Mwazye, Matai and Chala. His first impressions were favourable and he seems to have settled in well. However, he came home in 1957 because of severe back pain. He had already suffered from severe back pain during his 1st year in theology. Again an operation was suggested, but the surgeon was reluctant. Frank was appointed to Marienthal in September 1957. Again he settled in well and got on very well with the Brothers. He also had the opportunity to try out his French in doing chaplaincy work in a nearby convent.

In 1959, he returned to England with the Brothers. However, in 1961, he received another appointment to teach at the junior seminary at St. Boswell’s, Scotland. It was not so much the teaching that troubled him as the preparation of his classes. He never felt that he had sufficient knowledge to teach a particular subject. He was also considering a contemplative vocation, since a regular life of liturgy, prayer and manual work appealed to him He received a good deal of understanding and sympathy from his superiors, even if it was a bit rough. It was a difficult time for him. He eventually gave up the idea and in 1963, he returned to Dublin to do a Diploma in Education at UCD.

He returned to St. Boswell’s and then moved with the students to Danby Hall, Yorkshire, before going to Ratho in Edinburgh. The idea of Ratho was that the students would live in a hostel situation and attend classes at a Catholic college.

The White Fathers were also expected to be members of the teaching staff. Frank found himself with a workload of 30 hours teaching a week. He did complain about this, but he accepted it as part of God’s will.

In 1968, he did his 30-Day Retreat at Villa Cavaletti, outside Rome, and in September 1969, he returned to Tanzania. He spent some time at Kipalapala Language School before being appointed to Kaengesa Junior Seminary in Sumbawanga Diocese. It was a period of experimentation in all aspects of religious life, especially in liturgy and Frank dryly noted that he found the laissez-faire attitude to the community aspects of prayer life a bit hard to take. In 1972, he was invited back to Dublin to take charge of the Irish 1st cycle. It was also a period where he was still wondering about his vocation to a more contemplative life. In coming back to the world of students, he was entering into a quite different world. Still, he was not teaching as such. His spiritual talks were meticulously prepared. He was popular with the students who appreciated his humility and commitment to priestly life. He also took the opportunity to follow a course in Liturgy in the Carlow Liturgical Institute.

In 1977, Frank returned to Britain and worked as bursar at Oak Lodge and for a time in the 1st cycle and then in Corfton Road. He did try to help Fr. Bernard d’Arcy run the famous International Student’s hostel in London, but given the wide difference in personalities, it was not surprising that this did not work out. In 1989, he returned to Ireland for the last time. Ill-health, never very far away, began to take its toll. He suffered from severe migraine and angina. He again served as bursar in the promotion house and in the Provincial House in Longford. There was a brief period when he was superior in Dublin, but it was getting time to retire. His life in Dublin was very much centred on prayer and he was regular as clockwork in his daily rhythm of Mass, meals and prayer. He went early to bed and got up early, which meant that he had a limited social life. This period also allowed him to come more in contact with the members of his family. He was very faithful in visiting those members of his family, even when it involved quite complicated bus journeys.

Perhaps his monastic existence served to hide from people that he was getting very forgetful. In 2003, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He found accepting this difficult cross very distressing. It meant that he lost his independence in many areas. Medication was a great help in keeping the worst effects at bay. Members of the community brought him to visit his family. He was very reluctant to get a taxi, as it was against poverty, although the bursar offered to pay. He was well looked after by the staff of the house and all the members of the community kept an eye on him However, it eventually became apparent that he really needed more professional care and in November 2006, he was admitted to St. Joseph’s Centre, run under the auspices of the St. John of God Brothers. He seemed to settle in well, but on the 30th December 2006 he fell and broke his elbow. He explained later that he was rushing because he thought he was late for Mass.

He was admitted to St. Vincent’s Hospital for an operation to fix his elbow. It was a success, but he picked up a number of infections and suffered a small stroke. For the last three weeks of his life, he never really recovered consciousness and on the morning of the 6th February 2007, he died peacefully. His body was brought back to Cypress Grove the following evening. On the 8th February, he was buried after Requiem Mass in St. Pius X Church in the White Fathers plot in Bohernabreena Cemetery at the foot of the Dublin Mountains.

Many tributes were paid to him. They all agreed that he was a man of humility, kindness and a genuine man of faith and prayer. He was very attracted to the contemplative life, but remained true to his missionary vocation in the Society. May He Rest in Peace

From Father Ian Buckmaster, Provincial of Ireland.

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Father Liam Ludden WF 1936 - 2006


From Fr Peter D Smith, Provincial of Great Britain
Taken from the White Fathers' International website

After being admitted to hospital in North Manchester yesterday morning, Friday September 22nd 2006, Liam died there in the evening at 6pm. At the age of 69 years of which 45 of missionary life in Tanzania, in Zambia and in Great Britain

We offer our deepest sympathy and condolences to his family and ask that you
remember them and Liam in your prayers.


From The White Fathers-White Sisters Magazine (Feb/Mar 2007)

Fr Liam Ludden was born in Widnes in England’s North West.  At that time the town had the highest Mass-attending population in the country.  He was the middle of five siblings born to devout Catholics Mary and Joseph Ludden. 

His father was a highly respected headmaster in the town.  In that environment he flourished intellectually and on the sports field and, significantly, he matured in the faith.  It was a faith that led him to discern a vocation to the missionary priesthood and in 1955 he was admitted to the White Fathers House of Philosophy at Blacklion in Ireland. 

He advanced through the classic training of the day, though the noviciate in the Netherlands and St Edward’s College in north London.  Ordained priest on 30th June 1962, he was sent to Rome at the time of the Second Vatican Council for further studies.  It was an exciting but unsettling time. In the tumult of ideas of that time, Fr Liam was not willing to jump on bandwagons just because they was new.  He was delighted to be appointed to Africa after these studies. 

For the next thirty years he was mostly in Africa except, notably for a short appointment to foster vocations in Britain and, on  two occasions, for thirty-day retreats.  Only his last African appointment was not in Tanzania.  At first he worked in Itaga and Kaengesa Minor Seminaries, and in the latter, he was rector in 1969. 

From the late seventies, he began the life of the bush missionary in Tabora Archdiocese in Tanzania.  He worked in three established missions based in the small towns of Kaliua, Ussongo and Ndala.  They are names which resonate with generations of White Fathers who have served in this area of Tanzania. 

These missions have now been transferred successfully to the pastoral care of the local clergy.  Each has a huge rural hinterland beyond the town with a relatively large population.  Each village has its mission outstation and needed to be visited to foster the faith of the growing congregations, to bring the sacraments and to reinforce the work of the local catechists. 

Fr Liam was not the super-human type of missionary.  His gift was to  get on quietly with the daily round of training the catechumens, visiting, listening and encouraging.  It was no doubt a fine preparation for the next stage in his life.  It was to be his last appointment in Africa, the only one outside Tanzania.  His  work in our noviciate in Kasama, Zambia was particularly fruitful.  The novices greatly appreciated his ability to listen and guide them spiritually.  He deeply influenced them.  Many kept in contact as Fr Liam began the next stage of his life, one of rapid diminishment and unwanted helplessness. 

By 1996, heart problems and a progressive wasting of the muscles had set in.  Back in Britain and becoming more disabled by the year, all that was left to him was his faith, the love of his family and numerous correspondents.  He also had a strong desire not to be a burden, although he was always grateful for the care he received in the care home in Preston and in the Nazareth House of Blackburn and Manchester.  These and his love of the person of Christ and the scriptures sustained him to the end until, on 22nd September, 2006, he was anointed by the chaplain of North Manchester General Hospital and died later that day.

At the funeral Mass, many were no doubt struck by the Gospel reading about Martha and Mary.  Surely by inclination and by force of circumstances, he resembled Mary more than her sister Martha.  He was buried in St Michael’s Church, Widnes, where he had been baptised.  The atmosphere that gave rise to his faith has long since passed away.  His faith had matured through all the changes until all that was left was faith, hope and very much love.


Nat.: British
Diocese
Liverpool
Birthplace
Widnes
02-11-1936
Spiritual Year
's-Heerenberg
07-09-1957
Oath
Totteridge
11-07-1961
Ordination
Totteridge
30-06-1962

Date
Function
Lieux
Pays
01-09-1962
Etudes Théologie
Roma Italia
25-06-1963
  Tassy
France
01-10-1963
Apprend Langue CELA
Kipalapala,CELA
Tanzania
18-06-1965
Séminaire
Itaga,D.Tabora
 
01-01-1967
Séminaire
Kaengesa,D.Karema
 
01-10-1969
Supérieur Séminaire
Kaengesa
 
29-05-1976
Grande Retraite
Villa Cavalletti
Italia
01-07-1976
CELA
Kipalapala Tanzania
01-12-1976
Vicaire Ussongo
 
01-01-1985
Prof Kahangala
 
01-09-1986
Spiritual Year
Kasama
Zambia
02-09-1989
Curate
Ussongo,D.Tabora
Tanzania
05-11-1990
Regional Councillor
   
01-11-1991
Curate Kaliua,D.Tabora
 
17-03-1992
Session-Retraite
Jerusalem  
01-01-1993
Curate Kaliua,D.Tabora
 
01-08-1994
Curate Ndala,D.Tabora
 
01-01-1996
Congé méd.
London,Woodville
G.B.
29-09-1997
Ministry
Preston
 
30-10-2000
Residence Preston
 
01-09-2003
Residence H.C.: Blackburn
 
01-01-2006
Residence H.C.:
Manchester
 
22-09-2006
Retour au Seigneur (69)
à Manchester
G.B.


May He Rest in Peace

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Des Fitzmaurice
An Obituary by his friend Peter Finn

Des Fitzmaurice was the archetypal tough-guy-with-a-heart-of-gold. Not averse to taking a bulldog stance either as a schoolboy, union negotiator or chief investigator of human rights for the Canadian Government, he was nevertheless affectionate, generous, soft-hearted, and a loyal friend. He was devoted to the White Fathers and a committed Pelican who travelled often to England, Ireland and Scotland to attend Pelican gatherings. If there were a prize for the one who travelled the most miles to Pelican conventions, he would have won it outright.

Patrick Desmond Fitzmaurice was born in 1932 near Newry, Northern Ireland, where his father was the local schoolmaster and a farmer. In 1947 he followed his older brother Louis to the Priory, where he excelled at sports, including boxing in which we were often opponents and knocked seven bells out of each other for three rounds. His fondest reminiscences were of camping and working in the fields with the brothers. He was expert at trapping animals, and many a rabbit went into our pot over the campfire. On one occasion, however, it was not a rabbit, rat or squirrel that he caught, but a wildcat that bit the toe off his rubber boot.


The Priory First Eleven, 1949 - 50
(L-R) : Back: Gabriel "Charlie" McGhee, Mike Ryan, John Morrissey, Adrian Lance, "Pud" Robinson, Maurice McSherry
Front: Dessie Fitzmaurice, Angus Finnegan, Louis Fitzmaurice, John Slevin, Paul Farrell.

He completed his philosophy studies at Broome Hall, entered the Novitiate in ’sHeerenberg, and continued there studying theology. In 1956 he left ’sHeerenberg and returned home to Ireland for a short time.


Most of the British contingent at s'Heerenberg, 1955-56

(L-R) :

Back : Willie Harrity (Packy's twin), Frank Dillon, Eugene Lewis, Frank Nolan,
John Morrissey, Pat Menzies (in front of whom ? possibly Peter Kelly), Laurence Geraghty,
Brian Garvey, John Sandom, Peter Hoskins, Dave Cullen and Michael "Ebby"Bolan.

Front : Alec McGarry, George Fairholm, Tom Bradley, Des Fitzmaurice and Hugh Regan

He emigrated to Canada in 1957 and worked as a miner in the Hollinger gold mines at Timmins, Northern Ontario, where he organised and led a miners’ union. He then moved to a government job with the National Employment Service, and in 1967 went to the Department of Labour in Ottawa to deal with labour-management relations. His progress was then rapid. He moved to the Public Service Commission as chief investigator of human rights and discrimination issues within the federal government, and was then appointed Director of the Anti-Discrimination Branch of the Public Service Commission. He later served as the Human Rights Advisor to the Public Service Alliance of Canada. He retired in 1988 and formed a small company dealing with human rights issues. He acted as an advocate for people with employment problems and specialised in disability cases.

He always retained his youthful zest. When I spent a few days with him at his weekend house on a remote and beautiful lake, most of the time was spent hurtling around in a speedboat utterly disturbing the surrounding serenity. He could always recall quotations from the scriptures and Shakespeare, usually with an amusing twist that gave rise to much laughter. He had a fund of quotes and rhymes for most situations. I lived for a short time near Newry, but south of the border in an area where, according to Des ‘Twixt Carrickmacross and Crossmaglen, there are more rogues than honest men.’ In a more serious vein, and even without a drink, he was likely to declaim from memory and at length speeches made by Irish patriots. Like all the Priory boys he enjoyed singing and accompanied himself during his student days with an accordion.

In 1996 he and his wife Geraldine moved to the hamlet of Consecon, Ontario, where he died on 29 May 2007.

I can still hear him singing and laughing.

Peter Finn

May He Rest in Peace

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Father Gerard Burton WF 1912 - 2007
Taken from the White Fathers' International Website and adapted

Fr. Gerard Burton died in the evening of the 19th December 2007 at St. Vincent's Nursing home, Pinner, London. He died peacefully and suddenly. He was 95 years old, of which 69 of missionary life in Tanzania and in Great Britain.

The funeral of Gerry Burton took place on Friday the 4th January. A Requiem Mass was held at Ealing Abbey at 11.00 am followed by burial at St. Mary's Cemetery, Kensal Green.

Diocese
Birmingham
Born
Wednesbury
27-03-1912
Spiritual Year
Monteviot
30-09-1934
Oath
Thibar
26-06-1938
Ordination
Carthage
25-03-1939

Date
Fonction
Lieux
Pays
01-08-1939
Econome
St Boswells,Scotland
G.B.
01-10-1943
  Sutton Coldfield
 
01-11-1943
  Heston
 
01-03-1944
Curate Lukula,D.Tabora
Tanzania
01-10-1944
Central School
Tabora
 
01-01-1950
  Dorking
G.B.
12-01-1955
  Tabora
Tanzania
28-09-1955
Parish Priest *Bishop's Waltham
G.B.
10-09-1957   Dorking  
18-09-1958
  Rubya,D.Bukoba
Tanzania
01-07-1962
Petit Séminaire
Itaga
 
01-11-1969
Nov.Soeurs Africain.
Ussongo
 
01-08-1972
Nov.Soeurs Africain.
Tlawi,D.Mbulu
 
01-05-1976
Paroisse
Tabora  
01-01-1977
Bishop's Secret.
Tabora,D.Tabora
 
01-09-1988
Sisters' Chaplain
Tabora,Bishop'sHouse
 
01-09-1993
Return from Tanzania
London,Corfton Road
G.B.
19-12-2007
Back to the Father (95)
London
G.B.

May He Rest in Peace

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Father James Barry WF 1916 - 2008
Taken from the White Fathers' International Website and adapted from a message from Fr J Gerrard WF, UK Provincial :

"Jim died this afternoon, 11th February 2008, in hospital in Glasgow.He had recently been receiving radium therapy and was doing quite well but this morning his condition worsened and was taken into hospital.
He was 91 years old of which 65 of missionary life
in Uganda and in Great Britain.

Let us keep him and his family in our prayers at this time.

The funeral of Fr. Jim Barry will take place on Friday the 15th Feb at St. Columbkille's parish, Rutherglen, at 1.00pm.

fraternally,
John Gerrard.
"

 
Diocese:
Paisley
Born:
Renfrew
07-04-1916
Spiritual Year:
Maison-Carrée
03-10-1938
Oath:
Carthage
28-06-1942
Ordination:
Edinburgh
19-06-1943

Date
Fonction
Places
Countries
01-07-1943
Econome
St Boswells,Scotland
G.B.
01-09-1945
Professeur: Scholast.
Rossington
 
01-01-1946
Econome Rossington
 
01-08-1947
  St Boswells, Scotland
 
01-01-1949
  Broome Hall, Dorking  
30-06-1949
  Ggoli
Uganda
24-01-1951
  Bujuni
 
16-12-1951
  Nandere  
07-09-1953
  Rubaga
 
01-01-1956
  Kisubi,Minor Sem. .
 
19-01-1960
Grande Retraite Mours France
01-04-1960
Retour de congé à
Kisubi,Minor Sem. .
Uganda
01-01-1966
Assist.Rector
Kisubi,Minor Sem. .  
27-04-1977
  Ratho
G.B.
07-09-1977
  Rutherglen
 
01-01-1979
Superieur Rutherglen
 
01-07-1987
Ministry Rutherglen
 
30-10-2000
Residence Rutherglen  
11-02-2008
Back to the Father (91)
Glasgow
G.B.

May He Rest in Peace

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Father Patrick Houlihan WF 1921 - 2007
Taken from the White Fathers' International Website and adapted from a message from Fr Buckmaster WF, Ireland Provincial

Patrick Houlihan died at 05.20am on the morning of 20th February 2007, At the age of 85 years of which 61 of missionary life in Zambia, in Malawi, in Great Britain and in Ireland. His death was very unexpected. He was in Hospital for a hip replacement and was making slow but sure progress. It would seem that he had an embolism on the lung but that had to be confirmed His funeral was held on Friday 23rd February.

Remember Pat in your prayers and all of those who are grieving for him.

 
Diocese :
Southwark
Born :
Bermondsey
05-07-1921
Spiritual Year :
Maison-Carrée
01-10-1942
Oath :
Rossington Hall
29-07-1945
Ordination :
Rossington Hall
30-07-1946

Date
Fonction
Lieux
Pays
02-09-1946
Econome St Boswells
G.B.
01-08-1947
Professeur
Bishop's Waltham
 
02-08-1948
  St Boswells
 
23-04-1949
  Monteviot
 
28-10-1949
Vicaire
Nambuma
Nyasaland
14-02-1950
Vicaire
Guillemé
(Zambia)
16-10-1950
Petit Séminaire
Kasina
 
21-08-1955
  Mua  
19-01-1960
Grande Retraite Mours France
01-01-1961
  Mua Nyasaland
06-02-1961
  Kasina Parish
 
01-07-1963
Supérieur Kasina Parish
 
19-04-1965
Supérieur Dedza
 
01-01-1968
  Bembeke
 
01-01-1973
Prof.Sec.School
Chassa,D.Chipata
Zambia
01-04-1974
Vicaire
Petauke
 
01-01-1976
Prof.Sec.School
Petauke
 
01-04-1978
Vicaire Katete,D.Chipata
 
01-01-1981
Vicaire Kokwe,D.Chipata
 
01-01-1983
Vicaire Likuni,D.Lilongwe
 
17-07-1986
Semi-Retired
Longford
Ireland
08-10-1987
Chaplain
Msamba,D.Lilongwe
Malawi
12-01-1989
Ministry H.C.:
Dawlish,Devon
G.B.
17-05-1989
Parish Priest H.C.:
St Ives,Cornwall
G.B.
01-10-1995
Retired
Dublin Ireland
20-02-2007
Back to the Father (85)
Dublin
Ireland




Patrick Michael Houlihan was born on the 5th July 1921 in Balham, London. His parents came from Ireland. His father was a policeman. His mother died when he was still a child. He was baptised on the 15th July in the parish of the Most Holy Trinity, Dockhead, Bermondsey. He had one brother who predeceased him in 1989. He attended the local Catholic primary school. He went to the nearby Xaverian College in Clapham for the 1st part of his secondary education. He then completed his secondary studies in the Priory, Bishop’s Waltham.

Pat began his philosophical studies at the outbreak of the 2nd World War in September 1939. It was felt that the south of England could become a dangerous place, so it was decided that the British and Irish students should travel to France to do their philosophical studies in Kerlois, France. However, the War soon caught up with them. The German Army arrived in Kerlois in 1940. The passports of the students were in Nantes waiting for endorsement so that they could not travel to the area controlled by the Vichy regime and the possibility of a return to Britain. The students travelled to Paris still trying to follow their studies. Eventually in July 1940, the British students were interned for the duration of the War. As Ireland was neutral, the Irish students were released. Because of his Irish parentage, Pat was able to claim Irish citizenship and was allowed to go.

He finished his philosophical studies in Tournus and he started his theological studies at Carthage in September 1941. He did his novitiate in Maison Carrée in 1942 and was then able to return to England in 1943 to complete his theological studies at Rossington Hall. He took the Oath of the Society on the 29th July 1945 and was ordained a priest on the 30th July 1946.

However, like many of his contemporaries, Pat was held back in the new Province for work and he saw service mostly as bursar at St. Boswell’s, Bishop’s Waltham and Monteviot, where he was also socius to the novice master of the Brothers. Eventually in 1949, he was able to leave for Nyassaland, Malawi, and the parish of Nambuma. For his first term in Nyassaland, Pat served in a variety of ministries. He taught in the junior seminary of Kasina and worked in the parishes of Guilleme and Mua. During this first period, it was noted that he was obedient, reliable, cheerful, faithful to prayer life, a good community man, but also a bit original in his ideas and not very well organised. He could react angrily to what he felt was authoritarianism. He felt that he was not given enough support when he was learning the language. In fact, he never really mastered the local language. It was also noted there could be trouble if he was asked to spiritualise a problem that could be fixed and not just accept it as God’s will.

He came on home leave in 1959 and did his 30-Day Retreat at Mours in 1960. 1961 sees him back at Mua for a short period. He was made superior in Kasina and worked very well with a local diocesan priest, although it was noted that the organisation of the parish left much to be desired. Towards the end of the 60s, after periods in Dedza and Bembeke, he felt very frustrated and at a low ebb. He even thought of incardination into a diocese in South Africa.

However, a good holiday in the USA with his relatives cheered him up and he also received some medical treatment, which meant a return to Malawi in 1971.

 

At the time, the South African Catholic Bishop’s Conference was asking the Malawian Bishops for chaplains to work with Malawian migrants in the South African mines. Pat was asked to go and look at the possibilities of such work. He set off with a Land Rover and a caravan and toured around, weighing up the possibilities. His report needed some clarifications, so it was Fr. Jean-Pierre Lescour who supplied the final details and the White Fathers with the Carmelites started the ministry to Malawian mine workers in 1973.

Pat came back to work in Zambia, first in Chassa as a teacher in the local secondary school and then in Petauke in the parish and in the local secondary school. While in Zambia, he had a serious accident when he crashed into a military convoy. His car was a write-off and he escaped only to be badly beaten up by angry soldiers. He suffered a broken jaw and some internal injuries. He came back to Ireland to receive medical treatment and recuperate. He impressed the students at the time by his good humour over the incident and by his determination to return to Africa. By 1986, he was 40 years a priest and talked of retiring. He did come to the Promotion house in Longford for a time, but still not quite ready to settle down. He was offered a chance to be chaplain to the expatriate community in Lilongwe and he undertook the task enthusiastically. However, he soon became discouraged and a threatened skin cancer made him decide to return to Europe. He was still not ready to settle and he was accepted by Bishop Budd of Plymouth to work in that Diocese. He started in Dawlish and eventually became parish priest of St. Ives in 1989. He was happy there and was able to rearrange the presbytery to his liking. His originality now became amiable eccentricity and he was well liked by the people. In 1995, he decided to retire for good and come back to Dublin

He was now a free man and he enjoyed free travel. The opening up of Eastern Europe to tourists meant that he could have holidays in Bulgaria and Romania. He came back on a number of times with bruises having tripped over things in darkened Orthodox churches. He enjoyed gambling on horse racing. He had a system which changed from time to time and he prepared meticulously for the afternoon foray to the bookmaker. He said it kept him sane and it did. His coups were a topic of conversation at meals or social events

A number of his friends, also regular Mass-goers at our chapel in Templeogue told us that he was missed by the clients at the local bookmakers as much for his cheerfulness as everything else. He was a man of prayer and often one found him praying in the oratory of the house. He seldom missed the community Mass.

However, his health was deteriorating and his hips were giving him trouble. He dreaded losing his independence. He needed a hip operation, but the waiting list was long. He arranged with a doctor friend to have the operation done. There were some reservations on account of his age, but the surgeon thought it feasible. The operation was a success, but Pat found the exercises and physiotherapy difficult. The staff at the hospital were not unduly concerned by his slow progress. His moods varied from high optimism to gloomy pessimism. He was especially affected by the death of Frank Ball on the 6th February. On the morning of the 20th February, he died unexpectedly. We were informed by the local police, because Pat had only given an office number as a contact. (There was a post mortem examination and at the time of writing I am still awaiting results) His body was brought back to Templeogue on the 22nd of February and he was buried after Requiem Mass in the local parish Church in our plot in Bohernabreena Cemetery.

Many tributes were paid to Pat. He was loved by his nephews and nieces and grandnephews and grandnieces. Everybody had a fond memory of him and appreciated his stories, jokes good humour and general cheerfulness. He was a man of faith and prayer and a devoted missionary. May he rest in peace.

May He Rest in Peace

Ian Buckmaster

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