1. Pauline Menzies

  2. John Byrne

  3. Fr Kevin Mahoney MAfr

  4. Godfrey Tortoleno

Pauline Menzies

1943 - 2014

The funeral of Pauline Menzies took place in the heart of Shropshire country
on 13th January 2015?a lovely setting for a sad but celebratory service.
The church was full of family and friends, including several 'Pelicans' and Fr Frank Nolan MAfr.

Pat and Pauline Menzies
(Rome 2006)

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John Byrne

1945 - 2015

Message from Robbie Dempsey January 16th 2015:
The funeral of John Byrne took place last Monday 12th Jan 2015 at the MAFR in Dublin. The little chapel at Cypress Grove was crammed full and at least 50 persons (including us Pelicani) were congregating outside for duration of the Mass.
Vincent O'Neill attended (from Mullingar) and also another of John's contemporaries from Blacklion days - Peter O'Reilly (from Clogher, Co. Tyrone) who lives in Belfast.

I had never met any of John's family - but felt I knew them all from John's emails. I was able to pass on our sympathy from the Pelicans scattered far and near. His family were indeed comforted by the wonderful words spoken by Frs. Jean Paul and PJ Cassidy.

John was buried in Bohernabreena Cemetery, in the hills overlooking Dublin in the plot where his young son aged 11 had lain for many years. The WF plot is not far away.

For certain, John is in peace.

Message from Tom Canning :

I would just like to register our sadness on hearing about Johns death today. The attached photo shows John and I when my wife and I visited him in Dublin in 2013, the first time we had met since I left the WF? in 1967.

Could you please if possible pass on my wife and I? condolences to his family through the WF in Ireland .

May God watch over his family. We will have a Mass said here in our parish.

My wife and I met with John at his house when we were on holiday in Dublin in 2013. This was the first time we had met since I left Broomehall in 1967. John made us very welcome and we talked for hours and took photos of each other.

I am so very sad to here of his death and we would like to send our sincere condolences and prayers, to John's family and friends.

May God watch over John and His family.

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Fr Kevin O'Mahoney

1930 - 2015

(source: The White Fathers international website)

From: Fr Ian Buckmaster MAfr

Fr. Kevin O'Mahoney, otherwise known as 'Pancho', died in Adigrat Ethiopia last week. His funeral took place on Monday January 5th in Adigrat. He was 84 years and a bit and was a member of the White Fathers for 62 years. Some of the elders among you may remember him as a Philosophy teacher in Blacklion until his departure for Ethiopia in 1966. He remained there for the rest of his life apart from 6 years as Irish Provincial from 1994 to 2000.

God bless

Ian Buckmaster, M.Afr

From: Fr JP Cassidy MAfr

Dear Ian

We received the sad news this morning that John Byrne died this morning in the Hospice, Harolds, Cross. His funeral will take place on Monday @12.00pm and the family want to hold the funeral mass in our place.

Concerning Kevin RIP, there will a mass of remembrance in Araglin on Wednesday 14th January @ 7.30pm


He died on January 03, 2015, in Ayder Hospital in Mekelle , Ethiopia
at the age of 84 years of which 62 of missionary life in Italy, Ethiopia and Ireland.

Fr Kevin was born in 1930, in the diocese of Salford. He spent his Spiritual Year in
's Heerenberg, from which he took the Oath. In 1953 he was ordained at Monteviot.

01/09/1953 Etudes:Philosofia Roma Italia
20/08/1955 Professeur Blacklion Ireland
12/09/1966 Etudes+Coll.Ethiopi. Roma Italie
01/09/1967 Professeur Adigrat Ethiopia
01/09/1970 SupŽrieur+Professeur
01/09/1983 Professeur
01/07/1994 Provincial Irl. Dublin Ireland
01/07/1997 Prov.Irl.2e mandat
17/05/1998 Membre du Chapitre
12/10/2000 NommŽ EPO
15/10/2000 St Mary's Ag.&T.Sch. Wukro EPO/Ethiopia
15/01/2003 Bishop's Secretary Adigrat
01/11/2005 Diocese Archives
03-01-2015 : Return to the Lord in Ayder Hospital in Mekelle, Ethiopia

Reproduced with kind perrmission of The White Fathers international website

Taken at a Dublin reunion in 1997

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Fr Godfrey (Francis) Tortoleno

1935 - 2015

The following was cpied from

Fr GodfreyTortolano went home to his Father's house on Sunday, 1st February 2015. The reception of his remains took place in Duns Scotus Church, Glasgow, on Sunday 8th February 2015 at 7.30 p.m. and his Requiem was celebrated on the 9th February at 11.30 a.m. followed by interment at Dalbeith Cemetery.

A brief summary:

Godfrey was born in Bannockburn, Scotland 27 November 1935

He was admitted to the Novitiate 9 September 1955

His First Profession was made 10 September 1956

He was ordained priest 24 September 1960

Fr Godfrey died 1 February 2015

At the Funeral Mass Br Eddie Highton delivered the following homily:

Godfrey? often repeated greeting at the beginning of Mass would be:
?ood morning God? Holy people!?and with that look of mischief in his eyes as he looked around would continue with ?nd the rest of you!?br>
At first, this shocked a few people but they soon became aware that this was only the beginning. He used shock tactics, yes, but only so that his proclamation of the Word of God might be more powerful and memorable.

He would have enjoyed the readings of today? Mass because so many of his favourite themes could be touched upon: the getting ready for the trials of service; being ready to be exiles from the body; and walking in the hidden presence of the Lord.

These were themes which he would elaborate on and bring us to an awareness of: that presence of a Christ, socially aware, compassionate, with no time for the hypocritical or self righteous, and encouraging us to that awareness also.

He was born in Bannockburn on 27 November 1935, christened with the name Francis. He entered the Minor Seminary of the White Fathers and studied with them until, after Philosophy, he changed tack and entered the Franciscan Novitiate in 1955. Here he was given the name of Godfrey.

So, Francis or Frankie became Godfrey and, if you shortened his name to God, he would smile benignly!! But he was also known as Jim! We all called him Jim in South Africa and I believe this went back to his days at East Bergholt (our Student House) where, at his time of studies, there was a great following of the ?oons? Various students acquired nicknames and Godfrey? nickname ?im?stuck!

He was ordained in 1960 and was posted after Pastoral studies to the Friary in Manchester. This was for a short time only, as he realised his desire to work on the Missions. He was sent in 1963 to work in the Prefecture Apostolic of Volksrust, entrusted to the English Franciscan Province. This Prefecture covered a huge area nearly the size of Ireland. At that time it boasted of about twenty priests. The immediate need for Godfrey was to learn the Zulu language as he was based in the Zulu speaking area. He became very fluent and proficient in the language. It was, of course, the time of the most extreme enforcement of the Apartheid laws of South Africa and the displacement of the indigenous people of the country. Godfrey with the other friars and priests opposed these unjust laws and were under constant surveillance by the Police and Special Branch. I think he was just too smart for the Special Branch for them to pin him down and have him deported.

However, Godfrey continued his work having a great and profound influence especially on the Youth and produced a Zulu magazine for the youth. This magazine lasted many years. He also branched out into teaching English to the Zulu people using a method called ?peration Upgrade?which entailed the transforming of the letters of the alphabet into recognisable shapes for people who had no knowledge of the alphabet. The letter ??was transformed easily into a bird shape. Godfrey would teach the people ?his is the letter b for bird??ay b for bird?but his Scottish accent intervened and the people would reply in chorus ?birrrrd?

The Prefecture Apostolic became the Diocese of Dundee in 1983 and Godfrey was a tremendous support for the new Bishop and long time friend Paschal Rowland.

Times were changing and the ?ind of change was blowing through Africa? But this brought much violence politically and tribally. In all of this Godfrey remained with his Zulu people and worked and argued for change and reconciliation.

This change came about in 1994 with the first truly democratic elections in South African history. In a sense he felt his work was done: democracy had been achieved, our Diocese was established and the Franciscan Order was established as an independent entity.

So when he realised the needs of our home Province he offered to remain after a Sabbatical at our Study Centre in Canterbury. He was soon named as Guardian of the House and quickly moved to other houses of the Province in leadership roles. He spent some time in Edinburgh before a stay in Glasgow. From Glasgow he moved as Chaplain to the Carmelite Sisters in Dysart, Kirkcaldy where his Sunday sermons had people crowding into the Church so that it was standing room only. But it was here that he had the first of many strokes which broke down his already frail health. He moved back to Glasgow in 2008 and stayed there until his death on the 1st February 2015.

He was well liked for his humour, his lateral thinking approach to everything, his challenging sermons and love of crosswords and his pipe! In fact there was a suggestion that we use some of his pipe tobacco instead of incense at the funeral! But Godfrey had a great and loving devotion to our Blessed Lady and to St Joseph as well as St Francis. I would often find him in his room lying on his bed with the beads passing through his fingers.

Loved and missed by his brother Franciscans and many, many people in different parts of the world. He was waiting like St Francis for Sr Death and embraced her coming. May he rest in peace.

Hamba kahle umfowethu nomgane wethu. Ngena entokozweni yeNkosi. Amen
(Go well our brother and friend, enter into the joy of the Lord. Amen)

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