Fr Pat Fitzgerald WF

Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959

When Father Moody received his call to the mission of Mwanza, after devoting the first years of his priesthood to the early training of future White Fathers, there was at hand a Father clearly qualified to succeed him. Father Fitzgerald had already spent four years at the Priory as Director, Prefect of Discipline, and Professor of Latin, and had shown himself to be both an excellent teacher and a gifted educator in the broader sense. His pupils achieved outstanding results in examinations, he had introduced the boys to a real appreciation of classical music and he had shown a rare combination of understanding and firmness in discharging the delicate office of Prefect of Discipline.

To take the place of so gifted and energetic a Superior as Father Moody was an unenviable task indeed: but Father Fitzgerald showed himself equal to it. He accepted his appointment like a true White Father, seeing in the letter which announced it the handwriting of Almighty God, and tackled the responsibility of his new post with astonishing zest. Without relinquishing any of his classes he some how found time to execute all the tasks which now fell to him with unfailing thoroughness, and to set on foot many new schemes concerned both with the academic and spiritual formation of the boys entrusted above all to his care. We who serve under him are very conscious of all that we owe him for the kind and wise leadership he so selflessly supplies.

In spite of all his cares, he is always ready to hear any suggestions or to listen to any problem; above all one feels that his overmastering desire is to lead all those who are under him, whether Fathers or Brothers or boys, to an ever holier life. We are glad to express our thanks to him, and to assure him that his boundless devotion to his task is deeply appreciated by everyone at the Priory.

Footnote: Father Fitzgerald taught for several years at The Priory and was Father Superior 1958 - 60. After serving 20 years in Zambia he returned to the UK to settle at Oak Lodge. Pat is now living in the WFs house in England.

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Fr Thomas Rathe WF who celebrated 50 years of priesthood in June 1999.
Taken from The Pelican, Summer 1959

Please Note : This entry was posted before Fr Rathe's death in June 2002, and his life is celebrated on Page 5 of the Obituaries section.

Father Thomas Rathe by LAT
We regret to announce the departure of Father Rathe, who has been our Father Steward for the past three years. Our loss is the gain of the Missions.

An excellent confrere, we will miss the unfailing good humour which survived all his difficulties in satisfying so many 'inner men'. Even when the unpaid bills surrounding him in his den promised to pass his eyebrows and bury him completely, his unruffled voice could still be heard cheerfully intoning his theme song, 'Rejoice, rejoice !'

We wish him many successful years of work in Africa and a more rewarding post than that with which he has had to wrestle at the Priory.
source: Fr Pat Fitzgerald)

Fr Rathe, who is now based at Oak Lodge, London, recently sent me a copy of his 'Bionotes' that he got from Rome. These are reproduced in part below:

01/07/49 • Monteviot
20/11/50 • Centre Perf. Freres — Marienthal, Luxembourg
05/10/53 • Monteviot
01/07/56 • Bishop's Waltham
19/05/59 • Grande Retraite — Mours
29/09/59 • Damongo, D.Tamale, Ghana
04/08/60 • Jirapa, D.Wa, Ghana
01/07/65 • Superior: Jirapa, Ghana
01/01/66 • School Manager: Wa, Ghana
01/01/75 • Assist.Dioc.Bursar: Wa, Ghana
14/09/77 • Stormont Rd, London
01/09/79 • Appointed Pr. Council
01/01/82 • Provincial Bursar: Stormont Road
01/01/84 • Provincial Secretary: Stormont Rd
01/09/85 • Superior: Woodville Gdns, London
01/09/87 • Provincial Secretary: Stormont Road
30/05/91 • Bursar: Stormont Road
08/05/94 • Bursar: Oak Lodge, London
18/05/00 • Residence: Oak Lodge
13/09/00 • Session 70+ — Roma, M.G.

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(Photo source: Fr Pat Fitzgerald)

Fr William Lynch WF (RIP) who taught Maths at The Priory 1956,
though it is not known when he left or where he went from there.

Michael Goodstadt writes June 2001:
"Fr Lynch landed up in Toronto, where I see him from time to time.
He has not been at all well recently and would probably appreciate your prayers."

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(source Tony McCaffrey)

The Chapel at The Priory - Michael Goodstadt thinks that this may have been printed
in reverse because the organ was positioned on the other side. Chris Campbell says
"The picture of the chapel is correct. The organ was on the right as you went towards the altar.  Halfway up the left-hand side was the door for parishioners to enter. You can't see this in the picture."

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(source Tony McCaffrey)

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(source: The White Fathers - White Sisters magazine, February/March 1997)

Back: Frs Joop Raijmans, Peter Smith, David Cullen,
Hugh Seenan and Donald Anderson.
Middle: Frs Patrick Boyd, John Gould, Andre Fillion,
Luigi Morell and Jesus Velasco.
Front: Frs Patrick Donnelly, Patrick Fitzgerald, Peter Welsh,
Robert Kaggwa and Joseph Cummings.

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(source Eugene MacBride)


Br Edmund Rich, Fr Harry Moreton, Archbishop Grey,
Brian McGovern, Br Colunkille (John Mennie), Br Cormac (Michael Moonie).

Location: Galashiels. Date?

Michael Goodstadt writes June 2001: "This was taken in 1952 or 1953 - Brian McGovern is one clue to the date. If my memory serves me right, there were two occasions when we were involved with Archbishop Grey. The first was when some or all of St Columba's went to Edinburgh to participate in the consecration of Bishop Walsh (in which I was involved); the second occasion was when he came to St Columba's for the dedication etc of the new chapel (1953?). I have photos relating to the building, dedication and interior of the chapel."

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Since coming to the Priory after his ordination in 1953, Father Fowles has used many talents in the service of the seminary. His teaching time-table has included English, Elocution, Scripture, Doctrine, Science and Physical Training, and besides organising all the sporting activities of the house he has often found time to give valuable help in the running of the dairy and of the farm.

It stands to his credit that in spite of considerable material handicaps, he has succeeded in soundly establishing a science course in the seminary curriculum, and in setting up the beginnings of what promises to be a good little science laboratory.

But it is perhaps for the enthusiastic stimulus which he gave to sports and athletics, and for his able organisation of these activities, that Father Fowles will be chiefly remembered. The energy he displayed in this field, as indeed in every thing else he undertook, was an example to us. Without this familiar figure on the P.T. yard and playing fields it will seem that some life has gone out of the Priory.

We wish him a happy and successful term of higher studies in the realms of science before he returns—we hope, if he does not !—to make a yet more valuable contribution to the life and work of the Priory.

Michael Goodstadt writes June 2001: Fr Fowles ended up in Toronto, Canada. I believe he worked at the Ontario Science Centre. I spoke to him a couple of times but have never managed to meet him personally again. However. I did meet his daughter (by chance) when I was having a meal in a Toronto restaurant with Fr Bill Lynch.

Paul West writes: John was a very popular member of the staff at The Priory - a warm and friendly man whom we all liked and respected. He is an old friend of the Burdett Clark family and I managed to catch up with John and Carole on a trip to Europe in the summer of June 2002. Photos of this vacation can be seen on Pages 98 + 99 of this Gallery section.