A Time in History (April 17-23)

April 18


FR. MICHAEL DOYLE was born in Bohola, County Mayo, Ireland in 1923. He died in Los Angeles on April 18, 1986. Having completed his secondary studies at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, Ireland, F.ather Michael entered Dalgan in 1941 and was ordained priest there in 1947. He was assigned to the Philippines where he worked for the next thirty years. In declining health, he returned to Ireland in 1985 and later went to the U.S. for medical treatment. Father Michael is buried at Good Shepherd Cemetery, Huntingdon Beach, California.




kelly FR. MARK KELLY was born in 1909 at Mt. Talbot, County Roscommon, Ireland.  He died on April 18, 1991 in Bon Secours Hospital, Dublin. Father Mark received his secondary education at Summerhill College, Sligo, Ireland after which he entered Dalgan in 1928 and was ordained priest in 1934.  His first appointment was to Nancheng, China [1935-46], then as bursar at the language school in Peking [1947-49] and to Hong Kong [1949-51].  In 1951, Father Mark was appointed Vice-Director of the Philippines. After three years [1959-62] on promotion work in the U.S., he returned to the Philippines but he had to return again to the U.S. for treatment of throat cancer. Despite his health problem, he went back to Manila where he worked until 1986. He finally retired to Dalgan in 1988 and is buried at Dalgan.



lavin FR. PATRICK LAVIN was born at St. Andrew’s parish, Boston, Massachusetts, USA in 1921. He died suddenly at Los Angeles on April 18, 1989. Fr. Pat was ordained priest in December 1946 in Boston having studied at Silver Creek, Bristol and St. Columban’s, Nebraska. He served as Bursar and Socius in Bristol [1947-49]. He went to the Philippines in 1950 and worked in Mindanao. Returning to the U.S. in 1969 he served in Bristol and as pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish in Westminster, California.  From 1980-86 he was Superior in San Francisco.

Then, after a year in Quincy, Massachusetts he became pastor of St. Columban’s Filipino parish in Los Angeles. Father Pat is buried at the family plot at Canton, Massachusetts, USA.



April 20


 FR. DENIS BARTLEY was born at Killinure, Brittas, Pallasgreen, County Limerick, Ireland on September 18, 1927. Ordained on December 21, 1951 he was appointed to the Philippines and worked in Mambajao, Dumalinao, Dumingag, Bañadero, Malabang and Sapang-Dalaga, all in Mindanao.  Mambajao was recovering from the eruption of Mount Hibok-Hibok which killed 3,000 in December 1951. His assistant, Fr. Martin Dempsey, was shot dead in Malabang in October 1970. Father Denis was appointed to the General Mission Office in Omaha, USA in March 1974. From 1980 to 1983 he was in Lima, Peru.  Back in the US, he served in many roles in New York, Omaha and Los Angeles before retiring to Bristol in 2010. Poor health forced his return to Ireland in January 2012. A private, rather reserved person, Father Denis was good company and an excellent host. Totally dedicated to the people, he was long remembered with great affection in many parishes. He died in St Mary’s Hospital, Navan on April 20, 2015 and is buried in Dalgan.




Fr. Denis Bartley in Mindanao

caseyFR. PAUL CASEY was born at Buffalo, NEW York, USA in 1927 and educated at St. Joseph’s High School and St. Joseph’s Collegiate Institute. As a student it was said of him, “he is a tremendous worker, guided by an iron determination to do the job well.” Having served two years in Korea with the U.S. Army, Father Paul went to St. Columbans, Silver Creek, then to Bristol, Nebraska and Milton where he was ordained in 1954. His first appointment was to the Philippines. In 1981, during a period of ill health in Manila, he studied German which led to his taking a pastoral assignment in Osnabruch, Germany. Returning to the U.S. in 1985, Father Paul was assigned to Bristol and later to Omaha where he was archivist. He died on April 20, 2005 at Midlands Hospital, Papillon, Nebraska following surgery and is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Omaha.



Fr. Paul Casey in action


farrisey FR. KEVIN FARRISSEY was born in 1935 at Christchurch, New Zealand.  He died on April 20, 2005 at Hutt Hospital after a short illness. Father Kevin was educated by the Sisters of Mercy and by the Marist and Christian Brothers. In 1949, he entered the New Zealand National Seminary and after Philosophy Studies he joined the Columbans and completed his studies for priesthood at Turramurra, New South Wales, Australia. He was ordained in 1960 at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Auckland and appointed to the Philippines where he ministered in a number of parishes in the Zambales District for thirty years. Assigned to his home Region in 1990, he served at Lower Hutt until his retirement. Father Kevin is buried at Taita, near Lower Hutt, New Zealand.



hannafinFR. WILLIAM (BILL) HANNAFIN was born in 1925 at Tralee, County Kerry, Ireland. He died at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan on April 20, 2006. When he had completed his secondary studies at St. Brendan’s, Killarney, Father Bill studied philosophy at Mt. Melleray Seminary. He came to Dalgan in 1946 and was ordained there in 1951. Assigned to the Philippines, he spent the next fifty-three years in various parishes on the island of Mindanao, some of them difficult. Despite indifferent health at stages of his life, he was never depressed, always blessed with a good sense of humour and a sunny disposition. Father Bill is buried at Dalgan.





Msgr. Jesus Tuquib and Fr. Bill Hannafin


walshe FR. EDWARD PERCY WALSHE was born in 1935 at Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. He died quite unexpectedly at St. Columban’s, Lima, Peru on April 20, 2006. Having completed his secondary education at St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, Fr. Percy joined the Columbans and was ordained in 1959. He was appointed to do post-graduate studies in journalism at Marquette University and assigned to the Philippines where he worked in Luzon. In 1970 he was appointed Editor of The Far East, a post he held until 1977. On completion of a course in Marianella he left for Peru where he spent the last twenty-nine years of his life. Fr. Percy is buried at Campo Fe Cemetery, Lima.



April 21


 FR. NICHOLAS MURRAY was born on April 11, 1938, in Ballymacward, Galway, Ireland. He studied at Esker NS and St Joseph’s, Ballinasloe before going to St Columban’s in 1956. He was ordained priest on December 21, 1962.  Assigned to the Philippines in 1963, he spent the next twenty-two years working in Luzon and later as Chaplain and Director of Student Catholic Action (SCA) in Manila. His leadership skills were soon noted and he served in succession on the Director’s Council, as District Superior of Luzon, as Vice-Director, and as Director of the Philippine Region 1981-1985. Assigned back to Ireland in 1985, he spent two years fostering vocations and then was appointed Director of the Irish Region. In 1988, he was elected Superior General and was then re-elected for a further term in 1994. In an era of great change, he brought stability and boundless energy to every task. In 2000, he asked to be assigned to China, and was sent for two years to the International Studies University in Chongqing to teach English. He described this work as ‘an eminently worthwhile ministry.’ In 2005, he spent some time helping out in his native Diocese of Clonfert. In 2008, he was diagnosed with a form of leukemia but continued to use whatever energy he could muster to serve as bursar in Dalgan. He fought the good fight and died in St Francis Hospice, Raheny, Dublin on April 21, 2011, Holy Thursday. Father Nicholas is buried at Dalgan.


April 22


FR. LEO LYONS was born in the parish of St. Thomas, Providence, Rhode Island, USA in 1917. He died on April 22, 1988 at Houston Northwestern Hospital, Texas after suffering a heart attack. Father Leo was ordained priest at the cathedral in Buffalo, New York in 1943. In 1945 he was assigned to the Philippines. Ill health forced him to return to the U.S. in 1949. After a period of recuperation in Colorado he worked for the remainder of his life in the Los Angeles area, apart from 1968-71 when he was assigned to parish work in the Archdiocese of Denver. He had a long struggle with ill health, losing a lung in 1959. Father Leo is buried at St. Ann’s Cemetery, Rhode Island, USA.



NEIL FRASER, ordained a Columban priest on August 21, 1971, served in Pagadian until he left the priesthood in July 1974. He set up a media production center and produced full length video films in Cebuano. Later, he founded an Ecological Foundation, planted trees in 400 hectares of land, established a marine sanctuary and empowered local farmers and the indigenous community. Neil will be remembered as a kind-hearted, talented artist, committed ecologist, and inspiring advocate for raising awareness in Mindanao through group media. He died of cancer on April 22, 2023. cancer on April 22, 2023




April 23


  FR. DENIS J. MURPHY was born at Castleisland, County Kerry, Ireland in 1912. He died in the Philippines on April 23, 1966. Father Denis was educated at St. Brendan’s College, Killarney before coming to Dalgan in 1931. After his ordination in 1938 he went to the Philippines and worked in Mindanao. He was Vicar-General of the Archdiocese of Ozamis. Father Denis died suddenly after attending a sick call in Oroquieta. He is buried at Oroquieta, Philippines.





Grave of Fr. Denis Murphy in Oroquieta City, Mindanao