A Time in History (December 24-31)

December 24

FR. PEADAR CASSIDY was born at Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland in 1921. He died at Dalgan on December 24, 1980. Father Peadar received his secondary education at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, Ireland before entering Dalgan seminary in 1939. He was ordained priest there in 1945 and appointed to Huzhou, China [1946-49]. He was assigned to the Philippines in 1949 where he remained until ill health forced his return to Ireland in 1958. For the next six years he did pastoral work in Ireland. Continuing ill health compelled him to retire to Dalgan.  Father Peadar is buried at Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland.


 FR. THOMAS REVATTO was born on November 9, 1924 at Guileen, Whitegate, County Cork, Ireland.  He came to Dalgan Seminary in 1942 and was ordained priest on December 21, 1948.  In the following year, he was assigned to the Philippines, one of ten Columbans who took over a rather remote block of parishes in the center and south-west of Negros Occidental.  There were no parish schools, and in many cases, churches and parish houses had to be built from the beginning.  Father Tom would spend the next 52 years there: twelve years in Payao, eight in Sipalay, eight in Dancalan, seven in Biscom, and the remainder in Binalbagan.  A quiet, conscientious man, Father Tom worked hard in all his assignments, and like all the Columbans of his generation, he saw huge developments in Negros during the years that he served there.  By the time he retired to Ireland in 2001, Negros had flourishing parishes, a highly developed school system, and a large group of Filipino priests, many of whom owed their vocation to the encouragement and help of individual Columbans.  Despite a stroke, Father Tom remained serene until he died on December 24, 2018.



     Fr. Geoff with some workers


FR. KIERAN WHITE was born at Bennettstown, County Kilkenny, in 1910. He died suddenly of a heart attack at his home in Bennettstown on December 24, 1985. Father Kieran was educated at C.B.S., Kilkenny, before entering Dalgan seminary in 1929. He was ordained priest by Bishop Galvin in December 1935. His first assignment was to promotion work in Australia [1936-39]. He went to the Philippines in 1939 where he worked in Luzon. His last appointment was as chaplain to the Medical Center, Manila, a position he held until his death.  Father Kieran is buried at Dalgan.



December 25

 FR. MICHAEL BREEN was born at Athlone, County Westmeath, Ireland in 1923 and died at Bristol, Rhode Island on Christmas Day 2001.  Having completed his studies at Summerhill College, Sligo, he came to Dalgan seminary in 1941 and was ordained there in December 1947. Appointed to the Philippines, he ministered in Tangub, Clarin and Ozamis City. In 1969, he was appointed to the U.S. Region. A dedicated promoter of the Columbans and mission, Father Mick travelled widely from the West Coast to Texas to New England for over thirty years and finally to retirement in Bristol in March 2001. He is buried at Malden, Massachusetts, USA.



President Carlos P. Garcia welcomed by Fr. Michael Breen, Ozamiz City, 1958-59



FR. JOHN STRATTON was from Adelaide, Australia where he was born in 1932. He died on Christmas Morning 2005 at Epworth Hospital, Melbourne, Australia. Having received his secondary education at Goodwood Technical School, he worked for three years in the Public Service and Department of Agriculture. In 1954-’55, he studied Latin in the Diocesan Seminary with a view to priesthood. Having completed his studies at Sassafras, Wahroonga and Turramurra, Father John was ordained in 1962. Appointed to the Philippines, he worked mainly in Negros “living a simple lifestyle, committed to the poor, a man of compassion and understanding.” Indifferent health throughout his life forced him to move to Manila and in 2000 he returned to Australia.  Father John is buried at Melbourne General Cemetery.


 December 26


FR. JOHN CURRY was born in the parish of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland in 1927. He died on December 26, 2008 at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, Ireland. Having completed his secondary education at St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, he entered Dalgan seminary in 1944 and was ordained there in 1950. Assigned to the Philippines in 1951, Father John spent most of forty years in that mission during which time he served as Superior of the District of Zambales. Popular with his fellow-priests and with the people whom he served, frequently in indifferent health, Father John was assigned to Ireland in 1990, following heart surgery. Wishing to be of service to the Columbans and to people, he undertook assignments in Dalgan, in his home-archdiocese of Tuam and in the diocese of Meath. Father John is buried at Dalgan.


 December 28


FR. PETER CAMPBELL was born at Clonoe, Coalisland, County Tyrone, Ireland in 1915. He died at Blanchardstown Hospital, County Dublin on December 28, 1987. Father Peter was educated at St. Patrick’s Academy, Dungannon, and St. Patrick’s College, Armagh, Ireland before entering Dalgan seminary in 1935. He was ordained priest there in 1941. He did temporary parish work in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, UK from 1943 to 1946. He was assigned to China and worked in Nancheng from 1947-51.  Father Peter was appointed to promotion work in the U.S. [1951] where he worked in Brooklyn, New York (NY); Silver Creek, NY; Bayside, NY; and West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. He went to the Philippines in 1969 and was chaplain at Makati Medical Center. Returning to Ireland in 1971 he was appointed chaplain to Lourdes’ Hospital, Drogheda [1971-76]. He then did pastoral work in the Archdiocese of Armagh until the time of his death. Father Peter is buried at Dalgan.


connor FR. JEREMIAH O’CONNOR was born at Crimlin, Castlebar, County Mayo, Ireland in 1922. He died on December 28, 1983 in Negros, Philippines.  Father Jerry entered Dalgan seminary in 1940 having completed his secondary studies at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen. He was ordained priest in 1946 and assigned to China where he studied Chinese at Peking. He left China in 1949 and went to the Philippines where he worked in Mindanao and in Negros. He died on his way to a hospital in Himamaylan, Negros.  Father Jerry is buried in the grounds of the church in Ilog, the parish where he was pastor when he died.



FR. GEOFF REVATTO was born on 15 October 1925 at Guileen, Whitegate, County Cork, Ireland.  Ordained on December 21, 1949, he was assigned to Negros in the Philippines where he spent the next twenty-seven years in La Castellana, the isolated parish of Sipalay, Ma-ao Central, Dancalan, Binalbagan and Biscom. From 1978 to1980, he was on mission promotion in Ireland before returning to Negros as District Bursar in Batang and then as pastor in Cawayan. Back in Ireland, in 1988 he worked in the “Far East” offices, even as he gradually lost the use of his legs. By the year 2000, he had to give up that activity also. Father Geoff was a quiet, dedicated, patient man who rarely complained as his health deteriorated and the simplest activities demanded huge effort. Father Geoff enjoyed a joke, the company of fellow-Columbans and always found ways of contributing to the life of the community. He died peacefully in the Columban Nursing Home, Dalgan Park on 28th December 2015.


Fr. Geoff Revatto, Negros, 1956

December 30

FR. MICHAEL DOOHAN was born in Enniz, Co. Clare on 4 March 1928. He entered Dalgan in September 1946 and was ordained on 21 December 1952. In the following year he was assigned t Negross Occidental, Philippines where he would spend sixty years n the parishes of Candoni, Kabankalan, SONDECO (Southern Negros Development Corporation), Bacolod, Cauayan.  While chaplain at SONDECO he saw many unemployed young people and offered to training teach thecm mechanics.  He sourced old equipment from the Subic U.S. base and set up the Kabankalan Diocesan Training Center in 1975. Twenty years later he gave it to the government’s Department of Labor on conditiona that it continue to offer free education. Logging wiped out forests in Negros. He began to collect seeds and plant them in small bags of soil. He gave a million seedlings to local farers for a forestation project which is now known as Doohan Forest. IN 2015 he retired to Ireland and died in 30 December 2022.


Fr. Michael Doohan, Missionary on Horseback