A Time in History (February 17-23)

February 19


 BSP. + PATRICK H. CRONIN was born in 1913 at Moneygall, Dunkerrin, County Offaly, Ireland. He died on February 19, 1991 at Maria Regina Hospital, Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. Having studied at Tullamore Christian Brothers School and at St. Finian’s College, Mullingar, both in Ireland, Father Paddy came to Dalgan seminary in 1931 and was ordained priest in 1937. He was appointed to the Philippines where he was to remain until his death. In 1955, he became Prelate Ordinary of Ozamiz, being consecrated in the Dalgan Chapel, Navan, Ireland on September 25, 1955. He was translated to the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro in 1971 where he laboured until his retirement in 1987. From then until his death he resided within the grounds of the Archdiocesan Seminary. Father Paddy is buried in the Cathedral beside his predecessor, Fr. James Hayes S.J.



 Bishops Patrick H. Cronin and Henry Byrne, December 1956


February 21

 carney FR. WILLIAM CARNEY was born at Bayonne, New Jersey, USA in 1924. He died on February 21, 1973 in Jersey City, after a series of operations for cancer of the throat. Fr. Bill, as he was called, studied at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek [1942-43], St. Columban’s, Bristol [1943-44], and St. Columban’s Seminary, Nebraska [1944-50]. He was ordained priest in 1949. His first mission assignment was to Japan but this was changed because of the big influx of Columbans into Japan due to the Korean War. He was then appointed to the Philippines. In 1955 he returned to the U.S. for promotion work. He was appointed Superior of St. Columban’s, San Francisco, in 1964 and in 1969 he became Spiritual Director at St. Columban’s, Oconomowoc, Minnesota.  Fr. Bill is buried at Holy Name Cemetery, Jersey City.



February 22

brady FR. COLM BRADY was born in Granard, County Longford, Ireland in 1911. He died in a Manila hospital on February 22, 1977.  Fr. Colm received his secondary education at St. Mel’s College, Longford. He came to Dalgan in 1930 and was ordained priest there in 1936. Appointed to China, he spent nine years in Hanyang where the difficult war conditions affected his health. He was appointed to promotion work in the U.S. and worked in the Los Angeles area. In 1953 he began a new missionary career in the Philippines and worked in Mindanao for the next 23 years.  Fr. Colm is buried at Manila.




February 23

 converyFR. THOMAS CONVERY was born at Trenton, New Jersey, USA in 1915. He died on February 23, 2007 at Silver Silver Creek Nursing Home, Bristol, Rhode Island. Having gone through the Columban seminary system – Milton, Silver Creek, Omaha – Fr. Tom was ordained in 1940 and appointed to teach in Silver Creek for a year and then did vocation work until 1949. He served as Dean at Milton while doing studies at Boston College.  He received his M.Ed. from Loyola University.  In 1951 he was assigned to the Philippines where he served as superior in Zambales and Vicar General to Bishop Byrne. He was a delegate to three General Chapters. Appointed to the U.S. in 1972, he was Superior in Bayside and afterwards in Bristol. He moved to Omaha in 1980 and served there as Superior and Retreat Master until 1983 when he moved to Edgemont, Pennsylvania, USA. He ‘retired’ to Bristol in 1994. Known as a man of great energy, deeply spiritual and totally dedicated, Fr. Tom is buried at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, E. Providence, Rhode Island, USA.


galvin + EDWARD J. GALVIN was born at Newcestown, County Cork, Ireland on St. Columban’s Day, November 23, 1882. He died of leukemia at Dalgan on 23 February 1956. He was ordained priest at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Ireland in 1909 for his home diocese of Cork.  He spent his first three years as a priest on loan to the diocese of Brooklyn, USA. While there, in January 1912, he met Father Fraser who was en route back to China. In February 1912, Fr. Ned Galvin left Brooklyn for China. He went first to Toronto, Canada to join Fr. Fraser and together they travelled from Vancouver to Shanghai on the “Empress of India”. He lived and worked with French Vincentians in Zhejiang [1912-16]. In 1916 he returned to Ireland to found the Society. He met Fr. John Blowick for the first time on September 4, 1916 at Fr. Tom Ronayne’s lodgings in Monkstown, County Dublin, Ireland. Permission was obtained on October 10, 1916 from the Irish hierarchy to establish a “mission house for the training of Irish missionaries for China”.  After a brief period promoting the Society in Ireland, Fr. Ned left (1917) for the U.S. to establish the Society there. He returned to Ireland to lead the first band of Columbans to China (1920).  From his arrival in China to his expulsion in 1952, Fr. Ned would have experienced some good years but the lows predominated – the Japanese invasion, a corrupt Chinese government, violence, banditry often directed against missionaries, local warlords, floods, drought….He survived the rigours of World War II but there was no let-up.  In 1947, he wrote “the pep has gone from me; the war was bad but post-war problems are the devil entirely. We have no longer any rights, we have no power, we have no guns, we have no protection, but God is still in Heaven”.  Expelled, he returned to Ireland in 1953 and retired to Dalgan. He is buried there.



Bsp Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick

Founders of the Missionary Society of St. Columban