A Time in History (January 16-22)

January 16


 FR. JOSEPH F. CONNEELY was born in 1907 at Glenamaddy, County Galway, Ireland. He died on January 16, 1997 in Dalgan. Fr. Joe was one of three Columban brothers; Dan and Paul had pre-deceased him. Fr. Joe received his secondary education in St. Joseph’s College, Roscrea [1919-20], and in St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam [1920-24], Ireland before entering Dalgan in 1924 where he was ordained priest on December 21, 1930.  He was to spend almost twenty years in formation and promotion work in the U.S., including a term as rector of Silver Creek [1947-50]. Assigned to the Philippines in 1950, he was among the first group to go to Zambales where he worked for forty years. In 1992, Fr. Joe retired to Dalgan, where he is buried.



FR. MICHAEL J. GEOGHEGAN was born at Tynagh, County Galway, Ireland in 1921. He died at Dalgan on January 16, 1989. Having received his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe, Ireland he came to Dalgan in 1941 and was ordained priest in 1947. Assigned to the Philippines, he served mainly in Lingayen. In 1957 he was assigned to promotion work in the U.S. Due to ill health he was appointed to the Irish Region in 1969 and from 1971-86 he worked in the archdiocese of Birmingham, England. His final years were spent in the infirmary in Dalgan.  Fr. Michael is buried at Dalgan.



FR. MALACHY McELROY was born at Armagh, Ireland in 1914. He died in Solihull, near Birmingham, on January 16, 1983 as a result of a severe stroke.  Fr. Malachy was educated at St. Patrick’s College, Armagh, before entering Dalgan in 1934. After his ordination in 1940 he took up pastoral work in the diocese of Clifton, England [1941-46]. In 1947 he went to China and had just completed his language studies in Peking when, with the Communist take-over imminent, he was appointed to the Philippines. He spent the next twenty-five years in the Philippines where he was engaged in parish work, Student Catholic Action and in the regional offices in Manila. In 1975 he was assigned to Britain where he worked in the Solihull offices. Fr. Malachy is buried at Dalgan.



January 17


FR. MICHAEL CULLEN was born in 1925 at Tullysaran, County Armagh, Ireland. He died on January 17,2006 at Craigavon Hospital, Co. Armagh. Educated at C.B.S., Armagh, Fr. Michael came to Dalgan in 1942 and was ordained there in 1948. Assigned to the Philippines, he spent a total of forty-seven years on the Island of Negros, returning from there in 1997 to ‘retirement’ in his home parish where “he didn’t spare himself as long as work was available.” He endeared himself to all by “his gentle and unassuming manner and his deep spirituality nourished by personal prayer.”  Fr. Michael “never forgot his roots and regarded the people at home as his partners in mission.” He is buried among his own at Knockaconey, County Armagh, Ireland.



January 18


FR. JOHN J. LYNCH was born at Somerville, Massachusetts, USA in 1927. He died in his sleep on January 18,1986 at Fort Devins, Massachusetts.  Before coming to St. Columban’s in 1949 Fr. Jack served with the U.S. Army.  He was ordained priest at St. Columban’s Seminary, Milton, Massachusetts in 1956. He was appointed to the Philippines in 1957 and worked there until 1961. Returning to the U.S. he did diocesan work in Brooklyn, New York, and Omaha. He then did promotion work in Omaha, Los Angeles and Denver, and pastoral work in Westminster, California parish and St. John’s, Virgin Islands. In 1967 he joined the U.S. Army as a chaplain and did two tours of duty in Vietnam. He held the rank of Lt. Colonel and was on active duty at the time of his death. He is buried at St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Stoneham, Massachusetts.



January 20


FR. J. THOMAS CONNOLLY was born at Burren, Warrenpoint, County Down, Ireland in 1907. He died at Dalgan on 20 January 1981. Fr. Tom was educated at St Colman’s College, Newry, before entering St. Senan’s College, Cahiracon, Ireland in 1926. He came to Dalgan in 1927 but did his last three years theology in St. Columban’s, Nebraska, USA where he was ordained priest in 1932. After his ordination, he was assigned to the Philippines where he worked for the next 44 years. In 1977 he returned to Ireland and acted as chaplain at Star of the Sea Convent in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, until 1979 when ill health forced his retirement. Fr. Tom is buried at Dalgan.



January 22


FR. FRANCIS J. LITTON was born at Glasthule, County Dublin, Ireland in 1918. He died suddenly in Dalgan on January 22, 1987.  Fr. Frank was educated at the Catholic University School, Dublin. In 1935 he went to Dalgan and was ordained priest in 1941. His first assignments were to the diocese of Galway and then to office work at St. Columban’s, Navan, Ireland.  He then took an M.A. in Education in the U.S. before being appointed to the Philippines in 1951. In 1954 he was appointed to the U.S. Region and worked in Los Angeles. In 1964 he was appointed to the staff of St. Columban’s Seminary, Silver Creek, New York, and in 1968 to the staff at Dalgan. From 1976 he did research on John Blowick and John Henaghan while he worked in the regional offices.  Fr. Frank is buried at Dalgan.










FR. THOMAS L. MURPHY was born at Taunton, Massachusetts, USA in 1918. He died suddenly while visiting friends in New York on January 22, 1994.  Fr. Tom began his education for priesthood at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek, New York in 1931 and was ordained priest in Providence, Rhode Island, USA on December 19, 1942. His first assignment was to study journalism at Columbia University, New York, and Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In 1945 he joined the editorial staff of COLUMBAN MISSION. He was assigned to the Philippines in 1954 and worked in Mindanao until his recall in 1959 to the staff of COLUMBAN MISSION at Omaha, USA. In 1967 he spent two years on the editorial staff of THE FAR EAST at St. Columban’s, Nth. Essendon. Returning to the U.S., he did pastoral work until his retirement through illness. Fr. Tom is buried at St. Anne’s Cemetery, Cranston, Rhode Island, USA.


Frs. Tom Murphy and Jim Lillis