A Time in History (January 24-31)

January 24

burke FR. ROBERT W. BURKE was born in Chicago in 1923. He died on January 24, 2011. Fr. Bob graduated from Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary in 1949 for the Archdiocese of Chicago where he worked for five years. In 1954 he was granted permission to join the Columbans. The following year he was appointed to the Philippines and spent eighteen (18) years in Kabankalan, Negros. He worked in our Milton seminary for four (4) years before returning to the Philippines and serving a further 18 years in Bacuyangan, Negros.  In 1993 he retired and returned to his family in Chicago. He served the Filipino Community there and assisted at Our Lady of Peace Church in Darien until he got ill. He died three (3) months later.  Fr. Bob is buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Alsip, Illinois, USA.



 doohan FR. JOHN DOOHAN was born in 1923 in the parish of Kilmurry, County Clare, Ireland.  He died at St. Columban Mission House, Manila, on January 24, 2009 after almost fifty (50) years of service to the people of the Philippines.  After his secondary education at St. Flannan’s, Ennis, Fr. John came to Dalgan Park and was ordained there in 1947. His brother, Michael, also joined the Columbans and was likewise appointed to the Philippines.  Fr. John’s first assignment was to Mindanao in 1948, after which, in 1950, he was a member of the pioneering team to Negros. There he spent almost fifty (50) years developing and ministering in a number of parishes with enthusiasm and missionary zeal.  His health eventually failed and he was forced to retire to Manila where he died in 2009. Fr. John was laid to rest in the parish of Dancalan, his last place of pastoral ministry, after a genuinely impressive farewell from his loyal people.




January 25

leary FR. FRANCIS O’LEARY was born in 1935 at Readrinagh, Headford, Killarney, Ireland.  He died suddenly of a heart attack on January 25, 1992 at the Centre House in Santiago, Chile.  Fr. Frank was a brother of Columban Fr. Owen O’Leary and a nephew of Fr. Jeremiah Dennehy, Superior General [1947-51]. Having received his secondary education at Christian Brothers School, Tralee [1946-48], and at St. Brendan’s Seminary, Killarney [1948-52], Ireland, Fr. Frank entered Dalgan in 1952 and was ordained priest there on December 21, 1958. Soon after being appointed to the Philippines in 1959 Fr. Frank was sent to Rome to study Canon Law. Likewise, after being appointed to the U.S. he returned to Rome to do a Doctorate in Theology, specializing in Liturgy. In 1966 he joined the College staff in Dalgan, where he taught until appointed to Chile in 1973. In 1985 Fr. Frank became the first Director of the Mission Institute at Dalgan. He was reappointed to Chile in 1990 and was named as the new Director there in 1991. Fr. Frank is buried at Santiago.


 reillyFR. PATRICK REILLY was born at Moynalty, County Meath, Ireland in 1922. He died after a prolonged illness at Dalgan on January 25, 1998. His brother, Fr. Mattie, is also a Columban.  Fr. Paddy came to the Old Dalgan in 1940 having done his secondary studies at St. Finian’s College, Mullingar, Ireland.  He was ordained priest on December 21, 1946 and assigned to China where he studied Chinese in Shanghai and then appointed to Huzhou. With three confreres, Fr. Paddy was arrested for alleged subversive activities and spent a year in prison ending with the expulsion of The Four Felons from China in November 1953. Having recovered from his ordeal, Fr. Paddy was assigned to Britain and worked in the Irish Emigrant Welfare apostolate until 1963 when he was appointed to the Philippines. He returned to Ireland in 1982 and worked in his native Diocese of Meath until he was forced to retire to Dalgan in 1992. He is buried at Dalgan.