A Time in History (January 8-16)

January 8

ryanBRO. PETER RYAN [Brother Colman] was born at Warrenpoint, County Down, Ireland in 1903. He died at Dalgan on January 8, 1971. He was a salesman before coming to Dalgan in 1928. He learned building and construction, and went to Hanyang, China in 1933. There Bishop Galvin put him in charge of an industrial school. When he was forced to leave China, he was assigned to the Philippines in 1950. His most notable achievements were the construction of Ozamis Cathedral, the Diocesan Seminary and Immaculate Conception College, both in Ozamis. Seriously ill, he returned to Ireland in November 1970. Brother Colman is buried at Dalgan.



Brother Colman


Bro Colman with Filipino workers making hollow blocks


Bro Colman at work


Bro Colman with Bishop Patrick Cronin and two Filipino friends

January 9


FR. DAN BARAGRY was born on May 11, 1930 in Tipperary, Ireland.  An uncle and granduncle were Redemptorist Fathers but Fr. Dan, wanting to be a missionary, joined the Columbans and was ordained on December 21, 1954. His brother, Frank, followed three years later.  Fr. Dan spent 45 happy years in the Philippines, the first 35 in nine parishes in Mindanao. A rugged, mountainous place like Anakan demanded prodigious energy with 83 small scattered communities. When Tandag was taken on Fr. Dan was one of the first to volunteer, even though it was an eight-hour drive from the Columban House in Cagayan de Oro. In 1989, as assistant director in the Columban Formation House in Cebu, he worked part-time in the Southern Islands Psychiatric Unit caring for those most neglected by society. Failing health forced him to return to Ireland in 2001. He did book-keeping in the farm office until confined to the Dalgan Nursing Home where he died on January 9, 2015.  Fr. Dan was a quiet, dedicated, loyal Columban with a gentle sense of humour.



Father Dan with a group of women in Cebu

January 11


FR. THOMAS GERAGHTY was born in 1913 at Drumree, County Meath, Ireland. He died at Dalgan on January 11,1997. Having received his secondary education in St. Finian’s College, Mullingar [1927-32], Ireland Fr. Tom came to Dalgan in 1933 and was ordained priest there on December 21, 1939. Due to World War II, he was unable to take up his appointment to the Philippines and worked in the Salford diocese, England. In 1946 Fr. Tom was appointed to China and went to Hupeh, from where he was expelled in 1950 and reassigned to the Philippines. He worked in Negros for the next thirty years until he returned to Ireland [1980] and undertook a “dedicated and kindly ministry” in his home diocese of Meath. He is buried at Dalgan.



hennessyFR. WILLIAM G. HENNESSY was born at Providence, Rhode Island, USA in 1912. He died in Kinogitan, Misamis Oriental, Philippines on January 11, 2001 having been in failing health for many months. Having studied at Silver Creek and Omaha, Fr. Bill, as he was fondly called, was ordained priest at St. Columban’s Nebraska in December 1935 and then went to Rome for postgraduate studies in Canon Law. Assigned to the Philippines in 1939, he lived in the hills of Mindanao throughout the Japanese occupation and played a major part in the rebuilding of the Christian communities in Misamis after the country was liberated.  Fr. Bill became the first Director of the newly constituted Region of the Philippines in 1952 and served in that position until 1959. He is buried at Kinogitan.



Frs. William Hennessey, Augustine O’Leary & Francis Chapman


Tombstone of Fr. William Hennessey in Kinogitan, Mindanao, Philippines


January 12


 FR. JOHN CRAFTON was born in St. Peter’s parish, San Francisco, California, USA in 1913. He died at Jeanne Jugan Residence in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, USA on 12 January 1989. Fr. John was ordained priest in Providence, Rhode Island, USA in 1940 after studying at Silver Creek, Bristol and St. Columban’s, Nebraska. After parish work in St. Paul, he went to Mindanao, Philippines, in 1945. In 1948 he was assigned to the U.S. Region. After studies at Creighton University he worked on THE FAR EAST, in regional offices and parish apostolates until 1982. In later years he was auxiliary chaplain at the Home where he died. Fr. John is buried at East Providence, Rhode Island.



January 13

obrien FR. JOHN O’BRIEN was born at Cahirconlish, County Limerick, Ireland in 1933. He died in a motorcycle accident in the Philippines on January 13, 1960. Fr. John studied at Sacred Heart College, Limerick before coming to Dalgan in 1951. He was ordained priest in 1957 and was assigned to the Philippines where he worked in the Zambales area until his untimely death. Fr. John is buried at Olongapo City, Philippines. He was re-interred in St. Columban’s Church, Olongapo City.




January 14

cullenFR. EAMONN CULLEN was born in 1928 at Slieveboy, Castlepollard, County Westmeath. He died on January 14,1997 in Navan Hospital in Ireland having suffered a stroke. Having completed his secondary education [1943-48] in St. Finian’s College, Mullingar, Ireland Fr. Ned, as he was fondly called, entered Dalgan and was ordained priest there on December 21, 1954. Assigned to the Philippines, he ministered in the Manila area. He did a brief stint [1964-66] on promotion in the U.S. From 1966 he did parish and promotion work in Britain and Ireland. He was appointed to Chile in 1978 but poor health due to diabetes led to his retirement in 1995 to Dalgan. Fr. Ned is buried at Dalgan.



January 15 

adams FR. WILLIAM A. ADAMS was born in 1922 at Tullamore, County Offaly, Ireland. He died on January 15, 1991 at St. Columban’s, Manila, during a siesta. He was a nephew of Columban priest Paddy Kelly who was killed in Manila in 1945. Fr. Billy received his secondary education at St. Finian’s College, Mullingar, Ireland [1936-40], before entering Dalgan in 1940. He was ordained priest in December 1946. He was assigned to the Philippines in 1947 and continued working there for the ensuing 43 years in the Mindanao area. Fr. Billy is buried in Medina, Misamis Oriental.





Fr. William Adams with some parishioners in Gingoog City 


Bsp Patrick Cronin and Fr William Adams


Grave of Fr. Adams in Medina

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.



mcelroy 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.