A Time in History (June 1 – 11)

June 1

FR. PATRICK J. McMAHON was born at Woodford, County Galway, Ireland in 1921. He died in a Manila hospital on June 1, 1962.  Father P.J., as he was called, came to Dalgan seminary in 1941 after studying at St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe.  He was ordained priest in 1947 and appointed to the Philippines where he worked until 1962. His health was fragile, particularly during his second term on mission [1956-62].  Father P.J. is buried at Tangub, Misamis Occidental, the parish where he worked.


The grave of Fr. P.J. McMahon


FR. VINCENT N. O’BRIEN was born in 1923 at Killala, County Mayo, Ireland where his father was stationmaster. He died at St. Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin, on June 1, 1984.  Father Vincent did his secondary studies at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghadereen, before coming to Dalgan seminary in 1941. He was ordained priest in 1947 and went to the Philippines in 1948. Appointed to Ireland in 1969 he worked in the Archdiocese of Tuam until the time of his death. Father Vincent’s elder brother, Father John, who was also a Columban missionary, was killed in Korea shortly after the Korean War broke out in 1950.  Father Vincent is buried at Dalgan Park.


June 4

FR. DANIEL J. O’CONNELL was born at Buffalo, New York, USA in 1919.  He died in a hospital at Bayside, New York on June 4, 1984 after a long illness and almost eight weeks in a coma.  After studying at St. Columban’s, Nebraska, he was ordained priest in 1943 and assigned to the Philippines. Unable to travel due to World War II, Father Dan worked in the diocese of Buffalo until 1946 when he went to the Philippines. He was pastor of San Isidore parish in Tudela, Mindanao. In 1962, he was appointed to the teaching staff at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek. In 1968 he became Spiritual Director at St. Columban’s, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, and later bursar. From 1972 until the time of his death he was bursar at St. Columban’s, Bayside, New York.  Father Dan is buried at Lackawanna, New York.


June 6

FR. JAMES McDEVITT was born at Castlefin, County Donegal, Ireland in 1912. He died at Dalgan on June 6, 1981. When he had completed his secondary studies at St. Columb’s College, Derry, he came to Dalgan where he was ordained priest in 1935. Assigned to the Philippines, he worked for twenty years in Student Catholic Action in Manila.  In 1959 he was assigned to Australia where for the next fifteen years he worked in various pastoral assignments before ill health forced him to return to Ireland in 1974.  Father Jim, as he is called, is buried at Dalgan Park.


FR. THOMAS R. O’HANLON was born at Tarbert, County Kerry, Ireland on October 17, 1945. He suffered a stroke in Pakistan in late May 2010 and died on June 6th.  When Father Tommy had completed his studies at St. Brendan’s, Killarney, he came to Dalgan seminary in 1963 and was ordained priest in 1969 at Tarbert. His first mission-assignment was to the Philippines in 1969 where he was appointed to Mindanao, an area associated with strife and killings between military and militants. The widespread abuse of human rights of the “small man” proved a welcome challenge to Father Tommy. After a brief course in Islamic Studies in England, he was assigned to our new mission, Pakistan, where there was wide scope for his interests and talents.  Later, after a 3-year stint on promotion work in Ireland, he returned to Pakistan in 2005. “A man of generosity, simplicity and warmth, Father Tommy’s sudden death of a stroke shocked his numerous friends, his confreres in Pakistan and throughout the Columban world. He is buried in Lahore, next to his fellow-Columban and friend, Fr. Pat McCaffrey.


June 9

FR. FRANCIS M. AWBURN was born in Wodonga, Victoria, Australia, in 1928. He died suddenly on June 9, 1993 in his parish of Matain, Zambales, Philippines. Having completed his secondary education at St. Patrick’s College, Ballarat, Australia, Father Frank entered St. Columban’s, Nth. Essendon in 1946 where he studied philosophy and then went to Dalgan, Ireland to study theology. He was ordained priest there on December 21, 1953. Assigned to the Philippines, he worked in Zambales for forty years, spending a brief period [1957-58] in Malate parish, in Manila. He was on mission promotion in Australia from 1969-72 after which he returned to Zambales where he became Superior in 1989. Father Frank is buried at Santa Rita, Olongapo City.  He was re-interred in St. Columban’s Church, Olongapo City.


FR. EAMONN MORAN was born in 1938 at Suncroft, County Kildare, Ireland. He died suddenly on June 9, 1992 at St. Benedict’s Parish, in Merthyr Vale, Wales. Having completed his secondary studies at St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe [1951-57], Father Eamonn entered Dalgan seminary and was ordained priest there by Bishop Patrick Cleary on December 22, 1963. His first appointment was to the Philippines in 1964 where for the next 20 years he worked in Mindanao. He left the Philippines in 1984 for medical reasons and did pastoral work in Ireland and Wales.  Father Eamonn is buried at Dalgan Park.