A Time in History (June 12-22)

June 15

FR. MARTIN RYAN was born on January 23, 1929 at Muckalee, County Kilkenny, Ireland.  He was ordained on December 21, 1953 and went to Mindanao in the Philippines where he worked in Gingoog, Dumalinao, Mambajao, Linamon, Maigo and Corpus Christi, Iligan City.  In the 1980s, Father Martin became aware that he had a drinking problem and asked for treatment at Guest House, Minnesota, USA.  He knew that alcoholism causes great suffering to many Filipino families and with the help of Filipina Columban Sister Regina Bernad, he founded a treatment center in Ozamiz City called, “IT WORKS”.  When he was sure that it could continue without him, he returned to Ireland.  Father Martin was blessed with a child-like directness and simplicity.  The accidental death of his brother, and fellow Columban, Lar, in October 1995 was a very heavy blow.  With a passion for hurling he was always anxious for news about the fortunes of Kilkenny and of St. Martin’s, Ireland.  He died at St. Columban’s Retirement Home, Navan on June 15, 2018 and was buried in Muckalee.


June 16

FR. BRENDAN CARTY was born at Rathkenny, County Meath, Ireland in 1921. He died suddenly at Bacolod Hospital, Philippines on June 16, 1958. Father Brendan was educated at St. Patrick’s Academy, Navan and St. Finian’s College, Mullingar, both in Ireland. He came to Dalgan in 1940 and was ordained priest in 1946. He was appointed to China where he studied Chinese at Peking. Due to the turbulent political situation in China, Father Brendan was transferred to the Philippines where he filled the roles of bursar and pastor. He had gone to Bacolod Hospital with a severe headache. He died there not long after receiving a blood transfusion. Cerebral hemorrhage was the suspected cause of his death. Father Brendan is buried at Binalbagan, Negros, Philippines.


FR. JEROME HALLIDEN was one of five in the Halliden family who followed a religious vocation. Fathers Jerome, William and Donal joined the Columbans, while their late brother Patrick was a priest of the Cloyne Diocese in Ireland and Sr. Immaculata was a member of the Mercy Order. Father Jerome was born in 1917 at Banteer, County Cork. Having received his secondary education at St. Colman’s College, Fermoy in Ireland he went to Dalgan seminary in 1936 and was a member of the first class to be ordained at Dalgan Park, Navan, in 1941. World War 2 prevented him from going on overseas mission so he worked in Cloyne Diocese ‘til 1946 when he went to Huzhou, China. Assigned to vocations work in Ireland in 1952, he was appointed to the Philippines in 1959 where he served in Mindanao District and also as secretary to Bishop Patrick Cronin. He later acted in a similar position at Columban HQ, Dublin, from 1985 to 1997, when he retired to Dalgan, where he died on June 16, 2005. Father Jerome is buried at Dalgan Park.


June 18

FR. JAMES J. FLYNN was born in the parish of Moore, County Roscommon, Ireland in 1925. He died at Manila Doctors Hospital on June 18, 2001, less than three months from being taken ill. Having completed his secondary education at St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe, County Galway, Ireland, Father Jim came to Dalgan seminary in 1942 and was ordained there in December 1948. He was assigned to the Philippines where he spent his lifetime in the service of the people of Mindanao. He had retired to Patag, Cagayan de Oro City, a year prior to his death. His remains were flown to Cagayan de Oro City for burial.

Columban Fathers Robert Stack and James Flynn


FR. PATRICK MEEHAN was born on August 24, 1925 in Innishammon, Smithboro, County Monaghan, Ireland in the parish of Roslea. His parents died when he was a child and an uncle and an aunt reared Father Paddy and his older brother and sister. In 1943, seven of his class of thirteen in St. Macartan’s, Monaghan, Ireland chose to study for the priesthood. Father Paddy was ordained on December 21, 1949 and did postgraduate studies before joining the seminary staff in Omaha and then in Milton.  Father Paddy was sent to the Philippines in 1964 and served in parishes in Ozamis, Iligan, Pagadian, and Tandag and, from 1974 to 1981, as Chancellor of the Diocese of Pagadian, where his wicked sense of humour lightened many a dark moment. He did promotion work in the US from 1981 to 1986 when he returned to Mindanao. In 1992, he was back in the US until he ‘retired’ in 1998 to pastoral ministry in Clones. In April 2008, he was admitted to the Dalgan Nursing Home and was a gentle presence there until he died on June 18, 2015.


June 19

FR. JOHN BLOWICK was born at Belcarra, County Mayo, Ireland in 1888. He died peacefully at Dalgan Park on June 19, 1972. When he completed his secondary studies at St. Jarlath’s, Tuam, he went to St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth [1906], Ireland. In June 1911 he heard a lecture on China by the Canadian missionary, Father Fraser, which made a lasting impression on him. After his ordination in 1913 he began postgraduate studies in Dunboyne. In 1914 he was appointed Professor of Dogmatic Theology at St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth. After his meeting with Edward Galvin in Dublin on September 4, 1916 he resigned his chair to found the Maynooth Mission to China. He presided at the 1919 Chapter and was elected Superior General [1919-24]. He accompanied the first band of Columban Missionaries to China in 1920. He founded the Columban Sisters in 1922. At the 1924 Chapter he was elected Vicar-General and appointed Director in Ireland. After the 1931 Chapter, he continued in both these positions until 1947. He was again elected to the Superior General’s Council in 1947 and taught theology at Dalgan seminary. When he was in his seventies Father John undertook a journey that took him to the principal missions of the Society. Father John is buried at Dalgan Park.


Co-founders of the Missionary Society of St. Columban

Bishop Edward Galvin and Fr. John Blowick

June 20

FR. JAMES RODDY was born at Roxbury, Massachusetts, USA in 1915. He died at Bristol, Rhode Island, on June 20, 2001. He was a brother of Columban Father Charles Roddy. Having studied at Silver Creek, Bristol and Nebraska, both in the U.S., Father Jim was ordained in December 1941. During World War 11 he worked in Ogden, Utah and in Buffalo, New York.  His first overseas assignment was to Philippines in 1946 where he worked in and around Manila for twenty five years. Assigned to the U.S. in 1972 he did a short stint on promotion and then went to the Virgin Islands in 1978. From 1980 onwards, except for a period in our Filipino Parish in Los Angeles, Bristol was to be his home. Father Jim is buried at East Providence, Rhode Island.

June 21

FR. DERMOT FEENEY was born at Kilronan, County Roscommon, Ireland in 1912. He died at Dalgan Park on June 21, 1987. Father Dermot studied at St. Mel’s College, Longford before entering Dalgan seminary in 1929. He was ordained priest there in 1935. He went to the Philippines in 1936 and, except for one year [1977] when he worked as chaplain to the Filipino community in London, he spent his active missionary life in Pangasinan where he was parish priest of Lingayen for 35 years. Failing health caused him to return to Ireland in 1984 and from then until his death he resided in Dalgan where he is buried.

June 22

FR. FRANCIS BARAGRY was born in 1933 in Tipperary Town, Ireland. He died in Dalgan on June 22, 1997 where he was recuperating after lung surgery. Father Frank was a brother of Columban Father Dan Baragry.  When he completed his secondary education at Tipperary Christian Brothers School [1946-51], he entered Dalgan seminary where he was ordained priest on December 22, 1957. Appointed to the Philippines, he worked in the island of Mindanao for forty years, of which the last ten were in Catadman, Ozamiz on retreat ministry. While on vacation in Ireland his medical problem was diagnosed. Father Frank is buried at Dalgan Park.