A Time in History (March 13-19)

March 13


FR. WILLIAM GODSIL was born in Cork City, Ireland in 1920. He died suddenly at Dalgan on March 13, 1999. He was educated by the Presentation Brothers prior to going to Dalgan Seminary where he was ordained on December 21, 1945. Assigned to China, Father Liam spent three years as diocesan secretary to Bishop Galvin in Hanyang. He was expelled by the Chinese Communist regime in 1949 and went to the Philippines where he worked for almost forty years in various roles – secretary to the Apostolic Nuncio, secretary to Bishop Cronin in Ozamis, Student Chaplaincy and Regional Bursar. He did pastoral work in Mindanao and Zambales. His parish of Pili was devastated by the Mt. Pinatubo volcano in 1991. Father Liam also spent a brief period (1972-73) in the regional offices in N. Essendon. He retired to Ireland from the Philippines in 1992 and is buried at Dalgan Park.



FR. DESMOND HARTFORD died peacefully, after a long illness, at Dalgan on March 13, 2004. Born at Lusk, County Dublin, Ireland, Father Des did his secondary studies at De La Salle College, Skerries, and entered Dalgan Seminary in 1961. After ordination at the Pro-Cathedral, Dublin in 1967, he was assigned to the Philippines “whose people taught me much about life and love, patience and generosity.” He undertook the difficult task of molding better relations between the Muslim and minority-Christian communities. Elected as a member of the General Council in 1988, he was called in 1991 to serve as Apostolic Administrator of Marawi. Kidnapped in 1997 and held hostage for 12 days by rebel returnees, he experienced “that powerlessness is often the occasion of the Lord’s strength.” In his final illness Father Des gave “an eloquent witness of patience, courage and serenity.” Burial was at Dalgan Park.



Fr. Desmond Hartford (in blue jacket) after being released from kidnapping


March 14


FR. JOHN CLIFFORD was born in Chicago in 1927. He died on March 14, 2006 at San Diego, California.  After his studies at St. Leo’s, Collegeville, Father Jack began his preparations for priesthood at Bristol [1947-‘48], Omaha [1948-‘50], Dalgan Seminary [1950-‘53] and Milton [1953-‘54].  After ordination in 1953, he did a Credit Union Course in the University of Wisconsin. Appointed to the Philippines, Father Jack served in Zambales, Negros and Malate. Assigned to the U.S. in 1984, he worked briefly with the Philippine Apostolate in Chicago and then transferred to San Diego for parish work. Father Jack is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery, San Diego, California.



March 15


FR. PATRICK CAMPION was born at Rathdowney, County Laois, Ireland in 1924. He died of a heart attack in Pagadian, Philippines on March 15, 1989. Having studied at St. Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, Ireland, Father Pat entered Dalgan Seminary in 1942 and was ordained priest there in 1948.  He was assigned to the Philippines and worked in Mindanao until he was elected Vicar General at the 1970 Chapter. After the 1976 Chapter, he became Superior of the Priests’ Home, Dalgan, until 1980 when he returned to Mindanao. Father Pat, who was a brother of Columban Con Campion, is buried at Dumalinao, and re-interred in the cemetery chapel in Paglaum, Pagadian, Mindanao, Philippines.



March 17


FR. EDMUND J. McGOVERN was born at Rathmore, County Kerry, Ireland in 1914. He died at Dalgan on March 17, 1976. While still in his early years Father Eddie’s family moved to Midleton, County Cork, Ireland. He attended Middleton Christian Brothers School and Mount Melleray Seminary, County Waterford, Ireland before coming to Dalgan Seminary in 1932. He was ordained priest in 1937 and went to Burma in 1938. He served in Burma through World War II and up to 1956. Health reasons prevented his return to Burma, so he did parish work in Ireland for nine years. In 1965 he received another mission assignment, this time to Negros, Philippines. After four years he was again forced to return home because of ill health. He did parish work in the archdiocese of Birmingham, England [1969-74]. He retired to Dalgan and is buried there.



March 18


FR. LAWRENCE KELLY was born at Moycullen, County Galway, Ireland in 1925. He died at Dalgan on March 18, 1998 after a long illness.  Father Larry entered Dalgan Seminary in 1943 having completed his secondary studies at St. Mary’s, Galway. He was ordained priest on December 21, 1949 and appointed to the Philippines where he engaged in Student Catholic Action in Manila for over ten years. From 1966 onwards he worked in and around Olongapo until 1989 when he was assigned to Ireland.  Unable for pastoral work which he hoped to do, Father Larry retired to Dalgan. He is buried at Dalgan Park.



FR. EDWARD O’CONNOR was born in Lurgan, County Armagh, Ireland in 1921. He died in Dalgan on March 18, 2003. Having studied at the Convent School and St. Peter’s in Lurgan, Father Eddie came to Dalgan Seminary and was ordained there in 1946. After post-graduate studies in Rome, he was assigned to the Philippines in 1951 and worked in Iba Diocese until 1980. He then undertook pastoral work in the Galway Diocese for two years and spent the remainder of his active life as chaplain to the Columban Sisters.  One of nature’s gentlemen, Father Eddie retired to Dalgan in 1996 and is buried there.



March 19


FR. JOSEPH FITZGERALD was born in Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A. in 1929. He died suddenly at Dalgan Seminary on March 19, 2000. When his family returned to Ireland Father Joe studied at Sts. Peter & Paul’s, Cork and at North Monastery C.B.S. He was ordained at Dalgan in December 1955 and assigned to the Philippines. In 1964, he was assigned to Ireland where he served as Dean in Dalgan Seminary. In 1975, he was reassigned to the Philippines but returned to Ireland later that year. Father Joe is buried at St. Joseph’s Cemetery, Cork City, Ireland.