A Time in History (May 1-7)

May 1

beckley FR. CLARENCE BECKLEY was born on February 8, 1939, in Springville, Iowa. He graduated from Holy Rosary High School in La Motte, Iowa and went to St. Columban’s College, Milton, Massachusetts, USA where he was ordained on December 21, 1966. Assigned to the Philippines he worked in the parishes of Sapang Dalaga, Aurora, and Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Ozamiz City, and as chaplain at Far Eastern University in Manila.  He also assigned in Mission Education-Vocations in Derby, New York. A member of the first Columban mission team in Brazil in 1985, he served in Cristópolis and in Riacha͂o das Neves in the Diocese of Barreiras, Bahia. Returning to the United States in 2000, Father Clarence was assigned in St. Philomena Parish, Chicago, and in the Spanish Ministry in the Diocese of Dubuque, Iowa. In 2012, he was assigned to St. Columbans, Nebraska and courageously face health problems marked by cancer and infections. He died in hospice care in Dubuque, Iowa. Throughout his life he was known for his cheerfulness in serving people and in relating to fellow Columbans. The funeral was held on May 5, 2014 at St. Rafael Cathedral in Dubuque followed by burial at Holy Rosary Cemetery in Lamont, Iowa.



Fr. Clarence Beckley with companions in Aurora, Zamboanga del Sur


 May 2

fureyFR. JOSEPH FUREY was born at Stranorlar, County Donegal, Ireland in 1914.  He died unexpectedly at a friend’s home in New York on May 2, 1956.  He studied at St. Eunan’s College, Letterkenny, Ireland (1929-33), before coming to Dalgan seminary in September 1933.  He was ordained priest at Dalgan in 1939 and appointed to China.  World War 11 prevented him from travelling to China so he joined the British Army as a chaplain.  In 1947, he was appointed to the Philippines where he worked in the Mindanao area.  Father Joe is buried at Silver Creek, New York, USA.



May 6

dakin FR. EDWARD DAKIN was born in 1925 at Seymour, Victoria, Australia. He died suddenly and unexpectedly on May 6, 2005 at the Tokyo Procure where he had served as Regional Bursar in the 1960s. At the early age of 14, Father Ted, as he was called, went to work in the Post Office and at 19 he joined the Australian Navy. When World War 2 ended he resumed his Post Office work while at the same time studying with a view to the future. His future was with the Columban Fathers, whom he joined in 1949. He was ordained in 1955 and assigned to the Philippines but, for health reasons, he was assigned to Japan a year later. With the exception of a four year assignment in Australia in the early 1990s, Father Ted spent all his priestly life in Japan “sowing seeds of joy, hope and peace” and promoting friendly relations with Protestant, Buddhist and Shinto representatives. Father Ted’s ashes are interred at Fuchu Cemetery, Japan.



FR. MARTIN STRONG was born at Howick, near Auckland, New Zealand in 1907. He died on May 6, 1981. Father Martin studied at Howick Convent School [1913-21]. He worked as a grocer’s assistant before going to St. Columban’s, Essendon in 1929 and to Dalgan seminary in 1932 where he was ordained priest in 1935. Assigned to the Philippines in 1936, he spent the last months of World War II in an internment camp south of Manila with about 500 other priests. In 1949, he became Spiritual Director at St. Columban’s, Essendon, and later [1952-58] he was Spiritual Director at St.Columban’s, Wahroonga, New South Wales, Australia. He was bursar at St. Columban’s, Turramurra [1960], and Socius at St. Columban’s, Sassafras, Victoria, Australia [1960-65]. He returned to the Philippines [1965-70] and served in Zambales. Returning to New Zealand in 1976 he worked at the Cathedral in Auckland until a serious illness forced his retirement in 1980. Father Martin is buried at Taita, near Lower Hutt, New Zealand.


 May 7


FR. PATRICK J. CROWLEY was born in 1934 at Derry, Berrings, County Cork, Ireland. He died at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Raheny, Dublin on May 7, 1996. When Father P.J., as he was called, completed his secondary education at St. Colman’s College, Fermoy, he entered Dalgan seminary in 1952 and was ordained priest there on December 21, 1958. He was appointed to the Philippines in 1959 and worked in various parishes in the Ozamis area until 1982 when he was assigned to do vocation work in Britain, and then in Ireland in 1986. He returned to the Philippines in 1990 but within a year he had to go back to Ireland for major surgery. For two years he assisted in the Columban parish of Balcurris. His exemplary fight against cancer ended in 1996 and he was laid to rest at Dalgan.





Columban Fathers Sean McNulty, Damien McKenna, Patrick Crowley and Noel Clarke with parishioners, Ozamiz City



 FR. DONAL O’MAHONY was born at Ballymichael, Lissarda, County Cork, Ireland in 1918. He died at Dalgan on May 7, 1993. A nephew of Bishop Galvin, Father Donal completed his secondary education at Farranferris, Cork and went to Dalgan seminary where he was ordained priest on December 21, 1943. Following two years in pastoral ministry in the diocese of Nottingham, England, he went to Nancheng, China. In 1948, he studied journalism at Denver, Colorado, and was appointed manager of the U.S. FAR EAST. Having established the Central Clearance Bureau in 1952 he became editor of the U.S. FAR EAST in 1955. Appointed to the Philippines in 1965, he worked in the Ozamis area until 1971, when he assumed the role of editor of the Australian FAR EAST. Father Donal returned to Ireland in 1989 and helped with the Columban History Project until his death. He is buried at Dalgan.



(L-R) Columban Fathers Donal O’Mahony, Daniel Conneely and Bill Smith