A Time in History (November 12-18)
FR. FRANCIS McENNIS was born in 1916 at Kilconly, Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. He died on November 12, 1997 in a Manila hospital. Frank entered the seminary in Dalgan, Ireland in 1935 and was ordained priest there on December 21, 1941. Due to wartime travel restrictions he volunteered as a chaplain to the Royal Air Force and was the first Catholic chaplain to land in France with the British Forces on D-Day. In 1947 he was assigned to China but, having completed his Chinese studies, he was appointed to the Philippines where he worked mostly in Mindanao area. He received a Bachelor of Science in Education degree in 1951. He is buried at the Columban plot at Cagayan de Oro City.
Fr. Francis McEnnis
FR. BERNARD E. TOAL was born on October 17, 1915 in Gloucester, New Jersey, USA. He studied in Silver Creek, Bristol and Omaha and was ordained on December 18, 1943 at the Cathedral of St. Joseph in Buffalo, New York, USA. Because of World War II he could not go abroad immediately but did parish work in California and Arizona. In 1945 he went to the Philippines and was assigned in Ozamiz where he taught in the parish high school. After vacation in 1951 he was appointed Spiritual Director and Bursar of the seminary in Bristol, Rhode Island, USA. From 1957 until 1968 he was Director of Probationers. Eleven years in Peru followed in the parish of “The Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary” in Reynoso, Callao where he built a church, rectory and a thriving parish community. Returning to the US in 1979 he served in Blessed Sacrament Parish, Westminster, California, Immaculate Conception parish in Las Cruces, New Mexico, Immaculate Conception parish in Grand Prairie, Texas and St. Mary’s Parish in Fontana, California. In the fall of 2011 he moved to the Columban House in Bristol, Rhode Island. For the last few years he was cared for at St. Elizabeth Manor in Bristol where he remained cheerful and did not complain. Thanks to his gentle spirit and genuine interest in all those who crossed his path he touched the lives of a great number of people and maintained personal contact with many of them for decades until the end of his life. He died aged 101 in St. Elizabeth’s Manor on November 14, 2016 and is buried in the cemetery of St. Mary’s, Bristol.
Fr Toal in Ozamiz City (1947-51)
Fr Toal, seated, with Columban seminarians, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA, 1962-63
Fr Toal with friends in Lima, Peru (1968-79)
FR. JAMES O’GRADY was born in Woonsocket, in the diocese of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1912. He died in Denver on November 15, 1970. He studied at Woonsocket High School and Providence College, RI, before he began his studies for priesthood in 1939. He was ordained priest in December 1945 and assigned to the Philippines. In 1948 he was assigned to the staff at St. Columban’s, St. Paul, Minnesota. Later he lived at St. Columbans, Nebraska. He worked in a parish in Denver until his death. Fr. Jim is buried at Wheat Ridge, Colorado.