A Time in History (November 21-30)

November 21


FR. MICHAEL DUFFY was born at Johnstown, County Meath, Ireland on November 28, 1931. He followed his brother Fergus into the Columbans and was ordained on December 21, 1956. The Superior General sent him to Antigonish, Nova Scotia to study cooperatives, and while waiting for a visa to Burma, he was sent to Denver, Colorado, USA for Journalism. Since the visa was refused Father Michael did mission promotion in Westminster and San Francisco and taught in Milton and Silver Creek, USA. Assigned to the Philippines in 1966, he worked in San Narciso, San Antonio, San Felipe, Poonbato and Botolan in Luzon. His perfectionism and gentle, punning sense of humour helped as District Superior in Zambales in 1980, in the formation programme in Cebu and Quezon City and while struggling for Justice and Peace in Tondo, Manila. Father Michael was appointed to Britain in 1989 where he did mission education, became the Lay Mission Coordinator and Vice-Director. In 2003, he was transferred to Ireland. Even in retirement he enriched the community with lectio divina and bridge. Father Michael died in Our Lady’s Infirmary, Navan on November 21, 2016. He is buried in Dalgan Park.



L-R:  Fr. Seán Coyle, Ricardo Cardinal Vidal (+) and Fr. Michael Duffy, Cebu City



FR. JAMES MULROY was from Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland where he was born in 1923. He died in Manila on November 21, 1965. Father Jim did his secondary studies at St. Nathy’s College, Ballaghaderreen, Ireland before entering Dalgan Seminary in 1941. He was ordained priest there in 1947 and was appointed to the Philippines. At the time of his death, he was chaplain at Far Eastern University, Manila. He had a bad heart condition for some years. Father Jim was buried at Iligan City, where he had worked after his arrival in the Philippines. Later he was re-interred in Cagayan de Oro.


mulroy coffin

Coffins of Frs. James Mulroy and Ernest Brennan, inside a Philippine Air Force plane,

being transported from Manila to Iligan City


tombstone mulroy

Tombstone of Fr. James Mulroy in Cagayan de Oro


November 22


FR. ERNEST P. BRENNAN was born at Celbridge, County Kildare, Ireland in 1930. He died in Manila, Philippines on November 22, 1965. Having studied at Belvedere College, Dublin, Ireland Father Ernie went to Dalgan Seminary in 1949 and was ordained priest there in 1955. He was assigned to the Philippines and worked in Cagayan de Oro, Mindanao. His death took place in a Manila hospital where he was convalescing from a minor operation. His death coincided with that of Fr. Jim Mulroy. Since both had worked in Iligan City it was decided they should be buried there. Through the good offices of the Vice-Mayor of Manila, the Philippine Government provided an Air Force plane to take the bodies of the two priests to Iligan. They are buried in Cagayan de Oro.


brenan tombstone

 Tombstone of Fr. Ernest Brennan in Cagayan deo Oro