A Time in History (October 17-23)

October 17

FR. PATRICK BAKER was born on March 26, 1938 in Cobden, Victoria, Australia. He joined the Columbans in 1956 and was ordained at St Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne on July 21, 1962. In 1972, he was assigned to Mindanao and served in various parishes and as district superior. From 1990 he worked in Columban Formation, Overseas Training Programme, Priest Associates and Lay Mission. For the last ten years of his life, he used his skills as a meticulous note-taker and in the filing of documents as the regional archivist, leaving a comprehensive collection of materials in Singalong. Pat’s patient and courageous battle with cancer over his last years was inspiring. Full commitment to Columban mission and to all his associates and friends is the legacy he left us. He died on 17 October 2019.


October 18

 donohue FR. MICHAEL DONOHUE was born in 1920 at Woodville, Kilchreest, County Galway, Ireland. He died on October 18, 2008 in Tallaght Hospital having officiated at a relative’s burial. After his secondary studies at St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe, Ireland, Father Michael came to Dalgan, was ordained priest on December 21, 1945 and assigned to China. In 1949, he was assigned to the Philippines, to Mindanao where he spent over fifty years. His leadership and administration qualities were recognised and he was appointed Columban superior in Mindanao in 1956. He became Regional Director of the Philippines in 1959 and on the expiry of his term he was reappointed to the post. In 1999, he retired to Dalgan where many fellow-retirees recognised him as a man of deep faith who had a great capacity to reach out to others in their needs and troubles. How fitting it was that his last act was a corporal work of mercy at the graveside of a relative. He is buried at Dalgan.



Fr. Michael Donohue and Connie Balindong



Frs. Michael Donohue (second from left) and Aidan McGrath (second from right)

Columban seminarians: (L-R) Hector Suano, Richie Pajarillo, Rex Rocamora


October 19

dempsey FR. MARTIN R. DEMPSEY was born at Donnybrook, Dublin, Ireland in 1934. He was killed in the Philippines on October 19, 1970.  Father Martin studied at Presentation College, Bray, and at the College of Technology, Dublin, both in Ireland, before going to Dalgan to study for priesthood. He was ordained priest in Dalgan in 1961. Assigned to the Philippines, he worked in the Marawi area. On the morning of his death Father Martin was at school to attend the flag ceremony. A 14-year-old Muslim student was verbally corrected by him for an infringement of the rules. The young student reported the affair to his 17-year-old brother and both left the school. A short time later they returned, armed with a revolver and a carbine. Father Martin invited them into his office to talk it over. From ten feet they riddled him with bullets and he died immediately. Father Martin is buried at Balabagan.


healyFR. T. OLAN HEALY was born at Coachford, County Cork, Ireland in 1915.  He died in Spain on October 19, 1986.  Father Olan did his secondary studies at St. Finbarr’s College, Cork, and Presentation College, Cork, Ireland before coming to Dalgan in 1932. He was ordained priest there in 1938 and assigned to the Philippines where he served through the difficult World War II years. In 1949, he was appointed to the U.S. where he worked in the General Mission Office in Omaha. Later he did pastoral work in different parts of the U.S. He retired to Tampa, Florida, in 1976. He was a brother of Columban Father Michael A. Healy and a nephew of another Columban Father E.J. McCarthy. Father Olan is buried at San Fernando Cemetery, Seville, Spain.