A Time in History (October 24-31)

October 24

bourke FR. WILLIAM BOURKE was born in 1929 at Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A. He died in Kent Hospital, Warwick, Rhode Island, on October 24, 2004. Prior to coming to St. Columban’s, Bristol, in 1947, he had studied at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek. In 1950, he was sent as one of four exchange-students to Dalgan Seminary and was ordained at Boston in 1954. Assigned to the Philippines in 1955, Father Billy, as he was fondly called, served in Ozamis where he was Chancellor of the Archdiocese from 1988 unti his death. He was a genuinely welcoming host to all visitors in his parish, the archdiocesan offices and in the central house in Ozamis where was house manager. He was known among Columbans as a passionate lover of sports and among the people for his kindness and generosity. He is buried at Pawtucket, Rhode Island.



Fathers William Bourke, Paul O’Rourke & Hugh O’Rourke

markey FR. HUGH MARKEY was born in Shanmullagh, County Monaghan, Ireland in 1914. He died on October 24, 1970 at the Mater Hospital, Dublin.  Father Hugh came to Dalgan in 1932 having studied at St. Macartan’s College, Monaghan. He was ordained priest in 1938 and assigned to Rome to study Canon Law. Having received his Doctorate in Canon Law in 1942, he went to teach Dogma and Canon Law at St. Patrick’s College, Kiltegan, Ireland [1942-47]. He was appointed Dean at Dalgan [1947-65]. Assigned to the Philippines in 1966, he worked at the Nunciature in Manila. He returned to Ireland in 1970 suffering from multiple sclerosis and died that year. Father Hugh, who was an uncle of Columban Fr. Gerry Markey, is buried at Dalgan Park.


 October 25

null FR. WILLIAM CUNNANE was a native of Knock, County Mayo, Ireland where he was born in 1917. He died at Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin, on October 25, 1984. Having studied at St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Father Bill came to Dalgan Seminary in 1935 and was a member of the first class to be ordained priest at Dalgan, Navan, in 1941. He joined the Royal Air Force as chaplain [1943-46]. He went to Hanyang, China in 1947 but was forced to leave in 1950 and went to the Philippines where he worked with Student Catholic Action for a number of years. He also served in the archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro [1971-77]. Ill health forced him to leave the Philippines in 1983 and he retired to Dalgan. Father Bill is buried at Dalgan Park.



 October 27

FR. MAURICE MCNIFFE was born in 1920 in Drumkeerin, Co. Leitrim. He completed his secondary education at St Patrick’s College, came to Dalgan in 1937, and was ordained there in 1943. He worked in many different countries, in many different capacities. Having served in the Nottingham Diocese until 1946, he worked in China, Ireland, USA, Philippines, and Belize as spokesman, and in Donagmede as bursar. His good nature and sense of humour were his greatest assets which endeared him in any Columban community he joined. He had ten happy years in the Dalgan community before his health began to decline. He died in Dalgan on 27 October 2006, and is buried with his own family members in Drumkeerin.


October 28

bradley FR. JOSEPH BRADLEY was born in 1923 at Maghera, County Derry, Ireland. He died in Manila, Philippines, on October 28, 2008. He was a brother of Columban Fr. Patrick Bradley (’42). Having completed his secondary studies at St. Columb’s College, Derry in 1941, he entered Dalgan Seminary and was ordained there in 1947. Arriving in Manila in 1949, his first pastoral assignment was to Sual, where he remained until 1961 when he became Regional Bursar, a position he held until 1978. From 1972-’78 he also filled the role of Vice-Director. After his long service in administration, he returned to pastoral work in Pangasinan until 1996, when he suffered a very serious stroke from which he never fully recovered. Father Joe’s availability, hospitality, kindness and resignation throughout his final illness were exemplary. He is buried in Loyola Memorial Park, Manila.


 killen FR. PATRICK T. KILLEEN was born at Curraghboy, Athlone, County Roscommon, Ireland in 1912. He died on October 28, 1984 at his parish in Negros, Philippines. Having completed his secondary education at Summerhill College, Sligo, Ireland, Father Pat came to Dalgan Seminary in 1930 and was ordained priest there in 1936. He went to China in 1937 and worked in Hanyang until 1947 when he returned to Ireland. In 1949 he went to the diocese of Shrewsbury, England, where he did parish work until 1958. He went to Australia and worked with the aborigines until he went to the Philippines in 1965. Father Pat worked in various parishes in the island of Negros, the last being Salong.  Father Pat, who was a half-brother of Columban Fr. John Crowe, is buried at Salong, Negros, Philippines.



 FR. PAUL J. O’ROURKE was born in 1934 at Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He died at the Silver Creek Nursing Home, Bristol, Rhode Island on October 28, 2008. He was a brother of Fr. Hugh O’Rourke, SSC and Columban Sister Claire. Having attended La Salle Academy High School and Providence College he entered the Columbans in 1955 at Milton and was ordained in 1961. Assigned to the Philippines, Father Paul worked there ‘til ‘67 when he joined the U.S. Navy as a chaplain and served in Vietnam where he was injured in a mine explosion. In ‘71 he received a medical discharge from the Navy and returned to the Philippines. Returning to the U.S. in ‘76, Father Paul was appointed to the Formation Staff at St. Thomas College, St. Paul, Minnesota. Again, in ‘80, he went back to the Philippines and in ‘84 he ministered to a Spanish community in Las Cruces Diocese, New Mexico. Appointed to Jamaica in ’91, he worked there for four years and then returned to serve as Columban Superior in Kew Gardens. In 1997, he was appointed to Bristol where he did promotion and supply work. He is buried at the Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island.

with nun

Fr. William Bourke, Sr. Clare O’Rourke & Fr. Paul O’Rourke


 October 29

 FR. SEÁN HOLLOWAY was born in Horseleap, County Offaly, Ireland on August 25, 1921. He entered Dalgan Seminary in 1941 and was ordained on December 21, 1947. Assigned to the Philippines, after two years in Mindanao he was in the first group to go to Negros Occidental, a huge district. Father Seán spent 18 years in Isabela and Himamaylan. He repaired the ruined church in Isabela, built a high school, and transformed the parish helped by sixty praesidia of the Legion of Mary. Returning to Ireland in 1970, he worked in Vocations Ministry, as Farm Manager, and Bursar of Dowdstown House. With lay assistance he established the cattle herd and Dalgan’s much-admired forest walks. Then he was assigned to St Joseph’s, Balcurris, where he stayed for twelve years. His friendliness and reliance on the laity won him many friends. He established a school for the travellers and helped integrate them into the parish. Father Seán died on October 29, 2014 and is buried in Dalgan Park.


 October 30

flynn FR. THOMAS FLYNN was born at Sixmilebridge, County Clare, Ireland in 1908.  He was killed in the Philippines presumably on October 30, 1950.  Father Tom received his secondary education at The Crescent, Limerick and St. Flannan’s College, Ennis before he began his studies for priesthood at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Ireland [1928]. In 1931, he went to St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and was ordained priest there in 1935 for the Archdiocese of Dublin. He served as a British Army chaplain during World War II. He joined the Society in 1948 and was appointed to the Philippines. He worked in Labrador, a communist guerrilla [Huk] stronghold. His rectory was raided one night and Father Tom was taken away and murdered. In 2003, his remains were exhumed and interred in the family plot at Ballysheen, County Clare, Ireland.


 October 31

keally FR. STEPHEN KEALY was born in 1924 at Harrington Street, Dublin, Ireland. He came to Dalgan Seminary in 1942 and was ordained priest there in 1948. Appointed to the Philippines in 1949, he was one of the many chaplains assigned to Student Catholic Action (SCA) in Manila. In 1960, he was appointed to Peru where he served in the parish of St. Martin in Lima. There he had a youth club of some 2,000 and learned to speak Spanish fluently. In 1967, he was assigned to parish work in the Northampton Diocese in Britain. Appointed to the US Region in 1973, he worked in the Diocese of Phoenix, Arizona. In 1989, he was assigned to St. Columban’s Parish and to the Filipino Centre in Los Angeles. He retired to St. Columban’s, Bristol in 1998. Appointed to Ireland in 2002, he quietly spent his days there until his death on October 31, 2007.  Father Steve is buried at Dalgan.