A Time in History (October 9-16)

October 9



FR. EAMONN GILL died tragically on October 9, 2000 in Ormond Beach, Florida, U.S.A. where he was on temporary supply at St. Brendan’s Parish. Born in 1923 at Kilmeena Hill, Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, he studied at St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam before entering Dalgan seminary in 1943 where he was ordained in December 1949. Assigned to the Philippines, he spent all his missionary life in Negros journeying with his people through a time of great social unrest, defying intimidation and threats.  “He was kind and funny, warm and caring.”  Father Eamonn is buried at Dalgan.



October 10


FR. GERALD BYRNE was born at Warrenpoint, County Down, Ireland in 1910. He died at Silver Creek, New York, USA on October 10, 1972. Father Gerry was educated at St. Colman’s College, Newry before coming to Dalgan seminary in 1932. He was ordained priest there in 1938. He went to the Philippines in 1939 and served there through World War II. Appointed to the U.S. in 1949 he was in charge of the Filipino parish in Los Angeles [1949-57]. Thereafter, he did promotion work in different areas of the U.S. He retired to St. Columban’s, Silver Creek in 1967.  Father Gerry is buried at Silver Creek, New York.




FR. ROBERT STACK was born in 1921 at Killenard, Portarlington, County Laois, Ireland. He died on October 10, 2008 at Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, Ireland.  After his secondary studies at Knockbeg College, Carlow, Father Bob came to Dalgan seminary in 1940 and was ordained in 1946. Assigned to the Philippines, he spent almost 44 years on the island of Mindanao. He worked in various pastoral ministries and also in administration, and as attested to by the people of Patag, Cagayan de Oro, he was very generous to the poor. Failing health led him to retire briefly in the Patag house before retiring permanently at Dalgan in 2002. Father Bob bore the burdens of his final illness with characteristic silence and patience. He is buried at Dalgan Park.



Columban Fathers Robert Stack and James Flynn


October 13


FR. MARTIN COLLINS was born at Knockdoe, Claregalway, County Galway, Ireland in 1914. He died on October 13, 1976 at Cashla, Athenry, County Galway, Ireland.  Father Mattie, as he was called, received his secondary education at St. Mary’s College, Galway before coming to Dalgan seminary in 1934. He was ordained priest there in 1940. For the next five years he served in the diocese of Salford, England [1941-46]. He went to Hanyang, China in 1946 and had to leave in 1950 due to the Communist take-over. He was appointed to Australia in 1950 and after a year on promotion work he went to the Philippines and worked in Lingayen. Appointed to the U.S. in 1955, he did promotion work there until 1969. Again, he returned to the Philippines but ill health forced him to leave in 1974. While on holiday in Ireland from the U.S. he died at his sister’s home in Galway. Father Mattie is buried at Dalgan Park.



October 16


FR. PATRICK KEENAN was born at Grovehill, Castledawson, County Derry, Ireland in 1921. He died on October 16, 1955 at St. Columb’s Hospital, County Derry. Having completed his secondary studies at St. Columb’s College, Country Derry, Father Pat came to Dalgan seminary in 1941 and was ordained priest there in 1947. The following year [1948] he went to the Philippines but within two years he was seriously ill with pulmonary tuberculosis. In 1950, he went to Australia for medical treatment. Despite his very weak condition he travelled home in 1955 and died within a short time. Father Pat is buried at Dalgan Park.



FR. JAMES A. McCARTHY was born in 1926 at Feenagh, County Limerick, Ireland. He died on October 16, 2005 at Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin, Ireland. Having completed his philosophy at Mount Melleray, County Waterford, Ireland, Father Jas came to Dalgan seminary in 1946 and was ordained there in 1950.  Assigned to the Philippines in 1951, he was to spend the next fifty-three years of his life on pastoral work in Luzon, apart from a brief stint as chaplain to Student Catholic Action groups. Despite suffering from respiratory problems in later years, Father Jas maintained his reputation as story-teller to the end. He is buried at Dalgan Park.