A Time in History (October 8-16)

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

MICHAEL JOHN MCGUIRE was assigned to the Philippines immediately after his ordination in April 1972 and served at St. Michael’s Parish, Iligan City, until 1976. He then pursued studies in Rome until June 1980 and joined the Irish Initial Formation Team in Maynooth until June 1987. Returning to the Philippines in 1988, he directed the Spiritual Year and supervised Theology Students in Manila. He also served as Regional Coordinator of Lay Mission (1995-2000) and AITECE-Philippines (2003-2019), and Vice-Director of the Region (2005-2011). Fr. Mick helped establish a Formators Training Program in Myanmar in 2002, fostering its management by 2016. Since 1988, he has been a dedicated staff member at Our Lady of Peace Guidance Centre, offering counseling to many. His discreet mission work significantly contributed to the Columban Mission in the Philippines. He saw his extensive travels in the Orient as an expression of Columban’s outreach to help neighboring churches. Fr. Mick passed away peacefully in his sleep on 10 October 2023 and was buried in the Columban plot in Paranaque Cemetery, Manila, Philippines. He was 79 years old.



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  12

Fr CHARLES JOSEPH FRANCIS MEAGHERwas born in Killarney, Co Kerry on 1st October 1935. He was educated at Presentation Convent, Presentation Brothers, and St Brendan’s College, Killarney. He came to Dalgan Park in September 1954 and was ordained a priest on 21st December 1960. Assigned to the Philippines in 1961, his first appointment was to Gingoog City and after a year to St Michael’s Parish, Iligan City, until 1967. From 1968 to 1972 he served as parish priest of Ozamis City where he pioneered Pre-Marriage and Marriage Enrichment Programmes. In 1973 he participated in the Richmond Fellowship Course in London, and following this he was assigned for a year to the Catholic Institute for International Relations (CIIR) in London. Part of his task at the CIIR was to explain to different deanery meetings the situations being confronted by missionaries in Third World countries. At the request of Bishop Casey, he followed this with a year working for Trócaire in Ireland. Returning to the Philippines in 1976, Charlie was assigned back to St Michael’s Parish, Iligan City, where he served until 1981. When Mindanao was divided into two Districts, Charlie was elected District Superior of Cagayan de Oro from 1981-1985. Subsequently he was appointed Vice-Director of the Region (1986-1990) and Director (1990-1994). Central Administration then appointed him Formation Coordinator for the Society (1996-2000). Due to the precarious health of his sisters and some health problems of his own Charlie asked for an appointment to Ireland where he managed the Society website for some years. He liked to keep up to date with technology, had wide fields of interest and was a keen golfer. In recent years as his health deteriorated he moved to the Dalgan Nursing Home and died in Our Lady’s Hospital Navan on 12th October 2022.


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.