A Time in History (September 12-17)

September 12

FR. EDWARD A. DePERSIO was born in 1916 at Brooklyn, New York, USA.  He died on September 12, 1990 at his home in Deming, New Mexico. After finishing his studies at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek, he went on to St. Columban’s, Nebraska [1937-41] and was ordained priest in 1940 at the Cathedral in Providence, Rhode Island.  Father Ed was appointed Assistant Editor of THE FAR EAST [1942], becoming its Editor in 1946. He was appointed to the Philippines [1955] and served there as the Society’s correspondent, as well as being NCWC correspondent for the Philippines. Much of his ministry was in schools. In 1979, he was assigned to the U.S. Region and worked in New Mexico. He retired to Deming due to persistent eye trouble and a heart condition. Father Ed is buried at Mountain View Cemetery, Deming, New Mexico.


Fr. Edward DePersio in Maranding, Lanao del Norte


FR. JOSEPH GRIMLEY was born at Skerries, County Dublin, Ireland in 1907. He died in a Manila hospital on September 12, 1951. Father Joe was educated at St. Vincent’s Orphanage, Glasnevin, Dublin, before going to St. Senan’s College, Cahiracon to study for priesthood. He was ordained priest at Dalgan Seminary in 1931. He was appointed to Hanyang, China, where he worked until 1939. He was assigned to the Philippines for health reasons and was there during the Japanese occupation. Father Joe is buried at Clarin, Misamis Occidental, Mindanao, Philippines.


Grave of Fr. Joseph Grimley


September 13

FR. THOMAS J VAUGHAN was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA on February 20, 1928.  He served in the US Army before joining the Columbans.  Father Tom was ordained in Milton on December 21, 1956.  In the Fall of 1957, he went to the Philippines and ministered for fourteen years in Zambales.  Returning to the US, he spent the next ten years nurturing vocations to the Columbans.  He had another term in the Philippines before further vocation work in Chicago.  In 1991, he went to Belize and stayed until the mission closed in 1995 when he returned to the US.  Father Tom was an urbane, pleasant companion.  His way of dealing with problems or even difficult superiors was to laugh at them.  He died at St. Elizabeth Manor on Spetember 13, 2018 an is buried at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Bristol, Rhode Island, USA.


September 14

FR. RODERICK (DERRICK) LONG was born in Loughrea, County Galway, Ireland on November 13, 1934.  He came to Dalgan Seminary in 1953 and was ordained priest on December 21, 1959.  While he waited for a visa for Burma, present day Myanmar, he acted as Dean at Templeogue College in 1960-61.  When his visa came through, he left for Burma in October 1962.  There he worked with Fr. Jim Fisher in a procure in Rangoon, now Yangon, until he was expelled in 1966.  He transferred to the Archdiocese of Lingayen-Dagupan in the Philippines, and the Diocese of Alaminos when it was created in 1985.  A serious, determined pastor, he is remembered as a frequent visitor to all the families in his various assignments.  Appointed to mission promotion in Australia in 1995, he served in Perth and Brisbane, visiting hundreds of parishes.  After 2006, he spent five years in semi-retirement in Brisbane while always willing to help out in neighboring parishes.  Father Derrick was a reserved, affable person with a sly sense of humor.  As his health began to fail he returned to Ireland in 2011, was confined to St. Columban’s Retirement Home from early January 2015, and he died there on September 14, 2018.


FR. EDWARD J. McCARTHY was born at Ovens, County Cork, Ireland in 1890. An uncle of Columban Fathers Michael and Olan Healy, he died in Los Angeles, California on September 14, 1957. He studied at C.B.S., North Monastery, Cork, and at St. Finbarr’s College, Farranferris, Cork, Ireland before going to St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth in 1911 to study for priesthood in the Diocese of Cork. He was ordained priest in 1915 and joined the Society at its foundation in 1916. For the next two years he was engaged in a variety of apostolates – promotion, editing and managing THE FAR EAST and teaching. He went to the U.S. in 1918 where he was editor and manager of THE FAR EAST office, as well as being Regional Director. In 1935, he went to the Philippines where he founded Student Catholic Action. Sickness [nervous exhaustion] overtook him and he went to Australia for two years [1939-41] to recuperate. He went to Burma to do visitation on behalf of Fr. William McGoldrick, Regional Director of Asia and residing in Shanghai. Father E.J., as he was fondly called, was forced to remain there until 1945 when he was released from Japanese internment. While in Burma he undertook the writing of the history of the Church in Burma. Frs. E.J. and Michael Barry left Bangalore hospital in 1945 and went to England for medical treatment. In 1947, he was appointed to the U.S. and for the next 10 years he resided at St. Columban’s, Los Angeles, keenly interested in all Society matters. While standing at a city intersection two cars collided and one was thrown to the sidewalk, hitting him. His skull and collar-bone were fractured and he survived for two weeks after the accident. Father E.J. is buried at Calvary Cemetery, Los Angeles.


FR. BRENDAN O’CONNELL was born in 1932 at Tuam, County Galway, Ireland. He died on September 14, 1996 in Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin. He was a brother of Columban Fr.  Conal O’Connell. Having completed his secondary education at St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam, Father Brendan came to Dalgan Seminary in 1950 and was ordained priest there on December 21, 1956. Appointed to the Philippines in 1956, he was to spend almost forty years working in Negros. He was assigned to Ireland [1964-69] on vocation and promotion work. In 1967, he went to Chile and Peru to obtain photos for THE FAR EAST. Back in Negros he became engaged in the Bacolod diocese’s Media/TV production. In 1995, he was diagnosed as having a serious liver disorder, and was appointed to Ireland. Though unwell he continued his apostolate of the media by editing the Irish Newsletter. Father Brendan is buried at Dalgan Park.


September 16

FR. THOMAS CALLANAN was born in Moylough, County Galway, Ireland in 1912. He died at Dalgan on September 16, 1987. Father Tom received his secondary education at St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam and St. Joseph’s College, Ballinasloe before coming to Dalgan Seminary in 1931. He was ordained priest there in 1937. He went to the Philippines in 1938 and spent World War II there. He was among the first group of Columbans to work in Mindanao. In all, he spent 49 years on mission in the Philippines. His last years there were spent as chaplain to Reyes Memorial Hospital, Manila. At the time of his death in Dalgan his bags were packed in readiness for catching a flight to the Philippines after a vacation in Ireland. Father Tom is buried at Dalgan.


FR. FRANCIS HOZA was born in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, USA in 1916. He died on September 16, 1987 at Brooks Memorial Hospital, Silver Creek, New York. Having studied at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek, Bristol and Nebraska he was ordained priest in 1941. He was the first pastor of the Filipino parish in Los Angeles. In 1949, he was appointed bursar at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek, and in 1959 he became pastor of Blessed Sacrament parish, Westminster, California.  In 1967, he did promotion work in St. Paul, Minnesota and in 1969 he went to the Philippines where he worked in Ozamis. Returning to the U.S. in 1973 in poor health he worked in various ministries until he retired to St. Columban’s, Silver Creek in 1984. He was a brother of Columban Fr. Rudy Hoza. Father Frank is buried at Silver Creek, New York.


FR. JAMES McCASLIN was born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA in 1927. He died in Hospice House, Omaha on September 16, 2003. Having graduated from Creighton University, Father Jim served with the U.S. army in Japan [1946-48] and joined the Columbans in 1950. Ordained in Omaha in 1954, he was assigned to the Philippines where he worked briefly with Student Catholic Action (S.C.A.) and then in parish work. Having done a year’s course in spirituality at Washington D.C., he was appointed to a variety of roles – Socius and Probation Director at Bristol, Retreat Master and Vicar at Derby and retreat work in Omaha. Returning to the Philippines in 1980, he continued his retreat work in Manila ‘til 1985 when he went to Dalgan to do research on our founders’ spirituality and then went back to the Philippines. From 1995 he worked with the Hong Kong Filipino community until his health failed. Father Jim is buried in Omaha.