A Time in History (September 24-30)

September 25

FR. ROBERT J. CULLEN was born in 1916 St. Peter Parish, Glasgow. His family moved to Ireland and, at the age of six, his family emigrated to Chicago. He died on 25 September 1994 at St. Columban’s, Silver Creek, New York.  He began his studies for priesthood at Silver Creek in 1931. He was ordained on 18 December 1943. In 1945, Father Bob was assigned to  the Philippines, working first in Malate Parish before going to Mindanao where he spent more than forty years. He was noted for his building skills and he supervised the building of a number of churches and schools.  Ill health led to his return to the U.S. IN 1992 and to retirement  at Silver Creek. He is buried in Silver Creek, NY.


September 26

FR. BERNARD MURTAGH was born in Arva, Co Cavan, in 1900. He died at St Joseph’s Hospital, Co. Meath, on 26 September 1974. Father Barney was engaged in farming when he decided to become a priest. He went to St. Mary’s College, Moyne, Arva, and to Kieran’s College, Kilkenny, where he studied philosophy before coming to St Senan’s College, Cahiracon. He was ordained priest in 1930  at Dalgan. He went to China in 1931 and worked in Jiangxi Province under Bishop Cleary. In 1948,  he was appointed to do promotion work in Ireland, and in 1954, he was assigned to the Philippines and worked mostly in the Lingayen area. Failing health forced him to return to Ireland in 1972. He is buried in Dalgan.


September 27

FR. MICHAEL ACTON was born in 1921 in the parish of Milltown, CO. Galway. He died unexpectedly on 27 September 1996 at his residence in Belmount, Milltown. When Father Mick had completed his secondary studies at St. Jariath’s College, Tuam, he entered Dalgan where he was ordained priest on 21 December 1946. His first assignment – China – was a brief one, having to depart from there after one year’s language study in Peking due to the Communist take-over. For the next twenty two year (1950 – 1972), he worked in Mindanao, Philippines. He then returned to Ireland and did pastoral work in Tuam Archdiocese, mainly in his home parish of Milltown, where he is buried.


FR. PATRICK CASHMAN was born in Bayonne, New Jersey, in 1917. He died on 27 September 2002 at Silver Creek, NY, where his formation for Columban priesthood began seventy-one years earlier. From Silver Creek, he went to Bristol in 1936, to Nebraska in 1939 and was ordained in Providence, RI, in December 1942. Assigned to promotion work, Father Pat worked from Perryville MD, Silver Creek, Nebraska and Chicago before being assigned in the Philippines in 1950. From 1972-1978 he did promotion work in Australia, and then returned to the U.S. His next assignment was in the Virgin Islands, after which he was re-assigned to the U.S. and lived in semi-retirement in Bristol, RI. From 1990 he resided at Silver Creek, in indifferent health. He is buried at St Columban’s, Silver Creek, NY.



September 28

FR. JOSEPH MURTAGH was born in Drumcree, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, in 1928. He died at Our Lady’s  Hospital, Navan on 28 September 2007. Father Joe came to Dalgan Park in 1946 having completed his secondary studies at St Finian’s College, Mullingar, and was ordained there in December 1952. He was initially appointed to study agriculture in Louisiana, USA, and then in 1954 to the Philippines where he worked in Mindanao. In 1978 he accepted an assignment to the Filipino Chaplaincy in London but, though he loved to work with Filipinos, he was unhappy there and requested that he be reassigned to the Philippines, which was granted, Having been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis he eventually (2001) returned to Ireland and to Dalgan where his ministry of presence comforted many of his fellow Columbans and all who confided in him. Father Joe is buried in Dalgan.