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Société des Missions Africaines – Province d'Irlande
Le Père Martin Joseph FARRINGTON

 farrington  né le 8 août 1899 à Donaghpatrick
dans le diocèse de Tuam, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 16 juillet 1921
prêtre le 11 juin 1925
décédé le 5 décembre 1962
 

1925-1927 missionnaire au Liberia
1927-1931 missionnaire au Nigeria
1931-1934 repos
1934-1936 Blackrock Road, Cork, African Missionary, directeur
1936-1940 missionnaire en Egypte
1940-1953 Wilton, Kilcogan, professeur
1953-1962 African Missionary, administrateur

décédé à Cork, Irlande, le 5 décembre 1962,
à l’âge de 63 ans

(biographie en anglais à la suite)

Le père Martin FARRINGTON (1899 - 1962)

A Cork (Irlande), le 5 décembre 1962, retour à Dieu du père Martin Farrington, à l'âge de 63 ans.

Martin Farrington naquit dans le diocèse de Tuam en 1899. Il fit le serment en 1921 et fut ordonné prêtre le 11 juin 1925. Le père Farrington partit pour le Liberia, puis le Nigeria où il se dévoua jusqu'en 1932.

Directeur de "l'African Missionary", de 1934 à 1936, il reviendra à la revue comme administrateur de 1953 à sa mort.

Le père Farrington fut aussi professeur pendant neuf ans à Wilton et pendant quatre ans au noviciat de Kilcogan.

Ses élèves gardent volontiers du père Farrington le souvenir d'un professeur patient, patient pour supporter les taquineries et les étourderies, patient pour écarter les dernières difficultés d'un élève plus faible. Il fut un habile maître de chapelle. Par tempérament, le père Farrington visait à la perfection et s'intéressait à un nombre extraordinaire de sujets.

Depuis quelques années, il avait une mauvaise santé et il alla mourir à la maison du Bon Secours à Cork.


Father Martin Joseph FARRINGTON (1899 - 1962)

Martin Farrington was born in Donaghpatrick, Co Galway, in the archdiocese of Tuam, on 8 August 1899. He died in the Bon Secours home, Cork, on 5 December 1962.

Martin studied at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1915 1916), and at St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1916 1919), before entering the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. He completed his seminary training in the Society's seminary then situated at Blackrock Road, Cork. Martin took his oath of membership on 16 July 1921 and was ordained a priest in the public church adjoining the seminary, by Bishop Thomas Broderick, vicar apostolic of Western Nigeria, on 11 June 1925. He was one of a class of six ordained on that day.

After ordination Martin was appointed to West Africa, to the prefecture of Liberia. This was the first mission entrusted to the Irish Province on its foundation in 1912. It was widely considered to be the most difficult mission-field in the West African theatre, with a hazardous climate and a small, scattered population, and few roads. When Martin arrived in November 1925 Jean Ogé, the prefect, assigned him to the town of New Sasstown, on the Kru Coast. The Sasstown district had two principal stations, New and Old Sasstown. Both had been founded in 1912 and had catholic communities of over 700 members. New Sasstown had a fine school with 120 pupils, boys and girls. The catechumenate too was an important aspect of the work; so also was the establishment of secondary stations in outlying villages.

After two years in this mission ill health intervened and Martin was transferred to Nigeria where better medical attention was available. Martin was assigned to the vicariate of Western Nigeria, where the mission superior was Bishop Broderick who had ordained him. This was a vast jurisdiction, which today encompasses four dioceses, namely Benin City, Lokoja, Warri and Issele-Uku. Martin spent a tour of four years (1927-1931) in this jurisdiction before ill-health again intervened. He was posted first as superior of Ogwashi-Uku mission. This town was a major centre of resistance to British rule at the turn of the century. In 1909, during a violent confrontation, the catholic mission had been burned by the tribesmen because the Fathers were deemed to have aided the government side. This allegation was in fact untrue. The catholic mission was re-established soon after and went from strength to strength. When Martin came to Ogwashi-Uku there were over 2,000 Catholics and 1,000 catechumens in the town which was almost 20% of the population. In 1929 Martin was transferred to Asaba, headquarters of the vicariate, as procurator (bursar) for the jurisdiction. A year later he was posted to Aragba where he assisted the veteran missionary John J. Healy.

Invalided in August 1931, Martin spent a short period convalescing and then took up a post at Blackrock Road as business manager of the African Missionary (1934 1936). He was then appointed to the Egyptian mission where the climate was more temperate than in West Africa, and where Irish members of the Society, some of them unfit for service in the tropics, had made a unique contribution to the educational apostolate over the years. On his arrival in Egypt, Martin was posted to the staff of St. George's college, 8 Midan El-Afdal, Choubra (in the older quarter of Cairo), sometimes called 'the English college' because tuition was through the medium of English. Patrick Christal was principal and Tom Donoghue and Vincent Moore were other members of staff. A year later Martin became a member of the founding staff of St. Augustine's college (also called St. Austin's British Boys' School) which was opened at 6, Avenue Baron Empain in 1937 under the superiorship of John Prendergast.

In 1940 Martin again fell ill and was invalided home to Ireland. After a period of convalescence he taught for nine years in the secondary school at Wilton and for four years in the novitiate at Kilcolgan. From 1953 until the time of his death he was again manager of the magazine, despite much ill health. A perfectionist by nature, with quite an extraordinary range of interests, Martin had a quiet temperament. He was an excellent photographer and many of his photographs are preserved in the archives of the Irish Province. Perhaps the field that brought him most out of his quiet self was music: in front of a choir he always let himself go and he is specially remembered for the excellence of the choirs he trained in both S.M.A. churches in Cork.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.