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Société des Missions Africaines – Province d’Irlande

McKAY Patrick né le 15 mai 1911 à Belfast
dans le diocèse de Down & Connor
membre de la SMA le 10 juin 1933
prêtre le 21 décembre 1935
décédé le 3 avril 1972

1936-1948 archidiocèse de Lagos, Nigeria
1943-1946 aumônier militaire
1949-1952 Wilton, supérieur
1954-1959 Nottingham, Grande-Bretagne
1959-1962 archidiocèse de Lagos, Nigeria
1962-1972 Nottingham

décédé à Colchester, Grande-Bretagne, le 3 avril 1972,
à l’âge de 61 ans


Father Patrick J. McKAY (1911 - 1972)

Patrick McKay was born in Townsend Street, Belfast, in the diocese of Down and Connor, on 15 May 1911. He died, as a result of a car crash, near Colchester, Essex, on 3 April 1972.

Patrick (Pat) studied at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1926 27) and St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1927 1930), before entering the S.M.A. novitiate and house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway, in 1930. He received his theological formation in the Society's major seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down (1932-1936). Pat was admitted to membership of the Society on 10 June 1933 and was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 21 December 1935. He was one of a group of twenty-one ordained on that day.

After ordination Pat returned to Dromantine for six months to complete his theology course. He was then assigned to the vicariate of the Bight of Benin, in south western Nigeria, taking up his appointment in October 1936. Pat served two tours of duty - each lasting five years - in the jurisdiction which in 1943 was renamed the vicariate of Lagos. His first posting, given to him by Francis O'Rourke, the vicar-apostolic, was to the district of Ijebu-Ode where he studied Yoruba. Four months later he passed his language examination and was given faculties to hear confessions in Yoruba. He was then placed in charge of Oshogbo district. The principal station of the district, Oshogbo, had been established in 1914 under the patronage of St. Benedict. Located here and in eighteen secondary stations was a mature Catholic community of 2,800 Catholics and 370 catechumens. In 1939 Leo Hale Taylor became vicar apostolic, and he appointed Pat to Ebute-Metta station, in the district of Lagos. Ebute-Metta, the 'third principal station' of the district, founded in 1900, was one of the busiest missions in the vicariate. Pat went on his first home leave in August 1940. He returned to Ebute-Metta a year later, at a time when Bishop Taylor was seeking chaplains from among his priests to serve with British forces engaged in the war against Germany, Italy and Japan. Pat was one of those who volunteered, serving with the R.A.F. between February 1943 and August 1946.

After demobilisation and a vacation at home Pat returned to his mission in August 1947, taking up an appointment at Topo. Topo was an island off Badagry, which had a mission, boarding school and coconut plantation. Copra (the dried fruit of the coconut) was harvested by the older boys in the school and sold to cosmetic companies for the making of soap. It was an important source of income for the vicariate. Six months after his arrival in Topo Pat fell ill and had to return to Ireland. He made a good recovery but his doctors advised that a return to the tropics could precipitate a relapse. Accordingly, in September 1949 Pat's superiors appointed him superior and principal of St. Joseph's college, Wilton (the senior secondary school). Pat served in this capacity until 1952 when the college was converted into a hostel for S.M.A. seminarians attending U.C.C. He spent the next eighteen months attached to the administrative headquarters of the Irish Province, at Blackrock Road.

Anxious to return to pastoral work Pat went to Nottingham diocese in 1954, serving in Meadowhead, Sheffield, and in Maplethorpe, Lincolnshire. In October 1959 he returned to what was now the archdiocese of Lagos, serving first, for four months, in Topo, then very briefly in Ado-Odo; next, from 5 May 1960, as superior in Ijebu-Ode where he had commenced his missionary career. In March 1961 Pat returned to Topo and, a year later, was assigned to Holy Cross cathedral parish, the first mission in Nigeria, dating from 1868. During these years in Nigeria Pat's health gradually deteriorated and in July 1962 - he had just served eight months in Ibonwon - he was compelled to withdraw from Africa. After a period of convalescence he went again to Nottingham diocese, taking up an appointment in Skegness in March 1963. At the time of his tragic death, in a motor accident, he had just completed five years as priest in charge of Barrowash parish. His funeral Mass, celebrated in St. Alban's church, was attended by Phil O'Shea, the Provincial procurator, and Eugene Connolly, a Provincial councillor.

He is buried in Derby, England.