Imprimer

Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

né le 4 juillet 1908 à Maryborough
dans le diocèse de Kildare, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 3 juillet 1928
prêtre le 12 juillet 1932
décédé le 9 avril 1987

1932-1942 missionnaire au Nigeria
1942-1985 Tenafly
1942-1958, supérieur local
économe provincial
1958-1968, supérieur provincial
1968-1980, archiviste provincial
1980-1985, retiré

décédé à Englewood Cliffs, USA, le 9 avril 1987,
à l'âge de 78 ans

 

Father Patrick Joseph F. O’DONOGHUE (1908 - 1986)

Patrick Donoghue was born in Maryborough, Co Laois, Ireland, in the diocese of Kildare and Leighlin, on July 4, 1908.
He died in St. Michael's Villa, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, USA, in the care of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace, on April 9, 1987.

Patrick (Paddy) was the son of Thomas and Catherine (nee Templing) O’Donoghue. He received his secondary education at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1923 24) and St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1924 1926). He then entered the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. In records for that period the family address is given as 4, Mount Temple Road, Manor Street, Dublin. Paddy studied theology in the major seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down, from 1928 1932. He was admitted as a member of the Society on July 3, 1928 and was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on June 12, 1932. He was one of a group of eight ordained on that day.

After ordination Patrick was appointed to the territory which nowadays comprises the Archdioceses of Lagos and Ibadan and their suffragan Dioceses, in south-west Nigeria. Sailing for his mission in October 1932, his first appointment, given to him on arrival by Bishop Francis O'Rourke, the Vicar Apostolic, was to Holy Cross mission, the cathedral parish. Jean Grando, a French member of the Society, was administrator of the cathedral; other members of the staff were Patrick Cahill, J.C. O'Flaherty and the Nigerian priest, Lawrence Layode; there was also a Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles convent with eight sisters. Holy Cross was the oldest mission in Nigeria, dating back to 1868. When Patrick took up his appointment it had a Catholic community in excess of 10,000 members and 1,000 catechumens, as well as three schools, a 'refuge' for old people and three outstations. The average number of Catholic marriages, perhaps the best indication of progress, was 32, the highest in any of the Society's missions in Nigeria. In October 1934 Pat was invalided home to Ireland with tuberculosis. Shortly before he sailed he wrote to the Provincial, Stephen Harrington, a courageous note from the European hospital in Ibadan: 'The doctors here and at Lagos, as well as my superiors, have strongly advised me to return to Europe. Though I feel perfectly O.K. the lung apparently has not healed up satisfactorily. I have very reluctantly and with keen disappointment agreed to go home. I am saying merely an "au revoir" to the West Coast and have every confidence that a short rest at home will make everything alright'. He entered Our Lady of Lourdes hospital, Rochestown Avenue, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin, in January 1935. At the end of the following May he was discharged with a clean bill of health and - true to his word - returned to Nigeria in October.

On his arrival Bishop O'Rourke appointed Patrick superior of Effon Alaye mission, in the Ekiti region. Effon was a busy district with 2,500 Catholic members, 300 catechumens and twelve outstations Two years later, in 1938, Patrick became superior of Ado-Ekiti district. The principal station of Ekiti had been founded under the patronage of St. George in 1917. Together with his assistant, Martin Kenny, Pat looked after some 4,000 Catholics and 1,000 catechumens located in Ado and its 38 outstations. There were also 15 schools with 781 pupils to be supervised. In the year Pat came to Ado there was a total of 167 adult baptisms and 20 Catholic marriages, the latter figure perhaps the best indication of progress in the district. Pat was joined in Ado by Dan Daly in 1919, a year before he went to Ireland on home leave. In 1972 the Ado-Ekiti district was to be erected as a diocese under Bishop Michael Olatunji Fagun.

In 1942, at the height of the submarine war in the Atlantic, Patrick found himself in Ireland seeking a passage back to his mission. A year earlier the American Province of the Society had been founded and its Provincial, Ignatius Lissner, had made urgent appeals to Stephen Harrington for personnel. A number of Irish members who were having difficulty in securing a passage to West Africa were released to the American Province. Patrick was one of a group (which included Daniel Cannon, William Dunne, Joseph Feeley, Denis Manning, Patrick Shine and John Corcoran) who made their way to America, arriving there in January 1943. Patrick served first as house superior of the Province's headquarters, in Tenafly, New Jersey. In 1946 he took on the onerous responsibility of the Provincial Procure (or bursar) until 1958 when he was elected to the most senior position within the Province, that of Provincial Superior.

Paddy was to play a major role in consolidating and expanding the American Province. During his tenure as Provincial (1958-1968) the mortgage on the seminary in Dedham, Massachusetts, was paid off, the present Provincial house at Tenafly, with its chapel, museum and residential quarters, was built, a seminary in Washington DC was constructed and the Perpetual Mass Association was begun. The Province's mission in Cape Palmas, Liberia, received its first bishop from the American Province, Nicholas Grimley, who was consecrated in July 1962. Moreover the Province's missions among African-Americans continued to be adequately staffed. When he finished his term as Provincial, Patrick served as archivist for the Province (1968-1980), based at Tenafly. He retired in the same house and during the last eighteen months of his life was cared for by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey.

A kind man, short of stature but wiry, Paddy had a jovial temperament and on festive occasions liked nothing better than to sing and smoke a big cigar. At work he was fair and firm, imaginative and astute. On the occasion of his retirement in 1980 the Provincial Superior, Thomas E. Hayden, paid him the following tribute: 'The firm financial base on which the Province rests is due in very large measure to the work which you did during your ten years as Provincial Superior. More important, however, is the influence you personally have had on the lives of many priests in our Province. Your own personal example, your words of wisdom and your genuine deep personal kindness are qualities which all of us admire and have been a source of personal support for many members of our Province. For all of this, we offer you our deepest thanks'. Paddy was a cousin of Fathers Dominic and Brendan O’Donohue, both members of the SMA who died tragically, one in Liberia, the other in Nigeria.

He is buried in the SMA community plot at Mount Carmel cemetery, Tenafly, New Jersey, USA.