Société des Missions Africaines – Province d’Irlande
Le Père Francis Joseph CARDIFF

 cardiff  né le 1er mars 1905 à Dublin
dans le diocèse de Dublin, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 7 juillet 1926
prêtre le 8 juin 1930
décédé le 2 décembre 1972

1930-1932 Wilton, professeur
1932-1933 responsable de l’African Missoinary
1934-1937 Wilton, puis Ballinafad, professeur
1937-1946 Le Caire, Egypte
1946-1949 Blackrock Road, Cork, malade
1949-1969 archidiocèse de Lagos, Nigeria
1970-1972 Bideford, Grande-Bretagne, aumônier

décédé à Bideford, Grande-Bretagne, le 2 décembre 1972,
à l’âge de 67 ans

Father Francis Joseph CARDIFF (1905 - 1972)

Francis Cardiff was born in Dublin (his home address was 7 Kilbride Road, Killester), in St. Joseph's parish, on l March 1905. He died at Bideford hospital, Devon, England, on 2 December 1972.

Francis (Frank) studied at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1920 1921), and St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1921 1924). He entered the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway, in the autumn of 1924 and two years later, on 7 July 1926, he was received as a member of the Society. He studied theology in the Society's seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down (1926 1930), and was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 8 June 1930. He was one of a group of ten ordained on that day.

After ordination Frank spent two years on the teaching staff at Wilton, which was then a senior secondary college. Between October 1932 and December 1933 he was editor of the Province's magazine, the African Missionary. He returned to Wilton in January 1934. At the beginning of the next academic year he was assigned to the teaching staff at Ballinafad, where pupils studied for the intermediate certificate and where mature students learned Latin in preparation for their ecclesiastical studies. In September 1937 Frank was appointed to the Society's Egyptian mission. His first appointment was to the mission of Saint-George, Choubra, to the east of Cairo, where John Prendergast was superior. Frank taught in St. George's College, attached to the mission. This was known as the 'English' college, because English was the language of tuition. Other colleges in Cairo had tuition through French. In June 1939 Frank was appointed principal of St. Augustine's College, Heliopolis, the second 'English' college run by the Society in the Cairo region. Frank worked in this school throughout the uncertain war years. Early in 1946 he returned to Ireland on home leave and in broken health. For the next three years he remained convalescing at Blackrock Road and, when he felt able, engaged in some temporary pastoral work.

In 1949, his health restored, he was appointed to the vicariate of Lagos (erected as an archdiocese in April 1950), where he was to spend twenty years. He was first appointed to Topo Island, off Badagry (near Lagos). One of the Society's earliest missions dating from the 1870's, Topo mission consisted of a church, priests residence, boarding school and coconut farm. Frank was sent to Topo to learn the Yoruba language and assist at the mission. Frank's next appointment was as parish priest of Ebute-Metta (Lagos). From October 1951 until December 1953 he ministered as superior at Elegbata (Lagos) where he was chaplain to the Services Inn. The Services Inn had been founded during the second world war to cater for servicemen, many of whom were expatriates. In the post-war period it served as a 'transit centre' for missionaries passing through Lagos. Frank was parish priest at Mushin (a new mission, founded in 1955) and again at Ebute-Metta, before being assigned to St. Leo's teacher training college, Abeokuta, in October 1957. He was to work in Lagos archdiocese until he was invalided home in July 1969. After convalescing he took up a post as chaplain to the Stella Maris convent, Lakenham, Bideford, Devon. In November 1972 he was admitted to Bidford hospital where he died.

A confrere who knew him well wrote the following remarks about Frank: 'A literary man, also precise and methodical, Frank made an excellent teacher (he excelled in mathematics) during his years in the colleges in Ireland, Egypt and Nigeria. Frank had no favourites, treating all his pupils with the same cordiality. He was a strong supporter of everything Irish... He was a sensitive person who presented himself in class and out of class as a gentleman.' In St. Leo's, where he taught mathematics, he was known by the students as 'the professor', because of his scholarly demeanour.

He is buried in Bideford, Devon, England.