23 September 2015

Columban Fr Desmond Quinn RIP

Fr Desmond Quinn
(1931 - 2015)

Fr Desmond Quinn was born at Quignashee, Ballina, County Mayo on 14 December 1931. He was educated at Behymór National School, and St Muredach’s College, Ballina. He came to St Columban’s, Dalgan Park, Navan in September 1948 and was ordained priest on 21 December 1954.

St Muredach's Cathedral, Ballina [Wikipedia]

After two years of post-graduate study at Southwestern Louisiana Industrial Institute, now the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Louisiana, USA, he was appointed to the Philippines and to the island of Negros. From 1957 to 1962 he served in Cauayan, La Castellana and Binalbagan.

Cauayan Municipal Hall [Wikipedia] 

After his first home vacation he was assigned to promotion work in Britain where he would spend the following ten years.  In 1969 he was appointed Rector of the new London House at Hampstead, London.

In October 1973, Father Des was reassigned to the Philippines. During the years that followed, he served in Isabela, Himamaylan and Binalbagan. all in Negros Occidental. There followed a two-year assignment to Vocations Ministry in the USA, working from Quincy MA.  From 1981-1987 he was pastor of Hinoba-an, and became District Superior of Negros from 1987 to 1991, residing at Batang, Himamaylan. 

Part of Isabela [Wikipedia]

In September 1991 he was assigned to Manila on Mission Awareness and Promotion. From 1993 to 1999 he served two terms as Vice-Director of the Philippine Region. After a year as assistant in Malate Parish, he was appointed Regional Bursar of the Region of Ireland where he served until 2008.

Coat of arms of County Mayo. [Wikipedia]
The motto is the Irish for 'God and Mary with us'.

Father Des will be remembered as a man of integrity and efficiency. Cheerful, good-humoured, unfailingly friendly, courteous and obliging, he was a familiar figure on his daily walks in the Dalgan grounds. He had suffered a couple of minor strokes in recent years, yet the suddenness of his final illness took us by surprise. He died in Our Lady’s Hospital, Navan, on 20 September 2015. We mourn the death of this great-hearted and loyal Columban colleague.

May he rest in peace.

Fr Des Quinn in Manila with his classmate Fr Michael Sinnott on 12 November 2009 after the latter was released by those who had kidnapped him in Mindanao.

Father Des is survived by four siblings, Sr Josephine FMM, Father Peter, Pat and Jerry. Father Peter was ordained as a Columban priest in December 1950. He too was assigned to Negros Occidental and left Ireland for the Philippines after helping Mayo win the All-Ireland Football Final on 23 September 1951, the last time that the county has won the championship. He later became a priest in the Diocese of Orlando, Florida, and is now retired.

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