28 January 2016

Columban Fr Brendan M Fahey RIP

Fr Brendan M. Fahey

Fr Brendan Fahey died peacefully in the Columban Nursing Home, Dalgan Park, Ireland, on 24 January 2016. Born on 8 May, 1930, in Cloonfad, where three western counties, Roscommon, Mayo and Galway, meet. 

Cloonfad Post Office [Wikipedia]

He was educated at Derrylea National School, Cloonfad National School and St Jarlath's College, Tuam,  before joining the Columbans in 1947.  He was ordained on 21 December 1953 and appointed to Japan. He began his ministry as an assistant in Wakayama Parish and worked there until he became pastor of Chigasaki, Yokohama, in 1962. Ten years later he moved to the parish of Kisarazu in Chiba district. He developed great skills in Japanese language and culture and maintained his links with Japanese friends all his life.

Wakayama [Wikipedia]

He left Japan for the USA in 1978 and took the opportunity to pursue his interest in spirituality and spiritual direction, spending his first month at a House of Intercessory Prayer for Priests and then doing further studies in Cambridge, MA. Father Brendan was then assigned to Britain and to St Bede's Parish in Widnes, Archdiocese of Liverpool.  

St Bede's, Widnes [Wikipedia]

After nearly ten years in that parish, he was appointed to the staff of St Beuno's Centre for Spirituality in Wales where his skills as a lecturer and spiritual director were highly regarded.  Following this, he became pastor of the nearby St Joseph's Parish, Denbigh, where he spent ten happy years. 

St Beuno's Ignatian Spirituality Centre [Wikipedia]

Returning to Ireland in 2002 he made himself available to help out in the Nursing Home and continued to care for less-abled colleagues till he needed that level of care himself.  In Dalgan he was a very esteemed member of the Nursing Home Pastoral Team and much in demand for First Friday Reflections and other Spiritual Conferences. His health deteriorated rapidly in the last few months.

Father Brendan’s quiet and caring personality, made him an attractive and approachable mentor and guide for many people. He left us with memories of a caring missionary, with an impish sense of humour, who introduced many people to the loving God whom he served so well.

May he rest in peace.

St Columban's Cemetery, Dalgan Park, Ireland

Obituary prepared by Frs Noel Daly and Cyril Lovett.


The poet Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ studied theology at St Beuno's in the 1870s where he wrote one of his best-known  poems, God's Grandeur.