28 October 2015

Columban Fr Patrick Crowley RIP

Fr Patrick J. Crowley 

Fr Patrick (Pat) J. Crowley died suddenly on 25 October, 2015, in St Columban's Nursing Home, Dalgan Park, Navan, Ireland. Born in Caheragh Parish (Diocese of Cork and Ross), County Cork, on 18 March 1926, he was educated in Dromore National School,  Bantry, and St Colman’s College, Fermoy, County Cork. He joined the Columbans  in Dalgan Park in 1945, was ordained priest on 21 December 1951, and was assigned to Japan.

River Blackwater, Fermoy [Wikipedia]

He soon became Bursar for the Region of Japan and after a term of seven years, he took on the same task in Whitby, England. There followed appointments  as Bursar  in Australia (Essendon and Perth) in 1963, and later in Wellington, New Zealand, before he was reassigned to Britain where he became District Superior in 1972. As he put it himself: 'it was a case of out of the frying pan into another frying pan'.  Finishing that term in 1979  he became Manager of the Mission Office in Ireland, where he computerised the office systems, before being appointed as Director of the Irish Region in 1983 for a term of four years.

Wellington, New Zealand [Wikipedia]

He was appointed General Secretary to the Central Administration of the Society in 1987, and continued working with the General Council for over twenty years, accepting the jobs of Society Archivist and History Coordinator as well.  It was only occasionally that his dedicated and painstaking work could be seen and admired.  In his annual publication of the Society Personnel Directory he tried to keep up with all the personnel changes  across the world.  But it was his bi-annual updating of Those who Journeyed with Us, where he managed to assemble profiles and photos of the more than seven hundred deceased Columbans, that really reflected his many years of determined effort.

St Columban's Cemetery, Dalgan Park

This is Fr Pat Crowley's final resting place as it is of so many others whom he lovingly honoured in Those Who Journeyed With Us, the book of obituaries of deceased Columbans, many editions of which he compiled and edited.

After the General Council left Dublin for Hong Kong in 1988, Father Pat remained on to manage the house in Donaghmede, Dublin,  until ill health obliged him to enter the Nursing Home in Dalgan in June 2012. Father Pat left us with memories of  a caring missionary, a quiet-spoken, discrete man with a deadpan sense of humour who served others without thought of reward or recognition. 

May he rest in peace. 

Bantry Bay sung by John McCormack

'Some are gone upon their last logged homing,
Some are left, but they are old and gray,
And we're waiting for the tide in the gloaming,
To sail upon the Great Highway,
To the land of rest unending,
All peacefully from Bantry Bay.'

This song about the people and the place where Father Pat grew up was written by James Molloy. The photo used in the video is by Pam Brophy and taken from Wikipedia. Thanks to Frs Noel Daly and Cyril Lovett for the text of the obituary.

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