15 December 2015

Columban Fr Eamonn F. Byrne RIP

Fr Eamonn F. Byrne
(23 July 1929 - 12 December 2015)

Fr Eamonn Byrne died in St Columban's Nursing Home, Dalgan Park, Navan, Ireland, on 12 December 2015.  Born in Crumlin, Dublin on 23 July 1929, he was educated at Rialto National School and Synge St Christian Brothers' School, Dublin, and entered the Columban seminary in Dalgan Park in 1947. He was ordained priest there on 21 December 1953.

Synge Street CBS logo [Wikipedia]

Appointed to the Philippines in 1954, he was assigned to St Isidore the Farmer Parish, Labrador, Pangasinan, for three years.

St Isidore the Farmer Church, Labrador [Wikipedia]

From 1957 to 1964 he was Chaplain at University of the East, Manila, and later at Far Eastern University, Manila. He spent periods as Director of Student Catholic Action in Manila, and many years later, in retirement, he published a history of that dynamic movement underthe title, Columbans in Student Catholic Action, Philippines 1937-2007.

Logo of Student Catholic Action Philippines [Wikipedia]

From 1974 till 1977 Fr Byrne worked to develop the Columban apostolate to the Filipino community in the USA. Then, it was back to Pangasinan, to the parishes of Lingayen, Naguelguel, Labrador and Sual until 1988 when he was assigned to the Columban Formation Program for college students in Cebu City for a brief period. Subsequently he served for six years as Director of Vocations in Luzon, and a further six years on Mission Awareness in that area. His last appointment in the Philippines was to Our Lady of Remedies Parish, Malate, Manila, where he served from 2000 to 2007, when he returned to the Retirement Home at St Columbanʼs, Navan.

Epiphany of the Lord Co-Cathedral, Lingayen [Wikipedia]

A man of great charm and good humour, he was a popular pastor and worked very well with young people. As long as his health permitted, he was an enthusiastic member of the retired Columbans in Dalgan, ever willing to lend his support and encouragement to any new initiative.

May he rest in peace.

St Columban's Cemetery, Dalgan Park

Obituary by Fr Cyril Lovett

Grafton Street, Dublin [Wikipedia]
'Grafton Street's a wonderland . . .'

Fr Patrick Raleigh, Regional Director of the Columbans in Ireland, wrote in an email: Fr Eugene Ryan, a classmate, recited the Prayers at the Cemetery. After lunch in the College there was an impromptu sing-song and very fittingly some of the songs were Dublin songs.

Very likely one of those songs was The Dublin Saunter, written by Dubliner Leo Maguire for another Dubliner, Noel Purcell, who sings it here. Noel (1900 - 1985) was an internationally-known film, TV and stage actor and, like Father Eamonn, was educated at Synge Street CBS.

St Stephen's Green, Dublin [Wikipedia]
'And a stroll in Stephen's Green'

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