03 March 2016

Columban Fr Patrick Donohoe RIP

Fr Patrick Donohoe
(1932 - 2016)

Fr Patrick ('Pat') Donohoe died rather suddenly in Dublin’s Mater Misericordia Hospital on 28 February, 2016. Born at Derryheen, Cavan on 20 May 1932, he was educated at Cavan Convent School, Drumcrave National School and St Patrick’s College, Cavan. He went to St Columban's, Dalgan Park, Ireland, in 1950 and was ordained priest on 21 December 1956. 

Cathedral of St Patrick and St Felim, Cavan [Wikipedia]

His first appointment was to Korea where he would spend the next twenty-three years. He served in Kwangju (now Gwangju) Vicariate before being appointed Regional Bursar for three years. Then he was appointed to the island of Cheju (now Jeju), where he spent five years keeping the books at the St Isidore Development Association and a further ten years in pastoral work.

Jeju Seashore [Wikipedia]

In 1980 he was assigned to the US Region in order to pursue studies in economics at Creighton University, Omaha, Nebraska, USA.  This led in 1981 to an appointment to the Bursar’s office in Ireland and in the following year to becoming Bursar of the District of Britain. After seven years in that position, he felt the need of a fresh challenge and  was assigned to Jamaica where he again served as Bursar in Montego Bay.

Montego Bay pushcart vendor [Wikipedia]

At the end of 1991, he was assigned the Region of Ireland and served in pastoral ministry in the Diocese of Clonfert. In May 1998 he was assigned as Chaplain to the Missionary Sisters of St Columban in Magheramore. He spent almost eighteen happy years in this final appointment until he was confined to hospital with chest pains and died within twenty-four hours.

Logo of the Columban Sisters

As a Bursar, Father Pat was known to be friendly, thorough and competent.

His ability to prime a conversation, his gift for repartee, together with his wide interest in social, economic and political affairs made him  good company. He will be missed by all of his Columban colleagues and by the Columban Sisters whom he served faithfully until the end.

May he rest in peace. 

St Columban's Cemetery, Dalgan Park, Ireland

Fr Patrick Raleigh, Regional Director of the Columbans in Ireland, in his covering letter when emailing the obituary of Fr Donohoe noted that 'at the end of the meal one of Pat's friends from Cavan sang a few Cavan songs.' It is becoming a very praiseworthy practice to have a few songs at the post-funeral lunch in Dalgan Park, something that reflects our hope as believers in the Resurrection. And I cannot imagine that the song below, written by Percy French and the best known Cavan song of all, was omitted. 

It is said too that this was the favourite Irish song of Pope Pius XII and that he was introduced to it by a priest from Ballyjamesduff who was helping him with his English. I don't know if His Holiness spoke English with a Cavan accent!

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