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6th April 2020

‘Father, grant also to us, when our earthly pilgrimage is done, that we may come to an eternal dwelling place and live with you for ever; there, in communion with the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God, with Blessed Joseph her spouse…and with all the Saints, we shall praise and exalt you through Jesus Christ, your Son.’


( Eucharistic Prayer, ‘Jesus, the Way to the Father’)

Father Patrick Byrden
On the occasion of his Golden Jubilee the Superior General wrote in a message of congratulations: “Your deep love of India (…) did not prevent you from combining your commitments in India with substantial and regular periods of ministry in Kenya. Your ability to straddle these two very diverse cultures is testimony to your adaptability and missionary skilfulness.”
Father John Courtney
On the occasion of his Ruby Jubilee as a missionary priest, the General Superior in his letter of congratulations commented on the paucity of correspondence in his file. He said that John “quietly got on with the mission”. John was withdrawn from Kenya for health reasons in 2014 and appointed home to the Irish Region, where he took part in courses in Irish Celtic Spirituality and a Contextual Approach to Scripture. In October 2017 he was appointed to retire to St Joseph’s House, Dublin. 
Father David Whelan
In a letter of goodbye to his people David expressed beautifully the sentiments of his leaving: “You honoured me by letting me walk with you on life’s pilgrimage of love and faith. I have been with you in times of great joy: the weddings and baptisms and all other sacramental happenings of your children, and we have been together too in the sad times, the long drawn-out illnesses, the deaths and burials. I have shared in your problems and solutions, your sorrows and joys… As I move to ‘fresh fields and pastures new’ I renew my promise. Not one of you will be forgotten … I leave you with a line from a letter which St Thomas More, imprisoned in the (Tower) of London, wrote to his daughter Meg: ‘…till we merrily meet in Heaven’. Let us make this our desire and devout prayer.”
Father Noel Hanrahan
Noel was elected Superior General of the Society at the Renewal Chapter in 1970 and served for two terms, until 1982. Travelling to all continents, he transmitted the message and spirit of a Vatican-II model of church to our missionaries and local Church leaders.  In 1983, following a sabbatical in Rome, Noel was appointed to Kuching, Sarawak, where he was Professor of Theology at St Peter’s College and occupied a number of other positions in the seminary over 15 years. In 1983, he was elected Society Representative, and re-elected to that position in 1986. In 1988, he was Chapter Delegate for Malaysia/Indonesia. In January 1999, following sick leave, Noel was appointed from Kuching to the Irish Region, where he served as a chaplain at the busy apparition Shrine of Our Lady in Knock, Co. Mayo. In 2012, Noel retired to St Joseph’s House in Dublin.
Fr Matthew Dunne
Matthew was born on 30th March 1926 in Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland. His father, Edward, was married to Ann (née Cullen), and he had one brother and one sister. Following secondary education at our college in Freshford, Matthew studied philosophy in Roosendaal from 1946 to 1948. From 1948 to 1952 he studied theology at Mill Hill, London. He took the Perpetual Oath on 5th May 1951 and was ordained priest on 11th July 1952 at Mill Hill by Cardinal Griffin.
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