Father Patrick Harrington
Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Patrick was born on 25th May 1945 in Glengarriff, Diocese of Kerry, Ireland. His father, Michael, a taxi driver and farmer, was married to Nora Harrington. Patrick had two brothers and four sisters. He was a pupil at our college in Freshford from 1958 to 1962. He then moved to our house in Dartry, from where he followed a three-year B.A. programme in philosophy at University College Dublin. From 1965 to 1969 he studied theology at Mill Hill, London. He took his Perpetual Oath on 1st May 1968 and was ordained priest on 15th June 1969 at St. Brendan’s Seminary, Killarney by Bishop Dennis Moynihan.
Following ordination, Patrick returned to University College Dublin, where he completed a one-year Higher Diploma in Education. From 1970 to 1975 he was a member of the teaching staff at our college in Freshford. In 1975, he was appointed to Buea Diocese, Cameroon, where he was to spend the next 43 years. From 1976 to 1987 he served as pastor in Akwaya, Kumba, Tombel and Mbetta. From 1987 to 1994 he was a member of the teaching staff at Bishop Rogan College. From 1994 to 2005 he was Financial Secretary for the Diocese of Buea, based in Soppo. This was not a purely administrative role, as through this work Patrick found himself involved in many aspects of missionary outreach: pastoral, educational, medical, development, formation, liturgical, small Christian communities and so on. He spent the weekends in Tiko, where he celebrated the Mass with poor plantation workers. Patrick’s next appointment was to Mutengene, where he served as parish priest for twelve years. Recently, he moved to the Parish of Muyuka, where he was happy to serve as assistant priest. Since 2014, he was the sole Mill Hill Missionary working in Buea Diocese.
Patrick’s superiors noted that he showed “great conscientiousness and commitment to the peoples and work entrusted to [him]”. That commitment was acknowledged by the civil authorities when they awarded him the Cameroon Order of Merit in 1986.
Patrick’s health had been delicate for some time, requiring an annual trip to Ireland for a medical check-up. At noon on 30th August, Patrick went to the church to pray the Angelus. He then returned to the presbytery, where he collapsed. He was rushed to Muyuka District Hospital, where he died at 1:30 p.m.
The funeral arrangements will be announced later. May Patrick rest in peace.