Fr Donal O’Dea

Funeral Of Fr John Doohan

By Fr Donal O’Dea

As I sat in the parish church of Dancalan, Ilog, Negros Occidental, I felt sleepy. A 5.30am flight from Manila to Bacolod and a three-hour drive to be on time had their effect. The fact that the Mass was in Ilonggo, which I didn’t understand, caused my mind to ponder on the occasion and to wander back to the day John Doohan had left The Hand, in Kilmurry Ibrickan parish, Mullagh, County Clare, to go to the seminary to become a Columban missionary. Today, 69 years later, we were celebrating his funeral Mass - two bishops, many priests, religious sisters and brothers and an overflowing congregation. It was a long journey, in time and distance, from Ireland to the Philippines, yet the banner over the church door, with his picture, said in large bold letters, ‘Welcome Home Father John’.

Mass For Fr John Curry RIP

By Fr Donal O’Dea

The parish of San Roque, San Felipe, Zambales, in the Diocese of Iba, sponsored a memorial Mass, dinner and program for the late Fr John Curry on 16 January. This was a gift of the pastor, Fr Jaime F. Escurzon, the parish pastoral council, the principal, faculty and students of St Columban's Montessori School, the alumni association and other friends.

Bishop Florentino G. Lavarias of Iba was the main celebrant, with eight Columbans and five diocesan priests concelebrating. Other diocesan priests joined later in the program.

From Killaloe To Iba

By Fr Donal O’Dea SSC

My vocation journey was in many ways prosaic and began during my high school years, 1940 to 1945. There was a surge of vocations to the priesthood in Ireland at that time, especially for the missions. You certainly weren’t fighting against the current – and jobs were scarce!

Religious Background

Family-wise, we had strong ties with the clergy and religious. Two of my father’s brothers were priests in our Diocese of Killaloe. A sister of my mother was a nun, working at that time in the Outer Hebrides in Scotland. Her brother had spent a year as a seminarian in the Columbans, a classmate of the late Father Aedan McGrath (Misyon cover story, Jan-Feb 1999.) We also got Far East, the Irish Columban magazine.

The Noble Aetas

An interview with Donal O’ Dea, ssc

They live in the Northern Philippines and have retained their own way of life for two thousand years despite many attempts to make them change. The catastrophic eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 presented a new challenge to their existence.