COVID 19 TRIBUTES
Seamus Griffith 1938-2020
Seamus Griffith kept a small brown leather suitcase in the attic. It was tied with a butcher’s knot and he delighted in telling his family they were not allowed to open it until he was gone.
That time came much sooner than everyone expected. Seamus contracted Covid-19 and died on April 16th. Weeks passed before his family could bring themselves to open the suitcase. When they did, they found the story of his life. Seamus was 13 when his mother Kitty helped him to pack the suitcase. One of seven children, he was leaving the family farm in Rathanna, Co Carlow to work in a general store in Graiguenamanagh. The case contained letters from his mother, handwritten job applications, religious pictures, Irish ballad songbooks and treasured family photos.
Born – 1948 Died – 2020
Tom Hennessy was the fifth son in a family of 13 boys born to Julia and Edmund Hennessy at Ballyriggan House, Kilfinane, Co Limerick. He lived a full life on the family farm but rarely ventured beyond Kilfinane throughout his 72 years. Only Tom seemed interested in being a farmer so he inherited the 150 acres. “He enjoyed farming and worked hard all his life,” recalls his brother Eugene. “He never left.” With up to 60 Friesian cows to be looked after and milked daily, as well as pigs and poultry, it was a life-consuming job. He supplied milk to the local creamery…
Born – 1956 Died – 2020
Laura Bernal was the Argentine ambassador to Ireland, a position she had taken up in 2016. Bernal, who was from Buenos Aires, began her working life as an academic teaching history and international relations. Her diplomatic career began with a posting in Portugal, followed by Colombia and Greece. Between 2008 and 2016 she was head of human resources at the ministry of foreign affairs in Buenos Aires. The highlight of her stay in Ireland was the visit of her compatriot Pope Francis in 2018…
Born – 1971 Died – 2020
Barry Ward, from Carrigallen, Co Leitrim, contracted Covid-19 while living in the city of Dumaguete on the island of Negros in the Philippines. He had previously suffered from dengue fever, and a compromised immune system may have contributed to his premature death at the age of just 48. Barry distinguished himself both academically and through sport when he was younger. His love of books and sport began at Carrigallen National School. He won his first All-Ireland medal in the Community Games, then held at Mosney, as a determined 10-year-old…
Fr John Nolan
Born – 1936 Died – 2020
A native of Wexford town, John Nolan was born on March 1st, 1936. His mother died when he was child, leaving two small children. John and his older sister were reared as part of their aunt’s family; their father had to find work in England to support them. When John spoke of his early life, he marvelled at the goodness of his aunt who treated his sister and himself as she did her own children. He remembered a happy childhood and young adult years. John entered Cahermoyle, the Oblate Novitiate in Co Limerick, in 1955…
Marjorie Ryan Harvey
Born – 1921 Died – 2020
Marjorie Ryan Harvey (99) treasured the autograph book she kept from when she worked as a doctor’s receptionist at Shannon Airport. In the 1940s and 1950s, plenty of movie stars passed through. “At that time, you had to give them inoculation and she had this brilliant book of all these famous people who passed through – John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart – there were loads of stars in it. She absolutely loved the book,” says Marjorie’s daughter Ita. Born on Ballymorris Stud Farm in Cratloe, Co Clare, Marjorie met her late husband, Frank, while he worked at Shannon Airport..
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Joe O’Carroll was a happy-go-lucky, gentle soul who was deeply connected to his hometown of Listowel and Kerry roots despite living abroad for nearly four decades.
Born on October 1st, 1962, Joe was one of 10 children who grew up on a farm in the townland of Tullamore. His sister Mairéad, who was one year older, recalls the happy years her brother and siblings spent growing up in rural Kerry.
“Life on the farm was mad but they were the happiest times of our lives. Joe was a very happy-go-lucky chap who loved the outdoors and machinery. But like so many others, he went abroad to look for work in construction.”
Joe moved to London aged 19 where he started working on a cousin’s construction site. He would continue to drive machinery on sites for the rest of his life and returned home to visit family in Listowel twice a year.
“He loved to go to the Listowel races and always came back at Christmas. It was such a joy for my mother to see him coming through the door, she loved him coming back.”
Joe loved Irish music, particularly traditional Irish songs, and never lost his Kerry accent. “It was kind of like he never left home. He spent all those years in London but his Kerry roots were very important to him.”
Joe worked long hours in construction and never missed a day’s work. “He was happy to get up early in the morning and work hard all day and then meet friends at the weekend,” remembers Mairéad. “He had a huge number of friends and was very sociable. He loved hanging out with all nationalities, he got on with everyone.
“He had total generosity of spirit with his time and money and he’d light up a room. He was always smiling.”
On March 27th, Mairéad called her brother and discovered he was feeling unwell with a suspected tummy bug. She could hear his laboured breathing on the phone and urged her brother to call the emergency services. Joe was brought by ambulance to the Royal Free Hospital and spoke to his sister by phone on the 28th to reassure her that he was feeling okay.
However, early on March 29th he was transferred to ICU. His family was contacted on April 11th and told his condition had deteriorated and the priest had been called. Joe died on Monday, April 13th aged 57.
“It was devastating, right up until the day he died we never gave up hope. He hadn’t been ill before that, he was a very healthy man all his life.”
On May 6th, Joe was cremated at Kensal Green in West London. The hearse carrying his body to the crematorium was followed by a JCB draped with the Kerry colours. “All his friends lined the route and the JCB drove behind all the way through the streets of London. It was such a beautiful tribute. He had so many friends, that’s the measure of the person he was.”
Joe’s ashes were sent back to Ireland and he was buried with his father and sister on June 13th in Listowel. “It was deeply upsetting but it gave us some comfort that he was going to join his father. Joe was a beautiful, gentle soul who was dearly loved by family and friends alike.”
Fr Jim O’Donoghue 1934-2020 ————————————–
He was loved by his brothers and sisters and a litany of nephews, nieces and cousins going back a few generations. To declare an interest, I’m one of those cousins, and on visits to our home in Belfast he passed on wonderful stories about the Moriartys and O’Donoghues, respectively from Inch and Caherciveen in Kerry, maintaining a narrative for more generations to pass on, providing roots and connections that are important to families.
Caroline Crowley -Born – 1959 Died – 2020
In February 1980, Caroline Daly walked into a record shop on Camden Street, looking for Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg’s Je T’aime on vinyl. The record was out of stock, but shop assistant Gerry Crowley took her details to place an order. When the record arrived, he went to the hospital where she worked to deliver it to Caroline personally, with a written note asking her to meet him at Cassidy’s pub at 8pm that evening. Within a month, the couple were engaged, and they married that October…
Helen & Brendan Dillon
Born – 1932 Died – 2020 Born – 1928 Died – 2020
Helen and Brendan Dillon grew up less than a mile from each other in Dublin’s north inner city. They met in their 20s when both worked for then State agency the Land Commission, were married for 61 years and died within two weeks of each other to be buried together in Glasnevin Cemetery. She was 87 and he was just three weeks shy of his 92nd birthday. Helen McCormac, as she was then known, lived on Susanville Road in the shadow of Croke Park while Brendan was raised on Addison Road in nearby Fairview…
James (Jem) Cleary- Born – 1926 Died – 2020
“That sense of anything is possible never left him,” say Philomena Cleary of her father-in-law, James (Jem) Cleary, a worker with the Irish Glass Bottle Company who, along with four friends, cycled to Rome in 1950, the year Pope Pius XII invited all Catholics to visit the city to celebrate. The story of the epic trip was the “greatest story” of a born storyteller, she says. James and his friends cycled through a continent still ravaged by war, often having to cycle for miles to find a crossing over a river because the bridge they had planned to cross had been blown up during the fighting, and had yet to be replaced…
Joseph G Geary- Born – 1929 Died – 2020
Joseph G (Garry) Geary was a member of the Limerick family who ran the well-known but since closed Geary Biscuit Factory at Merchant’s Quay in the city, though he had no involvement with it himself. Known as Garry he began working as a chartered accountant with the William O’Donnell firm in the city. He became a partner as it evolved through many takeovers down the years. One of seven children, he was a natural teacher who trained “hundreds” of accountants in Limerick, including his niece Siobhán, who recalls his “terrific work ethic and dry sarcastic wit..
Patrick Brady -Born – 1934 Died – 2020
When Patrick Brady foiled an attempted Royal Mail post office robbery in the early 1970s, his bravery was rewarded with a medal from Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace. He was no stranger to the palace, delivering sackfuls of mail on his postal rounds. He also had responsibility for pension cash deliveries to post offices in the Chelsea area. A native of Larabryn, Maynooth, Co Kildare, he moved to London in 1952 and worked for the Royal Mail all his life until retirement…
Brendan O’Reilly -Born – 1928 Died – 2020
At the tender age of “88 and a half” Brendan O’Reilly travelled for 14 hours in order to visit his grand-daughter Tanya in Alberta, Canada. He watched his first ice hockey match and promised he would return some summer. That wasn’t to be as Brendan broke his hip and contracted coronavirus six months after he entered a care home. He died on April 25th. Brendan was a driving force behind the formation of the Donnycarney branch of the St Vincent de Paul, the local Credit Union and Social Centre…
Brigid Sreenan -Born – 1931 Died – 2020
“She always said she was never happier than when she was helping her father on the bog as a child,” recalls Dermot Sreenan of his mother, Brigid. Born Brigid Fallon on May 27th, 1931, in the townland of Greenhall, Co Longford, her family were small-hold farmers. “She was from that generation who had nothing,” he says. “It was in the days when sons inherited everything; all the land, and she was bitter about that, I do know that. She would have wanted to stay on the farm, but couldn’t.”…
Alice Kennedy- Born – 1937 Died – 2020
Alice Kennedy’s abilities as an organiser shone through in her work with the Irish Elderly Advice Network in London and her establishment of the Irish Elderly choir, which performed in the Royal Albert Hall. “There was no such thing as it couldn’t be done,” her brother Seamus Culleton said of her bubbly, problem-solving personality. A native of Clonaslee, Co Laois, she was born on March 2nd 1937 to William Culleton a Land Commission worker and his wife Mary Tobin…
Fr James Hurley- Born – 1926 Died – 2020
Fr James Hurley was immensely proud that his birthday was on China’s National Day, October 1st. The Jesuit priest, known to his community as Jimmy but as James to his family, had spent 58 years of his life in Hong Kong before returning to live in Ireland in 2014. “He began working with secondary students in 1962 and became closely involved in the student movement there,” says his nephew Dick Lincoln. He was also a founding member of Amnesty International in Hong Kong…
——————————-On his return to Dublin in 2014 he acted as pastor for the Cantonese-speaking Chinese and had a constant stream of visitors from Hong Kong.
In November 2019, he broke his ankle and was recovering slowly in Cherryfield nursing home in Dublin when he contracted Covid-19.
Sheila Geoghegan- Born – 1941 Died – 2020
Sheila Geoghegan’s early career as one of Aer Lingus’s first air hostesses in the 1960s brought together three of her great loves: travel, music, and meeting people. The second-youngest of six children, she was born in Warrenpoint, Co Down, on April 22nd, 1941. Her mother Maureen worked in the drawing room in Harland & Wolff in Belfast, and was a keen historian and contributor to The Irish Times. Her father Eugene was a plumber and a prizewinning athlete…
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Father James O’Donoghue
It is with regret that we inform you of the death on the 14th of April, 2020 in Dublin, Ireland at the age of 85
Father James (Jim) O’Donoghue- Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Fr. Jim O’Donoghue was born on the 27th of May, 1934 at Cahirciveen in the County of Kerry, Ireland. His father was Denis O’Donoghue, a teacher, and his mother was Teresa Moriarty. His family consisted of three brothers and six sisters. Jim’s birth diocese was Kerry also.
Determined to be a missionary priest, Jim attended our Mill Hill School at Freshford from 1947 to 1952, proving himself to be a most capable student. He proceeded to study Philosophy at Roosendaal in Holland from 1952 to 1954, then to study Theology at Saint Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London from 1954 to 1958. Jim’s aptitude to study did not go un-noticed by the staff and his superiors.
Jim committed himself to God and the Society by taking the Perpetual Oath on the 6th of May, 1957 at St. Joseph’s College chapel. He was ordained priest in the same chapel on the 13th of July, 1958 at the hands of Cardinal Godfrey of the Archdiocese of Westminster, England.
Not unsurprisingly, Jim’s first appointment was to Further Studies. He was sent to the Catholic University at St. Louis, USA and achieved a Masters Degree in History. Keen to go abroad, Jim was appointed to work at Saint Anthony’s College, San Jose, Antique Province in the Philippines in 1962. Jim made a great contribution to the up-building of St. Anthony’s College, and is still very fondly remembered there today. He was a dedicated, gifted and popular teacher and priest and a stalwart member of the Mill Hill community in the Philippines. In 1979 Jim was appointed back home to Ireland to work as a member of the “Promotion Team”. In 1982 he was appointed Rector of our school at Freshford. In 1983, he was appointed to the Missiehuis in Roosendaal to teach and be a Spiritual Director. In 1988, Jim was transferred to a similar post in St. Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, London. In 1992 Jim was again appointed to his “Home” region in Ireland, this time for promotion, vocation and teaching work. In 2002 Jim generously accepted a short appointment back to his beloved Philippines, to help in the Formation House in Iloilo. After only three years, in 2005, Jim was withdrawn from the Philippines and appointed to the Irish Region. There he continued to minister as a priest, especially in St. Mary’s Parish in Belfast, which he found particularly rewarding. By December 2016 Jim was ready to retire to our retirement house at Dartry, Rathgar, Dublin. By then, Jim was 81 years old, but looked much younger than his years!
Jim settled into retirement and quickly became a key member of our Dublin community as his personality and great sense of humour endeared him to his fellow Members, the staff of the house, and the many visitors who passed through the portals of the house.
Almost two weeks ago, Jim succumbed to the covid-19 virus and was eventually taken into hospital. Every effort was made to save Jim’s life by the staff and auxiliary workers at the hospital. His family, colleagues and friends visited and prayed for his recovery, but it was not to be. The Lord embraced him “Home” around 6.30.am today, Easter Tuesday, the 14th of April. May he hear the word, “Come, good and faithful servant. Take for your heritage the Kingdom prepared for you.”
Father John Sweeney
It is with regret that we inform you of the death on the 9th of April, 2020 at Southport Hospital, Merseyside, United Kingdom at the age of 89 of
Father John Sweeney
Mill Hill Missionary
May he rest in peace
Fr. John Sweeney was born in the Royal Burgh of Rutherglen in the south east of Glasgow on the 24th of December 1930. His parents were Martin Sweeney, a labourer, and Catherine Sweeney nee McKenna. John had only two siblings, Martin and his sister, Roma. Both John and Martin became Mill Hill Missionary priests, Roma never married but supported her brothers throughout her life. John was fiercely proud of his family, his place of birth and his local parish of St. Columbkille’s in Rutherglen, within walking distance to Celtic Park Football Club, known locally as “Paradise”. (Both Martin and John were life-long supporters of Celtic.)
John completed his primary education at St. Columbkille’s Parochial School, and his secondary education at St. Mary’s High School in Motherwell, where he received a Senior Leaving Certificate, Scotland in 1947. John was blessed with an excellent intellect and ability to study.
Feeling called to the priesthood, John followed his brother, Martin, to the Mill Hill Missionaries’ seminaries, first at Roosendaal, to study Philosophy 1947-1949, then to St. Joseph’s College, Mill Hill, to study Theology 1949-1953. With special ecclesial permission, since he was not yet the “Ordainable age”, John took the Perpetual Oath as a Mill Hill Missionary at Mill Hill on 1st of May, 1952. He was consequently ordained priest in St. Joseph’s College chapel by Cardinal Griffen of the Archdiocese of Westminster on the 12th of July 1953. John always delighted in being ordained on the 12th of July, since his celebration had nothing to do with King “Billy” and his victory in 1690!
Immediately after ordination, John was appointed to Further Studies, to achieve an MA in French and Economics (1956) at the University of Glasgow. Recognising John’s education talents, John was appointed to teach at St. Peter’s College, Freshfield, Merseyside also in 1956. 1965 brought the realisation of John’s dream, when he was appointed to Uganda, to work as a teacher and chaplain at Namilyango College. From 1980, he added prison chaplain to his pastoral work, and work on the National Justice and Peace Commission of Uganda. In 1984 John was elected Society Representative for Uganda. In 1989 he transferred his prison chaplaincy work to the Diocese of Jinja, Uganda, where he was serving as Vicar for Religious. By 1993 John enjoyed a rare “Home-leave”, after which he returned to his beloved Uganda, this time to serve in Namasagali College. He continued his prison chaplaincy too.
By 2007 it was time for John to return to his home-land. Blessed with good health and much stamina, he worked as chaplain at Nazareth House near Edinburgh. In 2013, mainly to accompany his brother Martin who was experiencing ill-health, John retired to Herbert House, Freshfield, Merseyside. The Sweeney brothers were together again after a life of love and service in East Africa! John was a great help and comfort to Martin in his final years. Sadly, John fell victim to COVID-19 recently at Herbert House, and died at 11.45.am today, Holy Thursday, the 9th of April 2020. May John’s soul rest in peace in the real Paradise.
Filipinos Celebrate ‘Loneliest” All Souls Day amid Pandemic
By Fons 29 October 2020
“Forgive your family. They must have their reasons for not visiting you today.”
Having taken care of the Catholic cemetery in the city of Dagupan, north of Manila, for two decades, Romulo Soriano already knows whose graves he should whisper these thoughts to on All Souls’ Day.
These are the unkempt tombs covered with vines without offerings of candles, flowers, and food.
“I talk to the dead so they won’t feel alone when their relatives are not there to visit them while others are surrounded by their loved ones,” said Romulo.
Source: Licas News
By Courtney Mares
VATICAN , 03 May, 2020 / 11:25 PM (ACI Africa).-
On Good Shepherd Sunday, Pope Francis said he was thinking of all the priests and doctors who gave their lives in the service of others during the coronavirus pandemic.
In Italy alone, more than 100 priests and 154 doctors have died of COVID-19, the pope said.
The Late Fr. Frank Caffrey, Irish Spiritan Priest who served in Kenya for decades after he had been expelled from Nigeria during the Biafran war.
Credit: Congregation of the Holy Spirit – Irish Province
By Jude Atemanke
NAIROBI , 19 April, 2020 / 6:41 PM (ACI Africa).-
The Irish Spiritan Priest, Fr. Frank Caffrey, who served in Kenya for decades after he had been expelled from Nigeria during the Biafran war, was laid to rest in Ireland Saturday, April 18 after succumbing to COVID-19.
Fr. Caffrey died Tuesday, April 14 in Kimmage, the Irish headquarters of the Religious Missionary Congregation of the Holy Spirit (Spiritans) located on the South side of Dublin, the capital of the Republic of Ireland. He was aged 86.
He was among the brave cohort of priests and nuns expelled from Nigeria for their efforts to feed and protect people from government forces during the Nigerian-Biafran war, the civil war that was fought between the government of Africa’s most populous nation and the secessionist State of Biafra from July 1967 to January 1970.
Ordained in 1963 in Clonliffe College by Archbishop McQuaid, Fr. Caffrey was then commissioned to Nigeria. From 1964 to 1967 he taught Science at St. Patrick’s Secondary School, Obollo Eke in the Diocese of Enugu, where he added a laboratory to the school, the Congregation of the Holy Spirit – Irish Province reported.
On leave when the Nigerian Civil War began, he taught for a year in St. Mary’s College, Rathmines, an inner suburb on the southside of Dublin. He then spent a year teaching and in pastoral ministry in Spring Lake, New Jersey, USA.
Back in Nigeria in 1969, he was involved in relief work and the spiritual care of civilians in Oballo-Afor, Owerri, Imo state.
In January 1966, a group of Nigerian Army Officers overthrew the Nigerian Government. This led to much bloodshed and turmoil in the country in which the young Father Caffrey was then engaged in teaching and missionary work, according to a report.
In July 1967 Nigerian troops invaded Biafra where there was a higher concentration of Holy Ghost Fathers than anywhere else in Nigeria. Amongst them was Fr. Caffrey who was then serving in Obube, a locality in Owerri North Local Government of Imo state.
The outbreak of violence interrupted the usual work of the local people so that the planting season passed without crops being sown. Inevitably starvation followed and Fr. Caffrey with his helpers tried as best they could to feed up to 6,000 children twice a week and another 1,000 or so children four times a week in a desperate attempt to keep them alive. Children were given priority but arrangements were also put in place to feed widows and the elderly, both of which groups were also extremely vulnerable in the war-torn territory of Biafra.
All of this relief work went on while the Civil War was in progress. Fr. Caffrey had to take evasive action on several occasions to avoid the menacing attention of Nigerian airforce planes. An Irish colleague, Sr. Cecilia of the Presentation Nuns, was a martyr of the Biafran War, shot and killed when a car in which she was travelling was attacked by a Nigerian fighter plane.
In January 1970 the Biafran Army resistance collapsed and the Nigerian Army took control of the Eastern part of the country. Missionaries living or working in Biafra were arrested and confined under house arrest. These included Fr. Caffrey who was detained with 28 fellow Missionaries including nine nuns and Bishop Joseph Whelan of Owerri.
All were charged with illegal entry into Nigeria and working in that country without permits. Fines were imposed but although the fines were paid the Missionaries were kept in detention. Police vans arrived to where they were under house arrest in Port Harcourt to take them to prison. The Missionaries, priests and nuns alike, staged a sit down in the street demanding to be released as the fines imposed on them had been paid.
The local police and the military authorities could not agree as to what to do with the recalcitrant Missionaries but eventually the impasse was resolved and they were all lodged in a local prison. Cell blocks originally built to accommodate two prisoners were for the next six or seven days home to groups of ten Irish clerics. Fr. Caffrey and his colleagues were eventually taken from the prison and brought to the local airport where on the instructions of the Police Inspector General they were flown to Lagos from where they were deported from Nigeria.
The fate of the Irish Missionaries who had been the backbone of the Biafran relief effort was later reported in the Evening Herald of 16th February 1970 under the headline, “Jail Protest – Nuns and Priests sit in street.”
After being expelled from Nigeria in February 1970, Fr. Caffrey was assigned to Kenya the following year. He taught Applied Mathematics at Polytechnic School in Kenya’s second largest city, Mombasa until he took up pastoral ministry in the late 1970s.
He served in Mwatate Mission, in Kenya’s Taita County from 1979-1983 before moving to St. Mary’s School, in the capital Nairobi where he spent over a decade as bursar before returning to Ireland in 1995.
A fine cook who was renowned for his hospitality and welcome, Fr. Caffrey was known to like parties and enjoyed having visitors for dinner.
He also applied his interests in mathematics and science wherever he was, deriving much satisfaction from the use of technology to improve the quality of life of those living or working with him. A keen reader and fond of travel, he never lost contact with friends and family.
Having done pastoral work in Penascola, Florida for a short time, Fr. Frank returned to Ireland in 1996. He served in St. Michael’s parish, Athy in the Diocese of Kildare and Leighlin until 2003 when he moved to the Parish of the Resurrection, Bayside on Dublin’s northside.
Community Bursar at the Spiritan Provincial House in Ireland from 2007 to 2012, Fr. Caffrey was then appointed to Kimmage where he served until his death on April, 14.
His niece, Fiona MacCarthy mourned him on Twitter April 17: “Tomorrow we will bury my wonderful uncle, Fr. Frank Caffrey, who died Tuesday of Covid-19. He was among the brave cohort of priests and nuns expelled from Nigeria for their efforts to feed and protect people from government forces during the Biafran war.”
“He was Bishop at a time when truth and courage were dangerous attributes to possess or fight for. Ndingi belonged to a rare breed. He belonged to an irreplaceable generation of religious leaders that stood for greater ideas for the Church and for the country,” said Kaikai during the April 2 program, News Gang.
He said that besides Ndingi Mwana a Nzeki in Nakuru, the Catholics had sainthood-bound Maurice Cardinal Otunga, the Archbishop of Nairobi, the soft-spoken but firm John Njenga in Mombasa, a fiery Zaccheus Okoth in the Archdiocese of Kisumu as well as Anglican and Presbyterian leaders who kept the government in check.
“Together with Ndingi Mwana a’Nzeki, these religious leaders stood for the good of all Kenyans in a most unique way. Together with Ndingi, they made the pulpit an authoritative source of hope and common good,” said Kaikai.
By Peter Mapuor Makur
JUBA , 06 November, 2020 / 9:51 PM (ACI Africa).-
To the people of South Sudan and Uganda, Mexican-born Comboni Missionary Fr. Jesus Aranda Nava will be remembered most for his dedication to the poor refugees who he served until he met his death in Uganda earlier this week.
Aged 68, Fr. Aranda succumbed to COVID-19 complications on Wednesday, November 4 at St. Mary’s Lachor Hospital in Uganda’s Gulu Archdiocese. The health facility is located towards the country’s border with South Sudan where the Comboni Missionary Cleric had been ministering to South Sudanese refugees.
In an interview with ACI Africa Friday, November 6, the Provincial Superior of the Comboni Missionaries in South Sudan, Fr. Louis Okot said the Cleric had been admitted to the Ugandan Hospital on October 20 with symptoms of malaria and pneumonia.
“Fr. Aranda was later tested and found to have COVID-19. He passed away on the 4th of November,” Fr. Okot told ACI Africa November 6.