Parish Of Birth
Ss. Peter & Paul’s
St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland
Details Of Ordination
St. Patrick’s College Chapel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare
Retired ex Glanmire PP : 6/9/1985
Glanmire PP : 7/2/1970 – 6/9/1985
Murragh and Templemartin PP : 11/8/1964 – 7/2/1970
St. Joseph’s, Mayfield, CC : 16/11/1957 – 11/8/1964
Diocesan Inspector of Schools/Cork : 11/9/1938 – 16/11/1957
Chaplain, Colaiste Mhuire : 1/9/1935 – 11/9/1938
Ministry Abroad/Southwark : 1930 – 1935
Date Of Death
Place Of Death
St. Joseph’s, Mount Desert, Lee Road, Cork
Place Of Burial
St Joseph’s Church Grounds, Springhill, Glanmire, Co. Cork
On 8th December, 1994, Canon John Forde died – an appropriate day for a man who was so devoted to her of whom he always spoke as the Blessed Mother. He was full of years, full of wisdom, full of holiness.
He was a priest for 64 years, the last survivor of the Maynooth ordination class of 1930. (There were 72 ordained). He often spoke with admiration of his classmates, Fr. J.G. McGarry and Bishop McGettrick.
John F. Forde was born on 11th March, 1905. As a boy of 15, he saw his family home (Forde’s Pub) at 103 Oliver Plunkett St. go up in flames when Cork was burned in 1920 .
Canon Forde was for many years the best-known priest in the Diocese of Cork when, as Diocesan Inspector, he visited the schools of the Diocese. He had a deep and life-long interest in improving the teaching of Christian doctrine and in latter years, viewed the new catechetics as a near-disaster area because of its lack of content.
His mind was keen and always active. His interests ranged from history to travel to music, art and literature. His love for Shakespeare was well known as was his association with the Loft. Fr. O’Flynn and Archdeacon Tom Duggan were among his closest friends. He had a fund of stories about them and about his own time with the U.S. Forces, especially in Germany. One of his confidante’s was Little Nellie of Holy God to whom he was devoted and about whom he wrote.
He had relatively few appointments in the Diocese: Diocesan Inspector, then to Mayfield, Newcestown and Glanmire.
Since he retired from active ministry, Canon Forde conducted an extensive correspondence with people in all corners of the world. But he devoted most of his time to studying and meditating on and writing about the Gospels and the Gospel message.
About five years ago, he told me: “I have made a great discovery. I have found the key sentence in the Gospel. It is in John’s Gospel, Chapter 17 at verse 3.
Then, in May of 1994, the Catechism of the Catholic Church was published. The first line of the prologue reads: ‘Father, eternal life is this, to know you the only true God and Jesus Christ whom you have sent’ (Jn. 17:3). When I drew his attention to the fact, he was very pleased. “I am so looking forward to meeting Jesus Christ”, he said, “that will be something really new”.
A close friend of his recently said: “In his last years, he had detached himself, as completely as it was possible to do, from this world in anticipation of ‘the Real Thing’, in the next one, so I’m confident that he has not been disappointed”.
Canon Forde was very deeply impressed by what Pope John Paul said to priests in Maynooth in 1979: “You are called by Christ as the Apostles were … Your first duty is to be with Christ …” May he be with Him now forever. – Fr. Cornelius J. White, P.P.,