Very Rev. John O’Callaghan PP


Parish Of Birth

Colleges Attended
Seminario Diocesano de San Aton Badajoz, Spain

St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth Co Kildare, Ireland

Details Of Ordination
St. Patrick’s Church, Bandon, Co.Cork

Deceased 09/12/2011

Drimoleague PP : 20/6/2008

Glanmire CC : 1/6/2002

Diocesan Mission in Peru : 06/1991 – 05/2002

Knocknaheeny CC : 1/9/1986 – 06/1991

Diocesan Mission in Peru : 1982 – 08/1986

“The death has occurred of Fr John O’Callaghan, former Parish Priest of Drimoleague. Fr John had been sick for some time and was cared for in the SMA Fathers nursing home in Blackrock Road. Fr John, a native of Bandon Parish, was ordained in Bandon in June 1982. He attended St. Patrick’s College in Maynooth and the Seminario Diocesano de San Aton Badajoz in Spain. After Ordination, he served on the Diocesan Mission to Peru from 1982 to 1986 and again from 1991 to 2002. He worked in Knocknaheeny in between these appointments. He was appointed to Glanmire in 2002 and, in 2008, he became Parish Priest of Drimoleague, a position he retired from earlier this year due to declining health. Fr John’s remains will be brought to The Church of All Saints, Drimoleague on Sunday, and will repose there from 4pm to 6pm with prayers at 6.30pm. Requiem Mass will be offered for him on Monday in All Saints Church, Drimoleague at 12 noon and he will be buried in St. Patrick’s Cemetery in Bandon afterwards. ”

Date Of Death

Place Of Death
Marymount Hospice, Curraheen.

Place Of Burial
St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Bandon, Co. Cork

In February 2011 the SMA in Blackrock Road was happy to welcome a local diocesan priest, Fr John O’Callaghan, into the community. Fr John, then Parish Priest of Drimoleague, had returned from the USA where he had gone for treatment related to Motor Neuron disease. During the 10 months or so he was with us, John endeared himself to all. The staff of St Theresa’s Nursing Unit cared for him attentively and affectionately and he was always appreciative of their kindness. He was gentle in speech and had an impish sense of humour and would enter into the banter at the table during meals or relaxing in the community room. His wide interests ensured he could engage in most conversations going on around the place – particularly matters relating to sport. He was a devoted Liverpool fan and found some kindred spirits in the community to rejoice with in moments of victory which were not often enough for John! It was not too difficult for John to adjust to living in a house of missionaries for he had served for many years as a missionary in Peru where the diocese of Cork & Ross had a Mission in Trujillo (1965 – 2004). They also had a Mission in neighbouring Manta, Ecuador (1993 – 2003). Along with many diocesan priests, the local Mercy and Bon Secours Sisters also served in these missions. So John found the ‘style’ of our house a welcoming one and we found him to be a kindred spirit in many ways. Read Obituary here. His attendance at the community Mass, at meals or just relaxing in the TV room were always opportunities for supporting him during his illness. John was easy to relate to and he always considered himself to be at home here where he developed a deep devotion to our Founder, Melchior de Marion Brésillac. When he lay in repose in the Oratory at Blackrock Road the Prayer for the Founder?s Canonisation was in his hand. Fr Michael Kelleher, a classmate of John, reminded us in his homily at the Funeral Mass, that John began his priesthood living with the SMA in Wilton as he pursued a Chaplaincy Course in the Cork Regional Hospital and he finished his life living with the SMA in Blackrock Road. During his time in Blackrock Road John was supported, not only by the SMA community, but more especially by his brother Aidan and his wife Deirdre and their son Tadhg and John’s many fellow diocesan priests, particularly those who worked with him in Peru. They were always welcome visitors to the House as were his friends from the parishes he worked in where he was deeply loved. Margaret O? Driscoll, his friend, was always there for John and gave herself unstintingly to his care both at Blackrock Road and Marymount. A little over two weeks before his death, John moved to the Marymount Hospice for assessment and care. During his time there John said that “Marymount was an excellent hospital but Blackrock Road was a home”. John hoped to return to Blackrock Road but the Lord had other plans for this good priest who had walked the road to Calvary for so long. He died peacefully in Marymount on Friday morning, 9 December 2011. His remains came home to Blackrock Road at his request and were received by Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll, SMA Provincial Leader. On Saturday evening, prayers were led by John’s close friend, Fr Pat Fogarty, Parish Priest of Knocknaheeny where John had once served as Curate. Before John’s remains were brought back to All Saints Church in Drimoleague on Sunday afternoon, Fr Colum O’Shea, the Local SMA Leader, led the prayers. On Monday, 12 September, Bishop John Buckley of Cork & Ross led the Funeral Mass, assisted by more than 70 priests, including several SMAs who had lived with John in Blackrock Road. Also concelebrating were three SMA priests who are working in the diocese: Fathers Tommy Wade (PP, SMA Parish, Blackrock Road), Pat O’Mahony (Curate in Our Lady Crowned, Upper Mayfield) and Tomás Walsh (Curate in the Cathedral). Aidan O’Callaghan spoke at the beginning of Mass about his only brother and their life together. He reminded us that during his time in Marymonut John told others that “Marymount was an excellent hospital but Blackrock Road was a home”. He, and Fr Kelleher, thanked the SMA for welcoming John into their community where he was very happy in his final illness. After Mass, John was laid to rest beside his beloved parents in St Patrick’s cemetery in his hometown of Bandon. A moving tribute was paid to Fr John in the Mass booklet for his funeral Mass: “Fr John initiated the refurbishment of our two Churches in Drimoleague and Drinagh. We thank God that he blessed us with a noble and a wholesome priest. In a short space of time, Fr John endeared himself to the people of our parish and of every parish in which he served, both in Ireland and in South America. He was a model of selfless service and fidelity, reflecting the Gospel in every aspect of his life.” And so we found him also in the SMA in Blackrock Road. As we say our final farewell to John in this life, our faith assures us that we will meet again in the Life to come. John, from your place with God, may you continue to pray for all of us who continue our earthly pilgrimage. [from — website of the African Missionaries in Ireland.