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Fr Pat O'Brien


Fr Pat O'Brien, RIP


Obituary                                         Fr Pat O’Brien, 1935-2012

Pat (Patrick) was born1935 and was brought up in Parteen, Co. Clare, although he was born in St Camillus Hospital, Limerick. His parents were Eileen (nee Leahy) and Paddy. His father was a Guard (Police Officer) and Pat had a brother and sister, John, also a priest with the Kiltegan Missionaries and Eileen. In 1953 Pat entered the Novitiate and after first profession was sent to Milwaukee in the North American Province along with other students to begin his studies for the priesthood. He was ordained priest in Milwaukee in 1960 and returned to Ireland. He was based in Killucan after ordination where he was engaged in the Order’s school there as well as becoming Superior and Novice Master. In 1967 he was transferred to our Community House in Hexham in the north-east of England. Here he was engaged in hospital chaplaincy and parish work. He also did parish work for a time in Blyth near the city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

He returned to Ireland in early 1978 and from February to May he worked as chaplain at Blanchardstown Hospital, Dublin. In May 1978 he was appointed full-time Hospital Chaplain to St Vincent’s Hospital, Elm Park, Dublin. He worked here until May 1987 when he was transferred to the northside of Dublin to become chaplain to the Mater Misericoridae Hospital and he was there until January 1998 when he was transferred to the southside of the city to become chaplain to St Luke’s Oncology Hospital where he worked until his death.

Pat was a man of wise counsel and an easy demeanour that would make anyone completely at ease in his presence; particularly those who were sick or suffering in any way. He would have been at the bedside of thousands of dying people, ministering to them and their families Christ’s comforting presence. He would also bring comfort to those who were bereaved, by his presence, his prayers and his consoling words.

Pat loved sport and enjoyed a smoke and drink as well as a bet on the horses and was always good easy-going company. He had a great love of all sports. He was a regular contributor to the Province’s newsletter and his writing style was dynamic and inspirational. His sense of humour pervaded his writings and it would certainly be one piece of the newsletter that all would look forward to reading. Pat took great care in preparing his homilies and would have them all written out which would then be delivered in his easy and gentle manner.

Pat endured a lot of sickness and difficulties particularly over the last few years and he bore it all with great fortitude. Indeed anytime he was discharged from St Vincent’s Hospital in the last couple of years his first thought was to get back to work at St Luke’s, which quite literally he would do the very same day. Unfortunately illness prevented him from celebrating his 50th anniversary of ordination in 2010 but he accepted this with great grace.

Behind Pat’s easy-going manner was a wealth of knowledge and deep spirituality. He celebrated Mass every day, whether in public or private until illness prevented him. He was faithful to the Divine office and to private prayer. He was loved by all who knew him and will be sadly missed; particularly for his easy manner and wise counsel. He was non-judgemental and everyone felt comfortable in his presence. May he rest in peace, Amen.                                

‘Look up at the Lord with gladness and smile, your face will never be ashamed.’ Ps 33.6

‘Love is a fire no waters avail to quench, no floods to drown; for love, a man will give up all that he has in the world, and think nothing of his loss.’ Song 8:7



(by Anita Ennis, LCF)

NAIROBI – Three members of the Assessment Team (ATeam), Bro. Joseph Niri, MI, Sr. Bernadette, CS and Ms. Anita Ennis (LCF) arrived in Nairobi last August 17. They were welcomed by Fr. James Wanjau, MI and Sr. Catherine, CS. They were sent by the CTF Central to conduct assessment of needs of the Somalian refugees in the Diocese of Garissa, where the biggest refugee camps are situated in the town of Dadaab. August 20, they arrived at Garissa together with Sr. Catherine. They were hosted by Fr. Clement, a clergy member of the diocese who happens to be the brother of Bro. Joseph.

After an initial briefing and meeting with some personalities in charge of the diocesan program, the team proceeded immediately to Dadaab, a place which hosted four (4) big refugee camps: Ifo, Dagahaley, Hagadeiro and Kambios. These camps were under the coordination of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) and with the collaboration of the big international organizations such as Norwegian Refugee Council, Medi Sans Frontier (MSF), etc. All those camps were visited by the ATeam.

During the visit the ATeam noticed the following: “There was a group of people gathered outside the compound; the men in one area who seemed to be marking their place in the queue and women and children sheltering under the trees. There appeared to be about 100 -150 people of all ages within the group. We were told that previously those waiting outside to be registered received no help but now the local leaders have been receiving donations of food and water from ‘well-wishers’ and they distribute something to these people. The people appeared tired, thin and subdued. We didn’t see any signs of severe malnutrition. Our walk around was brief (security recommendations) so, not necessarily a true reflection of the situation. Most people were scantily clothed.”

“There is also some tensions between the indigenous host community and the refugees in the camps. The local community are also effected by the drought and are also receiving relatives from Somalia into their homes, which stresses their already over stretched resources. Another tension to be considered are the poor from the area who are reported to be very resentful of all the aid going into the camps, whilst they receive no help. This has caused some to present themselves as refugees. So there are a lot of complexities and undercurrents to be considered. As an aside, both Srs. Catherine and Bernadette were encouraged to dress simply for the visit to avoid any problems, they dressed in simple Habits without veils but with the red cross.”

From Garissa, the ATeam will proceed to Wajir which is over a hundred miles away from the city. The Camillian Sisters has a community in that place, taking care of the disabled children. This will be our homebase.


The famine in the Horn of Africa has affected more than 11.6 million people according to the UN. It is estimated that 1.26 million children in the south of Somalia need immediate care and that 640,000 are gravely malnourished.

The Pope launched an urgent appeal to all people of good will. “Think about all our brothers and sisters who in these days, in the Horn of Africa, are suffering the dramatic consequences of famine that has been aggravated by war and a lack of solid institutions. Christ is concerned with material needs but wants to provide more because man is always hungry for something more: he has need of something greater.”

The Camillians, through the Camillian Task Force, responding to the urgent appeal of the Pope, have decided to send in the next few days a first response team composed of healthcare personnel, in particular a Camillian from the Kenyan Delegation of the Order, a volunteer from the Lay Camillian Family, and a sister from the Ministers of the Sick.  The  task of this team is to evaluate the needs of the affected population in view of a targeted and significant intervention and to coordinate the first response to the enormous needs.

The Camillians have been in Kenya for almost 30 years.  At Wajir, on the border with Somalia, one of the zones where thousands of people that have fled from hunger and a sure death are amassing, the Ministers of the Infirm (Sisters) have for the last several years operated a facility directed at meeting the social and healthcare needs of mothers and children.

At Wajir the Ministers of the Infirm will offer a natural logistical base to support what is already taking place and to plan for a larger intervention in the next few weeks directed at helping the thousands of refugees that are arriving from the areas affected by the famine.

To Donate

Bank Account of the Camillians – Camillian Task Force

IBAN:  IT 54 E0351203200000000011643 - Credito Artigiano, Via S. Pio X, 6/1°-  00193 Roma BIC SWIFT: ARTIITM2

Bank Account of the Ministers of the Infirm (Sisters)

Al servizio della vita, Onlus

IBAN: IT70E0335901600100000006081 – Banca Prossima, filiale di Via Gregorio VII, 00165 Roma


To Support Relief Initiatives in the Horn of Africa


In the USA, to give an immediate one-time gift on-line to our East African famine effort:




Or send a cheque to:


1039 East Russell Avenue
Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53207

  • Make your check payable to: SOS DRS
  • On the memo line write: CTF/SOS DRSFamine in the Horn of Africa

See Our Mission


the icons

The Statue underneath the portrait of the young St Camillus caring for the Sick.

Our website, whilst now live is still very much a project in beginning and we hope to add more and more to it with the passage of time.

Launched on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception,

8 December, 2009.