Tributes paid following death of Offaly priest
Tributes have been paid following the death of an Offaly born priest who spent over 20 years working in Africa.
Fr Paddy Reedy C.S.Sp., a Spiritan (Holy Ghost) priest from Birr, has died. He was aged 89.
Born in 1931, he was one of a family of five girls and four boys of Helena (née Talbot) and John Reedy of Connaught Street.
After completing his Leaving Cert. with the Presentation Brothers in St. Brendan’s in his home town, he began his training for the priesthood and was one of over 30 of his congregation ordained in 1958. By then he had got his degree from UCD.
Fr Paddy was appointed to Sierra Leone in west Africa and spent over 20 years there. He taught in St Patrick's School (Bonthe) and in Pujehun, and he also served in Gerihun, Bo and Mano.
Returning home in the early 1980s, he taught in the Spiritan school, St Mary's College (Rathmines) for a little under a decade. He spent two stints in the Diocese of Dromore, firstly in a parish near Newry, and later in Banbridge. Those years were amongst his very happiest.
Somewhat reluctantly, Fr Paddy accepted an appointment as Superior of the Spiritan community attached to Rockwell College, another Spiritan school. He served there for six years. In later times he had over a decade of active retirement in the Templeogue College community.
Pre-deceased by his brothers Noel, Jim and Brendan, his sisters Nora, May (O’Donohue), Teresa (Lonergan) and Kathleen, his brother-in-law Tom (Lonergan) and sister-in-law Maureen, Fr Paddy is survived by his sister Sheila (Humphreys), his brothers-in-law Jim (Humphreys) and Brendan (O’Donohue), his sisters-in-law Mary (née Whalley) and Mary (née O’Brien), extended family and fellow Spiritans.
Gracious and welcoming, Fr Paddy’s simple and sensitive pastoral style made him accessible to all. He was always interested in others and encouraging of them. At his Funeral Mass in Kimmage Manor on 5th February, he was remembered in the homily given by his fellow Spiritan Fr Pat Palmer C.S.Sp. as a missionary who “saw his mission as one of care for God’s creation in all its diversity” and who “was not just concerned with preparing students for exams; he trained them to be self-disciplined, responsible and to share responsibility.”
Recalling the time they shared in Sierra Leone, Fr Palmer noted that Fr Paddy’s ‘curiosity, his interest in people and his kindness earned him the title of the family priest’, and added that “he brought his kindness, his combination of strength and gentleness, his respect for others, and his sense of humour – which always had a touch of mischief about it – wherever he worked.”
Other Offaly Spiritans are Fr Brian Starken C.S.Sp. from Kilcormac who also served for many years in Sierra Leone, and Fr Michael Walsh C.S.Sp. from Kinnitty who ministered in Nigeria before the Biafran War and who this year will mark the 50th anniversary of his move to Zambia.