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Fr. Frank MacMorrow C.M. R.I.P. Phibsborough and Mountrath.

Part of the Homily given by Fr. Aidan Galvin at Fr. Frank MacMorrow’s

Funeral Mass

In St. Peter’s Parish Church, Phibsborough, Dublin

On Tues. 10th July 2018.


Every man should find his holy land where first he crept upon the floor!

When the poet WB Yeats wrote those words he captured beautifully the relationship Fr. Frank MacMorrow had with the place of his birth, Kilbrickin  Mountrath. Here in the shadow of the Sleeve Bloom Mountains with his parents and his two brothers and two sisters he came to know that life was pointing to an eternity beyond the local hills.

In the car on his last journey to Mountrath a few months ago he described to me how growing up there he first saw the hand of God in the changing colours of the seasons, in the new life that came with spring. An unhurried revelation of God; going to school where his father taught was putting words on a tune he already knew. It was easy to see why he returned to the parish Of Mountrath so frequently.  His heart was here. His childhood faith blossomed to serve him well.

We speak in English of  ‘growing old.’ , recognising that each of us are unfinished symphonies  The  whole of life is a becoming, and  we do not cease to grow as persons even when our powers are declining – Frank exemplified that truth gracefully and graciously. A few weeks short of 95 years and still driving, he was one of those people who seemed to grow old without his being aware of it and made it attractive with a wonderful enthusiasm for life , for people and for learning.

A few months ago he asked me to teach him how to order books online from Amazon on his computer; he had read about interesting book on the Jewish heritage of Jesus…he was still reading it in the hospice last week.

This morning we gather as people who know him from all different perspectives. Common to all our memories are the qualities of service, fidelity, friendship. A man of with a depth of learning and depth of faith who wore them both lightly like a lose garment.  He was a priest who could lift people’s hearts and raise their spirits and always wanted to remind them of the goodness of God and the unlimited power of God’s love


Fr Frank MacMorrow  CM

Born: 30 July 1923, Mountrath, Co Laois

                                                 Ordained Priest:  28 May 1950                                                                                                                                                                                                          1950-57:  St Paul’s, Raheny                                                                                                                                                                                                                     1957-66:  Castleknock College                                                                                                                                                                            1977-83:  St Peter’s, Phibsborough (Superior/Parish Priest)                                                                                                                                                            1983-84:  Bigard Memorial Sem (Ikot Ekpen, Nigeria)                                                                                                                                                                        1984-92:  Warrington, Cheshire                                                                                                                                                                                                        1992-95:  St Vincent’s, Sheffield                                                                                                                                                                                                         1995-02:  Lanark, Scotland                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2002-03:       Sunday’s Well, Cork                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    2003-04:  Marillac Hospital, Warley, Essex                                                                                                                                                                                            2004-16:  St Joseph’s, Stillorgan Park, Blackrock                                                                                                                                          2016 – 6th July 18:  St Peter’s, Phibsborough