Very Rev. Philip Kinane
(1925 - 2001)
In July of 2001 Fr Phil Kinane celebrated the golden Jubilee of his priestly
ordination in Rossmore parish church. It was a joint celebration for with
him on that day was his brother, Father Roger, who was ordained the same
year as Fr Phil. It was a celebration of one hundred years of priestly
service, in the Archdiocese of Cashel and Emly and in the mission fields
of Nigeria. The people of Clonoulty-Rossmore could be proud of their two
priests on that July day. Sadly, less than a month later, Fr Phil was
called home to his Master unexpectedly, at his home in Anacarty.
Born in Rossmore in 1925, one of a family of eleven, the young Phil Kinane
received his primary education in Rossmore and then went on to Melleray
where after completing his Leaving certificate he entered St Patrick's
College, Thurles to begin his studies for the priesthood for his native
diocese. His older brother, Roger, had already joined the Kiltegan Fathers
to work in the mission fields. The missionary spirit was strong in the
Kinane family; his sister Kathleen became a Cross and Passion sister and
is presently ministering in Peru while his younger brother Willie was
to be ordained later for the diocese of Sacramento, California; a proud
record for the Kinane family of Rossmore.
Ordained in June 1951, Fr Phil's first assignment was in the diocese of
Middlesborough where he served the first years of his priesthood in the
city of Hull. On his return to the archdiocese he spent a short time in
Killenaule and Tipperary Town before being appointed as curate in Holycross-Ballycahill
in 1956 where he served for ten years. He then moved to Bothar na Naomh,
Thurles, where a new church had been built to cater for the growing population
of the Cathedral town. He was the first rector in Bothar na Naomh presbytery
and remained there until his appointment as Parish Priest of Anacarty-Donohill
in 1982. In 1997 he retired due to ill-health as Parish Priest and remained
in the parish as Associate Pastor.
A fine athlete in his younger days, Fr Phil grew up with a great love
of hurling, a game in which he excelled on the playing fields of his native
parish and St Patrick's. As a priest he followed the smaller ball and
became quite an accomplished golfer. All his life he took a great interest
in the fortunes of the Blue and Gold and would have taken great delight
in seeing the McCarthy cup come to Tipperary last September.
In his priestly ministry I can find no better summary than St Paul's
words to his community in Corinth: "People should think of us in
this way, as servants of Christ and stewards of God's mysteries... it
is required of stewards that they be found trustworthy".
Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Thomas Canon Crosse
(1915 - 2001)
It was with a great sense of sadness that the news of the death of the
popular and much-loved Canon Tom Crosse was greeted. At the age of 86
Canon Tom was called to his eternal reward on 24 June 2001. It was an
occasion of particular sadness for his family, Archbishop Clifford, his
fellow priests, the people of Tipperary Town and district, and his former
parishioners in Gortnahoe-Glengoole whom he served so well.
Canon Tom was a native of Anacarty, the son of William and Mary Crosse
of Millbrook and the second youngest of nine children. In the Seminary
he was a brilliant student, graduating with a first class honours degree
from Maynooth where he was ordained in 1939. As a young curate he began
his ministry in Knocklong as an assistant from 1939-41. He was then assigned
as chaplain to the Mercy Convent in Doon. Later he recalled his nervousness
on entering the convent, and facing so many nuns! This anxiety soon vanished
and for the rest of his life many of his closest friends were those he
had feared initially. In 1943 he was appointed as curate to the parish
of Gortnahoe-Glengoole, where he spent more than twenty years serving
Fr Crosse, as he then was, endeared himself to his parishioners as a
'peoples' priest. His generosity was legendary and he made a point of
visiting every house in the parish, getting to know his flock and sharing
in their joys and sorrows.
In 1965, problems with his voice forced him to retire from parish duties.
His parishioners were devastated by his departure, and in later years
when he returned for occasions like weddings and funerals, he would be
accorded an almost celebrity status, as people rushed to shake his hand
and welcome him back.
For a man who loved to meet and chat with people, the deterioration of
his voice was a heavy cross to bear. However, true to form, he soldiered
on, and after a short break, came to live in Tipperary town. Archbishop
Clifford later remarked, "It was soon clear to everybody that if
he had retired to come to Tipperary, he had not come to Tipperary to retire".
He began work as Chaplain to St Vincent's Hospital in the town. There
he served the sick with exemplary dedication and was a good friend to
many distressed relatives and friends. The stories are legion about his
time in the hospital - his compassion stretched to sometimes providing
a forbidden cigarette or placing a bet for an indisposed punter!
After his second 'retirement' Canon Tom continued to take a lively interest
in parish and diocesan affairs. He was in regular attendance at funerals
in both Tipperary Town and district, and in Gortnahoe-Glengoole, often
driven by family and friends. He took part in senior citizens' activities
and holidays, and was a frequent pilgrim to Lourdes with the Diocese.
Before such trips he would brush up on his French, and once there, would
use every word he knew.
From 1987, Canon Tom celebrated daily Mass at his home in Murgasty. He
was always very close to his extended family, and his home served as a
focal point for family gatherings. He often spoke affectionately of the
present generation of his family, who were so much part of his life. This
affection was mutual, and his grandnephews and grandnieces loved to call
to his house, where they were sure to receive a warm welcome, as well
as a glass of 7-up and chocolate.
He was delighted when Archdeacon McGrath, in recent times, introduced
the chapel of perpetual adoration at St. Michael's church. He spent many
hours in prayer there. Coming out into the main aisles, he would often
round up small groups who were praying around the church, in order to
say the Rosary.
It was a moment of great pride to all in Tipperary when he was made a
'Canon' in 1987. A poet once wrote:
"If you think that praise is due a man
Now is the time to give it
For he cannot read his tombstone when he's dead."
Canon Tom was not denied the recognition his life and work deserved.
Celebrations were organised by the parish of Tipperary on his appointment
as a Canon, and by his family for his Golden Jubilee in 1989. His Diamond
Jubilee in 1999 was marked by a special return trip to his alma mater
of Maynooth, organised by his family. There he celebrated Mass and toured
the College. The following year he was honoured with a civic reception
given by Tipperary UDC.
Canon Tom was blessed to have many kind neighbours and friends, who with
his family were a great support to him. On occasions, on meeting him down
the town and offering him a lift home, he would mention having "one
little message" to do. Over an hour later, after many calls, and
having been dropped to his gate, he would thank his driver, remarking
"wasn't it great, we got it all in! "
During his own driving days, he was known to forget where he had parked
the car, having abandoned it prior to doing a tour of the town. He would
enlist help in tracking down the missing vehicle!
His last year was marked by failing health, and he spent his final few
months in the care of the staff of Deerpark Nursing Home in Shronell,
where his sister Molly still resides. Huge crowds attended both his removal
and Requiem Mass, testifying to the love and respect he had gained during
his long life and ministry. His Grace, Archbishop Clifford, and over seventy
of his fellow priests concelebrated his funeral Mass, held at St. Michael's
church on 26 June. His Grace remarked that Canon Tom exemplified the ideal
priest, as described by Pope Paul VI, in that he "radiated the joy
of Christ". He did this equally well when comforting the sick, consoling
the bereaved, or dancing the hornpipe at social gatherings.
On a lighter note, Archdeacon McGrath recalled the disruption to traffic
that occurred in the town on the previous evening during the funeral removal
and remarked that it was not the first time that Canon Crosse had held
up traffic. And certainly many of us in Tipperary could relate to the
unique and precarious way that the Canon had of seeking lifts.
His final visit to St Michael's church ended with his coffin being shouldered
down the centre aisle by five of his nephews and one of his grandnephews.
He was buried in St Michael's graveyard with his siblings.
Canon Tom - slán agus buíochas, ar dheis Dé go raibh
d'anam, ní bheidh do léithéid ann arís.
Very Reverend Patrick Cooney
On May 31 this year, the people of Holycross and Ballycahill laid to
rest a priest who lived among them. They welcomed a huge congregation
of bishops, priests and people to celebrate Requiem Mass for Fr. Patrick
Cooney, who ministered to them for the past eight years.
Having decided to study for the priesthood, Fr. Pat spent just three weeks
in Saint Patricks College, Thurles, before getting word that he
had received a scholarship to go to Saint Patricks College, Maynooth.
There he was to spend the next seven years until he was ordained on 17
June 1945, just at the end of World War II. Having served for one year
on a temporary mission, he was appointed as Chaplain to the Convent of
Mercy, Doon, for the next three years.
Over the next fifty years of his priesthood Fr. Pat served in six parishes.
The parishes of Killenaule and Loughmore-Castleiney could boast of having
him both as curate and as parish priest. He also served as curate in Clonoulty
and Moycarkey. He was appointed parish priest of Ballina in 1978, replacing
Michael Canon ODwyer, who had retired. During his time there he
was instrumental in the building of a new church in Boher and the curates
house in Ballina. He retired from Loughmore-Castleiney in 1992 and went
as Associate Pastor to Holycross-Ballycahill.
As a priest working in the various parishes, the care and upkeep of the
parish buildings was always to the forefront of his mind. While curate
in Littleton he advocated and promoted the building of a church there,
as it had become the largest centre of population in the parish.
Church music was also given an importance and new organs were installed
in many of the churches in which Fr. Pat ministered. The level of this
interest was shown in one of his last public undertakings. Having seen
the quality of workmanship and costly developments in places like Clonmacnoise
and the Céide Fields he wrote to the Minister for Arts, Culture
and the Gaeltacht, Síle De Valera, requesting similar interest
and expenditure by the Government in Holycross Abbey.
Fr. Pats interests were broad and varied. In his younger days he
spent many hours organising juvenile teams and representing the juvenile
club at higher level. He always had an interest in the game of golf and
was a loyal member of a regular weekly four-ball. His knowledge of gardening
and trees was very obvious at the homes in which he lived and many fine
trees, including a redwood, remain in evidence around the diocese as testimony
to this fact.
Faithfulness and loyalty were part of Fr. Pats make-up. It was first
shown in his attachment to his family, at home in Anacarty, where his
mother was a widow from a young age. She later came to live with Fr. Pat
and spent the last years of her life with him. The other members of his
family were also very close to him. Fr. Pat showed a great loyalty to
his housekeeper, Anna, and even in his final illness took a real interest
in the new home she was building.
Fr. Pats priestly work was always of utmost importance. The quality
and relevance of his preaching kept his congregation interested. Throughout
his life he was fearless in expressing what he believed, and there were
times when that honesty brought him into confrontation with others who
believed differently. But Fr. Pats words were never spoken to hurt,
but rather from a deep conviction of what he believed in. Even at a time
of failing health Fr.Pat ministered in Holycross and Ballycahill with
pride and dedication.
Just as he was ready and willing to do Gods will on the day of ordination
all those years ago, so also was he ready and willing to answer the Masters
final call. May God reward Fr. Pat, who took what life put before him
with genuineness and sincerity.