Fr. Paudie Moloughney R.I.P.
Paudie Moloughney’s funeral took place today (6th July).
He came from Laharden Upper, Littleton in Tipp. His work as a Kiltegan priest took him from Ireland to Nigeria to Brazil and then back to Kiltegan. He was a man of colour, presence and humanity.
His journey in life has concluded. He made many journeys throughout life and sometimes took the Gospel very literally and walked without the back-up-support of money or company. His Camino wasn’t for just a week but for months.
He was a gentleman of faith and his ministry was quite unconventional. Liturgy for Paudie was full of life, poetry and music which was enfleshed in the lived experiences of the community. Priesthood is much duller without him. Our church is lonely now that he is gone. His flowing white beard added to his gentle presence! He was an enthusiastic member and promoter of the ACP which gave him hope.
Our sincere sympathies to his family: sisters Catherine (Malbourne), Ellen (Holy Cross), and Mary (Tullamore), brothers John (Templemore) and Seamus (Melbourne), brothers-in-law, sister-in-law, nieces, nephews and large circle of friends.
May he rest in peace.
Paudie always supported the Irish El Salvador support committee of whom his sister Catherine was a member. His south American experience motivated all his work .
May St. Paudie provide inspiration for the renewal of the Irish Catholic Church.
I met Paudie only once,when leading a day of recollection in Kiltegan last year,but I will always remember him and be grateful for his warm welcome and kindness to me. Incidentally it was on the feast day of St Matthias,his middle name.I have no doubt Paudie’s joy is now complete(in the words of the Gospel of that day, John 15:9-7).
May his family and friends be comforted in their sorrow.
I met Fr and indeed St. Paudie only once. But I shall always remember him.He was a true follower of Christ and no doubt is now with him. But this is nothing new to Paudie. He was always with Christ.
Sean Deegan speaking at Paudie’s funeral:
My brothers and sisters we are participating in a very special ceremony as we celebrate the life and bid farewell to a great man. It`s a precious moment where we can learn something from the way he lived out his faith that shake us up a bit and help us make a better job of our own Christian lives.
I know it`s a cliché but it is an occasion when words really don’t do justice to a larger than life character. “Don’t be afraid to put in the boot“ is what John said … because if the roles were reversed that is what Paudie would do!
Paudie would tell you that he got the idea he might be a missionary priest when he was out working on the bog and chatting up the lads from Bórd na Móna. It wasn`t after hours on his knees in the chapel – despite his mother`s efforts to keep him on the straight and narrow. And I suppose if you were to ask him to describe who or what his God was, it would be a God of the outdoors that he met in the fieldss and roads around Laharden. There`s no doubt it was this outdoor God that inspired him, motivated him, and that he preached and shared all his missionary life. ` God is in the bog Paudie` is what his Bord na Mona mates told him.
It meant that he just took it for granted that gathering to pray around the Crann Beannaithe in his own backyard, standing on the back of a lorry on the periphery of the city of Sao Paulo, travelling around the creeks in the Niger delta in a boat, or trekking by foot through the forest trails in the Amazon basin he was spreading the kingdom of God as Jesus himself did it.
Church buildings caged him in, bricks and walls cramped him and stifled his style. It was creation – the great cathedral that God himself made – that brought him in touch with the divine and let his spirit fly. If he was pushed to it Paudie would find it hard to choose between a pilgrimage and a mass! … well maybe he wouldn’t! …. A good `romaria` would trump a boring mass anytime!
Down the years a lot of his more sensible brother priests turned up their noses at his carry on but of course now the Pope is telling us that we have no future if we don’t treasure the world around us. Paudie could have written the Pope`s recent letter on mother earth. It sounds novel but of course it`s not – Jesus told us in the today`s gospel …… will you go out and look at the birds and flowers and nature and open your eyes to what`s really going on.
In his last posting in the amazon the parish had a 50 acre holding when he arrived – scorched and laid bare because all the trees had been levelled. He immediately turned it into a community project and replanted it with every possible native species. He knew the name in Portuguese (and even Latin) and characteristics of every tree and the plantation became a show case for re afforestation. When he talked about the amazon forest you listened – he learned from the clay and not the books. Because of Paudie there is now a St. Patricks ecological plot in the central point of S America and Paudie`s footprint is there forever. A group of his friends – including Fr Joe Tynan – visited there less than 3 years ago.
The Pope talks a lot in that same letter about the poor, the marginalised and the oppressed – embarrassing for some of us but spiritual oxygen for Paudie. That was where he was most at home – agitating, fighting the cause, looking for justice for the underdog. His great friend George Corr used to say that if entered politics he would be much better in opposition that in government!
I remember on one occasion the diocese had a meeting which would involve a 2 day journey for Paudie. Unfortunately it was election time and we were so remote the deputies only visited at election time (this wouldn’t happen in Tipp) – going from city to city by small plane. In any case Paudie couldn’t come to the meeting because he wanted to meet his federal deputy in the parish where he had a few crows to pluck with him. Disappointment all round. However the church meeting had just started when out of the blue who bounces in but the bold Paudie with a great welcome for himself – he had given the politician a bit of his mind and then squeezed a lift out of him on the plane!
His friends were the poor and those down on their luck. Every Christmas day he invited the local men and women of the road to dinner in his home. That`s true. As you know he could be a bit dishevelled and unkempt himself at times and he tells a good story of how one time in London a homeless man took him under his wing and brought him to a hostel for a free dinner! Aithníonn ciaróg ciaróg eile.
You know all this – you know it`s Paudie. He was spontaneous, enthusiastic, a rogue and a child of Mary, unorthodox, unpredictable – long term planning for Paudie would cover the next 15 minutes or so. The best route from A to B was always the scenic route – never the straight line ….. As his good friend Denis Brown will tell ….you lost for hours on end on dirt roads in central Brazil.
Of course not ever post in his life was a winning post – if you were working with him it took a lot of ingenuity to guess what he was going to do next and that could wear down the batteries. . And along with that he was a fairly blinkered MAN U fan – I presume God will find some way around that.
At heart Paudie was a great missionary – because he was born with the two great virtues required for mission – adaptability and the capacity to insert himself totally in his people’s lives. These are traits that go back to Jesus own mission. Paudie was able to work in Brazil, then go off to Nigeria for 10 years and afterwards come back to S America to pick up where he left off as if nothing had happened. His ability for languages was extraordinary (often with words not in the dictionary!) and with that he had such a huge love for music, folklore, sport and all the other ingredients of people’s daily lives that feeling at home was easy.
Of course he had picked up all this at home – all elements of Irish life were dear to him and it was easy to transfer. We have to mention his love for Tipperary – which wasn’t too easy in recent years with the noisy neighbours over the border.
Paudie not only wore the Tipp jersey with pride to meetings with pope and pauper … he had a whole wardrobe of them in the parochial house. In that last town, Juruena, he had one of the most terrifying experiences in his whole life – where alone in the house one night he was robbed, beaten, gagged and more or less left for dead. And then the good part – nobody had a clue who did it until the following evening two well-oiled young fellas wearing Tipp jerseys were spotted thumbing a lift out of town. That was the bit Paudie liked to tell!
As we know Paudie was a total extravert and was happiest surrounded by people – he loved an audience – either to entertain or to provoke! We can’t choose our moment of death but I think he would be happy he died in the same month as two other Tipp greats – Ray Reidy and Jimmy Doyle. No better companions for him as he approaches the pearly gates.
We are put on earth for a purpose – as St Paul says today `the life and death of each of us has its influence on others` How true this is of Paudie who spread his wings so wide. – if it was all written down the world wouldn’t hold the books – that`s what St John said about Jesus.
There is sadness and tears in many places around the world today but also great gratitude for a man who brightened up life wherever he went – and none more so than in Brazil
Que Deus conforte todos voces. Estou muito triste, Meus sentimentos.
Estou em comunhao com voces na partida deste grande homem.
Que Deus o tenha = Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. RIP.
Paudie was the best friend I ever had. Paudie is Brazilian too, all Brazilians who knew him loved him. Thank you my friend.
I worked with Paudie in Brazil and consider myself privileged to have known him. He was a big man with a big heart who loved Brazil and had a passion for social justice. We are the poorer for his passing, but richer for having known him. May his gentle soul rest in peace. Thank you Paudie. Brendan