The death has been announced of Fr Enda McDonagh, RIP

Well-known theologian and Mayo priest, Fr Enda McDonagh, passed away today in a Dublin hospital. He was aged 90.

Enda McDonagh obituary: A theologian scholar with a towering intellect.

Tuam Archdiocese Facebook:

Statement from President Michael D Higgins:


Article by Jack Power in the Irish Times:

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  1. Colm Holmes says:

    Enda McDonagh was the best bishop we never had!
    May he rest in peace.

  2. Soline Humbert says:

    I had the privilege of having Enda as a lecturer in the Irish School of Ecumenics in the early 80sand in 1995, in the aftermath of Ordinatio Sacerdatolis, he had the courage to speak at a seminar on the ordination of women in Milltown. Later, as head of the NCPI he opened it up to lay people to attend the annual conference, with a warm welcome.
    My condolences to his family and friends and confrères, and my gratitude for his life of service, his intellect, warmth and fidelity to the Gospel. A life lived to the full.

  3. Paddy Ferry says:

    What a wonderful obituary in the Irish Times. I don’t think we are told who wrote it.

    I knew of Enda McDonagh but I knew very little about him. I keep telling people over here what wonderful scholar priests we have in Ireland and Fr. Enda was obviously a doyen among them.

    Interesting how he was denied promotion to the highest positions in Maynooth. What a horrible, nasty institutional church it was. Has it ever changed? Tony Flannery is probably the best man to answer that.

    The words of the great Kris Kristofferon happily applied to Fr. Enda as it does to Tony. “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose”.

    I am wondering now if Bekan is also the homeland of my late friend, the great Canon Michael Cassidy, who was one of the best priests and best people I have ever known.

  4. Joe O'Leary says:

    A sane, kind, good-natured and good-humoured man, planted imperturbably at the heart of the Irish church, which was so often sour and conflicted, exuding unbroken benevolence for sixty years, was a blessing of which we can only now take the full measure. In chats with him everything came into serene perspective. The last one was three years ago, in Maynoooth, and I regret I did not prolong it. But there is a heavenly prolongation.

  5. Padraig McCarthy says:

    Stanley Hauerwas, a theologian in the Reform tradition, was a friend of Enda McDonagh. He wrote:

    “I have always thought that if Catholicism names anything, it names the life of Enda McDonagh. Or put even more strongly, if the Catholic Church is the church, the best evidence that it is so is Enda McDonagh. For surely the catholicity of the church is to be found in his life. His is a life at once so deeply at home in Ireland, but equally at home in Africa; a life dedicated to those who suffer from AIDS and sustained by the work of artists who help us see beauty without denying such suffering.”

    Together, they prepared an Appeal to Abolish War – one of Enda’s unfulfilled desires. More about this at
    Stanley Hauerwas has a Reflection on this in “Reflection on the Appeal in Between Poetry and Politics: Essays in Honour of Enda McDonagh,” Ed. Linda Hogan and Barbara Fitzgerald [Dublin: Columba Press 2003] 135-47.

    If Christians of all denominations could unite around one project for the 21st century, perhaps it could be to work together on that appeal to the world to abolish war.

  6. John Collins says:

    RIP Enda Your work is Done May you have a Kindly Welcome ✝️

  7. Stanley Hauerwas says:

    For us (Paula and me) Enda was Ireland–Only Enda could overrun his lunch budget entertaining friends
    Stanley Hauerwaas

  8. Gina Menzies says:

    The Irish Church has lost a brave and visionary human being, Enda’s theology incarnated the christian message for our troubled world and church. May his gently and warm soul rest in peace.

    Gina Menzies

  9. sean walsh says:

    “Spreading the Gospel is a bit like fighting climate change; it’s not going to be done by experts. The experts can maybe work out what we should be doing, but it has to be taken up by us. It’s the same, it seems to me, with the preaching of the Gospel and the revitalization of the Church. It’ll have to be taken up by the people themselves, not just by clergy. Clergy can, and do, play a role, but 99 percent of the Church is lay.”

    – Fr.Enda McDonagh.

  10. Soline Humbert says:

    #3 Paddy, the author of the Irish Times obituary is John Horgan. Mary Robinson mentioned it in her tribute to Enda during her interview on the Leap of Faith (RTÉ1) last night.

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