In Memory of
Fr. Desmond McGoldrick, CSSP
SIGNING the contract for a new Queen of All Saints School on January 1996. Father Donald Newmann, then chairman of the Archdiocese Building Committee, is looking on
FATHER McGOLDRICK with Chris Aldus, principal of the new Queen of All Saints School. The new school opened from kindergarten to grade 7 in September 1996.
By PAT CASH
Ordained a Spiritan (Holy Ghost) priest in Ireland in 1944, Father McGoldrick started as a missionary in Kenya.
Father epitomized priestly values. For example, he recognized the need for professional help for the local people in education, farming, business and other areas, and at the same time he saw a need for professionals to serve after their retirement.
He consequently founded VICS in 1971, a lay volunteer program providing professional and technical personnel to work in developing countries. The program run by the Spiritans continues to operate successfully mainly in Africa and South America.
On arrival in Canada and his appointment as pastor for All Saints parish in Coquitlam, Father immediately started planning for a church building.
At the time, Mass was held in the church hall and one of my favourite stories was when some parishioners wanted the altar moved from the stage to the ground floor.
Father agreed to try it out and then do a survey. A few weeks later, he announced the survey result as being that the majority wanted the altar to remain on the floor but since it was an ‘insignificant’ majority, it was going back onto the stage where it belongs!
Father was a dynamic preacher. You knew where you stood. He was a great black and white man – none of this conscience nonsense. His homilies helped us to focus on life’s purpose.
Many people wept when he went back east to his parents’ house to die.
Father Des had many gifts and often remarked that he was never bored; that his priesthood allowed him to exercise all his talents to serve God and His people. He continues to do so. I know because I pray to him daily. I encourage others to do likewise.
Since 2009 is the Year of the Priests, the BC Catholic newspaper invited people to write about a priest who influenced them. The above submission on Father McGoldrick was submitted by Pat Cash and was originally published in the BC Catholic. Many in the Irish community will remember Father as a great supporter of the Irish Heritage Society in the 1980s when it tried to develop an Irish centre for Vancouver. [Pat Cash is a member of the Serra Club of Vancouver. For more information, see: www.serracanada.com.]