THE retired parish priest of St Catherine of Siena in Lowton, Fr John Connolly, has died aged 86.
Fr John was born in Thatto Heath, St Helens, and attended the grammar school there, before studying for the priesthood at the English College in Lisbon. He was ordained in 1933 and served as assistant priest at parishes in Wavertree. Great Crosby and Warrington before his appointment to St Catherine in 1956. Fr Connolly retired in 1985 and died peacefully at Ince Blundell Hall. ONE of the Church's great preachers, Fr Geoffrey Lynch OP PG, has died at the age of 87, having been a priest for 58 years.
He was one of the last English Dominicans to he appointed Preacher-General to the order and conducted extensive missions abroad, particularly in South Africa and the United States.
Fr Lynch was born in 1905. one of eight boys and a girl, and attended the Dominican school at Hawkesyard in Staffordshire. He joined the novitiate in 1927 and, after ordination, went on to study at Blackfriars in Oxford. His first appointment was to Woodchester in Gloucestershire, where he began to preach.
At the outbreak of war, Fr Geoffrey joined the army as a chaplain, and ministered to troops in the front line throughout the war, not least at Dunkirk.
He was then assigned by the Provincial to the Dominican mission in South Africa, initially as an ordinary missioner, but when he stepped off the boat, he discovered he had been appointed Vicar-General.
Fr Lynch presided for eight years over a thriving mission and the expansion of the friary at Stellenbosch.
After a short spell back in England, he was asked to go to the United States, where he continued to travel and preach, finding time to set up a branch of the Rosary Confraternity. He returned to London for a spell and was appointed Preacher-General to the Dominican order in 1966.
In the late 1970s he settled again in the US, where he continued to have a preaching circuit, but returned to England after a serious fall, where he was cared for by the sisters of Park House nursing home in Liverpool until his death.
"What are the young men doing these days?" Fr Lynch asked of the father provincial shortly before he died. "Are they preaching?"