Dr Elizabeth O'Brien, a volunteer physician who served with Concern, the international relief organisation based in Ireland, in India and Bangladesh, has died in Dacca. Bangladesh, at the age of 41. Dr O'Brien, a member of the Congregation of Marist Sisters, got her medical degree from Fordham University, and her Masters Degree in Public Health from Harvard.
After working for a while in Peru, she volunteered to join Mother Teresa in Calcutta when 10 million Bengali refugees streamed into camps during the war in East Pakistan in 1971.
When these refugees returned to Bangladesh after the war in the spring of 1972, Sister O'Brien followed them and joined up with Concern, which had established rural health dispensaries and feeding centres throughout Bangladesh. When serious illness struck Sister Elizabeth and she was advised to return to the United States for treatment, she decided instead to remain in Bangladesh and continue work.
Mgr Richard Iles, parish priest of St George's, Taunton, Devon, for many years, aged 84. He retired in 1967 to St Angela's Convent, Clifton, Bristol. He was born at Fairford, Gloucestershire. and after studying at the Venerable English College in, Rome was ordained priest in 1913. He served as assistant priest in the former Pro-cathedral, Clifton until he was appointed to Taunton in 1927.
In the same year, at the age of 37, he became the youngest of the Clifton Chapter, After the death of Bishop Lees in 1948, and in his capacity of Provost of the Cathedral, he was elected Vicar Capitular and ruled the diocese of Clifton until the appointment of Bishop Rudderham in 1949. The following year Pope Pius XII honoured him with the title of Domestic Prelate. During his time as parish priest of St George's Mgr Iles opened three new parishes in the town. Canon Desmond Leahy, in the Franciscan Convent at Littlehampton, Sussex, where he had been chaplain,aged 74. He studied for the priesthood at the Gregorian University in Rome, and was ordained in 1935.
From 1940 to 1955 he was Professor of Sacred Scripture at St John's Seminary, Wonersh. He was parish priest of' Esher, Surrey, from 1960 until ill-health forced him to take on lighter duties in July of this year.
Dom Rupert Hall, OS13, Abbot of Ealing from 1956-67, aged 84. He was educated at Downside and entered the Benedictine Novitiate there in 1908. He made his theological studies for the priesthood in Rome and was ordained in 1915.
For some years he taught at Downside, but in 1928 he was sent to the then Ealing Priory; apart from a short spell as a parish priest in Suffolk, he was to spend the next 40 years at Ealing. During the difficult years of the Second World War he served as Headmaster, and when the monastery at Ealing became independent in 1947 Dom Rupert was made Bursar and then Second Master in the School.
He was appointed Prior of the new Ealing Abbey in 1955 and, after Abbot Pontifex's car accident and subsequent resignation, Dom Rupert was himself elected second Abbot of Ealing.
During his years in office the abbey church which had been bombed was restored and extended, providing a more fitting setting for the liturgy which he loved, especially the Monastic Office. Abbot Hall was also on the founding committee of the Council of Major Religious Superiors of England and Wales.
He resigned the abbacy in 1967 and went to live at Worth Abbey, where he remained until last year when his health deteriorated and he underwent a serious operation. But he made a good recovery and was able to return to Ealing where he lived happily in the community.
Fr A. Walsh, OFMCap, at Haslemere, aged 85. Born in Peckham, London, he joined the Capuchins in 1904. Ordained in 1914, he became guardian and parish priest at Chester and Crawley and served as a member of the governing body of the English Capuchins.