WelCom April 2018:
The First Anniversary of the death of much-loved Fr Pat McCullough was on Wednesday, 14 March. Masses were celebrated in the Francis of Assisi Chapel, Nelson, and at St Michael’s Church, Taita, for the ‘Happy Repose of his Soul’.
Parishioners and friends and relatives from Ireland gathered on Wednesday 14 March, at 7pm, in St Michael’s Church, Taita, Lower Hutt, to remember and give thanks for the life and service of Fr Patrick Joseph McCullough.
Fr Pat came to Taita, as Parish Priest in August 2008 and was an Associate Pastor of the newly formed Parish of Te Awakairangi from 2015 until his death last year .Fr Pat died in Wellington Hospital on 14 March 2017 following heart surgery.
Fr Pat was born in Camlough, County Armagh, Northern Ireland. He was the fourth child of a family of eight children. Before entering the priesthood, he trained for a year as a teacher.
He studied for the priesthood at Mount Melleray and All Hallows in Ireland. After he was ordained, he travelled by ship to Wellington with several other young Irish priests. After a short stay in Upper Hutt, he took up his position as curate in Holy Family Parish, Webb St, Wellington. He was appointed to parishes in various parts of Wellington, Taranaki, Kāpiti Coast, Petone, Lower Hutt and Stoke. While in Stoke Parish, Nelson, for more than 12 years he used his considerable skills in pastoral ministry and was much loved.
Fr Pat made frequent visits to his homeland, as well as to other countries, visiting friends and relations, but he was always glad to come back to ‘sunny’ New Zealand.
He was a big-hearted, gentle, hard-working, friendly man, who gave his all to the people of whichever parish he was serving. He will be remembered for his beaming smile, his hearty laugh and his tap or arm around the shoulder when asking for help with some ‘wee’ job.
Following the Anniversary Mass, celebrant Fr Patrick Bridgman blessed and unveiled a memorial stone on the outside of St Michael’s Church. The stone is in memory of Father Pat’s years of pastoral service in the Te Awakairangi Parish as well as being the last Parish Priest of St Michael’s, Taita.
Memories and stories were shared over a cup of tea to close the evening.