WelCom News
A newspaper for the Wellington and Palmerston North Catholic Dioceses

Fr Patrick Cooke – Requiescat In Pace

WelCom February 2019:

Kathy Kavanagh

Fr Pat Cooke (l) with his brother Fr Walter (r). Photo: Supplied

Fr Patrick (Pat) Cooke, much-loved and former parish priest at Havelock North, Hawkes Bay, passed away aged 89 years, in his homeland Ireland, on 15 November 2018. Fr Pat died peacefully in the presence of his brothers, Fr Walter and Joe Cooke at Portlaoise, County Laois.

Fr Pat spent much of his adult life in New Zealand after coming over from Ireland with his brother Fr Walter in 1960 shortly after their ordinations. At the invitation of the Bishop of the Diocese of Wellington, Fr Pat and Fr Walter made the-then considerable journey to New Zealand to commence a long ministry to the people here. Fr Pat spent time in Wellington, Nelson, Taranaki and Manawatu parishes. His last posting was in Havelock North where he spent 21 years providing pastoral care to the flock at Our Lady of Lourdes community. We are forever thankful for the 55 years of ministry Fr Pat provided and for the service of his brother Fr Walter who returned to Ireland a few years before Pat.

Fr Pat retired in 2015 and returned to Ireland to Castletown in County Laois. During the last three and a half years of his life, Fr Pat was cared for by the brothers and staff of Miguel House at the De La Salle Monastery. A Requiem Mass for Fr Pat was celebrated at St Edmund’s Church in Castletown on Sunday 18 November.

At Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Havelock North, Bishop Peter Cullinane and five priests concelebrated a memorial Mass on 24 November. A large crowd from the Hastings parish, clergy and other church communities attended. Parishioner Ricky Jensen delivered a thoughtful eulogy. It was a prayerful and emotional occasion and a joyful celebration of Fr Pat’s life and service to us. Mass was followed by fellowship with many stories about this quiet, humble and prayerful man with a dry sense of humour and great wit. He enjoyed companionship, a cup of tea and a joke and all looked forward to his conversational company after Sunday Mass. Our prayers and condolences to his family and friends. Fr Pat will be missed by many.

May he rest in peace.

Kathy Kavanagh is a Hastings parishioner who lives in Clive, Hawkes Bay.