Rev. Fr. Paudie Moloughney 1947 – 2015
St. Patrick’s Missionary Society (Kiltegan Fathers).
Patrick (Paudie) Matthias Moloughney was born, the third of six children, on the 24th of February 1947. His parents, Patrick and Christina Moloughney (née O’Gorman), were from a farming community at Laharden Upper, Littleton, Co. Tipperary. Paudie attended Littleton National School from 1952 to 1959 and the Christian Brothers Secondary School in Thurles from 1959 to 1964. After completing his Leaving Certificate in September 1964, Paudie’s deep spiritual faith led him to St. Patrick’s Missionary Society in Kiltegan, Co. Wicklow. There, he completed his ‘Spiritual Year’ in June of 1965 and proceeded on to St Patrick’s College in Douglas, Co. Cork where he began his studies in philosophy. In 1967, he was then sent to the Irish College in Rome to continue his studies for the priesthood while studying theology at the Lateran University. In September 1970, Paudie returned to Ireland where he completed his final year studies in theology. Paudie was ordained by the Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, Bishop Patrick Lennon at Killamoat Church on Easter Sunday, 11th of April 1971.
After his ordination, Paudie was assigned to missionary work in Brazil. He did a course in Brazilian culture and the Portuguese language and then took up parish work in the Archdiocese of São Paulo. In 1980, he was transferred to the Archdiocese of Olinda and Recife where he worked for four years in Ouro Preto and Peixinhos under the legendary Archbishop Hélder Câmara. In 1984, Paudie was appointed Regional Superior of the Society in South America and the Caribbean and served in that post for six years. He then took a sabbatical which also included studies of Clinical Pastoral Education in London.
In 1992, Paudie volunteered to go to Nigeria to join the Society’s mission in Bomadi. There he ministered in Burutu for four years and was then appointed Vice-Regional Superior of West Africa. When he had completed his term of six years, his superiors afforded him a well-earned sabbatical during which Paudie walked the famous ‘Appalachian Trail’. This adventure took Paudie over six months to complete during which he’d covered over 2,100 miles, stretching from Georgia to Maine. After his adventures, Paudie then agreed to a request from his Society to return to missionary work in Brazil. For the next 9 years, Paudie worked in the Parish of Juruena in the diocese of Juina. On one vacation during this period he walked the Camino from Laharden to Santiago de Compostela.
Paudie returned to Ireland in April 2013 and lived in his family home in Laharden until February 2014 when he acceded to his Society’s request for him to return to Kiltegan as Assistant House Leader. Unfortunately, it was in the month of May of this year that Paudie was also diagnosed with cancer. While undergoing treatment he lived mainly in Kiltegan but spent as much time as he was able to in his beloved Laharden. It was there that Fr. Paudie died, peacefully, on Friday the 3rd of July 2015.
Paudie had a great love for his family, his neighbours; his fellow members of the St. Patrick’s Missionary Society and of course his beloved home place of Laharden. He also had an enduring love and devotion for Tipperary hurling. He was a gifted linguist and spoke Portuguese like a native. Paudie was a free spirit who defied categorisation and made a deep impression on all who met him. He bore his illness with tremendous courage and serenity which inspired all who knew him. In the end, Paudie got his final wish and died in the Moloughney family home where he was born and reared.
Paudie had a passion for walking and long distance treks were both a love and challenge for him. He spent almost 6 months on the long and hazardous ‘Appalachian Trail’ in the United States and, of course, in 2006 he started his Pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. In this adventure, Paudie walked from his own Parish Church in Two Mile Borris, Tipperary to the Cathedral of Saint James in Santiago de Compostela spending almost 3 months on the road. The Memorial at Monte de Gozo was erected by his Family and Friends to commemorate his great journey through life and his wonderful spirit and commitment. The marble plaque gives Paudie’s personal details and is in the shadow of a sculptured piece of ancient bog oak from his own home place in Laharden.
Written by Michael Walsh
Information provided by St. Patrick’s Missionary Society, Kiltegan Fathers.