Popular priest spent his novitiate year in Killarney

Fr Harry made his First Profession in 1954 after his novitiate year in the Killarney Friary

THE death has been announced of a well-known Franciscan friar from Kerry who spent close on half a century on mission work in South Africa.

Fr Henry (Harry) Houlihan, OFM, died suddenly at the Franciscan Friary, Multyfarnham, Co Westmeath on Friday. He was 86 years of age.

Born in Dingle, in 1934, Harry joined the Order in 1953 and made his First Profession in 1954 after his novitiate year in Killarney Friary.

After his studies in Galway and Rome, he was ordained to the priesthood in Rome in 1961. Since he had volunteered to go on the foreign missions, he was assigned to the Irish Franciscan Mission in Kokstad, South Africa.

During his 48 years as a missionary, Harry ministered in various parishes in the Diocese of Kokstad and later in other dioceses in South Africa.

He returned to Ireland in 2009 and since then he had been assigned to and ministered in friaries in Cork, Waterford and Multyfarnham.

Harry’s passing is deeply regretted by his brother Val, sister-in-law Julie, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, other relatives and friends and by his Franciscan brethren.

In keeping with Government pandemic guidelines, Fr Henry’s Requiem Mass and burial will be held in private.

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