Fr. Patrick O’Regan SVD

Father Patrick “Paddy” O’Regan SVD was born in Cork City on the South Coast of Ireland in 1933, the second child in a family of two. Following his primary education in Model Schools, he attended the Christian Brothers’ Scoil Chriost Riogh (Christ the King) for his secondary schooling. It was during that time that he first joined the Legion of Mary and he became an active and enthusiastic supporter of the Legion for his whole life. Paddy worked for the Cork Post Office for a number of years and then joined the Divine Word Missionaries late vocation programme in Donamon, County Roscommon, where he took first vows in 1963.

From there he went to the Divine Word Mission Seminary in Techny Illinois near Chicago and following philosophy and theology studies, which included an M.A. in Philosophy from Loyola University, Chicago, he returned and was ordained to the priesthood in 1969 at Donamon Castle, home of the Divine Word Missionaries in Ireland.

For the next ten years he taught philosophy at the Divine Word Seminary at Donamon and when the philosophy section moved to the National Seminary at Maynooth, Paddy followed, but as a student again; this time taking a Diploma in Higher Education.

After a short spell as a missionary on Saint Kitts Island in the West Indies, Paddy was assigned to Hong Kong where, in 1981, he took up his duties as chaplain, English teacher and head of the Moral Education Department in Sing Yin Secondary School, Lam Tin. In addition, he was also chaplain to Saint Paul’s girls’ school and assisted in Saint Edward’s Parish, both in Lam Tim.

In 1998, Paddy took up an appointment at the Holy Spirit Seminary College where he returned to his first love, which was teaching philosophy. In 1993 he was assigned as chaplain to the Airport Chapel where he had already been assisting for some time. Along with his Legion work and chaplain to the China Coast Old People’s Home, Paddy was kept busy in the two roles of teach and pastor, but these few years were to be the most rewarding and fulfilling of his life. In spite of poor health, he remained cheerful and optimistic, with little outward signs of his serious condition.

On 29 August, he returned from home leave in Ireland where he had stayed with his only sister. He went to St. Teresa’s Hospital on the morning of 4 September 1996 for a checkup and while there, suddenly suffered a massive heart attack and passed away within a short space of time.

Father Paddy will be fondly remembered by his confreres in the Divine Word Missionaries, his students and colleagues at the Holy Spirit Seminary College, his congregation and Legionaries and at the Airport Chapel, the residents and staff of the China Coast Community, and by the large circle of friends built up over the years in Hong Kong.

He had a big heart and the gift of treating each person he met as someone special. A cheerful word of encouragement was never far from his lips. He will be sadly missed.
(Father Brian Lawless, S.V.D )