Spiritan Features

Six Irish Spiritans attend February / March 2020 meetings in Rome

The Congregation has just completed its two-week meeting in Rome for confrères who had been appointed to leadership roles during the last two years. Nineteen confrères from across the world were joined by members of the General Council and Generalate Team in Rome and, for particular parts of the meeting, by others with specific inputs to give on areas such as Overseas Development. A total of six members of the Irish Province (pictured below from left to tight), played various roles. 

Fr. John Fogarty, Fr. Brendan Foley, Fr. Maurice Shortall, Fr. Seán O’Leary, Fr. Michael Begley and Fr. Martin Kelly.


Fr. John Fogarty, Fr. Brendan Foley, Fr. Maurice Shortall, Fr. Seán O’Leary, Fr. Michael Begley and Fr. Martin Kelly. 

Fr. John Fogarty is Superior General of the Congregation. From Finglas in Dublin, he was ordained to the priesthood in 1981, by Bishop Joseph Whelan C.S.Sp., and appointed to Ghana. He later spent time in leadership in Ireland and Rome. He has also been Provincial of the Province of United States. 

Fr. Brendan Foley grew up in Co. Sligo. He was first appointed to Brazil in the 1990s, moving later to Bolivia. In Ireland he has ministered in a west-Dublin parish and as Director of Vocations. Leading the Brazil South-West Group of Spiritans, he is Parish Priest in the new parish of Perus in São Paulo. 

Fr. Maurice Shortall was ordained in 1991. Appointed to Brazil, where he later led the Brazil South-West Group of Spiritans, he worked in a parish of some 70,000 people, many who were impoverished migrants from elsewhere in Brazil. A native of Co. Kilkenny, he is a member of the General Council. 

Fr. Seán O’Leary is the Spiritan Provincial in Taiwan / Vietnam / India. A native of Cork city, who served in Kenya before ordination, he was the first Irish Spiritan appointed to Taiwan, in 1998, where one of his roles was in prison ministry. In Ireland he has served in both leadership and pastoral posts. 

Fr. Michael Begley is the (Brussels-based) Executive Director of the European Spiritan Centre for Cooperation & Development. From Limerick, he was the first Director of SPIRASI, the Spiritan asylum-seeker initiative that works with victims of torture. He has served in the Gambia and the US. 

Fr. Martin Kelly is Provincial of the Irish Province. From Co. Clare and a past-student of Rockwell College, he spent almost three decades in Ethiopia from 1975 and served in a joint Orthodox / Catholic initiative. He has served in formation in the home province and as Director of World Missions Ireland.