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 Fr. Michael O'Flaherty, R.I.P. 
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New post Fr. Michael O'Flaherty, R.I.P.
Please keep this old priest in your prayers. He passed away on Friday, at around 92 years of age. An Irishman, he was sent to the Geraldton diocese in Western Australia after ordination, where he served for many years at Mullewa and then Morawa (my home district). He was the pastor at Morawa from before I can recall until I left the district as a young man, and the only Novus Ordo cleric I ever knew well. He was one of the priests who flew Toger Moth aircraft into the outback to take the sacraments to the "station" people. He could not navigate at all, and followed the railway tracks at low altitude to find his way out and back.

Fr. O'Flaherty accepted all of the changes after Vatican II under obedience, and resisted all innovations which he regarded as non-compulsory (e.g. altar girls etc.). He was a man of incredible sweetness of nature, and when asked one day how he managed to get along with absolutely everybody, he replied in his Irish lilt, "I try to see the face of Christ in every man."

I asked him only last year why he did not decide to continue saying the "old Mass" instead of the new, and he replied with perfect simplicity, "It didn't pertain to me." By which I understood him to mean that he did not feel that he had the right to make such a decision. That was certainly Fr. O'Flaherty's character. Irish to his core. His one good eye (one became blind late in life) was the most perfectly serene, clear, good-humoured, innocent.

It is one of the great paradoxes of this era that a man of such character presided over the almost total destruction of the church in Morawa after Vatican II. Not so much by his actions as by his failure to do anything subsantial to resist.

May God have mercy on his soul.

In Christ our King.

Sun Dec 10, 2006 8:14 am
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