Warm tribute to Mayo priest who has died in the US
The death has taken place in Portland, Oregon, USA, of Fr. John Waldron, a native of Castlebar. He was aged 78.
He was a brother of the late Monsignor Tommy, Fr. Pat, Michael and Mary.
The deceased is very deeply regretted by his loving family: sister-in-law Teresa, nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews, Bishop, priests and religious of the Diocese of Oregon, relatives, parishioners and friends, to shom sympathy is tendered.
Fr. John's funeral takes place in Portland. A Memorial Mass to celebrate his life will take place in Castlebar at a later date.
The Catholic Sentinel, the official newspaper of the Archdiocese of Portland, described Fr. John as 'a longtime western Oregon parish priest known for compassion, steadfastness and quick wit.
“He was really kind and compassionate and really good with people one-on-one,” Father Ray Carey told the newspaper.
“He was a very loyal friend,” said Father Carey. “And his friends really loved him.”
The newspaper's tribute continued: “Born in 1942, John Waldron was the youngest of five children. Three of the four sons would become priests. Young John did not give the priesthood much consideration until a clergyman hearing his confession recommended it.
“After completing secondary school, he entered seminary at All Hallows College in Dublin and felt called to serve abroad.
"He agreed to join the Archdiocese of Portland upon completion of his studies. He was ordained in 1966 and moved to Oregon three months later.
“His first assignment as an associate pastor was at St. Luke in Woodburn, where he professed that the Oregon weather and scenery reminded him of Ireland.
"In 1968, he went to serve at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Salem, where he was active in visiting classrooms and was asked to give a commencement address.
"In 1971, the call came to go to St. Alice in Springfield, where he served for seven years and developed a love for University of Oregon sports.
“He served on the Priests Senate, the priests’ continuing education committee and the Archdiocesan Liturgical Commission.
“Through much of his career, he led workshops and retreats on marriage.
“His first posting as a pastor came in 1978 at St. Patrick Parish in the coastal town of Toledo. In 1981, he was appointed to the inner city to be pastor of Queen of Peace Parish in North Portland.
“In 1991, Father Waldron was entrusted with growing Holy Trinity Parish in Beaverton, where he led construction of a new church within the decade.
“Beyond bricks and mortar, Father Waldron sought to build up faith. He was a regular in the classroom, aware of the impact his visits could have on the faith life and vocations of youngsters.
“In 2004 he began service at St. Patrick Parish in Canby. Parishioners told the Sentinel that he helped unite English-speakers and Spanish speakers.
“He retired in 2014 and said he looked forward to helping at parishes whenever possible.
“Father Waldron was able to assimilate to life in the United States without losing his love of Ireland, a homeland he visited yearly.
"He always said he’d be gone for a month, but it turned out to be six weeks — a term he called “an Irish month.”
May his gentle soul rest in peace.