The Diocese of Middlesbrough reports the death of Father Dan Cahill who served St Patrick’s Parish in Cannon Street, Middlesbrough as a greatly loved and much appreciated Parish Priest for twenty two years and who also served in Staithes, Ugthorpe and Whitby.
The Reverend Father Dan Cahill who died in the early hours of Saturday, 20 August 2011 was born in Friarstown Grange, County Limerick, on 15 October 1926. He entered St Patrick’s Seminary, Thurles, at the age of 18 and was ordained to serve in the Diocese of Middlesbrough in 1951. His first eight years of priestly ministry were spent as assistant curate in St Mary’s Cathedral, Sussex Street, Middlesbrough. A further four years of curacy were fulfilled in the Sacred Heart, Hull, before his return to Middlesbrough in 1963 to serve at St Patrick’s. His appointment in St Patrick’s, Cannon Street, Middlesbrough, began as one of the assistant priests to Father Jim Cormack, and on Father Cormack’s death in August 1967, Father Dan was appointed as parish priest where he remained until 1985. The final seven years of his formal ministry were as parish priest of Our Lady Star of the Sea, Staithes, and St Anne’s, Ugthorpe. In retirement Father Dan Cahill served as chaplain of the Sisters of Marcy Convent, West Cliff, Whitby until his death.
Those who knew Father Cahill were well aware of how he spontaneously exuded his love for the priesthood. He maintained throughout his sixty years of priestly ministry an interest and support of his brother priests – and for most of his life met up with many of them on the golf course. It would be true to say he carried with him from his early formation in pastoral ministry, the importance of home visitation. One realised, in conversation with him, that he possessed an extensive knowledge of the families entrusted to his care, which sprung not just from the gift of a good memory, but from a genuine love of the people he served. Father Dan Cahill was able to celebrate his Diamond Jubilee of priesthood with the Bishop of Middlesbrough, The Right Reverend Terrence Patrick Drainey, a number of priest friends and the Community of the Sisters of Mercy on 10 June this year. It saddened him that he had to cancel a later arranged celebration with family members owing to his failing health.
Father Dan’s body was received into Whitby Convent on Thursday, 25 August, where Mass was celebrated for the family and Sisters of Mercy. His Requiem Mass was celebrated in St Mary’s Cathedral, Middlesbrough on Friday 26 August followed by burial in Whitby.
Bishop Drainey will celebrate a Mass of Thanksgiving for Father Dan Cahill’s life at St Hilda’s, Whitby, on Thursday, 22 September, at 7.00 pm.