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Limerick Mourns the Passing of Very Rev. Joseph Dominic Fitzgibbon, Oldest Irish Dominican |

Limerick Mourns the Passing of Very Rev. Joseph Dominic Fitzgibbon, Oldest Irish Dominican

Dublin, Ireland – In a sombre afternoon at St. Saviour’s Priory, Dublin, the Irish Dominican community bids farewell to one of its longest-serving members, Very Rev. Joseph Dominic Fitzgibbon. His death marks the end of a distinguished journey that began in Limerick and spanned over decades of devoted service to the Dominican Order.

Father Fitzgibbon, born in London, spent his formative years in Limerick, the cherished home of his parents. The esteemed Dominican departed from Ireland in 1853, setting out for Italy, where he embraced the habit of St. Dominick. His dedication to the Order was evident in the distinguished course of studies at Minerva University, Rome, culminating in his profession in 1854. Notably, he was present in Rome during the proclamation of the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception by Pope Pius IX.

Returning to Ireland in 1860 after his ordination, Father Fitzgibbon commenced his impactful journey. His initial role as Assistant Novice Master under the renowned Father Tom Burke at St. Mary’s, Tallaght, set the stage for a life dedicated to conducting missions and retreats with remarkable eloquence and impressiveness. Throughout Ireland and West Britain, Father Fitzgibbon left an indelible mark on the communities he served.

Among the various appointments during his career, Father Fitzgibbon played a significant role in missions and retreats at St. Mary’s, Cork; Black Abbey, Kilkenny; and St. Saviour’s, Waterford. However, it was in Dublin that he spent the greater portion of his life, establishing the Women’s Rosary Confraternity in 1885. This initiative, which celebrated its silver jubilee under his watchful eye, stood as a testament to Father Fitzgibbon’s commitment and spiritual leadership. For many years, he served as the Spiritual Director of the Confraternity, guiding its members in their spiritual journeys.

In recognition of his contributions, Father Fitzgibbon was widely acknowledged for his role in fostering a sense of community and devotion. Despite his declining years limiting his active involvement, his memory remains cherished by numerous friends and brethren. The Dominican community, both in Ireland and beyond, pays tribute to a man whose sermons were not only eloquent but also left a lasting impression on those fortunate enough to hear them.

As news of his passing spreads, condolences pour in from various quarters, with many expressing gratitude for the profound impact Father Fitzgibbon had on their spiritual lives. The city of Limerick, where he spent his early years, is particularly moved by the loss of one of its own, as the community mourns the passing of a beloved figure who dedicated his life to service.

A requiem mass will be held at St. Saviour’s Priory to honour Very Rev. Joseph Dominic Fitzgibbon, providing an opportunity for friends, family, and fellow clergy to come together and pay their respects. The legacy of Father Fitzgibbon will undoubtedly endure, serving as an inspiration for future generations of Irish Dominicans who continue to carry the torch of spiritual guidance and community service.

Irish Independent – Monday 12 January 1914

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