Lack School - 1863 to 1975

A History of the School and its Pupils
by James Hehir


12. The Church

The school has a good record of pupils entering the church as nuns, but it has only one priest among its past pupils. In the pre Lack school era, two members of the O'Dea family from Crahera studied for the priesthood. Michael died prior to ordination on Christmas Eve, 1873, while Patrick was ordained a priest and served the church in Adelaide, New Zealand. He is credited with the planting of the fuchsia which lines the public road through Crahera - a beautiful sight throughout the Summer to this day. He died on Christmas Eve also, 1942. Both were buried at Kilchreest cemetery.

(a) Priests

Fr. Patrick A. Kelly

Fr. Patrick A. Kelly

Fr. Patrick A. Kelly, Tonlegee registered at Lack school in 1949. On completing his primary education he went to St. Joseph's College, Freshford, Co Kilkenny where he sat the Leaving Certificate. He obtained a degree (B. A. Phil) in UCD.
He was ordained a priest at Lissycasey church on the 5th July 1970.

Following his ordination he obtained a H. Dip. in UCD. He went to Kenya in 1971 and worked in the Parish of Kisoko for a year. He was on the staff of St. Augustine's School, Amukura in the period 1972 to 1975 and was Rector of the Diocesan Junior Seminary Senior Section (Form 5 & 6) in Tindinyo from 1975 to 1980. He was a member of the staff of St. Joseph's College, Freshford, his former secondary school, in the period 1880 to 1984 when he returned to Kenya.

He worked for over 20 years as a missionary in Kenya where he achieved the position of Vicar General of the dioceses of Kakamega from 1992 until his death in 2003.
In Kenya, he established new parishes at Lutaso and Lusumu in Kakamega, where he built new churches. He was also passionate about the social needs of the people. He was involved in the installation of pumps to provide the communities with drinking water. He built a Health Center to be run by the local Sisters of Mercy and was involved in the provision of a technical school for teaching basic skills to the youth. He had just completed the building of an orphanage which is run by sisters from South America at the time of his death.

He was known as 'Millimoi' which means 'the miracle worker'. This nick name sums up his life and achievement in the missions.