120 Years of Religious Life!
This week two St. John of God Brothers, Br. James and Br. Brendan, celebrated the diamond jubilee of religious profession,120 years of religious life between them! Br. James has ministered in Ireland and the US and Br. Brendan in Korea and presently China.
Br. James Pidgeon
Brother James Pidgeon was born on St. Patrick’s Day in 1933. He was christened Liam and the reason it wasn’t Patrick was because he had an older brother with the name. His birth gave the Pidgeon family and their neighbours in Bow Street, Dublin, a special reason to celebrate that St. Patrick’s Day.
Liam, along with several other boys and young men, served Mass for the Franciscan Capuchin Order in Church Street. There he came under the influence of a Brother Columcille O.F.M. cap., who encouraged him to seek his vocation with the Brothers of Saint John of God. Liam was 14 years old when he left home and came to live in Stillorgan.
As an “Aspirant” he attended Dun Laoghaire CBS where he completed school. Becoming Brother James on entering religious life on November 28th 1950, he made his profession of vows on December 8th 1951.
James is recognised within the Order as bright, diligent, hardworking, devoted to his religious life, the Order, his family and his Celtic culture. He is earnest and dynamic about everything he undertakes.
Having graduated in Psychiatric Nursing at the Saint John of God Hospital—1952; as a Primary School Teacher at Colaiste Mhuire, CBS, Marino—1954; and in Special Education at Jordan Hill College, Glasgow—1955, James was appointed Principal at St. Augustine’s School, Blackrock, Co. Dublin at the age of 22!
Since then, for the past 56 years, James has worked tirelessly and without reserve as a true and authentic ‘hospitaller’ of Saint John of God.
James has served several times in responsible positions as Provincial Councillor, Prior, Director of Service, Director of Vocations, Director of Formation and more lately in Pastoral Care. These roles have taken him to Blackrock, Drumcar, Celbridge, Kilcroney near Bray, Rathgar, Westville Grove, New Jersey and Tralee.
Prayer, spirituality, respect, justice, commitment, integrity—all are words which remind us of the ‘faithfulness’ of this man. Whether in a position of leadership or authority, the sincerity and simplicity James brings to everything he does, brightens and animates everywhere and everyone.
Br. Brendan Flahive
Brother Brendan who celebrates his Diamond Jubilee of Religious Profession has lived virtually all his religious life in the Orient; and so apart from periods of study and pastoral experience we associate Brendan with Korea since 1958 and China since 2000.
He is as passionate about Kerry as he was when at the age of fourteen he arrived in Stillorgan in August 1947 where he joined the young Liam Pidgeon (Brother James), the late Brother Bede Greaney. The three of them commenced their Novitiate on 28th November 1950 and made first Profession of Vows on 8th December 1951.
Brendan placed a high value on study and education. He is qualified in Psychiatric, Intellectual Disability, General and Palliative Care Nursing and Montessori Teaching.
Brendan’s speciality is the care of people with a terminal illness and in keeping with his Hospitaller vocation he does so with great compassion. He nursed several people in their final illness notably, Brother Bede. He is gentle, kind, unassuming and
passionate about people in need. He is legendary in his love of Gaelic games and Irish Music.
Brendan is a man of prayer and his spirituality is marked by his devotion to Our Blessed Lady; he always spends time at Knock Shrine when home on holid