Brother Felix O'Neill 1920 – 2011 RIP
Born on 27 April 1920 in Keelrovane near Rosscarberry, West Cork, Owen O’Neill joined the Order in 1948 and taking the religious name of Felix, made his first profession of vows on 3 December 1950. Prior to joining he had served three years with the 7th Field Corp of Engineers of the Irish Army and a year in India with the Royal Air Force.
In past times it was generally considered by some that a person who had experience of the world may not be a suitable candidate for religious life. Brother Felix came with a recommendation to the contrary, that because of his knowledge of the world he should prove to be an asset to the Order. And so he has. Brother Felix trained as a carpenter in his youth and when he entered the Order it was rumoured that he had brought his toolbox with him. Whether or not the rumour was true, the fact remains that his practical skills have been of enormous benefit and gain to the Order.
He qualified as a State Registered Nurse in 1957 and afterwards served as a charge nurse in the Province’s hospitals in Hurworth (Co Durham), Silverdale (Lancashire), Scorton (North Yorkshire) and Potters Bar (Hertfordshire). Between 1966 and 1989, Brother Felix served a succession of appointments as prior, including a term in Lusaka, Zambia. He later became a great support for the community in Saint John of God Pastoral Centre, Hemlington.
Following a short period in Darlington in 2005, he moved to Saint Joseph’s Home in Newcastle, where he was supported and cared for by the Little Sisters of the Poor until his death on Pentecost Sunday, 12 June 2011.