Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Tribute to Fr. Terrence Gogarty

By Fr. Francis Ng'ang'a

While Fr. France Mol would make a commending tribute to late Fr. Terrence since they docked on the same day at the port of Mombasa in 1964, I also happen to be one among the many who enjoyed the private but yet a pastoral oriented priest of great memories to our diocesan history. He earned his name “Leiyele” from his practice of anointing the sick as the anointed one, and who anointed.

It was at the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro in 1974, when I met Fr. Terrence at a very close range. That time I was in pain having fractured my left arm at the corridors of Rombo Catholic Mission. I badly needed to see a doctor 30km away on a bad road. I recall it was at about 3:30 PM when Terrence bounced out in his Volkswagen, joined my dad and within no time i found myself in the hands of a doctor in Loitokitok. The drive was not easy and the rest is history. Thanks to Terrence I also met Sr. Patricia who used to bath and dry me every morning at the Loitokitok Hospital.

Terrence later graduated from a Volkswagen to a Suzuki which he drove for his pastoral ventures without trouble. “Make your own road with Suzuki” was his motto. His car had a tag on it which made him a proud KILDARE.

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Always smiling and not interfering with anyone especially his parish priest, Fr. Gogatty regardless of age or race was compliant, available, and respectful. He enjoyed his snuff, cool, rock & roll music, and was a flexible dancer.

Gogarty had the option to evangelize the diocese in the language of the native majority the Maasai which was met with stiff and silent resistance to where we are today. Without much writing he lived his ambition and conviction to the very end.

Your jokes and prompt sadaka [offertory] report from his area of apostolate which translated to a parish of kimana recently – just before his death, is a strong missionary effort and not to mention the Lenkisem Parish. May your soul rest in eternal peace Oleiyiele lang.

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