Westminster Interfaith: Promoting Dialogue Between People of Faith

The agency of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Westminster for Interreligious Dialogue

Westminster Interfaith Newsletter

Issue 67 – July 2010

Former Leeds interfaith advisor dies in Pakistan

Father Pat McCaffrey, 66, a former interfaith advisor for the Diocese of Leeds, suffered a heart attack while visiting Columban lay missionaries in Murree and died later in hospital.

The Columban Father, who worked in Bradford from 1999 to 2004, lived at the community's base in Horton Grange Road.

His work at the centre included hosting meetings with members of different faiths and supporting disadvantaged people in the city. In 2002 he helped lead interfaith prayers for peace to mark the anniversary of the September 11 attacks in America. He left the diocese to return to work as a missionary in Fiji and Pakistan, a vocation he had pursued for 19 years before taking up his post in Bradford.

David Jackson, inter-faith co-ordinator for the diocese, said: "In Ireland and India on interfaith 'pilgrimages' with friends of different religions, in Bradford Mosques, Temples and Gurdwaras he loved nothing more than meeting people, offering the hand of friendship and speaking to them in their own languages – if at all possible. Faces would light up and barriers come down. He had a gift for making people, young and old, feel alive, loved and valued. It so happened that Pat was endowed with more than the measure usually allocated to us of energy and strength. He had the physical and emotional endurance of ten. His smile was never as wide as when listening to the rich tales of those he met, his attention never as concentrated as when hearing stories of hurt, sorrow and disappointment."

Jalil Mirza, a Muslim member of the Columba community in Bradford, said: "I found that Father Pat was a great source of inspiration for all of us. He encouraged and promoted inter-faith relationship and dialogue wherever he went. His presence and company will be missed."

Services in memory of Father McCaffrey were held at the Khidmat Centre in Spencer Road on Friday, June 11, at 7.30pm and at St Joseph's RC Church in Pakington Street on Tuesday, June 15 at 7pm.

Hannah Baker
Bradford Telegraph and Argus 2 June 2010

Return to top         Go to Newsletter Index

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict    Valid CSS!