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Mahony, Edmund (1813–1845)

from Morning Chronicle (Sydney)

The premature and almost unexpected death of this truly beloved and lamented gentleman and exemplary pastor, which occurred on the 24th ultimo, has been already noticed by us; but we feel it to be a duty which we owe to departed worth to offer our readers the few following observations relative to this most excellent man.

Mr. [Edmund] Mahony was a native of the county of Cork, and was educated at Maynooth. He arrived in this Colony on the 15th July, 1838, in company with the Rev. Mr. Murphy, now Bishop of Adelaide, and several other clergymen, having embarked in London on the previous St. Patrick's Day.

Soon after his arrival he was ordained priest in St. Mary's Cathedral, along with, we believe, the Rev. Mr. Slattery of Windsor; and immediately afterwards was stationed at Maitland, where he continued exercising the duties of his ministry and labouring with the most ardent zeal and untiring energy for the salvation of those committed to his charge, until the 10th of January, 1844, when he was temporarily called away from his beloved flock to proceed to Adelaide, South Australia. He remained at this latter place until Christmas last, and by his mild and urbane demeanour, his charitable disposition, and indefatigable exertions for the spiritual welfare of the Catholics of that Colony, he won for himself "golden opinions from all sorts of men." His departure from Adelaide was deeply regretted by all who knew him, and a large number of the principal inhabitants of that city, of every creed assembled on the day of his embarkation to bid him farewell.

The Rev. gentleman arrived in Sydney from Adelaide on the 9th of February last, and three days afterwards returned to his previous charge at Maitland, where his presence was hailed by his beloved people with the most heartfelt joy and satisfaction.

The district over which Mr. Mahony had charge was a most extensive one, and comprised a large though scattered population, and his duties were consequently of a very severe nature; but his piety and zeal were of that ardent nature that no obstacles or difficulties were too great to be surmounted by him in the faithful discharge of his pastoral duties. To this cause chiefly may be attributed his early and lamented death (the reverend gentleman being only in the 33rd year of his age), which has plunged in the deepest affliction the members of his own flock, and been a source of grief to all who had the pleasure of enjoying his friendship.

As a preacher, Mr. Mahony was mild, persuasive, and energetic, and though by no means an eloquent man, his preaching had that simplicity, earnestness and affection about it, which always made its way to the hearts of his hearers, and which caused deep and lasting impressions on their minds.

The moral and spiritual reformation which under his ministry was effected in the district over which his labours extended, are almost incalculable, and there can be no doubt that the seed which lie scattered has taken deep and permanent root.

In private life Mr. Mahony was an agreeable and cheerful companion, an ardent and sincere friend, a gentleman and a scholar, and his hand and heart were ever open to assist the indigent whoever they might be.

We extract the following just tribute to the memory of this lamented pastor, from the Maitland Mercury of Saturday last:

To the Editors of the Maitland Mercury.

Gentlemen.—So unexpected was the summons which called away from an affectionate and improving people their beloved and zealous Pastor, that till now their only panegyric was the solemn silence of heartfelt grief. Your kind notice in last Saturday's Mercury of the Rev. Mr. Mahony's decease elicited their grateful acknowledgments, and induces them to request the insertion of the following tribute to his memory.

In July, 1838, the Rev. Edmund Mahony arrived in this colony, and within a few weeks received his appointment for Maitland. The generous sacrifice which he had made, in bidding adieu to parents, country, and friends, he still continued by his unceasing cares and anxieties for the spiritual and temporal happiness of his flock. With heroic fortitude he denied himself even the moderate use of those liquors, which (although to him innoxious, nay, at all times useful and necessary) he considered the cause of misery, degradation, and ruin to his people; and many now live to bless him, as being in the hand of Providence, the instrument of their regeneration.

He was not many months returned from Adelalaide where his piety, virtues, and zeal endeared him to persons of every denomination. At two o'clock on Sunday morning, the 20th April, he burst a blood vessel. Spiritual and medical assistance and comfort were promptly rendered, and so favourable a change took place, that the physicians entertained hopes of his recovery, but a second rupture about half past five o'clock on the evening of the 24th terminated his earthly career, and destroyed the fond confidence of his suffering friends. He remained in the church, at East Maitland, till Sunday the 27th April, when His Grace the Archbishop, assisted by the Rev. Messrs. McEncroe, Lynch, and Dowling, performed his obsequies; and in a vault, erected by his people, repose his mortal remains. His people take this opportunity of expressing their full sense of the courteous and humane feelings which prompted the attendance at his interment of so many, who, whilst they did not kneel at the same altar, came to shed a tear over his estimable qualities and worth.—I remain, gentlemen, your most obedient servant.

His Friend.
Maitland, May 1, 1845.

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Citation details

'Mahony, Edmund (1813–1845)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/mahony-edmund-15459/text26674, accessed 23 May 2019.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2019

Life Summary [details]

Birth

1813
Cork, Ireland

Death

24 April 1845
Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

stroke

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Occupation