September 16 2017, a number of St Gregory’s parishioners joined
Salesians and members of the Malloy family in Bolton for a Requiem Mass to
honour the life of Fr Austin Malloy.
Father Robert Coope gave the eulogy – from
which an extract is printed below.
Austin lived to the ripe old age of 94,
and for a short while he was the oldest Salesian in the Province. For 76 of
those years he was a Salesian of Don Bosco. And over the years many times he
would have to pack his bags and move on to another place, another school or
another parish. He seemed to accept change with peace of mind, ready to be at
God’s service, to work with people young and old and to use his many gifts to
the full. And his gifts were many. Just over two weeks ago it was others who
had, so to speak, pack his bags for him as he set out on the greatest adventure
of all, his journey back to God where everything would be beyond his imagining,
because, as the hymn says, ‘We know not,
no, we know not, what joy awaits us there; what radiance of glory, what bliss
After coming back to Britain Austin had
a brief spell at Battersea…a short stint in Bootle. But for the next 20 years
his scene was again the parish as Assistant Priest: first in Durham…. Then Esh
Winning… and finally in Bollington where he and I would work together at St
Gregory’s for ten years in a very happy and fruitful shared ministry.
has said of Austin: ‘He was difficult to get to know’. Yes, perhaps he was a
‘private person’, but in my ten years with him there was never anything I
needed to know about Austin that I didn’t know. He was extremely generous in
sharing parish ministry, easy to live with, and well accepted by the people. We
prayed and ate together, and Austin himself prepared all our main meals –
excellent meals, showing well developed culinary skills. He even diversified
now and then with a little help from a small library of cookery books inherited
from Joan Houlihan. Table conversation always flowed easily, and we often had a
good laugh together.
always preached well, took part willingly in ‘faith sharing’ and ‘Churches
Together’ events; he initiated voluntary Lectio Divina sessions, willingly gave
instructions to prospective converts. I could never have wished for more.
left Bollington together in 2006 following an unforgettable farewell parish
celebration at Savio House, and we happily joined the community at St Joseph’s.
For some time Austin was able to take full part in community life, took his
turn to lead the community Mass and enjoyed his regular walks in the local
countryside. Any health problems were more than adequately taken care of by the
ever-faithful Sylvia. But a little over five years ago there were changes in
his physical health. He had developed Parkinsons disease and other complex
issues led to admission to hospital, followed by a stay at Darly Court. It
became clear that 24-hour care was needed, and in March 2012 Austin was
transferred to the Care Home of the Little Sisters of the Poor.
confrères from St Joseph’s visited Austin frequently, making sure he had a copy
of ‘The Tablet’ that he always read avidly. It was only gradually that we saw
him becoming less mobile, until, possibly after a fall, his dependency became
more extreme, but at no time did he lose his sharp mental faculties, and he
could surprise you with an unexpected quip. The nursing care of the Little
Sisters and their staff was at all times of the highest quality, and for that
we are most grateful. But as Austin reached a situation of total physical
dependency, there was a very rapid decline, and he finally slipped away
peacefully on Sunday 3rd September. It was the end of a life totally given to
God and to the service of others, making full use of the many gifts that God
had endowed him with.