Fr Austin Malloy RIP


On 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 beyond compare.’

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.

Someone 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.

Austin 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.

We 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.

The 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.

Excerpt from euology by Fr Robert Coope SDB