Priest who served Malmesbury for decades is mourned
Hundreds of people are expected to attend the funeral tomorrow (Thursday) of much-loved priest George O’Sullivan, who served in Malmesbury for several decades.
The funeral for Father O’Sullivan of St Aldhelm Church, Cross Hayes, will be held at 11am, although space will be limited so people are advised to arrive early.
A spokesman from St Aldhelm Church, who preferred to speak on behalf of all parishioners, said: “He was much-loved here.
“He was a character with an Irish sense of humour. He worked very hard and had been here for nearly 50 years, with a short break. He is very much missed by us all.”
Fr O’Sullivan, 83, was appointed parish priest of Malmesbury in the late 1960s/early 1970s. In 1984 he was appointed parish priest in Yeovil and in 1988 he returned to Malmesbury.
A spokesman for the Clifton Diocese said: “Fr George truly loved Malmesbury and the people loved him. Nevertheless, he never stopped being a Cork man.
“He loved rugby, following his beloved Munster, and enjoyed a good western too.
“Fr George always showed hospitality and would cook wonderful meals.
“He could also be a bit of a tease and would sometimes use the method to bring home some important messages.
“Above all he was a devoted parish priest who sought to be holy and lead others along that same path.”
Town councillor Andrew Woodcock has known Fr O’Sullivan since moving to the area in 1972.
“Fr George got on very well with people; he had a great sense of humour,” said Coun Woodcock, a governor of St Joseph’s School for 13 years.
“I know the school was very impressed by him.
“He had been ill for a long time and you could see the pain and suffering he was going through, but he carried on and conducted his service.
“There was a man who, irrespective of his own health, was determined to carry on with his duties and I think that says a lot about what type of person he was.”
Fr O’Sullivan, who had cancer, died on Thursday, August 22.
Donations at the service are welcome and should be made to The Missionaries of Francis De Sales, c/o Matthews Funeral Directors, Malmesbury.
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