Obituary to Fr Frances Dolores Healy - first president of the Club  


When Cardinal Bourne agreed to be the patron of the St Francis of Assisi of Assisi Catholic Ramblers Club on its creation in 1930 he appointed the Rector of St Mary Moorfields to be his representative as the Club's President. The rector in post at the time was Fr Frances Healy who had been appointed to the post in 1929 following three years as Headmaster of St Edmund's College, Ware. 


Fr Healy assumed the role of president of the club with energy and enthusiasm and he was revered and respected by the members as he guided it through its early years with his wise advice.


Still a relatively young man Fr Healy was looking forward to celebrating the Silver Jubilee of his ordination in 1933 and club members were contributing to a presentation to be made to him on the occasion. Sadly however He was struck down and died most unexpectedly on Sunday 11 June 1933 and the club suggested that the money which had been collected to put towards a suitable memorial. 


During his life and work at St Ednund's Fr Healy had enjoyed a good press and on his untimely death obituaries were published in the Catholic Herald,Catholic Times and the Universe. In a separate Appreciation in the Catholic Herald mention was made of Fr Healy's middle name "Dolores" when it spoke of "Fr. Healy, rector of Moorfields, and christened Francis Dolores, one of the far too few instances in these Northern lands of ours of a boy being privileged to bear through life Our Blessed Mother's name".


Of the four tributes published the week after his death the obituary in the Catholic Times made most reference to Fr Healy's work with the St Francis of Assisi Catholic Rambler's Club and on another page it carried an announcement submitted by the Club. Both the Obituary and the Club's notice can be read by clicking HERE. A month after his death the Catholic Herald carried a report of the Month's Mind "Missa Cantata" which was arranged by the club and was sung by the new rector and President Fr Bernard Hyde.


As we approach the 90th Anniversary of the Club's foundation I'm sure we will never cease to be grateful for the seminal work undertaken by Fr Healy in the early year's of the club's life, little knowing that they would be the last year's of his own life. May he rest in peace.