Balla and California
Monsignor Gerard Fahey was born in 1927, in Ardboly, Balla, son to Delia and James Fahey, and brother to John, Jimmy, Patrick, Masie and Kathleen, who all predeceased him. From a young age Gerard had a vocation to priesthood, studying in St Jarlath’s, Tuam and All Hallows, Drumcondra.
One of his first duties after ordination was to conduct the marriage of his brother John, and this tradition continued when he presided over the marriages of his two nephews Joseph and Gerard, who also sadly predeceased him.
He is survived by his nephew Frank and grandniece Maria.
After ordination he was a Parochial Vicar in New Zealand for 13 years, until he travelled to the US, where Santa Rosa, California became his home. He was a very innovative priest, always conscious of religious education and the promotion of vocations to priesthood, and was an active director of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, raising funds for missionaries around the world, as well as being a founding pastor of Star of the Valley church in Santa Rosa. His warm hospitable nature made him very popular amongst all his parishioners.
Although he spent the majority of his life in the US, where he met his lifelong friends, the Cutler family, whose enduring friendship remained with him through to his final moments. He never forgot his Irish roots. He travelled home often, and even called one of his residences ‘Baile Álainn’ after his beloved Balla. On occasions when his American friends travelled to Ireland with him he took great pride showing them where he grew up.
Monsignor Gerard was laid to rest in Calvary Catholic Cemetery, Santa Rosa, California on April 8, 2020. RIP.
Due to present circumstances, his funeral was limited in numbers, but was attended by a small number of the friends and colleagues he had so loved. Poignantly, as a tribute to his Irish roots, Danny Boy was sang as he too was called home.
Go bhfanfaidh sé i suaimhneas.