John Leahy donates statue of St. Patrick


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— Former Chester resident John Leahy donated a handsome statue of St. Patrick to St. Columba Roman Catholic Church earlier this year. The statue arrived in February and the pastor, Father John Bonnici, had it placed near the altar for St. Patrick’s Day. It now has a place of honor in the side chapel.

Leahy suffered two tragedies in 1994. His first wife, Teresa, died and, only months later, his daughter Patricia died in an accident. Both are buried in St. Columba cemetery.

Originally Leahy donated a statue of St. Patrick in memory of the deceased members of the Leahy family to his home parish, St. Anastasia Catholic Church in St. Augustine, Fla., where he now lives. But then he thought, well, the family burial ground was here in Chester, and St. Columba was from Ireland, as was Leahy. So he decided to donate one to St. Columba as well.

He had planned on the statue for years and wanted to obtain one from Ireland. However, he was unable to do so. Finally a neighbor in Florida told him he could get a statue made in Spain. He had the statue hand-made there and waited three months for it to be completed. He said he is pleased with the fine workmanship, and the parishioners are pleased as well.

For more about Leahy, and his fight to gain recognition for Irishmen killed while serving the United States in the Korean War, please see page 1.

By Ginny Privitar

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