An Irish priest who was credited for designing several churches in the southern Philippines died on November 23, the feast of St. Columban.
Father Desmond Morrison died at the Manila Doctors Hospital at about 7 a.m. At 97, he was the oldest Columban priest in the Philippines at the time of his death.
Born in Ireland’s northern city of Derry, Father Desmond was an engineer by profession before he was ordained priest in 1951. He arrived in the Philippines in 1956.
For some years, he was engaged in designing a number of churches in Columban mission areas in Mindanao. Among his designs was the Immaculate Conception Cathedral in Ozamiz City.
From the 1960s, he went into parish work in the Archdiocese of Ozamiz and the dioceses of Iligan and Pagadian.
His advocacy in Natural Family Planning started in 1972 and, as the years went by, became more and more involved in the ministry.
The Columban mission in the Philippines started in 1929 when three of its missionaries arrived in the country in response to urgent pleas for priests.
Over the next 10 years, more Columbans were sent to take over vast areas on the islands of Luzon and Mindanao.