I have a feeling that Canon Fitzpatrick was able to make that claim for himself at the Great Tribunal. His soul went to that inevitable Examination from his Presbytery of St. Peter-in-Chains, Ardrossan, on January 6th, 1952. He was a Mayo man: Foxford, in that county was his birthplace. Born there in 1888, he had his secondary education in the Diocesan Seminary of St. Jarlath's, Tuam. He spent a few months in the Missionary College of All Hallows, Dublin; and then, casting in his lot with the Archdiocese of Glasgow, he came to St. Peter's College, New Kilpatrick, in the late autumn of 1908. The honest day's work I have referred to began in that College, and began at once. He had but a single purpose - to make himself as competent as possible for the life he had chosen. He studied hard; he prayed hard. It was not always easy. He was temperamental and excitable; his nervous nature prevented him from doing justice to his abilities; at times like examination days he suffered acutely because of it. This handicap remained with him to the end. It was particularly evident when he was in unfamiliar company; frequently he essayed to disguise it, and these efforts were the explanation of a certain boisterous exuberance that must have been enigmatic to those who knew him not.
He was ordained to the Priesthood in St. Andrew's Cathedral, Clyde Street, on June 28th, 1914. The late Rector of St. Peter's, the Right Reverend Monsignor Henry Forbes, put three ideals constantly before the students of that generation: he would have them respectful to authority, meticulous in punctuality, organised in their private prayers. Father Fitzpatrick gave continued edification in all three. His one and only curacy - at St. Joseph's, Tollcross - lasted for nineteen years. As a Pastor, he began in Strathaven. Subsequently, he had charge of the missions at Dalry, Kilwinning and Kilbirnie; and finally he went to Ardrossan.
He was a wise administrator. With the patrimony of the Church he was scrupulously exact; with his private means - which were at one time considerable - he was secretly and liberally charitable. He did not read widely. Contemporary literature and fiction had but small appeal for him - but not so the sacred and ecclesiastical sciences. To the pursuit of these he gave his mental activity, and he always had some problem to discuss and elucidate with his brother priests. In the parishes he laboured in, he will long be remembered for his conscientious, painstaking and regular visitation. He put this task high amongst his priestly duties; in it he never lost his first fervour. He was going round the houses of Ardrossan during the last year of his life with the same interest and enthusiasm he had shown in St. Joseph's, Tollcross, when this century was young.
the month of November, 1951, he was elected to the Chapter of the Diocese of Galloway.
He was never installed; that most menacing of modern ailments, thrombosis, intervened
and took his life. What his reactions to the honour were, it is difficult to say.
Perhaps he welcomed it; perhaps it embarrassed him
but this discerning
gesture from the Galloway Diocese gave considerable satisfaction to his former
colleagues of the old Archdiocese. May he rest in peace.
The obituary below is from the Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald, 13 January 1952.
The Very Rev. Canon P. Fitzpatrick
With the death of the Very Rev. Canon P. Fitzpatrick, which occurred suddenly on Sunday night at St. Peter's Presbytery, the Catholic community in Ardrossan suffered not only the very great loss of a beloved enthusiastic leader but the loss of a very dear friend and one who was always consistent and regular in his ministrations to his flock.
Although he had been in failing health for some time past, Canon Fitzpatrick insisted on leaving his sick-bed to carry out his various presbyterial duties and the sudden news of his passing came as a very great shock not only to his parishioners, by whom he was greatly loved and esteemed, but to his many friends in Ardrossan and elsewhere. He celebrated Mass on Sunday last in Ardrossan Convent and on Christmas Eve he took part as Deacon in the midnight Mass in St. Peter-in-Chains. He was a man of exemplary fidelity who possessed outstanding qualities of piety and zeal.
native of County Mayo, he gave rich and valuable service to his Church. He received
his classical and secondary education in the West of Ireland and he completed
his philosophical and theological courses at St. Peter's College, Bearsden, where
he was ordained priest in 1914.
He was first appointed to a curacy at St. Joseph's, Tollcross, where he served for 19 years, and subsequently he was appointed to his first charge as Parish Priest of Strathaven. Later, he served successively as Parish Priest of St. Palladius, Dalry; St. Winin's, Kilwinning; and St. Brigit's, Kilbirnie, before being appointed to the charge of St. Peter-in-Chains after the death of the Right Rev. Monsignor A. McSparran.
In November of last year he was appointed a Canon of the Cathedral Chapter of the Diocese of Galloway by His Lordship Bishop Mellon - a distinguished honour which gave great satisfaction and pleasure to a very wide circle of friends.
During his life, Canon Fitzpatrick took a keen interest in educational work. At various periods he served on the Education Sub-Committees for Nos. 8 and 10 Areas and at the time of his death was the representative for the Central School, Ardrossan, on No. 9 Area Education Sub-Committee.
The high esteem and regard in which Canon Fitzpatrick was held was reflected by the large concourse of mourners who attended his funeral on Wednesday to Ardrossan Cemetery.
Prior to the funeral a large congregation attended Solemn Requiem Mass in St. Peter's Church to which his coffin had been taken on Tuesday from St. Peter's Presbytery.
During the Mass small groups of people, despite the wintry conditions, gathered in the vicinity of the church to pay their last respects to a beloved Parish Priest and many more were at the cemetery to await the arrival of the cortege.
At the Solemn Requiem Mass the Very Rev. Canon O'Rourke, P.P. Knightswood, was Celebrant and the Rev. Father Ash, P.P. Blantyre, was Deacon. The Rev. Father Lowrey, P.P. Balornock was Sub-Deacon and the M.C. was the Rev. Father Matthews of Saltcoats.
His Lordship Bishop Mellon of Galloway Diocese and His Lordship Bishop Black, of Paisley, were present in the Sanctuary as were also many dignatories and clergymen and relatives of Canon Fitzpatrick.
Bishop Mellon performed the absolution ceremony at the close of Mass and Bishop Black presided at the graveside.
The panegyric was preached by the Very Rev. Canon McQuillan who spoke of the very fine qualities, both spiritual and temporal, possessed by the late Canon Fitzpatrick.
The Clergymen taking part in the Mass robed in the premises of the local Unionist Club.