Fr Maurice Spillane

Fr Maurice Spillane

Birth
County Kerry, Ireland
Death 26 Dec 1992 (aged 78)
Burial Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, USA
Memorial ID 126411438 · View Source
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Father Maurice Spillane's love for Ireland was evident when he frequently described - with a thick, melodious brogue - the beauty of his native country. Spillane was born in 1914 in County Kerry, Ireland, son of the late Mary and Thomas Spillane. He pursued a degree in civil engineering but decided his life would be better served as a priest.
He studied at the Pontifical Lateran University in Rome, where all lectures were delivered in Latin or Italian. The exposure gave Spillane command of these languages, in addition to his native Gaelic and English.
Spillane was ordained to priesthood for the Diocese of Raleigh on April 4, 1942, in St. John Lateran Basilica in Rome and then returned to Ireland. His trip was difficult because World War II was raging. He traveled through France, Spain and Lisbon, Portugal, where he sat in an airport for three weeks while waiting for a flight.
Upon his return, Spillane studied Canon Law (the liturgical law of the Catholic Church) and received a Master's Degree at Maynooth University in Ireland.
He then traveled to North Carolina where he began his mission to instill in the people the love of God and love for each other. He left his mark on many communities in the state from east to west, leaving behind a rash of new buildings, major renovations and solvent parishes.
In 1963..., "Fr. Spillane came to St. Peter's from Mount Airy with a brogue that could be cut with a knife. In a few months though, the 389 members of the parish became accustomed to the language of County Kerry. During Father Spillane's tenure, the Voice of America selected Greenville as a location for their transmission stations. The first people to arrive with Voice of America were electricians, carpenters, plumbers, and an architect, headed by Max Swaboda. Father Spillane organized a Men's Club which was made up of these generous and talented people. He also organized a Women's Club who provided the parish with funds for many of the changes that occurred..... Father Spillane loved the children in the school and almost everyday could be seen doing lunch hour duty on the playground. It was also during this time that Burroughs Wellcome located a major plant in Greenville. This occurred in 1970. This caused the parish to grow significantly as many of the employees of the newly opened plant were Catholic. In 1976, Father Spillane was transferred to Saint Paul's in New Bern and Father J. Paul Byron arrived to become the new pastor for 565 parishioners."
- From "Saint Peter's Catholic Church: Dedication, pp 20-21, March 13, 1991.


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  • Maintained by: T B. Shutterbug
  • Originally Created by: Grave Wanderer
  • Added: 15 Mar 2014
  • Find A Grave Memorial 126411438
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Fr Maurice Spillane (21 Oct 1914–26 Dec 1992), Find A Grave Memorial no. 126411438, citing Belmont Abbey Cemetery, Belmont, Gaston County, North Carolina, USA ; Maintained by T B. Shutterbug (contributor 48476739) .