Five Manchester priests died in 19 days of flu
To the Editor: The article by John Clayton entitled “Epidemic of Death” 1918 Spanish Flu hit Manchester hard” was both very interesting and informative. What can also be mentioned is the contribution of the Catholic Church, plus the hard work and dedication of her priests during these difficult times.Within a period of 19 days, five priests of the Diocese of Manchester died of the flu, all of them were serving their people:
9/29/1918 — Fr. Francis Mulvanity, Associate Pastor at St. Joseph Cathedral, Manchester
10/2/1918 — Fr. Telesphore Provost, Associate Pastor at St. Aloysius Parish in Nashua
10/5/1918 — Fr. Edward Connor, Associate Pastor at St. Mary Parish in Dover
10/8/1918 — Fr. Daniel Sullivan, Associate Pastor at St. Patrick Parish in Nashua
10/8/1918 — Fr. John Brewin, Pastor at St. Matthew Parish in Plymouth
All five of these priests were young, all of them had been ordained for less than 10 years.
Afterwards, the family of Fr. Francis Mulvanity donated a large crucifix in his memory to be placed over his confessional in the chapel at St. Joseph Cathedral, it is still there.
During the 1918 flu, the people came together and they were served faithfully and well by good and dedicated priests. That is now history! Over 100 years later, the people will still come together and be served by good and dedicated priests. This crisis will pass. The work of the church continues.
Msgr. Richard J. Kelley
St. Patrick Parish, Pelham