Provost Patrick Lynch of the Clifton Diocese died on Sunday 4 March in Limerick, Ireland. Provost Lynch was born on 13 September 1923 in Limerick. He studied for the Priesthood at St John's Seminary, Waterford, Ireland and in England at St Mary's College, Oscott. His ordination took place at the Pro Cathedral, Clifton, Bristol on 11 July 1948. His first priestly appointment took him to Gloucester in August of 1948 as Curate. He also served as Curate in St Teresa's, Filton; St Peter, Cirencester and St Gerard Majella, Knowle, Bristol. In October 1964 Father Lynch was appointed Priest in Charge of the new parish of St Teresa's, Taunton and in April 1967 moved to the larger St George's Parish in the town. In 1976 he was elected Dean in the newly constituted Taunton Deanery a role he fulfilled until his retirement as Parish Priest in 2000. As Parish Priest of St George's he oversaw the pastoral and spiritual growth of the Catholic community in the expanding town. The Parish of St Teresa's was later left without a resident priest and though served by religious sisters the pastoral and sacramental oversight has been continued from St George's Parish and Father Lynch. He was very active in the field of religious education and served as a member of the Diocesan Schools Commission for many years. In Taunton he collaborated in the establishment of a voluntary aided comprehensive school. In October 1983 Father Lynch was appointed to the Cathedral Chapter and become Canon Lynch. He was elected Provost of the Cathedral Chapter in 1995. Canon Lynch became Monsignor Lynch when he was appointed Prelate of Honour on 13 January 1997 by Pope John II. He continued to live in Taunton following his retirement as Parish Priest of St George's, returning in 2000 to live at St Teresa's whilst spending some of his time in Ireland. The Bishop of Clifton, Right Reverend Declan Lang, paid tribute to Provost Lynch saying: "Monsignor Lynch was one of the great pastoral priests of our diocese combining wisdom, humour and firm but gentle guidance. Many people, including myself are indebted to Monsignor Lynch's example of priestly ministry. He was much loved both by clergy and laity. I am sure he will be remembered in prayer by all. May he now come into the fullness of life with God who called him to serve the Church through ministerial priesthood." Monsignor Lynch's Requiem Mass will be celebrated in the Church of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Patrickswell, Limerick, Ireland today, 6 March at 2pm.
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