Fr Patrick Casserly, SM, an official of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, died on Thursday, January 2, at the Policlinico Tor Vergata after a prolonged illness. He was 59. Fr Casserly, who coordinated satellite links for international telecasts of ceremonies of the Holy Father at Christmas and during Holy Week and represented the Holy See with the International Catholic Union of the Press and at meetings of the Council of Europe on communications, was a native of Kells in Ireland. He had served as a Marist missionary in Papua-New Guinea and Fiji and as a consultor of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications before becoming a staff member in 1992. He had received the cross, Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice (For the Church and the Pope), in recognition of his work. Father Casserly was a member of the Marist community at Via Cernaia in Rome. He is survived by a sister, Mrs Mary Shannon, of Ireland, and by nephews and nieces. Commenting on the death of Father Casserly, Archbishop John P. Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, said: "Fr Casserly was an outstanding priest, prayerful and dedicated, who brought extensive technical knowledge to his work in communications, joined with a desire to make available to the widest possible audience the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He will be greatly missed." Ged Clapson, former European President of UNDA (the Association of Catholics in Radio and Television told ICN today: "I was deeply shocked and saddened to hear of Fr Patrick's death. He was an invaluable bridge between UNDA and the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, bringing great wisdom, tact and good humour to our meetings and discussions. He was also a kind and generous friend who will be sadly missed." The funeral Mass for Fr Casserly will be celebrated in the Church of Santa Maria del Rosario, Via Cernaia, Rome, tomorrow morning at 10.30. Burial will be in the Marist vault in Campo Verano, Rome. Source: Pontifical Council for Social Communications
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