Freeman's Journal

11 March 1859

  March 6, at the residence of his cousin, Very Rev. Michael LENNON, P.P., Crossmaglen, the Rev. Peter HAMILL, of Boston, America.  Father HAMILL was a native of the parish of Inniskeen, in the diocese of Clogher, where he discharged the duties of a labourious mission in the extensive and populous parish of Pettigo for 13 years, after which, at the request and invitation of several clerical and lay friends he emigrated to America, and commenced his missionary career there under the Right Rev. Doctor FITZPATRICK, the venerable and respected Bishop of Boston, to whom he soon became so endeared that h gave him charge of the church of St. Augustine, south Boston, with a large country district attached, where he laboured with great zeal and effect for nearly nine years, respected by his brethren in the ministry, beloved by the people whom he served.  His labours, at all times great, became overwhelming of late years, owing to the tide of emigration that flowed to that quarter.  His intimate acquaintance with the Irish language, and his kind, humble, and conciliatory manner made him such a favourite with the poor emigrants, that night or day he could scarcely get a moment's rest from his labours.  This unceasing toil at length began to make inroads on a frame that was sound, hardy, active and vigorous.  His friends sae that his constitution was yeilding under the pressure of constant severe work and gradually breaking down, and often requested him to moderate his labours and take to himself a little relaxation, a matter he found impossible to accomplish, as his services were continually in requisition, and he could not refuse the appeals of his poor countrymen until it was too late.  His health became at length so impaired that his phusicians apprised him that he had no chance of recruiting his exhausted energies except by returning to his native country.  At the request of his physicians and friends he consented to do so, and was, for the last few months, seemingly making a steady progress towards recovery, when he got a severe attack of the prevailing influenza, and after an illness of fourteen days he expired, deeply regretted by every one, lay and clerical, who enjoyed the pleasure of his acquaintance.  His death, like his life, was truly edifying.  At the very commencement of his illness he knew it was all over with him as far as this life was concerned, and with devout and pious resignation to the holy will of God, he fortified himself for the last conflict by devoutly receiving the last sacraments of the church he so faithfully served during his life.  He then settled his temporal affairs, and gave himself no further trouble with the affairs of this world.  Having suffered with great patience the pains of his last illness, he calmly resigned his soul into the hands of his Creator, and breathed his last at half past one o'clock, on Sunday, the 6th instant, having waited, as several remarked, until he should have the benefit of the pious prayers that were offered for him by the congregations all around on that day.  Early on Tuesday morning last, numbers of the clergy of the Archdicese of Armagh, and his native diocese, Clogher, notwithstanding the severety of the morning and the circumstances of its being Shrovetide, assembled to pay him the last and tribute of respect.  A solemn office and high mass were chaunted for his repose, after which the remains of the kind, the simple hearted, and good Father HAMILL were deposited at the west side of Virgin's Altar, in the new church of Crossmaglen, in the 50th year of his age, and 25th of his sacred ministry.—May he rest in peace.—Communicated

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