In Remembrance

Kilbride, Fintan

kilbridefDecember 21, 2006
Toronto, ON

Fintan died most peacefully with his loving wife at his side. Born March 18, 1927, in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland, Fintan grew up in Clonmel, County Tipperary. He was predeceased by his parents, Bernard Joseph and Anne Ledwith Kilbride, and by his sister, Nuala Waters (Frank). Married to Kenise Murphy Kilbride since 1973, Fintan also leaves his daughters Siobhan Kilbride and Ciara Kilbride Amaral and son-in-law Nelson Amaral, grandchildren Declan and Rhianne, brothers (Rev.) Brian, Aidan (Mary), Kevin (Ita), and (Rev.) Malachy, sisters Dympna Bevan and Louise Jennings (George), his many devoted cousins, relatives by marriage, and friends from Rotary, Solidarity-Haiti, OECTA, Free the Children, and others who benefited from his warm-hearted and tireless commitment to justice for the poor in Haiti, Nicaragua, Jamaica, and Africa.

Fintan entered the Congregation of the Holy Spirit in 1944 and taught in Trinidad and Eastern Nigeria. Before being expelled from Nigeria in 1970 at the end of the Biafran War, Fintan had built a hospital and taught in six high schools, three of which he had also built. In Canada he taught at Neil McNeil High School from 1975 to 1992 and created Students Crossing Borders, originally an international cooperative education program he had started to introduce students to the realities of living and working in less developed countries, and to the responsibilities that privilege brings. Recipient of the Francis Libermann award for outstanding service as a Spritan, the Marian Tyrrell award for promoting social justice as a teacher, and the Lewis Perinbam award for international development, Fintan nevertheless prized most the numerous letters from former students and others that bespoke their new conviction that they too could and would 'make a difference' on behalf of the children of the poor. Fintan's Irish charm and wit, his loving outreach to new friends and old, his abiding interest in the young and their hopes - but probably not his devastating prowess in racquet sports - will be grievously missed.

Published in the Toronto Star (Dec. 23/06).




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