View Record Number 875

View Record Number 875 - Fr. Donald MacKay

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Name:Fr. Donald MacKay
South Uist
Place of death:Drimnin, Argyll
Date of funeral:07/01/1886
Additional Info:Fr. Donald MacKay was born at Frobost, South Uist in 1804. He died in Drimnin, Argyllshire in 1886 and was laid to rest in Hallan. His grave is located in one of the oldest parts of the cemetery.
The following was taken from the book “Catholic Highlands of Scotland”, published 1917 by Odo Blundell, O.S.B., F.S.A. Edinburgh.
"Fr. Donald MacKay entered the seminary of Lismore in 1823 at the age of 19, and the following year was sent to Propaganda, where he had a most distinguished course, gaining numerous medals. He was ordained in 1833, and had charge of the Lesser Isles from 1834 to 1842 (he was to continue to labour for over fifty years in the Highlands). Thence he was sent to North Morar, where he spent twenty-eight years, and seventeen of those were also in charge of Knoydart. In 1871 he went to Drimnin, where he remained till his death in 1886. In the December of the previous year the illness from which he suffered took so serious a turn that the last rites of the Church were administered to him. His patience, resignation and childlike piety were all along truly edifying. He lingered for some days, comforted by the presence of his Bishop, who stayed with him for a week, and gave him Holy Communion daily. On the morning of 4th January he peacefully expired. His body, which was sent, at his own request, to his native place for burial, was conveyed by steamer to Lochboisdale, where it was received by the priests of Daliburgh and Bornish, and interred in Hallan Cemetery, Daliburgh. Fr Mackay was a man of sterling piety and exceptionally lively faith. In disposition he was kindly, affable and cheerful. He was reputed a good Hebrew scholar, spoke Latin with grace and fluency, and to the end wrote Italian remarkably well. He was a thorough master of Gaelic and a powerful preacher in the language (Directory, 1888). The varied accomplishments of this most worthy priest remind one of the saying of Bishop Nicolson that the Catholic Highlanders "were of very lively spirits and were wonderfully successful when they had a little education." The same has indeed been remarked time after time when students from the Highlands came in competition with others in the colleges abroad."
May he rest in peace.
His death record can be viewed at the link below.
Lair Number:640
Gravestone Inscription:In Memory Of
Rev. Fr. Donald MacKay
1804 - 1887
Parish Priest of Morar and Drimmin
"Solus Siorraidh Dha"
Additional Grave Info:When translated from Gaelic the inscription means "Eternal Rest Grant Unto Him"
The new gravestone was erected by relatives Angus MacDonald, Annie MacDonald and the late Dolina MacKay of Kilphedar, South Uist in May 2011.

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View funeral documents/additional information of Fr. Donald MacKay (PDF)