Gerald (“Gerry”) McNicholas was born on 6 April 1941 in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo. He was educated at Craggagh NS, and St Colman’s College, Claremorris, and came to St Columban’s, Dalgan Park in 1959.
He studied at UCD from 1960 to 1962, completed his studies in theology at Dalgan and was ordained a priest on 21 December 1966.
His first appointment was to post-graduate studies in Rome where he studied Church History. In 1971 he was appointed to Fiji where he served as assistant and later parish priest of Samabula Parish. He also taught Church History at the Pacific Regional Seminary in Suva and served some time as Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Suva.
In late 1976 he was appointed to the Dalgan staff where he initially taught Church History, served as Vice-Rector and later as Rector. In September 1980 he transferred the initial formation to Maynooth, Carlton Court, and in 1985 to Moyglare Road, under Norman Jennings as Rector. He also taught Church History for one year in Maynooth College.
In 1986, Gerry was appointed again to Fiji where he would serve for the following twenty-nine years. During that time he served as Vicar General of the Archdiocese, as Parish Priest of Raiwaqa, besides being involved in the Mission to Seafarers, the Fiji Council of Churches, the Archdiocesan Council of Priests, as adviser to Columban Lay Missionaries and to participants of the Columban First Mission Appointment Programme.
As his health began to deteriorate in Fiji, Gerry returned to the Dalgan Nursing Home in June 2015 where his condition sometimes improved and sometimes deteriorated until he died on 3 October 2022.
Gerry was a dedicated missionary, a talented teacher, and a gentle, pleasant man who served the mission in Fiji with all his many talents.
May he rest in peace.
Recording of the funeral Mass of Fr Gerry McNicholas which took place in Dalgan on 6th October 2022.