Yesterday was the anniversary of Canon Michael Joseph Fahy, Parish Priest of St. Serf’s from 1929 – 1946. Canon Fahy was born on 19th March 1891 at Claremorris, Co. Mayo and was ordained priest for the Diocese of Dunkeld on 29th June 1915 by Bishop John Toner. Canon Fahy spent fourteen years as a curate at St. Patrick’s, Dundee before coming to High Valleyfield as Parish Priest in 1929.
During Canon Fahy’s time in St. Serf’s, the parish experienced the Valleyfield Pit disaster in 1939. According to the Dunkeld Diocesan Directory from 1947: “In the Valleyfield colliery disaster of 1939, in which 40 miners lost their lives, Canon Fahy won golden opinions for his leadership in the tragic emergency. Among the first to reach the pit-head on the morning of the disaster he displayed a courage and heroism which will long make his name a grateful memory with the people of Valleyfield and district.
News of his illness broke among his people two weeks before the fatal day, when he was removed to a nursing home in Dunfermline to undergo and operation. His death came as a shattering blow. Solemn Requiem Mass was offered in St. Serf’s by Fr. James Malaney with Fr. Patrick O’Donohoe (Alloa) and Fr. Kevin Smyth (St. Joseph’s, Dundee) as deacon and sub-deacon respectively. His Lordship Bishop Scanlan, co-adjutor of Dunkeld, presided and gave the general Absolutions in the church and at the graveside.”
Canon Fahy is buried in Culross Cemetery, and after Mass this morning, which was offered for the repose of his soul, I visited his grave to pray for him.