Fr William Rafferty RIP


Depart This Life Monday 25th May 2009

89-year old

3rd May 1920 - 25th May 2009

Father William Rafferty - a priest well known across the entire Diocese of Derry - died peacefully at his home in Moville after a long illness.
Known to some as “Fr Bill Raff”, he was born on May 3, 1920 in Kilrea, Co. Derry.

Father Rafferty was educated at Swatragh Primary School and St. Columb’s College, Derry, after which he moved to St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth, and was ordained as priest for the Diocese of Derry on June 17, 1945.

After ordination, he went on loan for two years to the Diocese of Salford (Manchester area). On his return, he served as Curate for one year in Greencastle and Rouskey, Co Tyrone.

In 1949, he served for a brief period as Chaplain to Nazareth House, Derry before becoming Curate in Moville where he served for ten years. In 1959, he was appointed as Curate to Long Tower, Derry, and, in 1974, he was appointed Adm. Long Tower, a position he held for two years.

In 1976, he was appointed as the first Parish Priest of the then new parish of Urney and Castlefin.

On retiring as Parish Priest in 1995, he served for a number of years as Curate in Lifford until poor health forced him to retire from parish work.

In retirement, he moved to Moville where he remained until his death.

Despite poor health and total loss of sight, he had many visitors calling for advice and guidance on spiritual matters.

Throughout his life as a priest, he was very active in the Charismatic Renewal Movement and other prayer groups in the Diocese.

Requiem Mass and burial will take place in St Columb’s Church, Doneyloop,

on Wednesday 27/05/09 at 12 noon.

He achieved much for this parish, Urney and Castlefin; here are just some of his structural achievements as parish priest: 

Renovations to St Columb’s Church, Doneyloop.

New Church in Castlefin, St Mary’s.

New School - St. Safans NS.

New Community Centre, Doneyloop.

New Parochial House, Doneyloop.

Extension to the graveyard.

New Car Park.

And much more…