Obituary: The Right Rev Kevin Rafferty

Kevin Rafferty was one of the last Roman Catholic priests to be raised for the Scottish priesthood in Ireland, at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny. This tradition has persisted since St Kieran's opened in 1782, the first seminary to be founded in Ireland after the end of the Penal Laws which restricted Roman Catholic religious practice.

Born in Garvagh, Co Derry, in 1933, Rafferty received his secondary education at St Col-umb's College, Derry, before studying for the priesthood. He was ordained priest in 1957 for the Archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh in St Mary's Cathedral, Kilkenny.

Rafferty was born into a family noted for its work for the Church. He had three cousins who were priests, two in Derry Diocese and one a Columban Father serving abroad, and a niece in religious life. He was a distant relative of Bishop Bernard O'Kane of Derry, the noted theologian and Classics scholar, who is also remembered for his work in pioneering radio and his acquaintance with Marconi.

For 30 years after his ordination, Rafferty served successively in Linlithgow (1957-67), Dalkeith (1967-77) and North Berwick (1977-86). In 1989 he was appointed Vicar-General of the archdiocese of St Andrews and Edinburgh, and the following year Auxiliary Bishop.

With the appointment of myself, a native of Ballycastle, Co Antrim, as Archbishop to St Andrews and Edinburgh in 1985, Cardinal Manning's recommendation to Rome in the mid-1860s that no Irish priest should ever be appointed to a Scottish diocese had at last been broken. Manning had been appointed Apostolic Visitor to the Western District of Scotland by Propaganda Fide when a schism was threatened between the Highland Catholics and Irish immigrant Catholics. It was an added joy five years later when the Auxiliary Bishop was named as Bishop Kevin Rafferty.

Kevin Rafferty was ever cool, calm, collected; he had a great grasp of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council and all it entails, was tolerant and believed that the Lord is looking after the Church, whatever human failings there may be.

Although Assistant Bishop, Rafferty remained an active priest in the parish of Saints John Cantius and Nicholas, Broxburn. His pastoral care was recognised by his brother bishops in the Scottish Episcopal Conference. He held appointments as Scottish National President of the Commission for Pastoral and Social Care and as national Spiritual Director of the St Vincent de Paul Society.

One of his annual delights was taking part in both the Archdiocesan Pilgrimage to Lourdes and the Easter pilgrimage with the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust - at which he assisted as recently as Easter Week. When asked about being a working chaplain with this pilgrimage, he simply replied: "It is what I want to do. I am a priest."

=Keith Patrick O'Brien

Kevin Lawrence Rafferty, priest: born Garvagh, Co Derry 24 June 1933; ordained priest 1957; Titular Bishop of Ausuaga and Bishop Auxiliary to Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh 1990-96; died Livingston, West Lothian 19 April 1996.

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Head of Marketing and Communications - London - up to £80,000

£70000 - £80000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group Head of Marketing and Communic...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: Level 3 Nursery Nurse required for ...

Nursery Nurse

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: L3 Nursery Nurses urgently required...

SEN Teaching Assistant

Negotiable: Randstad Education Manchester: We have a number of schools based S...

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments