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Calls for Co Limerick-born priest to be beatified

By Sean Ryan - 26 April, 2015

Fr Liam Hayes with Mary McAleeseAn Argentinean bishop is leading calls for the beatification of a Co Limerick-born priest.

Bishop Damian Bitar has lead calls for the beatification of Fr Liam Hayes SVD from Cappamore who passed away last December aged 65.

Fr Hayes dedicated his life to the service of the poor in Obera where he set up the Cheshire Homes for children and adults with severe physical and intellectual disabilities as well as a hospice for the dying.

A champion fundraiser, Fr Liam who was a member of the Divine Word Missionaries, raised millions to build and fund the St Teresa’s Cheshire Homes.

Speaking this week to CatholicIreland.net, John Hayes brother of Fr Liam revealed that he spent six weeks in Argentina after Fr Liam died.

“There is a push for Liam to be beatified led by the Bishop of Obera. It is because people went to the bishop with stories relating to Fr Liam. They want people whose lives he touched to come forward. They had so much even at the time of his death, the Bishop insisted on it.”

The brother of the Irish missionary explained that there had been a lot of articles written in Argentina about the calls for beatification.

“One Sunday evening when Liam was sick, a man travelled around 400kms to see him. Liam, was unconscious but the man gave three hours sitting in the room with him. He sent out a message on Facebook to say a prayer for Fr Liam and it got 38,000 hits in 24 hours.”

Fr Liam died on 7 December and was buried in a bible garden on the grounds of the homes that he was building in Misiones.

According to John, “There is a Mass at his grave now on the seventh day of every month.

There is an altar beside his tomb and crowds are getting bigger and bigger.

“There could be a few hundred at it and it is growing and growing the whole time,” he said.

His family now plan to take part in the Great Limerick run on Sunday 3 May in Fr Liam’s memory.

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