Patrick James Carroll was born in Nambour, Queensland, on 14 April 1924. He was the third youngest of the ten children, five boys and five girls, of Patrick William Carroll and Jane McMahon. His grandfather, Matthew Carroll was one of the pioneers of Nambour.
Throughout his entire primary schooling, 1929-1937, he was educated by the Sisters of the Good Samaritan at St Joseph’s, Nambour. Patrick received his secondary education in three different schools: the first year at the Nambour State High School, then a year at Nudgee College in Brisbane and finally at the Convent High School in Nambour.
The following year, 1941 saw Patrick again move to Brisbane where he had the honour of being one of the foundation students to attend Pius XII Provincial Seminary at Banyo. He was to remain there until 1948, the year of his ordination to the priesthood.
On Tuesday, 29 June, 1948, Patrick James Carroll and four of his classmates were ordained priests in the Sacred Heart Cathedral by Bishop Ryan. “The Townsville Catholic News” reported: “The large edifice was overcrowded on this solemn and historic occasion.” Not only was this the largest group to be ordained for the Diocese but Patrick and the other newly ordained priests were amongst the first group ordained from Banyo Seminary.
The newly ordained Father Carroll’s first Mass was at St Columba’s Church, Belgian Gardens, the parish of his brother, Kevin.
The following year he was appointed to the Cathedral and remained there until the end of 1951 when he was appointed Assistant Priest at Bowen. From Bowen he moved to West Townsville where he ministered for four and a half years.
His first appointment as Parish Priest was to Cloncurry in July 1959. Following his time in the west Father Carroll spent ten years in Ayr, firstly as the Parish Priest of Parkside, and then as Administrator of the East Ayr Parish.
After leaving the Burdekin he spent time in Mount Isa, at the Cathedral and Cranbrook.
Ill health, which led to his retirement from active ministry in 1982, also saw him become a very well known and well loved Chaplain at Villa Vincent and Villa McAuley.
In 2005, the need for more specialised medical care, resulted in Patrick James Carroll returning to the Brisbane Archdiocese from which he came. He died on Saturday 13 May 2006. The Funeral Liturgy was held in St Joseph’s Church, Nambour, and eighty-two years after his birth Patrick James Carroll was laid to rest in Nambour, the town of his birth.
During his years as a priest in the Diocese of Townsville Father Patrick Carroll, as well as his parish roles, also acted as Diocesan Chaplain to the YCW, the Townsville General Hospital, the Cursillo, the Charismatic Movement and finally Villa Vincent and Villa McAuley.
Twenty-three of Father Patrick Carroll’s fifty-eight years as a priest were lived at Villa Vincent. During that time he made a tremendous contribution to both Villa Vincent and Villa McAuley. Until recent years he was always available for Mass, Reconciliation and Anointing of the Sick. Every night he would walk around the nursing home to give a blessing to each person.
Since his departure from Villa Vincent in 2005 the residents to whom he ministered have constantly remembered him in prayer.
Father Patrick James Carroll was predeceased by five of his nine siblings. His brother, Kevin, of Townsville, his older sisters, Nell and Josie, and Kathleen, the youngest of the Carroll family, as well as other family members and the priests and people of the Townsville Diocese mourn his passing.
As he has so often prayed for others, we now pray for him:
In sure and certain hope of the resurrection to eternal life
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
we commend to Almighty God our brother Patrick.
In loving memory of Patrick James Carroll
14 April 1924 – 13 May 2006
Priest of the Diocese of Townsville