Patrick Anthony McCrave, a native of Dundalk was the eldest of seven children, two boys and five girls. Three of his sisters joined missionary congregations. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and whilst at school, he took an evening job as a shop assistant. It is said that he almost lived in St. Joseph’s Dundalk. He served as an altarboy and learned the rudiments of a sacristan under the watchful eyes of Brother Bergmans and the prince of sacristans, Brother Bernard. He joined the Redemptorists as a brother at the age of 17. He did his pre-novitiate training in Esker followed by a two year novitiate in Dundalk. He was professed on 31st May 1955 and appointed to Mount St. Alphonsus in Limerick. In 1958 he was appointed to Cluain Mhuire, Galway and subsequently moved back to Dundalk as a sacristan. In the following years he spent time in Limerick, in St.Clement’s Retreat House, Belfast, in Cluain Mhuire in charge of the postulants and in Marianella. Then he spent 15 years in Rome. While in Rome, he was in the communications office and travelled the world attending General Chapters. He often spoke of his journeys and the confreres he met worldwide.
Br. Anthony was a quiet, hardworking confrere, always ready and willing to have a chat and help others. He made friends easily. Br. Anthony , like most of the brothers, lived and worked in the community and in the adjoining churches unlike many of the priests who would be away a lot giving retreats and missions. So Anthony was a stable, reliable presence in the community. He has been described as a ‘stability zone’, ‘an anchor’, ‘a firm foundation’, providing a mother’s touch at times and at other times a challenging but caring father’s touch. In addition, Anthony developed the capacity to keep the confreres of the province informed of up to date news of confreres and their families.
He will be sorely missed by his family, his confreres and friends.
May his gentle soul rest in peace