Obituary - Fr Sean Melody

Fr Sean was born on 1/8/1947 to parents Lil and Paddy Melody, the third of four children, David, Pat and Maura being his three siblings.

He grew up in Ballymacarbry, enjoying the company of many people of the area along with those who frequented the family’s public house and pony trekking business. It was here he developed his love for music, inspired by the local priest Fr Bracken who formed and tutored a ceili band of which Fr Sean played the keyboard. Indeed music was to play a huge role throughout his priestly life .

School at Bennetts Church and the High school, Clonmel were followed by studies in Science and Theology at Maynooth. Fr Sean was ordained on 20th June 1971 at Sts Peter and Paul Church, Clonmel and celebrated his first Mass in his native parish, Four Mile Water on June 21st 1971.

A great variety of appointments were to follow: Post graduate Studies in Theology, Chaplain at the Regional Technical College (now WIT), Studies in Education at Strawberry Hill, London. After his return to Waterford, he was given two part time appointments- Director of Religious Education in the Diocese and Chaplain to De La Salle College. Fr Sean continued in this role for eighteen years, spending the school summer holidays working in parishes in California, where he gained a large circle of friends

In 1993, he was appointed director of the Catholic Communications Institute – Veritas, serving in this role until 2000. This involved living in Dublin, but most weekends he returned south to his beloved Waterford. His term in Veritas was followed by a sabbatical year, which Fr Sean spent studying in Berkley, California.

In 2001, Fr Sean was appointed parish priest of the only parish he would serve in, the Sacred Heart Parish. This is where he really felt at home. He always spoke with great kindness and admiration for the wonderful people of this parish and thoroughly enjoyed his time here, working with tremendous diligence for the good of all the people of the parish. His ability to preach in ordinary language while conveying a powerful message was endless  and he never failed to grasp the attention of his parishioners. No matter what occasion presented itself, Fr Sean always had the right words at the right time. He was glad to be able to celebrate Mass in the parish church, albeit with great difficulty, right up to three days before he died.

Fr Sean had a great passion for everything he did in life, he simply loved life. He gave 100% of himself to his work always available night or day. He was also gifted with an extraordinary knowledge and interest in business and an incredible energy to achieve all that he sought in his priestly ministry. Possibly his greatest skill was in gathering people round him and instilling in them his own enthusiasm and drive for perfection in each and every task that was being performed.

He was equally committed to his social interests- director of school musicals in De La Salle, a keen golfer, a passionate Deise supporter, a source of infinite knowledge on all aspects of horse racing.  He worked unceasingly but he also enjoyed his “down time” with family and friends.

Fr Sean passed away peacefully at his parish home, the Folly on Friday May 22nd 2015. He had fought a stubborn but patient battle with his illness for the last four years of his life. He was fiercely independent and lived at home to the very end. This was possible thanks to Waterford Hospice Home Care team, The Renal Department at University Hospital, Waterford, Solas and a few very special friends who cared for him during his difficult journey

Sean was laid to rest in the grounds of the Sacred Heart Parish on May 26th, 2015, his grave, by his own request is  marked only by a plaque on the wall above.