The “selfless leader” buried

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Mourners described the Reverend Patrick Naughton as a “selfless” man who devoted his time to the development of young people. PHOTO: provided

A selfless man who has dedicated his life to the development of young people. This is how the Reverend Patrick Naughton, former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP) in Green Point, will be remembered.

Naughton (81), who stepped down as CEO late last year, died on Wednesday March 23. He was diagnosed with terminal cancer in January this year.

Naughton was born in Ireland and came to South Africa in 1960 where he served young people in South Africa for over 60 years.

He did his novitiate in Clonlea, Ireland in 1960, made his perpetual profession in 1966 and was ordained in 1971.

He was appointed assistant principal of Savio College soon after and taught mathematics and accounting. In 1978, he became parish priest of Lansdowne. He then joined the Salesian Institute in 1980 as an innkeeper.

Naughton then served as rector in the communities of Daleside and Lansdowne for six years each, until he was appointed Provincial Superior for Southern Africa (AFM) for six years until 2001, when he returned to the Salesian Institute as rector and started the missionary office for the AFM. Province.

Since 2001 he has directed the Youth Projects of the Salesian Institute as General Director.

Frieda Pehlivan, communications manager at SIYP, describes the late priest as a “selfless human being” passionate about the development of vulnerable children and youth at risk.

“He launched the NEET employability program at SIYP and a pilot program started last year. It was one of the programs he was not going to give up. We had no funding for that program, and it didn’t stop. He was knocking on people’s doors, he was adamant that this program was going to happen.

Pehlivan says her determination was inspiring.

“It was Father Pat, he never gave up. If he had a vision, he realized it. Youth development was his passion, his vision, his life and his legacy and he worked 100% on it. He never panicked.

“Even during the time when we had to lay people off and almost closed, he held his head up and found solutions to keep it open.”

Naughton handed over the CEO position of SIYP to the Reverend Francois Dufour late last year.

Dufour says, “These are big shoes to fill, but with the support of the SIYP leadership team, staff and board, I am committed to building on Father Pat’s legacy in continuing to focus on developing the skills of young people and young people living on the margins of society.”

Pehlivan says that although they knew Naughton was ill, his death came as a shock.

“The idea was that he would retire at the end of last year, which he did, he passed the baton to Father Francois and then he would have mentored him over the next few years, but unfortunately this did not happen.. May God grant his soul eternal peace.

The priest was buried on Wednesday March 30. PHOTO: provided

Naughton’s funeral took place on Wednesday 30 March at Our Lady Help of Christians in Lansdowne Cape Town, with the celebrant presided over by His Grace Stephen Brislin, Archbishop of Cape Town, where family, friends and the Salesian community made their farewell.

“His passing will leave a huge void in the Salesian Institute and the Salesian Institute Youth Projects, as well as in the Salesian community, but his legacy will live on in the work to which he dedicated his life with so much passion and devotion. altruism,” concluded Pehlivan.

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