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Fr. David Colum 
Ogilvie-Forbes
1904 - 1985


Fr. David Colum 
Ogilvie-Forbes
, O.S.B. Ampleforth. (Dom John David Ogilvie-Forbes) CV | Source | Index DAVID OGILVIE-FORBES Born: 22 May 1904 died: 23 Feb 1985 Clothed - 30 Oct 1923 Solemn Vows- 1 Jan 1928 Priest - 24 Jul 1932 Fr David was born at Fraserburgh on 22 May, 1904, was for a time at school with the Ursulines in what became St Benet's Hall and came to Ampleforth College in 1917. As a boy he was appreciated by all as a friendly person. He took a full part in sporting activity, being a member of the Rugby XV and a Whipper in for the Hunt. In 1923 he was clothed in the monastic habit. As a young monk he judged himself to be of too pliable a nature and rapidly developed a remarkable degree of inner determination, yet without losing his former pleasant exterior. This combination of qualities remained with him all his life: where others had good ideas he translated his into action. He made so strong an impression of his personal commitment on others that on one occasion at Chapter of Faults, when he confessed to having broken not only a plate but the monastic silence, Abbot Smith said in the hearing of all, 'I don't believe it!' Although not of particularly academic gifts he was sent to St Benet's Hall in 1926 to spend the next six years in Oxford. First he gained the BA in the Honour School of Modern History. History was and remained an interest - he had an article in the Journal on the early period of Rievaulx Abbey. He then studied with the Dominicans at Blackfriars for three years, receiving there the thorough theological formation which remained a major guiding element in his subsequent apostolate. He was appreciative of this, and especially of what he had learnt from the Regent of Studies, Fr Luke WaIker who lectured in Scripture, having himself been a pupil of PŠere Lagrange at l'‚Ecole biblique in Jerusalem. Fr David had taken solemn vows in 1928 and on returning to the Abbey in 1932 after his Oxford courses he was ordained priest. Losing no time he was pressing for the introduction of the Scouts into Ampleforth College and despite difficulties brought about what soon became a recognised feature of College life. He proved to be one of the most dynamic monks on the Staff with a reputation for holiness recognised by all including boys, some of whom included him in their short list when they speculated fancifully on who the next abbot might be. A potent factor in his profound spirituality was his devotion to Our Lady, with an unqualified acceptance of the strong Marian doctrine of Louis Marie Grignon de Montforts's 'La vraie D‚evotion'. Was this something owed as much to his family back-ground as to his monastic formation? In 1935 he was appointed Novice Master and in this role he displayed all his characteristic qualities. He was, in the opinion of one novice of that time 'a truly great and holy monk' and Cardinal Basil Hume, also one of his novices, has said that although he was strict he showed that he cared deeply for each of them. He drove himself hard in these years and more than once had a period of ill health. In 1942 he was sent to St Benedict's, Warrington for six months rest and stayed there 27 years, becoming Head Priest in 1952. This was the time of his greatest apostolate, still spoken of by parishioners as 'the great days' of the parish. It was also the principal period of his work with the Young Christian Workers, both locally and nationally. The two fields of action were not seen by him as separate. In the parish his concern was to bring about the fullest lay participation in the life and work of the Church. In this he was in action years ahead of Vatican II. St Benedict's was one of the most populous parishes in Warrington in the fifties and, in terms of the Lay Apostolate at least, became perhaps the most prestigious. Fr David's work with the YCW was outstanding. To this day many Catholics in Warrington owe the persistence and vigour of their faith to the formation they received from it. Fr David had the gift of helping young workers to see the Gospel as wholly relevant to their lives at work and at play, Above all he was able to guide them to recognise themselves as objects of God's love, as chosen sons and daughters to be formed in the image of Christ. His strong Marian outlook led him to a firm Christology: he had a deep sense of the human nature of Jesus 'God came down to earth for us in Our Lord' he said, 'and we have been trying to push him back into heaven ever since.' All the time he trained his young workers to apply to their daily lives the simple YCW formula: 'SEE, JUDGE, ACT'. The YCW apostolate led later to that of the FSA, Family and Social Action, providing a field of reflection and action for older Catholics who by then were bringing up their families. This development largely coincided with the time of thc Vatican Council and its aftermath and was an excellent vehicle for pursuing its implementation, an objective to which he gave himself without hesitation. Pat Keegan, former International Secretary ofthe YCW, knew Fr David well over these years. His personal tribute should not go unrecorded: 'After my Air Force stint in 1946 I got to know Fr Forbes and established a friendship. By now he was heavily involved in building YCW groups. He had grasped the simple truth that the YCW existed to awaken young working people to a lifelong apostolic commitment in ordinary daily life. He also gave great support to the struggling National Team of young YCW organisers, a number of whom came from his groups. He gave retreats, attended Study Weeks and other events. He gave up his holiday time and was full of good humour. To me he always seemed to be at ease with his priesthood. And this certainly gave me confidence to turn to him for advice on many issues not least the central matter of prayer. He had a very gentle approach. I never felt dependent.I hope that we will be blessed with more priests like Fr Forbes who like the Lord gave priority to calling, forming and sustaining apostles.' Fr David moved to St Peter's, Seel Street, Liverpool in 1969 to be in charge of a parish now much reduced and struggling. At this period he was serving on the Abbot's Council. Moving now and working between the Abbey and the Archiepiscopal City he continued to be involved in the life of the Church in the early post-Vatican II years. He had been working with YCW, but now more with FSA, and a new interest developed for him in the FOCOLARE movement. This continued with his final pastoral assignment as an assisant priest at St Mary's, Bamber Bridge, from 1976 onwards. There, despite advancing years, he maintained a vigorous apostolate, showing always an interest in new ways of promoting it. Perhaps the most noticeable thing about Fr David in his later years at Brownedge, Bamber Bridge, was an almost childlike serenity. Failing memory and inadequate hearing, far from making him discontented with himself, became a constant source of amusement and though he made constant efforts to cope with his disabilities (sometimes with comic results) they never got him down. He displayed no tendency whatever to recline into his shell, he had time for everybody - though he could seldom remember their names, and was always to be found at the Church door after a Sunday Mass. His advice and counselling were widely sought and it was always wise, optimistic and encouraging. He developed a regular round of prayer groups and scripture groups, and seemed to be father confessor to most of the parish. It was all a beautiful example of the recognition of goodness by good people, for Fr David's goodness, even holiness, stood out. Those who knew him well knew that it was the fruit of hours spent in prayer before the Blessed Sacrement, he was indeed a spirit filled priest. When he died, something vital was taken from the parish, and many parisbioners were heard to say that they prayed to him and not for him; many kissed his coffin as it lay before the altar the night before his funeral. Even today his obituary card is still on the mantlepiece in numerous houses in the parish. Anyone who knew Fr David recognised what our Lord meant when he said 'Unless you become as little children.' Fr David always lived and worked on excellent terms with the Diocesan Clergy. At Warrington he invited the priests of the town to a special dinner after Christmas each year including on the list priests who had now moved elsewhere. Such a one was Fr John Murphy of Latchford, later Bishop of Shrewsbury and then Archbishop of Cardiff who mourns the loss 'of his golfing friend.' Another was the late Fr Maurice Dillon who was appointed by the Liverpool Archdiocese to develop part of St Benedict's into the new parish of St Stephen's, Oxford. Fr David welcomed him, gave him accommodation for several months and a handsome subsidy to start the project. All this illustrated the Catholic instincts of Fr David. He was a faithful monk and member of his monastic community. He was a fully committed pastor in the renewed life of the Church. He was open to all channels of apostolic endeavour, the ally, the friend of both people and priest, and all recognised him as such. Fr Philip Holdsworth Top Details from the Abbey Necrology DOM COLUM DAVID OGILVIE-FORBES 23 Feb 1985 1904 22 May born Frazerburgh Aberdeen 1917-23 edc Ampleforth College 1923 30 Oct Habit Abbot Smith 1924 31 Oct Simple Vows Prior Bede Turner 1927 30 Oct Renewed Simple Vows at Oxford 1928 1 Jan Solemn Vows Abbot Matthews 1928 10 Apr Tonsure " " 1930 23 Apr Minor Orders " " 24 Apr Minor Orders " " 1930 20 Jul Subdeacon Bishop Shine 1931 19 Jul Deacon Bishop Vaughan 1932 24 Jul Priest Bishop Shine 1926-29 Oxford St.Benet's Hall History 1929-32 Oxford Theology 1932 Returned to Abbey 1933 Junior House Assistant 1935-42 Novice Master 1940-41 Infirmarian 1942 Apr St.Benedict's Warrington Assistant 1952 PP St. Benedicts 1969 Oct St.Peter's Seel Street Liverpool PP 1976 Jan Bamber Bridge Assistant 1985 23 Feb died (stroke) 9.15 p.m. Buried at Ampleforth Sources: AJ 91:2 (1986) 14 Contact February 2000 Top

Born: Frazerburgh, Aberdeen, , Scotland 22nd May 1904 Baptised:
Died: Lostock hall, 23rd Feb 1985Buried: Lostock hall, Ampleforth, Yorkshire, , England 1985
Family:
Ogilvie-Forbes

Ancestors
[ Patrilineage | Matrilineage | Earliest Ancestors | Force | Options ]

1.
Fr. David Colum 
Ogilvie-Forbes
1904 - 1985
2.
John Charles Matthias 
Ogilvie-Forbes
(
Vaughan
,
Prendergast
) 1850 - 1941
4.
George 
Ogilvie-Forbes
(
Cordiner
) 1820 - 1886
5.
Jane 
Cordiner
(
Ogilvie-Forbes
) 1814 - 1896
3.
Anne Marguerite 
Prendergast
(
Ogilvie-Forbes
) 1869 - 1950
6.
Lt.Col. Lenox 
Prendergast
(
Malcolm
) 1830 - 1907
7.
Marion 
Malcolm
(
Prendergast
) 1833 - 1913

Siblings


1.
hidden

2.
Rebecca Edith Mary 
Ogilvie-Forbes
1895 - 1995
3.
hidden

4.
Marion Katherine 
Ogilvie-Forbes
(
Wilberforce
) 1902 - 1995
5.
hidden

6.
hidden


Spouses




Descendants
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Sources

Timeline


22nd May 1904Born Frazerburgh, Aberdeen, Scotland
15th Sep 1934MARR/ROLE PRIE London, England
8th Apr 1935MARR/ROLE PRIE London, England
23rd Feb 1985Died
1985Buried Ampleforth, Yorkshire, England
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