Irish Catholic priest brutally slain in Kenya is remembered in Chicago

Rev. Jeremiah Roche had lived in Africa for 40 years

An Irish priest who was brutally slain in Kenya was being mourned in Chicago where he has five brothers and sisters and had raised money for his missions.

The Rev. Jeremiah Roche, 68, was born in Limerick, Ireland, and lived in Africa for 40 years.

However he often came to Chicago to visit his five brothers and sisters. Though he did not raise money directly in Chicago he received "at least $20,000 from people he met here" for his missionary work, said the Rev. Larry Sullivan, pastor of St. Christina Church in Mount Greenwood who spoke to the Chicago Sun-Times. "He was never bashful about asking people here to help out in the missions over there," Sullivan said. "He knew that people would experience great joy if they could help."

He decided to become a priest because "he loved to help people and to spread the good news of the gospel," his sister, Eileen Naughton, of Mount Greenwood told the newspaper.

He joined the St. Patrick's Missionary Society, also known as the Kiltegan Fathers, because he was interested in Africa and knew he could  be sent there if he joined that order. "He had a great love for the people there," his sister said.

In Kenya he oversaw an orphanage, built five churches and several convents. He lived alone near Nairobi and was the victim of a  robbery in the course of which he was slain.