s individuals, not as a country or a government, the Irish made their greatest contributions to the world. The gifts they gave or preserved for the world are of the greatest order of mankind; religion, art, literature, and freedom.

Ireland has never been a rich and powerful country, and yet since earliest times its influence on the world has been rich and powerful. No larger nation did more to keep Christianity and Western Culture alive in their darkest nation did more to spread the cause of the Independence of America...indeed around the world.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

There are great Irish men and women who emerged over the years whose names are recognizable to all who study history; but it was the tireless efforts of the many unknown and unsung Irish whose combined gifts created a special awareness about the Irish in cultures outside of Ireland. Examples are the many Irish monks in the monasteries, the Irish soldiers in other country's armies, the Irish missionaries in countries far from home, the Irish nurses in foreign hospitals, the Irish policeman and fireman in the urban cities of other countries, and the Irish political workers in the precincts and wards of those urban cities who made their gifts a consistent and continuing aspect of an Irish heritage shared with the world.

Such an individual is the man whom we honor with this dedication. He is an Irishman by birth, an American and a Texan by choice. He is known and loved in the communities he served: the United States Air Force; Amarillo; Lubbock; San Angelo; Corpus Christi, Texas; and the National Ancient Order of Hibernians. This man is both typical of all the Irish heroes you will read about, and a unique man among men. He participated in three areas of traditional Irish influence. He was in the the military, a religious and a man of letters.

Thomas Joseph Drury was born in the town of Gurteen in County Sligo, Ireland on January 4, 1908. He was ordained at A.B. Kenrick Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri in 1935. His first parish was in Amarillo, Texas where he served as the Curate in the Cathedral. It was during his duties in Amarillo that he became the editor of the Panhandle Register from 1936 until 1938. He left Amarillo in 1945 to join the war effort as a chaplain. Father Drury left the United States Air Force as a Major in 1955 and returned to Texas for an assignment as pastor of a church in Lubbock.

Father Drury served Lubbock, Texas from 1956 until 1961 when he was appointed the first bishop of San Angelo, Texas and subsequently the bishop of Corpus Christi, Texas in 1965. In 1978 he was appointed the National Chaplain of the Ancient Order of Hibernians.

Throughout his career, Thomas Drury served God and man. He worked hard to bring his fellow man closer to God.

< Bishop Thomas Drury


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