SMA Diamond Jubilee Celebrations – 1943-2003
On 19 December 1943 twelve SMA missionary priests were ordained in St Colman’s Cathedal, Newry. Over the past sixty years, ten of these men passed to their heavenly reward: Fathers Hugh Conlon (Cork), Michael J Conway (Tuam), John Moorhead (Meath), Thomas Lennon (Kildare & Leighlin), Martin Whyte (Achonry), Gerard Scanlon (Killaloe), John Browne (Kerry), Michael Maughan (Tuam), Patrick Fitzsimmons (Dublin) and Patrick J Clancy (Limerick).
Two of the class of 1943, Fathers James McCarthy (Cork) and Owen Maginn (Down & Connor) celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of their ordination on Friday, 19 December 2003.
Celebration in Cork
Fr James McCarthy served for most of his missionary career in the Archdiocese of Lagos, Nigeria where he was highly regarded for his work in the field of education before assuming the pastoral care of the people in the parishes of Falomo and Lafiagi in the great metropolis of Lagos. His contribution to education in Nigeria saw him give service in Oyo, Abeokuta and finally in St Gregory’s College in Lagos. For a number of years between his time in education and his time in parish work he served the Irish Province of the SMA as Vice-Provincial and as Provincial Councillor. He is now in retirement in Blackrock Road where the Jubilee was fittingly celebrated with Mass and a reception on 19 December.
Celebration in Zambia
Fr Owen Maginn’s sixty years as a missionary priest saw him give service in Egypt and Zambia. Having just returned to Zambia after a brief visit to Ireland, he celebrated his Jubilee in Ndola, Zambia amongst the SMA members working in the mission.
Fr Fergus Conlon SMA, Regional Superior in Zambia writes: “We had a beautiful celebration of Owens Diamond anniversary on Friday 19th December here in SMA Regional House. At first he wanted SMA’s only – something small. But after gentle persuasion he gave us names of those who he was close to. About 50 turned up – as one Sister remarked at the mixture “they were old and young, of many different nationalities, lay and various congregations of religious, sisters and priests and diocesan … a very representative turn out and a tribute to the high esteem in which Owen is held in the diocese. The Chief celebrant was Fr Owen himself … he was at his brilliant best. Flanked by Fr Patrick Chilambwe, Diocesan Administrator of Ndola Diocese, and Fr Secky Doran SMA who was celebrating 40 years of missionary priesthood … between these two East Down stalwarts Owen and Secky, 100 years of Missionary priestly service. The Mass was followed by speeches … from anybody that wanted to … some were very humourous but all ended in an appreciation of how Owen had helped them and was there for them at some important time in their life and family … followed by drinks and dinner … A recurring theme was the witness of Owen’s spirituality, acceptance, fidelity and good humour.”
Ad Multos Annos