12 April 2007
Fr Bernard (Brian) Horan SMA
Fr Bernard (Brian) Horan SMA passed away suddenly on the morning of 12 April at the Parochial House in Kilteevan, Co Roscommon, in the parish of Roscommon in the Diocese of Elphin, where he has served as Curate for the past four years. He was in his usual good health up to Thursday evening so his passing comes as a great shock to his family, the parishioners and the Society of African Missions.
Brian was born on 3 May 1935 in Brougher, Ballinafad, Co Sligo, in the Diocese of Achonry. He was the elder of the two sons of Bernard and Bridget (nee Dignan) Horan. He attended the local Carrowcrory National School before going to the Sacred Heart College, Ballinafad, Co Mayo, the then Juniorate of the SMA for his secondary education. On deciding to become a missionary he joined the Society of African Missions undergoing the Spiritual Year at the Society’s House at Cloughballymore, Kilcolgan, Co Galway in 1954-1955. He spent 1955-1956 studying at SMA House, Wilton, Cork and transferred to the SMA Major Seminary at Dromantine, Newry, Co Down in 1956 and there completed his philosophy and theology studies in 1961. He took temporary membership of the SMA in June 1955 and became a permanent member on 14 June 1960. On 21 December 1960 he was ordained to the priesthood at St Colman’s Cathedral, Newry by the late bishop, Most Rev Eugene O’Doherty.
Brian spent over forty years on missionary assignment in the Archdiocese of Kaduna in Nigeria from 1961 until 2002, apart from six months when he was standing in as Director of Students of the Spiritual Year at Cloughballymore in 1965. He served in various parishes in the Archdiocese. In latter years he was appointed the Archdiocesan Procurator and Parish Priest of St John’s Church in Kaduna city.
In 2002-2003 he took a sabbatical break and in 2003 took up assignment in the Diocese of Elphin as curate in Kilteevan and chaplain at the Sacred Heart Hospital, Roscommon.
He is survived by his brother, Patrick and a small number of relatives.
Following Mass at the Sacred Heart Home, Roscommon on Friday, 13 April Brian’s remains were removed to St Joseph’s Church, Kilteevan. Mass was celebrated in the Church on Saturday, 14 April and this was followed by removal to St Joseph’s SMA Parish Church, Wilton, Cork. The Funeral Mass was concelebrated in Wilton on Monday, 16 April and was followed by interment in the adjoining community cemetery. The main celebrant of the Mass was Fr Seamus Nohilly, who preached the homily. He was assisted at the altar by Frs Terry Gunn and Eddie Deeney (classmates), Eddie O’Connor (missionary in Kaduna) and Martin Costello (Vice-Superior, SMA House Claregalway). The concelebrants included a representative from St Patrick’s Missionary Society and from the Order of St Augustine (which have missions in Nigeria) and a large number of SMA confreres. Many OLA and SSL sisters attended as did a representative of the Mercy Sisters. The SMA Parish choir provided the singing with Brother Jim Redmond SMA at the organ and the congregations inging was led by Fr Cormac Breathnach SMA. Fr Denis Collins SMA was Master of Ceremonies.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.