17 January 2006
Fr Fergus Conlan SMA
It is with great sadness that the SMA announces the sudden death of Fr Fergus Conlan SMA. He died in his residence in the SMA Regional House, Ndola, Zambia on the morning of Tuesday, 17 January 2006. Though he had a multiple heart by-pass in 1994, his death was unexpected. Fergus was the SMA Regional Superior in Zambia.
Son of the late Peter and Mary Conlan, Fergus was a native of Barr, Donaghmore Parish, near Newry, Co Down. He was born on 19 October 1939. He was brother to Sister Ita, Sisters of the Cross (Cameroon) and to Aidan, Kieran and the late Finbarr Conlan.
Having completed his secondary education at the Abbey CBS, Newry, he decided he wanted to be a missionary and came to the undertake a Spiritual Year at the SMA House, Cloughballymore, Co Galway in 1957. In 1958 he was based at the SMA House, Wilton and studied at University College, Cork where he graduated with a BSc in 1961. His theology studies were at the SMA Major Seminary, Dromantine, Newry, which was located in his native parish, from 1961-1965. During his time there he was an accomplished sportsman, excelling in most sports.
Fergus became a temporary member of the Society of African Missions on 25 June 1958 and a permanent member on 16 June 1964.
Fergus was ordained in on 16 December 1964 and was first assigned to Ondo Diocese, Nigeria.
In 1968 he was Director of students in Sacred Heart SMA College, Ballinafad, Co Mayo.
In 1969 he studied Youth Guidance in Birmingham, England.
In 1970 he was on Promotion work in Ireland, based at Dromantine.
He returned to Ondo Diocese in 1971 and ministered there until 1980.
He was engaged in Vocations Recruitment at Dromantine from 1981 until 1983.
In 1983 went for further studies to Boston College, USA, graduating with an MA in Counselling in 1985.
Since 1986 he has ministered in Ndola Diocese, Zambia.
In 2001 he was elected SMA Regional Superior in Zambia.
The funeral Mass was concelebrated at the Dominican Convent Chapel, Fatima, Francisdale in Zambia on Monday, 23 January. Interment followed in Francisdale Cemetery.
We invite all our readers to remember him and his family in prayer.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Requiescat in pace.