27 February 2007
Fr John McCreanor SMA
Fr John McCreanor SMA passed away peacefully in his sleep at St Theresa’s Nursing Unit, Blackrock Road, Cork in the morning of 27 February 2007. John had been in poor health in recent years and had celebrated his 87th birthday two weeks ago.
John was born on 13 February 1920, the eighth of nine children of Thomas and Alice (nee Rogan) McCreanor, in Ballinahich, Co Down. He received his primary education at Drumaness, Ballinahinch and his secondary education at the Commercial Technical School, Ballinahinch and at Sacred Heart College, Ballinafad, Co Mayo. One of his sisters, Kathleen (Sr Eunan), joined the Missionary Sisters of the Assumption and served in Grahamstown, South Africa and she was to have a profound influence on John’s choosing to become a missionary.
The life of Fr Eamon Murphy SMA in the African Missionary and the influence of family friend, Fr Bill Fegan SMA, motivated John to join the SMA. He studied at the SMA houses in Cloughballymore, Co Galway and Dromantine, Newry, Co Down and became a permanent member of the Society on 12 June 1949 and was ordained priest on 14 June 1950 at St Colman’s Cathderal, Newry.
His first missionary assignment was to Lagos, Nigeria which he reached in December 1950 and there he learned the Yoruba language under the tutelage of Fr Harry Shepherd SMA. In 1951 he was assigned to Ibadan and served in the parishes of Ogunpa, Oke-Offa and Oke-Ado. In 1956 he became involved in the schools building programme for Bishop Richard Finn of Ibadan. This work was interrupted for a spell in Ghana on a Community Development course organised by UNESCO.
In 1959 he was posted to England to help in the building up of the British Province of SMA. He continued, for over forty years, to work for the British Province until he was forced to retire due to ill-health in 2003. He has been at St Theresa’s Nursing Unit, Blackrock Road, Cork since.
John is sadly mourned by his sister-in-law, Maureen, and many nephews, nieces and other relatives and friends.
His remains were removed from the Community Chapel, Blackrock Road following concelebrated Mass on Wednesday 28 February to the Parish Church, Ballinahinch, Co Down. The Funeral Mass will be concelebrated on Thursday, 1 March at 2.00 pm and will be followed by interment in the adjoining cemetery.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.