The Irish Provincial Assembly, meeting at the Dromantine Conference & Retreat Centre, has elected Fr Michael McCabe as Irish Provincial Leader in succession to Fr John Dunne. Fr Michael, from Crossra, Mount Nugent, Co Cavan is the son of the late Owen and Annie (née Coffey) McCabe. He attended Ross National School and Oldcastle Secondary School. He is the first-born of 5, having 1 sister and 3 brothers.
Fr Michael began his studies with the SMA in Cloughballymore in 1964 and after achieving a BA at UCC he moved to the African Missions College at Dromantine where he completed his theological studies, being ordained a priest in 1971. Following his ordination, Fr Michael went to St Patrick’s College, Maynooth to undertake a Licentiate programme, following which, in 1975, he was appointed to the SMA team in Zambia where he worked for two years in a parish in Ndola diocese.
He was recalled to be part of the SMA Formation team in Maynooth for a brief period before going to do Doctoral Studies in Rome, in Systematic Theology. In 1981 Fr Michael was appointed to Liberia, to teach in the Major seminary in Gbarnga. Due to the Liberian Civil War he, along with the rest of the staff and the students, transferred the seminary to Sierra Leone.
Recognized for his academic abilities, which he wears lightly, he was elected a member of the SMA General Council at the 1989 General Assembly. His particular area of responsibility included Formation and Justice & Peace. In 1996, after a Sabbatical year, he rejoined the staff at the SMA House in Maynooth and, at the same time, taught at the Kimmage Mission Institute (KMI), serving for two years as its President (1999-2001) before being, once again, elected to the SMA General Council for a further six-year term.
Having completed that task, he was appointed to the SMA Formation team in Nairobi, Kenya where he has served until his election as Provincial Leader. He was also a Lecturer in Mission Studies in Tangaza College, Nairobi.
All the members of the Province wish Fr Michael well as he takes on the task of leading the Province. May the Holy Spirit guard, guide and direct him.