03 December 2006
Fr Owen Maginn SMA
Fr Owen Maginn SMA passed away in the morning of 3 December 2006 at the Mercy Hospital, Cork. He had returned to Ireland from Zambia in 2005 due to ill-health and was being cared for in St Theresa’s Nursing Unit at Blackrock Road for some time until recent deterioration in his condition needed hospitalisation. His condition worsened over the past two weeks and he died peacefully.
Owen was born at Seaforde, Downpatrick, Co Down in the Diocese of Down & Connor on 18 October 1920. Having decided very early on in his life to become a missionary priest he began his studies with SMA in 1938 at the Society’s House at Cloughballymore, Kilcolgan, Co Galway. He became a temporary member of SMA on 30 June 1940. In 1940-1944 he continued his programme of studies at SMA House, Dromantine, Co Down. On 12 June 1943 he became a Permanent Member of the Society and was ordained priest on 19 December 1943.
Following ordination he studied at the Cambridge University 1944-1946. Subsequently, ill-health forced his hospitalisation 1945-1950. On recovery he was posted to Egypt and taught at St George’s College, Heliopolis 1951-1957. From 1957-1964 he was on the Seminary Staff of the Society’s houses at Cloughballymore and Dromantine. From 1964-1974 he rejoined the teaching staff of St George’s College, Heliopolis, Egypt.
In 1974 he was assigned to Ndola Diocese, Zambia. Apart from a sabbatical study year in Rome 1983-1984, he continued to work in Zambia until ill-health forced his retirement to Ireland in 2005. For much of that time in Zambia he was confidential secretary to the Bishop of Ndola until the bishop’s death in 2004.
Owen celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of his ordination, 60 years as a priest, in 2003.
He is mourned by his sister-in-law, Sadie, his nieces and nephews, his relations and a wide circle of friends. His remains were removed from the Community Church at SMA House, Blackrock Road to SMA Parish Church, Wilton, Cork on Monday 4 December. The Funeral Mass was celebrated at Wilton on Tuesday, 5 December and was followed by interment in the adjoining Community Cemetery. Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll SMA, Provincial Superior, was the main celebrant of the Mass. He was assisted at the altar by Fr Sean Cahill PP, Castlewellan, Co Down, Fr Willie Cusack SMA, from Blackrock Road and who formerly worked in Zambia, Fr P J Gormley SMA, Dromantine and former Regional Superior in Zambia and Fr Edwin Mulandu from Ndola Diocese, Zambia. The great number of concelebrants included many SMA priests, priests from the Diocese of Down & Connor and the Diocese of Hexham & Newcastle and a representative of the St Patrick’s Missionary Society. Music for the Mass was led by Fr Lee Cahill SMA. Brother Jim Redmond SMA was at the organ. Sr Christine OP from Zambia sang a thanksgiving hymn in Chimemba. The large attendance included Irish Christian Brothers, Missionary Sisters of Our Lady of Apostles, the Mercy Sisters and the Holy Rosary Sisters.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis. Requiescat in pace.