Profile Owen Maginn

Fr Owen Maginn, SMA


“I didn’t know a lot about SMA when I felt I wanted to be a priest. So I applied to a number of places before deciding on SMA”

“The call to the missions was there at the beginning. I keep going to Africa because there is a sort of a pull there. I like it. I like the people and I get on well with them. And I am happy in the work that I’m doing”.

Fr Owen celebrated his Diamond Jubilee, 60 years, as a priest in 2003. The main celebration was in Zambia. He works in the Diocese of Ndola and for many years was the confidential secretary to the bishop until the bishop’s death early 2004.

At 84 years he still manages to teach the nearby Franciscan Brothers Scripture and Catechetics. He celebrates Mass and preaches in the local Bimba language every Sunday. He even finds time to be with the young people of his parish who hold him in high esteem.

“I begin my day with prayer and Mass on five days and I have Mass in the evenings on the other two days… Because of my age I have slowed down a lot… I work in a very rural area… with the youth on Saturdays and adults on Sundays… It’s a contribution to the local church”.

“There are things that I do that would not be done unless I was there becasue of the shortage of priests. On Saturdays I do the shopping…there is always need for food in the bishop’s house where I live… I also help by doing any other small things I would be called upon to do. There are always little jobs to be done… Then in the evenings I would meet the people, talk to them”.

Interested in giving a hand?
Interested in continuing the work being done by Fr Owen?

Contact the SMA Vocations Director.



1920: Born at Seaforde, Downpatrick, Co Down.

1938-1943: Studies with SMA Galway & Dromantine

1943: Permanent member of SMA.

1943: Ordination

Studies at Cambridge
Recovering from TB

Formation work Dromantine & Galway

1974-date: Zambia

Fr Owen with Fr John Horgan SMA, Vice Provincial

Fr Owen Maginn SMA
SMA House
P O Box 70356

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