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Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

 corvin  Le Père Daniel Gerald CORVIN
né le 19 février 1910 à Belfast
dans le diocèse de Down & Connor, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 1er juillet 1934
prêtre le 19 décembre 1937
décédé le 26 décembre 1977
 

1938-1950 vicariat d’Asaba Benin
1952-1959 diocèse de Bénin City
1959-1961 maison sma de Liverpool, supérieur
1962-1969 Blackrock Road, Cork, procureur
1970-1977 malade, soins

décédé à Cork, Irlande, le 26 décembre 1977,
à l'âge de 67 ans

Father Daniel Gerald CORVIN (1910 - 1977)

Daniel Corvin was born in Belfast (the family address was 15, Hawthorn St.), in the diocese of Down and Connor, on 19 February 1910. He died at Lindville hospital, Cork, on 26 December 1977.

Dan was educated by the Christian Brothers in Belfast. After matriculating he trained as an accountant. It appears that his first contacts with the S.M.A. came through his interest in the Irish language. As a young man he was one of a group of officials from the Gaelic League who came to examine S.M.A. seminarians at Dromantine, Co Down, for the Fainne. Dan entered the S.M.A. novitiate and house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway in 1932, became a member of the Society on 1 July 1934, and after completing his theological training, at Dromantine, was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 19 December 1937. He was one of a group of fifteen ordained on that day.

After ordination Dan was assigned to the vicariate of Western Nigeria. This jurisdiction was entrusted to the care of the Irish Province in 1918, when Thomas Broderick was appointed vicar apostolic and bishop. Bishop Leo Taylor succeeded Dr. Broderick in 1934. When Dan arrived in Nigeria, in October 1938, Bishop Taylor assigned him to the district of Aragba. Patrick Bermingham was superior of this district, which as well as the principal station of Aragba (founded in 1921) had 28 secondary stations, and a total catholic community of some 2,000 members. In 1939 Bishop Taylor was translated to the Lagos vicariate, and Patrick Joseph Kelly became vicar apostolic. Ordained a bishop in June 1940, Dr. Kelly was to remain in charge of the jurisdiction until he retired in 1973. In 1943 the borders of the vicariate were re-defined and the jurisdiction was re-named the vicariate of Asaba Benin. In 1959 the vicariate was erected as the diocese of Benin City.

Dan was to work under the guidance of Bishop Kelly until 1959. In 1940 he was appointed to the staff of the inter-vicarial seminary at Asaba. This seminary, which had 18 students from dioceses in the north, south and west of Nigeria (studying philosophy and theology), and which was named after St. Paul, was an institution of vital importance. It was the forerunner of St. Peters and Paul's seminary, Ibadan, which has furnished hundreds of Nigerian priests to southern, western and northern dioceses. Dan spent the last year of his first tour of duty in Sapele district as assistant priest. Sapele mission had been founded in 1926 and had over 60 secondary stations. Like Aragba, it had a large catholic community of over 3,000 members and 1,100 catechumens. In October 1944 Dan went to Ireland on his first home leave. He returned to the vicariate a year later, taking up a pastoral appointment at Asaba. Bishop Taylor had moved the headquarters of the diocese (also the seminary) from Asaba to Benin City in 1938. However Asaba was still thriving with three Fathers resident in the district. In 1948 Dan was appointed superior of Ogwashi-Uku station, which had been founded in 1905 and which had been destroyed in 1909 during an African revolt against British authority. The mission had been re-built in 1910 and had grown apace in subsequent decades.

When Dan went to Ireland for his home leave in 1950, he was in poor health and his superiors kept him in Ireland until May 1952. On his return to Nigeria he was posted once more to Asaba. Two years later he returned to Ogwashi-Uku. Dan began his next and final tour as parish priest of Asaba. In March 1959, however, his health broke down and he was invalided to Ireland. After a period of convalescence, Dan was appointed as superior of the Provincial procure at Ullet Road, Sefton Park, Liverpool (a house which catered for confreres en route to, or returning from, Africa). In 1962 he returned to Ireland, taking up a post in the promotion office at Blackrock Road, Cork. From 1970 until the time of his death Dan was frequently ill and unable to work as he would have liked. Nonetheless he did undertake chaplaincy work from time to time and celebrated public Masses in the hospitals where he was a patient.

Dan's obituary in the African Missionary gave the following portrait: 'Dan is remembered with great affection by the people he served in Africa. He is remembered for his sense of humour and his tolerance. He is also remembered for his strong views on preparing catechumens for baptism, and his gentle insistence on high standards. His fluency at the native language (Asaba Igbo), doubtless inspired by his love of his own native language, was a particular asset. As superior of Ullet Road he is remembered for his kindness by the many confreres who 'descended' upon that house, and his special concern for those who arrived tired or sick from Africa. Dan was to have his own share of sickness. From the time of his return from Africa until his death he was rarely free from suffering. Yet he was uncomplaining and totally without self-pity.'

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.