Société des Missions Africaines – Province d'Irlande

HORAN Bernard né le 3 mai 1935
dans le diocèse d'Achonry, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 26 juin 1955
prêtre le 21 décembre 1960
décédé le 12 avril 2007

1961-1964 archidiocèse de Kaduna, Nigeria
1965 Cloughballymore, Galway, staff
1965-2002 archidiocèse de Kaduna, Nigeria
2002-2003 année sabbatique
2003-2007 diocèse d'Elphin, Irlande

décédé à Kilteevan, Irlande, le 12 avril 2007,
à l’âge de 71 ans

Father Bernard HORAN - 1935 - 2007

Bernard Horan was born at Brougher, Ballinafad, Co Sligo, in the diocese of Achonry, in the parish of Keash, on 3rd May 1935.
He died unexpectedly in the parish of Kilteevan & Roscommon, Diocese of Elphin, on Thursday, 12th April 2007.

Bernard (Brian) Horan was the older of two sons born to Bernard and Bridget (nee Deighan) Horan who farmed in the townland of Brougher, Co Sligo. His younger brother, who he predeceased, was Patrick. Brian was a cousin of Fr. John Brehony SMA, also from Keash parish. His first cousin, Fr. V. Hunt, ministered in Australia. Another first cousin, Sr. M. Assumpta, was a Mercy sister. Other cousins served as priests in England and New Zealand. Brian’s father died of tuberculosis in the year of his birth. Brian received his primary education at Carrowcrory national school. In September 1949 he commenced his secondary education at the Sacred Heart College, Ballinafad, Co Mayo, obtaining his leaving certificate and matriculating in June 1954. In the autumn of that year he entered the SMA novitiate, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. A year later he came to St. Joseph’s College, Wilton, which a year previously had changed from being a secondary school into a hostel for SMA students attending University College Cork. In the autumn of 1956 Brian transferred to the SMA major seminary at Dromantine, Newry, Co Down, where he continued his philosophy course and later studied theology. Brian was first admitted as a member of the Society on 26th June 1955. He became a permanent member on 16th June 1958. He was ordained a priest by Bishop Eugene O’Doherty of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman’s Cathedral, Newry, Co Down, on 21st December 1960. He was one of a group of twenty-two ordained on that day.

After ordination Brian returned to Dromantine to complete his theological course. He was then appointed to the Archdiocese of Kaduna in Northern Nigeria. The mission to the north had been pioneered in l907 when three SMA priests travelled to Shendam where they established a mission station. A prefecture was erected in 1929 (the Prefecture of Northern Nigeria). In April 1934 this jurisdiction was divided into the separate prefectures of Jos and Kaduna. In 1959 the Kaduna jurisdiction was erected as an archdiocese under John McCarthy SMA. Brian reached Nigeria in October 1961. He was to work in the Kaduna archdiocese continuously until 2002, with the exception of a four-month period as director of students at Kilcolgan (February 1965-June 1965).

Brian’s first appointment was to Kagoro, a town in the southern part of Kaduna province in which the SMA tyrocinium, or training centre for newly-arrived missionaries, was situated. Here he was introduced to the missionary life, learned the indigenous language and prepared for the active ministry. In January 1962 he was posted to Gawu in Niger State where he ministered until April 1962. His next appointment

was to Zonkwa in Kaduna State, where he worked between April 1962 and August 1964. He was then assigned to Kurmin Mazuga remaining there for four years. In May 1968 Brian began a six-month posting to Dogon Kurmin. He was then appointed to Mabushi and remained at that station until May 1977, when he was transferred to OLD, Kano. A year later he returned to Kaduna archdiocese, this time to Gidan Bako. He served there until June 1979 when he was transferred to Barnawa in Kaduna metropolis. While in Barnawa he ministered not only as parish priest but took on the onerous post of archdiocesan secretary, which he occupied until June 1985. After this he served briefly in Kabala West and Abakpa parishes, both in the Kaduna metropolis, until May 1986 when he became parish priest of St. John’s, Kaduna metropolis, where he was to remain for the next sixteen years. During this lengthy period he also served as the archdiocesan procurator.

In 2002, at the age of 67 years, Brian retired from Africa after over forty years of ministry. There followed a year’s sabbatical leave during which he participated in a renewal course at Marianella. In July 2003 he took up a posting in Elphin diocese, ministering in the Kilteeven section of Roscommon parish, which was located near the home of his brother who lived alone and was then in poor health. Brian also served as chaplain to the Roscommon County Hospital and Home.

A booklet written at the time of Brian’s retirement from Nigeria by Mrs Elizabeth Akumabor from Umunede contained excerpts from Brian’s homilies and gave the following account of his ministry. ‘Fr Horan was a prudent financial administrator, ensuring there would be no excess and wastage, nonetheless ensuring that funds were promptly available when approved. He was assiduous in keeping accounts – not only those of the archdiocese, but those of all the parishes in which he worked. In St. John’s parish he was especially solicitous for the poor and needy, forming a Justice and Peace Commission which not only provided food and paid school fees but covered hospital expenses for those most in need. Brian lived frugally, never driving a car and preferring to go about his parish on foot or by bicycle.’

In fact he did drive in his earlier years of priesthood, but kept driving to a minimum in subsequent years because of failing eyesight. The homilist at Brian’s funeral Mass – a confrere who knew him well – gave the following insights into his character and missionary service. ‘Brian was loyal to his priesthood and mission and there was no wavering or doubting with Brian once he had put his hand to the plough. He was loyal to his brother Paddy. A big part in his decision to come home from Nigeria was to be near him. He was loyal to the people he ministered to in Nigeria and Kilteevan and loyal to the SMA. In Kaduna he was one to whom his colleagues could turn to represent them at various meetings and Provincial Assemblies and for six years (1987-1994) he was their Society Superior as well as a member of the Regional Superior’s Council. While none too comfortable with leadership he was a true team player’. Brian was most at home in the company of his confreres. ‘With those he knew well he was pleasant and easy company. He had a wry sense of humour. His famous party piece was ‘Tangmalangmalu’, a rendering of which he gave for the last time at the SMA meeting he attended in Dromantine a month before his death… Brian was a man of integrity. There were no two sides to him. He was a simple man, lived simply and was utterly dependable. These characteristics stood him in good stead when he served as Archdiocesan Procurator and Parish Priest of St. John’s for a good twelve years. To the young priests of the Archdiocese he gave a powerful example in the areas of conscientiousness and accountability.’

Following Mass at the Sacred Heart Home, Roscommon on Friday, 13 April, Brian's remains were removed to St Joseph's Church, Kilteevan. Mass was celebrated in the church on Saturday, 14 April, and this was followed by removal to St Joseph's SMA Parish Church, Wilton, Cork. The Funeral Mass was concelebrated in Wilton on Monday, 16 April and was followed by interment in the adjoining community cemetery. The main celebrant of the Mass was Fr Seamus Nohilly, who preached the homily.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.