Société des Missions Africaines – Province de Grande-Bretagne

CROWE Jeremiah né le 19 juillet 1926 à Dublin
dans le diocèse de Dublin (Irlande)
serment permanent le 12 juin 1949 
prêtre le 14 juin 1950
décédé le 9 juin 2003

1950-1953 Wilton, études supérieures à Cork
sociologie, histoire
1954-1968 missionnaire au Nigeria
diocèse de Ondo, enseignement
diocèse de Benin City
1968-1972 UK, au service de sa Province
1972-1975 missionnaire en Côte d'Ivoire
séminaire de Bouaké
1975-1991 UK, recrutement, et animation
1991-2003 malade, Saint Augustine's

décédé le 9 juin 2003 à Saint Augustine’s, Manchester (Grande-Bretagne), à l’âge de 76 ans

Father Jeremiah Joseph CROWE (1926 2003)

Jeremiah Crowe was born in Tram Terrace, Clontarf, Dublin, in the archdiocese of Dublin, on 19th July 1926.
He died in the SMA house, St. Augustine’s, at Anson Road, Manchester, England, on 9th June 2003.

Jeremiah (he was known as ‘Gerry’ within the Society) Crowe was a son of Bridget (nee Whyte) and Patrick Crowe. Patrick was a tram-conductor in Dublin. Gerry received his secondary education with the Christian Brothers’ at O’Connell School, Dublin, taking his Leaving Certificate in 1944. He then entered the Society’s noviciate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. Two years later, in September 1946, he commenced his theological formation in the Society’s major seminary, at Dromantine, Newry, Co Down. Gerry was received as a member of the Society on 27th June 1946. He was ordained a priest in St. Colman’s Cathedral, Newry, Co Down, by Bishop Eugene O’Doherty of Dromore, on 14th June 1950. He was one of a group of eleven ordained on that day.

Gerry was ordained at a time when the Society’s missionary bishops were seeking graduates to teach in, and manage, the growing number of Secondary Schools in their jurisdictions. It was not surprising, therefore, that after ordination Gerry - who scholastic career had impressed - was appointed to study at University College Cork, taking up residence in the Society’s College at Wilton. He was awarded an Arts degree in June 1953, having studied History, Sociology and English. In the following year he enrolled at the Institute of Education, London University and in the summer of 1954 was awarded a post-graduate certificate in education (P.E.C.) He was then appointed to the diocese of Ondo, in south-western Nigeria. This jurisdiction had been first erected as a Vicariate Apostolic under Thomas Hughes in 1943, through a division of the old vicariate of the Bight of Benin. It was to be erected as a diocese in 1950 under the leadership of Bishop Hughes. On his arrival in Nigeria - Gerry reached his mission in October 1954 – Gerry was assigned by Bishop Hughes to the staff of St. Augustine's higher elementary teacher training college, in Akure. Patrick Martin Kelly was Principal while other missionary members of staff were Fintan Nelly and Sean MacCarthy. When Gerry joined the staff there was an enrolment of 180 students. Graduates of the institution were in great demand as teachers in the diocese’s numerous elementary schools. In 1958 Gerry was sent to Oka to found a boys secondary school, St. Patrick’s College. Living first in Oka mission with Fr. Dave Mulcahy, he moved into the school compound in 1959 when a suitable house had been erected. The school had an enrolment of over 100 pupils.

Gerry spent four tours of duty in Ondo diocese. In October 1962, on his own request, prompted by unhappiness occasioned by differences with his bishop and by student disturbances in the school (the latter not unusual in Nigeria at that era), he was assigned to the diocese of Benin City, in mid-western Nigeria. He ministered in this jurisdiction until February 1967. Again he was engaged in the educational apostolate, most notably becoming the founding Principal of St. Benedict’s College, a boys secondary school, in Igueben, Ishan Division. In 1966 Gerry’s years of service in the tropics began to take their toll and he requested permission to join the Society’s British District which was then in the process of preparation for Provincial status and had appealed to the Irish Province for assistance. His request was granted in the following year. On the erection of the District as a Province, in February 1968, Gerry became a founding member. In November 1972, Gerry returned to Africa, crossing the SMA linguistic divide (from Anglo to Francophone SMA) when he joined Paul Chataigne of the Lyon Province and Jean-Marie Camara (a Spanish SMA) to teach in the Minor Seminary at Bouake, in the Ivory Coast. This institution had been opened in 1970 by the Côte d’Ivoire Episcopal Conference to prepare candidates for the major seminary young men between 20-25 years old who were not taking the baccalauréat (Leaving Certificate equivalent). These candidates were sent by parish priests and bishops and had four years of secondary schooling. They came from mainly from Ivory Coast but also from Burkina-Faso and Mali. The program involved the study of French, English (in view of facilitating relations with English-speaking neighbours countries Ghana and Liberia), philosophy, plus practical training in typewriting, mechanics and electricity, and activities in catechetics and pastoral activities. Gerry could understand and speak French but worked mainly as an English teacher

After returning from the Ivory Coast, in July 1975, Gerry joined the British Province Appeals team, travelling the length and breadth of the country, preaching for the missions. In 1991 ill-health forced him into retirement and he lived in St. Augustine’s until his death. At the time of his death he was the oldest member of the British Province.

Gerry death came suddenly. A Plenary Council of the Society had just taken place in Anson Road and during that meeting he had done much to beautify the house with floral arrangements.

He is buried in Manchester, England.