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Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande
Le Père Jeremiah Joseph CADOGAN

CADOGAN Jeremiah

né le 25 août 1914 à Rathmore
dans le diocèse de Ross, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 2 juillet 1939
prêtre le 20 décembre 1942
décédé le 23 novembre 1988

 

1943-1944 Wilton, études supérieures
1944-1950 vicariat d’Asaba Benin
1950-1964 diocèse de Benin City
1964-1988 diocèse de Warri

décédé à Warri, Nigeria, le 23 novembre 1988,
à l'âge de 74 ans

Father Jeremiah Joseph CADOGAN (1914 - 1988)

Jeremiah Cadogan was born in Rathmore, in the diocese of Ross, on 25 August 1914. He died, unexpectedly, in the Allanah's clinic, Effurun, Warri, Nigeria, on 23 November 1988.

The youngest of ten children born to Patrick and Margaret Cadogan (seven boys and three girls), Jerry grew up in a farming environment in the parish of Rath, Baltimore, Co Cork. He received his early education at Lough Ine national school and briefly at Skibbereen High school. He came to the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo, in 1932. He completed his secondary education at St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1933‑1937). Jerry was next promoted to the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway, where on 2 July 1939 he was received as a member of the Society. Jerry studied theology in the Society's seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down (1939‑1943). He was ordained a priest, along with five colleagues, by Bishop Denis Moynihan of Ross diocese, at St. Patrick's cathedral, Skibbereen, on 20 December 1942. Society ordinations usually took place in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, but because of wartime restrictions on travel, ordinations of the 1942 class were relocated to facilitate the attendance of relatives.

Jerry was a student at a time when university-trained graduates were in demand for the educational apostolate in Nigeria. Thus it was that after matriculating Jerry was one of a group of students who remained on in Wilton for an extra year, during which he attended lectures in the arts faculty at U.C.C., in philosophy and education. During his two years at Kilcolgan he attended U.C.G. for lectures and received additional lectures in Kilcolgan from Tony McAndrew and Edward Harrington, both designated by the university to teach philosophy. Jerry graduated with a B.A. degree in 1939. After ordination he returned to U.C.C. (residing at Wilton) where he was awarded the higher diploma in education in July 1944.

His academic training complete, Jerry was assigned to the vicariate of Asaba‑Benin, formerly the vicariate of Western Nigeria. He was to work in the mid‑west region of Nigeria for the remainder of his life, until 1988, a period of 44 years, which saw him travel out to Nigeria on 18 occasions. He witnessed the vicariate become the diocese of Benin City in 1950 and he lived to see this diocese twice subdivided, with the erection of the diocese of Warri in 1964 and the diocese of Issele‑Uku in 1973. Jerry was one of those assigned to the Warri diocese on its formation.

Jerry was first appointed to St. Thomas's college, Ibusa, the teacher training institute founded by Bishop Broderick in 1928. He remained on the staff of this prestigious college (which catered for some 300 students) for almost fourteen years, gaining a reputation as an excellent teacher. He was particularly noted for successful results in the subject of education, both theoretical and practical. In October 1958 he was appointed principal of St. Peter Claver's secondary school at Aghalokpe, in the heart of Urhobo country. This school had been founded by Bishop P.J. Kelly in 1953 in a tiny village some 48 kilometres from Sapele. It had grown out of an extra class Michael Scully had added to St. Francis primary school, Sapele, in January 1950. Jerry was to remain in Aghalokpe until 1980 when he retired from teaching. In addition to his responsibility as principal of this large boarding school, he took on the pastoral care of the people in the locality as the nearest parish was 15 miles away. In the last 10 years before his death he was on pastoral work in the diocese of Warri. He ministered in Christ the King parish, Obiaruku, and from 1986, in St. Joseph's parish, Aragba. In 1987 he moved to Burutu, where he established a new parish. On the feast of Christ the King, November 1988, Jerry was very ill. But he was determined that Burutu should have its first Corpus Christi procession. Jerry collapsed on the way and had to be assisted back to the church. Four days later he died. The boy who tended Jerry in these last few days of his life is now studying to be a priest in the S.M.A.

Jerry's contribution to the people of mid-western Nigeria is immeasurable. St. Peter Claver's had graduated well in excess of 3,000 students by the time Jerry retired. Many of those students went forward to play a leading role in Nigeria's life - in politics, in the arts, in commerce, in education, in sport and in the Church. Jerry's contribution as a pastor, during a difficult period in the diocese, was no less important. A colleague wrote the following tribute on hearing of Jerry's death: 'In his education work, Jerry is remembered with affection by the countless number of students who passed through his hands. So many teachers at Ibusa can never forget the hours he spent advising them and exhorting them as he prepared them for their practical teaching tests.

So many ex-students of St. Peter Claver's remember him affectionately as "Cado" the tireless principal and teacher who prepared them for what they are today. Jerry, too, was passionately interested in sport, winning several medals for hurling and football in his home district during the 1940's. He saw the promotion of sport as an integral part of the education apostolate. As a parish man, Jerry will be especially remembered for the many small churches he helped to build in so many outstations and for his solicitude for the sick. In Burutu he is especially remembered as the first parish priest. To embark, literally, on that undertaking in a remote Ijaw town only accessible by two hours in a boat was something of the heroic at his age of 72! It was just the climax of a life that was permeated all through by a great faith, determination and tenacity.'

Jerry is buried in the diocesan cemetery, Agbarho, Warri, Western Nigeria.