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Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande
Le Père Thomas John MORAN

MORAN Thomas

né le 29 janvier 1914 à Ballyduff
dans le diocèse de Tuam, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 7 juillet 1926
prêtre le 8 juin 1930
décédé le 24 novembre 1989

 

1930-1959 missionnaire au Nigeria
archidiocèse de Lagos
1959-1964 Dutton Manor séminaire, G.B., supérieur
1964-1976 missionnaire au Nigeria
1964-1967, diocèse d’Ibadan
1967-1976, archidiocèse de Lagos

décédé à Cork, Irlande, le 24 novembre 1989,
à l'âge de 85 ans

Father Thomas John MORAN (1904 - 1989)

Thomas Moran was born at Ballyduff, Claremorris, Co Mayo, in the archdiocese of Tuam, on 29 January 1904. He died in St. Patrick's hospital, Wellington Road, Cork, on 24 November 1989.

Thomas (Tommy) studied at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1920‑1921), and at St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1921‑1924), before entering the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. He studied theology in the major seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down, between 1926‑1930, being a member of the first class to follow its complete theological course in that seminary. Tommy was received as a member of the Society on 7 July 1926 and was ordained a priest, by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, at St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 8 June 1930. He was one of a group of ten ordained on that day.

After ordination Tommy was assigned to the vicariate of the Bight of Benin, in south-western Nigeria, which in the same year had been entrusted to the Irish Province. Tommy was to spend forty-one years in Nigeria, in twelve missionary tours of duty. His first appointment was to Topo mission, near Badagry, where he spent six months. He ministered too in Ibadan and at Holy Cross cathedral mission during his first tour. However his closest association, over the many years he spent in Nigeria, was with St. Gregory's college, Ikoyi, Lagos. This institution had been founded as a 'grammar school' (senior elementary school with a teacher‑training department) in 1877 and became a full secondary school (Nigeria's first catholic college) in 1928. St. Gregory's, was to become a vital instrument of the Gospel in south-western Nigeria. Its students were imbued with a love for God, for their country and for the Church and many went on to take a leading part in all aspects of Nigeria's life. Tommy first came to St. Gregory's in December 1935, serving there for two years. At the time Jim Saul was principal and other members of the staff included Tom F. Hughes, William Deeley and John Reddington; in addition there were 10 African tutors. The secondary division comprised 140 pupils while there were 33 students in the training college department. Tommy became principal of the college in June 1945 and occupied that post until May 1959. Tommy was a most successful principal. By the time he relinquished his principalship the school had grown significantly, with 350 students in the secondary division. The highest academic standards prevailed under his leadership. In sport too, especially in soccer, cricket and athletics, St. Gregory's was one of the leading colleges nationally.

In September 1959 Tommy was seconded to the English 'district' of the Society. At the time a process was being set in motion which was eventually to lead to the erection of that 'district' into a full Province of the Society in 1968. One of the prerequisites for granting Provincial status was the ability of a district to train its own priests and Tommy came to England to assist in this aspect of the plan. In September 1959 he was appointed superior of the seminary at Dutton Manor (near Preston, Lancashire), a post which he held for five years.

In 1964 Tommy returned to Africa and was assigned to the staff of Saints Peter and Paul's college, the philosophical and theological seminary for south and western Nigeria, situated at Ibadan. In June 1967 he returned to his first mission, formerly the vicariate of the Bight of Benin, and now the archdiocese of Lagos. Tommy spent three tours working in the Lagos mission stations before retiring in May 1976. For a period he was administrator of Holy Cross cathedral and his last appointment was to the Church of the Assumption, Falomo, Okoyi, near his beloved St. Gregory's. During his retirement at Blackrock Road he kept active and spent each summer ministering at Knock Shrine. Tommy celebrated his golden jubilee of ordination in 1980. Throughout his long life Tommy had enjoyed good health. It was only in the very last years that he grew feeble. He died peacefully.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.