Société des Missions Africaines –Province des Etats-Unis

BRESLIN John né le 4 septembre 1915 à Roughra, Ardara
dans le diocèse de Raphoe, Irlande
serment permanent le 7 juin 1946
prêtre le 11 février 1947
décédé le 8 août 1991

1948-1958 missionnaire au Liberia, Cape Palmas
1958-1962 Doylestown (USA), séminaire
1962-1966 missionnaire au Liberia, Cape Palmas
1966-1968 Washington, séminaire
1968-1974 Doylestown, séminaire 
1974-1975 Chicago, animation missionnaire
1975-1991 County Donegal, Irlande

décédé à Dunkineely, Irlande, le 8 août 1991,
à l'âge de 75 ans


Father John James BRESLIN (1915 - 1991)

John James Breslin was born at Roughra, Ardara, Co. Donegal, Ireland, in the diocese of Raphoe, on September 4, 1915.
He died at his home at Brenter, Dunkineely, Co. Donegal, on August 8, 1991.

John Breslin was one of three sons born to John and Mary (nee Furey) Breslin. He attended the local national school in Roughra before entering the Society’s junior apostolic school, the Sacred Heart College, at Ballinafad, Co Mayo. He concluded his secondary education in the Society’s senior school, St. Joseph’s College, Wilton, Cork, graduating in 1934. He concluded his secondary education in the Society’s senior school, St. Joseph’s College, Wilton, Cork, graduating in 1934. He then entered the Society’s novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway. Although he completed his novitiate and philosophical studies in June 1936, John’s Superiors decided not to permit him to go on to the Society’s major seminary. John most of the next five years working in Scotland, but the idea of becoming a priest remained with him. In 1941 he applied to join the newly formed American Province of the Society and with the support of his erstwhile superiors of the Irish Province, his application was accepted. He entered Queen of Apostles Seminary, Washington DC, in October 1, 942, from where he attended the Divinity School of the Catholic University of America. John was admitted as a member of the Society on June 7, 1946. He was ordained a priest at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, by Bishop John M. McNamara, on February 11, 1947, Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. Ordained with him on that day was Daniel Cullen. John celebrated his first Solemn High Mass at the Church of the Most Blessed Sacrament, Philadelphia, PA.

After ordination John was assigned to Cape Palmas Prefecture, in the Republic of Liberia, being part of the first group sent to its new mission by the American Province. Under the guidance of the Prefect, Msgr. Francis Carroll, he ministered on that mission for the next nine years, serving mainly in Sasstown and in Cape Palmas. During those years he constructed the new mission in Cape Palmas and played an important part in the erection of Our Lady of Fatima High School and Teacher Training College. In 1958 John was appointed to Ave Maria Seminary, Doylestown, Pa., to help in the work of promotion. Four years later he was back in Cape Palmas where he served for a further tour of four years. During this time he was Procurator for the diocese and became renowned among his confreres for his thriftiness. In 1966 John was re-assigned to Doylestown and was to remain there- apart from a year in Washington DC – until 1974 when he joined the promotion staff in Chicago. One of the highlights of these years was a visit paid to Cape Palmas in 1973 for the ordination of Boniface Nyema Dalieh as bishop of what was now the diocese of Cape Palmas. In Doylestown John proved an enthusiastic and competent promoter of the Society and the Missions, building up the Perpetual Mass Association to levels beyond all expectations. He also served as house bursar ensuring that the hard-earned income well spent and nothing was wasted.

In 1975 John decided to return to Ireland to spend his last years in pastoral work. He worked for five years as a curate in Ardaghey, Inver, Co Donegal, but ill-health – he had heart attack and was hospitalized in Sligo - led him to retire early in 1980. He spent the remaining years of his life in ‘active retirement’ at his home at Brenter, Dunkineely, helping out local clergy from time to time. He also re-visited America on at least one occasion. His interest in the work of the American Province never flagged. The archives of the American Province contain an interesting correspondence between John and the Provincial Superiors about Society affairs in America and Liberia.

John died suddenly though not unexpectedly, of heart failure in his sleep. Bishop Seamus Hegarty of Raphoe diocese presided at his requiem Mass where the homily was preached by his confrere in the American Province, Brendan Darcy.
He is buried in Bruckless, Co Donegal, Ireland in the cemetery attached to the parish church.