Société des Missions Africaines – Province d’Irlande

DEANE John né le 31 mai 1906 à Lixnaw
dans le diocèse de Kerry, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 2 juillet 1930
prêtre le 10 juin 1934
décédé le 27 octobre 1954

1934-1935 missionnaire à Lagos, Nigeria
1935-1936 malade, soins en famille
1936-1937 animation missionnaire
1937-1941 Lagos, Nigeria
1943-1946 Lagos, Nigeria
1948 Liberia
1-49-1950 Dromantine, directeur
1950-1954 gravement malade

décédé à Dublin, Irlande, le 27 octobre 1954
à l’âge de 49 ans

Le père John Joseph DEANE (1906 - 1954)

A Dublin (Irlande), le 27 octobre 1954, retour à Dieu du père John Deane, à l'âge de 49 ans.

John Deane naquit à Lixnaw, dans le diocèse de Kerry, en Irlande, en 1905. Il fit ses études dans les maisons de la Société, en Irlande, émit le serment en 1930 et fut ordonné prêtre en 1934. Le jeune père Deane partit aussitôt pour le vicariat de la Côte du Bénin, mais revint malade dès l'année suivante.

Après quelques mois de repos, il fut nommé propagandiste et en 1937 il repartait pour la Nigeria. Rentré en 1941, il songea à la vie contemplative et entra chez les Cisterciens. Sa santé ne lui permettant pas d'y rester, le père Deane repartit pour la Nigeria en 1943. Sa santé ne lui permit que trois ans de séjour, et il dut rentrer. En 1948, il essaya un nouveau climat, celui du Liberia, mais il ne put y rester que six mois.

A part l'année 1949-1950, que le père Deane passa au grand séminaire de Dromantine comme directeur, il sera désormais un malade, un malade parfaitement soumis à la volonté du Seigneur, offrant toutes ses souffrances pour les missions où sa santé ne lui avait pas permis de rester.

Le père Deane s'est toujours fait remarquer pour son esprit clair et pénétrant, son application au devoir d'état et son regard sérieux sur la vie.

Sa bonne humeur et son sourire toujours prêts à se manifester le faisaient bien accueilli partout où il allait.

Father John Joseph DEANE (1905 - 1954)

John Deane was born at Clandonglas, Lixnaw, in the diocese of Kerry, on 31 May 1905. He died in St. Joseph's home, 49 Barton Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin, on 27 October 1954

John received his primary education at Clondonglas national school. He received his secondary education in the colleges of the Society, at the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1924 1925), and St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1925 1928). He entered the Society's novitiate and house of philosophy, at Kilcolgan, Co Galway in September 1928. John was admitted as a member of the Society on 2 July 1930 and the following September went to the seminary, at Dromantine, Co Down, to commence his theological studies. John was ordained a priest by Bishop Edward Mulhern of Dromore diocese, in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 10 June 1934. He was one of a group of seventeen ordained on that day.

Shortly afterwards, in November 1934, John set sail for the vicariate of the Bight of Benin, in south western Nigeria. John spent the first six months of his first tour of duty studying the Yoruba language and ministering in the cathedral mission at Holy Cross. His first formal appointment, given to him by Bishop Francis O'Rourke, the vicar apostolic, was to St. Paul's mission, Ebute Metta (Lagos). Philip Corish who was pro-vicar of the jurisdiction, was superior of this important mission. Ebute Metta station had been founded in 1890 and had a large catholic community of some 3,000 members. The vicariate's printing press was located here and it was hoped that John might assist in the work of the press, which included the publication of the Nigerian Catholic Herald, the only national catholic journal in Nigeria at that time. However within two months of taking up his post John fell ill and in December 1935 he was invalided home to Ireland.

After some months convalescence John was appointed to the promotion staff at Blackrock road, Cork (1937), and later that year he returned to Nigeria. Bishop O'Rourke appointed him superior of Effon district, with Frank O'Shea as his assistant priest. The principal station of Effon, in the heart of Ekiti country, was founded in 1915 and when John came there, he served a catholic community of some 4,000 Catholics and 600 catechumens, many of whom lived in the district's fourteen secondary stations. John took special responsibility for the district's six elementary schools. In June 1939 Bishop Leo Taylor (who had succeeded Francis O'Rourke) appointed John superior of St. Theresa's inter-vicarial minor seminary, at Oke Are, Ibadan. This institution had some 25 students in training drawn from jurisdictions mainly in the south and west of Nigeria. In 1940 Bishop Taylor entrusted John with a new assignment, that of education supervisor for the vicariate. This was a most demanding post, placing him in charge of the education apostolate for the entire territory.

John went on home leave in June 1941. During his years of priesthood he had felt himself increasingly drawn towards the contemplative life, and having discussed the matter with his superiors, in August 1942 he entered the Cistercian monastery at Mount Melleray, Co Waterford, as a postulant. However within two months ill health again intruded and he left. After convalescing he returned to Nigeria in March 1943. Two months earlier the old Bight of Benin jurisdiction had been divided into two vicariates, Ondo-Ilorin and Lagos. John was incorporated into the staff of the Lagos vicariate. After three years, spent mainly in Ebute Metta and Holy Cross, John was again back in Ireland in poor health. In 1948 he tried a new climate, Liberia, but came home after six months.

In 1949 John became director of students in the seminary at Dromantine, but resigned his post in January 1950. He went to the diocese of Lincoln on supply work in August 1950 only to return to Ireland in January 1951. Thereafter he resided at Blackrock Road. He continued to be dogged by ill health, complaining of internal pains which puzzled doctors and friends. It was only in the last months of his life that the cause of this constant suffering over the years became apparent. Intensive tests conducted in the Richmond hospital, Dublin, in October 1954, revealed the presence in of a malignant brain tumour. It appears that the tumour had been present in a benign form for a long time. John was removed to St. Joseph's nursing home, Barton Drive, Rathfarnham, Dublin, where he died. Because of the failure to diagnose a cause for his constant headaches and other distressing symptoms, John was to suffer much misunderstanding during his life.

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.