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Société des Missions Africaines – Province d'Irlande

MONAHAN John né le 14 septembre 1934 à Bunclody
dans le diocèse de Ferns, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 14 juin 1954
prêtre le 18 juin 1958
décédé le 2 novembre 1962

1958-1962 missionnaire au Nigeria
diocèse d’Ibadan
grand séminaire, professeur

décédé à Ibadan, Nigeria, le 2 novembre 1962,
à l’âge de 28 ans


Le père John Michael MONAHAN (1934 - 1962)

A Ibadan (Nigeria), le 2 novembre 1962, retour à Dieu du père John Michael Monahan, à l'âge de 28 ans.

John Michael Monahan naquit dans le diocèse de Ferns, en Irlande, en 1934. Il fit le serment en 1954 et fut ordonné prêtre en juin 1958. La même année, le père Monahan partait pour le diocèse d'Ibadan.

Après une année de pastorale, il était nommé professeur de philosophie scolastique au grand séminaire interdiocésain d'Ibadan. D'une intelligence supérieure, le père Monahan se dévoua sans compter à la formation des futurs prêtres.

Il mourut des suites d'un accident de voiture.


Father John Michael MONAHAN (1934 - 1962)

John Monahan was born at Bunclody, Co Wexford, in the diocese of Ferns, on 14 September 1934. He died in Shagamu hospital, as a result of a car accident at Ikorodu, on the Lagos-Ibadan road, on 2 November 1962.

Raised in Tullow, Co Carlow, John studied at the Patrician Brothers' school in that town, from 1948 1952, obtaining an honours leaving certificate. He came to the S.M.A.'s novitiate and house of philosophy at Kilcolgan, Co Galway in 1952. Owing to the introduction of the 'spiritual year' at Kilcolgan, Co Galway in September 1953 and the transfer of the philosophy course to the major seminary, John completed his study of philosophy at Dromantine, Co Down. There too he was received as a member of the Society, on 14 June 1954. He was ordained a priest, by Bishop Eugene O'Doherty of Dromore diocese, in St. Colman's cathedral, Newry, on 18 June 1958. He was one of a group of twelve ordained on that day.

Assigned to the diocese of Ibadan in south western Nigeria, John sailed for his destination four months following his ordination. John came to Nigeria at a time of great development for the Church, when the seed sown in the early decades of the century was being reaped. The Church was now firmly established in the western region and was poised to enter a new phase when its direction would pass into the hands of Nigerians. John was earmarked to play a crucial role in this process. His first appointment, given to him by Richard Finn, bishop elect of Ibadan (he was ordained a bishop in February 1959), was to the tyrocinium at St. Leo's, Aboderin St., Challenge, Ibadan. The 'tyro' was a course of induction to Africa and the missions. It involved learning local languages, studying local culture and undertaking supervised pastoral activity. John was one of six young Fathers who spent a year in St. Leo's, under the kindly eye of Liam Murphy, the deputy regional and director of the tyrocinium. In September 1959 John received his first substantive appointment. He was selected to teach philosophy in Saints Peter and Paul regional seminary. Originally founded in Asaba, this seminary was transferred to Benin City in 1938, and to Bodija, Ibadan in 1956. When John came on the staff there were 79 seminarians in the college, mainly from the south and west, but some of them from as far north as Kaduna and Sokoto.

John died in a motor accident scarcely four years after his arrival in Nigeria. He had gone to Lagos (the Federal Capital), as a passenger in a car driven by another priest from the seminary. They had set out on the return journey to Ibadan in the dark when, about 27 miles from Lagos, they were involved in a collision with an unlighted parked lorry. John was taken to Shagamu hospital, where he died without regaining consciousness. He was survived by his parents and by four brothers and four sisters. John's death was a great loss to his family, to the Society and to the diocese. Above all it was a loss to the future priests of the region who in the post conciliar era would have gained much from a man of his considerable mental talents. John was buried near the site of the earliest mission in Ibadan, founded in 1895 by the first priests who reached this part of Nigeria. He rests there, side by side with the great pioneers who preceded him: Fathers Verly (1900), Vonau (1901), Augier (1902), Fourage (1909) and Ferrerio (1911), down to Father Eamonn Murphy who gave his young life to God in 1937. Since John's death several more colleagues have been laid to rest in the same cemetery.

He is buried in the grounds of St. Theresa's minor seminary, at Oke Are, Ibadan, Nigeria.