Société des Missions Africaines –Province d'Irlande

Cadogan Timothy né le 10 avril 1897 à Ardagh
dans le diocèse de Ross, Irlande
membre de la SMA le 1er novembre 1918
prêtre le 29 juin 1921
décédé le 5 février 1984

1921-1924 missionnaire dans la préfecture apostolique du Liberia
1924-1926 Wilton
1926-1984 hospitalisé à Dublin

décédé à Portrane, Irlande, le 5 février 1984,
à l'âge de 87 ans

Father Timothy CADOGAN(1897 - 1984)

Timothy Cadogan was born in Ardagh, Church Cross, Skibbereen, in the diocese of Ross, on 10 April 1897. He died in St. Ita's hospital, Portrane, Co Dublin, on 5 February 1984.

Timothy (Tim) was educated in the Sacred Heart college, Ballinafad, Co Mayo (1912 1914), and at St. Joseph's college, Wilton, Cork (1914 1916). He studied philosophy and theology in the Society's major seminary, at Blackrock Road, Cork. He was received as a member of the Society on l November 1918, and was ordained a priest, along with nine colleagues, in St. Joseph's church, Blackrock Road, on 29 June 192l. Bishop Thomas Broderick, vicar apostolic of Western Nigeria, was the ordaining prelate.

Tim was appointed to the West African Republic of Liberia and sailed for his mission in November 1921. Liberia was arguably the most difficult mission field in Africa. Before the S.M.A. took charge in 1906, three missionary expeditions to that Black Republic (established in the early 19th century by freed slaves from the U.S.A.) had foundered. This was the mission which had been entrusted to the Irish Province of the Society on its erection in 1912 and which was to exact a heavy toll on personnel over the years. Liberia was an impoverished country, with virtually no roads, few medical facilities, with a small and widely scattered population, where outbreaks of civil strife between the indigenous people and the Americo Liberian ruling elite were frequent, where Protestantism of a virulent anti Catholic strain was strongly established and where, above all, there was a hazardous climate. This was the original 'whiteman's grave', situated only a few degrees from the Equator. Isolation was a special problem for missionaries whose only contact was often by sea travel along the coast or by long days trekking.

These were among the factors which led to a breakdown in Tim's health in 1924, scarcely three years after he had taken up his duties. He spent two of these years in the district of Grand Cess on the Kru Coast, a district of two stations, Grand Cess (founded in 1916), and Topo (founded in 1919). Eugene O'Hea was Tim's superior and together they served a Catholic community of 500. He spent his last year in Kinekale mission, assisting Jim Stanley. Invalided home, for two years he was attached to the Wilton house, but in 1926 his condition worsened and he was hospitalised. He spent the remainder of his life, a period of almost sixty years, in various Irish hospitals. It is only in the light of faith that a life such as Tim's can be given meaning. On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his ordination, in 1981, Joseph Hardy, the Superior General, wrote Tim a letter which contains the following poignant passage: '... the greater part of your life has been spent in suffering and silence, in a way, no doubt, you never would have chosen. Yet such is the mystery of the ways of the Lord... Your service to the missions has been for the greater part hidden and unknown, but only the Lord knows the importance of that service and the contribution you have made through your sufferings to the spread of the Gospel and the salvation of souls.'

He is buried in Wilton cemetery.