In Borrisoleigh in Co Tipperary, Ireland, the parish celebrated the memory of one of their famous sons, Bishop Joseph Shanahan, on Sunday June 2nd 2019.
The Papal Nuncio to Ireland, Archbishop Jude Thadeus Okolo, from Southern Nigeria himself, was the chief celebrant, proud to acknowledge the man of whom they say, “He was our Saint Patrick.”
He was the apostle of Southern Nigeria, from the day he stepped ashore from the River Niger in Onitsha in 1902. With other Spiritan priests he brought the news of the saving love of Jesus which the people accepted eagerly; he also bought them Education which he believed in passionately, as their gateway into the modern world.
As time went on he felt strongly that women missionaries were needed to reach out to the women, and this led him to found the Holy Rosary Sisters to do just that.
Many Holy Rosary Sisters attended the celebration
In Borrisoleigh Fr Hennessy, the parish priest, the nieces and nephews of Joseph Shanahan to the third and fourth generation, with all the people of the parish, gave a big welcome to those who came to celebrate with them; after a beautiful Mass, at which the story of his life was told and everyone did their part with practised skill, including the choir, there was tea and sandwiches for all, and music, song and Irish dancing performed by young and old. After this we visited the Bishop Shanahan monument in Glenkeen and heard more of the story and more songs.