|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to Coogan (n. Nolan), Catherine, 1870|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. Melleray, Cappoquin, Co. Waterford|
|Destination||Harlem, NYC, USA|
|Recipient||Coogan (n. Nolan), Catherine|
|Genre||encouragement on bearing illness, praying for her|
|Transcript||Mount Melleray Abbey|
December 12, 1870
My Dear Mother,
The much wished-for letter which William wrote Nov. 20th was given to me on last Friday. It was far more welcome to me than the appalling news which it conveyed, that is, your present very delicate state of health. I was (as I'm sure you know) very much grieved at such a heartrending news. But what have we now to [ ] in this time of trial. Nothing undoubtedly but to be perfectly resigned to the will of the Lord who knows what's best for His chosen ones. He in his mercy has given you a fine time to prepare for the home that will never end in the resplendent halls of His eternal Father. And I'm sure you have made the best use of every moment of that precious time knowing well (as I'm sure you do) that any number of years would be far too short to prepare for a holy happy death.
Then if it so pleases the Almighty God to call you now to himself, I implore of you to not be grieved but rejoice to leave this miserable world that's full of cares and vanity, and what is worse, its inhabitants in general live in a real forgetfulness of God or eternity. It's very afflicting to you I know to be parting with those whose salvation you feel interested about but do not be grieved at that. They all know their religious duties very well and that their only study at every moment of their lives should be to avoid sin and all occasions of sin and never willfully to offend our Good God but to seek always to please Him and to accomplish his holy will and never lose sight of their souls' salvation. I as you requested will never neglect writing to them very frequently and do all in my power for them every way I can.
I was told by a priest of this house to advise them to procure good pious books and read them frequently and attend their religious duties punctually lest perhaps their minds would become estranged from the great duties which they owe to God. You were all recommended to the prayers of the community twice. I pray for you all every day myself frequently.
My Dear Mother, I'm happy to let you know that four Masses were celebrated for yourself in particular for the money which you sent and four Masses more were celebrated for all our family living and dead including all the Doyle family and myself for whom Mrs. Doyle wished them to be offered particularly, but it was considered better to offer them for us all that none might be deprived of the abundant blessings and graces derived from the holy Masses. I'm greatly indebted to Mrs. Doyle for her kindness to me and for which I return her my sincere thanks and kindest wishes and a promise never to forget praying for them and having prayers offered for them whilst life remains. Tell her I'll write to her shortly. I have not heard from James at all. I wish you to send me his address that I may write to him. Pray for him you all as much as you can. I hope my Dear Mother as your health was so very bad that you did not neglect the principal point, that is to prepare for a happy death by Confession and receiving all the last sacraments of the Catholic Church, but if you did not as yet, I implore of you to not neglect that in due time and don't on any account neglect it nor even delay it and let no one persuade you that will shorten your days. Prepare well for death, for after death preparation is impossible, and never neglect sending for a Priest every time you want confession but in particular when you perceive your last hour approach that you may thereby receive absolution and die in the grace and friendship of Almighty God. Remember well these words I'm saying and do not at all forget them and I'm sure that the family will never forget having Masses offered for your poor soul. I'll pray for you always whilst I live and will have prayers in abundance offered for you. I'm happy to tell you that I'm very stout and strong and my constitution is good or better than it was for many years past, thank God. I'm sorry indeed for you now as you know but we must all be resigned to the will of God. Don't fret for leaving this wretched [ ? ] but pray often to God and his Blessed Mother for the gift of final perseverance and the grace of a happy death and for grace to vanquish your spiritual enemies.
I am as usual your loving son, M. Coogan