|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to Coogan, Matthew, 1878|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. St. Joseph, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary|
|Destination||Harlem, NYC, USA|
|Genre||gratitude for donations, mother's illness, some family members don't write, greetings|
|Transcript||Cistercian Monastery of Mount St. Joseph|
Roscrea, Co. Tipperary
11th day of December, 1878
My Dear Brother,
One fear pervades my mind as I sit down to write and that is that I cannot sufficiently thank my dear Mother and you for your extraordinary kindness on this last occasion, for when I consider your very slender means, I am inclined to conclude it was the effect of a special inspiration from God. But though I cannot thank you as I wish yet I console myself when I reflect that the Great Rewarder of every good act done in the state of grace has recorded in his own divine mind your kind act of charity, to bestow on you not only an additional degree of sanctifying grace, but hereafter an additional degree of glory in the world beyond the stars which through an endless eternity shall never fade away.
The Superior is most thankful to you also and recommended you all to the prayers of the community, and Masses were said according to your wish for you all, and one mass was said for Patrick according to the wish of his dear wife whose 10 came safely for which I return her the united thanks of myself and the Community. She is truly deserving of our prayers and our gratitude for her frequent acts of kindness. Let her know that she will have a share in the daily Mass which is offered here and at Mt. Melleray and the general Communion which is offered once a week in both Monasteries and also in the prayers which are offered every week for our benefactors. I hope this will be a consolation to you all who so generously subscribe your hard earned money. By order of my Superior I send you this letter of association which I'm sure will be a consolation to you all and an encouragement to live lives more holy henceforth than usual. All persons subscribing one pound or upwards are entitled to one of these letters. Nevertheless I hope you'll be thankful to the Superior who is himself most grateful to you all.
I'm sorry to hear of the delicate state of my poor mother's health, but I'm surprised that she has held out so long. God has been very good to her. I'm sure she is doing all in her power to please Him and consequently to prepare for the last great act--death--if her old age renders it necessary that you should remind her of her pious exercises (I mean if her memory be failing). You must take great care frequently to remind her of the obligation of preparing every day for death for I suppose it cannot be far off now. I depend on you for all, and if I live longer than her it will be a lifelong consolation to me to hear that her death was happy and holy and on the contrary if anything be neglected which should not be neglected, a life-long trouble will be mine. Remind her often to repeat the theological acts, faith, hope, charity, and frequently to implore the Sacred Heart of our divine Lord to grant hr true contrition for the past and final perseverance which is to crown her for eternity. Tell her often to repeat acts of contrition and other little aspirations to our Lord and his Blessed Mother and never omit anything which you know she requires for her Salvation.
James wrote to me last September and said that he would write again soon and send some money. I answered his letter, but he has not written since. If you be writing to him soon I'd like you to mention this and please send me his proper address. Perhaps I did not direct my letter properly. I'm greatly consoled with all you have told me about him, and indeed he sent me a very consoling letter himself. Tell my mother how glad I am to hear from him and that I shall always write to him and send him any little presents I may have.
I have not heard from Mrs. Byrne or from the Mahers for a long time past; I wrote a short time ago to Mrs. Byrne but got no answer, so I do not know whether she is living or dead. I hear nothing whatever that passes in the old home. I hope you won't imagine that I'm sorry for coming to this part of Ireland to spend the rest of my days. On the contrary I'm quite contented. We have our Melleray here (the word Melleray means a house of honey). Well, the Cistercian monk can have his Melleray any place he lives when he acts through obedience. I greatly regret you did not go see the Abbot of Melleray in New York. Your fears were unfounded. He'd be very glad to see you or any one of the family. He was the kindest friend to me that I ever met; one of the Priests went with him to New Mellery on a visitation. I think they are home by this time. Tell my Mother that my health is very good, T.G. Please tell Patt that I wish to hear from him directly. If you have any good news soon regarding your houses let me know as soon as you can. We are now making immediate preparations for the building of our church. Six thousand pounds will complete the work. We expect all from the charity of the faithful. I hope you will make this known to any persons who you think might subscribe to that sacred project. I conclude by sending my love to you all, and wishing you a holy and happy Christmas.