|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to a brother, 1881|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. St. Joseph, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary|
|Genre||a friend's accident, new church, gratitude for donations|
Mount St. Joseph
Roscrea, Co. Tipperary
8th day of September 1881
My dear Brother,
I hope you won't judge me ungrateful from my long delay in answering the messages sent me by Mr. McDonald and for neglecting till now the acknowledgement of our heart-felt gratitude for the great kindness which you have so bravely manifested towards dear Mt. St. Joseph. But a few incidents which have occurred, and which I'll now relate, will, I'm sure, throw such light on the whole matter as to render any or at least many excuses partly unnecessary.
Mr. Thomas McDonald wrote to me from Tramore about the middle of August, saying he "had some money for Mount St. Joseph" which he wished to send me as he was not able to come himself; which sad news gave me a great deal of trouble and caused very much regret amongst our Brethren.
Now, the cause of his inability to come here was occasioned by a severe fall off a car shortly after coming to Ireland which left him senseless for more than two hours. Where it occurred I cannot say. He paid a visit to Melleray, but was unable to remain there more than a couple of days--he was so very bad.
I'm sure you will all be sorry to hear this doleful news, and that you will pray fervently for him. He is a most worthy person and is now one of the best friends we have, and one whom we shall never forget whilst we live. The Abbot of Melleray paid us a visit on his returning from France a couple of weeks ago and I told him all about poor Mr. McDonald and asked him to pray specially for him, which request he most willingly accepted and said he was sorry to hear so sad a news of Mr. McDonald.
I'm sure you'll be glad to hear that on the 18th of this month the dedication of our new Church is to take place. The Bishop, we expect, will be here to perform the Ceremony. The Abbot of Melleray will celebrate Pontifical high Mass. The English Abbot and French Abbot will also be present. The sermon will be preached by Fr. Thomas Burke, G.P., whom William knows very well. The Gregorian Choir from Dublin will be here, and one or more of the neighboring bands. We expect to see thousands here on that day, and hope in the Lord it will be a great benefit to our new establishment. If you write to me soon after receiving this, I will send you the sermon and the full account of all the proceedings. Don't depend on William to do this for you. Do it yourself and send me a full account of how you are situated, as I'm most anxious to know it.
I was delighted to hear from you all as I feared for some time previously that something might be amiss, not hearing from you for so long at a time. Tell my poor Mother how glad I am to find she is still so stout. Tell her I could hardly double my prayers for her; they have hitherto been too numerous; however, I'll certainly be obedient to her till death and consequently will increase them, & I hope she won't forget me.
I suppose you understand that, though our Church will now be dedicated, it is by no means finished; that will be the work of time. The external part only is finished. The inside is yet to be done, and our present arrangements are only temporary.
Please remember me to all my brothers and sisters and their respective families and let me know how they are going on. Perhaps I did not act prudently in sending cards to any of Mrs. Meaney's family. If I thought so I would be very sorry for it.
As I intend writing to you soon after hearing from you next time, I conclude by returning thanks from our Prior, from myself, & from all the community for your great generosity to Mt. St. Joseph. Believe me to be your loving br. M. Coogan