|Title:||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan) to Coogan, William, 1883|
|Sender||Coogan, Michael (Brother Declan)|
|Origin||Mt. St. Joseph, Roscrea, Co. Tipperary|
|Destination||Harlem, NYC, USA|
|Genre||death of his mother, eulogy, commentary on grief, entreats his brother to take care of his health, sending gifts, greetings|
|Transcript||Mount St. Joseph|
October 26th, 1883
Written in top margin: P.S. I'm sending you a brown scapular blest, 1 for you, the other for Denis. I will send another to Mary Meaney soon. (They are the real brown.)
My dear Br,
After long expecting to hear from you and our dear Mother the usual cheering news, what must you think my feelings were on perceiving the mourning stripes which gave me full assurance (ere I read it or opened it) of the doleful news it contained. Oh! What a tide of grief dashed through me as I read the words "death of my dear mother," she who was so kind-hearted and good natured to us all, who always studied how she could best assist and comfort every one of us and never cared at all about herself or her own comfort or convenience.
The many kind acts she did for me in my early days are constantly before my mind; and above all, her great desire and endeavours to send me to Mt. Melleray by which she manifestly triumphed over all her natural feelings and sacrificed them for my spiritual good. See, then, how good Almighty God was to her, what a fine long day He gave her to fit her soul for His eternal society; and what a happy death I hope He has crowned her long life with as a reward for her charity, piety, and fidelity.
I know right well it's hard to suppress the feelings of nature, and that it's useless for me to advise you not to be fretting, for I never before knew what grief was; but then the circumstances of her death should alleviate our sorrow and strengthen our hope of meeting her again where sorrow & mourning shall be no more.
Your pound for masses came safely, in addition to the 8, the Superior has kindly ordered another to be celebrated which, according to my request, was offered for my Father, Mother, Mary, and Catharine.
At one of the masses a plenary indulgence was applied to my poor mother's soul at my request. The priests here have that power.
All the Community have showed their sympathy, and proved their charity in a praiseworthy manner
I wrote to Melleray yesterday to have the prayers of the Community offered for her and all the family living and dead. I hope you won't be fretting inordinately. Be resigned to God's holy will. She and all of you have a share in the masses, prayers, and communions which are offered up constantly in both monasteries for benefactors living and dead. May God have mercy on her and the rest. Amen.
I'm sorry to find you are so very delicate but I beg of you to take a reasonable care of your health and don't injure it if you can & when you'll be getting masses said for poor mother, I recommend you have them offered also for yourself and the entire family living and dead; the deceased will lose nothing, you will gain a great deal, and the Lord may restore you to perfect health. Live good pious lives, make frequent acts of contrition, and beg of God to grant you sorrow sufficient to wash away your sins, go frequently to confession, and beg of God also to grant you grace to love him with your whole heart and to preserve you in his grace to the last moment of your life. Last July a man named Mr Quinlisk called to see me saying that my mother bid him, and wished me also to send her a few lines. I asked him to come here again before going back to America that I might send you a present; he kindly did so, & I prepared 7 beads with a medal of St. Benedict attached to each, & five other medals of St. B. in addition and a large number of Agnus Dei's. I wrote the name of each person to whom I was sending the beads, and tied it on the one I intended for him or for her. I intended to write in a few days after, but when I let it go too long, I said I'd wait till you'd write and acknowledge the receipt of the present. You'll do me a favour if you send me a few lines as soon as possible and tell me all about these things as I'm fearing they may be lost. Remember me to Mary Meaney & Paul B. I'll write to her soon. Good Bye dear Brothers--M. Coogan
Written upside down in top margins: Please, try and make out every word in this letter, & write three or four lines soon. Let me know did poor Mother say anything about me at the time of her death. No letter from Jas? O?