Corr: Eddie Brady
On this Friday, August 28th at 8pm in the Church of the Immaculate Conception, Belturbet Right Revd Monsignor Michael Cooke celebrates his golden jubilee and retirement. A native of Cavan town, Monsignor Cooke was raised to the priesthood on Sunday, June 20 1945. His first appointment was to Drumahaire parish and three years later saw Fr Michael move to Tierworker (Kilmainhamwood). Clerical changes within the diocese in the Autumn of 1971 saw Father Cooke together with his housekeeper Miss Cait Barbour arrive in Ballinagh. From his first hour in our midst Father Michael endeared himself to everyone within our community – the young and not so young, the poor and the wealthy, the Catholic and the non-catholic all came to know and respect Father Cooke. During his student days the youthful Michael was an outstanding Gaelic footballer who gave sterling service to his club Cavan Gaels and by coincidence the year 1945 saw this most unassuming sportsman raised to the priesthood and his club win their first ever Cavan senior county football championship. In Ballinagh where his popularity would know no boundaries, Father Cooke threw in his lot with the local club of which he was chosen as chairman and under whose guidance county championship honours came to our town. In drama circles, Father Michael was an expert in the field of production. Shortly after coming to our parish, he founded a youth group which included a drama cast who travelled to areas near and far and in halls crowded to capacity held audiences spellbound with splendid performances. Fr Michael produced a second show known as ‘the capers’ where in addition he also wrote the script for the show. In Ballinagh where he ministered for all of sixteen years he was kind, friendly and helpful, a beloved pastor by one and all and there was much sadness when news spread of his departure to neighbouring Crosserlough. Later appointed parish priest of Manorhamilton, he was in addition named Vicar General of the Diocese of Kilmore and an indication of Father Cookes high regard in church circles came with an announcement by the then Holy Father Pope (now saint) John Paul II of Father Cooke’s elevation to the office of Domestic Prelate with the title of Right Rev Monsignor and a further announcement that Monsignor Cooke would be one of the Holy Fathers special confessors. Following mass on this Friday night there will be a gathering of parishioners friends and family in the Seven Horseshoes, Belturbet and to which everyone is invited and on behalf of the people of Ballinagh and our parish of Kilmore, may I wish Monsignor Cooke many years of good health and happiness.
To Mrs Anne (Doe) Sheridan, Urney on the celebration of a special birthday at her home on Saturday last in the company of her family, relatives and many friends. A kind friendly and most helpful neighbour to all of us, the past week was for Mrs Sheridan one of special significance and an occasion for double celebration as on Thursday (August 20th) this most unassuming lady celebrated the 60th anniversary of her marriage and on behalf of our community, may I wish ‘Doe’ (nee Tully) many years of good health and happiness.
Meeting of Ballinagh and district vintage club in Cronin’s lounge on Friday, August 28th at 9pm. All members please attend.
In Cornafean GAA ground on Sunday next, August 30th at 3pm in aid of self help Africa. Please support.