Our brother, Séan Gildea OFM, went peacefully to the Lord on 11th June. He was 97 years of age and a member of the Franciscan community in Rossnowlagh.
Séan was born, first of nine children, in Ballinarry, Co Roscommon in 1924. He became an officer in the Irish Army but abandoned a military career to join the Franciscans.
He entered the novitiate in Killarney in September 1952 and celebrated his First Profession a year later. After studies in Galway, Leuven, and Rome he was ordained to the priesthood in Rome in 1959.
Drawn to the missionary life, Séan went to then Southern Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, in 1960 and was one of the outstanding pioneers of the Franciscan mission there.
Séan was to spend the next 43 years in Zimbabwe serving the people with extraordinary dedication and loving enthusiasm. Along with his pastoral ministry, he held roles in formation and leadership among the friars in that country.
In 2003, for health reasons, Séan returned to Ireland. Since then his joyful presence and creative ministry in Rossnowlagh have brought blessings to many people.
May his generous soul rest in the peace of Christ.
The Removal is from Shivnan’s Funeral Home, Ballyfarnon, Co Roscommon on Tuesday 15th at 5.00pm, journeying to the Franciscan Friary, Rossnowlagh, via Kilmactranny, Ballinarry and Castlebaldwin.
Public viewing will take place on Wednesday from 10.30am to 1.00pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday afternoon at 2.00pm.
Interment follows afterwards in the adjoining Franciscan cemetery.
Mass will be streamed live on Geevagh.ie Facebook page – CLICK HERE.
In compliance with Government guidelines regarding funerals, you are requested to follow rules regarding church numbers (50 persons permitted in church) and also to adhere strictly to social distancing en route to church, in vicinity of the church and the cemetery.