"Humble Tribute to a Wonderful Human Being, Bishop John Moore"

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Joe O'Rourke
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"Humble Tribute to a Wonderful Human Being, Bishop John Moore"

Postby Joe O'Rourke » Mon Feb 01, 2010 3:00 pm

I have been trying for over a week now to think of how I pay a worthy tribute to a man such as Bishop John Moore of the Society of African Missions (SMA) who passed away very suddenly on January 20th in St Vincent’s Hospital in his home city of Dublin. What I have decided to do is give you some background information on Bishop John and his life as a Missionary and hopefully you will understand what a fantastic human being he was.
Bishop John was born on January 12th 1942 in Dublin, he was the second son of John and Mary, and is survived by his older brother Gerard and his younger sister Mary. After studying at the Christian Brothers Secondary School in Dublin from 1955 he became a member of the SMA in 1960, he was ordained to the priesthood in December 1965 in St Coleman’s Cathedral, Newry.
The good Bishop arrived in Northern Nigeria as a young missionary in 1966, in a country which is predominately Muslim, the first thing he had to do was learn the language so as to communicate with the very people he was trying to help. He ministered in many parishes, and was very much a hands on person helping to dig wells, build schools, churches and clinics, not forgetting his pastoral work as a priest. All this work was done for the whole community not just for the Christians; he was well respected by the Muslim Leaders.
Bishop John spent 44 years in Nigeria as a missionary, he was the first Bishop of Bauchi diocese which has a population of 5.5 million, and has an area of 40,000 sq miles, about 80% the size if Ireland. Since 1996 they have doubled the amount of parishes and priests in Bauchi, they have about 22 seminarians at this time; all this is great testament to the hard work and dedication of Bishop John and his fellow missionaries.
Bishop John’s funeral Mass was held in St Joseph’s SMA Church, Wilton. It was concelebrated by many Priests led by the SMA Provincial Leader Fr Fachtna O’Driscoll, he welcomed in his opening remarks the Nigerian Ambassador to Ireland H E Dr Kemafo Chikwe, Mr John Kennedy from the office of the Executive President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Irish Ambassador to Nigeria Mr Kyle O’Sullivan, and many Priests, Brothers and Sisters of different congregations. Fr O’Driscoll also read letters of sympathy from many dignitaries including His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI. After a very moving service Bishop John was laid to rest amongst his fellow SMA’s in the adjoining SMA Cemetery.
Bishop John was a very humble and modest man, he will be sadly missed by his family, his fellow Bishops and Priests, and indeed by all who knew him, but I suspect most of all by his dedicated followers of all faiths and none in Bauchi diocese Nigeria, their lives have been touched and enhanced by a wonderful human being who would be embarrassed by the praise which he received and so richly deserved. "May he Rest in Peace"

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