Bishop Michael Cleary C.S.Sp., who has died, had been a Spiritan for over 75 years. From Co. Mayo, he did his Leaving Cert. in St. Jarlath’s College, Tuam. He joined the Congregation in 1943, spending just under a decade training for the priesthood, most of this in Kimmage Manor, ‘prefected’ in Blackrock College while a seminarian and gained his B.A. and H. Dip.
Ordained in 1952, Fr. Michael moved to The Gambia the following year. He taught for over 2 decades in the capital city, Banjul, rising to be principal of St. Augustine’s High School. He was diocesan education secretary, Vicar-General and, for a total of 25 years, Bishop of Banjul.
Commenting on the death of Bishop Cleary on 3rd September 2020, Bishop Gabriel Mendy, the current Bishop of Banjul, remarked that “he was not only an Irish Spiritan missionary in the diocese for sixty-two years; he was also our dearest and exemplary Chief Shepherd…”
Image above: Saint Pope John Paul II and Bishop Michael Cleary C.S.Sp.+