Former Abbot Celestine celebrates 90 years

Blowing out his candles…


On Thursday 6 July, the community joined Abbot Celestine Cullen in the celebration of his 90th birthday at Mass and lunch in the monastery.

Brian Cullen was born in 1927 and educated at Glenstal. After school he entered the monastery, taking the monastic name Celestine. He made is first Profession of vows in December 1947. (And therefore is due for another major celebration later this year!) Fr Celestine served for many years as Headmaster of the school, before being elected third Abbot of Glenstal in 1980. He was elected Abbot President of our Benedictine Congregation of the Annunciation in 1992 and shortly afterwards resigned as Abbot of Glenstal, in order to concentrate on his duties as Abbot President. After twelve years of service as Abbot President, he retired from that office in 2004.

Currently resident in a nearby nursing home, Fr Celestine returned to Glenstal to celebrate his birthday. He concelebrated at the daily Conventual Mass, which was offered for his intentions. Lunch followed, and after some words of congratulations from Prior Senan, Fr Celestine blew out the candles on a special cake. At the request of the ‘Birthday Boy’, the celebrations were low-key. His only special request was that the three ladies who have been responsible for most of his care over the past few years be part of the festivities. Accordingly, Bernie, Tina and Vera joined the community for lunch and in toasting his health.

Ad multos annos, D. Celestine!

Welcome from Prior Senan

Birthday cake!

Applause for the Birthday Boy

Vera, Bernie and Tina