Diamond Jubilee of Fr David Conlon

Fr David ConlonThe Diamond Jubilee of Fr David Conlon’s ordination was celebrated with his family and confreres on Sunday July 18th 2010.

In June 1950 David was ordained for the Society of  African Missions (SMA) and after studies in Rome was appointed to the Society’s mission to Liberia. He served as Secretary to the Internunciature in Liberia and secretary to the Bishop of Monrovia, Dr John Collins, while undertaking building and construction work for the Diocese. Liberia proved to be a hard station and David’s health was unable for it.

At the end of some four years he was re-assigned to Ireland and appointed Rector of the Major Seminary at Dromantine, Newry, Co. Down. His next appointment was as Vocations Director and fund -raiser for the missionary work of the society

In September 1969, in his 44th year, David joined the Community at Glenstal in pursuit of a growing interest in monastic life, nurtured by the Cistercian monks of Portglenone. Following a period of adaptation and integration, David joined the  Glenstal team of Frs Ambrose, Columba and Columba Cary-Elwes (Ampleforth Abbey) in the task of bringing the Benedictine vocation to the young Church in Nigeria. The first effort in the Diocese of Enugu was not successful, and led to the move to Ewu-Ishan which has after some 25 years become a well established independent Priory with a community of over 30 Nigerian monks.

In 1982 David returned to Glenstal and was appointed monastic bursar. In 1986 a bout of prostate cancer led to a harrowing year in the Mater Hospital undergoing several operations.

After a full recovery from this ordeal, David was appointed Assistant Bursar and became involved in fund-raising projects for the Abbey and for the new monastery in Nigeria at Ewu-Ishan. He also fulfilled a term as Novicemaster for the monastery at Glenstal during this period.

Currently David continues as Assistant Bursar and is involved in a regenerated Oblate Programme. He is now enjoying reasonably good health in this, his 85th year, on this planet. 

Over 50 of his family attended a sumptuous running buffet provided by the ever-reliable Campbell Catering group from 1.00 – 3.00pm in the Castle Reception rooms. The guests had a small respite including a well-received visit to the Terraced Gardens where the Glenstal Monkey and various Elephants were on show to the younger members of the party! The family  reassembled in the Boardroom of the Castle for a special celebratory Mass  offered by Fr David in thanksgiving for all that he has enjoyed in his long life and especially the support of his family. The Master of Ceremonies for the day was Rory Conlon, David’s nephew and son of Michael. And an excellent job he did too! Happily the day was fair for all involved.