It is with deep regret and sorrow that the Diocese of Clogher announces the death of Monsignor Sean Cahill, the retired Parish Priest of Enniskillen, a Vicar-General of the Diocese of Clogher for many years and also a former President of St Macartan’s College, Monaghan. Monsignor Cahill died peacefully at the South West Acute Hospital Enniskillen yesterday evening, following a long illness which he bore with great dignity and an acceptance of God’s will. Monsignor Cahill was a priest of the diocese for sixty years. In fact, his Funeral Mass on Friday next, 24 July, will be on the actual sixtieth anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood.
Upon learning of Monsignor Cahill’s death, the Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Larry Duffy, said that the entire diocese has lost a great servant, a priest who had given that service to the Lord through his priesthood and through leadership in both education and parish life.
‘Monsignor Sean was one of the giants of the diocese in his time. Throughout his sixty years of priestly ministry he gave generous service to God’s people through teaching, education leadership, parish ministry and assistance at diocesan level. He began his ministry just a the Church prepared for Vatican II. He witnessed many changes in the Church and in wider society and he negotiated all these in his own inimitable way – always prayerfully and with great energy.’
‘Monsignor Sean had high standards and he expected those who worked with him to do their very best to attain those same standards of service to the people of God. He always saw this as a response to the call that he and all of us receive through our baptism. It was that same sense of vocation that enabled him to contribute immensely to important developments in the fields of education, marriage and the family, vocations to the priesthood and also in the area of inter-Church dialogue. Indeed, his ministry in Enniskillen was during some of the most difficult days of the troubles, and especially at the time of the Remembrance Day bombing in Enniskillen in 1987. His faith-filled compassion and leadership, together with his outgoing and gentle personality, touched the hearts of many people, regardless of religious background. He walked with people in “the joys and hopes, the sorrows and anxieties” of life.
‘On behalf of Bishops-emeritus Duffy and MacDaid, with whom he worked closely in many ways, on my own behalf and on behalf of the clergy and all the people of our diocese, I express sincere and prayer-filled sympathy to his family and to all of the communities in Enniskillen, Lisbellaw and Maguiresbridge where he ministered so generously.
‘May the words of St Paul comfort us all:
“We believe that Jesus died and rose again, and that it will be the same for those who have died in Jesus: God will bring them with him…. With thoughts such as these you should comfort one another.” (1 Thessalonians 4: 14,18)’
May his soul and souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace.
Life and Ministry of Monsignor Sean Cahill
Sean Pancras Cahill was born on 25 April 1934, the son of the late John and Margaret Cahill (nee O’Halloran). The family home was at Latlurcan in Monaghan town. Educated at Monaghan CBS and later at St Macartan’s College, he studied for the priesthood at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth after which he was ordained by Bishop Eugene O’Callaghan on 24 July 1960. From 1960 Fr Sean was a member of the teaching staff of St Macartan’s College, Monaghan, being President of the College from 1974 until 1981. He was appointed Parish Priest of St Michael’s Parish, Enniskillen in August 1981 where he served until his retirement in 2007. Appointed Chaplain to His Holiness with the tile of Monsignor in 1981, he was also a Vicar General of the Diocese of Clogher from then until 2010. Following his retirement as Parish Priest, he ministered to the people of Maguiresbridge in the parish of Aghalurcher, Co Fermanagh until 2018, during which time he also fulfilled, with great enthusiasm and some notable success, the role of Diocesan Director of Vocations.
Monsignor Sean was brother of the late Fr Martin Cahill, a priest of the Diocese of Clogher who died in Magh Ene (Bundoran-Ballyshannon) parish in 1988.
He is survived by his brothers Hugh and Owen, his nephews and niece and a wide circle of friends.
Due to the Covid-19 restrictions, attendance at the funeral will be restricted. Monsignor Sean’s body will be removed to St Michael’s Church, Enniskillen this Thursday evening, to arrive at 6.30pm. As noted above, his Funeral Mass will take place on Friday (24th) at 12 Noon, followed by burial in the Convent Cemetery, Enniskillen. The funeral liturgies will be broadcast via https://www.mcnmedia.tv/camera/st-michaels-parish-eniskillen and on the Enniskillen parish website: http://www.saintmichaels-parish.com/.
Tribute from the Church of Ireland to the late Monsignor Cahill:
The Most Revd John McDowell, Archbishop of Armagh, today said he was very sad to learn of the death of Monsignor Sean Cahill, retired PP of Enniskillen and former Vicar General in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Clogher.
Paying tribute, he said; ‘Monsignor Cahill has been a friend of the Church of Ireland clergy and people in Enniskillen and wider Diocese of Clogher for many years and was an extraordinary diligent parish priest and counsellor in the Diocese.
‘And many people from the Church of Ireland community will have experienced the depth of his friendship and will have benefited from his wisdom and astute judgement.
‘We wish to express sympathy to his family and friends on the sad bereavement.’