It is with great sadness that we announce the death of Monsignor Richard (Dick) Mohan, retired PP of Clones, former Prior of Lough Derg – and for many years the Diocesan Religious Advisor to schools. Mgr. Mohan died in the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen on Sunday morning, 1 January 2023, after a very short illness.
Commenting on the sudden death of Monsignor Mohan, the Bishop of Clogher, Bishop Larry Duffy said: “The death of Monsignor Mohan has come as a great shock to myself and to all who knew him – especially his family. the parishioners of Clones and the diocese of Clogher. Throughout his priestly ministry, he gave great service to people of all ages and in various places. He was a very competent catechist who is remembered with great fondness by the many people with whom he came in contact through his 12 years working in our primary schools as Diocesan Religious Advisor. His time at Lough Derg was a period of development and change, and being a man of vision and openness to the Lord, he managed that well. Above all, Fr Dick was a priest whose priesthood was rooted in walking with Christ every day. He fulfilled that ministry of Christ’s love right up to the final hours of his life. May the Lord now grant him eternal peace in the fullness of God’s Kingdom.“
Life and Ministry of the late Monsignor Mohan
Born in July 1944, Monsignor Mohan was a native of Altamullaboy, Coonian on the Fermanagh/Tyrone border (parish of Brooekboro-Fivemiletown), the son of Richard and Teresa Mohan. He was educated at Mullinvaum and Coonian Primary Schools before moving to St Michael’s College in Enniskillen for his secondary education. He studied for the Priesthood in St Patrick’s College, Maynooth and was ordained in St Joseph’s Church, Carrickmacross by Bishop Patrick Mulligan on 21 June 1970. Following ordination, Fr Mohan pursued a one-year post-graduate programme in catechetics at the Mount Oliver Catechetical Institute in Dundalk. From 1971 until 1973 he was a member of the staff of St Macartan’s College, Monaghan. In 1973, he was appointed as Religious Education Advisor for Primary Schools in the Diocese of Clogher, a post he held until 1985 when he was transferred to the Cathedral Parish of Monaghan and Rackwallace. In 1990 he was appointed Prior of Lough Derg (where he had ministered for many pilgrimage seasons) and also Administrator of the Parish of Pettigo, Co Donegal. He remained in these positions until 2013 and during that time oversaw many developments at this National Shrine. In 2013, he was appointed Parish Priest of Clones, a post he held until September 2020 when he retired to become PE in that parish, moving to Aghadrumsee in Co Fermanagh. He was still active in pastoral ministry at the time of his sudden death.
Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him.
Homily by Bishop Larry Duffy at the Funeral Mass for the late Monsignor Richard (Dick) Mohan RIP.
Church of the Sacred Heart, Clones, Co Monaghan.
Wednesday 4th January 2023 at 12 Noon.
Gospel – John 1: 35-39
News of the death of Mgr Dick Mohan brought shock and sadness to this community, his family and all who knew him.
Many of you were here last Friday when he celebrated the funeral of Michael Rooney. It is hard to take in that within hours, we were hearing of his death. One can truly say he served all the hours God gave him. Today we give thanks for the service and witness of his life. We gather to surround Fr Dick with our love, and to accompany him in prayers on his journey to God.
St John’s account of the call of the first disciples is an interesting one.
Early on in the Gospel we hear Jesus asking ‘What do you want?’ It is a question we must all reflect on – what do we want from our encounter with God?
Whereas the other gospels speak an immediate and radical response i.e.
“They left everything and followed him”
John’s account is more reflective. He speaks about the influence of John the Baptist leading the disciples to Jesus.
In addition, the response of the disciples is less hurried and immediate.
They are invited by Jesus “to come and see”.
They are invited to walk with him – spend time with him and then decide.
Mgr Dick was ordained a priest with Fr Peter Corrigan in St Joseph’s Carrickmacross on 21st June 1970 by Bishop Patrick Mulligan. They were the first priests to be ordained by Bishop Mulligan, who had previously been PP of Carrickmacross.
Important and all as that day may have been, it was not the beginning of Fr Dick’s faith story.
The story of his priesthood began at home and in the local Coonian community where faith and priesthood were valued. The John the Baptist figure in his life may have been a neighbour or teacher in Coonian or St Michael’s College, Enniskillen. No doubt a positive influence would have been his priest relation in Armagh Diocese, Fr Christopher Mohan, and the prayers of his great granduncle, Bishop Richard Owens, a former Bishop of Clogher.
After his ordination in 1970, Fr Dick spent the next year studying Catechesis in Mt Oliver, Dundalk, followed by 2 years in St Macartan’s, Monaghan.
From 1973 to 1985 he was Religious Education Adviser.
Vatican II has brought about change. Fr Dick put his heart and soul into seeing Teachers and pupils had the latest books and that children were well prepared for the sacraments. He was fondly remembered by teachers and pupils. The pupils particularly took a great interest in his Escort RS200 car.
From 1985 he spent 5 years in Monaghan Parish.
In 1990 he went as prior to Lough Derg in succession to Mgr McSorley. Now an experienced priest of the Diocese, he brought all his wisdom and knowledge to the task. He introduced one day retreats in 1992 – initially intended for those unable to take part in the 3 Day Retreat, it became very popular and successful. He opened new buildings for retreat groups.
While he demanded a high standard from all employed there, he gave workers space to develop their talent. Lough Derg was blessed to have Fr Dick as Prior for 23 years. He never forgot the importance of pilgrimage and hope in our lives, and this is what made Lough Derg so special to him.
Later in the passage from which today’s Gospel comes, we hear how Andrew took Simon Peter to Jesus, proclaiming “We have found the Messiah – which means the Christ”. This is the call to us too – to bring others to Christ. Who am I going to bring to Christ as a result of my encounter with him? This is something that also lies at the heart of the mission of Lough Derg and the wider mission of the Church. This was the mission that was entrusted to Fr Dick; one he carried out faithfully to the end.
In 2013, he came to this Parish of Clones and served here until his sudden call on Sunday last.
The sentiment of the first reading seems apt for a generous and faithful servant of God.
“Because you are precious in my eyes and I love you…
Do not be afraid, for I am with you”. (Isaiah 43:4,5)
May he rest in peace.