‘Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ awarded to Mr. Seamus Cullinane

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Conferring of the ‘Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ awarded on Mr. Seamus Cullinane, retired Principal of Athenry Vocational School  took place in the Church of the Assumption, Athenry, Co. Galway after the 11.30 Mass on Sunday, Sept. 20th 1998.

Archbishop Michel Neary sent a message of congratulations.  He was unable to be present.  As Chairman of the Bishops Commission for Emigrants he had to be with the Emigrant Chaplains in Philadelphia that week-end.

I want to join with the parish priest, Canon Tony King, Frs John O’Gorman and John Fennelly, with the Presentation Sisters and all the people of the parish and surrounding areas in offering our warmest congratulations to Seamus Cullinane on the occasion of the conferring of the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice honour on him’ Archbishop Neary’s message reads.

‘Seamus Cullinane commenced his teaching career in 1956 in Tuam.  That same year, he became Principal in the Aran Islands. In 1958, he was appointed Principal in Inverin. Thirty years ago, he came to the Hotel Training School and later began his career in Athenry Vocational School.  His 42 years as Principal marks him as the longest serving principal in Second – Level education in Ireland.  He has given himself totally and most generously to the education and the formation of the young people of Athenry and its catchment area.  His influence will be experienced for many, many years into the next millennium.  So it is fitting that the occasion be marked by the conferring of this special honour on him‘ the Archbishop said.

On the behalf of the people and priests of the parish, Fr.  Tony King thanked Seamus for his many and varied services to the community over the years. ‘ As a founder member and first Chairman of the Athenry Community Council and as a former trainer of St. Mary’s Senior Hurling Team, he has left the imprint of his leadership, dedication, and enthusiasm on many facets of parish life.

His pride in Athenry, his sense of community and above all the example of service which he brings to everything he does, is an inspiration to us all.  I thank him for all that he continues to bring to the fife of this parish in so many ways and in particular as a member of the Parish Finance Committee.

It is very fitting that such a highly respected citizen should be honoured in this special way with the ‘Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice’ award.  In the conferring of this award in appreciation of your services to education and community and the Christian values that you cherish and promote, the whole parish of Athenry celebrates this recognition with you and your family.  In congratulating Seamus, we also congratulate his wife Anne and three children, Anne Marie, Niall and Cormac and all of the family.  Thank you also for the enormous support and encouragement that you have given to him in serving the broad community of parish.  It is a wonderful occasion for you all and indeed for the whole parish of Athenry.  We wish God’s blessing on you all and all your future endeavours’.

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About this record

Written by Tony King

Published here 18 Apr 2023 and originally published Christmas 1998

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