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A great giver

p_mcguckian_01_1.jpgWhen Barney, Michael and Alan McGuckian, three sons of Pauline McGuckian and all three Jesuit priests, were at their mother’s death-bed this week they started to recite Vespers together when they saw that she was near the end. They had just reached the antiphon: “The bridegroom is coming, go out to meet him”, when old Pauline did just that, and quietly gave her soul to God. She ranks, above any cheque-signers, among the greatest benefactors of the Province, along with ten other mothers. Read on…What do these eleven families have in common?  O’Meara, Joy, Collins, Peakin, Keogh,  Durnin, Gannon, Perrott, Dargan, Kelly and McGuckian.  They all gave three sons to the Irish Jesuits. There was something unique about the burial of Mrs Pauline McGuckian on 19 February. Going to God at the age of 99, not merely had she lived longer than any of the others, but she alone of them was laid to rest after a Mass concelebrated by her three priest sons, as well as by four generations of McGuckians, two bishops who were close to the family, and crowds of local friends filling the Cloughmills church. Cardinal Cathal Daly, who had been her friend since he was 14, celebrated Mass for her next day in the Nazareth Home. Alan, Michael and Barney, stationed in Belfast, Galway and Dublin, were joined by many fellow-Jesuits from all corners of the country. May she rest in peace.