Egan, Michael (Bishop)

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                                Rev. Michael Egan 

Father Michael Egan of Thomastown Co. Kilkenny, Ireland succeeded Rev. William Dollard as resident priest of Miramichi in October 1833.

To appreciate the difficulties, that he would encounter, we must realize that the territory in which this missionary travelled was extensive. Making Nelson his headquarters, he served the region that included Miramichi Bay in the East, the Miramichi River, and all its tributaries to the West. During his ministry, many churches were built throughout the parish under his supervision.

In 1836 a church was started at the "Forks", (Howards) under his direction. In the middle of winter, on 25 February 1837, the "Church Of Our Lady Of Mount Carmel" at the "Forks", (Howards) was dedicated by Rev. Michael Egan. The first entry in the baptismal register recorded by Father Michael Egan, reads: "On the twenty fifth day of February eighteen hundred and thirty seven. I have dedicated to the service of God the Church at the forks under the patronage of the B. Virgin Mary of Mount Carmel by power given me by the Rt. Rev. Bernard Donald McDonald as Bp. of this Diocese -----M. Egan"

Father Egan founded the mission in Chatham and in 1839 St. Michael's Church in Chatham was completed. It was also built under the direction of Father Michael Egan, in whose honour it was dedicated to St. Michael. The Chatham Gleaner noted the opening of the completed church for worship on March 17, 1839. The Church in Chatham was built near the same area where Saint Michael's Basilica now stands.

In 1841 a Chapel, St. Thomas The Apostle, was built under the direction of Rev. Michael Egan in Red Bank on the Mik'mag native reserve. The first entry in the church records were made by Rev. Richard Veriker, missionary priest assisting Rev. Egan, in September 1841.

Shortly after the death of Bishop Dollard, on September 15, 1851 construction of St. Bridget's in Renous was begun under the supervision of Rev. Michael Egan.

Rev. Michael Egan was appointed Vicar-General of the Diocese of Saint John in 1861 and remained in that position until 1880. He served the Miramichi area for a period of 54 years, until his death on August 26 1887.

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