Dundalk family celebrates 357 years service to religious lifeTuesday, August 7th, 2012
A Dundalk family achieved an historic milestone recently when they celebrated a combined total of 357 years’ service to the religious life.
It was a special gathering for the McCluskey family, originally from Inniskeen in County Monaghan, as the oldest of the eight siblings Sr Ethna celebrated 70 years as a St Louis nun.
To mark her platinum jubilee, a special Mass was celebrated by her brother Fr Peter, an Oblate priest ordained 60 years ago ,who was marking his Diamond Jubilee.
Their youngest brother, Canon Brian and a priest for 52 years, concelebrated.
They were joined by Sr Nuala, also a St Louis nun who lives in the same Dundalk convent as her sister. She has been a nun for 57 years. Two members of the family were unable to be present on the night; Fr Gerry McCluskey has 59 years’ service as a Kiltegan priest while Mercy nun Sr Alice also has 59 years’ service, giving a combined service to the religious life for the McCluskey family of 357 years.
The eldest sibling Sr Ethna entered the Louis Convent in Monaghan in 1942. Her brother Fr Peter studied at St MaCartan's seminary in Monaghan and entered the Oblate fathers three years later and was ordained in June 1952.
Sr Ethna trained as a national teacher in Dublin and later taught in Rathmines in Dublin before becoming principal in Clones and later in Dundalk. Her final appointment was as superior of the St Louis Convent in Kilteel in County Down. She retired to the Saint Louis Convent in Dundalk in 2004.
Fr Peter worked as a missionary priest in South Africa before retiring to the Oblate House in Inchicore in Dublin in 2007.
Canon Brian, who studied at the Irish College in Rome, is a retired priest of the Diocese of Clogher and now lives in Belfast with his sister Maire.
Sr Nuala , a St Louis Nun worked on the missions in Nigeria while Fr Gerry is working with the Kiltegan fathers in Brazil. Their other religious sibling Sr Alice works with the Mercy Order in Dublin.
by Sean Ryan