Addressing the faithful gathered at St. Therese Parish in Kanifing for his farewell Mass, Bishop Cleary was quoted as saying, “I am too emotional, but I have always dreaded parting from friends and saying goodbye. Sixty-two years ago, I came to the Gambia, and it is here I spent all my priestly life. Later as Bishop, I travelled throughout the country and got to know well, and love its people. Otherwise, I would not have stayed. I made many friends here, both Muslims and Christians.”
He went on to explain the reasons for returning to his country of birth saying, “Now, in my 90th year, I feel I should live nearer to a hospital and nursing care and not be a burden here. So, I wish to sincerely thank you for the best years of my life.”
“I now ask the Almighty to guide and protect you and your friends and families. You will always be in my thought and prayers. God love and bless you all,” Bishop Cleary said.
The late Bishop has been eulogized as a selfless servant of God who dedicated his entire life serving the people of God in The Gambia.
(Story continues below)
Subscribe to our daily newsletter
At ACI Africa, our team is committed to reporting the truth with courage, integrity, and fidelity to our faith. We provide news from Africa, as seen through the teachings of the Catholic Church - so that you can grow in your Catholic faith.
When you subscribe to the ACI Africa Updates, we will send you a daily email with links to the news you need.
Use the form below to stay informed, and to tell us where we can send the ACI Africa Updates!
As part of this free service you may receive occasional offers from us at EWTN News and EWTN. We won't rent or sell your information, and you can unsubscribe at any time.
In a Facebook post, the leadership of Project Gambia, a charity organization that reaches out to vulnerable persons in the West African nation express sorrow following the passing on of Bishop Cleary saying, “Project Gambia was saddened to learn this afternoon of the passing of the second Bishop of the Diocese of Banjul and the founder of St. John’s School for the Deaf in The Gambia.”
“What a privilege it was for some of us to be able to meet Bishop Cleary in Ireland last year, a man who had dedicated his life to God, and indeed to serving some of our World’s very poorest communities,” the leadership of Project Gambia adds.
“A very sad day for the Catholic Church in The Gambia, and for us here at Project Gambia. May he Rest in Peace,” the leadership of Project Gambia further says.
Chiarina Sacco mourns in a Facebook post, “A very sad day for The Gambia! Such a beautiful gentle soul who will be remembered fondly by all who were privileged to know him. My condolences to all the religious communities and the people of the Gambia. May he now rest in perfect peace.”
John Mendy posted, “Gambians especially the Catholic community are grateful for your relentless pastoral work in The Gambia. Rest in Peace Bishop Cleary.”
“He contributed his time to the kingdom and human need. May his memory be a blessing and his soul rest in eternal peace,” Sylvanus Leigh eulogizes.
Meanwhile, Nigerians are mourning the death of Professor Gabriel Jimoh Afolabi Ojo, a former member of the Vatican-based Pontifical Council for the Laity.
Professor Ojo, the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the National Open University of Nigeria, died Sunday, August 30 in his sleep, his family has been quoted as saying.
The Don is remembered for his active service in the Church, which earned him the title of the Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great after Pope Paul VI conferred him with the Papal Knighthood in 1975.
Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.