SVD IBP

Donamon Castle, Roscommon, Ireland

Donamon Castle

Divine Word Missionaries
Donamon, Roscommon, IRELAND
Fax: +353 9066 2511, Telp. +353 (90) 6662222

When the Divine Word Missionaries moved into the castle in 1939 the local population rejoiced, as though the burden of centuries of oppression had just been lifted. Donamon Castle on the banks of the River Suck, where a fortification had existed since the early ages, had been the home of the landlords to whom the local people had had to pay rent for their own lands. That time was over; and the takeover of the hated castle by a Catholic Society of missionaries sealed the new order. People in the vicinity even told how the ghost of a wicked bailiff had sometimes been encountered, but since the chapel had been installed it was never seen again.

The Divine Word Missionaries had been founded by a German priest and the first priests and Brothers who were sent to Donamon were German. It was the year and month when war was declared between England and Germany (Ireland remaining neutral), and a source of wonderment to the neighbours that among the first novices were several Englishmen.

The early days were a difficult time as the community were cut off from help from Germany. However the clergy and the neighbours were extremely generous and the foundation flourished.

In the 60s when vocations were plentiful a large College building was built. Many young men were attracted to the missionary vocation. More than a hundred were ordained and sent to mission territories in India, the Far East and countries of South America. Brother vocations were few but of excellent quality. One of them was editor of The Word magazine for forty years. Today the College building is rented out to the Irish Wheelchair Association, while the students are sent to the States or other suitable places of formation. We thank the Most Holy Trinity for the many blessings granted to the Society in Donamon.

Fr Norman Davitt SVD