Msgr. Michael Coughlan, age 86, died April 10, 2013, at 8:52 P.M. |
He was born the son of Patrick and Johanna Coughlan in Skibbereen Co. Cork, Ireland, on October 4, 1926. He attended grammar and high school in his home town - the town he loved so well. He entered St. Peters College Wexford in 1946 and was ordained there on June 8, 1952, for the Diocese of San Diego, where his uncle, Msgr. John Cotter, was Vicar General.
On arriving in San Diego on August 12, 1952, he helped out at St. Vincent de Paul parish in San Diego. He next served as Associate Pastor in the following parishes; Our Lady of Guadalupe Calexico, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart San Diego, St. Francis Vista, St. Theresa Palm Springs, and St. Mary's Escondido.
In August 1959 he was appointed the founding pastor of St. Michael's Poway, a position he held for 25 years. Under his leadership, St. Michael's grew tremendously and became a full service parish. St. Michael's got so big that four new parishes were created. He was instrumental in getting them established and helping them financially. It is little wonder that his Parishioners referred to him as the father of the Catholic Community of Poway Valley – and the pioneer Archangel of the churches in the area.
In August 1979 he was named First Dean of the new Escondido Deanery. In 1981, the title of Monsignor was bestowed on him by Pope John Paul II. In July of 1984 he became Pastor of St. Didacus San Diego – a position he held for six years.
In April of 1990, he was relieved of the heavy burden of parish administration because of ill health. He moved to Rancho Bernardo, where he kept busy helping with masses, confessions, and sick calls in the neighboring parishes. He especially enjoyed saying Mass and anointing the sick at Manor Care Nursing Home on Pomerado Road for 15 years.
Monsignor used to say that, "The important part in every epitaph is the dash. If we are judged on what we did, we would all fall short because we all make mistakes. So the important part of the dash is who we are as a person and our destination". (John Doe 1938-2005).
Monsignor is survived by his brother, Jerome Coughlan of Escondido; sister, Josephine Fox and her husband, Gerard Fox, also of Escondido; and many nieces and nephews here and in Ireland.
A vigil mass and rosary was celebrated at St. Michael's Poway on Monday, April 15, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. The funeral mass was held at St. Michael's on Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at 10:30 a.m., immediately followed by a reception, with burial at Holly Cross Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.
Published in the Pomerado News on Apr. 18, 2013