Divine Mercy Conference Committee
In Loving Memory a Tribute to the late Fr. Michael Ross SDB, 1948-2016
Fr. Michael’s passing has left a major vacuum in all of the lives of those who knew and loved him for the amazing person he was. His good humour and love for people coupled with an ability to accept everybody where they were at on life’s journey, made him a joy to have around.
He loved Mary, the Mother of God, which was translated into his commitment as Spiritual Director to his beloved Legion of Mary in the Morning Star Hostel. The staff and clients loved his jolly temperament and good humour.
He loved working with Sr. Consilio and had great enthusiasm for the goals of her organisation.
He worked with Mary Heavey and Fr. Tony Little in organizing Atonement/Divine Mercy Sunday in Knock for the last thirty years.
In the last three years of his life he finished his Doctorate on the Life and Spirituality of Frank Duff the founder of the Legion of Mary. He became our new Divine Mercy Conference Spiritual Director, where he excelled in linking us into a much wider network and encouraged us to take on the challenge of running a weekly Divine Mercy Way program. He had a vision for a new educational program that people could understand and that would be free of charge. He said the conference talks over the last 25 years are a legacy to share freely with the world. These talks are now played regularly over the whole Radio Maria Network.
He believed that all the Apostolates would march in God’s army each playing their role in battle before a new evangelisation program which will renew the face of the earth. Our Lady chose him to lead very humbly and share his vision through selecting him to be the Priest Director to Radio Maria.
He started Radio Maria through this venture he brought together all the main religious movements under one umbrella, as only he could do. His driving force was evangelisation through education, this was the Don Bosco way, as the Salesian Provincial, Fr. Michael Casey, eloquently stated in his homily to a packed congregation in StAgnes Church on Thursday 3rd November.
Fr Michael’s second vocation was definitely a professional broadcaster, he was at home sitting in front of a microphone, he had so many wonderful stories in his head, that he didn’t need notes.
He would often appear like an apparition out of the blue and sit in our Divine Mercy Way Hour on a Tuesday, and fill the listeners in on the latest news from Rome and further afield. His ability to outreach to the poor and marginalised with a Jesus heart full of love and enthusiasm was a remarkable testimony to him as a person.
His pleasant way of speaking and interpersonal skills masked a very astute theologian, who was always obedient to the Church.
He knew people’s strengths and knew what would suit them and what wouldn’t.
As he was laid to rest after a second beautiful ceremony and Requiem Mass at his beloved Salesian Mother House in Pallaskenry, Co.Limerick while saying a quiet prayer at three o’clock after the crowds had dispersed a beautiful rainbow appeared with the Church in the background and I felt he is with God. All of his days he worked tirelessly in building up God’s Kingdom here on earth, “Well done, good and faithful servant, now enter into the place
I have prepared for you”
While Frank Duff’s cause was a goal of Fr. Michael’s life, I came away from his funeral feeling that his own cause may not be far behind.
On behalf of the Divine Mercy Conference Committee and Apostles I extend our deepest sympathies to his family and his Salesian family.
Ar Dheis De go raibh a anam.
Chairman, 9th November 2016.