David Cribbin from Cahergowan, will be ordained to the priesthood in Claregalway Church on Saturday, January 4th. Almost twenty years ago, in 1977, three local priests, Dr. Des Forde (Chaplain Galway R.T.C.), Fr. Martin Glynn (U.S.) and Fr. Martin O’Connell (Africa) celebrated their first masses in Claregalway, but David’s will be the first ever ordination to take place in the parish.
He received his first Holy Communion in Renmore, where he lived, before the family moved to Claregalway in 1976. He enjoyed his primary school days, especially the late mornings allowed to the Mass servers. He attended the Community College in Moinín na gCíseach where his classmates included Michael (Bomber) Killilea, Stephen Hughes, Seán Newell, Alan and Brian Kenny, Michael and Sean Duggan, Michael Grealish and Tom Lenihan (Cloon). In Moinín his main out of class interests were Cross-Country, Athletics and Drama. At this time he was a member of the thriving Clare River Harriers club with which he won a number of county and Connacht titles.
During his teens his ambition was to join the Gardaí or the Army, but a few months before his Leaving Certificate a Columban priest, Fr Nick Murray from Ballymacward, who is the current Superior General of the Society, gave a talk in the school and David, out of curiosity, decided to go to Dalgan for an information weekend. The following September, the day Meath won the All-Ireland in 1987, he joined the missionary Society of St. Columban. After one year in Dalgan he was based in Maynooth for five years. He obtained his B.A. and then did two years of his Theology course in Kimmage Manor before spending two years in the Philippines on his Overseas Training Programme.
The Phillipines is a strange country which comprises some 7,100 islands. David was based in Mindanao, an island of twelve million people, of whom some two million are Muslims. He studied the local language,Visayan, for six months and lived in a variety of locations to familiarise himself with the culture, traditions, and day-to-day problems of the people. The Filipinos, though very poor by Irish standards, are a warm, generous people and he enjoyed his two years in spite of the loneliness, the extreme heat, humidity, tropical storms, earthquakes and other occupational hazards such as malaria and typhoid.
He returned to Maynooth in 1995 and completed his Theology degree in Kimmage. He was ordained a deacon last June and has been working in Ballybane parish since September. After his ordination he will remain in Ballybane till the summer when he hopes to “hurl” a bit of golf for a month or so before he takes up his assignment in the Philippines in September. Missionaries normally do a three year stint abroad; so he hopes to be home for the millennium celebrations in 2000AD.