Father Gabriel Sherry Born 21 February 1915 Entered Roscrea 17 September 1933 Solemn Profession 6 October 1938 ordained 8th January 1941. Co-founded Nunraw 1946 Died 11 June 1968
John Joseph Sherry was born in Edmund Street, Bolton, Lancashire, England on 21 February 1915. He was one of a large family of four boys and three girls. Like his brothers he was sent to college at the abbey of Roscrea, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. At the college he was a good all rounder, having a part in the annual musical, Gilbert and Sullivan, and gaining a place in the college rugby team. After his leaving certificate. he entered the monastic community where his brother, Fr. Michael, was already a member. He took the name of Br. Gabriel and in due course made his final commitment as a monk on 6th October 1938. He was ordained to the priesthood on 8th January 1941. Father Gabriel was suffering from TB but he volunteered for the new foundation in Scotland at Nunraw in East Lothian. He arrived at Nunraw on 19 February 1946. As was recalled later, his condition at that time was sufficiently serious as to make it urgent that the community acquire a set of black vestments for the eventuality of a Requiem Mass. He was to live for another twenty two years. Never in good health, he engaged in varied and fruitful activity even from his base in an isolated infirmary room. He was an avid reader. As his health improved he was able to exercise his skill as an artist and produced many fine paintings. He was also the community photographer and hence was at the wrong end of the camera as far as featuring in early photographs of the Nunraw community. Over and above these interests, he managed a very busy monastery shop for many years. By natural progression from painting, photography and marketing, he moved into what is now referred to as multi media. With the assistance of two amateur film makers from the teaching profession, he made the first 16 mm films of the life of the monk at Nunraw. At this period of the 1950s more priests than hitherto were eligible for preaching at the Sunday Mass, so Fr. Gabriel was given the task of conducting a course in homiletics and elocution. His work in the shop and occasionally in the guest house brought many contacts Among the friends he made, for example, were members of staff and students of Notre Dame High School, Dowanhill, Glasgow. At the time of his death the expression of sympathy from these friends reads, “The death of Fr. Gabriel Sherry, O.C.R., on the 11th June, brought sorrow to all of us who have had the happiness of knowing him and of experiencing his great kindness on our visits to Nunraw. To Reverend Father Abbot, to the Community of Sancta Maria Abbey, and particularly to Father Michael, brother of Father Gabriel, we offer our sincere sympathy.” Father Gabriel Sherry (Obituary - Roscrea College Magazine) In the fifty fourth year of his age the good God who does all things well called to his reward Fr. Gabriel Sherry. He came to Roscrea from Bolton, Lancashire, England, as a small boy of twelve and a half and spent the following six years at the College. He entered the monastery in August 1933, and received the name of Gabriel the following month. Here he remained as a student and a young priest fulfilling various duties in the shop, the monastery and the college. He was for a time Editor of the college magazine. In 1946 he volunteered for the new foundation in Nunraw, Scotland. At the time of his death he had been in the religious life thirty five years and under vows for thirty three. He was ordained to the priesthood on June the 8th 1941. Twenty seven years later on June the 11th he rendered his soul to God. His elder brother, Father Michael Sherry, who had preceded him into the cloister was with him at the time of his death which took place in Roodlands Hospital, Haddington.