Father Michael Sherryborn 1909entered 1926priest 1934superior 1946-48died 22 November 2003Fr Michael (Patrick, Joseph) Sherry was born at Bolton, Lancashire, on 20 March 1909. He entered Mount St Joseph Abbey, Roscrea, on 15 August 1926 after being a student at the College. On 7 October 1931, Fr Michael made his Solemn Profession and he was ordained priest on 15 August 1934. Fr Michael was a monk at Roscrea for twenty years. During that time he taught in the College. He was the first and a really fine editor of the College magazine. He was an excellent bursar and brought order to the financial affairs of the abbey. For a time he was subprior and Master of the Scholastics.When the possibility of a new foundation in Scotland came up it was Fr Michael who accompanied Abbot Camillus Claffey to check the suitability of the various sites available. Once the Nunraw estate was purchased, it was Fr Michael who headed the new Nunraw Community when it was founded on 2 February 1946. (Fr Gabriel, his blood brother, was with him as one of the founder members of the community. He died after a long illness in 1968.) With the election of Dom Columban Mulcahy as the first Abbot of Nunraw, Fr Michael was appointed prior, a role which he ably fulfilled until the mid 1960s.During the period of building at Nunraw, Fr Michael was the Clerk of Works. His flair for detail helped to secure a high standard of work in the construction of the new monastery. Later he became bursar at Nunraw and was to be the abbey bookkeeper into his 80s.The last five years of Fr Michael’s life were clouded by a stroke. But he was able to remain at the Abbey for about two years. Then his health deteriorated further and he had to go to Nazareth House, Bonnyrigg, where he received the professional help he required. The Sisters and staff at Nazareth House gave him excellent care for which the community here at Nunraw is especially grateful.Apart from his brother, Fr Eddie, a priest in Australia, and his sister Nora, now also in Nazareth House, Fr Michael has outlived most of his contemporaries. During his long monastic life he gave great example in the faithfulness he showed to the Divine Office and to his devotional life. In spite of his serious demeanour, he had a good sense of humour and he enjoyed hearing funny stories of and about his fellow monks. He was very assiduous in keeping up with former companions and friends from the College at Roscrea, with monks of other monasteries that he had come to know, and with the many contacts through the work camp and Guesthouse at Nunraw. It is true to say that he is the end of an era in the history of this Abbey, which he did so much to establish and sustain.AT the Funeral Mass for Fr Michael the preacher remarked that he had worked closely with Fr Michael in the Bursar's Department for many years and could perhaps claim to have been closer to him than any other of the brethren. He remembered him as a man of great fidelity to the Community life as long as his health permitted. He was still faithfully attending the Community services till the very last years of his long monastic life. This meticulous fidelity was carried into every aspect of his monastic life and work. When it came to book-keeping he was accurate to the nth degree and would happily chase a penny for a month till he found it. He was infallible in that area of work. One could well imagine him looking over Peter's shoulder as his records were being consulted and saying 'Oh no Peter, you made a mistake there, I did not do that! And sure enough when Peter consulted the recording angel it was the angel who got the red face! When it came to keeping records. Fr Michael was indeed infallible.From his earliest years in Mt St Josephs Roscrea till his last post as accountant at Nunraw Fr Michael held positions of great responsibility, all of which he fulfilled well and faithfully. A lifetime of heavy responsibility cannot but carry with it many great burdens and surely much great reward.His care and precision served him well during his years as Clerk of Works and were a great factor in the building of the New Abbey.In character he was very reserved in, manner and didn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but there was another side to him and it says much about him that once, when the preacher was a very young monk and it happened to be his twenty-first birthday ( a thing which no one would ever take any notice of in those old days) he slipped him a bar of Fry's cream chocolate!The long trial of his final years could not have been borne without heroic patience and humility.May the Lord now grant him "joy to balance his afflictions".