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News > In Memoriam > RIP Fr Mike Serrage

RIP Fr Mike Serrage

Remembering former Princethorpe College staff member, Father Mike Serrage.

Fr Mike Serrage took final profession into the Society of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart [MSC] on 18 September 1993 and was ordained a Catholic priest on 2 July 1994.  But his association with the MSCs can be traced back to his parish in Tamworth, entrusted to the MSCs by the Archdiocese of Birmingham, where he had lived with his family in his formative years. After his ordination his first appointment was to Princethorpe College as Chaplain and he also assisted with boarding duties.  Whatever memories former students might have of Fr Mike as a Boarding Master, they no doubt will also include his faithful companion Bertie the dog. Many a homesick boarder was entrusted to bring the dog for a walk and ‘lights-out’ duties were always a breeze if accompanied by Bertie who received an endless supply or treats from students.

As Superior of the MSC community Fr Mike was always attentive to the needs of his confreres. Feast days and birthdays were celebrated with good food and wine. Should there be a crisis in the catering department with a member of staff off ill, Mike was not averse to donning an apron and assisting.  His gifts and talents in catering came to the fore when one December the College was cut off by snow drifts making the roads impassable and to add to the excitement there was an electricity outage. Undeterred, resident community, staff and students were fed thanks to Mike’s cooking skills and as the College gas supply was unaffected, villagers joined us in the evening to be fed, watered and entertained.

However, Mike’s real calling was to be exercised in the ministry of spirituality and accompanying people in their search for God and meaning in their lives. On leaving Princethorpe in 2001 he went to Ireland and devoted the rest of his life to this ministry in the MSC retreat house in Waterford and later conducting retreats to religious and lay people. On receiving formal qualifications in counselling he spent many years lecturing on the MA course in Applied Spirituality both at Dublin City University and the Waterford Institute of Technology.  

Fr Mike’s natural leadership capacity was identified very early on in his ministry and he was elected as Superior in all the houses was resident in. He was also elected to the MSC leadership team on two occasions. However, in more recent years health issues beset him, culminating in the recent bypass heart surgery. It was after complications after this surgical procedure that Fr Mike died on Saturday 25 March, the Feast of the Annunciation.

With his passing the MSC congregation have lost a priest, friend and an able servant of God. To his family, friends and his former students and all who enjoyed his wit and companionship we extend our sincerest sympathies.  May he rest in peace.

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