In Ireland

st coleman

Saint Coleman’s Cathedral in the picturesque town of Cobh.

I traveled to Ireland and met with John Magee, then Bishop of Cloyne, in his official residence in Cobh which he was soon to vacate. The meeting took place on Ash Wednesday, the day after he returned from meeting with Pope Benedict at the Vatican.

The interview lasted several hours during which Magee shared numerous anecdotes about his tenure as John Paul I’s personal secretary, many of which have not yet been published anywhere. Setting up the interview posed many challenges (as did arriving at the residence in time due of a series of unlikely delays). Given the crucible in which the bishop found himself at the time, and despite repeated denials of requests for an interview from aides, he agreed to meet. Much of what he revealed will be included in  my book.

Magee was gracious enough to drive my wife, daughter Shayla (then a student at the College of the Holy Cross who was studying at University College Cork in her junior year) and me to our rental car parked some distance from his residence.

We subsequently drove nearly halfway up the country to Galway that night!

Albino Luciani 459

To the left of the Pope is John Magee, the only man in Church history to have served as personal secretary to three popes: Paul VI, John Paul I, and John Paul II. I interviewed him at his residence when he was bishop of Cloyne, Ireland.




Mo Guernon, Ed.M / Biographer