Obituary: Fr. Michael Ronan R.I.P.

Michael Ronan was born on 29 August 1951 in Maesteg, the son of Thomas and Eileen Ronan. He was born into a close knit family and these bonds remained important to him throughout his life.

His primary education took place at Our Lady and St. Patrick’s Primary School in Maesteg. He completed his secondary education at St. Joseph’s comprehensive School, Port Talbot. Having left school, he undertook training as a graphic artist,having qualified, worked in that area for six years. Following that experience,his career changed direction and he trained as a psychiatric nurse in Bridgend for three years.During these years he acted as Regional President of the Young Christian Workers in south Wales.

In 1977 he offered himself to the Archdiocese of Cardiff for the priesthood and began his studies at St. Peter’s College, Wexford in the autumn of that year. He was ordained priest in his home parish church by Archbishop Ward on 8 December 1985.

There followed a series pf parochial apointments: St. Mary,Merthyr Tydfil (1986-1990) St. Mary’s Dinas Powys (1990-1997) and finally St. Gabriel’s, Ringland (1997-2002). During this time he also cared for the two churches in Caerleon: St. Julius,Aaron and David together with St. Julius the  Martyr. He served as Dean of Newport in 2011. Having suffered ill health for a number of years, he retired in 2018 to a house in his beloved Maesteg.

Michael exercised his ministry as a priest for 35 years. He had his own unique style and sense of humour. In a self deprecating way he cultivated a ‘hang dog’ and, in his own words, enjoyed a good moan about matters of the day both personal and public. Many individuals can speak of his generous spirit and goodness of heart.

He was admitted to the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend, where he died on 2 November 2020 supported by members of his family. His funeral will take place on 25 November 2020, followed by cremation at Coychurch Crematorium. His ashes will be buried in the grave of his parent in the cemetery at Maesteg