By Fr Michael Cuddigan MSSC
I was the second of the four children, our eldest became a Poor Clare Colettine contemplative nun. Two boys, who went on to be a doctor and a lawyer, followed me. We were a close-knit family, doing many things together but not involved in any of the town social activities. But I could recall my mother always talking about the hungry children in Africa.
The value of frequent visits to the Blessed Sacrament, the Holy Rosary and the Mass were very much part of my growing up. While going through secondary school, two other options were in my mind: ship’s radio officer or engineer. In my final year I decided that I wanted to become a priest, my way of expressing gratitude to God for all His love for me. Having a Columban uncle, Michael Cuddigan who was then serving as a Columban in Australia, was a deciding factor – though he never tried to influence me. My model of priesthood was very much that of the local priests. Television was not long in. I can’t say I had any clear idea what being a missionary was all about but I never had any attraction to serve at home, always abroad.