Madigan Muses: Cleveland to Cambodia
by Marilyn Madigan
My childhood neighbor, Kevin Conroy, was recently home from Cambodia to attend his high school class reunion. I had the opportunity to reconnect with Kevin; it was a great to get together with a childhood friend.
We shared a lot of memories growing up in St. Pat’s and how both of our lives focused on helping others. I am retired as a nurse, but Kevin is still helping others with a very important ministry in Cambodia.
Kevin was ordained in the Diocese of Cleveland on January 16, 1982. He has served as a Parish Priest and also at our Diocese Mission in El Salvador. Mission work is his love.
Since 2005, Fr. Kevin has been serving our church in mission work as a Maryknoll Associate in Cambodia. He started a Mental Health Program that reached out to the areas that were traumatized by the killing fields.
Fr. Kevin has taught in the Clinical Psychology and directed a community-based health program for the marginalized. Recently Fr. Kevin heard that the Maryknoll Associate Program in Cambodia was ending. There is still work to be done in Cambodia. Lives have been transformed because of the work of Fr. Kevin and those who assist him.
Fr. Kevin wants to continue the outreach to more Cambodians suffering from mental illness. This mission was shared by Ambassador Bill Todd. Ambassador Todd and Fr. Kevin both have a passion to assist those in Cambodia.
Together they formed Cana’s Promise to carry on this important work. Cana’s Promise is a non-profit 501c Organization. It was at Cana that Jesus performed His first miracle. Cana’s Promise believes there are miracles happening today and each of us can transform lives.
The Irish have always assisted those in need. Fr. Kevin speaks of his devotion to an Irish saint; St. Dymphna. She is the Patron Saint of the Mentally Ill.
The National Shrine of St. Dymphna is located just 55 miles south of Cleveland, in Massillon. Fr. Kevin has visited this Shrine and noticed the chains at the feet of the Saint. Many of the mentally ill in Cambodia are chained. Fr. Kevin and those who have helped in his ministry have unchained some of those in Cambodia.
This unchaining has transformed many lives. Let us continue to help unchain these individuals by learning more about Fr. Kevin Conroy and his ministry from Cleveland to Cambodia.
Hearing his story, I knew that I wanted to help him more. I can help him by sharing his story with this column and with a presentation with Fr. Kevin that is on the LAOH National YouTube Channel. I also want to share information on Cana’s Promise and how others can help them. Please visit the website www.canaspromise.org. I love this quote from their website, “Your faithful giving changes lives, locally and around the world.”
In this month of Thanksgiving, I give thanks to my childhood friend Kevin, and his forty years in ministry for our Church.
*Marilyn Madigan is the National President of the Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians and a Deputy Director of the United Irish Societies of Cleveland. She received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John College and retired from Nursing at University Hospitals of Cleveland.