Rev. Michael Egan

Father Michael Egan served as Pastor of St. Patrick's Church in Nelson-Miramichi from 1833-1882 and as Missionary Priest at St. Michael's in Chatham from 1833-1842.

Fr. Egan was born on 21 December 1806 in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, where he also completed his first four years of priestly service. In 1833, he and Fr. Richard Veriker immigrated to New Brunswick, where there was a pressing need of priests. After a brief stay in Saint John, Fr. Egan was sent north to the Miramichi.

For several years Fr. Egan was the only priest in the Miramichi and its surrounding regions. Though stationed at St. Patrick's Church in Nelson, Father Egan frequently travelled on foot or by horse, canoe, or sail-ship to other settlements along the Miramichi and on the southern shore of Chaleur Bay. After 1838, Fr. Egan was joined by his friend Fr. Veriker, and the two worked together to establish the first Catholic church in Chatham, which opened in early 1839. In 1843, Chatham was separated from St. Patrick's and became its own parish. From then on the two parishes had different pastors, with Fr. John Sweeney serving in Chatham and Fr. Egan remaining in Nelson. Nevertheless, the church in Chatham was named in honour of Fr. Egan's namesake, St. Michael the Archangel.

In 1860, St. Michael's became the centre of the newly formed Chatham Diocese, and Fr. Egan served as vicar-general of the diocese under Bishop James Rogers from 1861-1863. He continued to serve in Nelson until his death on 26 August 1887.