FATHER Michael Cassidy pictured here, has taken over as Principal RC Chaplain for the Royal Air Force. Fr Michael was born in Ballymote, Co Sligo, on February 14 1937, son of the late Michael (NT) and Mrs Kathleen Cassidy. He is a cousin of Archbishop Joseph Cassidy of the Archdiocese of Tuam.
He attended the local National School and then St Nathy's CoBege, Banaghadereen. He studied for the priesthood at All Hallows College in Dublin where he was ordained on June 17 1962. Fr Michael served as Assistant Parish Priest in St Mary's, Fleetwood, from 1962 to 1966, and for two years at St Bedes, Carlisle.
He joined the Royal Air Force on September 3 1968. He served in the UK at Wyton, Oakington and Upwood before being posted to RAF Tengah, (1970-1971). He was responsible for RAF Gan, Masirah and Salalah (19711972), before returning to the UK. Fr Michael was the first RAF Commissioned Chaplain to serve RAF Kinloss and Lossiemouth.
He was posted in 1974 to RAF Waddington and Swinderby where he was stationed for three years. He spent the next two years in Germany, (RAF Bruggen). On his return to the UK in 1979 he was stationed at RAF Finningley and Scampton. In 1981 he moved to the RAF College, Cranwell and was also responsible for RAF Swinderby.
He became Command Chaplain at Headquarters Germany in 1983, and remained there until 1985 when he was appointed Assistant Principal Chaplain at Support Command. In spite of this heavy workload he also ran the Parish at RAF Wyton.
Well known and highly respected throughout the Royal Air Force, it came as no surprise that he has been appointed Principal Chaplain by the Air Force Board.
The Roman Catholic Chaplains Branch is indeed in very very capable hands. Ad Multos Annos.