‘The Monsignor’ as he was affectionately known, passed away on Saturday morning following a short illness.
A native of Ardeash, Croghan, Monsignor Travers gave almost 70 years’ service as a priest in the Diocese of Elphin. He was appointed parish priest of Roscommon in 1987 and greatly contributed to the local community through his pastoral work and as a member of a number of voluntary groups.
Born in 1927, he was one of five sons of Owen and Rita Travers and was educated at the College of the Immaculate Conception, Summerhill, Co. Sligo.
Following his Leaving Certificate, he became a seminarian for the Elphin Diocese and attended St. Patrick’s College, Maynooth before being ordained in 1952.
Fr. Travers spent the first ten years of his priesthood in London, initially in the Archdiocese of Southwark and then in the Archdiocese of Westminster.
Returning to Roscommon, Fr. Travers served as curate in Kiltoom and Ballinafad before being sent to the Corpus Christi Catechetical Institute in London, where he completed a Diploma in Religious Education.
He returned to Ireland in 1969 to take up the role of Diocesan Examiner for Religious Education before serving as Administrator of the Cathedral Parish in Sligo from 1975 to 1987.
He was named a ‘Prelate of Honour’ (Monsignor) in 1985 and went on the serve as Parish Priest of Sacred Heart Parish, Roscommon town and Vicar General of the Diocese from 1987 until his retirement in 2002, having reached the canonical age of 75.
Paying tribute to Monsignor Travers this week, Bishop of Elphin Kevin Doran said that while “his physical strength began to fail him in recent years, he lost nothing of his desire to serve or of his interest in what was going on in the world around him”.
“For Charlie, retirement was not about giving up his priesthood. On the contrary, it meant that, having been freed of the burden of administration, he had more time to devote to the pastoral care of people. He continued to serve as curate in the parish of Roscommon until 2016. His final appointment was as Chaplain to the Sisters of Mercy in Roscommon, a role which he exercised faithfully up to the time of his death in January 2022”.
Bishop Doran extended his sympathies to Monsignor Travers’ nephews and nieces, to his fellow priests and to his many friends and former parishioners.
Local schools took to social media to pay warm tributes to Monsignor Travers this week.
CBS Roscommon said the school community was saddened to hear of the passing of Monsignor Travers, “a true friend and spiritual leader” who inspired the school community with his “wisdom, kindness, devotion and gentle nature”.
Convent of Mercy in Roscommon town described the Monsignor as a “wonderful friend, confidante and spiritual guide” to staff and students whose door “was always open to those in need”.
Meanwhile, Fianna Fáil Senator Eugene Murphy, who served with Monsignor Travers on a number of voluntary groups, said: “Monsignor Travers was a man who was way ahead of his time. He always advocated for youth and for fairness in education. He consistently worked to ensure that no young person would be inhibited from receiving a proper education”.
Monsignor Travers was laid to rest in Sacred Heart Church grounds following funeral Mass there on Tuesday.