Fitzgerald, Joseph, 1899-1973, Jesuit priest

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Fitzgerald, Joseph, 1899-1973, Jesuit priest

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  • Joe Fitzgerald

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Dates of existence

21 May 1899-28 November 1973


Born: 21 May 1899, Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 12 February 1918, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1937
Died: 28 November 1973, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1929 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Ignatius Richmond and CBC Parade, Victoria Parade, Melbourne before Entry at Loyola Greenwich.

1920-1921 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg Ireland for his Juniorate
1921-1924 He was at Rathfarnham Castle studying at University College Dublin
1924-1927 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Philosophy
1928-1931 He returned to Australia and Xavier College for Regency as Second Prefect
1931-1935 He was back in Ireland at Milltown Park for Theology
1935-1936 He was set to St Beuno’s Wales for Tertianship
1936-1939 He returned to Xavier College Kew as First prefect and teacher
1939-1966 He was sent to work at the the Hawthorn Parish, where a major work he did was establishing and organising the Sodality for men, which excelled at Parish visitations
1966-1971 He was sent to the Richmond Parish
1971-1973 He returned to Hawthorn.

He was full of enthusiasm, doing great work as a Prefect in the Colleges and as an organiser of Sodalities. His Men’s Sodality at hawthorn was very popular and did much in the way of Parish Visitation. Joseph was highly respected by the men of the Parish, and he left the care of women in the Parish to others.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Fitzgerald (1899-1973) (Australia)

Fr Joe Fitzgerald was born in Richmond, Melbourne, on 21 May 1899, and entered the Society in 1918 at the old Loyola Novitiate in Sydney where he had Fr George Byrne as novice master in his first year, and Fr. John Corcoran in his second. In 1920 he went to Tullabeg for juniorate studies, and the following year to Rathfarnham from which he attended the University until 1924 when he went to Milltown Park for philosophy. In 1927 he returned to Australia, and taught in St Ignatius College, Riverview, and Xavier College, Melbourne, In 1931 he was back in Ireland again. for theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest by Bishop Wall in 1934. After tertianship in St Buenos, he returned to Australia in 1936, and after a few years in the colleges, he was assigned to Hawthorn parish, Melbourne, where he remained until 1967 when he was transferred to Richmond parish. In 1971 he returned to Hawthorn parish until his death on 28 November 1973.
Fr Joe who was well known to many of the older generation of the Province, was a most friendly and likeable person. He spent nearly all his priestly life in the parishes where his great organising ability and zeal for souls were amply displayed. For over thirty years, he was the director of the Men's Confraternity of the Sacred Heart, which was unique in Australia. Its members were all men, nearly 1,000 in number, and it was an inspiring spectacle to see over 90 per cent of that group attending Mass in Hawthorn every first Sunday of the month. A few years ago he had a severe heart attack, but he would not slacken his pace, and so, as he hoped and prayed, he died in harness ready to meet the Master he had served so zealously.

We add a few recollections of a contemporary in the Irish Province, a novice when Fr Ftizgerald originally arrived in Ireland at Tullabeg for his juniorate :
He was a fine vigorous young man well-proportioned and an appearance of maturity beyond his years a keen upholder of Fr Lockington's principles of bodily health and spiritual vigour.
During the Tullabeg period the Templemore “miracles” hit the height of their publicity and Mr Fitzgerald, borrowing for the occasion Fr Richard O'Reilly's bicycle, joined the pilgrim trek. Through some unkindness of fate, traffic congestion or other misadventure, he returned to base with a bicycle other than Fr O'Reilly's, and not so good. Condonation, we trust, was duly pleaded and indulged. RIP


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