Item 13 - Account book belonging to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ

Identity area

Reference code

IE IJA MSSN/IOM/13

Title

Account book belonging to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ

Date(s)

  • 1 January 1826 - [ ] August 1829 (Creation)

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Item

Extent and medium

8pp

Context area

Name of creator

(07 February 1782-22 February 1837)

Biographical history

Born: 07 February 1782, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1805, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 16 July 1810, Palermo, Italy
Professed: 01 November 1832
Died: 22 February 1837, Kirk Braddan, Isle of Man, England

in Clongowes 1817
by 1831 on Isle of Man

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo after Entry.
1811 Sent to Ireland in November, he was a curate in Dublin for five years
1816-1822 Minister at Clongowes
1822-1824 With Charles Aylmer at Dublin Residence for two years.
1824-1837 Then for the remainder of his life, he was a Missioner on the Isle of Man, labouring under very great discouragements, privations and difficulties, which he endured with admirable patience. Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS calls him the “Apostle of the Isle of Man”.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Having spent some time working in Dublin and six years as Minister at Clongowes, he asked permission to devote himself to the spiritual care of the poor abandoned Catholics of the Isle of Man, whose spiritual destitution, being without a Priest, and deprived as they were of all consolation of religion, topuvhed him to the heart. To their service and instruction he devoted the remainder of his life, amidst inconceivable discouragements, privations, difficulties, and labours, all of which he bore with exemplary patience and fortitude. He build two Chapels in the two chief centres of the island - Douglas and Castletown. Until his death he remained at his solitary post sustaining unaided the heavy labours of his mission and keeping alive the faith among the people. So he was styles “The Apostle of the Isle of Man”.
He died age 55, consoled by the reception of the last Sacraments, owing to the intervention of Divine Providence, which had sent him a priest, who had no knowledge of his illness, to be with him in his last moments.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 4th Year No 1 1928

We are indebted to Fr. Provincial for the following copy of an inscription on a mural tablet in a Church near Douglas, Isle of Man, He received it from Mr .L. W. R. Murphy :

“Memoriae at quieti Rev Matthaei Josephi Gahan SI, qui suos in Hibernia reliquit ut sese Monam incolentium saluti impenderet. Religionc in Deum, zelo in proximum, benignitate in pauperes, comitate in olmies eximius, inter aspera valetudinis semper indcfessus, bins sacris aedibus erectis, febri tandem, dum agonizanti subveniret correptus, pie obit 22 Feb. 1837, ann. aet. 56.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Matthew Gahan SJ 1782-1837
In the Isle of Man on February 22nd 1837, died Fr Matthew Gahan, who had been styled the “Apostle of the Isle of Man”.

He was born in Dublin in 1782 and entered for the Irish Mission at Hodder in 1805.

After having filled various positions in Dublin, and having been Minister for six years at Clongowes, he obtained the permission of his Superiors to devote himself to spiritual care of the poor and abandoned Catholics of the Isle of Man, whose spiritual destitution, through being without a priest and deprived of all consolation of religion, touched him to the heart. He had previously visited them occasionally and cheered them with his presence. To their service, he devoted the remainder of his life amid inconceivable privations and difficulties, all of which he brore with great patience and fortitude.

He built two chapels at the two chief centres on the island, Douglas and Castletown. Til his death he remained at his solitary post, bearing unaided the heavy labours of the Mission and keeping alive the faith among the people. To him, under God, is due the preservation of the Catholic faith on the Island.

It is no wonder he died at the early age of 55, worn out with the hardship and labour. But God, who seeth in secret, did not abandon him in the end. In the time of his great need, Fr Aylmer happened to come across to the island to visit him, not knowing he was sick, and arrived at the spot in time to prepare his soul for its last journey.

If you visit St Mary’s Church in Douglas today, you will see in the wall a stone slab, commemorating Fr Gahan as “The Second Apostle of the Isle of Man” – the first being St Patrick himself.

Archival history

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Content and structure area

Scope and content

Account book belonging to Fr Matthew Gahan SJ detailing his expenses on the Isle of Man.

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Accruals

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Conditions governing access

The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details: [email protected]

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No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

2000

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