Showing 88 results

Name
Chaplain

Bannon, John P, 1829-1913, Jesuit priest and confederate chaplain

  • IE IJA J/40
  • Person
  • 29 December 1829-14 July 1913

Born: 29 December 1829, Roosky, County Roscommon
Entered: 09 January 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 June 1853 - pre Entry
Final vows: 02 February 1876
Died: 14 July 1913, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

2nd year Novitiate at Leuven, Belgium (BELG)
Chaplain in American Civil War

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born in Roosky, but his mother was only visiting from Dublin at the time.

On the evening of his death the Telegraphy published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” :
“The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added luster to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon, after two years of inactivity, of sufferings patiently borne, passed away in the early hours of this morning. His death had not been unexpected, but his calm endurance and powerful vitality sustained him to the end, retaining his consciousness and interest in life up till a few hours before he passes away.
Father Bannon was a man of no ordinary gifts. He was a personality of massive character, with a keen intellect, and a mind well stored from his world-wide experience and extensive reading in Theology and literature of the day. Add to this a commanding presence, which compelled reverence and admiration, especially over those over whom his influence was more immediately felt, and the possession of a voice of peculiar sweetness and power, and he stood out as a man fully equipped as a pulpit orator of the very first rank, with a force and charm rarely equalled. He had a vast experience of life, garnered in many lands. Connected by family ties with Westmeath (he was a cousin of Bishop Higgins of Ballarat), his early years were passed in Dublin, where in due time he passed on to Maynooth, where after a distinguished course, He was ordained Priest by Cardinal Cullen in 1853, and he used to recount with pride that he was the first Priest ordained by that eminent churchman. After his Ordination, he came under the influence of Bishop Kenrick of St Louis (from Dublin), to whom he volunteered for work in America.
During the twelve years before the Civil War he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, wit a zeal and energy that are not yet forgotten. The stress of events caused him to cast his lot with the Southern Army, to whose memory he was ever loyal and true, and as Chaplain to the Confederates he went through all the hardships and sacrifices of the campaign, saw all its phases, faced all its dangers, until its final stages ended in peace.
The vicissitudes of life led him back to Europe, where in 1864, on his return from a visit to Rome, he joined the Jesuit Order as a novice in Milltown 09 January 1865, being 35 years of age, and in the full flush of his power and usefulness. After his Noviceship he was sent to Louvain for further studies, and returning to Ireland he was appointed to the Missionary Staff. Few Priests were better known than he was during the years when, as companion of Robert Haly and William Fortescue, his apostolic labours had for their field, almost every diocese in Ireland. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, many positions of trust in the Order were committed by his Superiors to him in Belvedere, Tullabeg, UCD and at length he was appointed Superior of Gardiner St in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with an ardour and energy characteristic of his powerful will and kindly heart. During all these years his work of predilection was the formation and direction of his great Sodality for Commercial Young Men. To this work he devoted a zeal and energy which were only equalled by the devotedness and affection of those for whom he so unselfishly laboured. Many will have cause to regret in his loss a true friend, a generous benefactor, a wise and comforting adviser. But to his brothers in religion, to those who knew him in the intimacy of his daily life, his memory will remain as that of a man of deeply religious feeling, of profound humility and simplicity of character, and, added to great strength of will, a heart as tender as a mother’s.”

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was ill for a very short time, and died peacefully and happily at Gardiner St. The Minister Father Bannon and Father Joe McDonnell were present at his death.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bannon, John
by Patrick Maume

Bannon, John (1829–1913), catholic priest and Confederate chaplain, was born 29 December 1829 at Rooskey, Co. Roscommon, son of James Bannon, a Dublin grain dealer, and his wife, Fanny (née O'Farrell). Bannon had a brother and at least one sister. He was educated locally in Dublin, at Castleknock College (1845–6), and at St Patrick's College, Maynooth (minor seminary, 1846–50; theology course, 1850–53). He was ordained to the priesthood on 16 June 1853; some months later he received permission to transfer to the archdiocese of St Louis, Missouri.

Bannon arrived at St Louis early in 1855; after serving as assistant pastor at the cathedral for some months he became assistant pastor of the church of the Immaculate Conception, and in January 1857 pastor. He appears to have been recognised as a man of ability, for in September 1858 Archbishop Francis Patrick Kenrick (qv) made him secretary to the Second Provincial Council of St Louis (a meeting of the bishops of the American midwest), and the following November appointed him pastor of St John's parish in the west end of St Louis, with a commission to build a large new church and auxiliary bishop's residence. Bannon proved an effective pastor and fund-raiser; the church was largely complete by March 1861. He also became chaplain to a Missouri state militia company.

Missouri was a slave-holding state, and as the southern states threatened to secede from late 1860 tension developed between supporters and opponents of secession. In May 1860 the St Louis militia units (which had been mustered in camp by the pro-southern governor) were surrounded and forced to surrender to Federal troops supported by union volunteers. Father Bannon may have been among the prisoners (who were subsequently released on parole). During the fighting between Confederate and Federal forces in autumn 1861, many of the disbanded militia made their way south to join the Confederate army. On 15 December 1861 Bannon joined them (without the permission of Archbishop Kenrick, who maintained strict neutrality); Bannon had earlier expressed Confederate views from the pulpit, which placed him in danger of arrest. Bannon's admirers tend to emphasise his pastoral concern for his militiamen and his abandonment of bright chances of promotion in St Louis. In his writings and sermons he presented the Confederacy as defenders of Christian–agrarian civilisation against an aggressive, materialistic North.

Bannon reached the Confederate army near Springfield, Missouri, on 23 January 1862. He was attached to the Missouri light artillery but served as a chaplain-at-large to catholic soldiers; since he was not a regimental chaplain he did not receive official recognition (or a salary) until 12 February 1863, when his appointment by the Confederate war department was backdated to 30 January 1862. He kept a diary of his experiences as a chaplain, which he gave to an American historian in 1907; it is now in the University of South Carolina archives and formed the basis of Philip Tucker's The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992). He also wrote ‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’ (published in Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province, Oct. 1867, 202–6).

Bannon was present at the battle of Elkhorn Tavern, Missouri (7–8 March 1862), and accompanied his unit through the fighting around the strategic rail depot of Corinth in northern Mississippi in 1862–3 and on its posting to Vicksburg, the last Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi river, in March 1863. Broad-shouldered and standing over six feet tall, Bannon was a conspicuous figure on the battlefield and many sources testify to his zeal and physical courage in performing his religious duties during the fighting. (He also served as an artilleryman at moments of crisis.) He remained at Vicksburg throughout the siege until the fortress surrendered on 4 July 1863 and its occupants were taken prisoner. After his release on 4 August Bannon went to Richmond, where on 30 August he was asked by Jefferson Davis and the Confederate secretary of state, Judah Benjamin, to undertake a mission to Ireland to discourage recruitment for the Federal forces.

Bannon arrived in Ireland in November 1864. He wrote to the Nation under the pen name ‘Sacerdos’, supplied John Martin (qv) with material for a series of pro-southern letters, and circulated to parish priests and intending emigrants documents defending the southern cause and quoting pro-Confederate statements by prominent nationalists. In February and March 1864 he toured Ireland giving political lectures. His reports to Benjamin (preserved in the Pickett papers, Library of Congress) claim considerable success in discouraging emigration. The Confederate congress voted him its thanks.

In June 1864 Bannon accompanied Bishop Patrick Lynch (qv) of Charleston on a visit to Rome seeking papal diplomatic recognition. By the time his mission was completed it was clear that the Confederacy faced defeat, and neither the civil nor ecclesiastical authorities in St Louis were likely to look favourably on Bannon. He therefore undertook the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola (in a thirty-day retreat) and at their conclusion successfully petitioned for admission into the Irish province of the Jesuit order. He spent a year in the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin (1865–6), and studied dogmatic and pastoral theology at Louvain (1866–7). In 1867–70 he travelled Ireland as part of the Jesuit team of missionary preachers. Thereafter he founded several sodalities in Dublin. The best-known of these was the Young Businessmen's Sodality, to which he remained attached until 1911; he may have been the model for the preacher Father Purdom in the story ‘Grace’ by James Joyce (qv). Bannon was regarded as a particularly eloquent preacher and continued to travel widely within Ireland, holding retreats and giving sermons on special occasions. He served as minister at Tullabeg College in 1880–81 and at the UCD residence in 1882–3, but he proved to lack administrative ability. He may have been the John Bannon who wrote a short life of John Mitchel (qv) published in 1882.

Bannon was superior of the Jesuit community in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin (1883–9), where he spent the remainder of his life. He never returned to St Louis but continued to correspond with, and receive visits from, old military acquaintances and southern historians. In November 1910 he suffered a slight stroke, which left him partially paralysed. He died 14 July 1913 at the Jesuit residence in Upper Gardiner Street and was buried in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin cemetery.

‘Experiences of a Confederate chaplain’, Letters and Notices of the English Jesuit Province (Oct. 1867), 202–6; Philip Tucker, The Confederacy's fighting chaplain (1992); William Barnaby Faherty, Exile in Erin: a confederate chaplain's story: the life of Father John Bannon (St Louis, 2002); James M. Gallen, ‘John B. Bannon: chaplain, soldier and diplomat’, www.civilwarstlouis.com/History/fatherbannon; http://washtimes.com/civilwar (websites accessed 10 May 2006)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-confederate-priest/

As he lay in prison after the defeat of his troops in the American Civil War, Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States, received a small token of comfort from Pope Pius IX. It was a crown of thorns, together with a portrait of the pontiff, as a sign of sympathy and support. The man most likely responsible for bringing Davis so firmly to the Pope’s attention was an Irish Jesuit, Fr John Bannon. Fr Bannon became a prominent leader of the Irish community in St Louis and an indefatigable chaplain during the war. He was sent by Davis to Ireland to urge emigrants not to sign up with the Union, and he used his time in Europe to visit the Pope. He had several long audiences with Pio Nono, during which he pressed – successfully, apparently – the Confederate cause.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bannon 1829-1913
At Roosky County Roscommon on December 29th 1829 was born Fr John Bannon. He was the first priest ordained by Cardinal Cullen in Maynooth in 1853. He came under the influence of Archbishop Kendrick of St Louis USA, and thus came to volunteer for work in America.

For twelve years he led the active and full life of a parochial missionary in St Louis, with a zeal and energy not yet forgotten. The came the American Civil War and Fr Bannon became a chaplain to the Confederate Forces with whom he sympathised.

Having done valiant service in this war until its close, he returned to Europe, where he joined the Society becoming a novice at Milltown Park in 1866, being then 35 years of age.

His first appointment was to the Mission Staff where his companions were Frs Robert Haly and William Fortescue. After years of arduous toil in the missionary field, he held various posts of trust, in Belvedere, Tullabeg, University College, until finally he was made Superior at Gardiner Street in 1884. Here for upwards of thirty years he laboured with his characteristic energy and zeal. He founded and directed for years the Sodality for Commercial Young Men,

The last two years of his life were years of inactivity and suffering patiently borne, and he died peacefully on July 14th 1913.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 113 : Autumn 2002

LEST HE BE FORGOTTEN : JOHN B BANNON

Kevin A Laheen

On 29 December 1829, Mrs. John Bannon was travelling to Dublin to visit her sister who was ill. On reaching the village of Rooskey she went into labour and gave birth to her son, John.

He was educated at Castleknock College, and later on entered Maynooth College to prepare for the priesthood. Just short of his twenty fourth birthday, he was ordained by Archbishop (later Cardinal) Paul Cullen. After a few months of pastoral work in the diocese of Dublin, he received permission from the same Archbishop to transfer to the diocese of St. Louis, USA, where Archbishop Peter R Kenrick was experiencing a shortage of priests in his diocese.

It was not long before the people and priests of St. Louis realised that John was a very gifted preacher. He was said to have “possessed a commanding pulpit presence”, standing as he did, well over six feet in height, and possessing a voice that needed no amplification. While still in his mid-twenties he was appointed pastor and built the magnificent parish church of St. John in downtown St. Louis. This church serves the people of that parish to this day. Very soon there was a feeling among the clergy that the next diocese that fell vacant would be filled by him. However, John had other ideas. He resigned from his parish and joined the confederate army as chaplain.

Stories of his courage, which at times bordered on the imprudent, are legion in the accounts of the various campaigns in which he was engaged. Frequently he crossed into enemy territory to absolve and anoint some of the enemy soldiers who had fallen in battle. When warned about this rashness he merely replied that when God wanted him he was ready to go. There were times when he had escapes which others described as miraculous, such as the time when a federal shell crashed through the church where he was offering mass for the troops.

At the end of hostilities Father Bannon was technically a prisoner of war and confined in his movements. However at the invitation of the southern president, Jefferson Davis, he ran the blockade and crossed the Atlantic in the Robert E. Lee. This was the ship's last escape. The British captured it on its return journey. In 1863 Bishop Patrick Lynch, Bishop of Charleston, and Father John formed a delegation to Pope Pius IX to explain the cause of the Confederacy, which was more friendly to the Catholic Church than the northern states.

When he returned to Dublin he spent much of his time dissuading young prospective emigrant Irishmen from joining the northern cause as he had first-hand knowledge of how young emigrant men were used as cannon fodder by the Federal army. Some New York papers had stated “we can afford to lose a few thousand of the scum of the Irish”. He also exhorted parish priests to influence young men in a similar manner. While in Rome he had made a retreat and also met the Jesuit General. He felt drawn to the Society and on 9th January 1865 he entered the recently opened Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park.

Most of his life as a Jesuit was spent in Gardiner Street where he was Superior from 1884-90. His reputation as a preacher was well known and he was in constant demand nationwide for his services when sermons on special occasions were needed. Canon McDermot of the diocese of Elphin was a great church-builder and when he died many of these churches were still very much in debt. In November, 1871, Father Bannon preached a charity sermon in Strokestown to help reduce the debt on the new parish church. The Sligo Champion reported that the sermon was such a success that the church debt was almost wiped out. Being, as he was, a native of the diocese, the people regarded him as one of their own, and this may have moved them to be more than normally generous.

After many years of service in Gardiner Street, he died there in July 1913. The Irish Catholic reported that seventy nine priests attended his funeral Mass, and that over a thousand members of his famous Sodality walked behind his coffin on its way to Glasnevin cemetery. As they laid him to rest, he left behind him a life that was as fruitful as it had been varied.

Note: The definitive biography of this great priest is at present being written, and will be launched in St. Louis this autumn.

Barrett, Patrick, 1866-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/897
  • Person
  • 15 January 1866-03 March 1942

Born: 15 January 1866, Carrick-on-Shannon, County Leitrim
Entered: 05 October 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1900
Died: 03 March 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Bettisfield Park Camp, Shropshire

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Francis X O’Brien Entry
He studied Philosophy at Milltown and then Mungret for with three other Philosophers , Edward Masterson, Franics Keogh and Patrick Barrett.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Obituary :

Rev Patrick Barrett SJ

The Rev. Patrick Barrett, SJ., whose death took place in Dublin, was the youngest son of the late Mr. Michael Barrett, of Finner, Carrick- on-Shannon, where he was born in 1866. Educated at the former College Tullabeg, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1883, and after a period of teaching at Clongowes pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park. Dublin, being ordained priest by the late Archbishop Walsh on August 1, 1897, at the Church of St. Francis Xavier. He completed his training at Tronchiennes. Belgium, and after spending a few years as master at Mungret College, joined the mission staff, and was engaged for twenty years in giving missions in various parts of the country. He served for two years as chaplain in the last war. Perhaps his best and most enduring work of his life he inaugurated in 1924. when he became Director of the working men's retreat house at Rathfarnham Castle, a post he held till failing health in 1940 forced him to relinquish this labour of love.
As a missioner he was very energetic and industrious and was most faithful in attending to the Confessional. His instructions were sound and practical but he was not a great preacher. The vast amount of good he must have done for souls will not be known on this earth.
Although the work of the Retreat House in Rathfarnham had begun before Fr. Barrett went there, it may be truly said that he, by his zeal, perseverance and instinct for order and discipline established the work upon the secure basis on which it, rests to-day. On coming to Rathfarnham he recognised at once that for the efficient working of the Retreats a new Chapel and Refectory were necessary. Hence with the sanction of his superior, he set about the work of collecting the necessary funds, and in a comparatively short time the Chapel
and Refectory were built and furnished.
Fr. Barrett had definite talent for organisation, and this he pressed into the service of the Retreats. For many years he was a, familiar figure in the streets of Dublin as, with rather stolid and measured gait he trudged from one business establishment to another, rounding up possible retreatants and selecting men of more than ordinary ability or standing in their employment whom he enrolled as Promoters of Retreats or, as he subsequently called them, Knights of Loyola. The fidelity of these men to Fr. Barrett's appeal and the zeal with which they threw themselves into the work of rounding up retreatants in the city are amply proved by the continuous procession of working men which, since the inception of Fr. Barrett's campaign, has went its way week-end after week-end, to Rathfarnham. and also by the numerous presentations made to Fr Barrett personally and to the Retreat House since 1924. Amongst these should be mentioned in particular the Grotto of Our Lady, erected in 1926 by the employees of the Dublin Transport Company, and the life-size Statue of the Sacred Heart which stands in the grounds by the lake, presented by the Coopers of Guinness Brewery. As a giver of the exercises Fr. Barrett does not seem to have shown outstanding merit. He could. however. on occasion when stirred by special circumstances, speak with great effect. The influence which Fr. Barrett exercised over those whom he met in Rathfarnham and the affection and veneration which he inspired were due rather to the deadly earnestness of the man, the personal interest he took in each of his retreatants and his gifts as an understanding and sympathetic private counselor. To perpetuate his memory and as a. tribute to the work done by Fr. Barrett in Rathfarnham, some of his old retreatants are having his portrait painted in oils with the object of presenting it to the Retreat House. Many moreover, have had Masses celebrated for the repose of his soul. R.LP.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Patrick Barrett SJ

Only a very short portion of Fr. Barrett's life as a Jesuit was spent in Clongowes. His chief work was giving missions throughout Ireland, in which he was very successful, especially as an organiser. He acted as Chaplain during the European War, 1914-18. For over 12 years he was Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham Castle, and during that time he did untold good. He took a deep personal interest in those making the retreats, and his words of practical advice and encouragement helped many a one to bear cheerfully and courageously the day's burden in imitation of “The Worker of Nazareth”. As a practical way of inculcating the principles of Catholic Action he organised the “Knights of Loyola” who live to carry on his work. During the last few years of his life he was a great sufferer, becoming totally blind about a year before his death, but he bore all his sufferings with the greatest patience and resignation.

Bergin, Michael, 1879-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/140
  • Person
  • 18 August 1879-11 October 1917

Born: 18 August 1879, Fancroft, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 August 1911, Hastings, England
Final vows: 17 November 1916
Died 11 October 1917, Passchendaele, Belgium (Australian 51st Battalion) - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Buried at the Reningelst Churchyard Cemetery, Belgium
First World War Chaplain.

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

Fancroft is on border of Offaly/Tipperary. The border dissected Fancroft Mill, the family home on one side (Tipperary).
by 1901 in Saint Stanislaus, Ghazir, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) Teacher and studying Arabic
by 1904 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) teaching

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Bergin, Michael (1879–1917)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bergin-michael-5217/text8783, published first in hardcopy 1979

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

army chaplain; defence forces personnel (o/s officers attached to Australian forces)

Michael Bergin (1879-1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born in August 1879 at Fancroft, Tipperary, Ireland, son of Michael Bergin, mill-owner, and his wife Mary, née Hill. Educated at the local convent school and the Jesuit College at Mungret, Limerick, he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg in September 1897. Two years later he was sent to the Syrian mission where English-speakers were needed; he felt the break from home and country very keenly but became absorbed in his missionary work and the exotic customs of the local peoples. After learning Arabic and French he studied philosophy at Ghazir, and in October 1904 began teaching at the Jesuit College in Beirut.

In 1907 Bergin was sent to Hastings, England, to complete his theology studies and was ordained priest on 24 August 1910. After a short time at home he returned to Hastings for further study and then gave missions and retreats in the south of England. He returned to the Middle East in January 1914 and was in charge of Catholic schools near Damascus until the outbreak of World War I; along with other foreigners in Syria, he was then imprisoned and later expelled by the Turkish government. By the time he reached the French Jesuit College in Cairo in January 1915 the first Australian troops had arrived in Egypt, and Bergin offered to assist the Catholic military chaplains. Though still a civilian, he was dressed by the men in the uniform of a private in the Australian Imperial Force and when the 5th Light Horse Brigade left for Gallipoli he went with it. Sharing the hardships of the troops, he acted as priest and stretcher-bearer until his official appointment as chaplain came through on 13 May 1915. He remained at Anzac until September when he was evacuated to the United Kingdom with enteric fever.

Bergin's arrival home in khaki, complete with emu feather in his slouch-hat, caused a sensation among his family and friends. Though tired and weak after his illness, he was anxious to get back to his troops for Christmas. He returned to Lemnos but was pronounced unfit and confined to serving in hospitals and hospital-ships. Evacuated to Alexandria in January 1916, he worked in camps and hospitals in Egypt and in April joined the 51st Battalion, A.I.F., at Tel-el-Kebir. He accompanied it to France and served as a chaplain in all its actions in 1916-17; these included the battles of Pozières and Mouquet Farm, the advance on the Hindenburg Line and the battle of Messines. He was killed at Passchendaele on 11 October 1917 when a heavy shell burst near the aid-post where he was working. He was buried in the village churchyard at Renninghelst, Belgium.

Bergin was awarded the Military Cross posthumously. The citation praised his unostentatious but magnificent zeal and courage. Though he had never seen Australia he was deeply admired by thousands of Australian soldiers, one of whom referred to him as 'a man made great through the complete subordination of self'.

Select Bibliography
L. C. Wilson and H. Wetherell, History of the Fifth Light Horse Regiment (Syd, 1926)
Sister S., A Son of St. Patrick (Dublin, 1932)
51st Battalion Newsletter, July 1962
F. Gorman, ‘Father Michael Bergin, S. J.’, Jesuit Life, July 1976..

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-irish-jesuit-at-the-front-2/

JESUITICA: Irish Jesuit at the front
When they remember their war dead on Anzac Day, Australians include in that number Fr Michael Bergin SJ, an Irish Jesuit who signed up with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF)
in order to accompany them as chaplain to Gallipoli. Two facts give Fr Bergin particular distinction. Firstly, though he served with the AIF he never set foot on Australian soil. And secondly, he was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the AIF to die as a result of enemy action – not, however, in Gallipoli, which he survived, but in Passchendaele, Belgium, in 1917. According to the citation for the Military Cross, which he received posthumously, Fr Bergin was “always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-mungret-man-at-the-front/
Tomorrow, Remembrance Day, we might think of Michael Bergin, born in Roscrea, schooled in Mungret, a remarkable Irish Jesuit chaplain with the Anzac force, which he joined as a trooper in order to accompany the Australians to Gallipoli. He was the only Australian chaplain to have joined in the ranks, and the only one never to set foot in Australia. He always aimed to be where his men were in greatest danger, and having survived the Turkish campaign he was killed by a German shell on the Ypres salient in Flanders. The citation for the Military Cross, awarded posthumously, read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/roscrea-remembers-heroic-jesuit/

Roscrea remembers a heroic Jesuit
An exhibition of the life of Jesuit war chaplain Fr Michael Bergin, who died on 12 October 1917 at Passchendaele on the Western Front, was launched on 4 October in Roscrea Library, Tipperary. Fr Bergin grew up in the millhouse of Fancroft, just a couple of miles north of Roscrea.
Though an Irishman, Fr Bergin joined the Australian forces during the war. He befriended some Australian soldiers during a stint in Egypt and then joined them, first as stretcher-bearer in Gallipoli and later as chaplain in Belgium. It was there he died from German shell-fire, one of the half-million casualties of the Third Battle of Ypres, at Passchendaele.
The exhibition was launched by Simon Mamouney, First Secretary and Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy. The curator of the exhibition, Damien Burke, assistant archivist of the Irish Jesuit province (pictured here), also spoke at the event. In attendance too were Fr. Frank Sammon, a distant relative of the Bergins of Fancroft, and Marcus and Irene Sweeney, current owners of Fancroft Mill. Irene Sweeney, in fact, is a cousin of another Irish Jesuit, Fr Philip Fogarty. The exhibition remains open until 31 October.
Damien Burke also marked the anniversary of Fr Bergin’s death on Tuesday, 10 October, with a talk in Mungret Chapel, Mungret, Limerick – appropriately, as Fr Bergin attended the Jesuit school Mungret College. About thirty people attended the talk. It was 100 years to the day since Fr Bergin made his way to the Advanced Dressing Station of the 3rd Australian field ambulance near Zonnebeke Railway Station, Belgium. The following day he was badly wounded by German artillery fire, and a day later, 12 October, he died from his wounds. He was posthumously awarded the Australian Military Cross of Honour. Damien mentioned that Michael Bergin was President of the Sodality of Our Lady while a boarder at Mungret College and “would have prayed and formed his vocation to the Jesuits here in this space”.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/newsletter/jesuits-at-the-front/

Jesuits at the front
This year of commemorating Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War will continue with an exhibition by Irish Jesuit Archives at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2nd to 31st October. It will focus mainly on Fr Michael Bergin SJ (pictured here), a Roscrea-born Jesuit who was killed at the front in 1917, and five other Jesuits who served as chaplains with the Australian army in the First World War.
Fr Michael Bergin SJ holds the distinction of been the only member of the Australian forces in the First World War never to have set foot in Australia, and he was the only Catholic chaplain serving to have died as a result of enemy action.
Born in 1879 at Fancroft, Roscrea, Fr Bergin was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, and joined the Society of Jesus in 1897. From 1899 until the outbreak of war in 1914, he worked on the Syrian mission, which entailed his transfer to the French Lyons Province. When war broke out he was interned and then expelled by the Turks from Syria. While in Egypt in 1915, he become friendly with the Australian Imperial Forces (AIF), then training in Cairo.
In May of that year he went to Gallipoli with the Australian Forces, having enlisted as a Trooper. He carried out his pastoral duties as a priest, and worked as a stretcher-bearer and medical attendant. After his formal appointment as a chaplain in July 1915, Fr Bergin suffered influenza, chronic diarrhoea and enteric fever at Gallipoli, and was evacuated back to London to recover. Even though it was obvious that he was medically unfit to return to the front, he insisted on doing so and was back at Gallipoli in December 1915. Due to his ill health, however, he was transferred to hospital work.
In June 1916 Fr Bergin went to France with the 51st Battalion of the 13th Brigade. He lived in the front trenches, hearing confessions and celebrating Mass. He accompanied his men through such battles as Poziéres and Mouquet Farm, and was promoted from Captain to Major.
On 10 October 1917, his battalion moved up to the Front line Jesuitat Broodseinde Ridge. The next day he was with the Australian Field Ambulance when German shell-fire severely wounded him. He died the next day. There are a number of different accounts of his death but he died the following day. He is buried in Reninghelst Churchyard Extension, Belgium.
One colonel who knew the padre remarked, “Fr Bergin was loved by every man and officer in the Brigade... He was the only Saint I have met in my life.” The citation for the Military Cross awarded posthumously but based on a recommendation made prior to his death read: “Padre Bergin is always to be found among his men, helping them when in trouble, and inspiring them with his noble example and never-failing cheerfulness.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.
Fr Bergin describes Gallipoli in 1915: “There are times here when you would think this was the most peaceful corner of the earth – peaceful sea, peaceful men, peaceful place; then, any minute the scene may change – bullets whistling, shells bursting. One never knows. It is not always when fighting that the men are killed – some are caught in their dug-outs, some carrying water. We know not the day or the hour. One gets callous to the sight of death. You pass a dead man as you’d pass a piece of wood. And when a high explosive catches a man, you do see wounds”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After his education at Mungret, Michael Bergin entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1897, and two years later volunteered for the Syrian Mission and was sent to Lebanon to study Arabic and French before moving on to philosophy at Ghazir, and in 1904 to teach in the Jesuit College in Beirut.
Bergin did his theology in England at Hastings, and following ordination did retreat work in southern England until returning to Syria in January 1914. With the outbreak of World War I, he was interned by the Turks and then expelled from the region to arrive in Egypt in January 1915. Bergin offered to assist the Catholic chaplains of the newly arrived AIP, and, though still a civilian, was dressed in a privates uniform by the men of the 5th Light Horse, and left for Gallipoli with them.
He acted as priest arid stretcher-bearer until his formal appointment came through in May, and he remained on Gallipoli until invalided home in September with enteric fever. A photo taken of him in slouch hat and emu feathers created something of sensation at home, but he was not there long, returning to work on hospital ships until January 1916, when he went to Egypt with the 51st Battalion. He followed the battalion to France, serving as chaplain during some key battles leading up to the attack on the Hindenburg line. In 1917 a long-range shell burst near the aid station where he was working and killed him.
Bergin never came to Australia, but was awarded a posthumous Military Cross and in the late 1990s was awarded the Australian Gallipoli Medal. There is a memorial to him at the back of the Cairns Cathedral, as the soldiers he mainly worked with were from North Queensland. His life is included here because of his unique connection with Australia.
John Eddy has an entry on him in the Australian Dictionary of Biograpy, p. 274.

Note from Edward Sydes Entry
He and the Irish Jesuit Michael Bergin, who served with the AIP but never visited Australia, are the only two Australian Army chaplains who died as a result of casualties in action.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Bergin 1879-1917
Fr Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, about two miles from Roscrea, on August 16th 1879. His early education he got at the Sacred Heart Convent Roscrea, and then at Mungret. In 1897 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg.

Together with two other scholastics, Mr Hartigan and Mr Fitzgibbon, he was sent to Syria and the University of Beirut. Here under the French Fathers, he did his Philosophy and Regency. While in Beirut he volunteered for the Syrian Mission, and there he returned after his ordination in 1913.

On the outbreak of the First World Ward he, with all the other priests and religious, was expelled by the Turks, and he went to Cairo. There Fr Bergin became Chaplain to the Australian Expeditionary Force. He came to France with them, and he was killed by a shell at Zonnebeke, North East of Ypres on October 11th 1917. He was buried near Reningelst.

His life story was written by his sister, a nun, under the title “A Son of St Patrick”, and it gives an idea of the steadfast, simple yet heroic life of Michael Bergin.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

“Mr. Power and Mr. Hartigan arrived safe and sound at Beyrouth. They paid a visit to Ghazir shortly after their arrival. They were looking very well. They had no difficulty in recognising me in spite of my venerable beard. They stay at Beyrouth, where they study. Oriental languages.

We are only ten Philosophers, but there are also four teen Scholastics destined for the Mission, who are making a biennium of Arabic. There are also three Juniors, and fortunately for them, we are all in the same Community. It is not a bit like Christmas here, except for the rain, We are too near the sea at Ghazir to have frost, but the mountains quite close to us are covered with snow. We have a pretty little Crib in the chapel, but there are no other decorations. The Maronites have Midnight Mass in a great many churches, they have also a Novena with Benediction and Recitation or Office in preparation for Christmas. Their faith is, perhaps, more demonstra tive, but scarcely as solid, as that of the Irish. Sometimes they fall out with their bishop or priest, and threaten to be come Protestants or Schisinatics, if they don't get what they want, and sometimes too, unfortunately, they execute their threat. The English and American Protestants, as well as the Russian Schisinatics, do a great deal of harm. They have schools, and, as they are rich; they can hold out great inducements to the poor. Our Fathers, with very little money, have to fight against them. The Maronite clergy, although rich enough, do very little, and give nothing, and thus it is for us to do all. After all it is hard to find people as good as in the old country”.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

I will tell you all about our vacation, perhaps it will interest you. We went to Tanail, where our fathers have a farm and an orphanage. Tanail is situated in the Bekka or plain that lies between the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon Mountains. This plain is eighty or ninety miles long and about fifteen broad. Tanail is just in the middle of this plain and half way between Beyrouth and Damascus. We went from Beyrouth by train. The journey is very interesting. On leaving Beyrouth you pass through a very fertile plain planted with olive trees. After about half an hour begins the ascent of the mountain. It is very steep in some places, so, to make it possible for the train to mount, there is a third rail with notches and the engine has a wheel with cogs which fit into these notches and thus prevent the train from slipping back. There are some very pretty little villages in the mountaiti. Most of the Beyrouth people pass the summer in one or other of these villages. Near the top of the mountain there are some villages inhabited by Druses. These are a people whose religion is a secret. They have some very curious customs one of them is that a Druse can never dispose of his property. He can spend his income as he wishes, but the real property always belongs to the family. The train goes very slow on ascending, so one has plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The whole journey, which includes the descent as well as the ascent, is about forty miles, and we were over four hours in the train. When you are on the top of the mountain the plain opens out before you like a great lake shut in between the two mountains. Here and there are scattered little villages and spots of verdure these latter always marking the existence of water. The descent is quickly over, but the rocking of the train is so great that two or three were on the point of getting sea-sick, Our house is about half an hour's walk from the station. There are a good many trees, nearly all poplars, on the property, and so we enjoyed the luxury, so rare in this country, of walking in the shade. The sun is very warm here. You have no idea how hot it is from nine or ten in the morning to four or five in the evening; in the night and morning it is a little cooler, At Tanail the air is much drier than at Ghazir. At Ghazir one cannot walk for a quarter of an hour without being covered with perspiration; but in the plain, though one is scorched with the sun, one scarcely perspires at all. There are some interesting walks about. Amongst others is what is called:

The Tomb of Noah
Tradition says that he died and was buried near Zahleh, a village not far from Tanail. We went to-pay a visit then to this tomb of our common ancestor. We found the place a long, low, flat roofed, rectangular building, about forty yards long and three wide, which the Musulmans use as their mosque. The whole length of this house, and just in the middle, runs a piece of masonry about two feet high, and underneath this are said to rest the mortal remains of poor Noah. He must have been inconveniently tall.

The Excusrsion which lasted Four Days
One fine day, at half-past nine in the morning, seventeen of us started. The sun seemed to be specially hot that day, still we marched on bravely, after an hour and a half we came to a river - the biggest in Syria - which had to be crossed, and as there was no bridge we had to take off our boots and stockings, tighten up our soutanes and walk through. For the next two hours and a half we did not meet a single spring, and a two hours' tramp without water, where it is so warm, is no joke. However, four hours after our departure, we came to a long-wished-for well. We drank and washed, and started again for the village where we were to pass the night. After three hours we arrived there, and went to the priest's house. The only Catholics there are of the Syrian rite, and they are not very numerous. The rest of the inbabitants are either Druses or Greek Schismatics. The priest's house was a poor little cabin, consisting of two or three rooms. He received us very well - of course we had all our provisions with us, we had two mules to carry them on their backs, not in cars, because there are no roads only paths. We cooked our dinner and ate it in the Arabic fashion, ie, without plates, knives, spoons or forks. Soon after dinner, as everyone was a bit tired; we went to rest, We had brought a sack of blankets, one for each one. Five or six slept in the parlour which was at the same time bedroom, the rest slept on mats made of rushes, some in a little room beside the house, the rest outside the door. We used our shoes as pillows. The “beds” were rather hard and the night was very hot, so we did not sleep much. Next morning we had Mass in the little chapel close by, and after breakfast we started for Mount Hermon, which is the highest peak in the Anti-Lebanon Range. I forgot to describe the parlour of the priest. The chief “ornament” was his bed. The room was carpeted, but there were no chairs. You take off your boots on entering and leave them at the door, and you sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. This room was about four yards square.

There is not a single spring between the village and the top of the mountain-and in the village itself the only water they have is what they collect in cisterns during the winter. So we had to bring some with us. The climb took about five or six hours, and had it not been that we had three or four horses, which each one mount ed from time to time, I doubt if many would have arrived to the top. After about five hours it became so very steep that the horses could go no farther so we halted and dined. Thus fortified we did the last hour's climb. In the shaded hollows there was still snow. We put snow into the water we brought, and it was not too bad. The Arabs call this mountain the Mountain of the Old Man, because the snow is supposed to represent the grey hair, From the top the view is magnificent. We saw the Holy Land, the Sea of Tiberias, the Jordan, Mount Thabor, Mount Carmel; also we could see Damascus, a white speck, hidden in its gardens of verdure, and the Hauran. On the very highest point of the summit are the ruins of an old temple. After enjoying the scenery and reposing ourselves we began the descent on the other side of the mountain towards Damascus. The path was very narrow and in places very steep, however, in the evening, after about four hours march, we arrived at another little village, Kalath-el gendel, one of the dirtiest and most miserable villages I have ever seen, even in the East. Here the majority of the inhabitants are Druses.

An Arab Meal
On our way we passed through another village and we went to a house to buy a drink of milk. The only thing they had was thick milk, the people are very fond of it like that, and we, for want of butter, took it The lady of the house would not be content if we did not sit down, so she spread a mat on the floor, and on this we had to squat like tailors. In the middle was a little table about a foot high, and on this she put a bowl of milk. Then came the Arabic bread, the “hubs”. This is made of flour and water, and is almost as thin as an altar bread and quite flexible. Each cake is round and has a diameter of about two feet. But the real difficulty was to take the milk with the bread. The people never use knives or spoons, the bread does all this. They tear off a little bit of bread and make a scoop of it, with this they take their milk or whatever it may be, and each time they eat their spoon as well as what is in it. It is convenient, for after dinner they have not much to wash up. Tumblers are as rare as knives. They have water in little earthenware jars like a teapot, with a little spout. This they do not put into their mouth, they keep it a distance of about a font away, and simply pour it down their throat. In the beginning this is not so easy. The first time I tried I got more down my neck and up my nose than I got into my mouth.

The Earthly Paradise
Leaving this early next morning we continued our journey to Damascus. The day was very hot and the country an arid waste. Still we toiled on and we were at last rewarded with a view of what Mahomed rightly called the earthly Paradise! To the way-worn traveller, dust stained and thirsty, whose eyes have been for hours blinded by the glare from the rocky soil, the city of Damascus, surrounded by its fresh green gardens, filed with every variety of fruit-trees, watered by the brimming stream, at whose source we stopped and washed, offers a vision of refreshing beauty that none can appreciate but those who, like us, have toiled through the heat of the day. Passing through the shady gardens, our ears filled with the murmuring of the clear, cool streams, refreshed by the delicious fruit that abounded on every side, we can easily understand why St Ignatius laid the scene of our First Parents' happiness in this, the East's most lovely city.

As it is the most beautiful so is it also the most characteristically Eastern. For here are gathered together all that is most un-European Here are centered all those streams of caravans that bring from far in the interior of Asia the rich products of those world-famed looms. Here is no sign of modern civilization to remind one of the distant West. To give an adequate idea of this other world, I can do no better than describe the Bazaar and some street scenes in this city of Fair Delight.

The Bazaar
It is in the bazaar that locomotion is most difficult. This gives one time to look about and admire the variety of nationalities that the traffic of the quarter has collected. Bedouins with huge high boots, a long stiff cloak of brown and white, often richly embroidered at shoulders (these cloaks “mashlah” are absolutely devoid of cut, except for short sleeves beginning at elbows and reaching to wrists), loose white drawers reaching to top of boots, embroidered vest. On the head, the “kofieyeh” or veil of brilliant colours. often of silk, ornamented with tassels. It is most graceful. This veil is secured on head by two circles of camel's hair, while the ends hang down on the back and breast or are brought up under chin, and attached to the coils above. They are finely built, these Bedouins, tall and spare, square-shouldered, active and strong, with dark piercing eyes, that seem to be everywhere at once. Druses, with snow-white turban and heavy scimitar; Turkish “effendis”, in badly made, and worse put on, European dress; Persians, in light brown hats, once and a-half as high as our tall hats, slightly conical in shape, tight-fitting dresses and flowing beards; Kurdish shepherds, dressed in skin and stiff black felt cape, reaching to knees; villainous looking Albanians, with voluminous kilts and belts bristling with weapons; add thievish-looking Circassians, effeminate Damascenes, gliding figures enveloped from head to foot in a light sheet like garment of white, or green and red shot silk, with veiled face, and called women, and you have a faint idea of the 'souqs' of Damascus. Yet I have said nothing about the seller of pasties, who balances on his head a small shopful of dainties; the sherbet-seller, with a huge bottle strung round his neck, and brass cups jingling in his hand. On more than one occasion I have seen a seller of drinks and a seller of creams stand as near each other as
their implements permit, the one slaking his thirst, the other gratifying his palate, by a mutual exchange.

The Houses of Damasucs
But the glory of Damascus consists above all in its private houses. The Arabic proverb has it: “The houses of Damascus from without, sooty; from within, marble”. Nothing could be more true. Outside one would take them for the stables of the mansion, with their plain, windowless walls, and massive, ungainly doors., Enteringly a narrow passage of varying length, a remnant of darker days, we find ourselves in a court with marble pavement, shaded by olive, orange, or lemon trees, and refreshed by a fountain or several of them, whose waters are contained in a deep basin of variegated marble. At one side is the “bewan”, or deep recess, strewn with rich carpets and soft cushions, and arched over in true Arabic style. Opposite is the salon, the masterpiece of the house, and where even struggling families manage to make a show at the cost of the rest of the house. Here, again, we meet the marble fountain on either side of what are the halves of the chamber, one half being raised about two feet. The walls are covered with the richest marbles, in endless variety of colour and form. Here and there are recesses backed by mirrors, while above are texts of the Koran in golden letters, entwined in the most puzzling combinations. Above these are scenes and landscapes painted in bright colours. The ceilings (which are always formed of round rafters laid so as to touch the flat cemented ceiling, leaving a space of some inches between each rafter) are painted in the most fantastic designs and often really beautiful. The effect of the whole is most striking. Now, I think, you have my impressions of what Damascus is like.

In the evening we left Damascus by rail and came back here, our minds stored with the many wonders we had seen. And now I think you know something of our life out here. I hope I have not been too tedious. If you wish I shall tell you more another time.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918

Obituary

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is with the greatest regret we have to report the death of Fater M Bergin SJ, which occurred in France late in October last. After working in Syria for some years he was in Egypt at the outbreak of the war and volunteered as a chaplain. He saw service in Gallipoli and on the French front. The officer commanding the battalion to which he was attached writes :

I am sure no man was, nor could be, more popular and loved, not only by members of his own flock; but by all others.

In a report made in July, 1916, by the then commanding officer of the battalion giving the names of those who had shown qualities of conspicuous merit, the following entry is made opposite the name of our late Padre :

“For ready attention to wounded, indomitable energy, and pervading all ranks with cheerfulness.”

The subsequent months proved that those words only modestly express what we all owe to him, and those of us who had the privilege of knowing him longest find it difficult to believe that he really has left us for good and will not some day appear again with his usual smile and cheery words. He was killed instantly, by a fragment of a large shell which fell close to a party of officers belonging to the Brigade headquarters.

Our deepest sympathy to his brother, Mr John Bergin of Fancroft, Roscrea, and to his other relatives. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

Foreword to a memoir of Fr Bergin, shortly to be published under the title of “A Son of St. Patrick”.

To all who had the privilege of knowing Fr Bergin in life the following memoir will make instant appeal. How far it. will arrest the attention of others is more difficult to determine. It will hardly enter into rivalry with Prof O'Rahilly's “Life of Father Doyle” either as literary achievement or as a spiritual manifestation. It raises no problems, psychological or hagiographical. It is not likely to inaugurate any “cultus” of one, who, though undoubtedly holy and even heroic in his spirit of zeal and self sacrifice, was rather a finished specimen of what the institute he embraced aims at producing than an abnormal phenomenon. He is seen as an imitator, at a distance perhaps, of St John Berchmans rather than of St Aloysius Gonzaga. His sanctity though very real was not spectacular. He was just a zealous religious who practised in a very unobtrusive way the difficult art of self conquest, and thus prepared himself for facing the ordeal of the Great War with the certainty of playing a man's part in it, and, if needs be, of dying a brave man's death.

This he did, always without ostentation, always with that pleasant mask of a sunny smile, which veiled from the casual observer the depth and intensity of the spiritual fire burning in the soul of him all the time. His letters, utterly unstudied and unaffected, let us into the secret of his gaiety and make very beautiful the lifelong struggle against weak health which was his.

The present writer had the good fortune of knowing him in Tullabeg during two years and of meeting him once again just as he returned to the Front for the last time. And the impression left by that acquaintance tallies exactly with the picture those letters trace. Br Bergin was just one of some thirty young men being moulded in the Ignatian crucible, and taking shape gradually like the rest. He was fervent, no doubt, but in outward seeming indistinguishable from all others, except perhaps for a gaiety that, without being boisterous or even noisy, was infectious. I might sum him up by saying that you felt he was a good companion in recreation or on a walk, and a still better comrade in a tight corner. I have particularly in memory the sight of him holding on to an oar, on our rare boating excursions, until he was ordered by the person dressed in a little brief authority to relinquish it, and cheerful when other's nerves were getting a bit frayed and causing some outbursts of the old Adam in many, who, after all, were only ex-schoolboys labouring hard, but not always too successfully, to expel nature with a pitchfork. Though physically frail he not only never shirked his share of the common burden, he even clamoured for more, simulating immunity from fatigue. And it was curiously the same individual, only riper now and obviously more master of nature, whom I met for a few days at Ore Place, Hastings, in the winter 1915-16 - the precise date escapes my memory. He had been invalided home from the Front after a most trying time with the Anzacs in Gallipoli. He was obviously worn out and really unfit for further service. The thin form looked thinner than ever, the old stoop, indicative of the weak lungs that made Irish Superiors willing to part with this devoted worker in the hopes that the eastern sunshine might prolong a useful career, was more pronounced. He reluctantly admitted fatigue but insisted on reporting again for duty, when he need not have done so; and on going out once more to the Australian lads in danger, who had won his love and repaid it with a solid affection which does them honour. My counsel of prudence was wasted on one who never steered by that commonplace light when there was good work to be done. Yet, and here too he ran true to form, he tried to persuade me that it was just the fun of the thing that made him go forth again. In this, to tell the truth, he was not too successful, for I knew him of old. But of course I said nothing, and the last I saw of him was when he laid aside his vestments after his last Mass in his old scholasticate and hastened away, with a brave smile lighting up the tired face, to confront danger with the fearlessness he had already shown in action.

Apropos of danger I asked him once whether he had felt afraid under the rain of shells and bullets. His answer was characteristic: “At first the sensation is a bit curious. But you soon get used to it, and then do not mind it much”. Perhaps he had the gift of physical courage. But somehow the delicate frame and sensitive nature, responsive to all that was bright and joyous in life, did not indicate any natural indifference to death and its wartime horrors. Rather, I think, he found his strength in higher sources, even though his fine reserve recoiled from any parade of the deeper, supernatural impulses, which, for all that, very clearly guided his life.

War books are now a bit out of fashion - unless it be unsavoury, psychoanalytic pictures of men's bestiality in war. This may possibly militate against the success of this little volume where nothing is to be seen, but the white soul of one who walked this earth very innocently and quitted it very gallantly, displaying at all times a great unselfishness and an attractive piety. We may note that the piety is twofold. It is first of all and above all the Christian virtue of that name. But it answers also to the pietas of Virgil or the best pagans. His love of God and devotion to the greatest of all causes is found in perfect harmony with the human sentiments of family affection, love of country, sympathy with sorrow and affliction. Over all plays a sense of humour, genuine, natural, unfailing. If he had never died in action or left any line of self revelation, those who knew him would remember him as one who laughed easily (though not loudly), and made others laugh (without any pretentions to the reputation of a wit); who never seemed happier than when he could do a service to someone and would never admit that he was too tired or too busy to lend a helping hand; who was never censorious or critical of others; who fitted into various surroundings without friction of any kind; who glided serenely down the stream of life, making no noise and causing no commotion, well content to be unknown and accounted as nought - a beautifully placid nature to all appearance, yet not dull or apathetic, and always busy at some quiet task, tackling studies, for which he had no predilection, with conscientious ardour, aspiring unobtrusively to loftier heights of spiritual perfection than might have been suspected.

His biography may prove practically helpful to the general, fun of readers, whether in religion or in the lay pursuits, who feel no vocation to don the seven-league boots of the saints and stride from crest to crest of the Alpine heights, too far above the snow line for ordinary aspirations, but who never the less do desire to acquit themselves as men in the Great War always raging which is called Life. From him they can learn to hold their few yards of trench steadfastly and to the end, without flinching whether all be quiet on the front or the lines wake up to feverish and deadly activity, without “grousing” whether the petty hazards of the game or its major calamities try the temper. Here was one who to the outward eye gave no promise of special heroism, but when the call came said “Adsum” not only courageously but buoyantly, even boyishly, and above all without fuss or affectation, internally unconscious, I should think, that Gallipoli or Flanders were to be taken a whit more tragically than a long walk through the Bog of Allen or a long day at a creaking thole-pin. If any one had told Fr Bergin that a life of him would be written when he was gone it would have seemed to him the joke of the season. This will explain and excuse, if excuse be necessary, the homely style of his correspondence. He certainly never expected that any lines of his would have to face the scrutiny of critics on a printed page. If he had had the slightest suspicion of such a possibility, they could never have been written at all. He could not have penned a line with the spectre of publicity before his eyes, and he would laughingly have seized upon it as an excuse for saving precious time. He wrote as he lived, frankly and sincerely, without arrière pensée and he would only have shuddered at the very idea of posthumous fame. We have him thus in these pages as he was, without trappings of any kind, and I shall be surprised if the reader does not feel that his acquaintance was well. worth making

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

It is safe to say that most of our boys I will not even know the subject of this biography. Many will have seen his name in that list of our Sodality that hangs by the chapel door and may have wondered, half-idly, in the manner of the post-war generation, at the legend, “Killed in action, October, 1917”. To them and to many older boys we recommend this little book, unaffected in style, unadorned with wealth of words, but effective in its directness and simple truth. For we ought to know about this Mungret boy, who was President of Our Lady's Sodality, who went unselfishly to the East to work for Christ, and who, in the strange ways of God's providence, fell in Flanders at his post, for Christ. That he was one of ourselves should interest us. in his life. He answered the morning bell, he ran like us to morning chapel, he turned out to games with gusto, and he turned into study with the same cheerful grumble. He was a Mungret boy and he tried to be a saint. He tried in a way, that should encourage us all, not the way of frightening asceticism and mystic prayer, but the way, we all can try, of honest fervent piety and perfect obedience to God's Holy Will. How he succeeded in his effort, this life tells.

Simple, as we have said, and unaffected, this story of Father Bergin's life is attractive for its very simplicity. We have here no revelations of a soul's struggle, no attempt to read import into every slight action, no psychologizing of the saints. The story is told directly and with sympathy and by this is made human and appealing. The man himself speaks to us in his letters; frank, honest, brotherly letters, full of news and love and piety. He tells of himself as we feel we could do ourselves; but the plain tale he tells, we easily understand, to hide a life of daily heroism and striving after sanctity.

Michael Bergin was born at Fancroft, a few miles from Roscrea, in August, 1879, and spent his early days there, in the ideal Surroundings of a truly Irish Catholic family. He came to Mungret when he was fourteen and impressed his masters and his fellows as a pious, unselfish, jolly boy. Here God called him to the religious life and he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg in 1897. He finished his novitiate there, and to his surprise found himself next dispatched to Syria, to study Eastern languages at the University of Beyrouth. For two years he worked at the college and then went to Ghazir to study philosophy. Again he returned to college work at Beyrouth until Theology took him to Hastings in England, where he was ordained in 1910. He was back again in his beloved mission in 1914 at Damascus, and while working there the war broke out. First a “private soldier” chaplain and then a full recognized army Padre, he served in Gallipoli from 1915 to 1916. Then after a short leave, France claimed him and in a front line trench in Flanders he fell on October Iith, 1917.

We have told his career briefly lest we should ornit to give its outline in our anxiety to stress the importance of his life. There, is the life of a Mungret boy, told in short, and indeed a short life it was, and, taken in its period, no more eventful than many another. But this Mungret boy lived his life heroically and prayerfully throughout, and he taught himself to make great sacrifices with a careless smile and a convincing laugh. As a boy we find him jolly and natural; but he was the boy who walked to let others cycle; he was the boy who made himself nurse to a poor cripple; and he was the boy who fought for the right to say long prayers. We are very sure that he did these things with easy grace and without notice then, it is the retrospective eye that sees that here was a boy trying to be holy.

We feel, however, that it required genuine bravery of soul, to leave gaily a loved family circle and native land, to go alone, a boy, into the East. The novice is only a boy, for all his real spirituality, and the boy must have felt that wrench, felt it all the more when the novelty of a strange land passed and life became routine. But these honest letters of his show no trace of this; he loves all at home too well to share his sorrow.

He tells them all his adventures; he tells them, with a natural eye for beauty, of the sights of the East and of the flowers of its fields. Yet, now and then, we see that he has made a sacrifice, for he longs for Ireland's green fields and simple flowers. He grows a little jaded with brilliance and longs for plain things much loved and he often looks over the Mediterranean, westward, towards home.

In 1916 he knew the question was being discussed, as to whether he should remain permanently on the mission in Syria or return to his own Province. The heart could answer that question in but one way. To be permanently there meant that he belonged not to his own Irish Province, but to the French Province; it meant, one might say, naturalizing himself as a foreigner. It meant exile for ever. “Storm heaven that I may be kept”, he writes to his sister ; “yet non sicut ego volo sed sicut Tu”. This is the noble spirit that offers what it holds dearest and makes sacrifice almost easy, by forestalling it. Here is that touchstone of sanctity, the agere contra of St Ignatius; but here the man conceals it all, under a laugh, and makes his suffering appear a favour. This, we think, is the attractive thing in Father Bergin's attempt on the battlements of holiness. He carried them with honest gaiety, concealing high purpose and great determination.

When the Great War came, Michael Bergin was a priest and a Christian missionary in Damascus. He was a foreigner in the territory of Turkey. It was with difficulty he escaped spending the period of the war chafing in some internment camp; but he did manage to reach Egypt, and immediately looked for work. He found work among the soldiers of the Australian Expeditionary Force. He had no official standing among them, but zeal was ingenious in overcoming army regulation. He enlisted as a stretcher-bearer in order to be with his newly found flock. With them he went through the horrors of Gallipoli and endeared himself by gallantry and unselfish devotion to those careless, cheery souls. For sixteen months he lived in France with his Australians and fell among them, working to the last.

In that strange army life we notice the same characteristics we have seen in the religious. There is no capacity shown for finding the limelight; he did not “star” in the trenches. All day he worked unobtrusively and tirelessly, caring for the souls of the living and burying the bodies of the dead. Then he sat down in his dug-out and wrote cheerful letters to dear ones, laughing at his own exhausted body, relating the minor adventures of the day and asking for prayers for himself and for his men. Those who knew him in those days, tell the kind of story we would expect. They saw that the Padre was always at his post and did not seem to mind innumerable calls on him. They noticed that he walked six miles in the desert to say Mass and made no fuss about it. They felt, as we feel, that this quiet constancy and cheerfulness in duty called for admiration.

And all through, we find him asking for prayers for himself that he may be holy. He did not forget the goal of life in the adventures of war. Simple, open comments on his own unworthiness fill his letters. He calls himself a slacker, his soul is like his torn clothes, he is a spiritual bankrupt, Thus he spoke of himself, humbly, because to the really holy soul, humility is natural and without suspicion of the hook. We easily come to have a fellow-feeling for him. He finds, like us, that it is hard to live up to high ideals, that our spiritual lives suffer badly in the preoccupations of daily work.

We feel, like him, that we want a Retreat to tone up our systems and to invigorate the life of our souls. But this fellow-feeling must not make us think that he was as we are. He kept his love for prayer and his desire to be alone with God, in all the weary disgusts of war. A young scholastic, a boy, he had learned to turn towards the higher things. A delicate man, he lived the roughest of lives, upheld by an indomitable spirit and the zeal of an apostle. He wore himself out working, but never. ceased from prayer, that he might be holy. . He had learned to make sacrifice early, and his death was almost chosen, for he gave up his leave, when he heard the whisper that his lads were to go over soon. No one would blame a tired soldier-priest for taking his furlough, even on the eve of a "big push"; but such is not the way of the saints. The boy who prayed to be kept in Syria, far from home, the theologian who left his dying father, because he had not leave to stay, the chaplain who gave up his leave to help others to meet death, in these we see the same man rising to the heights on the wings of simple love.

This is the story of Father Michael Bergin SJ, a true son of St Patrick, told with evident affection and attractive simplicity by Sister S. We hope that what we have written may stimulate Mungret boys and others to read this life of a schoolfellow. They will find there a personality easy to love and the romance of one like themselves, Encouraged by so natural an example they may themselves strive forward, in simple piety and frank devotion, to the heights, which are the goal of all of us, but which so few reach.

Armand

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong
R.I.P.

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

Learned Priest Who Served Faithfully for “Fifty” Years in Hongkong.

Fr Biriningham did not say Mass in the Catholic Centre Chapel, in busy Hongkong Central District on Wednesday, October 4th. He had done so the day : before, and for many months since Fr F Cronin had died. Instead, Fr S Coghlan and Fr M McLoughlin took him to St Paul's Hospital Causeway Bay. He was feeling groggy and could not lift one of his arms. That afternoon, in the Intensive Care Unit, he died. A little more than a year previously, he had had heart surgery (aneurysm) but recovered. But he had a long beard which made him look like a retired sea captain. All his life he had had good health. He fought a cold on his feet, and though he did not feel so well in the mornings, regained his strength by the afternoon. For thirty years, he was never a patient in a hospital.Priests throughout East Asia and beyond will have known him as the editor of the Sunday Examiner, which was appreciated for his wide cover age of church news in the world, as well as for its well written editorials. In the diocese, he was not so much widely known, as well known. Some priests remember his kindness from the days he taught them Theology in the Seminary (1949-1956). Those who went to the nine o'clock Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's remember him since the days of Fr Franelli, which go back more than thirty years previously. His deep voice was often remembered as a mutter, inspiring devotion and trust. He often heard confessions in St Joseph's and the Catholic Centre Chapel.

He first went to Hongkong in 1936, where he spent time learning Cantonese, and then teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road. He was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, where the family had a wholesale business. His father qualified as a medical doctor, but never practised, taking on the family business, but retiring to Dublin when he was 45 years old. Alan first went to the Carmelite Fathers in Terenure, and retained an affection for the Carmelites. He then went to the Jesuit Colege, Belvedere, and after five years entered the Society of Jesus in 1928. His university studies at UCD were in Mathematics, and sometimes it was said that, in later life, the prime numbers gave him sleepless nights. After three years in Hongkong he returned to Ireland to study Theology and was ordained in 1942. While he was a priest in the Jesuit Church of Gardiner Street, the Provincial requested him to be a Chaplain in the British Army. He gave family reasons for not doing so, and he was told that these were valid but not sufficient to refuse the pastoral needs of those in the War. He joined as an Army Chaplain as part of christian charity and out of human solidarity. He was with the first wave to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 1944. He remembered a day when he saw 700 wounded and 250 burials. He was demobolised in 1947, and did Tertiaship in Dublin under Fr J Neary, who also had been in Hongkong.

When he returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1948, he went to join Fr Tumer at Chung Shan University, Gaungzhou, but after a few months was asked to teach in the South China Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He taught Dogma and Scripture until he was asked to assist Mgr C Vath at the Catholic Centre, with the editing of the Sunday Examiner. And he did it for 33 years! Quietly working as a priest, he slowly did his writing. He always used a pen, and never a typewriter. He was a very slow worker, and always worked deliberately and accurately. He was never in a hurry and always had time for people. His clear English style was highly esteemed. His funeral was at St Joseph's Church, where he was known as the priest at the Sunday Masses for thirty years. The main celebrants were Cardinal Wu, whom he taught, Archbishop Tang, Fr W Lo, and 39 of his fellow Jesuits, thirty other priests; more than a dozen diocesan, a dozen Maryknollers, and those of other con gregations, not least being the PIME Fathers. The Mass was at 12.30 to enable the people from government and business offices to be present, and about
150 of them were there.

His brother had been a medical doctor teaching at University College Dublin. His father was anti-clerical, but a devout Catholic. “Alan” was more pastoral than clerical, and though his theological thinking was conservative, it was always kind, and at the service of people. Learned and kind, writer and at the service of all, such was the man all remembered.

Bodkin, Matthias, 1896-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/6
  • Person
  • 26 June 1896-2 November 1973

Born: 26 June 1896, Great Denmark Street, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 November 1973, Milltown Park, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell
by Felix M. Larkin
found in Bodkin, Matthias McDonnell (1849–1933), journalist and lawyer, was born in October 1849 at Tuam, Co. Galway

Bodkin married (1885) Arabella Norman (c.1854–1931), daughter of Francis Norman, solicitor, of Dublin, and Margaret Norman (née Adrian; c.1820–1883). They had two sons and four daughters, of whom the eldest, Thomas Patrick Bodkin (qv), was director of the NGI 1927–35. Their youngest daughter, Emma Bodkin (1892–1973), was one of the first women chartered accountants in Ireland. Two other daughters became Carmelite nuns. The youngest of the family, also Matthias McDonnell Bodkin (1896–1973), was a Jesuit priest and author. Born 26 June 1896 in Dublin and educated at Belvedere College and Clongowes Wood College, he entered the Jesuit noviciate in 1914 and was ordained 1932. For many years a teacher in Clongowes, Mungret College, and Belvedere, he served as a Royal Navy chaplain during the second world war in Derry and for a brief period in the Pacific on board HMS Anson. Afterwards, his eyesight failing, he undertook mainly retreat work and counselling. He died 2 November 1973 at Milltown Park, Dublin. Like his father, he was a prolific writer – largely on religious themes, but also of adventure stories for boys. His most substantial book, a life of fellow-Jesuit Fr John Sullivan (qv) (The port of tears (1954)), did much to spread Fr Sullivan's reputation for sanctity. So as to differentiate his own from his father's work, Fr Bodkin never used his second Christian name.

NAI, private accession no. 1155; NLI, MS 10702 (F. S. Bourke collection: letters to M. McD. Bodkin and his wife, mainly 1880–1910), MSS 14252–64 (manuscript literary remains of M. McD. Bodkin); Freeman's Journal, 24, 25, 28–30 Jan. 1908; A considered judgment: report of Judge Bodkin forwarded to Sir Hamar Greenwood and read in open court at Ennis, Co. Clare, on Sat., 5 Feb. 1921 (1921); Another considered judgment: second report of Judge Bodkin (1921); Ir. Independent, Ir. Press, Ir. Times, 8 June 1933; Ir. Independent, 3 Nov. 1973; Lawrence W. McBride, The greening of Dublin Castle: the transformation of bureaucratic and judicial personnel in Ireland, 1892–1922 (1991); Frank Callanan, The Parnell split, 1890–91 (1992); Eamonn G. Hall, ‘Introduction’, M. McDonnell Bodkin, Famous Irish trials (1997 ed.); Anne Kelly, ‘Perfect ambition: Thomas Bodkin, a life (with particular reference to his influence on the early development of Irish cultural policy’ (Ph.D. thesis, TCD, 2001); Felix M. Larkin, ‘Judge Bodkin and the 1916 rising: a letter to his son’, N. M. Dawson (ed.), Reflections on law and history (2006)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Note from Daniel Fitzpatrick Entry
He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

  1. “Flood-tide” - A school story
  2. “Lost in the Arctic” - A translation from the German of Svenson's " Nonni and Manni”.
  3. “Studies in Sanctity” - Biographical essays
    Pamphlets
  4. “The Stop Gap” - School story
  5. “The Captain” - School story
  6. “Saint Robert Southwell” - Hagiography
  7. “Saint Bernadette” - Hagiography
  8. “Blessed Peter Faber” - Hagiography
  9. “Father Stanton” - Biography
  10. “Forest and Jungle” - Biography
  11. “Father De Smet” - Biography
  12. “The Black Robe” - Biography
  13. “Guy De Fontgalland” - Biography
  14. “The Soul of a Child” - Biography

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

Clongowes :
Fr. Bodkin is to be congratulated on the production of his latest book, “Halt, Invader.” Its publication caused great interest here. We hope that his present work of contemplation and stimulation of youth at study will keep the springs of inspiration bubbling.

Belvedere :
An enthusiastic welcome has been accorded Father Bodkin's novel. “Halt Invader” whose hero is a Belvederian. One member of the Community believes that the Government should
subsidise the book and give a copy of it to every Irish citizen seeing that the book is, in his opinion, an exposition of the ideology of Irish mentality in the present war.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

By way of preface to the appreciation proper we offer some salient dates and details of Fr. Bodkin's earlier years ;
He was born in Dublin - Great Denmark St - June 26th, 1896, the younger son of Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin. He was one of a family of six, one brother, Tom, a sister, Emma, of both of whom more anon, two sisters who became Carmelite nuns and a sister who became Mrs John Robinson. Fr Mattie was the last survivor of his generation.
He got his early schooling at Belvedere, practically adjoining his home and thence he later went to Clongowes and from there he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on August 31st 1914. He was one of the “Twelve Apostles” of whom he himself gave some account in the obituary of Fr Fred Paye, from his hand, which appeared in the July number of the Province News, 1972. (He was an excellent panegyrist, and was frequently applied to to formulate an appreciation and readily obliged, despite the incapacity in later years of poor eyesight.) From Tullabeg after a brief period in the - home Juniorate, then usual, he advanced to Rathfarnham where he got a distinguished degree at the University in History. Thence to Milltown for Philosophy and in 1924 back to Clongowes and later to Mungret, Doc. Among his pupils in Mungret was Tadhg Mannion, Archbishop and Cardinal to be, who on a recent occasion visiting his Alma Mater affectionately recalled Mr Bodkin, as he then was, and wished particularly to be remembered to him. Milltown again for Theology and ordination 1932. On returning to Clongowes after the Tertianship he acquitted himself with success as Prefect of Studies for four years and later at Belvedere as teacher. One of the chores which regular fell to his lot was the editorship of the College Annual and in his leisure time he produced several school stories of dimensions of novels, “Flood Tide” being the more popular. He likewise wrote a memoir of Fr John Sullivarı... “The Port of Tears'.

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints' Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him,
Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgment which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgment made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, a superb teacher of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie’s life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.
The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work. He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers, Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full. to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.
The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham
But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with theNational Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff’s apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

Fr Bodkin's death in the night between All Saints Day and the Commemoration of All Souls, when by a special effort he had said the customary three Masses for the Dead, after midnight, was in many ways a fitting end to a long life during which he had always been notable for the energy with which he threw himself into whatever task assigned him.

Those who saw the memorial card which was made after his death were somewhat taken aback to realise how much Fr Mattie's face had changed in appearance during his long, strenuous and often hard life. No man was better able to enjoy fun or any form of relaxation that appealed to him but there was always a sense of duty to be done, and done generously, at whatever cost to himself. He had a real gift of friendship and he was never short of friends. Whether as a teacher or a preacher, naval chaplain or confessor, in his last years, to more than one community of young Irish Christian Brothers, he gave himself heartily to each. The free independent judgement which was always a marked characteristic of his advice made him in old age an admirable confessor, just as in his youth the same independent judgement made him, to use a phrase from one who knew him many years ago in Belvedere, “a superb teacher” of history and English literature. Clongowes and Belvedere were very much the centres of Mattie's life down to the year 1940 when he volunteered as a naval chaplain in Derry and in the Far East.

The fact that he was one of a very well known and respected Dublin family and that he lived in or near Dublin for so many years gave him a great advantage in forming the friendships which meant so much to him personally and which were so marked a feature of his apostolic work, He lived more than seventy years of life in Dublin at a time when Dublin was very much the centre of modern Irish life and his memory (usually but not always accurate in detail) made his conversation a stream of reminiscences that were always vivid to himself and of interest to his hearers. Again and again it was remarked that what Mattie remembered was almost always some kind word spoken to him or some good deed which had made an impression on him, possibly long years ago. He was quick to complain of some passing episode that irritated him but his wide ocean of personal memories seemed full to overflowing of kind and generous thoughts.

The failure of Fr Bodkin's eyesight which was so heavy a cross for him to bear in the years after his return from service in the English Royal Navy exacted more from him than from most other sufferers from this affliction for all through life he had been a great reader of books and a lover of fine pictures. As a boy, in his father's house he had the good fortune of knowing Sir Hugh Lane, then at the height of his influence in Irish artistic life and in later years, he had the constant stimulus of his brother Tom's example, first as Director of the National Gallery in Dublin, then of the Barber Institute in Birmingham.

But there was another strand of the family tradition: if Tom Bodkin's name will always be remembered in connection with the National Gallery and the controversy that arose over the final disposition of Hugh Lane's bequest to Dublin the name of his sister, Emma, was even more closely linked with Frank Duff's apostolate and work for the Legion of Mary at home and abroad. It was probably Emma's influence which first turned Mattie's thoughts to the welfare, spiritual even more than temporal, of the young girls who for one reason or another had been left without family or friends to help and advise them. What Fr Mattie did for those girls and often for many years successively, when they turned to him as to a friend upon whom they could always count, is known only to God. Emma predeceased him by a few months here in Dublin. Both, we are confident, have received in Heaven the reward which the Lord promises to those who give and give generously to children and to those in need. Requiescant in Pace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

Early on the morning of All Souls' Day, 1973, Fr Mattie Bodkin died at Milltown Park. He had arranged to say after midnight the customary three Masses for the dead, so as to leave himself free for some apostolic work in the morning. He had been in poor health for the past few years, and this final effort proved too great. It was a fitting end to a long life of devoted and strenuous work as a priest.

Mattie Bodkin was at Clongowes from 1910 to 1914. His father, Judge Matthias McDonnell Bodkin, was an old Tullabeg boy, and his brother Tom, later Professor of Fine Arts in the University of Birmingham and Director of the Barber Institute, had preceded him at Clongowes by some ten years. Mattie entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1914, took his MA in history in University College, Dublin, taught for some years in Clongowes and Mungret, and, after the usual theological studies was ordained in 1931.

The next ten years of Fr. Bodkin's life were spent teaching or directing studies in Clongowes and Belvedere. His work was characterised by energy and originality. To give an example of the latter characteristic, when prefect of studies in Clongowes, he was responsible for three institutions all of which were, for those days, distinctly forward-looking. These were the “Society of St Patrick” which put the senior boys into touch with charitable institutions in Dublin, in the hope of their being enlisted, a lending library of non-fictional books which the boys could carry about with them, and a special meeting room for the Irish Society in which all the furniture and decorations were examples of Irish craftmanship. He was a stimulating teacher, and was indefatigable in guiding boys to suitable careers, getting them openings and keeping in touch with them in after life. This personal relationship with his pupils and past pupils was perhaps the greatest apostolate of Fr Mattie's life.

In 1943 there was an urgent request from the head chaplain of the British forces for a naval chaplain. The post was offered to Fr Bodkin, who willingly accepted it. He acted at first as Port Chaplain in Derry, where he had a very friendly reception from the then bishop, Dr Farren. His work there was varied by a strenuous patrol journey to Iceland on a destroyer. He then joined HMS Anson, and did duty in many parts of the world, Malta, Australia, Hong Kong - where he arrived just as the last Japanese were leaving, and where he met the Irish Jesuit missionaries who had survived the ordeal of the occupation - Japan and Singapore. Though he never saw fighting, he had innumerable adventures and had constant opportunity for priestly work.

He was demobilized towards the end of 1946, and spent the next twenty years giving missions and retreats. To this work he applied himself with characteristic vigour, and became well known to the clergy throughout Ireland. During all this time he kept up his friendships with his former pupils, and contracted many more, among all walks of life, as a result of his unfailing readiness to help those who were in trouble. But as years went on, his eye sight gradually deteriorated, and finally he had to live a more or less retired life at Milltown Park. Fr Mattie, however, could never be idle, and to the last he endeavoured to carry on some literary work. He had, for instance, planned an article for 1974 to mark the centenary of the birth of Sir Hugh Lane, whom he had known when he was a boy. It also gave him great happiness to be able to carry on his priestly work to the end, acting as spiritual adviser to several communities of young Christian Brothers.

Fr Bodkin was a man of wide and varied interests and talents. His special subject was history and here his quite phenomenal memory stood him in good stead - but he had also an encyclopediac knowledge of English literature, and was himself a prolific and able writer. As a young man, he published three excellent stories for young people,” Floodtide”, “The Treasure of the Mountain” and “Halt Invader”, and in later life an historical novel, “Borrowed Days”, in the background of which figured houses he had lived in, Emo Park, Belvedere, Clongowes, Among his other works were a study of the life and spirituality of Fr John Sullivan, “The Port of Tears”, which recreated in a striking way the Victorian background of Fr Sullivan's early life, and a particularly attractive illustrated book, “A Christmas Novena”. He was also the author of many excellent painphlets on the lives of the saints, amongst them St Bernadette, St John Berchmans, St John de Brébeuf and Blessed Ralph Corby.

A minor work of his was a first-class piece of literary detection. This was a paper which he read to the Royal Irish Academy in 1924 on a memorandum preserved in the Clongowes library. It is obviously the work of a confidential agent, and expresses in very frank terms the writer's opinion of the members of the Irish House of Commons in 1773. Fr. Bodkin identified the author as Sir John Blaquire, secretary to the Lord Lieutenant, Lord Harcourt, and also gave an enlightening view of the contemporary political situation.

Fr Mattie had also a fine artistic taste. He had a wide knowledge of the great artists and paintings of every age, and in parti cular had made a special study of the art as well as the history of Egypt. Through his association with his brother Tom, he had come to know many contemporary Irish artists, in particular Jack B. Years, on whose work he was invited to lecture on several occasions at the Sligo Yeats Festival.

Browne, Francis M, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/7
  • Person
  • 1880-1960

Born: 03 January 1880, Sunday's Well, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 July 1960, St John of God’s Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park, Dublin community at the time of death

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 1st Battalion Irish Guards, BEF France

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Francis Patrick Mary
by James Quinn

Browne, Francis Patrick Mary (1880–1960), photographer and Jesuit priest, was born 3 January 1880 in Sunday's Well, Cork, youngest of eight children of James Browne, flour merchant and JP, and Brigid Browne (née Hegarty; 1840–80), who died of puerperal fever eight days after Francis's birth. The family was well-off and owned a large house at Buxton Hill; Brigid's father, James Hegarty, was a wealthy tanner and a JP, and served as lord mayor of Cork. Francis attended the Bower convent, Athlone (1885–92), the Christian Brothers' college, St Patrick's Place, Cork (1892), the Jesuit college at Belvedere, Dublin (1893), and the Vicentian college at Castleknock (1893–7). He excelled in the classics and modern languages, enjoyed sports, and played on the Castleknock first rugby XV. On leaving Castleknock he made a tour of Europe with his brother William (1876–1938) (also a priest and photographer), and took many photographs, which even at this stage showed considerable talent. On his return in September 1897 he joined the Jesuits, and served his noviceship at Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). After his father drowned while swimming at Crosshaven (2 September 1898), his education was overseen by his uncle, Robert Browne (qv), president of Maynooth College and bishop of Cloyne (1894–1935). Francis took his first vows 8 September 1899, and studied classics at the Royal University at St Stephen's Green, Dublin, graduating with an honours BA (1902). At university he was a contemporary of James Joyce (qv), and ‘Mr Browne, the Jesuit’ makes an appearance in Finnegans wake. He studied philosophy (1902–5) at Chieri, near Turin, travelling throughout Italy during the summer holidays and studying Italian painting. Returning to Ireland in 1905, he taught at Belvedere (1905–11), where he founded a cycling club, a camera club, and the college annual, The Belvederian, which featured many of his photographs.

In April 1912 he sailed on the first leg of the Titantic's maiden voyage (10–11 April) from Southampton to Queenstown (Cobh) via Cherbourg. Friends offered to pay for him to complete the trip to New York, but the Jesuit provincial in Dublin refused him permission. He took about eighty photographs on the voyage, including the last one of the Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, and the only one ever taken in the ship's Marconi room. The Titantic's sinking catapulted his work to international attention, his photographs appearing on the front pages of newspapers around the world. His name forever became associated with the Titanic and he assiduously collected material relating to the disaster, which he used to give public lectures.

He studied theology (1911–15) at Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained 31 July 1915. Early in 1916 he became a military chaplain in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, with the rank of captain. Present at the Somme and Ypres (including Passchendaele), he showed great courage under fire, tending the wounded in no man's land and guiding stretcher parties to wounded men. He himself was wounded five times and gassed once, and won the MC and bar and the Croix de Guerre. His commanding officer, the future Earl Alexander, who became a lifelong friend, described him as ‘the bravest man I ever met’ (O'Donnell, Life, 46). During the war he took many photographs, now held in the Irish Guards headquarters in London. He returned to Ireland late in 1919, completed his tertianship (July 1920), and was again assigned to Belvedere. On 31 October 1920 he cycled to the viceregal lodge to make a personal appeal for the life of Kevin Barry (qv), an Old Belvederean.

He took his final vows (2 February 1921) and was appointed supervisor of St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St. (1921–8). Because of the damage done to his lungs by gassing during the war, he spent the years 1924–5 in Australia, making a 3,000-mile trip through the outback, where he took many memorable photographs. By now he and his camera were inseparable and he used it widely on his return trip through Ceylon, Yemen, Egypt, and Italy. Returning to Dublin in late 1925 he resumed his position at Gardiner St. and began regularly to photograph inner-city Dublin life, taking about 5,000 photographs of Dublin over thirty years. In 1926 he took flying lessons and took many aerial photographs of Dublin. He became an important member of the Photographic Society of Ireland and the Dublin Camera Club and was vice-president and a key organiser of a highly successful international exhibition of photography (the First Irish Salon of Photography) during Dublin's ‘civic week’ in 1927; further exhibitions were held biennially until 1939. Appointed to the Jesuits' mission and retreat staff, he was based at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare (1928–30), and Emo Court, Co. Laois (1930–57).

Many of these were of the great cathedrals of England, which had a particular fascination for him. With war looming, in 1937–8 he was commissioned by the Church of England to photograph the churches of East Anglia to enable their accurate restoration should they suffer bomb damage. In 1939 his offer to serve as chaplain to the Irish Guards was accepted, but he was refused permission from the Irish Jesuit provincial.

Travelling throughout Britain and Ireland, he continued to photograph and assiduously to practise the technical aspects of photography and build up an impressive array of photographic equipment, including his own developing laboratory at Emo. Most experts believe that his talent matured fully in the 1930s. Given a Kodak 16mm cine-camera by his uncle Robert, he shot a film of the eucharistic congress in Dublin in 1932, and made several subsequent films for state and educational bodies. In 1933 he visited the Kodak works at Harrow, north-west of London, and afterwards received a supply of free film for life and regularly contributed articles and photographs to the Kodak Magazine.

In the 1940s and ‘50s he photographed almost every aspect of Irish life – pilgrimages, ruined monasteries, great houses, and leading religious, political, and literary figures – and his photographs featured regularly in Irish publications. Much of his work dealt with new industries and technology, especially his fascination with transport: aircraft, shipping, and trains. A booklet issued by the Department of Health on the ‘mother and child’ scheme in 1951 was illustrated with his photographs. All his earnings from photography (c.£1,000, 1937–54) were forwarded to the Jesuit provincial treasurer and used for the education of Jesuit students.

As his health faded, he resided at Milltown Park from 1957, and many of his photographs from the late 1950s recorded the themes of old age and death. He died in Dublin 7 July 1960, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

He took an estimated 42,000 photographs throughout his life, but his fame as a photographer was largely posthumous: most of his work lay unnoticed in a trunk in the Jesuit archives until 1986. His photographs were neatly captioned and dated but were mostly on deteriorating nitrate film, and a major restoration effort was required to transfer them to safe film. Photographic experts were astounded at the quality of the work, generally considering it the outstanding photographic collection of twentieth-century Ireland. Fr Browne had all the attributes of a great photographer: a natural eye for line and balance in composition (a talent developed by his study of Italian art) and an ability to anticipate the decisive moment. In photographing people his lens was never intrusive or exploitative, and his sympathy with his subject is always evident. Scenes involving children, in particular, are captured with a natural ease and dignity. He has been described as ‘one of the great photographic talents’ (O'Donnell, Life, 123) of the twentieth century, and compared favourably with the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Since 1986 his work has been regularly exhibited, published in various collections compiled by E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, and featured in television documentaries.

Rudyard Kipling, The Irish Guards in the great war (2 vols, 1923), i, 136, 141, 145–6, 170, 182; ii, 173; Ir. Times, 18 Nov. 1989; E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, ‘Photographer extraordinary: the life and work of Father Browne’, Studies, lxxix (1990), 298–306; id., Father Browne's Dublin (1993); id., Father Browne: a life in pictures (1994); id., Father Browne's Titanic album (1997)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/francis-browne/

Francis Browne
Few can claim to have seen as much in their life as Francis Browne, sailing on the Titanic, serving in World War I, travelling the world. Not only did he live it but, as an amateur photographer, he also recorded his life and experiences, allowing us today immeasurable insight into that period in our history.
Born in Cork in 1880, Francis Browne was the youngest of eight children. His mother died of puerperal fever not long after his birth and his father died in a swimming accident when he was nine, so Browne was taken care of by his uncle, Robert Browne. After finishing school in Dublin in 1897, Browne went on a grand tour of Europe, seeing France and Italy. For his travels, his uncle bought him his first camera as a present, and this began Browne’s lifelong interest in photography.
Upon returning to Ireland, Browne entered the Jesuit noviciate in Tullabeg. He studied at the Royal University of Ireland in Dublin, where he was classmates with James Joyce. In 1911 he began studying theology in Milltown. The following year, his uncle gave him a ticket aboard the newly built ship Titanic, to sail from Southampton to Queenstown, now Cobh. Browne brought his camera, as was his hobby, and took many pictures. When he arrived in Queenstown he would have continued on the crossing to America, but was told in no uncertain terms by his superior to return to Dublin. When word arrived days later of the sinking of the Titanic, Browne realised how valuable his photographs were and sold them to various newspapers leading to the publication all over the world.
Browne was ordained in 1915, and the following year was sent to Europe where he served as chaplain to the Irish Guards. During his time in the service, Browne was at the Battle of the Somme, at Flanders, Ypres, and many other places at the frontline of the war. He was wounded on five occasions, and was awarded a military cross and bar for valour in combat. During this time too he took photographs, recording life at the frontline.
Returning to Dublin in 1920, Browne experienced recurring ill health from his time in the war, and was sent to Australia in 1924. Never parting from his camera, he took countless photos of the places he saw on his way over, as well as in Australia. After returning, he was appointed to the Retreats and Mission staff, and travelled all across Ireland. By the time of his death in 1960, Browne had taken photographs in nearly every parish in Ireland. When his negatives were discovered, twenty five years later, there were in the order of 42,000 of them. Twenty three volumes of his work have now been published and the importance of his work has been recognised internationally.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Writing on 13 November 1918, Fr Frank Browne SJ describes the day of the Armistice:
Isn’t it grand to think that the end has come & come so well for our side: please God it will come for us at home soon, & equally well. Here all is excitement and rejoicing. I happened to be in Dieppe at the fateful 11 o’clock Monday last. I was at the Ordnance store outside which is a great railway siding... Eleven o’ clock was signaled by every engine furiously blowing its whistle. Then nearly all of them proceeded to career up & down the hacks – still whistling. On several of them men sat astride the boilers waving flats & ringing bells. This lasted for 20 mins. On the other side of the quarry Co. of Engineers burst a charge displacing several tons of rock, & then fired Verey lights & flares. But all this was nothing compared with the French outburst in the town. As I drove into the town our car was pelted with confetti by girls, all of whom were gay with tricolor ribbons. The Belgian emigres organised a march through the town with their military band and all the soldiers & Officers present. The bugles were blowing as they entered the main street, which was crowded with rejoicing people. Suddenly, the bugles stopped, & the Band struck up the Marseillaise. For a moment there was a kind of silence, then with a roar, the whole crowd of people took it up. Woman appeared at every window waving flags, & singing: assistants rushed to the doors of shops & joined in the great chorus: children shouted & sang & wriggled through the crowd. It was one of the most inspiring spontaneous demonstrations it has ever been my fortune to witness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

China :

The Seminary Aberdeen :
The Seminary is now in full working order. We have all the ordinary exercises of our houses of studies circles, tones, etc. The students take kindly to the tones and are frank in their criticisms. A variant of the ordinary tones is a sermonette on the Life of Our Lord, We are using the Epidioscope and the beautiful slides which Father Frank Browne so kindly sent us. Thus a more vivid picture of the Gospel scenes is impressed on their minds. They have also given lectures to the village-folk with a Synoscope which Father Bourke brought out.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

The song has it that “old soldiers never die, they only fade away”. Fr. Frank Browne was an old soldier who never said die. He just faded away for a few months until the King whom he served so long and so faithfully called him to the eternal colours on 7th July, 1960, in the 81st year of his life.
Francis Mary Hegarty Browne was born in Cork on 3rd January, 1880. He claimed two Alma Maters - Belvedere and Castleknock - and never lost his affection for both. There must have been militarism in his blood, and the instinct for noble deeds and daring exploits. He went the Ignatian way, entering the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1897. At the completion of his noviceship he was one of a group of brilliant scholastics studying for the Royal - Edmund Power, Patrick Gannon, Austin Hartigan and others. In after years he sometimes mentioned his ability to equal and even surpass in classical lore some of these literary geniuses. After three years philosophy in Chieri, Northern Italy, he spent seven years teaching in Belvedere and Clongowes - mostly in Belvedere. During this period Mr. Browne was the life and soul of Belvedere. The college was small in those days, numbering about 250 boys. There he endeared himself to many who in later years reached the top of their professions. It was there, too, that he became wedded to his camera. While doing full teaching he had cycling club, camera club and every kind of outdoor activity except games.
At the conclusion of this long period of colleges came theology at Milltown Park and Ordination in July 1915 at the hands of his uncle, Most Rev. Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. During his theologate he rarely missed opportunities of long treks over the mountains. It was all a preparation for his duties as military chaplain. World War I broke out in 1914 and in 1916 Fr. Browne became chaplain to the Irish Guards in France and Flanders. He was wounded several times, returning home to hospital with severe shrapnel injuries to his jaw, On his return again to the front he served in the same Irish Division as Fr. Willie Doyle, and was close to Fr. Doyle until the latter was killed in August 1917. From then onwards until the war ended in 1918 Fr. Browne was with the Irish Guards and received several distinctions. As well as frequently being mentioned in despatches he was awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Tertianship was in Tullabeg, 1919-1920, and then Belvedere College for two years. A visitation of the Irish Province took place just then and two appointments made by the Fr. Visitor - Fr. W. Power, U.S.A. were Fr. John Fahy as Provincial and Fr. Browne as Superior of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. Both were, in a sense, as a bolt from the blue. The advent of a young priest as Superior of Gardiner Street - especially one so dynamic as Fr. Browne-was quite unusual. He was the youngest member of the community. The quiet hum of church work became a loud buzz during his six years as Superior. He was a great churchman. As well as a very eloquent preacher, he was devoted to the confessional, Moreover he was a man of great taste and made many improvements in administration. But he worked himself to a standstill and had to go on a long rest. The long rest was a trip to Australia. It provided Fr. Frank with plenty of shots for his camera and matter for many illustrated lectures in which he was a specialist.
From 1928 until a few years before his death Fr, Browne was on the Mission Staff of the Irish Province. He was stationed in St. Mary's, Emo from the time it opened in 1931. This life gave him ample scope for his unbounded energy. He loved his rest periods in Emo and his camera provided a helpful and lucrative relaxation. His photographs of places of historic interest in every part of Ireland were eagerly sought after by papers like the Irish Tatler and Sketch. In his scholastic days he had made a reputation for himself as Editor of The Belvederian. Anyone who scans the volumes of that magazine will find some wonderful photographs. It was while there he accepted the invitation to go on the first leg of the maiden voyage of the famous Titanic, later sunk by an iceberg in the Atlantic. Fr. Frank's photos of the inside of this luxury liner were about the only ones extant.
It is hardly to be expected that younger members of any religious order could have a correct view of older members, seen and known only in their decline. It is for that reason possibly that these obituary notices appear. It is only fair that a man's life should be seen in its entirety, God does not look at the last decade of a man's life, or indeed at any one decade. God views the whole span, and so should we. Else we miss much that we ought to know for our encouragement. The Society has its menologies, and wants the lives of Jesuits to be known by succeeding generations. For this purpose the menology is read every day. In this rapid and complex world our dead are too soon forgotten. The Irish Province has had many devoted sons to whose favours we of today owe much.
What were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Frank Browne? They are here outlined in order of priority as the writer sees them after forty, if not more nearly fifty, years of acquaintance.
He was a most priestly man. To see Fr. Frank at the altar was most impressive. There was no sign of slovenliness, speed, distraction. From his ordination till his death he put the Mass first. This had one rather amusing aspect. The pair of shoes in which he was ordained he preserved to the end, and only wore them at the altar. They were known to his colleagues as “The Melchisedeck Shoes”. This, in itself, shows his anxiety to preserve the fervour of his early priesthood. There was always a dignity about Fr. Browne whenever he functioned in the church, A man of fine physique and carriage, he looked magnificent in priestly vestments. But there was no shadow of affectation, no over-exaggeration. It was simple, honest and devout.
This priestliness he carried into the pulpit. He was never cheap, witty, frivolous. His preaching was always impressive, his words well chosen, his examples apt. He had a very friendly and sympathetic approach to his congregation. His confessional was always crowded and never hurried. There was the kindly word for everyone. With the secular clergy he was extremely popular, yet always reserved and dignified. It is the truth that he never forgot he was a priest and a Jesuit. He might at times be demanding, but always in a pleasant way,
He was a brave man-brave in every sense of the word. As chaplain he was rewarded for his courage under fire. The soldiers admired him and the officers revered him because of his calmness under fire. An Irish Guardsman, still alive, wrote of Fr, Browne :
“We were in a church somewhere in Belgium and Fr. Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof already with many holes in it. Fr. Browne thundered out : ‘What's wrong? Why don't you listen? Which are you more afraid of - God or the Germans?”
In the home front, when he was in Belvedere College, 1920-1922, many a time when the crash of a bomb, thrown at British lorries passing down North Frederick Street, was heard, Fr. Browne was down to the scene at once to minister to any injured. People scattered in all directions, but he remained firm. In October 1920, because he considered it his duty, he made a personal appeal to the military authorities on behalf of Kevin Barry.
He feared no man and feared no man's views. He never gave in an inch on a matter of principle even to the point of being irascible. One can imagine the influence he excited on non-Catholics in the British Army, A high-ranking officer, later a Field Marshal and a Viscount, had the greatest veneration for Fr. Browne and always wore a medal of Our Lady that Fr. Frank gave him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis (Frank) Browne 1880-1960
Fr Francis Browne was a colourful character, full of life and go. He was famous as a Chaplain in the First World War, being decorated many times for gallantry under fire. A soldier wrote of him “We were in Church somewhere in Belgium, and Fr Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof which already had many holes in it. R Browne thundered out “What’s wrong? Why don't you listen to me? Which are you more afraid of, God or the Germans?”
Through the good offices of his uncle the Bishop of Cloyne, Fr Frank travelled in the Titanic, on her voyage from Belfast to Cork, where luckily he disembarked. Being an excellent photographer, he had taken snaps of the interior of that famous ship, which are the onl;y ones extant to this day.
As a chaplain he was equally popular with Catholic and Protestant, and counted among his friends the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII and later again Duke of Windsor. A high ranking Officer, a Field-Marshall and later a Viscount had the greatest veneration for him, and always carried a medal of Our Lady round his neck, which he had received from Fr Frank.
His outstanding devotion was to the Holy Mass. The pair of boots in which he was ordained he kept apart to the end, and in no others did he ever celebrate Mass.
During his period as Superior of Gardiner Street he was responsible for many improvements in the Church, mainly the fine porch and new system of lighting.
The latter part of his life he spent as a most zealous and successful missioner
He died on July 7th 1960.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

If Fr J M O'Connor SJ had a rival for the “Mr. Belvedere” title, it might probably be Fr Frank Browne SJ - another distinguished Alumnus.

Frank was a good friend of mine. I cannot honestly remember where I first met him for he was the sort of person who seemed to have been around forever. He was so unique that everyone who met him felt that they had always known him. From his adventures aboard the “Titanic” and from his days in the hell of the trenches of World War I, when he was a Chaplain in the Irish Guards, he probably became Ireland's most prolific photographer. He was likely to turn up absolutely anytime, anywhere and very often in the strangest of places! I once encountered him on the footplate of a newly acquired locomotive (”The Maeve”) on the Dublin-Cork run covered from head to toe in coal-dust and sundry grime, having made the total journey in company with the driver and fireman and, no doubt, the inevitable camera!

The story of Frank Browne and the 'Titanic' is legendary. He travelled Southampton-Cherbourg-Queenstown (now Cobh) on the vessel during which time he and his camera did noble work! Not too surprisingly, he was prevailed upon to remain on board for the trip to New York. After all the unsinkable! Titanic was the newest and finest ship ever to sail the seven seas! Who wouldn't give their eye teeth for such a once-in-a-lifetime trip? He radioed his Provincial for permission and hoped for the best! The Provincial's return telegram contained five words: “Get off that ship! Provincial”. So an unhappy Frank remained on land whereas the “Titanic” never reached its destination but instead sank off Newfoundland taking with it some 1500 souls.

But there is another side to the saga of Fr Browne and the Titanic! My grandparents' home was in Sandymount directly across the road from the Star of the Sea Church. Early in the twentieth century the then PP prevailed upon my grandmother to accommodate the “Missioners” who arrived twice each year to conduct the Women's and the Men's Retreats. This was to be on a “one-off” basis but like so many “one-offs” the arrangement became permanent and scores of missioners were accommodated over the next 50 or so years. My grandparents died in the 1920's and early 30's and a number of my unmarried aunts and uncles remained. In particular, I refer to my Aunt Moya!

Eventually there arrived on the scene none other than Fr Frank Browne SJ. The main bathroom was immediately commandeered by Frank where all sorts of apparatus were set up by him to ensure that his photographic pursuits remained unhindered. 1 stayed in the old homestead in order to serve his Mass each morning.

One fine morning he and I set off for his Mass as two of my uncles were having breakfast in the nether regions to which they had been banished when a strange spreading “something” was observed oozing under the breakfast room door. The basement was flooding! Loud crashes were heard as ceilings fell down and chaos ensued! The dreaded Frank had put the plug in the bath on the third floor, connected the water to his Developing Tank - and taken off for the Church! So the unhindered water flowed down with fearsome results. How the priests were not banished for ever more - together with my Aunt Moya - must be the greatest miracle since Moses struck the rock! It did nothing to pacify my uncles and their wrath fell on the shoulders of my unfortunate aunt.

But it didn't all end there, for Moya composed a little ditty that started “Father Browne, he didn't go down”. After the retreats, and overcome by remorse for her disrespect to a man of God, she decided that she must be in a state of mortal sin and took herself off to confession. She told me that in confessing this dreadful sin she said to the priest, “Father, I had bad thoughts about a Missioner!” I'll bet that made her confessor sit up and take notice as he was a particularly close family friend! The poor man was convulsed with laughter when he discovered the nature of her “sin” and she was sadly disappointed at receiving a penance of only one “Glory Be”! But she immediately gave up smoking to atone for her temporary lapse from grace - as she saw it!

The last time I saw Fr Browne was on the platform at Limerick Junction station as he returned from one of his many adventures having immortalised on film whatever caught his attention at the time. Whenever I pass through this station, in my mind's eye his Great Spirit still stands there as it did a lifetime ago. I never forget to remember, and to offer a prayer of gratitude for his friendship. Fr Browne was called to his Heavenly Home on 7 July 1960 where no doubt he is still taking photographs, this time, I would imagine, in glorious Technicolour!

After his death over forty-two thousand of his negatives were discovered in Loyola House by Fr Eddie O'Donnell SJ. So the Great Frank who didn't go down, didn't go away either! With the aid of sponsorship from Allied Irish Bank all were restored and three of AlB/Ark Life calendars, including this year's, featured his photographs. I was amazed to see a photograph of myself in one of the earlier calendars taken, I believe, sometime during the '40's.

Seventeen volumes of his photographs have been published and exhibitions in the Guinness Hop-Store, throughout the country, and in the Pompidou Centre in Paris have featured his Dublin Photographs. His 'Titanic' photographs have been exhibited in places as far apart as Hiroshima, Seattle, Chicago, Lisbon, Bruges and Budapest.

I have a feeling that, somehow, he will still be around on the Last Day. What marvellous opportunities for really spectacular photography will then present themselves! I'll bet he is ready and waiting for the off - and is already champing at the bit!

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father F M Browne SJ

Father Browne, who was a master here some years ago, but not a Past Clongownian is with the anc Battalion Irish Guards. He has certainly had considerable variety during his time at the front. He was within the salient of Bourloi Wood when it had its neck cut and barely managed to escape On this occasion he got the bar to the MC. Of this experienc he writes : never went
through any thing like it and I wish there had bee another Lady Butler to pair another Roll Call of th 2nd I G after Bourlon Wood It was one of the saddest sights have ever see Imagine a fair dark night, deep sunken road lined with tiny excavations, some of them covered with oil sheets, etc, and in the middle the wreck of our Battalion. I cannot tell you how many we were when we started nor how many when we ended, for it would be a crime against interfering DORA”. Of his bar to the MC he writes:-“The only thing by which I can account for it was my very narrow escape from walking into the German lines during or rather just before Bourlon”.

During his wanderings Father Browne has not been unmindful of the wanderings of St Brendan, the story of which he has told in his illustiated guide to Lough Corrib. He tells us that he came by accident on an early French poem on this subject, with a commentary, in a Flemish farmer's cottage. This, no doubt, will be an interesting and, we hope, valuable addition to his booklet on this subject.

One little tit-bit of information which he gives us shows how great a change the presence of Irish soldiers must make to a French parish from the religious point of view. “We had a great ceremony on Sunday last - 2,500 Irish, soldiers gathered for Mass in the Cathe dral of --- to honour the new Bishop who presided at the Mass. I said Mass, Father W Doyle preached. Several Generals and big people - all impressed with very great solemnity. We had a guard of honour for the Elevation and trumpeters to play the General's Salute from the organ gallery. Father Doyle preached a very eloquent sermon though he was strictly limited to 15 minutes”. What a sight for the poor French Catholics - the old ones amongst them, no doubt, were brought back in memory to the ages of Faith in the fair land of France!

Burden, John, 1907-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/76
  • Person
  • 16 July 1907-01 June 1974

Born: 16 July 1907, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 01 June 1974, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks, that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 49th Year No 3 1974

Clongowes
On June 1st Father John Burden quietly slipped away, dying peacefully in his sleep. One hardly needs to add to the account which has already appeared in “Rosc”, an account which captured accurately the spirit of the day of his funeral Enough to say that while we miss him we are glad that his sufferings, borne so patiently and for so long, are over and that we were made very happy by seeing so many fellow Jesuits come to join us in honour ng his memory. May he rest in peace - and pray for us until the day when we can enjoy his companionship again.

Obituary :

Fr John Burden (1907-1974)

Fr John Burden died at Clongowes on April 24th. He had been a member of the Community since 1953 (mid-Summer) and a survey of the province catalogues during the intervening years, listing the offices entrusted to him - from Line prefect to Consultor of House and Confessor to community and boys, gives a measure of the work performed faithfully and unassumingly fulfilling the daily round. He was born in the neighbourhood of Kilkenny, July 16th, 1907 and entered the Society on September 1st, 1926; Vows, 1928; Juniorate at Rathfarnham and Philosophy at Tullabeg; Clongowes for Colleges and Milltown Park for Theology; Ordination, 1939; Tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1941-2; Military Chaplain with Allied forces until his return home in 1946. Shortly after his return he was called on to take over University Hall from Fr John M O'Connor whose failing health made an immediate change necessary. At the time electricity, fuel and such foods as butter and sugar continued to be rationed and John found it extremely difficult to satisfy the students. It was an unfortunate initiation and during his period in the Hall - and it continued six years, the easy relations which were characteristic of him almost invariably elsewhere were, in his own opinion, not established it provided his Purgatory!

And now we allow contemporaries to take over:

“John Burden and I went to Clongowes the same year, 1919 and after seven years we had passed through the hands of A B Fell in Elements to Fr Meaney in Rhetoric. John commanded respect from the beginning; he had two older brothers, one in the Lower Line and the other in the Higher Line. Mr Hal King was our Third Line prefect, Mr Tom Kelly, the Gallery prefect - two figures with whom we were in constant contact. The Prefect of Studies was Fr Larry Kieran who also assumed the role of Spiritual Adviser when administering rebukes or punishment or friendly spiffs. Finally there was Fr Joey Canavan and Mr Mickey Kelly whose prowess on the cricket field was some thing to be remembered by us all.
The years at school brought John and me close together in class, on the playing fields where he won top honours at cricket and tennis, and in the Refectory when we sat opposite each other in our last year. By this time I had come to regard him as one to rely on, to respect and to follow, and I was really pleased when he told me he had decided to join the Jays. So after seven happy years at Clongowes we went to Tullabeg the following September, in company with five other Clongownians. Of the seven who began the Noviceship, one left at the end of the second year and the other six, by the grace of God, remained in the Society.
I remained very close to John all through the years of formation. When we had finished Philosophy, Summer 1933, we were posted back to Clongowes where he became Gallery Prefect for one year and Lower Line Prefect for two years. From there we went to Milltown and Ordination (1939). During the Tertianship he told me he had been asked to join the army as a Chaplain and, in his droll way, said war couldn't be any worse than the Tertianship! That was in 1942 and, as in so many other instances in the Society, I didn't come across him again more than half-a-dozen times. He was Prefect of University Hall from 1947-53. In 1953 he returned to Clongowes to which he remained attached until his lamented death.
Two remarks about John: Fr Jack Brennan, the Rector of Clongowes, said in his funeral homily that John had died as he lived, peacefully and with the least amount of trouble to anyone and that his work as Confessor to the boys was gentle and tireless; Secondly, Rosc published an obituary which conveys - multum in parvo,
John Burden died peacefully in his sleep on Whit Saturday. At the funeral we saw, in addition to the Chapel full of boys and many of his relatives, over sixty priests concelebrating and an other 15 or so in attendance. It was a slow easy funeral cortege of a sort many of us had never before experienced. There was time for a chat and look backwards and forwards as we walked the length of the avenue ahead of the hearse and between lines of boys who joined the procession behind the hearse.
Many of John's contemporaries will bear witness to the value of his easy companionship. He was always entertaining and amusing even when he was grumbling. His contemporaries will always remember him in friendship”.
Another of the Clongownian contemporaries who entered with him endorsed the judgment of John's companionability, adding a comment on the shrewdness of his judgment - his practically uncanny insight in his dealings with boys and young men, citing instances which we regret omitting.
Possibly the experiences of University Hall, alluded to above, was the one occasion where morale seemed to flag through his career. His military life was spent in the Middle East mostly and his complaint was that it became largely routine. During his latter years in Clongowes he aged alarmingly; arthritis, in a severely pervasive form, crippled him, but withal, his gentle, kindly, quaintly humorous ways possessed you. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father John Burden SJ

As a boy in Clongowes John was an outstanding athlete, being captain of the cricket eleven and an outstanding tennis player. He had the unique distinction of being prefect of the Sodality for two successive years. He entered the Jesuit Noviceship in 1926 and after his studies he returned to Clongowes in 1933 and acted as prefect for three years. He was ordained as a priest in Milltown Park in July 1939. He acted as chaplain in the war from 1941-46 being stationed in the Near East, On returning he acted as Superior of University Hall, Hatch St. and then returned to Clongowes in 1953. He first looked after the Lower Line and the Higher Line for three years. In 1956 he became house Procurator, an office that he held until his death on 1st June this year. Fr Michael O'Meara, a contemporary of his as a boy, sends us this appreciation:

John was one of seven members of Rhetoric who entered the Noviceship in September 1926. He is the first of them to go to his reward which he so richly deserved. To his relatives we offer our deep sympathy, for he had for them a deep but hidden affection. If it is true that we who were his brothers in religion will sadly miss him, what their feelings must be, we can only guess. As a boy, scholastic, and priest, John was singularly reticent, quiet and if I may be pardoned the word, unobtrusive. You never knew where and when he would turn up, a fact all those who had him as a prefect would, I am sure, sincerely endorse.

Some injury kept him from robust games but at cricket, tennis and later at golf he really excelled. A fundamental reason for this was his attention to detail. This quality was basic to his standing as a tennis and cricket coach. His quiet, clear and simple directions were slowly given, making sure that every point was thoroughly understood.

John was quietly popular all through his Jesuit studies and this, I believe, persevered through his career as a military chaplain. My own belief is that he found these years rewarding as a priest but very lonely. Not expansive, he never had a chance to put down roots but I think he never regretted being sent to such an arduous following of the Master. God rest his soul. He was one of Christ's most lovable gentlemen provided you were admitted into the inner citadel, as such I shall always remember him.

Burke, Arthur, 1905-1988, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/968
  • Person
  • 14 May 1905-13 August 1988

Born: 14 May 1905, Armidale, NSW, Australia
Entered: 18 February 1922, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1940
Died; 13 August 1988, Clare, South Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

Second World War chaplain

◆ 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 by the Christian Brothers at St Mary’s, Toowoomba and then at the University of Queensland, before entereing at Loyola College Greenwich.

1924-1927 After First Vows he was sent to Dublin (Rathfarnham Castle) where he studied Latin, English, Mathematics and Physics at University College Dublin, graduating with a BA in 1927
1927-1930 He was sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy
1930-1934 He returned to Australia and Regency at St Ignatius Riverview. Here he taught History and Science. He feel foul of the Rector William Lockington when he took photos of the Chapel roof falling down on morning during Mass - it was thought the original design was the result of an impetuous decision by the Rector.
1934-1938 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1938-1939 He made Tertianship at St Beuno’s Wales
1939-1941 He returned to Australia and teaching at St Aloysius Sydney
1942-1945 He became a Military Chaplain with the 2nd AIF, serving in the Middle East and Borneo, and when he retired he was a Major. He was well remembered by those who served with him for his kindness in writing home for hospital patients, and he was one of the few people who could get mail out at that stage. In subsequent years he attended reunions of his regiment, and ANZAC Day dawn services was a feature of his life.
1945-1947 He went back teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney
1947-1949 He was sent to Sevenhill
1950-1953 he was sent to do parish work at Toowong Brisbane
1953 He returned to Sevenhill where his contact with the people and as chaplain at the Clare Hospital gained him a reputation of a man of compassion, not only with his own parishioners, but with those from other denominations. He was a people’s priest, especially for children, the sick and elderly.
He spent most of his priestly life working among the people of Clare and Sevenhill. he was much loved, and portraits of him hang at Sevenhill and the Clare District Hospital. In total he spent 33 years there, and was much in demand for weddings, baptisms and funerals. A park and Old person’s home were named after him and he was named Citizen of the Year for Clare in 1986. At the 100th anniversary of the opening of the old sandstone-and-slate St Aloysius Church at Sevenhill, he wrote a booklet on the conception and building of the Church and College. Confidently fearless of electricity he made repairs and renovations to fittings and circuitry around the house. he also looked after the seismograph.
There were many legends of his driving ability. His pursuit of rabbits and vermin off the edge of the road cause fright to more than his passengers! His final act of driving involved hitting a tree in Clare now known as “Fr Frank’s Tree” which still bears the marks! Eventually some collusion between police and Jesuits resulted in his losing his licence, and he then relied on friends.
1972-1973 He was Parish Priest of Joseph Pignatelli parish in Attadale, Adelaide.

He was a man of charm and wit, humble and self effacing. Tall and lanky, with prominent teeth, he loved a laugh and always amused to see the mickey taken out of pompousness or self righteousness. He encouraged conversation and expansiveness. he was a man who was a natural repository of confidences, and his common sense and wisdom reflected an incarnational spirituality.
He was legendary in the parish as a fried to everybody, especially the needy or troubled. Eschewing denomination, he brought Christ to everyone he met, causing consternation among the more canonical when he celebrated sacraments with all denominations.
In his later years his forgetfulness was legendary too. He was often corrected at Mass by parishioners, late for funerals, using wrong names at baptisms and weddings.

He enjoyed being a pastoral priest and a Jesuit, was faithful to prayer and had a great devotion to Our Lady.He could preach at length and his liturgies were not the most celebratory, but they were prayerful and devotional. he communicated his own simple spirituality easily to others.

He always enjoyed the company of other Jesuits. He was a much loved and appreciated man

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Australia :

Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

Carey, Timothy, 1878-1919, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1014
  • Person
  • 20 February 1878-27 February 1919

Born: 20 February 1878, Kilbeheny, County Cork
Entered: 09 September 1896, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914
Died: 27 February 1919, Calais, France - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1910 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1909-1912
First World War chaplain

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. The Spanish flu was a contributor factor in the death of Fr Timothy Carey SJ (1877-1919) on 27 February 1919, at Calais, France. Hailing from Kilbehenny, on the Cork-Limerick border, Carey joined the English Jesuit Province and served as chaplain from 1916, until his death.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/
The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Timothy Carey SJ, of the British Province, would die from the effects of influenza in February 1919, at Calais, France

Coghlan, John, 1888-1963, Roman Catholic Monsignor and chaplain

  • Person
  • 1888-1963

Diocese of Meath.

First World War: Served as Chaplain.

Following the outbreak of World War II on September 3, 1939, Monsignor Coghlan was appointed Assistant Deputy Chaplain-General of the British Army and the principal Roman Catholic Chaplain to the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), that sailed to France to serve alongside the French Army.

On returning to Britain from Dunkirk, Monsignor Coghlan was appointed to the rank of Vicar General of the British Army, becoming, in effect, the commanding officer of 700 Roman Catholic Chaplains who were serving in the British Army.

Colman, Michael P, 1858-1920, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/98
  • Person
  • 25 September 1858-04 October 1920

Born: 25 September 1858, Foxford, County Mayo
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: Paris, France - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1905
Died: 04 October 1920, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Australia community at the time of death

by 1903 in Rhodesia (ANG) - Military Chaplain
by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1906 at Chinese Mission (FRA)
Came to Australia 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was in his native locality and then he went to the Irish College, Paris, where he was Ordained for the Achonry Diocese before Ent.
He had a varied career. he taught at Belvedere, Clongowes and Galway. He was on the Mission Staff. He went as Chaplain to the British Troops in South Africa. He then spent some time in Shanghai as a Missioner, where he did great work, but found it difficult to work with the French.
He was then sent to Australia, where he did various jobs, including being a Chaplain to Australian troops.
He was a man of great talent but unusual temperament and difficult to manage. He died at Norwood 04 October 1920.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He enetered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a secular Priest.

1892-1894 After First Vows he studied Theology for two years at Milltown Park.
1894-1895 He was sent teaching at Belvedere College.
1895-1896 He was sent teaching at Clongowes Wood College
1896-1898 He was involved in the “Mission” staff
1898-1900 He was sent teaching at Coláiste Iognáid Galway.
1900-1902 He was sent to work in the Church at Tullabeg
1902-1903 He was assigned as a Military Chaplain to British Troops in South Africa
1903-1904 He made Tertianship at Drongen.
1905-1907 He went on the French Chinese Mission at Shanghai
1907-1908 He returned to Parish work at Coláiste Iognáid.
1908-1911 He was sent to Australia and first to St Ignatius Norwood
1911-1913 He was sent to the Immaculate Conception Parish at Hawthorn
1913-1914 He was at Loyola Greenwich
1914-1919 He returned to St Ignatius Norwood. During this time he was appointed as a Military Chaplain to Australian troops and went to Egypt in 1915. However by September of that year his service was terminated due to ill health. He only completed the voyage and did not see any action. When he returned to Australia he gave missions and retreats in various parts of the country.
1919 He was sent to Sevenhill.

He was a man with intemperate zeal, but dogged with ill health. He had considerable talent which could be hard to harness, which may help understand why he moved around so frequently.

Corr, Gerald F, 1875-1941, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1110
  • Person
  • 02 December 1875-26 July 1941

Born: 02 December 1875, County Cork
Entered: 13 August 1892, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 26 July 1941, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1897 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1899 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1899
by 1908 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : APO to BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1896 After First Vows he did a Juniorate at at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg and Milltown Park Dublin
1896-1899 He was sent for Philosophy to St Aloysius College, Jersey and Enghien, France
1899-1900 and 1904 He was sent for Regency to Australia and firstly to Xavier College, Kew - and he returned here to finish seven years of Regency
1900-1901 He continued his Regency at St Aloysius College Sydney
1902-1903 He then did two further years regency at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne
1904-1907 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1907-1908 He made Tertianship at Drongen
1908-1917 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College to teach Latin, French and English. He also edited the “Clongownian” and was Junior Debating Master.
1917-1919 He was a Military Chaplain at Dunkirk
1919-1923 He was sent back to Australia and firstly to the Richmond Parish
1923-1925 & 1927-1933 He was sent to Norwood Parish
1925-1926 & 1934-1941 He was sent to St Aloysius Church Sevenhill

He was a sensitive and gentle person who spoke with a very refined accent. He was artistic, painted and gave lectures on religious Art.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. In October 1918, Fr Gerard Corr SJ comments that: “[I have] a heavy cold...of the Spanish variety, which has been so prevalent everywhere and in many places so fatal”.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Gerard Corr SJ wrote from France in late 1918 that he has: “a heavy cold...of the Spanish variety, which has been so prevalent everywhere and in many places so fatal”,

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931
Australia :
Fr Gerald Corr, exhibited a number of landscape; painted by himself at an exhibition of South Australian art. They were much admired, and were sold for considerable sums.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Obituary :
Father Gerald Corr
In the evening of Saturday, July 26, God called to Himself the Rev. Father Gerald Corr, SJ., who came to labour in Norwood with Father Corish in 1923, and since then has been alternately at Sevenhill and Norwood. For the last seven years he has been Father Minister at Sevenhill.
Early in the year the late Fr. Corr’s health, which was never robust, gave him more trouble than usual, and he spent some time in Calvary Hospital under observation. He was given an extended holiday as far as Brisbane. When he came back to South Australia, it was thought he might manage to keep out of hospital and even say Mass regularly, but he was compelled to re-enter hospital almost at once, where dropsical condition rapidly set, in and he gently answered the final call.
Fr. Corr was born in Cork, though he went with his family when quite young, to reside at St. John's Wood, London. That explained his keen interest in the visits of the English team to Australia and why some kind friends saw to it that he was a member of the S.A.C.A. He had been in Australia as a scholastic teaching in Sydney and Melbourne, Ordained Priest 34 years ago he taught in his old Alma, Mater. Clongowes Wood College, Kildare, till he became a Royal Air Force Chaplain stationed at Dunkirk as a base. Since the R.A.F. then was an arm of the Royal Navy, he met many distinguished naval officers and travelled in destroyers to and from England. At the conclusion of that war he came to Australia, where he was to spend the last 22 years of his life, eighteen of which were spent in S.A.
He was an enthusiastic painter in water colors, and his works received commendation from the critics and many homes in Adelaide have copies of his work. For the last seven years he had been stationed at Sevenhill as Father Minister, and, although he was a martyr to headaches, he never shirked his two Masses every Sunday. Fr. Corr was stationed at St. Ignatius', Norwood, for some years, and administered the districts of Ellangowan and Dunwich. He was the Priest in charge of Dulwich when it was made a distinct parish in 1934.
Fr. Corr was always the “little gentleman”, meticulous of the conveyances of life. He was always ready to help on works of that nature. Recently he read a paper at the Loreto Reading Circle. Hewas essentially a cultured type. This led him to take a keen interest in good literature and classical music. Yet, withal, like a true Priest of God, he used all this to influence unto good the friends he made through these interests.
He received the verdict of the doctors on the serious nature of his illness with complete resignation to God's will and quietly prepared himself to meet the Master he served so well. Everything humanly possible was done for him by the devoted Sisters in Calvary Hospital and by his doctors, and, when the call came at 9.15 p.m. on July 26 he gently answered it. Prayers were all he asked for and his many friends will surely heed this his last request. May his gentle soul rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Gerald F Corr SJ

The late Fr Corr had a special claim upon “The Clongownian” as he was for several years its Editor. He produced the splendid number of 1914, the Centenary Year, and ever since then took a great interest in the magazine, constantly sending items of news about past “Clongownians”.

Fr Corr, though born in Cork, spent most of his early life in London. After spending four years in Clongowes he entered the Society of Jesus in 1892, and was just 49 years in the Order when he died. As a Scholastic he taught in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. He was ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1907 and was on the teaching staff in Clongowes for several years. During the last war he was a Chaplain, chiefly with the Royal Air Force, and was stationed for some time at Dunkirk, often travelling in destroyers to and from England. At the conclusion of the war he returned to Australia where he was to spend the last 22 years of his life, chiefly in South Australia. During the last seven of these he was Minister in Sevenhills, Adelaide. He was an enthusiastic painter in water colours, and took a keen interest in good literature and classical music. A very large number of priests attended his obsequies, at which His Grace, the Most Rev Dr Beovich, Archbishop of Adelaide, presided. In his address to the clergy and congregation the Archbishop paid an eloquent tribute to the character and work of Fr. Corr :

“I visited him many times”, said His Grace, “during his last illness. He was completely resigned to God's will, and all he wished for was for his friends to pray with him and to promise him prayers for his great and final journey. The kindly, gentle priest has made that journey which we must all make one day, and he has gone before God laden with the good works of his zealous and devoted life. He will be remernbered for his great priestly qualities, his kindness and his gentleness. Of late years he suffered much from severe headaches and general ill-health, but he never shirked his work to the end, and he struggled to say his two Masses every Sunday in widely separated churches of the Sevenhill parish.

He was a man of letters and was one of the original priest-members of the executive of the Catholic Guild of Social Studies. He had charge of the parish study circle almost up to the day of his last fatal illness.

In the death of Fr. Corr”, concluded His Grace, “the Archdiocese of Adelaide and the Australian Province of the Society of Jesus have suffered a severe loss. May God have mercy on the gentle soul of Father Gerald Corr, and grant him refreshment, light and peace”. RIP

Cronin, Fergus, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/651
  • Person
  • 29 March 1909-08 December 1990

Born: 29 March 1909, Roscommon Town, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1944, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 08 December 1990, Canossa Hospital, Old Peak Road, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Wah Yan College, Hong Kong community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Early Education at O’Connell’s Schools, Dublin
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

WW2 Chaplain 1943-1947

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 10 August 1965-03 December 1966
1st Vice-Provincial of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 December 1966-1972

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
Hong Kong Mission Superior 10/08/1965
VICE PROVINCIAL 03/12/1966

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Fergus Cronin, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Fergus Cronin, SJ., of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, priest in charge of the Catholic Centre Chapel, died at Canossa Hospital on Saturday, 8 December 1990, aged 81.

In the course of his long life here he won distinction both as a priest and as a voluntary servant of the public. Yet he will be remembered most vividly for his almost unrivalled power of making personal friends and giving wise and sympathetic personal advice.

Father Cronin was born in Co. Roscommon, Ireland, in 1909, the youngest of three children of an early-widowed mother. His only sister became a Dominican nun. His elder brother became a Vincentian priest. He himself joined the Jesuits in 1926.

He first came to Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1934, and spent three years studying Cantonese and teaching in Wah Yan College, then housed in Robinson Road. He returned to Ireland in 1937 to complete his Jesuit training and was ordained priest in 1940.

In 1942 he became a chaplain in the British army, serving in the U.K., the Faeroes and Iran and Iraq. In 1944, he had the rather gruesome task of organising replacements for Catholic chaplains who were wounded or killed in the allied assault on Europe.

He was demobilised in 1946 and, apart from one year in India, spent the rest of his years serving the Church and the people of Hong Kong.

The posts he held testified to his gifts as an administrator and a leader - Warden of Ricci Hall, University of Hong Kong; Provincial Superior of the Jesuits in Macao, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia; Rector, first of the Jesuit community of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later of the Ricci Hall Community; Director of the Hong Kong Catholic Centre; Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatic - the list is incomplete. In 1964 the Jesuit Superior General sent him to India for a year to make a survey of the intellectual resources of the numerous Indian Jesuit Provinces. The gifts that drew these offices to him were apparently family characteristics his elder brother revived the C.B.E. for his work as head of the Teacher’s Training College in Strawberry Hill, London, his sister became Prioress in one of the chief girls' schools in Dublin.

For many years he was lecturer on Logic in the University of Hong Kong. For decades he acted as a Justice of the Peace and was a member of the Hong Kong Housing Society. He took these tasks very seriously and was awarded the O.B.E. in recognition of his services.

All this may seem to add up to a very full life. Yet to those who valued him most, lists of posts held and of work done seem almost irrelevant. The Father Cronin they mourn was the adviser who guided them and the friend who sustained.

He spent his life forming and keeping friendships - men whom he taught as boys in the 1930s, men and women to whom he lectured in the 1950s, former students of Ricci Hall, hosts of those with whom his busy life brought him into contact, have cherished his affection through decades and are permanently grateful for his wise counsel.

His advice was always personal and was often unexpected. It could be bracing, astringent or gentle as the occasion offered. Always it was based on a sympathetic and intelligent assessment of the person he was advising.

Since the vast majority of the people of Hong Kong are Chinese, the vast majority of his friends were Chinese, but there were no national limits to his friendship. Recent years had brought many Filipinas within its scope. Other Asians, Europeans, Americans and Australians in great numbers will be saddened by the news of his passing. Only lack of opportunity robbed him of African friends.

These friendships were independent of social and economic status. He will be mourned equally by Sir Philip and Lady Haddon Cave, the Frequenters of the Catholic Centre Chapel, the members of the Catholic Women’s League, the members of the Little Flower Club, and Pak Ching and A Chau, two former number on servants of Ricci Hall. He valued people, not for what they possessed or what they had achieved, but for what they were - as he might have said, “because of the love that I bore them.”

We shall not see his like again.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 December 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.

Note from Alan Birmingham Entry
On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.

Note from Thomas Fitzgerald Entry
A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
Martin Lee Chu-ming, former legal advisor to The Justice and Peace Commission :
Lee said that he could find many similarities between Father Hurley’s life and his own. They were both inspired by Father Fergus Cronin in the fight for people’s rights. Lee recalled how Father Hurley sought clearance before attending a press conference to speak for the students and Father Cronin, the then-Jesuit superior in Hong Kong, told him: “Go James, attend! This is where you must be.” Father Hurley said he could not forget such a clear instruction and was grateful for the support. Lee recalled that when he started in politics, he also visited Father Cronin, who was then seriously ill, and asked what he could do for the Church. Father Cronin told him to follow his conscience and do what he thought he should do.

Note from Terry Sheridan Entry
The chief celebrant, Father Fergus Cronin, Provincial Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and one of Father Sheridan’s oldest friends in Hong Kong, paid the following tribute. I suppose all of us here are people who knew Father Terence Sheridan so it is not necessary for me to say who he was nor to mention many of the things he did....

Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
1st Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong (1967-1972)

His older brother was a Vincentian Priset and was awarded a CBE for his work at the Teachers Training ollege at Strawberry Hill London. His sister was a Dominican sister who became Prioress at one of the chief Dublin Girls School.

1928-1931 He studied Histroy at UCD graduating BA (Hons)
1931-1934 He was sent for Philsophy to Tullabeg
1934-1935 He was sent teaching to Hong Kong and the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen for Regency
1935-1937 He moved to Wah Yan Hong Kong
1937-1940 He was back in Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1941-1942 He was at Rathfarnham making Tertianship
During 1962-1964 he toured the Asian Provinces to assess what kind of Provincial cooperation might be possible in the intellectual level.
1963-1965 He was Superior at St Joseph’s, Wise Mansion
1972-1974 After finishing as Vice-Provincial he was in charge of St Joseph’s Church and the Catholic Centre for the Diocese of Hong Kong
1980-1986 He was Superior of Ricci Hall
1986-1990 He was Director of the Catholic Centre.

He was in Hong Kong for over 40 years. He was a gifted administrator and leader as Vice provincial in Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and Singapore.He pursued the expansion of the Province and was very keen for inter Provincial cooperation in east Asia. He was once the Bishop’s Delegate for Charismatics and also a lecturer in Logic at HKU (1946-1962). He was appointed by the Hong Kong Governor as a member of the Board of Education, a member of the Education Appeals Board, the Council for Social Services and the University of Hong Kong Council.
He was also active in the Catholic Women’s League, Catholic Marriage Council and American Sailors Catholic Service. He served as Rector at the Catholic Centre, the English Catholic “public relations” and a member of the HK Housing Society.
He was awarded a “Justice of the Peace” in Hong Kong as well as an OBE in recognition of his services.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Delaney, John J, 1883-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/29
  • Person
  • 04 July 1883-08 August 1956

Born: 04 July 1883, North Strand, Dublin City
Entered: 23 September 1904, Drongen Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 08 August 1956, St Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner St, Dublin - Belgicae South Province (BELG)

WWI Chaplain

by 1920 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1933 came to St Francis Xavier (HIB) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/from-easter-week-to-flanders-field/

‘From Easter Week to Flanders Field’
From Easter Week to Flanders Field: The diaries of and letters of Fr John Delaney SJ, 1916-1919′ is the latest book by historian Thomas Morrissey SJ. John Delaney SJ walked the streets of Dublin during Easter Week 1916, recording in a diary everything he encountered along the way. This treasure came to light in the Jesuit archives five years ago, and is reproduced in the book and so public for the first time.
The next year, in 1917, John Delaney was sent to the battlefields of Europe, where he served on the front line as an army chaplain. It is his letters, in this instance, that provide a first-hand account of the realities of war. Putting both experiences together, this volume provides an eye-witness account of two major events of the early twentieth century.
Thomas Morrissey SJ brings us through Delaney’s life and times from Dublin to Flanders, later on to service in Ceylon, then his final years back in Dublin. “Ypres, Louvain, Rheims, were before our mind’s eye in a moment and we thought – war had come to us at last. Dublin was in flames. The roar of guns was in our ears, at our very door, and men were falling. Men were dying not on the fields of France or in the trenches of Flanders, but on the streets of Dublin. It was really dreadful; too dreadful to look at, too dreadful to hear, too dreadful to think of… We went down to prayers. I could not help thinking of the poor fellows dying not so far from us amid the shot and shell whilst we repeated in our little chapel, ‘Ora pro nobis’ ”, wrote John Delaney SJ, Thursday 27 April, 1916.
The book was launched on Monday 23 March at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ, Superior of Gardiner St community, warmly welcomed those at the launch. He said that when that when Todd (Thomas Morrissey) first approached him about the book he advised him that he wouldn’t have enough material and Todd agreed. Then totally unexpectedly he was given a link to published correspondence of John Delaney in the ‘Old Boy’s Journal’ of the Jesuit College in what is now Sri Lanka.
Launching the book, Professor of history Fergus D’Arcy began by reciting a chilling list of the numbers of young men from all the countries involved in WWI who died in battle. The room went very quiet. He called the war “the beast of the apocalypse”, a war “so awful that it raises questions about the beautiful gardens around the world that commemorate it”.
Commenting on John Delaney’s diary entries regarding the Easter Rising, Prof. D’Arcy said his first-hand account, warts and all, was fascinating. Delaney was a chaplain to the Gardaí at the time. For this reason a specially invited guest at the launch was Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey (pictured here with Fr Morrissey). He said he was delighted to represent the Gardaí at the launch of such a book and he wanted to honour the memory of John Delaney SJ who served the Gardaí so well.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 31st Year No 4 1956

St. Francs Xavier's, Gardiner Street
By the death of Father Delaney, on 8th August: we suffered the loss of one of the best-loved priests in the Church. Even though illness had for almost the last two years removed him from his many posts of duty, there were constant affectionate enquiries for him, and requests for his spiritual assistance: up to the time of his leaving Gardiner Street last Autumn he was always ready to come down from his room in response to the latter. Messages of sympathy on his death reached Father Provincial and Father Superior from many sources: large numbers of Mass-cards were left on the coffin: and, at his funeral, the Civic Guards whose Sodality he directed So splendidly turned out such a Guard of Honour as he himself, always so pleased with a uniformed and well-drilled parade, would have thoroughly appreciated. May he rest in peace!

Obituary :

Fr John Delaney (1883-1956)

Fr. Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883 and educated in O'Connell Schools and at Mungret Apostolic School, from which he graduated as B.A. in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and he studied philosophy in Louvain before going to teach for four years in St. Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon.
Returning to Ireland for his course of Theology, he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed Army Chaplain and he saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-1919, succeeding the late Fr. Willie Doyle as chaplain to the “Munsters”. At the end of the war he returned to the Mission in Ceylon, where he remained until 1932, being Director of Studies at $t. Aloysius College, Galle, for six years and later Principal of St. Mary's College, Kegalle.
During the twenty years he spent in Ceylon Fr. Delaney rendered valuable services to the cause of education in that country, where, in St. Aloysius College, Galle, he succeeded another Irishman, the late Fr. Denis Murphy, as Principal. He was responsible for the building and equipment also of St. Mary's College of the Society of Jesus at Kegalle, with a roll of 600 students.
In 1932 he returned again to Ireland to become an outstanding figure as a giver of missions and retreats throughout the country. In 1944 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street Church, where he remained until his death. At Gardiner Street he was Director of the Sodality for members of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardaí, and Director also of the Arch-Association for Work for Poor Churches, the annual Exhibition of Vestments of which he organised so efficiently. For a number of years he was also responsible for the organisation of Irish Jesụit Mission Week in St. Francis Xavier's Hall; and was the imperturbable Traffic Superintendent-in-Chief of the huge Crowds during the Novena of Grace.
For the last year or two of his life he had been in poor health. He died suddenly and peacefully on Wednesday, August 8th. The Civic Guards, whom he had admired so much, did him honour in death. They formed a Guard of Honour in the Church, acted as pall-bearers and lined the path way to the graveside in Glasnevin. The Commissioner, Chief Superintendents and Superintendents were in attendance in the Church and at Glasnevin.
One shall not easily forget the glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit or the record of his patience and prudence in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns and of scrupulous people. But, indeed, his guidance as a confessor was sought by all classes of people, and he had the very precious gift of being able to inspire people with confidence in their last moments. I think it was just three years ago that Fr. Delaney was flown to the death-bed of a gentleman in London. This gentleman had been away from the sacraments for many years; he had met Fr. Delaney only once, before, and accidentally; but, when he came to die, he asked for Fr. Delaney to help him make his peace with God.
For the past year Fr. Delaney had been almost completely helpless. He required assistance to even change his position in his chair; he could not feed himself. For a man of such abounding energy formerly this was a particularly heavy cross. Yet he bore it with a superb patience. He never murmured. To Fr. Superior and Fr. Minister he would say : “Is there any thing I could do for you?” He was surely touched to receive Fr. General's blessing a few months ago. To Fr. Superior Fr. General had written : “Nuntium de conditione adeo gravi Patris Joannis Delaney maxime dolebam; cui caro Patri qui in ista provincia et in missionibus indicis per tot annos cum zelo laboravit velim Reverentia Vestra paternam benedictionem significet”. Fr. Delaney was especially pleased that he should have been considered a carus pater. He was indeed beloved by all, by none more than by his community. He was a great community man. But, then, he did all things well.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Delaney 1883-1956
Fr John Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883, educated in O’Connell’s Schools and Mungret College, whence he joined the Belgian Province of the Society.

As a scholastic he worked in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon, which he helped attain that position of scholastic achievement, initiated by another Irish Jesuit, Fr Denis Murphy.

Having served as a Chaplain in the First World War, he returned to work in Ceylon until 1932, when he came back to Ireland. Here he became an outstanding figure on the Mission Staff until 1944, when he was appointed as Operarius in Gardiner Street. The glamour of his rhetoric in the pulpit and his patience and prudence in the confessional will not be forgotten. He had a charisma for scrupulous souls. On one occasion he was flown to London to hear the confession of a dying man years away from the Sacraments. This man had only met Fr Delaney once in his life. Such incidents could be multiplied and they speak volumes of the character and spiritual quality of Fr Delaney.

He died on August 8th 1956, a jubilarian of the Society.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Fr J J Delaney SJ was a companion of Father Willie Doyle during the Great War. After years of teaching at St. Aloysius College, Galle, he is now in charge of St. Mary's School, Kegalle, where he has renewed the face of the earth. He is easily the most popular and effective preacher in the island, a wonderful raconteur, and doing no end of good,

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

Our Past

Father John J Delaney SJ

Father J J Delaney SJ, (1899-1924) is home from Kegalle, Ceylon. It was said that he came home for a rest. Father John's definition of rest must be change of climate, for he has never ceased work since he returned. He has made a name in Ireland already as a preacher and director of Retreats. On Whit Sunday he received our Sodalists and delighted all the boys with his sermon for the occasion. We have seldom heard so many tributes from them after a sermon.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father John J Delaney SJ

We regret to announce the death of Fr John Delaney which took place on August 8th. Fr Delaney was born in Dublin in 1883. He was educated in O'Connell schools and Mungret Apostolic School where he graduated as a BA in the old Royal University. In 1904 he entered the Society of Jesus at Tronchiennes Belgium. After Philosophy he taught for four years in St Aloysius College, Galle, Ceylon. Returning to Ireland for Theology he was ordained in Milltown Park in 1916. The following year he was appointed military chaplain and saw service in Flanders and France during the years 1917-19. At the end of the war he re turned to Ceylon where he remained until 1932. Here he was responsible for the building of St Mary's College at Kegalle.

In 1932 he returned to Ireland where he became an outstanding giver of Retreats and Missions. In 1944 he joined the staff at Gardiner St, where he remained till his death. In Gardiner St. he was Director of the Sodality of the Dublin Metropolitan Gardai and Director also of the Arch-Association for work for poor Churches. In his life his guidance was sought by all classes of people in the confessional. He was particularly successful in the direction of nuns. At his funeral the Guards formed a guard of honour in the Church, and acted as pall bearers. They whom he admired so much in life honoured him in death. RIP

Donnelly, Leo, 1903-1999, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/595
  • Person
  • 09 August 1903-31 January 1999

Born: 09 August 1903, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 January 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Younger brother of Don Donnelly - RIP 1975

Second World War Chaplain.

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.
Brother of Fr Don Donnelly SJ.

by 1923 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1936 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1952 in Australia
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi India (RAN) teaching

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Mr Leo Donnelly has already commenced his career as an author by the publication of a small but very readable and interesting book entitled “The Wonderful; Story of the Atom”. It is meant to cater for the popular taste, and does so admirably. Possibly, in a few places, it may be a little too technical and learned for those not initiated into the mysteries of modern science.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

India.
Fr. Leo Donnelly, St. Mary's College, Kurscong, D. H. Ry, India, 24-8-46 :
“Fr. Rector here and the Community received me very kindly and are doing their best to make me feel at home. I left Southampton on July 25th and reached Bombay on August 10th after an uneventful voyage. There were two other Jesuits on board : Fr. Humbert of the Aragon Province for the Bombay Mission, and Fr. Shields, a Scotsman. for the Madura Mission. Fr. Shields was an Army officer in the first war and an R.A.F. chaplain in the second. In addition there were seven Redemptorists : the Provincial and another priest and five students en route for Bangalore. Don met me at Bombay and brought me to Bandra, where I spent a week. He introduced me to his ten Chinese candidates. They are certainly splendid boys, industrious, serious-minded, but withal very cheery. At Calcutta I met the eleventh candidate, a medical student who is returning to Hong Kong where he will either complete his course or apply for admission to the Society, immediately, as the Superior decides. He has been held up since May, but hopes to leave on August 31st. The riots in Calcutta delayed me for two days, as Sealdha Station (from which the Darjeeling Mail leaves) was a centre of disturbance and was unapproachable. In the end I got a military lorry to take me. It will take some time adequately to prepare myself for my job here, but I suppose allowances will be made for my lack of ‘Wissenschaft’.”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Vice province of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Fr. Donnelly's name was published in the London Gazette on 8th November, 1945, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service as Army Chaplain. The document from the Secretary of State for War recording His Majesty's high appreciation was not received till early in September, 1948.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November. Fr. Leo Donnelly reached Sydney by air from Hong Kong (on his way from India to Australia) on 16th November ; after a week's stay he resumed his journey to Melbourne where he was welcomed by Fr. Provincial; he is doing temporary work at St. Ignatius Richmond until the status when he will be assigned to one of the Colleges.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Leo Donnelly (1903-1999)

9th Aug. 1903: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Belvedere College.
1st Sept. 1920: Entered the society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1922: First vows at Tullabeg.
1922 - 1923: Fourvière, start of Juniorate
1923 - 1926: Rathfarnham, study science at UCD
1926 - 1927: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1927 - 1928: Pullach / München
1928 - 1931: Belvedere, teaching
1931 - 1935: Milltown Park, study theology
31st July 1934: Ordained at Milltown Park
1935 - 1936: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1936 - 1941: Belvedere, teacher, games master
1941 - 1946: British Army chaplain (England, France, Germany) Crescent College, teacher
1946 - 1948; St. Mary's, Kurseong, teacher of church history
1949 - 1950: Newman College, Melbourne & St. Patrick's College, teacher
1950 - 1954: Holy Name Seminary, N.Z., teacher of philosophy
1954 - 1981: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, teacher of philosophy and church history
1981 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, church work

Fr. Donnelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 1998. He had recently become frail and needed treatment for leg ulcers. He remained reasonably well and mobile up to mid-January. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 24th January 1999 for investigation and was due to return to Cherryfield Lodge on the 31st, but died peacefully early on the morning of the 31st January 1999 at the hospital.

Father Leo Donnelly was born in Dublin on August 9, 1903 and died there in a private hospital on January 31, 1999. He had his early education at Belvedere College in Dublin too. He was, therefore, a truly Dublin Irish-bred Jesuit for the whole of his life. He entered the Society on September 1, 1920, and pronounced his First Vows there on September 2, 1922. His studies brought him in contact with much of Western Europe's culture: juniorate at Fourviere, philosophy at Pullach, Munchen and back to Ireland for Theology. He displayed his talents for sports during his six years teaching at Belvedere. Enlisted in the army in 1941, he took part in the Normandy landing on the second day of the offensive. Six years of roving with army units developed in him a liking for adventure. After the war he looked for wider horizons: Ireland was too small for his dreams. We find him successively as professor of Church History at St. Mary's, Kurseong; teaching at Newman College, and St. Patrick's College, Melbourne; professor of philosophy at Holy Name seminary in New Zealand; till he finally landed at St. Albert's College, Ranchi for a long spell of 27 years (1954-1981). There he had been teaching philosophy, Church History and Science. In 1981 he returned to Ireland and resided at Limerick where for some years he exercised priestly ministry. He fell sick towards the end of 1998 and died peacefully at St. Vincent's Private Hospital on January 31, 1999.

-oOo-

I have known Father Leo only when I joined the staff of St. Albert's in 1962. Father L. Donnelly belongs to that large group of Jesuits who are steady workers, fulfilling their tasks quietly and conscientiously, who make no noise and are not in the limelight, yet have a great impact because they are fine religious men.

Not withstanding his keen intelligence and vast knowledge, he was a truly humble man, aware of his limitations. He never spoke about his past achievements, but acknowledged and appreciated the success of others. He had a deep faith, firmly rooted in his Irish past; sober, not too ostentatious, but ardent and apostolic. Being a fiery Irish nationalist, he would never fail to celebrate the Mass of St. Patrick, Sunday or no Sunday, Lent or no Lent. That day he would appear at breakfast proudly displaying the three-leafed clover freshly received from Ireland. He was a regular visitor of the Irish Sisters at Loreto Convent, Doranda. He led a life of poverty and his room was rather bare. He often gave to the poor the little he had. He showed a keen interest in the life of the church. His liturgical and biblical education, however, did not keep pace with Vatican II, and he would often censure persons in Rome who dared to tamper with the liturgy, abandoned cherished prayers and novenas. He could really get excited when the conversation turned to those new-fangled” ideas of some biblical scholars, who then got rough treatment from him. He found it difficult to adapt himself to the changes in the Society during Father Arrupe's generalate. Yet he remained totally loyal to the Church. In the sixties and seventies, he used to give regular monthly instructions in Manresa House, Ranchi to all the Jesuits of the neighbourhood, an ungrateful task to such a critical audience.

He was a very prayerful person. One of his chief preoccupations was to instill in the Seminarians, especially in those who went to him for spiritual direction, a taste of prayer, and helped them to lead a life of solid virtue. He would often give meditation points, especially on the mystery of the rosary in the month of October. He often meditated with them in the philosophate chapel. With his students he was kindness itself, very understanding and encouraging. He kept a regular correspondence with so many of his old students. After his return to Ireland he often inquired from me how his former students were faring, and also about the seminary and the Church in India.

He was a great lover of sports, and he could get excited when the philosophers did not play football as well. He was impatient with a referee who whistled too many off-sides. In a hushed voice he would give the team a tip on how to win the match. “You know what you have to do to win?” he would ask. The magic reply to their question then came. “You have to score!” Like his elder brother he was a lover of horses. On the day of the great derby in Ireland, he would be glued to the radio so as not to miss any word of the commentary. One of his distractions was a game of bridge with some colleagues.

As a teacher he was rather dry and monotonous. The students found it difficult to understand his Irish accent. He was not gifted for languages and his Hindi was restricted to a few words.
This is only a glimpse of Fr. Leo Donnelly's personality, a very likable, intelligent, kind and generous person. “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Flor Jonkheere

-oOo-

When I came back to the Crescent in 1990, I met Fr. Leo Donnelly for the first time. He was then well into his 80's. He had returned to Ireland after over 25 years as a lecturer in Church History in a Jesuit Seminary in Ranchi, India. He was posted to the Church here as operarius. After a while I noticed that he never read the Limerick Leader or the Limerick Chronical. His vision was wider. Every day he spent much time after breakfast reading the national papers. He often wrote to the Prime Minister of England or to government ministers at home. He pointed out mistakes that they were making and told them how things should be done. I discovered that he was born in Rutland (now Parnell) Square in Dublin, around the corner from Belvedere. Belvedere was in his blood, you might say. He was a very independent character and this showed itself early in life. As a young boy he was brought out early one evening by his nurse-maid. In Parnell Street she met a friend of hers and stopped for a chat. Leo quietly slipped his hand loose and ran home. He stood up on the mud scraper and rang the bell. His mother answered the door.

“What brought you home Leo?” she said, “Oh”" said Leo, “the nurse met a friend and stopped for a chat. I had no interest in their conversation so I thought I would come home and not waste my time”.

Because Leo had a brother Don in Belvedere his mother managed to persuade the Rector to take Leo also, although he was not yet the required age. He did well at school but always in the shadow of his brother Don whom he idolised. After school he entered the Jesuits. He followed the normal course of studies but went on the continent for two periods. He picked up a good knowledge of spoken French and some German. He did his regency in Belvedere where he trained a junior rugby team which won the Leinster Junior Schools cup. From time to time we were to learn of this in the Crescent. "Bertie" was the nick-name given to him by the boys. This name in brackets was given in the announcements of his death in the newspapers, at his own request. After ordination he was again sent to Belvedere. Then he was appointed Chaplain to the British Forces and landed on the Normandy beaches on “D” Day. While stationed in a small town in Normandy, he was invited to lunch by a local countess who had a very pretty daughter. On walking down the street with them he noticed the young officers eyeing him with envy as he chatted away in French with the two ladies. He had a twinkle in his eye as he told us of this incident. He later spent a year in Australia, then in New Zealand, before being appointed to India, as I have already mentioned.

As a man he was very fixed in his ideas. He did not take kindly to many of the changes made after the second Vatican Council. He had a bias against anything American. He was a very pleasant person to live and had many worthy stories. Belvedere always remained a big part of his life. He did not interest himself in the local scene in Limerick. In India he was not, it seemed to me, that interested in the way of life of the people and never learned any Indian dialect. To use an old fashioned word, he was very edifying in his life style. Mass at 6.30a.m. every morning. Altar prepared the previous night. A simple room and a regular prayer life. He was a “fear ann féin”!!

Seán Ó Duibhir

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coach ing Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion ot his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Dowling, Maurice, 1896-1965, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/729
  • Person
  • 23 December 1896-27 August 1965

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Maurice’s family used to spend a month in Skerries, an Irish seaside resort, in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl who was drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr Dowling was reading the evening paper, that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled "Bravo"! beside the passages and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way, sums up a characteristic of Maurice that he had already developed at that age, – he was modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896 in Dublin. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother Desmond behind. Both boys went to Clongowes Wood College for their secondary education.

At the age of 18, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg and followed the normal course of studies which were followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained in 1929 on 29th August. He spent some time in the colleges as teacher and prefect e.g. the Crescent, Limerick in the thirties.

As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). He genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who died working for the Legion in Africa.

During the Second World War he volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was traveling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another nodding towards Maurice "He's had it"! (but in much more colourful language).
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a Government school at Munali, Lusaka which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.
While at Chikuni, he would travel south to Choma at the week-end to say Mass long before a mission was opened in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to Namwala to the newly built mission as the first resident priest bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. He later moved to Chivuna in 1964 and died in Lusaka on 26 August, 1965.

Fr Maurice had great qualities: his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal as Fr Prokoph remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and on the mission.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Fr. Maurice Dowling was awarded substantial damages with costs in the action against Great Southern Railways Co. which came before Mr. Justice Hanna and a jury in the High Court on 4th November. It will be remembered Fr. Dowling met with his serious accident 18th August, 1941, when the bus in which he was travelling from Limerick to Dublin in order to report for active service was involved in a collision near the Red Cow, Clondalkin.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

Fr. M. Dowling in a letter from Chikuni Mission, N. Rhodesia :
He says there are now 282 boys in the Central Boarding School ; and 60 girls under the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity. All are native Africans, 95% baptised and but a few catechumens. The staff consists of Fr. M. Prokoph, Principal of the School, Fr. Dowling himself, Fr. Lewisha, an African, two Sisters of Oharity, an English laymaster, and four African teachers.

“I am teaching Religious Knowledge, Chemistry, General Science, History and Maths. My classes vary in number between 45 and 50. We are rather understaffed and so are kept busy. The top classes at present reach a standard equivalent to our Inter-Cert. There is also a course for Teachers, and a Trades School for carpenters and brick layers.
The mission depends on us for its Catholic teachers and the number of Catechumens depends on them too. The mission is very short of men and many are old and ill. Many of the Polish Fathers have been out here 20 and 25 years without a break.
Normally the rainy season begins here in October and lasts till March. This year it has been a failure. We have had 18 inches of rain instead of our usual 35-40 and there is grave danger of famine in all Central Africa. Famine has already begun in Nyassaland.
There are six different African languages spoken by different sections of the boys. All teaching above standard IV is in English. Many are quite good at English.
The weather is pretty hot, which I like but some don't. It has averaged 95 degrees in the shade for a long time recently. I have lost two stone since I came here and gone down from 16 stone to 14. You wouldn't know my slender form!”

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was reading the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” beside the passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother, Desmond, behind. Both boys went to Clongowes for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. He genuinely loved the language, and, when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking
praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn, who died working for the Legion in Africa.

Come the Second World War, Maurice volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded towards Maurice: “He's had it!” (but in much more colourful language). After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a government school at Munali, which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr M Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, “I have never met a more loyal man”. Fr. Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

While at Chikuni he would travel south to Choma at the weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

Fr. Maurice had great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal, as Fr. Prokoph had remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater, and to his many friends, as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army, and on the mission.

Doyle, Willie, 1873-1917, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/2
  • Person
  • 3 March 1873-16 August 1917

Born: 03 March 1873, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 31 March 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died :16 August 1917, Ypres, Belgium

Younger Brother of Charles Doyle - RIP 1949

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated by the Rosminians at Ratcliffe, Leicstershire, England.
After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Enghien and Stonyhurst.
He was then sent for Regency teaching at Belvedere College SJ, and later also as a Prefect at Clongowes Wood College SJ.
1904 He was sent for Theology to Milltown Park, Dublin and was ordained there after three years.
1905 He was sent to Drongen, Belgium for Tertianship.
He then became Minister at Belvedere, and was put on the Mission Staff, where he displayed outstanding qualities, especially as an orator in the pulpit.

He was something of a literary person as well. He founded the “Clongownian”, wrote regularly in the “Messenger” and wrote some booklets and a life of the French Jesuit Paul Ginhac.

In the early years of the Great War he volunteered for service as a Military Chaplain. 15 November 1915 he wrote “Received my appointment from the War Office as Chaplain to the 16th Division”. 01 January 1916 He moved with his regiment (8th Royal Irish Fusiliers) from Whitely to Bordon. he remained with this group until he was killed 16 or 17 August 1917 near Ypres.

Notice in the “Irish Independent” 25 August 1917 :
“When Irish troops advanced at Ginchy, Father Doyle was in the thick of the fighting ministering to the wounded, and for conspicuous bravery then, was awarded the Military Cross. The story of his Priestly devotion in the advance at the Zonnebeke River, when he met his death while administering the Last Sacraments to his stricken countrymen, has been borne testimony to alike by Northern Orangemen and Catholic Nationalists, and it is admitted by all who witnessed his courage and indifference to danger that his heroism will rank among the great unselfish, self-sacrificing deeds of the war.”
Mr Percival Phillips writing on his death in the “Morning Post” :
“The Orange will not forget a certain Catholic Chaplain who lies in a soldier’s grave in that sinister plain beyond Ypres. he went forward and back on the battlefield, with bullets whining about him, seeking out the dying and kneeling in the mud beside them to give the Absolution, walking with death with a smile on his face, watched by his men with reverence and a kind of awe, until a shell burst near him and he was killed. His familiar figure was seen and welcomed by hundreds of Irishmen who lay in that bloody place. Each time he came back across the field he was begged to remain in comparative safety. Smilingly he shook his head and went again into the storm. He had been with his boys at Ginchy and through other times of stress, and he would not desert them in their agony. They remember him as a Saint - they speak his name with tears.”
Sir Philip Gibbs KBE wrote :
“All through the worst hours and Irish Padre went about among the dead and dying giving Absolution to his boys. Once he came back to HQ, but would not take a bite of food or stay, though his friends urged him. he went back to the field to minister to those who were glad to see him bending over them in their last agony. Four men were killed by shell fire as he knelt beside them, and he was not touched - until his own turn came. A shell burst close and the Padre fell dead.”
A Soldier writing :
“Father Willie was more than a priest to them, and if any man was loved by the men it was he, who certainly risked every danger to try and do good for their bodies as well as their souls.
A Fellow Chaplain wrote 15 August 1917 :
“Father Doyle is a marvel. They may talk of heroes and Saints, they are hardly in it. he sticks it to the end - shells, gas, attack. The first greeting to me of a man from another battalion, who had only known Father Doyle by sight was ‘Father Doyle deserves the VG more than any man who ever wore it. We cannot get him away from where the men are. If he is not with his own, he is in with us. The men would not stick half of it were it not for him. If we give him an orderly, he sends the man back. He doesn't wear a tin hat, he is always so cheery’.”
An Officer writing :
“Father Doyle never rests, night and day. he finds a dead or dying man, does all he can, comes back smiling, makes a little cross, goes out and buries him. It would be the proudest moment of my life if I could only call him VC.”
(cf Father William Doyle SJ, by Professor Alfred O’Rahilly ISBN 9782917813041)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel
by David Murphy

Doyle, William Joseph Gabriel (1873–1917), Jesuit priest and military chaplain, was born 3 March 1873 at Melrose, Dalkey, Co. Dublin, youngest child of Hugh Doyle, registrar of the insolvency court, and Christine Doyle (née Byrne). He was educated by the Rosminian Fathers at Ratcliffe College, Leics., and entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland (March 1891). On completing his novitiate he taught at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1894–8), founding the college magazine The Clongownian (1895). He then studied philosophy at Enghien, Belgium, and Stonyhurst College, England, before returning to Ireland to teach once more at Clongowes and later Belvedere College, Dublin. His final theological studies were taken at Milltown College, Dublin (1904–7), and he was ordained in July 1907. After completing his tertianship at Trenchiennes, Belgium, he began to work as an urban missionary and retreat-giver in Dublin. Due to his positive attitude he was a great success at this work and also travelled around England, Scotland, and Wales. Recognising that urban labourers were in great need of spiritual direction, he proposed that a special retreat house be opened in Dublin to cater for the needs of the working classes. He also wrote several best-selling pamphlets including Retreats for working men: why not in Ireland? (1909), Vocations (1913), and Shall I be a priest? (1915).

At the outbreak of the first world war he volunteered to work as a military chaplain and was posted (November 1915) to 8th Bn, Royal Irish Fusiliers, 16th (Irish) Division. Arriving in France early in 1916, he soon gained a reputation for bravery and was recommended for the MC (April) for helping to dig wounded men out of a collapsed shelter under fire. Present at the battle of the Somme from its beginning in July 1916, he was awarded the MC (January 1917) for his work with casualties during the battle. He was transferred to 8th Bn, Royal Dublin Fusiliers, in December 1916 and greatly impressed the men of his new unit. The CO of the battalion, Lt-col. H. R. Stirke, later said that Fr Doyle was ‘one of the finest fellows that I ever met, utterly fearless, always with a cheery word on his lips, and ever ready to go out and attend the wounded and dying under the heaviest fire’. He was killed in Belgium, along with two other officers, while going to the aid of a wounded man on 16 August 1917 during the third battle of Ypres. His body, supposedly buried on the spot by men of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers, was never recovered. He was recommended posthumously for both the VC and DSO, but neither was granted.

Personal papers, opened after his death, were the basis of Alfred O'Rahilly's biography of Doyle (1920), and he became a focus of popular devotion in Dublin. The papers also revealed that Doyle had inflicted extreme physical punishments on himself since his novitiate, perhaps since childhood. In August 1938 the cause for his canonisation was proposed and relevant documentation sent to Rome. The cause subsequently fell silent. There is a substantial collection of Doyle papers in the Jesuit archives, Leeson St., Dublin.

Fr W. Doyle papers, Jesuit archives; Alfred O'Rahilly, Fr William Doyle, S.J.: a spiritual study (1920); Henry L. Stuart, ‘Fr William Doyle S.J.’, The Commonweal, no. 8 (11 Nov. 1925), 11–14; Sir John Smyth, In this sign conquer (1968); Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); Tom Johnstone and James Hagerty, The cross on the sword: catholic chaplains in the forces (1996)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-willie-doyle-sj/

Fr Willie Doyle SJ – a lesson for Europe

In a lengthy article for the UK Independent, renowned British writer and journalist Robert Fisk has used the exemplary life and death of Irish war chaplain Fr Willie Doyle SJ as an anti-Brexit morality tale. “The image of an Irish Catholic going to the aid of a (Protestant?) German in little Catholic Belgium, wearing the battledress of a British soldier,” Fisk writes, “is surely the finest image of what the EU was supposed to embrace and redress: that there should never again be a European war.” He concludes with a stern reproof of the British Prime Minister: “Theresa May, hang your head in shame.”

Fisk was prompted to write the article by a talk on the life of Fr Doyle, given in Dalkey Library on Tuesday, 15 August, by Damien Burke of the Irish Jesuit Archives. The talk, which was attended by more than 60 people, was one of a number of events to mark the centenary of Fr Doyle’s death at the Battle of Passchendaele in Flanders in August 1917.
The fact that Fr Doyle was himself a Dalkey native added poignancy to Damien’s account of his life and his death in the trenches. The slides which Damien presented of Fr Doyle’s letters, writings, and personal belongings, which had been preserved for many years in Rathfarnham Castle, were also touching.

At the same event in Dalkey Library, Dr Patrick Kenny discussed his book on Fr Doyle, entitled To Raise the Fallen. Amazingly one of the parishioners present was a 105-year-old woman who remembered the news of Fr Doyle’s death!

RTE’s Morning Ireland covered the Dalkey event. Damien Burke and Fergus O’Donoghue SJ of the Irish Jesuit Archives were interviewed for a package about Fr Willie Doyle, which you can listen to here. A commemorative Mass for Fr Doyle was celebrated on 16 August in Dalkey Church. Since his remains were never found some people considered this to be his real requiem, albeit one hundred years after his untimely death. At the Mass, Fr McGuinness referenced the self-sacrificing love that Fr Doyle had for the men who engaged in the horrific war.

Centenary events to mark Fr Doyle and the other Jesuit chaplains of the First World War continue in the coming months. This Friday, 1 September, a documentary by Irish Times journalist Ronan McGreevy entitled, ‘The Irish at Passchendaele’, featuring the story of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle, will be screened at Veritas House, 7-8 Lower Abbey Street, Dublin 1, at 1pm.

And in October, there will be a Dalkey-themed RTE Nationwide programme in which Fr Doyle will feature. Material from the Fr Willie Doyle exhibition currently on display in Dalkey Library will be incorporated in an exhibition on ‘Jesuit chaplains and Rathfarnham Castle 1917’ at Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, 2 November- 3 December 2017.
There will also be an exhibition on ‘Fr Michael Bergin SJ and Australian Jesuit chaplains’ at Roscrea Library, Tipperary, from 2 to 27 October 2017.

Also worth noting is the attention garnered by the remarkable graphic short entitled ‘A Perfect Trust’ by Alan Dunne, which is displayed in the Dalkey Library exhibition. It has been nominated for an Irish Design Award

https://www.jesuit.ie/who-are-the-jesuits/inspirational-jesuits/willie-doyle/

A champion at the front
The third of March marks the birthday anniversary of Willie Doyle, who was killed in the Battle of Passchendaele, Flanders in 1917. He was one of thirty-two Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. His life and the lives of his fellow-chaplains were commemorated, around the centenary date of his death on 16 or 17 August (exact date of death unknown), at a number of events in Dublin in 2017. The exhibition ‘Jesuit chaplains in the First World War’ continued its tour in April 2018 at Stillorgan Library, Dublin where material relating to Jesuit chaplains in 1918 and Fr Doyle was on show.

To us today the First World War can only be seen as an indescribable waste of life, a cause which served no purpose other than the decimation of an entire generation. Willie Doyle served and died in the Great War; he willingly put himself forward again and again to help those with him, and in the end it cost him his life.

Willie Doyle was born in Dalkey, just outside of Dublin, in 1873, the youngest of seven children. His education took place both in Ireland and at Ratcliffe College, in Leicester. At eighteen he joined the noviciate for the Society of Jesus, a decision he reached after reading Instructions and Consideration on the Religious State by St Alphonsus. In 1907 he was ordained as a priest, and spent several years following as a missionary, travelling from parish to parish all across the British Isles.

With the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Doyle volunteered, knowing that many would be in need of guidance and assistance in the time to come. He landed in France in 1915 with the Royal Irish Fusiliers, serving as chaplain. He went to the front, serving in many major battles, including the Battle of the Somme. Out on the battlefield Doyle risked his life countless times, seeking out men where they fell dying in the mud to be with them in their last moment and to offer absolution; those who served with him described him as fearless. His selflessness was not just given to those who shared his faith; Doyle was a champion too among the Protestant Ulstermen in his battalion.

In August 1917 he was killed by a German shell while out helping fallen soldiers in no man’s land. Three other Irish Jesuits were killed in the war along with two who died from illness. Doyle was awarded the Military Cross, and he was put forward for the Victoria Cross posthumously but did not receive it. According to the National Museum of Ireland, this was arguably due to the “triple disqualification of being an Irishman, a Catholic and a Jesuit”.

The commemoration in 2017 by the Irish Province took the form of an exhibition on Fr Doyle, which was launched at Dalkey library, and the National Museum of Ireland exhibited some of his chaplain effects from the front. Bernard McGuckian SJ told his story as part of a collection of essays in the book Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War.
Watch the trailer below for Bravery Under Fire, a docudrama on his life.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/film-forgotten-hero/

Film on ‘forgotten hero’
Details of a docudrama about the life of wartime hero Fr. Willie Doyle SJ have just been released by the Catholic network EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network).

The docudrama already dubbed Ireland’s Hacksaw Ridge, has the working title Bravery under Fire. It will explore the life of Fr. Doyle, showing his bravery as an army chaplain in World War I when, disregarding the advice of his superiors and his own personal safety, the Irish Jesuit saved many lives, repeatedly going into no man’s land to drag soldiers back to safety.

EWTN say the story is an ‘inspirational’ one and they have appointed Newcastle Co. Down man Campbell Miller to direct it. He is filming on location in Passchendaele, Ireland and England.

In April 2018, for the very first time, the historic events will be brought to the big screen and will include readings from Fr Willie’s personal diaries, historical footage and re-enactments of his many brave actions.

Producer Campbell Miller said, “I accepted this project as I believe Fr Willie Doyle is a forgotten hero. While other soldiers have got the Victoria Cross for showing one act of bravery, Fr. Doyle performed miraculous acts of bravery each day he was on the front line. In this secular age there is a lot to be learned from his actions, his teachings and his respect for all others regardless of their creed.”

The high budget docudrama is the first of its kind for EWTN Ireland, and it will bring significant job opportunities for local cast and crew, when it goes into production here in Ireland next month.

Speaking about the movie and its producer, the CEO of EWTN Ireland, Aidan Gallagher said, “We are absolutely delighted to be producing this movie. It will bring the story of Fr Doyle and his selfless heroism to a wider audience. It is a new opportunity for EWTN and I wish Campbell every success..”

Campbell, who studied film at Ball State University in Indiana, brings to the project over 10 years of experience directing documentaries and short films and a proven track record in producing award winning films — receiving accolades in film festivals around the world, including Orlando, New York, New Jersey, and London, to name but a few.
Campbell’s award winning films, Respite at Christmas and Family, were pivotal in EWTN selecting him as the Director of the film.

The film will be shot in London and Belgium, with the majority of its World War I re-enactments taking place in Ireland.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June,
9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives.
Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926

The third edition of the life of Fr Wm Doyle SJ has received high praise on both sides of the Atlantic. Reviewers foretell for it a place among the classics of ascetical literature. It is a treatise on the spiritual life, in which the truths of spirituality are not treated in an abstract manner, but brought home to us by the life of one who shared the common experiences of us all. The sale of the book has been rapid. Already half of the English edition has been sold, the American edition is nearly exhausted. German, Italian, and Dutch translations have appeared, A French translation is in the press, and a Spanish is nearly complete. An abridged Polish translation is also in hand.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
.......... Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William (Willie) Doyle SJ 1873-1917
Father William Doyle, or Father Willie as he was affectionately know, was born in Dalkey County Dublin on March 3rd 1873. He was educated at Ratcliff College, Leicestershire, conducted by the Fathers of the Institute of Charity. He became a Jesuit in 1891 and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1907.

He was possessed of great literary ability. He founded the “Clongownian” and translated the life of the famous French Jesuit, Pére Gignac. He was a frequent contributor to “The Irish Messenger” and wrote a number of other pamphlets which showed considerable research and erudition. He was a pioneer in the movement of retreats for the working man, to advance which he wrote his pamphlet entitled “Retreats for workingmen : Why not in Ireland?” He was also a great missioner and preacher, being attached to the Mission Staff for many years. As a pulpit orator, he won signal admiration in all parts of the country, both at hone and in England. It was during this period that he wrote his famous and still popular and useful pamphlet on “Vocations”.

In 1915 he was posted to the 16th Division of the 8th Royal Irish Fusiliers as chaplain. He has been very fortunate in his biographer, for his life by Monsignor Alfred O’Rahilly is world famous. Written in 1920, it has already run through at least four editions. In that biography, details are given of Fr Willie’s heroism on the field in the Battle of the Somme and Ypres, and of the love he evoked in all, both Catholics and Protestants.

In the same biography will be found and exhaustive account of his interior life, so remarkable for its absolute dedication in every detail of life to the Lord, so permeated with mortification and penance. He indulged in the “follies” of the saints, the most outstanding of which was standing up to his neck in the pond at Rathfarnham Castle and rolling himself in nettles.

He was killed while ministering to the troops at the Battle of Ypres on August 17th 1917. He died as he wished – a Martyr of Charity – and that his sacrifice was acceptable seems proven by the wide devotion which sprang up to him, not only in this country, and by the number of cures which have been wrought through his intercessions.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1918

Obituary

Father William Doyle SJ

“He went forward and back over the battlefield with bullets whining about him, seeking out the dying and kneeling in the mud beside them to give them Absolution, walking with Death with a smile on his face, watched by his men with reverence and a kind of awe until a shell burst near him, and he was killed”.

These words of an English war correspondent describe the death of Fr Doyle, and they are a sufficient commentary on his life. In all that he undertook he was sincere and whole-hearted, and wherever he went the charm of his manner and the saintliness of his life won love and admiration. Those who knew him as a member of the staff in Belvedere will realise what his loss means to so many. To his relatives, and especially to his brother, Rev Charles Doyle SJ, an other past member of the Belvedere Community, we offer our most sincere sympathy. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Obituary

Father William Doyle SJ

Father William Doyle SJ was killed on the 17th of last August as he was ministering to the dying on a battlefield in France. He was never a pupil of Clongowes; but he was long a member of the Clongowes community, and he was the founder and first editor of the “Clongownian”. It is, therefore, but right that the “Clongownian” should pay a tribute to his memory.

Father Doyle was educated at Ratcliffe College, Leicester, where he spent six years. In 1891 he entered the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Three years later he came to Clongowes as a master. The writer, though never taught by him, remembers his cheery smile and infectious gaiety. In December of the following year, 1895, appeared the first number of the “Clongownian”. Father Doyle, as we have said, was its founder, and for the next three years - till June, 1898 - he continued to be its editor. He brought out six numbers in all, for in those days the “Clongownian” came out twice in the year, Then he left Clongowes for three years to study on the Continent. At the end of that time he returned to take up the duties of a prefect, first of the Third and then of the Lower Line. In 1904 he finally left Clongowes to complete at Milltown Park his studies the priesthood. He was ordained in 1907.

For some years he worked in Dublin at Belvedere College. Then he was placed upon the mission staff, and stationed first Limerick and afterwards at Rathfarnham. Hardly was he well launched upon his career as a missioner when the call came to him to serve as a military chaplain in the great war. But during those few years he show what great things he might have done had it pleased God spare him. It was the work for which his zeal had longed, directly spiritual work, immediate contact with souls. He was a very effect preacher and his activity was untiriring, but it was his holiness that was the main factor of his success. A fellow missioner writes of him: “Father Doyle was a very great saint... The first mission. was at with him man said, ‘you are holy, but Father Doyle is a saint’.. Every priest wanted him. He used to down at 5.30 am, to factory doors and get all the boys and girls who were not coming. He used to go down to steamers coming in at midnight and bring all the sailors to confession. At the ‘Holy Hour’ I have seen the church in tears when he gave it. He did as much as three and said he loved have more work than he could do”. One who knew him well describes his missionary life as one of “extra ordinary zeal and self-sacrifice”.

The intervals of his missions he spent in other works of zeal, in writing, and in long hours of prayer before the Blessed Sacrament. Those who lived with him hint also at severe austerities practised. One of his great aims was to establish a system of Retreats for workingmen. But this part of his life will be more worthily told in the booklet about him that is to be published. Let us pass on to the closing scenes.

Early in 1916 Father Doyle reached the front as Chaplain to the Royal Dublin Fu siliers. The rest is best told in the words of those who witnessed his work. Here is a letter from an Irish officer of the Division :

Do the boys who read this remember our share in the battle of the Somme last year? The winter of last year in Belgium? SP 13 and the little dugout of the brave padre rise up before me as I write. Liège Farm, and early Mass when our battalion was in reserve. Often have I knelt at the impromptu altar serving that Mass for the padre in the upper barn, hail, rain, and snow blowing in gusts through the shell-torn roof. Then on all occasions his wonderful words of cheer during his little sermon to the “boys”. “God bless Father Doyle” is the heartfelt. wish of all the men of the Irish Division to-day.

He knew no fear. As Company Officers, how many times have we accompanied him through the front line system to speak a word to the men. Well do we remember when at long last we went back for rest and training, how our beloved padre did the long tlıree days march at the head of the battalion with “A” Company. Then, which of the men do not recall with a tear and a smile how he went “over the top” at Wytschaete? He lived with us in our newly-won position, and endured our hardships with unfailing cheerfulness. In billets he was an ever welcome visitor to the companies, and our only trouble was that he could not always live with whatever company he inight be visiting, ...

Ypres sounded the knell. Recommended for the DSO, for Wytschaete, he did wonderful work at Ypres, and was recoininended for the VC. Many a dying soldier on that bloody field has flashed a last look of loving recognition as our brave padre rushed to his aid, a braving the fearful barrage and whistling machine-gun bullets, to give his boys a last few words of hope. Yes, we have lost a father and friend whose place we will find it very hard to fill. Our gallant Jesuit chaplain has gone to the bourne from which no traveller returns, and he has taken with him the hearts of the Irish soldiers in France. A true Soggarth Aroon, may his soul rest in peace. FK

Writing just two days before the end, a fellow-chaplain says of him :

Father Doyle is a marvel. They may talk of heroes and saints; they are hardly in it. He sticks it to the end the shells, the gas, and the attack.

The first greeting to me of an adjutant of another battalion, who had only known Father Doyle by sight, was : “Father Doyle deserves the VC more than any man who ever wore it. We cannot get him away from where the men are. If he is not with his own, he is in with us. The men could not stick half of it were it not for him. If we give him an orderly, he sends the man back. He doesn't wear a tin hat; he is always so cheery.

It would be easy to fill pages of the “Clongownian” with such tributes. Perhaps one of the most convincing and sincere is that paid by an Ulster man, writing shortly after Father Doyle's heroic death:

God never made a nobler soul. Father Doyle was a good deal amongst us. We could not possibly agree with his religious opinions, but we simply worshipped him for other things. He didn't know the meaning of fear, and he did not know what bigotry was. He was as ready to risk his life and take a drop of water to a wounded Ulsterman as to assist men of his own faith and regiment. If he risked his life in looking after Ulster Protestant soldiers once, he did it a hundred times in the last few days. They told him he was wanted in a more exposed part of the field to administer the last rites of his Church to a fusilier who had been badly hit. In spite of the danger to himself, Father Doyle went over. While he was doing what he could to comfort the poor chap at the very gates of death, the priest was struck down. He and the man he was ministering to passed out of lile together. The Uistermen felt his loss more keenly than anybody, and none were readier to show their marks of respect to the dead hero priest than were our Ulster Presbyterians. Father Doyle was a fine Christian in every sense of the word, and a credit to any religious faith. He never tried to get things easy. He was always sharing the risks of the men, and had to be kept in restraint by the staff for his own protection. Many a time have I seen him walk beside a stretcher trying to console a wounded man, with bullets flying around him, and shells bursting every few yards.

One might well think that, humanly speaking, such a life must needs have a speedy ending: yet he was spared for nearly eighteen months. At last the end came. It is not possible to know with certainty the circumstances of it. Certain, however, it is that it came in the very midst of his work of mercy, in the firing line, as he was giving the last sacraments to the dying.

“On the day of his death”, writes General Hickie, CO of the 16th Division, “he had worked in the front line, and appeared to know no fatigue - he never knew fear. He was killed by a shell towards the close of the day, and was buried on the Frezenberg Ridge. Father Doyle”, he adds, “was one of the best priests I have ever met, and one of the bravest men who have fought or worked out here. He did his duty, and more than his duty, most nobly, and has left a memory and a name behind him that will never be forgotten”.

May his memory be an example and an inspiration for all who read his story.

-oOo-

From Father Doyle’s First “Clongownian”

We need make no apology for reproducing here the following paragraphs from the first number of our magazine, We think they will bear repetition,

To many it has long been a source of regret, that when Clongownians leave their Alma Mater and go forth to face the stern battle of life, they so quickly lose sight of, and interest in, their old college. This is but natural, and the fulfilment of the old proverb. Of the numbers who, year by year, leave these walls for the last time, nevar to return under the same conditions of dependence, many are to-day as true and faithful sons of Clongowes as when five, twenty, aye, forty long years ago, they studied at their desks or fought on the cricket field for the honour of their college. But of the remainder, scattered all over the globe, far from those little incidents which help so much to keep the Past in touch with the Present, of these must we not say that in many instances they have little in common with us, except the name of Clongownians ?

When, therefore, the proposal was made to start a Clongowes Magazine, which, while chronicling the doings of the Present Generation, might also be a record of the labours and achievernents of those who have gone before, the proposal met with the warrest sympathy and support.

“The Clongownian”, then, is to be a connecting link between their Alma Mater and those who bear her name; its pages, written by her sons, will tell them what things are done within its walls, what fresh honours gained, be it in the arena of intellectual contest, or on the sod with ball or bat, while with no less interest will the Present sons of Clongowes learn that they themselves, and those, whom before they regarded with respect, if not with admiration, are children of the same Mother.

-oOo-

Father Dople at Loos and Ginchy

We publish the following letter as giving a wonderfully vivid account of the dangers and trials of a Chaplain's life, and, incidentally, a very realistic picture of what war means. It was written for the Ratcliffian, to the kindness of whose Editor we owe the permission to reprint it here.

On Sunday, September 3rd, definite news came that we were destined for the front. We had reached the spot from where I last wrote a few days previously, which, strange to say, bore the familiar name of Bray. This is part of one huge camp which stretches for miles and miles. I had never seen such a scene of life and animation before. Picture to yourself the whole of the Three Rock Mountain, the Vale of Shanganagh, Killiney, Bray Head, and far beyond Greystones, covered with a dense mass of men, horses, guns, and wagons, with piles of stores all round. Tents are few, as I soon discovered, but then one does not look for comfort in the midst of war. Multiply that camp tenfold, crowd every road with columns of marching troops, with an endless stream of motor wagons, gun teams, and ammunition carts, and you will have some faint idea of my surroundings. We were camped on a high hill, at the foot of which flowed the river, which gave me the chance of a welcome scrub. Each morning I said Mass in the open, and gave Holy Communion to hundreds of the men. I wish you could have seen them kneeling there before the whole camp - recollected and prayerful, a grand profession surely of the “faith that is in them”.' More than one non-Catholic was touched by it, and it made many a one, I am sure, turn to God in the hour of need. That evening, just as we sat down for dinner, spread on a pile of empty shell boxes, urgent orders reached us to march in ten minutes. There was only time to grab a slice of bread and hack off a piece of meat before rushing to get one's kit. As luck would have it, I had had nothing to eat since the morning, and was farnished, but there was nothing for it but to tighten one's belt and look happy.

After a couple of hours tramp, a halt was called. “All implements, kits, packs, blankets, etc., to be stacked by the side of the road”, was the order. This meant business evidently, as we set off again with nothing but our arms and the clothes we stood in. If it rained we got wet, and when it got dry we got dry too. Jolly prospect, but c'est la. guerre, war is war. I held on to my Mass things, but to my great sorrow for five days I was not able to offer the Holy Sacrifice, the biggest privation of the whole campaign. One good result at least came from this trial; it showed me in a way I never realised before what a help daily Mass is in one's life. The greater part of that night I spent humming Moore's famous song, “My lodging is the cold, cold ground”. The Headquarters officers found shelter in a narrow trench under the road, open at both ends, so fresh air and ventilation were not wanting. There was no room to stretch one's legs or lie down, but we sat on the cold, cold ground (mother earth's (kitchen fires must have been out that night), and slept, or pretended to do so. Without covering or blankets sleep was impossible, but the hours crept on between short dozes and long spells of shivering, till at last the welcome sun sprang out of bed to warm us up. Morning brought another surprise. Though the country round about Loos was full of guns, one scarcely ever saw one, so carefully were they hidden, but here were our cannon, scores, hundreds of them of all sizes and shapes, standing out boldly in the fields and roaring as if they had swallowed a dish of uncooked shells.

That never-ending roar of bursting shells was one of the most trying things of the past seven days. Our guns, some at least of them, are never silent; day and night, without a moment's break, they hammer the enciny's lines at times to such a degree that it is almost useless to try and talk with the infernal roar.

What a change this is from the trench life of the past six months, where for days we never saw a soul overground. Here, though the enemy's guns were quite close, as we know to our cost, men and horses move about as calmly as if there was no such thing as war. In this valley of life and death we had our first casualties, and it was here that your poor Will also nearly left his bones. I was standing about a hundred yards away watching a party of my men crossing the valley, when I saw the earth under their feet open and the twenty men disappear in a cloud of smoke, while a column of stones and clay was shot a couple of hundred feet into the air. A big German shell, by the merest chance, had landed in the middle of the party. I rushed down the slope, getting a most unmerciful “whack” between the shoulders, probably from a falling stone, as it did not wound me, but it was no time to think of one's safety. I gave them all a general absolution, scraped the clay from the faces of a couple of buried mnen who were not wounded, and then anointed as many of the poor lads as I could reach. Two of them had no faces to anoint, and others were ten feet under thc clay, but a few were living still. By this time half a dozen volunteers had run up and were digging the buried men out. War may be horrible, but it certainly brings out the best side of a man's character; over and over again I have seen men risking their lives to help or save a comrade, and these brave fellows knew the risk they were taking, for when a German shell falls in a certain place, you clear as quickly as you can, since several more are pretty certain to land close. It was a case of duty for me, but real courage for them. We dug like demons for our lads lives and our own, to tell the truth, for every few minutes another “iron pill” from a Krupp gun would come tearing down the valley, making our very hearts leap into our mouths. More than once we were well sprinkled with clay and stones, but the cup of cold water promise was well kept, and not one of the party received a scratch. We got three buried men out alive, not much the worse of their trying experience. but so thoroughly had the shell done its work that there was not a single wounded man in the rest of the party; all had gone to a better land. As I walked back I nearly shared the fate of my boys, but somehow escaped again, and pulled out two more lads who were only buried up to the waist and uninjured. Meanwhile the regiment had been ordered back to a safer position on the hill, and we were able to breathe once more. Our resting place that night was a fine luxurious shell-hole open to all the blasts of heaven. To make matters worse we were posted fifteen yards in front of two batteries of field guns, twelve in number, : while on our right a little further off were a half a dozen huge sixty pounders Not once during the whole night did these guns cease firing, making the ground tremble and rock like a small earthquake, till I thought my head wouid crack in two with the ear-splitting crashes. Shells, as one very soon learns, have an unpleasant trick of bursting prematurely as they leave the muzzle of the gun. In the next shell-hole lay the body of one of our men who had been killed in this way, so the prospect of a night spent in this dangerous position was not a pleasant one. A soldier has to go and stay where he is sent, but to move would have made little difference, for, dodge as you might, you could never get out of the line of fire of the innumerable batteries all round. Many a time have I seen the earth open in front and around me, ploughed up by bits of our own shells, which helped to make things more lively still, Rain was falling in torrents as we prepared to go to bed in our shell-hole, Seated on a box in the bottom of the hole for protection from our guns, huddled together for warmth, our feet in a pool, we watclied the water trickle down the sides, and wondered how long it would take to wash us out. I have spent many more pleasant nights in my life, but never a more uncomfortable one, drenched by the falling rain, which would persist in running down my neck, ravenous enough to eat a live German, and so tired and weary that the roar of the guns failed to keep me awake. I could not help thinking of Him who often “had not where to lay His head”, and it helped me to resemble Him a little. Providence was good to us, far after some time a tarpaulin was found, which we stretched over our cave, baled out the water, and settled down for a night of “Shivery O”. Strange to say, I am not one bit the worse for this trying experience, and others like it, nor did I even get a cold.

At last came the expected order to advance I at once, and hold the front line; the part assigned to us being Louze Wood, the scene of so much desperate fighting Tlie first part part of our journey lay through a narrow trench, the floor of which consisted of deep thick mud, and the bodies of dead men trodden under foot. It was horrible beyond descrip tion, but there was no help for it, and on the half rotten corpses of our brave men we marched in silence, everyone busy with his own thoughts.

I shall spare you gruesome details, but you can picture one's sensations as one felt the ground yield under one's foot, and one sanli down through the body of some poor fellow Half an hour of this brought us out on the oper into the middle of the battlefield of some day previously. The wounded, at least I hope so had all been removed, but the dead lay there stiff and stark, with open staring eyes, just a they had fallen. Good God, such a sight. had tried to prepare myself for this, but all I had read or pictured gave me little idea of the reality. Some lay as if they were sleeping quietly, others had died in agony, or had had the life crushed out of them by mortal fear; while the whole ground, every foot of it, was littered with heads or limbs, or pieces of torn human bodies. In the bottom of one hole lay a British and a German soldier, locked in a deadly embrace, neither had any weapon, but they had fought on to the bitter end. Another couple seemed to have realised that the horrible struggle was none of their making, and that they were both children of the same God; they had died hand-in-hand praying for and forgiving one another. A third face caught my eye, a tall, strikingly handsome young German, not more, I should say, than 18. He lay there calm and peaceful, with a smile of happiness on his face, as if he had had a glimpse of Heaven before he died, Ah, if only his poor mother could have seen her boy it would have soothed the pain of her broken heart.

We pushed on rapidly through that charnel house, for the stench was fearful, till we stumbled across a sunken road. Here the retreating Germans had evidently made a last desperate stand, but they had been caught by our artillery fire.

The dead lay in piles, the blue grey uni forms broken by many a khaki-clad body. I saw the ruins of what was evidently the dressing station, judging by the number of bandaged men about, but a shell had found them out even here and swept them all into the net of death.

A halt for a few minutes gave me the opportunity I was waiting for. I hurried along from group to group, and as I did the men fell on their knees to receive absolution. A few words to give them courage, for no man knew if he would return alive, A “God bless and protect you, boys”, and I passed on to the next company. As I did, a soldier stepped out of the ranks, caught me by the hand, and said: “I am not a Catholic, sir, but I want to thank you for that beautiful prayer”. The regiments moved on to the wood, while the doctor and I took up our positions in the dressing station to wait for the wounded. This was a dug-out on the hill facing Louze Wood. The previous afternoon it had been occupied by the Germans, before our men drove them out. Some poor chaps must have taken refuge there and have been bombed out, for the sides and roof were stained all over with fresh blood. At one end was a suspicious-looking mound of fresh earth, which I did not investigate too closely, but as I said a prayer for the repose of the soul, the dead German will forgive me, I trust, for sleeping on his grave.

To give you an idea of my position. From where I stood the ground sloped down steeply into a narrow valley, while on the opposite hill lay the wood, half of which the Fusiliers were holding, the Germans occupying the rest; the distance across being so short I could easily follow the movements of our men without a glass.

Fighting was going on all round, so that I was kept busy, but all the time my thoughts and my heart were with my poor boys in the wood opposite. They had reached it safely, but the Germans somehow had worked round the sides and temporarily cut them off. No food or water could be sent up, while ten slightly wounded men who tried to come back were shot down, one after another.

Under these circumstances it would be madness to try and reach the wood, but my heart bled for the wounded and dying lying there alone. When dusk came I made up my mind to try and creep through the valley, inore especially as the fire had slackened very much; but once again the Providence of God watched over me. As I was setting out I met a Sergeant, who argued the point with me. “You can do little good, Father”, he said, “down there in the wood, and will only run a great risk. Wait till night comes, and then we shall be able to bring all the wounded up here. Don't forget that, though we have plenty of officers and to spare, we have only one priest to look after us”. The poor fellow was so much in earnest I decided to wait a little at least. It was well I did so, for shortly afterwards the Germans opened a terrific bombardment, and launched a counter attack on the wood.

Meanwhile we on the opposite hill were having a most unpleasant time. A wounded man had reported that the enemy had captured the wood. Communication was broken, and Headquarters had no information of what was going on. At that moment an orderly dashed in with the startling news that the Germans were in the valley, and actually climbing our hill. Jerusalem! We non combatants might easily escape to the rear, but who would protect the wounded? They could not be abandoned. If it were daylight, the Red Cross would give his protection, but in the darkness of the night the enemy would not think twice about flinging a dozen bombs down the steps of the dug-out. I looked round at the blood-stained walls and shivered. A nice coward, am I not? Thank God, the situation was not quite so bad as reported; our men got the upper hand, and drove back the attack, but that half-hour of suspense will live long in my memory. I fear you will be weary of this letter, so I shall try and finish up. I have given you an outline of my doings, and little more remains to be said, except the last day's experience at the front, Saturday, 9th. It was arranged that the 16th Division were to storm Ginchy, a strong village, against which previous attacks had failed. By good fortune we were held in reserve. At 7 in the morning our heavy guas opened fire, and till 5 in the evening rained a storm of bullets and shells on the defenders. Shortly before 5, I went up on the hill in front of the town, and was just in time to see our men leap from their trenches and dart up the slope, only to be met by a storm of bullets from concealed machine guns. It was my first real view of a battle at close quarters, an experience not easily forgotten. Almost simultaneously all our guns, big and little, opened a terrific “barrage” behind the village, to prevent the enery bringing up reinforcements, and in haif a minute the scene was hidden by the smoke of thousands of bursting shells, British and German. The wild rush of our Irish lads swept the Germans away like chaff. The first line went clean through the village and out the other side, and were it not for the officers, acting under orders, would certainly be in Berlin by this time. Meanwhile the : supports had cleared the cellars and dug-outs of their defenders; the town was ours and all well. At the same time a feeling of uneasiness was about. Rumour said some other part of the line had failed to advance, the Germans were breaking through, etc. One thing was certain, the guns had not ceased. Something was not going well. About 9, just as we were getting ready to be relieved by another regiment, an urgent order reached us to hurry up to the front. To my dying day I shall never forget that half-hour, as we pushed across the open, our only light the flash of bursting shells, tripping over barbed wire, stumbling and walking on the dead, expecting every moment to be blown into Eternity. We were halted in a trench at thi rear of the village, and there till 4 in th morning we lay on the ground listening to the roar of the guns and the scream of the shell flying overlead, not knowing if the next moment might be our last. Fortunately, we were not called upon to attack, and our casual ties were very slight, but probably becaus the terrible strain of the past week was be ginding to tell, or the Lord wished to give me a little merit by suffering more, the agony and fear and suspense of those six hours seeme to surpass the whole of the seven days.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

It would not be fitting to close these all too fragmentary notes without recalling the fact that in the discharge of their duties as Chaplains one past Clongownian and three former Clongowes masters have lost their lives viz:
Fathers W Doyle and John Gwynn, who were killed in France.

◆ The Clongownian, 1922

The Late Father Doyle

The following are some striking extracts from an address delivered before the Church of England Congress last October by the Rev G C Rawlinson MA

Here stands on the East Forty-Second Street in New York City A a giant building many stories high, with a floor space measuring three and a-half acres, which is the Parish House of St Bartholomew's Church. It is the house of a multitude of social activities. Under its roof you will find a lodging-house and a loan bureau, an employment bureau, and a coffee-house, a penny provident fund, a girls' club, a boys' club, and a men's club, a gymnasium, a parish press, a kindergarten, a surgical clinic, a medical clinic, and an eye and ear clinic. It was built by the late Bishop Greer of New York, when he was rector of St. Bartholomew's, a quarter of a century ago, and a full account of it can be read in the lately published Life of that prelate. He believed that secular work was religious work, and he would certainly have claimed that he was showing his personal allegiance to Jesus Christ in the busy hours that he spent amid the multifarious activities of his parish house. Who will say that he was wrong?

But there is another ideal. Not long before I read the Life of Bishop Greer I came across the biography of an obscure Jesuit, Father William Doyle, who was a chaplain during the war, and was killed near Ypres in 1917, in his forty-fifth year. Here one found oneself in a different world, and in a different spiritual atmosphere from that in which Bishop Greer lived. It was the inner life for which Father Doyle cared. The flame of his personal allegiance to his Saviour burned very brightly, but it showed itself mainly in the acts of the interior life - in long hours of prayer, in rigid self-discipline, in tremendous penances. At one time he had an opportunity of quiet prayer before a life-size crucifix. “I could not remain at His feet”, he said, “but climbed up until both my arms were around His neck. The Figure seemed almost to live, and I think I loved Him then, for it was borne in upon me how abandoned and suffering and broken-hearted He was. It seemed to console Him when I kissed His eyes and pallid cheeks and swollen lips, and, as I clung to Him, I knew He had won the victory, and I gave Him all He asked”. “He spent”, we are told, “every spare moment in church or chapel ; and, since spare mornents grew scarcer as the years went on, he laid the hours of sleep under contribution”. The truth is he was possessed completely by the Ignatian idea of generosity towards God; not, that is, to give God the least one must but the most one can. So that when he became convinced that God desired him to strip his life of every possible comfort, to be his own executioner, though his whole soul shrank from such a life, he obeyed...

These are two very different pictures of spiritual loyalty which I have put before you, are they not? On the one hand there is Dr Greer visiting his crowded parish house in the evening, when all the lifts are working and the building is humming with activity; seeing that everything is going smoothly ; chatting with his workers; keeping his finger on the pulse of the whole vast organization - on the other hand there is Father Doyle setting his alarum for midnight, and then creeping down to the dark and lonely chapel for an exquisite hour of devotion before the Tabernacle. It is a startling contrast. With the one the exterior life and its activities are the chief thing, with the other the interior. I do not mean, of course, that Dr. Greer did not say his prayers, or that Father Doyle did not perform many active works. But they represent different ideals. The one shows the Martha spirit - the ideal of active work, and, beyond all possibility of contradiction, this is the ideal of the modern world as a whole. I am not sure even that many of my audience here will not sympathize with Bishop Greer rather than with Father Doyle. The other shows the Mary spirit, and the contemporary western world will hardly tolerate this. Some say frankly that it is eastern and not western, and that this is one of the points on which East and West will never meet. That is certainly false. The history of Christian devotion and the lives of Christian saints proves the contrary. But it is not a popular ideal to-day. Other-worldliness is often spoken of with contempt, and the best Christian is supposed to be the man with the largest number of good works to his credit. This seems to me to spring from a wrong standard of values, and I desire to lift up an unimportant voice on behalf of the other worldly ideal. I believe that, as our loyalty grows, as we penetrate more deeply into the understanding of the mind of Jesus Christ, as we learn more of the delights of prayer, we shall become possessed more and more with the idea of other-worldliness. We shall look upon everything with different eyes, and shall no longer consider the school after-care worker to be as useful a member of the community as the enclosed nun in her oratory.

The true life of those other-worldly people whom I am trying to describe is their interior life. There lie all their chief interests, and there is their principal source of happiness. Consequently, they are always exploring and opening up new roads in the spiritual life. I suppose many have no idea of prayer except as vocal prayer; to this a certain number add the practice of meditation. But even meditation is for beginners. Beyond that there lies much : affective power; the practice of the Presence of God, the prayer of quiet; contemplative prayer. As the soul begins to learn something of these it is quite likely that the desire for silence and solitude will grow. The person may not spend more time in prayer, in the usual sense of the word, but an attitude of prayer will be the background of the whole life. The thought of God will never be far away. There are certain ideas in everybody which have in herent power to leap into the foreground of consciousness directly the mind is unoccupied for a moment. With some men they may be ideas of money-making; with people in love it is the thought of the loved one; in certain disastrous cases it is the obsession of evil impulses. But with those who are approaching contemplative or mystical prayer it is the thought of God. God becomes, as it were, an actor in the person's interior life in a way which was never realized before. Such souls are in a new world. They have advanced far beyond the average Christian. They are meeting new dangers. They are exploring outside the hinterland that sur rounds the life of the ordinary communicant. The world, when it knows nothing about them, looks on with amazement and some times with dislike. Their attempts, by means of rigorous austerities, to liberate the soul for its upward flight, provoke incredulous wonder. Father Doyle, for instance, making himself a discipline out of the blades of safety-razors, is regarded as the limit of wrong-headedness. How men can seek pain utterly fails to be understood. Yet these men and women are really the very salt of the earth. We could do without our politicians, we might manage without our business men, but a nation cannot afford to be without the spiritual strength that comes from the hidden life of its contemplatives. After all, the unworldly man is most use to the world.

So what we want in the Church of England is more men and women of this type - more men and women who show their allegiance in this way. Nothing else will convert the world back again to Jesus Christ. .....

Probably the cause of much of the impo tence of the Church of England arises from the fact that she impresses inany people, not as the great supernatural society, but as a more or less useful department of the State. And we are ourselves to blame for this. We produce few of that fine aristocracy of souls who have given up everything for Jesus Christ.

Suppose we were to produce a St Francis to-day, what would be thought of such a career in contemporary England? He would probably be summoned and convicted by an unsympathetic and well-fed magistrate for sleeping out without visible means of support, and the sergeant of police would mention that he had been prosecuted a fortnight earlier for begging and dismissed with a caution. And it is doubtful if he would obtain much sympathy from the leaders of the Church. They would prefer him back in the thirteenth century. We do not admire enough the men of that type we do produce. In the last volume of the letters of Father. Benson of Cowley, there was a vivid picture of the life led by Father O'Neill of the same society as a missionary in the great Hindu city of Indore. He led there for years a life of extreme poverty, in a small native house, making himself as a Hindu that he might win the Hindus. But who knew or cared ? How many in the Church of England to-day know anything of that splendid supernatural life? We do not produce such men enough, and we do not make enough of them when we do produce them. And that is why there is often so little enthusiastic loyalty in the children of the Church.

We must begin by getting back to the right ideal. That must come first. Some people believe that what you think does not matter, but the truth is that all the evils in the world can be traced to the embrace by men of wrong ideals. We get the type of Christians we admire. If you admire the Bishop Greer type - the capable Christian of business habits and social activities - you will get it; if you admire the Father Doyle or the Father O'Neill type, you will get that. However miserably we may fall short in our own practice, however worldly we may be in our thoughts and actions, let us at least admire the right thing

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Willie Doyle (1873-1917)

The name of Father Willie Doyle needs no introduction to Irish readers or, for that matter, to Catholic readers anywhere throughout the world. But few, even in Limerick, remember that for three years, 1910 to 1913, he was a member of the Crescent community. His work on the Province mission staff earned him, naturally, few acquaintances among the boys of the school or the folk who came to Sacred Heart church. On leaving the Crescent, his last Irish address was Rathfarnham Castle whence, a year later, he departed as a chaplain for the European battlefields and his heroic death.

Duffy, John, 1879-1960, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1228
  • Person
  • 07 July 1879-25 August 1960

Born: 07 July 1879, Fearavolla, County Kildare
Entered: 07 September 1901, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1921
Die:d 25 August 1960, Sheffield, Yorkshire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1920 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

First World War chaplain

Duffy, Patrick J, 1814-1901, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/130
  • Person
  • 22 May 1814-27 July 1901

Born: 22 May 1814, Booterstown, Dublin
Entered: 15 August 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 March 1848, Rome, Italy
Final vows: 15 August 1867
Died: 27 July 1901, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

by 1847 in Rome studying
by 1853 at Vals France (TOLO) studying to 1854
by 1856 in Crimea to 1857
Came to Australia 1888

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to Rome and France for studied, being Ordained in Rome 26 March 1848.
1851 He was Minister at Clongowes under Michael A Kavanagh.
1854 He was sent as Chaplain to the Forces in Crimea, a mission he really liked, and where he had full scope for his zeal and charity.
After he returned from Crimea he was sent teaching at Clongowes for some years, and then sent to Gardiner St, where he worked for 29 years.
At Gardiner St, sinners were converted. Many who were caught up in the world saw a different path, and the sick and destitute were visited with great care. Those who hear him Preach, especially at a “Reception” or “Profession” of a nun were hugely impressed by his sincerity. It was said that when he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, it was as though he were speaking directly to the Blessed Virgin.
1879 He got a serious illness, and was ordered by doctors to complete change and rest. So, he was sent abroad for six months. he was a great letter writer, and his letters home during this six months contained glowing accounts of his experiences and vivid descriptions of the places he visited. On visiting Lourdes he spoke of his own delight at saying Mass there and was completely captivated by the Basilica : “Nor could you look at it, and walk through it leisurely, as I did on yesterday, without feeling that it was a work of lover - a work, I mean, of persons who had both the will to do it, the money and the skill, and who, prompted by an irresistible feeling of faith and love, and gratitude, were determined to stop at nothing!” During this six months, he visited Paray-le-Monial, Annecy and Switzerland as well, and eventually returned to Gardiner St, with an immense sense of gratitude for having been given the opportunity. He always communicate gratitude easily, and made good friends. Though some timed thought of as somewhat “rough and ready” he was an immensely sympathetic man, and he was clearly a diamond, who cared for anyone in trouble especially.
Following his experience of illness and the sense of gratitude, he was invited to consider going to Australia. He would have declined at an earlier time, so wrapped in his work and relationships. His response at this relatively late stage in life was “Come soldier! here’s a crowning grace for you - up and at it! Away from your country and friends, away off to the far off battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight! Fear not, I’ll give you the necessary strength, and only be a plucky soldier you, and show me what stuff is in you!”
1888 he arrived in Australia and straight away to St Ignatius, Richmond, and gave a series of Missions from there. He was then sent to St Mary’s North Shore. And so it was until his death, Retreats and Missions were his works.
He was a great enemy to self, and when advising on how to be happy he would say “Forget yourself, this is the secret. Think of Christ and His Cause only and leave the rest to Him!” He had great common sense too. He was entirely military in his ideas, and plenty of military references in his ordinary writing and publications, as seen in “The Eleven-Gun Battery, for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”.
He had just concluded his own retreat and was conducting one for the Sisters of Mercy at Fitzroy, when he turned on his ankle coming downstairs and fractured his hip. He had an operation, but got up too quickly and had a recurrence, and pneumonia having also set in he declined rapidly. He suffered a lot of pain, but bore it with patience, and his end was calm and peaceful on 27 July 1901 aged 88. His funeral took place at St Ignatius, Richmond with a huge crowd in attendance. His desired epitaph was “Here lies one that did a soldier’s part”.

Note from William Ronan Entry :
A Few years after his Novitiate he went with Fr Patrick J Duffy as a Chaplain in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari Hospital (of Florence Nightingale Fame in the Istanbul Region) and other Military stations.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Duffy 1814-1901
In Australia on July 27th 1901 died Fr Patrick Duffy in the 88th year of his life and the 67th of his life in the Society. He was born in Dublin on May 22nd 1814 and entered the Society in 1834 at Stonyhurst.

After his ordination he was sent as a chaplain to the British Forces in the Crimean War in 1854, an event which was destined to colour his spiritual life and writings for the rest of his life.

After his return from the War, he spent upwards of 29 years of fruitful and zealous work as Operarius at Gardiner Street. As a preacher he was renowned for his earnestness and sincerity, and it is related of him that he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, as if he spoke to the Blessed Virgin there present, so earnest was the tone of his voice.

In 1879 after a severe illness, he was sent by Superiors on a tour of the continent for six months. He had a facile pen and left us lengthy and vivid impressions of the various places he visited.

At the advance age of 74, when most men would be thinking of retiring and preparing fore the end, Fr Duffy volunteered for the Australian Mission. What was it that induced him to take this up. He himself reveals the reason in a letter written to a friend some years later :
“Oh, dear me! Had I hesitated when I got the invitation years ago, to break the remaining ties and quit all, what an unhappy man, comparatively speaking, I should be today! I saw then what I see now, the mercy which said ‘Come Soldier, here’s a crowning grace for you, up and at it. Away from your country and your friends. Away to the battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight”.

For about fourteen years he worked unceaselessly on missions and retreats throughout Australia. He always regarded these as “campaigns” and conducted them as “pitched battles”, due to his experiences as a chaplain.

In 1887 he embodied his ideas of the spiritual life in a booklet entitled “The Eleven Gun Battery for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”, to which is added “A Day-book for Religious of the Art of leading in Religion a holy and happy life, and dying as a certain consequence a holy and happy death”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1902

Obituary

Father Patrick Duffy SJ and Father Charles Walshe SJ

We regret to announce the deaths of two Jesuits long connected with Clongowes both as boys and masters-Father Patrick Duffy and Father Charles Walshe.

Father Duffy died at the ripe old age of 88 in Melbourne, Australia. He entered Clongowes as a boy in 1829 and having passed with distinction through the various classes, he joined the Novitate of the Society of Jesus in 1834. Early in his priestly career he was sent out as chaplain to the forces during the Crimean war, a mission which was peculiarly agreeable to him, and to which in after years he often referred with pleasure. He was beloved by the soldiers an Irish regiment - and on one occasion it is said that they refused to march unless their chaplain were allowed to accompany them. He had a fine, manly, soldierly spirit, a most guileless nature, and he was full of ardour. He was for many years on the staff at Clongowes, and later at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin. As late in life as his 70th year he volunteered to give his Services to the Australian Mission, where he worked till the end with the zeal and zest of a
youthful beginner.

Elliott, John J, 1857-1942, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/815
  • Person
  • 08 October 1857--05 November 1942

Born: 08 October 1857, Streamstown, County Westmeath
Entered: 05 January 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1888, St David's, Mold, Wales
Final Vows: 25 March 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, County Offaly
Died: 05 November 1942, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1886 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Catterick Bridge Camp, Yorkshire
by 1923 at Catholic Church Bournemouth, Dorset, England (ANG) working
by 1924 at Catholic Church Clitheroe, Lancashire, England (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr John Elliott SJ was recuperating from pneumonia: “On next Tuesday I shall be a month here. I am only 8st 7lbs with my clothes on.”

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Obituary :
Father John Elliott SJ
Fr. Elliott was born at Streamstown, Co. Westmeath, on 8th October, 1857, and died at Clongowes after a brief illness on 5th November, 1942. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park, in 1878, studied philosophy at Roehampton and theology at St. Beuno’s. He was ordained priest by Bishop Knight at Mold in 1888. He was at school in Tullabeg for a year before going to Clongowes in 1870, where he remained until 1875. He was conspicuous there as an athlete, winning the mile race in his last year. He was also very fond of music and used to spend the greater part of his recreations playing the piano violin.
After entering the Society he returned to Clongowes for his Juniorate. l877-8. He was on the staff of the College as Prefect or Master, 1878-85. After his ordination in 1888 he returned to Clongowes, teaching Mathematics and Physics for several years. He was very popular as a Confessor and exercised a very considerable influence over a great number of boys - quite a number of vocations may be attributed to that influence.
In the class room his witty remarks and humorous way of putting things enlivened for many the monotony of school life. One of the Past writing to Fr. Rector after his death, said “I do not think that there was any generation of boys that did not love him”. All remember him as a very keen fisherman, and many recall very pleasant days on the banks, or in the water, of the Liffey, which river he more than once stocked with trout from a hatchery of his own construction.
He was an Army Chaplain in the last war, and subsequently worked for some years in the English Province (at Bournemouth in 1923. and at Clitheroe from 1924 to 1931).
He returned to Clongowes in 1931, and worked for a couple of years in the People's Church until his health broke down. He had very great devotion to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Elliott 1857-1942
Fr John Elliott was a man very dear to many generations of young scholastics at Clongowes. He was born in Streamstown in 1857, entering the Society in 1876 after being educated at Clongowes.

He taught Mathematics and Physics in his Alma Mater for several years, was very popular as a confessor, and wielded remarkable influence over the boys, many of whom owed a vocation to him. This was doe to his genial wit and his gifts as a fisherman and musician. He presented such a picture of a happy contented Jesuit that his example led many to follow him.

He was a Chaplain during the First World War, and he proved quite effective and popular with the troops, though a man of slight stature and frail frame. Having served on the English Mission, mainly at Clitheroe, until 1931, he returned to Clongowes to take charge of the People’s Church. He had a great devotion to the Mass – his constant spiritual readfing was Gihr on the Mass. His second devotion was to Fr John Sullivan, to whose grave in his latter years he used walk dailyt to recite his beads. Being tired on one such occasion, he sat down on the grave to rest, contracted a chill and died on November 5th 1842.

A gentle and lovable soul, full of genial wisdom, his rendering of “Billy Boy” in his thin piping voice as he accompanied himmself on the piano, will long be remembered by the younger generation.

◆ The Clongownian, 1943

Obituary

Father John Elliott SJ

Father Elliott’s connection with Clongowes was a very extended one. It began when he was a boy of I1 and continued, on and off, until his death a few days after he had passed his 85th birthday. Six of these years were spent here as a boy, having as companions Mr John Redmond, Fr Fegan, Judge Brereton Barry and many others who distinguished themselves in various paths of life. As a boy he was very good at games and sports, being the champion long distance runner of the school. He was very fond of music, playing with great taste both violin and piano. Even up to the last, though his repertoire had become somewhat limited, he retained an exquisite touch. During most of his time here as Master and Prefect he taught mathematics and physics. He was an expert carpenter, and during one summer vacation he made a set of desks for his class which are still in use. He also made an artificial leg for the blacksmith, Matty Dunne, who was loud in his praise of the comfort that it gave him.

For Natural Philosophy he had a great taste and would take. endless pains in preparing experiments, and in this way he made his class most interesting, and instructive. It will, however, be by his quaint and original sayings that he will be best remembered, and members of his Third and. Fourth Junior who saw the announcement of his death in the papers will have recalled many of them. One of these writing from Portugal said “I am so sorry to learn that Fr Elliott is dead, he certainly was a link with the past. I was always very fond of him at school. I loved the smell of snuff and tobacco which enveloped him, his quaint laugh and very keen sense of humour, somewhat on the dry side. I shall never forget his calling a fellow student who sat next to me, “a mere vegetable”, the name suited him admirably. He did not suffer fools gladly. Fr Elliott was also a great hero in my eyes on account of his fishing. How often I wished he would let me carry his basket as he lightly pushed off over the Lower Line crease towards the Liffey....” In a letter written to Fr Elliott from USA, by an old pupil of those days, and which reached here a dew days after Fr Elliott's death, the writer says: “I recall seeing you going in the direction of the Liffey carrying a. fishing rod. I regret that I did not receive instruction in fishing while at school from such an experienced fisherman”. A few years ago when Fr Elliott celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in the Society of Jesus a photograph of him equipped, for the occasion, in full fishing attire appeared in the papers.

But Fr Elliott. was known to very many of the Past as something more than a teacher or a fisherman or for his quaint witticisms. He was for many years, a favourite confessor and spiritual adviser, and in this capacity he exercised a deep influence over a large number of boys.

There is a pathetic interest in a letter written to Fr Rector on the day after Fr Elliott's death by Mr William Lombard Murphy who himself, one short month later, was to follow Fr Elliott to the grave. “Dear Father Rector”, it ran, “I suppose that one should not lamnent on hearing that that grand old Clongownian, Fr John Elliott, has been called to his reward but one cannot help feeling sad. I met him the very first day I went to Clongowes, over fifty years ago, and I remember things he said that day, and how his genial kindly manner was a help to a shy and rather frightened new boy. I do not think there was any generation of Clongowes boys that did not love him. May he rest in peace”; These words will find an echo in the hearts of very many of the Past, and would have deeply touched him of whom they were written.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father John Elliott (1857-1942)

Born at Streamstown, Co. Westmeath, entered the Society in 1876 on finishing school at Clongowes. After his ordination in 1888, he was master of mathematics and physics at his former school. He came for the first time to the Crescent in 1902 and was on the teaching staff for the next three years. He was back again as science master from 1911 to 1917 when he left the country to become an army chaplain in the first world war. He returned for the last time to the Crescent in 1919 but remained only a year. Father Elliott was one of the most beloved masters who have passed through this college. His remaining years were spent in Clongowes.

FitzGerald, Thomas R, 1905-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/149
  • Person
  • 08 February 1905-12 July 1967

Born: 08 February 1905, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 20 September 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 12 July 1967, St Francis Xavier, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Thomas FitzGerald, S.J., who worked in Hong Kong from 1938 to 1955 and in Malaysia or Singapore for the past twelve years, died in Singapore on Wednesday, 12 July 1967, aged 62.

Father FitzGerald was born in Ireland on 8 February 1905. He entered the Jesuit novitiate there in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1936.

He came to Hong Kong in 1938. After two years spent studying Cantonese, he went to the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, where he taught philosophy and later theology. Towards the end of the war he went to Macao to teach in the College of St. Luis Gonzaga. After the war he taught English Literature in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong till 1955. For many years he combined this teaching with a vigorous chaplaincy to the R.A.F.

In 1955 he went to Singapore to lecture in the Teachers’ Training College. In 1958 he moved to Penang as chaplain to a very large complex of educational works run by the Sisters there. In 1964, with seriously impaired health of which he took singularly little notice, he returned to Singapore, still ready for hard work. In the last year of his life he took over the editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News and the wardenship of Kingsmead Hall.

The extraordinary variety of posts filled by Father FitzGerald - lectureship in philosophy and theology, secondary school teaching R.A.F. chaplaincy, convent chaplaincy, administration, editorship - and the success he achieved in them testify to his extraordinary power of concentration on the matter in hand, whatever it might be. In ordinary conversation this concentration amounted to and endearing eccentricity - he would concentrate fully on the subject under discussion if he was distracted from that subject; he was totally distracted and showed no memory of the original subject. In his work this was no eccentricity, but and astonishing power of focusing all his remarkable powers on whatever task lay before him.

Even the onset of very bad health could not rob him of this invaluable gift, He was a sick men, already in his sixties, when he started his highly successful editorship of the Malaysian Catholic News, but he greeted the work with all the enthusiasm with which he had greeted the first work that had fallen to him as a young priest.

A Solemn Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College Hong Kong, on Monday, 17 July, by Father F. Cronin, S.J., Regional Superior.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 July 1967

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013.
His early education was at Laurel Hill Convent in Limerick and then he spent 8 years at Crescent College, before he Entered the Society in 1922.

He got a 1st Class Degree from University College Dublin and then a H Dip in Education.. He then studied Philosophy at Milltown Park.
He was sent for three years Regency, 2 at Mungret College SJ in Limerick and 1 at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He then returned to Milltown Park for Theology and was Ordained there in 1936, followed immediately by Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.

1938-1940 Immediately after Tertianship he came to Hong Kong and spent the first two years at Tai Lam Chung Language School
1940-1943 He was sent to teach Philosophy at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen.
After WWII he taught briefly at St Luis Gonzaga College in Macau
1946-1955 He was sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1955-1958 He was sent to Singapore as a Lecturer at the Teachers Training College
1958 He was sent to Penang as Chaplain to the HIJ sisters.
1964-1966 He was engaged in Retreat work in Singapore and Malaysia. His final post there was as Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News and as Warden at Kingsmead GHall.

He had a flair for languages - he knew Cantonese, Latin, Greek, Irish, French and Spanish.

Note from Timothy Doody Entry
Another passage in this book also describes Mr. Doody busy amid shelling and bombing. During a lull in his billeting work he found a new apostolate. Two priests were sheltered in the M.E.P. Procure on Battery Path. Mr. Doody took up his position outside the Procure and boldly enquired of all who passed if they were Catholics, and, if they were, did they wish to go to confession. The results were almost startling. The most unexpected persons turned out to be Catholics, from bright young things to old China hands, and after the first start of surprise at the question in the open street in staid, pleasure-loving Hong Kong, they generally took the turn indicated by Mr. Doody and found Father Grogan of Father Fitzgerald of Father O’Brien ready to meet them inside.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Arrivals :
Our three re-patriated missioners from Hong Kong: Frs. T. Fitzgerald, Gallagher and G. Kennedy, arrived in Dublin in November and are rapidly regaining weight and old form. Fr. Gallagher has been assigned to the mission staff and will be residing at St. Mary's, Emo.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Leeson St :
We were very glad to have several members of the Hong Kong inission with us for some time: Frs. P. Joy, T. Fitzgerald, and H. O'Brien, while Fr. George Byrne has joined us as one of the community.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 4 1967

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Fitzgerald SJ (1905-1967)

When Fr. Thomas FitzGerald died in Singapore on 12th July 1967, the Hong Kong Viceprovince lost one of its most attractive characters. At his funeral Mass in St. Ignatius Church the presence of an archbishop, a bishop and a large crowd of priests, religious and layfolk gave eloquent testimony to the respect and affection with which he had been regarded. One of the priests, in fact, had travelled 500 miles to attend his funeral.
Fr. FitzGerald had spent the last twenty-nine years in the Far East. After the usual course of studies he went out to Hong Kong as a priest in 1938. His two years in the language school at Taai Lam Chung gave him a knowledge of Cantonese which made him one of our best Chinese scholars. Afterwards, he was to be for several years a member of a government examining board to test the proficiency in Chinese of European police-officers. Throughout his life Fr. FitzGerald was an excellent linguist and had a real interest in languages. Although he never lived in France he became a fluent French speaker - which was later to prove a useful asset in dealing with the French clergy in Malaya - and he learned Spanish just because he liked the language.
From 1940 to 1946 Fr. FitzGerald was on the staff of the Regional Seminary in Hong Kong. Here, at various times, he professed ethics, theology and dogma. These were difficult years, covering as they did three and a half years of the war in the Far East. The main difficulty was the shortage of food. Fr. FitzGerald used afterwards recall how, when he was sent down to Macao towards the end of the war, his brethren there failed to recognise him in his emaciated state.
Immediately after the war he came back to Ireland for a rest. Here he puzzled the doctors with a peculiar fever which turned out to be a recurrence of malaria, already contracted in the Far East. Many years later he used to take pride in the fact that a slide of his blood was still being used in U.C.D. to teach the medical students what malaria looked like!
In 1946 Fr. FitzGerald went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he spent the next nine years. In addition to his classwork he took a lively interest in the school dramatics and revealed unsuspected talent as a make-up artist. He also, during these years, took on the extra-curricular post of officiating chaplain to the R.A.F. in Hong Kong.
Fr. FitzGerald was sent, in 1955, to the newly-established house in Singapore, to take up an appointment as Lecturer in English at the Teachers Training College. Three years later he suffered the first of a series of heart-attacks. After a spell in hospital he was sent back to Ireland to recuperate. Having spent six months there he was returning to Singapore by ship when he got another attack and had to be taken ashore and hospitalised in Bombay. He finally reached Singapore in January 1959. On the night of his arrival his condition caused concern and the doctor was summoned at 11 p.m. The following evening Fr. Tommy was calmly strolling round a trade exhibition on the other side of Singapore! This was typical of the man and of his attitude to life. For the last nine years of his life Fr. FitzGerald was told by every doctor who examined hiin that he had a heart so badly damaged that it could stop at any moment. His only reply was : “Well, the only thing to do with a heart like mine is forget about it”, and he acted accordingly. Time after time he suffered minor setbacks, but as soon as he felt a little better and he seemed to recover with incredible speed he wanted to be up and about at once.
After a couple of months in Singapore Fr. FitzGerald was sent to Penang where he spent the next four and a half years, living with a French parish priest and acting as chaplain to a large convent school and spiritual director to several religious institutions in the diocese. Although very fruitful in apostolic work these were rather lonely years for a community-man like Fr. Tommy.
He was happy, then, to be recalled to Singapore in 1963 to be Director of Retreats in Singapore and Malaya. During the next few years Fr. FitzGerald toured the peninsula giving retreats to priests, religious and lay-people. This was the sort of thing he liked - to be a member of a community without being tied down for too long to any one place. There was an element of wanderlust in Fr. Tommy.
Last year, at a time when his doctor was surprised that he was still alive, he opened a new chapter of his life by accepting two posts in which he had had no previous experience, Warden of Kingsmead Hall and Editor of the Malaysian Catholic News. It was these posts that he was filling with distinction when he suffered another massive heart-attack and died.
Among the many letters of condolence received from his friends after Fr. FitzGerald's death, there was one from Mr. Frank James - the father of our Fr. Brendan. In it he writes :
“There was so much that was loveable about Fr. Fitz. He had a genius for putting you at your ease and for making friends. My wife and I have known him for many years, and always he was so unruffled, so much at peace with himself and with the world around him”.
This comment aptly describes one of the most notable features of Fr. FitzGerald's character. He was a simple, uncomplicated man. He liked people and they liked him. Totally unselfconscious, he moved through life in an abstracted sort of way, with only an intermittent grasp, one felt, on reality. His phenomenal absent mindedness, his tendency to disrupt a conversation with an apparently utterly irrelevant remark, could at times be mildly exasperating. But exasperation soon gave way to amusement, especially at the look of oblivious innocence on Fr. Tommy's face. Sometimes, particularly in later years, when he realised from the sudden silence that he had stopped the conversation dead, he would try, with an apologetic smile, to trace the wavering line that connected in his mind the former topic with his abrupt intervention. This was always listened to with great interest. The connection was usually quite fantastic.
In view of his disjointed manner of conversation it is perhaps surprising that Fr. FitzGerald was such an excellent teacher. The fact is that when he put his mind to one subject he had a tremendous power of concentration. And he was extremely painstaking about his work. Often, when he was lecturing at the T.T.C. he would write out a whole lecture in full, and it would be a model of clear and interesting exposition. It is no wonder that his students remembered him with gratitude and affection many years after.
And so do we remember him. He was a man of peace, and his influence on any company of which he was a part was to quiet discords and reduce tensions. We may hope, with considerable confidence, that he has received the reward promised to the peace makers, that his childlike eyes now gaze at God.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Malaya

Father Thomas R Fitzgerald SJ

Malaya is a land of strange contrasts. Big, bustling cities such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpar, Penang, side by side with trackless jungle. In Penang Island, about a year ago, three men went out on a hike through the jungle, At the end of three days three gaunt and tattered figures appeared on the island shore and hailed a passing fisherman. They had lost their way, and what they had intended as an afternoon stroll turned into a fight for survival, And this on an island which one can motor round in an afternoon. Admittedly, the case is rare. But that it can happen at all shows what one is up against once ont leaves the beaten track.

We may add other jungle hazards. Elephants, tigers, pythons, cobras, the seladang or wild ox - the most formidable of all the wild animals of Malaya, it will attack on sight. Swimming in the larger rivers is dangerous on account of crocodiles, and when out bathing on one of the beaches one has to be on the look out for basking sea-snakes. Their bite is frequently lethal.

A land, too, of striking contrasts in its inhabitants. They are of different levels of culture and each race speaks its own group of languages. In the depths of the jungle live the oldest inhabitants of Malaya, the Sakai. They are a primitive people who go about in loin cloths armed with blowpipe and poisoned arrows. They have a common lodging house for the whole community and live off the animals of the jungle and partly by primitive agriculture. The earliest invaders were the Malays who form the majority of the present population of Malaya. For the most part they are farmers and live in kampongs, or villages, in houses raised five or six feet above the ground on wooden pillars. Their dress is colourful, the baju-shirt, or blouse, and the sarong a piece of brightly coloured cloth extending from the waist to the feet.

During the past one hundred and fifty years Malaya has witnessed a vast immigration of Chinese and Indians. The Indians are easily distinguished by their almost European features. Most of them come from the South of India and are dark complexioned. The majority of the Indians are rubber tappers, but they are to be found in all walks of life. They are keen businessmen, take a prominent part in the trades union movement and in the legislative assemblies of both Singapore and the Federation. They include many distinguished lawyers and doctors. While many Indian families have adopted European dress, the common wear among the lower classes is the dhoti, a skirt of white cotton gathered up between the legs, for men, and for women the sari.

The Chinese are mostly town and village folk. In the mixture of races that go to make up the population of Malaya they are the most vigorous and progressive element. Most of the shops in the towns and villages are owned by them, Chinese run big firms in the cities, own rubber estates and factories. In the two big universities of Malaya and Singapore respectively they easily outnumber the Malays and Indians. They have a separate university for themselves on Singapore Island. And, of course, they form the majority of the professional classes.

Most new Catholics are Chinese. The Malays being strict Moslems are almost impossible to convert. The Indians are hard to reach, since most of them live in remote rubber estates. Also, they are more wedded to their Hindu religion than the Chinese are to either Buddhism, Taoism or Confucianism. I do not wish, however, to say that Indian Catholics are few in number, The Church in Malaya contains a fairly equal number of Indians and Chinese. But most Indian Catholics come from the South of India, where the Church has been established for centuries and where their ancestors had been converted. Many of them, too, come from Goa, where until recently the Portuguese flag flew.

In the home each race speaks its own language. The Indians from the South of India speak Tamil and Malayalam; Urdu is commonly spoken by immigrants from Northern India. The Chinese speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Hokkien, Hoilam, Hakka, Teochew, each of which differs from the others enough to constitute a separate language. For instance, a Cantonese speaker is absolutely at sea when addressed in Hokkien unless he has previously learnt the language. Hokkien is generally spoken by the Singapore and Penang Chinese, while most of the Chinese in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the Federation, and in Ipoh and other large towns speak Cantonese.

The Church has met this difficulty by making parishes racial, not local. For instance, in Singapore there is a separate church for the Indians, one for the Cantonese, one for the Teochew and Hokkien speakers and several churches for the English-speaking majority. But this does not solve the difficulty that the speakers of these different languages are spread throughout the length and breadth of Singapore, and many of them may have to travel many miles to get to the church where their own language is spoken. All agree that it is an unsatisfactory way of meeting the difficulty. But at present there is no other way of meeting it. Otherwise the missionaries would have to follow in the footsteps of Mezzafonti. And as things are, the average missionary -he is generally French-has to learn English, Malay, and one dialect of either Indian or Chinese.

The two Irish Jesuit parishes, St Ignatius in Singapore and St Francis Xavier's in Kuala Lumpur are cases in point of the language difficulty. In Singapore the majority of our parishioners are English-speaking. In the parish area there is an enormous number of non-Christian residents, mainly Chinese. To win them over we must have a good speaker of the Hokkien dialect, And so Father Gerard Keane has had to spend a year in a language school in Kuala Lumpur to add Hokkien to his Cantonese. Our parish in Kuala Lumpur contains a large Cantonese village, but there are very many Indians in the parish, too. To meet their spiritual needs, Father Paul Jenkins has had to devote two years to the study of Tamil, an exceedingly complex language.

Recently I have been instructing a Cantonese lady. Here in Penang. where I am living, I am the only Cantonese speaking priest. The lady was unfortunate in that, unlike most of the Chineses, she spoke only one dialect. Penang, like Singapore, is divided into an Indian parish, a Chinese parish and two parishes for English speakers. In the Chinese parish the priest in charge speaks Mandarin, Hakka and English, So there was nobody there to attend to the needs of the Cantonese lady.

In this age of materialism and comfort, it is heartening to see how many men and women are prepared to make great sacrifices for the Faith. Recently I was visited by the second wife of a prominent lawyer in one of the large towns of Malaya. She had had a chequered career. Now forty years of age, she was the mother of three children and held a respected position in the non-Christian society of her town. She had come to the Faith through devotion to Our Lady of Perpetual Succour. And so she asked me: “What must I do to be baptized?” The answer was simple, but it demanded the heroic.

“You must separate from your husband. If he refuses to give up your children you must part from them, too”.
“That is hard, Father, but since it is God's will, I will do it”.

And she did. She gave up her wealthy home and her children and went to live with her brother, who was a poor rubber tapper. She was instructed in the Faith and baptised. She came to me after her baptism and told me she was happy in spite of the separation from her children, because she knew she was doing the will of God and he gave her much consolation.

What of the future of our work here in Malaya ? At present we Irish Jesuits are following the traditional policy of the Society in trying to in fluence the intellectual elite and the professional classes. To this end we have established two hostels for university students, one in Singapore and the other in Kuala Lumpur. By keeping the students under our care we will be able to confirm the Catholics in their faith, which is exposed to many dangers in the non-Christian atmosphere of the universities. And we will be able to smooth the path to the Church for non-Catholics of good will.

For many years we have been in contact with the teachers of Malaya. Jesuits have acted as lecturers in the Government Teachers' Training College in Singapore. Recently, however, all the Europeans on the staff have been eliminated, and so the Jesuit lecturers have had to relinquish this important work. But we still carry on as Catholic chaplains to the Teachers Training Colleges of Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Penang. . There is certain evidence of mounting Muslim opposition to the growth of the Church. The Education Department in the Federation has compelled Catholic Schools to take in teachers of the Koran for the Malays attending the schools. It has forbidden the teaching of religion during school hours for all Christian schools, including biblical knowledge, formerly a recognised subject for the Leaving Certificate. Instead, a course in Islamism is being arranged. If this course is easy it will attract many Chinese students. But in spite of this opposition the work of conversion goes on and the influence of the Church is growing daily.

There is another side of our work I have not mentioned. That is the giving of retreats to children in schools, religious and army personnel. Father Eddie Bourke, well known to past Mungret boys of the twenties, spends his time travelling the length and breadth of Malaya giving retreats. Just at present he is enjoying a well deserved holiday in Ireland, but he expects to be back at the work by the end of the year.

Finally, a word about another old Mungret man, now also working with us in Malayaa. Father Ed Sullivan (Mungret 1918-1922, and Third Club Prefect 1929-1932) taught for many years in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He is now assistant to the Parish Priest of our Church of St Francis Xavier near Kuala Lumpur. He is well able to cope with the large Cantonese village I have previously mentioned, as he is a fine speaker of Cantonese.

FitzGibbon, John, 1882-1918, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1295
  • Person
  • 15 July 1882-18 September 1918

Born: 15 July 1882, Castlerea, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died 18 September 1918, 16th Field Ambulance, BEF, France

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1905 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 16th Field Ambulance, BEF France

First World War chaplain.
See article by Steve Bellis, pp48-56, in Burke, Damien. Irish Jesuit Chaplains in the First World War. Dublin: Messenger Publications, 2014.

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes, and he was then an apprentice at Henry Street Warehouse.

After his Noviceship he studied Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and later did Theology at Milltown. He was Ordained in 1915, and in 1916 became a Chaplain to the 16th Field Ambulance, BEF, France, where he was killed 18 September 1918.

The following notice appeared in the “Tablet” after his death
“Father John Fitzgibbon SJ (Irish Province), MC, was killed by a shell at an advanced dressing station in France September 18. The youngest son of Mr John Fitzgibbon MP for south Mayo, he was born thirty-six years ago. He was Ordained in 1915, and volunteered early in 1916, so that the whole of his Priestly life was devoted to ministry on the field. He was wounded in September 1917, and in March 1918 was gazetted to the Military Cross. His brother, Captain Michael Fitzgibbon fell at Gallipoli in August 1915. A brother-chaplain Father McGuinness CF, writes that Father Fitzgibbon expired almost immediately, after breathing a few prayers, and was buried by him in the military cemetery. ‘Catholics and those of other denominations alike speak of him i terms of admiration. His zeal for souls was untiring’. Writing to Father Nolan, Irish provincial SJ, the Principal Chaplain, Father Rawlinson CMG, says that the loss to the Catholic Religion and the Chaplain’s Department, is a considerable one, and that for two and a half years Father Fitzgibbon had done excellent work as a Priest in France, and was mourned by officers and men.

Some dramatic details concerning Father Fitzgibbon’s death are given in a letter from Father Keary CF, a brother Jesuit, who writes :
‘Father Fitzgibbon had blessed a grave and read the Burial Service over one of our boys about 2pm on Wednesday last, and was talking to a German Catholic prisoner of war in the cemetery, when a shell landed in our midst and the Father fell forward. One of our boys rushed to his help, but had only raised him to his knees when another shell burst in on them, fording him to drop his burden and fall on his face to avoid being killed himself. A few minutes later Father Fitzgibbon’s dead body was removed, and was buried the next day’.
He is the fourth Irish Jesuit Chaplain who has died during the war.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Fitzgibbon 1882-1918
Fr John Fitzgibbon was the fourth Irish Jesuit who lost his life as a Chaplain in the First World War.

He was born at Castlerea on July 15th 1882, the son of Mr John Fitzgibbon MP for South Mayo. He was ordained in 1915 and volunteered early in 1916, so that the whole ofhis priestly life was devoted to ministry in the field.

He was gazetted to the Military Cross in 1918. He had just blessed a grave and read the burial service over one of the troops, when a shell landed and Fr Fitzgibbon fell forward. A fellow Chaplain, Fr McGuinness reported that Fr Fitzgibbon expired almost immediately after breathing a few prayers.

He was buried in the same cemetery where he had been officiating. His death occurred on September 18th 1918.

◆ The Clongownian, 1919

Obituary

Father John Fitzgibbon SJ

It was very hard to bring one's mind to think of death in connection with Father John Fitzgibbon. When the news that he had fallen in France reached us last September it seemed hardly credible. For he was essentially a man of life and action; enthusiasm and energy radiated from him, and he was in the full vigour of life only thirty-six. But it was only too true. We gladly pay this tribute to his memory, for he belonged to Clongowes doubly.

During the three years he was with us as a boy he was prominent in the games, got first in his class (I. Prep.), and won a prize in the Intermediate. But he left school young to take up business. During the four years he spent in business he showed great promise, and would certainly have achieved success in it had he not joined the Society of Jesus in 1901.

The year 1907 found him back at Clongowes, and for five years he acted as Third Line and then as Lower Line Prefect. During his period as Prefect the impress of his strong personalty was left on everything he took in hand. Were it a concert, a tournament, a Line match he succeeded in infusing into the boys something of his own efficiency and thoroughness. How eagerly the officials of the Higher Line coveted the privilege of being present at one of Mr Fitzgibbon's entertainments; how anxiously the Higher Line and Division calculated their remote chances of the Soccer Cup when his Eleven was in the field against them. He was ever devising some new departure to interest the Line and make the time go pleasantly. We still may see permanent traces of his work. The picturesque III Line pavilion was long known as Mr Fitzgibbon's kiosk, and it was he who put up those handsome presses that make the Lower Line library one of our show places. But his energies were not confined to these material improvements. He exerted all his influence, and it was great, to encourage the boys to read and laboured hard to direct them in their reading. In his time the library was always crowded.

With this enterprising and helpful energy there were united ready kindness, a cheery sympathy, and a personal interest in each one, which the former members of his Line have not forgotten.
In 1915 he was ordained, and almost immediately volunteered as Chaplain. The qualities he showed as a Prefect came out to even greater advantage in this new sphere, and he was very popular with the men. Cheerful friendliness, ceaseless activity, and zeal for the men's welfare, both spiritual and temporal, were his characteristics. No one questioned his bravery. He was awarded the MC, and when the rumour went round that he had been recommended for the VC, those who knew him were not surprised. A Chaplain who knew him at the front speaks of him as “naturally gallant and fearless”.

The following little incident will be of interest. It is related by Mr R P Gill, of Fattheen House, Nenagh, the father of many Clongownians. During one of the terrible retreats in April, 1918, his son Owen was riding along while his servant was leading a mule carrying his kit. “Just as they came to a place marked “dangerous”, the mule upset all his belongings. While gazing at them ruefully he saw coming towards him a padre riding a splendid big horse, and, he said, a better matched pair he never saw - the magnificent-looking Chaplain so well mounted. To his delight he recognised his old friend as a boy, dear, brave Father Fitzgibbon, who recognised Owen instantly. Well they had a long shanachie about Clongowes and all the lads they knew.

At the end of August and the beginning of September he had the great privilege of a visit to Lourdes, On the very day he was killed his parents received a letter full of enthusiastic descriptions of his stay there. He had inspiring experiences. He was besieged by hundreds wanting to serve his Mass, heard many confessions, and was the means of doing immense good. He speaks of the joy and delight of all he met at meeting an Irish priest. “When they heard that I was Irish”, he says, “No words were good enough to express their admiration for the Irish Catholics who made such a wonderful impression on everyone at Lourdes at the time of the pilgrimage. They will never be forgotten there. As you know, there is a magnificent Celtic cross erected there by the Irish pilgrims with a dedication to our Lady of Lourdes in Irish and in French”.

On the 18th of September, in the midst of his work at the front, a shell burst beside him.. He had time to utter some prayers, overheard by a soldier who was near, and in a few moments expired.

He was the son of Mr John Fitzgibbon, of Castlereagh, formerly MP for South Mayo, who had already lost in the war a younger son.

Flinn, Daniel Joseph, 1877-1943, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/151
  • Person
  • 11 January 1877-24 May 1943

Born: 11 January 1877, Arklow, County Wicklow
Entered: 01 February 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 24 May 1943, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1898 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1910 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain: VI Corps Rest Station North, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain: 88th Brigade, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943

Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart :

Father Flinn’s Death :
“So the grand old man has gone to his reward may he rest in peace. He surely did a man’s work in the great cause”. “I never had the pleasure of meeting Fr. Flinn, but from the many letters he wrote me I have a very vivid picture of his great sincerity and unselfish zeal in the noble cause for which he gave his life”. “What a worker, and what a record to leave behind him”. These are but three of the very many tributes paid to Fr. Flinn, by Bishops, priests, religious and laymen from every part of Ireland. Few of Ours can have been as well known, few so much respected as Fr. Flinn. His work of organising and running the Pioneer Association made for him contacts, many personal, others by letter only, but in them all his wholehearted love of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which was the inspiration of his Pioneer work, was manifest and recognised. He was a truly holy man, in whom the love of Our Lord was a very real and very personal thing. It was thus a personal matter for him that sin should be prevented, and when committed that it should be atoned for. In the curse of intemperance he saw what he believed to be the greatest source of sin in Ireland. and hence he set himself to work. heart and soul to fight intemperance, which so greatly injured the cause of Christ whom he loved. That was his Pioneer creed. That made for him the Pioneer cause a sacred one, for he believed it was the cause of the Most Sacred Heart, and in that belief he was so sincere that his sincerity impressed even those who criticised his methods. It was this sincerity and the zeal which sprung from it, allied with the courage which is
born of true humility, that won for him a deep respect, and often an enthusiastic admiration from all those who came in contact with him.
In 1922 when Fr. Flinn became Central Director, there was a membership of about 250,000 in 410 Centres. At his death the membership had grown to 350,000 and there were more than 950 centres. This great expansion did not bring with it any slackening in the very strict rules of Fr. Cullen. At the Annual Meeting last November, Fr. Flinn could boast that in his 21 years as Director there had been no change in the rules in spite of very great pressure being brought on him to make changes. That is a very remarkable thing, for in the growth
and expansion of an organisation there is almost always modification and adaptation. Not so the Pioneer Association under Fr. Flinn. It grew to be a movement of national importance, but Fr. Cullen's dying wish that there should be no change of rule was for Fr. Flinn a duty. The Pioneer Association today is the Pioneer Association that was founded by Fr. Cullen, with rules no less strict, observance no less rigidly enforced. Here again it was not just sentiment nor a mere hero worship of Fr. Cullen that made Fr. Flinn adopt so uncompromising an attitude. The Pioneer Association was the fruit of fifty years of tremendous experience in temperance work on the part of Fr. Cullen. Movement after movement to fight against intemperance had been started only to fail. The Pioneer Association with its very strict and very rigid rule was begun and was successful where the other movements failed. This success both Fr. Cullen and Fr. Flinn attributed to the strict rules and the strict way in which these rules were enforced. Hence Fr. Flinn was not prepared to depart in any way from a method which was proved by experience and by its results to attain the end for which it had been started. Rule after rule was planned to check what experience had shown to be causes of lapses in the past, and to bar excuses which made pledge-breaking easy. Fr. Cullen was fifty years at the work. His experience was tremendous. “I shall be a long time
in charge before I dare to set my judgment against his." Thus spoke Fr. Flinn at the Annual Meeting last year, and there is little doubt that it was this great loyalty to Fr. Cullen and to the spirit of the Association as founded by Fr. Cullen which made Fr. Flinn's long period as Central Director so successful a one for the Association and so fruitful of great work to the glory of God.

Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (Juniorate, Tertianship. and Retreat House) :

General :
Fr. Joseph Flinn, who had been resting at Rathfarnham, died on Monday morning, 24th May, deeply regretted by all. He had daily edified the Community by his cheerfulness and courage liable as he was at any moment to serious heart attacks. We offer his Community at Gardiner Street our sincere sympathy on their great loss. R.I.P.

Obituary :

Father Joseph Flinn SJ (1877-1943)

Fr. Flinn died in the early hours of Monday, 24th May, at Rathfarnham Castle, where he had been convalescing after a serious heart attack.
Born at Arklow on 11th January, 1877, he was at school in Liverpool and at Mungret before going to Clongowes in 1891, where he remained until December, 1893. During his stay at Clongowes he seems to have been very popular with the other boys, had a place on the school teams, both rugby a»nd cricket, and during the last term held the position of Vice-Captain of the House. On the day before he left, the boys showed their appreciation of his robust character by according him a wonderful ovation in the refectory.
He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on 1st February, 1894, and after taking his Vows studied rhetoric for two years. He did his philosophy at Jersey from 1898 to 1901, and in the latter year became Prefect at Clongowes, first of the Gallery (1901-2), then Third Line (1902-3), Lower Line (1903-4), Higher Line (1904-5). He spent 3 years at Mungret before beginning his theology at Milltown, where he was ordained, priest in 1909.
On his return from Tronchiennes where he made his third year's probation in 1910, he started his successful career as missionarius excurrens, being attached first to St. Ignatius, Galway (1911-13) then to Rathfarnharn Castle (1913-17, and 1919-22). While at Galway he had charge of the local Pioneer centre, thus gaining experience of temperance work, towards which he was to make such a vital contribution in later years. In 1917 came the call to act as military chaplain in France during the great war. In spite of the marked distaste he had for the work it was all along more an agony than a service for him - he set about his new duties with characteristic conscientiousness. When hostilities ceased he resumed his work as missioner at Rathfarnham. till his transfer to Gardiner Street Church in 1922, when he was appointed to succeed Fr.James Cullen as Central Director of the Pioneer Total
Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart.
Fr. Flinn was thoroughly equipped for the great task which now confronted him. As a Missioner he had won renown both here and in England by reason of his tireless zeal, and his exceptional talents as an organiser and trenchant speaker. These talents were now pressed into the service of the Pioneer movement, which for the next twenty years and more, under his fostering care, gradually attained that commanding position which it holds to-day. Details of the remarkable growth of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association under Fr. Flinn's able administration are given on another page. Suffice it here to say that his name. which had become a household word in the land, will be ever inseparably linked with those of Fr. Matthew and Fr. Cullen in the history of Temperance. His talents as an organiser probably outdistanced those of Fr. Cullen himself. He was a great stickler for tradition, and much of the success he achieved was doubtless due to his allowing the faultless machinery created by the founder of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association to function undisturbed. Still the fresh impetus given the movement since 1922 must be attributed in large part to Fr, Flinn's strong personality, his gifts as a forceful speaker, the meticulous care with which he organised the annual rallies and most of all to the supernatural outlook which characterised his work.
Fr. Flinn was also a member of the Fr. Matthew Union and of the Committee of the Catholic Social Service Conference.
Just and conscientious to a fault, strong and purposeful by disposition, Fr. Flinn possessed a character of sterling quality. Completely devoted to the cause of God, hard and austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind and sympathetic towards others with a soft spot in his heart for the poor, the underdog. To an infinite capacity for taking pains he joined an ardour and enthusiasm for work which was infectious. Though for the ten years preceding his death he laboured under a physical disability of a very distressing kind, chronic heart trouble, which more than once brought him to death’s door, he continued his labours undismayed, and retained his courage and serenity to the very end. His devotion to the memory of Fr James Cullen was touching in its humility and self-effacement - when Fr. Cullen’s mantle fell upon his shoulders, he inherited as well that great man's spirit of his selfless devotion to a great cause. R.I.P.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

FROM OTHER PROVINCES :

England :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Flinn SJ 1877-1943
The name of Fr Joseph Flinn will always be linked with those of Fr Matthew and Fr Cullen in the Ministry of the Temperance Movement.

Born in Arklow on January 11th 1877, he was educated at Mungret and Clongowes. After his ordination as a Jesuit, he was atached to the Mission Staff. He then served as a Chaplain in the First World War, and on his return was assigned to Fr Cullen as his assistant. He succeeded Fr Cullen in 1922 and for twenty years and more guided the Pioneer Association on its ever-expanding path. With his great organising ability and meticulous adherence to the Founder’s ideas, he gave the Movement an impetus which has spread its branches beyond the shores of Ireland.

Completely devoted to God and His Glory, austere towards himself, unworldly, he showed himself kind to others, especially the poor and the underdog. For the last ten years of his life, though afflicted with a heart complaint, he worked as hard and as cheerfully for the Cross as ever.

Fr Joe was possessed of a vigour and drive that was truly phenomenal. This was evident iin all his activities, as Prefect, as Missioner, as Pioneer leader, and was conveyed succinctly by his well known nick-name “The Pusher”.

He had tremendous fire. On the platform he would remind one of the Prophets of the Old Testament, breathing indignation, with fire flashing from hius eyes and his hand uplifted calling on the people of Ireland to follow him to the Holy Land of Temperance and sobriety.

He died at Rathfarnham Castle on May 24th 1943.

◆ The Clongownian, 1943

Obituary

Father Joseph Flinn SJ

News of Fr Flinn’s death has reached us as we are going to press, hence only a very brief notice of his life and work is possible.

In his last year here at school he was second captain of the school. He entered the Jesuit noviceship in- 1894. In 1901, he returned to Clongowes as a Scholastic and was Prefect successively of all three Lines. He took a very deep interest in everything connected with Clongowes, and regularly sent news of “The Past” to the Editor of “The Clongownian”.

He was ordained in 1909. He was immediately appointed to the mission staff and devoted his time to the giving of public retreats and missions until 1922, with an interval when he served as a military chaplain during the war of 1914-1918. In 1922, he was appointed Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence organization, and gave all his energies to this work up to within a few months of his death.

As missioner and military chaplain he was noted for his unflagging zeal and his gift for winning over “hard cases”. He was a forceful and convincing preacher and public speaker. But his outstanding gift was that of organizing. For over twenty years the Annual Meeting of the Pioneers in the largest Dublin theatre was a triumph of organization. Perfect stewarding ensured smooth handling; of the immense audience. The panel of speakers was well chosen, and there was never any; flagging in interest. Even the smaller details, the musical programme that followed, the singing of the various hymns, all were carefully prepared. The result was always a most inspiring and enjoyable afternoon. Several members of the Irish hierarchy. who addressed these meetings were heard to describe them as amongst the most impressive Catholic gatherings they had ever seen.

This gift of organization was shown on some even greater occasions, as, for instance, the Jubilee of the Association, in 1923, when thousands of Pioneers brought by special trains from all over Ireland, marched through the city to the Royal Dublin Society's Buildings at Ballsbridge, where a monster meeting was held. It was shown again on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress, in 1932, when again, Pioneers in their thousands, rallied to the shrine of their Eucharistic King.

But it was not merely Fr Flinn's organizing ability that gave to these gatherings their success. An even greater source of inspiration was his devotion to the Sacred Heart of Our Lord, and his constant insistence on that devotion as the mainspring of the Pioneer movement. In this, Fr Flinn carried on the tradition of Fr James Cullen, for whose memory he had the deepest veneration. On every occasion, Fr Flinn spoke of Fr Cullen. At all his big meetings Fr Cullen's portrait was prominent, and in recent years one of the nost striking feature was the throwing on a screen of portraits ( Fr Cullen, Fr Willie Doyle, Fr John Sullivan and Matt Talbot, with a reminder to the audience that these four men of God were all Pioneers.

Fr Flinn literally gave his life for the work for the Sacred Heart, as it was undoubtedly his exertions on those great occasions and many others that undermined his health. His reward will surely be great.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father D Joseph Flinn SJ

The generations to come may well rate Father J. Flinn as the greatest of Mungret's sons and it is certain that he will rank as one of the most powerful forces in the new Ireland. His work was the work whose influence will be felt and recognised fully only in the time it will have borne its fruit. It is probable that. Father Flinn's name will be coupled with those of Father Mathew whom he so admired and of Father Cullen whom he succeeded and whose work he put on the lasting basis of an excellent organisation. To this work he came in 1922, prepared with an experience of human nature gained by prefecting boys in Clongowes and in Mungret from 1901 to 1905, by nine years as a missioner throughout the country, and by two years of service in the British army as a chaplain. He came to it with natural gifts of energy, ability in organising and direct forceful oratory. From within he drew zeal that was uncompromis ing and supernatural tenacity of purpose. His twenty years of office saw the Pioneer movement throw off its swaddling clothes and emerge as a national body of sure purpose, unwavering loyalty to its stated ideals and deadly earnestness in the pursuit of them. The Pioneers have counted in Ireland since Father Flinn took charge. In these labours for God and Ireland he wore himself out without counting the cost. The movement is his best epitaph. The apostle has been called from the vineyard. With such glorious work done, his must have been a triumphal entry to heaven. To his brother we offer our sympathy and assure him of our prayers. RIP

Fynn, Anthony, 1899-1965, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1335
  • Person
  • 22 September 1899-02 February 1965

Born: 22 September 1899, Yea, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1918, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1936
Died 02 February 1965, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL: 05 April 1931

WWII Chaplain

by 1924 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1928 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 McCristal’s, Mentone, and two separate periods at Xavier College Kew, where he won prizes in Physics, Trigonometry and Devating. He Entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich.

1920-1923 After First Vows he was sent to Ireland and Rathfarnham Castle to study at UCD, graduating BSc.
1923-1926 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1927-1930 He returned to Australia for Regency at Xavier College, where he was teaching, was a Prefect of Discipline and editor of the Xavierian.
1930-1934 He came back to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park
1934-1935 He was sent to make Tertianship at Innsbruck Austria
1935-1938 He returned to Australia and was sent to Loyola Watsonia to teach Philosophy. There he taught Natural Theology, Cosmology, Psychology, Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. He was also Prefect of tones, Choir master and Minister for short periods. He also directed “Question Box” on the radio’s Catholic Hour.

He was fluent in French and German and widely read. He was always refreshing to discuss issues with. He had no hesitation, making up his mind, and in no time he would sweep away doubts or illusions one might have about the subject being discussed. He had a very accurate mind and was somewhat intolerant of mis-statements.

It was said among Jesuits that because he was so gifted at Mathematics and Physics, he was really meant to work at the Riverview Observatory, however others filled in that space. his work as a teacher of Philosophy was not very appealing to him. Then in 1958 he was very pleased to succeed Noel Burke-Gaffney at the Riverview Observatory, and he remained there very happy until his death. In 1962, he supervised the installation of the American seismological network - at that time the most modern equipment available. His presence and scholarship were very much appreciated among the scientific community.

During WWII, when he was an Air Force Chaplain that he discovered the diabetes which was to cause his death. However, he worked so continuously and cheerfully that most were unaware of his sickness. He had a lively wit and some of his comments were memorable. During a meeting of a Provincial Congregation he observed the Professed Fathers approaching the refectory : “If that is the cream of the Society, I am glad to be in the skim milk!”

Gallagher, George, 1879-1945, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1339
  • Person
  • 24 September1879-24 June 1945

Born: 24 September1879, County Donegal
Entered: 07 September 1898, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1916
Final Vows: 02 February 1917
Died: 24 June 1945, Preston, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1904 came to Tullabeg (HIB) teaching
by 1916 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Gallagher, James, 1887-1960, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1340
  • Person
  • 21 October 1887-21 December 1960

Born: 21 October 1887, Kilcar, County Donegal
Entered: 01 February 1907, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 25 April 1918
Final Vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 21 December 1960, Roehampton, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Transcribed HIB to ANG : 1908
First World War chaplain

by 1920 came to Milltown (HIB) studying
by 1925 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - St Eunan’s, Letterkenny, County Donegal student

Gill, Henry V, 1872-1945, Jesuit priest, scientist and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/17
  • Person
  • 08 July 1872-27 November 1945

Born: 08 July 1872, Cabra, Dublin City
Entered: 17 April 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 27 November 1945, St Vincent's Nursing Home, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Younger brother of Frederick Gill - LEFT 1928

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1896 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1908 at Oxford England (ANG) studying Science
by 1910 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 2nd Royal Irish Rifles BEF France

◆ Jesuits in Ireland https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June, 9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives. Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

Fr Henry Gill SJ, 2nd Royal Irish Rifles (11 July 1916):
Just a line to say I am still alive. We are of course, as always, “in it”...I have been in, and I feel I know more than I want about shells of all sizes and conditions. It is a horrible and squalid business. Trenches full of mud with bodies of dead Germans and British lying unburied all along. Please God it will end soon, and that we may be able to forgot it all as quickly as possible. Gill was tasked with writing to relatives of soldiers who had been killed. These letters followed a pattern, where the following were mentioned, even if false: a quick death, little suffering and recent reception to the sacraments. He only lived a few minutes after he was shot and can have suffered but little pain, He always went to Confession and Holy Communion before an attack, now you may therefore be at ease about him. The letter was written by Gill to Maggie Duffy of Belfast in September 1916. Her husband, John Duffy was killed at the battle of the Somme in July 1916. Your Husband lived a good life and died a Hero’s death, that will not make your sorrow less, but it will help you to bear it in resignation to God’s will, Who, does not even a allow a sparrow to fall without his Providence

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Henry Gill SJ, on leave on 10 November 1918 wrote:
In the mean time I had made arrangement for a trip of the greatest possible interest to myself. I was to be motored to Chaumout to get the train to Paris...and on the way I was to pay a visit to Domremy the birthplace of Joan of Arc. I looked forward to this visit with great pleasure. I had set out from Rouen, where the Saint was put to death, to begin my work at the front, and now after almost four years I was to visit her birthplace, and her Basilica, and to have the opportunity of making a pilgrimage to thank her for her protection during these years. For I had set out under her patronage. Fr Gill physically survived the war, but mentally, would suffer from what we call today post-traumatic stress, but in his time, was called nerves.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
Fr Henry Gill has received a communication from the President of the French Republic thanking him for distinguished service during the late war.

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931
Rathfarnham :
Our Minister, Fr. Henry Gill, has had the honour of being elected a member of the Royal Irish Academy.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Obituary :
Fr. Henry Gill (1872-1890-1945)
Fr. Henry Gill died very peacefully in St. Vincent's Nursing Home at 8.30 a.m. on Tuesday, November 27th, whilst Mass was being offered for his intentions by two or three of the Community, at Leeson Street, He had been ailing for the past six months with an internal trouble which was diagnosed as cancer of the liver, but he was mercifully spared any acute pain, and it was only in the last few days of his life that his heart began to show serious signs of weakness. Indeed he took an active interest in the routine of daily life throughout his illness, and three days before his death was still able to correct final page proofs of a small “Life of Saint Joseph” which he had written during the past year. At the foot of the last page of these proofs he wrote in a hand that was shaky, but still legible : “Saint Joseph, Patron of a Happy Death, pray for us”.
Fr. Gill was born at Roebuck House near Dublin on July 8th, 1872. He lived to be the eldest surviving son of the late H. J. Gill, formerly a member of the Irish Party and head of the well-known publishing firma of Messrs. M. H. Gill and Son, Ltd. His grandfather had been Lord Mayor of Dublin, and Fr. Gill was a staunchly loyal son of the city of Dublin throughout his long life. He was educated at first in a small day-school at No. 6 Harcourt Street, where Newman had formerly opened one of his Houses for resident students of the Catholic University. From this preparatory school Henry went to Clongowes, where he remained until the summer of 1889. He then spent some months as a student at old University College on St. Stephen's Green, and did not enter the novitiate until April of the following year. In later life he used to tell a humorous tale of the downcast young citizen of Dublin who journeyed by train and car to the Tullabeg of those far off days. His vocation, so he would argue, was a clear instance of the triumph of God's grace over every natural inclination! After two years in the Bog, Henry came back to the city and spent the next three years and a half at Milltown Park, where he was beadle of the Juniors and attended lectures at the old College in Mathematics and Science. Thence he went to Louvain for his Philosophy, 1895-8, where he was brought into contact with professors who were eager to explain traditional principles of philosophy in terms of modern science. On his return from Louvain Mr. Gill spent the next five years in the Colleges (Limerick, Galway and Clongowes), but gave little promise at this time of the distinctions that were to come to him in later life. He was indeed curiously unable to teach a straightforward class, even in his own favourite subjects, though he was later to display an exceptional gift for the exposition and quiet criticism of scientific principles. From 1903-7 he studied Theology in Milltown Park, and was ordained there by Archbishop Walsh on July 18th, 1906.
Fr. Gill was then granted permission by Fr. Conmee to study the Physical Sciences at Cambridge for the next two years. Professor J. J. Thompson was then organising the Cavendish Laboratories as a centre of world-famous scientific research, and Fr. Gill had the good fortune to be associated for a time with some of the men who were later to make history in the development of modern Physics. He never lost the memory of those happy days; and when his old Professor published his autobiography in 1936, Fr. Gill reviewed it in Studies under the well-chosen title : “Brave Days at Cambridge”. He was a student of Downing College, but resided in St. Edmund's House where he had the late Most Rev. Dr. McNulty, Bishop of Nottingham, as his friend and fellow-student. Fr. Gill's own interests were centred at this time on the problems of seismography, and he read a paper to the British Association in 1913 in which he put forward an ingenious theory to explain the distribution of earthquakes in time and space. He was also keenly interested in the development of Wireless Telegraphy - then in its initial stages - and was accustomed to give popular lectures in Dublin on this and kindred subjects. He attended many of the later annual meetings of the British Association, and was frequently invited to preach at some Catholic church during its sessions.
After his period at Cambridge Fr. Gill was sent to Tronchiennes in Belgium for his Tertianship. He was then stationed for three years in Belvedere, until he came to Rathfarnham Castle as its first Spiritual Father in 1913. A year later came the First Great War, and Fr. Gill. was one of the first to send in his name to Fr. Provincial as volunteering for work as Army Chaplain. His offer was accepted, and he spent the next four years in the trenches of Flanders, with no more interruption. than the customary short leaves from active service. Those who remember his visits to Rathfarnham during these intervals will recall the impression of a man who seemed strangely ill-assorted with military life. Yet the plain truth is that both officers and men of the regiment to which he was attached (Second Battalion of the Royal Irish Rifles) were devoted to him, and the gallantry with which he responded to every claim on his services during those four grim years of trench warfare is attested by the double award of Military Cross and Distinguished Service Order. One officer who was with him throughout those four years and who was present at his funeral spoke with real emotion of his memories. “He seemed like a lost soul wherever you met him”, was his comment, “but he was always there when wanted, and was afraid of no man”. His unfailing sense of humour and his great gifts of companionship made him a special favourite with the officers mess. But, to the end of his days, he was in touch with some of the men who bad served under him, and their letters revealed the same genuine affection for their old ‘Padre’.
After the war Fr. Gill came to University Hall for five years, where he assisted Fr. George Roche and Fr. Wrafter in their work for the students of University College, and was also able to continue for a. time his former research-work. But his vitality had been much lessened by the long experience of the war-years, and he soon abandoned active research-work. . He went as Minister to Belvedere College in 1923. Here he spent the next seven years, and became a very loyal Belvederian. He was then transferred as Minister for one year to Rathfarnham Castle. The last change came in 1931, when he joined the Leeson Street Community as their Fr. Minister and later as Spiritual Father. For the last fourteen years of his life it is no exaggeration to say that Fr. Gill's kindly personality and the stimulus of his conversation made community life a joy to many of his brethren. He was also, for many years past, a regular contributor to Studies, The Irish Monthly and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. His contributions to the latter were published in book form in two small volumes entitled “Jesuit Spirituality” (1935) and “Christianity in Daily Life” (1942), both of them full of his characteristic common sense. A selection of the many essays on scientific topics which he had contributed to Studies, Thought and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record was issued by Messers. Gill and Son in 1943 under the excellent title “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. It was at once most favourably received both in England and Ireland. In the United States the impression made was so remarkable that Fordham University. undertook to produce a special American edition of this work, which was issued some months before Fr. Gill's death. He also published in 1941 a short biography of the celebrated Jesuit physicist, Fr. Roger Boscovich, which was no more than a brief sketch of a more ambitious work which he had planned for some years past, but was unable to complete owing to his failing, health. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Gill 1872-1945
Fr Henry Gill was born at Roebuck House Dublin on July 8th 1872, son of HJ Gill, former Irish Party Member of Parliament, and head of the publishing firm, Gill’s O’Connell Street Dublin.

Henry was educated at Belvedere College and entered the Society in 1890, after a short period as a student at ‘6 St Stephen’s Green. In the course of his studies he displayed remarkable talent in science, and consequently, after his ordination, he was sent to Cambridge for tow years to study under Sir J Thompson.

On the outbreak of the First World War, he volunteered as a chaplain and served throughout the whole course. After the War he resided at University Hall for 5 years, and finally after various periods as Minister in various Houses, he settled down in Leeson Street for the rest of his life as Spiritual Father and writer.

He was a regular contributor to “Studies”, the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” and the “Irish Monthly”. His published works include : “Jesuit Spirituality”, “Christianity in Daily Life”, “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. The latter book is still a favourite and enjoys a steady sale in the United States. He also published a biography of the celebrated Jesuit physicist Fr Boscovitch.

He died on November 27th 19456. He was a deeply religious man, with a remarkable sense of kindly humour, and his sayings at recreation and his stories are still recounted to the younger generation.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1946

Obituary

Father Henry Gill SJ

On Nov 27th, in St Vincent's Nursing Home, died very peacefully, Fr Henry Gill SJ. He was well known to many Belvederians and his passing means for them the loss of an esteemed friend.

From 1909-12 he was on the teaching staff here, and was also Director of the BVM Sodality. Then again from 1923-30 he was Minister, Director of the Sodality of the Holy Angels, and of the Conference of St Stanislaus. Those who were here during those years will well remember him for his kindly humour and deep spirituality.

A man of great gifts, and one who used them well and carefully, this quiet, unassuming man had a busy and an active life. After his earlier studies at Louvain, he studied at Cambridge from 1906-08, under Prof J J Thompson, at the Cavendish Laboratories.

Then came the Great War, and he was one of the first to volunteer as a chaplain. The war record of this quiet man will come as a revelation to many. He received, during these four years, the double award of DSO and MC, and his unfailing serise of humour and quiet gifts of companionship made him a special favourite with the men.

Still another side of his work was to be revealed in his later days - in his writings. He had been for many years quietly contributing to Studies, The Irish Monthly and The Irish Ecclesiastical Record. His contributions to the latter were published in book form in two small volumes entitled “Jesuit, Spirituality” (1935), and “Christianity in Daily Life” (1942), both of them full of his characteristic common sense. A selection of his many contributions on scientific subjects was issued in 1943 under the title, “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”. Three days before his death, he corrected the final proofs of a small “Life of St. Joseph”. At the foot of the last page of these proofs he wrote in a hand that was shaky but still legible, - “St Joseph, patron of a Happy Death, pray for us”.

It was a fitting ending to a life which was to be crowned by a happy death. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1946

Obituary

Father Henry Gill SJ

Henry Gill was the second of the six sons of Mr H J Gill, JP, MA, head of the publishing firm of M H Gill & Son of Dublin. Katharine Tynan Hinkson wrote a delightful account of her friend Mrs Gill and of the family life at Roebuck House; it showed from what a good source was derived the charm which Fr Henry's many friends always found in him. All the boys went to Clongowes, and during the last two decades of the 19th century the name “Bottles” was in familiar and affectionate use; its origin, according to the legend, had something to do with the relation between a gill and a pottle, two antique measures of capacity which we were supposed to know something about.

Henry left Clongowes in 1889, and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg the following year, hating it but feeling he had to do it. Having to do it, he did it thoroughly, and after a very few years the stamp of the Society on him was unmistakeable. Fortunately, while it deepened the spiritual side of his character, it did not destroy or even diminish his exquisite sense of the comical, a source of continual surprise and delight to those he lived with.

After the usual round of studies and teaching, he was ordained at Milltown Park in 1906. During his studies he had shown particular aptitude for Physics, and as a Scholastic he read a paper (I think to the RDS), embodying the results of some ingenious research work. After his ordination he went to Cambridge, where he worked in the Cavendish Laboratory under J J Thomson and took his MA degree. It was the beginning of a new era in Physics, inaugurated chiefly by Thomson's theories and experiments. Fr Gill was profoundly interested, then and later, and his interest found expression in a number of articles in various journals. These articles formed the core of his book, “Fact and Fiction in Modern Science”, which appeared in 1943, and which was warmly received in England and America. An American edition was sponsored by Fordham University.

In 1913 he expounded to the British Association a new theory of the origin of earthquakes, which he supported by some very striking experiments. But in 1914, as soon as the war began, he offered his services as a chaplain, and served through the whole war. He was awarded the MC and the DSO, besides various foreign decorations; officers and men in the battalion to which he was attached testified to his heroic courage and devotion and his unfailing gaiety in the worst circumstances. I spoke to him once of this. He said: “Well, one made the offering of one's life at Mass in the morning, and then it didn't matter”. His deepest and most real interests were the eternal ones.

These interests found expression in his books, “Jesuit Spirituality”, “Christianity in Daily Life”, and “St Joseph”. This last was the theme of his meditation during the last two years of his life; indeed he finished it on his death-bed, and the invocation at the end, St Joseph, “patron. of a happy death, pray for us”,' was written by him just two days before he died, Death found him as cheerfully ready as life had always found him. May he rest in peace.

M F Egan SJ

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Henry Gill (1872-1945)

A native of Dublin and a member of the well-known publishing family, was educated at Clongowes and entered the Society in 1890. He pursued his higher studies at University College, Dublin, Louvain, and Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1906, and Cambridge University. He spent one year of his regency at the Crescent, 1898-1899. Father Gill showed little aptitude for teaching in spite of his splendid intellectual gifts. He volunteered for a chaplaincy in the first world war and was many times decorated and mentioned in despatches. He wrote much on scientific subjects for learned reviews and was the author of three widely read spiritual books: Jesuit Spirituality, Christianity in Daily Life, St. Joseph.

Guinane, Gerard, 1900-1971, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/169
  • Person
  • 21 September 1900-26 June 1971

Born: 21 September 1900, Clonmel, County Tipperary
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1936, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 June 1971, Crescent College, Limerick City

Second World War chaplain

by 1928 in Australia - Regency at St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney
by 1935 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerard Guinane was only sixteen when he entered the Society at Tullabeg, and following early studies he was sent to Riverview in 1926. He taught in the school, was prefect of the study hall and, for a while, was assistant rowing master. He was very successful as a teacher and highly regarded by William Lockington. After ordination and tertianship, Guinane spent most of his life teaching, principally at Mungret and Limerick.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 46th Year No 3 1971

Obituary :

Fr Gerard Guinane SJ (1900-1971)

Fr Gerard Guinane was born in Clonmel on 21st September 1900, He was an only child. The family moved to Limerick in 1906 and at first resided at St. John's Villas. His father was manager of Cleeve's Confectionery Ltd.
He received his very early education with the Loreto nuns, Clonmel, and shortly after coming to Limerick, he entered Crescent College where he continued for the remainder of his schooldays. Gerard Guinane entered the Jesuit noviceship at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, on 31st August 1917 and on the completion of his noviceship spent a further year there as a junior, when he moved on to Rathfarnham Castle from which he attended University College, taking his degree in Celtic Studies with distinction in 1924. He next spent two years studying philosophy at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the completion of which he went to Australia for four years as teacher and prefect in the colleges of Holy Name, Brisbane, and Riverview, Sydney. On his return to Ireland he again went to Milltown Park to study theology for four years. He was ordained priest there in 1933. After tertianship in St. Beuno's College, North Wales, Fr Guinane came to Crescent College in 1935 for one year, and then moved to Mungret College where he was engaged as teacher and minister until 1941.
From 1941 to 1946 he served as military chaplain in the Second World War, mainly with the Royal Ulster Rifles. During this period of chaplaincy he frequently sacrificed the opportunity of leave home to undertake retreat work to religious communities and their schoolgirls and was much loved for this service, the more so that he was supplying for an urgent need where retreat givers were less available.
He then returned to Mungret College for a short period and finally came to Crescent College in the Autumn of 1946 where he spent the remaining years of his life - a period of twenty-five years. He died on Friday, 25th June 1971. To a large section of people, Fr. Guinane was chiefly known for his connection with rugby football. For his uncanny knowledge of the game, his skill as a trainer, his truly marvellous capacity in estimating the ability and temperament of the individual player, he was outstanding. In addition, he took a very keen personal interest in hundreds of players of the game at home and abroad, and was loved and respected by them all. In his early years as games master in. Crescent College, Fr Guinane trained teams that won the Munster Schools' Senior Cup three times within a half-dozen years. On those teams were included many players who subsequently became well-known personalities, such as rugby internationals Gordon Wood, Paddy Berkery, Paddy Lane (now vice-president of the N.F.A.), and film star Richard Harris, who utilised his rugby training most effectively in This Sporting Life.

In the administrative side of rugby, Fr. Guinane once again figured very prominently. He was president of the Munster Branch of the I.R.F.U., and served for some time as a member of the executive of the Irish Rugby Union. For many years he was a member and chairman) of the Munster Referees' Association. He was founder and later president of the Old Crescent Rugby Football Club, in which he took a very deep, dedicated and affectionate interest. But Fr. Guinane's interest and competence in sport were not confined to rugby football. As a scholastic in Riverview College he was given charge of the rowing, a heavy and responsible business involving the training of crews, the running of the annual college regatta and the presenting of an eight and two fours for the great Public Schools' Regatta, one of the sporting highlights of Sydney life. All this he carried through with energy and drive at a period when he was full-time teacher and prefect of the senior study hall. He also had more than a passing interest in almost every variety of sport and in his youth was regarded as an outstanding handball player. A highly important period in Fr Gerry's career was when he was selected as military chaplain in the Second World War and appointed to the Royal Ulster Rifles. A personal accident during training for D-Day invasion of Europe prevented him from taking part in the regiment's activities overseas. Nevertheless, the friends he made in the R.U.R. were very many and very close. This was particularly true of Lt. General Sir lan Harris, who retired as G.O.C. Northern Ireland in 1969 shortly before the recent troubles broke out there. Fr. Guinane was a regular guest at regimental dinners and was invited by the regiment to officiate as Catholic chaplain at the ceremonies when it merged with two other regiments to form the Royal Ulster Rangers. From time to time members of the Royal Ulster Rifles, when on business or on holiday in Southern Ireland, if they happened to pass through Limerick, made a point of calling on Fr Guinane, whom they regarded with singular esteem and affection, While serving as chaplain in England, he received the highest commendation for the immense amount of personal contact service he operated for the men in the forces, righting marriages, solving family troubles, befriending individuals who were down in their luck, in addition to performing his official duties, like saying Masses at three widely separated centres on a Sunday morning.
Another interesting sidelight on this period of his career was the way in which he succeeded (or manoeuvred) in accommodating Irish communities of nuns in England, by securing the necessary travel permits from the British Government for certain Irish Jesuits to give these nuns their annual retreats. There are other aspects of Fr Guinane's life which passed almost unnoticed by the outside world. One of these was his interest and skill in the retreat movement, especially for nuns, and his remarkable competence in the direction of those in religious life. Restricted opportunity limited his activity in this line considerably, but it is quite astonishing how much his direction and advice were sought by individual religious and by religious superiors. His sound commonsense, balanced judgment, broad outlook, wide experience, clear and unhesitating decisions, were instrumental in bringing mental peace and happiness to many who suffered from distress and uncertainty. And, occasionally, when a rugby fixture brought him far away from base, his companions afterwards would good-humouredly suffer delay, while Fr Guinane had gone to some hospital or convent to console or direct someone in trouble or distress. Closely allied to this aspect of Fr Guinane was his generosity to people in need or want, a trait which was sometimes indeed taken advantage of by clients who realised that he was “good” for a bit of assistance. He was often approached by those who had “just come out of jail” or “were going to England for work” or who had been “staunch supporters at rugby matches”, and in most cases, however tenuous the claims to his benefactions were, the petitioners “had their claims allowed” by the man who had indeed made a diagnosis of their real ailments, and a very clear assessment of the various subterfuges. He gave of his time and of the limited resources at his disposal without stint. Unselfishness was something that was really basic to his nature. He would stop at nothing to help a friend. Many of his friends were quite unaware that he sometimes went to an important international rugby match without an admission ticket - he had given he last one, his own, to someone whom he felt that he could not refuse. In community life also he was most obliging with his services and his time. He could always be depended on at short notice to take a sermon, or supply for a Mass or confessions even with considerable inconvenience to himself. Fr Guinane was widely known as a skilled diplomatist and a man of remarkable shrewdness. Yet, he always played his cards within the law, and could only win admiration and respect from those whom he had legitimately outwitted. One of his great friends - himself a man of no mean intelligence and perspicacity, who was locally renowned for his flair in making an apt and witty remark, described Fr. Gerry as “The Twentieth Century Fox”.

Fr Guinane fundamentally was an extrovert in quite an admirable way. His interest was in people people of all sorts and ages. He was happy with schoolboys, treated them with kindness and consideration, and knew how to bring out the best that was in them. He was perfectly at home with adult men of every creed and class, and by his sincerity, unselfishness and understanding and urbane manner won their respect, admiration and loyalty. With the Sisters in various religious communities, the ladies with whom he came in contact, in retreats, sodalities, hospitals and a multiplicity of other organisations, his same sterling characteristics had a wide and lasting influence and won for him a very deep regard, The exceptionally large number of people from all parts of the country who expressed their sympathy, and who travelled long distances to attend his final obsequies are a lasting tribute to the esteem and affection in which he was universally held. May he rest in peace.

Gwynn, John, 1866-1915, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1396
  • Person
  • 12 June 1866-12 October 1915

Born: 12 June 1866, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 18 October 1884, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 12 October 1915, Béthune, France - Military Chaplain

Member of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death
Younger brother of William - RIP 1950
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1892 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Coláiste Iognáid.

He studied Philosophy at Louvain and Theology at Milltown. He also did Regency in the Colleges, and at one stage was a Teacher for the Juniors. He was a man of brilliant achievements academically. He was for some years at Crescent as a Teacher and Operarius. He gave Lenten Lectures at Crescent and Gardiner St, reputedly brilliantly. For some years before he became a Chaplain to the troops he acted as Dean of Residence at University Hall.
1914 He became Chaplain to the Irish Guards and continued with them until his death in France 12 October 1915

The following Tribute was paid to him in a letter from Desmond Fitzgerald, Captain Commanding 1st Battalion Irish Guards 16/10/1915 :
“Dear Father Delaney, You will of course by now hard of Father Gwynn’s death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this Battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well. No words of mind could express, or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every officer, NCO and man in the battalion.
The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dugout just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell through his back in his lung. He was immediately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and injuries at 8am the next morning, October 12th. he was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am October 13th. May his should rest in peace. But, although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us, and rather than grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness. Yours sincerely, Desmond Fitzgerald..”

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/201511/john-gwynn-sj-no-greater-love/

John Gwynn SJ – “No greater love”
A memorial mass took place on Sunday 11 October 2015 at the Sacred Heart parish in Caterham, Surrey, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Irish Jesuit Fr. John Gwynn, who was Chaplain to the Irish Guards and who served in France during the First World War. Many knew him as a powerful and eloquent preacher at the Sacred Heart Church and at St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Dublin, where questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him. Fergus O’Donoghue SJ who represented the Irish province at the event said, “I was very glad that myself and Brother Michael O’Connor (former Royal Marine and British Jesuit) had gone because the local parish people had made such an effort, and there was a display on John Gwynn’s life, and generally it was just great.” A memorial plaque was erected in the Church by the Irish Guards who were based at Caterham barracks nearby. Bishop Richard Moth, the bishop of the diocese and former bishop to the Armed Forces, noted the enthusiasm of the Sacred Heart parish and presided over the special mass on Sunday evening. “It was by chance that an article of Fr. Gwynn was seen online by his grandniece from Massachusetts,” says Fr. Fergus. “She got in touch and sent a message. It was lovely because the whole parish got involved.” The mass itself featured the song We Remember You by children from St. Francis’ School as well as the recessional hymn Be Thou My Vision, based on St. Patrick’s Breastplate. Lord Desmond Fitzgerald, the Captain of the 1st Irish Guards has written: “It is certainly no exaggeration to say that Fr Gwynn was loved by every officer, N.C.O. and man in the battalion.” Furthermore, an Irish Guard who was also an Old Belvederian spoke of the Jesuit’s presence at the Medical Officer’s dugout so that he could be near his injured men, and that he organised sports and concerts to keep up morale. He even returned to the battlefield despite being crippled after a shell wounded him.
John Gwynn SJ experienced internal suffering during his lifetime. “It’s quite clear that he had a condition like bipolar disorder (a mental illness characterised by extreme high and low moods), then known as suffering from nerves,” says Fr. O’Donoghue. Through all of this, he was extremely brave and he was an enormously successful chaplain. Fr. Gwynn was fatally wounded in action near Vermelles, Northern France on 11 October 1915 and he died the next day at 50 years old. It was said that he would have been happy to die as a ‘soldier of God’.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280

Note from William Gwynn Entry :
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway.
.........After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Gwynn 1866-1915
Fr John Gwynn was born in Youghal on June 18th 1866, and received his early education at St Ignatius Galway. He was one of those who made his novitiate at Loyola Dromore.

He was a man of brilliant attainments. His Lenten Lectures delivered at Limerick and Gardiner Street, were outstanding, and were published afterwards under the title of “Why am I a Catholic?” He acted as Principal of University Hall for some years.

In 1914 he became Chaplain to the Irish Guards, and was killed in France on October 12th 1915. The following are one or two excerpts from the Officer Commanding the Battalion at the time of his death :

“The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left out here, we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. No words of mind could express or even give a faint idea of the amount of good e has done us all out here, or how bravely he faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is certainly no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every Officer, NCO, and man in this battalion.

He was buried in the cemetery at Bethune at 10am on October 13th 1915. May he rest in peace”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1916

Obituary

Father John Gwynn SJ

Though not. a pupil of Belvedere, Father Gwynn was connected with the College by teaching here for some time, and many who knew him here or came into contact with him in other ways will be glad to read the following brief sketch of his time as Chaplain to the Forces. It was sent to us by one of the Irish Guards, who writes of Father Gwynn thus :

“This account does not in any way exaggerate his doings. On the contrary more could be said by those who were more intimate friends of his.

When he joined us in Meteren last November twelve months. I had a conversation with him, in which I learned he was. an old Belvederian, but before my time. He was actually loved by the men of our battalion, and too much cannot be said of the way in which he looked after each and every man of the battalion.

His first experiences were very rough. It was January 15th when I saw him wading in water up to his chest to reach the front line of trenches to comfort the men with his jolly conversation.

He was as well known and appreciated by the other battalions which comprised our Brigade as he was with us, and made friends with all. He was taken to hospital suffering with lumbago a few days prior to the 18th May, 1915, when I was wounded. His loss was a great blow to all ranks: Not being present at the time, I can only imagine the regret his death caused to all those who had made his acquaintance”

The following is the account referred to :

A short appreciation of his work while he was attached to the 1st Bn Irish Guards, on active service, from November, 1914, until his death from wounds received in action on October 11th, 1915.

This account, written by request, is an attempt to give, quite shortly and . simply, a rough idea of Father Gwynn's work at the front with the 1st. Battalion Irish Gụards. No words could express the amount of good he did, and it is impossible to draw a true picture of his life and work. Only those who knew him personally and watched him, out there, can realise how wonderful his work was.

For many years before the outbreak of war, Father Gwynn was one of the governing body at University College, Dublin, but as soon as the war began he volunteered to act as Chaplain on active service. In the first week of November, 1914, he was attached to the 1st Battalion Irish Guards, and joined it forth with, having, as he often said afterwards, but little idea of what his work would be. He was our first war-time Chaplain, so there were no precedents to follow, and he had to strike out his own line. When he joined us he found the Battalion resting and re-equipping in a little French village; for it had just come through very bad days at Ypres, and was greatly reduced in officers and men. We remained in this village until the week before Christmas, and during this rest we were reinforced by large drafts from home. Father Gwynn at once set to work to get to know the men, and very quickly they understood each other, for he and they were Irishmen. His tact and judgment gained for him the confidence of officers and men, and after a very few days he settled into his new surroundings as if he had been in them from the beginning.

From Christmas week onwards the Battalion was employed in trench warfare, and underwent many vicissitudes. Father Gwynn shared with us every hardship and trial throughout the wet winter; he lived with us, and became part of the Battalion. When we were in the trenches or in action he stayed with the Medical Officer at the Battalion Regimental Aid Post, near the Headquarters - the place to which wounded men are taken for first dressings. At other times he would share the Medical Officer's dug-out, so that he might lose no time if a man were wounded but go to him if need be at any moment of the day or night. During the day he would constantly go round the trenches, even when they were being shelled, and visit and talk to the men, heedless of his own danger.

When the Battalion was in billets or resting he would hold services, hear confessions, or give help to any man in his own billet, or in the local churches. Those churches in which he held his services had often had their roofs blown off by German shells. He was ready, too, to take an active part in any concerts or sports for the men, and employed his spare time in training some of them to form a choir to sing at his services. As far as was humanly possible he attended all the wounded and dying, and administered Extreme Unction whenever this was necessary; and he invariably read the burial service over men who were killed, even when it meant, as often it did especially after the British advance in September - that he must stand up at night in the open on a battlefield swept by bullets.

On February 6th, 1915; when an attack was being made, Father Gwynn was slightly wounded by a shell which burst near him. He was shaken, but remained at duty. In April and early May he suffered much from lumbago, but pluckily stayed at work till the middle of May, when, completely crippled, he was carried into hospital on a stretcher. He was absent two months, staying at different French hospitals. During that time another. Chaplain was posted to the Battalion to carry on his work, but Father Gwynn returned in mid-July, before lie was really fit to do so. By sheer force of will, and with the necessary amount of care, he gradually regained a great part .of. his normal health, but he was never quite so strong as he had been before his illness. Nevertheless, from the moment he returned to the Battalion he took up the work he had begun, and continued it right up to his death. In October, 1915, we were employed in holding and consolidating the trenches captured from the Germans, and those days were some of the most unpleasant in our experience. At this time more, if possible, than at any other, did Father Gwynn show the most splendid courage and unselfish care for the men. Certain portions of the line came in for vigorous shelling, and the trench was often blown in by aerial torpedoes, which in some cases buried a number of men. At the worst place would be found Father Gwynn, always ready to help the wounded, or to administer the Blessed Sacrament to the dying. He made it his unaltering practice to write to the relations of any man that had fallen, and in this way his words will have brought comfort to many desolated Irish homes. Thus each day he did his work.

On October 11th, 1915, he was at luncheon in the headquarters dug-out with four companions when a German shell landed and burst in the doorway. Father Gwynn received many wounds in different parts of the body, and one piece of shell struck his back and pierced a lung. That same shell also wounded our Commanding Officer, so that he too afterwards died, and slightly wounded another. Luckily, the Medical Officer was present, and Father Gwynn's wounds were at once. dressed; and, although he was in great pain, he was only unconscious for a few minutes. The stretcher on which he lay was carried with difficulty down a long communication trench-in many places blown in by German shells - and eventually reached the motor ambulance that took him to the Officers' Hospital at Béthune, where he received every possible attention. But it was the end. He died at eight o'clock next morning, October 12th, 1915, from wounds and shock. He was buried at 10 am on October 13th in the Béthune cemetery, where lie so many other officers and men who have likewise given their lives for their country. The burial service was read by Mgr Keating, the head of the Roman Catholic Chaplains in France. All the men would have wished to be present, but the Battalion was still in the trenches, and few could be spared. Yet many other officers and men of other units managed to be there, It can truly be said that the news of his. death was felt as a blow by every officer, NCO and man, and each one realised the loss, pot merely of their chaplain, but of a dearly loved friend.

A monument of marble has been raised by the Battalion over his grave, which bears these two inscriptions :

RIP REV FATHER JOHN GWYNN SJ,
attached to the
1st Irish Guards
He died at Béthune on October 12th,
1915, from wounds received in action
near Vermelles on October 11th,

  1. Aged 44 years.

This Monument has been erected by all ranks of the 1st Bat. Irish Guards in grateful Remembrance of their Beloved Chaplain, Father Gwynn, who was with them on Active Service for nearly, 12 months from Nov 1914, until his death, and shared with unfailing devotion all their trials and hardships.

Father Gwynn was fortunate in his death, and in the cause for which he died, and also fortunate, as he often said, in finding in the 1st Battalion of Irish Guards a splendid and worthy field for his work - a body of men capable of vision and of inspiration as well as. of courage and faith. And now can only be said over again what I said in the beginning : by his deeds, which cannot be expressed in words, he has left to those who saw him at his work an in indelible memory, and -an inspiration.

May his soul rest in peace!”

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father John Gwynn SJ

Chaplain to the 1st Irish Guards

Born 1866. OT 1884. Died of wounds, Béthune, Oct. 12th, 1915

The following notice of Father Gwynn's death appeared in the Freeman's Journal :

We regret to announce the receipt of intelligence from the War Office by his relatives of the death at the Front of the Rev John Gwynn SJ. The sad event took place on the 12th inst. Father Gwynn had been at the Front almost since the beginning of the war, having been appointed Chaplain to the Irish Guards. He was wounded early this year, and though ill and suffering since that time, and occasionally in hospital, remained at his post as long as he was able. His loss will be greatly felt, not only by the men of his gallant regiment, but by all who had the pleasure and honour of knowing him and his work in Dublin. He was a Galway man, born half a century ago, entered the Society of Jesus in 1884, and was a student at historic Louvain, subsequently becoming a professor in Clongowes and in the University College, Dublin. He was a powerful and eloquent preacher, and questions of sociology had a strong attraction for him.

One of the papers he read some years ago before the Catholic Truth Society on social problems in Dublin was of special interest. His Lenten Lectures at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, received much attention.

The high esteem in which Father Gwynn was held by both officers and men is shown in the following letter from the late Lord Desmond Fitzgerald to Father William Delany SJ

1st Batt, Irish Guards, BEF,
October 16th, 1936

Dear Rev Father Delany,
You will, of course, have heard by now of Father Gwynn's death, and I know full well that the universal sorrow felt by all ranks of this battalion will be shared by you and all the members of your University, who knew him so well. No words of mine could express or even give a faint idea of the amount of good he has done us all out here, or how bravely he has faced all dangers, and how cheerful and comforting he has always been. It is certainly no exaggeration to say that he was loved by every officer, NCO and man in the battalion. The Irish Guards owe him a deep and lasting debt of gratitude, and as long as any of us are left who saw him out here we shall never forget his wonderful life, and shall strive to lead a better life by following his example. The unfortunate shell landed in the door of the Headquarter dug-out just as we had finished luncheon, on October 11th. Father Gwynn received one or two wounds in the leg, as well as a piece of shell in his back through his lung. He was immediately bound up and sent to hospital, but died from shock and his injuries at 8 am the next morning, October 12th. He was buried in the cemetery at Bethune, at 10 am, on October 13th. May his soul rest in peace. Although he has been taken from us, he will still be helping us; and rather than grieve at our loss, we must rejoice at his happiness.

Yours truly,
DESMOND FITZGERALD,
Captain Commanding 1st Batt, Irish Guards.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1916

Obituary

Father John Gwynn SJ

Most of our readers will have heard of the death of Father Gwynn, which occurred on October 12th, 1915, in France, where he was acting as Chaplain to the First Battalion of the Irish Guards. Our College has much reason to mourn his loss. He was on our Teaching Staff in 1902-03 and again in 1913-14. Soon after the outbreak of the war he volunteered as an Army Chaplain, and those in this house can well remember the eagerness with which he awaited the all too tardy, acceptance of his offer by the War Office, for he was in spirit and temper a born soldier In November, 1914, he was attached to the 1st Battalion of the Irish Guards as, their Chaplain. He was no stranger to that regiment; for he gave retreats to them more than once at Knightsbridge and Caterham.

The life of a Chaplain at the front must be a busy one; and certainly Father John did not spare himself: “When the men were in the trenches” a Guardsman says of him, “he constantly shared the Medical Officer's quarters, either in his dug-out or at the Regimental Aid Post, where the wounded were taken for first dressings”. It was his practice also to write to the relations of any man that had fallen, and thus was the means of bringing consolation to many an Irish home. He still managed to spare time to take part in any concerts or sports got up by the men, and he contrived to train some of them to form a choir for his services. He had indeed a great fund of gaiety and bonhomie, and he had much of the boy about him. It was a treat to hear him render “Clare's Dragoons”, “De Wet” or “Corcabaskin”. He had great gifts as a lecturer too, and as a preacher. At the front he had much to suffer. Shortly after his arrival he was knocked down by the concussion of a shell and slightly wounded by a splinter. He soon, however, recovered consciousness and did not even go off duty. On another occasion, while ministering to the wounded under fire, it would seem that he was almost buried under a fall of sand and clay, caused by the bombardment. He had to spend a month or two in a hospital in France because of severe lumbago, and indeed returned to his men before he was completely cured. Finally, on the 11th of October he was in a dug-out with some of the officers when an enemy shell landed in the doorway and, exploding, injured several of them. Portion of it pierced Father Gwynn's left lung, and he was wounded in several other places. Taken at once to hospital he lingered through the night, preserving perfect consciousness. Having received the Last Sacraments he expired calmly on the morning of the 12th. He was buried at Bethune next day with solemn rites, the last blessing being read by Mgr Keatinge, Senior Chaplain to the Forces, who in a letter subsequently described him as “a splendid priest, absolutely devoted to his men”. Another soldier who shared his dangers has written of him - “By his deeds he has left to those who saw him at his work an indelible memory and an inspiration”.

The marble monument which the Irish Guards have raised to his memory in the churchyard at Bethune has this inscription :

R.I.P.
REV. FATHER JOHN GWYNN, S.J.,
Attached to the
1st Irish Guards,
He died at Bethune on October 12th, 1915,
from wounds received in action near
Vermelles on October 11th, 1915,
Aged 49 years.
This monument has been erected by all Ranks of the 1st,
Bat. Irish Guards in
grateful Remembrance of their Beloved
Chaplain, Father Gwynn, who was with
them on Active Service for nearly twelve
months, from Nov 1914, until his death,
and shared with unfailing devotion all
their trials and hardships.

To his sister, Mrs. Daly, Mount Auburn, Mullingar, and to his brother, Father William Gwynn SJ, of Manresa, Norwood, S Australia, we offer our deepest sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father John Gwynn (1866-1915)

Was born in Youghal and received his early education at St Ignatius' College, Galway. He entered the Society in 1884 and made his higher studies at Louvain and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1899. Father Gwynn spent three years as master at the Crescent, 1903-06. With the exception of one year, 1910-11, when he was temporarily employed as lecturer in theology at Milltown Park, he was henceforth a member of the community at UCD, first at St Stephen's Green and later at Leeson St. He was the first warden of Winton House, the parent of Modern University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin. Father Gwynn volunteered as chaplain in the first world war and earned fame for his courage and devotion to his men. He died in the discharge of his duties as a priest.

Gwynn, William, 1865-1950, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1397
  • Person
  • 17 March 1865-22 October 1950

Born: 17 March 1865, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1883, Milltown Park Dublin; Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 29 July 1900, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 22 October 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin

First World War Chaplain

Older brother of John - RIP 1915

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1890 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia 1902
by 1902 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 8th Australian Infantry Brigade, AIF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
William Gwynn’s father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. Both boys were educated at St Ignatius' College Galway. Gwynn entered the Society at Milltown Park, 20 October 1883, and studied rhetoric as a junior up to II Arts at the Royal University while living at Milltown Park, 1885-87. Philosophy was at Louvain and Exaeten. 1887-90, and regency at Belvedere Clongowes, and Mungret, 1890-97. Theology followed at Milltown Park. 1897-1901 After tertianship at Linz, Austria, 1901-02 with his brother John, Gwynn, he was sent to Australia where he taught at Riverview, St Aloysius' College and St Patrick's College, 1902-11, before engaging in parish ministry at Sevenhill, 1911-13, and Norwood 1913-17. He taught for a further few years at St Patrick’s College 1917-18, before becoming a military chaplain of the 8th Infantry Brigade AIF, 1918-20, travelling to Egypt, France and Germany. Gwynn returned to Ireland after the war and taught philosophy and mathematics at Mungret. He was later in charge of the People's Church at Clongowes until 1930, and then performed rural missionary work retreats with great vigor and success throughout the country, a ministry he enjoyed while in Australia. In 1930 he was transferred to parish work at Gardiner Street until 1944. In earlier he was in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, living in great cheer and contentment, praying for the Society.
The Irish Province News, January 1951, described Gwynn as an original character. In whatever company he found himself he became the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects. At first sight, he might have been seen as egotistical or cynical or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humor and a pose, it helped to make him interesting and to amuse. He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, every day work. He wanted change and variety. He liked to plough a lonely furrow a man of original mind, who had his very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher - appearance, voice, personality, an original approach to any subject, and a gift for a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats were memorable for their freshness and originality. As a confessor some respected him for being broad, sympathetic and understanding.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 1 1951

Milltown Park :
We regret to record the death, on. Oct. 22nd, of Milltown's Grand Old Man, Father William Gwynn. Only a few days before we had celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his priesthood and heard a message from him, wire-recorded in his sickroom.

Obituary :
Father William Gwynn
Fr. Gwynn, who died after a brief illness at Milltown Park on 22nd October, was born at Youghal, Co. Cork, on the 17th March, 1865. His father was a military man and had been transferred to Galway by the time that William and his younger brother John (who also entered the Society) were ready for their schooling. So, it was at St. Ignatius' College in that city that they both received their education. William entered the noviceship at Milltown Park on 20th October, 1883, and had Fr. William O’Farrell for Master of Novices and also for Superior when the new novitiate at Dromore was opened in May of the following year. He took his Vows at Milltown Park on 1st November, 1885, and studied rhetoric up to II Arts at the Royal University. He went to Louvain and Exaten (in Holland) for his philosophy, 1887-90, and in the latter year began his Colleges. He taught for six years at Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret, in that order, and then studied theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 29th July by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin. After his fourth year's theology he went, with his brother Fr. John, to Linz in Austria for his tertianship. In the autumn of 1902 Fr, William was sent to Australia, where he taught at Riverview, Sydney, for a year and then at St. Aloysius for six and at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, for two years. He was operarius at Sevenhill 1910-12 and at Norwood Residence for the following four years when he had charge of the men's sodality and the confraternity of “Bona Mors”. When at St. Patrick's, Melbourne, as master and operarius in 1918, he was appointed chaplain to the 8th Australian Infantry Brigade and travelled with his men to Egypt, France and Germany. He was not “demobbed” till 1920, and thereafter remained in the Province. For the next two years Fr. Gwynn was philosophy and mathematics master at Mungret College and then went to Clongowes, where he had charge of the People's Church till 1930. During this period he conducted retreats with great vigour and success up and down the country, a ministry to which he had devoted himself zealously when in Australia.
In 1930 Fr. William was transferred to Gardiner Street and was operarius till 1944. For the first dozen years of this period he was also in charge of the Night Workers' Sodality, in which he took a great interest. For the last six years of his life he was attached to Milltown Park, where he lived in great cheer and contentment, discharging his task of “orans pro Societate” agreeably and, we may well hope, fruitfully. Two days before his death a graceful tribute to him appeared in the papers on the occasion of the golden jubilee of his Ordination to the priesthood.
Fr. Gwynn was emphatically a character, an original. In whatever company he found himself, he became at once the centre of interest by his wit and personality. He was extraordinarily outspoken and frank in his remarks about others and himself. He never made any secret about his own plans and projects, about those little manifestations of self-interest which most people keep discreetly veiled. He was equally frank and outspoken about others. At first sight, one would think him egotistical, or cynical, or a man who had shed many of the kindly illusions about human nature. But much of that frankness was part of his sense of humour and a pose. It helped to make him interesting and to amuse.
He was not a man to give his best in ordinary, hum-drum, every clay work. He wanted change and variety; lie liked to plough a lonely furrow. He was a man of original mind, who had his own very personal way of looking at people and things. He had all the gifts of a preacher, appearance, voice, personality, a very original approach to any subject, and a gift of a striking, arresting phrase. His retreats, too, very memorable for their freshness and originality.
He was the least pharisaical of men. He aimed sedulously at concealing his solid piety and simple lively Faith. His rather disconcerting frankness, his trenchant wit, his talk about himself, were really a pose by which he tried to mask his spiritual inner self. It could not be said that he had a large spiritual following of people who looked to him for help. But what he missed in numbers was made up in quality and variety. It was well known that men of the world who got no help from other priests made Fr. Gwynn their confessor and friend. He was broad, sympathetic and understanding and no one knows the amount of good he did to those who came to depend on him. R.I.P

Hartigan, Jeremiah Austin, 1882-1916, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/177
  • Person
  • 18 August 1882-16 July 1916

Born: 18 August 1882, Foynes, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 16 July 1916, Kut-al-Amara, Mesopotamia, Iraq (Military Chaplain)

Chaplain in the First World War

by 1901 in Saint Joseph’s, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language
by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1912 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes.
After Noviceship he made studies at Tullabeg, and then Eastern languages at Beirut with Edmund Power.
He made Regency at Clongowes teaching Greek and Latin.
He was then sent for Philosophy to Stonyhurst, and later Theology at Hastings.
During his Tertianship in 1915 he was sent to the War as Chaplain, and he died at war 16 July 1916, at Amara, Mesopotamia.
He was a young Priest of great promise.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Jeremiah Augustine Hartigan, Mungret student

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

I will tell you all about our vacation, perhaps it will interest you. We went to Tanail, where our fathers have a farm and an orphanage. Tanail is situated in the Bekka or plain that lies between the Lebanon and Anti Lebanon Mountains. This plain is eighty or ninety miles long and about fifteen broad. Tanail is just in the middle of this plain and half way between Beyrouth and Damascus. We went from Beyrouth by train. The journey is very interesting. On leaving Beyrouth you pass through a very fertile plain planted with olive trees. After about half an hour begins the ascent of the mountain. It is very steep in some places, so, to make it possible for the train to mount, there is a third rail with notches and the engine has a wheel with cogs which fit into these notches and thus prevent the train from slipping back. There are some very pretty little villages in the mountaiti. Most of the Beyrouth people pass the summer in one or other of these villages. Near the top of the mountain there are some villages inhabited by Druses. These are a people whose religion is a secret. They have some very curious customs one of them is that a Druse can never dispose of his property. He can spend his income as he wishes, but the real property always belongs to the family. The train goes very slow on ascending, so one has plenty of time to enjoy the scenery. The whole journey, which includes the descent as well as the ascent, is about forty miles, and we were over four hours in the train. When you are on the top of the mountain the plain opens out before you like a great lake shut in between the two mountains. Here and there are scattered little villages and spots of verdure these latter always marking the existence of water. The descent is quickly over, but the rocking of the train is so great that two or three were on the point of getting sea-sick, Our house is about half an hour's walk from the station. There are a good many trees, nearly all poplars, on the property, and so we enjoyed the luxury, so rare in this country, of walking in the shade. The sun is very warm here. You have no idea how hot it is from nine or ten in the morning to four or five in the evening; in the night and morning it is a little cooler, At Tanail the air is much drier than at Ghazir. At Ghazir one cannot walk for a quarter of an hour without being covered with perspiration; but in the plain, though one is scorched with the sun, one scarcely perspires at all. There are some interesting walks about. Amongst others is what is called:

The Tomb of Noah
Tradition says that he died and was buried near Zahleh, a village not far from Tanail. We went to-pay a visit then to this tomb of our common ancestor. We found the place a long, low, flat roofed, rectangular building, about forty yards long and three wide, which the Musulmans use as their mosque. The whole length of this house, and just in the middle, runs a piece of masonry about two feet high, and underneath this are said to rest the mortal remains of poor Noah. He must have been inconveniently tall.

The Excusrsion which lasted Four Days
One fine day, at half-past nine in the morning, seventeen of us started. The sun seemed to be specially hot that day, still we marched on bravely, after an hour and a half we came to a river - the biggest in Syria - which had to be crossed, and as there was no bridge we had to take off our boots and stockings, tighten up our soutanes and walk through. For the next two hours and a half we did not meet a single spring, and a two hours' tramp without water, where it is so warm, is no joke. However, four hours after our departure, we came to a long-wished-for well. We drank and washed, and started again for the village where we were to pass the night. After three hours we arrived there, and went to the priest's house. The only Catholics there are of the Syrian rite, and they are not very numerous. The rest of the inhabitants are either Druses or Greek Schismatics. The priest's house was a poor little cabin, consisting of two or three rooms. He received us very well - of course we had all our provisions with us, we had two mules to carry them on their backs, not in cars, because there are no roads only paths. We cooked our dinner and ate it in the Arabic fashion, ie, without plates, knives, spoons or forks. Soon after dinner, as everyone was a bit tired; we went to rest, We had brought a sack of blankets, one for each one. Five or six slept in the parlour which was at the same time bedroom, the rest slept on mats made of rushes, some in a little room beside the house, the rest outside the door. We used our shoes as pillows. The “beds” were rather hard and the night was very hot, so we did not sleep much. Next morning we had Mass in the little chapel close by, and after breakfast we started for Mount Hermon, which is the highest peak in the Anti-Lebanon Range. I forgot to describe the parlour of the priest. The chief “ornament” was his bed. The room was carpeted, but there were no chairs. You take off your boots on entering and leave them at the door, and you sit cross-legged on the floor or on a cushion. This room was about four yards square.

There is not a single spring between the village and the top of the mountain-and in the village itself the only water they have is what they collect in cisterns during the winter. So we had to bring some with us. The climb took about five or six hours, and had it not been that we had three or four horses, which each one mount ed from time to time, I doubt if many would have arrived to the top. After about five hours it became so very steep that the horses could go no farther so we halted and dined. Thus fortified we did the last hour's climb. In the shaded hollows there was still snow. We put snow into the water we brought, and it was not too bad. The Arabs call this mountain the Mountain of the Old Man, because the snow is supposed to represent the grey hair, From the top the view is magnificent. We saw the Holy Land, the Sea of Tiberias, the Jordan, Mount Thabor, Mount Carmel; also we could see Damascus, a white speck, hidden in its gardens of verdure, and the Hauran. On the very highest point of the summit are the ruins of an old temple. After enjoying the scenery and reposing ourselves we began the descent on the other side of the mountain towards Damascus. The path was very narrow and in places very steep, however, in the evening, after about four hours march, we arrived at another little village, Kalath-el gendel, one of the dirtiest and most miserable villages I have ever seen, even in the East. Here the majority of the inhabitants are Druses.

An Arab Meal
On our way we passed through another village and we went to a house to buy a drink of milk. The only thing they had was thick milk, the people are very fond of it like that, and we, for want of butter, took it The lady of the house would not be content if we did not sit down, so she spread a mat on the floor, and on this we had to squat like tailors. In the middle was a little table about a foot high, and on this she put a bowl of milk. Then came the Arabic bread, the “hubs”. This is made of flour and water, and is almost as thin as an altar bread and quite flexible. Each cake is round and has a diameter of about two feet. But the real difficulty was to take the milk with the bread. The people never use knives or spoons, the bread does all this. They tear off a little bit of bread and make a scoop of it, with this they take their milk or whatever it may be, and each time they eat their spoon as well as what is in it. It is convenient, for after dinner they have not much to wash up. Tumblers are as rare as knives. They have water in little earthenware jars like a teapot, with a little spout. This they do not put into their mouth, they keep it a distance of about a font away, and simply pour it down their throat. In the beginning this is not so easy. The first time I tried I got more down my neck and up my nose than I got into in my mouth.

The Earthly Paradise
Leaving this early next morning we continued our journey to Damascus. The day was very hot and the country an arid waste. Still we toiled on and we were at last rewarded with a view of what Mahomed rightly called the earthly Paradise! To the way-worn traveller, dust stained and thirsty, whose eyes have been for hours blinded by the glare from the rocky soil, the city of Damascus, surrounded by its fresh green gardens, filed with every variety of fruit-trees, watered by the brimming stream, at whose source we stopped and washed, offers a vision of refreshing beauty that none can appreciate but those who, like us, have toiled through the heat of the day. Passing through the shady gardens, our ears filled with the murmuring of the clear, cool streams, refreshed by the delicious fruit that abounded on every side, we can easily understand why St Ignatius laid the scene of our First Parents' happiness in this, the East's most lovely city.

As it is the most beautiful so is it also the most characteristically Eastern. For here are gathered together all that is most un-European Here are centered all those streams of caravans that bring from far in the interior of Asia the rich products of those world-famed looms. Here is no sign of modern civilization to remind one of the distant West. To give an adequate idea of this other world, I can do no better than describe the Bazaar and some street scenes in this city of Fair Delight.

The Bazaar
It is in the bazaar that locomotion is most difficult. This gives one time to look about and admire the variety of nationalities that the traffic of the quarter has collected. Bedouins with huge high boots, a long stiff cloak of brown and white, often richly embroidered at shoulders (these cloaks “mashlah” are absolutely devoid of cut, except for short sleeves beginning at elbows and reaching to wrists), loose white drawers reaching to top of boots, embroidered vest. On the head, the “kofieyeh” or veil of brilliant colours. often of silk, ornamented with tassels. It is most graceful. This veil is secured on head by two circles of camel's hair, while the ends hang down on the back and breast or are brought up under chin, and attached to the coils above. They are finely built, these Bedouins, tall and spare, square-shouldered, active and strong, with dark piercing eyes, that seem to be everywhere at once. Druses, with snow-white turban and heavy scimitar; Turkish “effendis”, in badly made, and worse put on, European dress; Persians, in light brown hats, once and a-half as high as our tall hats, slightly conical in shape, tight-fitting dresses and flowing beards; Kurdish shepherds, dressed in skin and stiff black felt cape, reaching to knees; villainous looking Albanians, with voluminous kilts and belts bristling with weapons; add thievish-looking Circassians, effeminate Damascenes, gliding figures enveloped from head to foot in a light sheet like garment of white, or green and red shot silk, with veiled face, and called women, and you have a faint idea of the 'souls' of Damascus. Yet I have said nothing about the seller of pasties, who balances on his head a small shopful of dainties; the sherbet-seller, with a huge bottle strung round his neck, and brass cups jingling in his hand. On more than one occasion I have seen a seller of drinks and a seller of creams stand as near each other as
their implements permit, the one slaking his thirst, the other gratifying his palate, by a mutual exchange.

The Houses of Damasucs
But the glory of Damascus consists above all in its private houses. The Arabic proverb has it: “The houses of Damascus from without, sooty; from within, marble”. Nothing could be more true. Outside one would take them for the stables of the mansion, with their plain, windowless walls, and massive, ungainly doors., Enterting a narrow passage of varying length, a remnant of darker days, we find ourselves in a court with marble pavement, shaded by olive, orange, or lemon trees, and refreshed by a fountain or several of them, whose waters are contained in a deep basin of variegated marble. At one side is the “bewan”, or deep recess, strewn with rich carpets and soft cushions, and arched over in true Arabic style. Opposite is the salon, the masterpiece of the house, and where even struggling families manage to make a show at the cost of the rest of the house. Here, again, we meet the marble fountain on either side of what are the halves of the chamber, one half being raised about two feet. The walls are covered with the richest marbles, in endless variety of colour and form. Here and there are recesses backed by mirrors, while above are texts of the Koran in golden letters, entwined in the most puzzling combinations. Above these are scenes and landscapes painted in bright colours. The ceilings (which are always formed of round rafters laid so as to touch the flat cemented ceiling, leaving a space of some inches between each rafter) are painted in the most fantastic designs and often really beautiful. The effect of the whole is most striking. Now, I think, you have my impressions of what Damascus is like.

In the evening we left Damascus by rail and came back here, our minds stored with the many wonders we had seen. And now I think you know something of our life out here. I hope I have not been too tedious. If you wish I shall tell you more another time.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1916

Obituary

Father J Austin Hartigan SJ

We have just heard, as the “Mungret Annual” is going through the press, of the deach of Father Austin Hartigan SJ, which took place from jaundice at Amara, Mesopotamia, on the 16th July. The time and space at our disposal permit us merely, to mention the sad event. His death was. announced to his mother, Mrs Hartigan, of Tarbrook, Croom, in a telegram. from the War Office on Friday, 28th July. In January, Father Hartigan had volunteered for a chaplaincy, and in May had left England with his battalion of the Connaught Rangers.

On leaving Mungret in '98, where three of us brothers had already been educated, Austin Hartigan joined the Society of Jesus. His University career was urncommonly brilliant, and he was set aside for special studies with a view to becoming a professor of Sacred Scriptures. He spent several years at the University of Beirut, where he took out his Doctorate in Oriental Letters.

Ordained in 1914, he-had just finished his long period of training, and seemed to be on the threshold of a distinguished career. But the fruit of those years of study and preparation, sanctified by a generous zeal for God's glory, he was not to reap in this world. He was the fourth son of the late Dr Hartigan, of Tarbrook, Croom, and was thirty-four years of age. To his mother and brothers we offer our deepest sympathy.

Hayes, John, 1909-1945, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1423
  • Person
  • 15 February 1909-21 January 1945

Born: 15 February 1909, Ascot Terrace, Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Mount St Mary’s College, Spinkhill, Derbyshire, England
Died: 21 January 1945, Katha (Yangon), Burma (Military Chaplain)

Second World War chaplain

Brother of Francis Hayes - LEFT 1932; Nephew of Francis Lyons - RIP 1933; Early education at Crescent College

Died as WWII Chaplain

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/education/fr-john-hayes-a-jesuit-at-war/

Fr John Hayes: a Jesuit at war
Limerickman Patrick McNamara has just published Their Name Liveth for Evermore, a book about the involvement of Limerick in the Second World War. Included is the story of Fr John Hayes SJ, a chaplain in the armed forces who died of typhus in Burma. John Hayes, the son of Michael and Agnes Hayes (nee Lyons), 21 Ascot Terrace, O’Connell Avenue, Limerick was born on 15th February 1909. His early education by the Jesuits at The Crescent College in the city was to be an introduction to the priestly life. He joined the Jesuits at St. Stanislaus College, Tullabeg where he started his novitiate in 1925. From 1934 until 1936 he taught as a scholastic at Belvedere College, Dublin. In 1936 he went on to study theology at Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained priest in July 1939. He was engaged in further studies until June 1941.
In July 1941, he was appointed as a chaplain to the British Army and writing back from Redcar, Yorkshire he expressed his feelings about his new appointment ‘completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness’. In 1943 he was selected for overseas service and in May of that year, set sail for India. On arrival there, he was assigned to the 36th Division at Poona. In early 1944, the Division moved to the Arakan front, where it was committed to help stop the Japanese advance; the fighting was hard; this was John Hayes’ introduction to active service. He was to prove an outstanding chaplain who was both loved and respected by all with whom he came in contact with; he was a man of tireless energy and indomitable courage.
On the 31st August 1944, John, in a letter home, wrote:
The 36th Division is now fighting the Japs about 30 miles south of the ‘city’ of Mogaung, about 22 odd miles from Mandalay, to the north. Having left cool Assam (where I was able to help administer to many American troops who greatly edified by large numbers frequenting the Sacraments) we flew over the hills to Myitkyina and went by jeep-pulled train to the ruins of Mogaung, captured just before by our allies, chiefly Chinese. The fight started about 12 miles south of Mogaung (Hill 60) which was cleared by one of our brigades and continued (though not toughly) over 20 miles to the south, our men clearing the road and rail which run mostly together in the direction of Mandalay. We were ‘on the road to Mandalay’ for our sins!
I missed the first phase but fortunately was in for the second phase of the battle. I attached myself to a Scotch Regiment and gave them Mass, Confession and Communion standing by a stream. We were in a long narrow plain between hills. Our Chinese allies hold the hills: we advance along the road and rail southwards in the valley. Occasionally the heat is oppressive, but heavy rains and scanty overhead shelter are the great difficulties. Sickness: malaria, dysentery, bad feet, jungle sores are common. (I’m completely fit D.G.). Last Monday, the 28th of August, I buried a Catholic, Corporal Kelly; he lay dead 30 paces from the railway; 10 yards away a Jap sat, his back to Kelly, dead, with his hand resting on his knees. While the grave was being prepared the moaning of a dying Jap was heard 40 paces away. I baptised him conditionally; he died 15 minutes later. I was so thoroughly affected by his sufferings that I could hardly carry out the burial of Corporal Kelly for tears.
A Chinese interpreter is showing interest in the Catholic Faith. Our casualties were reasonably light. The Jap has displayed great heroism in spite of our dive-bombers, strafing and heavy guns (to which he has no reply in kind). He has stood his ground with sublime courage. I feel somehow that God will reward his enormous spirit of self-dedication. I find it an inspiration myself. The effect of actual work during action is terrific. One feels ready to sacrifice everything to save a single soul. So far God has given me the grace never to have felt fear on any occasion. No thanks to myself, for I know much better men who have felt fear. Largely, I think, a matter of natural complexion and texture of nerves. This monsoon-swept valley between low hills is beautifully and softly green with running streams, but it is a valley of death; many bodies lie decomposing; the villages are all smashed, the people homeless, and God is looking down, I think, with pity on it all …….
It was during the hard fighting to capture Myitkyina, that Fr. Hayes was to earn the soubriquet of ‘Battling Hayes’. After Myitkyina, the Division pushed on to the Irrawaddy. It was on the banks of the great river that Fr. Hayes was to die, not from battle wounds but from disease.
On 28th December 1944 he was evacuated to the casualty clearing station at Katha where he was diagnosed as suffering from typhus. His condition got progressively worse, pneumonia set in. Fr. Hayes must have sensed that the end was near; he requested the last rites on 6th January 1945. John died on 21st January 1945 on the banks of the Irrawaddy just two months before the 14th Army decisively defeated the Japanese at Meiktila, on the road to Mandalay and Rangoon.
John’s work as a chaplain is best described by an old Belvederian, Captain William Ward of the 36th Division, in a letter to the Rector of Belvedere after the death of John.
Dear Fr. Rector,
As an old Belvederian, I feel it my duty to give you the sad news of the death of an old member of the staff of Belvedere. I refer to the late Fr. John Hayes S.J. who died of typhus at Katha on the Irrawaddy in Central Burma on January 21st 1945. He was our chaplain here in the 16th Division and a more likeable man one would find it hard to meet. He was loved by one and all from our G.O.C., General Festing, who was a Catholic, to the most humble Indian.
He joined us at Poona in 1943 and came with the Division to the Arakan early last year and later flew in with us on our present operation. To one and all he was known as ‘Battling Hayes’, utterly devoid of any fear. It was only on the express order of General Festing that he took his batman to act as escort when on his rounds. No matter where one went, more especially in the height of battle, there one would find Fr. Hayes in his peculiar dress: Ghurkha hat, battledress blouse and blue rugger shorts. It was common to see him walking along a road known to be infested with the enemy, without any protection of any kind, happy in the thought that he was doing his job.
The highest praise I can pay Fr. Hayes, and this our present chaplain, Fr. Clancy from Clare, agrees with me, is that he reminded me very much of the late Fr. Willie Doyle. Nothing mattered; monsoon, rain, heat, disease, the enemy, his one thought was to be among his flock, doing all he could to help them. Nothing was too much trouble and the further forward a Unit was, the greater his delight in going forward to celebrate Mass. By his death all the Catholics of his Division and many of the Protestants, have lost a great friend and the finest chaplain one could wish to have ….
In a letter to John’s mother, General (later Field Marshal) Festing, wrote:
I would like on behalf of this Division and myself to express our very deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your son. We all were fond of Fr. Hayes who was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an Army Chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he. Your son was an undoubted saint and he died fortified by the rites of Holy Church. May he rest in peace.
Fr. John Hayes was 36 years old when he died. He is buried in grave 7A. F. 24, Taukkyan War Cemetery, outside Yangon (formerly Rangoon) in Myanmar (Burma). He was the only Irish Jesuit chaplain to have died during the Second World War.
Their Name Liveth For Evermore by Patrick McNamara, is available from most book shops in Limerick city. The main centre is: Hamsoft Communication, Tait Buiness Centre, Limerick. Phone (061) 416688. Price €30.00 (hardback only) + P/P. ISBN 0-9554386-0-8.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Went to Juniorate without First Vows. Died in January 1945 from typhus while a Chaplain in the British Army in India

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942
Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Fr. John Hayes, Chaplain to the British Forces in Burma, died of typhus on January 21st, 1945.

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. John Hayes (1909-1925-1945)

Fr. John Hayes died on the Feast of St. Agnes, Sunday morning, January 21st, 1945, as Senior Catholic Chaplain to the British Forces on the Burma Front.
Born at Limerick on February 15th, 1909, he was educated at the Crescent, and entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg on September 1st, 1925. Two years later he commenced his four years' Juniorate at Rathfarnham whence, in 1930, he returned to Tullabeg as one of the first group to do philosophy there. During these years of study he gave good promise as a writer, and had published a number of articles dealing with life and activity in the Mission Fields of the Church.
From Tullabeg he went to Belvedere for his three years teaching, 1933-36. In his final year there his love of the Missions found outlet through the Mission Society of which he was a zealous and capable Director.
At the end of three years' Theology at Milltown he was ordained by the Most Rev. Dr. Wall on July 31st, 1939. In September, 1940, Fr. Hayes was again at Rathfarnham for his Tertianship, which ended with his appointment in July, 1941, as a Chaplain to the British Army. He reported duty on September 1st, and by the following month wrote of himself as being “completely at home” in his new life . During the next year and a half he was stationed in various parts of England. On February 7th, 1942, he took his final vows at St. Mary's, Spinkhill. Early in the year 1943 he was selected for overseas service. At the end of a long sea voyage he found himself in India, where, as Chaplain to the 36th Division he did valiant work for many months prior to departure for the Burma front.
During practically the whole of 1944 Fr, Hayes was with his men in the jungle-fighting in Burma. It was a tough assignment, but the asceticism which for so long had moulded his character stood every test and strain. In their Chaplain the men saw a strong, fearless man of God fired by an intense passion to win all he could for Christ. Affectionately, they dubbed him “Battling Hayes”. Hardship and privation found him always cheerful. Weariness and fatigue seemed strangers to him. If he felt any fear of wounds or death he never gave sign of it. His courageous conduct through the long months of fierce jungle fighting was an inspiration to every officer and man who witnessed it. General Festing, under whom Fr. Hayes served, resisted every effort to have him transferred from his divisional command. The General being a Catholic, appreciated the sources of his Padre's tireless energy and indomitable courage. Writing of him after his death General Festing stated that “Fr. Hayes was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an army chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he. He was an undoubted saint”.
On December 28th, 1944. Fr. Hayes was evacuated to the Casualty Clearing Station at Katha in Central Burma. His complaint was diagnosed as typhus. About the 6th of January, though the disease was taking its normal course, Fr. Hayes requested and received the last Sacraments. From that time until he was unable to swallow, he received Viaticum, every day. Pneumonia set in, and Fr. Hayes' condition became progressively worse. For about a week he was unable to speak to anyone, but he retained the use of his mental faculties up to the end. During his last night Fr. Hickson, a fellow chaplain who ministered to him during his prolonged battle with death, sat at his bedside until Mass time the following, Sunday, morning. Fr. Hickson's Mass was offered for his dying friend who passed away peacefully just as the Mass was finished.
A coffin was hard to come by, but thanks to the Providence of God one was secured, and vested in chaplain's Mass vestments the remains of “Battling Hayes” were laid to rest the same day, after an evening Requiem Mass, in the Catholic section of the public cemetery at Katha on the Irrawaddy river about 120 miles north from Mandalay. May he rest in peace.

LETTERS ABOUT FR. JOHN HAYES :

In the last letter Fr. Hayes wrote to his people, received before the news of his death, he mentions that he had baptised a dying Japanese and made his first Hindoo convert.
The last message Fr. Provincial received from him, greetings for Christmas, was dated November 28th,

A letter from THE SISTER IN CHARGE OF THE HOSPITAL, written on January 12th, says he is still seriously ill, but expresses the hope that there will be more cheerful news soon. She adds : “I shall write every week until he is able to do so himself”.

Mrs. Hayes, Fr. John's mother, received the following letter from the COMMANDING OFFICER of the 30th Division : January 24th.
“Dear Mrs. Hayes, I would like on behalf of this Division and myself to express our very deepest sympathy to you in the loss of your son. We all were very fond of Fr. Hayes who was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an Army Chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he. Your son was an undoubted saint and he died fortified by the rites of Holy Church. May he rest in peace. Yours sincerely, FRANCIS FESTING, MAJ. GEN.”

MGR. J. COGHLAN, Principal Catholic Chaplain, writing from London on January 29th to Fr. Provincial, says :
“I very much regret to have to inform you that your father J. Hayes died of typhus in India, on January 21st. R.I.P. Father Hayes was a grand priest and a splendid chaplain. He did magnificent work in every post he was given, and was held in the highest esteem by all ranks with whom he came in contact. I can ill afford to lose the services of such a good priest, and we can only say: 'God's Will be done.' I send you and the Society my deepest sympathy. You have lost a great priest, and I have lost a great chaplain. I should be glad to think that you would convey to his relatives my deep sympathy in their loss”.

In a later communication Mgr. Coghlan sent the following details furnished by the REV. JOSEPH GARDNER, Senior Chaplain, South East Asia, on January 28th. :
“Fr. Hayes was anointed at his own request in the early days of the illness, and received Viaticum daily as long as he was able to swallow. After pneumonia set in, he was again anointed and finally died quietly and peacefully on Sunday morning, January 21st, just at the moment of the conclusion of the Mass that Fr. Hickson was offering for him. He was buried, coffined and in his vestments, in the Catholic section of the cemetery at Katha, R.I.P.”

FR. A. CLANCY, O.F., H.Q. 36 Division, to Fr. Provincial, 29-1-45 :
“Fr. John Hayes became ill with typhus a few days before the beginning of the New Year, and was removed to the Casualty Clearing Station to which I was at the time attached. He went steadily down hill, but we hoped that his strong constitution would carry him through. As time went by it became evident there was no hope for him, and he died on Sunday morning, January 21st. Fr. Hickson, my successor at the hospital, was with him constantly till the end, and gave him the last Sacraments. He received Holy Communion until a few mornings before he died as long as he was able to swallow.
His death was a great shock to the Division where he was universally popular and especially to the three priests who were associated with him here. I myself feel a deep sense of personal loss, as we joined the Army from Ireland almost at the same time. We were both in Northern Command, travelled out to India together, and had been near one another since I joined the 36th Division six months ago.
He was an ideal chaplain and a worthy son of St. Ignatius. He was completely forgetful of personal risks when the spiritual welfare of the men was concerned. In this respect he always reminded me of Fr. Willie Doyle. When he heard of Fr. Hayes death General Festing said to me that he had killed himself for his men, and this remark is literally true.
May I offer you on my own behalf and for the other chaplains of, this Division our deepest sympathy on the loss the Irish Jesuit Province has sustained?”

FR. C. NAUGHTON, 29-1 -45 :
“I got quite a shock this morning on reading of the death of the Rev. John Hayes from typhus. R.I.P. I heard earlier in the week that we had a chaplain casualty, as a padre was suddenly posted off to the forward area to replace him. I never dreamed that it was the Rev. John. By all accounts Fr. Hayes was a second Willie Doyle. He seemed not to know what fear was, and was always in the thick of things. He will be greatly missed by his Division, as he was tremendously popular. About three months ago a young soldier after returning from Burma wished to be received into the Church. On being asked why he desired to change his religion, he replied : ‘Sir, we have a R.C. padre who has greatly impressed me. A man who exposes himself to so much danger to save souls must have the true religion?’ Fr. Hayes was his divisional chaplain, I am writing to our S.C.F. to find out as much accurate news as possible about him. May be rest in peace.

FR. C. PERROTT, 5-2-45 :
“You have heard no doubt by this time of the death of Fr. John Hayes, R.I.P. I am very sorry that up to the present I have no news to give you beyond the bare fact. His death came as a great shock to me, I can assure you, and upset me very much. I had heard from Fr. Nevin that Fr. Hayes had gone down sick with typhus at the beginning of January or the end of December, and then got no news till I received a note from the same source last Friday announcing his death. I wrote at once to Fr. Nevin asking him to give me all the details and particulars he could about it. I have heard many people out here speak very highly of Fr. Hayes and of the tremendous work he was doing. His death will be a great loss to us, - but he will get a great reward for his zeal and enthusiasm”.

FR. C. PERROTT, 5-3-45: The cemetery in which he is buried is only a temporary one, and later on the remains will be moved into a central one, and due notice of its location will be sent you. All his personal effects will come through, after some very considerable delay, through the usual official channels”.

FR, GEORGE HICKSON, C.F., to Fr. Provincial, 15-2-45 :
“Fr. Hayes took ill with typhus on December 28th, 1944, and was evacuated to the 22 C.C.S. Typhus is a pretty terrible disease. It is heartbreaking to watch a patient suffering with it grow progressively worse. This is what happened to John. I gave him at his own request all the Sacraments and the Papal Blessing. That was about January 8th. He received Holy Viaticum daily as long as he could swallow. We had hopes of his recovery till the 18th, then pneumonia set in, and I gave him Extreme Unction again. He was conscious, in our opinion, right up to the end, although for the last week or so he was unable to speak. He was quite reconciled to death, which he did not dread in the least. I think he offered himself in reparation for the sins of the world, and almost gave the impression that he desired death for this end. was greatly influenced by the life of Fr. W. Doyle. He passed away very peacefully at 8.55 on the morning of Sunday, January 21st, 1945, just as I was concluding a Mass which I offered for him. He was with me in the 36th Division for the whole year in which we have been in action. He was loyal and devoted to his work, and, I think, worried himself over perfecting every detail. Everyone who knew him said that he was not of this world, and non-Catholic officers were unanimous in their good opinion of him. I buried him in his vestments, and I am glad to say that I was able to secure a coffin. He lies in the public cemetery at Katha, which is on the River Irrawaddy about 120 miles north of Mandalay. We erected a nice cross and railings around his grave. In his life and in his death he was an example and an ornament to the priesthood”.

FR. E. J. WARNER, S.J., of the Chaplains' Department of the War Office sent to Fr. Provincial, 22-3-45, a short letter addressed to Mgr. Coghlan by the REY. M. J. O'CARROLL, S.C.F., now in England. The latter was Senior Chaplain in India when Fr. Hayes went out there :
“Fr. Hayes was an exceptionally fine Chaplain. Would you, please, convey to his next-of-kin and to his Religious Superior an expression of my deep sympathy ? At the next Chaplains' Conference Mass will be offered up for the repose of his soul. R.I.P.”

From an OLD BELVEDERIAN, attached to the 36th Division, to the Rector of Belvedere :
Dear Fr. Rector, As an old Belvederian I feel it my duty to give you the sad news of the death of an old member of the staff of Belvedere. I refer to the late Fr. John Hayes, S.J. Fr. Hayes died of typhus at Katha on the Irrawaddy in Central Burma on January 21st, 1945. He was our chaplain here in the 36th Division, and a more likeable man one would find it hard to meet. He was loved by all, from our G.O.C. General Festing, who is a Catholic, to the most humble Indian. He joined us in Poona in 1943, and came with the Division to the Arakan early last year, and later flew in with us on our present operation. To one and all he was known as Battling Hayes, utterly devoid of any fear. It was only on the express order of General Festing that he took his batman to act as escort when on his rounds. No matter where one went, more especially in the height of battle, there one would find Fr. Hayes, in his peculiar dress : Ghurka bat, battle-dress blouse and blue rugger shorts. It was common to see him walking along a road known to be infested with the enemy, without any protection of any kind, happy in the thought that he was doing his job. The highest praise I can pay Fr. Hayes, and in this our present chaplain, Fr. Clancy from Clare, agrees with me, is that he reminded me very much of the late Fr. Willie Doyle. Nothing mattered : monsoon, rain, heat, disease, the enemy. His one thought was to be among his flock, doing all he could to help them. Nothing was too much trouble, and the further forward a Unit was, the greater his delight in going forward to celebrate Mass. By his death all the Catholics of this Division, and many of the Protestants, have lost a great friend and the finest chaplain one could wish to have. I hope you will be good enough to pass this sad news to Fr. Provincial. I believe his address is Gardiner Street, but, as I am not sure, I thought it better to inform you. No doubt either Fr. Hayes' mother, who was next-of-kin, or Fr. Provincial will be informed in due course by the War Office. Another Belvederian whom I may meet again one day is Fr. Tom Ryan, whose voice I often hear on the Chunking radio, giving talks on English literature. My very best respects to any who knew me in Belvedere, and your good self. I am, dear Fr. Rector, your's very sincerely, W. A. WARD, CAPT. (1923-1931).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Hayes SJ 1909-1945
Father John Hayes was born in Limerick in 1909 and was regarded by his contemporaries as a saint and mystic.

As a philosopher he kept the minimum of furniture in his room, a bed which he seldom slept in, and an orange box which served as a wash stand and general work-table. The rest was put out in the corridor. Superiors had to check his austerity. While these signs of singularity disappeared in later life, he maintained and extraordinary communion with God, and a single-mindedness of dedication, which as a priest was turned into a burning thirst for souls.

He got his chance in the Second World War. He became a Chaplain and was stationed in Burma in the thick of the jungle-warfare. To the troops he was known as “Battling Hayes”. He was tireless in whi work and seemed consumed with a burning passion to save souls for Christ. General Festing was his close friend and admirer.

On December 28th he retured to hospital, not too ill, but his complaint turned out to be typhus, and he died on January 21st, 1945, young in years but ripe in merit. A coffin was hard to come by, but the difficulty was overcome, and vested in his chaplain’s robes, he was laid to rest at Katha, in the Irawaddy rover, 120 miles from Mandalay.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father John Hayes SJ

Those who knew Fr. John Hayes, who worked as a scholastic in Belvedere from 1934 to 1936, . Were not surprised to hear of the holy and heroic manner of his death last January, as Senior Catholic Chaplain to the British Forces on the Burma Front.

“Fr, Hayes”, wrote Major General Festing, in whose Division he served, “was an exemplification of all that a Catholic Priest and an Army Chaplain should be. He was a tireless worker, and if any man worked himself to death, it was he”. He “was an undoubted saint”.

And here is a letter to Fr. Rector from Captain William A Ward, of the 36th Division:

“Dear Fr. Rector, As an old Belvederian I feel it my duty to give you the sad news of the death of an old member of the staff of Belvedere. I refer to the late Fr John Hayes SJ Fr. Hayes died of typhus at Katha on the Irrawaddy in Central Burma on January 21st, 1945. He was our chaplain here in the 36th Division, and a more likeable man one would find it hard to meet. He was loved by all, from our GOC - General Festing, who is a Catholic, to the most humble Indian. He joined us in Poona in 1943, and came with the Division to the Arakan early last year, and later flew in with us on our present operation. To one and all he was known as ‘Battling Hayes”, utterly devoid of any fear. It was only on the express order of General Festing that he took his batman to act as escort when on his rounds. No matter where one went, more especially in the height of battle, there one would find Fr Hayes, in his peculiar dress; Ghurka hat, battle dress blouse and blue rugger shorts. It was common to see him walking along a road known to be infested with the enemy, without any protection of any kind, happy in the thought that he was doing his job. The highest praise I can pay Fr. Hayes, and in this our present chaplain, Fr Clancy from Clare, agrees with me, is that he reminded me very much of the late Fr Willie Doyle. Nothing mattered : monsoon, rain, heat, disease, the enemy: his one thought was to be among his flock, doing all he could to help them. Nothing was too much trouble, and the further forward a Unit was, the greater his delight in going forward to celebrate Mass. By his death all the Catholics of this Division, and many of the Protestants, have lost a great friend and the finest chaplain one could wish to have. My very best respects to any who knew me in Belvedere, and your good self.
I am, dear Fr Rector, yours very sincerely,

W A Ward, Capt (1923-1931).

Hearn, Joseph, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1429
  • Person
  • 05 August 1854-22 November 1941

Born: 05 August 1854, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 31 October 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890
Final Vows: 02 February 1896, St Ignatius, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 22 November 1941, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia 1892
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Infantry Battalion

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :

Note from John Gately Entry :
Father Gately worked up to the end. He heard Confessions up to 10pm and was dead by 2am. Four hours, and perhaps most of that sleeping! Father Charles Morrough heard groaning and went down, and Father Joseph Hearn, Superior, gave him the Last Sacraments.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/anzac-archives-and-the-bullshit-detector/

On Saturday 25 April, the annual dawn Anzac commemoration will take place. It is the centenary of the failed Anzac engagement at Gallipoli. Six Jesuits, five of them Irish-born, served with the Australian Imperial Forces in the First World War. Frs Joseph Hearn and Michael Bergin both served at Gallipoli.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Joseph Hearn was an Old Boy of St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, before its amalgamation with Clongowes. He entered the Society at Milltown Park, 31 October 1878, at the age of 24. He taught at Tullabeg College after juniorate studies, 1881-84, studied philosophy at Milltown Park, 1884-89, and theology at Louvain and Milltown Park, 1887-91. He
was then appointed socius to the master of novices while he completed his tertianship at Tullabeg College.
Hearn came to Australia and taught at St Patrick's College, 1892-96, and Riverview for a short time in 1896. He was appointed superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1896-1914, and was a mission consulter at the same time. Then he became a military chaplain and served with the Australian Expeditionary Force in its campaign in the Dardanelles. He served with the 7th in Belgium and then with the 2nd infantry Battalion. He was with the Australian Imperial Force (AIP), headquarters in the UK, returning to Australia early in 1917. He
was awarded the Military Cross for his service.
Upon his return, he resumed parish work at Lavender Bay, 1917-18; North Sydney, 1918-22, where he was parish priest, superior and Sydney Mission consulter, and Hawthorn, 1922-31, at one time minister then superior and parish priest. Despite old age, he was appointed rector of Loyola College, Greenwich, 1931-33, and when the house of formation moved to Watsonia, Vic., became its first rector, 1934-40. His final appointment was parish work at Richmond, Vic.
Hearn was called 'blood and iron Joe', and lived up to this by the severity of his manner, both with himself and others. He did not relate well to women, but men liked him. He had a vein of sardonic humor that suited well with the temper of the First AIF He joined the army at the age of 60. Though his service in the army tended to overshadow his other work, the real high point of his career was his long period as parish priest of Richmond; the parish schools especially are a monument to him.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Entered as Brother Novice. After 6 months postulancy was admitted as a Scholastic Novice

Howatson, P Joseph, 1910-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/721
  • Person
  • 18 March 1910-23 August 1972

Born: 18 March 1910, Waterville, County Kerry
Entered: 17 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, St Mary’s Emo, County Laois
Died: 23 August 1972, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong - Hong Kong Vice Province (HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1936 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

WWII Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Joseph Howatson, SJ, chairman of the Hong Kong boys and Girls Clubs Association, died at Grantham Hospital on 23 August 1972, aged 62.

He was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry, Ireland, in 1910, educated at Clongowes Wood College, Ireland, and joined the Jesuit Order in 1927. Before long he had proved himself the most effective and clear-sighted organizer among the Irish Jesuits of his generation.

He spent the years 1935-38 in Hong Kong, teaching in the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, and in Wah Yan College.

He was ordained priest in Ireland in 1941. His main work until his return to Hong Kong in 1946 was the preaching of popular missions - courses of very direct and forceful sermons - but he gave all the time he could spare to the Bevedere Newsboys Club, working for it with an enthusiasm that was to bear fruit here.

BOYS AND GIRLS CLUBS
On his return to Hong Kong in 1946 he became a teacher at Wah Yan College and procurator for the Hong Kong Jesuits. He was horrified by the sight of post-war destitution. The shoeshine boys in particular captured his attention. Many of them were homeless orphans; none of them had much to look forward to when their day’s work was done. For them he founded his first club, at Wah Yan College, then on Robinson Road.

This club, with its carefully considered mixture of education and recreation, flourished under Father Howatson’s combination of firm discipline with unforced and understanding affection. It soon served as a model for some of the many boys clubs that were springing up to meet a need that was especially urgent in the early post-war years. When the Boys and Girls Clubs (BGCA) was reorganised to cope with this growth, Father Howatson was elected chairman, Bishop Hall being President.

Father Howatson gave up teaching and devoted his abundant energy to his new task, He took a deep interest in all the clubs in the association. His personal preference would have been to work directly for the boys, but as chairman he regarded it as his first duty to train club leaders and to advise and encourage them once they had taken up work. He also devoted endless care to the planning, building and use of the Holiday Home at Silvermine Bay.

In 1959, the BGCA moved to its own headquarters in Lockhart Road. At the opening, Sir Robert Black, then Governor of Hong Kong, paid the following tribute:

Any collective effort requires a high degree of planning and organisation; a good committee needs a first-class chairman; the Boys and Girls Clubs Association are most fortunate in their chairman, Father Howatson.

This building stands above us today completed because of his drive and his resource, because of the sheer hard work which he has put into it all behind the scenes, and, of course, anyone who is a potential benefactor must be keenly aware of Father Howatson's notable work.

In addition to his work for the BGCA Father Howatson took an active part in the work of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. As chairman of the Standing Committee of Youth Organisations he led an important East Asian Seminar on Social Group Work among youth. It would be difficult to think of any form of social work in which he did not take a vigorous part - playgrounds, housing, personal problems, crisis relief and so on.

Towards the end of this period he was reaching out to the development of clubs for young men and women. Unhappily, the failure of his health prevented him from carrying out this plan - a notable loss to the community.

CARITAS HONG KONG
Father Howatson was the first chairman of the Hong Kong Catholic Social Welfare Conference, and was closely associated with Mgr. C.H. Vath in the earlier stages of the development of Caritas Hong Kong. He agreed to take over the direction of the proposed Caritas Social Centre in Kennedy Town. In consequence, he resigned the chairmanship of the BGCA.

When he was still supervising the building of the new Centre, he suffered a moderately severe stroke. Though paralysed on one side, he recovered sufficiently to continue work, though at a slower pace, and was able to open the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre and to direct its operation for over a year.

A more severe stroke in 1965 put an end to his active work. He spent his last years in the Kennedy Town Caritas Social Centre, bedridden but not quite forgotten. Many of those for whom or with whom he had worked retained a warm interest in all that concerned him; nor did those who had seen his work from above forget him. A former Governor, a former Chief Justice and a former Director of Social Welfare were numbered those solaced his inactivity through their sympathy.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 1 September 1972

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father was a Scottish engineer employed to maintain the trans-Atlantic cable. He converted to Catholicism in order to marry and his son became a strong Catholic and Irishman. He received his early education at Clongowes Wood College before he entered the Society in 1927. He had been known as a very good rugby player who had won an inter-provincial schools cap.

He came to Hong Kong as Regent with Seán Turner who was a different personality and whose whole world was words and ideas. Travelling with them was Fr Cooney who was bringing the Markee telescope and setting it up. he was able to deal with every situation he met in Hong Kong in dealing with schoolboys. He was a Mathematics teacher and Sports Master. From his earliest days in the Society he had positions of responsibility. According to Harry Naylor he was outstanding in practical matters, not least as a carpenter running the Ricci Mission Unit.

He returned to Ireland to study Theology. Once he had finished Tertianship he became an Army Chaplain.
1945 He returned to Hong Kong as Mission Procurator. According to Harry Naylor, Thomas Ryan had great influence over him. His humanity and concern for others was soon channelled into the Shoeshine Boys Club in Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and this became a model for many other boys clubs which sprung up to meet the needs of the day. When the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs Association was set up, Joseph was elected Chairman, with Anglican Bishop Hall the President. He threw himself into youth and social work in Hong Kong and was soon on the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, which Thomas Ryan had set up. He was also on the Government Social Welfare Advisory Committee. He helped many volunteer bodies as well as women’s religious with their balance sheets. When the Diocese set up its Catholic Social Welfare Conference he was made Executive Secretary. This later became “Caritas”. At this time Jesuits in Asia were involved in many social activities. At a Jesuit meeting on Tokyo in 1960 with Frs Hogan, Dijkstra and Ballon, he came up with the SELA acronym (Socio Economic Life in Asia) and it became one of the most successful inter-provincial works in the Society.

Returning from a SELA meeting in Indonesia in 1962 he had his first stroke. He gave up being Procurator in 1964 - Fr J Kelly succeeding him. He then went to live at Caritas Mok Cheung Sui Kun Community Centre, Pokfield Road, Kennedy Town, Hong Kong and was attached to Ricci Hall.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He encouraged the “Shoe Shiners Club”, which later blossomed into the “Boys and Girls Clubs association” under Joseph Howatson.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Viceprovince of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

Obituary :

Fr Joseph Howatson SJ (1910-1972)

Fr Howatson died in hospital in Hong Kong on August 23rd after practically ten years of increasing incapacitation as a result of a series of paralytic strokes. He succumbed after a short period in hospital, finally. He was buried in the Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley after Requiem Mass at St Margaret's Church on August 25th; the obsequies were attended by a large gathering of priests, religious and laity.
Fr Joe was born at Waterville, Co. Kerry on 18th March 1910, son of a Scottish engineer, one of a group employed to maintain the transatlantic cable stations at Waterville and Valentia. He, Mr Howatson senior, married a local girl as did some of his fellow engineers, thereby occasioning their adoption into the Church; a daughter became a Loreto nun and Joe entered the Society after schooling in Clongowes in September 1927.
As a schoolboy Joe was a stalwart member of the Clongowes Rugby team and through life his fine physique and energetic character led to his being habitually committed to work requiring a fund of practical efficiency, together with his fulfilling the more hum-drum yet demanding work of Mission Procurator - which fell to him in Hong Kong when he returned to the Mission after ordination. He maintained he had no aptitude for learning, a modest avowal which bore no confirmation in his record of studies in that he satisfied without embarrassment the exacting demands of Genicot and Dogma in the Milltown of the '30s. Again his versatility and resource as a stage carpenter at Tullabeg, as a philosopher in Milltown and later on the Mission, in continued partnership with Fr Terry Sheridan, as stage manager and producer, could hardly result from mere series of happy coincidences,
After his noviceship Joe followed the normal routine of Rathfarnham and a degree, Tullabeg for philosophy and 1935 Hong Kong to which previously he had eagerly aspired and showing his bent in the effective manner with which he engaged in the work of the Ricci Mission Unit.
Largely through his labour a large telescope - purchased from the Markree Observatory and presented as a gift to the Mission - was dismantled before his departure from Ireland to be reinstalled in collaboration with Fr T Cooney at Aberdeen Seminary on his arrival at Hong Kong.
Back to Milltown 1938, ordination 1941, tertianship 1942-'43. Because of war time difficulties in travel he was unable to return to Hong Kong immediately and was assigned to the Mission staff where again he proved his capacity as an effective preacher,
Finally the chance of a passage on a military plane enabled him to attain his heart's desire; almost directly he was appointed to the work of Procurator already alluded to and he retained that exact ing chore until his capacity to write was impaired by his illness.
This was merely a part-occupation for him; in harness with Fr Tom Ryan who was throughout his prompter and confidant, he established a Shoeshine Boys' Club in which education was discreetly mingled with recreation and this was later the model upon which many other clubs catering for girls as well as for boys were organised,
Ultimately when a liaison was established coordinating these various associations Fr Joe was chosen chairman whose duties approximated rather to those of an administrator; in this capacity his work was recognised and paid tribute to by the Colony authorities; we lend only to the rich - his activities still fanned out; he became a member of a government-appointed body, the Welfare Advisory Committee and continued so for years with the task of offering advice on social needs and schemes to the Governor and of dealing with subventions for various voluntary bodies. Fr Joe's practical experience resulted in his becoming an accountant in effect to charitable works run by religious communities on the island; indeed in the course of the 'fifties he was recognised as one of the most conversant with social work with a meticulous sense of the value of an accurate balance sheet of the work engaged in. In the Hong Kong diocese he was the first secretary of the body which later formed the nucleus of Caritas H.K. and within the Society he contributed actively to the formation of SELA, the Committee for “Socio-Economic Life in Asia”.
It is pathetic, in retrospect, to see that all this activity was abruptly intruded upon by the first stroke in September 1962. Though not altogether incapacitated and only perforce making concessions under increasing debility the latter years required a fortitude in a situation to which the “rude” health he habitually previously enjoyed hardly adapted him. He continued to work in the John XXIII Centre in Kennedy Town but gradually he be came more immobilised; he was not much given to reading which might have been a diversion and a defective speech which developed deprived him of the distraction of conversation except with a small number of intimates who regularly visited him; may he not have been subjected to affliction, emulous to some degree of St Peter Claver in his concluding years? All was heroically borne. His second sister, Mrs Clarke of Tralee, who attended the month's mind Mass for his repose in late September at Gardiner St confessed that the news of his demise though sad in the thought of his parting was yet to her a comfort in that God who thus sealed him had taken him to Himself. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1951

A Poor Boys’ Club in Hong Kong

by Father Donal Taylor SJ

Fr Joe Howatson (OC 22-27) is well known to many Clongownians. The following article, kindly written by Mr Donald Taylor SJ, Hongkong, will be read with interest by many, especially by those who are helping the work of the Clongowes Boys' Club. It gives an account of a small part of Fr Joe's activities in Hongkong

Icehouse Street, Hongkong, running at right angles to the waterfront, forms a connecting link between the city's main thoroughfares in the Central District. Along the narrow street of verandahed sidewalks, business people, office clerks and government officials pass four times each day, to and from work. Icehouse Street is a cold place in the winter time when blasts of cold Easterly winds sweep around its corners. The Summer heat is much more distressing there. On this street one meets a type of person, insignificant though he be, who forms part of the landscape of big cities in the East. He is the shoeshine boy. With stand, brushes and polish, he takes up his position on the edge of the sidewalk. He gazes hopefully at passers-by, and calls his “Shoeshine, Shoeshine”. His earnings are small-twenty to forty cents for each shoeshine. He is at the mercy of his customer. There is one other phrase these boys know, “Shan Foo” or “Father” and they shout it lustily at every Catholic priest they see, but especially at the Jesuit Fathers. These boys are pagans. What connection have they with the Irish Jesuits in Hongkong? The answer to that question is found in the story of the Poor Boys' Club started at Wah Yan College in the autumn of 1946, by Fr P J Howatson SJ. And yet it is only the foundation of the Club that dates from that time. The idea of the club goes back to the time when Fr Howatson was interested in the Belvedere Newsboys' Club and acted as their Chaplain during their summer camps. For it was from his experience with that Club that he got the idea of starting a Club for poor boys in Hongkong.

The teeming millions of the East is no idle phrase, as every newcomer from the West quickly realises. Great poverty and great wealth have always been associated with big populations. Hongkong, now more than ever, because of the recent war, is no exception when Fr Howatson returned after the war, the city was being rehabilitated. And the poor were not the first to be thought of. There were waifs and strays, whose bed was some doorway or alcove, and whose meal was the pickings of garbage tins. They were the down-trodden members of the community, suspected by those in authority and treated wretchedly by the rich. They lived by their wits, which often meant pilfering and robbing. The future held little hope for them. Largely through the fault of the society of which they were members, it might eventually bring term after term of imprisonment.

Fr Howatson, accompanied by the present manager of the Club, Mr Joseph Cheung, a past student of the Jesuit College of Wah Yan, set about contacting some of these poor boys. They were invited to come to Wan Yan College. Shy, yet inquisitive in the beginning, a small number responded, until finally a group of thirty was formed. Almost all were shoeshiners, some were orphans, some street sleepers. The good news spread, boys brought friends and it was hard to turn them away. Moreover, as the full number could not attend on any one night it was possible to have additional members on the roll. Then when applications continued to pour in, two sections were formed, junior and senior. Now there are 110 boys in the club. Their ages vary from ten to twenty. This number includes twenty-five Old Boys - more about them later.

The organisation of the club has always remained the same. The ordinary meetings of the club are beld four times each week in the College Hall, from 7 to 9 pm. During that time the boys have a physical training period of half an hour, followed by showers. Half an hour of lessons comes next, which may include elementary arithmetic, letter writing, or written Chinese. This is the first schooling in the lives of most of these lads. Then there is another half hour devoted to games in the school-basket ball, ping-pong, or football for the small boys. The meeting closes with a substantial meal, and a short moral instruction or a talk on character formation. Chinese boys are fond of singing, so a Chinese lady teaches the boys in the club Catholic hymns. When he was a teacher in Wan Yan, Mr Francis Chan SJ gave the shoeshine boys a class in Christine Doctrine. Now this work is being done by a catechist.

The club has depended from the beginning on generous benefactors for its financial support. The boys of Wah Yan College make an organised effort each Christinas, which in the first year, brought in more than 1,000 dollars. Last year and in 1949 they played a major part in the organising and running of a bazaar to raise funds for the club. The proceeds from a week's performance of one of their Chinese operas in English by the Wah Yan Dramatic Society, under the direction of Mr Sheridan SJ, were donated to the club.

The aim of the club is not merely to provide fun, food and games for poor boys. It is really to give them a chance to grow up, self-respecting citizens in their own class, and to earn a living honestly. True enough, shoeshining is very low in the scale of suitable careers. Yet it gives the boys a start in life, and with the club as a backing, there is always the hope of better things to come. At the moment thirty or forty boys are licensed shoeshiners, twenty help their parents at hawking or at street stalls, another twenty have jobs as office boys, coolies, etc., and the remainder are either unemployed or too young to work. Two large agencies adopted the shoeshine boys and provided then with neat uniforms and new polishing outfits. To fit them for a trade, an instructor is employed, who gives lessons in basket-making. It is intended to introduce leather work later on. The club's handicap is lack of premises. It relies entirely on the use of the class-rooms. It is quite clear that until proper facilities are obtained the possibilities of teaching the boys trades will be consideredly re tarded. Only when opportunities are put in their way will it be discovered what latent talents there are among these boys. That they have these hidden gifts is proved by the example of one boy who was able to exchange shoeshining for engraving. He is now a skilled engraver.

To encourage the boys to pracrise thrift, the club bank pays an interest of ten per cent every three months on savings deposited in the bank. At each club meeting lodgements and withdrawals may be made. The generous rate of interest is successful in making the boys realise the advantages of saving. Some boys have as much as thirty dollars in the bank.

About twenty-five boys have graduated from shoeshining into better jobs. They work in clothing factories, rubber factories, barbour taxis, barbers' shops; three or more are shoemakers apprentices, one is a qualified draftsman. These twenty-five boys, they are young men now, form the Old Boys' section of the club. They are still in the club, yet separate from it. They have their own executive committee, they hold a monthly meeting at which they discuss how they can help each other and how they can improve the running of the club. They have their own basket-ball team, the outfits for which were supplied partly by the club and partly by themselves Occasionally they go out on picnics together. An interesting development among the old boys is their co-operation. Each boy contributes a certain amount to the treasury, so that if any one member wishes to start an enterprise the required sum is loaned to him at a low rate of interest. The loan must first be sanctioned at a meeting of the Old Boys themselves. Recently they decided to take a census of the whole club in order to find out details about the family of each boy, to visit his home - if he had any - and to see what help could be given to the parents or brothers or sisters. A certain number of these older boys attend night school, run by Wah Yan where they can learn English, knowledge of which greatly increases their earning power in Hongkong.

One year and a half after the club was opened, in June, 1948, a procedure was introduced which has since become a regular feature, namely a “Mothers' Meeting”. Each boy was told to invite his mother or nearest relative to a special meeting of the club. Thirty-five non members were present on that occasion. The function and working of the club was made known to them as well as the hopes which those in charge placed in it. The mothers or guardians present were also told how they could help to make the club more successful. Many of these people have since become regular visitors, seeking advice and assistance not only in their children's difficulties but also in their own. T'hey earn their living by doing the severest type of manual labour. As one sees then in the streets, coolies all of them, one gets the wrong impression that they are long living healthy strong people. The truth is that the majority never live to see middle age. They just wear out their bodies. They drifted into Hongkong after the Japanese occupation, ready to undertake any kind of work which would keep them alive.

Although the senior club members play large part in the running of the club, the main responsibility is borne by outsiders. They are worthy of mention. All of them ure former pupils of Wah Yan College. With the exception of two, one of whom is under instruction in the Faith, all of them are Catholics. Mr Joseph Cheung, who in the beginning helped Fr Howatson to start the club, is club manager. He devotes all his free time to the club activities. The boys have great respect and love for him; indeed the friendly relations that exist between all the helpers and the boys are a noteworthy characteristic of the club.

These men give their time willingly and do not ask for recompense. The “present” in Wah Yan are becoming increasingly interested in the club. Several of them come to give the boys classes in Chinese and arithmetic. It is the first experience these schoolboys have of social welfare work. When they leave school, it is hoped that the memory of the good work in their club will stimulate them to play their part in social welfare work in their city.

Concerning entertainment it has already been stated that at each meeting of the club there is a half an hour of games. Film Shows are sometimes substituted for games and lessons. At Christmas there is a party, at which a large supper is provided. There are games and prizes, and each boy gets a present from the Christmas tree. The present usually takes the form of warm clothing and a polishing outfit. Every important Chinese festival and the anniversary of the opening of the club are fittingly celebrated. There are excursions to the sea in the fine weather. The most important event in the year is the holiday camp in the summer, when eighty boys or more, camp by the sea for a week. It is a great treat for these city lads and they thoroughly enjoy it. They return home healthier and happier, having drunk full of the excitement that always accompanies a boys camp.

Like the mustard seed in the Gospel, the boys club has developed enormously and within a short time, too. Its successful management attracted wide attention and became well-known throughout Hongkong. Its founder, Fr Howatson, was called on to take charge of numerous executive bodies which deal with youth organisation. He is chairman of the Boys and Girls' Clubs Association, which controls the activities of sixty-four clubs throughout the Colony; chairman of the Standing Conference of Youth Organisations, a body which co ordinates the work of Societies aiming at helping young people; and he is also chairman of the Management Committee of The War Memorial Welfare Centre. This Welfare Centre, the first of its kind in Hongkong has been in operation for less than a year and has already proved itself a boon to the poor people of a district, the population of which is about 2,000 to the acre.

When a priest is living in a pagan country no matter what secular work he does there, the question of conversions among those for whom he works must necessarily arise. The Poor Boys Club had its first Catholics last Christmas, when three boys among the older group received baptism. They are five more under instruction in Catholic Doctrine. Even though younger boys may desire to be baptised, it has been decided and very wisely, that it would be better to wait until a boys livelihoood is secure before baptising him. In this way there is less chance of his becoming a “rice Christian”.

In conclusion, the reader is referred, by way of contrast, to an article which appeared in the “Clongownian” of last year, on the Clongowes Boys' Club. Those who have managed boys' clubs in Ireland and in Hongkong have noted some differences. The boys in Ireland have some kind of home, and have received at least elementary training. Many of the boys here are home less waifs, whose parents, if they have any, cannot support them. They cannot go to school, because in this city, populated out of all proportion to its capacity, there are insufficient schools. The only schooling they get is whatever the club gives them. Another factor worthy of attention is the religious one. The poor Irish poor living in a Catholic atmosphere and with a Catholic background, has a religious spirit to fortify him in his sufferings. This religious spirit is altogether absent in the young pagan. His patience in his sufferings is the outcome of a pessimistic stoicism. The Chinese boy is docile, shows a respect for authority, and is appreciative of what is being done to make him bappier. The foreigners big difficulty in working with these boys is one of language. But whether the lay helper feels the same embarassment in his early contacts with the poor boys, as his opposite number in Ireland, is some thing which he alone can tell.

Donald Taylor SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1973

Obituary

Father Joseph Howatson SJ

Joseph Howatson was born in Waterville, Co Kerry, where his father was an engineer in the Transatlantic Cable Station. When he finished schooling in Clongowes he entered the Jesuit Noviceship in September 1927. After taking his degree in UCD, and studying Philosophy in Tullabeg, he went to Hong Kong as a scholastic, Returning to Ireland he did his theological studies in Milltown Park and was ordained a priest in 1941. In 1943 he returned to Hong Kong and spent the rest of his priestly life there.

His main life work lay in the sphere of social science. He organized boys clubs and became a member of a government appointed body in which he had the task of offering advice to the Governor on the social needs of the colony. In the Hong Kong diocese he was secretary of the Caritas organisation and contributed to the formation of a body known as the committee for the Social Economic Life of Asia. He suffered a stroke in 1962 from which he : never really recovered and had to gradually retire from “active” work. In his later life he was almost totally incapacitated and death came to him as a merciful relief on August 23rd, 1972.

Kearns, Laurence M, 1912-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/199
  • Person
  • 27 June 1912-28 October 1986

Born: 27 June 1912, Cobh, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 October 1986, Jervis St Hospital Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin, and living at Our Lady of Consolation, Donnycarney, Dublin at time of his death.

Chaplain in the Second World War
by 1970 at Kitwe, Zambia - working in Educational TV

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Lol was born in Cobh, Co Cork on 27 June 1912. After school at Mungret College, he entered the Society at Tullabeg and did the second year noviceship at Emo. The normal studies of the Society brought him to his ordination on 13 May 1942.

Immediately after theology, Lol (as Fr Laurence was known in the Society) became chaplain in the British Army from 1943 to 1947 and served on the European continent. Towards the end of the war his unit was sent to free Belsen concentration camp, “That's how I saw hell on earth” he wrote. He also tells us about his bad car accident: “While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again. Even my mother did not recognise me at once. But a few months in Gloucester under the great “guinea-pig” surgeon, Emlyn Lewis, who grafted a hunk from my arm into my mouth, set me up again.’ After demobilisation, he made his tertianship 1947/48.

Minister, retreat giver, bursar was his lot at Manresa 1948-'54, '62-'65, '68-'69. He taught religion at Bolton Street Technical College, Dublin 1962-'65.

He attended courses at New York University and at the University of California on TV and film production. On returning to Ireland, he was given the job of minister again but felt rather disappointed at having no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practice. The Ministry of Education in Zambia at that time was about to launch an Educational TV Unit in Kitwe, so Lol was sent to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all, 1969 to 1976.

These were happy days for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision as contrasted with the easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards from his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll on Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.

Naturally, as a priest, Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as Spiritual Father to a novitiate of Sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept at ciBemba to celebrate Mass in the local vernacular.

In his last year in Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe on Nationalist Way. He had hoped to be employed by the Zambia Episcopal Conference in communications, but this was not to be. Shortly after returning to Ireland he was invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for more than two years in Lesotho, in the face of lack of interest, if not actual apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. The same problems that he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho.

He returned to Ireland in 1978 where, at the age of 66, he took up more genial work – curate in Donnycarney. He died in Jervis Street Hospital in Dublin on 28 October 1986.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

During the summer Frs. Jas. FitzGerald, Kearns and Scallan helped in the campaign organised by Dr. Heenan, Superior of the Mission House, Hampstead, to contact neglected or lapsed Catholics in Oxfordshire. Writing Fr. Provincial in August, the Superior pays a warm tribute to the zeal and devotion of our three missionaries :
“I hope”, he adds, “that the Fathers will have gained some useful experience in return for the great benefit which their apostolic labours conferred on the isolated Catholics of Oxfordshire. It made a great impression on the non-Catholic public that priests came from Ireland and even from America, looking for lost sheep. That fact was more eloquent than any sermon. The Catholic Church is the only hope for this country. Protestantism is dead...?”

Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have benefitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organising accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 1 1987

Obituary

Fr Laurence Kearns (1912-1928-1986)

27th June 1912: born in Queenstown (now Cobh). 1925-28 schooled at Mungret College.
1st September 1928: entered SJ. 1928-30 Tullabeg and Emo, noviciate. 1930-33 Rathfarnham, juniorate: BA course at UCD. 1933-37 Tullabeg, philosophy (sick for much of his first year, which he repeated). 1937-39 Belvedere, teaching (H.Dip in Ed.). 1939-43 Milltown Park, theology (13th May 1942: ordained priest).
1943-47 chaplaincy in British army, described by himself in Interfuse, no. 41 (Feb. 1986), pp. 19-26. 1947-48 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1948-54 Manresa: minister, retreat giver, bursar. 1954-62 Catholic Workers' College (now CIR): mostly teaching religion in Kevin Street Technical College. 1962-65 Manresa: minister, then bursar. 1965-68 Rathfarnham, spiritual father and librarian. 1968-69 Manresa, minister and retreat-giver.
1969-78 Africa: 1969-76 Kitwe, Zambia: educational television; 1976-8 Maseru, Lesotho: educational television.
1978-86 curate in Donnycarney parish, Dublin 5. 28th October 1986: died in Jervis Street Hospital.

It was sometime in 1968 or thereabouts that I met Lol in Manresa House while I was on leave from Zambia. He spoke to me of the study-course in communications which he had attended in USA, and of his disappointment on his return at being assigned the job of minister, with no outlet for the newly acquired skills he was so eager to practise. W e discussed possibilities, and having cleared the matter with the Provincial, the upshot was that I brought back with me to Zambia photostat copies of Lol's qualifications. I knew that the Permanent Secretary of the Minister of Education was recruiting personnel for the Educational TV Unit about to be launched in Kitwe, so I placed Lol's qualifications before this official. In due course Lol came to Zambia and served two tours in the Kitwe TV Unit, six years in all.
These were happy years for Lol in spite of the hardships of living at a long distance from Jesuit companions, the uphill grind of accustoming himself to a new environment, and the conflict arising from his insistence on precision and he easy-going ways of the Zambians he was to work with and train. Lol was a perfectionist who demanded exact standards of his students and apprentices. A stray bit of fluff or a human hair on a television-camera lens - a nugatory matter to a Zambian novice technician - would draw from him a devastating diatribe on sloppy standards. The wear and tear of the consequent tension took its toll of Lol's good humour, so that fault-finding could become obsessive with him.
Naturally as a priest Lol was not content to confine himself to civil-service hours. He sought out apostolic openings, celebrating Mass at weekends for neglected congregations, acting as spiritual father to a noviciate of sisters, giving lectures on medical ethics to nurses-in-training, all of which he could do through the medium of English. In addition he became sufficiently adept in Cibemba to celebrate Mass in the local at vernacular.
Lol was a man of great certainties, and his range extended far and wide - from godliness to golf. His expositions were models of clarity. He was at his best with a docile, appreciative audience. His affability and interest would however wane in the face of equally strongly-held counter-arguments.
Perhaps it was this perverse adult propensity towards confrontation that turned Lol off: whatever it was, the presence of a child would divert him from such barren tiresome things and would
claim all his attention. It became in time one of the ways to describe Fr Larry: “He had a marvellous way with children”, a phrase that was repeated over and over at his funeral in Donnycarney.
His funeral was a thronged affair, attended by many Jesuits and diocesan clergy, presided over by the Archbishop of Dublin and with Bishop Kavanagh as the main celebrant. At the final
blessing, Archbishop McNamara recalled that as a young priest in Killaloe diocese he had had a retreat from Fr Kearns, memories of which still remained with him. In his last year in
Zambia, Lol was responsible for the purchase of the first Jesuit residence in Kitwe, on Nationalist Way, since vacated in favour of a community of Holy Cross sisters. Coming to the end of his second tour in Government service, Lol had hoped to be employed in communications by the Zambian Episcopal Conference. As this hope remained unfulfilled, he returned to Ireland rather dispirited and disappointed. Shortly after returning he was gratified by being invited to inaugurate the communications department of the Catholic Secretariat in Lesotho. So for two more years, in the face of disinterest if not apathy, he wore out his energies and enthusiasm. Problems he had faced in Zambia he found to be deeper, more ingrained and infinitely less tractable in Lesotho. Eventually, and not without much soul-searching, he decided to return to Ireland, where, at the age of 66, he took up the more congenial work of a parish curate.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1964

A Portrait of Christ made on Television

Father Lol Kearns SJ

Father Laurence Kearns SJ (1925-28) has had many enthusiastic letters from people all over the country about the portrait of the Head of Christ which he drew during a television programme. We are happy to reproduce the portrait as well as the comments of “TJMS” in the “Irish Catholic” of March 5th, 1964. Father Larry's work was on exhibition in Gill's stand at the Dublin Spring Show and, for those who may be interested, full-size lithographic reproductions, framed in oak, may be obtained from The Committee, Manresa House, Doilymount, Dublin 3. Prayer-book size pictures are also available for a few pence.

-oOo-

Every night, right at tbe end of the Telefís Éireann programme, comes “Recollection”, a short talk given by a Priest or a Protestant clergy man. How many people stay tuned in to this late offering? And how many, I wonder, watch it with interest and derive from it spiritual solace or inspiration?

I suspect that the numbers, comparatively speaking, are poor, but if many of the “Recollections” had the same polish, imaginative presentation and effective message as those recently presented by Reverend Father Laurence Kearns SJ, the viewing audience would grow by leaps and bounds.

The idea of closing the nightly programme with a short talk given by a clergyman is one that was established in Independent TV and BBC TV before Telefís Éireann came into existence. Not unnaturally the type of programme produced in each system tended to be the same. A clergyman sits down facing the camera and delivers his talk straight at his unseen audience. The basic in each case is a radio approach. The talk could be put over even if the TV screen were blank.

In general, the visual of the clergymany gives the TV presentation just that little extra piece of interest - but that is all. Otherwise is it pure radio technique. And at first sight it would seem that there was little else in the way of presentation that could be designed. But Father Kearns proves otherwise.

He appeared for his “Recollection” in front of an easel with a piece of charcoal in his hand and explained that he was going to try the impossible and knew in advance that he would not be successful. And with our attention roused he then proceeded to draw a representation of the face of Christ on his board. As he drew each feature, so he brought Christ nearer to us and, talking quietly and gently sketching, he used a visual to rivet our attention and to bold us while his gentle voice conveyed to us some sound and appealing thoughts. Father Kearns proved that a little imagination can transform any routine “programme” into something really worthwhile.

Not every priest can sketch as well as Father Kearns, but in future everybody who appears in “Recollection” will realise that sitting before and preaching into the camera are not enough. Some thing more in the line of a visual is needed. Meanwhile, our thanks and congratulations to Father Kearns for the valuable “breakthrough” in the “Recoilection” programme.

TJMS in “The Irish Catholic”

Keary, William M, 1881-1958, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1500
  • Person
  • 30 April 1881-03 February 1958

Born: 30 April 1881, Woodford, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 08 December 1954
Died: 03 February 1958, Georgetown, British Guyana - Angliae Province (ANG)

Brother of Gerald Keary Ent and LEFT 1901

Transcribed HIB to ANG : 1901
First World War chaplain

by 1916 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from John Fitzgibbon Entry :
Some dramatic details concerning Father Fitzgibbon’s death are given in a letter from Father Keary CF, a brother Jesuit, who writes : ‘Father Fitzgibbon had blessed a grave and read the Burial Service over one of our boys about 2pm on Wednesday last, and was talking to a German Catholic prisoner of war in the cemetery, when a shell landed in our midst and the Father fell forward. One of our boys rushed to his help, but had only raised him to his knees when another shell burst in on them, fording him to drop his burden and fall on his face to avoid being killed himself. A few minutes later Father Fitzgibbon’s dead body was removed, and was buried the next day’.

Kennedy, Richard J, 1906-1986, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/216
  • Person
  • 08 November 1906-22 August 1986

Born: 08 November 1906, Carrickmines, County Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 31 May 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 22 August 1986, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong - Hong Kongensis Province (HK)

Transcribed : HIB to HK 03/12/1966

Older Brother of Denis (DP) Kennedy - RIP 1988

Early education at Belvedere College SJ and Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father R. Kennedy, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Richard Kennedy, S.J., of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died of cancer in St. Teresa’s Hospital on Friday, 22 August 1986, aged 79.

Father Kennedy was born in Ireland on 8 November 1906. He joined the Jesuit noviciate in 1924 and spent the years 1933-36 in Hong Kong as a scholastic. He returned to Ireland for theology and ordination. World War II delayed his return to Hong Kong, so he took up work as a British Army chaplain in 1941.

Within a few months he was a prisoner of war - in Singapore first, and later in Japan and Manchuria. In later life he spoke little of this period, but that little showed clearly that he retained throughout all difficulties a high spirit, veering at times towards reckless courage.

After the war he went to Canton for language study and pastoral work. After the Communist take-over his high spirit got him into trouble with the authorities. He spent a short-time in prison and was expelled form China. Thus he returned to Hong Kong.

He taught in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, until he reached the official age for retirement. After that he taught in Newman College until the last remnants of his strength had gone. When he could no longer face a classroom he stayed on as spiritual guide to the students.

About two years ago, doctors in Ireland diagnosed cancer and advised him to remain in his native country, but Hong Kong had become his home and he insisted on coming back to do his last work here and to die here.

Archbishop Dominic Tang, S.J., led the concelebrated Mass of the resurrection in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, and officiated at the graveside at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, on Tuesday, 26 August.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 29 August 1986

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs Jack O’Meara and Thomas Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Gardiner Street

Fr. R. Kennedy supplied in the Church for some weeks before leaving for China on October 8th. Fr. Brian Kelly has been at work with us since September. He preached on Mission Sunday.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 4 1986

Obituary

Fr Richard Kennedy (1906-1924-1986) (Macau-Hong Kong

The 8th November 1906: born in Co Dublin. 1917--21 Belvedere, 1921-24 Clongowes.
1st September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviceship. 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1926-27 home studies, 1927-30 at UCD: BA in English language and literature). 1930-33 philosophy: 1930-31 at Tullabeg, 1931-33 at Valkenburg, Netherlands.
1933-36 Hong Kong, regency: Regional seminary, studying Chinese and teaching mathematics; Wah Yan, Robinson road, teaching.
1936-40 Milltown Park, theology (31st July 1939: ordained a priest). 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1941-47 chaplain to British army and prisoner of war: 1941-42 Singapore, which in Feb. 1942 was captured by the Japanese. Taken as prisoner to Changi, for six months; 1942-44 a mining camp in Taiwan (Formosa); Fukuoka, Japan, for two months; spring to mid-September, 1945, in Manchuria; then released. End of 1945: to Ireland for recuperation. Feb. 1946-Mar, 1947: chaplain to British army of the Rhine; then demobilised. Six months furlough.
1947-48 Wah Yan, Hong Kong, teaching. 1948-53 Canton (under Communist government from 1949), teaching in university/Shing Sam/ Sacred Heart college. 11th August-25th September 1953: imprisoned, then expelled to Hong Kong, where he under went an operation. A year's rest and recuperation in Ireland.
1955-86 Wah Yan, Kowloon: teach ing: 1955-71 in WYKL (1955-64 directing boys' club), 1971-85 in Newman College (1985-86 spiritual counsellor there). 22nd August 1986: died.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1987

Obituary

Father Richard Kennedy SJ (1921)

Dick Kennedy was born in Dublin in 1906. He was at Belvedere 1917-21. He went from Junior Grade to Clongowes and entered the Society of Jesus in 1924. He had the usual Jesuit formation: novitiate in Tullabeg; BA in English at UCD, from Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy in Tullabeg and, for two years, at Valkenburg, Holland; regency in Hong Kong, spent in the Regional Seminary, where he studied the language and taught mathematics, and in Wah Yan College as a teacher; theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained on July 31st 1939. He made his tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

Immediately afterwards he joined the British Army as a chaplain in Singapore. He became a prisoner of war when Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 and remained in captivity until the war ended. For six months he was at Changi in Singapore, then in a mining camp in Formosa until 1944, then in Fukoka (Japan) for a few months, and finally for six months in Manchuria, before release and return home to recuperate from his experiences. He rejoined the British Army on the Rhine 1946-47 until demobilisation,

After a year teaching at Wah Yan, Hong Kong, he was sent to teach in Canton in 1948. The Communist government took, over the city a year later but Dick continued working until he was arrested in August 1953 and expelled in late September back to Hong Kong, where he had to undergo an operation.

Restored by a year's recuperation at home, he returned in 1955 to Kowloon, where he spent the rest of his long life at Wah Yan. He taught in the College until 1971 and at Newman College until 1985. His last year was spent as spiritual counsellor at Newman.

During his final illness, he had many visitors in hospital: priests, sisters, past students whom he had taught or baptised, poor people he had befriended and helped. His rector, Fr Fred Deignan, writes:

“Fr. Dick in his humility never spoke very much about the many people he knew and helped, instructed and baptised. He must have suffered a lot during his internment under the Japanese but I'm sure that he gave very much help, hope and courage to his many fellow-prisoners. He was always very good to the poor and those in trouble. He loved young people and was happiest when they were around him”.

He died on August 22nd 1986. The funeral Mass was concelebrated by a large number of his brother-Jesuits, led by his friend from their difficult days together in Canton, Archbishop Dominic Tang SJ, who preached the homily. Among the many present was a group of Catholics from Canton, some of whom had been imprisoned for years because they were members of the Legion of Mary. “This was just a sign”, as Fr. Deignan writes, “that a great number of people loved and revered in”.

His younger brother Dermot died a few months before him. To all his family, especially Fr Denis P (Paddy), a former rector of Belvedere, our most sincere sympathy on their loss.

Lennon, Sydney C, 1906-1979, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/231
  • Person
  • 31 January 1906-10 October 1979

Born: 31 January 1906, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Craighead, Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: 10 October 1979, Holy Cross Hospital, Myers Street, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Part of the St Joseph’s, Geelong, Victoria, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Early education at CBS Synge Street

by 1952 in Australia

Second World War Chaplain

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Sydney Lennon received his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Dublin, and entered the Society at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 1 September 1924. During his juniorate at Rathfarnharn, 1926-31, he studied at University College, Dublin, and also gained a diploma in Gregorian chant from Solesmes Abbey. Philosophy studies were at Tullamore, 1931-34, and theology at Milltown Park, 1936-39. Tertianship was completed in 1940.
Lennon's Erst priestly ministry was as a chaplain with the British army, 1941-46, followed by a few years in the parish of Gardiner Street, Dublin. He was then sent to Australia, and after a few years teaching, went to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, 1949, to profess liturgy, elocution, voice training and chant. He was at various times minister, dean of students and bursar. He remained there until 1969, when he did parish work at Norwood, SA. His final appointment was as a chaplain to St Joseph's Mercy Hospital, Aphrasia Street, Newton, Geelong, Vic., 1978-79.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Australia :
Frs. Fleming and Mansfield (who is a member of the Australian Vice-Province) were able to leave for Australia via America in July.
Frs. Lennon and Morrison are still awaiting travel facilities.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 1 1973

Fr Sydney Lennon to whom we are indebted for the details of the tragic accident in Australia reported later, is an Operarius in our parish at Adelaide. He is engaged, with, other activities, in giving retreats, talks and conferences and participated in the recent Lombardi retreat which was attended by some 65 Australian brethren ranging in age from 91 to 20.

Irish Province News 55th Year No 1 1980

Obituary :

Fr Sydney Lennon (1906-1924-1979)

Sydney Lennon was always interested in music. Even while still a schoolboy in CBS, Synge Street, he acted as organist in his local church. From his noviceship onwards, he was choirmaster in every Jesuit house where he was stationed. For four years in University College, Dublin, he studied music under Dr John Larchet. On many occasions he visited Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight, for courses in Gregorian chant given there by the Benedictines: he himself became an authority on gregorian or plain chant. These were the days when Frs John Bourke and Bertie O’Connell combined to bring gregorian chant and the liturgical movement to a high point of perfection in Dublin.
His choirs both at Rathfarnham and later at Milltown Park were in frequent demand by Radio Éireann for items such as the Lamentations and Passion music of Holy Week; also for the requiem Office and Mass on such occasions as the death of a Pope or Archbishop. At the requiem liturgy for Ours at Gardiner Street and Glasnevin Cemetery, the choirmaster was nearly always Sydney.
Even when he was in Tullabeg, doing philosophy, on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress, he and his choir were called upon to sing the Russian texts for the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern rite which was celebrated in Gardiner Street. On a lighter note, he organised Gilbert and Sullivan operas in every house to which he was assigned. In Milltown Park, these were performed during the Christmas vacation for the inmates of the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook (popularly known as the “Incurables”); the Blind asylum, Merrion Road and the Magdalen asylum, Gloucester Street (now Seán McDermott Street).
Sydney was a perfectionist in all that he did

Fr. Syd Lennon died at 7 o'clock on Wednesday morning, 10th October, in Holy Cross Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. He had been admitted the previous morning following a bout of acute abdominal pain. This had been controlled but he remained somewhat confused during the day. Though his condition was not good he was not expected to die. There was a vigil Mass on Thursday at the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, celebrated by Fr Ambrose Byrne and 30 concelebrants. Fr Paul Keenan in his homily spoke of Syd's complete absorption in whatever work he was doing and of his deep interest in people.
The funeral Mass next day drew a very large number of clergy, the fruit of Syd’s 20 years at Corpus Christi College, Werribee. Archbishop Frank Little was principal celebrant, joined by Bishops Fox, Mulkearns, O'Connell, Perkins and Daly, together with 90 concelebrating priests. At the beginning of the Mass the Archbishop linked the name of Syd Lennon with that of Fr Albert Power, the 31st anniversary of whose death was 12th October.
Fr Provincial centred his homily on Syd Lennon the man for priests. In the congregation were Sisters from several congregations with whom Syd had worked over the years. Present also was a small group of people from Maryknoll where Syd had spent so many Christmas vacations during his time at Werribee. Some time ago he expressed the hope that he might be the first chaplain at St. Joseph's hospital, Geelong, to be buried in the little cemetery along with those he had ministered to over the past eighteen months.
Ambrose Byrne, John Monahan and Bill Daniel accompanied the hearse to Geelong where another Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Jim Murray and 23 priests in the chapel of the Mercy convent at Newtown. Jim Murray paid a worthy tribute to Syd in a ceremony which was a great act of thanks from Sisters and patients alike. Six of the priests carried the coffin from the sanctuary to the cemetery in the hospital grounds. There is to be a Mass in St Ignatius, Norwood, on Thursday, 18th October, with Archbishop Gleeson as the principal celebrant.
(Australian Province Fortnightly Report, no. 256)

The Australian newspaper, The Advocate, fills in some of the back ground to his Werribee and later years (acknowledgments to Fr PJ Stephenson, who sent a copy of this and the above extract):
Fr Lennon arrived in Sydney early in 1947 to teach at St Aloysius College, Milson's Point. He spent 1948 teaching at Burke Hall, Kew, before joining the staff at Corpus Christi College, Werribee.
He worked there for twenty years, the first ten as dean of discipline. He held the post of minister twice for short spells, and when he relinquished the post of dean, he became a popular spiritual director for many of the students.
During his time in the seminary, he was responsible for teaching gregorian chant, liturgy and public speaking. He also lectured in Scripture. Music played a large part in his life, both in choir work and directing orchestras
In 1970 he ended his long association with the seminary and on medical advice moved to South Australia, where he worked in St. Ignatius parish, Norwood. He also gave papers on liturgical topics to the Senate of Priests and other groups in the archdiocese of Adelaide.
For the last eighteen months of his life Fr Lennon was resident chaplain at St Joseph’s hospital of the Sisters of Mercy for their sick and aged sisters at Newtown, Geelong.

Lentaigne, Victor, 1848-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1569
  • Person
  • 27 October 1848-18 August 1922

Born: 27 October 1848, Dublin
Entered: 26 September 1865, Loyola College, Loyola, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: 1877, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 02 February 1884
Died: 18 August 1922, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ & Jesuit College in Spain

Nephew of Joseph Lentaigne, First Provincial of HIB - RIP 1884

by 1869 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1876 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) Studying
by 1883 at at Hadzor Hall, (FRA) making Tertianship
by 1903 in Collège Saint-François Xavier, Alexandria, Egypt (LUGD) Military Chaplain and Teacher

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of Sir John Lentaigne (Lawyer and Privy Counsellor and one of the first Clongowes students) and Nephew of Joseph Lentaigne, First Provincial of HIB - RIP 1884

He did his early studies in Spain, and the Philosophy and Theology in Belgium, where he was Ordained 1877.
1900 He was sent to Alexandria, Egypt as a Military Chaplain, and when he returned he was appointed spiritual Father at Belvedere.
After this he was sent as Spiritual Father and Missioner to Clongowes which he loved dearly and did a lot of good work.
Much to his own disappointment, he was move from Clongowes to Rathfarnham, and died unexpectedly a short time afterwards 18 August1922.

He was a very indistinct Preacher, so did not make much impact from the pulpit. He as of a very sensitive nature, and a thorough gentleman to all classes of people.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946
FROM OTHER PROVINCES :
England :
Fr. Quigley, who is Senior Chaplain to the British Forces in Egypt, finds the names of other Jesuit chaplains in the Register at Alexandria, and among them Fr. David Gallery (1901), Fr. V. Lentaigne (1904-5) and Fr. Joseph Flynn (1907-14).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Victor Lentaigne 1848-1922
Fr Victor Lentaigne was the son of Sir John Lentaigne, and a nephew of the first Provincial of then Irish Province. Born in Dublin on October 27th 1848, he made his early studies in Spain, his philosophy and theology in Belgium, where he was ordained in 1877.
He was sent as a Military Chaplain to Alexandria in 1900. On his return, he was Spiritual father in Belvedere, and later in Clongowes. He read all his sermons, and owing to indistinctness, failed to impress his flock as a preacher.
He was of a very sensitive nature, but a thorough gentleman with everybody, both poor and rich.
Being changed from Clongowes to Rathfarnham, he died very suddenly and was buried from Gardiner Street on August 18th 1922.

◆ The Clongownian, 1923

Obituary

Father Victor Lentaigne SJ

A French Doctor named Lentaigne escaped from France during the horrors of the French Revolution, and made his permanent home in Dublin, where he continued to practise his profession. He attended Wolfe Tone when the latter was dying, and saved him from execution by giving a certificate stating that the patient could not be moved without a causing his immediate death. One of his sons named Joseph joined the Jesuits. After having been for some years Prefect of Studies at Clongowes, he was sent to Australia, wliere he did very useful work, until his health at last broke down and he reurned to Ireland, a victim of chronic asthma. His brother John, afterwards Sir John Lentaigne, became, as head of the Prison Board, nobly famous as a pioneer in the reclamation of criminals, and proved, by his success in very many cases, the soundness of his philanthropic principles. Two of his daughters became nuns, one a Carmelite in Firhouse Convent, while the other joined the Irish Sisters of Charity and became celebrated for her most able and most kind management of the Blind Asylum at Merrion. Of Sir John's sons, Joseph obtained a high Government position as Secretary to the Lord Chancellor. John became one of our most distinguished Dublin surgeons, and was knighted in recognition of his high merits; Victor, who, although not the youngest, survived all his brothers and sisters (except Benjamin, who now holds a leading legal position in Burmah), became a Jesuit.

Victor Lentaigne was born in Dublin on the 27th October, 1848. When I had been at Clongowes for about a year, Victor Lentaigne joined our ranks in the Third Line. That would have been in the autumn of 1860, or . some time in 1861. He was only at Clongowes for about twelve months when his father sent him to a Jesuit College in Spain.

While still in Spain he joined the Society, 26th August, 1865, and made his noviceship at Loyola, the ancestral home of St Ignatius. After his noviceship he was sent to Louvain in Belgium, where he studied philosophy for two years, and was sent to Stonyhurst for his third year's philosophy. In 1871 he was sent to Clongowes, where he remained until 1875. In 1871. I was also sent to Clongowėe. It was the first time that we had met since we had been little boys together in dear old Clongowes, and I still cherish the memory of many happy walks and intimate chats which we had together in those old days. He was one of the simplest, gentlest, kindest and most sympathetic friends whom I have ever known, In 1875 he was sent back to Louvain for his theological studies, and on their termination in 1879, Father Victor Lentaigne came back again to our dear old Alma Mater, where I again was with him.

The winter of 1880 was a superb one for skating The field between the grand avenue and the Kapolis gate had been flooded, and there was superb surface of mirror-like ice all. over the wide expanse. Even to this hour I can see in fancy that great tall figure moving with the speed of a good motor-car, and yet with the grace and gentleness of the apparently, effortiess flight of an eagle circling above in the thin air. Never have I seen man or woman skate with such combined ease and power as Fr Lentaigne.

In 1886, after a couple of years spent at Tullabeg, Father Lentaigne was again back at Clongowes. In 1888 he was sent to Galway as minister, but in 1893 he was again back in Clongowes. On the death of Father John Anderson SJ, Chaplain to the British Troops at Alexandria in 1900, Father Lentaigne was sent to take his place, and remained there until 1906, during which time a great admirer and friend of his, Father Patrick Kane SJ, held a similar position at Cairo, and they were able occasionally to meet. From Egypt he was recalled in 1906, and sent as minister to Belvedere College, but 1911 found him once more again in Clongowes. This time he was Spiritual Father to the Community. He had also the charge and care of the People's Chapel. All the people, but most especially the poor and sick, soon grew to feel for him the deepest veneration and the most affectionate gratitude. At last his health broke down completely. He be caine utterly unable for work of any kind, A change was inevitable. In 1921 he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle - he had to bid his last good-bye to Clongowes. To him it was a sore wrench; he accepted it nobly and patiently, but it broke his heart. He died peacefully and happily on the 18th August, 1922.

Father Lentaigne was known as the calmest yet most masterful of Study Prefects. Seated in the high pulpit, his glance passed so quietly over the great silent Hall that it seemed as though he saw all the boys at once, until some : incautious idler suddenly felt the magnetism of a steadfast gaze fixed upon him, and looking up beheld the wide brow lowered in a frown of thunder; while from the indignant eyes beneath flashed forth an electric fire that shrivelled up the terrified culprit, who sraightway cowered intently over his book or pen.

Father Lentaigne was a gentleroan. This is one of the first remarks usually made by those who knew him well. It means very much more than the mere circumstance of gentle blood and good breeding. It means much more than the mere politeness of out ward manner, or social becomingness. In its full sense, which is the only true sense, it means that great broadmindedness of judgment, that generous kindliness of appreciation, that delicate sympathy for feeling, that refined considerateness for failing, or even for fault, which each and all are of the very essence of that noble character whose out ward evidences are in the word, manner, and action of high courtesy.

He loved Clongowes. He loved it with a love characteristic of the old Clongownians of long ago, a love proud, chivalrous, warm, with the tenderness and sympathy of a true home-love, a love that loved the old place itself, the old spot, the old Castle, the old Halls, the old rooms, the old playground, the old avenue, the old woods, but above all, the old schoolfellows, the old subjects and the old Masters; a love which, I trust, still exists in the minds and the hearts of the new old Clongownians who are called to face a graver, a more perilous, but it is to be hoped, a more glorious future than we of the older past. :

Father Victor Lentaigne was deeply religious, not in the sense which mere piety commonly has and is by many thought to have deserved the name, but in the old noble Christian sense of sterling holiness. God bless hin, and may he rest in peace.

Robert Kane SJ

Loughnan, Basil, 1887-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1593
  • Person
  • 09 May 1887-22 January 1967

Born: 09 May 1887, Christchurch, New Zealand
Entered: 07 November 1903, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 01 February 1924, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 22 January 1967, St John of God Hospital Richmond, NSW - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931
Older brother of Louis Loughnan - RIP 1951
WWII Chaplain

by 1908 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1911 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Basil Loughnan was educated at Christ's College and Riverview, and then entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 November 1903. Further Jesuit studies were in Dublin and Stonyhurst, England. His regency was at Riverview, 1910-16.
He was ordained in Dublin, 8 April 1919, and returned to Australia in 1921, teaching Latin and English, and in charge of rowing at Xavier College, 1921-26. He worked then in the Norwood parish, 1926-30.
His most significant appointment was to Newman College, Melbourne University, 1930-1937, where he distinguished himself as a philosopher. At this time the general awarded him a PhD, because his Jesuit studies were recognised by the Gregorian University.
Afterwards, he spent four years at Werribee and then he taught Hebrew, Greek and the history of philosophy to Jesuit scholastics at Pyrnble from 1939-41, and from 1942-46 was a military chaplain, going to Japan at the end of the war.
When he enlisted, he put his age back so that he might get more into the action. He did his parachute jumps, when quite elderly, and slept under canvas. As a chaplain, he had no human respect, and if ever at the officers' mess the conversation became nasty, he went for the offending officers and then left the table. He was tireless in his work for the troops, and was congratulated by the chaplain general for having made more converts than any other chaplain. He got on very well with many important military people. But he also did several quixotic things. He went through the hardest jungle training and long marches as though he were a young man, all of which contributed to his declining health. It appeared that he had no concern for his own life at all.
When the war was over, he was a cripple. Gradually he became worse, until he could not walk without two sticks, and then later, not at all. Being externally rough in conversation on occasions, he covered up the depth of his spirituality, patience, courage and kindness.
He returned to North Sydney parish as chaplain to the Mater Hospital from 1948-54, until ill health forced him to retire to Pymble in 1955. He remained in poor health, and had a sad time for the remaining twelve years of his life. He spent a long time in the military hospital at Concord. Then, as age and sickness increased, he lost his bearings. Eventually he went to St John of God Hospital Richmond, NSW) and stayed there until he died.
Loughnan was one of the best original thinkers of the Australian province, and a brilliant philosopher, but highly strung, somewhat touchy and quarrelsome. His best work seemed to have been accomplished at Newman College, despite being under a very difficult and susceptible superior He worked in the university departments of history and philosophy.
In his later years his peculiarities became rather more pronounced and for the last years of his life he was quite senile. He was reputed to be an excellent carpenter, and, if one wished to keep on good terms with him, it was necessary to visit him occasionally in his workshop and admire his handicraft.
Loughnan's magnum opus entitled “Metaphysics and Ethics”, was passed by the Jesuit censors and recommended for publication by the reader of the Oxford University Press, but never published. It was a major work on the thoughts of Bradley, Bosanquet and Alexander. Loughnan had original ideas, and few could match him intellectually or meet him in the cut and thrust of debate.
His final vows were delayed because superiors believed that he should have a more lowly opinion of his own judgement and have greater reverence for the traditional views of the Jesuit ascetical writers, and the observance of common life. Superiors could not easily cope with original thinkers. However, Loughnan did lack discretion and prudence, and did not like to be contradicted. He was a very active and athletic man, a good oarsman and an enthusiastic cyclist, but he often overtaxed himself and took little care of his health. Despite later physical infirmity, his great strength and endurance ensured a long life.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Australia :

Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

MacElroy, John, 1782-1877, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1628
  • Person
  • 14 May 1782-12 September 1877

Born: 14 May 1782, Brookeborough, County Fermanagh
Entered: 10 October 1806 - Marylandiae Mission (MAR)
Ordained: 1817
Professed: 02 February 1821
Died: 12 September 1877, Frederick, Maryland, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
McElroy, John
by Patrick M. Geoghegan

McElroy, John (1782–1877), priest and educator in the USA, was born 14 May 1782 at Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh, son of Roman catholic farmers, whose names are not known. Educated locally, he became involved in the United Irishmen and decided to leave the country in 1803 after the abortive insurrection of that year. Emigrating to the USA, he settled at Baltimore, Maryland, and became a clerk at Georgetown in nearby Washington, DC. In 1806 he decided to join the recently restored Society of Jesus as a lay brother and soon impressed with his oratorical skills and shrewd intellect. For almost ten years he worked as a book keeper and buyer at Georgetown College, until Father Grassi recommended that he should be allowed to become a candidate for the priesthood. Ordained in 1817, he served as an assistant pastor at Holy Trinity church in Georgetown (1818–22) until his appointment as pastor of St John's church in Frederick, Maryland. Despite his lack of a formal education he quickly established himself as a brilliant preacher, and he extended his pastoral duties by travelling regularly throughout western Maryland and north-western Virginia administering the sacraments. At Frederick he established St John's Female Benevolent and Frederick Free School (1824) under the Sisters of Charity, and later the St John's Literary Institute (1829) under the Jesuits. In one notable success, he managed to secure state funding for both schools even though they were Roman Catholic, and for a time St John's College (as the literary institute became known) rivalled Georgetown College in academic excellence.

A gigantic man despite his wiry frame, McElroy had a towering personality to match. He was an enthusiastic supporter of religious retreats and soon came to regard the week-long missions he began at Frederick in 1827 as an essential part of his ministry, and believed that they provided the catholic church in America with a means of evangelical revitalisation and revival. In 1846 the United States went to war with Mexico, a catholic country, and the government was anxious to demonstrate the non-sectarian nature of the conflict. As a result, McElroy was one of two catholic priests appointed as non-commissioned chaplains to the American army. Based at Matamoros in Mexico, he spent a year ministering to the large numbers of catholic soldiers under Gen. Zachary Taylor. With the conclusion of the war he was at the height of his reputation and was appointed pastor of St Mary's church in Boston. Immediately he set to work raising funds for the building of schools for children, and despite some troublesome litigation he secured land for the building of the Church of the Immaculate Conception in 1859. He encountered similar difficulties when trying to set up a college. Despite the great obstacles – a shortage of funds, priests, and land – he succeeded in building Boston College in 1860. The civil war disrupted his plans, and it was only opened officially in 1864. By now blind and enfeebled, McElroy retired from active ministry and returned to the town of Frederick. He died 12 September 1877 after breaking some of his ribs in an accident.

Possessing an almost legendary reputation, McElroy was hugely respected in the USA for his preaching abilities and tireless service as an educator and pastor. The rumour that he had refused three bishoprics only contributed to his prestige, and he was held in great affection for his lifetime of service as a Jesuit.

Esmeralda Boyle, Father John McElroy: the Irish priest (1878); Justin H. Smith, ‘American rule in Mexico’, American Historical Review, xxiii, no. 2 (1918), 287; David R. Dunigan, A history of Boston College (1947); Nicholas Varga, ‘Father John Early: American Jesuit educator’, Breifne, vi (1986), 376, 389; Pierre D. Lambert, ‘Jesuit education and educators: some biographical notes’, Vitae Scholasticae, vii, no. 2 (1988), 275–302; Peter Way, ‘Evil humours and ardent spirits: the rough culture of canal construction’, Journal of American History, lxxix, no. 4 (1993), 1415–16; ANB

MacLoughlin, Stanislaus, 1863-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1639
  • Person
  • 09 May 1863-28 May 1956

Born: 09 May 1863, Derry, County Derry
Entered: 07 September 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 31 July 1898
Final Vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 28 May 1956, Meath Hospital Dublin

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death

First World War chaplain

by 1896 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1899 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Kinmel Training Centre, 53rd SWB, Rhyl
by 1919 Military Chaplain : Stanislaus Heaton Camp, Manchester

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - JOHN MC LOUGHLIN - post Novitiate assumed the name Stanislaus

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 31st Year No 3 1956
Obituary :
Fr Stanislaus J McLoughlin
The death of Fr. Stanislaus MacLoughlin has taken from us one that was a legendary figure in the Province. His various activities, his unusual interests, his unpredictable reactions to difficult situations were a never-flagging source of wonder to his brethren. Moreover, the fact that seventy of his ninety-three years were spent in the Society made him a valuable source of information about Province traditions.
Born in 1863 in Derry, he entered the Noviceship in 1886 at Dromore, Co. Down, after spending some years teaching. All his companions of those days have died, except Fr. L. McKenna and Br. Mordaunt. The years before ordination he spent in Enghien, the Crescent and Milltown Park. He went to Tronchiennes for his tertianship and then was sent to Belvedere in 1899. From Belvedere he passed to the Crescent once again, where he was for most of the time till the First World War. Then he went to Galway, where he was Prefect of Studies, till he was sent as a chaplain to the British troops in North Wales, After the war he was appointed Minister in Belvedere and then was transferred to the Messenger Office. Most of the remaining years of his life were spent in University Hall, Milltown Park, or Rathfarnham Castle Retreat House.
There was nothing ordinary about Fr. Stan. One could not come in contact with him and easily forget him, for everything he did was stamped with his strong personality. He was forthright in his opinions, never hid his likes or dislikes, and was slow to revise a judgment once passed on a person or a work. His outstanding qualities and failings are those we usually associate with the Six Counties and his device could very well have been “not an inch”. He used to tell how as a young man before he became a Jesuit he was teaching in Belvedere and had as one of his pupils, James MacNeil, the future Governor General. James was ordered by the then Mr. McLoughlin to stay in after school, for some misdemeanour, but protested that he could not stay in as he had to catch the train to Maynooth. “If you leave this room, it will be over my dead body”, was the uncompromising answer of Mr. MacLoughlin. Time moderated this spirit, but never destroyed it.
Fr. MacLoughlin had a number of interests which we rarely find associated in the same person. Building, distilling, taming animals, breeding new varieties of birds, rearing fowl, all attracted him, Especially in his old age, when loss of strength and increasing deafness made it impossible for him to give retreats or hear confessions, he turned more and more to curious experiments with these creatures. Fate always seem to step in just as he was bringing his experiments to a successful conclusion and put him back at the place from which he commenced.
In most people's minds, Fr. Stan is associated with Belvedere College and indeed his connection with Belvedere goes back to 1885, the year before he entered the Society. But it was not until he returned from Wales in 1919 that he became intimately bound up with the school. He was not teaching, but was working in the Messenger Office most of the time so that his activities in the school were all works of supererogation. He took an active interest in the Newsboys' Club, the S. V, de Paul Conference, the Old Boys' Union and became an unofficial aide to Fr. J. M. O'Connor, then Games Master. With Fr. C. Molony he founded the Old Belvedere Rugby Club. Not only did he help to found the Club, but he searched the suburbs for a suitable playing pitch and when it was acquired he started, at the age of sixty-four, to build a pavilion for the members. The story of that pavilion is a saga with many amusing episodes, all of which underline the determination with which he carried through any work he undertook. He approved of the Club as he believed it sheltered youths at a critical age from the dangers they were likely to encounter elsewhere. Football as such did not interest him and he might be seen at important fixtures, at Lansdowne Road walking up and down behind the spectators and not paying any attention to the game. It was the players attracted him and he jealously scrutinised any changes in the rules of the Club which seemed to him a falling away from the ideal. He was always prepared to criticise and denounce what he considered dangerous innovations. Two incidents will show the affection and respect the members of the Club felt for him. On the occasion of his diamond jubilee they commissioned the artist, Sean O'Sullivan, to draw them a pen and ink sketch of Fr. Stan, which they promptly set up in a place of honour in the present Club pavilion. Again, after a general meeting, at which he had been particularly critical the whole meeting stood out of respect when he rose to leave. The stories that have collected round Fr. MacLoughlin's name are legion, but it should not be forgotten that many were made up by himself, for he had a fine sense of humour and a gift for telling an anecdote. Fr. MacLoughlin's gifts made him especially suited to influence adolescents. He had such a variety of out-of-the-way information and such an original way of looking at things that he appealed very much to boys who were beginning to feel restive under the established order of things and becoming critical of authority. Hence his great success as a retreat-giver in Milltown Park and Rathfarnham. His work for schoolboys is principally associated with Rathfarnham Retreat House, where for many years, he directed and advised Dublin schoolboys in their realisation of a vocation or the choice of a career. There must be many priests today in the Society and outside of it who have him to thank for his generous help and unfailing encouragement in following their vocation. May they remember him now in their prayers.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stanislaus McLoughlin 1863-1956
Fr Stanislaus McLoughlin was a legendary figure in the Province. His various activities, his unusual hobbies, his unpredictable reactions to different situations, were an unflagging source of wonder to his brethren.
Born in Derry in 1863 he entered the noviceship at Dromore in 1886.
He was associated with the Crescent as a young Jesuit priest, and was responsible for the fine rugby pitch which that College now has in the centre of the city. He will always be remembered in connection with Belvedere, where the prime of his life as a Jesuit was spent. With Fr Charles Moloney he founded the Old Belvedere Rugby Club. Not only that, but he scoured the city looking for a suitable pitch, and having got it proceeded to build a pavilion on it.
He had a special gift for directing young men and boys. This was exercised at Belvedere and especially in his later years at Rathfarnham where he conducted retreats for young people.
He died on May 28th 1956, ninety-three years of age, seventy of which he lived in the Society.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1956

Obituary

Father Stanislaus MacLaughlin SJ

Rev Stanislaus J MacLaughlin SJ, Rathfarnham Castle, whose death has occurred, was a native of Derry, where he was born in 1863. Before entering the Society of Jesus at Dromore, near Belfast, he taught for some years as lay master at Belvedere College.

He studied philosophy at Enghien, Belgium, and before his theological studies at Milltown Park, he taught in the Sacred Heart College, the Crescent, Limerick, for five years.

He was ordained in 1898. His religious training was completed at Tronchiennes, Belgium, in the following year. From 1900 to 1918 he was attached to Belvedere College, the Sacred Heart College in Limerick, and St Ignatius College, Galway.

In St Ignatius he was for some time Prefect of Studies, and he ministered in the church attached to the College. In the years 1918 and 1919, he was a military chaplain and did garrison duty at Rhyl and Manchester,

He was master at Belvedere College in 1920 and 1922, and was attached to the “Messenger” office, Dublin, from 1924 to 1932. He was then appointed Assistant Director of the House of Retreats, Milltown Park. He also held that post from 1933 to 1935.

He acted again as Assistant Director of the House of Retreat from 1942 to 1944. From 1936 to 1941 he was acting President of University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin. In 1945 he was transferred to Rathfarnham Castle, where he helped to organise and conduct retreats for men and boys.

Fr McLaughlin took a lively and practical interest in the Old Belvedere Rugby Club from the early days of its foundation, and he continued as a constant guide, father and patron to its members.

We have given above the facts of the life of Father Stan; but these things convey no accurate picture of the person we have known and the personality who is gone from among us. It would need a kind of symposium of the memories of his contemporaries, of the boys who knew him in class, and of Old Belvederians of many vintages who began the club with him in Ballymun; who feared his entry to the general meeting lest they had done something of which he disapproved, who enjoyed his philippics, and who loved the fine old man whose indomitable spirit was so admirable and whose active mind and active body outlasted in vigour all his contemporaries and shamed younger men.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father John McLoughlin (1863-1956)

A native of Derry, had been engaged for some time in the teaching profession before he entered the Society in 1886. Some years after he became a Jesuit, he adopted the name Stanislaus by which he was known henceforth. He made his higher studies at Enghien and Milltown Park. Father McLaughlin spent in all some sixteen years at the Crescent. He first came here as a scholastic in 1889-94; 1905-09; 1911-16 and 1921-23. Yet he became associated in the public mind more with Belvedere College where he worked devotedly for the Old Belvedere RFC. But his best claim to remembrance was his work in the retreat movement for boys. For many years he worked at Rathfarnham Castle Retreat House where his influence was great amongst Dublin youth seeking for guidance in the choice of a state in life.

MacSeumais, Anthony, 1910-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/524
  • Person
  • 23 September 1910-13 January 1989

Born: 23 September 1910, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Miltown Park, Dublin
Died: 13 January 1989, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death.

Younger brother of Peadar - RIP 1996

by 1973 at Riegelwood NC, USA (MAR) working
by 1975 at Woodland Hills, Santa Monica CA, USA (CAL) working

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Letter from Fr. J. A. MacSeumais, R. A. F. Staging Post, Mauripur.
“I am still awaiting a plane for Singapore. However, there is a possibility that I may be away tomorrow. This Station is served by Dutch Franciscans from St. Patrick's Church, Karachi. I was in there on Sunday and met the Superior Ecclesiasticus of this Area, Mgr. Alcuin Van Miltenburg, O.F.M. He it was who made all the arrangements for the burial of Fr. John Sloan, S.J. Fr. Sloan was travelling from Karachi Airport to Ceylon, in a TATA Dakota when the plane crashed at Karonji creek about 15 miles from Karachi Airport. The Mother Superior of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and one of her nuns, Mother Anthony, an Irishwoman, were called to St. Teresa's Nursing Home, Karachi to prepare Fr. Sloan's body for burial. He is buried in the Catholic Plot at Karachi Cemetery where several other Jesuits are buried. I visited Fr. Sloan's grave on Sunday and I hope to obtain a photograph of it.
The German Jesuits had the Mission of Sind and Baluchistan, and after the First World War, it was taken over by the other Provinces. In 1935, it was taken over by the Franciscans. There is a magnificent Memorial in front of St. Patrick's, built in honour of the Kingship of Christ and commemorating the work done by the Society in this Mission. Under the Memorial is a crypt and in a passage behind the altar is the ‘The Creation of Hell’ by Ignacio Vas, a number of figures of the damned being tortured in Hell. Indefinite depth is added by an arrangement of mirrors”.

MacSheahan, John, 1885-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/753
  • Person
  • 08 December 1885-30 October 1956

Born: 08 December 1885, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 30 October 1956, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 6th RI Regiment, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 1 1957

Obituary :

Fr John MacSheahan (1887-1956)

When the death of Fr. MacSheahan was announced, a Jesuit said to me: “The Society has another martyr in heaven”. Anyone who knew him intimately, especially for the past ten or twelve years, will have no difficulty in endorsing that statement. Instinctively one thinks of him as a man enduring suffering, constant and severe, and sustaining throughout an infectious spirit of cheerfulness and trust in God. “How are you, Fr. John?” I asked him on meeting him one day in Gardiner Street. At that moment he was the wan, emaciated figure, slightly stooped, that gave you a shock if you had not seen him for a period. “How am I? Why, I'm grand! Of course you know I have lost the sight of this eye, and the hearing of this ear”, - and he indicated both, covering them for a moment with his open palm. Then the “tummy gives me no end of trouble. If only I could live without eating! And the noises go on all the time in my old head”. “You have them at this moment?” “At this moment there is a throbbing up there like an engine; it never stops, day and night. But otherwise I'm fine!!”
“Otherwise I'm fine”. That is the characteristic note. I saw him at recreation that same evening, and he laughed and joked and told stories in his own inimitable way. But who knows the heroic effort demanded daily, hourly, by this struggle extending over his whole life - for he was always a delicate man and calling for even greater courage as the end approached? This man of indomitable will I saw one day in his room and he broke down completely. His head sank into his hands and he wept freely. “It's not easy going. Life is so useless and so lonely. I wish God would take me or give me some health and relief”. But at once he gripped himself, apologised for letting me see him weeping, and by the time I was going, the familiar patient smile was back again. But the incident gave me an inkling into the depths of depression that must have often crushed and nearly overpowered him. But nobody knew,
His optimism was irrepressible. He would tell you of his confidence in Our Lady during a novena he was making in her honour as one of her feasts came on. And when there was no cure and no relief Fr. John grinned and braced himself to carry on. He was in high glee when the Eucharistic Fast was mitigated. He could now have a cup of coffee in the early morning and “I don't know myself, it's such a help saying Mass”. He was keenly appreciative of even a tiny act of thoughtfulness...a letter or a visit or a promise of prayer. He told me at considerable length and with obviously deep gratitude in his voice of a reply he had received from a Superior. He had been lamenting the fact that he was such an expense and unable to do any work. He was assured on both points. He was reminded that his sufferings, borne with such Christlike patience, were beyond doubt calling down immense blessings and graces on the Province. I know how he treasured that word.
The moment he got any respite he was all out to give himself to work. At Gardiner Street he exercised a fruitful apostolate, doing full-time as “operarius”, director of the Irish-speaking Sodality, and settling down to “figures” - the House accounts. He was ever on the watch to multiply deeds of charity, visits to the sick, letters of advice or congratulation or of sympathy. All was done unobtrusively; much remained, and remains, entirely hidden. Often on returning from some errand of mercy he would get a “black-out” and collapse in the street. Such incidents never deterred him. He would joke about them afterwards. He would tell you of the four or five different occasions upon which people thought he was dead or dying.
He enjoyed in particular describing the night when, recovering from a “black out," he began to realise he was lying in a bed, and surrounded by lighted candles, They must surely believe that this time he really is dead, and he wondered hazily if perhaps they mightn't be right! But again he came back from the tomb. The electricity had failed that night, that was all.
Fr. MacSheahan entered the Society at Tullabeg, in 1902, when he was seventeen. His tales of the sayings and doings of a renowned Fr. Socius provided many a good laugh, nor did they lose in the telling. He went to Stonyhurst for philosophy, to Clongowes, and Mungret for “colleges”, and he was ordained at Milltown Park in 1917. He was chaplain in France during World War I, was twice Rector of Galway, worked in the Church and School at the Crescent, and, in 1940, began his long association with Gardiner Street, He went to Rathfarnham in 1955, having himself suggested the change, which he found hard to make - because he recognised he was no longer equal to the work at Gardiner Street.
As chaplain he won the M.C. and a “bar” to it. When this distinction was commented on at his Jubilee, he replied that it meant little to him. The two letters he prized, the only two, after his name were |S.J.” His daily life was the most compelling proof that he spoke the truth,
He was a fluent Irish speaker and all his life an enthusiastic supporter of the language and culture. While his work in this field was characterised by that energy and zeal which he brought to every task, he would have been the last man in the world to obtrude his interest on others. He was unfailingly companionable. His charity at recreation, and at all times, if it did not win others to the Cause he had so much at heart, ensured at least that it did not alienate them from him, nor him from his brethren. Indeed this is understatement.
A truly Christlike priest, this great Jesuit, laden with the Cross, walked unflinchingly the hard road to his Calvary. Far from hardening him, his sufferings developed, rather, that exquisite charity which bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things. Like the Master he loved so ardently, Fr. MacSheahan was obedient even to the death of the Cross. He put the Cross down only when it was impossible for him to carry it any farther. He died in Dublin on 30th October, 1956. “From his childhood”, writes his sister, “John always impressed me with his innocence, simplicity, and humility”. May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John MacSheahan 1885-1956
Fr John MacSheahan was a fluent Irish speaker, and all his life he was an enthusiastic supporter of our native language and culture.

He was twice Rector of Galway. The latter part of his life was spent in Gardiner Street, where he directed the Irish Sodality. He was Chaplain in WWII, and he was awarded an MC with a bar to it. But when thus distinction was mentioned at his jubilee celebration, he remarked, that the letters he prized after his name, the only two were SJ.

The last ten years of his life he suffered heroically from all kinds of complaints, and he carried on his work in spite of handicaps. At his own request he was transferred to Rathfarnham, when he felt his usefulness in Gardiner Street was at an end.

He suffered so much at this time that he often asked God to take him home, but he bore his cross obediently and resignedly until God called him on October 30th 1956.

◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary

Father John MacSheahan SJ

Father MacSheahan entered the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1902, when he was seventeen. After Philosophy at Stonyhurst, he returned to Clongowes as a master. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1917. He was chaplain in France during the Great War, was twice Rector of Galway, worked in the church and school in the Crescent and, in 1940, began his long associatibn with Gardiner Street Church. He went to Rathfarnham Castle in1955, having himself suggested the change, because the recognised he was no longer equal to the Work at Gardiner Street.

As chaplain he won an M.C. with Bar: When this distinction was commented on at his Jubilee, he replied that it meant little to him. The two letters he prized most were SJ. His daily life was the most compelling proof that he spoke the truth.

He was a fluent Irish speaker and all his life an enthusiastic supporter of the language and culture. While his work in this field was characterised by the energy and zeal which he brought to every task, he would have been the last man in the world to obtrude his interest on others.

A truly Christlike priest, he walked unflinchingly the hard road to his Calvary. Far from hardening him, his sufferings developed, rather, that exquisite charity which bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things. He impressed all by his simplicity and humility. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father John MacSheahan (1885-1956)

A native of Dublin, entered the Society in 1902. On the completion of his classical studies, he began his regency at St Ignatius, Galway where he first acquired his enthusiasm for the Irish language. His higher studies were made at St Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1917. In that year he volunteered as a chaplain. After demobilisation, he completed his studies, and was appointed to Galway in 1921. He occupied the post of Vice-Rector there from 1922-1928. He was master at Sacred Heart College from 1929 to 1931 when he was appointed as Rector once more in Galway. In 1938 on relinquishing office he took up church work in Gardiner St. and with the exception of a few years at Rathfarnham, spent his remaining years there. Throughout his life in the Society, Father MacSheahan was an ardent supporter, chiefly by example, of the Gaelic language. His later years, owing to weak health, were spent in retirement.

Magan, James W, 1881-1959, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1647
  • Person
  • 25 November 1881-13 September 1959

Born: 25 November 1881, Killashee, County Longford
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1918,St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 13 September 1959, Loyola College, Watsonia, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

First World War chaplain.
by 1904 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 6th Yorks and Lancs Regiment, BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
James Magan was a real character with a boisterous sense of u and was a wonderful companion if one was not feeling depressed. His loud, melodious voice could annoy the more sensitive by his vociferous jokes on trams and buses, and he was good at “setting up” superiors by playing on their weaknesses, especially the provincial, Austin Kelly. His wit was captivating. When introducing himself he would say: “Magan's the name - James William Magan. James after St James, William after the Kaiser, and Magan after my Father.
Magan was a most devoted and respected pastor, especially good with young people. He was also very humble. and would even ask for advice about his sermons and retreat notes, even though he was highly skilled in preaching. He spoke the language of the people in simple terms, putting everyone at ease He even became an expert in the Australian accent.
He was educated at Castleknock College by the Vincentians, and Clongowes College, before he entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1899. After his juniorate there in mathematics and classics, he studied philosophy at Gemert, Toulouse province, 1903-06, and then taught at Mungret and Clongowes, 1906-12. Theology studies at Milltown Park followed, 1912-16, and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1916-17.
For a few years afterwards, Magan became a military chaplain with the 6th York and Lancasters, British Expeditionary Forces, 1917-19. Afterwards, he set sail for Australia, teaching first at Xavier College, 1920-22, then at St Aloysius' College, 1923-24, and finally spent a year at Riverview.
In Australia he had a most successful pastoral ministry, first at Lavender Bay, 1925-31, then as superior and parish priest of Richmond, 1932-36. He also worked at various times at Hawthorn, 1942-59.
Magan was a very colorful personality. He was an outstanding retreat-giver, and for twenty years gave the ordination retreat to the seminarians at Werribee. He also gave a retreat to the Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra. His short Sunday discourses were always full of bright, homely illustrations. His merry ways made him most approachable. He spoke to everyone that he met along his path, conferring on all and sundry unauthorised medical degrees. Many a junior sister he addressed as “Mother General”.
He regularly preached the devotions to the Sacred Heart during the month of June. Magan was above all a kindly, hospitable man, and definitely 'a man's man'. He died suddenly whilst giving a retreat to the priests of the Sale diocese at Loyola College, Watsonia.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926
Residence. S F XAVIER (Lavender Bay) :
Lavender Bay became an independent parish in 1921. Its First Pastor was Fr R O'Dempsey. He was succeeded by Fr R Murphy, who built the new school, enlarged the hall, and established four tennis courts. The present Pastor so Fr J Magan. All three are old Clongowes boys. The parish contains St, Aloysius' College, two primary schools and two large convents. Numbered amongst the parishioners is His Excellency the Apostolic Delegate.

Irish Province News 7th Year No 3 1932
Lavender Bay Parish
Father James Magan, S.J., took leave of Lavender Bay Parish at a meeting organized by his late parishioners to do him honour and to say farewell. During the proceedings several very complimentary speeches were addressed to him, and a number of substantial presents made.
The Catholic Press, commenting on the meeting, wrote “In the Archdiocese of Sydney there is no more genial priest than Rev. Father .J. Magan, SJ., who has just completed seven years as Superior of the Lavender Bay Parish, and has been transferred to the Jesuit house at Richmond, Victoria. His remarkable jovial disposition, a trait that puts his numerous callers in a friendly attitude, is the reflection of a generous heart which, allied with his high ideals of the priesthood, has made his pastorate on the harbour side a triumphant mission for Christ.Needless to say, during his stay at Lavender Bay, Father Magan won the esteem and respect of all who came in contact with him, especially the school children, in whom he took a great interest, His going is a great loss to the parish, especially to the poor, whom he was always ready to help, not only by giving food and clothing, but also money.

Irish Province News 35th Year No 1 1960
Obituary :
Fr James W Magan (1881-1959)

(From the Monthly Calenday, Hawthorn, October 1959)
The death of Fr. Magan came with startling suddenness, although we should have been prepared for it; for during the last year or so, he had been looking very frail, and aged even beyond his years. Had he lived till the 25th November, he would have been 78 years old. He was, however, so ready to undertake any apostolic work that no one dreamt, when he walked out of Manresa six days before, on the day of his Diamond Jubilee, to begin the first of two retreats to the Bishop and clergy of the diocese of Sale, at Loyola, that he would in a week's time be brought back to Hawthorn in his coffin for his Requiem.
The day he went to Loyola for that retreat was a memorable one for Fr. Magan, because it marked the sixtieth anniversary of his entrance into the Society of Jesus. Normally it would have been a festal day for him, celebrated amongst his fellow Jesuits and friends; but he elected to postpone the celebration of his Jubilee till the two retreats were over. He seemed, however, to have had some inkling that the end was at hand, for in saying goodbye to a member of the community at Hawthorn, he thanked him earnestly for kindness shown to him during the last few years.
Towards the end of the first retreat, Fr. Magan became ill and his place was taken by another priest during the final day. A doctor saw him and urged him to rest for a few days. He did as he was told and the sickness seemed to pass away, and although he did not say Mass on the morning of his death, he was present at Mass and received Holy Communion. He rested quietly during the day and appeared to be well on the mend and in particularly good form, but a visitor to his room at about 3 p.m. found him with his breviary fallen from his helpless hands. He had slipped off as if going to sleep, and I feel sure, just as he would have wished, quietly and peacefully, with no one by his side but his Angel Guardian, presenting him to the Lord, and it is hard to believe that when he met the Master in a matter of moments, he would not have indulged in his wonted pleasantry : “Magan's the name - James William Magan. James after St. James, William after the Kaiser, and Magan after my father”.
Fr. Magan was born in Kilashee, Co. Longford, Ireland. His school. years were spent partly at the Vincentians' College of Castleknock. and partly at the Jesuit College of Clongowes Wood in Kildare. His novitiate was made in Tullabeg, followed by his further classical and mathematical studies in the same place. There he had as one of his masters, Fr. John Fahy, afterwards the first Provincial of Australia. His philosophical studies were made at Gemert, Holland, after which he taught at Mungret and Clongowes Wood Colleges, before proceeding to Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. There, in due course, he was ordained to the priesthood on the feast of St. Ignatius, 1915. His Tertianship in Ireland was interrupted at the outbreak of the First World War, when he was appointed Chaplain to the British forces in France and Belgium; and at the conclusion of the war he completed his Tertianship in the French Jesuit College, Canterbury, England.
His next important appointment was to Australia and his travelling companion was Fr. Jeremiah Murphy, for many years Rector of Newman College. He taught at Xavier College, Kew and St. Aloysius College, Milson's Point, Sydney; and he was Prefect of Studies at Aloysius and later at Riverview. But his obvious gifts for dealing intimately with souls induced Superiors to put him aside for parish work. He was parish priest at Lavender Bay and also at St. Ignatius, Richmond. For many years he was stationed at the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, where a splendid tribute to his memory paid by a church packed with priests, parishioners and friends from far and near, hundreds of whom received Holy Communion for the repose of his soul; and at the conclusion of the Requiem Mass a beautiful and perfectly true-to-life panegyric was preached by His Grace, Arch bishop Simmonds, who presided. There were present also in the Sanctuary, Bishop Lyons of Sale, who with his priests had just made with Fr. Magan the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius; Bishop Fox, the Auxiliary Bishop to Archbishop Mannix, and Fr. Swain, S.J., the English Assistant to Fr. General.
Fr. Magan was a colourful personality, whose coming to Australia was a great boon to our country. He was an outstanding retreat-giver to clergy and laity and for quite twenty years he gave the Ordination Retreat to generations of young Corpus Christi priests; many times also to various Jesuit communities in Australia, and to religious, nuns and Brothers throughout the length and breadth of our land. He was, I think, the first to give the annual retreat to the Cistercian monks at Tarrawarra, and wherever he went he left behind him happy memories and most practical lessons for the future.
“Ridentem dicere verum quid vetat?” - “What is to prevent one driving home an important truth. in a merry way?” - seems to have been almost a cardinal principle with Fr. Magan. His short Sunday discourses were always full of bright homely illustrations, but there was no mistake possible as to the lesson he set out to teach.
His merry ways made him most approachable. He spoke to everyone that he met on the way, conferring on all and sundry unauthorised medical degrees, and many a junior nun, perhaps even a novice, was swept off her feet and constrained blushingly to disclaim the title, when addressed by His Reverence as “Mother General”.
He loved to tell the following incident where he met his own “Waterloo’. It was long ago in an almost empty tram in North. Sydney, Fr. Magan boarded it at the same time as a lady who was carrying a pet monkey. When the conductor came to take his fare, Fr. Magan said (possibly not in a whisper) : “Are monkeys allowed on this tram?” The conductor replied : |Get over there in the corner and no one will notice you”.
He was always very ready when asked to preach or to give a course of sermons on special occasions. I wonder how many times be gave the “Novena of Grace”, or how often he gave the Devotions of the Sacred Heart during the month of June? The writer remembers well how on one Saturday evening in June he was in the pulpit and he was speaking on the text : “Those who propagate this devotion will have their names written on My Heart, never to be effaced”. He told how he had been asked to give this course on Devotion to the Sacred Heart and how he would never, while he lived, decline such a request. “And why should I”, he said. “Did you not hear my text : ‘They shall have their names written on My Heart, never to be effaced’? Won't that be the day for the Magans!” he cried. And assuredly, if that honour is due to anyone, it would be due to him, for devotion to the Sacred Heart was, one might say, almost a ruling passion with him.
Some years passed by and Fr. Magan was very seriously ill. A critical operation was impending. The writer went to see him in hospital. “How are you, James?” I asked. “Weak, terribly weak”, he replied. “Still I think you are going to make good”, I said, “I don't know that I want to”, was his answer. “Well, James”, I said, “at any rate your name is written deep on His Heart, never to be effaced. I have no doubt of that”. His eyes filled with tears and they coursed down his cheeks, and be blurted out : “Please God. Please God”.
Yes, Fr. Magan was a devoted priest of God. Deep down in his soul, under the veneer of what Archbishop Simmonds called his rollicking humour, was a faith in God and a love of God, for Whom with might and main he strove in the Society of Jesus for sixty years. Multitudes of people are indebted to him. He had a heart of gold, as those who knew him best can testify, and he was a devoted, faithful friend. The writer', at any rate, believes that his name is written deeply in the Heart of Christ, never to be effaced.
J. S. Bourke, S.J.

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father James Magan SJ

Father Magan is in France with the 6th Yorkshire and Lancashire. He has, perhaps, come in contact with more Clongownians than any other of our Chaplains. He it was who had charge of the funeral of Lieut. C Shiel, RFC, whose death is announced else where, and among CWC men present at the graveside was R L Rice. He has also come: across J J Keating and poor David, who has recently been killed, and George Maher and Dr Carroll and others. He paid us a short visit during the year, and some of his adventures would make very interesting reading were it not that space, and possibly DORA, will not allow us to record them. Some of his escapes were as amusing on after thought as they must have been nerve-racking at the time.

◆ The Clongownian, 1919

Clongowes Chaplains

Our last number gave an account of the work and experiences of those Army Chaplains who were connected with Clongowes either as boys or masters. Since then a number of those mentioned have found their way back to civil life.

The Armistice.
We are glad to have the opportunity of publishing an account of the Armistice “celebrations” and the events that followed, as viewed by one of our Chaplains, Father Magan, who found himself near Mons when the order (which, apparently, they did not get) to cease fire was given. Father Magan was attached to the 6th Yorks and Lancs. Regiment, and this letter was written home by him on the 20th of November last.

6th York and Lanc, Regiment,
B.E.F., 20/11/18

Dear Father Finlay, PC,

For the past few days I have been doing rather unusual work. I am in a little village one side of which is Belgian, the opposite side is French. It was peculiarly placed during the war, as no one was allowed to go from one country to the other, no one might cross the street or even bid good day to those on the other side. There was a church for each side and a Curé for each side. It is called Goegnes-Chaussée, about 13 kilometers from Mons. Well, this village is on the high road to Germany, so there are hundreds of our prisoners who got free somehow or other from the Germans. Some were let go, some broke away. The costumes are most varied. Some come as smart young Belgians in hard hats, collars and ties; others in khaki ; others half and half, khaki and civilian; others come in prisoner usiform; others in clothes supplied from home. To each and all I supply cigarettes, having got a good supply from the Weekly Dispatch Smokes Fund, and I bear those who want to go to confession.

I met Irish of many regiments - Dublins, Connaughts, RI Rifles, RI Regt, SI, Horse, Leinsters, Munsters. Also Eoglish, Scotch, Australians, Newzealanders, French and Italians.

The Belgians on the way back treated them right royally. At Charleroi the nuns bustled aside the now subdued Germans and got the Catholics to their first Mass for eight months, The Curé there in his sermon exhorted his congregation to see that none of the returning prisoners were short of anything, and tbey followed bis advice to the letter. All they had to spare in the way of clotbes, food and smokes was open to them, I never saw such gratitude as they felt to the Belgians.

When taken they suffered extraordinary privations. To get a drink on the way back last November or March they drank the water off the streets and got no other drink. In the prison cage watches and chains were freely given for a drink of water. They worked at forward dumps of rations or shells or as grooms to German bosses, some even as mess waiters. Food varied according to the chances of scrounging. Not even the mess waiters fared well, as tbe German officers' mess was exceedingly bad. Some always cooked and ate rats when they were lucky enough to kill one. Potato skins were washed and cooked - nettles were freely eaten Tobacco was a most peculiar mixture of leaves of all kinds. Many bring back samples of the blacker brand which is vile. A loaf cost 8 marks, and it was 8 men to a loaf. They were offered 200 marks for boots coming from England; clothes went 500 marks a suit, ie, £25. I saw an overall coat made from nettles and it looked fine. Ropes and sandbags and even towels were made of paper.

Mons
I paid a visit to the famous Mons. It is a fine town and not much damaged. There are shops with fair supplies, but everything is fearfully dear-a bar of chocolate, 2/6; an egg, 1/-,

Peace was a rather tame affair out here. It started as a rumour which no one believed. Then at 11 am. the bands played, The Curé of Aubrois, where I was, made a speech to congratulate the British for having saved Belgium. I translated it; there were three cheers for the King, for Belgium, and for France, and all went their way. For days we heard, as it were, far-off guns which were hard to explain, but it was caused by German dumps being fired.

The most wonderful part of the German retreat was the way they blew up the roads behind then. Every cross road was completely blown to pieces, leaving a huge hole which caused endless inconvenience. Miles of traffic was held up by it. Side roads and main roads suffered alike. The difficulty is that there is little or no road metal to be found to fill in these lioles. For a day or two no rations could come, even aeroplanes had to drop buliy and biscuits to the troops. The papers spoke of a dramatic order to cease fire, unfix bayonets. I heard nothing of it. The war fizzled out like a dying candle. and no one knew it. The prisoners all say it is wonderful how the Germans held out. They were playing the game of bluff; their transport was hopeless - even cows being used for limbers, their harness all ropes, and those paper ropes. Their men had lost their morale; at Aubrois they broke their rifles rather than go into the line. Their treatment of civilians would demand a whole letter, and I must say good-night.

I remain, etc.,

J W Magan SJ, CF

Behind the German Lines
We are indebted to another letter of Father Magan's for the following account of life in a Belgian occupied village :

The people told ine of the invasion. Everything was commandeered Brass of all kinds, knobs of doors, windows, beds, all bedding and loodstuffs. The great complaint was against the “Komandatur” (i.e., the town major and the police). If people were found boiling potatoes the police threw out the potatoes and a fine of 50 marks was imposed. Some had a procès verbal six times a week, and so marks each time. One woman had three in one day. She got up at 6 am - procès No I. She was caught talking with others in the street procès No 2. She lit a light in her house and went straight to shut the window, but was caught (all lights should be covered) - procès No 3. All cattle and hens had been taken, so the country was exceedingly poor. Still there remained some American Red-Cross supplies, cocoa and coffee, to which they treated us.

◆ The Clongownian, 1960

Obituary

Father James William Magan SJ

On a summer's evening exactly fifty years ago a lost new boy stood amid the pile of trunks on the Higher Line Gallery, searching his pockets for the nth time for a lost key. A voice behind him said: “Cheer up, young man, if I can't find a key to fit it, I can lend you a couple of sticks of dynamite”. That was a characteristic introduction to Father, then Mr James William Magan, or as he liked to say: “James for my patron saint, James the apostle, William for the Kaiser, Magan for my father”. There cannot be many who remember the boy who came to Clongowes from Castleknock nor even very many who can remember him as Gallery Prefect, but the recollections of those who do must be vivid and vital, for Mr James Magan was a vivid and vital person. The first and not the least important thing about him in those far-off days was his high spirits. Banging his great bunch of keys with a smile that was close to a grin, he would sweep down the gallery driving the laggards out to walk the track or play “gravel” with a jovial roar, “Omnes Ex!” (“All out”).

We boys were probably quite unaware of the tonic his good spirits and energy were when the monotony of school routine threatened. The office of Gallery Prefect is not the easiest position to fill on the Clongowes staff, though it may well be reckoned one of the most influential. Father James Magan filled it perfectly. He was a strict disciplinarian who was always just, and never harsh. If you deserved it he taught you your lesson, and that done he resumed at once the friendiy relations that were his habitual attitude to all men. The writer still remembers the astonishment with which he heard the ex-gallery prefect recommend him to a successor it was hard to believe he had ever been in trouble. But James Magan was no mere disciplinarian, he could hold a group around his desk under the clock talking first sport and then books and then almost imperceptibly the things that mattered. High spirits can be trying, and they can be a matter of mood or temperament. Father James' were never irritating for he was spontaneous, unselfconscious and always kind. And they were constant. Now constant good spirits through the days and months of a Gallery Prefect's commission and for fifty years to come are not an affair of mood or temperament, they are quite simply a virtue.

He carried the same bubbling energy into his class work. He had one group of the rejected by the experts from Father James Daly's carefully picked “Honours Boys”. These mathematical morons he pushed, one and all, through their exam, a few, to his undisguised delight, took higher honours than some of the chosen race.

After these first school years I met Father James only three times. Once when a tertian father, he brought all his old power to cheer to bear on a novice in some need of it. Again, when in a Captain's uniform and talking, as he liked to do, a special soldiers' jargon inter larded with French tags, he came back from the Somme and Paschendale with unbroken cheerfulness and a completely unheroic manner. It was an unexpected visit to Australia that gave me my last glimpse of him ten years or so before his death. He had been very ill, and his chances of life were put very low. I believe he knew it, but he certainly did not show it, and he was on his way from one retreat to another. He had no intention. of “resting”. Had we ever seen him rest? In the event he served a full sixty years and fell ill and died while actually engaged in giving a clergy retreat.

And here, perhaps an apology is due for a memory of Father James that omits any real account of his life work, his years as a teacher in Australia - he was prefect of Studies in Sydney's great school, Riverview; of the long labours, half a life time, as a parish priest, a preacher. The greatest authority in Australia said to the present writer: “Father Magan is undoubtedly one of the best preachers in Australia”, and added with a touch of Father James's own humour; “And he knows it”!!!

For twenty years he had given the ordination retreat at Corpus Christi, the seminary of the Melbourne archdiocese. And it was not surprising that Dr Symonds, the Coadjutor Archbishop, should comment on the tribute the great gathering of priests at Father James's funeral was to the man he eulogised with such affection and understanding. But all that and a great deal more is told elsewhere, here it is simply the wish of one old Clongowesman to express for all his contemporaries the gratitude and affection he feels for his “prefect” and the pride he feels in his school fellow.

To his sisters and to his nephews, Michael and John, we offer our sincere sympathy.

MB

Maher, Thomas, 1859-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1659
  • Person
  • 29 September 1859-27 March 1917

Born: 29 September 1859, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 09 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1892
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 March 1917, Willesden, England

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.
Older Brother of Martin Maher - RIP 1942
Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1896 at Vienna Austria (ASR-HUN) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very respected family and two sons were in the Jesuits. A younger brother Martin was in the Society - RIP 1942.

Early education was at Carlow College and later at Tullabeg under William Delany.

he did his Philosophy and Theology at Milltown, and also did Regency at Clongowes, Belvedere.
After Tertianship under Father Bulow at Vienna, he was at Crescent, and became Vice-Rector.
1897 He was appointed Rector at Crescent 01 November 1897, and continued in that role until March 1902. During his rectorship he erected a new facade on the Church, purchased the magnificent bell and tried to improve the schools in Limerick.
He was on the Mission Staff for a while and then joined the Gardiner St community. He spent many years there and was particularly successful in his Catechism classes.
1914 Towards the middle of this year he began to show signs of failing health. He went for a short time to London as a Military Chaplain.
He returned to Ireland and took charge of the Public retreats.
Continuing to suffer poor health it was recommended that he go to Petworth in Sussex. He went from there to Willesden in London, and he died there 27 March 1917. His brother, Martin said the requiem Mass.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commonality

Father Thomas Maher (1859-1917)

Brother of the preceding (Martin), entered the Society in 1876. He spent three years of his regency here, 1876-89 and returned later as prefect of studies in 1894. He was appointed vice-rector of the college in 1897 and later, rector, which office he held until 1902. From that year until his death, Father Maher was a member of the Gardiner St community.

Martin, Thomas, 1907-1978, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/242
  • Person
  • 24 December 1907-20 August 1978

Born: 24 December 1907, Rugby, Warwickshire, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 20 August 1978, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death

Early education at CBS Synge Street

Chaplain in the Second World War.

by 1934 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs O'Meara and Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.
After a few months at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen he was sent teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and he spent three years there teaching English and Catechism, and also looking after sports and games. He had outstanding gifts and took many artistic photographs and made a long 16mm film of the work of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, and of Chinese life in general. This film became very useful for talks on Missions later on.

In 1936 he returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, being Ordained in 1939.
He then went to make Tertianship in 1941-1942, after which he was sent to Tullabeg, looking after the Ricci Mission Unit and giving Retreats.
1943-1946 He became a Military Chaplain
1946 He began his work as Procurator of the Irish Mission in Hong Kong, and he was first stationed at Milltown Park. In 1950 he had to enlarge his work to incorporate the new Mission to Rhodesia (Zambia).
1974 He retired from this work and handed over to Vincent Murphy.

As Procurator he not only helped returned missionaries or those heading to the Missions. He was an indefatigable fundraiser, and he kept i touch with many missionary organisations throughout Ireland. Organising many “Sales of Work” he also raised interest in the work of the Irish Jesuits overseas.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organising accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978
Gardiner Street
After a period of illness and some disorientation, Fr Tom Martin died on Sunday morning, 20th August. We were saddened at this passing away of a warm-hearted member of our community and of a staunch colleague in our apostolate. He will be mourned by his many brothers in the society and by the many friends he made both through his work for the missions and more recently through his dedication to parish visitation. May he rest in peace.

Obituary :
Fr Thomas Martin (1907-1978)
Father Tom Martin died at St John of God’s, Kilcroney, on August 20th 1978. Although Father Tom had had some eye trouble for about two years before his death, the period during which he was very seriously incapacitated was, thank God, quite short. This was, more especially in his case, a great favour from God, for his life in the Society during about 53 years was full of profitable activity.
Born at Rugby in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on October 24th, 1907, Father Tom entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on September 1st 1925. He spent three years of his teaching years (1930-1933) at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He studied in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1939. On completion of his Tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1941, he spent a year on the Retreat Staff in Tullabeg, where he had studied his philosophy many years previously. He was a Chaplain in the British Army, 1942-1946, during which he spent some periods of duty in England, France, Belgium and Holland.
On his return from the Chaplaincy there began for him the chief work of his life. While living in St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, his daily work for twenty-six years was that of Mission Procurator (1946-1972); and he was Assistant Procurator for our Foreign Missions from 1972 to 1976: in all thirty years of tireless work from which our Foreign Missions in the Far East and in Zambia derived continual help. His kindly manner and understanding of people enabled him to organise great help for his missionary work from the many lay people: who could speak sincerely and perhaps more eloquently even than his fellow religious, of his quiet and attractive efficiency.
Even when serious eye trouble prevented the continuance of “office work”, as Mission Procurator, he was blessed by God by being able to continue active work in Gardiner Street as sub-minister and assistant in parish work until he had to go into hospital a comparatively short time before his death.
May he rest in peace.

McCann, James, 1875-1951, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/754
  • Person
  • 22 February 1875-26 January 1951

Born: 22 February 1875, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died 26 January 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Sialkot CFA, 4th Cavalry Division, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 2 1951

Obituary :

Father James McCann

Fr. James McCann was born in 1875, educated at Beaumont College and apprenticed to stockbroking in his father's office, on his return from school. In 1896 he became qualified and was taken into partnership by his father, who had a high opinion of his business acumen and knowledge of finance. But in 1899 he renounced brilliant worldly prospects to enter the Jesuit noviceship of the Irish Province in Tullabeg. A headline had been set him two years earlier by his lifelong friend Edward Dillon, and the example of both was followed later by Fr. McCann's sister, who startled Dublin society by quitting it and joining the Colletines in Manchester, from which she was transferred to Carlow and later to Simmons Court Road, Ballsbridge.
From Tullabeg he went to Gemert in Holland to study philosophy. On his return he was assigned to Belvedere College and taught there for four years. Then he crossed the city to Milltown Park for his theological training, and was ordained in 1911. A year later he was appointed as Minister and Bursar in Milltown itself. In 1917 he vacated this office to serve as military Chaplain in France. From 1920 to 1924 he filled the post of Minister in Clongowes. Then he switched back to Milltown Park as Director of Retreats. In 1932 he joined the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St. as Operarius and Bursar. In this post he gave proof of his business ability, and foreseeing the outbreak of World War II in good time, he quietly laid in large stocks of all household commodities which would endure storage without perishing. He thus insured his community from the shortages and hardships that pressed so heavily on all civilians during what was euphemistically known as “the emergency”.
In the status of 1946 he was relieved of his burden and sent back to Milltown Park to husband his strength - visibily waning - and prepare for death.
This he did to the edification of his brethren through over four years of increasing debility (marked by recurring collapses, calling for Extreme Unction). In these his courage and trust in God never wavered. Death held no terror for him. He often confided to friends that he longed for it, and found his severest cross in the tedium of waiting for release. It was long acoming, and he had much to suffer, but it came at last, quietly, painlessly, not like a thief in the night, but by day and rather like a nurse administering an injection of morphia - the euthanasia of the angel of death.
The change of life involved for him in entering the Tullabeg noviceship must have been trying to every natural instinct. Five or six years older than most of the ex-schoolboys about him and long accustomed to the sports and recreations of the wealthiest circles in Irish life, he yet took to the new life as if to the manner born. An enthusiastic rider and polo-player he faced the novel course before him (with hurdles as stiff in the moral order as Valentine's or Becher's Brook) eagerly, and he never lost a stirrup or “clouted timber”. He surmounted all obstacles in a curiously effortless manner, and was a shining example to younger riders in the race.
All through the years he ran true to earlier form. He carried the handicap of precarious health without letting it interfere with his varied activities. He had one great natural advantage, namely the innate high-mindedness of a gentleman. And that, elevated by grace, always gives a fine religious character. He had courage and enterprise. These qualities he displayed conspicuously in the crisis of Easter Week, when, regardless of danger, he exerted himself to find the necessities of life for communities in distress, especially his own charge, Milltown Park, and his sister's isolated nuns in Simmons Court Road. Still more when he rode round to various hospitals to attend the wounded, and berated the “loyalist” staff of one of them into equal treatment for Rebels and Tommies alike.
He showed them yet again when in 1917 he volunteered for service as a Chaplain in World War I. Several doctors declared his health unequal to the task. But he took no notice of the warning and forced his way through. He began in March of that year with a cavalry regiment, serving as infantry. He was invalided to London before the end of the year. Returning when fit for duty he was in the line by March, 1918 (this time in an infantry brigade) when the last great German push began. He remained till the end of the war and went into Germany with the occupying troops. During these years he won the esteem and affection of officers and men - also the official recognition of the M.C.
Though he had put from him all personal attachment to riches, he retained to the end a keen interest in questions of finance. But only to detect and point out the weaknesses and dangers of the whole capitalistic system of the nineteenth century. He shared his father's views that it was utterly top-heavy and destined to collapse under the impact of the first great war that might occur. It was surely ironic that, already in the nineties of the last century, the McCanns, father and son, who were probably the most successful stockbrokers of their day in Ireland, should warn their countrymen against the triumphant credit system then in vogue, and universally deemed “as safe as the bank of England” - the most popular comparison on the lips of men till 1914.
Fr. McCann in later years wrote an article in Studies explaining his father's heroic campaign, about the turn of the century, to alert Ireland to the true state of affairs and solicit all Irishmen to concentrate on the task of calling our invested millions home and devoting them to the task of developing agriculture, native industries, efficient transport, irrigation, reafforestation - just all those things we are busy about now, half-a-century later, when the native capital necessary for accomplishing them has largely vanished or turned to mere paper in the vaults of banks. But the McCann voice was a Cassandra voice. The British parliament turned a deaf ear to it as obvious economic heresy.
Even at home it was little heeded. And now we know the fulness of our gain. Fr. James did certainly love to talk of all these dreams of long ago. And took a certain unmalicious pleasure in saying: “I told you so”. Some listened and were interested, but more were just irritated and bored. It is the fate of prophets, natural or supernatural, in all spheres of existence. Fr. McCann, however, had become too detached in his own heart from the Kingdom of the World to be put out by such things. His eyes were fixed upon the Urbs Caelestis into which, we may well trust, he has entered, not exactly by violence, but by knocking at the gates with brisk aplomb, saluting St. Peter and saying Adsum!

McCarthy, Patrick, 1875-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1691
  • Person
  • 28 May 1875-25 April 1946

Born: 28 May 1875, Collingwood, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 16 February 1894, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 25 April 1946, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1905 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1911 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick McCarthy was born in Collingwood and educated at St Ignatius', Richmond, and later at St Patrick's College, 1890-93, where he had been a member of the Sodality of Our Lady and an altar server. He was always regarded as a person of high principle, and was a good influence among his contemporaries.
He entered the Society at Loyola College, Greenwich, 16 February 1894. After his juniorate there, he taught at Riverview and St Aloysius' College, 1898-04. Philosophy studies followed at Valkenburg, 1904-07, and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1907-10. He made tertianship at Linz, Austria, the following year, and then returned to Australia.
He taught at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, 1911-15, and was then appointed socius to the master of novices at Loyola College, Greenwich, 1915-18, and again, 1928-31. During
the war he became chaplain to the German internees at Holdsworthy camp. He returned to St Aloysius' College in 1919, and was prefect of studies for a year before his posting to Sevenhill as superior and parish priest.
Here he did his best work, and was highly regarded as an outstanding preacher in the archdiocese. However, he was thrown from a motorcycle in January 1927, was unconscious for
almost a fortnight, and on sick leave for some months. It was believed this affected his health and temper . His whole character and disposition changed entirely. Formerly the mildest and most imperturbable of men, he became at times irritable and impatient, and made himself clear in no uncertain manner when things were not done as he thought they should be. Most people knew that the real man was kind and gentle. He helped so many people during his pastoral ministry.
After a short stay at Richmond and Greenwich, McCarthy returned to Sevenhill as superior, 1931-33, and then taught at St Patrick's College and Xavier College until 1938 when he went to the parish of Hawthorn until his death. This occurred suddenly when he was visiting a home to distribute Communion to the sick. He had had heart disease for some years, but this had not interfered with his pastoral work or the regularity of his life.
He was a tiny little man, full of vigor and fire. With the novices he was quick and nervous in manner, but also lively and humorous, brightening up the noviciate perceptibly. Children in schools catechised by the novices greatly enjoyed his occasional visits. He was a practical man full of common sense and a very sound, though not spectacular, preacher and retreat-giver. He managed his rather peculiar community at Sevenhill very well before his accident.

McInerney, John, 1850-1913, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1722
  • Person
  • 1850-1913

Born: 24 May 1850, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 28 July 1871, Sevenhill, Australia (AUT-HUN)
Ordained: 1883
Final Vows : 15 August 1889, Australia
Died: 22 March 1913, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Early Australian Missioner 1873 - first HIB Scholastic
by 1877 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at Oniens Spain (ARA) studying
by 1885 at Mariendaal Netherlands (NER) making Tertianship
Went back to Australia after Tertianship with Thomas McGrath 1885

◆ HIB Menologies :
DOB 24 May 1850 Kilrush; Ent 28 July 1871 Adelaide; FV 15 August 1889; RIP 22 March 1913 Sydney

The Report below is taken from that which appeared in the “Catholic Press” of Sydney
“There was widespread regret when it became known that Rev Father John McInerney, a distinguished member of the Jesuit Order in Australia, a great missioner, and a patriotic Irishman, had passed away at Loyola, Greenwich ... on Easter Saturday after a lingering illness. He had been born in Kilrush, Co Clare, and came to Australia with his parents while still very young. The family settled at the Bendigo diggings, and for a short time he attended the High School at Bendigo. He went afterwards to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, and there he had amongst his teachers Fathers William Kelly, Frank Murphy and William Hughes. he was ‘dux’ of the school in 1869, and one of four who that year matriculated at Melbourne University ‘with credit’.
He entered the Society in 1871, and made his Novitiate at Adelaide. On 02/03/1877 he was sent to Europe for his studies, and he studied first in France, and afterwards in Spain and Holland. Indeed, he was studying in France when the first expulsion of Jesuits took place, and he was himself forcibly ejected from the College at Laval. He returned to Australia in 1885, and began his teaching career at his old St Patrick’s College. He was later sent to Xavier College at Kew, which had been established since his Entry. Later on he was transferred to Sydney and worked at both Riverview and St Aloysius. He then went back to St Patrick’s, but not for long as his life as a Missioner soon followed.
In 1901 Father McInerney went with the second Australian Light Horse Regiment as Chaplain, and worked for a year and a half with the forces in South Africa, greatly endearing himself to the men by his fine courage and unvarying devotion to duty.
Six years ago he was attacked by his first stroke of paralysis. He recovered from this and was able to work again at Richmond, which was ever his favourite field of labour. The less than four years ago his second stroke came. He was transferred to ’Loyola’, where he ended his days March, 22, 1913.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Mclnerney was brought to Australia as an infant, as his parents immigrated to the Bendigo goldfields, He was educated at Bendigo High School and St Patrick's College, East Melbourne. He was the first to enter the Irish province of the Society from Australia, 28 July 1871, and completed his noviceship at Sevenhill. After vows he taught rhetoric at St Patrick's College, 1874-76, and in 1877 left for Europe, first, to Laval, France, for philosophy, 1879-80, and then Oña, Spain, for theology, 1880-84. Tertianship completed his studies at Mariendaal, Holland, 1884-85.
Mclnerney arrived back in Australia, 1885 , teaching for public examinations at Xavier College, 1886-89; St Patrick's College, 1889-91; and St Aloysius' College, 1891-95, where he taught the senior classes. In 1894 he was prefect of studies. From 1895-98 he taught at Riverview, but in 1898 he was involved in rural missions. He continued this work until 1901 when he went to the Norwood parish, 1901-03; and to the Richmond parish, 1903-10. In 1902 Mclnerney went as chaplain to South Africa with the 2nd Australian Commonwealth Horse (2ACH). Failing health in 1910, including paralysis, required him to go to Loyola College, Greenwich, where he remained until his death.
Although he spent much time teaching senior students in the schools. Mclnerney was chiefly renowned in the province as a preacher and missioner in New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia and New Zealand. He was remembered for his devotion to his work and the interest he showed in his students. He was very thorough and did not spare himself as prefect of studies .

McSweeney, Joseph, 1909-1982, Jesuit priest, chaplian and missioner

  • IE IJA J/297
  • Person
  • 31 March 1909-14 February 1982

Born: 31 March 1909, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 24 June 1948, Collège Sainte Famille, Cairo, Egypt
Die:d 14 February 1982, Milltown Park, Dublin

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1980

Chaplain in the Second World War with the Royal Air Force.

Early Education at Christian Brothers School, North Brunswick Street, Dublin

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Born in Dublin on 31 March 1909 Fr Joseph Augustine McSweeney grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and completed his secondary education with the Christian Brothers in Dublin. He worked for a short time before entering the Society in 1930. He followed the normal university studies, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained in 1943. In 1945 he was assigned to be chaplain in the Royal Air Force where he served until 1949. He enjoyed his years in the armed forces, especially the opportunity they gave him of seeing the Holy Land and the Middle East. In later years, his recollection of those years seemed to bring him real joy. After a year in Belvedere he was missioned to Chikuni in Zambia. There he taught as a Jesuit priest for 17 years, from 1950 to 1967. Because of poor health, he then returned to Ireland. He celebrated his jubilee, 50 years as a Jesuit, in 1980. Two years afterwards, he died in Dublin in 1982.

A single quotation from one of his letters will best describe the type of dedicated man Joe McSweeney was: ‘I have the normal 28 periods a week, and as these are all in Forms 5 and 6, they involve much preparation and correction of homework. During this term, I have felt bound to give 4 more periods a week to teaching hymns to Forms 1,2,3 and 4, because the singing of hymns at Mass and Benediction has become very poor. This makes 32 periods. I give 7 hours a week attending at the Spiritual Father's room; this is the equivalent of another 10 periods a week; altogether 42 periods’.

Besides being a highly competent teacher, Fr McSweeney was a most devoted spiritual Father in Canisius. Throughout his 17 years he was always concerned about providing his students with both religious and moral training, never taking the easy way out. ‘Training in responsibility needs continual supervision’ was one of his beliefs with the result that he was present at all student Masses throughout the week, being available to them in the confessional, at all times promoting among them a habit of regular attendance at Mass and reception of the sacraments.

It was he who introduced and promoted religious groups like the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament, Apostleship of Prayer and the Sodality of Our Lady. His serious conscientiousness was evident in all that he did. The young students appreciated his gentleness and thoroughness. In the homily in Gardiner Street at his funeral, Fr Paul Brassil, the Zambian provincial, told of the past pupils' appreciation and gratitude for all that they had received from him. “An outstanding, successful teacher” was the description of Joe that those who worked with him in Chikuni gave him.

By no stretch of imagination could Fr Joe be termed a modern, well-integrated priest. He was just an old-fashioned, slightly nervous and tense priest, but he did dedicate himself fully to the improvement of his students. And they were his students, particularly the senior ones for whom he had a great sensitivity.

Towards the end of his teaching at Canisius, Fr Joe began to suffer from his nerves, finding it more and more difficult to cope with the normal tensions of a dedicated teacher's life. Of course he had always been a perfectionist. Even in his more relaxed days he had required at least a month's notice to prepare his choir for a sung Mass. It is quite easy to imagine the agony that the more casual attitudes of today can be to a perfectionist! But even when he felt the lack of special attention in the way of food more suitable to his needs, he retained his sense of humor: ‘I hope at 57 I am not going to be asked to approach the minister, plate in hand like Oliver Twist, toties quoties, for some more’.

In Joe's case, it is now clear that in this nervous person, God provided us with a great example of care and dedication and He no doubt even now rewards Fr McSweeney’s dedicated response to this vocation.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Clerk before entry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982
Obituary

Fr Joseph McSweeney (1909-1930-1982)

I have an early memory of Joe McSweeney in Emo noviceship coming out to recreation wearing a peaked tweed cap. The memory remains because the incident was unusual, yet it puts Joe in context. He was a late arrival to the noviceship (November, 1930) and a late - though not very late - vocation. Chronologically he was only a few years older than the rest of us schoolboys of the previous June, yet his experience of having had a job seemed to invest him with a maturity we didn't have.
Then as always, seriousness was his outstanding characteristic. He tackled the outdoor works, which were a real trial to him, with the determination of a man whose job depended on doing so much in a fixed time. One of the jobs the novices had to do with pick and shovel was to clear the overgrown paths of the vegetation which had spread unchecked for fourteen years. Joe applied the principle Age quod agis to every task and ministry he ever undertook, as few men have applied it.
When we moved to Rathfarnham for juniorate, Joe enjoyed the studies, and to my mind was a far happier person than he had been when using pick and shovel in Emo. Though serious, he had a good sense of humour, and responded positively to our jovial ragging with a laugh. As a junior he was put in charge of our Pioneer total abstinence branch, and when one night he grew weary of the jocose cases of conscience we were giving him, he just stood up, bowed, and with a laugh announced “The meeting is over, gentlemen” and ran.
In Tullabeg, as in Rathfarnham, he got real satisfaction in study - this time of philosophy. He never gave the impression that he ambitioned being an academic, yet in conversation he showed how thoroughly he had mastered the matter in hand, and what relish the mastering of it had given him. He played games, though he was not an athlete, and took part in everything that was going on in the scholastic community. We knew him as a very self-contained person whose prime relationship was with God. He was never late for “morning oblation”, nor did he “hit the floor” for any other faults that brought many of us to our knees in the refectory.
He was apprehensive of life in the colleges, but when the time came and he was posted to the Crescent, he dedicated himself entirely to his teaching. He showed his courage and generosity in undertaking to teach a beginners class Greek, though he had never studied it previously.
He was delighted to be sent to Milltown after a two-year regency. In those years the Second World War kept all the native scholastics within the shores of Ireland. Theology interested Joe as much as, if not more than, philosophy, and it afforded him scope for his interest in argument and discussion. Here as always he was the unobtrusive obliging one you could always rely on to do the job you could coax no one else to do.
His post-tertianship status - chaplain to the RAF - came as a great shock to most of us, his contemporaries. We thought Joe’s academic outlook and innate reserve and shyness would make a chaplain’s life a very trying one for him. He didn't seem to view it that way at all. In his simple direct approach, he took it as God's will for him, and God would see him through. So quite undaunted he donned the officer's uniform. He enjoyed his years in the armed forces, especially the opportunity they gave him of seeing the Holy Land and the Middle East. In recent years his recollection of those years seemed to bring him real joy.
My knowledge of Joe’s success as a teacher in Zambia (1950-'70) comes from those who shared the burden of the day with him there. That serious conscientiousness was as evident there as it had been elsewhere. The young Zambians appreciated and valued his gentleness and thoroughness more than their less studious Irish contemporaries seem to have done. Paul Brassil, the Zambian Provincial, in his homily at Joe's funeral Mass in Gardiner street, told us of his past pupils’ appreciation of and gratitude for all that they had received from him. An outstanding successful teacher, was the description of Joe that those who worked with him in Chikuni gave us. Yet Joe himself seemed unaware of his success and equally unconcerned about it. He rarely initiated conversation about either his teaching or his week-end parish ministry. It was part of what God's providence had brought about through him. That seemed to be the view of the truly humble, obedient, unassuming Joe.
He returned to Ireland (1970) a semi invalid, taught in Mungret for two years, but discovered that his energy was unequal to the task; moved to Rathfarnham to do secretarial work, thence to Monkstown (1974) and finally to Milltown Park (1975). Those of us who had known him as a younger man, and accompanied him in his last years in Milltown, were saddened to see how ill health had affected him so seriously. In recent years, when he felt well, he could still enjoy an argument or discussion as much as ever. However, his nervous debility dictated for him a routine pattern of living that seemed almost compulsive.
For example, he went out every afternoon and had a cup of tea: in Bewley's restaurant, if he got as far as the city centre; or in a Ranelagh tea-room if he could go no farther.
He was up at six every morning, said his prayers and offered Mass. This daily act of worship had come to be the occasion of considerable anxiety to him. He concelebrated with us frequently, but we were aware of the strain that so doing caused him. Meals were a big part of the compulsive routine that he seemed forced to follow. He found it difficult to follow the letter of the law that the doctor laid down for him, but frequently spoke of the kindness and consideration of the kitchen and refectory staff in helping him to do so. The staff in turn, despite Joe's ill-timed visits to the kitchen, his ever recurring questions and requests, saw and appreciated the gentleness and courtesy that his illness had obscured but not destroyed. They had a real affection for him.

Here is an excerpt from Fr Tom O'Brien's tribute in the newsletter of the Zambian Vice-Province (Jesuits in Zambia: News): A single quotation from one of his letters will best describe the type of dedicated man Joe McSweeney was:
I have the normal 28 periods per week, and as these are all in Forms 5 and 6, they involve much preparation and correction of homework. During this term I have felt bound to give 4 more periods a week to teaching hymns to Forms 1, 2, 3 and 4, because the singing of hymns at Mass and Benediction has become very poor. This makes 32 periods. I give 7 hours a week attending at the Spiritual Father's room: this is the equivalent of another 10 periods per week; altogether, 42 periods.
Besides being a highly competent teacher, Fr McSweeney was a most devoted Spiritual Father in Canisius (Secondary School, Chikuni). Through out his twenty years [in Zambia) he was
always concerned about providing his students with both religious and moral training, never taking the easy way out. ‘Training in responsibility needs continual supervision' was one of his beliefs; with the result that he was present at all student Masses throughout the week; was available to the students in the confessional at all times; and promoted among them a habit of regular attendance at Mass and reception of the Sacraments of confession and communion, It was Fr McSweeney who introduced and promoted religious groups like Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament, Apostleship of Prayer and the Sodality of Our Lady, giving to this apostolic work his meager spare time.
By no stretch of imagination could Fr McSweeney be termed a modern, well integrated priest. He was just an old fashioned, slightly nervous and tense priest, who dedicated himself to the improvement of his students, for whom he had a great sensitivity, particularly for the senior ones. In reaction to some derogatory remarks made by his fellow Jesuit teachers in regard to the boy-girl mores of Chikuni, Fr McSweeney once had this to say: “If such fathers had more pastoral experience, they would have more respect; and respect is very important in affecting our words and actions towards others”. In fact it was his conviction that his students at Canisius were superior in this regard to their peers in other countries.
Towards the end of his teaching at Canisius, Fr Joe began to suffer from his nerves, finding it more and more difficult to cope with the normal tensions of a dedicated teacher's life. Of course he had always been a perfectionist; even in his more relaxed days he had required at least a month's notice to prepare his choir for a sung Mass. It is quite easy to imagine the agony that the more casual attitudes of today can present to a perfectionist?
However, even when he felt the lack of special attention in the way of food more suitable to his needs, he retained his sense of humour: “I hope that at 57 I am not going to be asked to approach the Minister plate in hand like Oliver Twist toties quoties for some more”.
In Joe’s case it is clear that in this nervous person God provided us with a great example of care and dedication, and no doubt rewards even now such a response to this vocation. We praise and thank Him, and ask Him to look mercifully on the soul of our fellow-worker. [He died on 14th February 1982.]

Morris, Patrick J, 1882-1966, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/706
  • Person
  • 09 October 1882-10 March 1966

Born: 09 October 1882, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh
Entered: 07 September 1900, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1922
Died: 10 March 1966, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1905 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1907
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 2/8 Battalion, Sobraon Barracks, Colchester
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 8 Battalion East Lancs, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain : Clipstone Camp, 13 lines, Mansfield, Notts

MorrisJesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-model-school-jesuit-2/

JESUITICA: Model School Jesuit
The recently published history of the Model School, Enniskillen has quite an Orange flavour – many of the old boys are pictured wearing the Sash. It is a surprise to find a Jesuit
among them, Fr Paddy Morris. His father, Charles, was an independent-minded educator and the first headmaster of the Model School. He built it up against the determined opposition of the local Catholic clergy, who saw it as rivalling the national schools under their control. In 1900 Paddy entered the Jesuits with John Sullivan (also educated in Enniskillen, at Portora), served as a British army chaplain in the First World War, and later spent twelve years in Belvedere, six of them as its Rector, before ending his days, like John Sullivan, serving the People’s Church in Clongowes.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Patrick Morris SJ, who worked at the Clipstone Camp in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, comments: “What havoc the influenza has brought... We had a bad time in camp here... Three of my boys died, but they were well prepared”. He caught the flu himself but “went to bed immediately and nipped it in the bud”.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Morris entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1900, and after initial studies arrived in Australia and Xavier College in 1907 where he taught senior students, and was assistant prefect of discipline, and looked after the choir and debating.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 41st Year No 3 1966

Clongowes Wood College, Naas
About 10.30 p.m. on Thursday, 10th March, Fr. Morris died peacefully in the college infirmary. He had been in failing health since the beginning of the school year and kept asserting that he felt his strength dwindling. Just after Christmas he got a chill and was confined to bed in his room for some ten days or so. As soon as matron returned at the beginning of the new term he was transferred to the infirmary. The outlook seemed gloomy but bit by bit he recovered his strength and by the beginning of March he was able to sit in his room and to walk about a little. He then fell a victim of the flu and though at one point he appeared to have taken a turn for the better, the improvement did not last. Special nurses were got for him but his position deteriorated rapidly at the end.
On the evening of 11th March the remains were brought to the People's Church where all the Masses on the high altar the follow ing morning were offered for Fr. Morris. On the morning of the 12th the remains were removed to the Boys' Chapel, the boys of the college lining the route. At 10.30 the Office for the Dead was chanted and Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated by Fr. James Casey. As it was Saturday many of the local clergy found it impossible to attend, but Monsignor Millar came from Newbridge and some priests came from other neighbouring places. There was a large gathering of the local people gathered at the graveside. (A notice on Fr. Morris' life appears at the end of this issue.)
Following Fr. Morris' death many letters of condolence were received. It was obvious that he had been widely known and greatly revered by a big circle of friends. Within the community he continued to the end remarkable for the regularity of his ways, his pleasantness of manner and his high esteem for spiritual things.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick J Morris SJ (1883-1966)

Fr. Morris was born in the town of Enniskillen in the year 1883. He was one of the youngest of a large family-five boys and five girls. His father, Charles Morris, was the first Catholic headmaster of the Enniskillen Model School, whose pupils were 80 per cent Protestant. His father was a great man in the town, and was known as Boss Morris. It was in this school that Patrick got his early education, and he never lost touch with it. He was one of the chief guests of honour when the school celebrated its golden jubilee. We read that he made the outstanding speech of the evening, and got an enthusiastic reception from all the old boys, Catholic and Protestant alike. One of his contemporaries wrote that he had a peculiar spring in his walk which always stood to him when playing football and other games - hardly the activities we associate with the staid Fr. Morris of later years, though indeed he was always a most graceful performer on the ice,
In September 1900 he entered Tullabeg as a novice, having Fr. John Sullivan and Fr. John Hannon as fellow novices. Fr. James Murphy was then at the height of his prowess as Master of Novices, and he gave the novices a very hectic time of it, which was not appreciated by all. Fr. Morris used to tell of the great relief he felt when, on the Feast of St. Stanislaus at the end of the Long Retreat, Fr. Keating the Provincial announced that the novices were about to be orphaned, as their Master of Novices had just been appointed Provincial. The novices had a far quieter life henceforth under the genial guidance of Fr. Michael Browne. Fr. Morris was the last survivor of the little band of novices who entered in 1900. After the two years noviceship, he remained on in Tullabeg for the following year as a junior. In 1904 he went to Gemert for his three years philosophy. While there he mastered the French language and became a fluent speaker, which stood him in good stead in after years.
At the end of his philosophy he set sail for Australia. He was one of a party that was brought out by the Provincial, Fr. Conmee, who was undertaking a visitation of the Australian Mission; and ever afterwards he held Fr. Conmee in the highest veneration. He used to say that he was the outstanding personality on the boat, and was sought after by all the passengers on account of his geniality, learning, and experience of life. Fr. Morris spent his six years in Australia teaching at Xavier College, Kew, where he first showed signs of that pre-eminence as a teacher which he afterwards attained. On his return to Ireland in 1913 he went to Milltown Park to begin his theology. He was ordained there on St. Ignatius Day 1916, and very nearly lived long enough to celebrate the golden jubilee of that day. Soon afterwards he was appointed chaplain in the First World War, and continued in that office for three years. He seldom referred to those harrowing years, but on a long-table day evening one would sometimes be given a glimpse of the sole Irish Padre in the Officers' Mess upholding the honour of the one true Church against all comers, in the days when the ecumenical movement was not as popular as it is now,
In 1919 we find him in Mungret as a teacher. The following year he did his Tertianship in Tullabeg, and at the same time acted as Socius to the Master of Novices. He then returned to Mungret for three years, the first as Sub-Moderator of the Apostolics, and the following two as Minister of the House. He than moved on to Belvedere in 1924 and remained there for 12 years. The first six he taught in the college; and then in February 1931 he was appointed Rector, and held that office until 1936. He than went to Emo where he was Minister and taught the novices. In 1943 he moved on to Clongowes, where he spent the remainder of his life. He took part in the teaching of the boys, and took over the care of the People's Church which he served devotedly until a year or so before his death. It was not until some months before he died that he notably began to fail. He used say that he would welcome death. It came to him finally towards the middle of March, when he passed peacefully away to his reward. .
To sum up Fr. Morris is not an easy task. There were so many facets to his character and work. A good part of his life was spent in teaching. All who came under his charge spoke in the highest terms of his ability in this line. Many have said that he was the best teacher they ever had. He was methodical to a degree, and a master of his subject, whether it be English, Latin or French. He was widely read in these languages, and was blessed with a very retentive memory a source which was often tapped to good purpose by the devotees of the Times Crossword Puzzle! He was specially devoted to Belloc and Chesterton, and knew them thoroughly. When a grammatical question turned up at recreation, he would handle the point with great clarity and exactness. He expected the boys to correspond. Anyone whom he felt was not doing his best would be given very short shrift. All held him however in high regard, and many were the expressions of gratitude to him, expressed by his former pupils at the time of his death.
Of his Rectorship in Belvedere he used to say himself that he had not been a great success. He generally referred to it half-jokingly as “when I sat in the chair of Moses!” He was probably too punctilious and exacting to make a really successful superior. Yet Belvedere made steady progress during his term in office. It was due to his foresight that the fine new playing fields at Cabra were acquired, when the ground had very nearly been disposed of otherwise. He took a personal interest in every sphere of the college activities, the studies, the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, the Union, and the games though his intervention here may not always have been wise or tactful. Once he had decided on a course of action, it was very difficult indeed to get him to change his mind. On the other hand, he could be very kind and thoughtful where boys were concerned. On one occasion when some of them arrived at school cold and covered with snow, he at once brought them to the refectory and got them a hot meal before allowing them to go the classroom. He was very loyal to the school and its good name, and would tolerate no conduct that would bring it into disrepute.
Perhaps one may say that his greatest work was done when he had charge of the People's Church in Clongowes. He was devoted to the work, and was ever ready to come down from his room at the top of the Castle to hear a confession at any time of the day or night. His sermons on Sundays were prepared with meticulous care; and his kindness to the sick or those in trouble knew no bounds. As his name became a familiar one in the countryside, many came to consult him and to ask his blessing. They were all received with the greatest of charity. He was frequently called out to visit the sick, often long distances away, and had a special gift of bringing peace and comfort to the dying. One of the local curates drove him the whole way down to Carlow or Kilkenny to bring consolation to his own mother when she was on her deathbed. In earlier days, he rode his bicycle for many miles on these errands of mercy. In the latter days, when people saw he was unable for this exertion, and when motor cars became more common, they came in their cars and carried him off. He was ready to go at any time and any distance. It will be many years before the name of Fr. Morris will be forgotten in County of Kildare. The amazing thing was that he suffered from very bad health himself over a number of years - low blood pressure, asthma, insomnia, and a number of other complications, but his fighting spirit triumphed over them all, so that he was very rarely confined to bed until his last illness. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1966

Obituary

Father Patrick J Morris SJ (Rector 1931-1936)

Father Patrick J Morris SJ, who taught in Belvedere for many years and was also a former Rector of the college, died in March 1966. His former pupils will remember him as a lover of the classics and a truly well-read man. He was a brilliant teacher and imparted to his pupils an appreciation of great literature. An Army Chaplain in France in the 1914-18 war, Father Morris expected a high standard of loyalty and discipline from his boys. Nevertheless he could relax on occasions and his classes laughed with counterfeited glee at his classical or literary quips. In his later years he was magnanimous enough to admit that he had been too demanding during his years at Belvedere.

It was Father Morris who gave Belvedere its ideal - “per vias rectas”. A North of Ireland man, he set a high value on integrity. He had a shrewd and sound judgment and former members of his Sodality of Our Blessed Lady will readily recall the many lectures he gave to the Sodalists in which he enumerated the qualities they should expect in the ideal wife. All this was in the 1930s when student counselling was almost unheard of in Ireland. He always stressed a virile and manly holiness and a true and sincere dedication to Christ the King.

On leaving Belvedere he spent some years at Emo Park before his transfer to Clongowes. There, in failing health, he won acclaim as a devoted and kindly confessor in the people's church and as a Christ-like lover of the sick. In his last years he made no secret of the fact that he longed to die. On 11th March he went to his reward. God rest his soul.

Morrison, Michael, 1908-1973, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/256
  • Person
  • 05 October 1908-07 April 1973

Born: 05 October 1908, Listowel, Co Kerry / Ballysimon, County Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 07 April 1973, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Mungret College SJ.

Chaplain in the Second World War.

by 1948 at Riverview, Sydney Australia (ASL) teaching
by 1962 at Holy Name Manchester (ANG) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Lol Kearns Entry
“While driving in convoy on the first stage of our journey to Brussels, my driver ran the car into a tree north of Magdeburg and my head was banged into the glove compartment in the dashboard. I saw Fr Morrison again at CelIe as he bent over my stretcher and formed the opinion that I should never look the same again.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/into-journal-remembers-jesuit-chaplain/

INTO journal remembers Jesuit chaplain
Irish Jesuit and Second World War chaplain Fr Michael Morrison features in the Irish National Teachers Organisation’s InTouch magazine for the January/February 2019 issue.
Fr Morrison was born in Listowel in County Kerry, was educated by the Jesuits in secondary school, joined the Society and taught at Belvedere College SJ in Dublin. He enlisted as a chaplain with the British army, initially ministering in the Middle East and later transferring to the Derry Regiment of the Lancashire Fusiliers.
He arrived with British and Canadian forces to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in Northern Germany in April 1945, which was the first camp to be liberated on the Western Front. At that time, there were 60,000 individuals within the camp with conditions described as ‘hell on earth’ – 13,000 people died from sickness and starvation in the weeks after liberation.
While at Bergen-Belsen, Fr Morrison administered the last rights, held Mass for people of different religions and conducted a joint service over a mass grave with, for example, the Jewish British army chaplain. In a letter home, he wrote: “What we met within the first few days is utterly beyond description”, and it was reported that he spoke very little about what he witnessed in later years. He is buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Morrison lived in his early years at Ballysimon on the outskirts of Limerick city. The Christian Brothers educated him at Sexton Street, and then he went to Mungret from 1922, where he excelled himself at hurling. In his last year at school he was a member of the junior team that won the O'Mara Cup.
He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 September 1925, and after his home juniorate at Rathfarnham, studied philosophy at Tullabeg. He did regency at Belvedere and Mungret, 1933-36, teaching mathematics and was involved with sport. He studied theology at Milltown Park, 1936-40, and was at Rathfarnham, 1940-41, for tertianship.
During the Second World War he was a military chaplain with the British Army in Egypt 1941-46, serving with the Eight Army and was present at the fall of Tunis. He was later at Belsen in 1945, working in Camp Number 1, the Horror Camp. Herded together in this camp were 50,000 people where typhus was raging When Morrison's unit entered the camp between 7.000 and 10,000 people were found dead in the huts and on the ground. The majority of the living were seriously ill. Many thousands died subsequently Morrison anointed about 300 people daily, helped by very few chaplains. He celebrated Mass on 22 April 1945, the first time at the camp. It was a moving experience for those able to attend.
After the war he went to Australia, teaching briefly at St Aloysius' College, and then at Riverview, 1947-48. He finally did parish work at Richmond, 1949-58.
After leaving Australia, he spent several years attached to the Jesuit Holy Name church in Manchester. He returned to Ireland later, and taught at Mungret, and then at Belvedere College as college bursar, 1963-73.
Morrison was a good listener, allowing others to speak. His quiet, matter-of-fact way of viewing things rendered him one of the most factually objective witnesses of the day-to~day circumstances of World War II. His health deteriorated in his latter years after a series of strokes. He was a man of strong principles, loyal to his duties, and, in his sickness, always unwilling to be a burden.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941
General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Australia :
Frs. Fleming and Mansfield (who is a member of the Australian Vice-Province) were able to leave for Australia via America in July.
Frs. Lennon and Morrison are still awaiting travel facilities.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 3 1973

Obituary :

Fr Michael Morrison (1908-1973)

Fr. Michael Morrison was born in Listowel, Co. Kerry, in October 1908, but in his early years moved to Ballysimon on the outskirts of Limerick city; he was one of three children, another boy, Jim, and a sister, whom their mother, early bereaved of her husband, devotedly brought up.
In Limerick he attended the CBS, Sexton Street, primarily and in 1922 went to Mungret, where because of his skill and vigour in the hurling team he was the object of an amount of hero worship among those who found difficulty in earning a place on one team whereas he, by natural right, had a secure billet on both senior and junior teams. In his last year at school he was a stalwart member of the junior team that won the O'Mara Cup.
He entered the novitiate in 1925 and having negotiated many a “novices' jump” proceeded to Rathfarnham in 1927 where during the next three years he was occupied with the humanities. Through no fault of his he was drafted, to Tullabeg for philosophy in 1930 without having completed his university degree - he had spent a year in the home juniorate, because of pressure for accommodation for an overflowing community in Rathfarnham.
After philosophy he spent two years of regency at Belvedere where again his athletic skill in training teams was in requisition. Apart from this particular expertise he was a good teacher especially with mathematics at which he shone even as a boy. He spent a final year of college in his Mungret Alma Mater.
He began his course in Theology at Milltown in 1936, and was ordained in 1939. In 1941 Monsignor Coughlin, the principal chaplain in the British Army, made a strong appeal to the Irish Jesuits for priests to serve with the troops. Fr Michael was one of the first appointed. Soon he was in Egypt moving back and forth with the fortunes of the army in the desert. He was in the final breakthrough of the Eighth Army and was present at the Fall of Tunis where he met Fr Con Murphy, SJ, who had come the other way with the First Army.
Fr Michael did not cross over to Italy with the Eighth Army, but returned to England with his Units in preparation for the attack on the Northern flank of the German Army.
On the 12th April, 1945, the chief of staff of the First German Parachute Army made contact with the British Eighth Corps to ask for a local armistice. He explained that a terrible situation in the POW., and civilian internment camps had arisen at Belsen. Typhus was raging, and the Germans were unable to handle it. Would the Eighth Corps take over?
A truce was immediately arranged. A neutral area was set out around Belsen. The German SS camp staff were to stay on indefinitely. The Hungarian Guard was also to remain. A section of the Wehrmacht was to guard the area but was to be returned behind the German lines fully armed after six days.
Fr Morrison was with the 32nd Casualty Clearing Unit near Belsen at the time and it immediately moved to the camps. Then began for him a period of great trial and anguish. He was principally occupied in Camp Number 1 - known now to all the world as the Horror Camp. Herded together in this camp were fifty thousand people. Thirty-nine huts housed the men, forty-one, the women.
When Fr Morrison's unit entered the camp on April 17th, between seven and ten thousand people lay dead in the huts and on the ground, Of the living the majority were in periculo mortis, and many thousands were dying.
The first date for which statistics were available was April 30th, and on that day five hundred and forty eight people died. It was difficult to assess the number of Catholics, but at a guess it was in the region of 30 per cent. In February, 1945, there were 45 priests in the camp but only 10 were alive on April 17th, when Fr. Morrison arrived. Of these 10, only one, a Pole, Fr Kadjiocka, was able to give Fr Morrison any help. Soon afterwards several other chaplains arrived. The number Fr Michael anointed daily during this first period in the camp was about 300. He wrote in a report :

The joy and gratitude shown by the internees at receiving the sacraments more than compensated for the difficulties. (difficulties such an understatement!) of working in the huts. One was conscious too of being a member of a living unified Church and of the bond which held us together. In the camps were Poles, Hungarians, Czecks, Jugoslavs, Greeks, Rumanians, Ukranians, French, Belgians, Dutch, Italians, and all were able to partake of the same sacrament.
On Sunday, April 22nd. Mass was celebrated for the first. time in Belsen Camp. There was a torrential downpour that morning and it was suggested that Mass be postponed until some other day, but the congregation would not hear of it ... they were drenched through but that did not diminish the fervour and enthusiasm of their singing.

Fr Michael very seldom spoke of his trials at Belsen and it would be difficult for the boys in his latter days at Belvedere to appreciate that the bowed priest who moved about so haltingly with a stick, and was nevertheless, so ready to speak with everyone, had such a distressing experience in his life.
After demobilisation, Fr Morrison went, lent, to Australia where he taught in Riverview College and served in St. Ignatius' Church, Richmond.
Michael was by disposition inclined to let others talk, it could hardly be said of him, on any occasion that he “took over”. His quiet, matter-of-fact, way of viewing things rendered him possibly the most factually objective witness of the day-to-day circumstances of the war situation summarised above. In later years he was, as noted above, averse to alluding to it and memories of it probably deepened the loneliness that affected him when his health declined.
After his return from Australia he spent several years attached to our Holy Name church in Manchester and on his coming back to Ireland after a short term in Mungret he was assigned as Economus to Belvedere, an office he retained until his health gave way; He retained his interest in games and enjoyed a game of golf.
Sadness visited him in the way of family bereavement. After his mother his sister and brother predeceased him; he retained his interest in their families but with the incapacity induced by several strokes and the consciousness of waging a losing battle a strong philosophy was necessary to buoy him up. This he fortunately possessed and the circumstances of his final seizures was characteristic : on the morning of his death he mentioned casually at breakfast that he had had another slight stroke; superiors were immediately informed but in the meantime he began to make his way, alone, upstairs to his room. The exertion brought on another and fatal attack. He was anointed and brought to Jervis Street Hospital but efforts to revive him were unavailing; he was a man of strong principle withal boyish, loyal to his duties, unwilling to be a burden. May he rest in peace.
His obsequies were carried out at Gardiner Street, April 10th; apart from his immediate relatives and a large number of ours there was a big congregation of Belvederians present and past.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1973

Obituary

Father Michael Morrison SJ (died 7th April, 1973)

Father Michael Morrison came to Belvedere late in life and was, perhaps, not very well known to its present alumni because he was not on the teaching staff. Until he be came ill he was bursar of the college. He was born in Listowel, but he went later with his family to live in Ballysimon, Co Limerick. He attended Mungret College for his secondary schooling. He was a superbly good hurler and had the distinction of being on the Junior team and of being picked for a place on the Senior team at the same time.

Michael entered the Jesuit Novitiate in 1925. Then came his humanity studies at Rathfarnham and his philosophy course at Tullabeg. In 1933 he was appointed as a scholastic to Belvedere and had charge of the Junior Rugby team which reached the final in his second year, but failed to win it. After the match there was quite a controversy about an unusual decision of the referee!

He began his course in Theology at Milltown in 1936, and was ordained in 1939. In 1941 Monsignor Coughlin, the principal chaplain in the British Army, made a strong appeal to the Irish Jesuits for priests to serve with the troops. Father Michael was one of the first appointed. Soon he was in Egypt moving back and forth with the fortunes of the army in the desert. He was in the final breakthrough of the Eighth Army and was present at the fall of Tunis where he met Father Con Murphy SJ, who had come the other way with the First Army.

Father Michael did not cross over to Italy with the Eighth Army, but returned to England with his Units in preparation for the attack on the Northern flank of the German Army.

On the 12th April, 1945, the chief of staff of the First German Parachute Army made contact with the British Eighth Corps to ask: for a local armistice. He explained that a terrible situation in the POW, and civilian internment camps had arisen at Belsen. Typhus was raging, and the Germans were unable to handle it. Would the Eight Corps take over?

A truce was immediately arranged. A neutral area was set out around Belsen. The German SS camp staff were to stay on in definitely. The Hungarian Guard was also to remain. A section of the Wehrmacht was to guard the area but was to be returned behind the German lines fully armed after six days.

Father Morrison was with the 32nd Casualty Clearing Unit near Belsen at the time and it immediately moved to the camps. Then began for him a period of great trial and anguish. He was principally occupied in Camp Number 1 - known now to all the world as the Horror Camp. Herded together in this camp were fifty thousand people. Thirty-nine huts housed the men forty-one, the women.

When Father Morrison's unit entered the camp on April 17th, between seven and ten thousand people lay dead in the huts and on the ground. Of the living the majority were in periculo mortis, and many thousands were dying.

The first date for which statistics were available was April 30, and on that day five hundred and forty eight people died. It was difficult to assess the number of Catholics, but at a guess it was in the region of 30 per cent. In February 1945 there were 45 priests in the camp but only 10 were alive on April 17th, when Father Morrison arrived. Of these 10, only one, a Pole, Father Kadjiocka, was able to give Father Morrison any help. Soon afterwards several other chaplains arrived. The number Father Michael annointed daily during this first period in the camp was about 300. He wrote in a report:

“The joy and gratitude shown by the internees at receiving the sacraments more than compensated for the difficulties ('difficulties —such an understatement !) of working in the huts. One was con scious too of being a member of a living unified Church and of the bond which held us together. In the camps were Poles, Hungarians, Czechs, Jugoslaves, Greeks, Rumanians, Ukranians, French, Belgians, Dutch, Italians, and all were able to par take of the same sacrament.

On Sunday, April 22nd Mass was celebrated for the first time in Belsen Camp. There was a torrential downpour that morning and it was suggested that Mass be postponed until some other day, but the congregation would not hear of it ... they were drenched through but that did not diminish the fervour and enthus jasm of their singing”.

Father Michael very seldom spoke of his trials at Belsen and it would be difficult for the boys now at Belvedere to appreciate that the bowed priest who moved about so haltingly with a stick, and was nevertheless, so ready to speak with everyone, had such a distressing experience in his life.

After demobilization, Father Morrison went to Australia where he taught in Riverview College and served in St Ignatius Church, Richmond. He returned to Europe in 1958 and worked for some years Manchester before becoming Bursar at Belvedere.

May he rest in peace.

Mulhall, Hugh, 1871-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1782
  • Person
  • 09 April 1871-10 April 1948

Born: 09 April 1871, Boyle, County Roscommon
Entered: 11 November 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1905, Milltown Park., Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 10 April 1948, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

First World War chaplain.

by 1898 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1907 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1916 at St Aloysius College, Glasgow (ANG) Military Chaplain
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 5th East Lancashire, Witley, Surrey
by 1918 Military Chaplain : Officers Mess Park Hall Camp, Oswestry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Obituary

Fr. Hugh Mulhall (1871-1893-1948)

Fr. Mulhall died on Saturday, April 10th after a few days illness. He had been visibly failing for some time before but had not been confined to bed. On Monday, April 5th, he got a heavy cold, which developed into congestion. He was anointed and received Holy Viaticum on Wednesday night and although he rallied a little next day, he was clearly dying on Friday. This was his seventy seventh birthday and he was very grateful to all the Fathers wbo celebrated Mass for him that morning. His sufferings were increasing but God mercifully put an end to them on Saturday afternoon. R.I.P.
Hugh Mulhall was born at Boyle on April 9th, 1871. His mother was a sister of The Mac Dermott, a fact which Fr. Mulhall never forgot and of which he liked to remind others. He was educated at the diocesan college of the Immaculate Conception, Summerhill, Sligo, from which he went to Maynooth where he spent about four years. All his life he was proud of being a ‘Maynooth man’ and he preserved a vivid memory of his contemporaries. He could tell after a lapse of nearly half a century which of them had got ‘a first of first’, which had ‘led his class’ which had come to high ecclesiastical dignity.
He entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on St. Stanislaus' Day, 1893. In due time, he pronounced his first vows and after a short Juniorate, he spent two years in the Colleges, one year at Galway and one at Clongowes. He was sent to Stonyhurst for his philosophy which he did in two years. He was on the teaching staff in Galway again in 1900. In 1903 he did his theology in Milltown and was ordained there in 1905. He went to Tronchiennes in 1907 for his tertianship under Pere Petit and was sent to the Crescent, Limerick to teach in 1908. As his methods of teaching were original but not calculated to secure success in the examinations, he was transferred to the Church staff. After a year spent at Tullabeg as missioner and operarius in the people's church, he was appointed a military chaplain in the First World War, in 1916. He never went to the Front but served as chaplain to hospitals and camps, at Stobhill, Glasgow, at Whitley, Surrey, and at Oswestry. The four or five years which he spent as chaplain were the most active and pleasant of his life and gave him a stock of memories and stories which he never forgot.
He must have been rather an unsoldierly figure and he was certainly unconventional in manner, but he soon came to show that he was a first-class chaplain. He had an extraordinary gift of interesting people in religion. He was very intelligent, quick and subtle of mind, unusually independent of notes and books. Like Macaulay, he could be said to carry his wealth in his breeches pocket and not in the bank. He had his considerable capital under his hand and could draw on it at once. He had a rare gift of being able to expound a question or situation in a lucid, orderly and winning way. He could show to a prejudiced hostile non-Catholic that even the most ‘advanced’ Catholic doctrines, such as the infallibility of the Pope or the Immaculate Conception, were sweetly reasonable and actually demanded by the general situation. He was devoted to the men and did great good among them. At the mess and in his general dealings with the officers, he produced a deep impression. A point of morals or a question of belief would be mentioned and the Padre would be asked for his opinion. His opinion was always received with respect, if not with approval, he could give the Catholic position clearly and cogently. He undoubtedly exercised a great influence.
In 1921 he was appointed to the Mission Staff. He suffered with increasing intensity from nervous troubles and after a period in a sanatorium in Scotland, he spent some years in Rainhill in the English Province doing retreat work. But his malady got worse and he was obliged to give up active work. In 1931 he came to Rathfarnham Castle where he remained until his death.
Fr. Muhall was emphatically a ‘character’, unusual and remark able in many respects. He attracted attention at once by his great unwieldy figure, with its indication of uncommon physical strength. Almost all his life, he enjoyed good health and never knew what a headache was. For a man with his leisure, he read extremely little, but he had a most tenacious memory and never forgot what he heard from others or learned from his own experience. He loved talking and could not sit in a tram or bus or train without entering at once into conversation with his neighbour. He had great skill in starting and keeping going a conversation. He would have been quite at home in the eighteenth century when conversation was the chief recreation of civilised men. But his conversation was always of a spiritual turn, and it was a proof of his special gift that he could interest anyone in religious matters. His great interest was the conversion of Protestants. He noted every conversion mentioned in the papers, he entered into correspondence with Protestants, he got prayers said for them.
Though he endured constant mental sufferings arising from scruples, fears, inhibitions and excessive sensibility, he was usually cheerful and patient, always ready to talk with a visitor, always bright at recreation. He told a story very well, had a very fine sense of humour. He was always most interested in news about our Fathers and Brothers. It need scarcely be mentioned that his eccentricities, due for the most part to the state of his mental health, did not make religion easier for himself or for others. He was a man of deep child like piety, the Sacred Heart and Our Lady being the chief objects of his devotion.
It is hard to imagine Rathfarnham without the massive figure who sat on the seat near the exit steps, impervious to east wind or rain, or who stumped up and down on the short side walk, leaning on his stick, or who sat for hours at a time at the window of the library, looking out but not at the landscape. He was looking into himself or into the past, for he was inordinately preoccupied with self, in the phrase of the old Greek philosopher, he made himself the measure of all things! It was difficult at times to resist a feeling of pity that such gifts as he undoubtedly possessed, came apparently to so little use. But God's estimate may be very different. We do not know the value that He attached to his suffering and patience. Fr. Mulhall never said a bitter or unkind word about another, he was always studiously mild in his criticism. One who knew him well for most of his life in the Society, described him as the most charitable man he had ever met. We trust that God has given him the peace of mind for which he prayed and sought so long. In pace in idipsum dormiam et requiescam. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Hugh Mulhall SJ 1871-1948
Many of the Province will recall the huge almost unwieldy figure of Fr Mulhall which moved round the Castle during their Juniorate days at Rathfarnham.

He was born in Boyle on April 9th 1871. Having spent about four years in Maynooth, he entered the Society in 1893. During the first World War he acted as chaplain, earning for himself a reputation among the troops for his kindly interest and a special aptitude fro explaining difficulties in religion in a lucid and simple manner.

The War over, he was appointed to the Mission Staff, but the malady from which he suffered for the rest of his life soon made its appearance, and he was forced to abandon active service. He suffered from extreme scruples. This affliction he bore with great patience and humility, never heard to murmur against his lot, but grateful to God who gave him so many good friends among his brethren who tried to help him in his sickness. This cross he bore for 17 years.

He died a happy death on April 10th 1948.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Hugo Mulhall (1871-1948)

Was born at Boyle, Co Roscommon and on the completion of his education at Summerhill College, Sligo, entered Maynooth College. He was received into the Society in 1893. He pursued his higher studies in England, and at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1905, and, on finishing his tertianship in Belgium, arrived in the Crescent in 1908. Although a man of subtle intellectual gifts, he showed no aptitude for teaching and was soon transferred to church work at which he laboured conscientiously until 1914. After some experience on the mission staff, he volunteered as a military chaplain but never served outside England. After the first world war he returned to mission work in Ireland and was later back in England engaged in retreat work.

Murphy, Conal K, 1902-1979, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/230
  • Person
  • 08 January 1902-14 January 1979

Born: 08 January 1902, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 March 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 14 January 1979, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - National Teacher before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946

Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 2 1979

Obituary :

Fr Conal Kieran Murphy (1902-1979)

Born on January 8, 1902 Conal entered the Society on March 9, 1929 and was ordained priest on July 31, 1939.Final vows 7 February, 1942. He died on the 14th of January 1979.
He was educated at CBS Synge St and at St Mary’s College, Rathmines; trained as a Primary Teacher at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and taught in St Peter’s National School, Phibsboro. After noviceship he completed his BA degree in 1932, did philosophy in Tullabeg, one years regency in Clongowes, theology in Milltown Park and Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle.
After Tertianship he served as chaplain to the British Forces in England, Scotland, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Syria, Egypt and finally Austria. After demobilization he taught in Crescent College Limerick 1946-51 then to Milltown Park where he was Director of the short-lived juriorate for Brother postulants and also Director of Missions and Retreats from 1951-67.
In 1967 he came to Manresa House as Adj Dir Exc Spir and Praef Spir NN.
That is the bare record. But what of the man? Conal K (he always used the “K” and liked to use it) was a friendly, quiet and most companionable man who loved a bit of gossip, especially if it had a political or educational flavour. He was interested in sketching and could pass a summer afternoon trying to get on paper his vision of the West Cork scenery. he was a vigorous walker but a problem for his companion; as his Master of Novices said, “he careens, dear and good brother” with the result that the companion found himself being forced into the ditch or on to the roadway.
Fidelity, loyalty, conscientiousness, honour are the words that spontaneously come to mind when thinking of Conal; superiors realised that he was literally “paratus ad omnia”; there was no demand on his time or services but would be met willingly and cheerfully. He was a voracious but selective reader and probably one of the best read men in the province in modern theology, dogmatic and moral. His great difficulty was in expressing what he knew and we lovingly recall his “what-you-may-call-it”: a phrase which took the place of nouns, common and proper, or verbs, adverbs, adjectives and indeed of most parts of speech. Unwary listeners sometimes found themselves utterly confused. However when he wrote out his thoughts he could and did write quite exceptional sermons and conferences. If he read the text, well and good.
Can I add much to the above jejune biography? Not very much, I fear, for Conal did not easily talk about himself, least of all about his war-time experiences. He had to be trapped into recalling even trivial reminiscences.
We who entered in September 1929 found him already there, our senior in the Society by some five to six months; our senior in age by some eight or nine years. He was helped somewhat in bridging the generation gap by the presence in the noviceship of another senior citizen, Fr Liam McElligott. Conal was our Beadle during the Long Retreat communicating by quite illegible notes which he either showed or handed to you. His years did not prevent him taking part, a rather ungainly part, in our football and drill. One of his rare disclosures about himself took place, I recall, when we were novices together. He admitted that at the fateful election of 1922, when he was in teacher training, he voted SEVERAL times AGAINST the Treaty.
Whatever were his political opinions in 1922, after 1942 he was a totally establishment man and British establishment at that. I think, however, that this was an expression of his sincere loyalty to his war time comrades rather than any political bias. Memories of his visits home on leave as chaplain are of the ceremony of opening a bottle of Jameson so that it could appear as for personal use to the Customs Officials, though its real destination was the officers mess. He had it in for the Arabs who stole his Mass kit; that was a sore memory.
Conal was invited to preach on Remembrance Day at the service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, an invitation which it gave him great joy to accept. In his sermon he made some references to the Christian ideals which inspired so many of his old comrades in the war. Subsequently, he heard with great satisfaction, I’m sure, that the Soviet Ambassador had formally complained about such references.
His loyalty to friends, in the Society, in the army and the many who met him in his retreat work especially members of the Diocesan clergy, the members of the Praesidium of the Legion of Mary to which he was devoted, the members of the Victualers section of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society was met with an answering affection and devotion. They will miss him. So too will his only sister Ursula to whom he was a most devoted brother. So, too, his brethren, young and old, in Manresa, did and do miss him.
May he be in the glory of his Lord to whom he gave loyal and dedicated service, and, one day, may we all be merry with him in Heaven.

Naughton, Conor I, 1907-1992, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/512
  • Person
  • 06 July 1907-30 January 1992

Born: 06 July 1907, Galway
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 30 January 1992, Milford Nursing Home, Limerick

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death

Early education at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Conor Naughton (1907-1992)

6th July 1907: Born, Galway
Education: St. Ignatius College, Galway
1st Sept. 1925: Entered Jesuit Novitiate, Tullabeg
2nd Sept. 1927: Took First Vows
1927 - 1930; Juniorate - Rathfarnham
1930 - 1933: Philosophy Studies - Tullabeg
1933 - 1936: Regency, Crescent College, Limerick
1936 - 1940: Theology Studies - Milltown Park
31st July 1939: Ordained - Milltown Park
1940 - 1941: Tertianship - Rathfarnham
1941 - 1946: Military Chaplain - England/India/Burma
1946 - 1992: Ministering in the Church - Sacred Heart,
31st Jan. 1992: Limerick Died in Milford Nursing House, Limerick

When Conor Naughton grew up in the Galway of the early part of the century, he knew a life quite different from that of today. His Connemara-born father ran a substantial business, the ownership of which by a Catholic was surely an innovation in that day. An uncle on his mother's side was a Westminster M.P. for the Irish Parliamentary party. A little later, there was the war of Independence and Conor knew a fellow school boy called William Joyce (to become Lord Haw Haw) who rather peculiarly consorted with the British Forces. There was great poverty in Galway then, and Conor, as a member of the St. Vincent De Paul Society visited houses of Calcutta-like destitution,

I once saw a photo of the school senior rugby team, which had won the Connaught Championship and which he captained. There was a marked quality of dedicated independence about the boy. Both that spirit of single-mindedness and his love of all kinds of sport were to serve him royally throughout life. From his entering the Society in 1925 to the year 1941 he did the normal training. It was the years 1941 to 46 when he was an army chaplain in England, India and Burma, that provided the most colourful period of his life. From these days he brought a fund of stories and reflections about that most difficult of experiences. Always when listening to him, one was aware of his total and most painstaking devotion to his apostolic work.

When Conor returned to Ireland in 1946 he went to work in the Sacred Heart Church: this was to be his mission until his death in 1992. He was minister here on two separate occasions.

In this long period he excelled as a confessor. Apart from his constant work at the altar, which made him very well known, he also was known to the students of the college and their families, and through his love of soccer he was recognised throughout Limerick. To the end of his life, the Sunday visit to the soccer match was his great relaxation. For a number of years he had been on the board of directors of Limerick soccer and on a famous occasion he was taken on a Spanish playing expedition by the team! A photograph of Conor from that time did indeed have a Spanish quality - reminding us of the city of the Spanish Arch. In this sporting city of Limerick Conor was accepted as a citizen and as an elder. In the subtle Irish way he became part of the culture and the landscape.

He was the priest up-in-the Crescent to whom everybody had been to confession: when you had a difficult tale to tell - in the times when tales were often so painful a part of life, he was there quietly to help you out and give you sure and gentle healing. They knew their man and his power was for them...

In community Conor was a quiet, alert and encouraging presence! Behind the unobtrusive and often humorous manner, there was a very dedicated and courageous man. Nothing could ever go far wrong when he was about. He could be absent minded at times, but he was never off-course. His spirit was honed down to the very essence of the faith for he had both a very precise and ascetical mind. His devotion was most practical. Not only was he the good confessor, but his prayers were available to everybody in trouble - to produce a good and useful outcome. His contribution to the faith of the city is Conor's unwritten memorial. People remembering their rocky journey through life wistfully and reverently recall his kind and reassuring help.

May his gentle soul rest in peace.
Dermot Cassidy

O'Brien, Francis X, 1881-1974, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1851
  • Person
  • 01 December 1881-24 February 1974

Born: 01 December 1881, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1899, Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 March 1918, Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 24 February 1974, Little Sisters of the Poor, Drummoyne, Sydney - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1905
by 1918 Military Chaplain: No 5 POW Cam,p APO, S20, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain: 30 general Hospital, APC 4, BEF France

Brother: Ó Briain, Liam (1888–1974), republican, scholar of Romance languages, and Irish-language enthusiast.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. Fr FX O’Brien comments from France in September 1918 that: “I suppose you had your share of influenza that swept over Ireland recently. Here even still, we get traces of it”.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
FX, as he was affectionately known, was educated by the Irish Christian Brothers and entered the Jesuits, 7 September 1899, at Tullabeg. He obtained first class honours in Latin and second class honors in Greek during his juniorate and later studied physics at the Dublin College of Science.
As a regent he was sent to Riverview, 1906-12, where he taught senior classes. worked in the boarding house and was editor of “Our Alma Mater”. He had a choir from 1909-12. After theology at Milltown Park and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1912-17, he became a military chaplain, 1917-19 serving the No. 5 German Prisoners of War Company, as well as the 30th General Hospital, BEF France. He arrived back in Australia in 1920 to spend a few years teaching at Riverview.
From 1922-31 FX was rector of St Aloysius' College, and usually prefect of studies as well, taught, directed the Sodality and a choir. Some Jesuits claimed he was too hesitant and undecided be a rector, and not much of a preacher or public speaker.
However, in 1931 he was appointed rector of Xavier College for three years, and then worked in the parish of Richmond for a further two. From there he went as superior to the Toowong Parish in Brisbane and returned to St Aloysius' College from 1940-49, being rector again, 1944-48.
He spent one year at the preparatory school to Riverview, Campion Hall, before returning to parish responsibilities at St Aloysius' College, 1950-55 . He worked from the church of
the Star of the Sea. His final placement was the North Sydney parish. During that time he cared for patients mainly at the Mater Hospital, where he spent his day visiting everybody,
whatever their religious persuasion. He was much loved because of his infectious good will, friendliness, and interest in people. In his earlier days he was much in demand for weddings and baptisms, but in his latter days funerals predominated.
FX was a bright, cheerful, breezy person, wonderful at malting friends, and had a prodigious memory. He made most impression on individuals and families, and he was a good community man. As rector of St Aloysius' College, he left no buildings, there were no departures from tradition and yet he was one of the most loved Jesuits ever experienced at the college. He revived the Old Boys Union, almost moribund for many years. He was president of the Registered Schools Association in 1927, one of the founders and first president of the Associated Secondary Schools of NSW, and was a member of the Catholic Education Council and the Catholic Schools Association. At the time of his death he was the doyen of the province.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 49th Year No 2 1974

Obituary :

Fr F X O’Brien (1881-1974)

When Fr F X O'Brien died in the Retired Priests' Home in Sydney on February 24, the Australian Province lost its oldest and one of its best-known members.
Fr O'Brien (better known as FX) was born in Dublin on 1 December 1881, received his early education from the Christian Brothers at O’Connell Schools, and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 7 September 1899. Endowed with a phenomenal memory for people and events, right up to the end of his long life, he frequently recalled those testing years in Tullabeg under the direction of that redoubtable novice master, Fr James Murphy. Grateful to survive the two years, he passed on to juniorate studies, and later to philosophy in Stonyhurst. In 1906, he was sent to Australia as a missionary (he always insisted on this term), spent six years teaching in Riverview College, Sydney, and then returned to Ireland for theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 3 July 1915. In 1916 he went to Tullabeg for tertianship, but when the Long Retreat was over, he went to France as military chaplain, where he remained till the war ended in 1918. He then returned to Tullabeg to complete his tertianship and in 1919 returned to Australia. The years that followed were mostly spent in the colleges. He was Rector of St Aloysius, Sydney, Rector of Xavier College, Melbourne, Parish Priest of Toowong, Brisbane, and Rector of St Aloysius College for another term. For the last twelve years of his life, he lived at St Mary’s Presbytery, North Sydney, where he was a most zealous and devoted chaplain to the Mater Hospital nearby. Up to a year ago when he was ninety-one, he was in excellent health, then he had to undergo a prostate operation after which he never recovered his old vigour. He declined steadily, and was placed under the care of the Little Sisters of the Poor in the Retired Priests Home where he died peacefully in his ninety-third year on February 24.
Although a man of sturdy and independent character, Fr O’Brien had a graciousness, affability and friendliness of manner that won him a host of friends. While he loved Australia and its people, he retained a deep attachment to the old country, and was a most faithful member of Irish societies in Sydney. He was a most obedient, humble and loyal Jesuit, deeply attached to the spirit and traditions of what some now call the Old Society.bewildered at the change of direction it has taken in recent years, and saddened by the large number of defections among its priest members. To our traditional spiritual practices, morning meditation, Rosary, etc he was faithful to the end of his life. In Community life, he was always pleasant, jovial, and gracious. There is no doubt that dur ing his long life he served his Master with a loyalty, love and devotion truly worthy of imitation.
The large crowd of over a 1,000 people which filled St Mary's Church for his Requiem Mass on February 27, which included the newly-consecrated Irish bishop, Bishop Cremin an old Mungret boy), the Australian Provincial, Fr Patrick O’Sullivan, and about fifty priests, was an eloquent tribute to the esteem and affection in which he was held. It was fitting that the funeral on its way to the cemetery should make a detour so as to pass by the Mater Hospital where as chaplain over the years he had helped so many to meet their Maker, and where doctors, Sisters, nurses, and even patients stood in silent tribute to a much loved and devoted pastor.
We offer sympathy to Fr O”Brien's brother, Mr Liam O’Brien, emeritus Professor of French, UCG, for whom the bereavement is the heavier in that he had planned to visit Fr F X in Sydney during the coming summer.

O'Mahony, Jerome C, 1869-1930, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/758
  • Person
  • 28 November 1869-24 April 1930

Born: 28 November 1869, Kilmallock, Co Limerick/Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 14 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903
Professed: 15 August 1905
Died: 24 April 1930, University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin

Older brother of Francis O’Mahony - RIP 1893 a Novice

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1892 at Exaeten College, Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1904 at Linz, Austria (AUS) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 43rd General Hospital, Salonica, Greece
by 1918 Military Chaplain : SS Egypt, c/o GPO London
by 1919 Military Chaplain : PL of C, Haifa, Palestine, EEF

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Older brother of Francis O’Mahony - RIP 1893 a Novice

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 4 1930
Obituary :
Fr Jerome O’Mahony
Fr. O’Mahony was born in Charleville, Co. Cork, 28 Nov. 1869, educated at Tullabeg, and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg (which had just become the novitiate of the province) 14 Sept. 1888. Here he remained for three years, the last of them as Junior, and then went to Exaeten for philosophy. In 1892 he was sent to Clongowes, where he was prefect for two
years, then a year at Belvedere, followed by five years at Mungret, four as master and one as prefect. In all, regency for eight years. After three years theology at Milltown he travelled to Linz for the tertianship.
In 1904, he was back in Mungret as prefect, a year in Galway came next, and then Mungret once more, prefect for five years. The Crescent had him as Minister and master from 1911 to 1913. In the latter years he was transferred to Milltown, where he had charge of the Retreat House for three years.
The great war was raging in 1916 and Fr O'Mahony became a Military Chaplain. His first post was in Salonika, where he was stationed in the General Hospital. Next year he was Chaplain on board the SS Egypt, and in 1918 we find him at Haifa, Palestine.
The war over, he returned to the Crescent, where, for two years, he was again Minister and master. Then a year in Milltown in charge of the Retreat House, and another in Galway, “Doc. Oper”. In all, Fr O’Mahony put in 20 years teaching. The last change came in1923 when he joined the Leeson St staff as prefect of University Hall. There he remained for seven years, until his death on Thursday 24 April 1930.
Fr O'Mahony's was the second very sudden death that took place in the province during the year. In the morning he complained of being unwell, told the servant that he was not to be disturbed during the day and went to his room. As he did not appear at dinner people began to he anxious. One of the Fathers went to look for him, entered his room and found him lying on the bed, dead. He was at once anointed by Fr. Superior.
Fr O’Mahony's life was very like the lives of the vast majority of Jesuits all the world over. It was a life of steady, constant, hard work. Hidden work. Nothing striking about it to attract attention. It is one more example of the cog in the wheel, hidden in the body of the machine, working away unnoticed, but, at the same time, helping to keep the machine in motion and produce, it may be, very brilliant results. Such a life did Fr O’Mahony lead to the very end. In recent years we often heard about high class lectures, on practical moral questions of the present day, read in University Hall by distinguished men, clerical and lay ; and about the brilliant discussions that followed each of them, in which some of the leading men in Dublin took part. But we never heard a single word of Fr O’Mahony's connection with these brilliant gatherings. Yet this is what the “National Student” has to say on the subject : “Those who were present at these gatherings will remember how much of their success was due to the patient, persevering manner in which Fr. O’Mahony succeeded in inducing several of the speakers, not only to be present, but even - still more reluctantly - to contribute personally to a discussion that owed its value to its representative character. And the same quiet perseverance was often successful in bringing more than one distinguished lecturer to speak to the students in a smaller gathering at University Hall”. His life effort was, to a great extent, unnoticed by human eye, and what now matters to Fr O'Mahony - nothing at all. But that effort was constantly observed by another eye, from which nothing can be concealed, and that now matters, and for a very long time to come will matter a very great deal indeed. RIP.

◆ The Clongownian, 1930

Obituary

Father Jerome O’Mahony SJ

The tragically sudden death of Fr O'Mahony in University Hall, Dublin, on April the 24th, removed from active life one who was intimately connected with Clongownians of many generations. Jerome O'Mahony came to Clongowes from Tullabeg in the Amalgamation year, 1886, joining the class of Poetry. Passing Matriculation he spent his last year in the 1st Arts class. As a boy he took little part in games, but was very prominent on the social side, being an excellent musician. In his, carlier career as a Jesuit he spent a few years on the staff of Clongowes. After ordination he filled various parts in different homes in Ireland until the European War broke out when he joined up as a Chaplain and was attached to the 10th Irish Division - seeing service in many lands, mostly in the East. He was in India, Egypt, Palestine and the Balkans, and after the war he used to give very interesting lectures on his experiences. The seven last years of his life were spent in University Hall, Dublin, devoting his time and his energies to the welfare of the students. He was always' particularly interested in Clongownians, ever ready to help them in every possible way and various Editors of “The Clongownian” have been greatly indebted to him for items concerning “The Past”. The esteen in which he was held was shown by the large and representative gathering that attended his funeral, The students of University Hall walked in procession after the hearse across the city and carried the coffin into arid out of the church. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Obituary

Father Jerome C O’Mahony SJ

Few men have had such a long connection with Mungret as had Fr O'Mahony.

He was a young man when he first joined the staff, about thirty-five years ago; and except for absences for studies for the priesthood he was Prefect of the boys till 1911. He spent some time then as Minister at the Crescent College, Limerick, and during the war went as a Chaplain. The greater part of his time as Chaplain was spent in the East.

He had an opportunity of seeing the Holy Land, and made good use of it. He came back with an interesting collection of pictures, and lectured to the boys in Mungret on the scenes he had visited.

Having spent some time as Director of Retreats at Milltown Park, Fr O'Mahony was given charge of the University Hall, Dublin, Here he spent the last seven years, and died on April 24th last.

There was no retirement from his duties, or prolonged illness before his death; and so, though his health was not the best. for some time, his death was quite sudden.

Fr O'Mahony was very active, during his time at University Hall, in arranging lectures and social functions for the students. He was a splendid organiser and his interest in students was very great.

He numbered among his friends many Mungret students. He was on the look-out for Mungret men, and was always anxious to be of service to them. Indeed, his kindly genial manner made him very easily approach able by everyone. He seemed to take pleasure in being asked to do a favour.

Fr O'Mahony was not himself educated this College, but he will be glad that the boys who knew him here have been asked to pray for him. The message of his death will recall many scenes and incidents in the Cricket fields or corridor or black walk, and prayer will be offered for a friend who has passed out of sight - that he may rest in peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Jerome O’Mahony (1869-1930)

Was born at Charleville, Co. Cork and educated at Tullabeg College. He left Tullabeg in 1886, the year it was closed as a college, and entered there when it had become the novitiate the autumn of the same year. He made his higher studies at Exaeten, Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1903, and Linz. He joined the Crescent community in 1911 when he was appointed minister and remained here for two years. From 1913 to 1916 he was in charge of the retreat house at Milltown Park. He became a military chaplain in 1916 and saw service at Salonika and the near east. In 1919 he returned as minister to the Crescent and stayed until 1921. The last seven years of his life were spent as Warden of University Hall, Dublin, where he died suddenly on 24 April, 1930.

O'Mahony, Michael, 1905-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1924
  • Person
  • 22 November 1905-28 July 1981

Born: 22 November 1905, Mullinahone, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 25 March 1943
Died: 28 July 1981, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael O’Mahoney must have come from a pious family, as his brother, John, became a priest and a sister became a nun. Michael attended the local National School until he was thirteen years old. Then he was educated by the Christian Brothers in Kilkenny, and by the Jesuits at Mungret College, Limerick, where he gained his matriculation. During the next three years he served his apprenticeship in a mixed business.
O’Mahoney entered the Society at Tullabeg, 1 September 1927. He completed a home juniorate at Rathfarnham Caste, Dublin, in English, Irish, Latin, French, mathematics, history and geography. His philosophy studies were also completed at Tullabeg. Immediately afterwards he was sent to Australia for regency, one year at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, and three and a half years at Xavier College, Kew. During those years he taught mathematics, history, and religion. He was also appointed rowing master and coach, and given charge of the junior debating society. He was master of ceremonies, division prefect and football coach.
These years were followed by theology studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, and he was ordained 31 July 1940. His tertianship followed immediately at Rathfarnham Castle. Instead of returning to Australia, O’Mahoney volunteered for service as a chaplain in the Royal Air Force during World War II. For the following three years he served on various RAF stations in England tending to the spiritual needs of the pilots.
From 1946-59 O’Mahoney once again took up teaching religion and mathematics at Xavier College, Kew. He was rowing coach from 1954-58, and in addition was a part time chaplain with the RAAF.
In 1959 he moved to St Ignatius' College, Norwood, where he taught religion and mathematics.
In 1971 he assumed a new role by joining the parish of Hawthorn. The following year he went to Sevenhill. and from 1973-80. was on the parish staff at Glenelg, SA. Over the last few years of his life, O’Mahoney did not enjoy good health. He joined the Xavier College community for his last years.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 4 1981

Obituary

Fr Michael O’Mahony (1905-1927-1981) (Australia)

Michael O'Mahony, a late vocation by 1927 standards, was naturally senior novice of the young men who entered that year at Tullabeg. It was only later that one could realise the sacrifice involved in his vocation, whether one considered his parents or Michael himself. If he had lived forty years later, he would certainly have become Ireland's agricultural representative-in-chief at Brussels, But from the earliest days of his noviceship we remarked his more than ordinary solid piety and charity. His sense of humour was rather limited, but he won the affection of all his fellows in spite of that. Early on in his noviceship he was appointed master of outdoor manual works: at these he himself worked like the strong man he was and directed efficiently the efforts of others.
It was a relief for him to be appointed to the “home course” in Rathfarnham, whence at the end of 1930 he began philosophy in Tullabeg. He must have found his studies there heavy going but he plodded on with a will. Michael’s attitude to ecclesiastical studies in general might be summed up thus: The Ten Commandments, The Creed and no nonsense.
If in the lecture-rooms his voice was muted, on the soccer field his physical presence was formidable. All who knew him in Tullabeg as “The Admiral” will recall his boating prowess on the Grand Canal. Even the stalwart Joe Kelly, with Australian experience, could rise to no higher rank than first mate. For his crew The Admiral chose only the heavy- weights. One day Brendan Brennan, his younger contemporary in Mungret and the noviceship, had the audacity to commandeer the Admiral’s boat and man it with less-talented oarsmen including the present writer. We had not got as far as the first lock when the wrathful Admiral and his hefty men in the second-best boat overtook us and passed us out ignominiously. Happily it was a sunny day, and our shirts and trousers were dry again when we reached Pollagh. We did not meet Michael there - he was well on his way to Shannon Harbour.
His final philosophy exam. provided a minor redletter day for his admirers. As the strong sternman arrived from his examination, a strip of shoddy carpet led to his room, while some discarded remnants of the previous Christmas bunting formed a crazy triumphal arch. We were not destined to meet Michael again until his return from Australia.
In theology, Michael was at last more at home in his books. He could compose a worthy sermon, but in spite of his fine manly physique he never succeeded in developing a strong preaching voice. This was no fault of his. I can recall vividly the doggedness with which he prepared a Missa cantata in his fourth year. I was his chosen teacher and could observe the humility of the man and his gratitude. It was the Missa cum jubilo that we were preparing for a feast of our Lady, and Michael must have felt it a point of honour to give of his best for the occasion. This perhaps was not surprising. In his uncomplicated way of piety, he was devoted to the Rosary and the Mother of God.
I never met him again until his last visit to Ireland, some ten or eleven years ago. He looked then a score of years younger than his actual age - so Australia must have been kind to him. In his earlier years, this kinsman of Charles Kickham would of himself have chosen to labour and die in Ireland. The boating experiences at Tullabeg apart, he was really the stuff of which a “soggarth aroon” is made. We can be sure that on his return to heaven he had full hands to show at the tribunal of Christ.
P Ó F

From The Xaverian, the magazine of Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, comes the following tribute:
Fr O'Mahony came from county Tipperary and was educated at Mungret College near Limerick. He entered the Society in 1927, did his early studies at Rathfarnham and Miltown, and came to Australia and to Xavier in 1934. He taught Mathematics in the Intermediate and Sub-Intermediate classes, and was a very good teacher - painstaking and efficient. He took care of the Junior Sodality and was Master of Ceremonies and Rowing Master. In 1937 he returned to Dublin, studied theology at Milltown and was ordained in 1940. After his tertianship year at Rathfarnham he went to England and worked in a parish near Leeds, later becoming a chaplain in the Royal Air Force.
Back in Xavier in 1947, he resumed his classes in Mathematics and the coaching of boat-crews. In 1959 he was transferred to Adelaide and taught at St Ignatius' College, Norwood. After a couple of years he took up parish work, first at Norwood and then at Glenelg. This work was very congenial to him. All through his years at Xavier he was out in some parish for Sunday Masses. He was very devoted to the sick and to those in troubled homes, and he was left many friends in Glenelg where he worked for seven years.
About two years ago he had a serious breakdown in health, and after a period in the Calvary hospital in Adelaide, came to Melbourne for a rest and a change. He returned to Adelaide for a short time, but eventually came back to Xavier. The memories of his former days at the School and the visits from his many friends helped him to regain his confidence and improve his health. Two days before he died he fell on the stairs. He was considerably shaken and never really recovered. After receiving Holy Communion on Tuesday morning, 28th July 1981, he died very peacefully. Requiem Masses were concelebrated on the next two days, and he was laid to rest among his fellow Jesuits in Kew cemetery. May he rest in peace.

O'Mara, Patrick, 1875-1969, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/552
  • Person
  • 13 March 1875-23 March 1969

Born: 13 March 1875, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1892, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1967, St Francis Xavier, Gardioner Street, Dublin
Died: 23 March 1969, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Cousin of Joey O’Mara - RIP 1977

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1896 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency, 1898
by 1910 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 58th CCS, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 33rd CCS, BEF France

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick O'Mara began his long life in the Society in 1892 at the age of sixteen, entering the novitiate at Tullabeg. At the end of 1898 he arrived at Xavier College to teach mathematics to senior boys and was first division prefect, 1901-02. He wrote a book on arithmetic, but apparently no copies survive.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
Of the various pamphlets issued, half a million copies were distributed during the past twelve months. Devotional booklets are in especial demand, particularly the “Holy Hour” books, by Fr. P. O’Mara, of which 63,ooo copies were sent out during the past year, and an equal number during the preceding year

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 4 1927
Messenger Office :
Of reprinted pamphlets by Ours, 370,000 copies have already been bought up. Fr P O’Mara’s “Holy Hour” book, “An Hour with Jesus” easily holds the record. It is in its 45th edition, and the companion book “Another Hour with Jesus” is in its 21st.

◆ Irish Province News 44th Year No 3 1969 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1969

Obituary :

Fr Patrick O’Mara SJ (1875-1969)

Father Patrick O'Mara was, by a large margin, the senior member of the Irish Province. Though six months younger than Father Eddie Dillon (still happily with us). he entered almost five years earlier. He had completed the long span of 77 years in the Society and was in full activity up to within a year of his death.
He was born in Limerick on March 18th, 1875. His father, Stephen O'Mara, M.P., was the founder of the well-known family business and was several times Mayor of Limerick and later a member of Seanad Eireann. Patrick was the eldest of a family of nine. One of his brothers, Stephen, was, like his father, several times Mayor of Limerick. Another, James, played a prominent part in the national movement, which has been chronicled in his biography by his daughter, Mrs. Lavelle. The third brother, Fonsie, was prominent in business life in Limerick and Dublin. He too played an active part in the national movement and in 1918 was elected as the first Sinn Fein mayor of Limerick, The distinguished singer, Joseph O'Mara, director of the O'Mara Opera Company and father of Father Joseph O'Mara, was an uncle of Fr. Patrick's, being the youngest brother of Stephen O'Mara, M.P.
Patrick O'Mara was educated for four years at the Christian Brothers College. Limerick, and for another four at Clongowes. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1892. Amongst his fellow-novices we find some names once familiar in the Province, Patrick O'Brien, Esmond White, Michael Egan and Thomas O'Dwyer. After a year's juniorate at Milltown Park, he went to Valkenburg for philosophy, and at the end of his three years course was appointed to Xavier College, Melbourne, in what was then the Australian mission.
He spent seven years at Xavier. from 1898 to 1905, both prefecting and teaching. Father O'Mara so long outlived his contemporaries that no detailed information is available about these early years. He was, however, evidently a keen and able teacher of mathematics, and published in 1903 a textbook entitled Reasoned Methods in Arithmetic and Algebra for Matriculation Candidates, which went into at least four editions.
In 1905 he returned to Ireland for theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained on 26th July 1908. After tertianship at Tronchiennes, he taught mathematics and physics at Mungret for three years, and was then appointed to the mission staff. Rathfarnham Castle had just been opened as a Juniorate (1913). and he was a member of the founding community, together with three fellow-missioners, Fathers William Doyle, Joseph Flinn and William Gleeson. The catalogues assign him to Tullabeg from 1914 to 1916, but those who were at Rathfarnham during those years think that he remained there during all his time as a missioner, This was the period of the First World War, and in 1917 Father O'Mara was appointed a military chaplain (there were twenty two Irish Jesuit chaplains that year) and saw service at the 58th and 33rd casualty clearing stations in France. He rendered particular service to Portuguese troops and was awarded a decoration, : Officer of the Military Order of Christ, by the Portuguese Government.
In 1919 Father O'Mara returned to Rathfarnham and there followed a long period of work as a missioner. Here again we are faced by the difficulty that he so long outlived his contemporaries that information about this period of his life is scanty. It is certain, however, that he was a most devoted and successful Missioner. He was an orator of the old style, somewhat theatrical in his delivery, but most appealing to the congregations of those days. He took immense pains in preparing his sermons, and it is recalled that on his first appointment to the mission band, he went to England for a course in voice production. He was indefatigable in the laborious work of visitation and hearing confessions, and he was blessed with a strong constitution which made him a most reliable confrère, always ready for the most difficult assignment.
When Father O'Mara returned from the war to Rathfarnham, Father John Sullivan had just been appointed Rector. Father O'Mara contributed to the biography of Father Sullivan an incident which occurred in the November of that year. On his way back from a mission, Father O'Mara's bag was stolen from the platform of the tram on which he was travelling. The loss was a grievous one, as the bag contained the manuscripts of his mission sermons and retreat notes. On arrival at Rathfarnham, he confided his trouble to Father Sullivan, who assured him that he would immediately go to the chapel and pray for the restoration of the notes. Father O'Mara, though it was late at night, started jotting down all that he could remember of his notes, which were the result of years of work. At 11.30 p.m. Father Sullivan came to his room to tell him that a telephone message had been received from the Augustinian Church in Thomas St. to say that the bag, unopened, had been left at the door of the monastery. Father O'Mara's account concluded : “I was convinced at the time that it was a direct answer to Father Sullivan's prayers. I have not changed this opinion”.
In 1928 Father O'Mara was appointed to the staff of Gardiner Street, and entered on the activity which is most closely associated with his name, being appointed Director of the Sodality of the Sacred Heart, which involved the giving of the Holy Hour. This activity was interrupted in 1931, when he was appointed Rector of the Crescent College, Limerick. Here he undertook several extensions and improvements in the church, and was responsible for the installing of a new organ. On his return to Gardiner Street in 1934, he was at first assistant director of the Pioneer Association, but in 1937 reassumed the directorship of the Sacred Heart Sodality and the Apostleship of Prayer, which he retained for the next thirty years, as well as that of the Ladies' Sodality of the Blessed Virgin. During all this time his most notable activity was the giving of the Holy Hour, which became almost legendary in Dublin and its outskirts. He took the utmost pains in its preparation, and carefully wrote out fresh matter for each occasion. Many of the prayers and devotions which he used were embodied in four booklets entitled Hours With Jesus, the first of which had a circulation of over a million copies, whilst the others ran into the hundred thousands. His style of preaching was inighly dramatic, perhaps excessively so for some tastes, but it certainly appealed to his crowded congregations. It was remarkable that even in quite recent times, when preaching has to some extent lost its former attraction, "Father O'Mara's Holy Hour" was always certain to fill the church to overflowing.
If the old age of everyone were like that of Father O'Mara, the science of geriatrics would be superfluous. Until he was into his nineties, his appearance never changed. His abundant black hair was only slightly touched with grey, and he could have been taken for a well-preserved man in the late sixties. He continued in active work almost to the end of his life, hearing confessions, directing his two sodalities at Gardiner Street. He also directed the past pupils' sodality attached to the Dominican convent, Sion Hill, Blackrock from 1938 to 1966, when his health forced him to relinquish it. This sodality is one of the oldest in Ireland having been founded in 1852.
When one attempts to give some idea of what kind of man Father O'Mara was, two characteristics stand out. Firstly, he was utterly devoted to his priestly work. His sermons and his famous Holy Hour were prepared with laborious care. He was a devoted and sympathetic confessor He was always ready to share in work which lay outside his own particular sphere. Thus, he took a keen interest in the annual Foreign Mission week in Gardiner Street, to which the members of his Ladies' Sodality gave valuable assistance. Secondly, he was deeply devoted to the Society and the Province. He took the keenest interest in all that was going on, and was generous in his encouragement of others, especially of younger men. Those who were asked to help him were the recipients of praise so lavish that it might have seemed mere flattery but that his genuine gratitude and goodwill were so apparent. He employed on some occasions an amusing little technique, praising some work done for him, a sermon or talk, but adding : “Still, I think it was only your second best”. This was not meant to discourage, but rather to emphasise the fact that his praise was not undiscriminating.
It was only in the last year of his life that his health began to fail, and only in his last months that increasing weakness made it necessary for him to leave Gardiner Street for Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross. He retained to the last the whimsical good humour that had characterised him all his life. Very shortly before his death, his confessor mentioned that a taxi was provided for him to visit Father O'Mara each week, and protested that he could very well come by bus. “But”, said Father O'Mara, “think of the prestige I get among the other patients by the fact that my confessor comes in a taxi”. His death occurred on March 23rd, and, as was to be expected, immense crowds gathered in Gardiner Street to express the reverence and gratitude they felt towards one who, for so many years, had spoken to them so movingly of the love of the Sacred Heart of their divine Lord. Requiescat in pace.

O'Meara, Michael, 1909-1998, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/610
  • Person
  • 17 May 1909-19 November 1998

Born: 17 May 1909, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Manresa House, Roehampton, London, England
Died: 19 November 1998, Sacred Heart, Limerick

Middle brother of Jack - RIP 1991; Tommy - RIP 1993

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1999

Obituary

Fr Michael (Mickey) O’Meara (1909-1988)

17th May 1909: Born in Mallow, Co. Cork
Early education: CB School, Cork, Patrician Bros School, Mallow, & Clongowes Wood College.
1st Sept. 1926: Entered the Society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1928: First vows at Tullabeg.
1928 - 1931: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1931 - 1934: Tullabeg, studying philosophy.
1934 - 1937: Clongowes, Teacher and 3rd Line Prefect.
1937 - 1941: Milltown Park, studying theology.
31st July 1940: Ordained at Milltown Park,
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1942 - 1946: British Army Chaplain in England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Egypt, Palestine.
1946 - 1955: Clongowes, Minister
1955 - 1961: Rathfarnham, Chaplain to School of Commerce, Rathmines.
1961 - 1962: Mungret College, teacher.
1962 - 1964: Clongowes, H-Line Prefect.
1964 - 1973: Mungret: Minister till '69; Teacher.
1973 - 1998: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, Minister, Prefect of Church, Dir. “Pioneers”. (off Minister in 1991)

Father O'Meara had been attending to his church duties when he collapsed and was found on the floor of the church. He was rushed by ambulance to hospital, but did not regain consciousness.

Fr. Michael O'Meara (known affectionately to us as Mickey) was born in Mallow in 1909, one of a large family of boys and girls. One of the boys joined the secular clergy, and three became Jesuits. Michael went to school first to the Christian Brothers in Cork, and he had interesting reminiscences about the dangers of travel to Cork during those difficult years of the Great War and the “Troubles” here at home. After a period with the Patrician Brothers in Mallow he finished his secondary education in Clongowes, where he distinguished himself especially in rugby. He was a member of that famous team which first won the cup for Clongowes (a victory not to be repeated until many decades later). He was justifiably proud of it, and I found a copy of the photo of the winning team in his room after his death. He had cherished it all those years.

He entered Tullabeg in 1926 and followed the normal Jesuit course, doing his regency in Clongowes, and thus strengthening what was already a strong bond. In 1942, after his Tertianship in Rathfarnham, he became a British Army Chaplain. He went with his men to England, France, Belgium, Holland, Germany, Egypt and Palestine, sharing with them in everything,

After this exciting period he returned to his beloved Clongowes as Minister in 1946, and as always, threw himself into the work. It was quite a shock to him when he was sent to Rathfarnham in 1955 to act as chaplain to Rathmines Technical School of Commerce. Distasteful though the change was, he once again took up the new work with enthusiasm, and endeared himself to many of the students. Interestingly, he had a great regard for a fellow chaplain, Fr. Brian Scallen; and they worked happily together until Michael was sent to Mungret in 1961. Here he taught for a year before being sent off once again to Clongowes, this time as Higher Line Prefect. Two years later he was back in Mungret, as Minister for five years until 73, when he received his final posting to the Crescent.

This last quarter of a century was the crowning of a long life of service. He was Minister for a number of years, his third spell at this job for which he had a natural aptitude and liking. His main efforts, however, were centered on our church and its associated apostolates: Devotion to the Sacred Heart, to Our Lady, direction of the Pioneer work ( he was for years in charge of the Munster area) manager of the church shop, and general contact with the people of Limerick and further afield. He had a happy and friendly disposition, which he had inherited from his parents and family background. He was always willing to listen to people, to have a friendly chat, to enthuse with them in their joys and successes, to sympathise with them in their difficulties. He prayed with them too, and they knew him as a man of prayer and child-like faith. He was responsible for the Saturday Fatima Devotions; for a prayer group that meets once a week in the back parlour; for the Rosary after our final morning Mass; and of course for the pioneers, as already mentioned. He was indefatigable in accompanying the various pilgrimages, - to Knock, Holy Cross Abbey, Lourdes, Fatima, Medjugorjie; any time, any where, he was off to help them to make their pilgrimage a prayerful success.

Although he was a deeply spiritual man, he never gave the impression that he was a “holy Joe”. Instead he was happily interested in many very human activities. He was physically vigorous and nimble himself, and never lost his interest in sport and games. When he was an Army Chaplain his skill was in demand on army rugby teams, and later on he rarely missed any of the big national or international matches shown on TV. He came from a family that was keenly interested in horses, and he watched all the big classic races, both in Ireland and abroad. It was not merely a spectator sport for him. He was an excellent rider, and by the kindness of his brother there was always a horse ready for him and transport to collect him, so that he could participate in the local hunt. Many a story was told of his skill and daring, none more glamorous than that of his famous rescue of a "damsel in distress". Apparently she was thrown from her horse into a river in spate, and was being swept helplessly along. Our gallant Michael rode down the bank below her, jumped in, and managed to pull her to safety. This incident - and a famous remark made at the time - have become part of the O'Meara family folklore! Hunting and horse-riding around the Mallow home-country were a tonic relaxation for him in his intensely active life, and he kept it up until he was into his seventies.

One may mention finally his work in our church shop. This was a real apostolate for him, as he saw in it a way of spreading Catholic devotions and good literature. Apart from the work of organising the shop and ordering the supplies, he spent long hours every week in setting out the cards, the magazines and papers, the rosaries and various religious goods. To give some notion of the extent and scope of his efforts: he worked up the scale of the Irish Messenger to well over 1000 copies each month. For a man of his years his work programme was quite strenuous, as we in the Crescent are keenly aware, now that we have to pick up the pieces, so to speak, after his death. He was probably at this work when he collapsed suddenly and died in the church. He is mourned by many people in various places, but particularly by devoted friends who are loyal supporters of our Church of the Sacred Heart and of our community. May he rest in peace.

Tom MacMahon

Page, Bernard F, 1877-1948, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/796
  • Person
  • 16 July 1877-30 November 1948

Born: 16 July 1877, Khishagur, Bengal, India
Entered: 01 March 1895, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 30 November 1948, Petworth, Sussex, England - Australiae Province (ASL)

Chaplain in the First World War.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1902 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1912 at St Wilfred's, Preston (ANG)
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 3rd Cavalry Field Ambulance and Brigade, BEF France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : No 2 Cavalry Field Ambulance, BEF France
by 1921 at St Luigi, Birkirkara, Malta (SIC) teaching
by 1922 at St Aloysius College, Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1923 at St Wilfred’s Preston England (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-answering-back-2/

JESUITICA: Answering back
Do Jesuits ever answer back? Our archives hold an exchange between Fr Bernard Page SJ, an army chaplain, and his Provincial, T.V.Nolan, who had passed on a complaint from an Irish officer that Fr Page was neglecting the care of his troops. Bernard replied: “Frankly, your note has greatly pained me. It appears to me hasty, unjust and unkind: hasty because you did not obtain full knowledge of the facts; unjust because you apparently condemn me unheard; unkind because you do not give me credit for doing my best.” After an emollient reply from the Provincial, Bernard softens: “You don’t know what long horseback rides, days and nights in rain and snow, little or no sleep and continual ‘iron rations’ can do to make one tired and not too good-tempered.”

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bernard Page was born in India where his father was a judge, but from the age of seven lived in Glenorchy in Tasmania, from where he was sent to Xavier College as a boarder. In 1895 he entered the novitiate at Loyola Greenwich under Aloysius Sturzo. In mid-1898 he went to Xavier College as hall prefect and teacher, and appears to have been the founding editor of the Xaverian. By 1900 he ran the debating and drama, Page was a careful and competent photographer, and the photographic record of his time at Xavier is amongst the most valuable photos of the whole Irish Mission. He travelled to Europe, did philosophy at Valkenburg and was sent back to teaching at Clongowes and Belvedere, 1904-07. After tertianship Page served at Preston in England until 1914, and during that time requested a transfer to the English province, which was apparently refused. War chaplaincy followed, including a trip to the forces in Murmansk. He worked in a parish in Oxford, 1921-22, and from then until 1947 he served at St Walburge's parish in Preston. Page never considered himself Australian but maintained an interest in the work of the Society in Australia, and kept up contacts from his Xavier days.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Obituary

Fr. Bernard Fullerton Page (1877-1895-1948) – Vice Province of Australia

Many members of our Province will remember well Fr. Page, who died recently in England, who belonged to the Vice-Province of Australia, was born at Khishagur, Bengal, India on 16th July, 1877 and began his noviceship at Sydney on 1st March, 1895. There also he did his juniorate but for pbilosophy went to Valkenburg. He began his theology at Louvain but completed the course at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 26th July, 1910. After finishing his tertianship, he joined the staff at St. Ignatius, Preston and was an army chaplain during the 1914-1918 war. After demobilisation, he was at St. Aloysius, Oxford in 1921 and in 1922 went to St. Walburge's, Preston where he remained until ill health compelled him to retire to Petworth in March, 1948. He was the editor of the Walburgian and was able to boast that even under war-time conditions, publication was never delayed. He was also the author of a Life of St. Walburge, “Our Story : The History of St. Walburge's Parish”, “The Sacristan's Handbook”, and “Priest's Pocket Ritual”. R.I.P.

Pelly, Michael C, 1907-1990, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/20
  • Person
  • 09 July 1907-20 August 1990

Born: 09 July 1907, Ballina, County Mayo
Entered 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 20 August 1990, John Austin House, North Circular Road, Dublin City

Early education St Patrick’s De La Salle BNS, Castlebar and Mungret College SJ

Chaplain in the Second World War.
Hong Kong

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Perrott, Cyril, 1904-1952, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1975
  • Person
  • 27 December 1904-24 April 1952

Born: 27 December 1904, Mayfield, Cork City
Entered: 31 October 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 24 April 1952, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Middle brother of Thomas - RIP 1964 and Gerard - RIP 1985
Chaplain in the Second World War.
by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 2 1941

General News :
The Irish Province has to date sent 4 chaplains to England for home or foreign service for the duration of the war. They are Frs. Richard Kennedy, Michael Morrison, Conor Naughton and Cyril Perrott. The first three were doing their 3rd year's probation under Fr. Henry Keane at the Castle, Rathfarnham, while Fr. Perrott was Minister at Mungret College. They left Dublin on the afternoon of 26th May for Belfast en-route for London. Fr. Richard Clarke reported a few days later seeing them off safely from Victoria. Both he and Fr. Guilly, Senior Chaplain to British Forces in N. Ireland, had been most helpful and kind in getting them under way.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.

Irish Province News 27th Year No 3 1952
Coláiste Iognáid :
The deaths of Fr. Cyril Perrott and Brother G. Lynch, within a week of one another, on April 24th and May 1st, came as a great sorrow to us. Fr. Perrott's death, in particular, being quite unexpected. On April 22nd, he entered hospital for a duodenal operation, and, having come successfully through, as it appeared, he suddenly collapsed on the 23rd, and died the following morning. The Office and funeral, of which details appear elsewhere, were a remarkable tribute. Messages of sympathy and offerings for Mass poured into the house. The school was closed from the time we received news of his death until after the funeral. The boys gave a wreath, and each class an offering to have Mass said, whilst the entire school walked in the funeral.
Brother Lynch died in Dublin, after a long illness. His death was not unexpected, but he was sincerely mourned by the Community and the people of Galway to whom he had endeared himself by his quiet courtesy and unfailing good humour.

Obituary :
Father Cyril Perrott
Father Cyril Perrott was born in Cork on December 27th, 1904. He was one of six brothers, of whom two besides himself entered the Society, Father Tom Perrott, Norwood, South Australia, and Father Gerard Perrott, Clongowes Wood College. Their only sister is Mother Mary of St. Thomas, Convent of Mary Reparatrix, Merrion Square, Dublin. Cyril Perrott was educated in the Christian Brothers' School, Sullivan's Quay, and the Presentation College, Cork, and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg on October 31st, 1922. After his Juniorate at Rathfarnham and Philosophy at Milltown Park, he went to Mungret in 1930 as master and Prefect of Second Club. He was ordained in Milltown Park in 1936 by the late Archbishop Goodier, S.J., and, after Tertianship at St. Beuno's, returned to Mungret as Minister, which post he held until his appointment as military chaplain in May, 1941. During the next three years he worked in war camps in the vicinity of Palmer's Green, London, and Litchfield, Hampshire. He was sent Overseas in 1944, and saw active service in India and Burma, being attached to the South East Asia Command,
At the end of 1945, he was demobilised, and came to Galway to work in the Church and take charge of the Men's and Women's Sodalities and of the Boys and Girls' Clubs. From 1947 on, he relinquished the Men's Sodality and Boys' Club, but continued to take a great interest in both. He was also a member of the Committee of the Galway branch of the National Council for the Blind.
For a good many years he had been suffering from duodenal trouble, and during the past year it had become intensified, causing him considerable pain and loss of sleep. He was finally advised that a remedial operation was advisable, and would become absolutely necessary within a year or two. The operation was apparently successful, but on the afternoon of the following day his heart suddenly failed. He was anointed immediately by Fr. Mallin, who was at hand, and his brothers, Fr. Gerard Perrott and Mr. Robert Perrott were summoned. The surgeon and two other doctors made every effort to save his life, but he died early on the morning of April 24th. The sad news came as a terrible shock to the community and to the people of the city, many of whom were in tears when they heard it.
The funeral, which took place on April 26th, was a striking testimony to the esteem and affection in which Fr. Perrott was held. His Lordship, the Bishop of Galway, presided at the Requiem Mass, and almost all the parish priests, clergy and religious of the city and surroundings took part in the Office. The Mass was sung by Fr. Gerard Perrott, Fathers Cashman and Diffely being deacon and sub-deacon, and the cantors at the Office were Rev, J. Kelly, C.C., Rahoon and Rev. F. Heneghan, C.C., Salthill. Fr. Provincial, who had just left for Rhodesia, was represented by Fr. W. Dargan, Fathers M. O'Grady, Rector, Milltown Park; D. P. Kennedy, Rector, Belvedere College and O'Catháin, representing Leeson St., came from Dublin, and Fr. C. Naughton from Limerick.
The church was crowded with the laity, among them the Mayor, members of the Corporation, civic officials and representatives of every walk in life. The coffin was carried to the hearse by members of the Men's Sodality, and a guard of honour was provided by the Boys' Club, whilst large contingents from the Women's Sodality and Girls' Club were prominent in the procession to the burial place in the New Cemetery.
After the Mass, His Lordship, the Bishop, delivered a moving address, from which the following are a few passages :
“The life which we mourn today was at first spent in a period of quiet and tranquillity. In the long period in College which the Church prescribes for those who have aspired to the priesthood, Fr. Cyril Perrott went steadily through the preparation of prayer and study, and his life was spent in tranquillity among the young like himself. When war broke out, he joined that great and gallant company of chaplains who gave honour to the Catholic Church, and then he was called to serve under the terrible conditions of war, and saw human nature suffering under severe trials for body and soul. Then was seen the profit of his long years of prayer and study, and the soul which had been tempered by years of meditation and mortification proved its worth, and he was able to bring the truth of Jesus Christ to men fighting and dying, and to seal their wounded lips and their tortured souls with the peace of Jesus Christ.
We cannot calculate what inestimable good he was able to do, but the strain of these years, short though they were, was very great. It was greater probably than he himself acknowledged. For his is not the only case we have known of priests who have been undermined by the terrible privations of these years, and so, when the trial came, although be received the best medical attention, the strain had been too great, and death came. But it was death in the Lord, death accepted, death surrounded by all the consolations of the sacraments of the Church and the prayers of his brethren, and he went forth gladly: and bravely to meet the creator of his soul,
Today we offer our deep sympathy to his family and to the Company of Jesus to which he belonged. We join our prayers with theirs that God may give him the reward of the faithful servant. I am sure he has the prayers of the members of the Sodality which he taught, and also the prayers of the blind, in whose interest he was most zealous and attentive. He has rested in the Lord, for the works of his sacred priest hood follow him”.
When one attempts to pay a fitting tribute to the memory of Father Cyril Perrott, the first thing that stands out is that he was a splendid community man, one with whom it was a real happiness to live. He had a very pleasant, even temperament, and always appeared to be in good humour. This came partly from his natural cheerfulness. He could always see the amusing side of even the most difficult situation, enjoyed a joke, and a rarer gift - took a joke against himself with the greatest enjoyment, though his keen wit often enabled him to have the last word. But there was a deeper foundation for his calmness of temperament, and that was his admirable courage. It was related by those who were associated with him in his work as a chaplain in London that he showed the most remarkable indifference to danger during the air raids, and often would not even trouble to take shelter. This courage showed itself in the less violent, but no less trying difficulties of ordinary life. Anything he took charge of seemed to go smoothly, because he faced every situation calmly, and rarely had need to call on others to give him encouragement. Like most courageous men, he was also very unassuming. Though he had a fine war record, and was evidently a great success as an organiser, he never referred to his work as a chaplain except in the most passing way. It was the same with regard to his priestly work. He was most successful and universally popular, but he never spoke of his success except in a half-joking and deprecatory manner.
His great popularity with the laity was in large measure due to the the qualities already mentioned, but he owed it also to his tact and gift of never giving offence, to his untiring energy in helping anyone who appealed to him, and to the quiet efficiency with which he carried out his duties. It was God's Will that his life should be cut short at a comparatively early age, but the crowds who came to pray beside his remains, who thronged the church for his Requiem, and who walked in an immense procession to his grave, were a striking proof that in his short life he had won for himself the reputation that is the ambition of every good priest, of being not only a sincere friend, but also a source of consolation and inspiration. Over two hundred Mass cards were laid on his coffin, and he will long be remembered by the members of the Sodalities and the Boys and Girls' Clubs, who owe so much to his quiet, unceasing work during so many years.
To his brothers, Fathers Tom and Gerard Perrott, is offered the sincerest sympathy of the Province and especially of the community of St. Ignatius', Galway.

Potter, Henry, 1866-1932, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/1998
  • Person
  • 19 April 1866-18 November 1932

Born: 19 April 1866, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 01 June 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1901
Final vows: 15 August 1903
Died: 18 November 1932, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

Older brother of Laurence Potter - RIP 1934

First World War Chaplain.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Medical student before entry

by 1893 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1898 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1902 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 7th Yorkshire Regiment, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 37 London Road Chelmsford
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 21 Wellington Esplanade, Lowestoft

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 1 1933
Obituary :
Fr Henry Potter
Father H. Potter died in Dublin, Friday, I8th November, 1932.
He was born in Kilkenny 19th April, 1866, educated at Christian schools, Diocesan College, and Castleknock, and began his noviceship at Dromore, Is June, 1885. Two years juniorate followed, the first in Milltown Park, the second in Tullabeg (the noviceship was changed from Dromore to Tullabeg in 1888).
At the end of the two years Father Potter was sent to Clongowes, where he remained for three years as master or prefect, and then to Enghien for philosophy. His course was
interrupted when he had done two years, and in 1894 we find him in Mungret when he put in three more years as prefect before resuming philosophy at Stonyhurst. Theology at Milltown immediately followed, and then tertianship at Tronchiennes.
When the tertianship was over in 1902 he began his long career as Minister - Clongowes, Belvedere, Gardiner St., Crescent - until in 1911 he was back in Belvedere as master. He spent three years in the classroom, when once more the ministership claimed him, by way of variety, at Leeson St. This brought him to the memorable year 1914, when Father Potter donned the uniform as Military Chaplain. He saw service both in France and England, and in 1919 was back in Gardiner St. as Oper. A year in Milltown, Director of Retreats, stood between him and his special vocation, in 1923 he was minister in Galway. He held the position until 1928, and was thus minister for fifteen years, and in six different homes. For the next three years he had charge of the small study in Clongowes, a year's quiet teaching followed, and then came the end.
On the evening of Monday 14th November he was brought to Dublin in great pain. All the ordinary remedies for lumbago were tried without result, and a growth of some kind, pressing on a nerve centre, was suspected Next day he was very much distressed, and a minor operation was performed to try and give him relief, His heart was in a very bad state, and the doctors advised the Last Sacraments, which were immediately administered. That night he had two very severe haemorrhages, which left him very weak. On Thursday blood transfusion was tried, but did no good, and on Friday morning he collapsed. When asked if there was much pain his only answer was that he was “offering it all up.” He was quite conscious to the very end, and got absolution several times. He joined in the prayers for the dying, and his last act immediately before expiring was to kiss the crucifix, and whisper the Holy Name.
This very happy death was the crown of a holy life. Father Potter did not belong to the class of men whose goodness attracts attention and is freely spoken about, but the goodness was there. And, now that he is gone, stories are being told of his visits to the Blessed Sacrament, especially when few people were about, of his devout prayers, and, especially, of his devotion to the Stations of the Cross, He was charitable, the character of the neighbour was safe in his hands. And he was charitable when charity was difficult, when something was said that invited a sharp retort, that retort was never forthcoming, He was an excellent community man, and will be sadly missed. It can be said of him with truth that he was the life and soul of recreation, was full of fun, and had as keen an eye as most people for what was comical or ludicrous in his surroundings. He was very approachable, and with boys a prime favourite. As soon as he appeared a knot of them quickly gathered round him, and soon fun of some kind or other was in progress. And this was true of all classes of boys, our own College boys or the little lads that come to serve Mass in our Church. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Henry Potter 1866-1932
Henry Potter died in Dublin on November 18th 1932, He was a native of Kilkenny, being born there on April 19th 1866. Having been educated at Castleknock College he entered the Society at Dromore in 1885.

He spent most of his life as Minister in our houses. In 1914 he became a Chaplain in the Great War, and he served all through it until 1919.

He was a man of deep piety practised in secret. After his death, people spoke of his quiet nocturnal visits to the Blessed Sacrament, and his great devotion to0 the Stations of the Cross.

In his last agony, he remained conscious to the end, joining in the prayers for the dying. His last act was to kiss the crucifix and murmur the Holy Name.

◆ The Clongownian, 1933

Obituary

Father Henry Potter SJ

Though Clongowes cannot lay claim to Father Potter as one of her own Past, some of us can well remember him when he came as far back as to take over the Third Line. He had just finished his Rhetoric as a young Jesuit. So that it was in Clongowes that he began and ended his working life. In the middle of this long span he was Minister here.

He always felt very much at home here, for he was at his best with the boys: one is almost tempted to say: with the little lads. So that there was a strange fittingness in the fact that the Third Line Prefect of 1891 was the Small Study Prefect of 1931. The comic touch of incongruity, apparent only, would often make one smile when one caught sight of him in the centre of a group of Elementarians as they gathered for class at 9.30. He, seemingly grave but thoroughly enjoying the way in which they would solemnly discuss the amazing theories he would propound just to draw them out. In him a cloak of gravity covered a puckish fancy, a fact which explains his general popularity.

Though he was suffering a good deal, it was only on Monday morning, 14th November, that he failed to go down to his small boys. He left that day for a Dublin Nursing Home and died on the following Friday.

We inay be sure that he was sustained in the pains and sufferings of the last year of his life by his devotion to the Stationis of the Cross, a characteristic of his personal life. He is much missed in Clongowes. In the Community recreations his passing away has left a great blank. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Henry Potter (1866-1932)

Was born in Kilkenny and received his early education at St Kieran's and Castleknock College. He entered the Society in 1885 and pursued his higher studies at Enghien and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1901. Father Potter spent two years at the Crescent 1909-11 when he held the position of minister of the house and prefect of the church. At the beginning of the first world war, he volunteered as chaplain and served in England and France. In the years following the war he was sometime director of retreats at Milltown Park and served some seven years as minister at Clongowes. His remaining years were spent in Clongowes.

Roche, Daniel, 1882-1961, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/2056
  • Person
  • 22 October 1882-13 November 1961

Born: 22 October 1882, Castleisland, County Kerry
Entered: 07 September 1899, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 November 1961, St John’s Hospital, Limerick

Part of the Crescent College, Limerick community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1912 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 96th (CP) Field Ambulance, BEF France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 18 KLR, BEF France

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June,
9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives.
Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

Fr Daniel Roche SJ, 97th (C. P.) Field Ambulance (06 July 1916):
I have been in a dug out up at the front line for the last fortnight, during the bombardment and four days of the battle... I have seen some sights for the last few days which I shall not readily forget. It has been a very very hard time which I would not have missed...I am in splendid form, or will be when I have had some sleep. Unfortunately I have been unable to say Mass during that time.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 37th Year No 1 1962
The Sacred Heart Church and College
Father Daniel Roche
On November 13th Fr. Dan Roche had a very happy and most peaceful death quite in keeping with that deep serenity that marked his life. He had a slight heart attack a week previously and since then had been in St. John's hospital, One could see from the reaction to the sad news the extent of the community's esteem and affection for the late Fr. Roche, which affection was so obvious also last spring when he had to go to hospital following an attack of 'flu. In the days which followed his death we fully realised the great blessing that an aged religious like Fr. Roche can bring on a community where he was often spotlighted and made the centre of recreation, recounting for us the stories of the past. Fr. Roche often spoke of the deeds of his long-deceased contemporaries and when he mentioned Fr. John Sullivan (a fellow-novice) he seemed to relive those noviceship days. Indeed it was more than a coincidence that Father Dan went to his Maker on the feast of St. Stanislaus. Fr. Roche is buried in the Mungret cemetery beside Fr. Barragry, Fr. O'Connell and Fr. McWilliams - those stalwarts of the Crescent church, who as confessors and preachers, quite subconsciously won the hearts of Limerick. Indeed only recently a nun from the St. Joseph of Cluny Sisters asked for a mortuary card of Fr. McWilliams, and on receiving it, wrote thus to Fr. Rector: “A thousand thanks indeed for the mortuary card. I cannot tell you how much my mother will appreciate it as Fr. McWilliams was her best friend in Limerick, In fact she prays to him and considers him a great saint as in his lifetime he did wonderful things for her. I can thank him also for the grace of my religious vocation”.

Obituary :
Fr Daniel Roche (1882-1961)
Fr. Dan Roche died in St. John's Hospital, Limerick, on Monday, November 13th, St. Stanislaus' Day, after a brief illness lasting a little over a week.
An examination of the Catalogue in an effort to trace Fr. Roche's career in the Province reveals something which is somewhat out of the ordinary. The chronological list is as follows :
1899 (Sept. 7th): Entered Noviceship at Tullabeg (one year ahead of Fr. John Sullivan.
1901 Junior in Tullabeg.
1902 Teaching Latin and Greek in Galway.
1903 Prefect of Discipline in Clongowes.
1905 Philosopher at Stonyhurst.
1906 Study Prefect at Clongowes (for five years).
1911 Finished Philosophy at Louvain.
1912 Theologian at Milltown
1915 Ordained priest at Milltown.
1916 Chaplain in British Army in World War One. Won Military Cross
1919 Tertian Father at Tullabeg.
1920 Teacher and Games Master at the Crescent.
1923 Teacher at Clongowes.
1924-1933 Member of the Mission Staff.
1933-1961 Operarius at the Crescent.

It is not an easy task to give even a fairly adequate account of Fr. Dan Roche, as he was a very reserved and reticent man, for the most part, and one could live for a long time with him and yet know little about him.
Rarely indeed did he reveal anything of his real self and then, not so much by what he said as by what he did. One has to depend, therefore, upon the few who knew him somewhat more intimately to get some insight into the true character of the man. One who was a fellow-novice writes of him :
“Fr. Dan was a great character. I met him first on September 7th, 1899, at Portarlington on our way to Tullabeg, and we became life long friends. He was a solidly good religious, always ready to give sound reasons for the faith that was in him. He was a good conversationalist, well read, and proficient in all kinds of games and sports and, naturally, he became a kind of a hero to the novices and juniors at Tullabeg. But that never went to his head and he had no use for pretence or ostentation, and hence he could not suffer fools gladly, He was, I always thought, a strong character, or a "he-man" as he used to say when speaking of a third party. He evidently made a good impression in the army, for during many years after the war, he used to get letters from officers and men with whom he had come in contact”.
Few of Fr. Roche's friends heard much about his experiences as an army chaplain in the first World War. He was extremely reticent on the subject. Shortly after his ordination to the priesthood, he volunteered for service with the British Forces and was posted to a Field Ambulance in France. His real active service, however, was with a front-line battalion in the trenches of Flanders, and it was only a fitting tribute to his determination and courage that he was decorated with the coveted Military Cross for distinguished service on the battle-field.
After his tertianship in Tullabeg and four years of teaching at the Crescent and Clongowes, Fr. Roche was appointed to the mission staff where again he had an outlet for the zeal and self-sacrifice so conspicuous in his army career. From time to time, when he was in a more talkative mood, he would recall incidents and relate stories - always extremely well told - of his missionary experiences up and down the country.
In 1933 he returned to the Crescent and for nine years directed the Apostleship of Prayer Association and the Holy Hour. During this time and his remaining years in Limerick-twenty-eight years in all--he endeared himself to the patrons of the Sacred Heart Church. He was particularly noted for his zeal in the confessional and for the practical common sense which he displayed in his approach to the various problems which he solved for his penitents. Quietly and unobtrusively he comforted the sick and the afflicted and those who really got to know him found in him a true and sincere friend.
In community life he was pleasant and good-humoured and for one who was remarkable for a retiring and studious disposition—he was an omnivorous reader he took a kindly and sympathetic interest in the many and varied interests of a busy College.
If ever a Jesuit died in action it was Fr. Roche, He was busily engaged in the church up to the end. He heard Confessions for several hours on the three days prior to the fatal heart attack. In fact, he was in his confessional until 9 p.m. on the previous night. He died as he would have wished-ever ready for the call, giving himself generously to the service of the Lord. For Fr. Roche there was one motto : Give and do not count the cost.

Ronan, William, 1828-1907, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/382
  • Person
  • 13 July 1825-10 December 1907

Born: 13 July 1825, Newry, County Down
Entered: 13 November 1850, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained: 1848 - pre Entry
Final vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 10 December 1907, Mungret College, County Limerick

by 1855 in Istanbul?
by 1864 at Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship
by 1899 at Villa Saint-Joseph, Cannes, France (LUGD)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had studied at Maynooth and was Ordained 1848 for his native Diocese of Dromore before Ent.

A Few years after his Novitiate he went with Fr Patrick J Duffy as a Chaplain in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari Hospital (of Florence Nightingale Fame in the Istanbul Region) and other Military stations.
On his return to Ireland he worked for many years as a Missioner, and became well known in almost every diocese and district in the country. Few men were better known as a Spiritual Director in religious communities through Ireland as well as the clergy of many Dioceses.
He was Superior in turn of the Galway and Limerick houses, and was known for extraordinary zeal and devotion to the Sacred Heart. he shared this devotion with one to Our Lady of Lourdes and St Joseph.
1880 While Rector in Limerick, he founded the Apostolic School, and when Mungret was given to the Jesuits, and the AS moved there, he became its first Rector. He considered the founding of the AS as the greatest work of his life. He travelled to the US in 1884/5 to get funds for the AS so that he could set up a more permanent financial foundation for it.
1887 He began the second phase of his life as a Missioner in Ireland, and continued this even when he was appointed Superior at Gardiner St.
1897 By now he was compelled to give up active work due to ill health and he spent some years in the South of France.
1901 He was sent back to Mungret and spent the last six years of his life there as Spiritual Father and Confessor to the Community and students. During these years he had the great consolation of seeing the growth of the College, and always spoke of those Priests, former students, working in all quarters of the world, as his children.

His last days were happy ones “How good God is to me and how happy I am to be here”, were almost the last words he spoke when he was in the full of his health. It was a massive stroke which brought about his death on 10 December 1907 at Mungret, and he was buried in the College Cemetery, following a funeral procession which was led by the younger students walking in twos, followed by the clergy, the the coffin borne by senior students and then the mourners, of whom there were many. Afterwards many stories were shared by his former students in Mungret and the Crescent, as well as many who had come to know him through his Missionary work. General Sir William Butler (who had been educated at Tullabeg), who had visited Father William three days before and listened carefully to him as he spoke about his time in the Crimea, and Sir William thought of him a a soldier of the truest type :
“he said to me some memorable things in that first and last interview I had with him on December 9th. Amongst other things he said ‘In the hospital near Scutari I suppose more that 1,000 poor soldiers from the Crimea were prepared for death by me. Some were able only to utter an ejaculatory prayer, some of them had known little of their faith before this time, but I have never doubted for one moment that every one of those poor souls went straight to Heaven. And when I go and meet them in Heaven, I think they will elect me their colonel, and I shall stand at their head there. I pray our Lord that he may take me at any moment. I am quite willing to go, but I say that I am ready to stay too, if he has any more work for me to do here’. It is an intense satisfaction to me that it was given to me to see this grand veteran on this, his last full day of his long and wonderful life - all his faculties perfect”.

Note from Patrick Hughes Entry :
1888 He was appointed Rector of Galway, and continued his involvement in the Mission Staff. On Father Ronan’s retirement, he was appointed Superior of the Mission Staff.

Note from Christopher Coffey Entry :
He died peacefully 29 March 1911, and after the Requiem Mass he was brought to the small cemetery and buried between Brothers Franye and MacEvoy, and close to the grave of William Ronan.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Ronan, William
by David Murphy

Ronan, William (1825–1907), Jesuit priest and Crimean war chaplain, was born 13 July 1825 in the parish of Clonduff, near Newry, Co. Down, son of Patrick Ronan, farmer. His mother's maiden name was Rooney. He was educated at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, and was ordained priest in 1848, entering the Society of Jesus in November 1850. Completing his noviciate at Dromore, Co. Down, he studied philosophy at Saint-Acheul, near Amiens, France, and went to Laval (November 1852) to study theology. In 1854 he joined the Jesuit community at St Francis Xavier's in Gardiner St., Dublin. At the end of 1854 he was appointed to serve as a chaplain with the army in the Crimea. This was the first occasion since the reign of James II (qv) that catholic chaplains had been given official status in the British army, and Ronan (along with fellow Jesuit Patrick Duffy and some Irish diocesan priests) travelled to the Crimea at the end of 1854. Specifically instructed to look after the welfare of the Irish Sisters of Mercy working in the hospital at Scutari, he arrived in January 1855 and immediately clashed with Florence Nightingale, who was in charge of the hospital. He disagreed with the way the Irish nuns were employed and also found them living in unsuitable conditions. Following negotiations with Nightingale, the conditions for the Irish nuns improved. He outlined his initial impressions of the Scutari hospital in a letter (preserved in the Dublin Diocesan Archive) to his superior in Dublin, Fr Robert Curtis, SJ. While in the Crimea he occasionally found some Irish secular priests to be hostile towards the Jesuits and experienced particular difficulties with one priest, Fr Michael Cuffe.

Returning to Ireland at the end of 1855 in bad health, he initially worked as a missioner. A noted preacher and retreat-giver, he toured the towns and cities of Ireland before being appointed superior of the Galway Jesuit community. He took his final vows in February 1865. In 1880 he became rector of Limerick and founded the Irish Apostolic School, which transferred (1882) to Mungret College. He then travelled to the USA on a fund-raising tour and raised over £10,000 (1884). In 1887 he worked as a missioner again before joining (1893) the Gardiner St. community, of which he was made superior in July 1895. His later years were overshadowed by controversy, as he was accused of an improper relationship with a wealthy widow, Mrs Doyle. He denied these accusations but spent some time abroad, living first in Jersey and then in the south of France. In 1901 he returned to Mungret and remained at the college until his death. On 9 December 1907 he was visited by Gen. the Rt Hon. Sir William Butler (qv), who was recording the accounts of men who had served in various military campaigns of the nineteenth century, including the Crimean war. At the end of his interview, Ronan remarked ‘I pray hard that He may take me at any moment. I am quite willing to go but I say that I am ready to stay too, if He has any more work for me to do here’ (cited in Murphy, War Correspondent, 45). The next day, 10 December 1907, he suffered a stroke and died. He was buried in the college cemetery at Mungret.

There is a substantial collection of his papers in the Irish Jesuit archives in Dublin. There are further letters in the papers of Cardinal Paul Cullen (qv) in the Dublin diocesan archives.

Fr William Ronan, SJ, files in Irish Jesuit Archives, Dublin; Freeman's Journal, 12 Dec. 1907; Evelyn Bolster, The Irish Sisters of Mercy in the Crimean war (1964); Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991); Tom Johnstone and James Hagerty, The cross on the sword: catholic chaplains in the forces (1996); David Murphy, ‘Irish Jesuit chaplains in the Crimean war’, War Correspondent, xvii, no. 1 (Apr. 1999), 42–6; id., Ireland and the Crimean war (2002); Thomas J. Morrissey, William Ronan, SJ: war chaplain, missioner, founder of Mungret College (2002)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Ronan 1825-1907
Fr William Ronan was born on July 13th 1825 in County Down. He was ordained priest in Maynooth for his native diocese of Dromore. After two years as a secular priest he entered the Society in the Crimean War, where he laboured for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari, where, as he afterwards recounted to a famous friend he met there, Sir William Butler, “more than 1,000 soldiers were prepared for death by me”.

On his return to Ireland he worked on the Mission Staff, and he was a much sought after giver of retreats to religious and diocesan clergy. He was Superior in turn at Galway and the Crescent. It was while he was Rector of the Crescent that he founded the Apostolic School, first at the Crescent, and then with the help of Lord Ely and the Abbé Heretier, in Mungret, where he became the first Rector. He went to the United States in 1884 to collect funds for the new College.

After another period on the Mission Staff and a period as Superior at Gardiner Street, owing to ill health he had to spend some years in the South of France. In 1901 he returned to Mungret, where he spent the last six years of his busy and extraordinarily fruitful life.

He was a man of remarkable zeal and fervent piety, outstanding for his devotion to the Sacred Heart, and to which devotion he attributed the great success of all his undertakings.

On the last day of his life, chatting to his old friend Sir William Butler, and referring to the soldiers he had anointed in the Crimean War, he said “I have never doubted for one moment, that every one of these poor souls went straight to heaven, and when I go and meet them in heaven, I think they will elect me their colonel, and I shall stand at their head there”.

Death came on him unexpectedly at six o’clock on the evening of Tuesday December 10th 1907, after he had spent an hour in prayer before the Blessed Sacrament, as had been his custom for many years. He survived a heart attack long enough to receive the Last Rites, and was buried in a spot chosen by himself years before, facing the window of the College Chapel.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1908

In Memoriam : Rev Father Ronan SJ (1825-1907)

by Thomas Cassidy (Matriculation Class)

We saw a flower in bloom one summer day,
The glowing dawn imbued its petals sweet,
But when the night came on it passed away
And fell a faded cluster at my feet.

We saw another power in bloom full bright,
And in its day its sweetness far it shed;
But then, when o'er it fell the robe of night,
A crown of splendour settled on its head.

O God; we missed him, but he'was Thine own,
A benefactor and a friend to all;
And called by Thee he fled unto Thy Throne
To answer sweetly to Thy loving call.

He was a man of constant mind and strong,
Of powerful frame, more powerful still in prayer;
Throughout his life, and that had been full long,
He breathed heavenly sweetness everywhere.

And Mungret stands his living monument,
Looks o'er his grave and guards his memory,
Prays for him e'er, and thanks the hand he lent,
To breathe in her a soul so heavenly.

List, sainted Father, to thy children dear,
Who in thy widowed habitation dwell:
We pray thee, in our need be evěr: near
Far from us drive the tempting powers of hell.

That on that day, sweet saint, when nations rise.
To bliss eternal, or to lasting woe, .
We may with thee ascend unto the skies,
And bless the days you spent with us below.

-oOo-

Obituary

Rev William Ronan SJ (1825-1907) : Founder of The Apostolic School and Mungret College

In the afternoon of Tuesday, December 10th, 1907, while the boys were at supper, a rumour reached both their refectories that Father Ronan had been taken suddenly ill, The Apostolics soon learned the whole truth and knew that he whom they looked upon as a father, and whom all the boys in the College had learned long ago to revere as saint, had gone to the reward for which he had laboured so long.

Full particulars, however, were not known till about two hours later when all the boys had assembled in the College chapel for night prayers and the spiritual director of the pupils detailed to them the circumstances of Father Ronan's unexpected, but singularly happy death. The boys listened with awestruck and eager attention,

Fr. Ronan was apparently in his usual vigorous health a few hours before. Some of the boys had seen him come to the chapel about 5 p.m., as he was accustomed to do every evening, to spend an hour in prayer in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. He returned towards his room about 6 p.m. He spoke for a short time to a father of the community a little while later on, and after leaving the room of the latter seems to have been struck with a sudden fit of apoplexy in the cloister... leading to his own room, Here he was found a short time after 6 p.m., prostrate and speechless, but still breathing, 'The Father Rector was immediately summoned and, assisted by several of the community, administered Extreme Unction. The dying man gave no further sign of consciousness, and calmly breathed his last while the prayers for the dying were being recited by those present.

The boys were profoundly impressed by the story; and the lessons of Father Ronan's life his singleness of purpose, his zeal for the Master's glory, his union with God-now came home to all most strikingly, as it was so clear that these were the only things that retained their value when the Almighty Master sent the final unexpected summons. And while all joined in performing the Stations of the Cross for the repose of the good father's soul, the prayer uppermost in their hearts was “may I, too, die the death of the just, and let my last end be like to his”.

Father Ronan had attained the ripe age of 82 years. He was in the sixtieth year of his priesthood, and the 58th of his life in the Society of Jesus. He was born July 13th, 1825, in Co. Down. He read his ecclesiastical course in Maynooth, where, in the year 1848, he was ordained priest for his native diocese of Dromore. After about two years work as a secular priest he entered the Society of Jesus in 1850. A few years after his novitiate he went with the Rev Fr Duffy SJ, as chaplain to the British forces in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals at Scutari and other military stations. After returning to Ireland he laboured for many years as a missioner, and became well known in almost every diocese and district of the country. His untiring zeal, his spirit of prayer, and his power of work, secured extraordinary fruit to his missionary labours; and ill very many parts of the country his name is even still held in benediction. Few men were better known for more prized as a spiritual director of religious communities of both sexes throughout Ireland, and of the clergy in very many dioceses. He resided in turn in the Jesuit houses in Galway and Limerick; in the latter of which he was Superior; and here, too, his zeal, his spirit of prayer, and his extraordinary devotion to the Sacred Heart brought manifest blessings on his work.

He also had a wonderful devotion to, and confidence in the Blessed Mother of God, under the invocation of Our Lady of Lourdes, a devotion which he constantly preached and recommended; and he himself always attributed the temporal success and prosperity which were never wanting to any of his undertakings to his confidence in St. Joseph.

In 1880, while Rector of the Crescent College, Limerick, Father Ronan founded the Irish Apostolic School; and when Mungret College was handed over to the charge of the fathers of the Society of Jesus, and the Apostolic School transferred thither in 1882, he was first rector of Mungret. A full account of these events has already been given in the Jubilee Number of the “Mungret Annual”, July, 1907. The founding of the Apostolic School he always regarded as the great work of his life, and one which he said God enabled him to accomplish, as the result of twenty years of constant effort and prayer for its realisation.

Up to that required to found the Apostolic School on some the United States, in order to procure the funds.

In 1884 and 1885, Father Ronan travelled in the United States, in order to procure the funds required to found the Apostolic School on some kind of permanent financial basis. Up to that time he had depended solely on the support and alms of the clergy and faithful throughout Ireland.

In 1887, he began the second period of his career as a missioner in Ireland, continuing to do great work in this capacity, even after he became Superior of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin, in the middle nineties. In 1897, however, being now in the seventy-second year of his age, he was compelled to give up active work, and he spent the following years in the South of France.

In 1901, Fr. Ronan returned once more to Mungret, after an absence of fourteen years, and there he spent the last six very happy years of his busy and extraordinarily fruitful life. During that time the greater part of each day was spent in prayer. He still continued, however, in his capacity of spiritual father of the house, and confessor of very many of the pupils of the College, to do remarkable work for the great cause of the salvation of souls, to which his life was devoted with such extraordinary singleness. Not the least fruit of his spiritual direction of the pupils during this time was the practice of daily Communion, which, owing to his special encouragement, became common in the College, and practically universal among the Apostolic students.

During the last years of his life he had the consolation of seeing the growth and progress of the College and the Apostolic School, which, under God, owed their existence to him, and he always spoke of the priests educated in the Apostolic School and now labouring in the ministry in all quarters of the world, as his children.

Few men are privileged to live and die a life of such quiet but unvarying success as Father Ronan; and to the lot of very few, indeed, will fall such consolation as he must have enjoyed a few months before his death, when the College which he looked on as his own child, and in which he lived as a beloved and revered father, celebrated her silver jubilee. Although his. death was unexpected, the great wish of his closing years was granted: that he should celebrate the Holy Sacrifice, which he had never once voluntarily omitted during the three score years of his priestly life, on the morning he was to meet his Maker.

Fr Ronan was not a man of exceptional intellectual powers, but he possessed what is infinitely more valuable in the race of life : indomitable strength of will, a power of perseverance in the teeth of all difficulties, and a cheerful courage that bore him up and inspired a certainty of success even when affairs looked most unpromising. He had a clear idea of his purpose and object, and went straight and frankly for it without recking of minor obstacles. He had a wonderful faith in the all-ruling Providence of God, and calmly received all eventualities, whether apparently favourable or otherwise, as the outcome of the eternal decree which is formed by infinite Wisdom solely for our good. Hence, he never gave evidence of despondency or doubt, and his cheerful spirit, which he preserved to the day of his death, reacted on all around him.

Though a man of stern, determined, fearless : character, who flinched before no opposition, and knew not what it is to yield or compromise: where principle or what he considered the glory of God or the advancement of God's work was involved, he was in social relations singularly : amiable, and forgiving and considerate. Even to the last he was unusually free from the idiosyncrasies that often accompany old age, and was constantly bantered on his youthfulness of heart, He never denied that he was in a way the spoiled child of God's goodness, for he enjoyed life thoroughly, he said, and expected nevertheless to get off with little or no Purgatory after death. Even when he was over eighty years of age, none enjoyed a joke more or bore with better grace the turning of the tables against himself, or told a good story with richer humour, or contributed a more considerable share to the general social cheerfulness which he loved.

His spiritual life and his ascetical teaching bore the impress of his natural character. It was founded above all on the virtue of hope ; and he always insisted on prayer and union with God as the one means to do successful work in God's service.

When congratulated on all hands, as he was during the Jubilee celebrations in September, it seemed most striking to all how little he was moved or affected by congratulation or praise. His invariable reply was: “Thank God! It is all His work; I really had very little to do with it”.

A striking trait in Fr. Ronan's character was his singular loyalty to the claims of friendship. He had many friends, and his friendships seemed all.to be lifelong. In that matter he was always most sincere and earnest, and no trouble or in convenience seemed worthy of regard when it was a question of doing a service to a friend. .

“How good God is to me! how happy I am here!” were almost the last words he was heard to utter, while apparently in his usual vigorous health, and before he had yet felt the approach of the apoplectic stroke. which terminated his earthly career on the evening of December 10th.

The body of the deceased father was laid out in his room; and during Wednesday, December 11th, the pupils of both sections of the College visited the room to look on the venerated re mains, and to say a prayer beside the bier.

On the morning of December 12th he was borne to his quiet resting place in the College Cemetery, and laid in the spot--which he himself had carefully chosen long before - facing the window of the College Chapel, where the Blessed Sacrament is, which had been to him the great support and consolation of his life!

After the Solemn Requiem Office and Mass, which began before 11 am, in the College Chapel, the procession proceeded to the cemetery. The pupils of the College went first, marching two and two, and reciting aloud the Rosary ; next came the clergy in choral dress; after these the coffin was borne along on the shoulders of the senior students, and was followed by the mourners, who were present in considerable numbers.

Among those latter were some elderly men who retained vivid recollections of the missions preached by Father Ronan half a century ago; some others had been boys in Crescent College, Limerick, a quarter of a century later, when he was Rector and Spiritual Father of the pupils. A goodly number of the pupils of the Crescent College had come in a body to show their appreciation of the old Rector of their College; and General Sir William Butler was there to do honour, as he said to the saintly old veteran of the Crimea, whom he looked upon as a soldier of the highest and truest type.

Sir William had listened with intense interest three short days before in Mungret to Father Ronan, who then seemed quite hale and vigorous, as the latter recounted anecdotes of his life as Military Chaplain in the Crimea, and of his travels in the United States.

One statement which Father Ronan always insisted upon, when speaking of his work in the Crimea, and which he then repeated to General Butler, is interesting, and so characteristic of the man that we give it here. We quote from General Butler's account of their interview:

He said to me some memorable things on that first and last interview I had with him, on December 9th. Amongst other things he said:

“In the hospital near Scutari I suppose more than one thousand poor soldiers from the Crimea were prepared for death by me. Some of them were able only to utter an ejaculatory prayer some of them had known little of their faith before that time, but I have never for one moment doubted that every one of those poor souls went straight to Heaven; and when I go”, he added, smiling, “and meet them in Heaven, I think they will elect me their colonel, and I shall stand at their head there”; and again, “I pray our Lord that He may take me at any moment; I am quite willing to go - but I say, too, that I am ready to stay, if He has any more work for me to do here”.”

Sir William adds : “It is an intense satisfaction to me that it was given me to see this grand veteran on the last full day of his long and wonderful life - all his faculties perfect”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father William Ronan (1825-1907)

A native of Co. Down was educated for the diocese of Dromore and ordained at Maynooth in 1848. Two years afterwards he entered the Society. He served as chaplain in the Crimean war. He became rector of Sacred Heart College in 1872 and occupied that post until 1882. During his rectorship, the St Joseph transept of the church was built and the three altars of the sanctuary consecrated. In 1880 he founded at the Crescent an Apostolic School or the education of boys who wished to serve in the missions. This school was transferred to Mungret in 1882 when the Jesuits acquired the property of the Mungret Agricultural School. Father Ronan spent two years in the USA, where he was able to collect enough money for the building of the Apostolic School wing. He spent some years on the mission staff and was for some years in Gardiner St, where he became superior. His last years were spent at Mungret College which will always be associated with his name.

Shaw, Francis M, 1881-1924, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/785
  • Person
  • 29 May 1881-14 January 1924

Born: 29 May 1881, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 14 January 1924, Dublin

Chaplain in the First World War.

Part of the Mungret College, Limerick community at the time of death.

by 1906 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1908 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : No 17 Casualty Clearing Station, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : c/o Archbishop’s House, Wodehouse Road, Bombay, India
by 1919 Military Chaplain : 16th CCS, Mesopotamia, EF

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Castleknock.

After his Novitiate he was sent to Jersey for Philosophy and then to Clongowes for a Regency of some years Teaching and Prefecting.
1912 He began Theology at Milltown.
1917 He was appointed Military Chaplain to No 17 Casualty Clearing Station, BEF, France. He was for some time later In India and Mesopotamia.
After the War ended he was sent to Mungret. he was attacked by some virulent growth and died after much suffering in hospital in Dublin 14 January 1924. He is buried in Mungret.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Electrical Engineer before entry

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Obituary

Father Frank Shaw SJ

Father Frank Shaw SJ, was not himself an “old Clongownian”, but there must be many old Clongowes boys who would find it difficult to remember their time at Clongowes without recalling “Mr Shaw”. Third Liners of the years 1909-'11 especially will remeraber him, for he was our Prefect during that time. Many of these Third Liners must have gone to Heaven before him, for they were just the right age to be called upon to take their share in the Great War. Indeed, Father Shaw, who was a chaplain in the Navy for a time, met more than one of his former charges in India or some other of the many places where his duty brought him. But we thought little of wars during 1909-'11, and we remember Father Shaw best as being a bit of a puzzle. From one point of view he was quite intelligible to us; we understood him and sympathised fully with him when he would go in to bat some scorching summer day and scatter the visiting team's best bowlers to the boundaries. We used to thrill with pride - for, of course, we looked upon our Prefect as the product of our training - at his exquisite late cuts and glides, or his powerful straight drives, and shout ourselves hoarse in friendly triumph over the discomfiture of the “enemy” bowlers. But Father Shaw puzzled us by what now we should call his idealistic side: he was a very silent man, yet very humorous when he liked, and sometimes when he did not like, he would be stirred to a slow smile by the whimsical seriousness with which some Third Liner viewed the minor problems of life. He nearly always seemed shy with us boys, but we knew him for a gentle, patient, just man, and I think we half sympathised with his somewhat tired demeanour. We sensed vaguely the fact that he possessed an artistic temperament, and some of us knew how to lure him to the library door by, putting on some of his favourite records. He was a poet, too, and he used to confess how jealous. he was of the phrase, “Our tainted nation's solitary boast” having been written by a Protestant.

He died a most holy death on 13th January, 1924, after weeks of intense pain, He used to murmur, towards the end, to those who visited him, “J'ai fini”, but most of us knew that he was not thinking so much of the close of his old life as of the opening of his new; and his real thought would be rather Nunc coepi”.
E J C RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1924

Obituary

Father Frank Shaw SJ

Born in Ennis, Co. Clare, on May 29th, 1881, Fr Francis Shaw lost his father and mother while still young. Fr D Fogarty was named as guardian of the five children - two girls and three boys - and on his death the present Bishop of Killaloe, Most Rev Dr Fogarty acted as guardian - always an ideally kind one - especially to Fr Frank, his favourite.

In 1892 Fr Shaw was sent to Castleknock College where he remained till 1901, winning a name for himself already in cricket and football. From there he went to Newcastle-on-Tyne for a course of engineering. Here, wishing to be in a position to answer the religious difficulties of his Protestant fellow-students, he got into touch with the Jesuit Father's, with the result that he gave up Engineering and entered the Jesuit noviceship at Tullabeg on September 6th, 1902.

He received his vows on September 8th, 1904, and after studying Philosophy in Jersey and at Stonyhurst, England, he was stationed in Clongowes Wood College from 1909-1913. Coming to Milltown Park in 1913, he was ordained in 1916.

As the call for chaplains was urgent he volunteered immediately, and was appointed chaplain to the British Forces soon after. He served in that capacity till the War was over - in fact till 1920.

His work as chaplain was for some time in France, but mainly on the Eastern Front in Mesopotamia. Here he had a severe attack of malaria and dysentry, and it was here that at odd moments and in odder places he wrote most of his papers on Our Lady.

Demobilized in 1919, he made his tertianship in Tullabeg and in August, 1920, came to Mungret College. He took his final vows on February 2nd, 1921, in the College chapel and remained here till his health gave way in September last. It was then judged expedient to send him to a specialist in Dublin. From the first the doctors had not much hope; and an exploring operation confirmed their worst fears. Cancer was diagnosed, and it was clear he could only last some months.

Sister Ignatius broke the news to him a week or two after the operation; and soon after found him crying - but as he hastened to reassure her - for joy that he was to “go bome so soon”. Everyone who came in contact with him - Sisters, nurses, cloctors, visitors - all were amazed at his cheerful patience and his simple manly holiness.

A prominent Dublin doctor who had attended many saintly people in their last illness stated Fr Shaw was the holiest of them all. The terrible disease wore him slowly down. He hoped to get “home with the Kings” he said; and the day after the Octave of the Epiphany news came of his happy release. And so his body was brought to Mungret, “the old spot” he loved, coming in the train that brought the boys baok from Holidays. He had gone on the unending Holiday. And the boys with their kreen intuition of things, said openly and half-enviously that he was in Heaven - for he was a saint,

Judged by ordinary standards his death seems naturally premature - yet he said himself before leaving for Dublin that he had seen and had as much of life as he wanted. And the circles in which be moved - his old school, the communities in which he lived, the regiments of which he was in spiritual charge, and most of all, Mungret, both the school and the Community - know and feel his life has not been in vain and will not forget how he brightened life for them, always full of playful whimsical humour, always doing what he had to do conscientiously and well. His disposition was essentially kindly and amiable. He was a splendid athlete, and in all games maintained his reputation till the very end. They speak of his batting and football yet in Clongowes. In France he shot the winning goal for his regiment after he had received a nasty “ankle-tap” which kept him prone for six weeks. In India they would hold up cricket matches till the Padre's boat came in from Basra. And in Mungret he proved himself as skilled in hurling and rounders as in the other games.

He liked simple things and candid people, and never was afraid to hear or speak the truth. He was a great lover of Nature and his hobbies included Astronomy and Botany. His chief characteristic, however, was a love for Our Lady that glowed all his life at white heat. He sang Her praises in prose and in verse, hunting up every text of scripture that referred to Her, ransacking every Doctor of the Church who spoke of Her. He seemed to see all life through Her, and so to the poor, to women and children he was wonderfully gentle and courteous as beloved our Lady's knight.

He was as well a passionate lover of Ireland, of Clare, and of Mungret. When in a base hospital over in Mesopotamia some English officer's made disparaging remarks of the 1916 men, the quiet Padre faced a ward-full of them, and an icy frightened silence followed! He sensed the truth out there; he never swerved for one half-second from the head line set by Pearse, and McSwiney through all the later tangled times.

Mungret seemed somehow to be waiting for him, and he for her. As spiritual Father to the boys, her “holiness and homeliness” appealed to his manly piety and sincerity; and as teacher he revelled in the Gaelic national tradition here. Going through his papers, one finds the list of the Muagret wild flowers and the date on which he first sees them every year, and then the Gaelic name side by side with the high-sounding Graeco Latin botanical term. He loved everything and everyone that was in Mungretor loved Mungret. The evening that in a tense silence the hearse came crunching and creaking up the avenue - one of the little birds he used to feed from his window kept flying from it to the writer's and back again. At last after tapping impatiently with its beak on the panes of the closed window next door, it flew away. The hearse had stopped. The coffin was being borne to the chapel.

Yet the “Father, Who is in Heaven” will care for the little feathered friends of Fr Shaw in Mungret, and Father Shaw will remind Him even of them because they are of the Mungret he loved, and for which he worked and prayed and works and prays that she still may be “kindly Irish of the Irish”, full of the old homely holiness, the natural super naturalness of the Gael - and with some at least of his splendid love for Muire Máthair.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam!

To his brothers and sisters and to, Most Rev Dr Fogarty, Bishop of Killaloe, who was nearer and dearer to him than anyone on earth, we offer our sincere sympathy.

Sheehan, Patrick, 1807-1850, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2117
  • Person
  • 07 March 1807-18 December 1850

Born: 07 March 1807, Limerick
Entered: 04 October 1825, Montrouge near Paris - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1840
Final vows: 02 February 1846
Died: 18 December 1850, Pune, Maharashtra, India

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Noviceship and studies on the Continent.
Sent with Father Kyan to India, he reached Bombay 11 November 1848. he was a Military Chaplain at Belgaum and Poona (Pune) where he died 18 December 1850.

Shields, Daniel J, 1898-1986, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/404
  • Person
  • 18 July 1898-07 February 1986

Born: 18 July 1898, Altmore, County Tyrone
Entered: 15 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1930, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 February 1986, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorkshire that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 61st Year No 2 1986

Obituary

Fr Daniel Shields (1898-1919-1986)

18th July 1898: born. 15th September 1919: entered SJ. 1919-21 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1921-24 Milltown, philosophy. 1924-27 Clongowes, regency. 1927-31 Milltown, theology (31st July 1930: ordained a priest). 1931-32 Clongowes, teaching. 1932-33 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1933-37 Mungret, teaching, 1937-41 Clongowes, ditto. 1941-46 chaplain to British army. 1946-47 Clongowes, teaching. 1947-52 Galway, retreat-giving. 1952-55 Leeson St, teaching in Kevin street technical school. 1955-57 Gardiner St, church work and director of “Penny Dinners” (the direction of which he retained till the end). 1957-60 Loyola, Superior, 1961-86 Gardiner St, church work: besides the “Penny dinners” he was associated with “Catholic Stage Guild”. 7th February 1986: died.
On his army chaplaincy see his article “Fading memories” in Interfuse no. 41 (February 1986), pp. 35-38.

◆ Interfuse

Obituary

Fr Daniel Shields (1898-1919-1986)

18th July 1898: born. 15th September 1919: entered SJ. 1919-21 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1921-24 Milltown, philosophy. 1924-27 Clongowes, regency. 1927-31 Milltown, theology (31st July 1930: ordained a priest). 1931-32 Clongowes, teaching. 1932-33 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1933-37 Mungret, teaching, 1937-41 Clongowes, ditto. 1941-46 chaplain to British army. 1946-47 Clongowes, teaching. 1947-52 Galway, retreat-giving. 1952-55 Leeson St, teaching in Kevin street technical school. 1955-57 Gardiner St, church work and director of “Penny Dinners” (the direction of which he retained till the end). 1957-60 Loyola, Superior, 1961-86 Gardiner St, church work: besides the “Penny dinners” he was associated with “Catholic Stage Guild”. 7th February 1986: died.
On his army chaplaincy see his article “Fading memories” in Interfuse no. 41 (February 1986), pp. 35-38.

Strickland, Gerard, 1822-1856, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2159
  • Person
  • 04 November 1822-22 April 1856

Born: 04 November 1822, Lough Glynn, County Roscommon
Entered: 07 September 1840, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1850
Died: 22 April 1856, Sevastopol, Crimea

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Studied Humanities at Stonyhurst before Ent.

1841 After a year at Hodder, he was sent to Madeira with his father for a change of air 27 September 1841
1844 Sent to Liverpool School for Regency
The after studies in Philosophy at Vals and a long course in Theology at St Beuno’s, he was Ordained 1850.
1851-1853 Appointed Minister at Stonyhurst
1853-1854 Appointed Superior of the new school in Manchester
1854 Appointed Superior of the new Mission at Accrington

He was appointed Chaplain to the English forces in the Crimean War, for which he had volunteered. He died in a camp there of fever 22 April 1856 aged 34. he was universally beloved for his many virtues, a man of great talent and high promise. he was buried in the Crimea with military honours, and his funeral was accompanied by upwards of 6,000 troops. He had caught the fever while voluntarily attending to the wounded French soldiers. He died before taking Final Vows.

Sydes, Edward J, 1863-1918, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/2169
  • Person
  • 24 November 1863-15 November 1918

Born: 24 November 1863, Australia (born at sea coming from Ireland to Brisbane)
Entered: 07 November 1903, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 01 August 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1916, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 15 November 1918, HQ 2nd Australian Div, Wandsworth Military Hospital, London, England

First World War chaplain

by 1906 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia 1909
by 1918 Military Chaplain : HQ and Australian Division Training, BEF France

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had studied for the Australian Bar before Entry and had some position in the Courts.

After his Noviceship he studied Philosophy at Louvain, and later Theology at Milltown.
1911 He was in Australia and was an Operarius at St Mary’s, Sydney.
1915 He made Tertianship at Loyola (Sydney??)
1918 He came over to Europe as Chaplain to the Australian Troops HQ 2nd Australian Div Training, BEF France. He was invalided to a London Hospital and died there of pneumonia 15 November 1918. He had a military funeral to the Jesuit plot at Kensal Green.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/the-last-parting-jesuits-and-armistice/

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Fr Edward Sydes SJ, serving with the Australian forces, would die from a blood clot, four days after the Armistice.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/commemorating-the-sesquicentenary-of-the-arrival-of-irish-jesuits-in-australia/

Commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia
This year the Australian Province of the Jesuits are commemorating the sesquicentenary of the arrival of Irish Jesuits in Australia. Australia became the first overseas mission of the Irish Jesuit Province. To mark the occasion the Archdiocese of Melbourne are organising a special thanksgiving Mass in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Melbourne 27 September. On 20 June Damien Burke, Assistant Archivist, Irish Jesuit Archives gave a talk at the 21st Australasian Irish Studies conference, Maynooth University, titled “The archives of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia, 1865-1931”. In his address Damien described the work of this mission with reference to a number of documents and photographs concerning it that are held at the Irish Jesuit Archives.
Irish Jesuits worked mainly as missionaries, and educators in the urban communities of eastern Australia. The mission began when two Irish Jesuits Frs. William Lentaigne and William Kelly, arrived in Melbourne in 1865 at the invitation of Bishop James Alipius Goold, the first Catholic bishop of Melbourne. They were invited by the Bishop to re-open St. Patrick’s College, Melbourne, a secondary school, and to undertake the Richmond mission. From 1865 onwards, the Irish Jesuits formed parishes and established schools while working as missionaries, writers, chaplains, theologians, scientists and directors of retreats, mainly in the urban communities of eastern Australia. By 1890, 30% of the Irish Province resided in Australia.
By 1931, this resulted in five schools, eight residences, a regional seminary in Melbourne and a novitiate in Sydney. Dr Daniel Mannix, archbishop of Melbourne, showed a special predication for the Jesuits and requested that they be involved with Newman College, University of Melbourne in 1918. Six Jesuits (five were Irish-born) served as chaplains with the Australian Forces in the First World War and two died, Frs Michael Bergin and Edwards Sydes. Both Michael Bergin and 62 year-old Joe Hearn, earned the Military Cross. Bergin was the only Catholic chaplain serving with the Australian Imperial Force to have died as a result of enemy action in the First World War.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Sydes was born off the coast of Australia in the British ship Norman Morrison on which his parents were passengers from Ireland to Queensland. His father was a carpenter and he was the seventh in a family of eight. He attended the Catholic primary schools at Ipswich and Brisbane and also a state school for twelve months.
His secondary education was at the Ipswich Grammar School, Queensland, where he had been granted a scholarship. He passed the junior public examination of the University of Sydney in six subjects at the age of fourteen, and passed the senior public examination of the University of Sydney in nine subjects in 1881. He also won a Queensland Government University Exhibition that was worth £100 per year for three years, which entitled him to attend any university in the Empire.
He decided to attend The University of Melbourne and took degrees of BA, MA and LLB. The MA degree with second class honours was taken in 1890 at the school of history, political economy and jurisprudence. In 1886 he won a scholarship for Ormond College, and later won the Oratory Prize. In 1891 he was called to the Bar in Melbourne and a month later to the Queensland Bar where he practised until 17 August 1903. He taught honours history and mathematics at Xavier College while reading for the Bar.
As a youth he was remembered as energetic, social and popular, and devoted to the Catholic faith, reading “The Imitation of Christ” daily. He was a successful barrister for twelve years, winning public acclaim for his work. He was invited to enter politics, but failed selection for the Queensland parliament twice. He was one of the leaders of the Anti-Federation Party in Queensland in 1900 and addressed many meetings in Brisbane and other towns in the south.
His faith led him to involvement with the Catholic Young Men's Society, the Holy Cross Guild and the St Vincent de Paul Conferences. However, surprise was noted among those who knew him when at the age of 40 he decided to enter the Society of Jesus, 7 November 1903, being impressed with the way the Society worked for the missions and the poor. He also desired to work among Protestants.
He was sent to Tullabeg, Ireland, for his noviciate under Michael Browne. Further studies were made at Louvain and Milltown Park and he was ordained in 1909. Upon his return to Australia he was assigned to the parish of St Mary's, North Sydney, 1909-14. At the end of 1914 he went to Ranchi, India, for tertianship, and returned to Australia in 1915, first to the parish of St Ignatius, Richmond, and then again to St Mary’s. He was a successful director of men's sodalities and associations, and was a good, humane priest.
Soon after, however, at the age of 53, he was appointed a chaplain of the Australian Imperial Forces in 1917. He served with the Second Division Artillery during 1918, and earned a good name for himself because of his devoted service to the wounded and needy. Unfortunately, he was gassed by some of his own men during the engagements at Le Cateau. From this time he developed chronic bronchitis. He also developed a thrombosis in his leg, and was invalided to England in November 1918 and conveyed to Wandsworth Military Hospital. Pneumonia set in and he died soon after. He and the Irish Jesuit Michael Bergin, who served with the AIP but never visited Australia, are the only two Australian Army chaplains who died as a result of casualties in action.
The life of Edward Sydes as Jesuit was short and different from most Australian Jesuits, but his uniqueness bares witness to the variety of Jesuit ministries, and the mystery of God's calling. He was buried in a Commonwealth War Graves Commission grave in a Catholic cemetery in Hammersmith, London. He had qualified for the British War Medal, 1914-18 and the lnterallied Victory Medal that were claimed by his sister, Mary Sydes, 9 January 1923.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1918

Obituary

Father Edward Sydes SJ

Though not an Old Xaverian, still, Father Sydes taught at Xavier as a lay master prior to going to the Melbourne University to continue his law course. On taking his degree as a barrister, he practised at the Queensland bar, but finally gave up the successful career that was opening for him there, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1903. After his ordination, in 1909, he returned to Aus tralia, spent some time doing parish work in North Sydney, and finally, on the opening of the new residence at Toowong, in Queensland, was sent to work there. While thus engaged, he was appointed Military Chaplain to the 2nd Australian Div. Train, BEF, France. Here, as at home, he endeared himself to all who met him by his cheerfulness and self-sacrificing zeal, His labours brought on sickness, which developed into pneumonia, causing his death on Sunday, November 17th. May he who all through his life fearlessly confessed Christ before men, be now confessed before the Father in Heaven. Rest to his soul and comfort to those who mourn the earthly going of a grand soul.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1918

Obituary

Father Edward Sydes

Capt-Chaplain E Sydes SJ, of the 2nd Artillery Division, AIF, died of pneumonia on the 10th November, 1918, in London. Although neither an Old Boy nor an old master of Riverview, he was one of its best friends and well-wishers, and as such we cannot but speak of him here. His career was a remarkable one. For twelve years he practised at the Queensland Bar, being opposed in is last case, in August, 1903, by Mr (now Mr Justice) Lukin. In that year he left for Rome, and at the age of forty entered the Society of Jesus. He passed through the ordinary course of studies in Ireland, Belgium and India, and, on his return to Australia, preached his first sermon in St Stephen's, Brisbane, to a crowded congregation, which included many of his old friends in the legal profession. He worked for nine years in St. Mary's parish, North Sydney, never sparing himself, enthusiastic and generous in everything, and loved by all classes. The moving scene in St Mary's Church when his death was announced and the immense attendance of priests at his Office bear witness to the good work he had done during his short missionary career. His knowledge of University life often enabled him to help the Old Boys of this College in their professional studies. He gave the boys' retreat here on one occasion and also preached the panegyric of St Ignatius. As chaplain to the 2nd Artillery Division he was well known to many Old Boys at the front. Bmbdr F Punch speaks of him in his letter of 25th May, 1918: “You know Father Sydes is attached to our 2nd Division Artillery. Words cannot tell you of all the good he is doing for us boys out here”. A Requiem Mass was said in the Church of Society at Farm Street, London. The funeral then proceeded to Kensal Green, where the burial took place with full military honours. The ceremony was attended by twelve Australian chaplains and by many Australian soldiers. A firing party and band came over from the camp at Salisbury. RIP

Tighe, Patrick, 1866-1920, Jesuit, priest, chaplain and missionary

  • IE IJA J/2184
  • Person
  • 02 August 1866-05 April 1920

Born: 02 August 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 05 April 1920, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia

First World War chaplain

by 1895 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1901 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1913
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 15th Battalion, France

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Ordination he was appointed Master of Novices for a short period, then he was transferred to Gardiner St.
Later he was appointed Rector of Mungret, but only stayed in this job for a short while due to health reasons.
He was then sent to Australia where he worked in one of the North Sydney Parishes.
He volunteered to be a Chaplain and came to Europe with Australian troops.
When he returned to Australia his health broke down and he had an operation for a malignant tumour. He died shortly after the operation 05 April 1920. He was much loved.
(there is also a long homily preached by Father Tighe at St Mary’s, Sydney, on the topic of Revolution and War)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Tighe was educated at Belvedere College, and graduated with a BA from the Royal University, Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1891, was a junior
preparing for public examinations at Milltown Park, 1893-94, and studied philosophy at Enghien, Champagne. He taught for a few years, 1896-1900, at Mungret, studied theology at Posillipo, Naples, 1900-04, and did tertianship at Mold, Wales, the following year.
He was a rural missioner, and involved in parish work in Limerick, 1905-10, except for a time as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, 1906-07. He gave retreats, stationed at Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1910-12, and for a short time was rector of Mungret, 1912-13. Because of ill health was sent to Australia.
He worked first at Lavender Bay, 1913-15, and then, 1915-17, was military chaplain at the No. 1 General Hospital, Heliopolis, and latter served with the 15th Battalion AIP in France and Belgium. He returned to Australia and to the parish of North Sydney after the war.
Tighe was a remarkable speaker, preacher and retreat-giver, but had a weak chest. The latter raised speculation as to how he was accepted into the military He had been suggested as master of novices in Australia, and probably performed the duties for the first few months in 1914, but because of ill health another Jesuit was chosen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Tighe 1866-1920
Fr Patrick Tighe was born in Dublin of an old Catholic family. He received his early education at Belvedere and entered the Society in 1891.
His course complete, he was made Rector of Mungret, but he held this office only for a short period, owing to ill health. For the same reason he went to Australia where he worked in one of the Sydney parishes. On the outbreak of the First World War he came to Europe as a Chaplain to the Australian Forces. After his return to Australia, his health broke down completely, and he was operated on for a malignant tumour. `He died shortly after the operation on April 5th 1920. He had been Master of Novices in Australia for some time. He was a man who showed in all his exterior actions a spirit of deep recollection.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Patrick Tighe (1866-1920)

A native of Dublin, entered the Society in 1891. He made his higher studies at Enghien and Naples where he was ordained in 1903. He was appointed a member of the mission staff at the Crescent in 1905 and remained here unti 1910. Father Tighe was later rector of Mungret for a brief period and served as chaplain with the Australian army in the first world war. His later years were spent on the Australian mission.

Turner, Victor, 1905-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2196
  • Person
  • 25 October 1905-29 December 1990

Born: 25 October 1905, North Adelaide, Australia
Entered: 07 September 1927, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1939
Died: 29 December 1990, St Joseph, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931
WWII Chaplain

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Victor Turner was educated to sub-intermediate level at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, NSW, 1915-20, before attending Business College for over a year. He spent five years as an insurance clerk Vacuum Oil Company, and during that time thought about being a diocesan priest, a Columban, a Dominican, or a Redemptorist before deciding to apply for the Jesuits. He entered the noviciate at Greenwich, 7 September 1927, and spent ten years in England and Ireland in the normal studies of the Society without doing regency.
Returning to Australia in 1939, he taught at Riverview as a successful prefect, teacher and counsellor. He took great interest in games, especially cricket and rowing. However, his stay was short, as, when World War II broke out in 1939, and there was an appeal for Army chaplains, Turner volunteered in November 1940, and the next year went to New Guinea with the 2/22nd battalion of the Eighth Division. He was well respected by the troops, joining them in the “beer mess”, and caring especially for the spiritual needs of those Catholics who were less than fervent.
On 25 February 1942 he was taken prisoner by the Japanese and was confined to local prison camps. In July of that year he was sent to prison camps in ]apart until the end of the war. During this time he was openly able to administer to the spiritual needs of other prisoners, even saying Mass most of the time. As the first camp, Zentsuji, in southern Japan, he also gave courses in English literature, philosophy and religion, and was considered a good teacher. Fellow prisoners appreciated him for his “practical and interesting” sermons, and for the human way he connected so well with people. In June 1945 he was transferred to a camp in Hokkaido, where the cold was intense and the conditions very poor. They were relieved to experience the end of the war in August, and the Americans air-dropped supplies of food and clothing on the camp. When released, Turner returned to Australia via Sapporo and Yokohama. When reflecting upon his experiences, he considered himself privileged to have ministered in such miserable prisoner-of-war camps. Fellow prisoners later expressed that his optimism had given them encouragement. As a result of his war experiences he received a total invalid pension from the Australian government.
After his return to Australia in 1946, he served at Sr Ignatius' Church, Richmond, before joining a 'mission staff' giving parish missions and retreats around the country. After three years at this work, because of the shortage of priests, this idea of “mission priests” was abandoned, and Turner was appointed to Belloc House from 1951, working hard to break communistic influence in the Trade Unions. He was also director of retreats in Victoria and South Australia, and showed particular interest in the newly arrived Asian students then enrolling at Australian universities.
During this time Turner had a coronary thrombosis, but made a good recovery However, he was given less strenuous work and sent to Werribee in 1958 to be instructor and counselor for the young seminarians. This work he performed successfully until he was transferred to Loyola College, Watsonia for ten years in 1963 to be spiritual director to the scholastics, a job he undertook with fidelity and dedication.
From 1974 Turner lived quietly at the Provincial House in Hawthorn for sixteen years. In his ill health he learnt to live within his strength and gave edification to those who encountered him. He was bright and cheerful in community, giving retreats and spiritual direction, and was available as a confessor.
In his spiritual life he struggled with human weaknesses, conscious of his need for divine help to be a more perfect religious.
During his many years of ill health, Turner stood and waited. He let the Lord be the master of the years. He was not an intellectual high flyer, but tirelessly interested in learning. He was enthusiastic and optimistic about life, and welcomed all with cheerfulness. With a smile he claimed that his secret for a long life was to do as little as possible. He was an enjoyable person to engage in conversation, especially about trains and ships.

Note from Paul O’Flanagan Entry
He later returned to Australia, working with Victor Turner, 1949-50, in the Australian Mission team.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942
Australia :
Writing on 21st February last, Rev. Fr. Meagher Provincial, reports Fr. Basil Loughnan has gone off to be a Chaplain. We have three men Chaplains now. Fr. Turner was in Rabaul when we last heard of him and it would seem we shall not hear from him again for some time to come. Fr. F. Burke was in Greece and I don’t quite know where at the moment.

Woodlock, Francis, 1871-1940, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • Person
  • 1871-1940

Fr Francis Woodlock SJ was born in Monkstown, County Dublin and was schooled at Beaumont. He entered the English Province in 1889 and served as a chaplain in the British Army during the First World War.

Woodlock, Joseph M, 1880-1949, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/2352
  • Person
  • 01 February 1880-06 January 1949

Born: 01 February 1880, Bray, County Wicklow
Entered: 06 March 1899, Roehampton London - Angliae province (ANG)
Ordained: 1914
Final Vows: 02 February 1917
Died: 06 January 1949, Heythrop, Oxfordshire, England - Angliae province (ANG)

by 1912 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1911-1915
by 1916 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Wrafter, Joseph, 1865-1934, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/705
  • Person
  • 09 August 1865-05 September 1934

Born: 09 August 1865, Rosenallis, Co Laois
Entered: 03 November 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin/Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 05 September 1934, St Vincent’s Hospital

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1894 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Sartirana, Merate, Como, Italy (VEN) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 7th Leinster Regiment, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain : Chaplain to the Forces, Schveningen, Netherlands

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Nicholas Walsh Entry :
He died in the end room of Bannon’s corridor, and the Provincial William Delaney and Minister Joseph Wrafter were with him at the end.”

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/a-sparrow-to-fall/

A sparrow to fall
Damien Burke
A BBC Northern Ireland documentary, Voices 16 – Somme (BBC 1 NI on Wednesday 29th June,
9pm) explores the events of 1916 through the testimony of the people who witnessed it and their families. Documentary makers and relatives of Jesuit chaplain Willie Doyle were shown his letters, postcards and personal possessions kept here at the Irish Jesuit Archives. In the 1920s, Alfred O’Rahilly used some of these letters in his biography of Fr Willie Doyle SJ. Afterwards they were given to Willie’s brother, Charles, and were stored for safekeeping in the basement of St Francis Xavier’s church, Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin in 1949. In 2011, they were accessioned into the archives.
Fr Willie Doyle SJ was one of ten Irish Jesuits who served as chaplains at the battle of the Somme (1 July- 18 November 1916): seven with the British forces; three with the Australian. Their letters, diaries and photographs witness their presence to the horror of war.

Fr Joseph Wrafter SJ, 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers (06 July 1916):
It is a very terrible thing where a show is on & no one I know wants any more of it than he has seen if he has been in it at all. But of course all have to see it through & the men are really splendid...Between killed & wounded we lost in that period quite a fourth of our Battalions & the Leinsters nearly as many. But they did good work & the enemy got a good deal more than they gave. It is dreadful to see the way the poor fellows are broken & mangled sometimes out of all recognition.

https://www.jesuit.ie/blog/damien-burke/jesuits-and-the-influenza-1918-19/

Jesuits and the influenza, 1918-19
Damien Burke
The influenza pandemic that raged worldwide in 1918-19 (misnamed the Spanish flu, as during the First World War, neutral Spain reported on the influenza) killed approximately 100 million people.

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. And Fr Joseph Wrafter SJ writing in December 1918: “the influenza is raging here and all over Holland as everywhere”.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 9th Year No 4 1934
Obituary :
Father Joseph Wrafter

Father Wrafter died at St. Vincent's Hospital on Wednesday5th September, 1934. For a considerable time he had been in very poor health, even before he left Clongowes in 1932, he had suffered a good deal. He was an invalid for nearly the two years he spent in Gardiner St., yet, with his usual courage, he did very fully all the work he was allowed to do. At last he was compelled to go to St. Vincent’s, where for some three weeks before his death he was very often quite unconscious.
In next number, we shall give a short sketch of his life in the Society.

Irish Province News 10th Year No 1 1935
Father Joseph Wrafter Continued
Father Wrafter was born near Rosenallis in Leix on the 9th August, 1865. He went with his two elder brothers, William and Thomas, to Tullabeg in 1877, where he remained until

  1. On November 3rd of that year he entered the Novitiate which was then at Milltown Park, but was transferred the following year to Dromore, Co. Down. He next spent a year
    as a Junior in Milltown, and had just begun his Philosophy there, when in November, 1886, the year of the amalgamation (Tullabeg and Clongowes) he was sent to Clongowes. He was Third Line and Gallery Prefect there for three years, and from 1889 to 1891 had charge of the Large Study. In the former of these years he utilised his great histrionic powers in getting up “The Tempest” which was an unqualified success. In 1891 he was appointed Higher Line Prefect although he had not yet done his Philosophy, and was the youngest man on the prefectorial staff. But his strength of character and sense of justice made up for these drawbacks. In 1893, after seven years' work as a scholastic in Clongowes, he went to Louvain for Philosophy, and in 1896 to Milltown Park for Theology, joining the Long Course.
    In the early summer of 1899 he went down to Clongowes to stay for about a month, in order to take the place of Father Fegan who had left to undergo a serious operation. However Father Wrafter remained in Clongowes the following year as Prefect of the Small Study, and next year saw him a Tertian in the Province of Venice.
    From 1900 to 1903 he was stationed in University College St, Stephen's Green, as Minister. After a year on the Mission Staff, with headquarters at the Crescent, Limerick, he renewed
    his connection With Clongowes, this time as Minister, remaining there until 1908, when he went to Gardiner St. and, in addition to the ordinary work, got charge of the Police Sodality. The next year he was appointed Minister and held that position until 1942, with the exception of a break of three years (1916-1919), when he was Military Chaplain in France and Holland. While at the front he distinguished himself by his great coolness and bravery. He was awarded the MC, but an officer who himself won the V.C., said that “every day, Father Wrafter did things that deserved the VC”.
    In 1924 he became Minister in Leeson St., and had charge of University Hall. Next year he again took up work in Clongowes as Minister and held the position for ten years. It was during these years that the new building was erected in Clongowes, in which Father Wrafter took a very great interest. 1934 saw him once more in Gardiner St, but incapable of much active work. However, as long as he possibly could, he said Mass and attended to his Confessional to which he had always been most devoted.
    He celebrated his Golden jubilee in the Society in November 1933, but did not long survive the event. The malady to which he had long been subject - phlebitis - had poisoned his system and after some weeks in hospital he died on 5th September 1934.
    The most remarkable thing about Father Wrafter's life in the Society was his long term of office as Minister in all twenty six years, thirteen in Clongowes, ten in Gardiner Stand ten in the University. He possessed in a high degree the qualities required for that office. He was a fine organiser quickly saw what was wanted, and then had the power to descend to details. He was extremely just and patient and was moreover the very soul of generosity, loving to see and to make others happy. To the poor also he was very kind. Many of the beggars and tramps who came to Clongowes made it a point to ask for Father Wrafter, they almost seemed to be personal friends of his so familiarly did he chat with them.
    What struck one most in Father Wrafter was his strong will and his great sense of duty Whatever he took in hand he saw through, and whatever was his duty would be done thoroughly. During his last few years as Minister in Clongowes he suffered from phlebitis which caused his legs to become very much swollen and painful, but unless absolutely forbidden by the doctor, he was sure to go down to the refectory to preside at the boys' meals. He was indefatigable in his care of and kindness to the sick, frequently visiting them in the infirmary during the night. This did not prevent him from being the first to rise in the morning. He always said the 6 o'clock Mass. Indeed it was wonderful how he contrived to do with so little sleep. In his last illness this strength of character was most noticeable, for though he suffered very much he never complained, but always made as little as possible of his sufferings. The nurses who attended him marvelled, and were much edified at his patience and resignation.
    How much his kindness and help to so many were appreciated was shown by the number of people, many of them in humble circumstances who called at the hospital to enquire for him during his last illness. R.I.P

◆ The Clongownian, 1935

Obituary

Father Joseph Wrafter SJ

There is something of the lacrimae rerum in the ending of the notice in last year's “Clongownian” of Father Wrafter's Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit, The words were, ad multos annos. That was in June, and the 5th of September brought the sad news that he was dead, So the words must now change to ad annos aeternos.

Fifty years, of which twenty were in and for Clongowes. How true it is to say for : Clongowes. Though he never forgot his old school Tullabeg, yet it had for his practical mind been merged in the sister College.

Loyalty seems, to one who knew him well, to have been the note of his character. Of the three loyalties, Loyalty to the Jesuit Order, Loyalty to Clongowes, Loyalty to his friends, the first two naturally becaine one, fused into one, the second becoming the practical expression of the former.

There is hardly a corner in the House where one who knows will fail to firid traces of his watchful care. Under him the Infirmary became the highly efficient department it is. The great Well was a matter of real need, not merely of convenience. The College Grounds and the Garden were a concern of his, run with an eye to efficiency as well as to beauty, as if they had been his only care. As to the New Building : it had been a thought of his for thirty years in plan, and one need not say that the interest never flagged. Perhaps a practically minded Old Clongownian would say that the 'Boys' Refectory is the spot most associated with his genial presence and ceaseless care. One such, not of the immediate Past, said to me the other day: “The two men who resumed Clongowes life for us fellows were Father Wrafter and Father John Sullivan”. It sounds strange at first hearing, but on reflection one is more and more convinced of its truth. They were very unlike in what was obvious, but very like in what most caught the House : they both loved the boys.

His friends were legion and they were very true, for they knew by experience how unfalteringly they could rely on his interest and honest advice, One felt, said one of them, that you could tell him anything and be sure of his sympathy. This was strikingly true during the last year of his life, when he was a constant sufferer. He would drag himself to the parlour to see a friend, they never suspecting at what cost.

The elements were so mixed in him that he remained human and strong. It is easy to find a man in which one or the other predominates. The result is poor. In Father Wrafter they worked to a unity that won love in the best sense of the word.

To his sister, Mrs. Murray, we offer our sincerest sympathy. We use the words in the strictest sense, knowing how united the brother and sister were. On her yearly visit to him one saw renewed the finale of George Eliot's great novel Now many of us will join with her in murmuring :

But for the touch of a vanish'd hand
And the sound of a voice that is stilled.

-oOo-

Father “Joey” Wrafter : A Memory

It must be well over half a century ago that I, a small boy, first met “Joey” Wrafter, when I found myself a Third Liner at Clongowes. After such a long time it is not perhaps, surprising that the order in which events occurred has become rather mixed, and I must confess that I don't remember what exact position he held when firsst found myself an inmate of the school. I rather think that Father (then Mr) Gleeson was Third Line Prefect. My memories of Mr Wrafter are very clear, indeed, as they should be, for no small boy had ever a better kinder friend than I found in him. He indeed kind to all boys. It was part and parcel of his make-up, and as a result was liked and trusted by them.

Looking back over the fifty odd years, I recognise that this was the salient point of his character; kindness, understanding and sympathy with all boys, and in particular, with small boys. I never knew him to be hard or ungenerous to one of them, not was he prone to punish where punishment could be avoided,

Naturally, some of us knew him better than others, and were looked on by him as special friends. I am very proud to think that I could count myself as one of this group. Amongst others of this group I remember Geoff Esmond, Jim Clarke and Dominic Kelly, to mention only a few. Those who remember Father Wrafter in after years will, I am sure, wish to get some idea what he was like as a young man. Well, he was very slim and upright, handsome of face in an aquiline way, with the cheeriest of smiles. He was always very trim and neat, had small and well-made hands and feet, and was very graceful in all his moveents. He was a delightfully light and fast runner, and kept himself extremely fit. He, at that time, could not have weighed more than about 10 stone.

Can you think of a fencer standing slim, butt muscular, head up, with a keen, clear cut face ready for a bout with the foils? Well, that is exactly the picture I get when I look back and remember Joey Wrafter in th late 80's and early 90's of last century.

Though not posing as a great book man, he was keen-witted, a good talker, and in some things exceptionally clever.

Though he played football and cricket, he did not seem to be very interested in games, but during my time at Clongowes he proved himself a master of the art of producing plays. This was his hobby, and he took the keenest delight in staging all sort of shows from farces and pantomime to Shakespeare.

I took part in most of the plays produced by him during my time, and remember anongst many others a farce called “Bombastes Furioso”, also a pantomime, “Alladin”, in which I starred as the Widow Twanky, and Shakespeare's “Tempest”, in which I took the part of Trinculo.

Well the years move on and we with thern. Father Wrafter has left us, but I for one can say with truth that the memory of him and his great goodness and kindness to one small boy lives on and will not be forgotten till I also go the way we all must go, and not even then I hope.

When I was a boy at Clongowes “Joey” Wrafter was one of the very best. RIP

JGG

-oOo-

Father Wrafter as Army Chaplain

In November of 1915, the 8th Battalion, Royal Munster Fusiliers, with the other units of the 6th (Irish) Division, after a year's training at Kilworth, were awaiting orders at Blackburn for the move to France. A few days before the unit entrained, an orderly informed me that the Colonel, known amongst his friends as “Mike”, wanted to see me urgently in the mess.

“Read this wire”, said he, as I entered. Mike was one of the hard-living, hard swearing type of old soldiers. “They are sending us a priest. What the blazes shall I do with him? Should I offer him a drink when he comes?”

When I came again to the mess, a few hours later, I found the Colonel and priest swopping yarns over the fire and a whiskey and soda. And so began a strange friendship which lasted without end between “Mike”, a Protestant, if he had any religion at all, with no control over his language even before a priest-and Father Wrafter, a devout Jesuit with much knowledge of the world and great understanding. Years after, when Mike knew his end was coming and the Protestant clergyman was announced, - his only words were : “Tell him to go to the devil, the only person I want near me is Father Wrafter”.

Practically all the men in the regiment were Catholics, and when the unit arrived at the front, Father Wrafter's worth was soon recognised. His influence amongst them was on a par with the Colonel's, and more than once Mike asked the Padre to give the men a good talk at Mass about something that they should have done or something they should not have done and did. The effect was excellent.

For the four battalions in the Brigade there were two Catholic chaplains, and Father Wrafter looked after the welfare of the 7th Leinsters as well as the 8th Munsters. Of the two battalions, one was usually in the front line and one in reserve trenches, or in billets behind. In this way it often fell to the Padre to do three or four tours : in succession with the regiments in the front line, where his splendid help was most needed. On one occasion he spent a month on end in the front trenches. Yet, during these days of static warfare, I never knew him to miss saying daily Mass, sometimes in an open trench with a box as his altar, sometimes in a little dugout, where there was room only for himself and his servant, one Thunder, known in the regiment as “Lightning”, on account of his extreme slowness of movement.

For two years Father Wrafter served with the 8th Munsters in France. He was a well-known figure in the Irish Division ; there were few officers from the General downwards who did not know him personally. In the line he worked day and night attending the sick and wounded and burying the dead. Woe betide the Colonel if the Padre was not informed immediately any casualties occurred; and it was wonderful what confidence he gave the men, who knew he could be there as soon as anything happened. When it came to going over the top, Father Wrafter was always somwhere near the front line, even when the Colonel cursed him for leaving battalion headquarters. He was then a man fifty and portly, leading what was for him a strange life, yet he took the knocks and the kicks with a smile which was good see and did no end of good in the regiment.

On one occasion, in 1916, when the Brigade was in reserve at Les Mines, the Germans sent over gas at night and the masks of the men in the front. trenches proved ineffective against it. The casualties were heavy the Germans had followed up the gas by a night attack-and next night the Munsters were sent up to the front line on relief, The trenches were a veritable shambles. Corpses, with their bodies and faces distorted in their death agony, were piled in the trenches and littered the ground near them. For four nights, from dusk to dawn (the MS has from dawn to dusk) the Padre worked with his men, burying the dead as best he could. More often than not, shell holes formed the ready-made graves. A mournful sight it was this burial gang working under fire by the pale light of the moon.

Yet, nothing daunted the chaplain's spirits, and he was ready to crack a joke with all and sundry. Just before this gas attack, the General came to inspect the 8th Munsters, He stepped out of his car opposite the quarter-guard and questioned the sentry about his duties. The sentry, well coached, repeated them all, ending with the usual, “in the event of any unusual occurrence report to the guard commander”. “And what would you call an unusual occurrence, my man?” asked the General. “Well, sur, if I saw the sintry box markin' time”. A cloud collected on the General's brow; then he looked at the Padre and moved on quickly.

In 1917, Father Wrafter won the Military Cross, a reward he richly deserved, though he himself was the last to acknowledge this, His rectitude was such that the things he did seemed to him to be nothing but his ordinary duty. His real reward was the way that the men of his regiment maintained and practised their religion--the number of men who approached the altar rails, when the battalion had an opportunity of attending Mass behind the lines, surprised the local inhabitants.

In late 1917, the 6th Irish Division was reorganised and the 8th Munsters, or what was left of them after two years' fighting, were drafted to another battalion of the regiment. Father Wrafter was then offered an appointment as Senior Chaplain at one of the bases in France - a “soft job”, - with two assistants. This offer he stoutly refused to accept and continued to serve as regimental Chaplain to the Munsters until the end of the War. Later he went to Holland, as Chaplain to a prisoners of war camp. In November of 1917 I sailed for India and temporarily lost touch with him.

Next time I met him was in 1924 as his guest at Clongowes, where he was then Minister. The Jesuit robe had taken the place of the military uniform, which was the only garb the men of the 8th Munsters had seen him in, but the man was unchanged. He was the same strong, genial Padre, whose courage and cheerfulness had been an inspiration to all who had met him during the terrible years of the War.

JO'B.

-oOo-

1929-32 - “The Minister”

It was not till Father Wrafter had left us for Gardiner Street that we fully realised what a place he had won for himself in the life of the boys here. It is not an easy thing to win that place and it is harder still to keep it, but of him both were true. When you were well, you felt how much you depended on him for the creature comforts of the Refectory. When you were ill, his genial visits in the Infirmary were things to look forward to.

He was in truth a hard man to replace, so that his visit of a few days on the occasion of his Golden Jubilee had a quality unlike that of the coming of anyone else, The boys loved to gather round him and one could notice how newcomers to whom he was a stranger looked with envy at such gay gatherings.

One could notice too, how the older trades men about the College seemed as glad to meet him as we did.

The writer of these notes well remembers his first official contact with Father Wrafter. It was my first night at Clongowes and having got from my Line Prefect to “follow the crowd”, I found myself in the Refectory for tea, an extremely subdued unit in an extremely boisterous throng. Suddenly a bell went and in the midst of a profound silence a massive figure rose with infinite dignity to say Grace. This said, he sank down again slowly and gazed with the broadest of smiles all round the Refectory. After a few moments he came down from the box and began a triumphal procession through the Refectory, pausing at each table to shake hands with the “old boys” and to discover among the “new” the son or nephew or young brother of old friends,

Afterwards when the days had grown to weeks and weeks to months, an extremely insignificant member of Rudiments decided to go for his first sleep (having, I am afraid, very little the matter with him). I well recall the mingled hope and fear with which I awaited my turn. At last it came and the climb up the three steps seemed endless, to be confronted with the huge figure of the Minister. One quick glance to assure himself that it was nothing very serious and then he leant back good-humouredly to listen to my plea of a headache. A few seconds of doubt and uncertainty and then my name went down in the notebook and I go off with the world a much brighter place. One of the most characteristic things about him was the tolerance with which he would listen to the malingerers at the foot of the steps as they arranged their complaints and yet would hear them afterwards in the best humoured manner possible. Suddenly he would come down from the box and make his way to the Infirmary with the Third Liners whom he had refused clinging to the wings of his gown and clustering round him - looking for all the world like some great liner surrounded by her tugs. But there was one thing about him that lays bare his character better than twenty pages of “The Clongownian” : if ever he had occasion to send anyone “up” for any misdeed in the Refectory or outside it, the offender had only to ask for a sleep that night and he was sure to get it.

Kindliness was, to my mind, the outstanding trait that made him universally beloved here among us.

P Meenan

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Commnnity

Father Joseph Wrafter (1865-1934)

Born at Rosenalis, Leix, and educated at Tullabeg College, entered the Society in 1883. He pursued his higher studies at Louvain and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1899. His association with the Crescent was short, 1903-04 when he was a member of the mission staff. With the exception of the period of the first world war. Father Wrafter's life was spent between Dublin and Clongowes. He was a member of the church staff, Gardiner St at the time of his death.