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Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/60
  • Person
  • 09 May 1920-30 January 1972

Born: 09 May 1920, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 January 1972, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 5 August 1965-24 July 1968.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Barry SJ (1920-1972)
Father Brendan Barry was born in St John's Parish, Limerick, on May 9th, 1920. He was an only child. His early schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Roxboro Road. At the age of twelve, he was sent to the Augustinian College, Dungarvan, as a boarder. However, after two years absence, he continued his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Limerick. While there, he made a Retreat under the direction of Fr Ernest Mackey and one result of this was that he entered the novitiate at St. Mary's, Emo, on 7th September. There were in all nineteen novices in his year, of whom fourteen were subsequently ordained priests. He took his first vows on September 8th, 1939, a few days after World War II had erupted. For the next six years he lived in communities of scholastics who varied in number between forty-four and fifty-one. The years 1939-42 were spent at Rathfarnham where after three years study he took his BA degree with honours in English and and Latin. The next three years were spent at Tullabeg where he studied Philosophy.
Those who knew him in these early years remember him as a quiet, reserved, cheerful and occasionally gay young man who, like everyone else, accepted philosophically the small privations and restrictions which World War II made inevitable. During these years, his intellectual gifts were slowly revealed and his zeal was manifested in his work for the Men's Sodality, then attached to the People's Church. Two years of Regency, 1945-47, followed. These two years at Belvedere were years that lived in his memory. In later times, he often spoke of them with real affection. The value of Regency in bringing a scholastic to full maturity was manifest in his case. From now on it became increasingly difficult for him to hide his gifts. What was hitherto known to a few, now became common knowledge; he was a religious of regular observance, of unostentatious piety, of dedicated attention to the work he was given to do: teaching, prefecting or refereeing rugby football. He did all these things well, and, while he particularly enjoyed the company of his fellow scholastics, he became and always remained a good “community man”.
Such was the reputation he brought with him to Milltown Park in the Autumn of 1947; and meeting him there for the first time, I came to appreciate his quiet strength of character, his invariably cheerful disposition and his dedication to the work in hand. One of his Professors at that time described him as “a gifted student” and he passed his Ad Gradum examination in 1961 after 4 years of consistent application to his studies. As he had little interest in organised games, he found his relaxation in walking and swimming; and from this period dates his long association with the “Forty Foot” Swimming Club. His administrative gifts became apparent at this time and his appointment as Beadle of the Theologians caused no surprise. On July 31st, 1950, he was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid, of whose policies and plans Fr Brendan was, in future years, to be such a stout defender and champion. His relationship with the Archbishop, which was at first necessarily indefinite, became in time confidential and and intimate. It was founded on the same virtue of Faith which in later years made him, what he sometimes jokingly called, “a Pope's man”.
Now this aspect of Fr Brendan's outlook was derived from his understanding of the mind of St Ignatius in founding the Society and in placing it at the service of the Church and of the Pope. In a letter to the Province in 1967, he wrote: “It is obvious our ministries will not be renewed without internal renewal, without a deep knowledge of the Ignatian idea of our vocation ... To develop (this) in ourselves we need to study the person and writings of St. Ignatius - in his autobiography and his letters, in the Constitutions and in the Spiritual Exercises ... This will ensure great co-operation among ourselves, with the diocesan clergy and the hierarchy, with other religious and with the laity ...” This letter, so full of high ideals and sane ideas, mirrors, as do few other things he wrote, the spirit of faith in the Church and in the Society which was so characteristic of him. He never saw the Society, which he loved dearly, as an end in itself, only as a means; never as master, but always as a servant at the disposal of the Pope and the Bishops and of the People of God. His faith in the Pope and the Bishops as successors of Peter and his fellow Apostles and as divinely ordained teachers and rulers of the Church, never wavered. And he saw the role of the Society in the Church to-day as being loyally and fully supportive of papal teaching and policy, in every field and in every detail, in every place and at all times. Much prayer and study, much discernment and self-discipline led him to lay aside all private judgment and “to obey in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, the Hierarchical Church”.
During 1952-53, he made his Tertianship under his former Master of Novices, Fr John Neary. He welcomed this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the Institute of the Society and of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This understanding was to serve him well when he was elected as a delegate to the General Congregation in 1965. He attended both sessions of this Congregation, during the first of which, he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province, an appointment which was announced on August 5th, 1965. To this office he brought the fruits of thirteen years of varied administrative experience, a year as Minister in Galway, followed by four years as Minister in Milltown Park. In 1952, he was appointed Superior and Bursar of the Apostolic School at Mungret College. In the early summer of 1959, his appointment as Socius to : Fr Michael O'Grady was announced. He continued on as Socius to Fr Charles O'Conor on his becoming Provincial in July, 1959. Fr O'Conor recalls those days: “Although Fr Barry had already been a member of the Province for over twenty years, it was not until 1959 that our paths first crossed, One afternoon towards the end of May of that year, we found ourselves leaving Eglinton Road together armed with the knowledge that we were to be Provincial and Socius in the near future. We were both wondering, no doubt, how this hitherto unforeseen alliance would work out. In the sequel it fared very well. Once the initial stages had been passed, we found ourselves firm friends and remained so ever since”.
In ordinary circumstances, it could have been expected that he would remain as Socius for a longer term. Apart from this being a tradition in the Province, Fr Brendan brought to this Office a knowledge and love of the Institute and an administrative capacity and experience of a high order. But it was not to be. Indeed, as subsequent events will show, the fragmentary nature of his apostolate was to continue throughout his entire career. In the summer of 1962, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park in succession to Fr James Corboy. Thus, after an absence of four years, he returned to a house where almost a third of his religious life in fact was spent, In August 1965, his “apprenticeship” being completed, he crossed over the Milltown Road to take up residence in 85 Eglinton Road as Provincial. During his three years in this office he was responsible for many initiatives. In his anxiety to get the best advice on many, difficult problems, he set up the following : the Commission for Studies and Training of Ours; the Commission on Ministries, the Social Survey; the Man-Power Planning Commission; the Commission on our Brothers; the Advisory Committee on Comprehensive Schools. He saw clearly that, in regard to our apostolic works and the manner in which we conducted them, it was vital that we recognise that we were living in a world of rapid and profound changes and that we be ready to adapt our ministries and methods to meet these changes. In this connection, too, he stressed the value of community discussions on all our problems, local and provincial, for he saw that it was necessary not only to arrive at the correct solutions, but also to enlighten one another about the reasons for consequent changes. He knew that such discussions involved “self-denial in working together at a common task” but he also knew that they were, today, recommended to us all both by the Church and by the Society. His, too, was the final decision to build a new Retreat House with a Circular Chapel at Manresa, Dollymount. During his years as Provincial, he visited our Mission in Zambia and concluded a friendly pact with the newly independent Vice-Province of Hong Kong. Among the many assessments of his work in the Province up to this point, the following by his former Provincial and life-long friend, Fr John R MacMahon, summarizes what many members of the Province should like to say: “In a way I knew him well. As my Minister in Milltown, as my Rector there and as Provincial, he impressed me as being a loyal and efficient assistant, a prudent and kindly Superior and as a courageous and faithful ruler. I refrain from using superlatives, though they are richly deserved. If I wanted an ‘Imago optimi Superioris’, I would find it in him”.
Now, looking back over his life, I am of the opinion that if he was drawn to one Jesuit ministry more than another, it was to the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to priests, religious and to the People of God. As Minister and Rector of Milltown, he gave many a week-end Retreat. As Provincial he encouraged the holding of Seminars and other meetings for those engaged in this ministry. In his letter of September 1967, he urged Retreat-Directors not to spare themselves in trying to think themselves into the minds of retreatants, giving what is most suitable to young and old alike. It was fitting, then, when he was relieved of the responsibility for the whole Province, that he should, after a brief period as Minister and Bursar in the College of Industrial Relations, spend what were in fact to be his last years as a director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In this miniştry, he excelled, and he ran by faith to this work of bringing Christian life and hope to dead and despairing men and women, Between July 1969, and January 1972, a period of two and a half years, he directed three Retreats of 30 days-two to students at Clonliffe and one to the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Gortnor Abbey..seventeen eight-day retreats, seven six-day retreats, twenty tridua, several days of recollection, and one Novena of Grace. Right up to the end his one anxiety was that he would not have enough to do. His programme for 1972 already included six retreats in succession, between June and July, followed by a 30 day retreat in August and another in September October. He was booked, also, to give a third 30 day retreat to Loreto Nuns in Johannesburg, South Africa in December next. In all this, he felt confidently prepared; and how well prepared he was, is attested by tributes from religious in all parts of the country and of England.
The following will suffice as being typical of all: “I know that many of our sisters valued his personal direction and advice. I have been very much struck by the fact that he is so much regretted by
people of such different age-groups and of widely different views. He, undoubtedly, understood the young and was greatly trusted by them. They valued his honesty and appreciated especially his wide knowledge of Council documents. But, I think that he will be best remembered in our Irish Province for his retreats. In particular, I have heard many sisters mention a Superior's retreat which he directed, based on the Gospel of St. John, and, as he changed his retreat so often, this may not be the one you know. Every Sister I met who made that retreat has spoken of it as an exceptional spiritual experience”.
Before concluding this notice, it will be of interest to have a record of some of the judgments passed on his life and work by ours and by others for whom he worked. The following are typical examples : “Brendan was by disposition undemonstrative and retiring but he was incisive in his assessments of people and situations. He was most conscientious in regard to his work and very loyal to his friends. He could be sensitive in some matters and wonderfully resilient in others”. “He was somewhat reserved and he did not wear his heart upon his sleeve. But, there was no doubt about the depth of his sincerity and I looked on him as a true friend on whose sympathy and solid help I could rely. This may seem too formal, even frigid. It may give a false impression. Perhaps, I, too, don't wear my heart on my sleeve”. “I was always impressed by his great sincerity, by his balanced judgment, by his generous and completely detached spirit of service, by his simplicity, his kindly tolerance and his sense of humour”. “His was a sane and balanced approach, in his own homely style, he flavoured his talks with his own dry humour, e.g. ‘the modem superior can't be remote. If he is remote, they write him off! If he is not remote, his personal faults stand out - the boys know!’” “We have lost in Fr Barry a dedicated friend, an enlightened spiritual guide, whose humility and limpid sincerity were notable characteristics of his personality”.
For myself, in the quarter of a century that I have known him, I had come to see his fine physical stature as a living symbol of the greatness of his mind and heart. He had a mind that could go to the heart of any question and his judgments of men and affairs were rarely wrong. While he did not suffer fools gladly, he did feel and sympathised with the failures and follies of his fellow men. He was less interested in condemning a man than in seeking a practical solution to his problems. He was loyal to commitments and to persons. He was not a respecter of persons and friendship for him never degenerated into favouritism. He was, in truth, detached even from his friends. Though like most men, he had need of friends, in whose company he could relax and come out of himself and relieve the inner loneliness that dwells in the heart of every man. This loneliness is said to be more keenly felt by those whose ministry separates them from community life. In the last few years, Fr Brendan was always happy to return from his frequent ‘missionary expeditions to the Community at “35”, where he found a homely welcome and congenial company. The knowledge of this was not the least of this Community's consolations at the time of his sudden death at the comparatively early age of 52. The Irish Province has lost one of its really great men; his spiritual children have lost a sympathetic guide and his friends everywhere a man whose judgment and companionship were a source of encouragement and strength. May he rest in peace.

An appreciation by Most Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Carroll, President of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe
It is no easy tasks nowadays to give the Thirty Days Retreat. The classic material has to be adapted to the new mentality and up dated in accordance with the new insights in Sacred Scripture and Theology. It is as true as ever that the success of the Retreat de pends to a large extent, under God, on the qualities of the Director. Young people to-day are not particularly impressed with a man's erudition nor even with his eloquence. What they look for and are quick to recognise is his sincerity. Father Brendan was both erudite and eloquent but his outstanding quality, as we saw him, was hs sincerity. It was patent to all. When one adds to this an immense patience and capacity for listening, a complete dedication to the task, a large fund of common sense and a keen sense of humour, one begins to understand how the Thirty Days Retreat that could so easily be a burden was not simply tolerable but decidedly acceptable to our Second Year students. I have a distinct recollection of meeting one of them during the Retreat last year and asking him how things were going. “Father Barry”, he said “is terrific”. The fact that they asked him to return on more than one occasion to give a Day of Recollection is a measure of their appreciation. He will be greatly missed in the College. With his unassuming manner and the twinkling bashful smile he had won the affection of the Staff. We always welcomed him as an amiable companion during the Thirty Days he spent with us each year. May he rest in peace.

NB - Members of the Province may not have known that Father Brendan was on the staff of the Mater Dei Institute of Education, He gave occasional lectures to the students there on the spiritual life. Right up to his death, he frequently offered Mass in the Oratory of the Institute and preached a homily. The Director of the Institute, Father Patrick Wallace in the course of a recent letter writes: “To the students of the Mater Dei Institute Father Brendan Barry, SJ, was a man of God. He spoke so convincingly of the need for prayer, he treated every problem so calmly, he showed such respect for everyone who met him that one had to conclude that here was a man who had a deep experience of God in his own prayer life, who had received God's guidance in tackling the problems life had posed for him, who had reached the heights of appreciating the dignity of every man as a brother in Christ. In the homily delivered at the Requiem Mass in the Institute the celebrant spoke for us all when he said 'while we mourn the loss of Father Barry we rejoice that through him the Spirit of Christ was visibly active among us for so long'. The above sentiments are genuinely the sentiments of the students and the staff”.

Bourke, John Stephen, 1876-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/933
  • Person
  • 26 December 1876-27 August 1969

Born: 26 December 1876, Pakenham, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 10 October 1896, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 27 August 1969, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to AsL : 05 April 1931

by 1908 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1912 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He came from a very large family and had innumerable relatives all over Australia.
He was educated at St Patrick’s Melbourne and spent a year on his father’s farm before entering at Loyola Greenwich.
1898-1901 Juniorate at Loyola Greenwich
1901-1907 Regency at St Ignatius, Riverview as teacher, Prefect of discipline, junior Librarian, junior Debating Prefect, working with boarders and also rowing.
1907-1909 Philosophy at Stonyhurst, England
1909-1911 Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin
1911-1912 Theology at Posilipo, Naples and Ordained at Milltown Park
1912-1913 Tertianship at St Stanislaus, Tullabeg
1913-1916 He returned to Australia and firstly to St Patrick’s, Melbourne
1916-1921 He was sent to Xavier College, Kew
1921-1931 He returned to St Patrick’s, Melbourne as Rector (the second Old Patrician to hold this office). In 1922 he issues the first school magazine the “Patrician”. He built some new classrooms in the north wing of the College, restored the front entrance hall, adding a mosaic floor.
In the 1930s he failed to establish a Preparatory School at Caulfield.
He won the hearts of his students with his good natured humour. He taught English, Religion and Latin, and especially communicate this love of the poetry of Scott, Coleridge and Longfellow. He never neglected the Australian poets, especially Lawson and O’Brien. He also produced a play “The Sign of the Cross”, in which most boys in the school had a part.

After St Patrick’s he was appointed to the Richmond parish, where he was Socius to the Provincial for 15 years, kept the financial books, directed retreats and was Minister and procurator of the house. He also engaged in priestly ministry in the parish.
1934 As Minister at Richmond he set up the new house of studies, Loyola College Watsonia.
1934-1969 He spent these years in parish ministry at Richmond and Hawthorn. It was mainly at Richmond where he was most valued and appreciated. He was both Superior and Parish priest at both locations at various times.
His last days were spent at Loyola College Watsonia, suffering the effects of a stroke.

At almost 90 years of age he was invited by the Berwick Shire Council, within whose jurisdiction his birthplace Packenham lies, to write a history of the Bourke family of Packenham as a contribution to the shire’s centenary celebrations. He undertook this work with zest and thoroughness, researching, interviewing and travelling. He also wrote a similar book on his mother’s side of the family.It was facetiously said of him that he suffered from “multiple consanguinity”. The Bourkes were no inconsiderable clan with deep family attachments. he never overlooked a relationship, no matter how tenuous. Beyond these he had a vast army of friends towards whom he displayed an almost extravagant loyalty.

He was a genial, slightly quick-tempered type of man whose work in both schools and parishes was appreciated. He received the cross “pro Ecclesia et Pontifice” for his work in organising the National Eucharistic Congress at Melbourne in 1934.

One of his outstanding characteristics was an astonishing gift for remembering names and faces. This came from his love of people and God’s world in general. He was always warm and gracious to all who knew him, He had a spirit of optimism and was a practical man of affairs. He showed clarity of mind, singleness of purpose and a remarkable orderliness of disposition that marked his life. St Patrick’s College and the parish of Richmond could not be remembered with recalling the considerable influence that he had on the people he served.

Brooke, Charles, 1777-1852, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2289
  • Person
  • Born: 08 August 1777-06 October 1852

Born: 08 August 1777, Exeter, Devon, England
Entered: 26 September 1803, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 12 June 1802, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Died: 06 October 1852, Exeter, Devon, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Son of James and Sarah (Hoare)

PROVINCIAL English Province (ANG) 1826-1832

Visitor to Irish Mission 1842

Browne, Eugene, 1823-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/568
  • Person
  • 31 July 1823-17 December 1916

Born: 31 July 1823, Ballivor, County Meath
Entered: 15 October 1840, Turnoi, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 21 May 1853, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 17 December 1916, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1851 at Laval France (FRA) studying theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born to an old Catholic family.

After his Noviceship at St Acheul, he studied Philosophy and Theology at Laval.
He was Ordained 21 May 1853 by Dr Paul Cullen Archbishop of Dublin
1860-1870 He was appointed for a long reign as Rector of Clongowes. (August 1860 to 21 July 1870), having already spent years there as a Teacher and Minister.
1872 He became Minister at Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere and he suffered from some health issues.
1880 From 1880 he lived at Milltown until his death there.
1883 He was appointed Procurator of the Province, a post he held until within a few years of his death, and he was succeeded by Thomas Wheeler.
1884-1889 He was Rector of Milltown.
He was also Socius to the Provincial for some years, and acted as Vice-Provincial when the then Provincial John Conmee went as Visitor to Australia.
The last years of his life were spent as a Hospital Chaplain at the Hospital for the Incurables.
He died at Milltown 17 December 1916, aged 93.
He was often referred to as the “Patriarch of the Province”. he was a remarkably pious man, and daily Mass was everything for him.
Father Browne is “Father Kincaird” of “Schoolboys Three” (by William Patrick Kelly, published 1895 and set in Clongowes).

Note from Joseph O’Malley Entry :
He made his Noviceship in France with William Kelly, and then remained there for studies with Eugene Browne and Edmund Hogan

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Eugene Browne 1823-1916
Fr Eugene Browne had the distinction of being Rector of Clongowes for 10 years, from 1860-1870. Born in Ballivor County Meath, he entered the Society in 1840, and he made his noviceship and sacred studies at Laval in France.

He became Procurator of the Province and Rector of Milltown from 1884-1889. He afterwards acted as Socius to the Provincial, as as Vice Provincial during the absence of Fr Conmee in Australia. He had a useful life of administration which had the hallmark of success in his popularity with all members of the Province.

During the last years of his life, he was very faithful in his attendance on the sick in the Incurables.

He died on December 17th 1916.

Clarke, Thomas, 1804-1870, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1052
  • Person
  • 24 January 1804-02 September 1870

Born: 24 January 1804, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1823, Montrouge, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 20 December 1834, Stonyhurst
Final Vows: 15 August 1841
Died: 02 September 1870, Blackpool, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

Cousin of Malachy Ent 1825 and Thomas Tracy RIP 1862 (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education at Stonyhurst before Ent.

After First Vows, studies at Saint-Acheul, France and Stonyhurst, Regency and Theology at Stonyhurst, he was Ordained there by Bishop Penswick 20 December 1834
1834-1841 He was at the Gilmoss (near Liverpool) Mission
1841-1842 On the Lydiate - near Liverpool - Mission
1842 Appointed Rector of Mount St Mary’s. He left there some time after and served the Missions of Preston, Irnham, Lincoln and Market Rasen for brief periods.
1848-1850 Appointed Minister and procurator at St Beuno’s
1850-1859 On the Market Rasen Mission
1859-1867 On the Tunbridge Wells Mission, which was ceded to the local Bishop in 1867.
1867 He became a Missioner at Wardour Castle, from where, in declining health, he was sent to Blackpool, and he died there 02/09/1870 aged 66.
He was also Socius to the Provincial

Coyne, John J, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/42
  • Person
  • 28 April 1889-17 March 1978

Born: 28 April 1889, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Unlce of Jimmy McPolin - RIP 2005 and John Russell - RIP 2023

Early education at Christian Brothers College Cork and Clongowes Wood College SJ
Studied for an MA in Classics at UCD and awarded a Studentship in 1912-1913

by 1914 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Nowy Sącz Collège, Poland (GALI) studying
by 1925 at Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Rome Italy (ROM) Socius English Assistant (Substitute English Assistant)
by 1966 at Loyola Lusaka (POL Mi) Diocesan Archivist

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John Coyne was born in Dromore, Co Galway, Ireland on 28th April 1889, where both his father and mother were teachers. Within a couple of years, his father became an inspector of schools and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a period in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then to Cavan and then on to Cork in 1902. After three years with the Christian Brothers in Cork, John came to Clongowes in 1905.

He entered the Society in Tullabeg on the 7th September 1906. After vows, he attended the university taking a classics degree, also taking an M.A. in 1912. He won a traveling scholarship and was posted to Innsbruck in Austria. Later he moved to Vienna as the First World War had broken out. Then he went on to Poland for a year to Nowy Sacz to prepare for his final philosophical examination. Returning to Ireland, he completed his studies and was ordained priest on 15 August 1922.

Assigned to Rome after tertianship, he became substitute secretary to the English Assistant from 1925 to 1929. Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General of the Jesuits, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become rector of Belvedere College in Dublin.

He was master of novices from 1931 to 1934. One of his novices said of him later, "I think it would not be unfair to describe Fr John as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist".

Then came a long period of 24 years (1935 to 1959) as socius to the provincial, not just to one Provincial but to four of them – Frs L Kieran, J R Mac Mahon, T Byrne and L O’Grady (who for reasons of health and temperament 'left Province decisions rest far too much on his socius, Fr John'). He worked for a few years in Gardiner Street Church after being socius.

In 1964 at the age of 75, he accepted an invitation of the Polish Archbishop Kozlowiecki of Lusaka to come and set the diocesan archives in order. Though his provincial suggested a stay of six months, Fr John spent about 8 years in Zambia.

Returning to Ireland, he spent a lot of time translating works of German into English. He was prevailed upon to write his memoirs. 'Memoirs of a Jesuit priest 1906 to 1977: Grafted on the Olive Tree’. He died a year after this on 17 March 1978 in Dublin.

Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des 0’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
Brussels Congress :
Fr. Rector (John Coyne) and Fr. J. O'Meara (Louvain) represented the College at the First International Gongress of Catholic Secondary Education, held at Brussels July 28 . August 2. Fr, O'Meara read a paper on State Aid in Irish Secondary Education. Our Irish Jesuit Colleges were well represented in the Exhibition organised by Fr. Corcoran S. J.

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, Not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 3 1978

Obituary :

Fr John Coyne (1889-1978)

Father John Coyne was born in Dunmore, Co. Galway on 28 April 1889 where both his father and mother were teaching. Within a couple of years his father became an inspector of schools, and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a brief spell in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then Cavan and then in 1902 to Cork. After three years with the Christian Brothers on Patrick’s Hill, John came to Clongowes in 1905. He used to say that he felt the first feeble stirrings of vocation while in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, but that the call was peremptory one night in his cubicle in Clongowes when he felt “visited” by an overpowering grace of God: “a wave of deep peace and brightest light flooded my soul to its deepest”.
Two aspects of his youth will surprise those of us who came to know him only after his curial training in Rome: his mother whose parents were English found her favourite reading in John Mitchell's “Jail Journal”; secondly one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was in losing the Junior Munster Final, in which he played as a forward, to Presentation College when at the last moment a sturdy Presentation full-back dropped a goal from half-way which soared between the posts. That he took exhibitions, medals and prizes in his stride is what one expects; his father used to con a chapter of St Luke’s Greek with him every Sunday.
Though only one year in Clongowes he was much in luck to find among his masters four scholastics: Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O’Keeffe. Among his classmates in that year’s Rhetoric were Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Tom O'Malley and J B O'Connell, later to become an authority on matters liturgical. Paddy McGilliagan beat him by 25 marks for a medal in Latin.
When he decided to offer himself to the Society the then Provincial, Father John S Conmee, began his chat in this way: “Well John, what makes you want to join the ‘crafties’: that is how Dublin priest speak of us?” Later Father Conmee visited I Rhetoric during Latin class, and John was asked to construe “O fons Bandusiae”.
In the following September eight novices turned up in Tullabeg: among them Hugh Kelly from Westport, John Deevy from Waterford, Henry Johnson from Belfast, Michael Meeney from Limerick, Denis Nerney and John from Cork. In Tullabeg for a year and a half Father James Murphy was his novice master: John liked to tell how Father Murphy, like an Old Testament Prophet, summoned all his novices round his bed, recalling for the last time the great principles of Ignatian spirituality by which his novices were to live. Father Murphy died on 28th March 1908, and his Socius, Fr Tighe took over until Father Michael Browne was appointed in August,
After his first vows on 8 September 1908, he and his fellows moved to another table and wore their birettas. For his first two years he was coached by Fr John Keane and Mr Dan Finn in Tullabeg, going to Dublin only to sit for the Royal University exams. In his third year 86 St Stephen's Green had become the Dublin College of the new National University, so the Juniors moved up to Milltown. His Greek Professor was Father Henry Browne and for Latin Paddy Semple.
He took his MA In 1912: his thesis dealt with Hellenism as a force in Eastern life and thought; he spent most of this year in Trinity Library as facilities in 86 were understandably limited. He spent the Christmas term teaching English and Latin in Belvedere, but early in the new year Father T V Nolan, recently appointed Provincial, sent him back to Milltown to prepare himself for the travelling studentship in Classics coming up in the following September.
John won the studentship and was posted to Innsbruck. By a stroke of luck he met on the Holyhead boat the extern examiner for his thesis and his oral, Professor J S Reid, a notable Ciceronian scholar; generously the Professor gave him a letter of introduction to Professor Rudolf von Scala in Innsbruck, chief expert on Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome. Scala gave him a warm welcome, the run of his library and welcome to his lectures. With disappointment on John’s part he suggested as the subject of his Bodenpreise (Ground Rents). As sources for his thesis in Innsbruck were thin, John moved to Munich after Christmas where there was a flourishing centre for the study of papyri under the direction of an Austrian named Wenger. Occasionally Wenger invited small groups to his home for a beer evening where his wife proved a charming hostess. Here he used to meet from time to time Hermann Grisar, then the authority on Luther, and Peter Lippart.
Summer vacation drew him back to Innsbruck; fortunately he had a fortnight's villa before the war broke out. The Jesuits undertook care of the wounded, beginning to trickle back from the Serbian front. With a crash course from a Viennese doctor, they took over a large building to serve as a hospital. In May 1915 British subjects had to get out of Innsbruck as Italy had entered the war and was planning to force the Brenner Pass. Three Irish Jesuits Fr Tim Halpin, recently ordained, John and Dan Finn made their way to Vienna.
John was drafted to Kalksburg, where he spent three years as a spare tyre: “parratus ad omnia” as he loved to quote to us, novices. One year on returning from Christmas holidays Prince Liechtenstein brought the mumps with him; spreading through the school rapidly some 150 boys were affected. As the Brothers had all been called to the colours, John spent from January to May as a nurse: more serious were one case of scarlatina, one of typhoid, and the most critically ill of all was the Archduke Godfrey of Salsburg down with serious pneumonia. Trying enough as the nursing with its broken nights was, John preferred it to being gallery prefect, sitting in a glass box, regulating traffic, ringing bells or covering a sick or weary prefect’s beat. Sanctions were difficult: no corporal punishment to deter slackers or offenders-only detention or, for the younger boys, putting them in the booby corner. One Pole, called the Black Prince because of his dark features, had been recalled from an English public school and found Kalksburg considerably more to his liking,
His next move was to Poland to finish his philosophy at Nowy Sacz (now Sardac), a town two hours journey south of Cracow. His main task was to prepare for his “de universa”, and in keeping with Jesuit custom, to learn the language of the house of studies in which he lived: this time a Slav language.
On returning from Poland he taught in Clongowes for the year 1919-20, and liked to tell that one of his boys later broke his gavel in a vain attempt to stem Kruschev’s eloquence at UNO in New York - and subsequently became the first Catholic Chancellor of Trinity.
In the Autumn of 1920 he went to Milltown for theology: by a war-time privilege he was ordained at the end of his second year on 15 August 1922. After two more years in theology he went to Exaten in eastern Holland to do his tertianship in a German community (1924-5).
On the status of 1925 he was assigned to study Scripture in Rome but at the last moment he was asked to fill a gap by becoming substitute secretary to the English Assistant, Fr Joseph Welsby, previously Tertian instructor in Tullabeg. For his first year and a half he lived in the German College while the new curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito was being built. He quickly learned the “stylus Curiae” and after three years Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become Rector of Belvedere.
Fr Martin Maher, a long-time novice master, was beginning to fail and John was appointed to replace him in the Spring of 1931. The present writer entered the novicehsip the following September; we were the only group to have him alone for our master. He was a dedicated Ledochowski man, as indeed was his then Provincial, Fr Larry Kieran, whose contact with Fr General was 99% epistolatry. Fr John had an outstanding devotion to Our Lord, at times over emotional in its expression; eager to tell us that we had not real Ignatian indifference unless we kept one foot in the air; insistent on the 'magis' of the Exercises which meant his novices must be grounded in “agere contra”, and, at least, have a desire to live in the third degree. I think it would not be unfair to describe him as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist. His war-time experiences had taken a great deal out of him and one sensed the strain. Many of us found it difficult to feel relaxed in our regular visits to him: we waited for an opening as he gazed out the window at Dairy hill and played rather nervously with a paper knife. He found “priming the pump” difficult.
Not that he was inhuman but he didn't believe in showing that side to his novices. He did to his Provincial when he wrote to say that, for days on end, apart form the Community, all he ever saw was the postman and, occasionally, a stray dog. A few months break from Emo towards the end of 1933 didn't help to reduce the tension under which he was living; he was simple and humble enough to ask his Provincial to accept his resignation.
If his first three appointments were each three years long, his next one was to last almost twenty-five years: February 1935 until mid June 1959. Over that span he served as Socius to four Provincials. I think he would like to be described as “idus Achates”; but a Socius in the Society is much more than a secretary; ex officio he is one of the four Province consultors. In Fr Kieran’s reign both he and his Socius were too like-minded. Though Fr Kieran met Fr Ledochowski only once in the General Congregation of 1938, from his appointment as Provincial in 1931 he was an all-out Ledochowski man: “actio in distans non repugnat”. His successor in the difficult war years, Fr John R MacMahon, knew his own mind as did his successor Fr Tommy Byrne who founded three houses and took on commitments in Northern Rhodesia - the Zambia of today. Father Louis O’Grady, for reasons of health and temperament, left Province decisions rest far too much on his Socius, Father John.
On retiring from his unselfish devotion to a typewriter for twenty five years, from letters and forms to Rome, from Collecting informations for fitness for Hong kong or Zambia, for suitability for ordinations, and for government, and, perhaps, most tedious of all, bringing out the annual “Catalogus”, he was posted to Gardiner Street as operarius. Even as Socius pastoral work appealed to him: for years he guided two praesidia of the Legion of Mary, his first experience of it being in Rome when an ecumenical praesidium was formed in the mid-twenties: it didn't last long as the non-Catholics couldn't stomach the rigidity of the Handbook. He struck up a real friendship with Paddy Reynolds, Lord Wicklow's astute partner in Clonmore and Reynolds. Though Paddy had a heart of gold, in language he’d outdo any trooper. As a result John translated a number of German books which, to his delight, Reynolds managed to sell- despite the fact that John had a taste fot the “turgid” German.
Five years later (1964) carrying out what he had taught us in Emo, the “magis” of the Exercises, he accepted the invitation of the Polish Archbishop of Lusaka to set the Mission Archives in order. Though his Provincial, Fr Charlie O'Connor, suggested a stay of six months, John, apart from one furlough, spent almost ten years in Zambia where he wished to leave his bones.
By 1966 a new presbytery had been built adjoining the modern Church of St Ignatius. With his work on the archives completed he joined the Irish parish community, taking on the duties of a curate at the age of 77: baptisms, marriages, pre-marriage courses, keeping the parish registers. As most of the community was working outside the house, he acted as porter, answered the phone, dealt with callers. One of the Community - no great admirer of John in his Socius days - prevailed on him to take a glass of grog every night, and so he learned to relax.
Returning to Zambia in 1969 after a break in Ireland, he was able to spend four days in Greece - from the human point of view the highlight of his life. Less than three years later he had to return to Ireland on stringent medical advice, but he refused to hang up his boots. Between bouts in hospital he continued translation work, was no “laudator temporis acti” but had a warm welcome, a keen interest in the theologians whose régime was so different to what he had experienced when Fr Peter Finlay and Matt Devitt were the stars in his student days (1920-1924).
May the Lord reward him for his enthusiasm and generosity; may he win for his two Jesuit nephews of whom he was so proud, for his three sisters and all the family, abundant grace.
RBS.
PS. For most of the facts in this notice I have drawn from a sixty-one page typescript which Father John was prevailed upon to write in his last year in Milltown (1977): It is, in the main, Province history with little personal comment and remarkably restrained in passing judgments “discreta caritas”. (RBS).

◆ The Clongownian, 1978

Obituary

Father John Coyne SJ

John Coyne had moved round Ireland more than most of hie generation when he joined Rhetoric in September 1905; His father was an Inspector of Schools, so John Moved from Dunmore to Dublin, then to Tralee, next to Cavan and finally to Cork. His contemporaries in class included Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Canon J B O'Connell and Tom O'Malley who moved furthest afield to Malaya, as it then was. A formidable team of Scholastics stretched them to good effect: Messrs Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O'Keeffe. Paddy McGilligan beat John for the Latin medal by 25 marks.

One readily associates exhibitions, medals, prizes, even a travelling studentship with Fr John, but it will come as a surprise to those who knew him in later life that one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was when as a dashing forward the Munster Schools Junior Cup was snatched from his team when at the last moment the Pres full back dropped a goal from half way.

As a young Jesuit he had rather a unique travelling studentship: he spent his first term in Innsbruck, after Christmas moved to Munich, and was lucky enough to have a fortnight's holiday in the Austrian Alps before war broke out. Until Italy entered the war in May 1915 he worked in a make-shift hospital the Jesuits set up in Innsbruck, but with the Italians forcing the Brenner Pass he had to move to Vienna, and then to Poland for three years in Nowy Sacz, south of Cracow. On returning from Poland he taught for a year in Clongowes (1919-20). After four years Theology in Milltown he did his Tertianship in Exaten in eastern Holland.

Destined for Scripture study in Rome, at the last minute he was switched to a secretarial post in the Jesuit Curia. Three years later he was sent back to Ireland as Rector of Belvedere; then he was named Novice-master at Emo. So many switches were to be followed by an unprecedented stint of almost 25 years as Socius to four Provincials.

At the age of 75 he went out to Lusaka and spent almost ten years in Zambia. He came home on stringent medical advice but, though two or three times at death's door, he continued to keep alert and, more than occupied, in his favourite hobby, translating from German. He died within a few months of his eighty-ninth birthday, quite at home in the world of post-Vatican II.

We offer our sympathy especially to his three sorrowing sisters and all his family, not forgetting his nephew Fr John Russell SJ (OC 1941-43) who has recently completed his term as Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong.

Dargan, Joseph, 1933-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/847
  • Person
  • 21 January 1933-01 June 2014

Born: 21 January 1933, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 01 June 2014, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 01 September 1980-1986

by 2003 at Mwangaza Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/joe-dargan-vision-and-task/

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe’s style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Wherever he went, he was landed with responsibility: starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented ”In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes.”). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it’s said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You’d imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future.” Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport, that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life – those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male andfemale. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people’s names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God’s hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 157 : Autumn 2014

Obituary

Fr Joe Dargan (1933-2014)

21 January 1933: Bom in Dublin.
Early education at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, Dublin, Belvedere, Rockwell College and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1950: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1952 First Vows at Emo
1952 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1955 - 1958: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1958 - 1961: Clongowes – Third Line Prefect: Teacher
1961 - 1965: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
24 May 1964: Ordained at Clongowes Wood College
1965 - 1966: Rathfarnham – Tertianship
1966 - 1968: CIR – Director of Province Social Survey
2nd February 1968: Final Vows at CIR
1968 - 1969: Emo - Rector & Master of Novices
1969 - 1974: Manresa House – Rector and Master of Novices
1974 - 1977: Manresa - Rector; Director Centre of Spirituality
1977 - 1979: Clongowes - Rector; Asst. Provincial (visitor)
1979 - 1980: Socius to Provincial
1980 - 1986: Loyola House - Provincial
1986 - 1987: Loyola House - Sabbatical, assisted CMRS
1987 - 1993: Gonzaga - Rector & CMRS General Secretary
1993 - 2002: Belvedere - Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning; Belvedere – Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning (until 1997) Chair of Boards of Management of Manresa and Belvedere College.
2005 - 2014: Manresa – Vice-Rector; Tertian Director
2006 - 2012: Manresa Rector; Tertian Director
2012 - 2014: Vice-Rector and Tertian Director

Joe was not feeling well for some weeks and went into the Blackrock Clinic on March 23rd. Tests revealed extensive cancer. He accepted the results and the prognosis with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the following weeks. There was a gradual decline in his condition and he died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Since Fr Joseph Dargan, or just Joe (as I came to know him), passed away on the day we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, he has been pointing not to himself but to the God he loved. In the manner of his dying, down to the very timing, and at his funeral, he was asking us to grapple with the question in the first reading at the funeral Mass from Deutero-Isaiah: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?” He was inviting us to listen to the message of hope and encouraging us to live out of that hope. The words of St. Patrick's Breastplate have been reverberating in my mind these past days:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me.

These words represent the key to understanding what Joe desired, and the reality to which he pointed in all his interactions with us, when talking of God or mammon (in the form of Manchester United) - and everything in between.

The American Poet, Mary Oliver, in Honey Locust, describes a tree, native to North America, in blossom and the bees seeking the nectar:

The bees circle the tree and dive into it.
They are crazy with gratitude,
They are working like farmers.
They are as happy as saints.

I am going to frame my words around these lines.

The bees circle the tree and dive into it
This is the disposition that Fr. Joe brought to everything he did. He engaged fully. He dived into life, in whatever circumstances: in Manresa, in the then CMRS, in Gonzaga, Clongowes and Belvedere, in Mwangaza, in Loyola. And in whatever role, from Provincial to spiritual director, from Chair of the Board to lover of family, and so on.

And how he loved bis family: while I name only his brother Michael (or Mick) and his beloved sister Mairéad, they stand for all the family, those who have gone before Joe, those here present including the 18 nieces and grandnieces - not forgetting the nephews, including Joe the younger. He also enjoyed the deepest of friendships. And I have often thought that his great gift of being able to relate with women was modelled on the way that Jesus himself related to women in the Gospels, Joe engaged with all persons in the fullest way possible.

The bees are crazy with gratitude
Joe had almost zero concern for the material things of this world. As a. novice, I remember a fellow novice speculating one day that he thought that Joe had only one pair of shoes: in fact, watching thereafter, we never saw him in other than that one sturdy, black pair. That's not to deny that he didn't enjoy being able to stream the big football game - say Man U at home to Liverpool this season! But when challenged about such a worldly use of the computer, Joe would say simply, that the computer is merely an apostolic aid!' He was truly indifferent to worldly possessions. Given that significant business people who came to know him well, even to depend on him in some measure, would say that had Joe chosen a different path, that he would undoubtedly have been a very successful businessperson, we might ask ourselves, what is the source of his indifference to worldly goods?

The answer in significant part lies in the reading from Deutero Isaiah. Like the exiled Jewish people in Babylonia, so Joe needed to hear - and did hear at the deepest level of his being - those words from God through the prophet:

“I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you. No need to remember past events. Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?”

These words were heard as being addressed to him - and to each of us! It intrigued Joe that the reading ends with a big question: “Can you, can we, not see it?” In the Ascension, God did something new with Jesus and it emerges that there is hope and that hope is grounded in the death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God. And, in his dying on the Feast of the Ascension, God did something new in Joseph. Can you not see it?

Out of this was born the person that Joe became: a most grateful person.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude.

Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God's hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

But, to be clear, Joe was not like a plastic or alabaster statue. As a young Jesuit student in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg and Milltown, he would come from his room, football boots in his hands, pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on the way to the pitch, pray intensely out of gratitude to God - and then go out on the pitch and hack down anyone who dared to try and pass him, leaving his opponent sprawling on the ground, with Joe standing over him, full of concern!

And in the spirit of consolation that sustained him in recent weeks, on being visited by Mr. Gerard Foley, currently headmaster of Belvedere, Joe's mischievous sense of humour enabled him to whisper, Thank God you came in to Belvedere when you did: that other fellow left an awful mess!'

Gratitude and grace - the latter understood as relationship with God - and consolation - but never without bite, never without humour!

The bees around the honey locust are working like farmers
Out of that spirit of gratitude, I suspect that unlike most of us, Joe wasted very few moments during his 81+ years. He gave his all to every project and to every person: in his presence, one never felt that Joe had to be elsewhere - you got his undivided attention.

From sticking faithfully to a physiotherapist's instructions, to thorough engagement with the Irish Province social survey in response to Vatican II back in the 1960's, to the meticulous attention to detail in the planning document, Our Mission in Ireland drawn up during his time as Provincial - strategic planning was a prominent feature of every work that he engaged in, not least with the CMRS - down to the legacy that is the tertianship today, co-created with his Dutch colleague Fr. Jan van de Poll - in all of that, the focus was always on the mission, to bring the love of Christ to the other.

Who knows how many lives he saved - I mean that in the deepest sense - through his love-enriched, Christ-focused interaction with so many people, bom of the Spiritual Exercises, of his love of the poor - witness his work in Africa, his work on the bursary programme in Belvedere, his reception of the orphans from Africa every summer - and of his love of the Church?

In the Letter to the Ephesians, read like Deutero-Isaiah at his funeral, St Paul prays for his “hidden self to grow strong”. Richard Rohr says somewhere that “the True Self is that part of you who knows who you are and whose you are, although largely unconsciously. Your False Self is just who you think you are - but thinking doesn't make it so”. Throughout his life, Joe took the risk of going deeper, below the ego, to discern “who and whose” we are. Joe lived the self-reflective prayer of Ignatius known as the Examen. He truly devoted himself to prayer and reflection. And so his “hidden self” grew out of and into God, into Jesus Christ, enriched greatly through his love of Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Church, and of the Society of Jesus.

Everything he did was to try to get us on the same path, knowing it was the way to genuine inner peace and contentment for each of us. In the prayerful words of the late Pedro Arrupe S), former General of the Society:

Grant me, O Lord, to see everything with new eyes,
To discern and test the spirits
That help me read the signs of the times,
To relish the things that are yours
and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius'.

This became Joe's own prayer.

In a wonderful little piece, Leonard Cohen asks, “what is a saint?”:

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos....but he is at home in the world. He can love the shapes of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have amongst us such (persons), such balancing monsters of love.

Joe was just such a person, filled with the energy of love and with that balance. He knew, of course, that it is in Christ that an ever deeper hope resides.

But this is not to go back to the alabaster statue. A Jesuit friend and I went out to dinner one night, in a restaurant very close to Manresa. (I remember it well because I paid!) This mutual friend put a little idea into our heads: why not call in to visit Joe on the way home, but not tell him why we were there together, leaving him with the impression that the Provincial had given us a very important task, on behalf of the Province, which we were not free to talk about! We didn't have to travel far into Manresa: there was Joe walking the upper path, rosary beads in hand. At every opportunity, for months after, indeed for the past couple of years, Joe never missed an opportunity to try to find out what was going on. He was innately curious. He loved to know what was going on.

A Board colleague of the time reminded me of a Board meeting in Belvedere in the days when Belvedere was well run!) when, as headmaster, I conveyed some information about an issue to do with rugby (of all things!). Joe, sitting next to me, rounded on me and asked if I was informing the Board of this matter or asking their opinion. A bit perplexed, I - allegedly - floundered and said I supposed I was informing the Board. Joe's two hands stretched out, in a familiar gesture of his and said: “Fine, fine, that's fine - because if you were asking us, I wouldn't agree with you!” Saintly, but as cute as a fox, wise as the serpent, simple as the dove.

Like his fellow Jesuits, he knew himself to be a sinner yet loved by Jesus: on his sick-bed he acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his life, but that these were forgotten and forgiven.

Those bees are as happy as saints
The integrity, the consistency of the spoken word and gesture, and the manner of his dying, confirm for us that Joe meant what he said, and said what he meant.

He understood himself and each one of us to be a new creation, and that in life and in death we give witness to the Resurrection. All this in faith and in hope. He made as his own Pedro Arrupe's prayer in his own illness:

Now more than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference:
The initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
To know and feel myself so totally in God's hands!

In recent times, Joe was unable to celebrate Mass: a Sister friend suggested to me the other evening that this was his time to be, like Pierre Teillhard de Chardin SJ, offering his “Mass on the world”. Once, when in China, Teillhard had no bread or wine with which to celebrate Mass. He expressed his deep love for the Eucharist in his essay of that name, which begins:

Since once again, Lord .... I have neither bread nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

Joe chose the funeral Mass reading from Matthew's Gospel because the words, “This is My body - this is My blood”, were the centre-piece of his vocation. These, he said as he faced death, are the most important words to say at that hour.

In the final lines of Honey Locust, Mary Oliver writes:

So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love,
There is not a single inch of emptiness.
Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.

A fitting epitaph for Joe, as God in him and throughout his life, says to us: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?!”

Leonard Moloney

Joe Dargan: Three Memories

Brendan Staunton

First memory:
During my first year theology in Milltown, Joe asked me to come to Manresa on Sunday mornings and introduce the novices to literature. So I'd cross the city on my Honda 50, with Saul Bellow, Ayn Rand, James Joyce and Co., in tow. The rhetoric of fiction was closer to my existential concerns than the theological questions we were being fed. In fact, the fare was all answers to issues and battles fought long before our time. So the answers were stale. The waves of Vatican Two were approaching, however, onto Irish shores, and Milltown, broadly speaking, was receptive and open to the experiential and empirical. So Joe's invitation was a Godsend, and at the end of our two-hour sessions he would hand me a ten pound note, saying “that's for petrol”! (Less than two would fill the tank!)

Second Memory:
I'm about to go on Tertianship. Joe calls. He had been at a function in The Red House, where Dermot Ryan had complained about all the Religious going abroad to be trained for formation work Particularly the USA. Joe, Head of CORI, told him he had someone at home now who had trained in London. So the idea of Loreto House was born, and I was asked to set it up and get it going with two Sisters. And the rest is history!

Third Memory:
We are in Rome for a month's Conference on the Spiritual Exercises, attended by 101 people, mostly Jesuits, but also other religious and lay collaborators from 40 countries. The approach is mostly academic: content orientated; lecture style; dense and heavy. Starting with Fr General, the lecturers were all stately, formal figures from the Greg. After three long mornings, Joe raised his hand, and asked a question. A huge burst of applause broke out! Only Joe would have got away with it, as there was no offense heard, but the feedback hit the nail on the head. The fact of his being a previous Provincial probably helped too, and the talks and afternoon sessions became more experiential and participative.

◆ The Clongownian, 2014

Obituary

Father Joe Dargan SJ

“Fr Joe Dargan SJ who died in June, had been ill for the previous three months” - writes the Headmaster, Fr Moloney. “Fr. Joe was at school in Clongowes, where he won a JCT medal and served as Captain of the College. He joined the Jesuits straight from school, returning as Third Line Prefect from 1958-61 and as Rector in the late 1970's before going on to be Provincial of the Irish Province (1980-'86). Until recently he was Tertian Master at Manresa House in Dublin. In his time he was also Master of Novices, Rector of Belvedere (1993-2002), spiritual director at the Jesuit Retreat House in Nairobi, and Director and Rector of Manresa Retreat House. He was a great person, accepting the results and prognosis of recent medical tests with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the past few weeks, He died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning”.

We print the following tribute to Fr Joe, Courtesy of Irish Jesuit News ...

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, and usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe's style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Whereverhewent, he was landed with responsibility, starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented “In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes”.). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral Planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it's said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You'd imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups, which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future”. Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were “God's hands and eyes and ears” for him in this life. A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him..

PA

Dunne, John A, 1944-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/773
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-27 December 2008

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 31 May 1979, Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 27 December 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Sandford Road, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-rip/

John Dunne SJ RIP
Fr John Dunne SJ died peacefully at 10:30 am on the morning of 27 December 2008, the Feast of John the Evangelist. He was commended to the Lord by the prayers of his sister, Anne, Jesuit colleagues and nursing staff.

John Dunne SJ
15 May 1944 – 27 December 2008
John’s early education was in Trim and Coláiste na Rinne, Dungarvan. After secondary school in Clongowes Wood College he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1962 at Emo. After First Vows, John went to Rathfarnham and studied Arts at UCD and later Philosophy at Milltown Park. He taught at the Sacred Heart College in Limerick before returning to Milltown in 1971 to study theology.

After ordination on 21 June 1974, he studied guidance counselling at Mater Dei and went as teacher and guidance counsellor to Crescent College Comprehensive where he remained until 1981. During this time he made Tertianship in Tullabeg and took his Final Vows on 31 May 1979. While in Limerick he studied computing and continued this interest, later beginning LayJay bulletin, forerunner to today’s AMDG.ie. He served in Galway from 1981 to 1987 as Rector, teacher, guidance counsellor and chair of the board of management. In 1987 John was appointed to Gonzaga where he was to spend the next fourteen years in roles as various as pastoral co-ordinator, guidance counsellor, teacher, librarian and Rector.

Following a year’s sabbatical, during which John spent some time at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California, and travelling in Asia and Africa, he moved to Loyola House in 2002 where he became Superior and Socius (Assistant Provincial).

John was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19 December following a short illness which was diagnosed at the beginning of October. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday 27 December, feast of Saint John the Evangelist.
May he rest in the peace of Christ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-funeral-homily/

John Dunne SJ: funeral homily

The death of Fr John Dunne has drawn condolences from near and far, including, from Zambia-Malawi, Declan Murray SJ and Provincial Peter Bwanali. Also, there have been
numerous requests for the text of the homily which Brian Grogan SJ gave at the funeral mass in Gonzaga Chapel. Brian spoke warmly of John’s life and character, concentrating on three areas – the “three E’s”: the Enterprise of John’s life, his Endurance, and his Everlasting joy. Read the full homily below :

It’s impossible to capture a person’s life fully and I shall not try. But John loved photography: he lost 18 volumes of snapshots in the fire on Good Friday 2007! So I too shall be content with snapshots. I also note that at the Vigil we held for him last evening, friend after friend came up to the microphone and each gave us a distinct snapshot of how John had impacted on their lives. And the stories will go on and on. So I shall focus just on three areas:

The Enterprise of John’s life – this is the longer bit! His Endurance. His Everlasting joy. Three “Es” so you will know when I’m coming in to land!

  1. The Enterprise of John’s Life
    We celebrate a good man. Now that may seem obvious: but I believe that one should try to write a homily with the bible in one hand and the Irish Times in the other – which makes it hard to do any writing, but there you are! Now there are two things to note about today’s Irish Times: first, those of you who are worried about your stocks and shares should take my advice and not invest in Pringles (= a form of potato crisps), because the value of these shares has plummeted since John lost his appetite!

Next, the paper is full, as always, of the wrongdoings of many people: violence, deception, murder, rape, domination – the unsavoury side of humankind. Measure John’s life against that picture. True, his life was ordinary: he taught for 25 years, but many of you have taught for much longer. He was a Superior for 18 years, but that was nothing special. We had a famous man, a scripture scholar, who was once asked if he’d like to be a Superior. ‘No’, he said finally, ‘but I’d like to live like one!’ But in fact it’s an ordinary job of service, just as being the assistant to the Provincial is. An ordinary man: John was not an academic; he liked the quip: ‘You can tell an intellectual but you can’t tell him much!’

An ordinary man. A good man. 46 yrs of service as a Jesuit. His story is ours. We can relate to him: I speak to the ordinary among you – please remain seated! The others can stand!
There’s a book of short stories by Flannery O’Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. Good people are hard to find, and would that our world had more of them. Don’t take the faithful servant for granted! God doesn’t: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’

About 50 years ago John made a decision as an adolescent: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service. He would serve the world! ‘In all things to love and serve’ is an Ignatian phrase. It sounds fine, but he took it seriously and lived it out, year after plodding year, until Dec 19 of this year to be exact, after the end- of -year office lunch. He then went home and spruced up for a Christmas meal given by Anne, his sister. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum and do his Christmas shopping. Many of the gifts have yet to be given out.

To serve the world, through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it. It wasn’t easy. He loved the Society & the Province & the community, and he loved his family and friends. A loyal servant, he was ‘Ready for everything’ – It’s an Ignatian phrase, and he lived it. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial 6 yrs ago. Punctual, organised. He was out to work by 08.00, home for 6 p.m. day after day, not knowing what demands each day would bring.

In mid-Oct the doctors told him he could go home – ‘But no work!’ We were so amazed at his going back to work after hospital in mid-Oct that we thought he hadn’t understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did I learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that he ‘was going home to die.’

A Good Man is hard to find. Good people – ordinary good folk – change the world. This world of ours has been the better for John’s presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

As the second reading emphasised, our enterprises must be loving ones. Perhaps each of us is asked by God to reflect to the world a particular facet of the divine? So God asks one person to reflect energy, another justice, a third compassion, a fourth good administration and so on. I suggest John’s task was to reflect lovableness! That’s what I’ve heard most emphasised over these days. He loved his family and his friends and his Jesuit brethren, and in return he was well loved.

He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, care, prayer, compassion, love, for himself when sick. He couldn’t see why this should be. He was humble. He never knew over the last days that many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. That’s a nice tribute, to find others willing to lay down their lives for you! Check it out!! Don’t get me wrong: his loving was of the unique Dunne brand! He could be gruff; he could get mad with you! But the squall passed and blue skies returned.

John was uniquely present to reality. If he was eating, that’s what he was engaged in. If he was sorting out a mess created by someone, that’s what he was doing. He got to appreciate Buddhism during his sabbatical in 2001. He had Buddhist qualities: that of being full present to reality. He could also, like Buddha, enjoy life to the full, whether it was TV, DVDS, recliners, holidays, good company....In Jewish folklore, the single question that God will ask as we approach the pearly gates is: Did you enjoy my creation? ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ must have been John’s answer the other morning! Most obviously at table: the feast of flowing wine etc... – And the pouring cream! John enjoyed it all. I sometimes fantasised, as he put on more weight and several chairs gave way, that perhaps he was becoming a reincarnation of the Buddha...
It was hard to stay mad with him for long. In our little community of four we divide time into BC – before the conflagration – and AD, after the disaster. Well, when we got into our new house after much work on John’s part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. I proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment in order to choose who got what. ‘Fine’, said John as he ambled up the stairs, ‘I’ll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!’ But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out my computer problems after a long day in the office.
It was because he was so massively present that his death creates a massive loss. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. For John, his Yes was Yes, and his No was No! He could be devastatingly honest. I felt he used to contradict me a lot, and I said one day: ‘There isn’t a single statement that one could make in this house that won’t be contradicted.’ Immediately John shot back: ‘That’s not true!’
It’s time to move on.

  1. His Endurance
    Chardin wrote a book about the divinising of our activities and of our passivities. He divided life thus into two: what we do and what happens to us. For him, what happens to us is about 80% of our life experience, and his concern was how we respond.

We’re talking about the things that happen to us and how we respond. We’re talking about the sanctification of the ordinary, about the tradition in Christian spirituality that unavoidable suffering, patiently endured, is graced. We’re talking about the simple Morning Offering.

For John, as for all of us, there were the times he lived in: Post-war world. Dev’s Ireland. Economic development. Vatican 2. GC 31 – the Jesuit effort at genuine renewal. Subsequent turmoil in the Church and in the Society. Assassination of JFK and MLK. Communism and its fall. Northern Ireland Conflict. Rwanda. Palestine. Kosovo. Decline in vocations. The loss of many things cherished. The Celtic Tiger and its demise. Scandals and tribunals. Child Sexual Abuse.... The list continues. We can ignore it, get depressed at it, become cynical about it, or we can entrust our battered world to God and pray and do what we can about our troubled times. Ignatius speaks of ‘courage in difficult enterprises’ and John had that.

Moving along in this area of the things endured: Close to his heart was the death of his sister Margot. Last year there was the fire and the loss of everything. This year: His knee replacement; End of use of motorbike. It was hard for him but no complaining. Then his incipient deafness humbly acknowledged.

Then in October, his final illness. He was so massively practical about it: ‘The news is bad!’ ‘I’m going home to die!’ ‘This is how it is. We’ll see.’ He had in consequence to let go of his trip to the Holy Land in October, though he sneaked a trip to Fatima in early December!

You know the novel by P J Kavanagh: The Perfect Stranger? Well, over the past three months, John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast recently I said to him: ‘ You’re very patient.’ He replied: ‘What else can one do?’ ‘Well’ I said, ferreting around in my own feelings, ‘you could choose depression or rage or self-pity? ‘I’d hate that’ he said.’ Days before his death a visitor asked him how he was feeling? ‘Smashing!’ was the reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health – so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps I’m beginning to see the meaning of that. There’s so much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And I have been struck by all the good that has come out of this mess, this mess of sickness and of dying, which is not the way God intends things to be; I mean the love and care from others, in Cherryfield and right across the world. I think I believe more than before that God brings good out of evil, and that’s a blessing.

  1. His Everlasting Joy
    So much for the outer side of his life. But as the fox said to the Little Prince, ‘The things that are essential are invisible to the eye.’ At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! It took some faith to write that!
    What’s the Retirement Plan? For those of us who see our pension schemes fall apart, it would be good to know that there is one that won’t fail! Another John Donne, 1572 – 1631, (died at 59) to help us catch the mystery of how it is with him now: it’s from the Holy Sonnets, since not all his sonnets were such!

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what do we wake to? Firstly, there’s God, a God who is pleased with him and loves him. There’s the welcome and congratulations as he staggered over the line on the 27th, the feast, of course, of St John the Evangelist! The loveableness he was entrusted with is now perfected. The Lover gives all to the beloved! So says Ignatius at his mystic best... What is that like? Multiple overwhelmings... Later in this Mass we acknowledge: ‘We shall become like him, for we shall see him as he is.’

Next, I can imagine John looking around to see where the banquet is set! Then there’s the unalloyed joy of great companionship. Then agility of body. John’s body was worn out at the end: now Hopkins line comes into play: “This jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood/Immortal diamond/Is immortal diamond.” Then insights into the mysteries of God: his imagination caught.

Then a commissioning ceremony: asked by God to be caring still: to be a solid presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. ‘Placed over many things!’
John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating what we celebrate here: that Jesus Christ by dying destroys our death, and by rising restores our life. He is all Joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in St John’s gospel: ‘I will see you again and Your hearts will rejoice, And no one will take your joy from you’ (16:22).
May it be so for us all. Amen.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/losing-john-dunne/

Losing John Dunne
In the consciousness of Irish Jesuits, the dominant mood this Epiphany is of loss. It is just a week since we buried John Dunne, who had been Socius (companion, secretary,
counsellor, support) to the last two Provincials, a cheerful, competent, selfless presence at the heart of the administration. Conscious of his terminal state with galloping cancer, he worked until he dropped, a good model of Winnicott’s prayer: ‘May I be alive when I die’. He had served Galway, Gonzaga, Eglinton Road and Sandford Road as superior; and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors as their president for many years. A crowd of friends, from all the chapters of his life, packed Gonzaga chapel to overflowing in a memorable funeral Mass, and responded warmly to Brian Grogan’s affectionate homily. It was a good send-off, one which John would relish. But the loss is heavy, most of all for his sister Anne.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009

Obituary

Fr John A Dunne (1944-2008)

15th May 1944: Born in Dublin
Early education at Mercy Convent and CBS, Trim; Ring College, Dungarvan; Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1964: First Vows at Emo
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts
1967 - 1969: Studied Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1969 - 1971: Dooradoyle - Teacher at Crescent Comprehensive
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga College Chapel
1974 - 1975: John Austin House - Studied Guidance and Counselling at Mater Dei Institute, Dublin
1975 - 1981: Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1977 - 1980: University of Limerick - Computer Studies
1977 - 1978: Tertianship at Tullabeg
31st May 1979: Final Vows at Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle
1981 - 1987: Galway - Rector; Teacher; Guidance Counsellor, Chair, Board of Management
1987 - 2001: Gonzaga -
1987 - 1993: Pastoral Care Co-ordinator; Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1993 - 1998: Rector
1996 - 1998: Guidance Counsellor; Teacher
1998 - 2001: Information Technology Co-ordinator; College Librarian; Assistant Pastoral Counsellor; Teacher of Computer Studies
2000 - 2001: Minister; ECDL Course
2001 - 2002: Sabbatical
2002 - 2008: Loyola House - Socius, Superior; Province Consultor; Provincial's Admonitor; Provincial Team
27th December 2008: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Brian Grogan writes:

An Ordinary Man
John was born in Dublin, but the family lived in Summerhill, near Trim in Co. Meath, so he received his early education at the local Mercy Convent, and then at the CBS. His father was an army man, and he had two older sisters, Anne and Margot. He spent some time in Colaiste na Rinne, Dungarvan, and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Society at Emo in 1962, immediately after school, then studied arts, including archaeology, at UCD, 1964-1967. He studied philosophy at Milltown 1967-1969, when the Institute was just beginning. Following two years teaching at Crescent College Comprehensive, and three years of Theology again at Milltown, he was ordained on 21 June 1974, and spent the following year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest: he was later President of the Association of Guidance Counsellors in Ireland. He taught again in Limerick for the next six years, and took up a part-time course in Computer Studies in 1977: computers were to fascinate him for the remainder of his life. He was Rector in Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga 1993-1998 where he spent fourteen years in all: he was Superior in Loyola and Socius to the Provincial from 2002-2008.

All told, he taught for twenty-eight years and was a Superior for seventeen. He enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical in Berkeley, Thailand and Nepal in 2001-2002, where he developed an interest in Buddhism. He left behind several photos titled “The Buddha and I', and his gastronomic exploits made one wonder if he might become a reincarnation of the Buddha. His hobbies were photography and computers; he read no newspapers or serious novels, but was well informed on current affairs, and had a sharp mind and a good memory, as well as a sound knowledge of the Irish Province. He liked TV and DVDs, and his preferred mode of travel was the motorbike, which he relinquished only after a knee operation in May 2008.

After forty-six years of Jesuit service, he died at sixty-four, having been diagnosed with cancer in early October 2008. He spent a little over a week in Cherryfield, and was the first to die in the new building. He died, appropriately, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, after whom he was named. He saw himself as an ordinary man: he was not an academic, and liked the quip: "You can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!' But about fifty years ago he had made a decision: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service: he would serve the world through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it in the demanding times in which he lived.

A Good Man
There's a book of short stories by Flannery O'Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. As the media make clear in giving us our daily dose of bad news, good people do seem hard to find, and God doesn't take them for granted. The gospel text for his requiem was: 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' People who spoke at the Vigil in Gonzaga Chapel the night before his funeral said over and over: He was a good man! Ordinary good people change the world, and many testified that their world was so much the better for John's presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

John came across as a good man because of his love. He loved family and friends, but especially he loved the Society and more concretely the members of the Irish Province. Being a Jesuit was a fulltime reality for him, and it came across. A loyal servant, he was “ready for everything” as Ignatius would have wished. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial six years ago. Punctual and organised, he was at his desk early and working his way through the myriad mundane tasks that fall to a Socius - fifty per day, according to a survey! When the curia moved to Sandyford after the fire, he prepared his lunch daily from the leftovers of the previous evening meal and set off before 8 am, and was a genial Office Manager, with an inimitable style. “Carry on the good work!” was his usual phrase to encourage the staff in their labours.

When his diagnosis was confirmed in mid-October the doctors told him he could go home - “But no work!” In the community we were so amazed at his going back to work immediately that we thought he hadn't understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did we learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that “he was going home to die”. But instead he went home to serve out the remaining weeks of his life to the full. “In all things to love and serve” is an Ignatian phrase which sounds fine, but he took it seriously year after plodding year, until December 2008 - to be exact. After the end-of-year office lunch in the IMI he went home to spruce up for a Christmas meal given by his sister Anne. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum Shopping Centre to do his Christmas shopping. He never had the joy of distributing most of the gifts, which were found after his death. Many of us, I suggest, if we were told at his age that we had three months to live would leaf through A Thousand Places to See Before You Die and ask for an open credit card. Nothing wrong there, but John's loyalty and tenacity brought him in another direction.

Living to the Full
John enjoyed living. He was welcoming and hospitable, believing that enjoyment was to be shared. He engaged fully in whatever he was doing, whether it was a good meal, a sabbatical, a glass of brandy, an administrative issue, a DVD, a discussion, a computer problem, a rugby match on TV, a holiday with his sister Anne. It is said that part of Jewish belief is that eternal judgement will consist in a single question from God: 'Did you enjoy my creation?' To this John would have given a resounding Yes! This quality of complete engagement gave him a certain magnificent simplicity. His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No: he had little space for indecision, and would engage in robust discussion to bring things to conclusions. At his funeral Mass the Provincial, John Dardis, told of times when he himself would return enthusiastically from Rome with a bright idea on how to move Province affairs forward, If John didn't like it he'd bark out: “That's ridiculous! Won't work!” Yet he was open to persuasion and then embrace the project wholeheartedly.

Clearing his plate meant not only enjoying good food to the last bite: it also meant that he liked to delegate. When commissioned to get something done his strategy was to delegate rather than to do the job alone. So in early October last when Fr Jack Donovan died in London, John, who was in hospital at the time, was assigned to see to arrangements, and I got a call: “Will you take this over?” - after which John presumably moved on to the next task. He enjoyed this style of management, somewhat more, perhaps, than those at the receiving end of his phone calls! But it was hard to stay mad with him for long. When after the fire we got into our new house - due to much work on John's part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. It was proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment to choose who got what. “Fine”, said John as he ambled up the stairs, “I'll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!” But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out someone's computer problems after a long day in the office.

It was because he was so massively present to whatever he was doing, whether looking after others or discussing or relaxing, that his death creates such a massive sense of absence. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. Not for him the soft-footed approach: he could be devastatingly honest. I used feel that he used the contradictory mode perhaps a shade too much, and said one day:
“There's not a single statement that one could make in this house that won't be contradicted”. Immediately John shot back: “That's not true!” He could be gruff, “like an angry bear” as someone said “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall passed and blue skies returned. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

Enduring to the End
John not only enjoyed the good things of life: he also endured its painful side patiently. For him there was the post-war Irish scene: firstly de Valera's Ireland, succeeded by economic development, then difficult times, then the Celtic Tiger and its demise. Add into the mix the Northern Ireland conflict, political and financial scandals and endless tribunals. In the religious dimension there was the hope and promise of Vatican Two, and in the Society and the Province the hard-won renewal set in motion by GCs31 and GC32; all of this to be followed by turmoil in the Church and in the Society, and in our relationship with the Vatican, leading to the resignation of Arrupe and its aftermath. Locally there was the spectre of Child Sexual Abuse. The list could continue endlessly. How did John respond to these situations which were not of his making, not part of the plan?

In the seventies a commentator on religious life observed that the contemporary religious would suffer the loss of many things cherished: colleagues, vocations, institutions, thriving apostolic works etc. So it has been, and John's stance was to face the difficulties and diminishments within the Province and the Church honestly, without growing cynical or indifferent. Ignatius speaks of “courage in difficult enterprises” and John had that. He worked energetically against the corporate depression which can accompany diminishing numbers and their consequences. Long before GC35 he promoted the renewal of the Province with a project titled “Sparks Light Fires” and no one who attended Province events over the past decade will have failed to notice John's recurring bidding prayer for an increase in vocations.

Closer to home was the untimely death of his sister Margot. Then on Good Friday 2007 there was the Loyola fire and the loss of everything, including for him eighteen treasured volumes of photos of family, friends, Irish Jesuits etc. (cf the interview he gave to Paul Andrews, shortly after the fire, but not published until one year later - Summer 2008, Interfuse #136) It was his mammoth task with Bill Toner, John Maguire and others, to deal with the curial aftermath of the fire, to find new premises for the community, and to help each member to find appropriate ways of coping. This he did by gathering us regularly for a Revision de vie, followed by a Eucharist and a meal, together with some sessions in post-traumatic stress. He dealt with all of this in a healthy matter-of-fact way, though he used to refer to the fire as the elephant in the corner - something he had not yet fully integrated, despite his dedicated efforts at (retail therapy' on that Good Friday afternoon.

The Perfect Patient
In May 2008 he had a knee replacement; this meant the end of motorcycling, hard for him but there were no complaints. In August his incipient deafness was noticed and humbly acknowledged. In October, out of the blue, began his final illness. He was massively practical about it: “The news is bad!” “I'm going home to die!” “This is how it is. We'll see”. He had to let go of a planned trip to the Holy Land, though he sneaked a “pilgrimage” with his sister to Fatima in early December, and regaled us afterward with tales of the delights of a Lisbon hotel.

John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast, weeks before he died, I said to him: “You're very patient”. He replied: “What else can one do?” “Well”, I said, ferreting around in my own feelings and drawing on my Kubler-Ross theories about stages of dying, “you could choose depression or rage or self-pity?” “I'd hate that”, he said. Days before his death, when his breathing had become difficult, a visitor asked him how he was feeling. “Smashing!” was the one-word reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health: so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps those who were close to him saw something of the meaning of that. “Let them give no less edification in sickness than in health” for there was much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And good things came out of this tragedy of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself. he couldn't see why this should be. But people found him lovable, presumably because they experienced that he loved them. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential.

Joy
So much for the outer side of his life. What about the inside? At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had the slogan: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! John never got to elaborate on the Retirement Plan, for he was not an eschatological speculator, but perhaps he would have agreed with the earlier John Donne, 1572 - 1631, who wrote:

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what did he wake to? To the welcome and congratulations of those gone before him, Jesuits and family and friends, as he staggered over the line on December 27th. Then the multiple overwhelming by God: “the Lover gives all to the beloved” as Ignatius says at his mystic and cryptic best. Next, one can imagine John sniffing the air for hints as to where the great banquet might be set! Then there's the unalloyed joy of great companionship, the excitement of the vastness of the world of God, agility of body and so on. Then a commissioning - placed over many things and asked by God to be a caring presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating endlessly on the inside what we celebrate fitfully and in hope. He is all Joy.

Here is another farewell, different, spoken by Jim O'Higgins at John's Month's Mind, and copied as it was forwarded:

Fifty years ago the face of welcome
In his solid frame, from John the delegate
To call my name and he greeted me
To that large Kildare domain
The prefect later on, that John
sent out again to ease the tense
the taut and restrain the mini gangs

John the true disciple of Loyola
Guidance counselled young hope
from west to east and once again
he's called to mediate between
the grief of parents of the suicided child
Or the dumbfounded ire of the mother
of a manslaughtered son and the why
the what of that God of his
and his own priestly purpose
Or ask in whose image we are made
or where was The Virgin in the keep
at Lourdes on that drowning day

John, called to jollify and feast with
with friends, a Friar Tuck, called
Bonzo, Buster or, with bourgeois respectability, Fr. Bun
The love of Table talk in his so communitaire
of duties in an S.J. house or sitting
in a kitchen ,one leg on the bench
and, not quite a keg ,upon the table
Or in the deep affection of his
nieces and proud nephew in Dublin
six, fourteen, or four of Tullamore
And for the many pieces de resistance
He could rely on his beloved Anne to
see him well ensconced in some
exotic Resto or Hotel Excelsior
Or in sweet Silverdale
Or Long Island Sound

John gifted with the rooted gem
of insight in himself so he could discern
what he could do within
what was beyond his reach
he humbled hubris and defaced its mask
in a paradox of earthy tongue
relating us and our mere creaturehood
To Immanence and Who it was we served
Chuckling his falstaffian way
to his next set of minutes or report

John called to be the techie in I.T.
The Socius systems, Sounder out
The teller of the truth without the frills
And yet again being sent on far flung
Flights with postcards from the edge
in misspelt greetings from some land
remembering and reminding us
in that unsure hand of what we are to him
and we know now what he is to us

John who could be nothing but a goodly man
You leave us for a while on the day of your
own feast of John loved Disciple.

Another appreciation, different in style, from Michael Hurley:
The thoughtfulness of the following letter from John is deeply moving; the circumstances make it more so, and the strained light heartedness at the beginning and end makes it still more moving.

Dear Michael,
May we bury the hatchet for the moment in exchange for prayers for my tryst with the medicos, hopefully from tomorrow. Learnt this morning of liver trouble and bile duct blockage — yellow as a canary, I am. This is by way of communicating!
John A. Dunne, SJ (September 25, 2008 4.51 pm)

The bone of contention between John and myself was my continuing emphasis on communication in the Province, or, rather (as I experienced it), the lack of such communication: in particular between M and the rest of us. I had suggested a Curia Newsletter and sent him a draft of a letter about the matter - which I thought of sending to a Delegate - and later a draft of a few words I might possibly say at a Delegates Friday lunch. He didn't like my drafts, especially a suggestion that if we knew what was happening at IMI we might be less worried about whether our (sic) money was being used responsibly.

Preparations for the visit of the Assistant halted these discussions. What happened next was that Kevin O'Rourke, our Rector, sharing some of my concern, made arrangements for a visit here of three of the delegates; he did so independently but with the knowledge and encouragement of John. This turned out to be a very happy, successful, community event at which I took the liberty of broaching the idea of a Curia Newsletter.

John and I were not at daggers drawn, far from it, but his letter, so remarkably thoughtful, so magnanimous, did enable us, in the time he had left, to communicate not only amicably but affectionately. Which I trust will continue.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2009

Obituary

John Dunne SJ

Fr. John Dunne died on the 27th of December 2008. His death drew condolences from near and far, not just within Ireland, but also from as far away as Zambia and Malawi. However, it will be his contribution to Gonzaga which will receive most attention here.

He came from Summerhill, Co. Meath, received his early education in Trim and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Jesuits in 1962, studied Arts in U.C.D., with a particular interest in archaeology. He was ordained in 1974, which was followed by a year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest.

He taught at the Crescent College Comprehensive for six years, during which he took up a course in Computer Studies. Computers fascinated him for the rest of his life.

He was superior in Colaiste Iognaid, Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga from 1993-1998, where he spent 14 years in all. From 2002-2008 he was superior in Loyola House, Eglinton Road, where he was Socius (assistant) to the Provincial. All told, he taught for 28 years and was superior for 17. After 46 years of Jesuit life, he died of cancer, aged 64.

He saw himself as an ordinary man. He was not an academic. He liked the quip “you can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!” His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No. He could be devastatingly honest and gruff “like an angry bear” as someone said, “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall would pass and blue skies return. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

It was in 1987 that he came to Gonzaga, remaining here for fourteen years. He was superior of the Jesuit community from 1993 to 1998. He made many contributions to the life of the school, but particularly in Career Guidance, Computer Studies, pastoral care and photography.

He was a very active member of the Career Guidance Association, being its president for many years. He transformed the place of such guidance in Gonzaga, and is remembered very genuinely and gratefully by many of the past pupils because of his professional services.

It was Fr. John who basically introduced Computer Studies to the school. He began with the staff, and many of his colleagues have expressed their indebtedness to him. The acquisition of equipment and its location provided many problems, but John's optimism overcame them all. That having been achieved he offered evening classes to interested parents.

In the field of pastoral care he involved himself in many areas. He brought groups of 6th year boys to London with the annual Dublin pilgrimage. He developed what was known as the “urban plunge”, where 6th years lived in the inner city. He organized retreats for the senior students and it was under Fr. John that the practice of having a "forum" for the parents of each year was initiated and which has proved such a blessing for both school and parents.

Throughout the school year he was always on the watch-out for the opportunity of a good photograph. Many a "Gonzaga Record” benefited from his enthusiasm. It was most unfortunate that most of his collection was lost in the fire at Loyola House, Eglinton Road on Good Friday 2007.

He had a sabbatical year 2001-2002 where he first studied at Berkeley, California, and then travelled to various Jesuit missions in Asia and Africa. Later in 2002 he was appointed Socius to Fr. Provincial and became superior of the community there. He made the Province much more email friendly, thereby improving its efficiency. In October 2008 he was diagnosed with cancer, but he continued working. On the 19th December he was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, where he died on Saturday 27th December, the feast of St. John the Evangelist.

Good came out of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself; he could not see why this should be. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they could cheerfully have taken his place - they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. Yet this brief account shows that John did indeed fulfil his potential in a most varied and generous way. He was truly a blessing for all in Gonzaga College SJ.

JAB SJ

Fitzsimon, Christopher, 1815-1881, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1308
  • Person
  • 03 July 1815-24 June 1881

Born: 03 July 1815, Broughall Castle, Frankford, County Offaly
Entered: 13 April 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 10 September 1843
Final Vows: 02 February 1852
Died: 24 June 1881, Stonyhurst, Lancashire, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education was at Downside OSB and then at Stonyhurst.

After First Vows he did studies and Regency at Stonyhurst, and began Theology.
1840 Sent to Louvain for Theology, and Ordained at Liège 10 September 1843.
1844 Sent to Stonyhurst for some studies and teaching. 23 September he was appointed Professor of French, Greek and Roman History as well as Prefect of Juniors.
1846 He continued at Stonyhurst, teaching French and History and as Confessor to the Juniors, and by 1847 was also president of the Sodality.
1849 He became a Missioner at Stonyhurst.
1850 Sent for Tertianship at Liesse, France.
1851 He returned to his work at Stonyhurst, and was then appointed Socius to the Provincial 1851, serving Fathers Etheridge, Johnson and Thomas. Until 08 August 1860.
1860-1863 Returned to his former work in Stonyhurst, and by 1862 was also Minister and Prefect of Juniors.
1863 He was appointed Vice-Rector of St Beuno’s and Prefect of Studies.
1864 He was appointed Rector and Master of Novices at Roehampton and a Consultor of the Province.
1869 He was sent to Beaumont as Spiritual Father and President of the Sodality.
1871 He returned to Stonyhurst again as Minister, Spiritual Father and President of the Sodality.
1875-1878 Sent as Spiritual Father to the London Residence.
1878 He was sent to Holy Name Manchester as Missioner and Spiritual Father. here he was attacked by cancer of the face and head, the roots of which had been present for more than thirty years. After a long and agonising illness of many months, borne with superhuman patience, he died a holy death at Stonyhurst 24 June 1881, aged 66, and on the feast of John the Baptist and the Sacred Heart , to whom he was so devoted.

Fogarty, Philip C, 1938-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/857
  • Person
  • 04 September 1938-26 November 2019

Born: 04 September 1938, Taylor’s Hill, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 26 November 2019, Sewickley PA, USA

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

Raised at Taylor’s Hill, Galway
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at Chantilly France (FRA) studying
by 1972 at San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) studying
by 1973 at University of London (ANG) studying
by 1974 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1992 at Wernersville PA, USA (MAR) sabbatical
by 2009 at Pittsburgh PA, USA (MAR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/phil-fogarty-rip/

Living the Jesuit vision: Phil Fogarty RIP

The funeral Mass of Philip Fogarty SJ took place in Sewickley, Pittsburgh on Tuesday 3 December 2019. The celebrant was Michael Shiel SJ who had flown over with fellow Jesuit and socius Declan Murray SJ. Cathal Doherty SJ flew from San Francisco to join all those who had gathered to give thanks for Philip’s life of service. Because he suffered from severe heart trouble over the past 20 years Philip spent a good bit of time in the United States but he continued to work both in Ireland and the states, “a testament to his courage” as one Jesuit colleague put it. He was well known as a retreat giver and writer and for the past 10 years in Sewickley, near Pittsburgh in the USA. He spent the latter part of his life engaged in the spirituality apostolate, both at home and with the CSJ Sisters in the USA. Philip had lived a full life in the Irish Province. Much of the early part of his ministry was in education, he taught in Coláiste Iognáid and spent 11 years as headmaster of Clongowes Wood College. Writing in the Clongownian (1987) about his time there the late Michael O’Dowd (former deputy headmaster) said Philip ‘eventually built Clongowes in his own image and likeness’. On hearing of his death, the current deputy headmaster of Clongowes, Martin Wallace, penned a moving tribute for the school’s website, echoing Michael O’Dowd’s sentiments. “As Headmaster, Philip was the leader of a remarkable triumvirate that included Michael O’Dowd as Deputy Headmaster and Fr. Michael Sheil SJ as higher line prefect. Soft-spoken and pipe smoking, Philip ran the school with kindness and compassion, relying on the goodwill of all, but backed up by his two enforcers, to ensure that a culture of mutual respect reigned in every domain of the college. Fairness, consistency and respect for all were the pillars of his authority and it would be no exaggeration to say that he transformed the culture of Clongowes through his vision of what a Jesuit school should be, his communication of that vision at every opportunity, and through the way he lived that vision in his interactions with every person in the community.” Philip frequently wrote for The Sacred Heart Messenger and published with Columba Press and Messenger Publications. For the last twenty years, his health was increasingly compromised. But as his friend and current editor of the Messenger, Donal Neary, notes, “He had a wonderful approach to his ailments and he tried to live as positively and as fully as he could, enjoying the fact that he was constantly defying all the medical prognoses.” His most recent visit home was in April 2019, where he enjoyed a great visit with his sisters, family and the community at Leeson St. Over the past two weeks, he had been detained in the ICU of the UPMC hospital with significant medical issues, but was released home from there only last Saturday. He wrote saying he was very happy to be at home and expected to recover. However, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday morning, November 26th in the care of the CSJ Sisters at Sewickley, and he will be buried with them there in their community plot. He was 81 years old. “We are grateful for his life” says Donal, adding “and his fellow Jesuits and family give thanks for having known him and his friendship. May he rest in peace.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fitting-tribute-for-phil/

Fitting tribute for Phil
Clongowes Wood College SJ celebrated the life of Philip Fogarty SJ with a special memorial Mass in the school sports hall, on Sunday 19 January 2020. Phil died last year in America on Tuesday 26 November. Jesuits, teachers, former staff, family, friends, pupils and past pupils all gathered to pay tribute to Philip who was headmaster in the school from 1976 to 1987.
Michael Sheil SJ said the Mass and gave the homily, which included a touching account of the many years he shared with Phil. And he made special mention of Phil’s ground-breaking re-imagining of Clongowes and its ethos as a Jesuit boarding school.”
Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes conducted the Schola choir comprised of current students. They sang the Requiem aeternam introit and the Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. “ It felt like a homecoming requiem Mass for our former headmaster,” said Cyril, adding that “It was a very moving liturgy. To see the numerous past pupils flooding through the doors before the liturgy ever began was testament enough to ‘Phili’, as he was affectionately known.”
Phil’s sister Oonagh was present along with members of the Mc Keagney family who laid a framed portrait of Phil before the altar. The picture was later presented to Oonagh. Sr. Catherine Higgins, a great friend of Phil’s, travelled from the United States especially for the occasion. ”The whole event was a testimony to the affection and esteem in which Phil was held,” Cyril reflected, adding that “The pods of conversation and the reluctance of people to leave the sports hall after the Mass was over was striking in its manifestation of the legacy of goodwill which Phil left behind.”
One of those legacies was Phil’s promotion of an ecumenical friendship between Clongowes and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen which began 40 years ago. There is still a strong bond between the school and Ms Janet Goodall and family, long-time friends of Clongowes and Portora, attended the Mass. Present also were neighbours and friends from the King’s Hospital including Mark Ronan, the headmaster of King’s Hospital, his wife Fiona, Mr John Aiken, Deputy Head, Ms Jenny Baron and number of pupils.
Guests did eventually leave the sports hall moving to the refectory for a hearty Sunday lunch. Phil would have approved.

Early Education at Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway, Clongowes Wood College, SJ

1959-1962 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1962-1965 Chantilly, France - Studying Philosophy at Séminaire Missionaire
1965-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 San Francisco, CA, USA - Studying Educational TV at St Ignatius College Prep
1973 Mount St, London, UK - Studying Educational TV at London University
1973-1974 St Asaph, Wales, UK - Tertianship at St Bueno’s
1974-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Audio Visual Organiser for SJ Schools
1975-1976 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Teacher; Promoting TV Ed in SJ Schools
1976-1987 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Headmaster; Editor “Clongownian”; Teacher
1987-1988 Sabbatical in South Africa (till Jan 1988)
1988-1991 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Headmaster; Director Pastoral Care; Province Consultor (from Jan 88)
1991-1992 Wernersville, PA, USA - Sabbatical at Jesuit Centre of Spirituality
1992-1995 Sandford Lodge - Superior; Chair Young Adults Board; Provincial Team; Provincial Representative at NCIR; Chaplain to Jesuit Alumni/ae; Chair JVC Board
1994 Bursar
1995-1996 Leinster Road - Superior; Bursar; NCPI; Young Adults Delegate
1996-1999 Loyola House - Superior; Provincial Socius; Provincial’s Admonitor; Province Consultor; Provincial Team; Delegate Young Adults; Past Pupils Apostolate
1999-2019 Leeson St - Writer; Assists CLC; Assists LRA; Assists Cherryfield
2003 Hospice Chaplain (USA)
2009 Sewickley, PA, USA - Writer;19th Annotation Retreats in Parishes; Spiritual Direction; Assists the Jesuit Collaborative in Pittsburgh

◆ The Clongownian, 2020

Obituary

Father Philip Fogarty SJ : Living the Jesuit Vision

On 26th November 2019 we heard the sad news that Philip Fogarty (OC'57), reforming Headmaster of Clongowes (1976-1987) passed away in the United States, where he had been living for much of the last twenty years, due to the severe heart trouble from which he had been suffering. Philip's death sparked an out-pouring of fond and affectionate memories from former students, colleagues and friends both within and without the Society of Jesus touched by the life and love of this most remarkable man, who may truly be said to have lived the Jesuit vision...

Philip Fogarty was born on 4th September 1938 at Taylor's Hill in Galway. Following early education at Coláiste lognáid SJ, Galway he entered Clongowes in 1952 and, when he graduated five years later he was a member of the Sodality of Our Lady and the Choir as well as Reachtaire of An Cumann Gaelach. His membership of the Dramatic Society earned him a role as a “Reaper” in “The Tempest”, while in the winter session of the House Debates he opposed a motion 'That the British Empire has been, in the main, a force for good'. Three months after leaving Clongowes the young man entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Emo, where he spent two years before moving to Rathfarnham Castle to study Arts at UCD. His regency was spent in Clongowes (1965-68) where he also edited “The Clongownian”. Following his Ordination in 1971 a love for educational TV was sparked in San Francisco and nurtured at London University leading to his role as Audio Visual Organiser for SJ Schools (1974-75). He returned to Clongowes in 1976 as Headmaster, editor of “The Clongownian” and teacher. Following his eleven years as Headmaster the longest in the modern role to date) and a sabbatical in South Africa he returned to his other alma mater and his native land when he was appointed Headmaster at Coláiste lognáid (1988-91).

Because he suffered from severe heart trouble over the past twenty years Philip spent a good bit of tirne in the United States but he continued to work both in Ireland and the States, “a testament to his courage” as one Jesuit colleague put it. He spent the latter part of his life engaged in the spirituality apostolate, both at home and with the CSJ Sisters in the USA. He was well known as a retreat giver and writer for the past ten years in Sewickley, near Pittsburgh. Philip frequently wrote for The Sacred Heart Messenger and published other works with Columba Press and Messenger Publications. Despite the fact that, for the last twenty years his health was increasingly compromised his friend (and current editor of “The Messenger”) Donal Neary notes “He had a wonderful approach to his ailments and he tried to live as positively and as fully as he could, enjoying the fact that he was constantly defying all the medical prognoses. His most recent visit home was in April 2019, where he enjoyed a great visit with his sisters, family and the community at Leeson St”.

For two weeks before his death he had been detained in the ICU of the UPMC hospital with significant medical issues but was released home from there and expected to recover. However, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of November 26th in the care of the CSJ Sisters at Sewickley, Pittsburgh and was buried in their community plot following his Funeral Mass on December 3rd. The celebrant was the rector of Clongowes, Fr Michael Shiel SJ, who had flown over with fellow Jesuit and socius Declan Murray SJ. Cathal Doherty SJ flew from San Francisco to join all those who had gathered to give thanks for Philip's life of service. “We are grateful for his life” says Donal Neary, adding “and his fellow Jesuits and family give thanks for having known him and his friendship”. May he rest in peace.

-oOo-

A Legacy which has Endured

We received news of the passing of Fr Philip Fogarty SJ in late November. Philip came as a new broom to the school, arriving with Fr Michael Sheil SJ as Higher Line Prefect and, together with the then Deputy Headmaster, Michael O'Dowd, they ushered in a new era with changed relationships and a friendlier atmosphere; a legacy which has endured, and is such a key feature of Clongowes life today. Philip was clearly a man of great vision and someone to whom we owe an enormous debt of gratitude. He abolished corporal punishment in Clongowes well before other schools in the country had the courage to do so. The leadership of schools has probably never been easy. In today's climate, with its financial pressures on all of us, the increasing volume of regulation from external agencies and; for Clongowes as a Catholic school, the growing secularisation of the culture around us, the demands are considerable. They were doubtless considerable for Philip too and i am really struck by his style of leadership, and the warmth with which he is remembered. Those who knew him use words such as considerate; kind, compassionate, and fair to describe him - something for all of us to draw inspiration from:

Mr Chris Lumb, Headmaster

-oOo-

A Truly Apostolic Priest

Homily at the Memorial Mass for Fr Philip Fogarty, SJ

He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times - so that many will thank God for your gifts ... (2 Cor. 9: 10-15)

When I was asked to celebrate the Funeral Mass of Phil last month in Pittsburgh I happened upon the text of our first reading and it struck me as being very appropriate for the occasion of his passing to new life because of the legacy he has left behind. Phil was a year behind me when we were students here in the 1950s and we both returned here in 1976 as a double act - he as Headmaster and I as Higher Line Prefect. It was a time of great strife and suffering in Ireland and so to-day, as we celebrate Church Unity Sunday in more peaceful times and welcome our friends from The King's Hospital on their annual visit as well as some members of staff from Portora it is important to recall Phil's ecumenical initiative in setting up a twinning with Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. We gather also to thank God for the gift that he was to the Society of Jesus in treland and to Clongowes, fellow Jesuits and former pupils. We gather as the Christian Community mourning his passing - sad, yet in a deep way rejoicing in the New Life that is his. As humans we share our sense of the loss of a wonderful priest in service to his Lord and that sharing helps ease our individual pain. It is also a time for our Community when we reminisce on his life. We give thanks and - even in sorrow -laugh at shared memories. Surely that is how Phil himself would have wanted it to be, as his spirit lives on in the lives of each of us. For, as is promised to those who have received the gift of Christian Faith, Phil is indeed alive in that New Life to which God called him at his Baptism. Through all our pain we find reason to be happy for him because of what he has gained and we can give thanks to God for His gifts to Phil and for His gift of Phil to us as, in thanksgiving, we now offer that gift back to God. So as Christian believers we can, in spite of our pain, give thanks for his life and offer him back to God.

And what do we offer? The life of Philip Fogarty was a full, loving and sharing one, the life of a wonderful person and a truly apostolic priest. And a good listener. It is a very special gift to be a good listener and Phil received that gift in full and was also a very reflective educationalist. We all have our own memories and stories, precious and personal so, at his passing, it is only natural that a tsunami of thoughts should come flooding in, each of us with our own tale to tell. At one Farewell Dinner for our Final Year Students, I mentioned that Phil had taught me Irish dancing when in France and the Headmaster was prevailed upon to do a jig. His performance received a standing ovation - but it came at a price, for Phil spent most of the following summer holidays in plaster in hospitali He was also an inveterate pipe-smoker and one day went to visit a kindred chain-smoker soul in hospital. His friend, lying in bed wearing an oxygen mask, saw him enter; her eyes lit up and, as he approached to give her a hug, she whipped off the mask, grabbed his smoke-impregnated scarf and took a wonderful whiff of tobacco and replaced the mask!

For the past 20 years Phil lived out his life of giving in a way none of us could have expected. I am reminded of what Jesus said to Peter when, after the Resurrection, He met the Apostles on the Lakeshore after a night's fruitless fishing: When you were young - you went where you wished - but, when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will lead you. I am also reminded of Portuguese proverb, which says that God writes straight with crooked lines! How wonderfully did God tead Phil in what was to be the twilight of his life, using his illness all those years ago to bring him to Pittsburgh to do so much good for so many and to become, in turn, the gift of someone in need of the care of those whom God was calling to show just how much they could love Phil in return. And here I must pay tribute to the Sisters of St Joseph, whose home-from-home was their special gift to their very special person sent to them by God.

Now, as we offer him back to God, we offer all those gifts and memories and our thanks for all that he meant to us, and we entrust him to the care of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, Who has told us: “Trust in God still and trust in Me! There are many rooms in My Father's house. I am going now to prepare a place for you - and I shall return to take you with Me - so that, where I am, you may be too”. (Jn 14: 1-6)

For now - like Jesus - Phil has gone ahead of us and is preparing to welcome us when our turn comes to answer God's call home so that we may share together the place Christ has prepared for each one of us. And is it not this that brings us together in the Eucharist this afternoon? Is it not this that makes sense of our being here? God calls us home when He sees best. Late last year, in a moment unnoticed and unmarked by the world, Christ did indeed return to call Phil home in his sleep in a meeting known only to himself and his Lord. He called His good and faithful servant to come and share in his Master's happiness. Phil has followed his Master who was his Way - Truth - Life. He had known for so long the place to where he would be going. It was for Phil the celebration of what the ancient Roman martyrology proclaims as the Christian's dies natalis - his heavenly birthday - Phil's birth into New Life. So often in life we say 'good-bye'. It comes from the ancient wish or prayer 'May God be with you' ('Dia dhuit' in Irish) and to day we say it to you, Phil, at this, our last Mass with you and we pray in these words:

May Christ enfold you in His Love and bring you to eternal life. May God and Mary be with you.

We will pray for you, Phil - may you also pray for us. And so we say farewell and - until we meet again - Good-bye!

Fr Michael Sheil SJ, Rector

-oOo-

Fairness, Consistency and Respect for All

When Philip Fogarty stepped down as Headmaster of Clongowes in 1987 after eleven years at the helm, his deputy, the late Mr Michael O'Dowd wrote an appreciation of his time in Clongowes “The Clongownian” 1987, 3-4). Now -32 years later - it has fallen to one of Michael's successors, Mr Martin Wallace, to put pen to paper in memory of the man most associated with the development of the modern Jesuit school that we know today...

...[Philip) eventually rebuilt Clongowes almost in his own image and likeness. - Michael Byrne

On Tuesday, 26th November, Seamus Aherne, Declan O'Keeffe, Tony Pierce and I gathered with unqualified sadness to mark the passing of Philip Fogarty - Uncle Phil - the man who employed and inspired us during that belle époque (or so it seemed to us] from the late seventies to the mid eighties. As Headmaster, Philip was the leader of a remarkable triumvirate that included Michael O'Dowd, Deputy Headmaster, and Fr Michael Sheil SJ, Higher Line Prefect, Soft spoken and pipe smoking, Philip ran the school with kindness and compassion, relying on the good will of all, but backed up by his two enforcers, to ensure that a culture of mutual respect reigned in every domain of the college. Fairness, consistency and respect for all were the pillars of his authority and it would be no exaggeration to say that he transformed the culture of Clongowes through his vision of what a Jesuit school should be, his communication of that vision at every opportunity and through the way he lived that vision in his interactions with every person in the community. So much of what he changed about Clongowes is encapsulated in his very firm decision to abolish corporal punishment long before anyone else in the country had the courage or conviction to do so. While he always sought consensus, there were certain issues that were fundamental to his understanding of community.

Philip always enjoyed seeing the humorous side of human affairs and relished the convivial gatherings that became known as 'The Tuesday Night Club', a sortie to one of the local establishments for what might be called an offsite meeting'. Everything that was happening in the school was laid bare from every angle, allowing Philip, as he puffed his pipe and sipped his Black Bush, to chuckle away at the anecdotes, but also to discern what was really going on amidst the fog of subjectivity that enveloped conversations. He understood instinctively that, when all the rules and regulations, curricula and governance issues are stripped away, a school is a community of relationships, and the quality of those relationships is where the ethos is found. When I arrived in Clongowes in 1979, I was astonished by the gentle culture that emanated from the Headmaster through the whole school. It felt strange to have an immediate sense of trust in a person I hardly knew - especially as he was the boss! I came to learn over the years that this was also the experience of every student and teacher, every employee of and visitor to the school, and that is why Philip is remembered by all with such warmth and deep affection. To quote Michael Byrne again:

By the time I left Clongowes at the end of his first year there, it was slowly beginning to dawn on me that this man was in charge in a way in which no one else that I had ever seen, in my vast experience of seventeen years, was in charge.?

Rest in peace, Philip - we miss you.

Mr Martin Wallace, Deputy Headmaster

-oOo-

His Reign was Mild

The editor of The Clongownian has many reasons to be grateful to the late Philip Fogarty, not least the receipt of a teaching job in Clongowes, when positions in education were not easily come by. He echoes the observations of the previous contributors and adds his own thanks to his erstwhile boss for the many kindnesses shown to him as a newly minted university graduate. As a devotee of the work of another Old Clongownian, James Joyce, the editor has always felt that Philip's holistic view of education draws a direct line from the philosophy of one of his predecessors, Fr John Conmee. Like Philip, Conmee was an Old Clongownian (one of the earliest in 1837) and “the decentest rector that was ever in Clongowes” (1885-91) according to James Joyce, masquerading as Stephen Dedalus in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. He had been Prefect of Studies and Rector in Clongowes, where he oversaw the difficult and sometimes fractious merger with Tullabeg in 1886 and Philip Fogarty supervised an equally momentous period of transition during his time as Headmaster of Clongowes. As another former Headmaster, Bruce Bradley (1992-2000) has observed, “the traditional values of the Ratio Studiorum are embodied in Fr Conmee, and the same may be said of Fr Fogarty. Philip was - above all - a kindly; diligent; sympathetic listener, and we all knew it: Conmee is affectionately remembered again in Ulysses and Joyce's summing up could be easily re-worked by many a pupil; teacher and Jesuit to apply to Philip Fogarty:

He was their Headmaster: his reign was: Mild

Mr Declan O’Keeffe, Editor

-oOo-

The Portora Connection

In February we welcomed visitors from Enniskillen Royal Grammar School (formerly Portora Royal School) to Clongowes. During the visit, Ms Janet Goodall from Enniskillen delivered the following tribute to Philip Fogarty at Morning Prayer...:

On the 26th November Fr Philip Fogarty passed away after a lifetime as a good and faithful servant of God and The Society of Jesus. On Sunday two weeks ago, I was honoured to join with you to celebrate his life and his tremendous contribution to the living culture and ethos of Clongowes Wood College. I did not know Fr Phil personally, but I know of his legacy. It was a legacy of friendship and a legacy of bravery. In 1980, when Fr Phil was Headmaster at Clongowes, Ireland was a different place, and Northern Ireland was a very different place. The series “Derry Girls” has painted the picture of how the people of Northern Ireland found normality and dark humour during “The Troubles”, but in 1980, 80 people died in Northern Ireland as a result of sectarian violence. This week 40 years ago three people were killed, two Catholics and one Protestant; one was from Fermanagh, and one was just a child. Northern Ireland was not a safe place. Unsurprisingly most people in the Republic of Ireland just chose not to go there. Fr Philip Fogarty knew that peace could not be achieved without first understanding our differences but also our shared Christian values and identities. His part in seeking this understanding was to reach out and propose a twinning with Portora Royal School in Enniskillen, the alma mater of Blessed John Sullivan. This was a risk that could have provoked much criticism. This was a risk that Dr Alan Acheson, then Headmaster of Portora, also took. Today crossing the border into Northern Ireland is marked only by the change of the road signs. In 1980 it could be an intimidating or frightening experience. You queued, you were profiled, your car was searched or your bus was boarded. The noise from overhead military helicopters was deafening. On one journey to Enniskillen, the Clongowes minibus had its tires blown by a UVF roadside trap. I often wonder how Margaret Doyle must have felt, with a bus full of boys, flagging down help, not knowing who, if anyone, would stop. Today as a teacher planning a trip, I risk assess hazards such as “stopping at a service station”; I think that the assessment of the hazard “terrorist booby-trap” might be off the scale.

What was mportant was that the match was played
While life in Enniskillen was quieter than other parts of the North, daily life was punctuated with checkpoints, security alerts, control zones and army patrols. When Clongowes boys arrived at Portora they bore witness to the effect and pain of the troubles. On one visit they were told “I'm not sitting with that Fenian”. How easy would it be to be offended by this? How much harder is it to listen and learn? That Portora boy's father was an RUC officer who was killed by the IRA. That Clongowes boy extended his hand in sympathy for his loss, The Clongownian 1981 reports that Fr Michael brought a cricket team to Portora where they were welcomed with “marvellous hospitality”. It was 11 days after the death of republican hunger striker Bobby Sands. No one remembers the result of the cricket for the result was not important - what was important was that the match was played. Following an overnight visit to Portora, Fr Michael recalls that a student reported to him how a Clongowes “republican” and a Portora “Paisleyite” had kept the dorm awake with their exchanges, They eventually fell asleep after becoming the best of friends.

In November 1987, Enniskillen suffered one of the worst terrorist atrocities of the troubles. The IRA bombed the town's Remembrance Ceremony: 12 lives were lost and 63 were injured. The following year, Clongowes joined Portora at the Cenotaph to share the pain of Enniskillen's community. Again this risk was both political and perilous. In more recent years, An Taoiseach has represented the Irish people at Remembrance in Enniskillen; Clongowes has being doing this for decades. So much has changed in 40 years - the Good Friday Agreement, prosperity, the Internet - but our friendship has been sustained and has thrived through the relationships between both pupils and staff. Today, thousands of Portorans and Clongownians live and work on this island knowing more of each other and our faiths. In 1980 Fr Phil was a visionary; today we are so very grateful for his legacy, which reminds me of the prayer attributed to John Wesley:

Do all the good you can, By all the means you can, In all the ways you can, In all the places you can, At all the times you can, To all the people you can, As long as ever you can.

So today I ask you to live Fr Phil's legacy; reach out when you can listen when you can, and learn when you can. That good could change lives and resonate for decades. Buíochas on chroí leis an Athair Phil, agus buíochas agus beannacht libh go léir. Thank you, Fr Phil and thank you all.

Grene, John, 1807-1887, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/459
  • Person
  • 26 October 1807-04 February 1887

Born: 26 October 1807, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 24 November 1826, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England (ANG)
Ordained: 21 September 1839, Stonyhurst College
Final Vows: 25 March 1848
Died: 04 February 1887, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1834 in Clongowes
by 1839 at Stonyhurst Theol 2
not in 1840 Catalogue

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very wealthy family and let go a significant inheritance to joint the Jesuits.

Early education had been with a secular Priest Father Joseph Joy Dean who kept a small school at Blanchardstown, where he was a PP. he subsequently studied at Trinity.

After First Vows, Regency and Studies - partly in Clongowes - he was sent to Stonyhurst for Theology, and was Ordained there by Dr Briggs 21 September 1839.
1841-1843 He was sent to Clongowes as a Prefect.
1843-1845 He was Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg
1845-1855 He was sent to Belvedere as a Teacher, and the final years also as Minister
1856-1864 He was Minister at Tullabeg, and from 1857 Spiritual Father.
1864-1867 he was back teaching in Belvedere.
1867 He was appointed Provincial Socius to Edmund O’Reilly on 18 December 1867 until August 1873
1873-1877 He was appointed Spiritual Father at Milltown
1877-1883 Provincial Aloysius Sturzo appointed him Province Procurator.
1883 He was relieved of all responsibility, though he never remained idle. He heard Confessions and gave Tridua. He died at Milltown as he had lived, holy 04 February 1887.
He was a man of exceptional gifts, not only was he a Scientist and Mathematician, but also showed great care and accuracy as an annalist, keeping the records of the Province.
He was a man of singular simplicity of character, of a very strong faith and loyalty to the Church and Society. He was also remarkable for his devotion to the Blessed Virgin.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Grene SJ 1807-1877
Fr John Grene was born in Dublin on October 26th 1807, of an old and widely connected family which possessed considerable estates near Limerick. John, like Fr William Bathe in the 16th century, renounced his rights and entered the Society when nineteen years of age.

His early education he received from Fr Joseph Joy Dean, Parish Priest of Blanchardstown, who conducted a school there for some years.Having finished with the school at Blanchardstown, Fr John had entered Trinity College Dublin.

After his ordination at Stonyhurst in 1839, he worked in various capacities in Clongowes and Belvedere. In 1867 he was appointed Socius to the Provincial Fr Edmund O’Reilly. He was next appointed Procurator of the Province. He was a man of exceptional gifts. He was not only a mathematician and scientist, but showed remarkable care and accuracy in keeping the records of the Province. We are indebted to his for two or three MS volumes of these records.

A man of outstanding piety, he was especially noted for his devotion to Our Lady.

He died in 4th of February 1887, in his 80th year.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Grene (1807-1887)

Was born in Dublin of a family who possessed a large estate near Limerick. He was educated at the school conducted by the Rev. Joseph Joy Dean, PP of Blanchardstown and at Trinity College. He was admitted to the Society at Hodder. He was variously employed as master, prefect and minister in Clongowes, Tullabeg and Belvedere before his arrival in the Crescent, where he stayed only one year, 1866-67, as minister of the house. He became secretary to Father Edmund O'Reilly when the latter was appointed Provincial and was later employed as bursar of the Province. He died 4 February, 1887 at Milltown Park. Father Grene was a grandson of Francis Arthur, of Limerick, who suffered much during the British military terror in this city in 1798.

Hanley, Kieran C, 1915-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/603
  • Person
  • 06 October 1915-22 July 1998

Born: 06 October 1915, Castletownbere, County Cork
Entered: 08 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 April 1983, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 22 July 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Naas, County Kildare community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1998

Obituary
Fr Kieran Hanley (1915-1988)

6th Oct. 1915: Born in Castletownbeare, Co. Cork.
1929 - 1934: Educated in Mungret College, Limerick.
8th Sept. 1934: Entered the Society of Jesus at Emo
9th Sept. 1936: First vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham - BA (English History)
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Philosophy
1942 -1944: Belvedere College - H.Dip
1944 - 1949: Milltown Park - Theology.
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1950 - 1962: Tullabeg - Minister & Bursar, Farm from 1953
1962 - 1965: Clongowes - Farms in CWC and Tullabeg
1965 - 1972: Tullabeg - Superior; Assistant in Parish; Minister
1980 - 1981: Loyola - Socius
1981 - 1983: Socius and Superior
1983 - 1989: Clongowes - Rector
1989 - 1993: Manresa - Rector, Socius to Novice Master; Director Spiritual Exercises
1993 - 1997: Clongowes - Assistant in People's Church.
1997: Cherryfield

Kieran went to Cherryfield at the beginning of December 1997. After Christmas he spent some weeks in the Bons Secours Hospital and then returned to Cherryfield where he made some improvements but was still weak. On Sunday, July 12th Kieran had a turn which left him very weak. Since then he had slowly deteriorated and passed away very peacefully on Wednesday morning July 22nd, 1998.

Kieran Hanley SJ was born in Castletownbeare on the southern tip of Co. Cork and maybe his interest in the origins of others grew from his own inordinate pride in the place of his birth. Certainly, he knew where everyone known to him came from. And he seems to have known everyone, whether it was in the years that he ministered in the midlands, or when he supervised in the Jesuit farms, or when he lived in the Jesuit schools.

Although he lived into his eighties and was a prodigious worker, he was no stranger to illness, and indeed he nearly died before completing his theological studies. It was therefore a particular joy for him and his family when he was ordained in 1948 and took his final vows in the Society of Jesus on the 3rd of April 1983.

In 1950 he began a career as an administrator in the Jesuit order that encompassed nearly 50 years. For 23 years, at the college and farm outside Tullamore, he learnt about farming from his neighbours and first displayed his particular gift of absolute integration into the midland's community. He was a bright and willing student, as some who attended his funeral remember, and soon he undertook the direction of the Clongowes farm as well. He was to spend 10 years in Dublin, in Gonzaga College, as superior in the church in Gardiner Street and as assistant to the provincial of the order. Finally he became rector in Clongowes Wood College in the plains of Kildare in 1983 and it was here he was to end his days, except for a four year interlude as rector of Manresa, the retreat house in Clontarf. It was to Manresa that the beautiful Evie Hone stained glass windows were moved and suitably housed under his supervision and he rejoiced in displaying them to visitors.

It was in Clongowes that he seemed most at home and during his 11 years there he got to know every pupil in the school, all their parents and most of their relations. He was a great raconteur and had an infectious sense of humour. His ability to orchestrate and transmit the best of West Cork common sense was an absolute delight and was perhaps the secret of his rapport with people. His advice was worth having and you would not go far wrong if you listened to it.

He died peacefully on July 22nd at Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit nursing home in Dublin, and is buried in the community graveyard at the top of the long avenue in Clongowes, past the large beech trees, where small black crosses with Latin inscriptions mark the graves. A student visited the new grave some days after the funeral and then proceeded up to the castle, only then to realise what Fr. Hanley's death meant when he did not find Kieran walking around and cheerfully welcoming him by name. There are thousands all over Ireland and in the diaspora who will miss this generous man and yet still feel his presence, most of all his family. Only six months before he died he had overcome what seemed certain death, but once more he recovered. Finally he was too weak to fight death anymore.

He was a very modest man who loved to joke about his contributions. He recalled that his novice master, in an effort to foresee the future, foretold distinguished futures for all other novices, but paused when he came to Kieran, and then he said that a holy man would be welcome in any house. The poor man did not know the half of it, but he was right; Kieran Hanley was always welcome in any house. With his other unique attributes there was a true humility. Finally, Fr. Hanley invariably added to his farewells the phrase, “and thank you”. Now, we all reluctantly say farewell, and thank you.

Humphreys, John, 1943-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/846
  • Person
  • 30 April 1943-10 October 2014

Born: 30 April 1943, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1961, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 May 1981, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 10 October 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid, Galway community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1970 at University of Warwick, Coventry (ANG) studying
by 1975 at Rome, Italy (DIR) studying
by 1997 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/loss-leader-john-humphreys/

Loss of a leader: John Humphreys
Last Friday, 10 October, the Irish Jesuits lost one of their great servants. John Humphreys, aged 71, had been unconscious for two days, and increasingly sick with a brain tumour for five months. John was a Limerick man, a passionate fan of Munster rugby. His father, 25 years older than his mother, had died in 1953, leaving 10-year-old John as man of the house. He learned to manage the burdens of responsibility in a calm and kindly style, and as a result was landed with them all his life, as captain of Clongowes, beadle of scholastics during his years of study, Socius (companion and close advisor) to three Provincials, and Rector of several houses. When he was taken sick he was in his ninth year as rector of St Ignatius, Galway, charged with the thankless task of raising two million for school buildings.
John’s administrative gifts would not explain the grieving crowds who packed Gardiner Street church for his funeral. John was loved, and will be terribly missed. His style was upbeat, encouraging and giving. He was a humble man, a quiet listener, ready to learn from his mistakes. A Jesuit friend remembers him as good company at table, not saying much, but smiling at the craic and adding to it.
The source of this warmth became particularly clear in his last months of life. When he learned that his cancer was probably terminal, he lived with it, and his increasing sickness, with good humour nourished by his prayer. He asked a friend to seek out the text of a prayer which touched him, and described his spiritual state:
I asked God for strength, that I might achieve. I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.
I asked for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things.
I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise.
I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.
I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I got nothing that I asked for, but everything I hoped for.
Almost despite myself, my unspoken prayers were answered.
I am, among all men, most richly blessed.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Fr John Humphreys (1943-2014)

30 April 1943: Born in Limerick,
Early education at Sacred Heart College, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1961: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1963: First Vows at Emo
1963 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Science at UCD
1967 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Philosophy
1969 - 1970: Warwick University - Studied Philosophy
1970 - 1971: Clongowes - Lower Line Prefect: Regency
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga Chapel, Dublin
1974 - 1976: Gregorian, Rome --Studied Theology (Residence: S. Roberto Bellarmino)
1976 - 1981: Galway – Teacher
1978 - 1979: Tertianship in Tullabeg; Vice-Rector; Teacher
1979 - 1981: Rector; Teacher; Province Consultor (1978)
15 May 1981: Final Vows at Galway
1981 - 1987: Milltown Park - Rector; Delegate for Formation; Province Consultor
1987 - 1996: Loyola - Socius; Vice-Superior; Province Consultor
1991 - 1996: Socius; Province Consultor. Chair of Board Crescent College Comprehensive
1996 - 1997: Sabbatical – Weston Jesuits, New England
1997 - 1999: Clongowes - Chaplain; Pastoral Care Corordinator; Chair, Vocations Vocations Promotion Team
1998: Acting Socius
1999 - 2002: Loyola - Superior; Socius; Prov. Consultor; Provincial Team; Chair Vocations Vocations Promotion Team
2002 - 2005: Dominic Collins - Province Consultor; Prov. Assistant for Strategic Planning; Delegate for Child Protection; Revisor of Province Funds
2005 - 2014: Galway - Rector; Revisor of Province Funds; Province Consultor; Child Protection Delegate; Spirituality Delegate; Chair Coláiste lognáid Board
2008 - 2014: Galway - Rector; Director of Spirituality Centre; Revisor of Province Funds

Fr. John Humphreys was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19th May 2014. He settled in well though his condition deteriorated over time. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 10th October 2014.

“Past all grasp God-throned behind death with a sovereignty that heeds, but hides, that bodes but abides”. Hopkins stretching words about the mystery of death and God.

I remember my mother told me one time whenever John's father, Louis, would tell a funny story – long before be got to the punch line he would get into helpless fits of laughter and tears were running down his face, so that everyone around started laughing with him and you mightn't get the punch line at all, but it didn't matter. And the same was true of John. The abiding truth of John was that you just felt better in his company - his humanity and palpable goodness made those with him feel good about themselves. An extraordinary gift!

When Sir Thomas More heard about the sudden death of Bishop John Fisher at the hands of Henry VIII because he had refused to bow to his bullying: More said: Ah, Fisher, a lovely man. An amazing number of people would say just the same of John Humphreys: a lovely man.

Karl Rahner, the German 20th century Jesuit theologian, was asked in an interview how could a modern man become or remain a Jesuit. And part of his answer was: my reason is not because the Society of Jesus still has a significant influence within the Church or in the broader world. Rather, it is because I still see around me living in many of my companions a readiness for disinterested service carried out in silence, a readiness for prayer, for abandonment to the incomprehensibility of God, for the calm acceptance of death in whatever form it may come, for the total dedication to the following of Christ crucified.

It could be a pen-picture of John's life-of many others too as Rahner says – but John is the focus today : disinterested service – John was the Provincial's (three of them in fact – Philip Harnett, Laurence Murphy & Gerry O'Hanlon) Socius, or right hand man or consigliere for many years - I used to refer to him as 1A - the servant of us all in the Irish province of the Jesuits – enormously competent; painstaking, generous, good-humoured, compassionate, including his hidden & committed labour in the not-easy area of child-protection. Readiness for prayer: John's faith in Christ Risen was the constant and the anchor in his life, and his abandonment and calm acceptance were astonishing when he suddenly became ill in April and was soon diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour, which claimed his life within 6 months - John's dealing with this was for us Jesuits an embodiment of the P & F in the Spiritual Exercises where Ignatius writes that we were all made to praise, reverence and serve God our Lord, and everything else in creation was made to help us do this - and so we should neither prefer a long life to a short life, sickness to health - John lived this freedom or detachment as it's sometimes called. Mary Rickard, our Province Health Supremo who with John's doctor-niece Sally masterminded John's care, said of his time in Cherryfield, where he was so lovingly cared for, that he was no trouble - So easy to look after – and he just slipped away last Friday afternoon - no trouble - he died as he lived.

However, unlike yourself or myself, John wasn't perfect in every way. My mother again was a source of information on his earlier years - reminding me that she asked John once when he was about eight, how do you say what time is it in French - John replied grumpily claratelle - my mother (a French teacher) tried to correct him, but John wouldn't budge - his father had told him it was claratelle. And claratelle it was. As stubborn as a mule. Loyal to the end. Then shortly afterwards he got his appendix out and he completely changed, she said, and became the delightful John we all knew! John and I use to play Mass too when we were about 10 - though he claimed that I was always the priest and he was the server. Well, that all certainly changed in later life! But he could be fussy and get a bit ratty too - on holiday he once rebuked me for not getting to the washing up. I replied any time I go to it you have it half-done already - it was so strange seeing him completely passive in our most recent holiday last July in Alison & his late-cousin Seamus’ Glandore house.

As you well know, John had a great sense of humour - his great friend Tom told me that John's own father had named a horse Bundle of Fun after John when John was only an infant! he was always ready for a party and dance - Louis told me he burned up many a dance-floor at weddings, had a spontaneous awareness of beauty and beauty responded; he was a charmer ! Always happy for a sing-song -- now he was no Pavarotti and would never have got into OLCS, but he was totally involved, with his head and feet going steadily to rhythm right to the end in the Cherryfield masses. We'd often speak in authentic Limerick accents when together - and he'd get great mileage if I told him I was listening to two men talking at the traffic lights in Limerick one time : and one said the doctor told me to take it easy; Geez, replied the other fella, you'll find that very hard you've done feck all for the last 40 years !

He loved Galway - spending two sustained spells there in the Jes both in the 70s and for the last eight years in many roles-where he has been loved and hugely appreciated, and where he will be, like in so many other places, greatly missed.

John was matured and purified by his life's experience: his father died when he was about 10, his mother (my godmother) was very unwell in her latter years, his lovely sister Reena, and only sibling, died 18 years ago after a long illness and her husband Paddy, 10 years ago – their legacy is the delightful family of his nieces and nephew, Sally, Louis and Judith, whom he dearly loved. And now John, just over the Biblical three score and ten. He had his difficult moments too: having an academic stumble in Warwick University in his earlier years, where he went full of Lonergan philosophy to the uncomprehending English - there he found that so many conversations ended with: Oh, how very interesting – but after all, who's to say?! And all his time of shepherding Jesuit scholastics in Milltown Park was no bed of roses.

I think that this purification made him such an attractive person to so many people - there was nothing threatening or intimidating about John - he was a great listener -- and when he had positions of responsibility he was just so human, so humble, so understanding, so compassionate.

The readings: Wisdom 4: 7-15; 2 Tim 4; 6-8; Mt 5: 1-12 - speak for themselves, perhaps most eloquently Paul's own farewell.

Fr Pedro Arrupe, the then General of the Jesuits, meeting with the provincials of the Philippines some years ago, was trying to clarify the main characteristic to be sought in Jesuits who are making final vows (sjs take final vows a few years after ordination) and thrashing it around for a while someone eventually said 'disponibilité' ie availability, freedom from possessiveness, or a sustained freedom from selfishness and self-concem. Arrupe nodded vigorously and said, that's it. John was available. The late Fr Michael Sweetman was a boy in Clongowes when Fr John Sullivan was there and Sweetman wrote about him: ‘he had wiped out selfishness so completely that you could not fail to see what, or rather Who, was in him.

There was nothing else there: he was all goodness, all Christ.' I think that's not a bad description of John. There wasn't a bone of selfishness left in him. I think Ignatius would have been pretty pleased.
And when you come to think of it isn't that what the Christian life is all about too !

So, while John's death is profoundly sad for us all, it's not tragic, though leaving us all bereft -- he did live over the three score and ten: the psalmist says our span is 70 and 80 for those who are strong - though we thought John was strong! We have all been enormously enriched by him. He was sublimely ready to go. He was just serenely waiting for the call in the last few months. So while we grieve as we must, we grieve not as vague agnostics, but like John himself as followers of Christ Risen, recognising as Paul Claudel wrote that Christ has come not to explain suffering, but to share it and to fill it with his presence.

There is, of course, no way in which anyone's life, not to mention that of a person of John's calibre and influence, can be remotely captured adequately in a homily or a panegyric - it can just be hinted at. But we are surely called to give profound thanks for John, for his life, his companionship and his service. And his swift departure is a call to all of us to get our own lives more into perspective, to shed some of our illusions and foolish obsessions and preoccupations – we are so easily seduced by the ephemeral and unimportant. John's death can teach us how to walk more lightly through life – to live in a less cluttered way - to attend to what is essential & important – to live more nobly and more generously – in the words of St Paul, to live a life more worthy of our vocation. And more in the spirit of inner freedom & serenity that John embodied. Helmut Thielicke, the German Lutheran theologian wrote: “Because of the Resurrection everything is now different: we do not know what is to come, but we do know who is to come. And if the last hour belongs to us, we do not need to fear the next minute”. And in conclusion St John of the Cross pithily: 'In the evening of our lives we will be judged on love'. It's an exam in which I think John will do rather well.

Peter Sexton

Jones, Daniel, 1816-1869, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/454
  • Person
  • 01 February 1816-02 June 1869

Born: 01 February 1816, Banada Abbey, County Sligo
Entered: 15 May 1844, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1852, St Beuno's, Wales
Final vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 02 June 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin

Older brother of James - RIP 1893; Cousin of Nicholas Gannon - RIP 1882

First Irish Province Novice Master 1860-1864

by 1847 in Clongowes
by 1851 at Laval (FRA) studying Theology
by 1854 Teaching at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by1859 at St Eusebio, Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship
by 1860 Mag Nov at Milltown

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Daniel and Maria née MacDonnell (daughter of Miles of Carnacon, Co Mayo). Brother of James RIP 1893 Loyola, Guipúzkoa, Spain

Early education and Prior Park, Bath, then Louvain and Trinity College Dublin. On his father’s death he succeeded to the family estate, became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Sligo, and was once put in nomination to represent the County in Parliament. Growing weary of the world, he determined to consecrate himself to God in the Society of Jesus, joining the Irish Vice-Province, and his Noviceship was at Hodder, 15 May 1844, aged 28.

1846-1847 After First Vows he taught Grammar at Clongowes.
1847-1851 He then studied Philosophy and some Theology at Laval, and the finished his Theology at St Beuno’s, being Ordained there.
1852 Appointed Socius to the Novice Master at Hodder, while completing his Tertianship at the same time.
1854-1857 Professor of Moral Theology at St Beuno’s, and then taught the short course in Hebrew, whilst acting as Spiritual Father.
1857-1858 Sent to Gardiner St as a Missioner, but soon left for Rome, having got permission to make a second Tertianship, since the first was too much interrupted at Hodder.
1859 Sent to Milltown as Minister
1860-1864 Having taken Final Vows, he was appointed Rector of Milltown and the first HIB Master of Novices, the Vice-Province having been raised to a full Province in 1860.
1864 He was succeeded by Joseph Lentaigne, so he became Spiritual Father at Milltown, and Director of the Spiritual Exerecises to externs, whilst at the same time being Socius to the Provincial.
1869 He died a holy death at Milltown 02 June 1869 Milltown aged 53. A full account of his sickness and death appeared in “Letters & Notices” Vol vi, pp 172 seq :
“Father Jones was a profound Theologian, and deeply versed in Canon Law, and was consulted with very great confidence by many persons far and near. is varied talents were enhanced by a singular humility, a most amiable disposition and a childlike simplicity, and he could never be brought to look upon himself as fit for any post of honour or responsibility. Death alone had anticipated his knowledge of the fact that he had been appointed Provincial”.

He was thrice elected Procurator to represent the Irish Province in Rome : 1860, 1863 and 1868.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Daniel Jones 1816-1869
Fr Daniel Jones was born at Benada Abeey County Sligo on February 1st 1916. He made his classical and higher studies at Prior Park, the University of Louvain and Trinity College Dublin. On the death of his father he succeeded to the family estate, and became a magistrate and deputy-lieutenant for Sligo. Growing weary of the world, he entered the Society at Hodder in 1844 for the Irish Province.

In 1850 he was made Socius to the Master of Novices at Hodder, while doing his tertianship at the same time. In 1857-1858 he was a Missioner at Gardiner Street, but soon left for Rome, having obtained leave to make a second tertianship, due to the interruptions of the first one. He was then appointed first Rector of Milltown Park and Master of Novices.

In 1864 he was succeeded as Rector by Fr Lentaigne, he himself becoming Spiritual Father and Director of retreats. Three times successively he was elected Procurator to represent the Irish Province in Rome. He was a holy man, and also the author that handy little booklet on the Morning Oblation. He was so humble in himself that he never considered himself fit for any post of responsibility. Death alone anticipated his knowledge of the fact that he had been appointed Provincial.

He died a holy death at Milltown Park, June 2nd 1869.

Keane, John J, 1867-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/198
  • Person
  • 04 November 1867-05 August 1954

Born: 04 November 1867, Barraduff, County Kerry
Entered: 31 July 1885, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 28 July 1901, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1904
Died: 05 August 1954, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1903 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 29th Year No 4 1954
Obituary :
Father John Keane
Father Keane was born in 1867 at Barraduff, Co. Kerry, Educated at St. Michael's, Listowel and Clongowes, he entered the Society at Dromore in 1885. He studied rhetoric and philosophy in Milltown; taught classics in Clongowes for six years, did theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1901 and completed his tertianship in Tronchiennes. Then followed a memorable period as Master of Juniors in Tullabeg, a short time teaching in Belvedere before going to Milltown in 1913 to become in turn professor of theology and professor of scripture. In 1922 he was appointed Socius to the Provincial; in 1924 he became Rector of Rathfarnham; in 1930 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street where he remained until his death on August 6th, 1954.
His reputation for scholarship, especially in the scriptural, classical and literary spheres, has always been very high. Many who had him as professor of scripture in Milltown or Master of Juniors in Tullabeg or as rector in Rathfarnham can pay tribute to the width and the depth of his learning. Those who knew Fr. Keane intimately will easily imagine him interrupting this inadequate appreciation of his scholarship with a favourite expression of his own “Humbug”! He disliked others humbugging themselves and, perhaps, he instinctively feared that he might himself succumb to self-deception. At any rate, praise always embarrassed him. If anything, he saw, or imagined he saw, his own defects too clearly. Perhaps those who knew him in his prime will agree that this severe self-criticism may have prevented Fr. Keane from writing some work of note.
Yet he could praise himself! He allowed himself indulge his pride in facts that would not upset his humility. Mountain-climbing, walking or cycling were topics on which he would discourse at the slightest opportunity. A contemporary of his remarked recently : “In his young days, Fr. Keane would frighten you! Looking at a map he would say : X to Y, 5 miles - I'll walk that in an hour ; Y to Z, 10 miles - 2 hours more”. His extraordinary physical prowess lasted well on into his old age. When eighty years old, he climbed Croaghpatrick, said Mass, breakfasted very lightly and returned to Achill for the day's first full meal at 8 p.m. No one will say that he pampered himself! He must have been one of the last in the Province to have burned the midnight oil in the literal sense. When Fr. Keane was Master of Juniors in Tullabeg his lamp had to be filled with oil every day whereas the other members of the Community required to have their lamps attended to only once a week!
But the most typical memories of Fr. Keane are those that recall him as a “community man”. Even up to a few years ago he would promptly take over “Domi” to oblige a fellow priest. To be near him at recreation was a real pleasure and a lesson in charity. The “leg-pulling” for which he was noted was never offensive. If one side in a discussion seemed to be getting the upper hand, Fr. Keane would restore the balance by first praising the winning disputant and then by taking the feet from under him. Rarely did be show his hand in a serious discussion except on a religious or patriotic subject. It was no trouble to him to upset a would-be Sir Oracle. His love of fun was so genuine that, even in a bout of pain, he would unfailingly allow himself be distracted by any effort at a joke.
Of recent years he rarely left the house. Indeed, apart from his weekly outing to purchase the Sunday Times (for the cross-word primarily) about the only occasions he put on his hat - he never had much use for an overcoat - were when he attended meetings of the Hospital for Incurables of which he was a governor. His fidelity in attendance at these meetings was most edifying, and many sufferers were deep in his debt for the enthusiasm with which he supported their cause.
He always maintained a priestly dignity with a reserve that seemed sometimes akin to secretiveness. His discomfiture at any serious reference to his talents has been noted already. Remarkable also was his reticence about the very distinguished members of his family. He never complained about the labour of work in the confessional although, up to about two years ago, he occupied a very “exposed” box. Nor did he mention the onerous commissions which “doing Domi” sometimes entails. But he was quick to praise others, to encourage some promising preacher or laud the gifts of some new writer as likely to uphold the high traditions of the Society.
Fr. Keane was a brother of the Most Rev. Patrick Keane, Bishop of Sacramento, U.S.A.; of Very Rev. Wm. Keane, P.P., Valentia; and of Sir Michael Keane, Lt.-Governor of Assam, India, who all predeceased him.
A most irritating form of eczema which had troubled him for years became acute about a year ago. Fr. Keane was one of the few improved by illness. “He suffered agony in good humour”, said one of his Community. His manly spirituality, so unobtrusive during his active years, saved him from self-pity. Even when his mind became so befogged that, at times, he could not distinguish day from night, the intensity of his gratitude to his infirmarian (Br. Colgan) and to the nurses in hospital shone in his every reply to queries as to his welfare. He died in the morning of Thursday, August 5th. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Keane 1867-1954
The reputation of Fr John Keane for scholarship in the scriptural, classical and literary spheres was very high. He had a regard which almost amounted to adoration for his high intelligence and intellectual ability. as Master of Juniors in Tullabeg, he made an undying reputation for himself in the number of honours and scholarships obtained by the Juniors under him.

He was essentially, and before all, a kindly and deeply humble religious, remarkable always for his charity of tongue and deed. He was always ready to do “Domi” for a harrassed brother while stationed in Gardiner Street.

He was a man of extraordinary physique. When 80 years old he climbed Croagh Patrick, said Mass, climbed down and returned to Achill for his days first meal at 8 o’clock.

He was born in Kerry in 1867 of a distinguished ecclesiastical family, one of his brothers was a Bishop (Patrick Keane of Sacramento; also: Sir Michael Keane was Governor of Assam from 1932 to 1937; Fr William Keane P.P., Valentia Island).

Fr Keane died a peaceful and happy death on August 5th 1954 at the ripe age of 87.

◆ The Clongownian, 1955

Obituary

Father John Keane SJ

Father Keane was born in 1867 at Barraduff, Co Kerry. Educated at St Michael's, Listowel and at Clongowes, he entered the Society of Jesus at Dromore in 1885. He studied rhetoric and philosophy in Milltown, and taught classics in Clongowes for six years. As a priest he was successively Master of Juniors in Tullabeg, a teacher in Belvedere, professor of theology and then of scripture in Milltown Park. In 1922 he was appointed Socius to the Provincial; in 1924. he became Rector of Rathfarnham; in 1930 he joined the staff of Gardiner Street, where he remained until his death on August 5th, 1954.

His reputation for scholarship, especially in the scriptural, classical and literary spheres, was always high. But he would interrupt any appreciation of his learning with a favourite expression “Humbug!” He disliked others humbugging themselves and, perhaps, he instinctively feared that he might succumb to self-deception. If anything, he saw, or imagined he saw, his own defects too clearly. Perhaps those who knew him in his prime will agree that this severe self criticism may have prevented Fr. Keane from writing some work of note.

His extraordinary physical prowess lasted well on into his old age. When eighty years old, he climbed Croaghpatrick, said Mass, breakfasted very lightly and returned to Achill for the day's first full meal at 8 pm. No one will say that he pampered himself! In the painful sickness that led to his death, his manly spirituality, so unobtrusive during his active years, saved him from self-pity. “He suffered agony in good humour”, said one of his community. Even when his mind became so befogged that he could not distinguish day from night, the intensity of his gratitude to the infirmarian and to the nurses in hospital shone in his every reply to queries as to his welfare. May he rest in peace.

Lawlor, Gerald P, 1907-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/696
  • Person
  • 15 March 1907-17 January 1994

Born: 15 March 1907, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 05 January 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1979
Died: 17 January 1994, St Xavier’s College, Bihar, India - Ranchi Province (RAN)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931; ASL to RAN : 12 March 1956

by 1930 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerald Lawlor was the fifth and youngest son of seven children. His father, James, had lived in London as a young man and had trained as a stenographer. His mother, Frances Teasdale, was born of a Protestant family, but later became a Catholic. His early education was entrusted to the Presentation Brothers in Dublin, and through the instrumentality of a Loreto Sister he came to experience Jesuit mission-preacher. Lawlor decided to become a Jesuit. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 5 January 1925. His juniorate studies were at Rathfarnham Dublin, when he studied for a BA at the National University of lreland, graduating with honors. He studied philosophy at Chieri, Italy and at Tullabeg. During these years, Lawlor had a growing desire to become a missionary. He was at first interested in China, then Russia, and finally Australia. He was sent to Australia for regency for four years at St Aloysius' College, Sydney. He was a memorable teacher and well liked by the boys. In the autumn of 1936 Lawlor went to England for his theology studies at Heythrop College. He was ordained, 31 July 1939, just weeks before the outbreak of World War II, and returned a year later to Australia. The story of his trip on the boat, which rammed an enemy submarine, was recalled with exciting detail. After his return, he worked in the parish of North Sydney, taught philosophy at Loyola College Watsonia, and taught secondary students at St Louis School, Perth. He was then appointed socius to the vice-provincial, Austin Kelly, in 1947. In mid-January 1952 Lawlor was assigned to the new mission in India, where he was head of the department of English at St Xavier's College, Ranchi. Except for short periods, he was to remain at the college for the rest of his life. Lawlor was experienced as a man of genuine culture and innate courtesy, as well as a distracted, wistful person. He was a remarkable teacher, dramatising what was dull and making it come alive, by illustrating whatever seemed too abstruse or complex. He was also interested in and successful in directing a variety of plays with his own personal flair. He even wrote his own dramas that were well received. Another important ministry of Lawlor's was pastoral care for the English-speaking Catholics of Ranchi. He was experienced as a caring, assiduous pastor, compassionate to all. He was always available to people, his door always open, and his alms giving was most generous, even to the apparently undeserving poor. He was called the “Messiah of the Shunned”, a title given to him for his work with the Missionaries of Charity and for the rehabilitation of leprosy sufferers. He rejoiced in Vatican II, claiming that it gave him a real sense of freedom, but the movement of the Spirit never gave him fluency in Hindi. He was a true charismatic whose usual mode in every relationship was the theatrical-dramatic. Added to that was his personal aura, the air of mystery that seemed to surround him no matter where he went or what he did. The end result was that he always made an impact on people and situations. It was never easy to challenge his ideas and never easy for him to accept those of others. He was a man once encountered, never forgotten.

Note from John Phillips Entry
Regency was at Riverview, where, with Gerald Lawlor, he produced a notebook called “Notes on European History”, designed to remedy deficiencies in the presentation of Catholic aspects of history.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Extracts from a letter from Fr. P. J. Stephenson, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne :
“... We had brilliant results last year. Xavier boys won 28 1st Class Honours and 68 2nd Class Honours in the December Examinations, 1947. Besides that, they won Exhibitions in Greek, French and Physics ; and four General Exhibitions and 2 Free Places in the University. That was a fine record for a class of about 40 boys. Five Xavierians joined the Noviceship this year : four were boys just left school. An Old Xavierian took his LL.B. Degree and became a Dominican.
Fr. Mansfield has been kept going since his arrival. He will be a great addition to our staff as he can take over the Business Class and the Economic Class. Fr. Lawlor came over from W.A. about three weeks ago and has taken up the duties of Socius to Fr. Provincial. Fr. Boylan and his assistant Editor of the Messenger leave for Ireland and Rome soon”.

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).

Maher, Martin, 1861-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/237
  • Person
  • 11 November 1861-12 March 1942

Born: 11 November 1861, Paulstown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 September 1879, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1894, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1900
Died 12 March 1942, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Thomas Maher - RIP 1917

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1898 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1899

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a very respected family and two sons were in the Jesuits. An older brother Thomas was in the Society - RIP 1917.

Note from John Naughton Entry :
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role.

Note from Martin Maher Sr Entry :
He went from there to Willesden in London, and he died there 27 March 1917. His brother, Martin said the requiem Mass.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Martin Maher was educated at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg, and entered the Society from there in 1879. He came to Australia as a priest, working at Riverview from 1899 as prefect of studies. He held the same office at St Aloysius' College in 1901, and left in early 1902 to return to Ireland to become rector of The Crescent. He was one of the most respected administrators of the Irish province. After The Crescent, he was rector of Milltown Park, and served two terms as master of novices, as well as being socius to the provincial and a lecturer in theology.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Tullabeg :
Fr Martin Maher, Master of Novices, celebrated the Golden Jubilee of his entrance into the Society, 16th September. Fr Martin was ordained in 1894. He spent three years in Australia, returning to Ireland in 1902 as Rector of the Crescent. From that date he put in 16 years as Rector (Crescent, Tullabeg, Milltovlm). In 1905 he was appointed Socius to Fr Provincial, and held that office for 6 years. He has commenced his 13th year as Master of Novices. No wonder Fr. Martin received such a huge spiritual bouquet on the occasion of the Jubilee. Fr. Provincial, accompanied by his Socius, carried it down to Tullabeg and presented it in the course of the day. During the evening festivities, Fr. Provincial, and Fr, S. Bartley (Rector of Tullabeg) paid some very well earned compliments to the Jubilarian who made a most kindly reply.

Irish Province News 17th Year No 3 1942

Obituary :
Rev Martin Maher SJ

The death of Father Martin Maher took place at the Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, on 12th March. He was, born at Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, in 1861, and on the completion of his secondary education at Knockbeg, Carlow, and at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, entered the Society of Jesus in 1879 at Milltown Park. There also, in company
with his brother, the late Fr. Thomas Maher, SJ., he completed his philosophical studies, after which he attended University College, Dublin, whose professorial staff included many well-known Jesuit teachers like Fr. John O'Carroll, the famous linguist, Fr. Gerard Manly Hopkins, poet and literary critic, who was Greek professor, Fr. Denis Murphy and others.
In 1885 he began at Belvedere College with the late Fr. Thomas A. Finlay as Rector, his career as an educationalist to which he was to devote many fruitful years of his life both in Ireland and Australia. He was ordained priest in St. Francis Xavier's Church Gardiner Street, by Dr. William Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin on 29th July, 1894, and, on the completion of his theological studies which he pursued with remarkable distinction, was appointed professor of dogmatic theology, a subject he taught for 10 years. For long periods of his life he held posts of importance and responsibility, being Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick, of the Novitiate, St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and of the House of Higher Studies, Milltown Park, for some 20 years. He was Socius to the Provincial for 6 years and Master of novices for fourteen. He was attached to St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, from 1933 to his death, being in charge of the large sodality for young women, whom he addressed with unfailing regularity each week.
A man of great intellectual gifts and personal charm, he was of a quiet and self-effacing disposition. As a. priest of the Catholic Church he served her with rare oneness of purpose and with a profound love of her liturgy and ceremonies, and did much during his life to advance the study and appreciation of sacred music. A talented preacher and giver of retreats he was in much demand during his long life especially among religious communities.
As he would have wished, Fr. Maher died in harness. Up to Christmas he continued to direct his sodality, Then increasing weakness forced him to confine himself to the confessional, where he worked up to the week-end before his death.
He became aware some months before his death that the best medical skill could do nothing for him, and often spoke of his approaching end. On March 10th, two days before his death, he was able to celebrate Mass, but, at his own urgent request, was anointed that day. The following clay he remained in bed, but was so bright and cheerful that it was hard to realise the end was so near. That night it was arranged that he should be visited at short intervals. The Father who visited him at 4 a,m. found him sleeping peacefully, but two hours later he was found to have passed away. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Maher1861 SJ 1712-1942
Fr Martin Maher will best be known in the Province as a Master of Novices, though he filled with success, many administrative and academical posts from Rector to Provincial Socius, from teacher of Humanities to Theology professor, He was Rector of Crescent, Tullabeg and Milltown Park over a space of twenty years, Socius to the Provincial for 6 years, and Master of Novices for fourteen.

Born at Paulstown in 1861, he entered the Society at Milltown in 1879. He was a gifted man who developed every talent the Lord gave him, a good preacher, a much sought after giver of retreats. He was very keenly interested in sacred music and the liturgy, and di much during his various periods of office to promote both.

A man of deep and simple piety, he was rather shy in manner and reserved. He was a model of the rules of modesty, most meticulous in his observance of the rules and completely dedicated to his duty of the moment, whatever it was, big or little. He told his novices that every day at the visit to the Blessed Sacrament, he used to pray for the grace of a happy death. His prayer was answered in a signal manner.

Although suffering from an incurable disease, he remained working up to two days before his death, dying as he wished, in harness and fortified by the last anointing on March 12th 1942.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1942

Obituary

Father Martin Maher SJ

“The passing of Father Martin Maher means to me the loss of a dear friend. This must be true too in the case of a great number he met in his long, devoted ministry. When last we met he reminded me that it was 51 years since he taught me Mathematics at Belvedere. I am glad his labours are over - I think he suffered a good deal in recent years. Pray accept my sympathy for yourself and his colleagues at Gardiner Street for the loss of this holy priest”.

These words of Richard Cruise are we think the most fitting tribute that we can pay to Fr Martin Maher in the short space at our disposal. Fr Maher taught in Belvedere in the five years preceding 1890 and again in 1899. Subsequently he held almost every possible position of trust and responsibility in the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and, despite several severe illnesses, he worked for souls with the utmost devotion to duty right up to the week of his death on 15th March, 1942. Requiescat in pace.

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Martin Maher SJ

The death has occurred at St. Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner St., of Rev. Martin Maher, S.J., one of the best known members of the Jesuit community.

A brilliant educationist, he was an authority on liturgy and sacred music, and did much work in this direction in the training of youth.

Born in Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, Father Maher was educated at Knockbeg College, Carlow, and St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore.

In 1879 he entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park. He completed his philosophical studies with his brother, the late Rev Thomas Maher SJ, and later entered University College, St Stephen's Green, where the members of the staff included such well known figures as Rev John O'Carroll, the famous linguist, and Rev Gerard Manley Hopkins SJ, the poet and
literary critic.

In 1885 Fr. Maher became a teacher in Belvedere College under Fr Tom Finlay SJ, and he devoted many years in Ireland and Australia to this type of work.

On the completion of his theological studies he was ordained in Gardiner Street in 1894 by the late Archbishop Walsh. He read a brilliant theological course and was appointed Professor of Theology at Milltown, where he remained for ten years. He spent some years in Australia, where he did much valuable work.

He was formerly Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick; the Novitiate, St Stanislaus College, Tullamore; and the House of Higher Studies, Milltown Park, altogether a period of over twenty years. He was Assistant Provincial for six years at Gardiner Street.

Since 1933 Father Maher was attached to Gardiner Street Church and was Director of the Young Women's Sodality, whom he addressed every Monday with unfailing regularity.

“Irish Independent”

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Martin Maher (1961-1942)

Of Paulstown, Co. Kilkenny, received his education at Knockbeg College and entered the Society in 1879. He was ordained in Dublin in 1894. Ever since his ordination, Father Maher was marked out for positions of high responsibility in the Irish Province. For some few years he was assistant lecturer in theology at Milltown Park when he was sent out to Australia where he spent three years, 1899-1902. His short stay in Australia was long remembered for his brilliant work as prefect of studies at Sydney. On his recall to Ireland, he was at once appointed to the rectorship of Sacred Heart College but three years later was summoned to other fields of responsibility. Until 1930 he held such positions of trust as rector and master of novices at Tullabeg, secretary to the Provincial and rector and professor of theology at Milltown Park. His later years were spent at Gardiner St Church, Dublin.

Meagher, Patrick, 1917-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/636
  • Person
  • 11 April 1917-07 February 2005

Born: 11 April 1917, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 07 February 2005, Cherryfield Lodge Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dublin community at the time of death.

Younger brother of D Louis Meagher - RIP 1980
Cousin of John P Leonard - RIP 2006

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ : Admissions 1859-1948 - Born Ratoath, County Meath; St Finian’s Mullingar student

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Patrick (Paddy) Meagher (1917-2005)

11th April 1917: Born in Dublin
Early education at the National School in Ratoath, Co. Meath and St. Finian's, Mullingar
7th September 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1940: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1940 - 1943: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1943 - 1945: Mungret College, Limerick - Teacher (Regency)
1945 - 1949: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Teacher
1953 - 1956: Mungret College - Teacher
1956 - 1960: Gonzaga College - Teacher; Minister, Assistant Prefect of Studies
1960 - 1968: Mungret College - Teacher, Sub-Minister
1968 - 1972: Loyola - Socius to Provincial
1972 - 1973: Rathfarnham -Studied catechetics at Mt. Oliver, Dundalk
1973 - 1974: Manresa House -Assistant Director; Directed Spiritual Exercises
1974 - 1975: Belvedere College - Teacher
1975 - 2005: Manresa House -
1975 - 1985: Assistant Director, Directed Spiritual Exercises
2nd February 1981: Final Vows at Manresa
1985 - 1992: Socius to Director of Novices
1992 - 1996: Directed Spiritual Exercises
1996 - 2001: Rector's Admonitor, Spiritual Director
2001 - 2004: Spiritual Director (SJ)
2004 - 2005: Assisted in the community
7th February 2005 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Fr Meagher visited Cherryfield Lodge many times over the years for respite care. He was admitted in May 2004. He had become weak with chronic chest and circulatory problems. He was treated with antibiotic therapy and pain relief. In the last two weeks his condition weakened further and he died peacefully but unexpectedly in Cherryfield Lodge.

Paul Andrews writes:
Paddy was born in Ratoath, Co. Meath, the fourth child and second boy in a family of six. Three of the four boys became priests, and one of the girls a nun. They were blow-ins, not native to Meath. Paddy's father was from Templemore, his mother the child of a Co. Offaly farmer who had given up farming and moved to near Mulhuddert when the absentee landlord put up the rent. So strong was the anti-landlord feeling that when the family moved away from Offaly, the neighbours came in and knocked down all the buildings, Perhaps it was from this maternal grandfather that Paddy inherited the core of steel that could surprise strangers to this mild little man.

He was closer to his father, admired by neighbours and family as a gentleman of gentlemen, of small stature (all the children inherited this) and incapable of saying a rough word. Mother had the better business head, and thought her husband unsuited to the job of a Ratoath merchant, running a general store and pub. Too little interest in money, she said. He'd have been better in the bank.

Paddy was delicate as a young boy. After National School he went as a boarder to St Finian's in Mullingar. He was small like his father, and never shone at games, though he played Gaelic and carried the mark of a stray hurley in a scar under his eye. He was a bright student, and St Finian's gave him a good foundation in Greek and Latin.

His brother Louis had gone to Belvedere while lodging in Huntstown with his grandmother. There he had come under the influence of Fr Ernest Mackey, the assertive promoter of vocations (perhaps one reason why older Irish Jesuits shudder when Fr General urges us to be aggressive in our search for vocations). Ernest would dine with the Meaghers every Christmas, and exerted such an influence, first on Louis, then on Paddy, that when Tom, two years younger and less academic than Paddy, went to the Holy Ghosts, the local lads used ask him, Would the Js not take you?

Paddy followed Louis's footsteps to Emo. The parents were supportive of their multiple vocations (Maureen had become a Loreto sister). They visited Emo, and when Paddy walked tlırough the parlour door in his Jesuit gown, his mother cried, Oh, a saint! as she rushed to embrace him. That would not have been Paddy's style. He was uneasy with sensible devotion, cool-headed yet with a personal warmth that drew people to him; but the opposite of charismatic.

He eschewed scenes of high emotion. In the tempestuous seventies, the Grubb Institute led a group session for several days in Tullabeg, and explored the emotional sensitivities of the sometimes unwilling participants. Towards the end Paddy exploded: For the first time in 25 years you have made me lose my temper. No, said the Australian leader, For the first time in 25 years we have given you permission to lose your temper. Paddy did not like it.

When we were looking for a photo of Paddy for his memorial card, we wondered: What age are we in heaven – with what sort of a face? God gives you your eyes but you gradually make your own mouth. Earlier photos show Paddy's lips as judicial and stern. As a teacher he had to compensate in gravity of personality for a slight physical presence; and compensate he did. He was respected and liked, a most effective teacher in Mungret, Clongowes and (as one of the earliest staff) Gonzaga. In the councils of staff and community his voice was calm and reasonable. When Cecil McGarry became Provincial, he looked for Paddy as his Socius because he was wise and respected, easy to get on with and of good judgment.

So he was at the Provincial's side through those tumultuous years. The job suited him in many ways. He was an easy companion and could exercise independent discretion when needs be. When a rather forward Jesuit rang Loyola looking for an appointment with the Provincial, Paddy gave him a time in late morning. The visitor asked: Does that include an invitation to lunch? No, said Paddy quietly.

It was heart trouble that forced him to give up the job of Socius with its daily quota of serious business. Physically he may not have been able for high stress. When John Guiney brought him from Loyola to St Vincent's A and B with angina, they put him to bed quickly. A priest appeared and then two doctors. Paddy promptly responded by getting a heart attack. Over the years he became a model of how to live with a wacky heart. In early 2003 we worried about his stomach aneurysm which could not be mended because the operation might kill him. On the last day of 2003 he was anointed. Three days later Mary Rickard said he was sinking. Seven days later he asked about prayers for the dying. But he bounced back.

Coming from Loyola to Manresa did not mean an abdication of intelligence. Both within the community and with the many people he helped here, you could trust him to use his head, always sage, humane, insightful. The sisters seeking the Lord in Manresa liked him because he reflected assurance, a known way of proceeding, and a calm judgment. Many still remember his pithy, succinct homilies.

He did not sit lightly to the sillier aspects of media culture, such as pop music, designer stubble, or phrases like: Go with the feeling. His sense of irony carried him through such inanities – and through the bandying of religious jargon - without becoming grumpy; he could be teased about them. There were other changes which he accepted but suffered, such as the reshaping of the Manresa community chapel: he would have liked fewer windows, more pictures, a crucifix and sanctuary lamp. He did not relish the sharing of reflections and experiences at concelebrated Mass. But he was there every day.

In Cherryfield people remarked on Paddy's clarity of mind and the tenacity with which he held on to life. When one of the brethren brought over blue and orange shirts from his room, Paddy thanked him for the blue but queried the orange: I thought I mentioned a beige shirt. Up to the day of his death he was bubbling with enquiries about the Province and life outside.

In 2004 he left this note to his Rector, to be opened when I die:

Paul, I would wish that the homily at my funeral Mass be short, i.e. three and a half to four minutes - no more. I was a small man, so there is no need to make me seem bigger than I am (was). Just ask the SJs and people to thank God for whatever good I may have done, and ask his pardon for all my shortcomings.
And end with Cardinal Newman's prayer: May he support us all the day long...
Thanking you for all your caring for me in my last years. Paddy.

Alas, some of these wishes were not met, because the Rector was away when Paddy died, and the touching letter lay hidden in his safe. But Dermot Mansfield's homily at the funeral did justice to Paddy in Dermot's own way, and the back of his mortuary card carries the Cardinal's prayer.

What we miss is the smiling or laughing Paddy. It is no accident that in his reading he reverted to PGWodehouse and a light-hearted view of life. He showed how to shuffle off responsibilities in this passing life, and face the beatific vision with a contented and hopeful heart.

◆ The Clongownian, 2006

Obituary

Father Patrick Meagher SJ

Fr Patrick Meagher SJ who died at Cherryfield Lodge on 7th February 2005 at the age of 87, spent three years teaching in Clongowes from 1950-1953. Born in Dublin in 1917 he entered the Society at Emo where he took his first vows in 1935. He studied in Rathfarnham, Tullabeg and Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1948. As well as Clongowes, Fr Meagher taught in Mungret, Gonzaga and Belvedere College. He also served in Manresa House where he directed Spiritual Exercises and took his final vows in 1981. May he rest in peace.

Murphy, Alfred, 1827-1902, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/565
  • Person
  • 17 April 1827-28 October 1902

Born: 17 April 1827, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 05 September 1844, St Acheul, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856
Final Vows: 02 February 1864
Died: 28 October 1902, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1847 in Namur (BELG) studying
by 1856 Studying at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by 1863 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes, where he even studied Philosophy under Henry Lynch. Always popular with students and Staff his nickname was “Steamer” largely attributed to his commanding stature and energetic gait, and it was intended as a compliment. Less complimentary was a later nickname of “The Handsome Scholastic” given him by the pupils of Belvedere!

After First Vows he remained in France for some studies.
He made his Theology studies at St Beuno’s, and a year in Dublin at the Theologate at Nth Frederick St which had Michael O’Ferrall as Rector, and William Kelly, Edmund O’Reilly and Daniel Jones as Professors.
He then made his tertianship in Rome.
He worked as a teacher for ten years, 2 at Belvedere and 8 at Clongowes. He was known to be teaching Rhetoric at Clongowes in 1859.
He was also Minister at Belvedere for a period.
1865-1870 He was Rector at Tullabeg. During his term, the tower of the Church was erected.
1870-1876 he was sent to Galway as Vice-Rector, and in 1872-1876 he became Rector.
1876 He was sent to Gardiner St, and remained there until his death. He worked very hard there, and exercised an apostolate of kindness and unwavering perseverance, especially in the Confessional. In the latter stages of his life it was noticed that his health was failing, and he gave great edification in his final illness. When his mind began to wander, he was focused on the work he had given a lot of his life to - and so he was found in the Confessional when the Church was empty, and he was still trying to arrange some convent Retreats for the Fathers. He received the Last Rites from Edward Kelly, who had just returned from the Procurators meeting in Rome. He died a happy death in Gardiner St 28 October 1902. His funeral was one of the first for many years in which he was not the celebrant. It was attended by the Archbishop of Dublin, and Dr Matthew Gaffney the Bishop of Meath, and a large number of Priests and Lay People.
He was a good organiser, and for many years was responsible for coordinating the many Retreats give by Ours in Convents. He required great diplomacy to manage the vagaries of ours and many Mothers Superior. He was a good writer, and this stood him well in the number of letters this task required of him.
He also occasionally contributed some musical verses to the “Irish Monthly”.
He served as Provincial Socius for several years up to 1884, and for six months was Vice-Provincial (1889-1890) while the Provincial Timothy Kenny was on Visitation in Australia.
On one occasion he was invited by a brilliant young Professor, who later became Dean Henry Neville of Cork, and accompanied by Robert Carbery, who was a Prefect of Juniors at Maynooth and a future Jesuit Peter Foley, to dine with the Professors at Maynooth, where he made a great impression on the Juniors there.
His Golden Jubilee was celebrated at Gardiner St, and at this celebration, a member of the community tried to capture his life in verse to the great amusement of the gathering. The poem was entitles “Alfredus Magnus”!
He was a good community man and loved conversation, taking a large - though not too large - share of it himself. He was invariably good-natures, good-humoured, friendly and truly charitable. he like a bit of news or gossip, especially if he was the one telling it.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Alfred Murphy 1827-1902
Fr Alfred Murphy was born in Youghal on April 17th 1827. Educated at Clongowes, he entered the Society in 1844, doing his noviceship and early higher studies in France. He was one of those Jesuits who studied Theology at our house in North Frederick Street Dublin, where Fr Michael O’Ferrall was Rector, and Frs William Kelly, Edmund O’reilly and Daniel Jones were Professors.

In 1870, Fr Murphy, while Rector of Tullabeg, erected the tower on the Church and added the fine wing parallel to the front building. After a term of office as Rector in Galway, he spent the remaining years of his priestly life as an Operarius at Gardiner Street, in the course of which he acted as Socius to the Provincial, and also acted as Vice-Provincial in the absence of Fr Timothy Kenny when he was a Visitor to Australia.

He died a very happy and edifying death on October 28th 1902, in his 75th year.

◆ The Clongownian, 1897

Father Alfred Murphy SJ

The Last of the Munster Geraldines

Delivered by Patrick Mathews of the class of Rhetoric

Mononia, thy plains yet thrill with gladness,
As Minstrels sweep thy harps of fire;
Thy beauties still, though veiled in sadness,
Full many a song of pride inspire.
Thy hills, where Morning sits enthroned,
On mists that wreaths of glory twine,
Thy fairy.lakes with forests crowned,
Where the lingering ray,
Of pensive evening loves to play,
And brighten with hues of purple and gold,
The ballowed slirines and towers of old,
Mononia, ny country ! No land like thine.

So thought when first the Emerald Isle
Beamed on his gaze, the lordly Geraldine ;
His sires had basked in the radiant smile
Of fair Italia ; his Norman lance
Had flashed on the plainis of sunny France,
Yet he loved thee more, fair land of mine!
More true than many a purer vein,
He clung to the home he fought to gain;
His heart its bravest impulse gave,
For the faith and land he died to save;
And thy Minstrel's harp, will ever tell,
As with strings all steeped in sorrow's tears,
It thrills with the voice of byegone years,
How the last brave Desmond fell.

Night veils in storm MacCaura's hills,
And darkly broods o'er wood and glen;
The heaving air with terror thrills,
As sweeps in fury o'er the plain
The wild tempestuous swell. Alone
Mid the tempest's fearful moan,
An aged hero wenda his weary way.
His steps are tottering, his form
Bends in its weakness with the storm;
His hand is raised, his long loose hair,
Streams wild upon the midnight air,
And fiercely round his head the raging whirlwinds play.

Not thus of old when more than King,
The noble Desmond trod in pride,
These his own hills then wont to ring,
With shouts of thousands by his side;
Not thus, when the love of all the land,
Crowned the great Earl with truer praise,
Than kingly despots can command,
Or slave's reluctant homage raise.
But the wayward fate of the sad green Isle,
Had clouded the light of fortune's smile ; .
He scorned to crouch at a tyrant's nod,
And basely live a woman's slave;
His heart refused to forget his God,
And spurn the charms the old religion gave.
For this all mercy is denied
The humbled hero in his woe,
For this fell hate and vengeance guide
O'er the wild waste the ruthless foe,
And all the terrors tempest gives
Are braved while hated Desmond lives,
Save thee, ny Prince, for worse than Nature's wrath,.
Traitors and foes beset thy path;
E'en now shrill sounds the larum cry,
And shouts are heard and lights are seen along the sky.

An hour is past. Yon hut is won,
The last sad refuge from despair,
The storm still shrieks through the forest lone,
And swells upon the troubled air.
But Desmond sunk in calm repose,
In dreams forgets awhile his woes;
Blest sleep of peace that only virtue knows!
But hark! What spirit yoice of wail,
Mingles its moaning with the gale!
Now in plaintive breathings low,
Now swelling dire in notes of woe,
“Sleep on, last hero of a noble line,
Sleep on, while yet you may ;
Ah! soon will change that sleep of thine,
To one that knows not day.
My voice has warned thy Sires in their decline,
'Tis heard in thy decay”.

Hark! that piercing cry,
The murderer's shout, the victim's sigh;
“Spare, oh! spare” he cries in vain,
The noble Desmond never breathes again.
But his spirit all bright with virtue fies,
As angels wreaths of triumph wave,
To that home of the blest beyond the skies,
Where glory enshrines the good and brave.
Weep not for him ; 'tis a noble pride,
For country and creed to bave lived and died.

◆ The Clongownian, 1903

Obituary

Father Alfred Murphy SJ

We regret to announce the death of the Rev Alfred Murphy SJ, who was for many years as boy or master or priest connected with Clongowes and Tullabeg. For a year or so it was noticed that his health was failing, and the end came last October, when he was half way through his 76th year.

Father Murphy was born at Youghal, April 17th, 1827. In his thirteenth year he went to Congowes, 'Where he was always popular, both with his comrades and his masters. His schoolboy nickname of “Steamer: was a very covert compliment to his commanding stature and his energetic gait and deportment. At school, he went through the full course of studies, even the class of Philosophy, under Father Henry Lynch.

In 1844 he left Clongowes and entered the Society of Jesus, beginning his noviceship at St Acheul, near Amiens. In France also he went through some of his highest studies. Returning to Ireland he worked as a master for ten years, two at Belvedere and eight at Clongowes. He certainly had charge of the Rhetoric Class of his Alma Mater in July, 1859 - the only Clongowes Academy Day ever enjoyed by the present chronicler, who also remembers the very favourable impression made by Father Murphy on the Junior students of Maynooth, when he came over a few years earlier to the great Ecclesiastical College to dine with the Professors, on the invitation of the brilliant young Professor, who was afterwards Dean Neville of Cork.

Between 1852 and 1859, Father Murphy had made his Theological studies and became a priest. He studied at St Beuno's in North Wales, and for one year in Dublin, after which he spent a year in Rome. In 1863 he became Minister in Belvedere, from which he was changed after two years to Tullabeg, of which he was Rector till 1870. During his term of office the tower of the People's Church was erected, and the fine wing parallel to the front of the College was added. The same month in which he ceased to be Rector of Tullabeg saw him Rector of St Ignatius College, Galway, which office he filled till March, 1876. From that day till the day of his death he was a member of the Community of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, where his kindness and prudence and unwearying perseverance met with marvellous success.

The Requiem Mass of Fr Murphy's obsequies was the first for many years in St Francis Xavier's of which he was not himself the celebrant. It was attended by the Archbishop of Dublin, and Dr Gaffney, Bishop of Meath, and by a very large number of priests and laity. His remains await the Resurrection beneath the shadow of the noble Celtic Cross that marks the burial-place of the Society of Jesus, in the Cemetery of Glasnevin. RIP

Nugent, Robert, 1580-1652, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1846
  • Person
  • 20 July 1580-06 May 1652

Born: 20 July 1580, Ballina, County Meath
Entered: 02 October 1601, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 22 September 1601, Tournai - pre Entry
Final Vows: 04 September 1618
Died: 06 May 1652, Inishbofin, County Galway

Mission Superior 06 April 1627-1646

1603 At Tournai in Novitiate Age 27
1616 Age 39 Soc 15 Mission 9. Studied Theology at Louvain. Good theologian and Preacher. Choleric, but fit to be Superior
1621 Somewhat phlegmatic.
1626 Socius to Fr Holiwood
1636 Was Mission Superior in Ireland - In Dublin 1638
1649 At Kilkenny. By 1650 Vice Superior of Mission and previously Superior of Novitiate and Athlone Residence
1650 Catalogue Came on the Mission 1611. Studied Humanities in Ireland and 2 years at Douai, Philosophy and Theology at Douai. An MA and Priest on Entry
Letter of 27/08/1651 announced Fr Netterville’s death is at ARSI. Bishop Fleming writes of Robert Vester “hard worker” (Ossory Arch)
“Inisboffin surrendered 14 February 1652. Fr Nugent was not imprisoned there till then”. “Fr Hugent and his Harp - Coimbra I 319”
“Glamorgan in his letter signs himself “affectionate cousin” a reference to his relations to Inchiquin family

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Oliver Nugent and Catherine née Plunkett. Brother of Nicholas (RIP 1656) Nephew of Lord Westmeath (Baron Delvin). Uncle of Lord Inchiquin
Had studied Humanities and two years Philosophy at Douai, graduating MA, before Ent and four years Theology after at Douai. He knew Irish, English, Latin and a little French. Admitted by Fr Olivereo FLA Provincial, he went to Tournai 02/10/1601 (Tournay Diary MS, n 1016, f 414, Archives de l’État, Brussels).
He was a distinguished and divine Preacher, a mathematician and musician (improving the Irish Harp, very much augmenting its power and capacity).
1611 Came to Ireland and was Superior of the Mission for about twenty-three years, Sent to Ireland and became Superior of the Irish Mission for up to twenty-six years (inc 1634 as per Irish Ecclesiastical Record), and then in 1650 for a second time as Vice-Superior;
Had been Superior at the Novitiate and of a Residence; A Preacher and Confressor for many years (HIB Catalogue 1650 - ARSI)
“Vir plane illustris” (Mercure Verdier in his Report to the General of the Irish Mission, 20/06/1649)
His enemy Peter Walsh calls him the “great mathematician”; Lynch in “Cambrensis Eversus” p 317, and “Alithinologia” p 113, praises his virtues and learning : “He had a singular knowledge of theology and mathematics, and a wonderful industry in relcaiming sinners, and extraordinary humility and self-contempt. In my own memory he made considerable improvement in the Irish Harp. He enclosed little pieces of wood in the open space between the trunk and the upper part, , making it a little box, and leaving on the right side of the box a sound-hole, which he covered with a lattice-work of wood, as in the clavicord. He then placed on both sides a double row of chords, and this increased very much the power and capacity of the instrument. The Fitzgerald Harp is probably his handiwork, or it is made according to his plan. According to Bunting, it has “in the row forty-five strings, and seven in the centre. It exceeds the ordinary harp by twenty-two strings, and the Brian-Boroimhe Harp by twenty-four; while in workmanship it is beyond comparison superior to it, both for the elegance of its crowded ornaments, and for the execution of those parts on which the correctness and perfection, it claims to be the ‘Queen of Harps’ - Ego sum Regina Cithararum - Buntings dissertation on the Irish Harp p27 (cf Foley’s Collectanea)
He is named in a letter from James Archer, Madrid 28/09/1607, and keenly sought after by Christopher Holiwood (alias Thomas Lawndry), the Irish Mission Superior. He was indeed sent, first as Socius to the Mission Superior, and then as Mission Superior. (Several of his letters are extant and Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS gives copious extracts, and he also notes Nugent’s resignation as Mission Superior 23/12/1646).
He is also mentioned in the Christopher Holiwood letter of 04 November 1611 (Irish Ecclesiastical Record April 1874), as having a district with Father Galwey under their care, both being assiduous in their labour.
He endured continuous persecution over seven years. As a result he generally only went out at night, and though the roads were always full of soldiers, with the aid of Providence, he managed to travel unharmed, and impelled by zeal.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Oliver and Catherine née Plunket. Brother of Nicholas
Studied at Douai and was Ordained there the same year as Ent 02 October 1601 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for further studies
1608 Sent to Ireland working mostly in Meath and South Ulster, earning himself a reputation of an able Preacher in both Irish and English. He became secretary to Christopher Holywood and succeeded him as Vice-Superior or the Mission.
1627-1646 Superior of Mission 06 April 1627. For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor with equal success so that the Mission became in all but name a Province of the Society. His first term of office came to an end in 1646 when the General acceded that he should be granted repose after so many years of government. In the later years in office he had resided in Kilkenny and Kilkea Castle which had been bequeathed to the Society by the Dowager Countess of Kildare. At the time of the Nuncio's “Censures”, he was at Waterford and with the community there observed the interdict. Yet he was accused (falsely) by Massari, auditor to Rinuccini, of having promoted the Ormondist faction and Rinuccini in turn reported the calumny to Rome. The Jesuit Visitor Mercure Verdier was able later to get Rinuccini to withdraw the charge but he, unfortunately, failed to correct the slanderous report even though he was himself heavily in debt financially to Nugent.
1651 After the death of George Dillon he was appointed Vice-Superior of the Mission until a new Superior could be chosen. He was now living in Galway, and his first care was to have shipped overseas for their studies the young scholastics, who had been evacuated from Kilkenny, and who were the future hope of the Mission.
On the approach of the Putians to Galway, because of the special hatred for him entertained by the Cromwellians, he withdrew to Inishboffin but was persuaded to set out for France, so that he could look after the interests of the Mission there . In spite of advanced years, he set sail on 11 April 1652, but his boat when within sight of France was blown back to Inishboffin. He was now ill from the hardships of such a voyage for one of his advanced years and six weeks later he died at Inishboffin 06 May 1652
He was beloved not only by his fellow Jesuits, but also by all who came in contact with him. He was regarded both within and outside the Jesuit Mission as one of the most prudent and inspiring Spiritual Directors.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Robert Nugent (1627-1646)
Robert Nugent, son of Oliver Nugent, of Balena, in the diocese of Heath, and Catherine Plunkett, was born on 20th July, 1597. He completed the whole course of his studies at Douay, and having been ordained priest at Tournay on 22nd September, 1601, he entered the Novitiate of Tournay on 2nd October following. At the end of four years' theology he distinguished himself by a public defence of all philosophy and theology at Louvain. A year later (1608) he was sent on the Irish Mission, where he laboured in Meath and Ulster for many years, and obtained a high reputation
as a preacher both in Irish and in English. He acted as Secretary and Assistant to Fr Holywood, succeeded him as Vice-Superior on his death, and on 6th April, 1627, was formally appointed Superior. For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor, with equal success, so that the Mission became in numbers, colleges, residences, and foundations a Province in everything but name, His first term of office came to an end in 1646, when the General acceded to his request that he should be given some repose for so many years of government.

Robert Nugent (1651-1652)

Fr Robert Nugent was ordered on 28th January, 1651, to act as Vice-Superior, until a new Superior should be appointed. He resided at Galway, one of the few places still held by the Catholics; but soon the approach of the Cromwellian armies forced him to retire to Inishbofin. While there he was requested to betake himself to the Continent, as the interests of the Society demanded his presence there. It was also known that the heretics bore him a peculiar hatred. In spite of his advanced years he obeyed promptly, and set sail about the 11th of April. The ship was driven back by contrary winds, when within sight of the French coast, and had to return to the port it had left. The tempestuous voyage was too much for the old man. He was put ashore, and carried to a poor hut, where he lingered on for six weeks. He died in Inishbofin on 6th May, 1652, and was buried on that island. His gentleness, gravity, prudence, learning, and skill as a director of souls endeared him to all. He was beloved not only by his fellow Jesuits, but by all who came in contact with him, especially by the nobility, the prelates, and the members of other religious Orders.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Nugent SJ 1597[1574]-1652
Fr Robert Nugent was the greatest and longest in office of the Superiors of the Irish Mission, with the exception of Fr Christopher Holywood.

He was born on the 20th July 1597 [1574], son of Robert Nugent of Balena in the diocese of Meath, and his mother being Catherine Plunkett. He was the uncle of Baron Inchiquin and cousin of Elizabeth, Countess of Kildare. He was already a priest when he entered the Society at Tournai in 1601.

He was sent on the Irish Mission in 1608, and he laboured in Meath and Ulster for many years, where he acquied a high reputation as a preacher in both English and irish. He acted as Socius to the ageing Superior Fr Holywood and succeeded him in office in 1627.

For the next twenty years he carried on the policy of his predecessor, so that the Mission became in numbers, Colleges and residences, a Province in everything but name.

In 1643 his cousin the Countess of Kildare donated Kilkea Castle, two miles NW of Athy, to the Jesuits for a noviceship. Here Fr Nugent entertained the Nuncio Fr Rinuccini for twenty days on his way to besiege Dublin. At the orders of the Supreme Council, he accepted charge of the Press at Kilkenny and also opened a noviceship there with six novices under Fr John Young.

On the collapse of the Confederate Cause Fr Nugent retired to Galway where he directed the Mission as Vice-Superior in 1651. He was ordered to the continent and set sail, but his ship was forced back and he died in Inisboffin on May 6th 1652, in a poor hut where he had lingered for six weeks.

It is interesting to recall that Fr Nugent, like Fr William Bath before him, was very interested in Irish Music. He actually improved the Harp in use in his time, by adding a double row of strings.

He suffered imprisonment in Dublin Castle for four years from 1616-1620, and during this period he composed Irish hymns set to old tunes which were popular in Ireland for years after his death.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
NUGENT, ROBERT, brother of F. Nicholas, and uncle to Baron Inchinquin, was a man of the highest merit, “Vir plane illustris, omnique exceptione major”, as Pere Verdier describes him in his Report of the 20th of June, 1649. The first time that I meet with him is in a letter of F. James Archer, dated from Madrid, 28th of September, 1607. to F. George Duras, the Assistant of Germany, at Rome. After signifying the departure of FF. James Everard and Thomas Shine for the Irish Mission, he adds the anxious wish of their Superior, F. Holiwood, that FF. William Bath and Robert Nugent may follow them, as he has a station ready for them in the North of Ireland. F. Robert was sent to the aged Superior, who entertained the greatest esteem for him and made him his Socius during the latter years of his government. In the sequel F. Nugent was appointed Superior of his Brethren, and held that office for at least twenty years. Several of his letters are fortunately extant, which bear ample testimony to his sound discretion, unaffected zeal and piety, and conciliatory conduct. In one letter, the 31st of October, 1615, he prays to be released from the duties of Superiority, alleging that he is now in his 70th year a fitter age to prepare himself for eternity, than to be continued in his painful responsibility, and during such critical and eventful times.
In another letter of the 20th of January, 1646-7, after stating the difficulty of conveying letters to Rome, acquaints the Vicar F. Charles Sangri, that in virtue of the injunction of the late General Mutius Vitelleschi, and with the advice of his consultors, he had some time since directed one of his Rev. Brethren to compile a General history of the Irish Mission of the Society - that this work had been brought down to nearly the present most troublesome period that it was admirably and faithfully executed from authentic documents; but before the finishing hand could be put to his labours, the author died. F. Nugent could not ascertain what had become of the Manuscripts : it was well known that for some time they were buried underground; but whether any one had removed them from the secret place, and had transferred them elsewhere, he had not been able to discover. He adds, that he carefully kept by him the points of information which he received annually from each Residence of his Brethren; but that it would be a service of extreme danger, if not of ruin to them, to attempt to forward the papers to Rome, should the Puritans intercept them. In this letter he mentions, that at the express desire and command of the Supreme Council, he had accepted the charge of the press at Kilkenny : and also that he had hired a house in that town for the Novitiate; and early in February, F. John Young, who was a man of approved learning, and prudence, and distinguished for sanctity of manners, would begin to train the six Novices already admitted in the spirit of the Institute of the Society, and that there were many postulants for admission. He concludes with regretting that all hopes of peace had now vanished, in consequence of the imprisonment of Edward Somerset the Earl of Glamorgan a most staunch Catholic, who had been sent to Ireland by King Charles I, with full powers (with private authority independent of the Viceroy) to grant favourable terms to the Catholics. After he had concluded his treaty with the confederated Chiefs of Kilkenny, and had obtained from them a vote of ten thousand troops to be transferred forthwith to England, of which he had been chosen and appointed General; he no sooner had returned to Dublin, than the Viceroy committed him to close custody on the 26th of December last, and thus the whole negotiation and expedition had evaporated, and that now nothing was thought of but war. Before he resigned office into the hands of F. Malone, 23rd of December, 1646, he had been required by the Nuncio Rinnccini, to lend him the greater part of the funds of the Mission : (quatuor aureorum millia). This was vainly reclaimed by subsequent Superiors, and the Missionaries experienced great inconvenience and injury in consequence, as F. Wm. St. Leger’s letter, bearing date 16th of January, 1663, too well demonstrates. The last time that F. Robert Nugent comes across me, is in a letter of the 31st of August, 1650, where he is described as “antiquissimus inter nos”, but still not incapable of labor.

  • I have reason to suspect that the compiler was F Stephen White, of whom more in the sequel.
    *This Edward Somerset, was the eldest son of Henry, first Marquess of Worcester, the staunch Catholic Loyalist, who had suffered the loss of not less than three hundred thousand pounds in supporting the cause of Charles I!! In a letter now before me addressed by Earl Glamorgan to the General of the Jesuits, Vincent Caraffa, and dated from Limerick, 22nd of October, 1646, he expresses “impensissimum studium et amorem ergo, Societatem Jesu” and recommends his dearest Brother to the favourable attentions of his Reverend Paternity (Who was this Brother? John, Thomas, or Charles?) He ends thus : “Nihil magis invotis est, quam ut palam mortalibus omnibus testari mihi liceat quam vere et unice sim, &c. addictus planeque devotus GLAMORGAN”. He died in London on the 3rd of April, 1667.

O'Brien, Thomas PA, 1932-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/687
  • Person
  • 16 June 1932-06 August 1992

Born: 16 June 1932, Cliftonville, Ennis Road, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 06 August 1992, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

by 1959 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Tom's death was very sudden. He was acting Mission Procurator in Dublin and had just picked up his sister from the airport. He drove back to the Mission Office. While speaking to her there, he just fell from his chair, with a massive heart attack, and so he died. That was on 6 August 1992.

Tom was born in Limerick in 1932, attended the Jesuit school of the Crescent and then entered the Society in 1950 in Emo. He pursued the normal course of studies of the Society and came out to Zambia for his regency where he taught, prefected and was games master at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College.

He was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin on 31st July 1964 and returned to Zambia after his tertianship. He was in the Southern Province from 1966 to 1970 as minister and bursar at Chikuni, minister and assistant Parish Priest in Monze and minister/teacher at Charles Lwanga TTC. The rest of his life in Zambia was spent in Lusaka. Chaplaincy and teaching occupied his time and he also helped in the parish at St Ignatius. He taught at Munali Secondary and Chongwe Secondary. For the Advanced Primary Course at Chalimbana, he taught Religious Education as well as being involved in student counselling. Students at Evelyn Hone College also saw him for spiritual direction. Counselling was what he wished to do with third level students and so he studied at Loyola University in Chicago, USA, for his Masters in Education.

From 1978 to 1983 he became socius/secretary to the provincial, a job which took him to all the Jesuit houses. He became rector of Luwisha House in 1983 and worked as chaplain at the Christian Centre at UNZA. While there, he had a serious heart attack and left for Ireland when he was well enough to travel. It was while he was acting mission procurator, that he had the massive heart attack. As he wished, he was active to the end.

There was a history of heart sickness in the family. Tom himself had minor strokes as well as a by-pass. He was well aware that he would probably die from a heart attack but forged ahead with his life even with this in mind. He was so busy in Dublin – meetings of the Irish Missionary Union, interviewing possible volunteer teachers, traveling for Missionary Exhibitions, fund raising, bringing missionary awareness to the pupils of the Jesuit schools in Ireland – these all kept him on the go. Added to these were family functions such as weddings, baptisms and funerals.

His great talent was his ability to relate to other people, to share friendship with them. He had his own close circle of friends in the Society, yet this never interfered with his sharing his friendship with others. He was approachable and warm-hearted, person-centered. Being with others meant more to Tom than efficiency in planning and execution. On one occasion, he had three appointments in different places at the same time! He looked for the best side of others, accepting them as they were. In his own communities he would give himself as freely and as warmly to the shy and withdrawn as to the stronger members.

A 20-year friend of Tom wrote about him after his death: “He loved life; he loved people. And he did so from a base that was hidden and silent because he dreaded that anyone would think him ‘pious’. But over the years, I became more and more aware of that hidden rock in Tom – his love of Christ. It came through in his homilies to the students and his love of the Jesuits. I think he was at his most fulfilled and contented as a Jesuit during his years at Luwisha. He loved his brothers. I find myself also thinking of the contradictions in him. He was confident and proud; but he was also humble. He was contented, so contented – but he was questioning, sometimes startlingly so. He was above all compassionate but his compassion didn't let you off the hook”.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
In 1955 he came to Northern Rhodesia with Fr. Tom O’Brien and scholastics Michael Kelly and Michael Tyrrell. They were among the first batch of missionaries to come by air and the journey from London took almost five days via Marseilles – Malta – Wadi Halfa (now under the Aswan Dam) – Mersa Matruh (north Egypt) – Nairobi – Ndola – and finally to Lusaka.

O'Reilly, Edmund J, 1811-1878, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/455
  • Person
  • 30 April 1811-10 November 1878

Born: 30 April 1811, London, England
Entered: 24 July 1851, Naples, Italy - Neapolitanae Province (NAP)
Ordained: 1838 - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1862
Died: 10 November 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1853 Teaching at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus : 08 December 1863-19 April 1870

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Thomas, a merchant, and Brigid née O’Callaghan (one of five daughters of Edmund, of Killegorey Co Clare). One of his aunts married the Third Earl of Kenmare.

Born in London, but the family returned to Ireland when he was six years old.

Early education was at Clongowes and Maynooth and then on to the Roman College - where he made a public defence of universal Theology with applause and graduated DD. He was ordained there 1838.
1838-1851 He returned to Ireland and was appointed to the Chair of Theology, a position he held for thirteen years, and then he joined HIB 1851, received at Rome aged 40, and did his Noviceship in Naples.

1853-1856 Appointed professor of Dogmatic Theology at St Beuno’s, endearing himself to all who came to know him during his short stay.
1856 Sent to Ireland.
1862 He received his Final Vows unusually early due to his impending appointment as Provincial.
1863-1870 Appointed Provincial, succeeding Father Lentaigne who was the First provincial of HIB. On several occasions he was chosen by Prelates as their Theologian at various Provincial Synods, including the one at Oscott, England.
1874 Appointed first Rector of Milltown, whilst teaching at University, and also being Socius to the Provincial, and continued in these roles until his death 10 November 1878 At Milltown aged 67. He was universally loved and lamented. His funeral was attended by a large number of Ecclesiastics, Secular and Religious.
When the Catholic University was opened, he was appointed to the Chair of Theology, and the mutual sentiments of affection and esteem which existed between Newman, its First Rector, and Edmund remained undiminished until his death.. He was regarded by Newman and other high authorities as one of the first Theologians of the day.
He was remarkable for his devotion to the Church and the Society, a deep a solid piety, with exactness and fidelity in everything pertaining to the duties of the Priesthood, combined with great cheerfulness. His love of the poor was proverbial.
A brief memoir appears in the “Irish Monthly” Vol vi, 1878

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
One of his aunts married the Third Earl of Kenmare; Another entered the Visitation Convent Westbury; Another married Mr Bagot of Castle Bagot, and the last Married Mr Dease of Turbotstown. Their father - Edumnd’s grandfather - Edmund was mortally wounded in a duel, surviving for five days in time to repent and prepare for judgement.

He spent several years of his boyhood at Mount Catherine, near Limerick, and then in George’s (O’Connell) St Limerick. His very early education was by private tutor before going to Clongowes and Maynooth. While he was at the Roman College, the soon to be Cardinal Cullen was the President. When he became Cardinal at Armagh, he chose Edmund as his Theologian at the Synod of Thurles.

When Passaglia “broke off so miserably” in the middle of a brilliant career, Father General Beckx thought of summoning Edmund to Rome, to have him take the Chair of Theology at the Roman College. Although this did not happen, he was held in high regard as a Professor, and represented all the English speaking Provinces at a meeting held about Jesuit studies in Rome.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
O'Reilly, Edmund Joseph
by David Murphy

O'Reilly, Edmund Joseph (1811–78), Jesuit priest and theologian, was born 30 April 1811 in London, son of Thomas O'Reilly, merchant, and his wife Bridget, daughter of Edmund O'Callaghan and co-heiress to considerable estates in Co. Clare and Co. Limerick. He was brought to Ireland at the age of six and initially educated by a private tutor at the family estate at Mount Catherine, Co. Limerick, before attending Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. In 1826 he entered St Patrick's College, Maynooth, to begin studies for the priesthood but left three years later, doubting his vocation. He went to Rome in 1830 to continue his studies, however, and distinguished himself at the Roman College. While in Rome he lived at the Irish College where Paul Cullen (qv) was president, and the two men became firm friends. In 1835 he graduated DD, and was ordained priest for the diocese of Limerick in 1838. Returning to Ireland, he was appointed to the chair of dogmatic theology at Maynooth (1838–51). Renowned for his theological knowledge, he was in constant demand with members of the Irish hierarchy, acting as a counsellor on theological matters and points of sacred learning generally. In 1850 he was appointed as theologian to Cullen at the synod of Thurles; he later served as theological advisor to Bishop Brown of Shrewsbury at the synod of Oscott and to Bishop Thomas Furlong (1802–75) of Ferns at the synod of Maynooth. At one time he was considered by the general of the Society of Jesus, Fr Beckx, for the chair of theology at the Roman College.

In July 1851 he asked to be admitted to the Society of Jesus and completed his noviciate at Naples. After first profession, he was appointed as professor of theology at the Jesuit college of St Beuno's, north Wales, and in 1855 was appointed professor of theology at the Catholic University in Dublin, where he became a close associate of John Henry Newman (qv). In 1859 he founded the Jesuit house of studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, and was appointed its first rector, an appointment he held until his death. He took his final vows in August 1862 and was later appointed provincial of the Irish province of the Society of Jesus (1863–70). He died 10 November 1878 at Milltown Park, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

O'Reilly published numerous theological articles. Several appeared in the Irish Monthly in 1873–4; from 1875 he assisted Matthew Russell (qv) in editing this journal. In 1875 Newman quoted from some of his writings on temporal papal power in his response to Gladstone's Vaticanism: an answer to reproofs and replies. Newman also referred to O'Reilly in his Letter to the duke of Norfolk (London, 1875). A collection of O'Reilly's writings, edited by Russell, was published in 1892 as The relations of the church to society. A large collection of his papers in the Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin, includes correspondence and manuscript drafts of his theological and devotional writings.

Fr Edmund Joseph O'Reilly, SJ, files in Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin; Irish Monthly, Dec. 1878, 695–700: Boase; Matthew Russell (ed.), The relations of the church to society (1892); Crone; Burke, IFR (1976) 889; Patrick J. Corish, Maynooth College, 1795–1995 (1995); ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edmund O’Reilly SJ 1811-1878
On November 19th 1878, aged 67, died Fr Edmund Joseph O’Reilly, who in the words of Cardinal Newman was “a great authority” and “one of the first Theologians of his day”.

He was born in London, of Irish parents, on April 10th 1811, and returned to Ireland with his parents when he was six years old, residing first at Mount Catherine, a few miles from Limerick, and then in the city, in the house in O’Connell Street opposite the present Provincial Bank. His maternal grandfather, Mr Edmund O’Sullivan of Killegory, was mortally wounded in a duel, but survived five days to repent and die a Christian death.

Young Edmund was educated at Clongowes and then went to Maynooth, and from there to Rome in 1830 where he crowned a brilliant theological course with the “public act de universa theologica”, and the doctors cap in Divinity. On his return in 1838, he was appointed to the chair of Theology in Maynooth, a post he discharged with great distinction for thirteen years.

In 1851 he joined the Society when already 40 years of age. After his novitiate, he was appointed to the chair of Theology at St Beuno’s, Wales.

He became Rector of Milltown Park and held the arduous office of Provincial from 1863-1870. When the Catholic University was established at Dublin, Fr O’Reilly was invited by Newman to take the chair of Theology. This began an affection and esteem between these two great men, which ended only at death.

It is difficult in such a short notice to convey the excellence of Fr O’Reilly’s character. In the words of a very close friend of his, we may say “I have never known a more perfect character or a more blameless life”.

He had a special devotion to the Office, and it was related of him that while a Professor at Maynooth, he used to recite it daily with Dr Dixon, later the saintly Primate of Armagh. His kindness to the poor was known to all.

He retained his faculties right to up the end. Three minutes before he died he raised the crucifix to his lips and kissed it twice with great fervour. His last breath was a prayer. “He has gone to his reward” wrote Cardinal Newman “and all who knew him must have followed on his journey with thoughts full of thanksgiving and gladness for what God made him”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1899

Four Jesuits among our Past

The last number of “The Clongownian” contained some account of our Past in the Army, an account which, though extended, has proved by no means exhaustive. It is now proposed to give a similar record of four members of another societas militans, though their warfare is not of this world.

First on this confined list of Old Clongownians who have · filled responsible offices in the Society of Jesus is the name of Edmund Joseph O'Reilly. In the records of the house at our disposal we find him mentioned among the scholars leaving in the summer of 1830. He was born in London in 1811, and came to the College in 1825, being a school-fellow of Father Frank Murphy SJ, whose death in Australia we recorded eighteen months ago. They were in the Philosophy class of 1829-30, and Father B Esmonde, then Rector, records in his diary, under date of June 29 in the latter year, that “of the four philosophers at present in the house, two (Fr Murphy and Edmd, O'Reilly) have expressed their desire to enter the Society, and are both registered. Both are excellent, virtuous, and talented youths”. The word registered has in this context a curious significance, linking our own days with penal times. The Emancipation Act, passed in the previous year, was not wholly “for the relief of His Majesty's Roman Catholic subjects”. Of its eighteen penal clauses, one provides that “Whereas Jesuits are resident within this kingdom, and it is expedient to make provision for the gradual suppression and final prohibition of the same therein, it is enacted that every Jesuit. . . shall within six months deliver to the Clerk of the Peace notice of his name, age, place of birth, the name of the Order, and of the immediate Superior of the Order, ... and in case he offend in the premnisses, he shall forfeit to His Majesty for every month he shall remain in the United Kingdom, the sum of fifty pounds”. And so the Rector of that day sent in, early in the autumn of 1829, the list of the community and of those likely to join, to Mr Medlicott, then Clerk of the County of Kildare. The subject of this notice. however, did not enter the Society for many years after the registration. He left Ireland for Rome in company with Francis Murphy and John Curtis on September 8, 1830, and joined the Irish College, then presided over by Dr Cullen, the future Cardinal. After a brilliant course in the Roman College of the Society he gained the degree of DD, by examination, and returned to Ireland, where soon he became Professor of Tbeology in Maynooth. There his reputation for holiness and piety rivalled his great name as a scholar and professor. After thirteen years in Maynooth, he entered the Society in 1851, and went through the noviceship, a trial of no ordinary difficulty for a man of his years, whose character and habits were already fully formed. After the period of probation, he professed theology at the Jesuit House of Studies at St Buenos, near St Asaph, and afterwards became Superior of Milltown Park. There he died on November 10, 1878, having been Provincial of Ireland from 1863 to 1870.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Edmund O’Reilly (1811-1878)

In the foregoing pages, only Jesuits who have been members of the Limerick community have been noticed in the biographical index. Yet, this centenary publication would not be complete if it did not assign a notice to two Irish Jesuits who were never members of the community. Father Edmund O'Reilly undoubtedly had much to do with the restoration of the Society in Limerick, while Father John Hannon, an Old Crescent boy, became the second Irish Father Assistant at Rome in the four centuries history of the Society.

Father Edmund O'Reilly (1811-1878), was born in London on 30 April, 1811. Edmund was a child of six when his father decided to return to Ireland and settle down at Mount Catherine House, Clonlara. As Mr. Power died shortly after he returned to the country, the upbringing of the boy devolved upon a mother who was deeply religious in spite of the social class from which she came. She was a daughter of Edmund O’Callaghan of Kilgorey, Co. Clare. Her father was mortally wounded in a duel but survived long enough to repent and die at peace with God. All the O'Callaghan daughters made enviable matches from a social point of view: Lord Kenmare, Bagot of Castle Bagot and Dease of Turbotstown.

Young Edmund was brought for his early education into the city and mother and son occupied a house in George Street opposite the Provincial Bank in the then George Street. His early lessons he learned from a private tutor but later he entered Clongowes. He was accepted for the diocese of Limerick by Bishop Ryan and sent first to Maynooth and later to Rome for his higher studies. At Rome, he resided at the Irish College but took his lectures at the Roman College (Gregorian University) where he graduated Doctor of Divinity after a public act in all theology. He had been ordained priest in 1838. On his return to Ireland, his bishop recommended him to enter the concursus for the chair of theology at Maynooth College and young Dr O'Reilly was successful not only in obtaining the chair but in holding it with distinction for the next thirteen years.

Dr O'Reilly was chosen by Cardinal Cullen to be his theologian at the first National Synod of Thurles in 1850. He acted in the same capacity at the Synods of Oscott and Maynooth. To the surprise of many, Dr. O'Reilly in 1851 asked to be admitted to the Society. He was sent to Naples for his noviceship and the first news he received from Ireland after his arrival there was the sad message of his good mother's death. Father O'Reilly (as he became known amongst his religious brethren who do not use titles even when well earned) fitted in immediately with his new surroundings, in spite of the fact that he was now in his forty-first year. His formation in the Society was limited to the essentials: his noviceship and tertianship.

On his return from Italy, Father O'Reilly was loaned as professor of theology to the English Province of the Society. Later in Ireland, he became the first rector of Milltown Park and in 1863 was appointed Provincial. This latter post he occupied for seven years. Father O'Reilly has always been regarded as one of the greatest Jesuits of the last century not only in Ireland but throughout the Society. His ability as a theologian was known to the General of the Society who had already taken steps to appoint him to the chair of dogmatic theology at the Gregorian University. Fortunately he was allowed to remain in Ireland. Father O'Reilly was acquainted with Cardinal (then Dr.) Newman before his entrance into the Society. The great oratoriau regarded highly the fine intellectual gifts and noble character of the future Jesuit, and the friend ship of both remained constant to the end.

Shields, Bernard Joseph, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/722
  • Person
  • 25 March 1931-03 April 2005

Born: 25 March 1931, Dublin City, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February1966, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 03 April 2005, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1957 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1965 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Bernard Joseph Shields S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Joseph Shields of the Society of Jesus, died in his sleep on 3 April 2005, he was 74.

Father Shields was born on 25 March 1931 in Dublin, Ireland and was a much-loved volunteer staff member of the Sunday Examiner. He will be sorely missed. He was ordained a priest on 31 July 1962 in Dublin.

There will be a Requiem Mass to be celebrated by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April at 10am with vigil prayers on the previous evening at the Hong Kong Funeral parlor, North Point. The Jesuit community will welcome visitors from 5:30pm. He will be buried at St. Michael’s Catholic Cemetery, Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 10 April 2005

Mourning a quiet Jesuit

“I first met ‘Father Joe’, as we fondly called him, in the early 1980s at Holy Spirit College,” reminisced Chan Sui-jeung. “I was looking for research materials on Judaism and he directed me to Matteo Ricci’s dairy, a copy of which was in the college library.” Chan said that their common interest in classics and Chinese history led them into the first of many long conversations.

Chan related that he next came into contact with the Irish-born Jesuit, Father Bernard J. Shields, about 10 years later at the office of the Sunday Examiner. Father Joe did the proofreading and I came as a volunteer,” said Chan. “Office space was at a premium. At times we even shared the same desk!” He said that the always thorough and meticulous “gentle priest with the unusual turn of phrase” was a great asset to the editorial staff, especially when the chase was on for the “right turn of phrase.”

Chan said their quiet moments together produced stories about Father Joe’s student days under the late Father Edward Collins SJ, how he had assisted in sorting Father Turner’s manuscript on Tang Dynasty poetry and his three or so years in Taiwan at the Fu Jen University, where he had met distinguished Jesuit scholars like Father Fang Chi Yung and Father Simon Chin. Chan also noted that he learned to complement his Cantonese language skills with a “quite acceptable Putonghua.”

His long-time friend pointed out a little known fact about Father Joe. “He was a considerable authority on history and the works of Giuseppe Castiglione. When one of the animal heads of the Yang Ming Garden in Beijing went on sale in Hong Kong, it was Father Shields who informed the auctioneer that their historical write up was inaccurate.”

Born on 25 March 1931, he attended Christian Brothers and Jesuit schools in Ireland and joined the society in 1948, taking first vows in 1950. Three years at University College Dublin gave him a first class honours degree in Latin, Greek and ancient history. He came to Hong Kong in 1956 and returned home for theology studies and later ordination in Milltown, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius Loyola, 31 July 1962. He then studied Sacred Scripture in Rome and returned to Hong Kong in 1973. He taught at the diocesan seminary in Aberdeen, the Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Anglican Theological Seminary.

He was also a mentor in Hebrew at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and took students to visit the synagogue in the Mid-Levels on more than one occasion. Chan said,

“I had plans to introduce him to the well-stocked library at the Jewish Community Centre.”

He recalls him as humble, soft-spoken with a gentle smile, popular and loved. Shy and retiring by nature, Father Shields nevertheless stood up and spoke boldly when interviewed on television while participating in a street rally in Hong Kong, on 11 April last year, in defence of his much loved brother and sister Catholics on the mainland.

Chan has fond memories of wine, beers and cheese in the newspaper office at the end of a hard day, when the then editor, Maryknoll Father John Casey, would jokingly accuse Father Shields of being “un-Irish” for taking “water only” during the sacred office ritual.

Father Bernard Joseph Shields died in his sleep on Sunday, 3 April. His three sisters came from Ireland to attend his funeral, celebrated by Bishops Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and John Tong Hon with some 35 priests, at Christ the King Chapel, Causeway Bay, on 16 April. Approximately 400 people came to celebrate his life and mourn his passing. Fellow Jesuits, Fathers Robert Ng and John Russell paid tribute to him at the Mass. He was buried in St. Michael’s Cemetery in Happy Valley.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 April 2005

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born in Dublin in 1931 and educated at Belvedere College SJ. His father was Professor of Economics at University College Dublin, bequeathing to his son a love of scholarship and books.

He joined the Society in 1948 and followed the usual course of studies, including a Degree in Classical Latin and Greek, and he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency in 1956.

He wanted to master Cantonese spending two years at Cheung Chau and was then sent to Wah Yan College Hong Kong, teaching for a year before returning to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, and he was Ordained by Archbishop John Charles McQuaid in 1962. He then made Tertianship, and after that was sent to Rome for a Doctorate in Scripture at the Pontifical Biblical Institute.

The intention was that he would remain in Rome to teach, but then he was invited by the Chinese Provincial Frank Borkhardt to teach instead at the Theology Faculty of Fujen Catholic University in Taiwan. To prepare for this he undertook Mandarin studies at the Jesuit language school of Hsinchu for 18 months.

1973 He returned to Hong Kong teaching Scripture at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he also became its librarian for many years. On return he was also briefly Master of Novices in Cheung Chau.
1977 He was invited to teach Theology at Chung Chi College where he taught New Testament Greek and Studies.

Over his time in Hong Kong he also taught at Lutheran Theological Seminary, Shatin, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, SKH Ming Hua Anglican Theological College.

He also served as Socius to the Regional Secretary for Macau-Hong Kong, William Lo (1991-1996).

Light-hearted and willing to help in any way he could, he also proof-read the Sunday Examiner, as well as normal priestly ministries, such as the Adam Shcall residence once a month.

He was scholarly and keen on accurate information. He was also modest and well mannered, eschewing argument or controversy, preferring to be a conciliator, seeking understanding and peace.

He was especially dedicated to the Church’s Mission in China and its people.

Stephenson, Patrick J, 1896-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/547
  • Person
  • 16 March 1896-05 May 1990

Born: 16 March 1896, Dunkitt, County Kilkenny
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 August 1928, Fourvière, Lyon, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1931
Died: 05 May 1990, Caritas Christi Hospice, Kew - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Patrick was a relative of William Stephenson - RIP 1980

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1923 in Australia - Regency
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial, France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1930 at Paray-le-Monial, France (LUGD) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Stephenson was educated at Clongowes College, Dublin, and entered the Society 31 August 1914. After philosophy studies at Milltown Park, 1918-21, he was sent to Xavier College for regency in 1921, returned to England and France for theology in 1925, and was ordained at Lyons in 1928. Tertianship followed immediately at Paray-Ie-Monial.
He returned to Xavier College in 1930, and remained there for the rest of his life, except for a year as headmaster of Kostka Hall. For a few years, 1933-34, he was minister at the senior school.
Stephenson is best known for his teaching of geography or 'topography', as his subject was irreverently called. Students started the rumor that he dropped the exam papers from just outside his room on the top floor above second division, and the first paper to hit the floor was awarded First place. He also taught religion and French at various times.
His sermonettes on the missions on first Fridays were memorable as was his love for St Vincent de Paul. He ran a monthly meeting of this Society for 60 years, encouraging members to visit the sick and the poor. In addition, he edited the college annual, “The Xavierian”, for 47 years, and recorded news of generations of Old Boys. This was particularly important during the Second World War, when he became the “postbox and scribe to the world”. He would write to Old Boys on active service and their families each evening (his daily letter writing average was twelve), bringing much comfort to the men. Many letters that he received from the war were included in “The Xavierian” for all to read.
Stephenson was a great affirmer of people. His memory was prodigious of whole families for many generations, and he kept a card index system with the names of every boy and his family He was particularly caring for families in trouble, and good at obtaining jobs for ex-students through his long list of contacts.
During school vacations he visited major towns, country or interstate, catching up with Old Xaverians. He never stayed long, suggesting that he should go home about 9 pm. He was always very proud of Old Xaverians who did well, especially those who became judges, lawyers and doctors.
He grew old buoyantly. At the age of 80 he moved from his room in the attic to a room on the ground floor near the infirmary. At the age of 92, when he could no longer look after himself or handle the stairs, he moved to Caritas Christi, the hospice for the elderly. The move gave him a new life, exercising his legs as best he could and ringing up Old Boys from Sister Wallbridge's office when she was otherwise engaged.
He was a small man, but had a large heart and was open to change. He accepted Vatican II and began to wear a tie instead of the clerical collar soon after the Council.
Stephenson was never a good teacher, but was a memorable educator. For his services to education he was awarded an Order of the British Empire by the Queen. He had extraordinary influence on generations of Old Xaverians. His gentle humanity and love of people more than compensated for his lack of academic achievements. He was good company and his stories always enlivened community recreation. His funeral, which packed St Patrick's Cathedral, was a moving tribute to his influence.
In 2016 Xavier College removed Stephenson's name from its sports centre. The rector wrote to the Xavier community that there were some complaints against Stephenson, and that “the Province does not believe that the complaints made against Stephenson have been substantiated, but nor has it dismissed the allegations as being wrong. It believed that, on the available evidence there is room for genuine misunderstanding as to his intentions, as is explicitly acknowledged by one complainant ..., and that in the light of the complexity and seriousness of the issue, we accept that it is appropriate to change the name' of the sports centre”.

Note from William Stephenson Entry
William was a relative of Patrick Stephenson of the Australian province, and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1898.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Extracts from a letter from Fr. P. J. Stephenson, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne :
“... We had brilliant results last year. Xavier boys won 28 1st Class Honours and 68 2nd Class Honours in the December Examinations, 1947. Besides that, they won Exhibitions in Greek, French and Physics ; and four General Exhibitions and 2 Free Places in the University. That was a fine record for a class of about 40 boys. Five Xavierians joined the Noviceship this year : four were boys just left school. An Old Xavierian took his LL.B. Degree and became a Dominican.
Fr. Mansfield has been kept going since his arrival. He will be a great addition to our staff as he can take over the Business Class and the Economic Class. Fr. Lawler came over from W.A. about three weeks ago and has taken up the duties of Socius to Fr. Provincial. Fr. Boylan and his assistant Editor of the Messenger leave for Ireland and Rome soon”.

Timoney, Senan P, 1927-2013, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/806
  • Person
  • 01 May 1927-13 February 2013

Born: 01 May 1927, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1963, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 13 February 2013, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Peter Faber, Brookvale Avenue, Belfast, County Antrim community at the time of death.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-senan-timoney-rip/

Fr Senan Timoney RIP
Fr Senan Timoney died unexpectedly and quietly on Ash Wednesday. At the age of 85 he could look back on a life in four provinces, having quartered his years neatly between Galway, Limerick, Dublin and the North.
As he had covered Ireland in his residences, he covered many of the Province’s houses and ministries with distinction: formation (Minister of Juniors, Director of Tertians), teaching (of Irish, Maths, French, sociology, religion, rowing), headmastering in Mungret, administering (Rector, Socius to Provincial), spiritual direction, pastoral and retreat work, keeping the accounts for Brian Lennon’s chip shop in Portadown, and accompanying the brethren through it all, a good companion and sought after in every house.
He was a formidable golfer, neat and accurate, with a trim figure which in the last years was wasted to the point of emaciation. On Ash Wednesday five years ago they diagnosed the blood condition which required regular transfusions. He moved from Belfast to Cherryfield, where the staff remember his engagement with life, always interested, ready to talk about the TV programmes he had watched, alert to the sick and the suffering, welcoming his countless friends.
He consciously kept death – and any talk of death – at bay. In the end his family and several Jesuits were round him He was given the ashes, and was alert practically up to the moment when the Lord took him. May God be good to him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 151 : Spring 2013

Obituary

Fr Senan Timoney (1927-2013)

1 May 1927: Born in Galway.
Early education in National School and St. Ignatius, Galway
7 September 1945: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1947: First Vows at Emo
1947 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - studied Philosophy
1953 - 1956: St. Ignatius College, Galway - Regency
1956 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1959: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1960 - 1961: Rathfarnham: Tertianship
1961 - 1962: St. Ignatius College, Galway - Teacher; H. Dip. In Ed,
1962 - 1963: Emo - Socius to Novice Director; Minister
2 February 1963: Final Vows
1963 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Minister of Juniors
1967 - 1974: Mungret College
1967 - 1968: Prefect of Studies
1968 - 1969: Rector; Prefect of Studies
1969 - 1971: Rector
1971 - 1974: Headmaster
1974 - 1983: Crescent College, Dooradoyle – Vice-Superior; Teacher
1981 - 1987: Province Consultor
1983 - 1988: Loyola House:
1983 - 1987: Executive Socius; Superior
1987 - 1988: Sabbatical
1988 - 1992: Portadown - Superior
1992 - 1994: Manresa:
1992 - 1993: Directs Spiritual Exercises; Assistant to Director
1993 - 1994: Rector

1994-2013: Belfast
1994 - 1998: Superior: Tertian Director (1995: 1997-1998); Directed Spiritual Exercises; Spiritual Director; Pastoral Facilitator; Assistant Vicar for Religious in Diocese
1998 - 2000: Superior; Chair JINI; Directed Spiritual Exercises; Spiritual Director; Pastoral Facilitator, Assistant Vicar for Religious in Diocese
1999 - 2007: Province Consultor
2000 - 2003: Minister; Superior's Admonitor; Spiritual Director (SJ); Treasurer
2003 - 2007: Directed Spiritual Exercises; Pastoral Facilitator; Assistant Vicar for Religious in Diocese
2008 - 2011: Spiritual Director
2011 - 2013: Resident in Cherryfield Lodge

Senan died on Ash Wednesday morning. Around him were Caitriona, his niece, Mary Rickard, the Province Health Delegate and Liam O'Connell, Socius to the Provincial. Liam had said in succession prayers for the sick, for the dying and for the dead. Before he did that, Liam took the ashes and marked Senan's forehead with the sign of the cross. So ended Senan's earthly life; nearly 86 years since his birth in Galway and nearly 68 years since his joining the Society of Jesus in Emo, in September 1945.

Senan could look back on a life in four provinces, having quartered his years neatly between Galway, Limerick, Dublin and the North, As he had covered Ireland in his residences, he had covered many of the Province's houses and ministries with distinction: formation (Minister of Juniors, Director of Tertians), teaching (of Irish, Maths, French, sociology, religion, rowing), headmastering, administering (Rector, Socius to Provincial), spiritual direction and retreat work, keeping the accounts for Brian Lennon's chip shop in Portadown, and accompanying the brethren through it all, a good companion and sought after in every house, including his final assignment in Cherryfield. As a friend remarked: There wasn't a mean bone in his body.

Always trim, he was a formidable golfer, neat and accurate. Back in the forties such an omni-competent scholastic would have been marked out for the missions, especially Hong Kong. But in Senan's first year of noviciate the Lord sent him an unexplained fever, had him isolated briefly in Cork Street, and planted in Fr Tommy Byrne, the Novice-Master (Senan belonged to the year of Whole-Byrne novices), the illusion that here was a delicate young man who would not be able for the missions. This was Ireland's gain: Senan was never sick again until a heart attack in 1999 and red-corpuscle trouble ten years later, which necessitated the infusion of two units of blood every fortnight.

What, you may wonder, could raise the temperature of a man as equable and calm as Senan? He had known the Jesuits as a boy, had learned Mass-serving from Fr John Hyde, had seen the mainly Jesuit staff of Coláiste lognáid at close quarters, so he did not expect to be surprised when he joined up and went to Emo. But surprised he was, you might almost say appalled, by one feature of noviciate life. What was that? The discipline and chain? No. The isolation? No. The long hours of prayer? No. It was the silence that bugged him. People were not allowed to talk. “I could not get over it. It was unreal and made no sense to me”.

Senan had this gift of articulating what should have been obvious but was accepted as traditional. As Minister of Juniors in 1963 ("an awful job, like a ganger") he was baffled to find the fathers in Rathfarnham Castle herded into the large parlour at 1.45 after lunch, and tied there in stiff conversation till a nod from the Rector at 2.15. Senan made a move: “Let us go free at two oclock." The benign Fergal McGrath was appalled at the suggestion of such a break from tradition.

Freedom was an important value for a man so often burdened with administrative jobs. When he took over from Paddy Doyle as co instructor of tertians with Ron Darwen, Senan would not accept candidates who were assigned unwillingly to tertianship; they must want to come. His cordial relations with lay teachers were clouded by their union's (ASTI) refusal to admit Religious on the grounds that they would all vote the same way as their superior dictated. “We are not like that”, insisted Senan. “We can and do differ from one another while remaining friends”. And it was a feature of the Crescent Comprehensive where Senan taught for nine years, that Jesuits would, in good, amicable spirit, take opposing sides on issues of policy, to the astonishment of new teachers. He was active in staff meetings which would be held without the presence of the Headmaster, and would brief delegates to convey their motions to the Headmaster or the Board of Management.

One revealing episode showed the difficulty of maintaining this freedom. When Senan was secretary of the Catholic Headmasters' Association, ASTI were threatening to strike over a promise that the Government had made and reneged on. A meeting of the CHA voted to come out in sympathy with ASTI, and Senan passed this reassuring news back to his lay colleagues in Mungret. But no statement emerged from CHA, and Senan smelt a rat. He gathered the requisite ten signatures for calling an extraordinary general meeting, and demanded from the Chairman, his friend Sean Hughes, why no statement had been published. Sean admitted that after the CHA meeting and vote, he had consulted John Charles McQuaid, then Archbishop of Dublin, on the matter and was persuaded by JC to back off from a public pronouncement. The whole business smelled of the secretive and coercive character of the Irish church at its worst.

It would be wrong to picture Senan as a flag-waving revolutionary. Rather he used the existing structures intelligently to make his point without stirring up animosity. In Tullabeg, while enjoying the community life, he valued the stage shows as a way of voicing the frustrations of the brethren. In Crescent he supported the meetings of the staff to improve the school in dialogue with the Headmaster and the Board. In the CHA he used the mechanism of an extraordinary meeting to drag secretive machinations into daylight.

One of the most stressful periods of his life came from being vowed to secrecy. In November 1971, Senan and Paddy Cusack, then Headmaster and Rector of Mungret, were asked to meet in Nenagh for Sunday lunch with the Provincial, Cecil McGarry. Cecil came straight to the point: he was going to close Mungret. Then he stood the pair a good lunch (appropriate for people condemned to execution), and vowed them to secrecy about the plan. For four months Senan woke heavy-hearted to face this cloud, unable to discuss it with anyone. He had to make irrational decisions about the future: he watched the installation of new showers, knowing that in two years' time there would be nobody to use them. He cancelled the entrance exam for the following year for some invented reason. One day in March 1972, the Provincial summoned the staff at 2 p.m., and the school at 2.15, with the news of the planned closure. Despite the heavy hearts, the last two years of Mungret were good years, and those who graduated from the school then have remained exceptionally loyal to their friends and their old teachers. One striking example of this: among the crowds at Senan's funeral was a man whom he had expelled from Mungret. “Best thing ever happened to me. I preferred horses to Homer and was at the races when I should have been in class. Senan and my parents saw that schooling did not suit me. I've done fine without it”.

Senan remembered his next nine years, teaching in Crescent Comprehensive, with particular happiness. With four other teachers (of English, history, geography and science) he experimented in team teaching of first year classes. The team would focus on Lough Gur for three months, then on Ancient Limerick, then on the Burren and Aran Islands, taking the pupils through the history, geography, folklore, music and attractions of each topic. They were delighted to find pupils in turn taking their own families on guided tours of the places they had been immersed in.

After those productive years in education, it was a revelation to move north, first to Portadown, then to Belfast, though he had some of the North in his blood - his father was from Fermanagh. They were troubled years, the Good Friday Agreement still a long way off. When Senan went to Portadown, he found an open house, with neighbours popping in at all times of the day and night, chuffed that the Jesuits considered Churchill Park worth investing in. There were informal visits from staff of the Dublin Department of Foreign Affairs, anxious to suss out from the Jesuits how things were moving. He was appalled at the mistaken policy of sending in British army troops to police the North - they were trained to fight, not to keep the peace. He was impressed by the impact made there by Wee Paddy (Doyle), uhwhom he followed later to Belfast and as Instructor of Tertians.

That tertianship is still an unwritten piece of Province history, Senan was happy with the location of the tertians in small communities, in Derry, Coleraine, Belfast, and a meeting point in Maghera. A large tertianship house, with its own cook and institutional character, can foster dependence. But these tertians, living with two or three others, managing their own budget and diet, working things out for themselves, had a more realistic preparation for the probable shape of their future life as Jesuits.

So much for where Senan lived and what he did. A harder question: what made him the remarkable man he was? Here is Alan McGuckian's reflection:
I did the Spiritual Exercises in Daily Life with Senan a few years ago. I remember when we came to the meditation on the incarnation he said with great seriousness; this changes everything. Our faith that the eternal word of God became flesh in Jesus makes everything different, makes everything new.

Those who have known him over the years remember a certain quality of inner freshness and dynamism. Part of that was a gift of nature. Much of it, I maintain, came from his fascination and engagement with Jesus.

Senan's capacity to form relationships was extraordinary. They could be lifelong friendships that were transformative for people – or very short term encounters. In recent years he spent a lot of time around hospitals. He wouldn't be five minutes on a ward when he knew the names of all the nurses and the porters and the cleaners, where they were from and how many children they had and that their brother's mother in law was the sister of the Bishop of Elphin. (I made that up, but you know what I mean.) He loved to get the news about people because he was genuinely interested in them.
Caitriona said to me that one thing she remembered most vividly was that Senan was open and welcoming to everybody. He didn't distinguish between high and low, rich and poor, virtuous and unvirtuous. He took people as he found them. I think that is a gift of grace more than nature. Though it should be said that there were certain kinds of mean-spirited behaviour that he would describe as “lousy behaviour”. Individuals, specified or unspecified, who were guilty of such behaviour, would be termed “lousers”. To be designated as a “louser” was definitely not a good thing!

Senan clung to life with incredible tenacity - but, let it be said, with great patience and dignity. As I watched this I often asked “why?” What was it, I wondered, that he still had to do? What did he still have to learn? What did Senan still have to do? There is one thing that he did in these final months of suffering that means a lot to me personally and I will share it with you.

Over the past 20 years Senan had become a Belfast man. He was the son of an Ulsterman, so returning to the North was really a coming home to his roots. In Belfast he was utterly committed to the life of the community, and worked closely with people in all the churches. He was very committed to the life of the diocese of Down and Connor. There is now a new initiative of pastoral renewal in Down and Connor called The Living Church project, which I myself have the privilege to be involved in. Senan became so excited about the Living Church that he told me very solemnly one day more than a year ago that he had decided that he would offer up whatever he had to suffer for the Living Church. He announced this at a mass he celebrated when he came back for a one-day visit to Belfast.

Those of us who have watched him slowly decline in recent months know that the gradual, irreversible loss of control which was always fought so resolutely had to be a great suffering. One day a few weeks ago when I visited him in St Vincent's, Senan as always wanted to know the news. “How is everyone in Belfast? What about the work?” I told him that the Living Church project was moving forward slowly but surely. "Ah", he said, "I have had a fair bit of pain lately. When I was experiencing a lot of pain, I said to myself, “I know what that is for?” The only time he ever mentioned pain - and that without a trace of self-pity – was to say that he was offering it up, turning it to good use. That goes some way towards answering my question, “what did he still have to do?”

Perhaps that is why he shied away from any talk of death even in the last months, when his body was wasted to the point of emaciation. He came back from death's door so often that the devoted staff in Cherryfield called him Lazarus. He did not know the ground plan of the heavenly mansions, so he did not want to waste energy speculating about them. Instead he remained engaged in life, in his friends, in all the news, to the very end. He would have been delighted to go to the Lord with the ashes still fresh on his forehead. And happy that his prayer was answered: May I be alive when I die. His fellow-Jesuits feel a huge sense of loss for a man who was so central to our corporate life, and such a dearly loved companion.

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013

HOW TO FACE DEATH

Dr John Holien

3.3.2013: letter from Dr John Holien and the team in St Vincent's Hospital who looked after Senan Timoney during his last weeks of life; it was addressed to Senan's niece Mrs Hussey

Dear Mrs Hussey,
Firstly let me apologise for the long delay in writing to you to express my sincerest condolences to you and all the family and the Jesuit community on Senan's death. The team and I had become extremely fond of Fr Senan during his time with us, and the dignity, fortitude and patience he displayed right to the end was amazing - he was remarkably brave, determined and single-minded as he battled away, and these no doubt were traits he'd displayed all his life.

The team and I were aware just how hard the last few months had been for you and the members of his community as you all tried to come to terms with what had happened to Fr Senan. Having not had the pleasure of knowing him before he fell ill, I can only imagine what sort of man he was- the glimpses we had in Vincents made us realise we were caring for a person of enormous intellect, a man who'd dedicated his life to the betterment of others, a selfless man who was much loved by all who knew him. We were always struck by how determined he was even when the odds were against him, how hard he worked and never questioned or complained about what happened to him. He seemed to have this amazing gracefulness to just accept it, offer it up and get on with it, like a true Jesuit in every sense.

I can't tell you how sad we are to lose him - people come and go in Vincent's all the time, but Fr Senan was very special to us and we were devastated we could not make him better. The last few weeks in particular were so difficult as the amazing progress he'd made initially began to fade. I'm so sorry his final few days were not spent where we wanted them to be – at home amongst family and friends, reading the Irish Times and talking rugby.

I hope in the weeks and months ahead you can remember him as the man he was before his illness. It was an enormous privilege for us to have looked after him, I'm just so sorry we couldn't do more. I really mean it when I say Fr Senan made a lasting impression on us all, and I'm sure you have many wonderful memories of a very wonderful man to look back on.

With sincerest sympathies,

John Holien and team

Tomkin, Nicholas J, 1859-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/417
  • Person
  • 18 February 1859-15 November 1942

Born: 18 February 1859, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 31 July 1892, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1898, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 15 November 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin

Cousin of Nicholas A Tomkin - RIP 1923; James Tomkin - RIP 1950; Joseph Tomkin (ORE) - RIP 1942

by 1897 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Cousin of Nicholas J Tomkin - RIP 1942 and James Tomkin - RIP 1950

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943
Obituary :
Father Nicholas J Tomkin SJ
Fr Tomkin died at Milltown Park, at 8.30 on Sunday morning, the 15th November. He had been very poorly for some weeks previous to his death, and had been anointed again before the end came.
Born at Rathmines, on 18th February, 1859, he was educated at Belvedere College, and entered the Novitiate, on 7th September, 1877, at Milltown Park, where, alter a year's Juniorate, he pursued his philosophical studies. Before beginning theology he spent six years teaching mathematics and physics at Belvedere, Clongowes and Tullabeg, and was also mathematical tutor at University College one of those years. He was ordained priest on St. Ignatius Day 1892, at Gardiner Street Church, by the late Archbishop Walsh. On the completion of his fourth year of theology he became Minister at Milltowvn, a post he held till 1896, when, in company with Frs. G. O'Neill, and Gleeson, and the late Frs. James O’Dwyer and T Murphy, he made his third year's probation at Tronchiennes. The Next three years of his life he spent at Belvedere as Minister, then in 1900 he became Rector of that College, a post he held for eight years of very fruitful activity. Belveclerians of that period will recall with affection his genial and attractive personality. Widening the scope of school life, he encouraged College societies, debates, music theatricals and athletics, brought about a closer association of the boys parents with the life, both religious and social, of the College, and was instrumental in founding the Belvedere Union of past students of which he remained a life-long friend and adviser. For the next twelve years he was Rector at Mungret (1908-1912) and Clongowes (1912-1919), and organised and carried through with great distinction the Centenary Celebrations of the latter College in June, 1914, promoting also, with outstanding success, its financial status during the difficult years of the World War.
In the summer of 1919 his long and uninterrupted. tenure of office as Rector for nineteen years in the three largest Colleges of the Province came to a close. For the next five years he was Minister and Procurator of Milltown Park, till in May, 1924, he was appointed to the office of Socius to the Provincial, Fr. John Fahy. Though then a man of sixty-five, Fr. Tomkin brought to his new responsibilities his customary buoyancy of manner, good humour and capacity for hard sustained work. In addition to the usual routine of a Socius' life he had to cope with a large volume of business as revisor of the temporal administration of the Province and the Houses, and was in this capacity of great assistance to the Provincials under whom he served, especially during the period of visitation of the Province. For some time, too he had charge of retreats, and appears to have given every satisfaction in that most delicate of tasks.
Towards the close of 1934 Fr. Tomkin's health broke down, and for the eight years of life that still remained, and which he spent at Milltown Park, he retained the varied interests of his earlier days. He even explored new avenues of activity in the domain of carpet-making and book-binding, whose intricacies he found a boyish enthusiasm in mastering. Graced with a delightful charm of manner he leaves behind him the memory of a life of unremitting toil and selfless dedication in the cause of God.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Nicholas Tomkin 1859-1942
Fr Nicholas Tomkin was born in Rathmines Dublin on February 18th 1859. He was educated at Belvedere College and in 1877 he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park. After the usual course of studies, he was ordained in Gardiner Street Church by Archbishop Walsh.

In 1900 he became Rector of Belvedere for eight years, and his reign there will be long remembered as the Golden Age of Belvedere, when through his administrative ability and charming personality, he expanded the school in all its branches, both academic, cultural and social, and founded at this time the Union of Old Belvederians.

For the next 12 years he was successively Rector of Mungret and Clongowes. In n1924 he was appointed Socius to the Provincial Fr Fahy, though a man of 65 years of age.

He had a childlike cherubic countenance which did not reflect the keeness of mind behind it. But his childlike quality did display itself in a delight in striking a good bargain. Many jokes were told of this side of his character – for example, it was said that he offered to buy coffins on a large scale at a reduced price for quantity profit. However, such stories merely exaggerated a simple fondness for a bargain, which some folks took too seriously.

He died on May 15th 1942.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1943

Obituary

Father Nicholas J Tomkin SJ
Belvedere (1873-77); Entered Society of Jesus (1877); Ordained Priest 1892; Minister, Belvedere (1897-1900;: Rector (1900-1908); Died, Milltown Park, 15th Nov., 1942.

I esteem it an honour to be allowed to pay a tribute to the memory of the late Father Nicholas Tomkin, a distinguished Rector of Belvedere, and, I believe, one of the greatest headmasters of any school of his day, I shall always remember his fine physical presence, his dominant personality, his dignity and power of command, and his rigid justice and discipline, with which his kindliness, humanity, and sense of humour were in no way incompatible.

Becoming Rector, as he did, at the turn of the century and when the world was only just emerging from the narrowness, tyranny, and stuffiness of the Victorian era, he was in many ways a quarter of a century ahead of his time. He at once envisaged clearly and put into operation principles of moral and material reform which even to-day are still being blindly sought after as the expression of a new age. Looking back, it would seem that he achieved the ideal, because he took from the past stern rules of discipline and a tendency to aspire for all standards of conduct, and on this he superimposed a conception of humanity and justice which had been lacking in that past.

His cardinal principle was that there is good in every boy and that if he is instructed with sympathy and understanding his own sense of propriety will prove a better taskmaster than any exterior rule. He did away with corporal punishment, taught that to play was legitimate but that to work was manly and honourable and not the mark of a milksop or a toady. He inculcated the idea that “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” could cover our games, our relaxations, and every activity of our lives, as well as a Latin exercise. He made Belvedere pre-eminent in gymnastics, introduced it to the Rugby Schools' Cup and Cricket competitions, made it the nursery of Irish Swimming, brought Theatrical productions to a pitch of intrinsic merit which has never been excelled, and even encouraged Dancing, Elocution and Manual Instruction. In study he deplored cramming or prize-hunting and aimed at encouraging the mediocre and backward, so that no boy of his time who was not a hopeless recalcitrant ever failed to realise the full potentialities that were in him. He restored and enhanced the historic beauties of Belvedere House, and into the School Buildings he introduced every modern amenity of sanitation and hygiene.. When the Old Boys' Union was. formed through the efforts of distinguished members of the Past, it was his dynamic personality and intense love of the School which made it not merely an Association of Old Boys, but a corporate union of the Past, taking a live interest in the Present, and the boys, sharing with pride in the notable achievements of the Past.

Truly there was nothing that he did not touch; there was nothing he touched that he did not adorn.

In his official capacity of Rector he could preserve a dignity and aloofness which made his authority most impressive, but outside school hours he remained a friend and charming companion, always easy of approach, always full of interesting information on a host of subjects dear to the heart of boys. He made Belvedere such an epitome of what life ought to be that, I think, most boys experienced, for years after they left, a kind of nostalgia which led them to revisit the school at frequent intervals, and in particular to seek to renew contact with Father Tomkin.

He has passed from our physical sight, but as long as boys of his time remain, his memory will linger and his spirit will continue to direct them in every problem of life.

V J O'HARE.

◆ The Clongownian, 1943

Obituary

Father Nicholas J Tomkin SJ

Rector of Clongowes (1911-1919)

Though Fr Tomkin was not at school either here or in Tullabeg, he was associated with both places. He came here from Tullabeg, where he had been on the teaching staff, at the amalgamation, and taught mathematics and physics for three years before going to Milltown Park for his theological studies. In 1911 he came here as Rector in succession to Fr T V Nolan who had been appointed Provincial. It was during the period of his Rectorship, in 1914, that Clongowes celebrated the century of its existence as a school, and very much of the success of the three days of those celebrations was due to the energy and organising powers of the Rector. Almost immediately after these celebrations came the European war which called for qualities of another order: Again Fr Tomkin rose to the occasion, and, mainly as a result of more intensive farming, the conclusion of the war and of Fr Tomkin's Rectorship found the College practically self-supporting.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1943

Obituary

Father Nicholas J Tomkin SJ

We regret we announce the death of Father Tomkin who was our Rector here from 1908-1912 and to whose energy the house owes much. He was in his prime during his period of office here and was active in every part of the life of the house - class-work, debates, plays, games, all were of interest to him and he attended and followed all appearances of the boys with great keenness. To him we owe the Communion rail in the chapel and the final decoration of the chapel. He equipped and opened the infirmary and appointed the first resident matron. As one might expect from his enquiring and scientific turn his day saw the end of oil lamps and gas plant here with his introduction of electric lighting. Old boys will remember him with affection and even very young old boys will recall his annual visit here as socius to Father Provincial.

All will pray for the happy repose of the soul of Father Tomkin.

Father Tomkin was born at Rathmines in 1859. Educated at Belvedere College, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1877, and a before pursuing his higher studies at Milltown Park, was mathematical tutor at University College, and taught physics and mathematics at Belvedere, Clongowes and Tullabeg. He was ordained priest in 1892 by the late Most Rev Dr Walsh, Archbishop of Dublin.

Father Tomkin's exceptional gifts of administration were fully tested by the posts of trust and responsibility he held for about forty years in the various Houses of the Order in Ireland, and notably at Milltown Park, and as Rector for twenty years of Belvedere, Mungret and Clongowes Wood. He was Assistant Provincial during the years 1925- 35.

Graced with a delightful charm of manner, he retained to the end the various interests of his earlier days amid the deepening affection of the many whom he helped or influenced during a long life of laborious service.

White, Francis, 1611-1697, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2242
  • Person
  • 16 March 1611-17 November 1697

Born: 16 March 1611, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 14 September 1634, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Ordained: 1645, Coimbra, Portugal
Final Vows: 28 March 1655
Died: 17 November 1697, Waterford Residence, Waterford City, County Waterford - Romanae Province (ROM)

Superior of Mission 1666
Novice Master Lusitania Province 1665

1639 At Coimbra studying Philosophy
1642 Teaching Greek and Hebrew (at Lisbon?)
1645 At Elvas Teaching Greek and Hebrew (a Hogan slip has Elvas crossed out and Coimbra). Age 31 Soc 11
1649 At Irish College Lisbon teaching Moral Theology
1650 At Alentejo LUS
1658 At Irish College Lisbon Minister and Procurator. Is an M Phil
1661 At Professed House Lisbon, Socius to Provincial
1665 At Novitiate House Lisbon Age 50 Soc 34 (Superior is Francis Uhel?)
1670 Superior of Ireland (Arch Ir Coll Rom I 85,87)
Several of his books in Waterford have “Resid Waterford SJ, Martinus Franciscus Vittus”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1665-1669 Was for Master of Novices in Portugal, and Rector of the Novitiate - one of his Novices was John de Britto (Franco’s “Annales”)
Was Socius to the LUS Provincial
Superior of the Irish Mission
A good linguist
By his zeal, charity and prudence he gave great satisfaction while he was with the Spanish (should be Portuguese) Ambassador in England; Pleased the Irish gentry; had great influence with the Queen and her household.
A letter of William St Leger, Irish Mission Superior, 16 January 1663, speaks highly of him and earnestly asks that he be sent to the Mission,
A letter of Francis, Kilkenny 19 December 1668, shows that he was then Superior of the Mission
(cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had previously begun studies at the Irish College Lisbon before Ent 14 September 1634 Lisbon
1636-1647 After First Vows he was sent for studies to Coimbra, where he graduated MA, ad he also taught Greek and Hebrew there. He was also Ordained there 1645
1647-1660 Sent as Minister at Irish College Lisbon and also taught Moral Theology
1660-1662 Appointed Socius to Provincial in Lisbon
1662-1666 Rector and Master of Novices at Lisbon - one of his Novices was John de Britto
1666 He was sent to Ireland as Superior of the Mission. He was the first to detect the frauds of James Taaffe OSF who posed as a Nuncio with extensive powers from the Pope.
When he finished as Mission Superior he went to Waterford, and spent the rest of his life there until his death 17 November 1697

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962
Francis White (1666-1669)

Francis White was born at Waterford on 16th March, 1617. He went to Lisbon to complete his studies, and entered the Novitiate of the Society there on 14th September, 1634. At the end of it he proceeded to Coimbra, where he studied philosophy and theology, took out his degree of Master of Arts, and taught Greek and Hebrew. In 1647 he became Minister of the Irish College at Lisbon, and lectured on Moral Theology. He made his solemn profession of four vows on 28th March, 1655. In 1660 he was appointed Socius of the Provincial, and two years later he became Rector and Master of Novices. One of the novices trained by him was the future martyr, Blessed John de Britto. Early in 1666 he returned to Ireland, and was appointed Superior of the Irish Mission. He was the first to detect the frauds of the friar, James Taffe, OSF, who claimed legatine powers over the clergy, secular and regular, of Ireland. When his term of office came to an end he laboured as a missioner for many years at Waterford, where he died on 17th November, 1697.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Francis White 1617-1697
Francis White was born of one of the leading families of Waterford on March 18th 1617. He spent a great deal of his early life in Lisbon, where he did his studies and entered the Society.

He taught Greek and Hebrew. In 1647 he went to the Irish College at Lisbon, where he was first Minister, then Rector and Master of Novices. He spent some time in London where he was attached to the Portuguese Ambassador, and had great influence with the Queen and her household.

In 1666 he came to Ireland and was made Superior of the Mission. He was the first to detect the frauds of the friar James Taafe OSF, who claimed legitimate power over the clergy of Ireland.

When his term of office was complete he retired to Waterford, where he laboured for many years and where he died on November 17th 1697.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WHITE, FRANCIS, of one of the best families in Waterford, for many years resided in Portugal, where he was Master of Novices. F. William St. Leger, in a letter dated the 16th of January, 1663, says of him, “It is time that he should serve the Society and the Church of God in his own country. This is expedient and almost necessary; he is eminently qualified by virtue, and abilities, and method; he has filled several offices in the Order. Whilst in England with the Portuguese Ambassador, he gave the highest satisfaction by his zeal and charity; he is known and welcome to the English and Irish Gentry; is well acquainted with languages, and conversant with the world; has considerable influence with the Queen and her Household” &c. A letter of F. Francis White, dated Kilkenny, the 19th of December, 1668, shews that he was then Superior of the Irish Mission. He died at Waterford, on the 17th of November, 1697, at. 87. He had a brother Patrick, a worthy Priest, who nobly did his duty during the Plague at Waterford* in 1650.

  • See p 571 of that invaluable work “Hibernia Dominicana”.