Showing 4735 results

Name

Begley, Henry, 1835-1893, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/914
  • Person
  • 21 June 1835-25 January 1893

Born: 21 June 1835, Coleraine, County Derry
Entered: 17 April 1852, Grand Coteau & Baton-Rouge LA, USA - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)
Ordained: 1866, Natchitoches LA, USA
Professed: 15 August 1872
Died: 25 January 1893, St Mary's University, Galveston TX, USA - Neo-Aurelianensis Province (NOR)

In HIB by 1871 making Tertianship at Milltown Park

Begley, Thaddeus, 1814-1883, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/915
  • Person
  • 24 September 1814-11 March 1883

Born: 24 September 1814, Dingle, County Kerry
Entered: 30 March 1850, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows:15 August 1860
Died: 11 March 1883, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/63
  • Person
  • 25 July 1818-18 March 1867

Born: 25 July 1818, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 11 February 1850, Issenheim, Alsace, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1856, Montaubon, France
Final vows: 03 December 1866
Died: 18 March 1867, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

by 1853 at Vals, France (TOLO)
by 1854 in Cologne, Germany (GER) studying Theology 1
by 1855 at Malta College (ANG) for Regency
by 1857 at Montauban, France (TOLO) studying Theology
by 1860 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Older brother of Michael RIP 1868. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.
After his early education in Grammar and Humanities, he went to Trinity. As he was an eldest so, his family wanted to prepare him as the future representative of the family in an understanding of Society and Politics. So he also travelled much in Europe for that purpose.
In about 1840 a “fashionable marriage” was announced in the Press between the eldest son of and old Catholic Baronet, and the eldest daughter of an old Protestant Baronet, Sir John Burke of Marble Hall. All preparations were in place and the bridegroom went to Clongowes to make a Retreat before his marriage. His younger brother Michael, already being in the Society, meant that the interest of the Community is Christopher was higher than usual. he impressed all with his piety. Waiting for news of the marriage, it seemed to have been delayed, and after a while, there was a rumour that he was in a Novitiate on the Continent. Apparently an issue had arisen which had proven a stumbling block, namely Christopher’s insistence that any children should be raised Catholic. He communicated this to his bride whilst on retreat. A suggestion came back from her family that perhaps any girls would stay with the mother’s religion. Christopher responded by saying that he could not accept this arrangement. He wrote again indicating that the only solution was to relieve her of her promise, and to declare arrangements at an end. Her family wrote back acceding to his request that the children would all be Catholics, but this letter arrived too late - he had left Clongowes, and nobody knew where he was. For some years he did not return to Ireland, and when he did, he was Rev Christopher Bellew SJ. In the meantime, Miss Burke had herself become a Catholic, and lead a very holy life, remaining single, and devoting her life to charitable works.
Christopher joined the Society at Issenheim in France, and after First Vows, began studies in Philosophy at Vals, France. He was later sent to teach Grammar at a TOLO College. While there he became ill, and so was sent to Malta, where he remained as a Teacher for two years. He then returned to France and was Ordained there 1856 at Montaubon.
He then returned to Ireland and spent three years teaching at Colleges.
1859 He was sent to the Dublin Residence as Operarius, and remained there until his death 18 March 1867. He had been very zealous in the hard work of the Confessional.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Christopher Bellew 1818-1867
The life of Christopher Bellew reads like some edifying romantic tale. He was born in Mount Bellew County Galway, the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Baronet. From his earliest years he had a great knowledge and love of the Society, for during his father’s lifetime “Ours” used frequently visit the family mansion, and stay a few days there.
Having completed his early studies, he was sent by his family to Trinity College Dublin, where he went through a distinguished course. He then travelled extensively on the continent to complete his education.
About the year 1840, his forthcoming marriage to the eldest daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, was announced in the Press. The bridegroom came to Clongowes to make a retreat prior to his marriage. Needless to say the Community at Clongowes were intensely interested in the matter, especially as Christopher’s younger brother Michael was already a Jesuit. Weeks passed, and still no account in the papers of this fashionable marriage. At length a rumour started which grew into a certainty, that the bridegroom was in a Jesuit noviceship somewhere on the continent.

What had happened was this : All the preliminaries to the marriage had been settled except one, the religion of the children, as the intended bride was a Protestant. According to a custom, which rightly or wrongly existed at the time, the bride’s family insisted that the girls of the marriage should follow the religion of their mother. To this condition the bridegroom would not agree, and he wrote to say that he released the young lade from her promise and that the negotiations were at an end.

The upshot of this was that the young lade became a Catholic and led a holy life in single blessedness, devoting her time to works of charity.

Christopher entered the noviceship at Issenheim in Alsace. He was ordained priest at Montaubon in 1856. Recalled to Ireland, he taught for three years in the Colleges, and then was stationed for the rest of his life at Gardiner Street. There he was an outstanding operarius, zealous and untiring in the confessional.

He died on March 18th 1867. He succeeded his father Sir Michael Bellew in 1855, and is listed in Burke’s Peerage as the Reverend Sir Christopher Bellew.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Christopher Bellew (1818-1867)

Was master at the Crescent from 1860 to 1861 and again from 1862- to 1864. He was the eldest son of Sir Michael Bellew, Bart, of Mountbellew Bridge, Co Galway. After his studies at Clongowes, he entered Trinity College, Dublin and later got a commission in the army. He was heir to the title and family property but resigned his claims in 1850 to enter the Society. The story of his call to the religious life is curious, if not even romantic. From his family's viewpoint, he had made an excellent match in becoming engaged to the daughter of Sir John Burke of Marble Hall, Co Galway. Unfortunately, his bride-to-be was a Protestant, and her family insisted, according to the custom of the time, that any daughters born of the marriage should follow their mother's religious beliefs. Young Bellew, as the time for the marriage-ceremony approached, decided to return to Clongowes to make a retreat under one of his old masters. During his stay at Clongowes, he wrote to Sir John Burke, insisting that all children of the marriage must be Catholics. The Burkes replied that they could not accede to his demands. Bellew now intimated that he felt bound in conscience to terminate the engagement. This time, the Burkes, anxious that the marriage should be gone on with, waived their demands on the religion of their future grand-daughters. But the letter arrived too late to find him. Christopher Bellew had gone abroad. Later it was learned that he had entered the Society in Alsace. On the completion of his noviceship, he entered on his philosophy studies at Vals in the Lyons Province of the Society, and is next heard of as master in a Jesuit College of the Toulouse Province and later in Malta. He returned to France for the study of theology and was ordained at Montauban. Here, it can be recalled, that his former bride-to-be, Miss Burke of Marble Hall, on learning of Christopher's vocation, became a Catholic herself. She never married but spent her life in works of zeal and charity.

Father Bellew's priestly life was short. After his time in the Crescent, he was transferred to Gardiner St Church where he died three years later. Old newspapers of the time refer to him as “The Rev Sir Christopher Bellew, Bart, SJ”. He never used the title himself, although he could not legally renounce it. He was long remembered at Gardiner St Church as a zealous priest, especially in the laborious work of the confessional.

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/916
  • Person
  • 27 July 1825-29 October 1868

Born: 27 July 1825, Mountbellew, County Galway
Entered: 28 August 1845, St Andrea, Rome, Italy (ROM)
Ordained: 1858
Final vows: 02 February 1865
Died: 29 October 1868, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

by 1855 in Palermo, Sicily Italy (SIC) studying Philosophy
by 1856 Studying at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG)
by 1859 at Paderborn Germany (GER) studying Theology
by 1868 at Burgundy Residence France (TOLO) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Son of an Irish Baronet (probably the Galway Parliamentarians of the 18th and 19th Centuries). Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867, but Entered four years before him. Their home was frequently visited by Jesuits, and this helped develop a great love in Christopher for the Society.

He was sent to Rome for his Novitiate, but he was not long there when his strength began to fail. General Roothaan, seeing how valuable a man he might be in the future, sent him to Issenheim (FRA) to complete his Noviceship. When he had completed his study of Rhetoric, he came to the Day School in Dublin, where he trained the boys to great piety. Then he was sent to Clongowes as a Prefect.
1855 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology, spending his 2nd Year at Montauban, his 3rd at Belvedere, and his 4th at Paderborn.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere for a year.
1860 He was Minister at Tullabeg
1861 He was an Operarius and teacher in Galway.
1864-1867 He was appointed Rector at Galway 26 July 1864, taking his Final Vows there 22 February 1865.
1867 His health broke down, and he was sent to the South of France - James Tuite was appointed Vice-rector in his place. When he returned to Ireland, he stayed at Gardiner St, and died there 29 October 1868.

Belvedere College SJ, Dublin, 1832-

  • IE IJA SC/BELV
  • Corporate body
  • 1832-

After the restoration of the Society of Jesus in 1814, a Jesuit community took over the vacant Poor Clare convent in Hardwicke Street, Dublin. The establishment of St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Upper Gardiner Street in 1832 provided the Jesuits with the premises necessary to establish a school. St. Francis College was established at Hardwicke Street in 1832 however it proved to be too small for this emerging school. New premises were needed and Belvedere House, Great Denmark Street was bought in 1841. The Jesuits at Belvedere remained part of the Gardiner Street community until 1842, with total independence in 1847.

John Curtis, Superior (at Gardiner Street, 1841;
Charles Ferguson, Rector, 1845;
Patrick Meagher, Vice-Rector, 1 January 1846;
Patrick Meagher, Rector, 14 March 1847;
John Ffrench, Rector, 30 November 1855;
Francis Murphy, Rector, 24 June 1856;
Michael O'Ferrall, Rector, 31 July 1858;
Matthew Seaver, Rector, 10 October 1861;
Edward Kelly, Rector, 2 August 1864;
Joseph Lentaigne, Rector, 18 August 1872;
John Matthews, Rector, 7 August 1873;
James Dalton, Minister
Thomas Kelly, Minister, 28 February 1879;
Edmund Donovan, Vice-Rector, 5 October 1882;
Thomas Finlay, Rector, 23 June 1883
James Cullen, Vice-Rector, 14 July 1888;
Matthew Devitt, Vice-Rector, 31 July 1889;
Matthew Devitt, Rector, 8 September 1890;
Thomas Wheeler, Rector, 31 July 1891;
Henry William, Vice-Rector, 15 August 1894;
Henry William, Rector, 28 August 1895;
Nicholas Tomkin, Rector, 29 June 1900;
James Brennan, Rector, 21 August 1908;
John Fahy, Rector, 30 July 1913;
Charles Doyle, Rector, 27 July 1919;
Michael Quinlan, Rector, 30 July 1922;
John Coyne, Rector, 29 October 1928;
Patrick Morris, Rector, 14 February 1931;
John O'Connor, Rector, 16 June 1936;
James Gubbins, Rector, 29 July 1942;
Denis P Kennedy, Vice-Rector, 30 July 1945;
Denis P Kennedy, Rector, 2 June 1947;
Redmond Roche, Rector, 30 July 1953;
Francis McDonagh, Rector, 24 June 1959;
Henry Nolan, Rector, 2 August 1965;
John Kerr, Rector, 31 July 1968;

Benn, William J, 1882-1952, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/917
  • Person
  • 06 May 1882-21 February 1951

Born: 06 May 1882, Castleconnell, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 June 1915, Woodstock College MD, USA
Final vows: 02 February 1919
Died: 21 February 1951, Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1903; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

Bennett, Michael, 1785-1829, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/918
  • Person
  • 1785-06 October 1829

Born: 1785, Phillipstown, County Offaly
Entered: 01 February 1817, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 06 October 1829, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Clane, County Kildare

in Clongowes 1817

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
For many years he discharged the unpleasant and difficult task of attending to the boys and visitors, and though often detained until a late hour at night, and obliged to be at his post again in the early morning, he exercised a wonderful command over his naturally hasty temper, and was always faithful in the performance of all his spiritual duties.
Suffering delicate health, he was sent home to relatives by the Superior, hoping the change might effect a cure. He approached death with such tranquility, that on the day before his death he was able to go outside and mark a suitable site for his own grave.
Note from John Cleary Entry :
He took his First Vows at Clongowes 02 February 1819, and Charles Aylmer said the Mass. There were six others with him : Brothers Egan, Nelson, Plunkett, Mulligan, Bennett and Sherlock, all who persevered happily in the Society to the end.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Michael Bennett 1785-1829
Br Michael Bennett was born in 1785, and entered the Society in 1817 as a temporal coadjutor.

He spent the greater part of his life as a Jesuit in Clongowes, where he discharged the difficult task of attending the boys and visitors, and though often detained by his duties until a late hour, he was always at his post again in the early morning. He exercised wonderful command over his naturally hasty temper, and was uniformly faithful in his spiritual duties.

Having fallen into ill health, he was sent home to his relations by his Superior, in the hope that a change of air might affect a cure. With such tranquility did he await death, that on the eve of his death, finding himself able to, walk outdoors, he availed himself of the opportunity to mark out a suitable site for his own grave.

He died happily on October 6th 1918.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BENNETT, MICHAEL, a Temporal Coadjutor who died on the 6th of October, 1829.

Benson, Patrick J, 1923-1970, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/735
  • Person
  • 19 December 1923-15 May 1970

Born: 19 December 1923, Kilkishen, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 15 May 1970, Fordham University, The Bronx, New York, USA - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The suddenness of Fr Paddy's death came as a great shock. He had left Chikuni for a well deserved leave in January 1970 and during the course of that leave went to the USA to do some career guidance. He had been doing this at Canisius Secondary School with great success and went overseas to acquire the latest techniques. He was staying at Fordham University when he died, and an extract from a letter from the Rector there, Fr James Hennessey S. J., gave the details of Fr Paddy's death:

"He had been here a month and we were delighted to have him. Rarely has anyone fitted into the community so well. He was always pleasant and his humour was delightful, he went about his business seriously and impressed all who came into contact with him. He was cheerful to the last; several who were with him at dinner last evening remembered that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br Bernard F.M.S., came to call for him. They had planned to spend the day together. It was about 10 a.m. and when Paddy did not answer, he went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary".

Paddy was born in Co. Clare, Ireland, on 19th December 1923, an only child. He went to St Flannan's College in Co. Clare and after his final year in school, entered the Society on 7 September 1942 much to the regret of the diocesan clergy who would have liked him for the diocese. He went through the usual training in the Society doing his regency at Belvedere and Mungret. While at these places he was known for his selflessness and the memory everyone had of Fr. Paddy was of his willingness to help others in any way he could. He was ordained at Milltown Park on the 31st July 1956, a happy event which was tempered by the fact that neither of his parents lived to see him ordained. After his tertianship he came to Zambia.

After spending some time learning the language, he became Manager of Schools for a year, then did two years at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College and finally came to Canisius in 1962, as Senior Prefect, a position he held until 1969 when he was acting principal for almost a year.

If one were to pick out two virtues in Fr Paddy, all would agree that his ever-cheerfulness and readiness to help others are the two outstanding ones. He was a man who rarely thought of himself or his own comfort and this combined with a simplicity of soul, endeared him to all who had dealings with him. In all the houses in which he had been, he left his mark, for he was gifted with his hands and electricity had always been his chief hobby. In Milltown Park, Dublin he did the wiring for the telephone system while he was studying there. In many houses in Zambia, both in the Society and elsewhere, there are "many things electrical" which are working due to Fr Paddy's dexterity.

He was never too busy to help others and was ready to drop everything in order to be of assistance to the many who called on him to do "little jobs", to fill in for a supply if someone was sick or unavailable, or just to be cheerful in conversation. This willingness to help others and his fondness for the steering wheel, gave him a certain mobility and it was not uncommon to see him disappearing in clouds of dust down the avenue.

He led a tiring life but even so, at the end of a hard week put in at the school work, he would go off on Mass supply to preach and baptise or help in the parish at Chikuni. To one who lived and worked with Fr Paddy for many years, the oft quoted Latin tag "consummatus in brevi, expleveit tempora multa" (he accomplished much in a short time) takes on a new meaning.

Though he died in New York his body was returned to Ireland to be buried at Mungret where he had taught and which was not too far from his old home.
Many letters of sympathy came to Fr O’Riordan, Education Secretary General, not least from the Minister of Education and his Permanent Secretary. Here are some extracts: "Fr Benson will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others." (Minister of Education); "Fr Benson's calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the cooperative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory." (Permanent Secretary, Min. Ed.).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

The news of Fr. Benson's death in New York on May 15th had a stunning effect on those, and they were many, who but a short time previously had welcomed him back for the holiday break from Zambia; he had spent some intervals in his native Clare and had visited a number of friends in the various houses and professed himself sufficiently fit to do an educational course at Fordham before returning to the missions proper.
After the first announcement of his death Fr. James Hennessy, Rector of Fordham, set himself immediately to give a more detailed account : “Several of those who were at dinner with him last evening remarked that he had been in fine fettle. He must have retired early. This morning a relative, Br. Bernard, F.H.S., came to call for him. They had planned a day together. It was about 10 am, and when Paddy did not answer Br. Bernard went to his room and found him dead. It looked to me as if he had tried to get up, then had fallen back and died quickly and peacefully. There was no evidence of struggle or pain. Fr. Minister anointed him and our house doctor pronounced him dead of a coronary”.
Fr. Provincial here was contacted and it was decided to have the burial at Mungret sixteen miles from Fr. Paddy's native place Kilkishen, across the Shannon.
In Fordham the obsequies were not neglected; over twenty Jesuits were present at the exequial Mass on May 18th; the lessons were read by Frs. Joseph Kelly, Brian Grogan and Hugh Duffy. Fr. Paddy Heelan gave an appreciation of his contemporary and friend at an evening Mass previously and Fr. George Driscoll, Superior of the Gonzaga Retreat House for boys, with whom Fr. Benson had already formed a firm friendship, gave the homily or funeral oration. The suffrages on Fr. Benson's behalf from the Fordham community amount to 150 Masses.
Fr. Paddy was a student at St. Flannan's College, Ennis, and had come to our novitiate in 1942 in company with his fellow collegian Michael O'Kelly whose lamentable early death occurred when later they were theologians together in Milltown. Paddy followed the conventional courses - juniorate and degrees from UCD at Rathfarnham; colleges at Belvedere and Mungret, and theology at Milltown, priesthood 1946.
He went to Zambia (North Rhodesia then) in 1948. An energetic teacher and missionary with considerable versatility and skill in practical matters - his flair with electric fittings saved the mission considerable incidental expenses, obliging and resultantly much in demand. He possessed a pleasant sober manner, not dominating but willing to take his share quietly in the conversation, a sense of humour and a droll remark where apposite. About five years since he was home for the normal break and on this present occasion no one from his appearance would have surmised that the end was approaching; since his death we have been informed that in Africa, he had recently experienced a bout of languor which made it advisable that he take a change which he did in Southern Rhodesia and he appeared to have been re-established on his return to Ireland; the sad and unexpected event of May 15th proved other wise. May he rest in peace.

Fr. C. O'Riordan has forwarded the following letters of sympathy from the Minister of Education and the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education in Lusaka :

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I have learned, with a deep sense of shock, of the untimely death of Fr. Benson whilst in New York. To those of us who were privileged to have known and worked with Fr, Benson, this comes with a heartfelt sense of regret.
Fr. Benson, apart from his long and dedicated service both at Charles Lwanga Training College and Canisius Secondary School at which, towards the end of last year, he acted as principal, will always be remembered for his warm humanity, keen sense of humour and willingness to assist others.
I am writing to you because of Fr. Benson's involvement in education, but would be most grateful if you could convey my sincere condolences, coupled with those of the Minister of State, to Fr. Counihan and to His Lordship, Bishop Corboy, to each of whom Fr. Benson's death must be a grievous loss.
Yours sincerely,
W. P NYIRENDA (Minister of Education).

Dear Fr. O'Riordan,
I was deeply shocked to hear, from our telephone conversation this morning, of Fr. Benson's death.
One is conscious of the significant contribution he made, both at Canisius Secondary School and Charles Lwanga during the years he served in Zambia. His calm and reasoned approach to education problems, his sense of humour and the co-operative and helpful spirit with which he went about his affairs, remain in the memory.
Please accept not only my own heartfelt condolences, but those on behalf of all my officers within the Ministry, who I know will feel Fr. Benson's death keenly.
Yours sincerely,
D. BOWA (Permanent Secretary).

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

Fr Benson taught in Belvedere as a scholastic during the years 1951 to 1953. He went to Zambia in 1959 and was engaged in teaching. This spring, he passed through Dublin on his way to the States for further study and paid two visits to Belvedere of which he cherished such happy memories. It was a great shock to all when he died suddenly in Fordham University early in May.

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to LUGD : 01 January 1901

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

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

Died : 11 October 1917 Passchendaele, Belgium

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1904

Letters from Our Past

Michael Bergin SJ

Ghazir, Syria

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1905

Scenes and Manners in Syria - from the Letters of

Michael Bergin SJ and Austin Hartigan SJ

St Joseph’s University Beyrouth

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1918

Obituary

Father Michael Bergin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1932 : Golden Jubilee

Michael Bergin : A Mungret Jesuit at the Front

Father Michael Bergin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P J Gannon SJ

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1933

“A Son of St Patrick” by Sister S

Father Michael Bergin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Armand

Bermingham , Nicholas, 1721-1758, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/919
  • Person
  • 26 November 1721-30 June 1758

Born: 26 November 1721, County Galway
Entered: 28 September 1740, Bordeaux, France - Aquitaniae Province (AQUIT)
Ordained: 1750/1
Final Vows: 02 February 1756
Died: 30 June 1758, Galway Residence

Alias D’Arcy

First Vows 22 November 1742
1741-1750 At Fontenoy College (AQUIT) - taught Grammar, Humanities and Rhetoric. Studied Theology
1749 at Bordeaux teaching Grammar and Rhetoric
1755-1758 in Ireland where he died

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Humanities and Rhetoric for six years
1752-1755 In Galway
Battersby says he died 30 June 1758 by 1758 is added with a cross before it in HIB Catalogue

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had completed two years Philosophy before Entry 28 September 1740 Bordeaux
1742 After noviceship he completed Philosophy and spent four years Regency at Fontenoy before Theology. Ordained 1750/1
1752 Returned to Ireland and assigned to Galway Residence. He remained there on missionary work until his death 30 June, 1758

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BIRMINGHAM, NICHOLAS. He sometimes passed by the name of Darcy. He was born on the 26th of November, 1721, and entered the Order at Bordeaux, at the age of 19. After finishing his studies and teaching Humanities for six years, he was sent to the Mission, and in that capacity was employed in Galway. But his course was short: for eight years later viz, on the 30th of June, 1758, he was called to receive the reward of his labours.

Bermingham, John, 1570-1651, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/920
  • Person
  • 27 July 1570-15 October 1651

Born: 27 July 1570, Galway
Entered: 19 January 1607, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: November 1607, Antwerp, Belgium - pre Entry
Final vows: 1620
Died: 15 October 1651, Galway Residence

1611 4 years in Soc and 2nd year Theology - good religious, not academic. A businessman suitable as Minister or Procurator in an Irish Seminary
1620 Superior of Galway Residence; FV
1621 has studied Moral Theology
1622 in Connaught
1649 in Galway
1650 knows languages has been a Catechist and Confessor of many years

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Helena, née Kirwan
Studied at Douai and was Ordained at Antwerp before Ent 19 January 1608 Tournai
1613 Returned to Ireland on completing his studies at Berghe-Saint-Winoc, France. On his way home he was arrested at Dunkirk but was released and made his way safely to Galway. The rest of his missionary life was spent in Galway city where he died 15 October 1651
A notable relic of the Old Society in Ireland is the chalice which John presented to the Galway Residence in 1620 and is still preserved at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Bermingham 1570-1651
John Bermingham was born in Galway on 27th July 1570 and entered the Society at Tournai in 1607.

He worked all the time he was in Ireland in Connaught and was Superior of the Galway Residence. In 1649 he is mentioned as being almost an octogenarian.

He had a high reputation for sanctity. Living to a very old age he became incapable of active work, and spent the last years living with his own family in County Galway.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BIRMINGHAM, JOHN In 1649, this Rev. Father was an Octogenarian, and in high repute for sanctity, “vir plane Sanctus”. Incapable of active service, he was then living with his family in the Co. Galway.

Bernal, Patrick, d 1743, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2286
  • Person
  • d 03 October 1743

Died: 03 October 1743, Lima, Peru - Peruvanae Province (PER)

In Chronological Catalogue Sheet and CATSJ A-H

Berrill, Peter, 1712-1784, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/921
  • Person
  • 29 October 1712-03 April 1784

Born: 29 October 1712, County Meath
Entered: 13 December 1732, Palermo, Sicily, Italy - Siculae Province (SIC)
Ordained: c 1742, Palermo, Sicily
Final Vows; 02 February 1754
Died: 03 April 1784, Leixlip, County Kildare

1760 was in Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Taught Philosophy as well as Moral and Scholastic Theology in Spain
1748 & 1755 Stationed in Kildare
1776 he signed an agreement with Fullam, N Barron, O’Halloran, FitzGerald, St Leger, Power, Morony, Austin C Kelly, Lisward, O’Callaghan, betagh, Mulcaile and Nolan, all ex-Jesuits (Bracken’s “History of Suppression”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1734 After First Vows and studies at Palermo, Sicily, he was Ordained c 1742.
For a time he held a chair of Philosophy at Malta but gave up the post for church work over the next five years until his recall to Ireland, 1750
1750 Returned to Ireland where he ministered at Leixlip, where he eventually became Parish Priest.
At the suppression of the Society he was incardinated in Dublin diocese. He died at Leixlip in 1784

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07/07/1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anto Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Berill 1713-1784
Fr Peter Berill was born in Leinster on October 12th 1712, and he entered the Society at Palermo in 1732.

He returned to Ireland sixteen years later, and was Professed on February 2nd, 1754.

He acted as assistant Parish Priest in Kildare and died there in 1784. He was one of the Trustees of the Mission Funds after the Suppression.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770

Loose Note : Peter Berrill
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Peter Berill 1712-1784
Peter Berill, born in Meath, 29 October, 1712, entered the Society in the Sicilian Province, 13 December, 1732. He made his noviceship and ecclesiastical studies at Palermo where he was ordained priest by 1742. After his tertianship he was appointed to a chair of philosophy at Malta but gave up this post after a year and for the next five years engaged in
church work and directed the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin and the Confraternity of the Bona Mors.
He returned to Ireland in 1750 and was assigned to the Dublin Residence but exercised his ministry at Leixlip where he eventually became parish priest. With his ex-Jesuit colleagues he accepted the brief of the Suppression of the Society on 7 February 1774 at Dublin and was incardinated in the diocese. He died at Leixlip in 1784.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BERILL PETER, was born in Leinster, on the 29th of October, 1712, and entered the Society at Palermo, on the 23rd of December, 1732. Sixteen years later he returned to his native Country as a Missionary, and was admitted to the solemn profession of the Four Vows on the 2nd of February, 1754. The year after I find him an assistant to a Parish Priest in Kildare.

Bérubé, Arthur, 1908-1991, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/993
  • Person
  • 20 December 1908-09 January 1991

Born: 20 December 1908, Le Bic, Rimouski, Québec, Canada
Entered: 14 September 1932, Florennes, Belgium - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 07 June 1944
Final vows: 02 February 1948
Died: 09 January 1991, Sudbury ONT, Canada - Canada Superiors Province (CAN S)

by 1954 came to Singapore (HIB) working - 1st group in Singapore with Patrick Joy

Betagh, Thomas, 1738-1811, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/469
  • Person
  • 08 May 1738-16 February 1811

Born: 08 May 1738, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 03 November 1754, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 24 May 1766, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1772
Died: 16 February 1811, SS Michael and John, Dublin

1761 Master of Arts from Metz College and taught Humanities and Rhetoric for 3 years.
1765 Teaching Humanities at Pont-à-Mousson - not yet ordained.
1767 in Ireland

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was of the Betagh family of Moynalty, but “the hospitable mansion, the ample patrimony, had become the portion of plunderers” (Dr Blake’s funeral oration)
A sketch of his life with an engraved portrait is given in “Watty Cox’s Magazine”, March 1811, and in a funeral oration by Doctor Blake, Bishop of Dromore.
His monument, with an inscription, is in the Church of SS Michael and John.
He was Vicar General in Dublin; a celebrated and indefatigable Preacher. A Priest glowing with charity for the poor.
His name in Dublin was still synonymous with learning, piety, zeal and philanthropy (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Received a classical education at John Austin’s school in Dublin.
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA, and then taught for 4 years Regency before being sent for Theology at Pont-à-Mousson where he was Ordained 24 may 1766.
1767 Sent to Ireland and became an assistant Priest at SS Michael and John, Dublin. While there he worked with Frs Austin, Mulcaile and Fullam at Saul’s Court Seminary
1773 At the Suppression he was appointed a curate at SS Michael and John, Dublin
1781 Founded a free parish school for boys at SS Michael and John, Dublin
1799 Appointed PP at SS Michael and John, Dublin and Vicar General of the Diocese until his death 16 February 1811
His memorably large funeral took place (temporarily) at the vaults of St. Michan's. Later his remains were brought back for reburial in the vaults of the newly-finished parish church of SS Michael and John

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
The name “Betagh” is Biadhtach” in Irish, which signified a hospitable man. In the early days of Christianity in Ireland, it was customary that the “proprietor of the soil” who lived close to the high roads, to keep an open house for the entertainment of passing travellers, who would otherwise find it inconvenient, and in many instances fatal, to travel through the country. These people were called Biadhtach. It was very common practice, and suggests that communication between different parts of the kingdom must have been frequent.
The Betagh family held possession of a large tract of land in Moynalty, near Kells, undisturbed until 1641. When Cromwell had killed the King, Thomas’ father fought against him, as one of many Catholics who fought against the regicide, and on behalf of the Stuarts. He was requited for his bravery and loyalty. He had also sent his son to Paris at the start of the Cromwellian war for education. The land was taken by Cromwell and given to one of his followers. When Charles II was restored, the dispossessed were invited to reclaim their lands, and an application was received from a young Thomas Betagh, though the English possessor claimed he did not have the right, as he was a rebel, and the possessor prevailed in Court. His father then lived as a tanner in Kells.
In Paris, Thomas received his early education and then entered the seminary at Pont-à-Mousson, and progressed very rapidly through his studies. He became remarkable for his extraordinary literary attainments. he was highly esteemed in the seminary, never contradicting anyone unless it was a mater of dogma or morality. He had great self possession, and was heard to say “from the age of fourteen, Providence seemed to encompass him with an impervious shield, or barrier, which secured him against the attacks of the enemy of mankind”.
He remained in France until the Suppression by Clement XIV, and had been appointed a Professor of languages. He had intended to remain in France but for the Suppression. He returned to Ireland in 1773, and opened a Latin school with John Austin in Sall’s Court, Fishamble St. He was later appointed as curate at St Michael’s, called Rosemary Lane, where he earned a great reputation for sanctity and apostolic zeal. His main focus was the poor, and he seemed to have a great capacity to communicate with them, and at the same time, he retained his scholarship. He subsequently became PP at St Michael’s and also a Vicar General of the Diocese. All of this while he suffered from a severe infirmity, and protests from his physicians. He also established an “Evening School” in Skinner’s Row, primarily for the poor, and in an effort to support them from the punitive laws of the time. From that school he chose a certain number, whom he thought might at some future time be appropriate for the priesthood. In many ways he is the link between the Suppressed and Restored Society. The same year that he died, his protégée Peter Kenney, founder of the restored Society, finished his Theological studies.
An obit in “The Dublin Magazine” March 1811
His death was looked on as a public calamity. On the days of his funeral, many shops were closed, and a huge number followed his remains to their resting place.
Nicholas Sewell SJ to Thomas Betagh SJ 07 July 1809 :
“About three weeks ago I informed you that we proposed, towards the end of this month, sending some of the Irish Eleven to Palermo, in order to finish their studies there, and to obtain ordinations. For this end, we wrote to our friend Mr George Gifford, at Liverpool, to inquire whether there would be any ship sailing from thence for Palermo, about this time. Mr Gifford, finding a good ship, with proper accommodations, ready to sail, engaged with the captain to take six of our young men , binding himself to forfeit the whole passage money if he did not get on board by the 5th of this month. Thus we were obliged by the contract to send the young men immediately to Liverpool, and by a letter from one of them, they were going on board the ship on the 4th, and I suppose the have sailed before this. The names of the young men are : Bartholomew Esmonde from Kildare; Paul Ferley Dublin; Charles Aylmer from Kildare; Robert St Leger, Waterford; Edmund Cogan, Cork; James Butler, Dublin. The first two are not on the Irish Establishment. It was the free voluntary choice of them all to go. They are all young men of abilities, have done very well in their studies here, and are likely to do credit to their country, and Mr Plowden speaks much praise of them all. A time was pressing, we could not wait for your answer to my last letter, which I hope you received. The Rev mr Stone will return home tomorrow. We are all very well, and our new building rises fast and well..........

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for you than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14 June 1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07 July 1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and Irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anti Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Betagh, Thomas
by Dáire Keogh

Betagh, Thomas (1738–1811), Jesuit priest and educator, was born in May 1738 in Kells, Co. Meath, into a family of tanners whose ancestors had lost their estates in the Cromwellian confiscation. He received his early education at Kells, but was enrolled in the Jesuit academy in Saul's Court newly established by Fr John Austin (qv) when his family moved to Dublin. In 1755 he entered the Jesuit seminary at Pont-à-Mousson in Lorraine, France, where he taught theology and languages following his ordination in 1762.

Betagh returned to Ireland in 1769 and began his ministry as a teacher at Saul's Court. His arrival in Dublin coincided with the revival which characterised late eighteenth-century Irish catholicism; Fr Betagh was in the vanguard of this movement. Throughout, his priority remained education. In 1784 he succeeded Austin as rector of Saul's Court, and his graduates included Daniel Murray (qv), later archbishop of Dublin, and the Jesuit Peter Kenney (qv), founder of Clongowes Wood College. In addition to this academy for the ‘better sorts’, Betagh founded evening, day, and Sunday schools, first in Schoolhouse Lane and finally in Smock Alley. In this ‘Free School’ he was, in the words of his funeral oration, ‘father, physician and director’ to three hundred boys.

Following the suppression of the Jesuits by Clement XIV in 1773, Betagh served as a priest of the diocese, first as a curate in SS Michael and John in Rosemary Lane. In time he became a vital collaborator of successive archbishops, as vicar-general to the reforming Archbishop John Troy (qv) and advisor to Archbishop Daniel Murray, his former pupil. In Jesuit history he forms a bridge between the Old Society, of which he was the last survivor and guardian of their funds, and the restored Society, whose revival, in 1814, he facilitated by sending a number of his students, including Peter Kenney, Bartholomew Esmonde, and Charles Aylmer (qv), to Stonyhurst and Palermo. A renowned preacher, he was also influential in nourishing the vocation of the young Catherine McAuley (qv), who founded the Sisters of Mercy.

Betagh lived through troubled political times. In the radical politics of the revolutionary age he was ranked, in 1796, among the ‘moderates’ by Dublin Castle informer William Corbet (qv) (d. 1838?). Recommended to the English traveller William Reed as ‘the most learned and best informed man in Ireland’, he was prominent in the anti-veto faction of the post-union era.

Betagh died 16 February 1811 at his home in Cook Street. In an age of increasing sectarianism, an obituary in Walker's Hibernian Magazine celebrated ‘this truly great man . . . as much esteemed by the Protestants as he was beloved by his own flock’. His funeral, attended by upwards of 20,000 people, was among the largest seen in the city. His remains were placed in the Jesuit vault in old St Michan's church. In 1822 they were transferred to the crypt of the new SS Michael and John chapel, Essex Street, the foundation of which he laid in 1810. His resting place was marked by an elaborate monument executed by Peter Turnerelli (qv). In 1990, when that church was deconsecrated, his remains were removed to the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery.

A stipple and line engraving likeness by John Martyn (d. 1828) (after William Brocas (qv)), published in 1811, is in the NGI, as is a pencil drawing by William Brocas; while the monument by Turnerelli in SS Michael and John, Dublin, has been dismantled, the medallion remains.

NAI, 620/25/170; Archives of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, Dublin, Betagh MSS; ‘Prosopography of Irish Jesuits’, Archives of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, Dublin; Monologies, 1800–99, Archives of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, Dublin; Walker's Hibernian Magazine (Feb. 1811); Cox's Irish Magazine (Mar. 1811); W. Reed, Rambles in Ireland (1815); M. Blake, Sermon preached on the lamented death of V. Rev. Thomas Betagh (1821); W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Dublin (1854); G. A. Little, Father Thomas Betagh (1960); ODNB

◆ James B Stephenson SJ The Irish Jesuits Vol 1 1962 & ◆ Irish Jesuit Directory 1934

FR THOMAS BETAGH, SJ
(And the Popular Schools of the Irish Jesuits in Dublin during the late Penal Times)

The eighteenth century was the epoch of triumph for the English State Church of the Protestant Colony in Ireland. That triumph was seen most strikingly in their joint action against Catholic Education. Evidence of this, as conclusive as it is laconic, may be adduced in the following excerpts from the Roman Records of the Irish Jesuit Mission during twenty-five years, the years when the Penal Code was wrought with care to its iniquitous perfection, 1692 to 1717.

On November 25th, 1694, Father Antony Knoles, SJ, Superior in Ireland (May 15th, 1694, to his death at Waterford, August 14th, 1727), writes to his personal friend, Thyrsus Gonzalez, General of the Order, at Rome : “ Very great is the diligence of our adversaries, and it is nou most intense, to prevent members of the Order from giving education to boys. But their zeal is enough to urge then to face the work and its danger with courage; they toil in secret”.

Father Knoles writes again to Rome, February 17th, 1695, telling how “at Kilkenny the State officials have committed to prison the colleagues that I had, because they carried on the education of a few boys”.

On February 12th, 1717, the Triennial Account sent to Rome states that “Father Michael Murphy is taking the risks of giving education to young people at this time in the capital of the country. He has taught Greek and Latin throughout the last five years, and is doing so at present”.

There is no need to set out here the ingenious thoroughness of the Penal Laws under which this educational work was being done through the eighteenth century. But it may be serviceable to insist upon the proved fact that the laws on education were being enforced by both the Cromwellian State and its State Church. There are fragmentary portions of the Grand Jury Records available for three or four counties of Munster, 1712 to 1724. They show continuous action by Grand Juries and Magistrates. In County Limerick alone, from 1711 to 1723, nineteen Popish schoolmasters were “presented” by the Grand Jury. With an absolutely Protestant common jury, and a Protestant judge of the new type this indictment meant conviction and transportation for life to serve as a bondsman on the cotton and tobacco plantations in America. Rewards were voted to informers. Scores of Catholic parents were also indicted at Assizes, as we know from the surviving patches of the “Record Books” for Galway and Clare and Kerry. We have the testimony, in “Reports to the Dublin House of Lords, November, 1731”, as to the activities of the prelates of the State Church, testimony given under their own hands and seals, Henry Naule, Bishop of Derry, declares that in his diocese, even in its mountainous areas, no Popish schoolmaster is allowed to teach. If they try to do so, they are constantly threatened with indictment at Assizes: and “they generally think proper to withdraw”. Edward Synge, State Archbishop of Tuam, Administrator of Clonfert and Kilmacduagh, in three separate reports confirms the evidence from Derry in precise detail. Then one Popish schoolmaster was recently convicted, he says, the effect was very salutary; the rest “absconded”.

A new policy of Constructive Aggression dated from 1733. In addition to these persecuting activities, the Parliament and Government at Dublin, with the enthusiastic support of Prelates and Press, Deans and Grand Juries, set on foot the Charter School system in 1733, and gave it liberal public grants from 1714. The Irish Jesuits had in very deed additional reasons for being active in education. Their reports to Rome at this period show fully that they realised this need. Rarely as many as twenty in number, they were at work in many or the former Anglo-Norman cities and towns, places no longer as Catholic as they had been, for they were very thoroughly cleared of Popish inhabitants both under William and under Anne. The need of schools, however, was greatest in Dublin. Aggressive proselytism, both under State auspices and by independent societies, has always been conspicuous in the capital of Ireland. Its preferred region for action has always been the poorest part of Dublin, from the Coombe northwards across the River Liffey to Henrietta Street and Bolton Street. From 1714, Dean Swift was thus active around the deanery house beside the Coombe; he had the constant support of Archbishop Willian King, 1702-1729, from his palace hard by. From 1727-30 the same work was powerfully pressed forward from his town residence by Primate Hugh Boulter of Armagh, the real governor of Ireland, from 1730 to 1750, the originator of the Charter Schools in the years 1730 to 1733.

This work of evil was combated on the spot by the Irish Jesuits, who, in the lanes and alleys of oldest Dublin, conducted schools all through the later Penal period, 1750 to 1810. They combined elementary with classical education, as did the country schools of that epoch, all over Ireland. There was then no talk of the educational ladder for the gifted children of the Catholic poor of Ireland. They had a broad highway, and the enemy knew it well. Samuel Madden wrote of it in 1738 in his “Reflections from the Gentlemen of Ireland, as landlords and as Members of Parliament”. In close collaboration with Bishop Berkeley and with Thomas Prior, he founded in 1731 what became the Royal Dublin Society. The determination of the Irish people to have full opportunities for a liberal education disgusted him. “Crowds of the Irish”, wrote the founder of the Madden Prize in Trinity College, Dublin, “waste their time and their substance as poor scholars. If only their spiritual governors were effectively removed, and their Church government by that means subverted, this would finish the work for us”. This “work” was repeatedly defined, in the Protestant school documents of the epoch, as to make the whole nation Protestant and English.

But even in that sorely-beset region of Dublin, commanded by the Castle, the King's Inns of Court, the two Protestant cathedrals, in addition to their two deaneries and the residences of the State Archbishops of Dublin and Armagh, Catholic schools managed to operate throughout that terrible century. The older Religious Orders, as the Carmelites from 1758, did great work in the cause of popular Catholic education. So did many hundreds of humble Catholic teachers, laymen and women, who conducted illegal schools among the very poor, north as well as south of the river. There was a sequence of efforts to conduct schools in the cities and larger towns from 1690 to 1720 and the ensuing decades. In 1750, John Austin, SJ whose name was long held in reverence, opened in Saul's Court, off Fishamble Street, a classical school. By 1770, with the aid of his brethren, such as James Philip Mulcaile and Thomas Betagh, a boarding house for pupils from the country was set beside Father Austin's school. It became, formally or virtually, the Diocesan School for Dublin, Meath, and adjoining counties. It produced such men as Daniel Murphy and Michael Blake, both determined opponents of the Veto proposals, 1799 to 1825.

The work for Catholic education, thus developed on what may well be termed the front line of action, was maintained all through their long lives by such men as Fathers Mulcaile, Austin, and Betagh. The alteration of ecclesiastical status which supervened for them, when, in the autumn of 1773, the Order to which they belonged was suppressed by the Holy See, made no difference in their daily service of popular education. When thus advanced to the rank of the pastoral or diocesan clergy, they acted as assistant priests in the same populous areas as before. Their school system expanded from Saul's Court into Skinner's Row, Hoey's Court, Smock Alley, Archbold's Court, and Schoolhouse Lane, while Father Mulcaile's energies were spent chiefly north of the River Liffey, in the lanes around George's Hill, Phrapper's, Ball's, Fisher's, and others besides.

Father Austin was the first of these school-men to be called to his reward. His death evoked a wonderful manifestation of regard from Catholic Dublin, Twelve years afterwards, 1789, a Protestant English traveller, Charles Topham Bowden, visited Dublin during an extended Tour in Ireland (London, 1791). Having come upon Father Austin's epitaph in the parish Cemetery of St. James, he recorded its text in full, and added :
“I was led to make inquiries relative to Austin, and was told he was a very remarkable character in this metropolis about twelve or fourteen years ago, of: extraordinary learning and extraordinary: piety; that he constantly dedicated all his acquisitions, which were very considerable, to the poor, visiting them in cellars and in garrets, never a day happy that he did not give food to numbers”.

Even more remarkable is the record and the popular recollection :of the great educational no less than the great ecclesiastical work done on to the very last week of his long life by the surviving Irish Jesuit of the Old Society, Tatler Thomas Betagh (1738-1811). When the Order was ejected from its 108 colleges in French, in 1762, by the arbitrary decrees of Louis XIV, at the instigation of Choiseul and Pompadour, Betagh was a student in Theology, just ordained at Pont-á-Mousson in Lorraine. The Irish Jesuits were well known at that ducal University as far back as 1592. Then one of their number, Richard Fleming, was Chancellor there, having among his students Pierre Tourier, the staunch Lorraine patriot, who became a notable organiser of schools for the children of the countryside, and who was canonised in our own times. Having given up his whole energies to work among the Catholic poor or St Michan's* parish, Father Betagh became its parish priest late in life, and was also Vicar-General of the diocese of Dublin some years before his death in February, 1811. Two aspects of his career have impressed themselves very distinctly on local tradition. He was a determined opponent of the “Veto” movements that would have subjected the entire religious administration of Catholic Ireland to the intervention of a Protestant, civil power, bitterly hostile in all its official instruments, and in all its political and social connections in Ireland, even more than in England, to everything Catholic and Irish. His courageous and outspoken views on this vital issue were a main determinant of the definitive rejection of the “Veto” by the Bishops of Ireland in 1808; and he was naturally a centre, of strength and influence for the whole country on that and on cognate questions. He exercised this influence, no less than he practised the noble work of popular education, up to the end. Unsuspected external evidence has recently been acquired:which sets his position forth very clearly; it may be here drain on in an abbreviated form. Among the numerous English travellers in Ireland who printed some account of their experiences on their return was a Baptist minister, William Reed, of Thornbury, in Gloucestershire. Reed landed at Cork in September, 1810, reached Dublin in November, and the very rare volume of his travels appeared in London, 1815. Of Father Betagh he writes thus:
“I desired to be better acquainted with the real character of the Roman Catholic religion in Ireland. On arriving in Dublin, I was desired to consult Dr Betagh, who was said to be the most learned and the best informed man in Ireland, and who added to these accomplishments an amenity of manners that was almost enchanting. Accordingly, one morning I knocked at the door of this venerable monk, but could not have access to him then, as he was giving audience to two Bishops. The next morning I found him alone. Requesting to know my business, he desired me to draw my chair nearer to the fire, and we soon entered into the depths of the most serious conversation. I questioned him on the subjects of Purgatory, Indulgences, the use of Holy Water, Praying for the Dead, Transubstantiation, Praying to the Saints, and particularly of the Virgin Mary, whom they call the Mother of God. I found him very eloquent. He defended every part of his system with an acuteness and force, ingenuity and masterly address, that astonished me. He had received me with the greatest politeness”.

His Baptist visitor did not have occasion to see Father Betagh at work in those schools of his, schools of the parish where he laboured and that still bear his name. But we may draw on Mr Reed's text to show how popular education then fared in the South of Ireland, along the roadside. It will serve to illustrate, by immediate comparison, the arduous service which the parish priest and Vicar-General of Dublin rendered during that autumn of 1810, which was to be the last in his earthly life. He taught his scholars in the cellars of Cook Street. The work was thus severer than that seen by Mr Reed on his way to Dublin in 1810, through Munster.

“A desire for education manifests itself, and very generally, among the lower orders of the people. In any wanderings through the country I found several very humble seminaries, called Hedge Schools. Not having any other convenience, the scholars are taught reading, writing, etc., in the open air, under the shade of some embowering hedge, or branching tree; and very often the green bank and the smooth shelves of the rock answer purpose of the bench and the desk”. - (Ramples Through Ireland, London, 1815, p.52).

The urban counterpart of the Munster Hedge Schools was described in the sermon on Father Betagh's life and work. It was delivered on Palm Sunday, 1811, by his own scholar, his colleague in the pastoral work of Dublin City, that Father Michael Blake, who was afterwards Bishop of the northern diocese of Dromore, down to 1860, He recorded with emphasis his experience of the poor among whom he, and his master, had worked for many years. “Our poor”, said Dr. Blake, “are the most interesting people on the earth, the most noble-minded, the most grateful, and most hospitable, the most considerate, and the fondest of learning”. To that decisive finding may be subjoined two sentences spoken by Dr. Blake on Father Thomas Betagh, the Dublin parish priest whose name and work have survived to this day on the lips of the poor and plain Catholics of the oldest city regions:
“Look to that Free School, where three hundred boys, poor in everything but genius and spirit, receive their education every evening, and where more than three thousand have been already educated. Can you estimate sufficiently the value of the man who established that institution; who cherished the objects of it; who supervised their instruction; who rewarded the most promising of them with a classical education; who, at the age of seventy three, would sit down in a cellar to hear their lessons?”

The Irish Jesuit, the last of the Old Society of 1540-1773, who provided and who taught in that Free Popular School for elementary and for classical education, died in February, 1871, at 92 Cook Street, Dublin. Just a year later, in 1812, Father Peter Kenney SJ, pupil of Father Betagh, the first Superior of the Restored Irish Mission of the Society of Jesus, reached Dublin after completing his ecclesiastical studies at Palermo in Sicily, and took up work at Mary's Lane Chapel, north of the River Liffey. His seven fellow-students, all of whom had been Father Betagh's scholars, followed him home, from 1811 to 1814.

Timothy Corcoran SJ
*Addendum for St Michan's read “St Michael’s”
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Betagh SJ 1738-1811
Fr Thomas Betagh was the last survivor of the Irish Jesuits of the old Society. Like many another Irish family, his forefathers had been deprived of their estate, Moynalty, near Kells, for their loyalty to the Stuarts and their Faith. They were reduced to the state of peasantry. Thomas’ father was a tanner at Kells. He was born on May 8th 1738, and having received a grammar school education in Father John Austin’s school in Saul’s Court, Dublin, he was sent at the age of fourteen to the Jesuit Seminary at Pont-á-Mousson, in Lorraine, in 1752. He had a brilliant course here and ended up as professor of Classical Languages at the Ecclesiastical University. On the Suppression of the Society, he returned to Ireland and resumed his teaching activities with his old master, Fr Austin in Saul’s Court.He was appointed a curate at St Michael’s parish in Rosemary Lane, and succeeded as Parish Priest and Vicar General in 1799.

His work as a pastor and educationalist was unflagging, in spite of continual ill-health, for which he suffered all his life with a hernia. In addition to the ordinary school at Saul’s Court, which served as the sole source of education for Catholics in Dublin, and as the Seminary for the Diocese, he instituted his famous night-schools for the poor, in Schoolhouse Lane, in Hoey’s Court, Smock Alley, Derby Acre and Skinners Row. With good reason he did become a legend to the people. A friend once voiced the sentiments of the public “Oh Betagh, what will become of us when you go to heaven?” With his brilliant student Peter Kenney in mind, he replied “No matter; I am old and stupid; there is a cock coming from Sicily that will crow ten times as loudly as I could”.

He died at twelve o’clock on the 16th of February 1811, at his residence in 80 Cook Street, Dublin, aged 73. His remains were finally deposited in the old chapel at Rosemary Lane. A monument was erected to him there and subsequently removed to a new Church of SS Michael and John. It is estimated that no fewer that 20,000 people walked at his funeral.

◆ Clongowes Wood College SJ HIB Archive Collection - SC/CLON/142

Thomas Betagh 1738-1811
Thomas Betagh, born 8 May 1738 of an old Meath family, once Lords of Moynalty, received his classical education at Father Austin’s school in Dublin before he entered the Society at Nancy 3 November 1754. After his noviceship he studied at the University of Pont-à-Mousson where he graduated M.A. He entered on his regency in the same city and having professed rhetoric there for four years he studied theology, He was ordained priest at Spire on 24 May 1766. He was recalled to Ireland the following year and appointed assistant priest in the parish of St Michael and John He also collaborated with Fathers Austin, Mulcaile and Fullam in Saul's Court seminary.
On the Suppression of the Society he was incardinated in the diocese and appointed curate at St Michael and John's. As curate of the parish he founded in 1781 his free school for boys. In 1799 he was appointed parish priest and Vicar General of the diocese. Shortly before he resigned his parish in 1810 he laid the foundation stone of the parish church. He died on 16 February 1811 and was buried temporarily in the vaults of St.Michan's church. His remains were later reburied in the vaults of the new church and remained there until the deconsecration of the venerable church building. He now sleeps in the great Jesuit plot at Glasnevin. He was the last to die of the ex-Jesuits of the Third Irish Mission but he lived long enough to know that the first Jesuit of the Irish Mission soon to be restored, Peter Kenney,one of his own former pupils, was already ordained priest and ready to return from Sicily to Dublin.

◆ MacErlean Cat Miss HIB SJ 1670-1770
Loose Note : Thomas Betagh
Those marked with
were working in Dublin when on 07/02/1774 they subscribed their submission to the Brief of Suppression
John Ward was unavoidably absent and subscribed later
Michael Fitzgerald, John St Leger and Paul Power were stationed at Waterford
Nicholas Barron and Joseph Morony were stationed at Cork
Edward Keating was then PP in Wexford

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BETAGII, THOMAS. This very Rev. Father and Vicar General of the Archdiocess of Dublin, entered into his rest in the Irish Metropolis on the 16th of February, 1811, aet. 74. The vast attendance of Citizens and Clergy at his Funeral Obsequies was a public testimony to his worth and charity. His monument was to be seen in the Old Chapel, Rosemary Lane, and now in the New Chapel of SS. Michael and John, Lower Exchange street, Dublin, on the Epistle side of the Altar. The inscription is as follows :

" Glory to God, most good, most great."
" THIS MARBLE,
CHRISTIAN BROTHER, PRESENTS TO YOUR VIEW, THE LIKENESS OF
THE VERY REV. THOMAS BETAGH, S. J.
(VICAR-GENERAL OF THE ARCHDIOCESS OP DUBLIN,)
AND DURING MORE THAN TWENTY YEARS
THE EXCELLENT AND MOST VIGILANT PASTOR OF THIS PARISH,
WHO GLOWING WITH CHARITY TOWARDS GOD AND HIS NEIGHBOUR,
WAS EVER INDEFATIGABLE IX HIS MINISTRY,
TEACHING, PREACHING, AND EXERTING ALL HIS POWERS
TO CONFIRM THE TRUE CHRISTIAN IN THE FAITH ONCE DELIVERED TO THE SAINTS, AND TO BRING BACK THE STRAYING INTO THE WAYS OF SALVATION.
HIS CHIEF DELIGHT AND HAPPINESS IT WAS
TO INSTRUCT THE YOUNG, ESPECIALLY THE NEEDY AND THE ORPHAN,
IN RELIGION, PIETY, AND LEARNING,
AND TO FORWARD AND CHERISH THEM WITH AFFECTION TRULY PATERNAL.
HIS ZEAL FOR THE SALVATION OF SOULS CONTINUED TO BURN WITH UNDIMINISHED ARDOUR,
UNTIL THE LAST MOMENT OF HIS LIFE,
WHEN WORN DOWN BY LINGERING ILLNESS, AND INCESSANT LABOURS,
THIS GOOD AND FAITHFUL SERVANT DELIVERED UP HIS SOUL TO GOD
IN THE YEAR OF HIS AGE, 73, AND OF OUR REDEMPTION 1811.
MAY HE REST IN PEACE.
TO THIS MOST DESERVING MAN, THE OllNAMBNT OF HIS PRIESTHOOD AND HIS COUNTRY,
THE CLERGY AND PEOPLE OF DUBLIN WHO ATTENDED HIS FUNERAL,
WITH MOST MOURNFUL SOLEMNITY AND UNEXAMPLED CONCOURSE,
HAVE ERECTED THIS MONUMENT AS A LASTING MEMORIAL OF THEIR LOVE AND GRATITUDE."

N.B. Brocas has engraved the Portrait of this Apostolical Father, whose name is still synonymous in Dublin, with Learning, Piety, Zeal, and Philanthropy. In the Freeman s Journal of the 17th of October 1815, is the following description of the Monument:
"DR. BETAGH’s MONUMENT,
“The Monument erected to the memory of the late Rev. Dr Befagh, in the Chapel of St. Michael and St. John, was Sunday opened for public inspection. It was executed by Turnerelli, of London, who is, we understand, a Native of Ireland. The composition of this elegant piece of Sculpture, consists of two figures in beautiful statuary marble ; the one a female, representing religion in a pensive attitude, with the usual symbol of redemption, the cross ; the other, an orphan whom religion seems to protect, and who is resting on an urn that stands between them. The Boy s countenance is expressive of that sorrow, natural to the impression on the mind, when a benevolent protector no longer exists. So far the group is connected : but the Medallion of the deceased, attached to the Pyramid of black marble, appears at the top and this rests on a plinth, supported by fluted pilasters, with the inscription title in the centre. Much simplicity of character pervades the whole of this specimen of art, at the same time the recollection of departed worth, and its grateful tribute, are well sustained by the chaste power of the chisel. And every person of taste will rejoice, that the calm delights of science are not totally extinguished in this country”.

Bianchini, Aloysius, 1812-1874, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/922
  • Person
  • 01 September 1812-04 December 1874

Born: 01 September 1812, Camerino, Macerata, Italy
Entered: 27 November 1833, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1843
Final vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 04 December 1874, Lyon, France - Venetae Province (VEM)

Came to HIB in 1861 working at St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

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

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Blakeney, George, 1819-1854, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/924
  • Person
  • 23 August 1819-07 December 1854

Born: 23 August 1819, Ballyellen, County Carlow
Entered: 06 November 1839, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM for HIB)
Ordained: 1851
Died: 07 December 1854, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA - Lugdunensis Province (LUGD)

by 1844 in Rome studying
by 1847 at Vals (LUGD) studying
by 1851 at New Orleans College LA, USA (LUGD)

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1847 Studied at Vals with Joseph Dalton, Joseph Lentaigne and John Grehan.
c 1851 He was loaned to the New Orleans Mission, and had as a companion the famous Theobald Butler.
He died suddenly while preaching at Louisiana 07 December 1854.

Blenkinsop, Peter, 1818-1896, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/925
  • Person
  • 19 April 1818-05 November 1896

Born: 19 April 1818, Dublin
Entered: 14 August 1834, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 1846
Final vows:16 January 1853
Died: 05 November 1896, St Joseph's College, Philadelphia, PA, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Bodkin, Gregory, 1589/92-1636, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/926
  • Person
  • 1589/92-05 August 1626

Born: 1589/92, County Galway
Entered: 1620, Lisbon, Portugal - Lusitania Province (LUS)
Ordained: 1620 - pre Entry, Lisbon, Portugal
Died: 05 August 1626, Bragança, Portugal - Lusitania Province (LUS)

Studied two years Theology and was a Bachelor of Arts
1625 at Angra College in Island of Ierceira (Azores?), Minister and Prefect of Church
1628 Minister and procurator of “Villaniciosa (Villa Niçova?) - had been Procurator in Irish College in Lisbon
1633 Confessor at Porto
1636 at Bragança College : Confessor and Consultor, was minister for 9 years

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was in Portugal in 1621 when his Superior wanted him for the Connaught Residence.
He was probably a grandnephew of Archbishop Bodkin, whose “nephew, grandnephew and great grandnephew entered Religious Orders” (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
1622 Was supposed to go to the Connaught Residence after First Vows, but his Portuguese Superiors retained him for their own work. So, he was appointed Minister and Prefect of the Church at San Miguel in the Azores. Later he held similar positions in Villa Viçosa and Porto.
Served for a time as Procurator of the Irish College Lisbon.
1636 By this time he was Operarius and Consultor at the Residence of Bragança where he died before 1639.

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

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

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

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boehmer, Peter, 1869-1938, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/927
  • Person
  • 09 March 1869-11 March 1938

Born: 09 March 1869, Hüttseifen, Niederfischbach, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
Entered: 05 July 1890, Barrô, Aveira Portugal - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)
Final vows: 30 March 1902
Died: 11 March 1938, St Joseph’s, Macau, Hong Kong - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)

Came to Australia1912 - 1927
1912-1915 St Aloysius, Sydney
1915-1924 Sevenhill, Australia
1924-1927 Manresa, Norwood, Australia
Hong Kong 30s

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was German born, but because of his love of the Missions in Africa, he joined the Portuguese Province (LUS), which at the time accepted foreign candidates because of the work on the Zambesi Mission.

1894-1910 After Noviciate in Barrô, he made his way to Africa and Boroma in the Zambesi, until 1910 when the Jesuits were forces to leave the Mission because the junta of the Masonic Lodge had assisted in the change of government in Portugal.
1912-1913 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point.
1913-1924 He went to Sevenhill and was cellarer, sacristan and did general house duties.
1924-1926 He was at the Norwood Parish doing domestic duties and infirmarian.
1926-1931 On the advice of a missionary, Fr Neto, he left Australia for Hong Kong. He began at an Industrial School of the Mission Shiu-Hing (Zhaoqing/Shiuhing) in Tau-T’au. When he was replaced there he helped in various houses of the Mission.
1931 He went to St Joseph’s Seminary in Macau and worked there until his death. During 1937, having suffered repeatedly over the years from troublesome African fevers, he was struck by a mild paralysis, which became more serious and began to affect the brain. This cause considerable disability which eventually led to his death.

He was experienced by his brethren as a man of severe disposition and harsh words, failing arising more from intransigence than ill will. He was also steeped in spiritual life and a very observant religious. He enjoyed spending his life helping missionaries.

Note from George Downey Entry
He became the first Australian winemaker at Sevenhill and a very successful one. He succeeded Brother Boehmer, and he was able to bring some order into the affairs of the winery

Bohan, Edmund, 1862-1883, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/928
  • Person
  • 13 November 1862-24 July 1883

Born: 13 November 1862, County Limerick
Entered 18 September 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 July 1883, St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, Australia

Early Irish Australian Mission 1882

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1882 He was sent for Regency to Australia with John Flynn, both being delicate in health. He took his First Vows there in 1883, but died shortly afterwards at the Residence in Richmond, Melbourne 18 September 1880.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Having been educated at St Stanislaus College Tullamore and entering the Society at Milltown Park, Edmund became ill and was sent to Australia, where he took vows just before his death.

Note from John Flynn Entry
After a year it was discovered he had consumption and was sent to Australia with another novice sufferer, Edmund Bohan, and arrived in December 1882.

Boland, Peter, 1802-1835, Jesuit brother novice

  • IE IJA J/929
  • Person
  • 1802-1835

Born: June 1802, Ireland
Entered: 28 November 1833, St Inigo, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Died: 18 July 1835, St Inigo, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Bonfield, Francis, 1911-1988, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/494
  • Person
  • 08 April 1911-22 July 1988

Born: 08 April 1911, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 20 April 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 22 July 1988, Inverin, County Galway

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)
Obituary
Br Francis Bonfield (1911-1935-1988)
Br Francis Bonfield was born in Nenagh on 8th November 1911. He entered the noviceship at Emo on 20th April 1935. After his vows in 1938 he went to Manresa House, Roehampton, London, to train as an infirmarian. He returned to Milltown Park in the summer of 1939 to look after the refectory. The next year he was sent to Tullabeg as infirmarian and in charge of staff. He stayed there until summer 1952, when he was transferred to Galway, Sacristan (to the church and community chapel) and infirmarian were his principal occupations, For the first few years he also had charge of staff. So at his death “Bonnie”, as he was affectionately known by us all, was thirty-six years in Galway. He was also the last member of a large family to die: his sister preceded him before Christmas 1987.
In Tullabeg he was very popular, especially with the philosophers, as he looked after their health. He also got to know the local people over the years there. He continued to maintain an interest in them and their families, even during his time in Galway.
These were pre-Vatican II days when he came to Galway. As church sacristan, he had to be up every morning to ring the angelus at 6 am, and to have the church open and ready for the 6.50 am Mass. usually said by Fr Paddy O'Kelly († 1968). In summertime, the holiday season, you could have any number of Masses being said by visiting priests at the various altars in the church and community residence. Most of these priests would be seculars from all over Ireland. Then there were a lot of devotions: so his life was a busy one.
In those days also Fr Kieran Ward was in charge of the St John Berchmans Altar-Servers Society. The servers then continued to serve Mass up to and even during their Leaving-certificate years. Here Bonnie's charisma for making lasting friendships displayed itself. He made friends with many of those Mass-servers, and the friendships lasted right up to his death. Some would call and bring him out for a meal: others would bring him for a weekend holiday, or invite him to their weddings. He also had numerous friends amongst the people who came to the church: he was concerned about them and their families.
As sacristan, he was witness to and involved in all the changes that took place in the church and its liturgy after Vatican II.
Up to 1977 Bonnie was very active: but on 22nd April 1977 he was affected by a severe stroke. He was suffering from high blood-pressure, and did not seem to know it. He went into Merlin Park hospital, and was there for months. When he came out, after the best of medical attention, his right side was somewhat paralysed, and he had not the use of his right hand. It was noticed also that there was an impediment in his speech. With the great help of Fr Richard Butler, Bonnie made valiant efforts to deal with this handicap. Gradually, over a space of time, his speech came back to normal.
Over the years since, Bonnie has been a living example to us of how sickness can be no less a gift than health. He edified us and many others by how patiently, nay, how cheerfully he accepted this cross in his life. It meant now, for example, that such things as dressing oneself were difficult and time-consuming. He had to make a complete adjustment to his way of life. His handicapped physical condition confined him more or less to the house and church and their environs. He could not go up town or to Salthill on his own, as he was unable to travel on buses. However, he never complained.
At Christmas-time, Bonnie was faced with a problem. What would he do about sending greetings to his relatives and friends? With his usual tenacity he came on a solution to his problem. He ordered his Christmas cards like all the rest of the community. He enlisted help to draw up a list of those to whom he was accustomed to send cards, bought the required number of stamps, and so with help he continued to greet those whom he loved.
Members of the community and province had sympathy for him and helped him when possible. Bonnie often expressed his gratitude for this at community meetings. He loved a Sunday-afternoon excursion in a house-car. Part of the ritual when he went out in the car was the reminder to purchase some ice-cream. He got extra enjoyment out of it when he knew he had persuaded the driver to pay for it. He was able to get to Lourdes. He even went to at least one all-Ireland hurling final with the help of an tAthair Connla O Dúláine. Then the Brothers of the Province rallied round and took him with them on their holidays, be it to Cork, Wexford, or Donegal. Actually he died at the end of a holiday that Fr Frank Sammon had arranged for him.
One of the main characteristics of Bonnie's life was his love for people. This showed itself in the enjoyment he got out of attending parish socials, senior citizens' Christmas parties, and other functions. Another was his love for his own community. His contribution to the Galway community is enormous. Apart from his example in adversity he was always amiable, affable, and cheerful; was interested in everything, loved theological discussions, which he some times initiated, and wore his heart upon his sleeve about some things such as hurling, his native county of Tipperary, and his political affiliations. These fatter were the cause of much merriment and debate, especially as Galway are so prominent in hurling at present.
He once expressed a wish to a lay friend of his that he would like to have the Coolin played at his funeral Mass. In the circumstances of his death, and at such short notice, it was not possible to have this done. However, at his month's mind Mass, concelebrated in the church by the Rector, Fr Murt Curry, with other members of the community, there was a beautiful rendering of the Coolin on a violin.
Bonnie has died: but the love he had for the Society, and the way he lived up to the Jesuit ideal, especially with his infirmity, will remain as an example and inspiration to us all.

Booler, Arthur J, 1907-1986, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/930
  • Person
  • 11 July 1907-20 August 1986

Born: 11 July 1907, Carlton, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Entered: 27 March 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Final vows: 15 August 1944
Died: 20 August 1986, Canisius College, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Ent as Scholastic Novice

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He lived in Huntsville, a South Sydney suburb and he was educated by the Christian Brothers, first at St Charles and then Waverley College where he had gained a scholarship. he then went on to begin an apprenticeship in pharmacy. A year into that he entered St Columba’s Seminary at Springwood for priestly studies. There he read the story of William Pardow, an American Jesuit, and the inspiration and attraction he got from this led him to ask to be released by the Archdiocese.
Having entered as a scholastic novice at Loyola Greenwich, he was subsequently sent to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin for his Juniorate, graduating from University College Dublin with First Class Honours in Hebrew and Aramaic, the first Jesuit to attain this distinction at that time. From there he was sent to Pullach in Germany for Philosophy, in the process leaning German, which he attempted to maintain through the rest of his life.
During his time abroad the first signs of epilepsy appeared. He returned to Australia and was sent to Xavier College, Kew for Regency. Because his condition continued it was decided that he would not proceed the scholastic course of studies to ordination. This decision brought him to a crossroads which tested his vocation. The Provincial of the time, John Fahy earnestly urged him to leave the Society, which advice was a source of resentment for the remainder of his life. He was obsessed with scholarship, and becoming a Brother would mean the end of his studies. He was pained by being separated from his scholastic companions and joining in with the Brothers, who in general would have had simpler tastes than his, but he decided to do so in order to remain a Jesuit.

1938-1940 He went as a Brother to Sevenhill, which was something of a refuge for men in difficulty of one kind or other, and it was thought that the climate would be good for his condition.
He was then sent to the Noviciate at Loyola College Watsonia as kitchen hand, occasional cook and infirmarian. The latter did not suit his temperament, but he was faithful to his duties. Here he also learned some basic bookbinding from Brother Maurice Joyce. With characteristic thoroughness he decided that he wished to master this craft. He was unable to do this until such time as a retired chief bookbinder of the Sydney Municipal Library gave him weekly lessons.
1944-1986 His remaining years were spent doing the work of bookbinding at Canisius College Pymble, and the Theologate Library contains many of his professionally bound books and periodicals.

At times he felt frustrated that much of the work given to him was unworthy of his talents, and in addition when many of the Latin Missals he had bound he took to the incinerator following the liturgical renewal. As with everything he faced these trials with a brave and humble heart.
Even in his later years he could be called on in an emergency, stepping in to cook meals or help clean up a room of one of the older men when nobody else could, and he did so with a certain joy in facing the challenge presented.
For many years he had shown a degenerative condition of the spine which occasioned spondylitis, and this caused him increasing pain and distress. It was a relief to his sufferings when he died at Babworth House, the Sydney mansion at Darling Point that had been the home of Sir Samuel Horden and his family, but acquired by the Sisters of Charity and used as an adjunct to St Vincent’s Hospital. He would have been pleased to die in the midst of such expired affluence.

He was a great raconteur and enjoyed talking about his time in Europe and about the sayings and doings of Ours. In his earlier days he enjoyed walking and went on many long hikes with scholastics, especially in the region around the holiday house at Geoora. Each year he joined the Riverview Villa (holiday) in December and was a regular member of the card players. He was a good companion and a faithful Jesuit.

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/483
  • Person
  • 24 November 1917-12 April 1988

Born: 24 November 1917, Kells, County Kerry
Entered: 14 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1957, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 12 April 1988, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of the Belvedere College SJ community, Great Denmark Street, Dublin at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988
Obituary
Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

24th November 1917: born in Kells, near Cahirsiveen, Co. Kerry. Schooled at local national school; Christian Brothers' school, Cahirsiveen; and Mungret College.
14th September 1938: entered SJ. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-48 Mungret, Third-club prefect. 1948-52 Milltown Park, theology. 31st July 1951: ordained to priesthood by Archbishop John C McQuaid. 1952-53 Rathfarnham, tertianship, during which he received his assignment to Zambia (then called Northern Rhodesia). During the summer of 1953, along with his fellow-missionaries he received a course of vaccine injections against tropical diseases. (The other members of the group departed for Africa on 11th August, without Ted.)
On or about 6th August 1953: the stroke which changed his life. 1953-55 Milltown Park. 1955-70 Clongowes. 1970-85 Belvedere. 1985-88 Kilcroney nursing-home, Bray, Co Wicklow. 12th April 1988: died.

Fr Ted, or, as he was better known to his family and Jesuit colleagues, simply "Ted", was a true Kerryman, as he delighted in reminding us all. For his regency he was assigned to Mungret College, where he had been schooled and where he had full scope for his down-to earth practical ability.
It was two years after his ordination to the priesthood and five days before his expected departure for Zambia that Ted suffered a very sudden stroke and brain haemorrhage, which caused semi paralysis and effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining thirty-five years of his life. Suddenly and unexpectedly life had radically changed. The strange ways of Providence and the mystery of suffering in the world were exemplified in Ted's life during these thirty-five years. His frustration was intense, and he often expressed it in words soon to become very familiar to us: “Long time”. Heroically he carried his cross during all these years. The will power he manifested in his daily endeavours to overcome his disability was matched by the ingenious ways he devised of coping with it and preserving his limited independence.
The ultimate suffering for Ted came during the last three years of his life, as his condition in 1985 necessitated that he should be moved to the St John of God Brothers' nursing-home in Kilcroney. There he received the most dedicated care and attention of the community and staff. The limited communication which he had was now reduced to mere recognition. Life in a Jesuit house with a Jesuit community had been one of the supports of Ted's life, but now this strong support was removed, and he suffered the corresponding pain of such a loss. He died peacefully and suddenly in the late evening of 12th April. Ted's poignant “Why?” in relation to his suffering is now no longer dependent on our feeble attempts to answer or to clarify.
Ted was always practical and down-to earth, with a no-nonsense approach to all aspects of life. Those who were more at home in abstract speculation and decidedly ill-at-ease and lacking on the practical level could expect a knowing and sympathetic nod from Ted. Back in Milltown, in 1949, he was one of the first to alert the community on the fateful night of the fire. He it was who brought the aged Fr Bill Gwynn to safety on that night. Study was not an indulgence for Ted; it was a laborious and heavy burden, but one he shouldered with great determination and tenacity.
To us in the community, Ted was a very rich presence. He was our brother, who had come through the years of formation with several of us, and could share the jokes about our noviceship under Fr John Neary, Tommy Byrne's philosophy lectures (“stingo”), and all the rest. In his tragic incapacity, his few words and his extraordinary sense of fun, he was like a child in our midst, almost a son to us. But in the unspoken and inexpressible mystery of his vocation to share the Cross of Christ so intimately, he was our father, one who had gone far ahead of us on the path to Cal vary by which we must all walk.
In community, he was always at hand, and always ready to extend a welcome to visitors with his familiar salutation “Hello” or “You are well?”. He was a catalyst at recreation, and where the laughter was, there you might expect to find Ted. He had a great sense of humour, especially when subjected to leg-pulling. Of course you had to give him the opportunity of scoring off his teaser, and this gave him great delight. He thoroughly enjoyed the cut and thrust of an argument, and his “Good, good” left no doubt where his sympathies lay, while “Bad, bad” clearly indicated his strong denunciation.
There was a minimum of self-pity about Ted. He immediately related to anyone he met. His regular fortnightly visit to Mrs Carroll was an important event on his agenda. She gave him devoted medical attention, of which friendship, hospitality and support always formed part. A special gift to Ted was his family, especially his sisters Katty and Peggy, whose love and care for him were very special indeed. How Ted used to look forward to holidays with them in Kerry! In the mutual attention, concern and devotion Ted had for his nieces and they for him, the age gap was completely swept aside. The members of the Clongowes and Belvedere communities, among whom Ted spent almost the entire thirty-five years of his illness, showed him extraordinary consideration, understanding and consistent kindness. The constant caring attention of Fr Jim Lynch in Belvedere was a never-failing source of strength and support for Ted.
Ted was a man of prayer and a very holy man, with the Mass as the centre of his very life. His customary early-morning ritual was to trudge over to Gardiner Street or celebrating Mass in Belvedere. He lived the Cross in his daily life and so could appreciate in the Mass the Sacrifice of the Cross. The gospel read at his funeral Mass said of St Peter: “When you were young you , . . walked where you liked; but when you grow old . . . somebody else will ... lead you where you would rather not go”. St Peter would have grown old before he was led away, but Ted was still a young man, strong and ready for action, when he was led where he would rather not go.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988
Obituary

Father Edward Booth SJ
Fr Booth was not a past pupil of Belvedere but he lived in the Jesuit community here from 1970 until 1985 when he had to go into a nursing home. Ted, as we knew him, was not, either, strictly a member of the College staff, well known as he was to all of them, because he had been severely incapacitated by a stroke when he was 35, shortly after his ordination, and this effectively deprived him of speech for the remaining 35 years of his life, preventing him from carrying on any priestly ministry in the normal sense.

The boys saw little of him over the years he was here, although he did for a while appoint himself “Yard Supervisor” with responsibility for seeing that perfectly good lunches were not thrown away by the younger ones. Many an unthinking malefactor found himself being hauled unceremoniously back to the bin - Ted was very strong, despite paralysis on one side - to retrieve what he had discarded, the whole business being embarrassingly accompanied by stern cries from his captor, the intent of which was perfectly clear to all, even if the words were not!

But this conveys little of the richness of Ted's presence to us in the community. He was always at hand, always ready to extend a welcome to visitors, a catalyst at recreation, with a great sense of humour and a minimum of self-pity. He was a very important part of life in the house, laughing at our over busyness, mocking any hint of foolish self-importance in anyone, young or old, a living reminder of the things that really matter. These pages chronicle many wonderful achievements but few have fashioned any thing more wonderful out of their lives than Ted Booth did.

He died suddenly and peacefully in Kilcroney on April 12th. We miss him sorely and we remember him with affection, gratitude and reverence. We realise now what a mysterious privilege it was to have lived with him.

Bourassa, Léo-Paul, 1904-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/931
  • Person
  • 21 August 1904-10 December 1979

Born: 21 August 1904, Grandes-Piles, Québec, Canada
Entered: 07 December 1921, Sault-au-Récollet, Montreal - Canadensis Province (CAN)
Ordained: 12 August 1934
Final vows: 23 March 1939
Died: 10 December 1979, Saint-Jérôme, Québec, Canada - Canadae Inferioris Province (CAN)

by 1951 came to Aberdeen Hong Kong (HIB) working 1950-1956

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/64
  • Person
  • 02 January 1895-29 April 1985

Born: 02 January 1895, Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 08 December 1926, Convent of Mercy, Waterford City
Final vows: 22 April 1977, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Died: 29 April 1985, Xavier Hall, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1932, fifth wave Hong Kong Missioners.
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Edward Bourke, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Edward Bourke, SJ, formerly of Hong Kong, died in Kuala Lumpur on 29 April 1985, aged 90.

Father Bourke came to Hong Kong as a young Jesuit priest in 1930 and worked here for the following 25 years. He was one of the first Jesuits to teach in Wah Yan College and he became Rector shortly before the siege of Hong Kong. During the siege he showed outstanding courage in caring for the spiritual and bodily welfare of all in need. After the surrender he had the difficult task of keeping the school in being. As an Irish citizen he was not interned, but he had endless difficulties to meet. With equal fortitude and ingenuity, he overcame countless obstacles, and there was still a Wah Yan Chinese Middle - when liberation came.

After the war he taught in the two Wah Yans for about a decade - first in Hong Kong, later in Kowloon. At the end of that time he moved to Singapore, leaving behind memories, not only of his educational work, but also of much sympathetic and assiduous pastoral work. He was always a man of many friends.

In Singapore and Malaysia over the past thirty years, he devoted himself mainly to pastoral and apostolic work, even in advanced old age.

For his last few months he was feeble in body, but his mind retained all its clarity.

Mass of the “Month’s Mind” will be celebrated in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, at 6pm on Wednesday, 29 May.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 17 May 1985

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at the Presentation Convent National School and St Mary’s National School in Carrick-on-Suir, County Tipperary, and then he went to Mungret College SJ in Limerick.

He entered the Society in 1912, did Regency at Belvedere College SJ and made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
He was a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and later at Kowloon. He made outstanding contributions in educational and pastoral apostolic works.
He was nicknamed “The Grand Old Man” of the Province.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Frs. Bourke and John O'Meara returned from Hong Kong on 25th November for a reşt. Fr. Joseph O'Mara, who had returned to the Mission some time ago after a stay in Ireland, was forced by ill-health to come back to the Province. He reached Dublin on 13th January, and is now teaching philosophy at Tullabeg.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

Fr Eddie Bourke (1895-1912-1985) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Born on 2nd January 1895 in Carrick-on-Suir, Co Tipperary. Baptismal name: Edwardus. Civic official name: Edmond. 1901-10: studied at local Presentation convent first, then at local Christian Brothers' school. 1910-12: studied at Mungret.
7th September 1912: entered S], 1912-14 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1914-18 Rathfarnham, juniorate, specializing in History and Irish. Gained a BA (Hons). As a precaution against being con- scripted, he received minor Orders. 1918-19 Belvedere, teaching. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-24 Mungret, prefecting and teaching, 1924-28 Milltown, theology. Ordained a priest by Bishop Hackett, CSSR, in Convent of Mercy, Waterford, on 8th December 1926. 1928-30 Mungret, prefecting and teaching. 1930-31 St Beuno's, tertianship.
To Far East: 1931-2 Shiuhing, learning Cantonese. 1932-39 Wah Yan Hong Kong, minister and teacher, 1939-'40 Loyola language school, Superior. 1940-48 Wah Yan Hong Kong, Rector. 1948-54 Wah Yan Kowloon, spiritual father, teacher, bursar and assistant to prefect of studies. 1954-57 Cheung Chau, superior, directing Spiritual Exercises. 1957-63 Singapore, directing Spiritual Exercises, spiritual father, Superior. 1963-65 Penang, operarius at Cathedral. 1965-72 Petaling Jaya, Superior, bursar; 1972-78 parish assistant; 1978-84 chaplain to Assunta hospital; 1984-85 praying for Church and SJ. Died on 29th April 1985.
For details of Fr Bourke's assignments and those of many other Hong Kong Jesuits who predeceased him, the present editor is deeply obliged to Fr Joseph Garland, Socius to the Provincial, Hong Kong.

During many of Fr Eddie Bourke's earlier years in the Society I was in community with him: in the noviciate, juniorate, Belvedere, philosophy and the four years of theology. We were very good friends, and were drawn together by certain common interests. We were both vigorous walkers and enjoyed together long tramps over the then unspoiled Dublin mountains. Together with the late Fr Michael Kelly, we formed a preaching club which met on Sunday mornings in the old kitchen of Rathfarnham Castle, and Fr Eddie was my patient tutor in my earliest efforts to master the Irish language.
I therefore knew Fr Eddie very well, and yet I find a certain difficulty in the task of setting down my memories of him and thus leaving for future generations a picture of his early life in the Society, There were no outstanding events in that life. It was just a succession of years spent most perfectly in religion. I can sum it up briefly by saying that Fr Eddie Bourke was one of the holiest and most lovable men whom I have been privileged to know.
When I endeavour to go a little into detail, the first characteristic that recurs to me is his extraordinary charity. He was the kindest of souls: I could not imagine a harsh word coming from his lips. He was always ready to help others in unattractive jobs, I recall in particular with what infinite patience he coached a fellow-theologian who without his help would never have reached ordination. He was what we called "a great community man": a delightful companion on our excursions to the mountains; taking a prominent part in the plays which we produced at Christmas; one of our star players at football and handball; a good pianist, and able to act when needed as substitute organist.
Amidst all these virtues and gifts perhaps the most characteristic was a great simplicity - one might almost say a childlike simplicity. His heart was, in the best sense, always on his sleeve. In conversation with him one always felt at ease. He had no reticences, no strong prejudices. His views were always expressed openly, but with good humour and tolerance. I have no doubt but that this admirable openness and candour contributed largely to that wonderful success as a missionary which
is chronicled below. May God rest his gentle soul.
Fergal McGrath

My earliest recollection of Eddie Bourke is seeing him as a young priest during the Easter vacation marking the tennis courts in Mungret for the summer term. He was First Club Prefect for a year in 1928 or 1929. We were inclined to help him, but found the task of getting four right angles in unison beyond our ability, so we left Fr Bourke to his mathematical calculations but were impressed by his devotion to duty. Though being in the Apostolic School I had no direct contact with Eddie Bourke, I sensed his personal interest in boys and never looked upon him as a disciplinarian.
When I arrived at the language school in Tai Lam Chung in 39, Fr Bourke was our superior. This time our engagements were again on the tennis-court, but in lawn bowls. Eddie was always a very keen competitor in all games, and even in old age was a reckless swimmer. Often we pleaded with him to swim parallel to the coastline, but he preferred to go straight out until he was a speck in the distance. Of his driving it was said that he had caused many of his guardian angels to be sent for psychiatric treatment.
By now Eddie had acquired a reputation as a manipulator of names. Ordinary mortals are stumped when they cannot recall names from the past, Eddie Bourke was never at a loss even when the names of those present escaped him. Influenced by the war bulletins of those days, when he referred to Mr Mannerheim we knew he was talking about Joe McAsey. If he said he was going to Belvedere for lunch we guessed that the distance between Clongowes and Belvedere was about the same as Wah Yan from the language school. For the first of his many jubilees, 50 years in the Society, which he celebrated in Singapore, I wrote a short appreciation which the late Terry Sheridan read at the jubilee dinner. In praise of Eddie I contrasted the skill of Fr Dan Donnelly who claimed that as prefect of studies in Wah Yan he knew every boy in the school by name within three weeks of the beginning of the school year. Within a shorter time, Eddie's charism enabled him to know every boy in the school by another name than the one by which his mother knew him. Yet his influence with boys has been attested by many generations of teachers and pupils of Wah Yan.
During his year in the language school Eddie began his magnum opus, which brought tears to the eyes of its censors and yet went through many editions. He was not gifted with the accuracy of exposition or theological acumen to be the author of a catechism. The result could be said to be a combined effort. The message was Eddie's but the expression of it was produced by those who sweated to revise and clarify. Eddie never lacked courage to undertake a task which he thought could produce fruit for the kingdom of Christ. Years later in Malaysia he was still receiving royalties from new printings of his catechism in Hong Kong. To the great relief of his brethren the plans he entertained to write shorter works on various theological subjects never saw the light. In his later years he was very impressed by a series of tapes by Archbishop Fulton Sheen and made use of them in instructing catechumens.
During the siege of Hong Kong and the looting to which it gave occasion, Eddie like another of the “old guard” Fr George Byrne showed great courage in dangerous situations. Of his moral courage in dealing with the Japanese authorities I leave others to testify. It is worth noting that he was headmaster of Wah Yan before, during and after the occupation, and yet his name was never tainted with any suspicion of “collaboration”. It is a tribute to his sincerity as much as to his ingenuity.
Eddie Bourke had a penchant for dealing with 'free thinkers' in high position and writers who had lapsed from the fold, Such people represented a challenge to him, since he was sure he could convince them of the error of their ways. It did not worry him that some of his brethren thought he was guilty of semi-pelagianism in his approach to possible converts. He was acting according to one arm of St Ignatius' famous dictum, “Work as if everything depends on you”. In the event it was Eddie's goodness that impressed people much more than his syllogisms. Eddie Bourke had a heart of gold but his training was in the era of apologetics and rational arguments, and he never resolved the tension. It may be that he never formulated such a conflict as existing in himself.
My longest association with Eddie Bourke was for a period of 13 years in the parish of St Francis Xavier in Petaling Jaya. When we arrived there in 1965 he was already 70 years of age. Though I was more than 18 years his junior in age I could not keep up with him either at the pace he walked or the amount of work he got through. He had a special interest in the sick and every week brought communion to the elderly and the infirm in their homes. This round took nearly two hours by car and at one point meant climbing to the sixth floor of a block of flats that had no lift, in order to visit a blind lady. Until he was 83 Eddie continued this apostolate and was never questioned about his driving licence which seemed to be able to renew itself like the eagle. His preaching was of the vigorous kind and was more appreciated by the parents and grand parents than by the youth of the parish. Like many of his generation, and indeed those of many generations after him, he lacked familiarity with the bible and there tended to be ignore evidence of Genicot than of the Gospels in his sermons. He recognised the need of family virtues and had a strong devotion to the Holy Family which he frequently referred to as the “University of Nazareth”. In his seventies he had to resurrect the musical talent he had 60 years earlier, when he played the piano. On many occasions he had to play the organ at church weddings. To the satisfaction of all, he gave a competent rendering of "Here comes the bride and the wedding march.
The Spiritual Exercises had a strong appeal for Eddie. He looked back on his early years in Malaysia as the best of his life, as he travelled up and down the country giving retreats, mostly to the Infant Jesus communities. It was a grievous blow to him when a new book, “A modern Scriptural approach to the Spiritual Exercises, proved to be altogether different to what he expected.
He ordered a dozen copies of the book on the recommendation of a review he had seen. When he opened the book he decided he had been cheated. Apparently he had hoped that every meditation of Ignatius would be supported by scripture passages. He wasn't appeased when we told him that the title of the book mentioned an 'approach' to the Exercises. In frustration and disappointment he insisted on writing to Dave Stanley accusing him of giving a title which was not only misleading but deceitful. The brethren, in the meantime, both in P.J. and Singapore, were able to possess a personal copy of the work, owing to Eddie's prodigality and high hopes.
In his last few years Eddie was very proud of the fact that, in terms of years in the Society, he was the senior Irish Jesuit. There were a few Jesuits in Ireland who were older in years but had entered the noviciate later than he. About a year ago he wrote to Zambia to a boyhood friend from Carrick-on-Suir. He received a reply from the superior in Chikuni to say that Fr Tom Cooney was unable to write and that his mind was failing. Tom Cooney's health had never been good, so it was a surprise to Eddie they were in the home stretch together: Eddie was still confident that he would survive his friend from Carrick, but it was not to be.
Up to the end, Eddie was occupied in finding solutions to the problems of salvation. When Fr General visited Petaling Jaya in February, Eddie attended the open session where questions were asked and information exchanged. Knowing that Fr General had spent much of his life in the Middle East, Eddie was keen to explain his conviction in a private interview about the salvation of Muslims. According to Eddie they would all get to Limbo.
When Eddie meets Pat Grogan in the life where time is no longer of any importance, and tales are told about the thousands of pupils they knew in Robinson Road, Eddie will have all the names at his finger-tips. But now Eddie will be just as accurate as Pat. Each boy will have his proper name.
J B Wood

Bourke, Gerard, 1926-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/812
  • Person
  • 17 January 1926-20 August 2017

Born: 17 January 1926, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 December 1981, Tokyo, Japan
Died: 20 August 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Japanese Province (JPN)

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN : 16 December 1960

by 1952 at Eiko, Yokosuka-shi, Japan (JPN) studying
by 1959 at Hiroshima, Japan (JPN)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/much-travelled-jesuit/

A much-travelled Jesuit
Irish Jesuit Fr Gerry Bourke SJ, who spent a good part of his Jesuit life in Japan, passed away on Sunday 20 August. He was aged 91 years. His funeral Mass took place in Milltown Park Chapel on Tuesday 22 August.
Fr Bourke SJ, a native of Ranelagh, Dublin, was a student in CBS Synge St. before he joined the Society in 1943. Shortly after his ordination in 1957, he joined the Japanese mission, and in 1960 he became formally a member of the Japanese Jesuit Province. After a short period as parish priest in Hiroshima, Gerry spent many years teaching in a Jesuit high school in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo. He left in 1971, and went to New York, and then to Hawaii, where he did academic and pastoral work. He returned to Japan in 1984, where he taught and ministered at Sophia University in Tokyo.
After another stint in Hawaii, Gerry returned to Ireland in 2001, and for much of the next decade was deeply immersed in Jesuit communications, particularly with the innovative and thriving apostolate of Sacred Space. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in his native Ranelagh in 2013 where he settled in very well and appreciated all that was done for him. It was there that he passed away peacefully on Sunday 20 August.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at CBS, Synge Street, Dublin
1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1954 Yokosuka, Japan - Regency : Learning Language; Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1960 Hiroshima, Japan - Parish Priest at Gion Kioku kunai
1959 Tertianship at Hiroshima
1960-1971 Yokosuka - Teaching at Eiko Gakuen Jesuit High School
1971-1972 Fordham University, New York - Education Studies; Parish Ministry; Family Consultation Service
1972-1978 Riverdale, New York - Campus Ministry at College of Mount St Vincent
1974 Lecturer in Psychology at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry New York
1978-1984 Honolulu, Hawaii - Superior at University of Hawaii Jesuit Community; Campus Ministry
1984-1991 Sophia University, Tokyo - Director of Counselling Institute; Lecturing in Psychology
1991-1996 Honolulu, Hawaii - Parish Ministry at St Anthony’s Church, Kailua
1993 Parish work at Star of the Sea Church, Honolulu
1994 Pastor at Sacred Heart Church, Pahoa
1995 Parish Administrator at St Ann’s Church. Maui
1996-1997 Manila, Philippines - Lecturing at East Asia Pastoral Institute
1997-2001 Farm St Church, London - Ministering to Japanese Community in London; Parish Staff
2001-2017 Leeson St - JCC; Sacred Space; Editor of “Latest Space” & “Interfuse
2003 Editor “Scared Space”
2014 Praying for Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

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.

Bourke, John, d 1598, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/934
  • Person
  • d 10 August 1598

Entered: 1596 - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Died: 10 August 1598, Valladolid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Alias de Burgo

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
John Bourke (alias de Burgo)
RIP noted as having taken place at Valladolid, 10 August 1598 : may have been an aspirant to the Society but not a member. His name is not found in any Catalogues of the time

Bourke, Thomas, 1588-1651, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/932
  • Person
  • 24 June 1588-12 December 1651

Born: 24 June 1588, Limerick City
Entered: 06 October 1607, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1615
Died: 12 December 1651, Limerick Residence

Alias de Burgo

Parents Thomas de Burgo and Jane Arthur were a distinguished family
Studied at Limerick and Douai - became an MA 19 August 1607 : a good classical scholar, reconciling many to the Church, Professor of Theology (Verdier)
1617 Is in France studying Theology at Bordeaux
1621 Catalogue : On the Irish Mission 9 years, has talent and judgement but lacks prudence and experience. Is a valetudinarian and slow. Confessor.
1622 Catalogue In Western Munster
1626 Catalogue : “Thomas Burkeus” in Ireland
1636 has talent but cannot progress due to ill health
1649 Is in Limerick

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Two Entries : de Burgo (1) and Burke (2)
(1) de Burgo
DOB 01 July 1580 or 24 June 1588 Limerick; Ent 21st or 06 October 1607 Tournai; RIP Limerick (?) after 1650
Son of Thomas de Burgo and Mary née Arthur
Studied at Limerick and Douai, graduating MA 19 August 1607 -
“A good classical scholar; Professor of Theology; Noted Preacher; Has reconciled many to the Church” - Mercure Verdier, Visitor to Irish Mission
(2) Burke
DOB 1586 Limerick; Ent 1608 Tournai;
Son of Thomas de Burgo and Mary née Arthur
“A good classical scholar; Professor of Theology; Noted Preacher; Has reconciled many to the Church” - Mercure Verdier, Visitor to Irish Mission
Reconciled : Burke is probably de Burgo named in the Diary of Tourney, December 21, 1607 as DOB 24 June 1588; Admitted 19 August 1607 and Ent 21 December 1607 Tournai;
1617 In France
Letter of 04 November 1611 from Thomas Lawndry (Christopher Holiwood) to Mission Superior Richard Conway he is mentioned as assisting Nicholas Leynach in the west part of the Southern Province (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, April 1874)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Thomas and Joanna née Arthur
Studied Humanities in Ireland graduating MA before Ent 06 October 1607
Early years after First Vows not easily traced.
1615 Returned to Ireland as priest but yet to complete his studies.
1616 Sent to Bordeaux to complete his studies.
On his return to Ireland he was assigned to the Residence in Limerick where he spent the rest of his life. For many years he taught Humanities at the Jesuit school there. He died 12 December, 1651

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BURKE, THOMAS, was of a good family, and entered the Society in 1606. F. Verdier reports of him that he was an excellent Classic Scholar - that he had been Professor of Polemic Divinity, and was famed at Limerick, where he was settled, as a Preacher and that he had reconciled many to the Catholic Church. After the summer of 1649, I can trace him no longer.

Bourke, Thomas, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/935
  • Person
  • 05 January 1909-17 March 1990

Born: 05 January 1909, Chain of Ponds, South Australia
Entered: 08 March 1929, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1946
Died 17 March 1990, Adelaide, Australia- Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

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

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was the third child of seven, and after primary school he moved to Adelaide to live with his grandmother in the Jesuit parish of Norwood. His secondary school consisted of passing a bursary exam for Stott’s Business College where he did the Intermediate Certificate in one year instead of three. From there he started work at fourteen, first for his uncle, then for four years at the SA Savings Bank, where he stayed until he was twenty and then joined the Jesuits.

1929-1934 He spend these five years in Sydney, doing his Noviciate at Loyola Greenwich and teaching at St Aloysius and Riverview. At the latter he was also Third Division Prefect and taught mainly English and Latin.
He then moved to the newly opened Loyola College Watsonia for his Juniorate and Philosophy studies, unable to take University studies as he had not matriculated. While at Watsonia, he lightened the lives of the scholars with his much appreciated productions of several plays and operettas, especially Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Ruddigore” and “Patience”.
1939-1946 He went by ship with the last Australian group to study Theology at Milltown Park Dublin. On the way war broke out, and the ship was held up for three months at Goa, India. He was Ordained in Ireland in 1942. Following Tertianship in Ireland, he also taught in Ireland and England.
1946-1953 He finally returned to Australia at Loyola College Watsonia, where he taught Philosophy and was assistant to the Novice Master.
1954-1959 he was sent to Hawthorn as Parish Priest and enjoyed this pastoral experience. One legacy of his time was the installation of a stained glass window in the western transept.
1960-1969 He returned to Adelaide as Rector and Parish priest at Norwood. it was during this time that the question arose about the future of the secondary school. He was in favour of a multi-storey school on the Norwood site, but this was not to be. Those who lived with him noticed that he tended to avoid making difficult decisions, was not good at consulting others, perhaps because of absent-mindedness, but he was zealous, hardworking and kind towards the community, he was probably over sensitive to criticism.
In 1969 He was sent back to Melbourne and Xavier College where he remained for the rest of his life. He found teaching difficult and the boys were now of a different generation, but he continued teaching English for a number of years. English literature was one of his great loves. . His students reported experiencing some of his enthusiasm and joy of literature. He was fascinated by language, loved cryptic crosswords, ad punned mercilessly with a grin. He also wrote poetry in his earlier days and articles for the “Madonna”. He also assisted the editor John Hamilton Smith with editing articles. He also contributed articles for the “Visitor” the journal for the Assumption Sodality.
He was a lover of all sport, especially cricket, football and horses. However, he was hopeless at remembering the names of his Jesuit brethren. In his retirement he published a book of poetry called “The City of Power”, a rendering into English of some of the works of the Czech poet Jan Zahradnicek, who died as a result of almost ten years communist imprisonment.
After retiring from teaching he worked in the Archives of Xavier, putting some order into the materials and writing memorable articles about the past.

For many he modelled a blend of wisdom, kindness, dedication and service. He had great familiarity with the Spiritual Exercises that were the rock of his faith, sustaining him through periods of unworthiness and self doubt. His trust in God was absolute. He was a regular Retreat Director even give Retreats i Daily Life in his latter years.
He was a good storyteller, philosopher, Parish priest and Schoolteacher, a Superior of communities, a spiritual guide, historian and he loved children.
In his later sickness he did not want to be a burden to anyone, but he accepted his declining ability to look after himself.

His life was a mixture of leading and being led, of setbacks and disappointments, of kindness and achievements. Above all, he remained a faithful servant of the Lord.

Bowe, John, 1848-1883, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/936
  • Person
  • 06 April 1848-01 November 1883

Born: 06 April 1848, Enniscorthy, County Wexford
Entered: 16 March 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 01 November 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a tailor by trade, and he spent the eleven years of his life in the Society at Milltown, as Sartor and Manductor to the Brother Novices. He was also a kind Infirmarian.
He lost one of his eyes a few years before his death, struck by a hot iron.
He was most patient in his final suffering, and lingered on until his death at Milltown 01 November 1883.

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