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Talbot, Walter, 1562-1599, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2175
  • Person
  • 30 June 1562-02 August 1599

Born: 30 June 1562, Malahide, County Dublin
Entered; 10 May 1595, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 04 June 1594, Pont-à-Mousson, France - pre Entry
Died: 02 August 1599, Cassel, Flanders, France - Belgicae Province (BELG)

Studied Humanities at Dublin and Pont-à-Mousson, and studied Philosophy and Doctor of Arts (Docteur in ès Arts) at Louvain
1597 Was MA Age 34 (Docteur in ès Arts)
1599 Died in Belgian Camp at Bois-le-Duc ('s-Hertogenbosch) on 02 August 1599 or at Cassel on 04 August 1599

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of William, a nobleman and Maria Birmingham.
Studied Grammar for some years in Ireland, then a year of Humanities, one of Rhetoric and three of Philosophy at Pont-à-Mousson, graduating MA 1590 there, and Ordained 04 June 1594, having studied four years at Louvain, where he took scholastic lectures. he was received into the Society by BELG Provincial George Duras.
He was a military Chaplain “Preacher and Ghostly Father” to the Irish soldiers of Sir William Stanley, and died from the effects of hard work.
Very devout to Our Blessed Lady of Montaigu (Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel) at Scherpenheuvel-Zichem, and his sick soldiers going in procession to that shrine were often cured.
Henry Fitzsimon, in a letter from Ireland 07 September 1599, begs for reinforcement of missioners, and particularly names Walter Talbot in first place. (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS)
“Miracles lately wrought by the intercession of Our Blessed Lady of Montaigu near Sichem in Brabant” trans to English by Fr Robert Chambers, Confessor of the English Religious Dames in Brussels, printed at Brussels 1606 (a copy is at St Beuno’s)
“The Curate and Eschevins of Sichem, affirm assuredly, that in the year 1598, at what time the Irish of the Regiment of Sir William Stanley, Colonel, were lodged there, were wont to use no pther physic or remedy for their diseases, but to make their prayers at the foresaid place of Montague, amongst whom very many were healed in such sort, that Father Walter Talbot, an Irish Priest, one of the Society of Jesus (who at that time was their Preacher and Ghostly Father) was wont oftentimes to say with great admiration, that the place was in a very singular manner chosen by God to advance there his Mother’s honour, for which cause he was moved to go thither, sometimes devoutly in procession, accompanied by the sayd irish, and the townsmen of Sichem, whereof he wrote to Father Thomas Salines, who was the Superior of the Fathers of the Society, which attended upon the Catholic King’s army in the Low Countries.” (Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Lord William Talbot Malahide and Mary née Bermingham ( daughter of Peter, Chief Justice of Ireland)
Early education was in Ireland and then a classical education was made at Pont-à-Mousson with the Jesuits, later graduating MA after Philosophy studies there. he went on to study Theology there also and was Ordained there 04 June 1594 before a year later Ent 10 May 1595 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent as a Military Chaplain to Brussels. He had been approved for the Irish mission but died 2 August, 1599, at the military camp in Flanders where he was stationed 02 August 1599
At the time of his early death he was “preacher and ghostly father” to Colonel Sir William Stanley's Irish troops. During his brief period as chaplain he promoted amongst the Irish soldiers devotion to Our Lady at her shrine of Montaigu near Scherpenheuvel-Zichem (Our Lady of Scherpenheuvel)
Before his death he had been requested by Henry Fitzsimon, Irish Mission Superior, and approved to go to Ireland, but he died before that could happen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Walter Talbot 1562-1599
Walter Talbot, the fourth son of William Talbot of Malahide, a family which was to give many sons to the Society, including the famous Peter Talbot, afterwards Archbishop of Dublin.

Walter was born on June 30th 1562 and received his higher education on the continent. Having taken his Master’s degree, he was ordained by special indult of Cardinal Allen in 1592. He became a Jesuit at Tournai in 1595, the same year as that of Dominic Collins.

He was appointed Chaplain to the Spanish Army in Flanders. There he laboured not only with Irish troops, but also those of other nations. His influence with the soldiers was supreme, and many heretics were reconciled to the Church by his efforts. He attributed his influence to his own great devotion to Our Lady of Montaigu, a famous shrine near the town of Sichem in the Brabant. He was accustomed to perform penitential pilgrimages to the shrine accompanied by the soldiers and the townsfolk of Sichem. Regardless of his health, he spent two days hearing confessions in the rain. He neglected to change his clothes and died of a fever on August 13th 1599 at Cassel, having been 4 years in the Society.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 52 : Easter 1988

Portrait from the Past : Walter Talbot : 1562-1599

Edmund Hogan

When next you visit Malahide Castle in County Dublin, spare a thought for the Talbot family who lived there for so many centuries. Eight of the Malahide Talbots became Jesuits. Here are a few notes on the least famous of them.

When Walter Talbot entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tournay in 1595, he wrote down this account of himself: “I, Walter Talbot, was born at Dublin on June 30, 1562, my father was William Talbot, Esquire, who is still alive; my mother was Mary Bermingham, who is deceased in the Lord. I have studied Grammar in Ireland. In the school of the Society at Pont-à Mousson I have studied Humanities for one year, Rhetoric for one year, Philosophy for three years, and I took the degrees of Master and Doctor in the month of August. 1590. I have received tonsure and minor orders from the Bishop of Metz, and the Orders of subdeacon and deacon from John de Stryan, Bishop of Middleburg, in virtue of an Apostolic Indult granted to Cardinal Allen. I have studied Theology during four years and a half at Louvain, where I attended lectures in the College of the Society. I enter the House of Probation at Tournay, this day. May 10, 1595”... (Liber Novitiorum Tornac, S.J.)

Sir Bernard Burke's Peerage enables us to identify Walter Talbot as the fourth son of William Talbot of Malahide, who married Mary daughter of Peter Bermingham, Lord Chief-Justice of Ireland, and who possessed the lordships of Malahide, Garristown, Louth, Ashe, and Castlering with the courts and royalties attached thereto, together with estates in the counties of Waterford and Kilkenny. Walter was the first of eight members of this family who entered the Society, amongst whom his father's three grand-nephews, John, Peter and Gilbert, all Jesuits, were brothers of the Duke of Tirconnell.

In 1597, Walter became chaplain to an Irish regiment, which was in the service of the King of Spain and was stationed in Belguim of his missionary labours the Brussels Annual Letters relate:

There are Irish soldiers in the camp, and some English mixed with soldiers of various nationalities. In the year 1597, more than twenty of them were brought to the true foild, and very many have ben aggregated to the Sodality of the Most Blessed Sacrament. The musketeers marched in military array, and, to the wonder and admiration of many spectators, laid their banners at the feet of their chaplain to show their great reverence for his person and functions. Most of these soldiers abstained even from white-breads during Lent; many ate nothing but black-bread on Wednesdays and Fridays; they went barefoot to visit holy places, and in a spirit of austerity inflicted such corporal punishment on themselves as to fill with horror those who beheld their works of penance.

Albert Dürer had seen Irish soldiers in the Low Countries, and he drew a sketch of five of them which is preserved at Vienna. They are fine, powerfully-built and formidable-looking fellows, armed with the long sword and the galloglass axe, clad in a mantle of Irish rug. and wearing the Irish glib and moustache which it was forbidden to wear at home under pain of forfeiture, not only of the moustache and glib, but even of the head. The great artist wrote over his drawing, “Here go the war-men of Ireland”.

Here went, then, the war-men of Ireland who knew how to fight, not only against the enemies of the Spanish King, but also learned under the lead of Father Talbot how to wage war on the devil, the world, and the flesh. Their penitential works remind us of the words of Blessed Edmund Campion:

The Irish, when virtuously bred up or reformed, are such mirrors of holiness and austerity, that all other nations retain but a show or shadow of devotion in comparison to
them; as for abstinence or fasting, which these days make so dangerous, this is to them a familiar kind of chastisement. (History of Ireland, Ed. 1809, p.19. )

In 1598, Father Talbot was stationed with the Irish at Sichem, as we learn from a book entitled, Miracles lately wrought by the intercession of the Glorious Virgin Marie at Montaigu, near unto Sichem in Brabant. A copy of this tract is in St Beuno's College Library, St Asaph. At page 35 we read:

The Curate and Eschevins of Sichem affirm assuredly that in the year 1598, at what time the Irish of the regiment of Sir William Stanley, Colonel, were lodged there, were wont to use no other physic or remedy for their diseases, but to make their prayers at the foresaid place of Montaigu, amongst whom very many were healed in such sort that Father Walter Talbot, an Irish priest, one of the Society of Jesus (who at that time was their preacher and ghostly Father), was wont oftentimes to say with great admiration, that the place was in a very singular manner chosen by God to advance there His Mother's honour, for which cause he was moved to go thither, sometimes devoutly in procession, accompanied by the sayd Irish, and the townsmen of Sichem, whereof he wrote to Father Thomas Salines, who was the Superior of the Fathers of the Society, which attended upon the Catholic King's army in the Low Countries. (H. Foley's Collectanea, SJ, article “Talbot, Walter”)

The Annual Letters of Louvain of 1602 supply some further details relating to the piety of these irish soldiers who were in winter-quarters at Sichem:

Father Walter Talbot, one of our military chaplains, had often experienced a peculiar feeling of consolation while praying at the shrine of Our Lady of Montaigu. He was consequently moved to send his soldiers thither often, and especially the sick; and he had the comfort of seeing them come back perfectly cured after a pilgrimage to that holy chapel, which is situated on a rugged hill at a distance of one or two miles. Filled with reverence at the sanctity of the spot, he informed the inhabitants of the neighbourhood of the facts he had witnessed, and told them that it was evidently a place chosen for manifesting devotion to the Blessed Virgin, and that it would become the most celebrated resort of all Belgium. His words, which were looked on by the peasants as an oracle, were verified, as an immense number of miracles were performed there, many of which we have witnessed with our own eyes.

All these manifestations of piety must have filled the hearts of Father Talbot and his soldiers with gratitude and consolation; but they also brought on him an overwhelming amount of labour under which he soon succumbed. The Annual Letters of Belgium tell us that

among the camp missioners of Belgium three Jesuits went to the glory of Heaven in the year 1599. The first was Father Walter Talbot, an Irishman, who was thirty-eight years old, and had been four years in the Society. In the camp he reconciled to the Church many men, chiefly of his own nation; many also were those of other countries, whom he brought back to the paths of salvation. He gave high hopes of success in this kind of apostolic work, and he was resolved to persevere in it as long as he had life. But, regardless of his health, he spent two days hearing the confessions of the soldiers, while he was drenched with wet; he thus contracted a violent fever, of which he died at Cassel on August 4, 1599.

There were no railways, no steamers in those days, and English ships were on the sea to intercept all correspondence between the Continent and Ireland; and so the news of his death did not reach Dublin for a month, or perhaps months, after its occurrence. His fellow-citizen and brother Jesuit, Henry FitzSimon, wrote to Father General a month afterwards: :I beg of your Paternity to give us some labourers for this vineyard, and I think Father Walter Talbot should be sent to me at once, if it be pleasing to your Paternity”. Father FitzSimon, who had been acquainted with him at Dublin and in Belgium, knew something of his virtue, learning, tact, ardent Zeal, and other qualities, which eminently fitted him for the difficult and dangerous mission of Ireland; and he was most anxious to secure his services for his afflicted countrymen at home. But God willed otherwise, and took him to receive the reward of his labours. It is not unlikely that Father FitzSimon was reminded of him by the fact that the day before he wrote his letter, Walter's brother, John, was knighted on the field of battle by the Lord Deputy for distinguished service against the Irish at a time when, as FitzSimon writes, the Irish were everywhere triumphant, and the splendid English army of the Earl of Essex had been almost annihilated.

Tanner, Edmund, 1526-1579, Roman Catholic Bishop of Cork and former Jesuit priest

  • Person
  • 1526-04 June 1579

Born: 1526 Dublin
Entered: 09 June 1565, Professed House Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Left: 13 November 1571, Milan, Italy
Died: 04 June 1579, Munster

On 28 June 1567 Fr Borgia writes to Fr P Canisius that he was thinking of sending him to help at the University at Dillingen. Fr Womanstadt especially thought of sending a Theologian to Ireland - a priest would be a very good thing. see many things about Tanner in Vol VI of Canisius. (Spic oss III 35)
12 August 1567 Borgia to Germany : “Edmund an Irishman, a man of mature age and good parts will be sent to Würzburg. We have sent him to Würzburg or Dillingen where he will be useful. He is a Theologian” (Fr Nadal’s Epistolae Vol iii 509, 526)
On 20 August 1565 Fr Polanco writes to Primate Creagh : “We have elected Fr Borgia as General at our General Congregation. Among the Fathers who have come to Rome is Edmund the Irishman (Tanner), vir probitatis et doctinae non vulgaris qui nunc in probabtionibus nostrae Societatis exercetur” (Borgia Vol IV 68).

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
A Writer; A profound divine (Stanihurst); A Prisonere; A Bishop of Cork (cf "Hibernia Ignatiana").
He was once arrested but had escaped by the aid of friends. The heretics were bent on his destruction. God had blessed his labours, and many would be reconciled, to the Church, should the violence of the persecution subside. (cf Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Edmund Tanner, Bishop of Cork 1530-1579
Edmund Tanner was born in Dublin in 1530 and entered the Society at Rome in 1566. With Fr Rochford, he went to Dilingen for his studies. Owing to ill-health and with the blessing iof his Superiors, he left the Society. On Fr David Wolfe’s recommendation, he was appointed Bishop of Cork in 1574.In 1576 he received special faculties for Cork, Dublin and Cashel, and for this reason he is referred to in contemporary documents as Commissionary Apostolic.

Fr Houling SJ records that Bishop Tanner was arrested at Clonmel and thrown into prison. There he was visited by a Protestant prelate whom he finally converted. He then escaped and continued his labours for four years. Worn out by prison and toil, he died a veritable martyr in January 1579.

There is extant a famous letter of his to Rome in which he praised very highly the work of Frs Rochford and Lee in our school at Youghal.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
TANNER, EDMUND. A brief letter of this Father, addressed from Cork, the 11th of October, 1577, is extant. He states that he had once been arrested; but by the industry of his friends, had effected his escape, and that the enemies of Catholic Faith were constantly intent on his destruction; that God blessed his labours in the vineyard, and that many would be reconciled to the Church, if the violence of Persecution should subside. I suspect this Father is the person mentioned by Harris, p.97, Book, I. Writers of Ireland, who wrote “Lectiones in Summam D. Thomae”.

Tarpey, James, 1924-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/617
  • Person
  • 05 May 1924-21 March 2001

Born: 05 May 1924, Kilkelly, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 21 March 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to HIB : 1976

by 1952 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1980 at Richmond Fellowship London (BRI) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001


Fr James (Jim) Tarpey (1924-2001)

5th May 1924: Born in Kilkelly, Co. Mayo
Early Education at Mungret College
7th Sept 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1948: Rathfarnham - studying Arts at UCD
1948 - 1951: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1951 - 1954: Hong Kong- 2 years language School / 1 year Wah Yan College
1954 - 1958: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1957: Ordained at Milltown
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1969: Hong Kong (Wah Yan, Queen's Road; Wah Yan, Waterloo Road; Cheung Chau) - various capacities: Rector, Minister Prefect of the Church, Teaching English
2nd Feb. 1960: Final Vows in Hong Kong
1969 - 1973: Tullabeg - 1 year Mission staff, 3 years Retreat House staff
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham - Retreat House staff
1976 - 1978: Betagh House, 9 Temple Villas - Superior
1978 - 1979: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1979 - 1980: London - Studying practical psychology
1980 - 1981: Rathfarnham - Director Spiritual Exercises
1981 - 1984: Tullabeg - Director Spiritual Exercises
1984 - 1986: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1986 - 1988: Milltown Park - Director Spiritual Exercises; Lay Retreat Association
1988 - 1991: Arrupe, Ballymun - Parish Curate
1991 - 1996: Manresa - Director Spiritual Exercises
1996 - 1997: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1997 - 1998: Sandford Lodge - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
1998 - 2001: Milltown Park - Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Director Spiritual Exercises
21st March 2001: Died in Dublin

Some ten years ago, Jim was very seriously ill with a heart condition. He made a remarkable recovery and continued to live a very energetic life, giving retreats and novenas, besides his main job as Co-ordinator of Cherryfield Lodge. He was greatly appreciated for his apostolates, as retreat-giver and homilist. The suddenness of his passing took us all by surprise, since only the day before he died he had said the prayers at the removal of the remains of Fr. Tony Baggot. He was attending a meeting when he collapsed. He was taken to the Mater Hospital, having had a massive heart attack, from which he passed away.

Noel Barber writes....

Jim Tarpey died suddenly at an AA meeting on Wednesday, March 21st. The sudden death left his family and Jesuit community stunned, but it must have been a delightful surprise for Jim. One moment he was attending a meeting on a dank cold March day and then in a blink of an eyelid he was facing the Lord he loved so well and served so faithfully.

He was born 77 years ago in Kilkelly, Co Mayo, He was one of 8 children. All but his sister, Sr. Simeon, survive him. He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick where he performed well in studies and games. He excelled at rugby and won a Munster Senior School's Rugby medal. On leaving school he entered the Society and followed the usual course of studies, After seven years the possibility of going on the missions arose. He opted for Zambia, then known as Northern Rhodesia, but was sent to Hong Kong, where he spent two years learning the language and one year teaching in a secondary school. He returned to Ireland in 1954 to study theology and was ordained in 1957 at Milltown Park.

During the years as a student his colleagues appreciated his wisdom, balance, good humour and good judgement. His piety was unobtrusive and dutiful. On the side, he acquired a formidable reputation as quite an outstanding Bridge player. He returned to Hong Kong in 1959 for 10 years. It was there that he developed his talent as a preacher.

On coming back to Ireland in 1969 he devoted the rest of his life to pastoral ministry of all shades and types with an interlude of two years when he was Superior of a Scholasticate. He was an outstanding preacher to priests, nuns, laity, to the young and the old. Father Donal Neary tells that Jim was in constant demand to return to wherever he gave the Novena of Grace. One could multiply such accounts in all sorts of areas.

He was greatly beloved by patients and staff in Cherryfield Lodge, similarly in the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook, where he spent an afternoon every week, having heard that the hospital required volunteers to visit patients. He had a large apostolate within the AA. He travelled the length and breadth of the country giving retreats and missions. He had exceptional gifts as a confessor and spiritual director, as many can testify, not least his Jesuit brothers.

The ingredients that made him so successful in pastoral ministry were many. The card player was dealt a good hand. And like the good Bridge player he was, he exploited that hand to the full, capitalising on his long suits and maximising his short ones. He was a fine speaker and a gifted storyteller. He was amiable, unpretentious, and simple, of sound judgement and eminent common sense. He had the precious ability to learn from experience and convey what he learned to others.

He might well be embarrassed to hear himself described as a theologian. He was, however, a very good one. His theology was not speculative or philosophical. He thought about the Christian message in stories, created or drawn from experience, and he conveyed the message in the same way, simply, concretely and vividly. He was in good company in communicating the message in this way. He shared this style of communication with people we know as Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. These were important elements in his make-up.

But above all he was a man of prayer. He loved prayer: to love prayer is to love the one to whom one prays and with whom one journeys. One would find him regularly in the early hours of the morning in the little community oratory.

As a card player, he could maximise his short suit, so too in life. He discovered painfully that he suffered from alcoholism. In some ways that was the defining experience in his life. He battled the sickness, at times with little success, but ultimately conquered it. His own family, his Jesuit brothers and his friends are all proud of the way he accepted the sickness, spoke about it, overcame it, and helped so generously so many who suffered in the same way. That illness impressed on him a sense of his own fragility and from that sense so many of his qualities came. It gave him an enormous capacity to help others, to feel for them in their weakness and to accept them as he accepted himself.

Through his sickness he became humble in the true sense of the term. It did not blind him to his strengths, nor did he use it to protest that he was not up to this, that or the other. In fact he was always ready to take on whatever he was asked to do and to volunteer for any pastoral work, quietly confident that he could do successfully whatever he was called to do.

In his account of the last Supper, St. John leaves out the institution of the Eucharist, and where the other evangelists recount that scene, John puts in the washing of the feet. This is, of course, John's commentary on the Eucharist. And, Tarpey like, the evangelist makes his point in a story. He is saying that the Eucharist is pointless unless it leads us to serve others in humble tasks. Someone has said that the sign of a good Christian community would be if after lining up for communion, the congregation then lined up to serve others. Jim Tarpey was always in line, ready to serve others.

Tasburgh, Thomas, 1675-1727, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2176
  • Person
  • 29 September 1673-05 July 1727

Born: 29 September 1673, Bodney, Norfolk, England
Entered: 07 September 1691, Watten, Belgium - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 1700
Final Vows: 21 March 1704
Died: 05 July 1727, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Son of John and Elizabeth (Darell)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of John and his second wife Elizabeth
Early education at St Omer’s College France
1701 At College of the Holy Apostles, Suffolk
1704 St Ignatius College London, until near the time of his death
He died in Dublin 05 July 1727 in the odour of sanctity and was buried, it is believed, at St Michan’s. Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS states “In a letter of the Rv Dean Meyler, 08 June 1832, from 79, Marlborough St, Dublin, that worthy gentleman says ‘Many miracles were performed at the tomb of this Father, and his remains were, in consequence, almost carried away by the people. There is at present, in the possession of one of the Priests of Dublin, a finger belonging to this very holy man, the applications of which has been followed by many extraordinary and rapid cures, some of them even to my knowledge”.
Father R O’Callaghan’s sister was cured by an application of the above relic (Hogan)
Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS also says :
In connection with this family and Father Thomas Tasburgh’s relic, so famous for the miraculous cures effected by its application, Father Edmund Hogan has sent us the following communication
“In the abbey of Ross Co Galway, over the vault of the Lynches of Ballycurrin, is a slab with the inscription : ‘The arms of ye Ancient Family of Tasburg, of Tasburgh, afterwards of St Peter’s Hall, in ye Manor of Southelman, in Suffolok, now of Felzton in said County (Flixton or Feixtown) ....... This Monument was erected by Ellen Lynch, of Lydican, and wife of Peregrine Tasburgh, who died the 5th February, 1710”.
The late Bishop Blake of Dromore, who preached Father Betagh’s panegyric, collected a great number of cases of cures by Father Tasburgh’s relics, and had an intention of publishing a tract on the subject. The celebrated Dr Cahill was to have his leg cut off by Surgeon O’Reilly, he applied Father Tasburgh’s finger to his leg and disappointed the surgeons.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of John and Elizabeth née Darrell
Early education was under the Jesuits at St Omer, France.
After First Vows he followed the usual course of studies in Europe, was Ordained and then returned to work as a priest in England
The circumstances of his arrival in Ireland are simply not known. It may be suggested that he came to for reasons of health or as Chaplain to some Anglo-Irish Catholic household. All that is known with certainty is that he was only a short time in Dublin when he died 05 July 1727
He died with the repute of high sanctity. Nearly a century after his death it was reported that many wonders had taken place at his tomb and that one of his fingers was treasured as a relic by a Dublin priest

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Thomas Tasburh 1673-1727
Fr Tasburg was probably an Englishman, as we find two other Jesuits of the same name listed in the English Catalogues. He is honoured in an Irish Menology, because he was for years attached to the parish of St Michan Dublin, where he died in 1727 on the 6th July, and was buried in the vaults.

Bu the concurrent testimony of many, though not juridically proved, miraculous cures were often effected by the application of his relics. One witness states that Fr Richard O’Callaghan SJ, then living with the family in Church Street, where one of his sisters was for years incurably affected by a spinal disease, he procured a finger of the deceased Fr Tasburg, and with the prescribed prayers applied it to the diseased parts which were immediately cured. The famous Dean Meyler, Parish Priest of St Andrew’s testifies :
“Many miracles were performed at the tomb of this Father, and all his remains were in consequence carried away by the people. There is at present in the possession of one of the priests of Dublin a finger belonging to this very holy man, the application of which has been followed by many extraordinary and rapid cures, some of them to my own knowledge”.

Fr Tasburg was born in 1673 and laboured for some time on the Mission in London before coming to Dublin.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
TASBURGH, THOMAS, joined the Society on the 7th of September, 1691; made a Spiritual Coadjutor on the 21st of March, 1704 : was stationed in London during the early part of the last Century; but for some time before his death resided in Dublin, in great repute for Sanctity. He died in that city on the 5th of July, N.S. 1727, aet. 54. and I think was buried at St. Michan’s. In a letter of the Rev. Mr. Meylor, dated 8th of June, 1832, from 79, Marlborough street, Dublin, that worthy gentleman says, “Many miracles were performed at the tomb of this Father; and its remains were in consequence almost carried away by the people. There is at present, in the possession of one of the Priests in Dublin, a finger belonging to this very holy man, the application of which has been followed by many extraordinary and rapid cures; some of them to my own knowledge.

Taylor, Donal, 1923-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/725
  • Person
  • 06 November 1923-10 October 2006

Born: 06 November 1923, Portumna, County Galway
Entered: 06 September 1941, Emo
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 09 January 1982, Hong Kong
Died: 10 October 2006, Wahroonga, NSW, Australia - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney Australia community at the time of death.

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

by 1950 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was a Jesuit for 65 years, joining the Society in Ireland and coming first to Hong Kong in 1957.

His life in Hong Kong was divided into two phases, firstly working at the retreat House in Cheung Chau for seven years, and then as an English teacher for 25 years at Wah Yan College Kowloon. he published many textbooks on English teaching, composition, writing and colloquial English. He showed great interest in drama and stage production for stage plays, and he was very influential in the Hong Kong Speech Festivals. During his teaching years at Wah Yan College Kowloon, he was active every Sunday in parishes as well as leading Catholic students at Wah Yan to develop in Catholic leadership.

He decided to work in Australia as a pastoral priest when he left Wah Yan Kowloon in 1983 as he reached the retiring age of 60. he continued his missionary work in Australia, being actively involved in the parish at Lavender Bay in Sydney and also at Neutral Bay. he also had outreach work with prostitutes' and drug addicts.

His personal life was simple and ordinary. It was said with a smile, that he was very Irish (with a Galway accent), loyal to his country and its customs, always asserting that he was “not British”! He admired the balance and beauty of Chinese culture and its skills in resolving conflicts, and he made every effort to adapt to Chinese ways.

He wrote a Sonnet about himself :
When I am dead think only this of me,
He was a man, take him for all in all,
Awkward and shy, timid in company
Who never thought of himself as ten feet tall.
Dry wit and puckish slant on life he saved
For those foibles lingered o’er his trail
Oft saw the funny side of fold and misbehaved
In what he said, sometimes beyond the pale.
Of years a scorned and chalk-facing in Hong Kong
The classroom’s daily grind long his chore.
Retired in Austral shores, time seemed for long,
had no regrets, his home for evermore.
At the end of the day let this be said
Tough his sins were as scarlet, what he wrote was red.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Donal Taylor, one of five children, desired to become a priest from an early age, and after an earlier education at the Cistercian College, Roscrea, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo Park, Ireland, 6 September 1941. He graduated in 1946 with a BA from University College, Dublin. Three years of philosophy studies followed at St Stanislaus' College, Tullabeg. He was assigned to the Hong Kong Mission for regency, 1949-52, during which he learned Chinese for two years and taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, for a year. In 1950 the communists detained him and two other Jesuit scholastics for two weeks after they accidentally entered Chinese territory from Macau, and were suspected of being spies as they had a camera. He returned to Ireland for theology 1952-56, and tertianship at Rathfarnham before returning to Hong Kong.
He started his teaching career at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1957-58, but believing that he needed to improve his Chinese he went back to Xavier House, Cheung Chou, where he not only studied Chinese, but was also given charge of the Retreat House as director and minister. During this time he established a successful parish network of retreat promoters.
Taylor's next assignment for nearly twenty years was teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, from 1963, where he was also spiritual father to the junior boys. During this time he had two short breaks, 1967-68, studying “Teaching of English as a Second Language”, and, 1980-81, studying pastoral ministry.
He was a good teacher, serious in class, demanding attention and a high commitment from himself and his students. This often led to frustration and impatience. As spiritual father he
arranged an exhibition on Jesuits and their vocation for the Diocesan Vocation Exhibition organised by the Serra Club. He obtained material from all over the world, with the result that the Jesuit exhibition was the largest and most attractive.
Taylor loved teaching and his students won prizes each year for recitation, poetry reading and drama in the Hong Kong Schools Speech Festival. He produced “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, and directed “Pygmalion”, which was well acclaimed. To help his students he produced a series of books called “Living English” for the middle school years. He read widely, loved music and was an interesting companion in conversation. He was good at the Chinese language that made him welcome in Chinese company and especially with past students whom he had taught.
He suffered one setback in 1978 when he found it difficult to keep his balance when walking. He underwent an operation in America for inner ear balance malfunction, but afterward had to learn to walk again. As a result of this, and because he had grown tried of teaching, his heart not being in it, he thought it best to change his career, and went to England for a course in pastoral ministry before applying to the Australian province to work in a parish. He was aged 60. During his time in Hong Kong he was experienced as a faithful and committed Jesuit who served others with great generosity and responsibility.
He arrived in Australia and the Lavender Bay parish in November 1983, and found the contrast with his former life startling. No bells or order of time, his time was largely his own. He soon found that he received better feedback in the parish than in the school, and he enjoyed celebrating the sacraments other than the Mass. He had only celebrated two weddings during his time in Hong Kong, and now he had many more, learning that instruction of adults was different from children. People enjoyed his liturgies, and he prepared his Sunday homily with great care believing that it insulted people to preach without preparation. He tried to make his Mass as devotional and sacred as possible. He drew inner strength and fulfilment from his engagement with the people he met, admiring their faith, unselfishness, holiness and forbearance. A special ministry he undertook was to write to priests in prison convicted of sexual abuse. He believed that they needed to be befriended.
Taylor moved to the parish of St Canice's, Elizabeth Bay, 1990-96, as superior, and then St Joseph's, Neutral Bay, 1997-2001, and finally St Mary's, North Sydney, 2002-06.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007


Fr Donal Taylor (1923-2006) : China Province

26th November 1923: Born at Portumna, Co. Galway.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo Park.
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studies Arts at UCD.
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - studied philosophy.
1949 - 1951: Chinese Language Studies in Hong Kong.
1951 - 1952: Regency, teaching in Wah Yan, Hong Kong.
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park – studied theology
28th July, 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - teaching.
1958 - 1962: Cheung Chau, H.K., Language Studies, Retreats.
1962 - 1978: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - teaching
1979 - 1980: Teaching at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
1980 - 1981: Studies in London, England
1981 - 1983: Teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon
1984 - 2006: Australia - Parish ministry
1984 - 1989: St. Francis Xavier's, Lavender Bay, Sydney.
1990 - 1996: St. Canice's, Elizabeth Bay, Sydney.
1997 - 2001: St. Joseph's Neutral Bay, Sydney
2002 - 2006: St. Mary's, North Sydney
September 2006: Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney
October 10th, 2006: Died at Wahroonga, New South Wales

Homily preached October 16", 2006 by Richard Leonard, S.J. at Requiem Mass, St Mary's Church, North Sydney.

For those of us who knew and loved Fr Donal Taylor, it comes as no surprise to discover that he planned his funeral. Donal liked good order, especially good liturgical order, and he was very clear about what he DIDN'T want.

Donal always thought the postmortem double-guessing about readings, hymns and ministers was to be avoided. Preparing this liturgy was one of the ways he wrestled with his own mortality, and one of the ways he wanted to care for us. Some months ago he asked me to preach. My riding instructions were clear: “Eulogize me, don't canonize me”.

The readings he chose revolve around two themes: love and empathy. In the First Letter of John we are reminded that our love of each other is a response to God's initiative in loving us first. The Gospel, like our processional hymn, applies this idea still more clearly. Jesus tells us that the only law worth worrying about is the law of love, from which should flow at home-ness, joy, friendship and a passion for inission - to go out and bear the fruit of what we have been privileged to receive from Christ. And I know that Donal liked the Letter to the Hebrews not just because it focuses on Christ as priest, but because of the nature of the priesthood described therein: empathetic, tested, hospitable and sacrificial. And in the midst of hearing these words, Donal asks us, who grieve his passing, to sing WITH him, “Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord”.

Donal's life fell into three uneven chapters, each of them bestowing on him a rich legacy. For most of the first thirty years he was in Ireland. Donal's fierce loyalty for those he loved, his wicked and self-deprecating humour, the tendency to see the world as black or white, his deep love of literature and music, and his culinary palate for meat and potatoes, never left him.

Apart from the gentle lilt of his Galway accent, Donal's Irishness came into its own during the Australian republican debate. He was all for it. When I suggested that he should become an Australian citizen so he could vote in the referendum, he told me that he would first have to swear allegiance to the Queen. By whatever title the House of Windsor went in this country, the monarchy was British, and he was Irish, and that was that until an Australian was elected President.

For over twenty years Donal lived and worked in Hong Kong. It was a demanding mission, and apart from the obvious ways in which he was a foreigner, he never settled as easily nor as well as he had hoped. Still, he loved his students, and appreciated the way some of them stayed in contact with him over the years. He admired the balance and beauty of the best of Chinese culture, and also thought that the saving of face was a generous way to resolve conflict. When I visited him last week in hospital, it was no surprise to see that he been listening to a book in Mandarin.

Then, in 1984, he came to Australia. Moving out of teaching into pastoral ministry, for the next 18 years Donal was on “bay watch”, ministering at Lavender Bay, Elizabeth Bay and Neutral Bay, until coming here to North Sydney in 2002.

I first met Donal when, as a novice, I was sent to Lavender Bay. He seemed crotchety to me, and I was far too confident. So it was with mutual trepidation that we came together again at the end of 1992 at St Canice's.

I was a lot little less sure of myself at Kings Cross, and I noticed that Donal had changed too. With Elizabeth Clarke as the pastoral associate and in community with Frank Brennan and Peter Hosking for all of his time there, Donal was more vulnerable. He could be a difficult man to get to know, but, boy, was it worth it!

I was the luckiest pastoral assistant in Sydney because Donal never said “No” to any of my ideas. He would simply say, “I'd be slow on that one”. One Friday before Trinity Sunday I told Donal that I was going to preach that while Father, Son and Holy Spirit were privileged names for God, they did not exhaust the possibilities, and that God could helpfully be styled as our mother. Doubling-over in the chair he said, “I'd be slow on that one”.

At the Vigil Mass, Con, the most famous homeless person in Kings Cross, was in the front pew. During my advocacy for the maternity of God, Con jumped up and expressed what was probably a majority position in the church, “God's not our mother, Mary's our mother, God's our father”. Turning to Donal, he said, “Father Donal, this young bloke hasn't got a clue”. And marched out of the church. I looked at Donal, and then the congregation and said, “In the Name of the Father...” and sat down. And as I did Donal turned to his unteachable deacon and laughed, “I told you to be slow on that one”. Later, over dinner, he told me to give the same homily at the other Masses, “Because, while it's not my cup of tea, there are people who need to hear that Father is not the only name for God”. What a pastor! What a friend!

As we come to commend our dear brother into the arms of God, we will miss so many things: the limericks and the prose that marked our special days. He thus introduced the last verse he wrote:

“An attempt at a sonnet about myself that ends on a wobbly note”

When I am dead, think only this of me,
He was a man, take him for all in all,
Awkward and shy, timid in company,
Who never thought of self as ten feet tall.
Dry wit and puckish slant on life he saved
For those whose foibles lingered o'er his trail.
Oft saw the funny side of folk and misbehaved
In what he said, sometimes beyond the pale.
Of years a score and more chalk-facing in Hong Kong,
The classroom's daily grind for long his chore.
Retired to Austral shores, time seemed not long,
Had no regrets, his home for evermore.
At the end of the day let this be said
Though his sins were as scarlet, what he wrote was read.

We will also miss the elegant turn of phrase and sharp wit in the Province's Fortnightly Report; and the unfussy friendship, but constant encouragement and care, he lavished upon us. Like the Lord he so faithfully served, Donal was loving and empathetic.

Last Tuesday, on the vigil of the feast of St Canice, he heard the Lord speak into his ear, “Do not be afraid I am with you. I have called you by your name, you are mine. I have called you by your name. You are mine”. And with that Donal went rejoicing to the house of Lord. “Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him. May he rest in peace. Amen."

Donal's niece, Mairead, visited him at Easter, 2006. She and her husband, Fintan, came to pay their final respects to him on behalf of his Irish family. Richard extracted a promise from her that she would write something about her uncle. The following, read at the funeral, is taken from her tribute:

Donal was a gentle mannered child and from a young age always wanted to be a priest. well, maybe not always, he thought that he should be a bishop first and was known in the family and by his circle of friends as “the Bishop”, The Taylor's were renowned for the funerals of the family pets, of which there were a number. Donal would not attend these services unless he could be “The Bishop”. These occasions were always a great source of amusement for the neighbours - The Sisters of Mercy! Being a diplomatic individual, Donal would often try to break up a disagreement between his brothers but would invariably come out worse. This was the version that Donal himself would tell but his brother Brendan may tell a different story!! During the month of May Donal would have an altar with candles and it would be his pride and joy, until his older brother John would always blow out the candles and then the prayers were very quickly forgotten,

After 27 years of living and teaching in Hong Kong, Donal decided to retire from teaching and moved to Australia. When asked why he didn't move back to Ireland he simply stated that it was too cold. When his niece was getting married in March of 1996 Donal came home to officiate at the ceremony, but only after he gave his opinion that she should get married in August as it would be warmer!!!

Donal made regular trips to Ireland and England to see his family. He was chief celebrant at his brother John's funeral in 1996 and came home to christen his grandniece Alison in 2001. His most recent trip was in 2005 to celebrate the golden anniversary of his ordination which he celebrated in Milltown with a number of other priests that he had studied with.

Donal was a quiet gentle-spoken man with a good sense of humour and a very loyal friend and relative. He spoke openly about various matters of the church. When he was asked once about the subject of the marital debate for priests his opinion was that it really was not for him as he was very happy to reside at the parochial house but a number of women would not share the same kitchen!!!

Donal was a priest for 51 years, an extremely happy union. He had a very strong faith, which he had grown up with, and, although he never made Bishop, he had a much fulfilled life. He was as happy saying Mass in a crowded church as he was saying it in the dining room of his family home. He was a kind and gentle individual who remembered Birthdays and Christmas and when he came home to Ireland he was great at travelling around and seeing everyone. Donal was a gentle man. It was wonderful to see him at Easter, to see his churches, his home and the chalice that his parents gave him on his ordination. It is truly a beautiful piece with a little bit of Ireland engraved into it. He brought it with him wherever he was based and he told me that it would remain in this church.

He really loved this parish. And let me tell you, why wouldn't he, everyone was so kind to him. But the icing on the cake was that his brother Brendan lived close, although I'm not sure who was looking out for whom. When you remember Donal, remember him with a smile and his gentle voice. For us in Ireland, we will remember him as a brother, brother-in-law, uncle and grand-uncle. Donal is survived by his brother, Brendan, sisters Mary and Eleanor, sister-in-law Eilish, brother-in-law John, niece Mairead, nephew-in law Fintan, grand-niece Alison, and grand-nephews John and Karl.

Taylor, Nicholas J, 1644-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2177
  • Person
  • 26 March 1644-26 June 1678

Born: 26 March 1644, Dublin
Entered: 15 October 1663, Paris, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: c 1676
Died: 26 June 1678, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

1668-1669 Teaching Humanities at Hesdin in France
1672 At Compiègne College FRA MA Good talent. Teaching Grammar and Humanities
1675 At La Flèche studying Theology teaching Humanities and Rhetoric
1678 Tallier went from FRA to new Irish College at Poitiers AQUIT
1678 a Fr Ignatius Tailor dies at Poitiers 26 June 1678

Taylor, William, 1795-1865, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2178
  • Person
  • 01 November 1795-23 June 1865

Born: 01 November 1795, Gorteen, Co Kilkenny or Gurteen, Co Sligo
Entered: 05 April 1818, Richmond, Virginia - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Final vows: 15 August 1832
Died: 23 June 1865, Worcester, MA, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Teeling, Ignatius, 1623-1699, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2179
  • Person
  • 31 July 1623-15 October 1599

Born: 31 July 1623, Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 13 December 1647, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: 1647, Rome, Italy - pre Entry
Final Vows: 22 April 1658
Died: 15 October 1699, Roman College, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)

Alias Tellin

Had studied Philosophy and Theology before Ent. Talent for teaching Philosophy and Mathematics
1649 At Roman Seminary
1651 At Sienna College teaching Philosophy
1655 In Roman College teaching Philosophy, Prefect of Studies. Excellent talent, very proficient in letters. Talent for teaching Mathematics and other speculative subjects
1657-1660 Came from Roman Province to Ingolstadt
1660 Sent to Venice Province VEM
1660-1665 At Bologna teaching Mathematics, Ethics, Philosophy, Theology and was Prefect of Studies
1665-1675 At Naples College Teaching Physics, Theology, Scripture and Prefect of Studies
1678 At Roman College teaching Ethics, Theology, Casus, Doctor of Philosophy and Revisor
1694 By this date Fr Relly assumes he has returned to Rome, where he remains as Revisor (had been Revisor for Germany 15 years.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
He was a Writer and Littérateur (de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)
1660 Professor of Theology at Ingolstadt
Peter Talbot says of him “a miracle of learning”
“Vir omni disciplinarum genere exultus; ingenio acri et amaeno, inque omnia promptissimo” (cf Poems of Nicholas Pathenius Giannetasi)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had previously studied and was Ordained at Irish College Rome before Ent 13 December 1647 St Andrea, Rome. he was considered to be a brilliant student in both Philosophy and Theology.
1649-1653 After First Vows he was sent to take a Chair of Philosophy at Siena, but was recalled to Rome 1653
1653-1657 Sent to Rome as Prefect of Studies at the German College
1657-1675 Loaned by ROM to teach in other Provinces : Philosophy at Ingolstadt 1657-1660; Dogmatic Theology at Bologna 1660-1665; Theology at Naples 1665-1667
1675 Sent to Rome as “Censor Librorum” at the Roman College, and remained there until his death 15 October 1699

Temple, Patrick, 1818-1890, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/431
  • Person
  • 17 March 1818-29 March 1890

Born: 17 March 1818, Banagher, County Offaly
Entered: 01 June 1858, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare
Final Vows: 15 August 1868
Died: 29 March 1890, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He spent all his Jesuit life as a tailor at Clongowes. He was a holy old man.
He was one of Father Bracken’s eight Brother Novices who Ent 1858 and persevered to the end. He died at Clongowes 29 March 1890.

Note from Francis Hegarty Entry :
He did return after some months, and there he found in Father Bracken, a Postulant Master and Novice Master, and this was a man he cherished all his life with reverence and affection. His second Postulancy was very long and hard - four years. he took the strain and was admitted as a Novice with seven others which had not had so trying a time as himself. He liked to say that all seven along with him remained true to their vocation until death, and he was the last survivor. They were John Coffey, Christopher Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

Thaly, Hugh, 1639-1711, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2180
  • Person
  • 10 November 1638-18 September 1711

Born: 10 November 1638, Kilmore, County Cavan
Entered: 20 September 1659, Nancy, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)
Ordained: 12 March 1671, Pont-à-Mousson, France
Final Vows: 02 February 1677
Died: 18 September 1711, Irish College, Poitiers, France - Campaniae Province (CAMP)

Alias Johnson

1662-1664 At Pont-á-Mousson studying Logic and Physics
1664-1666 At Charlevile College teaching
1666-1667 At Langres College
1667-1668 At Dijon College teaching
1668-1672 At Pont-à-Mousson Studying Theology and then teaching and Prefect of Physicists, later Seminarians
1672 At Rheims College CAMP teaching Humanities and Rhetoric. Good teacher and fit for teaching and Mission
1699 Came to Poitiers and remained. Minister, Rector (1700-1705)
1708 Catalogue Strength good considering his age, but is wholly blind
In Convent OSF at Waterford there is a book with “Resid New Ross ex domo, Rev Hugionis Thalii”

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
“Insignis juventutis instructor” up to his old age; Professor of Belles-lettres, Rhetoric and Philosophy for twenty-five years
Rector of Poitiers and Drogheda; Served two years in hospitals
1683 In Dublin
1686 In Drogheda
1708 In Poitiers
He was totally blind for the last eight years of his life; Twenty-four years in Ireland, and some years in Scotland; A holy man (cf Foley’s Collectanea)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan :
1661-1664 After First Vows was sent to Pont-à-Mousson for Philosophy.
1664-1648 He spent four years Regency at Charleville, Langres and Divonne.
1648-1671 He then returned to Pont-à-Mousson for Theology and was Ordained there 12 March 1671
1672-1673 Made Tertianship at Nancy
1673-1676 Sent to Ireland and Drogheda
1676-1677 He was then sent to France, to the newly founded Irish College of Poitiers, but seems to have quarrelled there with the Rector, Ignatius Browne over the administration of the College, and was recalled to Ireland by the Mission Superior William O’Rian the following year.
1677 Sent to work at Dublin Residence.
1678 During the Oates's Plot he was living outside Dublin. The General was not happy about Thaly remaining on the Mission and, on the suggestion of O’Rian, himself exiled in Poitiers, the General recalled him to France but Thaly managed to evade the order until the General's death, in spite of many expressed wished by the Mission Consultors. The cause of the difficulties are not clear, though it can be assumed that he was seen as something of a trouble maker, and that some of the difficulties in the early days at Poitiers had been attributed to him. It is thought that he was being sent to CAMP to have some time to reflect.
The new General left him undisturbed, after a suitable caution, and Thaly proved himself a resourceful organiser at the School and Residence of Drogheda, including managing to get a suitable building for an oratory.
During the short lived reign of James II, he began to dabble a little in politics. He got himself into trouble over the as one of the chief witnesses of the Chief Revenue Commissioner, Thomas Sheridan, who had been accused of corruption. Sheridan’s allies suggested that Thaly was merely a “job-hunter” for his own family and friends.
At the same time, he managed to get the General to appoint a French Jesuit as Chaplain to the Viceroy, and when he did not turn up, Thaly installed himself as Viceregal Chaplain in Dublin Castle. The General became very concerned by Thaly’s behaviour, especially his part in the Sheridan case,, and the Mission Superior was instructed that Thaly should never again be allowed to live in Dublin.
So he went to work in Drogheda, but served as a Chaplain at the Siege of Limerick. After the Williamite victory, he was forced to seek shelter in Dublin, where he exercised his ministry under the name “Johnson” until 1699, when he was captured and deported to France.
1700-1705 Rector at Irish College Poitiers. During his administration were sown the seeds of future disputes between the Irish Mission and the College over the funds which supported the College but in part belonged to the Mission. He died at Poitiers 18 September 1711

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Hugh Thaly 1638-1711
Fr Hugh Thaly was a great scholar and instructor of youth in Dublin and elsewhere, was born about 1638 and died at Poitiers on September 18th 1711.

He laboured on the Irish Mission for 24 years and for some time also in Scotland. During the last eight years of his life, like the good Tobias, he was totally blind, and exhibited, as he died, the most perfect patience and resignation.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
THALY,HUGH. This polite scholar and excellent instructor of youth, died in the Irish College of Poitiers, on the 18th of September, 1711, aet. 73. He had laboured in the Irish Mission for 24 years, and for some time had been employed in the vineyard of Scotland. For the last eight years of his life, God was pleased to visit him with total blindness; but, like another Tobias, he exhibited perfect patience and resignation.

The Advocate, newspaper, 1868-1990

  • Corporate body
  • 1868-1990

Weekly newspaper founded in Melbourne, Victoria in 1868 and published for the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne from 1919 to 1990.

The Georgian Group, 1937-

  • Corporate body
  • 1937-

The Georgian Group is an English and Welsh conservation organisation created to campaign for the preservation of historic buildings and planned landscapes of the 18th and early 19th centuries.

The National Archives (UK Government, and for England and Wales), 2003-

  • Corporate body
  • 2003-

TNA - England and Wales, Government of the United Kingdom. TNA was formerly four separate organisations: the Public Record Office (PRO), the Historical Manuscripts Commission, the Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI) and Her Majesty's Stationery Office (HMSO).

Theobald, Vincent, d 1620, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2181
  • Person
  • d 12 September 1620

Died: 12 September 1620, Dublin or Gien, Lioret, France

◆ Catalogus Defuncti 1540-1640 has Vincentius Thebaud RIP 12 September 1620 Gien (Lioret) (Franc 11 118r (suppl) )

◆ CATSJ I-Y has “Thebaud”; RIP 12/09/1620 at ? Dublin

◆ In Old/15 (1) RIP 1620 and in pencil on one “Thebard” and Chronological Catalogue Sheet

Therry, John Joseph, 1790-1864, Roman Catholic priest

  • Person
  • 1790-1864

John Joseph Therry (1790-1864), Catholic priest, the son of John Therry, of Cork, Ireland, and his wife Eliza, née Connolly, was educated privately and at St Patrick's College, Carlow. Ordained priest in 1815, he was assigned to parochial work in Dublin and then Cork, where he became secretary to the bishop, Dr Murphy. His interest in Australia, aroused by the transportation of Irish convicts and the publicity surrounding the forced return of Father Jeremiah O'Flynn in 1818, came to the notice of Bishop Edward Bede Slater, whom Pius VII had appointed vicar-apostolic of the 'Cape of Good Hope, Madagascar, Mauritius, and New Holland with the adjacent islands'. At the same time the Colonial Office had consented under the pressure of radical demand, the increasing influence of the Irish hierarchy and the somewhat diffident promptings of Bishop Poynter, vicar-apostolic of the London district, to send two official Roman Catholic chaplains to New South Wales. Recommended by his own bishop as a capable, zealous and 'valuable young man', Therry sailed from Cork under a senior priest, Father Philip Conolly, in the Janus, which carried more than a hundred prisoners. They arrived in Sydney, authorized by both church and state, in May 1820.

Therry described his life in Australia for the next forty-four years as 'one of incessant labour very often accompanied by painful anxiety'. Popular, energetic and restless, he appreciated from the beginning the delicacy of his role. He had to be at once a farseeing pastor making up for years of neglect, a conscientious official of an autocratic British colonial system, and a pragmatic Irish supporter of the democratic freedoms. Though respectful of authority and grateful for co-operation, he was impatient of any curtailment of what he considered his own legal or social rights as a Catholic priest in a situation governed by extraordinary circumstances.

The immediate tasks of instruction, visitation and administration of the Sacraments went ahead, and Governor Lachlan Macquarie's initial attitude of executive peremptoriness combined with abrupt, detailed regulation gave way to a gruff but friendly trust. Commissioner John Thomas Bigge was courteous and helpful. In 1821 Father Conolly, an eccentric temperamentally incompatible with his companion, went to Van Diemen's Land, leaving Therry for five seminal years the only priest on the mainland. Articulate and thorough, he set himself the task of attending to every aspect of the moral and religious life of the Catholics. He travelled unceasingly, living with his scattered people wherever they were to be found, sometimes using three or four horses in a day. His influence was impressive among the Protestant settlers and outstanding among the convicts. His correspondence shows the trust they placed in him. For the rest of his life he was banker, adviser and arbitrator to many of them as well as spiritual director and community leader. He also early formed a lasting interest in the Aboriginals, who became very attached to him. He pleaded the cause of their education to Governor (Sir) Ralph Darling and in 1834 wrote to the governor's private secretary renewing his offer of services and accommodation.

The building of a church in Sydney, planned from the first days of the chaplaincy, was one of Therry's main preoccupations. The assistance or substantial tolerance of the leading colonists was assured, and on 29 October 1821 Governor Macquarie laid the foundation stone of St Mary's Church on a site he had assigned at the edge of Hyde Park, near the convict barracks. Francis Greenway made himself available for consultation on the architecture and construction. John Campbell, John Piper and Frederick Goulburn were regularly involved in the organization of subscriptions. Government help was promised, but Therry was criticized for the elaborate design and size of the building, and the project quickly got out of hand financially. His accounts, never very coherent though always scrupulously maintained, became progressively more chaotic as his charities multiplied and the financing of schools and churches in Sydney, Parramatta, and the outlying townships involved him in attempts to raise funds by farming and stock-breeding. The scattered and casual nature of his dealings, the absence of a reliable and able book-keeper and his own sanguine character made financial crisis inevitable. His failure to separate private and public matters hampered and indeed later crippled his apostolate. But demands for his service came from the hospital, gaols, farms, the government establishments, his own day and Sunday schools, and from road-gangs and assigned convicts. He went, whenever summoned, to Wollongong, Goulburn, Maitland, Bathurst and Newcastle.

Oppressive behaviour by officials or settlers towards the soldiers or convicts angered him, particularly where religious issues were involved. He was bitterly resentful of his exclusion from certain government institutions, especially the Orphan School, where he was unhappy about children whose parents were Catholic being baptized and instructed by the Anglican chaplains. By 1824, however, the patronage of Governor Sir Thomas Brisbane and his own growing experience encouraged him to hope for impartiality and support. He was confident that, with the arrival of new priests to share his work, a remarkable expansion of Catholic practice and activity was possible. With the aid of his committees, trustees and friends, and the advent of what he termed 'a free, liberal and talented press', he began to feel secure. He had even been held up by the governor as a model of discrimination and good judgment to the zealous and horrified Presbyterian pioneer, the recently arrived Dr John Dunmore Lang.

When the British government decided on a major religious adjustment to ensure the stability and increase the influence of the straining overseas branches of the state Church, Therry along with other Dissenters found himself fighting once more for permission to carry out vital services of his ministry. In New South Wales the appointment of Archdeacon Thomas Scott was accompanied by the creation of the Church and School Corporation in 1825. In its provisions the Church of England was overwhelmingly favoured. Therry was proud of his friendship and contacts with non-Catholics and irenical rather than sectarian by conviction, but found it hard enough to cope with the demands of the ten thousand Catholics for assembly, instruction and burial without the added unwelcome prospect of perpetual disputes with the privileged Anglicans over precedence, registration, fees and access to colonial funds. Already a rallying point for religious grievance, he now became prominent in a possible opposition party. On 14 June 1825 the Sydney Gazette misquoted him as having but 'qualified' respect for 'the other Revd. Gentlemen of the Establishment'. The incident was magnified in a time of tension. Bathurst was shocked at Therry's pragmatic approach to those regulations he regarded as unjust or petty and at his open assault on religious monopoly. He was removed from his official situation as chaplain and his salary was withdrawn soon after the arrival of Governor Darling. Despite frequent and general protest he was not reinstated until 1837. However, Therry had grown accustomed to fend for himself and saw that the generosity of his friends and his countrymen would enable him to carry on much as he had done. He decided to stay and to represent his claims. His criticisms were enthusiastically taken up by William Charles Wentworth and Robert Wardell in the Australian, and Edward Smith Hall in the Monitor. Darling distrusted Therry's influence among the convicts, but decided to ignore rather than to expel him, chiefly because his removal 'would in all probability have called forth some expression of the public opinion in his favour'.

The withdrawal of government approval involved Therry in continual disabilities and hindrances in the exercise of his priestly functions, especially in the visitation of the sick and dying in gaols and hospitals, and in the performance of marriages. But even after the arrival of Father Daniel Power as official chaplain in December 1826 Therry remained the chief influence. The two priests had more work than they could deal with, but Therry's impetuosity and Power's inadequate health led them into a series of collisions, particularly when the building of St Mary's came to a standstill and Therry demanded more vigorous action. Father Power died in March 1830 and Therry was again left alone with his mounting debts and worries. His genius for publicity and organization is illustrated in the repeated representations made on his behalf by the principal officials and magistrates, and supported in March 1830 by over 1400 householders. Grudgingly he was permitted to act as chaplain without status or salary. His popularity and energy made it impossible for Father Christopher Dowling, who arrived in September 1831, to replace him in the public estimation, much to the chagrin of both newcomer and governor.

The arrival of Governor Bourke, the news of Catholic emancipation, the collapse of the Church and School Corporation, and the appointment first of Roger Therry as commissioner of the Court of Requests in 1829 and of John Hubert Plunkett as solicitor-general in 1832, both loyal friends of Therry, offered new opportunities for Catholic progress. Yet Therry was still frustrated and unrecognized when Father John McEncroe landed in June 1832. McEncroe was quite capable of managing the indomitable but stubborn veterans and making them lifelong colleagues and confidants. A dispute about the St Mary's land had become deadlocked through Therry's obstinacy, and disastrous litigation was in prospect when Bishop Morris, Slater's successor, appointed the English Benedictine, Father William Ullathorne, as his vicar-general in the colony. Despite his youth, Ullathorne's confidence and ecclesiastical authority enabled him to take over the reins from Therry when he arrived in February 1833. The first bishop, John Bede Polding, came in 1835 and Therry went willingly as parish priest to Campbelltown, with an area extending beyond Yass as his immediate care. By Bourke's Church Act of 1836 the principle of religious equality had been accepted in the colony, and in April 1837 he was restored to a government salary.

In April 1838 he was sent by Polding to Van Diemen's Land as vicar-general. It was intended also that he should visit Port Phillip on his way, but he did not do so, going to Launceston and thence to Hobart Town, where Father Conolly had become estranged from his people, and the usual difficulties had arisen about jurisdiction, salaries and the deeds of church land. Therry reconciled Conolly before the latter's death in August 1839. He visited the interior and attended to the convicts. His church building at Hobart and Launceston was assisted by Sir John Franklin's spasmodic patronage, but on St Joseph's Hobart, and on the schools demanded by the free settlers, he overreached himself. Loneliness, responsibility, illness and debt pressed heavily on him and he found himself again struggling for justice and religious equality in the government institutions. In July 1841 he visited Sydney briefly to get help and to try to clear up some of his business entanglements. There he was consulted by Caroline Chisholm, whom he was able to help and advise about her first plans to work among the emigrants. Though sick, he was thinking of a mission to New Zealand and perhaps the Pacific Islands, and formed an interest which in 1860 prompted him to implore Governor Sir William Denison to put an end to the Maori wars and to offer his own services as mediator.

Dr Robert Willson, the first bishop, arrived in Hobart in May 1844. He had not expected the church debts to be so great or so complicated, and the two men fell out. A long and dreary dispute arose, especially about the St Joseph's property. Neither man had much humour, and not all the goodwill they certainly possessed, or the good offices of Polding, McEncroe, Charles Swanston of the Derwent Bank, the colonial secretary or Rome itself could bring an end to the quarrel, which smouldered for fourteen miserable years. The affair became an idée fixe with Therry, who stayed on for fear that his lay trustees would be victimized or that his debts would not be met in a time of depression. In September 1846, however, he went to Melbourne as parish priest in the place of Father Patrick Geoghegan who had founded the church there. He remained until April 1847.

Therry was at Windsor in New South Wales as parish priest until June 1848 when he returned to live in Van Diemen's Land for six years. His efforts to settle affairs there were unsuccessful and, after a period of adjustment in New South Wales, he went in May 1856 to Balmain where he spent the rest of his life. Mellowed and serene, he continued to be an energetic pastor, watching the growth of the church in whose establishment he had played such a definitive part, the coming of the religious Orders, and the completion of his own church at Balmain and the first St Mary's, generously contributing whenever he could to every new development. He became spiritual director to the Sisters of Charity at St Vincent's, and in 1858 was made archpriest, taking precedence after the vicar-general. In 1859 he was elected a founding fellow of the council of St John's College within the University of Sydney. He had been given or had bought a number of properties which he tried to develop for the provision of more schools and churches for the growing Catholic community. Notable among these were his farms at Bong Bong and Albury, a property which is now the suburb of Lidcombe, and 1500 acres (607 ha) at Pittwater, where he tried unsuccessfully to mine coal.

Simple and unselfish, a firm democrat and a zealous priest, Therry was a man of large notions and considerable achievement. He was an unsophisticated man with no clear ideas of social systems or political reform. Yet his energy and persistence proved a continual source of trouble to those who opposed his ideas of what was right or possible. Of the middle class, gentle, 'pious, zealous, and obstinate', he admired but lacked the education and ability of his more vivid contemporaries. But despite his peculiarities and limitations he undertook many obligations and responsibilities which would in the circumstances have crushed greater men. His enthusiasm and sincerity assure him of a firm place among the founders of the Catholic Church and in the history of civil liberties in Australia. He firmly believed in a distant future for which he built, often regardless of existing conditions. A legend in his own lifetime, he died on 25 May 1864, and his funeral was 'certainly the most numerously attended' ever seen in Sydney to that date. His remains are now in the crypt of St Mary's Cathedral, where the Lady Chapel was erected as his memorial.

J. Eddy, 'Therry, John Joseph (1790–1864)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 17 March 2020.

Thompson, James, 1850-1927, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2182
  • Person
  • 30 July 1850-26 August 1927

Born: 30 July 1850, Hobart, Tasmania
Entered: 03 December 1881, Sevenhill, Australia - Austriaco-Hungaricae Province (ASR-HUN)
Final vows: 08 December 1892
Died: 26 August 1927, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB : 01 January 1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Originally a member of the ASR Province and he remained there at the time of HIB taking responsibility for that Mission 27 April 1901
He spent the remaining twenty years of his Jesuit life at Sevenhill up his his death there 26 August 1927

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
James Thompson entered the Society at Sevenhill, 3 December 1881. No information about him exists until 1889 when he was cook at St Joseph's, Kooringa. He remained there until 1899. His last vows were taken at Sevenhill, 8 December 1892.
He spent a few years at North Sydney, a year at Xavier College, and then worked at Loyola College, Greenwich, 1903-05, as refectorian and sacristan and performing general domestic duties. Except for a few years at the parish of Norwood, 1908-10, he worked for the rest of his life at Sevenhill, involved with general duties, which included, being gardener, cook, sacristan and infirmarian.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927
Obituary :
Br James Thompson

Br. Thompson was born on the Feast of Our Holy Father, I 850, and entered the Austrian Mission in Australia on December 3rd, 1881. The formal proclamation of the Union of the Austrian and Irish Missions in Australia was made at Sevenhill and at Norwood on the 27th April, 1901, and Br. Thompson remained in Australia. He spent 20 of the remaining years of his life at Sevenhill, and died happily on the 26th August, 1927.

Thompson, Robert J, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/545
  • Person
  • 25 April 1918-09 September 1995

Born: 25 April 1918, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1952, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 09 September 1995, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1962 at Loyola, Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
‘He was radical, he had vision and he made things happen. He was single-minded and, not least, he was stubborn as a donkey’. These words were spoken by Mr P J Kirby, chairman of Clane Community Council at the graveside of Fr Thompson on 12 September 1995.

Fr Bob was born in Mallow, Co Cork in 1918, went to school with the Patrician Brothers and then on to Clongowes Wood College. He entered the Society at Emo Park in 1936 and after studies and ordination in 1949 and then tertianship, he straightaway went to Northern Rhodesia where he stayed for 12 years. While there at Chikuni, he was involved in general teaching, in teacher training, scouting and teaching of religion. He moved to Lusaka and was editor of a newspaper "The Leader" which advocated independence, was very pro-UNIP and was critical of the colonial government. With Fr Paddy Walsh he became friends with Dr Kenneth Kaunda and other leaders at the Interracial Club. This was all during Federation days. In fact, the then Federal Prime Minister Roy Welensky wrote to Fr Bob's brother who was a doctor in Rhodesia, ‘Tell that Jesuit brother of yours he is causing me a lot of trouble’. At Independence in 1964, Kaunda brought Fr Bob back from Ireland for the occasion.

Fr Bob was very intelligent, had plenty of ideas in a very active mind and would 'take up the cudgels' as it were, for worthy causes. Many did not see eye to eye with him and often it was mutual, yet he got things done and was never shy of speaking out.

When he returned to Ireland in 1963, he was on the Mission circuits for five years, traveling throughout Ireland and then stayed on retreat work at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg for seven years. In 1977, he was transferred to Clongowes Wood College and became assistant curate in the parish of Clane, a nearby village. For ten years he took part in the life of the parish and the local community: primary schools, the restoration of the old Abbey, renovation of Mainham cemetery, projects for tidy towns, negotiation for a site for a new business enterprise centre and a memorial to Fr John Sullivan S.J. ‘He made things happen’. After leaving Clane for Moycullen in Co Galway, he was called back for the unveiling of a plaque at the restored Abbey which read: “This plaque is erected to the tremendous contribution of life in the locality by Rev R Thompson S.J. during the years 1977 to 1987”.

Bob's remark about this tribute was that he was the first Irishman to have a plaque erected to him before he died. A business centre was built and opened in 1996 after Bob's death and is called the Thompson Business and Enterprise Centre.

In 1987 he retired to Moycullen, Co Galway, for the quiet life as assistant curate and a bit of fishing. The word 'retire' does not really apply to him as his active mind soon saw him involved with concern for the environment, the collapse of the sea trout stocks and the rod license dispute, being on the side of the fishermen. He helped in the Church and stayed there for four years up to 1991. He returned to Clongowes and Clane and four years later he died in Dublin on 9 of September 1995.

He was a man of big ideas he had ‘a remarkable ability of having a new idea every day’ yet he never praised himself for his achievements. He was a devoted confessor. There was nothing artificial in his dealings with parishioners and he was always so sympathetic to those going through hard times. He looked after poor people in a sensitive and low key way that protected their dignity. He had an abiding interest in encouraging young people to use their talents and had total confidence in their ability to improve on what the last generation had done. He motivated those around him, especially the young people. Nobody got preferential treatment, least of all those who believed they deserved it!

‘He was single-minded and tireless’.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996


Fr Robert (Bob) Thompson (1918-1995)

25th April 1918: Born at Mallow, Co. Cork
Education; Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1936: Entered Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg, Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Clongowes Wood College, Regency
1946 - 1950; Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1949; Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship, Rathfarnham
1951 - 1963: Zambia: Learning the language, Teaching in Chikuni Boarding School, Secretary to Bishops Conference, Teacher of Religion, Scouts Trainer, Minor Seminary teacher, Editor, “The Leader” magazine
2nd Feb. 1952: Final Vows, Chikuni College
1964 - 1969: Crescent College, Limerick, Teacher
1969 - 1970; Tullabeg - Missioner Rathfarnham - Assistant Director, Retreat House
1970 - 1976: Tullabeg - Director of Retreat House
1976 - 1977; Tullabeg - Superior
1977 - 1987: Clongowes - Assistant Curate, Clane Parish
1987 - 1991: Galway - Assistant Curate, Moycullen
1991 - 1995: Clongowes - Coordinator EC Leader Programme, Clane Community Council
9th Sept. 1995: Died unexpectedly at St. Vincent's Private Nursing Home

When leaving Clongowes in his last year Bob Thompson proved himself a very good all rounder, academically as well. Seldom if ever did he praise himself, for example, as a member of the Irish Mission staff doing the length and breadth of Ireland. He was never heard to criticise others on a mission or quietly hint that he was really the number one on the team.

In many ways he was lucky in having Fr. Donal O'Sullivan as Rector of Scholastics in Tullabeg. Bob had little time for piffling matters and could take a hard knock when it was just and due. As a Junior at UCD and Philosopher he had a good sense of humour and greatly benefited from a full house of scholastics. Having six men about the home in Mallow had its own advantage in growth points which no doubt was a definite help in his life.

His years as a young priest in Africa gave him a good deal of experience which he used with amazing courage and which sometimes might have benefited with just that touch of a little prudence and patience. He was always proud of Kenneth Kaunda, especially when Zambia came of age. On the occasion when the country was officially opened, Bob received an invitation here in Ireland to the real opening ceremony out in Zambia, so many miles away. It showed an appreciation and gratitude on the part of the New President of the time when Kaunda, his wife and eight children needed and received practical assistance while he waited in the wings in gaol for many a long day.

When Bob was sent to Tullabeg for a few years, he proved to be a man with big ideas, when finances were a serious matter for the running of retreats. He initiated an annual "Field Day" for Co. Offaly on such a gigantic scale, one wonders now at those vast undertakings. He had a huge army of backers, reminding us of things to come in Clane that was beyond ordinary Jesuit reckoning.

The ten years when Bob acted as assistant curate in Clane parish were blessed for him by having local priests who encouraged him and gave him his head. The seeds that started to grow in Africa now came into fruition due to his intellectual capacity. The next three qualities he had, are seldom seen in the one person, he was radical, he had vision and he made things happen. Not everyone grasped the deep compassion in his make up for those in trouble. They certainly saw how he motivated those around him and especially young people. We were all made aware at some stage that nobody got preferential treatment, least of all those who believed they deserved it! He was single-minded and tireless.

Today we see for ourselves the results of his achievements: the modern primary schools with their lovely run in to the village; the restored Abbey; a work of genuine artistic beauty obviously influenced by expert professional advice; the renovation of Mainham Cemetery, the various tidy town and amenity projects, the memorial to Fr. John Sullivan and finally the site for the new Enterprise Centre.

His health deteriorated for a year or so, prior to his sudden death. This was shown in his step slowing down and the energy slackening. He himself very wisely prepared to hand over to others what needed to be continued and often completed. This is a sign of a real leader who can pass on jobs to others that he would normally do himself. We Jesuits who lived with him admired the way the Lord blessed him with a magnificent base speaking voice, clear diction, so natural in delivery. He was a devoted confessor, nothing artificial in his dealings with parishioners and so sympathetic to those going through hard times. He had a big heart.

His sudden death came as a shock to his family, the Jesuits in Clongowes and to the people of Clane and neighbourhood. Seldom have we seen such a fitting farewell to any Jesuit. The last line was said at his graveside by Mr PJ Kirby in a truly wonderful oration. “The best tribute we can pay Fr. Bob is to try to emulate his example and continue the strong tradition of community and voluntary work. I know the people of Clane will not disappoint him!”

Kieran Hanley SJ

Oration at the graveside of Fr. Bob Thompson S.J. Delivered by Mr. P.J. Kirby, Chairman of Clane Community Council 12th September 1995.

Friends and neighbours,

May I thank Fr. Bob's family and the Jesuit community for providing this opportunity to the people of Clane to honour someone we loved.

I know that some of Fr. Bob's friends from Moycullen are also here today and I hope that what we want to say also reflects how the people of Galway felt about Fr Bob.

Today we are celebrating the life of someone who made an immense contribution to Clane as a priest and a community worker. This happened because Fr. Bob had a number of outstanding personal qualities:

  • He had an intellectual capacity second to none
  • He was radical
  • He had vision
  • He made things happen
  • He was compassionate
  • He motivated those around him
  • He was even-handed; nobody got preferential treatment least of all those who believed they deserved it
  • He was single-minded and tireless and, not least,
  • He was stubborn as a donkey!

These qualities enabled Fr. Bob to achieve things that we can see with our own eyes in Clane today:

  • The modern primary schools
  • The restored Abbey
  • The renovation of Mainham Cemetery
  • Various tidy town and amenity projects
  • The memorial to Fr. John Sullivan; (I will refer again to this later)
  • The site for the new Enterprise Centre

These are all tangible examples of the practical contribution Fr. Bob made to Clane. However, he also made other contributions that were less obvious but are probably of more value than we realise:

  1. He looked after poor people (this was done in a sensitive, low-key way that protected the dignity of the people concerned)

  2. He had an abiding interest in encouraging young people to use their talents and he had total confidence in their ability to improve on what the last generation had done.

  3. He left a legacy of committed community workers to carry on the work; the anticipation of his own departure is always the mark of a great leader.

Each of us will have our own special memories of Fr. Bob. On a personal note, he had a profound influence on my continuing adult education - you could not get this type of learning at any school or university. Some of the community projects I mentioned earlier were concocted late at night in Fr. Bob's house here in Clongowes, very often with spiritual help of the liquid kind.

He had particular insights into the creative and positive use of alcohol. For example, he did not agree with people giving up drink for Lent. I discovered this to my cost one day years ago when he took an abrupt turn in his Fiesta into Manzor's pub car park. The fact that I also came from the Blackwater valley in North Cork did not spare me from a stern lecture on the opportunity for doing good through buying a drink for a friend, a neighbour or a stranger.

I mentioned the memorial to Fr. John Sullivan earlier. Many people in Clane genuinely believe that history has repeated itself. It is remarkable, in the space of two generations, two people of the calibre of Fr. John Sullivan and Fr. Bob Thompson should emerge from the Jesuit order and contribute so much to the welfare of the people of Clane and the surrounding districts. It is a class double act that will be very hard to follow.

Now it's time to say farewell. Someone remarked at the week-end that the last time the people of Clane bid farewell to Fr, Bob he came back! Nothing should be ruled out and I'm sure that he is not gone far away.

The best tribute we can pay Fr. Bob is to try to emulate his example and continue the strong tradition of community and voluntary work. I know the people of Clane will not disappoint him.

◆ The Clongownian, 1996


Father Robert Thompson SJ

Bob Thompson was born in Mallow in 1918. After school, he entered the Jesuits at Emo. Having completed his noviceship in 1938, he followed the conventional course of studies - a degree in Arts at UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg and theology in Milltown Park. Bob - spent two years as a scholastic between philosophy and theology - the period known as “regency” - in Clongowes. He was ordained on 31 July 1949 and when he had finished tertianship, back in Rathfarnham Castle, where he had studied for the BA, he was among the first Jesuits to go to what was then Northern Rhodesia in 1951.

Over the next twelve years he studied the language, taught in the boarding school at Chikuni, served as secretary to the Bishops' Conference, taught Religion, trained scouts, taught in the Minor Seminary and edited “The Leader”, a magazine advocating independent statehood for the country. He taught Kenneth Kaunda, later the first president of Zambia, and his influence was something President Kaunda never forgot. Although Bob was by then back in Ireland, the President invited him to attend the celebrations marking Zambian independence.

In 1963, a thorn in the side of the colonial authorities, Bob returned home. After a year in the Crescent as a teacher, he joined the mission staff based at Tullabeg and was responsible for giving parish missions and retreats around the country. He did this for five years.

Then it was back to Rathfarnham Castle once more as Assistant Director of the Retreat House. The following year he returned to Tullabeg to direct the Retreat House there. After six years in this role, and one further memorable year as Superior of the commu nity, he came to Clongowes in 1977.

This marked the beginning of ten very fruitful years, acting as Assistant Curate - and much more! - in Clane Parish. Bob had an enormous impact on the locality, blessed, as Fr Kieran Hanley has written, “by having local priests who encouraged him and gave him his head”. His pressure on the Department of Education to get the new primary schools built is now a matter of legend.

A fuller sense of what Bob achieved in Clane is conveyed by the tribute from Mr P.J. Kirby, printed below.

He took a four year “sabbatical” from Clane and Clongowes from 1987-91, during which he worked in Moycullen, Co. Galway, again as Assistant Curate. A friend, who shared his passion for fishing, wrote of how Bob's enjoyment of this pastime never allowed him to disregard the environment. He worried about the collapse of seatrout stocks in Connemara; “Anyone knowing Fr Bob can be certain that he has already made approaches to St Peter on these serious matters and he would want to know whạt St Peter proposed to do about the situation! Playing the harp would not be his idea of heavenly bliss....”

He returned to Clongowes and resumed his work with the local community, this time promoting the Clane Community Council and coordinating a European Union funded pro gramme in the local area. His death on 9 September 1995 in St Vincent's Hospital, where he had gone for a check-up, came as a complete shock and his dynamic, creative presence is missed by all who knew him.

The boys in Clongowes hardly knew Bob, although they would occasionally have heard his uncompromising sermons at Mass in the People's Church. They were probably surprised at the large numbers who turned out for his funeral and would have been deeply struck - as we all were, not least his Jesuit brethren - by the remarkable tribute paid to him by P.J. Kirby, chairman of the Clane Community.

Thoo Fook, Lawrence, 1938-2011, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2183
  • Person
  • 26 September 1938-22 February 2011

Born: 26 September 1938, Penang, Malaysia
Entered: 02 December 1958, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (HIB)
Final vows: 07 November 1971
Died: 22 February 2011, San José CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CAL

by 1965 at Bombay, India (BOM) studying

Tighe, Patrick, 1866-1920, Jesuit, priest, chaplain and missionary

  • IE IJA J/2184
  • Person
  • 02 August 1866-05 April 1920

Born: 02 August 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanisalus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 05 April 1920, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia

First World War chaplain

by 1895 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1901 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1913
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 15th Battalion, France

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After Ordination he was appointed Master of Novices for a short period, then he was transferred to Gardiner St.
Later he was appointed Rector of Mungret, but only stayed in this job for a short while due to health reasons.
He was then sent to Australia where he worked in one of the North Sydney Parishes.
He volunteered to be a Chaplain and came to Europe with Australian troops.
When he returned to Australia his health broke down and he had an operation for a malignant tumour. He died shortly after the operation 05 April 1920. He was much loved.
(there is also a long homily preached by Father Tighe at St Mary’s, Sydney, on the topic of Revolution and War)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Tighe was educated at Belvedere College, and graduated with a BA from the Royal University, Dublin. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1891, was a junior
preparing for public examinations at Milltown Park, 1893-94, and studied philosophy at Enghien, Champagne. He taught for a few years, 1896-1900, at Mungret, studied theology at Posillipo, Naples, 1900-04, and did tertianship at Mold, Wales, the following year.
He was a rural missioner, and involved in parish work in Limerick, 1905-10, except for a time as socius to the master of novices at Tullabeg, 1906-07. He gave retreats, stationed at Gardiner Street, Dublin, 1910-12, and for a short time was rector of Mungret, 1912-13. Because of ill health was sent to Australia.
He worked first at Lavender Bay, 1913-15, and then, 1915-17, was military chaplain at the No. 1 General Hospital, Heliopolis, and latter served with the 15th Battalion AIP in France and Belgium. He returned to Australia and to the parish of North Sydney after the war.
Tighe was a remarkable speaker, preacher and retreat-giver, but had a weak chest. The latter raised speculation as to how he was accepted into the military He had been suggested as master of novices in Australia, and probably performed the duties for the first few months in 1914, but because of ill health another Jesuit was chosen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Tighe 1866-1920
Fr Patrick Tighe was born in Dublin of an old Catholic family. He received his early education at Belvedere and entered the Society in 1891.
His course complete, he was made Rector of Mungret, but he held this office only for a short period, owing to ill health. For the same reason he went to Australia where he worked in one of the Sydney parishes. On the outbreak of the First World War he came to Europe as a Chaplain to the Australian Forces. After his return to Australia, his health broke down completely, and he was operated on for a malignant tumour. `He died shortly after the operation on April 5th 1920. He had been Master of Novices in Australia for some time. He was a man who showed in all his exterior actions a spirit of deep recollection.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Patrick Tighe (1866-1920)

A native of Dublin, entered the Society in 1891. He made his higher studies at Enghien and Naples where he was ordained in 1903. He was appointed a member of the mission staff at the Crescent in 1905 and remained here until 1910. Father Tighe was later rector of Mungret for a brief period and served as chaplain with the Australian army in the first world war. His later years were spent on the Australian mission.

Timoney, Senan P, 1927-2013, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 151 : Spring 2013


Fr Senan Timoney (1927-2013)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013


Dr John Holien

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

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

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

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

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

With sincerest sympathies,

John Holien and team

Toale, Bernard, 1831-1889, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2185
  • Person
  • 17 May 1831-09 September 1889

Born: 17 May 1831, Pomeroy, County Tyrone
Entered: 28 May 1852, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 1863
Final vows: 15 August 1872
Died: 09 September 1889, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Tok, Andrew, 1925-1993, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2186
  • Person
  • 08 July 1925-23 November 1993

Born: 08 July 1925, Singapore
Entered: 07 September 1963, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (HIB)
Final vows: 29 November 1974
Died: 23 November 1993, Kingsmead Hall, Singapore - Indonesianae Province (IDO) Malaysia Singapore Region (MAS)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to IDO 1991

Tomkin, James, 1866-1950, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/418
  • Person
  • 09 November 1866-07 August 1950

Born: 09 November 1866, Munny, County Wexford
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 August 1950, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Older brother of Joseph Tomkin (ORE) - RIP 1936; Younger brother of Nicholas A Tomkin - RIP 1923; Cousin of Nicholas J Tomkin - RIP 1942

by 1899 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Nicholas A Tomkin - RIP 1923; Cousin of Nicholas J Tomkin - RIP 1942

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 25th Year No 4 1950
Fr. James Tomkin (1866-1897-1950)

Father James Tomkin died in the forenoon of Monday, 7th August, 1950, after an illness of some months. He was in his eighty-fifth year and had been a Jesuit for fifty-three years. His vocation was a late one. Born at Munny, Carnew, Co. Wexford, he forsook farming at the age of twenty-six to study for the priesthood. Even his Jesuit training did not obliterate all traces of his former calling. To the end he retained the slow caution, the shrewdness mingled with simplicity, the occasional quaint turn of speech so characteristic of the Irish farmer. Secondary studies, first at Patrician College, Mountrath, and then at Mungret, cannot have been easy for him, Yet he pursued them with the same dogged perseverance and reasonable degree of success which were remarked in his later Jesuit philosophical and theological courses.
James Tomkin's novice-master from 1897 to 1899 was Father James Murphy, for whom ever afterwards he entertained an admiration amounting to hero-worship. Fr. Murphy, for his part, thought highly of the novice and nine years later, when dying as Rector of Tullabeg, is said to have (uncanonically) appointed Fr, Tomkin his successor. In Stonyhurst, whither F'r. Tomkin went for philosophy after his noticeship, he took part in cricket matches played by the Community against extern teams and earned something of a reputation as a bowler. A year's teaching in Clongowes followed Stonyhurst and then four years' theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1906. It was here that Fr. Tomkin's friendship and reverence for Fr. John Sullivan began. He shared the same room on Villa as Fr. Sullivan and admired his companion's kindness and unselfish ways. The great pre-occupation of Fr. Tomkin's last years was to further the Cause of Beatification of his old friend. He gave evidence at the Tribunal in Gardiner Street and was tireless in spreading devotion to Fr. Sullivan and collecting evidence of possible miracles. In 1907 Fr. Tomkin went to Tullabeg as minister and socius to the master of novices, His kindness soon endeared him to the novices of that generation, while his sagacity as a consultant about vocation became something of a legend. After his tertianship in Tullabeg (1912-1913) he went to Mungret and remained there until 1919, being Moderator of the Apostolic School for most of that time. There followed a further period in Tullabeg (1919-1924) as operarius in the People's Church. In this position he became the trusted friend and spiritual counsellor of scores of young men who were fighting in Ireland's War of Independence and later in the Civil War. He was often sent-for to secret rendezvous in order to give absolution and spiritual consolation to those about to go into battle. The theme of his exhortations on such occasions was twofold : to avoid intoxicating drink, and not to run risk of death while in the state of sin. The succour he gave them in those dark days made Fr. Tomkin's name revered by veterans of the Troubled Times. They came in large numbers to his funeral and had to be dissuaded from firing a volley over his grave. This period in Tullabeg was followed by one in Clongowes as procurator (1924-1928) and a period in Galway as Operarius. In Galway he had charge of the Pioneers. This was a ministry very much to his liking. He was a lifelong advocate of total abstinence, having received his first pledge from the hands of Fr. James Cullen when the founder of the Pioneer's was still a secular priest. In addition to directing the Galway centre, Fr. Tomkin had printed a small pamphlet written by himself and intended to set forth unequivocally the obligations of Pioneers.
In 1937 Fr. Tomkin returned to Tullabeg, where he was destined to spend the remainder of his life. Never a hustler, he yet had a fund of quiet, tenacious energy, and a skill at enlisting the co-operation of suitable adjutants in his various enterprises. These qualities helped him in re-organising and re-vivifying the Men's Sodality at Tullabeg in accordance with Fr, General's and Fr, Provincial's wishes and instructions concerning sodalities. In many ways he was an ideal pastor for the rural congregation which frequents the People's Church. He understood country life and the country people. During his Sunday sermons, as he leaned back against the altar, joined his hands and fixed a steady eye on the congregation, there was profound silence and close attention. He seemed to have more fluency and coherence in his sermons than in his ordinary conversation and his occasional references to current political happenings were much appreciated. At this time he was greatly sought after as a conductor of nuns retreats and as their extraordinary confessor. I think it was his kindness and unhurried patience in the confessional which made him so successful in this ministry. A few years before his death he gave up all active apostolate and seemed to turn more and more to prayer and contemplation. He was a great admirer of St. John of the Cross, whose works he read slowly and meditatively and often quoted. Those who knew him at this time retain as their most abiding impression of him his immense kindness and deep humility. I have never known him say a harsh word to or about anyone. At table his attention to his neighbour's wants could become at times embarrassing. In recreation he came in for more than his share of banter and “leg-pulling”, but never did he display the slightest anger or ill-feeling. He would ward off the shafts with a chuckle or a hearty laugh, or take evasive action with those who sought to trap him into awkward admissions. He had an entertaining way of perpetrating malapropisms of a variety all his own, as when he seriously referred to the doings of disembowelled spirits or observed that there was a peculiar twang on the soup. Fr Tomkin's foibles (for, like all of us, he had his share) were of that happy kind which gave no reasonable cause for annoyance and much for entertainment. His care of his health was exquisite, showing itself in the multitude of ingenious devices and practices with which he strove to ward off the ills which threaten our mortal frame. He was a firm believer in ghosts and was quick to discern diabolical intervention in even the most ordinary happenings. But such little peculiarities are completely overshadowed by his sterling religious virtues, his vivid faith, his edifying observance of religious discipline, his amiable charity and meticulous poverty, above all by his prayer, which towards the close of his life appeared to be almost continuous. He made no secret of the fact that God had specially favoured him, though, like many another adept in the life of prayer, he could give no very coherent account of the divine visitation. Tullabeg will miss his tall, familiar figure, pacing up and down the Spiritual Meadow, well wrapped against the treacherous blasts, and absorbed not, I believe, in idle dreams or memories, but in communing with God and His Saints.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1951


Father James Tomkin SJ

Father James Tomkin SJ an eminent spiritual director and Superior of the Apostolic School from 1913 to 1919, died at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, on August 7th last after an illness of some months.

James Tomkin, born at Munny, Co. Wexford, in 1866, was already a practising farmier, and twenty-six years old when he first became conscious of his religious vocation. With the example of St Ignatius, however, to encourage him, he undertook at once secondary and university studies at the Patrician Brothers' School, Mountrath, and Mungret. He left an impression of unbending seriousness and deep maturity on his fellow students in the Lay-school at Mungret. On one occasion he had distinguished himself in a cricket match against the Past by scoring 71 runs. Quite unexcited, however, he retired to a clump of grass, and spent the time poring over Ueberweg's “History of Philosophy”, until it was time to take his place among the fielders. James was in his time Prefect of the Sodality, and played also on the Soccer XI. He obtained his BA degree in the Summer of 1897 (Mungret at that time prepared students for the examinations of the old Royal University). Having graduated successfully, James Tomkin, already thirty-one years old, entered the Jesuit Novitiate at St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, after which he studied philosophy at Stonyhurst, taught for a year at Clongowes and then began theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1906.

In 1912 Father Tomkin joined the staff of Mungret, succeeding Father Cahill, the following year, as Superior of the Apostolic School. Having held this responsible post till 1919, he went back again to the scenes of his noviceship; this time to take charge of the Public Church. During the years that followed (1919-24) he became the trusted friend and spiritual counsellor of many of the young men who were then fighting in Ireland's War of Independence and later in the Civil War. The help he gave them in those days made his name revered by veterans of the troubled times; they came in numbers to his funeral. From Tullabeg, Father Tomkin was changed to Clongowes, and from there to Galway. Finally, in 1937, he returned to Tullabeg, there to spend the remainder of his life. Once again he had charge of the Public Church with the direction of the Men's Sodality, and once again he established himself in the hearts of the people. At this time, also, he was widely sought after as a director of nuns' retreats and as their extraordinary confessor. A few years, however, before his death, being already in his eighties, he was forced to retire altogether from the active apostolate. He then devoted him self entirely to the life of prayer, and those who lived with him can testify abundantly to the simplicity and humility and evident holiness of all his ways. RIP

Tomkin, Nicholas A, 1863-1923, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2187
  • Person
  • 21 April 1863-10 April 1923

Born: 21 April 1863, Munny, County Wexford
Entered: 29 August 1882, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1894
Final vows: 15 August 1900
Died 10 April 1923, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

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

Older brother of James Tomkin - RIP 1950; Older bother of Joseph Tomkin (ORE) - RIP 1936; Cousin of Nicholas J Tomkin - RIP 1942

by 1890 at St Joseph's Seminary, Mangalore, Karnataka, India (VEM)
by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Older brother of James Tomkin - RIP 1950; Cousin of Nicholas J Tomkin - RIP 1942

After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy an Milltown.
1885 He was sent as Prefect to Clongowes for Regency. He returned to Milltown for a year and then back to Clongowes.
1889 He was sent to teach at the Jesuit College in Mangalore, India (VEM). he spent seven years there until severe illness forced him to come home to Milltown for Theology.
1896 He was sent to Clongowes and the following years he was at Galway as Minister and spent some years there.
1899 He was sent to Drongen for Tertianship at the end of which he was back in Galway as Minister, and also as a Teacher and an excellent Operarius. He distinguished himself as a Preacher, always making great preparations for his sermons.
1909 He became an Assistant Editor of the Irish Messenger, and continued in this for many years.
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin 10 April 1923

Tomkin, Nicholas J, 1859-1942, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1897 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

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

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

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

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

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

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

He died on May 15th 1942.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1943


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


◆ The Clongownian, 1943


Father Nicholas J Tomkin SJ

Rector of Clongowes (1911-1919)

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

◆ Mungret Annual, 1943


Father Nicholas J Tomkin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Toner, Eugene Augustine, 1908-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2188
  • Person
  • 27 December 1908-13 October 1984

Born: 27 December 1908, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 21 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 07 June 1941
Final vows: 02 February 1946
Died: 13 October 1984, Duarte, CA, USA - California Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to CAL : 1930

Toner, Patrick, 1910-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/419
  • Person
  • 17 September 1910-21 January 1983

Born: 17 September 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 21 January 1983, Lisheen House, Rathcoole, County Dublin - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Westland Row CBS Dublin, and Blackrock College, County Dublin

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Toner, S.J.

Father Patrick Toner, SJ, former Rector of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died in Ireland on 21 January 1983, aged 72.

Father Toner was born in Belfast on 3 September 1910. His family was driven out of Belfast by the “pogroms” of the early 1920s and settled in Dublin, but in many ways he himself remained a Belfast-man, tenacious of any opinion or course of action that he had taken up.

In 1930 he interrupted his university studies to enter the Irish Jesuit novitiate, and he adhered firmly throughout his life to the lessons he learned as a novice. His closet friends used say that he arrived in the novitiate with a slight Belfast accent, but as the years passed this accent became stronger and stronger - more tenacity!

He arrived in Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1937. In addition to regulation language study and teaching, he did a considerable amount of work for the refugees who poured into Hong Kong after the fall of Canton to the Japanese in later 1938, even spending a short period in much-troubled Canton.

In 1940 he went to start his theological studies in Australia, and was ordained there in 1943. Having finished his theological studies, he returned to Ireland to do his last year of Jesuit training, and to visit his family, to whom he was deeply devoted.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1946 and took up teaching in the Wah Yan Branch College under the headmastership of Mr. Lim Hoy Lam in Nelson Street, Kowloon.

In 1947, Mr. Lim retired from the administration of the school and Father Toner became headmaster. In 1951 the school moved to its new premises in Waterloo Road, dropping “Branch” from its title and becoming Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Father Toner as Rector and headmaster directed the move, and the great expansion of the school and the formation of its new traditions.

In 1964, having completed his period of rectorship, he transferred to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and taught there until 1976, taking charge also for some time of the Night School and of the Poor Boys Club.

This career of education, administration and pastoral work taught him much about meeting the problems that life presents, but it did not change his character. He arrived in the Jesuit novitiate 51 years ago as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted young man. He died last month as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted old man. May there be many like him!

As might have been expected, Father Toner did not take kindly to the changes that multiplied in the Church during and after Vatican Council II. This never caused any breach between him and those who eagerly followed new ways; it did lend a special flavour to his confabulation with those who thought like himself. He and his dear friend Father Carmel Orlando, PIME, came closer than ever together as they pondered in company the wisdom of The Wanderer and sighed energetically over the antics of extremists.

In 1976 Father Toner left for Ireland. Soon after his arrival his health began to decline. He retained his mental powers and his cheerful spirit unimpaired, but his bodily strength faded gradually, but inexorably under the strain of arteriosclerosis.

He suffered a stroke on 20 January and died early the following morning.

Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated this evening, 4 February, at 6 o’clock in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 February 1983

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Frs. J. Collins, D. Lawler and P. Toner, of the Hong Kong Mission, who finished theology at Pymble last January, were able to leave for Ireland some time ago, and are expected in Dublin after Easter.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983


Fr Patrick Toner (1910-1930-1983) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Fr Paddy Toner was born in Belfast, 7th September 1910. The family was forced to leave Belfast during the 1922 pogroms in Northern Ireland. The Toners were publicans. Paddy remembered those times and one incident in particular: One evening on returning from school, he entered their premises to find his father being held at gun-point. There were two men holding revolvers to his head, one each side. Paddy, twelve years old, dashed for the counter and flung a heavy bottle-opener at the raiders. The gunmen tried to get him, but his father managed to escape. This incident gave Paddy, the eldest of four boys, a special place in his father's affection. It also shows the stuff that Paddy Toner, most gentle and lovable of men, was made of.
As a boy at Blackrock College, when the late Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid was President, Paddy made known to his mother his intention to go for the priesthood. We can understand his father being upset and totally opposed to this idea. No, Paddy would never leave him. He discussed the matter with the President of the College and on his advice, on leaving College, Paddy went to UCD - This would enable him to come to a more mature decision. His father hoped he would change his mind.
In one way he did change his mind: having finished First Arts, he applied for admission to the Society of Jesus and went to St Mary's, Emo, to begin his noviciate in 1930. In floods of tears, his brother told me, his father said goodbye to him just saying: “If this is what you want, my boy, you must have it”.
There were fifty of us in the novice ship that year, and I would say that to a man we would all agree that Paddy Toner was the life and soul of this large novitiate during those two years in the wilderness. He was heart and soul in everything we did - works, walks, recreations and, above all, football. When Pat donned his “shooters”, as he called the boots, one might look about for a pair of shin-guards.
He gained a year in Rathfarnham by going into Second Arts. We were together again for two years in “The Bog” and again he was always the bright ray of sunshine in the “L-o-n-el-y Life” that was ours - to use Fr B Byrne's description of it.
Then came the big break: In 1937 Paddy with three others set out for the Hong Kong Mission. For Paddy and for his family this was a traumatic sacrifice, but to China he went and he never looked back. To add to this, World War II broke out, and in 1940, instead of returning to Milltown Park for theology and ordination, he found himself bound for Australia. In 1945 he returned for tertianship in Rathfarnham. By this time Paddy Toner was Hong Kong to the core. Nothing would have held him back from the Mission. His work in Hong Kong will find space in this issue of Province News. His heart was there and remained there even after his retirement in 1977 through ill-health to join our Community at Rathfarnham Castle.
His last six years were a great blessing for us and for his family, but for Paddy they were years of gradual decline and patient suffering. He did not like Rathfarnham. In his failing health, it was too much for him. The small dining room especially was a trial on account of the noise, particularly on occasions when there was an invasion of visitors and people raised their voices - “Ear-bashers” he called them. He spoke little, but when, with a chuckle, he did mutter those few words, audible only to those very close to him, he said more than all the rest with all their shouting. Both in writing and in speaking, he had a most remarkable gift of brevity and crystal clarity.
Fortunately, during this time, he was well enough to be able to divide his time between Rathfarnham and Blackrock where his sister Maud lived. His brother Joe would call for him on Sunday afternoon and deliver him back on Thursday afternoon.. The only attraction Rathfarnham had for him was that he could say Mass there four days of the week.
His final year was spent in hospital, first at Elm Park and then for nine months at Lisheen Nursing Home, Rathcoole. His death occurred on Friday, 21st January. To the last he was peaceful and genuinely most grateful for every kindness. The Matron and staff at Lisheen House really loved him. His funeral Mass at Gardiner street with so many priests concelebrating was a fitting tribute and a source of great consolation to his family.
Paddy hears again from his heavenly Father welcoming him into his true home, the same words which his father said as he gave him to God. “If this is what you want, my son, you must have it”.

When Pat went in 1934 to philosophy, the Ricci Mission Unit was flourishing in Tullabeg and filling bags with used stamps turned Pat's thoughts to Hong Kong. He had not thought earlier of going to China.
He arrived in Hong Kong just after one of the severest typhoons to hit the place. That was in September 1937. A new language school had been opened at Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, in the New Territories and there he started his two years of language study. At that time Canton was taken by the Japanese and Fr Pat spent about a week there at relief work, working with Fr Sandy Cairns, MM, who was afterwards killed by the Japanese. He also visited the refugee centres opened at Fanling to receive the many thousands who fled from occupied China. In 1939 Fr Toner went to Wah Yan. Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher, he became an air raid warden. The outbreak of World War Il prevented his return to Ireland, so in 1940 he went to Australia for theology.
He reached Australia in September 1940 and taught until the Theologate opened in January 1941. After three years he was ordained by Archbishop Gilroy of Sydney and during his fourth year of theology he did some parish work and helped in Fr Dunlea's Boys' Town, In February 1945 he left Australia and after a three months' voyage, under war conditions, he arrived in Ireland which he had left nine years earlier. After four months helping in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner street, he went to tertianship in Rathfarnham under the old veteran of the Hong Kong Mission, Fr John Neary.
In August 1946 once more he went East. With seven others he embarked on an aircraft carrier, the “SS Patroller” and arrived in Hong Kong on 13th September to begin work in Wah Yan, Kowloon. On 31st July 1947 he became Superior of the College which at that time had 531 students.
Fr Pat’s tasks in Hong Kong besides teaching included being for a time Minister, Rector, Spiritual Father. After completing his time as Rector in Wah Yan, Kowloon, he was changed to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his work as a teacher he was for a time director of the Night School.
Fr Toner was changed from Kowloon Wah Yan to Hong Kong Wah Yan in 1964, where he taught until he returned to Ireland in June 1976.
Fr Toner was always a very exemplary religious, prayerful, charitable, ear nest and very hard-working. He was Superior of Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in Nelson Street and during these early years the small community lived in a private house, 151 Waterloo road, close under Lion Rock. When the new Wah Yan building was opened in 1951, Fr Toner was its first Rector and continued in this position until 1957. In 1964 he was transferred to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher he took charge for a time of the Boys' Club from 1966 and of the Night School from 1968.

Toole, Laurence, 1794-1864, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2189
  • Person
  • 10 August 1794-25 May 1864

Born: 10 August 1794, County Wexford
Entered: 12 November 1825, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 08 September 1837
Died: 25 May 1864, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His parents were good Catholics, and made many sacrifices for their faith in troubled times. He was very talented, and had he had better opportunities, he might have become a distinguished man of his day. It was said the he was brought up innocently and “free of the contagion of the world”. He was keen to become a religious, but his aged parents needed his help, and so he became a carpenter in order to support them. When they died, he sought admission as a postulant. He then Ent 12 November 1825 at Tullabeg.

He lived 40 years as a Jesuit, and always appeared the same no matter where he was asked to serve. Modesty, humility and fraternal charity were his favourite virtues. In advance aged he was released from responsibility, but continued to work. He had spent some few years at Clongowes, and a short time at the Dublin Residence. Most of his religious life was spent in Tullabeg, and this is where he died 25 May 1864. He is buried in the old Rahan Cemetery beside Brother Egan.

Note from John Nelson Entry :
He took his Final Vows 02 February 1838 along with eleven others, being the first to whom Final Vows were given since the Restoration in Ireland. The others were : Philip Reilly of “Palermo fame”; Nowlan, Cleary, Mulligan, Michael Gallagher, Pexton Sr, Toole, Egan, Ginivan, Patrick Doyle and Plunkett.

Toomey, Charles, 1796-1858, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2190
  • Person
  • 04 March 1796-19 July 1858

Born: 04 March 1796, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1843, Frederick, MD, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Died: 19 July 1858, Georgetown College, Washington DC, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

Tormey, James G, 1903-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/420
  • Person
  • 13 June 1903-16 January 1981

Born: 13 June 1903, Mullagh, County Cavan
Entered: 04 October 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 16 January 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - National Teacher before entry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Holland :
Fr. J. Tormey sends us the following news of Fr. C. Kock, who did his Theology at Milltown Park from 1938 to 1942 and his Tertianship in Rathfarnham from 1942-1943 :
“Fr. Kock is now finishing his first term at St. Ignatius College, 51 Hobbemakade, Amsterdam, a large school with about 1,000 boys. The country is recovering slowly from the effects of the war. Many things are still very scarce, and one hardly notices improvement, but it is there all the same..... Fr. Kock concludes his letter by asking for Irish stamps of the last two or three years, for which there is great demand in Holland”

Irish Province News 56th Year No 2 1981
Fr James Tormey (1903-1932-1981)

He was born on 13th June 1903 in Mullagh, Co Cavan, and went to National School. Apparently the family moved to Dublin early in his life. He was the youngest of the Tormey Brothers, Auctioneers. In the Society he was known as Jim or James, but to his family he was Gerard. After training in St Patrick's, Drumcondra, he got a BA and taught in Milltown NS. It would seem that he was influenced by Fr Conal Murphy, and went to the novitiate in Emo on 4th October 1932. From there he went straight to Tullabeg for philosophy (1934-37) followed by a single year of regency in Belvedere, where he gained a HDip in Ed, theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1941, and tertianship in Rathfarnham (1942-43). In eleven years he had completed his formation. No doubt it was his degree and teaching experience before entry, together with his age (29 at the outset) which made this period up to five years shorter than that of his contemporaries.
After formation, the theatre of his activity for nearly thirty years (1943-72) was the junior school in the Crescent, Limerick, where as a qualified primary teacher he continued teaching young boys. For most of the time he was in charge of the junior school. When teachers questioned him about marking boys' examination papers, he would always say “Do your best for them”. That was what he himself did - his best. In 1972, when the junior school was nearly phased out (the senior school had already migrated to Dooradoyle and metamorphosed into Crescent Comprehensive) James moved to Manresa, where he did a five-year stint in the bursar's office. Failing health forced him to go easy: he gradually weakened, and finally departed this life on 15th January 1981.

Tracy, Patrick, 1833-1885, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2191
  • Person
  • 17 March 1833-08 January 1885

Born: 17 March 1833, Bulgaden, Kilmallock, County Limerick
Entered: 11 April 1856, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)
Final vows: 25 March 1867
Died: 08 January 1885, Florissant MO, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

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