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Agius, Thomas J, 1885-1961, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/869
  • Person
  • 08 May 1885-23 June 1961

Born: 08 May 1885, Valetta, Malta
Entered: 07 December 1908, Roehampton, London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 25 April 1918
Final vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 23 June 1961, Stillorgan, Dublin - Angliae Province (ANG)

Member of ANG but died in HIB

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

Allen, William, 1900-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/553
  • Person
  • 05 October 1900-15 May 1964

Born: 05 October 1900, Slaney Street, Wexford
Entered: 07 October 1918, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1937
Died: 15 May 1964, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at the time of death.

by 1929 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1927-1929 Sent to Australia, being assigned to St Ignatius College, Riverview as a teacher and Prefect of the Chapel.
1929-1931 Xavier College, Burke Hall as Prefect of Discipline and assistant Master of Ceremonies.
1931-1935 Returned to Milltown Park for Theology
1935-1936 Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales
1936-1938 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point as Minister and Director of the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament. He also edited the “Aloysian”.
1939-1946 He was appointed to Burke Hall teaching and Prefect of Discipline.
1947 Back in Ireland and spent the rest of his life as assistant Director of the “Ricci Mission unit”, helping with the periodical “Irish Jesuit Missions”.

He was a man noted for his wit and acting ability, but did not seem happy or successful as a classroom teacher.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 2 1947
Clongowes :
Fr. W. Allen, of the Viceprovince of Australia, arrived in Dublin on 16th March, and is now teaching at Clongowes.
Irish Province News 39th Year No 4 1964
Obituary :
Fr William Allen SJ (1900-1964)

Fr. Allen was born in Slaney Street, Wexford, on 5th October 1900. He went to school first at the Mercy Convent, and later, when the family moved to Dublin, to the Christian Brothers School, Synge Street.
It was at a mission given by Fr. Tom Murphy, S.J. in St. Kevin's, Harrington Street, that Fr. Allen decided to become a Jesuit. Fr. Murphy arranged for him to see Fr. Michael Browne, of whom he wrote long after: “I was at once impressed and captivated by the sanctity of the priest”.
Fr. Allen entered in Tullabeg on 7th October 1918. After the noviceship he spent a year in the Juniorate before going to Rathfarnham and U.C.D., where he took his B.A. degree in 1924. For the next three years he studied philosophy in Milltown Park. In 1927 he went to Australia for his teaching, first in Riverview, then in Burke Hall, the preparatory school for Xavier, Melbourne.
In 1931 he returned to Milltown for theology, and was ordained on 31st July 1934. In 1935 he went to St. Beuno's for his tertianship, and in 1936 returned to Australia, teaching at St. Aloysius College, Sydney. In January 1937 he became Minister there, teaching, and in charge of the Crusaders and the Holy Angels Sodality. After some years he was changed to Burke Hall, prefecting and teaching, and in charge of the Apostleship of Prayer.
Fr. Allen returned to Ireland at Easter 1947, and went to Clongowes where during the summer he worked in the people's church. His Sunday sermons were appreciated by the people. However, already he was experiencing the defective hearing and consequent anxiety about Confessions, which were to restrict his work in the coming years. On the Status he was changed to Tullabeg, engaged in the work of the Ricci Mission Unit, as the Stamp Bureau was then called. He remained at this post till the end of his life, nearly seventeen years later. His heart was in Tullabeg, and although he greatly missed the philosophers when they went abroad in 1962, he was grateful to have been left in the place he liked best.
Shortly before Easter of this year he became unwell. An operation was found necessary, and was successfully undergone early in April. Throughout, he was in good spirits, “won all our hearts”, as the surgeon put it. He was sincerely appreciative of the kindness shown him during his illness by Fr. Rector, the doctors, nurses, and by Ours who visited him and supported him by their prayers. A good recovery followed. While waiting for a room in the convalescent home at Talbot Lodge, he spent some days in Milltown Park which he greatly enjoyed. He then went to Talbot Lodge, where every day he was up and about, and able to go out. But on Friday, 15th May, he collapsed and died.
Fr. Allen came of a family of whom two became priests - an Oblate Father, and himself a Jesuit - three became Christian Brothers, and three sisters became nuns in the Convent of the Incarnate Word, Texas.
He was a man of deep faith and simple piety. As a small boy, he used to serve Mass in the Franciscan Friary in Wexford. All his life he remained devoted to the service of the altar, training acolytes in the colleges, and later, when the scholastics left Tullabeg, instructing the small boys from around to serve in the people's church. It was with such younger boys that his work had mostly brought him into touch. His kindly ways, his jokes, won them to him, though their collective exuberance sometimes eluded his control.
The boys valued his kindliness. Some of them, some of their parents, kept in touch with him since his earliest days in Australia. Through the Advocate, coming each week from friends in Melbourne, through the college magazines carefully preserved in his room, through the catalogues and the Australian Province News, he followed with interest the careers of boys he had known, and the work of our Fathers in Australia.
In community life, he was always kindly, and, when in good spirits, cheerful even to infectious hilarity over stories, jokes, verses, sometimes of a nursery rhyme variety.
He preserved to the end and mellowed in that simple piety of childhood, a piety reflected in an exact observance of rule. In times of depression in these latter years, he sometimes, though always without a trace of bitterness, contrasted the little he seemed to himself to have achieved in life, with the accomplishments of others busy in active apostolate. He was consoled by the assurance that a hidden, prayerful life like his own, could do as much for God and souls as any absorbing apostolate.
He had learned well the lessons of his noviceship in Tullabeg, particularly about fidelity to the spiritual duties of rule. His day began with morning oblation and closed with visit after night examen.
In the people's church, which he loved so well and where he usually: said Mass, he celebrated with a prayerful reverence by which he will be best remembered.

Anderson, Patrick, 1843-1900, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/873
  • Person
  • 25 November 1843-29 June 1900

Born: 25 November 1843, Portarlington, County Laois
Entered: 04 September 1863, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Final vows: 25 March 1885
Died: 29 June 1900, Collège de la Sainte-Famille, Cairo, Egypt

by 1866 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1878 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1884 at Roehampton, London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1901 in Collège Sainte Famille, Cairo, Egypt (LUGD) working

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Clongowes.

After First Vows he was sent to Tullabeg for some Regency, as Prefect of Discipline.
He then went to Stonyhurst for three years Philosophy after which he returned to Tullabeg. He spent eight years in total working at Tullabeg, and his friends began to joke him, calling him the “Perpetual Scholastic”! In those days, given the scarcity of men to run the Colleges, if you were good at your job, you risked being penalised by a long stay in the Colleges, before being sent to Theology. However, Patrick never complained, and his sole desire was to do the will of his Superiors.
He was eventually sent to St Beuno’s for four years of Theology, and after Ordination, he made Tertianship at Roehampton.

From Ordination to his death he spent his life teaching. He was an excellent Greek scholar, and a first class general teacher. Those who met him were impressed by his charm and he made many friends, and easily. He had a very dry sense of humour, and even when he was in pain himself, his humour never failed him. He was a very honest and straightforward man. He was thought of as a sound Theologian and a very prudent advisor, so his opinions in both Theology and ordinary life were highly respected.

For some years before his death he had been failing notably. So, for health reasons it was decided to send him to Egypt. He spent nine months in Cairo, acting as Chaplain to the English troops, he edified all by his patience with suffering, and by his piety.

The Rector of Collège de la Sainte-Famille, Cairo wrote to the HIB Provincial : “I say nothing of the sweet tender piety of Father Anderson, of his unalterable patience, of his conformity to the will of God. In death he was truly the same holy and humble religious who so edified us during his sojourn among us. Shortly before he died, he said to me ‘Now I know the folly of those who put off their conversion till the hour of death. I have now but one thought, and even that I can scarcely turn to the subject on which alone I should be fixed’, and he told those around him that he willingly gave up his life for the good of the Egyptian Mission and for the conversion of its people”.
He died at Collège de la Sainte-Famille, Cairo, Egypt 29 June 1900

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Anderson 1843-1900
At the College of the Holy Family in Cairo on June 29th 1900, died Fr Patrick Anderson. A native of Portarlington, born on November 25th 1843, he was educated at Clongowes.

After his entry into the Society in 1863, the remarkable thing about his was that he spent eight years as a scholastic in the laborious work of the classroom, till at length his friends dubbed him jocosely the “perpetual scholastic”. Indeed, in those days when our numbers were comparatively few, and a great amount of work to be done, a good Master ran the risk of prolonged Colleges. But Mr Anderson, as he was then, never dreamt of making any remonstrations to Superiors, being happy to leave himself entirely at the disposal of obedience.

After taking his last vows in 1865, he spent the remainder of his life teaching and in the ministry. He was an excellent Greek scholar, a talent which he joined to the simple charm of manner and genial character, which won him many and fast friends. He was a man of very sound judgement, whether on matters of Theology or the affairs of daily life.

Towards the close of 1899, he was sent to Cairo, where it was thought the dry and warm climate might benefit his failing health. For nine months he acted as Chaplain to the English troops. However, his health continued to worsen and he died on June 29th 1900.

Shortly before his death he said to the Rector “Now I know the folly of those who put off their conversion till the hour of death, I have now but one thought, and even that I can scarcely turn to the subject on which alone I should wish to be fixed”. He told all those round him that he willingly gave up his life for the good of the Egyptian Mission and for the conversion of its people.

◆ The Clongownian, 1900

Obituary

Father Patrick Anderson SJ

Father Anderson, who was so well known to many Clongownians, died at Cairo on the 29th of June. He had been for some time in failing health, which was partly the reason why he had been sent abroad. Nevertheless, he rendered good service while at Cairo, especially in attending to the spiritual wants of his Catholic fellow-country men. Father Anderson was a boy at Clongowes in the early sixties, and entered the Novitiate at Milltown Park directly from Clongowes in 1863. A few years later he was appointed Master at Tullabeg, and with the exception of the years he spent abroad studying Philosophy and Theology, all his life was spent in working in Tullabeg and, Clongowes. Father Anderson will be particularly remembered by those who knew him for his kindly, genial character, and his readiness at all times to help others whenever his good sense, practical knowledge of the world, and sterling charity could be of any assistance to them. RIP

Andrews, Edward Joseph, 1896-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/56
  • Person
  • 12 September 1896-13 July 1985

Born: 12 September 1896, Dublin
Entered: 29 September 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 13 July 1985, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1924 in Australia - Regency
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Andrews came to Australia at the end of his philosophy studies in 1922 and was sent to Riverview. From 1923-25 he was third division prefect, taught in the classroom and assisted with cadets, He seemed to be a born teacher and he enjoyed his time in Sydney.
His subsequent work in Ireland included being prefect of studies in The Crescent and Galway, as well as being rector at The Crescent, finally teaching for 42 years in schools. Andrews was an outstanding Irish scholar, and a fine musician.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985

Obituary

Fr Edward Joseph Andrews (1896-1913-1985)

Born on 12th September 1896. 29th September 1913: entered SJ. 1913-35 Tullabeg. noviciate. 1915-19 Rathfarnham: 1915-16 home juniorate, 1916-19 studying at UCD. 1919-22 Milltown, philosophy. 1922-25 Australia, regency at Riverview, Sydney. 1925-29 Milltown, theology. 1929-31 Galway, teaching 1931-32 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1932-40 Crescent, prefect of studies. 1940-42 Rathfarnham, minister of juniors. 1942-56 Galway, prefect of studies. 1956-62 Crescent, rector. 1962-85 Galway: teaching till 1972 doc. an. 42); house confessor; 1963-98 spiritual father to community; 1971-85 church and parish confessor.

Edward Joseph Andrews was born in Dublin on 12th September 1896. He was educated at Belvedere and entered the noviciate at Tullabeg on 19th September 1913. During his juniorate in Rathfarnham he took his degree in modern languages, and then went on to philosophy in Milltown. His first experience of college work was in Australia, at Riverview college, where for three years he was Third Prefect. He also taught and was in charge of the junior cadets. He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1927.
After tertianship at St Beuno's Fr Eddie went to the Crescent as prefect of studies. He is recalled as having been very active, dedicated and successful. The number of pupils in the school had gone down considerably in previous years: he was responsible for building it up noticeably, especially by giving great attention to the junior classes. He established friendly relations with the parents, and enlisted their aid in securing that sufficient time was given to homework.
In 1940 Fr Eddie was appointed Minister of Juniors, but after two years was transferred to Galway as prefect of studies, which position he was to hold for the next fourteen years. This was probably the happiest and most successful period of his life. His eight years at the Crescent had given him valuable experience, and he was still young enough to undertake his new assignment with enthusiasm. The level of the Irish language was at its highest during these years, largely due to his efforts, and, as previously in the Crescent, he was on intimate terms with both the boys and their parents.
In 1956 he was appointed Rector of the Crescent. He held this position for six years with considerable success, but one gathers that the expectations aroused by his previous success as prefect of studies were not completely fulfilled. It was thought that there were changes in the air which he did not understand, and that his mentality was too greatly influenced by his long sojourn in Galway. At this time also his health began to deteriorate, arthritis making itself clearly shown.
In 1962 Fr Eddie returned to Galway, and was destined to give service to school and church for over twenty more years. For the first few years he did some teaching, but later devoted himself to work in the church, which he was able to continue, though on an ever-diminishing scale, to the end of his life. He had in this period several heart attacks, and his arthritis become more and more crippling. During the last year or so he became almost a complete invalid, and at this time was the recipient of most kind care from Br William McGoldrick and Sr Mary of the Little Sisters of the Assumption.
Towards the end of this year there was a noted deterioration in his condition. On 1st July (a Friday) he had been feeling particularly unwell, and decided not to offer Mass. Later in the evening he felt better and offered Mass at 8 pm, after which Br McGoldrick assisted him to bed. About 1.30 am he rang the emergency bell for assistance, and it was seen that he was near the end. He received the sacrament of the sick, and the doctor was immediately summoned but came only in time to certify death.
Looking back over the long and full life of Fr Eddie Andrews, one sees three outstanding points. Firstly, there was his love of the Irish language. He devoted much time to its study, and made frequent visits to the Gaeltacht, often accompanied by groups of his pupils, to whom he communicated his own genuine enthusiasm. Then there was his great musical talent. He was a good pianist and cellist, had a fine tenor voice, and was the leader of the Milltown choir during philosophy and theology. He encouraged music amongst his pupils, and, during his long period as prefect of studies in Galway, staged, in collaboration with Fr Kieran Ward, a whole series of musical plays. Lastly, one recalls with affection his cheerful and courageous disposition, which remained unchanged during his later years when ill-health made life so difficult for him.
Suaimhneas Dé dá anam.

Andrews, Paul W, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/818
  • Person
  • 10 January 1927-27 November 2018

Born: 10 January 1927, Campsie, Omagh, County Tyrone
Entered: 14 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1962, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 November 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1951 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1960 at Nth American Martyrs, Auriesville NY (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1964 at Selly Oak, Birmingham (ANG) studying

Azzopardi, Michael, 1826-1893, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/137
  • Person
  • 05 May 1826-14 December 1893

Born: 05 May 1826, Gudia, Malta
Entered: 11 February 1854, Palermo Sicily Italy - Sicilian Province (SIC)
Final vows: 15 August 1864
Died: 14 December 1893, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin - Sicilian Province (SIC)

Came to HIB in 1861

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
1860 He came to Ireland with Aloysius Sturzo and many other Jesuits and Novices who had been expelled from Sicily. He spent nine years at Milltown as a cook.
1869 He was sent to Gardiner St as Sacristan. He was very diligent and kept everything in excellent order.
1888 He became totally blind, and in spite of that did his best to help, such as drying plates in the scullery, to the edification of all.
1893 He died most peacefully at Gardiner St, 14 December 1893 and is buried in Glasnevin.

Note from Thomas Mahon Entry :
He was sent to Gardiner St and carried out many duties there, including that of Infirmarian very successfully. When the famous Sicilian sacristan Azzopardi was showing signs of failing health, Thomas assisted him and eventually took complete charge.

Baggot, P Anthony, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/585
  • Person
  • 21 October 1918-19 March 2001

Born: 01 October 1918, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 March 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Gonzaga College, Dublin community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Baggot (1918-2000)

21st Oct. 1918: Born in Dublin
Early education at Dominican College, Cabra and Belvedere College
14th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo
15th Sept. 1938: First Vows at St. Mary's, Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Belvedere College - Regency
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1951 - 1953: Emo - Socius to Novice Director
1953 - 1959: Clongowes - Rector
2nd Feb. 1954: Final Vows
1959 - 1962: Rathfarnham - Spiritual Father to Juniors; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1962 - 1969: Leeson St. - Director Sodalities; Editor of Madonna
1969 - 1978: CIR - Superior
1978 - 1983: CIR - Director Marriage Courses,
1983 - 2001: Gonzaga - Director Marriage Courses, Courses in spirituality and relationships.

Tony was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in July 1999 suffering from prostate cancer. He remained in reasonably good health until three months before his death, when walking became difficult for him. He died peacefully at Cherryfield at 3.30 a.m. on Monday, 19th March, 2001.

Myles O' Reilly preached at Tony's Funeral Mass...

We are all here because we have known Tony Baggot in some capacity - as a friend, a relative, a Jesuit colleague, a counsellor, a participant in one of his retreats or workshops, or a grateful reader of his writings, or a carer from the Jesuit nursing home in Cherryfield. We have all been deeply touched and enriched by his gentle spirit, by his wisdom, compassion and his kindness, We are here because we want to acknowledge our love for him and our gratitude to God for him. We are only a small fraction of the many thousands of people that Tony touched throughout his 64 years as a Jesuit. To Tony all this positive regard for him would be totally mystifying. He placed himself in the lowest seat at the table of the Lord, but we intuitively know that Jesus will place him in the highest seat - “Well done good and faithful servant, come and inherit the kingdom which God has prepared for you since the beginning of the world”.

Tony had a secret weapon that enabled these qualities that endeared him so much to others to shine forth and through him. A prayer that he loved and said everyday and that he said frequently at his weekly Mass with the boys and the teachers here in Gonzaga for the last 15 years of his life, barring the last two when he got sick. It is a prayer he often used during his Retreats and Workshops also. It goes like this:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.

What we loved in Tony were the qualities of Jesus shining through him - the Beatitudes - poor in spirit, gentle, merciful, a peacemaker etc. There are many eras to Tony's life, an only child born to Patrick and Harriet Baggot. Tony a Belvederian, who as a boy was a splendid pianist and tennis player, joined the Jesuits at the age of 18 and did the usual training. He was ordained in 1950 and only then did his interesting and varied pastoral life begin. He started with two years as Socius to the Novice Master in Emo.

Then, at the age of 32, he was made Rector of Clongowes for 6 years - he was the youngest Rector ever in the history of the Irish Province. One of our Jesuit Gonzaga community remembers at the age of 11 going to Clongowes and Tony was the first Jesuit he shook hands with. Little did he know that he would be the last Jesuit to hold Tony's band before he died last Monday night - on the Feast of St Joseph, patron of the dying.

After Clongowes Tony went back again to formation work, to being spiritual father to the young Jesuit Juniors in Rathfarnham for 3 years, and also to being a retreat director at the retreat house there. Then, in 1962, he was appointed as Editor of the Madonna, which came on in leaps and bounds under his control. That was where I first met Tony through his writings in the Madonna. I used to marvel, as a novice and a Junior, at his ability to weave passages from novelists like Graham Greene and Morris West into his articles and show how all that is, is Holy, and that God is the deepest inside of us.

Then, in 1969, Tony went to NCIR from where he became director of the Jesuit pre-marriage course for 17 years. He became a legend in his own time in his work. On some of his courses he had over 100 couples, and had no difficulty in filling the Milltown Park hall for a public lecture on marriage. During this time he wrote 3 books on marriage that were best sellers in their day, “To have and to hold”, “You and your marriage” and “Enjoy a happy marriage”.

Tony was a great listener and was particularly sensitive to women. He was an intuitive feeling type, as in the Myers Briggs personality definition, rather than a rational thinker. He learned from experience more than from principles. I am currently chaplain to a group of young married couples that meet every fortnight to help one another grow in their marriage. Only last month one of them read “To have and to hold”, and was enthralled by it, and wants it to be one of the prescribed books for the group. During these 17 years Tony gradually got into counselling, and helped hundreds, if not thousands, of couples.

One of those couples who met Tony 38 years ago, and who are here today, went to Tony with a dilemma – The mother of the Bride to be, who was not too keen to let her daughter go, said her daughter was too young and wasn't ready to get married etc. Tony paused for a while then broke into a grin. “Why don't you go to the maternity boutique in Leeson Street, and buy a maternity dress and hang it up in your wardrobe - that will surely help her to let go!!!”

Tony came to Gonzaga here in 1983 and continued his marriage work for 3 more years. After that he became a full time therapeutic counsellor and ran courses on spirituality and relationships in Tabor House, Chrysalis Conference Centre, and in the Dominican centre in Sion Hill. He became very interested in healing early childhood wounds and pioneered some splendid work in this area, which is still carried on in Chrysalis today.

He never charged any money for his work but he received so many donations that he refused to take a state pension – “Others might need it more than me”, he would say. All this wonderful productivity and creativity came from Tony's depths and from his spirituality. Some quotations from Tony's writings will give us an idea of what resonated with Tony.

Inevitably we live in the presence of holy mystery, a presence we cannot escape, for we are immersed in it. In music, in the sea, in a flower, in a leaf, in an act of kindness, I can see what we call God in all these things."

I said to the cherry tree, “Tell me of God”, and the cherry tree blossomed. That is more eloquent than any definition of God for me.

When I address God I do not address one who is outside. God is the deepest inside of everything, myself included, and the goal of personal growth is the birth of God in the soul. Life itself is the primary sacrament. Religious faith is human life seen as a disclosure of God.

What is called losing the faith is often not so, but a search for a deeper one.

God speaks from the depths of the heart, not the top of the head.

The movement of God, or the movement, which is God, activates me, flows through me.

Rather than governing from without, God is enlivening from within.

This one work has to do - Let all God's glory through (G M Hopkins)

Spiritual life is the flowering cosmic energy and Jesus, as the high point of God's presence, released a new spiritual power - the Christ power. That presence which radiated from his physical body in Palestine is to radiate through his mystical body in the world now.

He was one who, precisely by being human in the fullest degree, was God's existence in the world -- His divinity or godly quality was not something different from his humanity but was his humanity at its highest point. The Ignatian description for Tony's spiritual journey during these fruitful years would be that he lived the grace of the Second Week. That is, working and labouring with Christ in bringing about his kingdom in the world. But little did he know that, like his master, Jesus, his last few years would be a sharing in the sufferings of Christ before he entered into his glory.

Tony gave his last retreat almost three years ago. From then on his health went slowly into decline. The slow onslaught of what turned out to be cancer of the bone began. Tony lost all his physical energy, he lost all taste for things he liked - gardening, reading and writing. His memory was deteriorating, too. He could no longer do his counselling. He loved being a priest and felt he understood it more richly than ever. He cried with frustration at the loss of not being able to minister any more.

The black dog of depression set in with bouts of scrupulosity. He felt so guilty at occupying a room in Cherryfield at such expense. Surely he wasn't sick enough. He was, like Christ on the cross, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me”. He felt so empty. The days were so long - nothing to do - nothing to live for – he couldn't pray, read, think.

Even though this was his inner state most of the time, he was always so gracious with the nurses, never failed to be aware of any act of kindness and always quick to thank them. Thank you for your care' he used to say and they grew to love him. They could see that there was something special about Tony, a childlike transparency, a constant sincere gratitude, a freedom from pretence, an honesty of feeling whether positive or negative, never a sharp or nasty word - always gentle. Their acts of kindness were his experience of God during those last dark years, as also were the visits of his friends that he so much appreciated.

Last September a change came about in Tony - a peace came into his soul and it came from saying over and over again this simple prayer every night in the dark of the chapel for half an hour. There was more surrender and humble simplicity in this prayer than in the previous one. Through this prayer he found the peace and the capacity to accept what was happening to him.

I place my hands in yours. I place my will in yours, Lord
I place my will in yours. I place my days in yours, Lord
I place my days in yours. I place my thoughts in yours, Lord
I place my thoughts in yours. I place my heart in yours, Lord
I place my heart in yours. I place my hands in yours, Lord I place my hands in yours.

Angela Ashwin

Whenever his friends would visit him in Cherryfield he would always be glad to give them his blessing before they left. He would always say with a sign of the Cross on the forehead - May Jesus Christ and his Holy Spirit guard you and guide you on your way'. One day, close to his death, I was with him, and was about to leave, but Tony wasn't offering his blessing. “Aren't you going to give me your blessing?” He looked confused. The words wouldn't come to him. And then, after a pause, he said “My suffering is my prayer for you”. We can be sure that his sufferings were offered for all of us, not just me.

All he had left to give were his sufferings and his gratitude. Like his saviour on the cross, on Monday night, surrounded by a few friends Tony's work was finished. With Him he could say “It is finished. Into your hands, Lord, I commend my spirit”. “Lord Jesus receive my soul”. A few hours before he died, Tony's eyes came back from their unconscious glazed state, and focusing, looked intently across to the far window as if he was seeing somebody, he smiled and sank back into his glazed look again. Blessed are those who die in the Lord. Happy indeed, the Spirit says. Now they can rest forever after their work, since their good deeds go with them. (Apoc. 14.13) We surely have an advocate in heaven in Tony Baggott.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary

Tony Baggot SJ

The Community and College gladly mourn Fr. Tony Baggot SJ, who died peace fully after a long illness on the 19th March, the feast of St. Joseph: gladly, because he richly deserves to be with his Lord; mourn, because we have lost a truly gentle man, who brought peace, comfort and solace to so many of us and others over a long life. Tony's main work throughout his 64 years of Jesuit life was in relationship counselling, especially marriage and personal development counselling. Through his pre-marriage courses, which he directed for 17 years, he let Christ touch many thousands of lives and relieved so many from wrongful perceptions of God; Tony's love and care modelled God's love for them.

Tony came to Gonzaga in 1983 to continue his very extensive counselling prac tice. He joined in with the College pastoral programme by helping with the daily Morning Mass, the sacrament of Reconciliation and other liturgical celebrations, especially at Christmas and Easter and Graduation. His stately figure roamed the grounds, engaged many in conversation, pointing out God's gesture to us in the environment; Tony contributed to beautifying the environment by his work on the rockery beside the tennis courts and the flowerbed at the house. Tony's knowledge of the trees, their provenance and characteristics, was amazing, but only to those who did not appreciate his integration of the whole of creation with God's caring provision for all our needs, body, mind and spirit.

Tony's touchstone prayer reveals the man and the spirit he would have us live by:

Lord Jesus I give you my hands to do your work
I give you my feet to go your way
I give you my ears to listen like you
I give you my tongue that I may speak your words
I give you my mind that I may think like you
I give you my heart that you may love in me
I give you my spirit that you may pray in me
I give you my whole self that you may grow in me
So that it is you, Lord Jesus, that may live, love and pray in me.
(From Fr. Myles O'Reilly's homily)

Tony's Funeral Mass in the college was attended by his cousins, a goodly number of his Jesuit confreres, and a not surprisingly large number of friends and acquain tances. The occasion was graced by an excellent homily by Fr. Myles O'Reilly SJ and the Senior Choir, under the baton of Mr. Potts and organist Mr. Murphy. Fr. Rector and the Community would like to thank all who participated in celebrat ing Tony's life and who have conveyed their sympathies.

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Fr John A Dunne SJ

Baker, Peter, 1871-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1302
  • Person
  • 20 April 1871-24 December 1955

Born: 20 April 1871, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1889, Xavier Melbourne, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1905
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 24 December 1955, Died: 24 December 1955, Mater Hospital, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

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

2nd year Novitate at Loyola Greenwich, Australia
by 1899 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1908 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Older brother of William - RIP 1943.

Educated at Marist Brothers, Darlinghurst, Sydney, St Joseph’s, Hunters Hill and St Aloysius College, Bourke Street.

1891-1892 After First Vows he remained at Loyola Greenwich for his Juniorate.
1892-1898 He taught at Prefected the Boarders at St Ignatius College Riverview and St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1898-1901 He went to Valkenburg, Netherlands for Philosophy
1901-1906 He studied Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin.
1906-1907 He made his Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium.
1907-1931 He returned to Australia and a lengthy stay at Xavier College, Kew. There he mainly taught Chemistry and Physics and was a house Consultor.
He did great work in the teaching of Science, planned new laboratories, personally supervising the work and taught in them for over twenty years. There he also installed a wireless station. He had a very clear mind and gave a very lucid explanation of his subject to his students, a number of whom later became prominent scientists or medical professionals.
Even when young, his somewhat ponderous manner and deliberate way of speaking gave the impression of age, but never dimmed the affection his students had for him.
1931-1933 He was sent as assistant Director of the Riverview Observatory
1933-1934 He lectured in Mathematics and Science at Loyola College Watsonia
1934-1951 He was sent to work at the the Richmond parish
1951-1955 He went to Canisius College, Pymble.

He was a good friend to many, kind and thoughtful of others, and concerned for the spiritual and temporal welfare of those entrusted to his care

Baker, William, 1879-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/888
  • Person
  • 08 August 1879-17 September 1943

Born: 08 August 1879, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 March 1899, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1918
Died: 17 September 1943, Caritas Christi Hospital, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL: 05 April 1931

by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Younger brother of Peter - RIP 1955

Educated mainly at St Aloysius College, Bourke Street, and his last year at Riverview. His contemporaries remember his as being very reliable and steady in temperament and in studies. He was “dux” of the school in his last year, and gained first class honours in Mathematics, qualifying for the matriculation entrance at the University in the faculties of Law, Medicine, Science and Engineering.

1901-1903 After First Vows he taught Mathematics at Riverview
1903-1909 He taught Mathematics at Xavier College, Kew
1909-1914 He was sent to Stonyhurst College for Philosophy and then for Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was Ordained.
1915-1916 He was at Belvedere College SJ teaching Mathematics before returning to Australia
1918-1921 He taught Mathematics at Xavier College, Kew
1921-1922 He was at Riverview, but found it very difficult
1923-1930 He returned to Xavier where he was Prefect of Studies
1930-1942 He was sent to teach Mathematics to the higher classes at St Patrick’s, Melbourne, being Prefect of Studies (1931-1935).
1942-1943 He returned to Xavier, but his health broke down.
He died at Caritas Christi Hospice, Kew

He was described as a “picturesque figure”, a strong disciplinarian, critical of the achievements of his pupils, with whom he was popular, despite the fact that he gave them very little hope of ever passing an examination. He was a strenuous worker and a careful and stimulating teacher. He had the happy knack of teaching with the lighter touch, and his success in getting the best out of his students was probably largely due to his method of leading rather than driving.
Students were attracted to him for his unselfishness and his kindly interest, combined with a fund of good humour. They found him a good teacher, firm but just , and he was affectionately known by his initials WIB”. He had a gruff manner frequently combined with a twinkle in his eye. He had many good friends among the old scholars, and continued to show interest in them.
His Jesuit colleagues found him to be a “good community man”, very loyal to his colleagues, shrewd, energetic, hardworking, full of vitality, and apart from attendance at football matches on Saturdays with some sporting friends, he had no interests outside his work and community life. He was a devoted Chaplain for many years to the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart at Mena House.

His end came eighteen months after a sudden heart attack, a time that was very painful for him. His condition weakened him considerably, causing him to lose his former fire and vitality.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943

Obituary :

Father William Baker SJ (1877-1943)

The death of Fr. William Baker in Melbourne, at the age of 64 is just announced. He had been in failing health for some time past. An Australian, he entered the Society 1st March, 1899, and had Fr. Sturzo for Master of novices. He did his Colleges at Riverview and Kew before coming to Europe for his higher studies, philosophy at Stonyhurst (1910-'12) and theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest in 1914. He taught for a year at Belvedere before his tertianship which he made at Tullabeg. Returning to Australia he spent the rest of his life, practically, in the class-room or directing studies as prefect of studies, chiefly at Xavier College, Melbourne. He was a very inspiring and successful teacher of mathematics. His golden heart and drole humour will be remembered by those of the Irish Province who had the good fortune of knowing him. R.I.P.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 113 : Autumn 2002

LEST HE BE FORGOTTEN : JOHN B BANNON

Kevin A Laheen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barden, Thomas, 1910-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/57
  • Person
  • 31 March 1910-03 June 1997

Born: 31 March 1910, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 03 June 1997, McQuoin Park Infirmary, Hornsby, NSW, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
A twin - his sister Hyacinth was a Loreto Sister and worked in Africa. His brother William was a Dominican and Archbishop of Tehran until the overthrow of the Shah.

His early education was with the Presentation Sisters and the Christian Brothers. In 1922 he gained a scholarship to Mungret College SJ.

1929-1932 He did his Juniorate at Rathfarnham graduating BA from University College Dublin in Celtic studies.
1932-1935 He was at St Aloysius College, St Helier, Jersey for Philosophy, which gained him a lifelong interest in French language.
1935-1939 He made Regency at St Aloysius College, Sydney, and accepted Australian citizenship in 1936.
1939-1943 He studied Theology at Milltown Park Dublin
1943-1944 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1944-1945 He was at Liverpool, England doing parish work.
1945-1947 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius, Milsons Point.
1948-1952 He was appointed Rector at St Louis School, Perth. He became popular there with local families who helped develop the oval facilities for the school. His students there remember his wit, shrewdness and ability to inspire them.
1964-1961 He was appointed Headmaster at St Ignatius College, Norwood. His style and manner during these years did much to establish the tradition of rapport and affection between staff and students. He was a firm disciplinarian, and the tongue lashings he gave were formidable, as was his humour and the twinkle in his eye, which indicated a man who loved the school, the work he was doing and the boys he taught. He also employed the first lay teachers there.
1962-1964 He was dean of students at St Thomas More University College, Perth, but he did not enjoy working with tertiary students.
1965-1968 He returned to St Louis, Perth, as Vice-Rector and Prefect of Studies.
1969-1974 He was a respected French teacher and Form Master At St Aloysius College, Sydney.
1975-1984 He was French teacher and Form Master at St Ignatius College, Athelstone SA, and was also the community bursar there.
1985-1993 He was back at St Aloysius, Sydney. where he taught for a number of years.
1993 For the last seven years at St Aloysius his memory had become unreliable, and so he moved to the retirement home at McQuoin Park, where he was happy and well cared for. When his health failed finally, he was transferred to the Greenwich Convalescent Hospital.

He was very Irish, a great conversationalist and storyteller, entertaining and witty. He was a good companion and a joy at any party. As an administrator he was efficient and fair, and incisive in his decisions. He had a gift for preaching and was a good retreat giver, though not creative in thought. He was experiences as a wise counsellor and a fair judge of human nature. He made many friends among the parents in Perth, Adelaide and Sydney, some of whom kept lifelong contact.

Baron, François, 1834-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/896
  • Person
  • 21 April 1834-23 September 1922

Born: 21 April 1834, Marcilly-en-Gault, France
Entered: 21 November 1871, Angers France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1883
Died: 23 September 1922, Laval, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1881 came to Milltown (HIB) as Min Jun 1881-1882

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/58
  • Person
  • 11 April 1879-27 January 1959

Born: 11 April 1879, Oola, County Limerick
Entered: 14 August 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 27 January 1959, Crescent College, Limerick

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 34th Year No 2 1959
Sacred Heart Church and College, Limerick
With dramatic swiftness, Fr. Barragry passed away on Tuesday, 27th January. On the previous Saturday, he complained of a chill but continued throughout the day at his confessional. On Sunday, he was up and about but complained of loss of appetite. In getting into bed on Sunday night, he felt restless and depressed. Early on Monday morning, he was discovered lying on the floor of his room, by Fr. Rector. The doctor advised his removal to hospital, suspecting a recurrence of the diabetes. From the moment of his arrival in hospital in the late afternoon, his temperature began to rise steadily. He had another very restless night and on Tuesday morning, the community learned that there was no chance of his recovery. He remained perfectly lucid until about forty minutes before his death which occurred about 2.15 in the afternoon. On Wednesday, his remains arrived at the residence about noon and were laid out in the back parlour. Throughout the evening, crowds of his penitents and his friends came to say farewell to this very lovable priest. We all knew that Fr. Barragry was widely respected, but for many of us it was a revelation to discover the extent of his friendships. At the solemn obsequies on Thursday, His Lordship the Bishop attended with a large gathering of the secular and regular clergy. The boys of Sacred Heart College marched with the cortège to the city boundary and many of them finished the journey to Mungret by car or bicycle.

Obituary :
Fr John Barragry (1879-1958)
By the death of Fr. John Barragry on the 27th January the Province has lost, not only a colourful and interesting character, and one who provided a great deal of innocent pleasure for those who knew him or lived with him, but also an observant religious: remarkable for his devotion to poverty and for his exact obedience; a man of deep faith and simple piety, and a great lover of the Society. Many, both inside and outside the Society, feel they have lost a loyal and devoted friend.
Fr. Barragry was born at Oola, Co. Limerick in 1879, educated at the Crescent, and entered the Society at Tullabeg at the age of sixteen. Having completed his novitiate and juniorate, he was sent to Valkenburg in 1899 for his three years philosophy and, to the end of his life he retained an interest in the Niederdeutsche Provinz, and in the careers of those with whom he studied. On finishing seven years' teaching at Clongowes and three years theology at Milltown Park, he was ordained in 1912. Between 1914 and 1920 he was Prefect of Studies at Galway and at Mungret, and those who studied under him recall the firmness, enthusiasm and kindness, which characterised his work on their behalf.
For a short period he was Minister of Juniors and Professor of Mathematics at Tullabeg and then, from 1925 to 1931, he was again Prefect of Studies, but this time at the Crescent. Here, with the exception of seven years, when he taught at Clongowes and at Belvedere - where he was Procurator from 1934 to 1938, he was to spend the rest of his life. In the course of these years at Limerick he contributed in no small way to the success of the college as we know it today, and to the building up of the Ignatian Sodality. From 1944 till his death he was Procurator, and fulfilled this office with that exactitude and care which marked all his work.
Fr. Barragry was an efficient and understanding teacher, and he was remembered with affection by many of his past pupils years after they had left. Gratitude and warm appreciation are still expressed by those who knew him, even as far back as forty years ago. Last September, Monsignor Power of Saltley, Birmingham, recalling the old days in Limerick, asked :
“Is Fr. Barragry still alive? Good! How is he? The same as ever, I hope?”
All his life Fr. Barragly showed a great interest both in men and in affairs, and both his memory for the past and his knowledge of their careers were prodigious. Not a few of his pupils owe their start in life to the solicitous interest he took in placing them after school. Indeed many others also found in him a friend and a willing helper. His apostolate of "job-finding" and assisting the less fortunate, the poor and the unemployed, took up a great deal of any leisure he had.
As time went on he lost nothing of his interest in current affairs, specially in relation to Ireland. He had a deep love of his country, and watched daily, with a growing sense of pride, the material, economic and cultural achievements that had come about since the days of his boyhood. Though he felt that the study of the Irish language was beyond him, he championed its cause on more than one occasion, both , in private and in public.
His savoir vivre was tremendous, and up to the end he remained. keen in mind and active in body. A friend who spoke to him shortly before his death could not but admire the unimpaired, alert mind of a man in his eightieth year. He uttered no complaint on the score of health and was apparently the same as ever."
In 1955, four years before his death, he celebrated his Diamond Jubilee in the Society. His old friends - the Ignatians - gave him great joy by presenting a golden chalice to mark the occasion, and by arranging that an award—the Fr, Barragry medal— should be presented annually to the most outstanding pupil at the College.
During his years as operarius at the Crescent, Fr. Barragry was a kind and conscientious confessor, and as long as health allowed him to preach, his sermons were carefully prepared. Though in his eightieth year, he had no thought of going “on the shelf”, and was active and at his post practically to the end.
After confessions on Friday night, 23rd January, he complained of a bad shivering fit and was advised by the Rector to keep to his room. He said Mass on Sunday and seemed improved, but towards evening he took to his bed. At 4.30 on Monday morning the Rector thought he heard the sound of knocking and went in to see if anything was wrong. He found Fr. Barragry on the floor, where he had fallen during the night, and being unable to rise or attract attention, he had pulled a few blankets from the bed to keep himself warm. Later that day the doctor ordered him to hospital, and on Tuesday, when it was evident that he was dying, he was anointed and received Holy Viaticum about noon. Shortly before two o'clock, Fr. Rector and Fr. Naughton began the prayers for the dying, and at 2.10 he passed peacefully away.
It can be truthfully said that Fr. Barragry went through life joyously, maintaining always a bright and infectious cheerfulness. He dearly loved his little joke.
On one occasion, slipping quietly away for a villa in Donegal, he left strict injunctions that his life-long friend and colleague, Fr. Martin Corbett of Mungtet, was not to be told. As Fr. Martin and he were always keenly interested in the “latest”, he felt he had scored quite a victory in getting off “unbeknownst”, and was determined that when the time was opportune, he would make known his triumph.
Sitting by the side of the road, surrounded by the wild beauty of the Barnesmore Gap and the sunshine, and pulling a picture post card from his pocket, he scribbled with glee - taking pains to avoid any indication of his exact location : “Lovely views! Any news? J.B.”
Fr. Barragry traded his talents industriously, by patient, faithful service and by prayer. We may well hope that he now enjoys the reward of a well-spent life-a far more beautiful sight than he ever saw in Donegal.
Solus na Soillse agus radharc na Tríonóide d'á anam.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Barragry SJ 1879-1959
One could hardly live in a community with Fr John Barragry – or Barrags as he was affectionatle called – without feeling the impact of his energetic and vivid personality.
A Limerick man, born in Oola County Limerick in 1879, after a brilliant career as a boy in the Crescent, he became a Jesuit at Tullabeg at the age of 16.

His life in the Society was spent in the Colleges as Prefect of Studies in Mungret, Galway and the Crescent – 30 years in the classroom, as he himself used describe it. The latter part of his life was spent as procurator, first in Belvedere and then in the Crescent. This was his favourite house, and Limerick his natural habitat. “I know my Limerick” he was heard to retort to one he thought had pretensions to a greater knowledge.

He was intensely interested in people and affairs, especially in matters of the Society government and appointments. His curiosity was boundless and harmless, though to some it was irksome and annoying. To many it was a great source of recreation. His storied of how he dealt with difficult situations were famous. While stationed in Tullabeg teaching the Juniors, it was reported that Our Lady had appeared to a little girl on the avenue. There was great excitement, and the local IRA were on duty, armed, to regulate the people who came to see. “Down I went to see” would recount Fr Barragry. “A young fellow on guard stopped me”. “Halt” said he. “Shoot” said I, and that finished him”. To a Rector to whom he had suggested a way of saving money and who took the suggestion as a slur on his vow of poverty, he said “My Dear Father Rector, you mist never confound poverty with economy”.

He was a hard worker for souls, and energetic Director of the Ignatian Sodality, and tireless in his efforts to place old students in good situations in life.

He died on January 27th 1959 after a brief illness.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

Born at Oola, studied at this school from 1893 to 1895 when he entered the Society at Tullabeg. On the completion of his classical studies, he was sent for his course in philosophy to Valkenburg, Holland (1899-1902). His period of regency was spent at Clongowes, after which he entered on his theological studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1912. For the next ten years after his tertianship, he was engaged in teaching at Galway (1914-1918); Mungret (1918-20); Tullabeg (1920-22), where he was prefect of studies for the scholastics; Belvedere (1922-24). He spent the next seven years at Sacred Heart College where, as prefect of studies, he did much to modernise teaching methods. After a year back in Clongowes (1931-1932) he spent the next six years as procurator in Belvedere College. His last and longest assignment was again at Sacred Heart College where, as procurator, he laboured until his death (1938-1959).
Father Barragry was a man of many gifts; he had a fluent command of German and French; he was an able classical scholar and a brilliant teacher of mathematics. His organising ability was proven in his work as prefect of studies and in the considerable help he gave to the formation of the Belvedere Old Boys' Union. Here, at the Crescent, he reorganised the Ignatian Sodality in the 1920's. He was a talented preacher and sodality director. For many years he was much sought after as a confessor. After an illness of only two days, he died on 27 January, 1959 and was laid to rest in the Jesuit plot at Mungret Abbey. RIP

Barrett, Cyril D, 1925-2003, Jesuit priest, art historian, and philosopher

  • IE IJA J/561
  • Person
  • 09 May 1925-30 December 2003

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, ST Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) studying
by 1963 at Mount Street, London (ANG) studying
by 1964 at Church of the Assumption, Warwick (ANG) studying
by 1973 at Warwick University (ANG) teaching
by 1993 at Campion Hall, Oxford (BRI) teaching

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Barrett, (Denis) Cyril
by Patrick Maume

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His mother died of cancer when he was aged three, and his father subsequently remarried; the two marriages produced four sons and a daughter. Young Denis grew up at the family home in Booterstown, south Co. Dublin; his relationship with his stepmother Evelyn was close and affectionate. The family background was well‐to‐do catholic with some landed gentry elements which might have been described as ‘castle catholic’ but which offered scope for self‐expression, often eccentric; like several of his ancestors, Barrett was noted for charm, eccentricity, and intellectual brilliance.

He was educated at Killashee school in Naas, at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and at Clongowes. He joined the Jesuits in 1942, underwent a Thomist training in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Tullabeg, and studied theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. The Jesuits recognised and encouraged his academic vocation, and his career took advantage of the wide latitude allowed to an imaginative Jesuit in pursuance of his vocation. He studied Latin and history at University College Dublin (the latter discipline, as taught by John Marcus O’Sullivan (qv), had a strong philosophical component, and Barrett recalled being introduced to political philosophy by studying Rousseau as being thrown in at the deep end) and graduated with a first class BA in 1947. After a year studying anthropology and the role of myth at the Warburg Institute, Barrett began a peripatetic teaching career, including three years at Clongowes, three years teaching psychology at Tullabeg, and a period at Chantilly (France). He also studied theology at Milltown Park. Barrett was ordained priest in 1956 and took his final Jesuit vows in 1960. He undertook advanced research in philosophy at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 for a dissertation on symbolism in the arts.

In 1965 Barrett was one of two founding members of the philosophy department at the University of Warwick, where he was successively lecturer (1965–7), senior lecturer (1967–72) and reader (1972–92). Shortly after his appointment to Warwick he established his reputation, first by editing a well‐received selection of papers by innovators in the philosophy of art and criticism, Collected papers on aesthetics (1965), then by persuading the notoriously reluctant Wittgenstein estate to allow him to publish a collection of notes by three students of Wittgenstein of the philosopher’s remarks on aesthetics, psychology and religion. Lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief (1966) offered new perspectives on Wittgenstein’s aesthetic and religious interests, whose extent had barely been realised, and became the basis for an extensive critical literature.

Barrett maintained his involvement with Wittgenstein throughout his career, summing up his views in Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief (1991). He maintained that the gap between Wittgenstein’s early and late views had been exaggerated; the importance Wittgenstein attached to value remained constant and the Tractatus logico‐philosophus, widely seen as an exercise in positivism, was in inspiration a document of moral inquiry. He did not call himself a Wittgensteinian (he was sceptical of the concept of philosophical discipleship) but was influenced by Wittgenstein in his eclectic preference for addressing disparate problems rather than seeking to build an overarching system, and in his interest in the nature of perception.

The mature Barrett held the Wittgensteinian view that religion could not be stated in propositional terms (i.e. as a set of beliefs) but can only be experienced as a way of life, though Barrett also maintained that this did not entail relativism between such ways; real belief was required. This view would have been seen as heterodox by large numbers of Christians throughout the history of Christianity (including some of Barrett’s contemporaries) but was part of a wider reaction within twentieth‐century catholic theology against what were seen as excessively mechanical and rationalistic forms of neo‐Thomism and of a desire to rediscover the approach of the early church fathers based on the view that reason might illuminate faith from within but could not create it where it did not exist.

Barrett disliked clerical politics and what he saw as the intellectual narrowness and social conservatism of the church hierarchy. He was hostile to the neo‐orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II; his comment in a public venue on the day of the pope’s attempted assassination by Mehmet Ali Agca (13 May 1981), that the greatest fault of ‘that bloody Turk’ had been not shooting straight (Times, 15 Jan. 2004), was occasionally cited by more conservative catholics as symbolic of the perceived deterioration of the Jesuits after the second Vatican council. Barrett’s friends recall, however, that despite his pleasure in flouting what he regarded as petty‐fogging rules and the constraints of his calling, he maintained a deep personal faith in God and was a valued and compassionate confessor and adviser; beneath his questing was an underlying simplicity.

He was a champion of various schools of modern art, particularly Op Art (in 1970 he published one of the first significant books on this form of abstract art, which uses optical illusions to focus the viewer’s attention on the process of perception). He was a regular visitor to eastern Europe where he combined religious activity with encouragement of those artists who were resisting official pressure to conform to Soviet realism; his trips were financed by eastern bloc royalties from his own publications (which could not be transferred into western currencies) and the profits from smuggling out disassembled artworks as ‘agricultural implements’. He also helped to mount several art exhibitions to popularise favoured trends, and established extensive (and hard‐bargained) relationships with London dealers. He played a significant role in building up Warwick University’s art collection, and at various times donated forty works from his own collection (including items by Bridget Riley, Micheal (Michael) Farrell (qv), and Yoko Ono) to the university. Barrett’s fascination with kitsch led him to produce a paper, ‘Are bad works of art “works of art”?’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, vi (1973), 182–93), inspired by some of the religious art he encountered at Kenilworth Priory, Warwick. (Barrett’s answer was a qualified Yes.)

He did much to popularise modern art in Ireland through his frequent contributions to the Jesuit quarterly review Studies (he was assistant editor for a year in the early 1950s, and throughout his subsequent career wrote and reviewed for the journal on a wide range of topics) and other journals such as The Furrow and Irish Arts Yearbook. He produced a widely respected catalogue of nineteenth‐century Irish art (Irish art in the 19th century (1971)), and with Jeanne Sheehy (qv) contributed two chapters on the visual arts and Irish society to A new history of Ireland. VI. Ireland under the union, II. 1870–1921 (Oxford 1996) and an account of twentieth‐century art to A new history of Ireland. VII. 1921–84 (Oxford 2004). He also published monographs on the artists Micheal (Michael) Farrell and Carmel Mooney.

Although his flair for teaching and disputation was celebrated on campus, Barrett, like many old‐style academics, lacked administrative aptitude and in his later years at Warwick he was irritated by the increasing bureaucratisation and quantification of higher education. In 1992 he retired from Warwick to Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford, where he organised an exhibition of its art holdings, used the Latin‐language procedure in applying for a Bodleian reader’s ticket, and was a frequent visitor to the rival Dominican hall, Blackfriars. At Campion Hall he continued to work as a tutor, though he maintained that leisure (expansively defined as ‘life lived to its fullest’) was the proper end of human life and the proper state of mankind; he devoted as much time to it as possible.

He was a world traveller (wont to describe some of the ricketier charter planes he encountered as ‘Holy Ghost Airlines’), a gourmet cook who loved to entertain guests, a convivial drinker, and fond of betting on horseraces; he regularly attended the Merriman summer school in Co. Clare with his friend the broadcaster Seán Mac Réamoinn (1921–2007). He was a voluble critic of the provisional IRA. At the time of his death he was working on an analysis of the morality of war (he was always critical of the view that a just cause justified any means), a philosophical autobiography My struggles with philosophy, and a revision of the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. He also wrote poetry inspired by his reactions to the cancer which was killing him. Cyril Barrett died in Dublin on 30 December 2003.

Ir. Times, 10 Jan. 2004; Times (London), 15 Jan. 2004; Independent (London), 25 Feb. 2004; https://warwick.ac.uk/services/art/teachinglearningandresearch/onlineexhibitions/cyrilbarrett/

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Cyril D Barrett (1925-2003)

May 9th 1925: Born in Dublin
Early education at Kiliashee, Naas, Co.Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorks. and Clongowes
Sept. 7th 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1953: Clongowes - Prefect and Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
July 31st 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1959: Leeson Street - Minister, Asst. Editor Studies
1959 - 1960: Tullabeg - Prof. Psychology; Subminister
Feb. 2nd 1960: Final Vows
1960 - 1961: Tullabeg -Prof. Psychology; Minister
1961 - 1964: London - Postgraduate Studies (History of Philosophy), London University (PhD)
1964 - 1965: Chantilly, France - Lecturer in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Warwick University - Lecturer in Philosophy
1966 - 2003: Milltown Park
1966 - 1967: Dean of Philosophy; Prof. Philosophy at MI
1967 - 1972: Senior Lecturer in Philosophy - Warwick U.; Reader / Visiting Lecturer - Milltown Institute
1972 - 1992: University of Warwick - Reader in Philosophy
1992 - 2002: Oxford - Tutor in Philosophy
2002 - 2003: Milltown Park - writer
Dec. 30th 2003: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Fr. Barrett was diagnosed as suffering from cancer in Autumn 2003. Despite a brief remission his health deteriorated steadily. He was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on Christmas Day. There he died on the morning of Dec. 30th 2003.

Obituary from Times of London, January 15, 2004:

Dinner with Father Cyril Barrett - and you would dine well with this accomplished cook, even if in somewhat chaotic surroundings – was an intellectual feast composed of unpredictable ingredients. A man of huge charm, voracious curiosity and lively humour, he made an open house of his great learning. It was a place that offered inspiration and discovery to those who stepped across its threshold, at the University of Warwick where he taught philosophy for nearly three decades, in Dublin and London, or on his adventurous travels on a Jesuitical shoestring. (Holy Ghost Airlines, he would joke about the dodgier charter flights to dodgy destinations.) As an experimental new university in the mid-Sixties, Warwick attracted, and was attracted by, his interdisciplinary and questing cast of mind. Barrett was as authoritative on Op Art as he was on Wittgenstein's aesthetics.

Inducted almost straight from school into the Society of Jesus but, wisely, given free rein to pursue his strong academic vocation, Cyril Barrett found his reference points as writer, critic and lecturer in philosophy, aesthetics and a lifelong engagement with religious meaning; but he branched outward in multiple directions. He could discourse as intriguingly on hot racing tips, the samizdat blue films circulating in Cold War Central Europe (about which he was alarmingly well informed), kitsch or even knitting, as he talked about medieval aesthetics, Kierkegaard or Picasso. The most unclerical of priests, his faith was deep yet never unquestioning, just as the intellect that made him a renowned philosopher and art critic was tempered by the intensity of his inner spiritual dialogue.

Denis Cyril Barrett was born in 1925 in Dublin, to the sort of horse-and-hounds family that throws up, as it did with his great-uncle Cyril Corbally, such eccentric luminaries as champion croquet players. But this was independence-era Dublin, with its charged politics. His father Denis, the last Assistant Commissioner of the pre-1922 Dublin Metropolitan Police and the first of the Garda Siochana that replaced it, was to resign out of disgust with de Valera's brand of nationalism and the virulence of the IRA – a disgust always shared by his son. His mother died when he was three, and he was brought up by his adored stepmother Evelyn.

His early trajectory was conventional, from Ampleforth to a first in History and Latin at University College, Dublin, and thence to licenciates both in philosophy and in theology before ordination. How little these disciplines were to confine him was demonstrated by his doctorate, on symbolism in the arts, and a subsequent year studying anthropology and the role of myth at University College, London and the Warburg Institute, His large body of books and essays was to be almost equally devoted to modern art --- where his influence was enormous and Europe wide -- and to philosophical studies.

As a philosopher, Barrett became celebrated for publishing, in 1966, a selection of student notes of Wittgenstein's lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief -- a small corpus out of which has developed a massive secondary literature and which has profoundly influenced aesthetics and theology. All his formidable persuasive skills were put to the test in gaining the consent of the notoriously possessive executors; Wittgenstein declared that "only aesthetic and conceptual questions” really gripped him, but without the Barrett enterprise, few would have known for many years of his grapplings with the former, or indeed with religion.

A quarter of a century later he gave his own considered account of Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief, arguing that his views on value developed but did not change. Wittgenstein, he maintained, held that seeking to inculcate moral principles, and teaching religion in propositional form, is contrary to the true nature of ethics and religious belief - a position he endorsed. But he resisted the influential misinterpretation according to which Wittgenstein held religious belief to be nothing more than a way of life according to a picture. Belief is involved. The “picture” of Judgment Day is more than a mere picture or exemplar; it is a picture to live by, and there are better and worse such pictures; Wittgenstein “was no more a relativist than any reasonable person can avoid being”.

While never a Wittgensteinian, and indeed hostile to the notion of philosophical discipleship, he certainly learnt from him, and in aesthetics this influence came out in at least two ways. First, in his preference for tackling particular problems and clarifying ideas, over constructing elaborate theories, and secondly in his engagement with the interconnections between aesthetics and psychology, expressed most notably in his pioneering work popularising and explaining Op Art, both in books and by organising exhibitions. As an art critic he was wide-ranging and formidable -- his catalogue of 19th-century Irish Victorian Art is a classic of its kind - but also creative. He was a driving force in establishing Warwick University's art collection, and in cultivating understanding of modern art in Ireland. “Are bad works of art ‘works of art’?”, he asked in an influential essay; his suitably nuanced answer was that they may well be.

Jesuits, avowedly and by direction, are deeply involved in the world's affairs - and the greatest of them are mavericks. To someone of Barrett's catholic interests, impatience of convention and detestation of intellectual narrowness, Catholicism can be a hard master. Like many Jesuits down the centuries, Barrett made no attempt to disguise his chafing at the Vatican's hierarchical politics and social conservatism - going so far as to declare on the day of the attempted assassination of the Pope, in a bellow that filled a London restaurant, that “the only thing wrong with that bloody Turk was that he couldn't shoot straight”. The religious affairs correspondent of The Sunday Times, seated at a nearby table, turned beetroot.

Yet Barrett could readily assume his priestly guise and, in that capacity, was a compassionate and subtle counsellor and eminently practical moralist, ultimately convinced of the intelligence as well as the goodness of the Holy Spirit and able to instil that belief in others.

Academic politics bored Barrett at least as much as the priestly variety, and the world of league tables, research assessments and other bureaucratic rigidities even more. He left Warwick in 1992 for Campion Hall, Oxford, with some relief, striding into the Bodleian and demanding (successfully) to use the Latin language procedure for registering for a reader's ticket,

He continued writing to the very end of his life, back in Dublin, and was working in the last weeks on books and articles ranging from the morality of war to the limits of science, as well as writing poetry and rewriting the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. Barrett would, however, have described this as the pursuit of leisure, which for him was “not a trivial pursuit”, and nothing to do with idleness, but, rather, “life lived to its fullest”.

Work was necessary for survival, he wrote, but “It is not an end in itself. Leisure is. It is the end, the goal, of human life, the proper state of man” -- which is why the quality of leisure matters. There are echoes here of Aristotle, even of St Augustine's idea of entering the holy Sabbath of God. But Cyril Barrett's genius was to draw the classical forward into the present; to cite one of his aphorisms, “philosophy may be perennial, but it is not static”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2004

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, who died on December 30th, 2003 aged 78, was a philosopher and art critic of international renown. He had his first direct encounter with philosophy as a student at University College Dublin, through Prof Marcus O'Sullivan's treatment of Rousseau. Philosophy, he would later remark, was a matter of learning to swim by diving in at the deep end but, he cautioned, the deep end of Rousseau's political philosophy was not to be recommended.

He wrote in “Studies” on subjects ranging from Picasso to Kierkegaard. His first book on Wittgenstein, dealing with aesthetics, psychology and religious belief, was published in 1966. Twenty five years later, he published Wittgenstein on Ethics and Religious Beliefs, a mature exposition of the questions that engaged him as a philosopher.

He played a major role in fostering an appreciation of modern art in Ireland. He was a member of the committee of ROSC that provided a showcase for the work of leading international artists. A regular contributor to “Art Monthly”, his publications include a study of op art and monographs on : Michael Farrell and Carmel Mooney. He contributed a section on art in the 20th century to the most recent volume of “A New History of Ireland” (2003).

Denis Cyril Barrett was born on May 9th, 1925, in Dublin, the son of Denis Barrett and his wife Lily (née Kearney). His father was assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police and the family lived in Booterstown. His mother died when he was three and his father later remarried. His early education took place at Killashee, Naas, Co Kildare, Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and Clongowes Wood College. In 1942 he entered the Society of Jesus and was ordained in 1956, taking his final vows in 1960.

He studied arts at UCD and in 1947 secured a first class honours in Latin and History. Having studied philosophy at Tullabeg, Co Offaly, he taught for three years at Clongowes. He spent the next three years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. Following a year as assistant editor of “Studies”, he taught psychology at Tullabeg. He completed a PhD at London University in 1964 and afterwards caught philosophy at Chantilly, France, and at the University of Warwick, where he remained until 1992. Retirement from Warwick brought him to Campion Hall, Oxford, as a tutor for 10 years. Throughout this time he was a visiting lecturer at Milltown Park.

At the time of his death he was in the process of writing a philosophical memoir with the working title “My Struggles With Philosophy”. In it he addressed the question of understanding other philosophers whose views are alien, not only to one's own thought but also to the precepts of common sense.

A man of many parts, he was a world traveler, a gourmet cook who liked to entertain and he had the knack of picking a winner on the racing page or at an occasional race meeting. He also enjoyed attending the Merriman Summer School with his friend, Seán Mac Réamoinn. But, as his colleague, Father Bill Mathews, said at his funeral Mass, “At the centre of it all, I believe there was in him a very simple faith in God and in the goodness of God”.

Predeceased by his brother Matthew, he is survived by his stepmother Evelyn, brothers John and Father Francis, and sister Eve.

Courtesy of The Irish Times

Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/641
  • Person
  • 30 April 1917-02 July 1989

Born: 30 April 1917, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 02 July 1989, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Cyril Barrett Died after Long Illness, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Cyril Barrett, SJ, died in St. Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, after a long illness, very bravely on Sunday, 2 July 1989.

The late Father Cyril J. Barrett, SJ. was born in Charleville, Co. Cork Ireland in 30 April 1917. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and in 1935 he entered the Jesuit Order. He finished his academic studies and professional training in 1951 and in that year came to Hong Kong where he has lived and worked since then.

At first he was assigned to study Chinese (Cantonese) for two years and then went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong at first as a teacher, then in 1954 became Prefect of Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents was totally rebuilt, and Father Barrett was very busily engaged in the fund raising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then he has in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and has busied himself with making contact, either in person or through letters with practically every former Wah Yan Student studying abroad. He made long trips to Australia, the United States and Canada, and the United Kingdom, visiting secondary schools and Universities and other higher educational institutions, and there meeting with the Wah Yan past students.

In the past five years he has known that he has a serious cancer condition and other debilitating illnesses. He has suffered a great deal, but was always trying to lead as normal a life as possible. In summer 1988 he went to Ireland on holiday and returned to Hong Kong even though most of his friends thought the journey would be too much for his greatly weakened condition. Since then he has been almost continually in hospital, getting gradually weaker. Until finally on 2 July 1989 he died.

All through his life he was interested in many other matters besides education. He was a dedicated bird watcher and an occasional helper in archaeological digs in the New Territories. He was a fairly constant writer of letters to the papers on matters connected with education.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 7 July 1989

◆ 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 the son of a banker and received his early education in Bagenalstown County Carlow and then at Clongowes Wood College.
In his Jesuit studies he graduated BA at UCD, then spent three years studying Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere College SJ for Regency.
He then went to Milltown Park for four years Theology, followed by a year making Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

1951-1953 He came to Hong Kong and spent two years at Xavier House, Cheung Chau, studying Cantonese.
1953 He began his long connection with Wah Yan College Hong Kong, as a teacher, educationalist and Principal. In 1983 he was awarded a Doctorate of Social Science by the University of Hong Kong, in recognition of his contribution to Hong Kong society. He set up the Wah Yan Post-Secondary Education Trust Fund, set up to award scholarships to former students wishing to study overseas. At the same time he had a keen interest in the archaeology of the New Territories.
He was a regular contributor to the newspapers and a keen campaigner for the Anti-smoking movement in Hong Kong.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

Those who were in Belvedere between 1943 and 1946 will remember Mr Barrett, as he then was. Cyril spent most of his life working in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and he leaves behind him golden memories of his exceptional capacity for personal friendship and his enormous commitment to Hong Kong and to Wah Yan in particular. On his retirement from the position of Principal of Wah Yan in 1982, the University of Hong Kong conferred an honorary doctorate on him in recognition of the work he had done for education at all levels. Stricken by cancer, he paid a final visit to Belvedere in the summer of 1988, when he was unfortunately too weak to explore the new buildings which have arisen here since his years as a scholastic forty years ago. Few of his Hong Kong brothers thought he would ever retum but Cyril Barrett had no intention of dying away from the land he had made his own. He died there on 2nd July 1989.

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril J Barrett SJ

The late Fr Cyril J Barrett, was born in Charleville, Co Cork, Ireland on 30th April, 1917. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and in 1935 he entered the Jesuit Order. He finished his academic studies and professional training in 1951 and in that year came to Hong Kong where he has lived and worked since then.

At first he was assigned to study Chinese (Cantonese) for two years and then went to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong at first as a teacher, then in 1954 became Prefect of Studies, in 1956 he was appointed Rector and Principal. In 1962 he went to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until 1969 and during this time Ricci Hall, with minimal dislocation to the residents, was totally rebuilt, and Fr Barrett was very busily engaged in the fundraising for this new project. In 1970 he returned to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, as Principal where he continued until 1982. Since then in 1983 received an honorary doctorate “Doctor of Social Science” from the University of Hong Kong, and busied himself with making contact, either in person or through letters with practically every former Wah Yan student studying abroad. He made long trips to Australia, the United States and Canada, and the United Kingdom, visiting secondary schools and universities and other higher educational institutions, and there meeting with the Wah Yah past students.

All through his life he was interested in many other matters besides education. He was a dedicated bird watcher, and an occasional helper in archaeological digs in the New Territories. He was a fairly constant writer of letters to the papers on matters con nected with education.

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

First World War chaplain

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

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

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

Rev Patrick Barrett SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father Patrick Barrett SJ

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

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

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

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

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

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

Barry, James, 1925-2002, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/555
  • Person
  • 23 July 1925-27 November 2002

Born: 23 July 1925, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 11 March 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 27 November 2002, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Barry (1925-2002)

23rd July 1925: Born in Mallow, Co. Cork
Early education in St Peter's, Bray, and Presentation College, Bray
11 March 1944: Entered the Society at Emo
12th March 1946: First Vows at Emo
1946 - 1956: Emo- Gardening.
15h August 1955: Final Vows
1956 - 1958: Milltown Park - Gardening, Farming
1958 - 1964: Clongowes - Supervisor of Staff
1964 - 1965: St. Ignatius, Galway - Supervisor of Staff.
1965 - 1974: Catholic Workers College - Assisted in the Community
1974 - 1975: Crescent/Mungret - arranging for closing down of school buildings
1975 - 1991: Gonzaga College - Supervisor in College; Sacristan
1991 - 2002: Leeson Street -
1991 - 1997: Minister; Assistant Treasurer
1997 - 2002: Minister; Assistant Treasurer; Health Prefect

Following several months of concern about his health among members of his community, Jim was prevailed upon to go to Cherryfield for a rest on 25th October, 2002. He was transferred to St. Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 4th November, where he was diagnosed as having an advanced form of lung cancer. He was half-way through a course of radium treatment, when his condition deteriorated suddenly on the evening of Sunday, 24 November, and he was found to have contracted pneumonia. That night, and during the following day, he experienced periods of distress, but on Tuesday he became more comfortable, and slipped into a coma. He died peacefully on Wednesday, 27" November, at about 7.30 p.m.

Fergus O'Keefe writes:
Jim Barry may have been born in North Cork but his first years were spent in West Cork. His father lived and worked in Timoleague. Jim always identified with his native county's successes in hurling and gaelic football. The family moved to Bray, where he received his early education. He always remained close to his family and was a regular visitor to his brother's and sister's homes in Bray. One nephew, Oliver Barry, an Oblate, is a parish priest in England.

Jim spent thirteen years in Emo as postulant, novice, refectorian and gardener. He had a powerful physique, tall, spare and strong. A novice on experiment in those days tells of being put standing on the head of the refectory squeegee, already weighted with lumps of lead, while Jim hauled it to and fro to bring up the shine on the waxed floor. He had a droll sense of humour, asking another novice, “Do you know how to play darts?" "Then dart down there with some plates.” At harvest time when all hands used be called to the farmyard to help, Jim was to be seen heaving huge sacks of grain effortlessly from the threshing machine to the waiting trailer. When the novices, teenage townies most of them, would begin to wilt, Jim would spur them on with an encouraging word and that memorable basso-profundo chuckle that seemed to rumble up from his boots. He was a faithful supporter of the local Emo footballers and would often travel to matches or to Croke Park with them.

For ten years (1946-1956) Jim worked in the walled garden at Emo with John Treacy who had worked there in earlier times under the head-gardener, Dan Deegan. Dan could remember the Earl of Portarlington on horseback marking out with canes the spots where the Wellingtonia avenue saplings were to be planted. John used to speak, engagingly, of “the Lord's time”. Years later when Jim was in Dublin the papers carried a death notice for a John Treacy in Emo. Several members of the Province travelled to Emo for the funeral, only to discover that retired gardener John was in attendance, too. Next time the canny Jim was visiting Emo, John chided him, “You never came to my funeral!”

After two years spent in the garden and on the farm at Milltown Park, Jim was appointed to Clongowes. From 1958 to 1964 he had charge of the many staff there, skilled and unskilled. Most of the refectory and cleaning staff then were young lads who lived on the premises. Jim's room adjoined their dormitory (now the SRPA loft) and he would have had them into work by 6 a.m. In those days there were no summer projects, as now, when staff could be retained and gainfully employed while school was out. Instead Jim organised ambitious schemes, joining in the work - and the fun - himself. One year it was all hands on deck to rip up the worn-out wooden floorboards of the boys' refectory. Dry fill was wheel-barrowed in, concrete poured and skimmed, tiles laid and sealed – a perfect finish, still good to this day. In the course of another summer, indoor and outdoor staffs combined to surface the entire length of the side avenue, boiling the tar, spreading it, coating it with limestone chippings and rolling it, proud as punch and enjoying themselves in the summer sunshine under Jim's genial supervision.

A year in Galway was followed by nine assisting in the community at the Catholic Workers College. Changes of Jesuit personnel and policy in what became the College of Industrial Relations did not affect Jim greatly and he always seemed content there, getting on well with community, staff and students alike.

In 1974 he was chosen for a daunting task - to assist Fr Scan McCarron in closing down Mungret College, disposing of furniture, etc. One morning Sean failed to turn up for Mass. Jim went to his room and found him dead. Being on his own after that, he was anxious about security; so he spread the rumour among the locals that the college was haunted. If Jim was to be believed (frequently problematic – Jim was a past master at 'codding', the national pastime), the rumour was not unfounded. One night the remains of several Jesuits that had been exhumed from a small burial plot close to the school were being held on the premises in readiness for reinterment next day in the enlarged Jesuit plot in the old Mungret Abbey cemetery. As Jim told it, Sean and himself were wakened in the middle of that same night by persistent ringing on the door bell.

Except for that year in Mungret, from 1964 on Jim was to then spend thirty-six years in Dublin. In those days he was a familiar, if incongruous, sight setting off to visit family in Bray, this gentle giant on his wee Honda 50. There was a touch of bravado about his regular trips to the Forty Foot for the Christmas Day swim and many an afternoon in between, wrapped only in a faded gaberdene. No leathers for Jim! No persuading him to invest in a bigger bike. He had always tried to save money wherever he had worked; so he was never going to start spending on himself.

As part of the administrative team at Gonzaga (1975 1991), Jim was, as one colleague recalls, "very dependable, a great companion." He related well with staff, treating all with respect and good humour. Some became his friends for life. Standards of maintenance, decoration and cleanliness improved greatly under his leadership. With the proliferation of prefabs, so difficult to keep clean, Gonzaga, of all places, had become a bit of a slum. Jim and his staff were happy to see the end of them. He coped well with two successive sets of contractors, come on site to build, first, the eight-classroom block and, later, the science building. With his keen eye for good workers, he spotted a likely candidate for groundsman in the foreman on the latter building. Typical of Jim's tongue-in-cheek humour was his instruction, to the consternation of the same groundsman, that the great purple beech on the front lawn, the glory of the college grounds, would have to come down. Needless to say, it is still standing, as magnificent as ever.

Those were happy years for Jim. The boys used to crowd into his little office at breaks to join in the craic. He shared their enthusiasms, especially for sport. The boys were fond of him - he was a ready and sympathetic listener. In his own schooldays at Presentation College, Bray, he had been known to take a penalty at soccer with such force that it carried both ball and goalie to the back of the net. His rugby loyalties were divided between Gonzaga and Pres Bray, where a nephew was on the cup team. Jim supported winners and was annoyed when Gonzaga let the Senior Cup slip out of their grasp in the semi final. He switched allegiance to Liverpool at a time when they were on the up-and-up in the League.

It was the same when Jim went to the races. He always seemed to back winners; at least, the community never heard of him losing. He loved horses and claimed to be able to spot the winner by “the glint in the eye”. Even for years after Jim had left Gonzaga, appreciative parents would present him with an annual pass to the enclosure at Leopardstown Racecourse. At the races past students would gather round as soon as they saw him. At Jim's funeral the mother of a past Gonzagan spoke of him as “a dote”. She recalled that whenever the parents were organising a function he would welcome them with a warm smile and would have everything they needed set out for them.

Sadly, in latter years Jim seemed to lack the energy to attend race meetings. His years at Leeson St (1991-2002) were dogged by ill-health, yet he was determined to carry out to the full all his tasks as Minister, Assistant Treasurer and Health Prefect. His total dedication, even when his energies were fading, was remarkable. Rather than look for help, he would still try to do everything himself, even when he was no longer able. His feet gave him trouble; he couldn't walk or stand for any length of time. His prayer-life was undemonstrative. Every morning he would spend half-an-hour in the community oratory and again ten minutes at night.

Over his last few weeks at St. Vincent's Private Hospital his sheer goodness made a deep impression on the staff there. Despite his suffering and weakness he was totally undemanding, He never once rang the bell for assistance. Most of all, the nurses loved his smile, bashful maybe, but always warm. The only word his friend Fr Todd Morrissey heard him say was “Tough going”.

-oOo-

In the November issue of the Messenger, Paul Andrews writes of Jim: “Fifteen years ago he was operated on for cancer, something went wrong, and he was at the point of death. Later he told me about the day of extreme crisis. Though apparently unconscious, he was aware of a sense of foreboding around his hospital bed, and he felt his body in terrible shape while medics worked feverishly to keep him alive. Then Jim's mind withdrew from the body, and he remembers moving across a bridge towards a bright, beautiful place on the other side. He was happy, buoyed up by a feeling of joy and anticipation. Round the middle of the bridge the joy was interrupted. People were pulling him back, and when he came to himself he was, sadly, in the hospital bed, in a painfully sick body, disappointed and rather angry at being hauled back from happiness. For the next fourteen years he laboured in an increasingly sick body, and was noted for his tender care of sick people. Perhaps he could convey to those who were facing the end, that there was a lot to look forward to, and that the last act of life is beautiful. When his final sickness overtook him, he went in extraordinary peace”.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1991

Appreciation

Jim Barry SJ

Brother Barry, Jim to his friends, left Gonzaga this summer quietly and unexpectedly. He occupied the post of Administrator for seventeen years. Jim is a big man, strong and quietly courageous. Gonzaga's urban setting and attractive grounds have made it the target of occasional hostility. Jim's determination stood the test of many such an unpleasantness. The school's ivory redoubts had a powerful defender. His practical abilities were many and varied. He repaired broken windows, hacksawed sealed lockers, repaired over-head projectors with equal patience and thoroughness.

He was most frequently found, untipped cigarette in hand, seated in his narrow Spartan office. To offer him a 'safer' brand was to cause him quiet amusement. He welcomed callers, who frequently remained conversing until displaced by his next client. He became confidant to students whose status did not normally bring them into benign contact with adults. He had a remarkable understanding of and tough sympathy for the marginalised underdog. His influence in certain circles was as considerable as it was informal. He was unofficial Form-Tutor to the Gonzaga underworld.

Jim's comments were refreshingly free from the evasions and obfuscation of institutional man. His analysis of school current affairs had an uncompromising clarity, simple yet thought provoking.

His role involved a complex of major and minor responsibilities. They ranged in time from 8 o'clock in the morning until 11 o'clock at night. They varied, expanded or contracted entirely, frustratingly at the whim of others. He opened all doors, conferring all keys. To lose one was, in his eyes, the grossest of moral turpitudes. Staff members who erred in this regard skulked belatedly to his office to cringe and be shriven. They received a replacement key imploding painfully under his querulous gaze. One staff member was so fearful and guilt-ridden that he changed the lock on his classroom door, financing the deceit himself. Inevitably, Jim discovered this crime and sentenced him to years of internal exile. He had subtle ways of exercising sanctions against those who would not accept his standard of security or order.

His interests extended well beyond the perimeter of the College. He was a keen racing man and follower of Gaelic football. When his beloved Cork was playing, Jim had no time for objective comment. You were 'for him or agin him’ in most things. His willingness to be available each day to carry out often irritating tasks patiently and efficiently was at times truly heroic. I will remember his tall strong figure with waves of pupils washing around him as he dispensed Mars bars and packets of biscuits at lunch-time.

John Mulgrew

Barry-Ryan, Kieran, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/820
  • Person
  • 20 February 1929-17 November 2018

Born: 20 February 1929, Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1965, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 17 November 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier's, Uper Gardiner Streey community at the time of death.

by 1950 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1971 at Coventry, England (ANG) working
by 2007 at Annerly, London (BRI) working
by 2011 at Beckenham, Kent (BRI) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/kieran-barry-ryan-sj-a-gifted-marriage-counsellor/

Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ: a gifted marriage counsellor
Fr Kieran Barry-Ryan SJ died peacefully after a short illness in St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin on Saturday, 17 November 2018 aged 89 years. His funeral took place in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner Street in Dublin on 20 November followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Born in Cappaghwhite, County Tipperary, Fr Kieran was educated in Ireland and England before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, Country Laois in 1947. His Jesuit training included studies abroad in France and Zambia, and he was ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin in 1960.
As a Jesuit priest, Fr Kieran taught Religion at Bolton Street DIT in Dublin and was a member of the Gardiner Street community for many years. He was deeply involved in marriage and family ministry. He identified a great need for this work, helping to set up pre-marriage courses, writing the material for them, and training those who would give them.
Fr Kieran said that the most challenging part of marriage and family ministry was encouraging the trainers to reflect and draw on their own experience of faith and prayer. Rather than focusing simply on human development which had a strong gravitational pull for people, he helped to nourish and develop the religious heart of the sacrament of marriage.
He lived in England from 1997 to 2013 where he continued his popular pre-marriage courses. He became known as a wise and kind presence to the many couples and families who were referred to him. Later, he was a Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home in Kent, England.
The Irish Jesuit returned to Gardiner Street community in 2013 and spent his last four years in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin where he prayed for the Church and the Society. He died in St Vincent’s Hospital while being surrounded by his family and friends.
Dr Chris Curran, who is working on the Loyola Institute initiative, was a friend who attended the funeral on 20 November. He remarked that Fr Kieran, fondly known as ‘Kerry’, was a person of good fun and laughter: a very good bridge player, a golfer, fluent in French, someone who worked very well with groups and who loved an argument.
“Kerry was a close family friend of very long standing”, said Dr Curran. “He was involved in the life of my family for many years where he officiated over the sacraments. He was dedicated and committed in particular to the marriage apostolate”.
Fr Kieran is sadly missed by his sisters Eileen Dooley, Wimbledon and Patricia MacCurtain, Jesuit confreres and friends. He is predeceased by his sister Maureen Lightburn. ‘Kerry’ was known to be a much loved brother, uncle, granduncle, priest and friend. He will be particularly remembered in Ireland, England and America.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at St Augustine’s, Ramsgate; Downside School, Bath; College of Surgeons, Dublin
1949-1951 Laval, France - Juniorate
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 St Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Regency : Teacher
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962 Teacher of Religion at Bolton St DIT, Dublin
1968-1970 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; teaching at Bolton St
1971-1976 Leeson St - Director of Marriage Courses at CIR
1976-1997 Gardiner St - Assisting in Church; Marriage & Family Apostolate; Marriage Counselling & Courses
1988 Director of Church Apostolate
1991 Sabbatical
1997-2009 Annerley, London, England - Parish Work; Marriage and Family Apostolate at St Anthony of Padua Church
2009-2013 West Wickham, Kent, England - Chaplain to Emmaus Nursing Home
2013-2018 Gardiner St - Sabbatical
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Bartley, Patrick, 1879-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/61
  • Person
  • 05 December 1879-09 May1941

Born: 05 December 1879, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 May 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1903 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1906 in Saint Joseph’s College, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 3 1941

Obituary :
Father Patrick Bartley
Fr. Patrick Bartley was born near Boher (Grange), in Co. Limerick on December 5, 1879. He attended Crescent College, Limerick as a day pupil for some years, but at the early age of fifteen he entered the Noviceship (Tullabeg) in 1894. After the Noviciate he crossed over to the Juniorate in the same house, commencing his studies for the Royal University of Ireland examination which he passed with high distinction till he obtained his M.A. Degree (Classical) in 1901. He was then sent to St. Helier in Jersey, where he studied Philosophy for two years. In 1904 he was appointed to Belvedere College, Dublin, as teacher, Assistant-prefect of Studies. But in the following year he was one of a small group chosen to study Oriental Languages at the University St. Joseph, Beirut, Syria. In 1906 he returned to his native land - and county - acting again as teacher for two years in Mungret College, Limerick (1907-1909). In September, 1909, he began the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was destined to spend most of the rest of his life. He finished his Theological course there in 1912. Tertianship in Tullabeg followed immediately (1912-13), after which he was again sent to Mungret College to resume his teaching career and act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. In 1915 he was appointed professor of Church History and Hebrew in Milltown Park. In 1918 he became professor of Philosophy, helping to inaugurate our Irish Philosophate. When this was transferred to Tullabeg in 1922 he took over the chair of Scripture in Milltown Park, which with Hebrew remained his appointed task till the end. From 1923 onwards he also acted as Prefect of Studies. On May 9, 1941, he died. Such in outline was his career; and it shows that he was preeminently a student and scholar, leading what Cicero calls the vita umbratilis. It gives, however, but an inadequate idea of the depth of his erudition or the singular charm of his character. Only those who had the privilege of living in intimate daily intercourse with him could fully appreciate either his encyclopaedia knowledge, which a marked reserve together with a deep humility concealed from unobservant eyes, or that gentleness of disposition which made him one of the most loveable of men. It may be doubted if anyone ever detected the least manifestation of anger on his part by as much as a gesture. This did not spring from weakness of character or the lack of decisive views. On the contrary, for he had very strong convictions and a quiet obstinacy all his own. But he lacked inclination towards or aptitude for any kind of strife. It would have been difficult to pick a quarrel with him, if anyone ever had the desire, which was never the case. No doubt much of all this serenity was natural to him, the result of a wise sagaciousness which made him see the foolishness of all brawling. But there was obviously much more than that in the unwavering victory of good humour, kindliness and tolerance over all the instability, pettiness, jealousy and selfishness which seem to adhere to the very bones of fallen humanity. Father Bartley was as little given to parading piety as to parading learning. Yet one felt that it was there, deep, solid and efficacious, making one who was by nature a gentleman, by grace an every way admirable and wholly religious. The patience with which he bore the more than ordinary share of sickness that came his way was further proof of this. As a quite young man he appeared to 'enjoy perfect health. In his early years in Tullabeg he was both fond of, and skilled in, all out-door sports and recreations. Tall, lithe and very swift of foot. he excelled in football and tennis, while he was an excellent swimmer and one of the champion walkers of the community. But before he had finished his University studies - while preparing for his M.A. degree - he began to suffer from some internal trouble which necessitated at least one major operation and some lesser ones. To outward appearance he made a complete recovery. Yet it was soon apparent that the old physical energy and vitality were gone. He grew more and more sedentary in his habits as the years went by, until a short solitary walk was almost all the exercise he cared for. Falling a little into flesh in consequence, he had the air of one with whom all 'was not well in spite of his impressive size and fine appearance. Yet no word of complaint was ever heard from him, and until forced to take a change or a rest by the doctor, he kept so consistently to the even tenor of his days, and, above all, was so cheerful and good tempered, that few would suspect him of being ill at all. Only towards the end did his looks betray how rapidly he was ageing and failing. And even in his last sickness, when it was clear that he could not recover, he retained to the end the tranquil serenity which had always characterised him. His whole life was of a single pattern - but a rare and noble one. Few men of his calibre can have lived quite so unknown to the outside world. But few will be more regretted or missed in the circle where he moved.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Bartley 1879-1941
Fr Patrick Bartley was born near Boher County Limerick on December 5th 1879. He entered the Society at the age of fifteen in 1894. Having read a brilliant course in the Royal University Dublin, he studied Oriental languages for some years in the University of Beirut.

From 1915-1941 he spent his life in Milltown Park as Professor of Scripture and Prefect of Studies. A man of child-like simplicity, in spite of his great intellectual ability, he was ever regarded with affectionate respect by generations of theologians at Milltown Park.

He died on August 9th 1941, some years before his brother and fellow Fr Jesuit Stephen Bartley.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Patrick Bartley SJ

Past students who were in Mungret in the years 1907-09, and 1914-15 will learn with regret of the death of Father Patrick Bartley SJ. Father Bartley was educated at the Sacred Heart College, Crescent, Limerick, and entered the Society of Jesus in 1894. He was a brilliant classical scholar, taking out his BA degree at the Royal University with first places in Greek and Latin, and subsequently his MA degree in the same subjects. After completing his course of Philosophy he then went to the East and spent two years at the University of Beirut, Syria, studying Oriental languages. On his return to Europe he joined the teaching staff at Mungret where he taught classics to the 1st and 2nd Arts classes. After his ordination he spent a year at Mungret.

In 1915 he was appointed to the staff of Milltown Park, where he filled the post of Professor of Hebrew and Sacred Scripture as well as lecturing on Philosophy and Theology. After an illness borne with exemplary patience and fortitude he died, on May 9th, 1941.

Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/62
  • Person
  • 25 December 1890-17 May 1955

Born: 25 December 1890, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 17 May 1955, St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin

Part of St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois community at the time of his death.
by 1911 at Cividale del Friuli, Udine Italy (VEM) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 30th Year No 3 1955

Obituary :
Father Stephen Bartley 1890-1955
Born on Christmas Day, 1890, at Grange (Boher), Co. Limerick, Fr. Stephen Bartley was educated at the Crescent and entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1906, where he also did his juniorate before going to Cividale in Italy for philosophy. His years of regency were spent in Clongowes and in 1922 he was ordained at Milltown Park. With the exception of one interval as Minister in Milltown his whole priestly life was to be spent in Tullabeg, where he was Minister, Procurator and Rector, and in Emo, where he was Procurator for the last eleven years of his life. He died in St. Vincent's Hospital on May 17th.
Many of the qualities that went to make the man as we knew him came with the boy Stephen Bartley from the Co. Limerick farm: a traditional Irish Catholic faith, simple and undemonstrative though rooted deep; a loyalty to men and causes that, once given, was unwavering; a reserve shy to the: verge of secretiveness; an asceticism which had much of stoicism; a memory retentive of facts and a keen mind to order them; an eye for the best in man and beast and soil and a shrewd sense of money which, while never mean, had the millionaire's conviction of the value of a farthing. Those were talents out of the ordinary and within the limits of chronic ill-health-and at times beyond Stephen Bartley traded with them to the full. As Minister, Rector and Procurator he served the Province and the three houses in which his life was lived with devoted loyalty; and few, if any, excelled him in the heroic art of reading the greater glory of God from the prosaic pages of journals and ledgers. His antique battered fountain-pen has the quality of a relic. Barred from the pulpit by ill-health he was to find in the Confessional the spiritual outlet for his zeal. For 17 years his “box” in the People's Church in Tullabeg was a place of pilgrimage; and it would be hard to overestimate the veneration and esteem in which people of every walk in life held him. In Emo he became the valued confessor and confidant of the local clergy and he directed and consoled by letter many of the clients of his Tullabeg days. Many too are those in his own communities who must bear him lasting gratitude for his prudent and kindly guidance. Heroic in the quality of his hidden service to the Society and to souls, he was no less heroic in his acceptance of almost constant discomfort and suffering, Only in the last years of his life was it possible to get round him to make any real concession to his needs. His fire was a community joke; the few medicines he bothered to take were asked for with the simplicity of a novice; he had to be forced to take a holiday. It is probably true to say that no one ever heard him complain - certainly not of anything that concerned his personal requirements.
His very deep love for the Society found a suitable expression in his devotion to community life. His pleasure in recreation was a pleasure to see and save, when overwhelmed by numbers, he took full part in it. Secretly addicted to the reading of P. G. Wodehouse and Curly Wee, he had an unexpected turn of humour that stood him in good stead when parrying the recreational thrusts of his brethren or avoiding coming to too close quarters with some importunate query or request. His answers in such dilemmas have become part of the Province folk-lore. To a Father commiserating with him on the poisoning of a cow he replied gravely: “As a matter of fact, Father, we had one too many”. And after 20 years, one must still chuckle at the discomfiture of the scholastic who asked leave to go to a hurling match : “It wouldn't be worth it, Mr. X. All the best hurlers have gone to America”.
His peaceful and undemonstrative death was utterly in keeping with his life. The humour perhaps was in grimmer key when he begged his Rector not to allow an operation: “I'm not an insurable life, Father”. But his life's dedication to obedience's appointed task was all of a piece. Almost the last words he spoke were: “Everything will be found in order. I have brought the books up to date”. We cannot help being convinced that they are echoed in eternity.

Bates, Stephen, 1906-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/485
  • Person
  • 26 December 1906-27 June 1990

Born: 26 December 1906, Rahan, County Offaly
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1939, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 27 June 1990, Dublin

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.

Full Name James Stephen Bates

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

Begley, Henry, 1835-1893, Jesuit priest

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

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

In HIB by 1871 making Tertianship at Milltown Park

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

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

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

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

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

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bohan, Edmund, 1862-1883, Jesuit scholastic

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

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

Early Irish Australian Mission 1882

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

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

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

Bonfield, Francis, 1911-1988, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

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

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988
Obituary

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

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

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

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

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Bourke, Gerard, 1926-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to JPN : 16 December 1960

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

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

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

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

Bourke, John Stephen, 1876-1969, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to AsL : 05 April 1931

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bourke, Thomas, 1909-1990, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

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

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

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

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

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

Bowe, John, 1848-1883, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

Boyd Barrett, Edward J, 1883-1966, former Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA N5
  • Person
  • 1883-1966

Edward John Boyd-Barrett

Entered: 7 September 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Left: 23 September 1925
Died: 14 August 1966, Infirmary of the Jesuit Community at the University of Santa Clara, California, U.S.A.

Boylan, Eustace, 1869-1953, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/937
  • Person
  • 19 March 1869-17 October 1953

Born: 19 March 1869, Dublin
Entered: 07 November 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1902
Professed: 15 August 1905
Died 17 October 1953, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1897 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1889
by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1905 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He entered the Society at Dromore, Northern Ireland under John Colgan.

1888-1889 He studied Rhetoric at St Stanislaus, Tullabeg
1890-1894 He was sent to Australia and St Aloysius Sydney, teaching fourth grade.
1895-1896 He taught at Riverview and was involved in Theatre, Choir, Music and Debating.
1897-1899 He was sent to Leuven for Philosophy
1899-1903 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1903-1904 He made Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium
1904-1906 He was Director and Editor of the Irish Messenger, taught and was Prefect of the Gymnasium at Belvedere College SJ.
1906-1919 Because of chronic bronchial problems he was sent back to Australia and Xavier College Kew. There he taught, was Hall Prefect, and Prefect of Studies from 1908-1917. He also edited the Xavierian 1915-1917, and wrote a popular school novel “The Heart of the School”, a light commentary on social life at Xavier.
1918-1949 He began his most remarkable position as Editor of the “Australian Messenger of the Sacred Heart” and “Madonna”. During this time he was stationed at St Patrick’s, Melbourne, where he also served as rector and Prefect of Studies from 1919-1921. He also held the job of National Director of the “Apostleship of Prayer” and promoter of the Marian Congregation within the vice-Province. During this time he built a fine entrance hall and science block, which also contained the Messenger building.
1949-1953 His final years were spent at Canisius College Pymble, where he continued to write.

Throughout his life he was afflicted with deafness, and soon after Ordination he became almost totally deaf. He continued to give retreats and hear confessions, but it was only late in life that he received real help from hearing aids. He had a most joyful nature that endeared him to people. He was a good writer, a fine editor and a popular retreat giver.

Note from Vincent Johnson Entry
Father Eustace Boylan did not seem to have the necessary financial acumen to balance the books, but Johnson soon sorted out the financial situation and restored balance to the financial department.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 29th Year No 1 1954

Obituary :
Father Eustace Boylan (1869-1953)
On October 17th, the Feast of St. Margaret Mary, Father Boylan, who had devoted so many years of his life to spread of devotion to the Sacred Heart, died at Canisius College, Pymble.
He was born in Dublin in 1869 on the feast of St. Joseph, was educated at Belvedere College and entered the Novitiate at Dromore, Co. Down, on 7th November 1886. Four years later he went to Australia and spent the next six as master at St. Aloysius' and Riverview Colleges in Sydney. He studied philosophy at Louvain and theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1903.
He made his Tertianship at Tronchiennes, and then became editor of the Messenger of the Sacred Heart, and taught as well at Belvedere, during the years 1905-7. In the following year, owing to bronchial trouble he was transferred to Australia and was prefect of studies at Kew College 1908-18. In the latter year began his long association with St. Patrick's, Melbourne, where he was Rector during the years 1919-22 and editor for 32 years of the Australian Messenger. For 30 years he edited as well the Madonna, organ of the Sodality, and was National Director of the Apostleship of Prayer. His rare literary talents were thus given full scope. In addition to regular editorial articles, he found time to write many booklets on religious and apologetical subjects. His pamphlet on the Inquisition was a best seller. He was author of two well-known works of fiction : Mrs. Thunder and Other Tales and a 400-page school story dealing with Kew College, entitled The Heart of the School, which was hailed by competent critics as the finest school story since Tom Brown's School-Days. His latest work, entitled What is Chastity, which suggests a method of instructing the young in the matter of purity, will appear shortly from the publishing house of Clonmore and Reynolds.
Fr. Boylan represented the Australian Province at the Jesuit Congress held in Rome in the autumn of 1948 in connection with the work of the Apostleship of Prayer and on that occasion he spent some months in our Province. He was an ardent admirer of the late Fr. Henry Fegan, who had been his master in the old days, and during his stay in Dublin Fr. Boylan gathered material for a Memoir of his patron, and for that purpose interviewed many who had known Fr. Fegan well, both Jesuits and laymen.
Admirers of Fr. Boylan claimed for him the distinction of having won for himself the widest circle of real friends ever formed in Australasia : a large claim, assuredly, but, given his genius for friendship and the opportunities that were his during a long and busy life, that claim may not be unfounded. Certain it is that his long association with the Messenger and Madonna brought him into thousands of homes.
The hope has been expressed that selections from his writings will be given permanent form in a Volume for publication ; his excellent prose writing would thus be preserved from oblivion to the advantage of the rising generation. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Eustace Boylan 1869-1953
On October 17th 1953, on the Feast of Margaret Mary, Fr Eustace Boylan, who had given so many years of his life to the devotion of the Sacred Heart, died at Canisius College, Pymble, Australia.

Born in Dublin in 1869, he was educated at Belvedere, and entered the Noviceship at Dromore in 1886.

After his ordination he was editor of the “Irish Messenger” from 1905-1907. Then owing to bad bronchial trouble he went to Australia.

In Australia he became Rector of St Patrick’s Melbourne 1919-1922. Retiring from the Rectorship he began his long career of 32 years as editor of the Australian Messenger and for 30 years editor of the Madonna. He was a prolific writer. His pamphlet on the Inquisition was a best seller, while his school story “The Heart of the School”, was hailed by critics as the finest school story since “Tom Brown’s Schooldays”.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1954

Obituary

Father Eustace Boylan SJ

Fr Eustace Boylan, who died in Australia last October, brings us back a long way in our search for his first connection with Belvedere. It was in 1884 that he came to the College, and after two years he entered the Society where he was to give 67 years of devoted service to God. It has been pointed out to us that last year's “Belvederian”" unwittingly overlooked his distinction of being the oldest living OB. This he undoubtedly was at the time the article concerned was written, and had he lived to read it, we can well imagine the chuckle with which Fr Eustace might have said: “I am not dead yet”. Alas, he himself had corrected the error two months before publication, and had handed on his distinction to his old school-mate, Fr Lambert McKenna.

After the usual training Fr Boylan was ordained in 1903. In 1905 he was back here to teach and to edit the Messenger of the Sacred Heart for two years. It was at that time that the late Fr Bernard Page, then a Scholastic, founded and was the first Editor of the “Belvederian”. He was indeed fortunate in having by his side Fr Boylan, who had already begun a lifetime of editing.
Fr Boylan left his native Dublin in 1907 for Australia, where he had earlier spent some years teaching. This time he was to remain, beginning as Prefect of Studies and Master in St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne. In 1919 he became Rector and Prefect of Studies of St. Patrick's College in the same city, and a few years later he began 32 years as Editor of the Australian Messenger of the Sacred Heart, during 30 of which he also edited the Madonna. Throughout this period he lectured and wrote books and pamphlets with considerable success, but his principal work was always the Messenger, and we conclude with part of an appreciation which appeared in it after his death.

Father Boylan was a merry man. He had no place for the gloomy or pessimistic view of things. Perhaps this was because he never ceased to have the heart of a boy. He knew the boy's heart well and was at his best describing it. He had the power of seeing the humour of things quickly, and his vivid imagination would work on any odd phrase or act and draw the greatest fun from it. His optimism, which led him always to see the best of things, together with his childlike simplicity, prevented him from ever being cynical in his judgment of others.

Eustace Boylan has gone to his reward : the reward of a life of 84 year's lived for God. Before him have gone the works of those years, the Masses offered and Sacraments conferred innumerable times, students helped through difficulties, and sinners helped to Grace, troubled souls counselled and encouraged; partners helped on to marriage and many lives brightened. If the Kingdom of Heaven is for those who are as little children, he enters truly into his glory. May he rest in eternal peace."

Boyle, Laurence, 1855-1881, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/938
  • Person
  • 08 September 1855-

Born: 08 September 1855, County Derry
Entered: 30 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 11 January 1881, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR, 1877

◆ Was noted as having LEFT Novitiate in 1877, but in fact joined the Turin Province and went to California to complete his noviceship.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Joined Turin Province and went to finish Novitiate in California

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/849
  • Person
  • 03 September 1935-15 April 2014

Born: 03 September 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1973, College of Industrial Relations, Dublin
Died: 15 April 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1970 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-economist-honoured/

John Brady SJ was conferred with an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland on Friday 20 Nov,’09. Many former colleagues, Jesuits and friends were there to celebrate his achievement. John Brady SJ spent thirty years of his life at the NCI which was formerly known as the National College of Industrial Relations, based in Ranelagh. According to Dr Tony White of the Milltown Institute, who gave the citation, John Brady was a moderniser. He said it was mainly during his time that the college moved from being a college of adult education to a mainline third-level institution. He also oversaw the employment of lay staff along with Jesuits.”That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist!” Click here to read the full text of Tony White’s speech.
Citation for Reverend John Brady SJ on the occasion of the conferring of an Honorary Fellowship by the National College of Ireland , 20 November 2009
It is very appropriate that we should today be conferring an honorary fellowship on Father John Brady. John Brady is somebody who has made an immense contribution to developing this college and bringing the National College of Ireland to its present position, and it is right that we should acknowledge this contribution in a tangible way.
John Brady is a northside Dubliner. He was educated at Kostka College in Clontarf. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1953. Following two years of novitiate at Emo he continued his studies of economics and history at University College Dublin where he graduated in 1958. Three years of the study of philosophy followed at Tullabeg, after which he spent four years teaching at Crescent College in Limerick and Belvedere College. He then went to Milltown Park to study theology and was ordained there in 1968.
He came to this college in 1970; at that time it was known as the National College of industrial Relations and was located in Ranelagh. He would remain a member of the college staff for thirty years. During his first two years he completed a master’s in economics at University College Dublin. In 1972 he was appointed Director of the College and he held that position for ten years.
John Brady was a moderniser. During his time as Director NCIR made the transition from being primarily a college of adult education to becoming a mainline third-level college. The College had opened as the Catholic Workers College in 1951, and it developed from the skills and contacts of a small and remarkable group of Jesuits in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most of them were still at the College when John joined the staff. He built on the tradition they had established. He consolidated relations with the social partners, and the National College of Industrial Relations became a meeting point for unions and management. John Brady helped to make it very much a crossroads and a good place for what we now call networking.
The College built up a unique niche for itself in industrial relations nationally. John had the diplomatic skills to enable the College to maintain good relations and respect with both sides of industry, no mean achievement in the Ireland of that time. The traditional links with the trade union movement which had been there from the beginning were built on further , and in addition the College became a nationally recognised centre of excellence for teaching what was then referred to as personnel management, and what is today called human resource management.
That was the point at which the College made the transition to becoming a third level institution. John Brady saw the need for external accreditation and recognition of the College’s awards and under him NCIR had its first experience of state recognition with the National Council for Educational Awards, the forerunner of what is now HETAC The National Diploma in Industrial Relations Studies achieved recognition in 1976. This was a major breakthrough because there were at that time many, including a number of influential public servants, who were reluctant to see private colleges like this college achieving state recognition. Under John planning also began on the next phase, which was the move upwards to degree work which took place in the 1980s. These steps constituted the largest and most important transformation in the College’s history and they happened under John’s leadership.
While John was the driver in transforming the College into a third level institution and meeting all the quality inputs, demands and targets that this required, it was also a priority for him that the College would not neglect its roots and that its newly acquired status would not choke the important role which it had always given to access, to looking after those who were often overlooked by the rest of the higher education system. For him the commitment to access, to ensuring that people could have a second chance at achieving their potential, was something of a mission. He ensured that this would remain a college where so far as possible every individual, regardless of what their previous educational history had been, would be afforded an opportunity to develop their full potential. More than anyone else he helped maintain that balance which saw this college achieve genuine third level status, while at the same time maintaining that commitment to offering a very wide level of access to higher education that has put NCI into the unique position nationally which was recognised by the OECD report in 2004.
By the same token John was good at spotting talent, and good also at letting people have their head. In his time as Director the staff grew significantly and he was the one who introduced the first cohort of lay staff. Previously the staff had been almost exclusively Jesuit. That expansion of course increased the cost base but John’s skills extended to ensuring that the College increased its financial resources to pay for this expansion. He may have had a vow of poverty, but he understood money. After all he is an economist.
John Brady has also during his career been a regular contributor to newspapers and journals on economic and social matters. His primary interest was economics, but he was one of those economists whose scope was wide and who wrote on political economy and the social impact of economic decisions and trends. He was also one of those people who reflected and wrote about how the problems of Northern Ireland might eventually be brought to resolution. He was not just a highly practical and effective administrator but by his writing and his activity in the public arena he helped to create the acceptance of this college as one where serious scholarship and intellectual reflection took place.
Asked what characterised John Brady, one of those who worked with him in the early years of the College suggested that he was somebody who offered calm leadership to very strong individuals. He is indeed a calm, gentle and courteous man, a widely – read man and someone with a great interest in music. You are liable to bump into him regularly at the National Concert Hall. Nevertheless behind that gentle exterior there was the passion, the determination, the steel and the vision that tend to be marks of successful leaders of complex institutions like this College.
It is fitting then that this serious scholar and far-seeing manager should be numbered among the honorary fellows of this College, and it is my privilege and pleasure to commend Father John Brady SJ for this distinction.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

3 September 1935 : Born in Dublin
Early education at Holy Faith Convent and Kostka College
7 September 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1957: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1957 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1963: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1963 - 1965: Belvedere College - Teacher
1965 - 1969: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10 July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1970 - 1984: College of Industrial Relations
1970 - 1972: Lecturer; Post-grad. Studies in Economics (MA from UCD)
1973 - 1982: Director of CIR; Lecturer
15 August 1973: Final Vows
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical year
1983 - 1984: Lecturer in Economics at C.I.R.
1984 - 2014: Gonzaga College - Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer
1987 - 1994: Lecturer in Economics at NCR; Writer; Research Lecturer
1994 - 2000: Chaplain and Lecturer in Economics at NCIR; Writer; Research
2000 - 2001: Writer; Research Lecturer
2001 - 2004: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Sacred Space contributor
2004 - 2010: Co-ordinator, Cherryfield Lodge; Prefect of Health; Writer
2010: Prefect of Health. Assistant Chaplain Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus
2010 - 2011: Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge; Writer, Emeritus Lecturer at NCI
2011 - 2012: Emeritus Lecturer at National College of Ireland.
2012 - 2014: Resident, Cherryfield Lodge. Prayed for the Church and the Society

Fr. Brady was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 26th October 2012 when he needed nursing care. His condition deteriorated over time, more so over the last couple of months. He died peacefully before 6:00 am on l5th April 2014. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Fr John Brady died in Cherryfield Lodge on 15 April, at the age of 78. The big crowds at his Removal and Funeral Mass were a reminder of his range of interests, and of the affection with which so many regarded him. He was educated at an interesting school with Jesuit roots, Kostka College in Clontarf, founded and managed by Louis Roden who had been a Jesuit novice. John entered the Jesuits at 18. Son of a civil servant, with roots in Cavan and Meath, his Jesuit life was mainly centred round the College of Industrial Relations, where he was first a lecturer in Economics, then director of the college from 1973-1982, then, for a further 17 years, lecturer and chaplain. His publications, in clear and dispassionate prose, centred mainly on questions of economic and social policy, in the Republic and in Northern Ireland.

He had joys and interests outside his work, notably in art, tennis, music and sailing (he was active in the Glénans organisation, first as an apprentice sailor, later as an instructor). John was open-minded, supportive of younger colleagues, and with a keen curiosity about the world he lived in. As a scholastic in Crescent College in 1962, he had shown a capacity for strategic thinking and action. Brendan Staunton, then a Fifth Year pupil, remembers how John was introduced to the tennis team as their new coach. “He looked the part, with his dazzling head of blond hair. His speaking style however was new to us, and his knowledge of tennis sounded esoteric, most un-Limerick-like. The team progressed to the final, in which they beat Glenstal. At a school assembly John Brady was acclaimed for his shrewd knowledge of the game and his team. What we didn't realise until well after our win was something John Brady did behind the scenes. Glenstal had played their previous rounds on hard courts. John quietly managed to have the final played on grass, in the Club where four of the team were members. And that made all the difference!”

In his homily at John's Requiem Mass, Bill Toner noted the same capacity for strategic thinking:

I was only head-hunted once in my life, and that was by John, who had just been appointed Director of the College of Industrial Relations. He was very strategic in his approach to the job. One aspect of that was that he kept an eye out for young Jesuits who might be persuaded to work in the College. I had studied accountancy in my younger days, and John had just finished designing a National Diploma course in industrial relations which included a subject called 'Financial Control Systems'. So I was quickly in his sights. Anyway the result was that I spent 17 happy years in the CIR, and for the first seven John was my boss.

John was great to work with. When I look back at it now I imagine he must have found me insufferable at times, but he never showed it. He was very humble, and that is why the Beatitudes came to me when I was suggesting a Gospel for the Mass. Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth. I was full of new ideas when I arrived and I must have frequently strayed onto his patch, but he never pulled rank or said I am the boss here. He seemed to enjoy the contribution made by the various young Turks, Jesuit and lay, who came to work in the College. He was not himself a revolutionary by temperament, but he was greatly fascinated by people who wanted to shake things up and rock the boat and was always ready to give them their head. The result was that there was a great atmosphere of freedom and bold ideas in the College. Lecturers were, to my knowledge, never reined in. If a lecturer was reported to have said something outrageous, rallying people to the cause of the class war or something like that, John would find it amusing rather than shocking. He presided every week at extraordinary faculty meetings - I mean extraordinary in the sense of bizarre rather than unscheduled - which Fr. Bill McKenna used to call the weekly blood letting. These were an occasion for outrageous statements and the taking of indefensible positions. I don't think John could always have found these amusing, but he presided over them with great calm and dignity. I think he regarded them as part of the cut and thrust of academic life. It is said that Henry Kissinger was once given a choice between being president of an American university or working to solve Vietnam conflict and he chose Vietnam as the less stressful of the two. In the end indeed the pressures of being Director of the College for nine years began to tell on John and he gave up the job in 1981, confining himself after that to lecturing in economics.

As Director, John had a great relationship with the students. He took very seriously the characteristics of Jesuit education which have been developed over centuries. In the current Jesuit document on education we can read: The human person, understood in the context of his or her eternal destiny, is the central focus of the Jesuit college. Jesuit education insists on individual care and concern for each person. It invites each student onto their unique journey of personal, moral and spiritual development. Our Mission is to help the students grow holistically. John really believed in that. He encouraged us on the staff to get to know all the students personally, never regarding meetings with individual students as a waste of time. In the early days many of the trade union students had left school at 14 but John was always quick to spot potential and he would talk to them and encourage them to go as far as they could and as far as they wanted to. Many people owe the flowering of their personal academic development to the College and to John. John brought the same concern for the personal care of students to his work as a member of the board of Greendale Community School in Kilbarrack.

John was every inch a Jesuit. He loved the Society. I could say that he was very faithful in going to functions in various Houses, but it was much more than that – he really enjoyed meeting the brethren. In fact he was exceptionally good at meeting people from all walks of life and maintaining firm friendships. He had great friends in the trade union movement, and also in management. John was not naïve. He knew that there were many people in the trade union movement who didn't trust the College and what it was doing, seeing it as an effort to de-radicalise the trade union movement. On the other hand he knew that there were employers and managers who didn't like us because we were giving their workers strange ideas and teaching them to speak up for themselves. The college brought many of these people, managers and union officials, together under the one roof. I can remember one occasion when the lights were on all night in the college. It marked a pause for breath during an E.S.B. strike. The College was chosen as a neutral venue where the E.S.B. unions and management could hammer out an agreement, which they did at 7 a.m. A number of commentators, some critical and some not, have suggested that the College played an important role in developing the concept of partnership in the conduct of industrial relations in Ireland. Although national wage agreements may now be a thing of the past, they probably played a crucial role in the steadying of the ship after some of the disastrous and destructive labour and management disputes of the 60s.
It is interesting to note that seven national wage agreements were negotiated during the period that John Brady was Director of the College. Although John was not directly involved in these, he and the College were definitely making a contribution, big or small, to the creation of a climate where people in industry could talk to one another. John had so many interests outside the College that it would be impossible to list them all. He was a man of deep culture. He had Norah McGuiness paintings hanging in the College tea room before most people had even heard of Norah McGuiness. He loved the theatre and good books. He was passionately interested in politics. He came to the College just as the conflict in Northern Ireland broke out, and he was a leading member of the Jesuit network, Jesuits in Northern Ireland, where he made very thoughtful contributions, with interesting angles on difficult questions. Blessed are the peacemakers - John tried his best to be a peacemaker whether in the field of industrial relations or in the Northern Ireland conflict.

John's basic discipline was economics, and he did his master's degree in the economics of transport in Ireland, a subject which fascinated him. He was an academic in the best sense of the world, not because he liked arguing about arcane concepts, but because he could see the power of ideas-and-solid-arguments to bring about change. He was a very popular lecturer in the college. Remarkably, considering his success as a Director, he suffered from a very bad stammer, and nothing showed the determination in his character more than his refusal to let that prevent him from doing anything he wanted to do, whether it was saying a public Mass, or giving a public lecture, or addressing the students at conferring. It was in itself a lesson to all of us not to let some real or imagined problem pull us down. Again, only a very humble person could deal with something like that – he was not too proud to let his fragility show.

John was a very generous person, and could rarely resist helping a poor person who asked him for help. Some would say that he was generous to a fault, but perhaps that accusation would also be laid at the feet of Jesus Christ. St Paul said of Jesus: "Christ died for the ungodly. Why, one will hardly die for a righteous man - but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners Christ died for us”. I don't think John's generosity was a fault that he needed to worry about when he went to meet his maker.

It was sad that John's last years were blighted so much by illness and by memory failure. A time like this is a good time to remember him at his very best, as a good and talented and prayerful Jesuit, to thank God for the contribution he made to the economic and cultural life of his country. We pray for the consolation of his relatives and friends, especially Luke, his brother, his sister in law Catherine, his niece Lisanne, and his nephew Colin. And we pray for John himself that he is now at eternal peace with God.

Bill Toner

Brady, John, 1878-1944, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/65
  • Person
  • 09 November 1878-14 April 1944

Born: 09 November 1878, Dublin
Entered: 18 March 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 April 1944, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 3 1944

Obituary :

Brother John Brady SJ (1878-1944)

After years of intermittent suffering, death came peacefully to Brother Brady on April 14th. He was born in Dublin on November 9th, 1878, and, after some years spent in the Railway Works at Inchicore, he entered the Society on March 18th, 1902. Already he was known to the Fathers at Gardiner St, where he was a faithful member of his sodality, and more than one of his co-sodalists of those days came to pay their last respects to his remains when they heard of his death.
After his novitiate, Br. Brady spent three years in Dublin at Gardiner St, and Belvedere, and the rest of his life was divided between Clongowes (seventeen years) and Milltown Park (sixteen years). During most of this time he was refectorian or dispenser, and those who had much to do with him in these capacities will long remember gratefully his remarkable efficiency and devotion to duty. With these qualities he combined an unfailing sense of humour which made him a doubly welcome member of any community to which he was attached. For many years he suffered from deafness, but never would he allow the Inconvenience so often caused by this physical defect to make him irritable or impatient - rather, a good joke and a hearty laugh were the familiar accompaniments of his conversation.
In the year 1938-39, Br. Brady had a very serious operation, and, owing to the state of his heart, could not be given the full anaesthetic. His wonderful courage on this occasion made the surgeon describe him later as the bravest man he had ever met. Those who had opportunities of knowing Br. Brady's deep spiritual life, shown especially by his regular observance, will appreciate whence came this courage. It supported him again through the last years of his life when he suffered from angina pectoris, and attacks of agonising pain seized him with increasing frequency. He never complained, and when able he continued to carry on his daily tasks.
A few days before the end, he had one of these attacks which kept him motionless near the hall-door of Clongowes for nearly half an hour while the Community were at dinner. That was on Sunday. On the following Thursday night, he was unable to lie down owing to the pain, and the next day he was anointed and sent by ambulance to hospital. There he had one violent attack but seemed to recover and was settling down to sleep. Then, almost unexpectedly and without pain, he died. But we may be confident that Almighty God has welcomed His good and valiant servant to his eternal reward. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Brother John Brady SJ

In “The Clongownian” of 1910, under “Choir Notes”, there is the following item, dated May 25th : “At 5.30 our less fortunate companions went to the study to discuss wall building with old Balbus or feast on Algebraical factors. We remained below to enjoy the fine menu provided by Br O'Grady. The table was very artistically decorated by Br Brady, who left nothing undone that could conduce to our comfort”.

There is something especially pathetic in this entry of thirty-three years ago, as both those mentioned have this year gone to their reward after lives spent in just those occupations that are mentioned in the entry.

With the exception of four years, Br O'Grady had been continuously in Clongowes from 1882 until his death last December. In spite, however, of that long connection of over sixty years, he was but little known to the boys of the school, though many, at least of the older generation, will remember him on the ice as a graceful and accomplished skater. His work was confined mostly to the kitchen and its environments where he laboured unostentatiously, but most effciently, during all those years. With the preparation of how many “feeds” he must have been connected! How many enjoyed the good things that he prepared without, perhaps, giving a thought to the hand that had prepared them and the care that had been lavished upon them ! But it was not for the thanks of those who benefited by his work that Br O'Grady laboured. He was a true religious and worked for a Master Who never fails to reward His faithful servants. Clongowes and its interests will be better served by Br O'Grady in heaven even than they were when he lived and worked amongst us.

Br Brady's connection with Clongowes was very much shorter than that of Br O'Grady, but it brought him into closer con tact with the boys, as he was for many years in charge of the refectory. He took a deep interest in them and in everything connected with them, even their games, especially the Line Matches. He possessed a great sense of humour, and a joke was ever ready to his lips.

Many will remember how his answer to the question “What second-course to-day, Brother?” was invariably “Plums”, whether or not these dainties were to appear ! For many years before his death he suffered from deafness, but that did not affect his cheerfulness, nor did even the ill-health of his last few years which he bore with great patience and resignation to the will of God.
May they rest in peace.

Brady, Patrick, 1922-1994, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/482
  • Person
  • 17 March 1922-23 August 1994

Born: 17 March 1922, Dublin
Entered: 02 July 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1953, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 23 August 1994, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 79 : Christmas 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary
Patrick (Paddy) Brady (1922-1994)

17th Mar, 1922: Born in Dublin
Education: Model School, Marlborough St.
2nd July 1943: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1945: First Vows at Emo
1945 - 1950: Rathfarnham, Refectorian
1950 - 1958: Mungret College, Limerick, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
15th Aug. 1953: Final Vows at Mungret College
1958 - 1959: Tullabeg, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1959 - 1968: Mungret College, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1968 - 1971: Milltown Park, Supervisor of Domestic Staff
1971 - 1994: Sacred Heart Church, Sacristan, St. John Berchman's Sodality, Assistant Promoter of Missions
1994: Treated for heart failure in St. Vincents and the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook. Discharged to Cherryfield
23rd Aug. 1994: Died at Cherryfield Lodge

Coming away from a funeral, a woman was heard to say to a friend: “Sure, he had a great way with him”. It would be difficult to come up with a better description of Paddy Brady in so few words.

Born in Dublin on St. Patrick's Day, 1922, Paddy Brady attended the Model Schools in Marlborough Street. He worked in Woolworth's for two years and went to Emo at the age of twenty one. For five years, 1945-50, he was stationed in Rathfarnham as refectorian, and from there he went to Mungret for eight years. The year 1968-71, when he joined the community of the Crescent Church. Thus of his fifty one years in the Society he spent forty in Limerick. Despite his long years there and his great love for the city, he remained very much a “Dub” all his life.

One of Paddy's characteristics was his remarkable capacity for making friends and keeping them. He had so many - who included Mungret boys who kept in touch with him for many years, Mungret staff members - several of whom he helped by finding positions for them, people who came to this church, and altar servers here, past and present. Indeed we all felt that none of us had the good rapport with so many people around that Paddy had. An unusually large number attended his funeral Mass, and for days afterwards tributes of appreciation poured in. One man, an old Mungret boy, told us that he had planned to fly to England on the day after Paddy's death, but put off his flight in order to be present at the funeral. Some time afterwards a man who had worked in Rathfarnham Castle in the 1940's called us to offer sympathies and gave us a copy (only a copy, for he still treasured the original) of a letter Paddy had written to him in 1946!

His cheery greeting and friendly manner were often commented on. He brought much encouragement to people and many came to him with their worries, sensing he was their friend and certain he would give them a listening ear. He liked a laugh and was not above playing practical jokes. During his Mungret years he took much pleasure in trying to best Paddy Coffey, a man who did not always appreciate having his leg (even his good one!) pulled,

In community he was very pleasant and congenial, and most obliging, gladly lending a hand here, there and everywhere. He was most reliable, and if he told you he would do something for you, you just knew that it would be done and you did not have to think about it twice. As sacristan he used to open the church door every morning at 7.00am and in his twenty three years here he was known to have missed out on that chore only once. He was an efficient sacristan and never failed to have everything ready for whatever the occasion.

He was a good entertainer, and on the night of his Golden Jubilee he and his brother Chris gave an amusing performance which had us all rocking with laughter. He was very close to the members of his family and liked to remind us that it was his father who had printed the 1916 Proclamation. This fact had given Paddy an entrée into political circles.

He was very much into sports, being an avid soccer fan with a strong allegiance to Liverpool. He was fond too of the horses, and indeed liked to follow on the TV screen football matches of every code.

For years he suffered from heart trouble and diabetes, but he soldiered on actively. Last April, feeling very depressed - which was so unlike his usual form - he went up to Dublin to see his family. Hardly had he arrived than he collapsed. His family brought him to Cherryfield, from where Ned Keelaghan had him transferred to St. Vincent's. His life was in the balance for some days and then he rallied somewhat. But if he did, he had another relapse a few days later, and this remained the pattern of his condition for the next four and a half months. He grew restless in hospital and was transferred to the Therapy Unit in the Royal Hospital. After a short stay, he went to Cherryfield but despite the wonderful care he received, he never really made headway. The awful depression continued and he did not have the will to win through. He died peacefully on the 23rd August.

Daniel Dargan

Brady, Peter, 1926-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/719
  • Person
  • 01 July 1926-22 October 2007

Born: 01 July 1926, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 22 October 2007, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 01 January 1968; HK to CHN : 1992

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1954 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Scholar and missionary to Hong Kong dies in homeland
Father Peter Brady
R.I.P.

Father Peter Brady of the Society of Jesus, died peacefully in Ireland on 23 October 2007 at the age of 81. A published writer and a teacher of ethics, he first set foot in Hong Kong in 1952, finally returning to Ireland in 2001.

Born on 1 July 1926, Father Brady joined the Jesuits in 1944, and earned a bachelors’ degree in philosophy at University College Dublin. He then came on mission to Hong Kong in 1952, where he spent two years studying Chinese and another year teaching at Wah Yan College, Wanchai.

Returning to Milltown Park, Ireland, he studied theology and was ordained on 31 July 1958. Two years later he arrived back in Hong Kong and took up the post of assistant to the editor of China News Analysis while continuing his Chinese studies. From 1961 to 1962 he lectured on the history of philosophy and sociology at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Aberdeen before heading for Melbourne, Australia, for a year to work on his masters degree in modern philosophy.

Upon his return to Hong Kong, Father Brady taught philosophy at the seminary as well as ethics at Wah Yan College in Kowloon.

Ethics would become his life’s work and he taught the subject at Wah Yan, until 1973, then subsequently at the seminary from 1973 to 1996.

He wrote and published several books which were also translated into Chinese: Practical Ethics (1970), Love and Life (1979), Introduction to Natural Family Planning (1980), Medical Ethics (1983) and Ethics (2001), as well as textbooks on ethics for secondary schools.

In later years Father Brady worked on weekends at St. Joseph’s Church in Central, where he made many friends. He had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

In 2001, poor health saw him returning to Ireland where he stayed at a nursing home for Jesuits. He enjoyed receiving visitors from Hong Kong and kept up-to-date on the territory through the weekly editions of the Sunday Examiner.

A memorial Mass was celebrated for him at Ricci Hall Chapel on 10 November 2007.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 November 2007

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He joined the Society of Jesus in 1944. After the usual Jesuit studies graduating BA at UCD and then studying Philosophy, he was then sent to Hong Kong in 1952.

1952-1955 he began studding Chinese for two years before spending a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
1955-1958 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park, studying Theology and he was Ordained in 1958.
1960-1962 He returned to Hong Kong and took up a post as Assistant to the Editor of the China News Analysis, as well as continuing to study Chinese. He was then appointed to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen as a Lecturer in the History of Philosophy and Sociology.
1962-1963 He went to Australia where he graduated MA in Modern Philosophy (at Campion College, Kew, Australia)
1963 Returning to Hong Kong, he lectured at the Seminary in Aberdeen, and at the same time he was teaching Ethics at Wah Yan Kowloon (1965-1973).

According to Freddie Deignan : “During that time Peadar wrote and published several books which were translated into Chinese : “Practical Ethics” (1970); textbooks on Ethics for Secondary Schools : “Love and Life (1979), “Natural Family Planning” (1980), “Medical Ethics” (1983), and “Ethics” (2001). He also wrote many articles on sexual ethics and natural family planning for CMAC. In his latter years he loved his weekend apostolae at St Joseph’s Church, where he made many friends. he had a great sense of humour and was loved by everybody.

Due to ill health he left Hong Kong and went to Ireland in 2001, where he lived at the Jesuit nursing him in Cherryfield Lodge.

Brady, Philip, 1846-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/945
  • Person
  • 08 July 1846-05 January 1917

Born: 08 July 1846, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1889, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 05 January 1917, St Vincent's Hospital, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Part of the Tullabeg, Co Offaly community at the time of death

Older Brother of Thomas - LEFT 1872

Ent Milltown; Ord 1880;
by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1873 At Vals France (TOLO) studying
by 1874 at Brussels College Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1875 at Mount St Mary’s (ANG) Regency
by 1877 at St Francis Xavier Liverpool (ANG) Regency
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1886 at Roehampton London (ANG) Making tertianship
by 1904 at St Mary’s Rhyl (ANG) working
by 1905 at St Wilfred’s Preston (ANG) working
by 1907 at Lowe House, St Helen’s (ANG) working

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had a younger brother Thomas who also Entered, but left for the Dublin Diocese and was Ordained, but unfortunately at his parish in Dundrum he was thrown from his horse and killed instantly. He also had a half-brother John Brady CM, a Vincentian based at Phibsborough.

Early Education was at Castleknock College.

After his Noviceship he studied Rhetoric at Roehampton, and Philosophy at Vals, France.
He did his Regency at Mount St Mary’s (ANG)
1879 He was sent to St Beuno’s for Theology and was Ordained there.
After Ordination he was sent to Belvedere and Clongowes teaching for some years. He also taught for many years at Mungret and Galway.
He then joined the Mission Staff, and then went to work in the ANG Parish at Preston.
His last year was spent at Tullabeg. he had a serious deafness problem and an operation was advised. he died at the Leeson Street Hospital 05 January 1917, and buried from Gardiner St. A large number of Vincentians attended his funeral out of respect for his half-brother John Brady CM of Phibsborough.

Brangan, Gerald, 1912-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/67
  • Person
  • 24 April 1912-29 September 1978

Born: 24 April 1912, Kells, County Meath
Entered: 26 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1946, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 29 September 1978, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Gerald Brangan was the last of a family of four boys and three girls who grew up in the town of Kells, Co Meath in Ireland. The boys took their secondary school education at Clongowes Wood College and it was there that Gerald's vocation developed. He liked cricket and tennis and played them well. But it was on the golf links of his home town, in the company of his favorite brother Paddy, that his proficiency in the game was most admired.

Gerald had difficulties with the study of humanities even though he was intelligent and endowed with excellent judgment and much common sense. So it was with some relief that he moved on to Tullabeg for philosophy. His years at Tullabeg were happy ones. He was encouraged and guided in his study of philosophy by his former school friend Henry Fay, himself a very talented and kind scholastic. In fact, Gerry (as he was called) read widely in English, French and Spanish.

His regency years were spent at Belvedere College where he taught and had charge of the Junior Rugby and Cricket teams. These duties laid the foundation for many years of outstanding and distinctly priestly work among senior boys and other adults when, after tertianship, he returned to Belvedere as games master. He spent the greater part of his life in that post. During that time he was always approachable and helped many people by his advice and above all by his example.

Two of the three bishops who attended his obsequies had profited by it. Gerry was a priest and the work he did among footballs and cricket bats and referees' whistles was eminently priestly work. By his Christ-like gentleness and quiet winning manner he affected all with whom he dealt. After his time as games master, he returned to the teaching of religious knowledge to junior boys. This work must have been particularly difficult for one whose experience had been gained and talents exercised with much success among the older boys.

At this point in his life, he offered himself for a period of two years on the Zambian mission. Here again his kindness and gentleness won him many friends and endeared him to his parishioners. His work was pastoral, mainly in Roma parish, and a six month stint at the Sacred Heart parish in Kabwe. The warmth with which he was welcomed was a comfort to him. He felt very glad to be where he was wanted.

On his return to Ireland in 1974, he took up work in the diocese of Dublin. He was sent to a parish where the people understood him and he understood them. He also had the appreciation and sympathy of the parish priest. Steadfastly refusing to use a car, he walked every day through his district, visiting schools, making friends with children and teachers, chatting and sympathising with everyone he met. He revived devotions in the parish where they had lapsed, in spite of discouraging beginnings.

But the work took its toll. A heart attack laid him low. Hospital treatment and a rest gave him another year's respite and he struggled on. The end came quickly. At his funeral, a parishioner spoke the thoughts of many, saying "he radiated the gentleness of Christ and we all looked on him as a saintly soul".

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Obituary :

Fr Gerald Brangan (1912-1978)

Gerald Brangan was the last of a family of Clongownian brothers and it was in the Clongowes chapel and during retreats preached there by Fr Frank Browne and Fr Ernest Mackey that his vocation developed. At school he was known as a retiring boy, quiet but determined, and with much independence of character. In class he held a middle place and had to work hard to keep it; at games he showed only average promise, but he liked cricket and tennis and played them well. It was at home in Kells where he lived, the youngest child of a most Christian and affectionate family, that he was seen at his best and it was on the golf-course there that his proficiency in games was most admired.
As the end of school-days approached for him he felt a certain trepidation: he was weak in Irish and knew that a failure in that subject would deprive him of matriculation and so of entrance ot the Society, But Fr Andy O’Reilly, who was then a scholastic teaching in Clongowes, gave him special lessons and as a result Gerald passed without difficulty. This kindness of Fr O’Reilly’s he never forgot.
Difficulties began again at the university. Gerry was an intelligent man endowed with excellent judgement and much common sense, yet he found the humanities difficult. It was probably an extreme diffidence that handicapped him and he proceeded to Tullabeg without taking his degree.
The years of philosophy were happy ones and under the guidance of a great school-friend, Harry Fay (a very brilliant scholastic who died shortly afterwards in Milltown) he read widely in English, French and Spanish. For his colleges he went to Belvedere where he taught and had charge of the Junior Rugby and cricket teams.
After tertianship he returned to Belvedere as games master. He was to spend the greater part of his life in that post. It is easy to dismiss a man's life work in a sentence, and in Gerry's case it could be done, but only in externals. His influence can never be chronicled and the good he did is known to God alone and to those he helped in so many ways by his advice and above all by his example. Two of the three bishops who attended his obsequies had profited by it: the Archbishop and Dr. Dermot O’Mahony. He was a priest and the work he did among footballs and cricket-bats and referees whistles was eminently priestly work. They were the carpenter's tools of his Nazareth; and in plying them, by his Christlike gentleness and quiet winning manner, he affected all with whom he dealt. His powers of organisation were sometimes seen to be weak, but here the loyalty of colleagues helped him. With the boys he was apparently easy-going and tranquil, but when a question of good behaviour or honour or principle arose, all the steel in his character showed. Without this hidden strength he could not have won the respect and affection of so many generations of schoolboys and retained it when they had left school. In representing the school outside, in committees or games organisations, his quiet integrity and kindliness were much appreciated. In these circles he was known as a Jesuit of whom the Society could well be proud.
The circumstances of his change from this office which he had held for so long and in which he wielded so profound an influence were not unattended by humiliation for him, a suffering he had done nothing to deserve. This he accepted in his saintly way in the spirit of the eleventh rule of the Summary, showing that meditation on the third degree of humility is still necessary in these days of renewal.
Paradoxically however, a little consolation came from outside. Only his very closest friends were privileged to see the letters written by games-masters of schools all over Dublin. The warmest of these indeed were from Protestant schools and they showed much appreciation of all he had done to foster a spirit of gentlemanliness, fair play and sportsmanship in both cricket and Rugby. One such letter stated that he had changed the whole atmosphere of the world of schools cricket during his years in Belvedere. And of course, shortly before this change of office, he had been chosen to be one of the principal speakers at the inner to celebrate the centenary of Masonic School - surely a unique tribute to be a priest. The Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs also showed their great appreciation of all he had done for them.
He was next entrusted with the teaching of seven classes in religious knowledge in the Junior school. This of course would have been a trial to anyone in the autumn of life; for him, whose experience had been gained and talents exercised with much success among maturer boys, it was particularly difficult. While engaged in this task he may have reflected that in the old Society the teaching of small boys was considered an appropriate preparation for work among the savages of North America. Be that as it may, the missions came to his mind and he offered himself for a period of two years in Zambia. The warmth with which he was welcomed was a comfort to him. He felt very glad to go where he was wanted. Reports that reached home indicated that his gentleness and spirit of hard work endeared him to his parishioners there.
On his return to Ireland he was advised by his friends that work in the Dublin diocese would be most suitable for him and with the approval of superiors he appeared before a diocesan board. When he was asked where he would like to work, his answer was characteristic: “I wish to be sent somewhere I am wanted”. The diocesan authorities chose wisely. He was sent to a parish which he suited in every way. The people were of a kind that understood him and whom he understood and he had the appreciation and sympathy of the parish priest. Yet the work was hard: the pastor was burdened with much diocesan duty and Gerry’s fellow curate was on the point of abandoning his vocation, so a very great deal fell to his lot. “Fr Brangan will be killed by all the work he is doing”, a parishioner remarked, But there were many consolations. He was loved by young and old. Steadily refusing to use a car, he walked every day through his district, visiting schools, making friends with children and teachers, chatting and sympathising with everyone he met. He revived devotions which had lapsed and despite discouraging beginnings persevered doggedly until they again became popular. A new curate, who understood and admired him, arrived and was a great support to him.
But the work took its toll. A heart attack, the first signs of which he had ignored, laid him low. Hospital treatment and a rest gave him another year’s respite and he struggled on. Then the end came very quickly.
His funeral was a most moving ceremony; the words of the parish priest, the evident sense of loss felt by all, especially the young, showed how he had been revered and loved, “I should not like to be the priest who has to take Fr Brangan's place”, one of the clergy remarked to the bishop. A parishioner spoke the thoughts of many, saying: “He radiated the gentleness of Christ and we all looked on him as a saintly soul”. May his noble, gentle soul rest in peace with his loved Master.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1979

Obituary

Father Gerald Brangan SJ

Two absolutely delightful and totally unsolicited letters came to Belvedere in the weeks following the death of Fr Gerry Brangan. The first was from Salisbury in (then) Rhodesia, from Barney Flynn, who spent some time in Belvedere as a Jesuit Scholastic. The letter was the more moving in that it had crossed such a wide abyss of distance and time and culture. In a whimsical sense the other letter also crossed deep divides. Not only was it from a rival order, the Holy Ghost Fathers, but (darker and darker grows the deep), a Holy Ghost Father from 'Rock!! The latter writer wishes to remain anonymous apart from giving this address. They each agreed to allow their letters to be used as a tribute to this kind and gentle man, who would very often interrupt himself in mid sentence to apologise to you, if he thought he had slighted you in the first half of what he was going to say.

Happily we have a letter from Barney Flynn. It is not the one referred to above but a sequel to it. (The best planned filing schemes go all astray when someone else tidies one's room...). The letter from the Holy Ghost Father went the same way as the first letter from Salisbury, but it is worth recording that it was sent.

The rest of this notice is quotation from Salisbury:

Salisbury,
Rhodesia,
12th November, 1978

Thanks for your recent letter in which you say you would like to use my letter of condolence on the death of Gerry Brangan as the obituary in the 1979 Belvederian. I am overwhelmed: there must be other more gifted pens...... I add the following paragraphs, which, if you wish, you could add in ...

Fr Brangan was a dedicated Prefect of Games.. Under him, Belvedere became the leading school in Leinster Cricket ...

Fr Brangan did not think it beneath his dignity to teach the rudiments of the game to the tiny tots of Elements, nor to run the Tuck Shop to make a bit of money to buy bats and balls. I close my eyes and see him in the Gym at break, amid a bedlam of noise, doling out buns and soft drinks ...

Classroom teaching was not his forte. How often I saw him, already late for class, frantically searching for his pile of exercise copies, lost somewhere under the rubble that was his table. But a teacher teaches himself and his pupils were bles sed to have as mentor a master of all the qualities that make up a christian gentle-man. These qualities of sympathetic understanding, deep kindness and love for others, later won him the hearts of the people of St John Baptist parish where he spent his last years as a curate.

Fr Brangan's spiritual life was hid with Christ in God. He did not parade his piety but it was there to see in his actions. Once he said to me, years after he had left Belvedere: “Remember how I used to dash off most evenings after dinner? The brethren probably thought I was off on a skite. Actually, used visit an old lady who was very lonely”.

... It was fitting that Gerry Brangan and Tom O'Callaghan should go to heaven more or less together, as they formed such a fantastic team for so long. They were Belvedere rugby and cricket for many years, their influence on generations of boys incalculable. I think it would be fitting if their obituaries appear as one..

Do you happen to know the date of TOC's death? I keep a record of the death dates of all I have known to remember them on their anniversaries. ... The fact that I am no longer in the Society need cause no embarrassement. If you wish you may make my contribution anonymous, representing all the 's who worked in harness with Fr Gerry Brangan.

Barney Flynn.

◆ The Clongownian, 1979

Obituary

Father Gerard Brangan SJ

Gerard was the youngest of three brothers who came to School at Clongowes from Kells, and spent five years here. At the end of his schooldays he went to study for a degree at UCD, but before completing his degree, he entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Tullabeg. At the end of his Noviceship he studied Philisophy at Milltown Park, and when this course was completed he went to teach in Belvedere College. Then after a couple of years he returned to Milltown Park for his Theological Studies, and was ordained priest there on the 29th July 1943. At the end of his course he returned to Belvedere as games master, a post he held for the greater part of his life.

He made a great name for himself among all the schools in Dublin with which he had dealings, and when he retired he received many letters of commendation from the games-masters of other schools - the warmest from the Protestant Schools of the city. Shortly before he retired he had been chosen as one of the principal speakers at the dinner to celebrate the centenary of the Masonic School. The Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs also voiced their appreciation of all he had done for them. On retirement, he stayed on in Belvedere teaching in the Junior School.

Priests were badly needed in Zambia at this time, and so he volunteered to go out there for two years. On his return he learned that priests were urgently needed for parochial work in the Dublin Archdiocese; and so he offered his services once again, and was gladly accepted. He was assigned to the Clontarf Parish, and worked there for the last four years of his life. He was highly appreciated by the parishioners, and devoted himself especially to the care of the schools in the parish.

He worked hard and the exertion took its toll. A heart attack laid him low, but after some months in hospital he returned to the parish and struggled on for another year. The end came quickly and suddenly, and he died on the 29th September 1978. The large congregation at his funeral witnessed to how greatly he was appreciated in the parish. The Archbishop of Dublin and Dr O'Mahony presided at the obsequies. In earlier days they had both been under his care in Belvedere.

Brenan, Richard Henry, 1918-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/495
  • Person
  • 07 April 1918-31 December 1995

Born: 07 April 1918, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 31 December 1995, Gonzaga College, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1975 at Franklin Paris (GAL) teaching

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary
Father Richard Brenan SJ

Fr Richard Brenan SJ was born at Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny and came to Clongowes from CBC, Kilkenny. His course of Jesuit studies followed what was then the standard pattern: novitiate at St Mary's, Emo; an Arts degree at UCD, while residing in Rathfarnham Castle; philosophy at Tullabeg and theology at Milltown Park, after three years' teaching, in his case at Crescent College, Limerick, Dick was ordained on 31 July 1949. When he finished his theological studies the year after, he went to Paray-le-Monial in France to do his tertianship, the year of spiritual renewal which is the last stage of formal Jesuit training.

On his return from France he went to Mungret as prefect, teacher and gamesmaster for four years (1951-55) and then spent a further two years in Gonzaga fulfilling similar functions. After that he moved to the work of giving missions and retreats which occupied much of the rest of his life. He spent a decade in Tullabeg on the staff there and then two years at Milltown Park as assistant director of the retreat house. From 1969-74 he was assistant to the Novice Master at Manresa (for two years), vocations promotor and assistant director of the retreat house.

He spent 1974-75 on sabbatical in Paris and then resumed his work as a retreat-giver, first at John Austin House on North Circular Road in Dublin and finally at Rathfarnham Castle, where he was superior and director of the retreat house in the last three years of its existence as a Jesuit house (1982-85). When Rathfarnham closed he went to Leeson St as minister and assistant to the editor of The Messenger. Finally, in 1991, he went back to Gonzaga, where he continued to do some work for The Messenger and gave some pastoral assistance in the school.

Since the move to Gonzaga, there were periodic spells in the nearby Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, although he always managed to return to Gonzaga. It was there that he died on the last day of 1995, having managed to say Mass daily to the very end.

As the career outlined above suggests, Dick Brenan was a good and loyal servant of the Jesuit province, using his gifts in a variety of functions. He was a friendly, approachable man, with a gift for working with young people, despite a capacity to take himself some what seriously (”Brenan with one ‘n’” was a refrain familiar to his fellow-Jesuits!) While actively involved in the ministry, he found time to write a book on the Jesuit scholastic St John Berchmans, which sought with some success to make the image of the young Belgian more vivid and accessible. He also pursued his interest in photography.

He bore his infirmity at the end of his life with good humour and little fuss and died peacefully, although unexpectedly. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

Richard Brenan SJ
by Alex Brennan (5a)

I regret that I only came to know Fr Dick Brenan in the later years of his life at Gonzaga. At the time he was suffering from Friedrich's Ataxia, which caused a slow deterioration of his muscles. It was very distressing to see a man with such clarity of vision and dexterity of mind, crippled by such a de bilitating physical ailment. For the final two years of his life, Fr Brenan had become almost completely immobile. I know that he was greatly distressed when he became unable to enjoy fully the grounds of his beloved Gonzaga.

Richard Brenan was born in 1918 in Ballyragget, Co. Kilkenny. Educated at Clongowes Wood College, he joined the Jesu its at the age of 18 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1949. His first encounter with Gonzaga College was as a teacher in 1955. He remained for two years, before postings to Tullabeg, Milltown and Manresa. In 1974 he spent a year in Paris at L'Ecole St. Louis de Gonzaga.

In 1985 he was made Assistant Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and was based at the Jesuit House in Leeson Street, before returning to Gonzaga in 1991, where he re mained until his death.

In the company of his other great Jesuit colleague Fr. Frank Browne, Fr. Brenan had an abiding passion for photography, which remained with him well into his later years.
As a person, Richard Brenan was blunt and to the point. In contrast, his spirit and compassion commanded the respect of all who met him. I first encountered him as my religion teacher in Prep. 4. I was somewhat awe struck at the time by his control in class; while he had some difficulty in walking, his strength of personality shone through.

A class in First year cemented our friend ship of six years, disproving his modest suggestion that classes would "outgrow his company. Our friendship proved something of an enigma to many staff members who heard him joke that we were somehow related. It was not the case.

As our friendship developed I found in Fr. Brenan a confidant, someone to ask for advice, or simply an interesting companion with whom to pass an hour or two. He was always interested in anything I was involved in and his extensive learning made talking with him an enjoyable and educational experience.

I will always remember Fr. Brenan in a very special way. I know he will be remembered for his generosity of spirit and kindness to all. He had always promised to help me with my French as I approached the Leaving Cert.; I hope I can do justice to his faith in me.

Alex Brennan (5A)

Brennan, Brendan, 1910-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/68
  • Person
  • 01 September 1910-12 December 1968

Born: 01 September 1910, Eyrecourt, County Galway
Entered: 22 October 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 12 December 1968, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Cornelius changed to Brendan in HIB 1956

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 44th Year No 2 1969
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Brennan SJ (1910-1968)
On the night of Thursday, December 12th, at about 11.00 o'clock, Fr, Brendan Brennan passed to his eternal reward at St. Mary's, Emo. He was aged 58. He had returned to Emo only about a fortnight before his death, so, in a sense, he had come home to die, for he had spent most of his priestly life at Emo, 16 years in all, as Socius to the Master of Novices, and Minister. Brendan was born on May 22nd, 1910 at Eyrecourt, Co. Galway. He was the only son of Dr. John and Mrs. Brennan. He grew up with his two sisters in a deeply religious family in the quiet and peaceful setting of Eyrecourt. All these factors had an influence on the moulding and shaping of his character. He was deeply religious himself, though his religion was of the unobtrusive kind. He was quiet and unassuming and loved peace and quiet. This was why he loved Emo; life there was prayerful, regular, quiet and peaceful. He received his early education at the local school in Eyrecourt and in September, 1923 he entered Mungret College, with his cousin, Dominick Kearns of Portumna. He was quite clever and talented but, because of his shyness, he was inclined to hide his talents. He was an accomplished pianist as a boy, but very few realised this in after life. He took part in the school plays at Mungret, but who afterwards would have thought he had a talent for acting? At Mungret he made very satisfactory progress at studies and matriculated in June 1927. On September 1st of that year at the age of 17 he entered the Novitiate at Tullabeg with four of his Mungret classmates. Being an only son his parents found his decision to enter Religion a heavy cross, but they cheerfully made the sacrifice. During the Novitiate, his father died making Brendan's decision to proceed to his vows a difficult one. On September 2nd 1929 he took his first vows and went to Rathfarnham Castle. At first he was assigned to the University, but, shortly afterwards, he was permitted to join the home Juniorate Class, as he felt very diffident about taking a University Course. Thus he spent only two years in Rathfarnham. Many of his contemporaries, knowing his abilities, considered it was a mistake to have permitted him to give up the University, as this only increased his lack of confidence in himself in after years, especially as regards studies. From this time on his diffidence seemed to increase, though he was always quite competent in his studies and in any task assigned to him.
In 1931 he moved to Tullabeg, which in the meantime had become the Philosophate of the Irish Province, to begin his study of Philosophy and, when this was completed, he was sent to Belvedere to do his regency, Here he took his full share in teaching, in running games and clubs and other school activities. His great personal charm and winning smile proved irresistible to the Rector, Fr. Patrick Morris, with the result, he set an all-time high record in the number of Coffee days and Wine days he got for the Community, during the year he was Beadle. On the completion of his Regency, Brendan began his study of Theology at Milltown in 1937. He was ordained there in 1940 and did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1941-1942. After his Tertianship he began his long association with Emo for in 1942 he was appointed Socius to the Master of Novices, Fr. John Neary. Two years later he became Minister as well as Socius. These offices he held uninterruptedly until the Summer of 1951, when he was assigned to Mungret as Minister and teacher. He remained in Mungret for three years until the Summer of 1954, That summer he was changed to Clongowes as teacher and Prefect of the Study Hall. His stay in Clongowes was short, for in the following Summer he returned to Emo to resume his former duties of Socius and Minister. His second period in Emo was to last for seven years. Thus he had some part in the formation of close on one third of the Irish Province.
As most of his priestly life was spent in Emo, perhaps it would be well to pause here and try to discover what type of man he was. This is not an easy task; because of shyness and reserve he did not manifest himself to others easily. Yet one did not live with him for very long before one sensed the strength of his character and the many admirable traits of that character. As Socius his commonsense and shrewd judgment of men must have been of considerable assistance to successive Novice Masters in assessing the worth of their charges. His sense of basic priorities was evident in his insistence that readers in the Refectory should be heard and heard clearly. He was unsparing in his efforts to train the novices in public speaking and to be punctilious about pronunciation. But all correction was done in the preparation of the reading and in fact he was quite sparing in “Repeat, Brother” during the actual reading in the refectory. It was no small tribute to his efforts that so many of his graduates were audible from the old Rathfarnham rostrum before the days of amplification. The pleasure grounds were kept in excellent trim, thanks to his care for the essential tasks and his impatience with the privileges of beemen, flowermen, rockerymen and suchlike eccentrics! All the novices were expected to work hard and he set the example by his own hard work, until an attack of diphtheria affected his heart. Idiosyncrasy, bumptiousness, fastidiousness and hypochondria could not long survive his no-non sense approach. His mock incomprehension of modern art en gendered a sense of proportion in matters aesthetic. If he was, as now appears in retrospect, over insistent on uniformity and dogged conformity to routine that was what was expected in those days of a good Socius. There was little scope there for initiative in the system of training. While he was somewhat sparing with compliments he rarely missed an opening for admonition. The very frequency and impartiality, however, together with the air of feigned shock or the whimsical look in his eye, took the sting out of it and feelings were rarely hurt. During out door works the laggard was galvanised into activity by a touch of light-hearted scorn and Old Belvederians had always to be kept apart! There were many other things one could recall about him, the firm, determined stride that seemed to express the firmness and determination of his character, the deep laugh, the closely cropped hair, the personal poverty, the spartan regimen of his life,
As Minister, he was extremely reliable and efficient, yet he was efficient in a kindly way and was approachable at all times. Missioners and Retreat givers returning to base after their work could feel assured that the car would be at the station to meet them and that they would be warmly welcomed when they got home. Because of his diffidence and shyness he found it difficult to undertake Retreats or Lectures himself, but he liked the quiet Apostolate and frequently helped out in Emo Parish Church with Confessions and Masses. He kept the house in excellent condition and succeeded in maintaining a precarious water supply in spite of drought and other difficulties such as an inadequate source of water and a primitive pumping system. During the rebuilding operations and the re-wiring of the house for E.S.B. current, he was most competent in overseeing the work being done. He could be quite impatient with and sharply critical of inefficiency in Consultants or workmen. His care of and attention to the sick, infirm or aged members of the Community was noteworthy, whilst he did not waste much sympathy on any Novice who seemed to be over-solicitous about himself or his health.
Early in his time in Emo he learned to drive the car and soon became a most proficient driver, though he could put the heart across the more nervous passengers by his finger tip control of the wheel. When going on journeys he was always prepared and pleased to take members of the Senior Community along with him for the outing, and, if time permitted, did not hesitate to make detours so as to bring them along some scenic route, so that they could enjoy the views. Whilst he lived a spartan life himself and was very abstemious, he never wished to impose that form of life on others. In fact he liked to see others enjoy themselves and relax and would contribute whatever he could to help them to do so. Nevertheless, having said all this, there still remains the fact that he found it hard to form close, personal relationships and friendships with people. But there were the few, who were received into, what one might call, the inner circle. He seemed to prefer to live his life aloof and alone, but there were the few Fathers on whom he would call to have a smoke and a chat when he needed relaxation. The same was true of Externs. There were just a very select few, who were admitted to close friendship and it was noted that they were all persons who put him at his ease, who were at ease with him and who dealt with him without formality and fuss. With all others he was courteous and kind, but brief and to the point. The only people he had no time for were the sightseers or people who just wanted to waste time.
His long association with Emo came to an end, when Fr. Visitor appointed him Minister in Tullabeg in 1952. He spent two years there and in the more relaxed atmosphere of that house, he seemed to have come out of himself more. Towards the end of his period there he became Oeconomus as well as Minister. As in all other jobs he had, he proved himself very competent and did a very thorough job on his accounts.
In 1964 he interchanged places with Fr. Seán Ó Duibhir. Fr. Ó Duibhir went to Tullabeg to take over as Minister and Organiser of Retreats and Fr. Brendan moved to Galway to become Operarius in the Church, Director of the Women's Sodality and of the Girls' Club and Director of the College Development Fund. Perhaps fate was hard on him, when it cast him in the role of Spiritual Director of Women and Girls. His temperament and character made it difficult for him to understand them. Their illogical approach to a subject, their petty rivalries and jealousies were just things he could not understand or fathom. Yet his own aloofness and shy reserve was his best weapon in dealing with them. It saved him from becoming involved on the side of any party or section and, when he decided and spoke his mind, his decisions and words were all the more effective. The way he could appear to be helpless and distressed ensured their compliance. So in this strange way he was quite an effective Director. He held these offices until 1967. That year on the Feast of Corpus Christi he suffered his first heart attack, a coronary thrombosis, a light one. He was removed to the Regional Hospital immediately and there he made a speedy and, what then appeared, successful recovery. On recovering he went to his beloved Emo for convalescence. Because of his attack he was relieved of the Directorship of the Sodality on the 1967 Status. But on his return from convalescence he was appointed assistant Oeconomus and took charge of the collection of School Fees. Throughout the next twelve months he remained in good health and the danger of further heart attacks seemed to recede. When Fr. Joseph O'Connor took seriously ill in March 1968, Fr, Brendan took on the full job of Oeconomus. His previous experience in Tullabeg helped him, but new features of the Accounts, Incremental Salaries, Lay Masters Insurance and P.A.Y.E. did put a strain on him, until he mastered their intricacies; then he seemed to take the job and its responsibilities in his stride. Perhaps it put more strain on him than people realised; anyway, on July 30 he suffered another thrombosis and once more had to be rushed to the Regional. It was proof of his thoroughness, that, though struck down suddenly, his accounts were found to be up to the minute. Expenditure and Receipts for July were analysed and a balance struck and moneys prepared for lodgement.
This time prospects of recovery were not so bright and in fact during the first week or ten days in hospital he suffered two more attacks. This was not a good omen. Besides, probably be cause of his heart condition, he was restless, tense and unsettled in the Regional, so it was decided to transfer him by ambulance to the Pembroke Hospital in Dublin, towards the end of August. There he was more relaxed and he seemed to do much better and made steady progress towards recovery. In the second half of September he was sufficiently recovered to stay for a period of convalescence with his sister, Dr. Kearns, in Portumna. During his stay there, however, he suffered still another thrombosis and had to be rushed to the Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe. Once more he rallied and recovered sufficiently to spend the greater part of November convalescing in Portumna. By now it was clear that he needed a long period of quiet and rest, so it was decided to send him to Emo Park for the rest of the year. He moved to Emo at the end of November. All hoped that, in the quiet and peace of the Novitiate, many years of life remained to him, but it was not to be so. On the 12th of December, he retired to his room before 10 o'clock and shortly afterwards Fr. Gerry O'Beirne, when passing, heard moaning from his room. Fr. Gerry entered to find him in the throes of another attack. Fr. Rector was summoned and anointed him. The doctor was called and was in attendance in a very short time, but in spite of his best attention Fr. Brendan passed peacefully away, surrounded by the prayers and attention of Fr. Rector and of members of the Emo Community. Thus ended a life of quiet unobtrusive and faithful service in Christ's harvest field. For the most part it was a hidden life, yet, when one looks at the record of it, it was a very full life. During the last four months of life he lived in the shadow of death, but he faced death with perfect equanimity and peace of soul. This was the best proof of the sterling quality of his character and of the depth of his spiritual life.
After Office and Requiem Mass in the Novitiate Chapel, which was attended by a very representative gathering from all the houses in the Province, he was laid to rest in the Community cemetery at Tullabeg. There, in the very place, where he began his life of dedicated service of God he rests awaiting the resurrection.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1969

Obituary

Father Brendan Brennan SJ

Fr Brennan's connection with Belvedere was confined to the three years 1935 to 1938 which he spent as a scholastic teacher in Belvedere. He was in charge of the Bike Club and enjoyed communicating to its members his own love of the country-side. After his tertianship, he was Assistant Novicemaster for many years. On retiring from this important position, he went to work in St Ignatius Church, Galway, but returned to the Novitiate when his health begun to fail: He died suddenly on December 13th, 1968.

Brennan, James F, 1900-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/746
  • Person
  • 18 September 1900-04 February 1973

Born: 18 September 1900, Bandon, County Cork
Entered: 02 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Campion House, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia
Died: 04 February 1973, Nazareth House, Salisbury, Rhodesia

by 1923 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1935 at St Aidan’s, Grahamstown, South Africa (ANG) teaching
by 1936 at St Paul’s Mission, Salisbury, Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1940 in Monte Cassino Mission, Macheke, Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1954 at Campion Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier, Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia (ANG) working
by 1966 at St John’s, Salisbury, Rhodesia (ANG) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Father James F. Brennan of the Irish Province is doing work in S. Rhodesia at St. Paul’s Mission. “He had the nasty experience of being bitten by a. snake while half asleep in a Kraal school. He was for a time unconscious, but the bite yielded to treatment by the Dominican Sisters. On this occasion Father Brennan could not take his watch-dog. We must thank God that the snake, by chance, was not of the very poisonous variety”. “English Jesuit Missionary Magazine”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. J. F. Brennan returned to the Salisbury Mission in November after some months rest in Ireland. He accompanied the new Superior of the Mission, Fr. E. Enright, to Capetown on the “Durban Castle”.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 2 1973

Obituary :

Fr James Brennan (1900-1973)

Fr James Brennan was born at Bandon, Co. Cork, Sept. 18th, 1900. After elementary schooling in his home town as a boy of fifteen he went to Clongowes whence he entered the noviciate at Tullabeg in 1919. On taking his vows in 1921 he remained at Tullabeg until the following year when he accompanied the late Fr Joseph O'Connor to Stonyhurst for Philosophy. He possessed a wonderful facility for making friends and it was apparently during the years at Stonyhurst he made acquaintance first with Fr Philip Beisly, then a scholastic somewhat senior to himself but with whom he contracted so close a friendship that later, in 1934 after the tertianship he volunteered for the Zambesi Mission where Fr Beisly was recently appointed Superior.
During the intervening years Fr Jim followed the routine course of formation. On completing Philosophy in 1925 he returned as teacher and prefect to his Alma Mater, where he showed himself a popular member of the Community, paratus ad omnia - his musical talents being particularly availed of.
In 1929 he went to Milltown Park for theology, ordination 1932, St. Buneo's 1933, for tertianship and the following year Rhodesia where he laboured with success for practically 40 years. His first appointment in his new field was to St Peter’s Harare after which he went as Superior to St Paul’s Mission, Musami. In 1939 he became Superior of Monte Cassino Mission where he remained until 1950. The next three years he spent at Que Que, (Kwekwe) then six years in the Cathedral Parish in Salisbury. Again 1960-3 he was in charge at Braeside. By this time his health, never robust, was deteriorating but he still contrived to be useful fulfilling the duties as Chaplain at St John’s School, Avondale and for portion of the time he acted as Chaplain to St Anne’s Hospital in the same neighbourhood.
On the few occasions of which he availed himself to return to the “home countries” he presented himself in the same urbane somewhat diffident personality which endeared him to everyone, reminiscent of that man of whom Dr Johnson once remarked that if he, the Doctor, had had a quarrel he would be most embarrassed in finding matter with which he could abuse him. There was a warmth and cheerfulness of character about him that no one ever hesitated to ask a favour or impose on him an obligation knowing that he would not suffer a refusal. On his return to Rhodesia after his last visit home he was compelled to retire to Nazareth House, Salisbury permanently, again winning the spontaneous affection of all. The nuns saw to it that his birthday on two occasions was celebrated in festive way and finally when on Sunday February 4th he died as a result of a stroke that overtook him a few days previously his obsequies were concelebrated by seventeen priests among whom Archbishop Markall was the chief concelebrant and the spacious chapel of Nazareth House was thronged by those in various walks of life who claimed his friendship. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1973

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

Fr James entered the Irish Province but after some years volunteered for work in Rhodesia where he spent the rest of his life until February of this year. He was born in Cork in, 1900 and was ordained in Milltown Park in 1932. He went to Rhodesia in 1934. He worked as priest in charge on various Mission Stations. He then joined the Cathedral Staff in Salisbury. In the last years of his life he acted as Chaplain in St John's School, Avondale.

Brennan, James, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/69
  • Person
  • 02 November 1854-16 June 1941

Born: 02 November 1854, Dublin
Entered: 19 October 1875, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 15 June 1889
Final Vows: 02 February 1894, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 16 June 1941, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

by 1880 at Laval France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

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

Obituary :
Father James Brennan
Few men of the Irish Province have given it a more loyal and devoted service than did Fr. James Brennan during the 86 years of his membership of it. He filled many important positions in most of its houses, in four of which, Clongowes, Galway, Belvedere and Rathfarnham he was Superior. During the last years of his life when he had ceased to hold office, he continued his interest in the Province, its welfare and its activities, showing this by the earnestness and enthusiasm with which he devoted himself to his work as Editor of the Province News. All who had dealings with him in this capacity will recall how glad he was to receive any news of Ours and of their doings, and how glad he was to publish anything that would edify and encourage us in our work.
Fr Brennan was at school in Tullabeg for 6 years (1869-75), and if these be added to his 68 years in the Society, the grand total of 71 years of connection with the Irish Province is reached. It is thus no wonder that he was so loyal and devoted a member of the Society and the Province. His noviceship was passed in Milltown Park under Fr. Charles McKenna, and at its conclusion he was sent to Clongowes with three others, Messrs. Fegan, Manning and Elliott, for his juniorate under the guidance of Fr. Zimmerman. The four juniors lived in the old Infirmary, since burnt down, and only mixed with the rest of the Community on special occasions. His second year of Juniorate was spent in Milltown Park. He then went to Laval for Philosophy, but he had to leave there the following year when the members of the Society were driven out of France. The French Jesuits had acquired the Imperial Hotel in St Helier, Jersey, and opened it as a Scholasticate, and there Mr Brennan spent the year 1880-81. Life, However, in foreign houses had not agreed with him, so he finished his Philosophy in Milltown Park.
His regency was spent in Clongowes (1802-07) where he was at first Third Line Prefect, then four years Master, acting as assistant to the Prefect of Studies during portion of the time. During this time, the amalgamation of Clongowes with his old school, Tullabeg, took place, and Mr Brennan had much to do with the success of the venture. He proved himself an excellent and very successful master, and was very popular both inside and outside the classroom.
In 1887 he went to Milltown for Theology, but again his health failed, and he had to continue his studies privately in Tullabeg, which had just been opened as a Noviceship and Juniorate. He was then ordained in 1889, and went to Belvedere, where he spent three years, 1889-92, as Master and the third as Minister. In 1892 he went to Tullabeg for his Tertianship, being at the same time Socius to the Master of Novices.
The year 1893 saw the beginning of his long connection with Clongowes where he was Higher Line Prefect for a year, then Minister for six years, becoming Vice Rector in 1900. The period of his Rectorship saw many important improvements effected in the College. The chief of these was the acquiring of the temporary church at Letterkenny and erecting it in Clongowes where it still does duty as gymnasium, theatre, examination hall, and luncheon room on the Union Day.
We next find him on the Mission staff (1904-06) with his headquarters at the Crescent, Limerick, but it was not long before he was in office again. being appointed Rector in Galway in 1906, and two years later Rector in Belvedere (1908-13). It was during this time that Belvedere purchased the grounds at Jones Road which have proved such a, valuable acquisition to the College.
In 1913 Rathfarnham Castle was purchased and opened as a House of Studies for our scholastics attending lectures in University College, Dublin. The important position of Superior of the new house was entrusted to Fr Brennan, and everyone agreed that no better choice could have been made. The characteristics which had made him so successful in his previous positions were to be still more conspicuously displayed in this new sphere of duty. His paternal rule mingling kindliness and generosity with insistence upon observance of discipline, made him an ideal Superior of young men fresh from the noviceship.
After six years in office he ceased to be Superior, but remained in Rathfarnham, with the exception of one year (1920-21), when he was Spiritual Father in Clongowes, until the end. During the earlier portion of this period he suffered much from vertigo and had to give up saying Mass. His cure which he believed to have been obtained by the prayers of a Nun to Fr. Willie Doyle, is one of the most remarkable of the many favours attributed to Father Willie.
In 1925 the Province News was started and Fr.Brennan was appointed. Editor, holding that position until his death which took place on June 17th. He had been for almost 30 years in Rathfarnham, and it will be hard to imagine The Castle without his cheery presence. He was so interested in everybody and everything connected with the place, so edifying, so helpful as an advisor and as a confessor that he will be sorely missed. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father James Brennan 1854-1941
The kindly face of Fr James Brennan will long be remembered by those young scholastics to whom he ministered for 30 years of his Jesuit life in Rathfarnham. Sixty years in all he spent in the Society, years of fruitful and lasting work.
He was closely associated with Clongowes in his early days in various capacities, finally as rector. It was he who acquired the temporary church at Letterkenny, and had it erected in Clongowes to serve for many years as a gymnasium, theatre and examination hall. He was the first Editor of the “Province News”.
He passed peacefully to his reward on June 17th 1941.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1942

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

Fr James Brennan, Rector of Belvedere from 1908 to 1913, died at Rathfarnham Castle on June I7th, 1941. He had given 66 years of loyal and , devoted service to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, and of these years not a few were spent in Belvedere. His early education was received at Tullabeg, and after he had entered the Society in 1875 he studied at Clongowes, Laval in France, Jersey and Milltown Park. He said his first Mass in Belvedere in 1889 and then came here for three years, being at first a Master and afterwards Minister for one year. In 1908 he came back as Rector, after two years as Superior of Galway. His Rectorship was a very important one for the College in many ways. One of his first actions was to start the Debating Society which since then has been such a useful training ground for budding orators. Then, too, he was responsible for the separation of the Senior House from the Preparatory School, and for giving to each a separate staff. When Fr Brennan came to Belvedere the playing fields were situated at Croydon Park, in Fairview, but in 1910 he purchased the grounds at Jones's Road which we still use. The benefits of having grounds so near the College were soon evident, for the JCT won its first Rugby Cup two years later.

All those who came in contact with Fr Brennan during this period of his life retain for him a most affectionate memory, and it is of interest to record here that his kindliness was shown even to those differing in religion, as was witnessed by Dr William Anderson, formerly Headmaster of Mountjoy, who, as he said in a kind letter of sympathy, “came to know and appreciate Fr Brenrian” during the years of his Rectorship.

Fr Brennan spent six years as Rector of Rathfarnham Castle after he left Belvedere and he remained there, with the exception of one year, until his death. He will long be rernembered by those who met him there as a most kindly and sympathetic confessor, as a holy and edifying priest, and as one whose cheery presence was the greatest blessing to the House. May he rest in peace!

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

Among Clongownians of the last twenty years of the nineteenth century and the first few years of the present century, the name of Fr James Brennan is a household one, while his connection with Tullabeg goes back much further, as he was a very prominent boy in the school in the early seventies. Having entered the Society of Jesus, he came to Clongowes in 1882, where he spent five years as a Scholastic. He was a very successful Junior Grade teacher and was able to inspire his boys with interest, and even enthusiasm, over their Latin and Greek lessons. He was in Clongowes during the Amalgamation year, and, as an old Tullabeg boy and a present Clongowes master, he helped very considerably to bring about the successful union of the two schools.

In one incident during this period Mr Brennan played a prominent part. The fire which destroyed the study hall and refectory wing took place on April 9th, 1886. No one worked harder than he to save as much as possible, but, in spite of all efforts, nearly all the desks in the study hall were burnt, together with the contents - mostly school books. It was concluded by many, to whom the wish was father to the thought, that, as there were no school books, there could be no work done for a long time. On the next day, however, which was a play day, Mr Brennan went to Dublin, returning with. sufficient books to enable classes to be re sumed the next day. Some boys were not as grateful to him as they might have been.

After his ordination to the priesthood he returned to Clongowes as Higher Line Prefect in 1891-2. Those who were here during that year will remember his interest in, and enthusiasm for, gymnastics and musical drill, in which during the night play hour for a considerable portion of the year the greater number of the boys were engaged. The following year he became Minister, and held that post for five years, until he was appointed Rector during the Christmas term of 1900. Few of those who were in Clongowes at the time will have forgotten the scenes of enthusiasm which showed how popular was his appointment. During his term of office (1900-04) he effected many improvements. He laid down a completely new system of sewerage, he tiled the Higher and Third Line galleries, he put in the large window over the hall door of the Castle, and, most useful of all, he purchased the building that had been used as a church in Letterkenny while the Cathedral was being built, and erected it here, where, during the last forty years, it has served as gymnasium, theatre, examination hall, skating rink, and, at times, as infirmary.

Having completed his term of office as Rector here, he was appointed Rector of St Ignatius College, Galway (1906-8), of Belvedere College, Dublin (1908-13), and of Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin (1913-19). He spent one more year in Clongowes (1920-21) as Spiritual Father. The last twenty years of his life were passed in Rathfarnham Castle doing such work as his poor health would allow. He passed away very peacefully on June 17th last year. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Brennan (1854-1941)

A native of Dublin, spent two years (1904-1906) at the Crescent as a member of the small mission band resident here before World War I. During his long life, Father Brennan occupied many positions of trust in the Province: Vice-Rector of Clongowes (1900-1904); Rector of St Ignatius', Galway (1906-1908); Rector of Belvedere College (1908-1913). He was the first superior appointed over the Jesuit scholasticate at Rath farnham Castle, Dublin (1913-1920).

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/587
  • Person
  • 23 September 1920-03 July 2002

Born: 23 September 1920, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 15 August 1964, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 03 July 2002, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1955 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1978 at Toroto ONT, Canada (CAN S) sabbatical

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

My brother, Jack, was born on 23rd September, 1920, at 7 North Frederick Street, Dublin, our mother's home town. He was christened John Francis Joseph Brennan - sometimes, particularly with and to me, he was Seán Ó Braonáin. At that time, the family, of which he was the fourth child, was living in Caherciveen, Co. Kerry, our father's home town. He was about six months old in May 1921 when our father's house and others in Caherciveen were blown up by the English Army towards the end of the War of Independence in what were called “official reprisals”. The family then moved to Dublin, which is how Jack came to be educated at Belvedere College. He also spent a brief period at St Vincent's College, Castleknock.

Following school, Jack worked for a time with the Hibernian Insurance Company. After the outbreak of the Second World War, during the Emergency as it was called here, Jack joined the Irish Army, rising to the rank of Captain. The family lore tells, somewhat humorously, that initially when he was a Private, the Hibernian paid him the difference between his army pay and what he had been paid by the company. This did not happen in the case of our eldest brother, Charlie, our first Belvederian, who also joined the army, having been working in our father's insurance brokerage! Jack joined the latter in 1945 after leaving the army.

On 7th September 1946, about a fortnight before his 26th birthday, Jack entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo where he took his first vows two years later. He then spent a year in the Jesuit Juniorate, College St Michel, in Laval, France, after which he went to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Co Offaly, to study philosophy. He was a scholastic in Belvedere College from 1952-'54, following which he went to the Jesuit college, Sankt Georgen, in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, to study theology and was ordained there on 31st July 1957. He returned in 1958 to Dublin, for his year's Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, then went to Mungret College, Limerick (1959-'64) where he took his final vows on 2nd February 1964. I believe, and heard from some of his fellow Jesuits, that, in his period as Minister there and subsequently as Principal in University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin (1964-68 and 1978-'95); as Rector in Milltown Park (1968-'71); and as Rector in Clongowes Wood College (1972-'77), his talents for organisation, administration, and dealing with others were helped by his experience in the Irish Army. With regard to the latter, he celebrated the annual Mass for many years in commemoration of the tragic accident in the Glen of Imaal which happened at the time he was in the army.

Jack had a very fruitful and varied life. It was a life of true spirituality, generous helpfulness and unfailing good humour, a life which touched the lives of so many others. He was involved in the Samaritans, of which he was Director in Ireland (1970-'72). He had a particular interest in the second Vatican Council and was noted for his sympathy and understanding on the one hand and his encouragement on the other, in relation to those considering or dealing with its varied aspects. He was also noted for his commitment to ecumenism. He spent a sabbatical studying at Regis College, Toronto (1977-'78) where he obtained an MA in Theology. He enjoyed his spells of summer parish work in the state of New York, where he brought the word of God to many in his quiet, humorous and spiritually effective way. Messages of sympathy and great affection came to us from the friends he made there.

Jack is remembered with affection by our family and by his Jesuit family, to whom we are so closely tied; by those who looked after him so well and so lovingly during his year of reasonably good health at first and eventual last illness in the Jesuits' nursing home, Cherryfield Lodge; and by all who knew him at home and abroad. I was privileged to be among those of the family and of the Jesuit community who were with him when he died peacefully on 3rd July 2002. My other Jesuit brother, Joe, now of Gonzaga College, asked me to compose the prayers of the faithful to be recited by three of Jack's nieces and by one of his nephews (my son Cormac) at the funeral Mass. Cormac, who had frequently visited Jack with me, added his own composition which I include here as it reminded us of that good humour which Jack showed so often:

“Some of you may know that in his room, Jack had a plaque which said, ‘Working for the Lord doesn't pay much, but the retirement benefits are out of this world’! Let us pray that he is now enjoying those benefits”.

l and many fellow-Belvederians and others join in that prayer with certain hope and in gratitude to God for bringing Jack among us. Guim Solas na bhFlaitheas ar a anam uasal, dilis.

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

Brennan, Joseph A, 1867-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/952
  • Person
  • 01 September 1867-15 May 1945

Born: 01 September 1867, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 02 February 1884, Richmond, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 1897
Professed; 15 August 1903
Died: 15 May 1945, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1892 at Exaeten College Limburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1893 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Patrick Muldoon Entry :
Entered at the new Irish Novitiate in Richmond, and it was then moved to Xavier College Kew. He went there with Joseph Brennan and John Newman, Scholastic Novices, and Brother Novices Bernard Doyle and Patrick Kelly.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, before entering the Society, first at Sevenhill and then at Richmond and Xavier College Kew, under Aloysius Sturzo.

1886-1888 and 1890-1891 He was a teacher and Prefect of Discipline at Xavier College
1888-1890 He was a Teacher of Greek, Latin and English as well as Prefect of Discipline at St Ignatius College, Riverview.
1891-1894 he was sent abroad for studies, first to Exaeten College, Netherlands for one year of Philosophy, and then two more years Philosophy at Leuven, Belgium.
1894-1898 He was sent to Milltown Park, Dublin for Theology
1898-1899 He made Tertianship at Drongen, Belgium.
1899-1901 He returned to Australia and teaching senior Physics at St Aloysius College, Burke Street
1901-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius College, Riverview to teach and was also a Division Prefect. He was a very strict disciplinarian.
1908-1914 He was sent to the Richmond Parish
1914-1916 He was sent teaching and prefecting at Xavier College. Here he was also Rowing master in 1915.
1916-1922 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Ignatius Parish, Richmond, and at the same time served as a Consultor of the Mission. From 1921-1922 he was also very involved in the second Church in the parish, St James’, North Richmond.
1923-1936 he returned teaching at Xavier College. At the same time he was an examiner in quinquennials, Spiritual Father, and Admonitor at various times.

Apart from a period of Parish work at Hawthorn in 1937 and Richmond 1942-1944, he spent the rest of his life at Xavier College. He took a special interest in games, particularly Australian Rules, on which he was an authority.
He was a very tall and powerful man who had been a stern disciplinarian in his early days. He was noted as being a very good theologian and very definite in his answers to moral problems. As a preacher, he was solid but dull. He was regularly left in charge of the Vice-Province when the Provincial was away. He had a high reputation among secular clergy as well.

At the request of the General, in 1921-1922 he was asked to solve a serious problem concerning a plantation in Gayaba, New Guinea. He was also chosen to superintend the foundation of Corpus Christi College, Werribee, whilst awaiting the arrival of the Rector, Albert Power. Finally he was responsible for making arrangements with the Archbishop of Perth, Dr Prendiville, for the establishment of St Louis School in 1938

Note from Vincente Guimera Entry
Vincente Guimera entered the 'Society in 1890, and after studies and some teaching, he was sent to New Guinea in the 1920s to help find a solution to the problems in a mission that had been acquired from the German Franciscans. The superior general asked the Australian superior, William Lockington, to settle the matter, and he sent Joseph A. Brennan to New Guinea. They closed the mission and gave it to the SVDs. Three Spanish Jesuits then came to Sydney briefly and stayed at Loyola. Guimera subsequently lived and taught at St Aloysius' College, 1924-25

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 20th Year No 3 1945
Obituary :
Fr. Joseph Brennan (1867-1884-1945)
Fr. Joseph Brennan, a member of the Australian Vice-Province, died at St. Ignatius' Residence, Richmond, Melbourne, on May 16th.

Born in Victoria, Australia, 6th September, 1867, be entered the Society at St. Ignatius, Richmond, 23rd January, 1884. He came to Europe for his higher studies. At Exaten in Holland he pursued his philosophy and at Milltown Park, Dublin, his theology, and was ordained in Dublin in 1897. He made his third year's probation at Tronchiennes.
On his return to Australia he was attached to Riverview College, Sydney, as Prefect of discipline, a post he held for ten successive years, 1900-1910. In the latter year he was changed to St. Ignatius Residence, Richmond, and remained operarius till 1915 when he re turned to the class-room, teaching at St. Aloysius College, North Sydney, 1915-1924. From 1924 to 1942 (with a break of one year at Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne) be taught uninterruptedly and was at the same time Spiritual Father to the community. The last three years of his life he was stationed at St. Ignatius', Richmond. May he rest in peace.

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/809
  • Person
  • 13 November 1929-08 January 2018

Born: 13 November 1929, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 15 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1981, Gozaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 08 January 2018, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/he-was-a-good-man/

‘He was a good man’
Jesuits, family, friends and colleagues of Joe Brennan SJ, packed the Church of the Holy Name in Beechwood Avenue to bid him a fond farewell at his funeral Mass, on Friday 12 January, 11am. They were joined by the staff and students of Gonzaga College. John O’Keeffe SJ presided at the Mass, and Myles O’Reilly SJ, a former superior of the Gonzaga Community that Joe was a member of for 43 years, gave the homily. Joe had taken ill in late December and was moved to St Vincent’s Hospital where he was diagnosed with a respiratory illness. He died peacefully on the morning of January 8th 2018, aged 88.
Fr Joe was born and raised in Dublin, and he joined the Jesuits in 1948 at the age of 18. He was a keen sportsman, playing inter-provincial rugby for Leinster. He was also an accomplished musician, particularly on the piano, so he would have appreciated the singing of the Gonzaga student choir at his funeral Mass.
Most of his Jesuit life was spent as a teacher of religion and philosophy. He taught in Mungret, Clongowes, Belvedere, and finally Gonzaga. Brian Flannery, Education Delegate, said Joe had been fully engaged with Gonzaga in one way or another right up to the time of his illness in late December. “He was known for always encouraging students to think for themselves,” said Brian; “Also for instilling values. ‘If you don’t stand for something,’ he loved to say, ‘you will fall for anything.'”
Fr Joe had a few such sayings that he was famous for repeating, and the school had them printed on the back of his funeral Mass booklet. “Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved”, he would say. Or, “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.” And he would remind the students, “Faith is not against reason, it’s beyond it.”
In his homily, Fr Myles O’Reilly referred to the first reading from Isaiah and the banquet the Lord prepares for His trusted servants. He spoke of the many years of faithful service Joe had given as a follower of Jesus. He had served his fellow Jesuits, his students and his family, all with great generosity and wisdom. It was his turn now to be served and take part in the banquet prepared for him, as promised by the prophet Isaiah, said Myles.
Joe’s many nieces and nephews also attended the Mass. One of them, Ross Brennan, paid a warm tribute to their uncle at the end of the service. He spoke of how loved Joe was by his extended family, of the kindness he always showed, and of the help he always gave to them.
The funeral Mass preceded that of his fellow-Jesuit Kennedy O’Brien, also a teacher in Gonzaga, who had died suddenly, earlier that week. The principal of Gonzaga, Damon McCaul said that it had been a very difficult week for the staff and students in the school. He said that Fr Joe had made such an impact on his students that older past pupils still remembered him with deep regard and gratitude. “And it’s the same with Kennedy for a new generation of pupils and past pupils. Both men were outstanding teachers and educators.”
The final word on Fr Joe was a simple line in the funeral Mass booklet, underneath a photo of him saying Mass in Gonzaga: ‘He was a good man’.

Early Education at Sacred Heart, Leeson St, Dublin, Ring College, Waterford & Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
1950-1953 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1953-1956 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1956-1959 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1959-1963 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1963-1964 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1964-1965 Trier, Germany - Liturgy Studies at Benediktiner Abtei St Mathias
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Prefect; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1968-1969 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Musical Director; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1969-1974 Mungret College SJ - Teacher; Gamesmaster
1974-2018 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; Lecturer in Catechetics at Milltown Park
1983 Rector; Director of Pastoral Care
2010 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Dublin; Assistant Treasurer; Teacher of Religion
2014 Ceased Teaching

Brennan, Joseph, 1843-1923, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/70
  • Person
  • 24 January 1843-10 September 1923

Born: 24 January 1843, Piersfield, County Westmeath
Entered: 16 March 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1891, Australia
Died: 10 September 1923, Mater Hospital, Sydney Australia

part of the St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia community at the time of death

Came to Australia 1889 for Regency

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He had already been Ordained for the Meath Diocese and was working there before Entry.
He made his Novitiate at Milltown under Charles McKenna.
1882 He and Thomas) Keating arrived in Australia
On arrival in Australia he was sent to work at North Shore, Sydney, and with the exception of a couple of years teaching at Riverview and Kew, he spent the rest of his life there.
He was Minister at St Mary’s Miller St more than once and Superior from 1893-1902.
He was about medium height and of ascetic appearance, wore a beard and was sufficiently active as a Missioner. Occasionally he wrote a little for pious publications such as the “Messenger of the Sacred Heart”. - James Rabbitte.
Note from Thomas Keating Entry :
1881 He returned to Milltown. he had offered for the Australian Mission, and sailed there with Joseph Brennan, who was a Novice Priest at the time.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He studied Philosophy and Theology at Maynooth before he entered as a Priest Novice in Milltown 16 March 1880.

1882-1887 After First Vows he was sent to teach in Australia at Xavier College, Kew and St Ignatius Riverview 1882-1883 and 1895-1897, then at the beginning of a relationship with St Mary’s, North Sydney 1883-1885.
1887-1923 He returned to St Mary’s, North Sydney, where he travelled around the vast parish, chiefly on horseback. He died there after an illness of a few weeks from a serious kidney complaint.

While in Sydney he held most offices including Minister, and Superior 1893-1902. he was also confessor to Jesuits in the Sydney Parishes when he was not Superior, and also served as a Spiritual Director. he was Moderator of the “Holy Childhood” from 1913, and the “Association for the Propagation of the Faith” and the “Eucharistic League” from 1917. He was a small man but a great worker. During his time as Parish Priest he built a school for girls and also additions to the church. In his latter years, when age hampered him, he spent more time in the confessional and baptising.
He was widely read in Theology and History - especially the history of Ireland. Cardinal Moran, Archbishop of Sydney, claimed that enjoyed reading anything that Brennan wrote. He wrote an article on the history of the parish of the North Shore in “Our Australian Missions”, and one entitles “France and the Frenchmen” in the “Austral Light”, June 1898.

He had a kindly and lovable disposition, meek but not weak. he had a ready wit and was often the source of great joy in company. There were two subjects upon which one could never joke, the Church and Ireland.

Brennan, Martin, 1912-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/475
  • Person
  • 04 December 1912-21 July 1999

Born: 04 December 1912, Dundrum, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 21 July 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Uncle of Fergal Brennan - Ent 1959

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000
Obituary
Fr Máirtín Ó Braonáin (1912-1999) : translation by Brian Grogan SJ
Martin's health began to decline in 1996 and he spent periods of time in Cherryfield, returning to Leeson Street as often as he could. Later, for health reasons, he remained permanently in Cherryfield. In the last couple of weeks his strength was fading and he died peacefully on Wednesday July 21st, 1999 in Cherryfield.

4th Dec. 1912: Born in Dublin.
Early education in Dundrum National School and CBS Synge Street
3rd Sept. 1930: Entered the Society at Emo.
4th Sept. 1932: First vows at Emo.
1932 - 1936: Rathfarnham- Arts Degree at UCD
1936 - 1939: Tullabeg- Philosophy studies.
1939 - 1942: Milltown- Science Degree at UCD
1942 - 1946: Milltown- Theology studies.
31st July 1945: Ordained priest at Milltown Park.
1947 - 1951: Leeson Street- Doctorate studies in Botany at UCD.
2nd Feb. 1948: Final Vows at Leeson Street.
1951 - 1981: Lecturer in Botany in UCD.
1981 - 1993: Lecturer Emeritus in Biology, writing and assisting in Sallynoggin parish.
1993 - 1996: Lecturer Emeritus in Biology, working in the Irish language apostolate and writing.
1997 - 1999: Moved to Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society.

Fr Proinnsias Ó Fionnagáin writes...

I remember the first time, in September 1932, when I met Máirtín as he arrived in Rathfarnham from Emo, Co Laois. The new scholastics were being welcomed and Máirtín responded to me in Irish. I am sure his companions knew the language but Máirtín was the only one willing to speak it spontaneously.
In the weeks that followed we had little opportunity to chat because I was weighed down with study for my BA exams. I did not see Máirtín again for six years, when we encountered one another in August 1938 in Milltown Park. I had completed regency in the colleges and about to begin theology, but there was a different agenda for Máirtín.

Máirtín did well in Rathfarnham but you would get little news of him in the Province News. However in Tullabeg, our House of Philosophy, we find that Máirtín had completed his studies with exceptional merit. At that time, Fr H. Schmitz, a German Jesuit, had come to Tullabeg to replace Fr Eddie Coyne, and tradition tells that Máirtín did so well in his classes that Fr Schmitz recommended that he be sent on for special studies in Botany. Whether this is true or false Mairtin spent four years, 1938-1942, in UCD studying for a degree in Botany and Zoology. Unsurprisingly this diligent student emerged with first honours and highest merit. Eventually Mairtin began theology (1942-46) and was overjoyed to be ordained a priest on St Ignatius’ Day, 31 July 1945; but his spiritual formation was not completed until summer 1947.

He then took up residence in St Ignatius House, Leeson St—his address till the end of his life. Again, more study followed for his doctorate, but in between we find him teaching Botany as assistant to the professor in UCD, and lecturing in science and religion to students in Earlsfort Terrace. In July 1952 he was awarded his doctorate.

What shall we relate of Dr Mairtin’s life-style in UCD from 1952? Certainly he was a conscientious lecturer who was never satisfied with his current level of knowledge. He was always studying, strengthening and deepening his knowledge in order to achieve excellence in what he taught. Almost every year in vacation time, he participated in learned conferences whether at home or internationally, especially in France, Germany and the US.

He gave many public lectures between 1952-70, on topics such as ‘Adam and Anthropology’, ‘The Catholic Student and the Problems of Evolution’ etc. From 1961 he gave lectures on the philosophy of the French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, in UCD, Maynooth, Galway and Cork. Some of these were published both in Irish and English. It is clear that over these years Mairtin was ceaselessly at work, not only in fulfilling his obligations as professor in the University, and in writing and lecturing. But there is more to the story! He never forgot his first love, the Irish language. No sooner had he completed his formation than he became a member of Cumann na Sagart and was later unanimously elected as its president. It gave him great joy to attend when the annual prize of the Cumann was bestowed on young people who had fostered "Glór na nGael" (The Irish Language). Frequently he travelled as Irish-speaking chaplain to Lourdes. I lived with him in Leeson St from 1961-74 and I often noticed Máirtín’s pleasure when someone spoke in Irish to him. As for myself I would break in on a conversation to ask if he could recall a verse from Tadhg Gaelach or Raifteri. Immediately he would respond with three or four of the required verses!

Maírtín retired from lecturing in October 1980 but he wasn’t seeking ‘ease with dignity’ although he had well earned the right to take life more easily. Soon he was made assistant priest in Sallynoggin, and was elected to membership of the Boards of Management for Irish-speaking schools in Rathcoole and Clondalkin. And he continued to work for our native language until his health no longer allowed him to continue his duties.

When I returned home from France in October 1981 I was delighted to see Máirtín again. He visited me in Gardiner St to discuss the history of the Jesuits in Ireland. I gathered that Mairtin had joined the Jesuits with a deep knowledge of the history of Ireland, learned from the Christian Brothers: now he was deepening his knowledge of the history of the Jesuits in Ireland. He was an independent thinker in regard to the history of Ireland. In his view, the Wild Geese should have stayed in Ireland after the Treaty of Limerick instead of going abroad to fight the battles of the kings of Europe: they could have engaged in guerrilla warfare with the English and their friends at home in Ireland!

God gave Máirtin a long span of life, and surely he was ready when the final notice to surrender came. Let us pray that he may soon experience the vision of the Holy Trinity, under the mantle of Mary our Glorious Mother. He died on July 21, 1999.

Good Jesus our Lord, give him eternal rest.

Proinsias O Fionnagáin, SJ
Translation Brian Grogan SJ

Brereton, Joseph P, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/767
  • Person
  • 05 December 1920-07 May 2012

Born: 05 December 1920, Liverpool, Lancashire, England / Lifford Avenue, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2012

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

5 December 1920: Born in Liverpool;
Early education in St. Mary's Primary, Liverpool, and Crescent College, Limerick
7 September 1938: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Belvedere College – Teacher
1949 - 1953: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1960: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
2 February 1955: Final Vows
1960 - 1963: Gonzaga
1960 - 1962: Teacher
1962 - 1963: Minister, teacher
1963 - 1968: Manresa - Minister, Assisted Director of the Retreat House
1968 - 2012: Clongowes
1968 - 1990: Teacher of Religion, French and English
1990 - 1997: Teacher of English; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Chaplain to Hazel Hall (1992)
1997 - 2012: Teacher; Assistant to Higher Line Prefect; Tutor to foreign exchange students; Chaplain to Hazel Hall
7 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr Brereton was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 7th January 2012 suffering from recurrent respiratory problems. His treatment necessitated occasional visits to hospital. He remained in good spirits and mentally alert. His condition deteriorated since mid-April. Fr Brereton passed away peacefully in the company of his sister, Josephine, and Fr Michael Sheil in the early morning of May the 7th 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Michael Sheil
The Fiant solita suffragia for the average Jesuit extends to a full page - and sometimes beyond, Fr Joe's CV does not fill even one. But then, Joe was not an “average" Jesuit – he was not an “average" person. The fact that he spent all of 44 years in the same job in Clongowes suggests proof of this !

Joseph Brereton was born in Liverpool and was always loyal to his origins - as the many red soccer jerseys given to him by successive Rhetoric Years in Clongowes will atest. When his father died young, Joe's mother moved her family of three boys and two girls back to her native Limerick, where the sons attended Crescent College. From there Joe entered the Jesuits in 1938 – and the subsequent story of his life is simply told.

He followed the traditional Jesuit training course - BA in UCD [40-43] - Philosophy in Tullabeg [43-46] - Regency in Crescent and Belvedere [46-49]. After three years of theology in Milltown Park, he was ordained there in 1952. Tertianship followed in Rathfarnham (53-54] and Joe returned to his Alma Mater in Limerick as a Teacher for 6 years before moving to Gonzaga College (60-63] and was Minister in Manresa Retreat House from 1963 to 1968. In August 1968 he came to CWC. Fr Tom Layden - our present Provincial - who gave the final Absolution - had not even arrived to start school there at that time!

That made up a grand total of 44 years - give or take a few weeks - for there he stayed ever since. He would probably have occupied the same room for all that time, if a new Rhetoric Wing had not been built in 1999 - but he simply moved about 20 metres west and two floors down to his new quarters.

Joe was a very private sort of person himself – but was deeply interested in other people. In his long life of teaching - all of 56 years in total - and looking after his young charges – he fully justified God's faith in his ability to make his five talents bear fruit. It is calculated that he influenced the lives of over 3,000 students in Clongowes alone -- and the many tributes and messages of sympathy to the Community bore rich testimony to their gratitude to him:

The present writer had the joy and privilege of working with him for 18 years as Higher Line Prefect. Joe always referred to the members of his area as Officers – and dismissed all others as Baggage-Handlers until - when I arrived – I insisted on calling my charges Gentlemen ! He was always there in support - to praise - to encourage – to lower the rising temperature (when needed!] - to offer advice - and, on occasion, to chide ! To be called Villain by him was not a compliment. --- and no one, high or low, Officer or Gentleman - Student or Teacher - was spared! On his encouraging side, his trademark phrase was: That's OK ! That's OK ! A few days after he died this email arrived from Hanoi, Vietnam, from a former pupil: Officers and Gentlemen alike (and also some Villains) will be united in sadness at the news of Fr Joe's death -- and equally warmed by the myriad of happy memories of a great Teacher and a remarkable man.

Very often I used to meet past pupils who would enquire after some of their former Jesuit Teachers – and, after giving them the sad news of the death of A + B +C, I might be asked: And when did Fr Brereton die ? I used to reply, to their surprise: Well I saw him this morning and he was OK !

Sadly for them and for us - as we heard in the second reading at his funeral Mass - this will be no longer so. Joe's tent has been folded up - as he moved – for the last time – to an everlasting home in the heavens. In our first reading – the Prophet Isaiah presents the image of God's Kingdom as a banquet of rich food prepared for all peoples. Joe would surely approve of my choice – for, while Joe was a very private person - in his own quiet way, he was quite a party-man ! While he eschewed the grand manner – he loved the occasional (and increasingly frequent] occasions of sharing some sweets - fruit - biscuits - and a variety of other edibles - from the depths of a seemingly bottomless pocket - with unsuspecting beneficiaries who happened on his path.

In the context of the greater world out there Joe's life was unheralded and unsung - but not so in the daily living of a grace-filled and remarkable life - remarkable in its simplicity and commitment. For his was a life full of love – care - kindness – concern -- thoughtfulness for others – phone-calls - cards – notes – all came to surprise and delight the recipients. His was a life animated by prayer - especially by his devotion to Our Lady, which was well-known - the Breviary and his daily Mass [with his own unique liturgy complete with interjections and dialogue questions!] Joe's proverbial kindness - his five talents (it was the Gospel chosen for his farewell Mass] - was an investment which bore rich dividends for the recipients. Many are the memories – personal and precious - which everyone had of his kindness - each person with his/her own story to tell. He had a particular soft spot for the House Staff - and undertook an unashamed defence of the Eves among them – often reminding the Adams of anniversaries/birthdays, which might otherwise have been forgotten! Exchange students were also among his favourites. At the end of one year – during the Leaving Certificate exams in June - Rhetoric Year gave Joe a present of an electric blanket - for he always seemed to feel the cold very keenly – and was often wrapped in layers of pullovers and his famous coat - beneath which (at least it was rumoured] were several hot-water bottles! He put up a notice to thank the Students for their “very thoughtful gift – which will be so useful now that winter is drawing on” .............. and this was in the first week in June !

At an age when most of his contemporaries were long retired or invalid - Joe continued to patrol the corridors of the Higher Line's “R Block” in Clongowes – encouraging the lame ducks – searching for the lost souls – sharing his wisdom with all and sundry. He had such a canny knack of foretelling what might "come up" in the Leaving that there many of his charges could not be persuaded that he did not have “insider information” in the Department !

In the evening of his life Joe became more frail in body - but with his spirit's sparkle never dimmed. The Nurses in Clongowes looked after him with a tender devotion far beyond the call of duty (as did the Staff in the village pharmacies). During his last few months, it was the turn of the Nurses and Staff of Cherryfield to fall under his charm and to care for him with their renowned love and attention. This task carried its own challenge - and many of them found themselves on the receiving end as they enquired after his health -- only to find themselves responding to Joe's interrogation as to how they were getting on ! Joe had never wanted to go there - and it is their great triumph that they succeeded in making it a real home-from home for him. Once a Prefect - always a Prefect - or so it is said! In Cherryfield Joe remained always “on duty”. On one occasion he entered someone else's room late at night and told him to Turn off that TV - and do it now! I have people studying for the Leaving Cert. along this corridor – and you are distracting them! His startled companion duly complied!

Late on the evening of Sunday 6th May the Night Nurse in Cherryfield alerted the Rector and Joe's Sister that he had taken a turn for the worse. I have a very moving cameo-memory of seeing Josephine sitting by Joe's bed, reciting prayers from an old Child of Mary prayerbook - occasionally glancing round at her Brother as he listened to her prayers for and with him - as we shared his last moments on earth. Night Staff in a hospital or nursing home live a sort of owl-like existence - rarely heard or seen ............ Joe introduced us to three wonderful people on that Sunday evening - aş, at the moment of his final departure, they cared for both of us trying to cope with the finality of it all. Three minutes into a new day -- on Monday 7th May - Joe celebrated what the ancient Roman martyrology called our dies natalis - his Heavenly Birthday. He had reached God's holy mountain -- to share in the New Life promised by Jesus to those who eat the Bread of Life and drink from the wells of Salvation.

At the Community Mass in Cherryfield on the day Joe died, Fr Paul Andrews quoted a celebrated phrase of Prof. Winnicott, a distinguished psychiatrist who once said: I pray that I will be alive when I die ........ I pray that I will be alive when I die! This was so true of Fr Brereton - and his spirit will live on - both in CWC and throughout the world – where so many of his former pupils mourned his passing – fully alive, aged ninety-one-and-a-half years old.

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

The passing of Fr Joe Brereton SJ saw Clongowes lose one of its most faithful servants. The many tributes and messages of sympathy referred to by Fr Michael Sheil SJ included the following, one from a present pupil, Tom Goodman, and one from an Old Clongownian...

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

The sky was a ceiling of deep blues and greys when we arrived at the dock. Clouds hid the moon, but from some lighted windows we were able to make out the shape of some of the structures along the seafront. Nature's silence lay our with us, which, combined with the wind and water in their whirling, created a sublime calm. So much so, that we were afraid to speak above a whisper, content to be keepers of serenity. At last we reached the ship, a looming yer majestic vessel bobbing slowly on the chop, and stepping up to the gangplank, we boarded. The ship itself creaked gently as we almost tiptoed across the rain-slick deck. Then, coming to a pair of large wooden doors, banded with riveted iron strips, we stepped in to meet The Captain.

Leaving the rain on the other side of the door, we took off our coats and, in our surroundings, not for the first or last time. The room was quite compact and plain. On one side there stood elegantly a shrine to Our Lady, and on the opposite side to this the room was walled with wooden-slatted shutters that were pulled right down to the ground. Faintly from behind these, the murmur of hymns floated, changing the silence into a soft praising song. Heels clacking on the planks beneath our feet, we approached the shutters and knocked firmly; after a few moments they opened.

The Captain stood there, measuring us intently He was an elderly man, with a kindly face and silky snow-white hair. With a slight hunch he stood shorter than he should and he held his gnarled hands down in front of him. Smiling, he invited us to sit; and we did, the reverent music resounding out behind us from the horn of the gramophone, and waited as The Captain sat silently at his desk, working his way through his rosary beads with quavering lips. Looking past The Captain out the porthole, we caught a glimpse in the newly emergent moonlight of the glorious bone-white castle standing vigilant to the night with its golden doors. The gramophone dinked as the clay disc finished its circuit and The Captain's beads pattered as he laid them on the table and sat back in his padded pinewood chair. Behind us the heavy wooden door groaned to admit a woman with a small frame, long straight brown hair and specracles. Neither we, nor The Captain said a word as she sat herself down on one of the benches at the wall. But after a few moments we realised that she was praying for The Captain, and by this time she had already risen, blessed herself and was making for the door, while The Captain quirked a little smile in thanks. After glancing to each other and then to The Captain, we resumed our quietude.

Sitting for so long in that room with the silent Captain, we began to notice all its little details, as one could not help but do in such a situation. Twelve candles stood in gilded sticks, ten of which were alight, casting a mellow and soft radiance across The Captain's quarters. Out another of the porcholes, which was fitted with red glass, a shining shaft of light shooting from the lighthouse could be seen. It added to the strange atmosphere in the room that persuaded silence. The Captain's kindly smile still lingered from the woman's visit, and rekindled as two more figures stepped through the large wooden doors.

The two men were quite different yer similar in appearance. Both held some weight on their paunches, both looked a considerable age (one more so than the other.) and both looked strangely as if they had just recently emerged into joy from grief. They were speaking quietly to one another as they stepped across the threshold and brushed off their coats, their firm shoes tapping on the floor. After they had said their prayers in a similar fashion to the woman previously, the two men paused to look at The Captain, who was sitting back, straight in the eye. Resuming their conversation (which seemed to revolve around The Captain himself) they quietly departed, leaving The Captain smiling,

The time to speak
Now the time came when we finally began to speak to The Captain and one another; quietly at first but gradually as we breached the swallowing silence of the cabin, the level of our voices began to rise. The Captain sat like a stone through it all, smiling in a calm thoughtful bliss.

It was past midnight when we finally left The Captain. We were admittedly reluctant to leave; but we needed our sleep for the following morning, for The Captain's final journey on the sea. Walking in the crisp, cold night, we left the harbour already dreaming of bed beneath the moonshine in the ever-creeping weariness.

The morning rose bright and blue, but soon the sea-breeze swept clouds in over our heads, and with the clouds came rain, light at first. As we walked down to the docks feeling the first spots of rain on our faces, gulls reeled and screeched along the wind, and from afar we could see the crowd that had formed around The Captain's vessel. Even from that distance we could pick out some officers, though the general rabble of other crewmembers melded into one uniformed crowd. At the fringes could be seen both men and women, dressed in many different fashions. Here some ex-officers in formal. raiment, and there women, both old and young, in their own finery.

Coming closer along the water a wave plashed against the harbour wall, spraying us lightly with an early blessing. The cobbles beneath our feet mimicked tiles in their various colours and shapes and wall murals stuck up at regular intervals. Fourteen we counted by the time we joined the crowd that stood warching the captain on the deck.

The great splayed mix of voices quietened as priests in their white robes stepped up to bless The Captain and his voyage. Silence, as well governed as on the previous night, blanketed the crowd as The Captain was blessed, for it was well known that The Captain himself was a man of God, and as the ceremony progressed, The Captain visibly stepped out of his hunch, standing tall to the wind and vast ocean ahead of him. At The Captain's side stood his sister, regal in her equanimity; for it was no easy thing to do, leaving a brother to the voyage alone. At the will of the priests, we began to sing. Deep sonorous bass notes were complemented by the higher ones, swirling together into a great farewell, filled with the respect and praise The Captain was due. While we slid from song to prayer and back again those men on-deck lined the way to the helm; a guard of honour for The Captain, despite the raindrops, which fell down with abandon. When the songs were over and The Captain stood nobly gripping at the pinewood wheel with his hands, the rest of us that could fit climbed up upon the ship, ready to sail The Captain to the places where map and sight failed to guide. Without order we hitched the booms, hoisted the sails and cast off, the bow cutting into the water, cleaving our way forward with the aid of the sails. With the bowsprit pointing our way we departed, The Caprain leading with an open grin on his face, which had youthened, his hair now turning a tawny colour, and his eyes holding the light of excitement.

After quite some time in the pouring rain, whipping wind and amidst the tang of salt in one's nostril, a small elbow of land sitting green on the horizon came into view, it was on no sea-chart, no map or in no book that the men could find, The Captain had taken us, and he had led with the surety of somebody heading home along an old road from their childhood, but we all knew that he had never visited this place; none of us had. When we made closer to the islands, mists rose out of the sea to shroud them. The Captain bade us stop, so we weighed anchor. The Captain now holding the youthful look of a man of thirty, with all the wisdom of an eighty year old behind the eyes, leapt down onto the deck past us, utterly astonished, to the rowing boats which were cied off at the side of the ships hull and hopped into the sleek, varnished pine boat. We all stood around agape at first as he began to lower himself down, but at the signal of one of the priests who ventured along with us, we began a final lamenting praise for The Captain. Weak and sad to begin, the melody took us to a time when The Captain began to prepare for this voyage, to the care he showed to us, each of his crew-members, his love and concern, his imagination and his ability to see that it was okay when chaos and ruin seemed to loom; to now, as the sky opened up to the warm embrace of the sun we realised that this journey is made by all good men and women, those who are in their nature - for others. The Captain was leaving now, his boat had silently dipped into the water and had begun gliding along, tending towards the shore, but we would see him again. Smiles broke out among the crew as we watched him shrink. When he was still clearly visible he turned his young face that was filled with life ship-ward and smiled one last time for us, as the golden mists enveloped him, hiding him from our view. And so we sat and thought of the time when we ourselves would have to make a similar journey, through this life into another. Still smiling.

And into the misty isles of time,
We all shall sail ourselves.
Whether in morning, day or dusk,
We drink now from the well
That quenches all; the fair of heart
Villains, liars, fiends
And leaves behind no thirst for men
Or thought of mortal dreams.
Failing body, prevailing soul
Through all that ever is.
Someday hope you'll take your boat
On through the golden mists.

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

It was a far from soft day when the casket of Fr Joe Brereton SJ was lowered into the grave by a new generation of Clongownians in the community graveyard, just off the main avenue. Alongside the recently departed Fr Paddy Lavery SJ, the man more affectionately known ‘Bertie” Brereton was laid to his final place of rest in front of many Clongownians, past and present. It was somehow unfair that this most gentle of men did not get more deserving weather - some bright Spring sunshine - in order to record the sad moment when he left the Clongowes Community for good. But then again, Bertie was never one for the limelight.

In recalling the long shadow he cast over the Clongowes Community, Fr Michael 'Mocky' Sheil fondly remembered that the Bertie era started even before the current Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden, had arrived in Clongowes many years ago. Mocky estimated that his influence had been cast over 3,000 pupils during his tenure, and a testament to that influence was the cross-section of ages in the Boys Chapel for his funeral service, all reflecting a man who, in a very quiet, yet determined way, had managed to impact on many, many generations during his teaching years.

For those who wondered in the early days why soccer played such a role in the teaching of English, it was due to his roots in Liverpool, where he lived until the premature death of his father, after which the family moved back to Limerick. In looking back over old copy books in clear outs and house moves, it is now clearer to me why so many essays, projects and drawings of the 1974 World Cup were acceptable English copy for Fr Brereton. Unbeknownst to many of us he loved football, but he also took an interest in all sporting achievements of his charges, especially his “Officers”. In a moving, honest and potent homily Fr Sheil recalled a particular rivalry between prefects in the old Rhetoric Building, Since forever, it seemed, Bertie called his fellow dwellers on the top floor of the old 1966 building “Officers”, all seemingly a reflection of a higher quality of Rhetorician in the scheme of things - in his mind. This was carried further in the cup teams and other sports, as no winning team went without a competitive count from Joe Brereton as to his Officer numbers in the wining side.

But it was perhaps the term “Villain” that evoked the most recognition from the packed church during Mocky's fond recollections on Thursday morning. It was the fiercest term that Bertie ever mustered when talking about the most mean of people. In an era when the hard edge of The Raz - aka Fr Gerry O'Beirne - was not slow about calling things as they were (and often in the most non-Jesuitical language) Fr Joe Brereton never moved beyond the term “villains”. This, perhaps, most accurately reflected the soft and caring nature of the man, characterising everything he stood for during his four plus decades in Clongowes. Whatever about being an Officer or a Gentleman, one thing you never wanted to be was a Villain. There was possibly nothing more troublesome.

In the closing prayers at the graveside on Thursday Fr Sheil and Fr Moloney ended concelebrating the life of a great man in the company of Fr John Looby, Fr Phil Fogarty, and Fr Colin Warrack. They did so with a befitting sense of ceremony perhaps so typical of the Jesuit Community over the generations. Sadly though the Clongowes Jesuit community graveyard is filled with too many stalwarts now long since at peace, yet evoking memories for each and everyone of us: Fr Cyril Power, Fr James “Pop” Casey, Fr Charlie O'Connor, Fr Ray Lawler, Fr Percy Winder, Fr Gerry O'Beirne, Fr Frank Frewen, Brother Willie Fitzgerald, Brother William Glanville and the one and only Jim Treacy - to mention just a few. On May 10th 2012 Fr Joe Brereton, SJ sadly joined them. May he rest in peace.

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/643
  • Person
  • 13 December 1923-02 May 1997

Born: 13 December 1923, London, England / St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 02 May 1997, St Paul’s Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Farewell to Father Matthew Brosnan, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Matthew Brosnan, 73, passed away in hospital shortly after midnight on Friday, 2 May 1997.

During a medical check-up it was discovered that he had a serious heart condition that needed immediate treatment. He underwent an operation on Thursday but died a few hours later. Father Brosnan was born of Irish parents in London on 13 December 1923. He received his early education in Bray, County Wicklow, Ireland before attending secondary school at the Jesuit-run Belvedere College in Dublin.

On 7 September 1942, Matthew Brosnan entered the Society of Jesus and was sent to the National University of Ireland where he eventually graduated with a first class honours Bachelor of Arts degree. This was followed by three years of Philosophical studies.

In 1950 he was assigned to the Hong Kong mission where he spent his first two years learning Cantonese. Soon afterwards he began teaching in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He returned to Ireland to complete his studies and was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1956.

Father Brosnan was permanently assigned to Hong Kong in 1958. Except for 6 years as director of the Jesuit Retreat House on Cheung Chau Island, he spent many years teaching, mainly at Wah Yan College on Hong Kong Island. As a gifted retreat master and good linguist it was no wonder that Father Brosnan was sought out as a preacher, confessor, retreat master and spiritual director.

In his almost 40 years of priestly work in Hong Kong he helped countless people come to know, love and follow Jesus Christ in their daily lives.

A funeral Mass for Father Brosnan was held on Monday, 5 May, at St. Paul’s Convent Chapel and was attended by his fellow Jesuits and Cardinal J.B. Wu and Bishops Joseph Zen and John Tong as well as many other Religious, priest and friends.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 May 1997

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was in Wicklow and then at Belvedere College SJ Dublin. He got 1st place in French in Ireland in his Leaving Certificate.

He followed the usual course of Jesuit studies graduating with a First Class Honours BA from UCD. He then spent three years studying Philosophy and was elected President of the Sodality Academy.
1950 He was sent to Hong Kong and studied Cantonese
1953-1958 He was back in Ireland studying Theology and making Tertianship at Rathfarnhamn Castle
1959-1962 He was back in Hong Kong and teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1962-1968 He was at the Retreat House at Cheung Chau
1968-1997 he was sen teaching at Wah Yan Hong Kong

He was an experienced teacher of English and Biblical Knowledge at both Wah Yan Colleges. At one time he was Principal at Wahy Yan Hong Kong. he was also an advisor of the “Catholic Society” and a Warden at Ricci Hall

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

Matt was bom in England on 13th December, 1923 and died in Hong Kong on 2nd May, 1997.

Matt is survived by Ethel (85) in New Zealand, Finola (78) and Shena (68) both in the UK. His father was a chiropodist who lived on St Stephen's Green and so Matt went to Belvedere College, 1933-1942. From his earliest days he wanted to be a priest. Being in the Bicycle Club brought him into close contact with Jesuits and he joined the Society of Jesus in 1942.

He was always very serious-minded and got a Gold Medal in French in the Leaving Certifi cate Exams. At UCD he got a First Class Honours Degree and then studied Philosophy seriously.

Assigned to Hong Kong in 1950 he put all he had into the study of Cantonese and so was always fluent in the language. People always wondered at the accuracy of his tones and grammar, He always concentrated on Chinese life for missionary aims.

After ordination to the priesthood in Dublin in 1956, he returned to teach in Wah Yan Col lege, Hong Kong until his retirement in 1993. The boys liked him for his gentleness and seriousness in teaching English and Religious Knowledge. He was zealous in preparing boys for baptism and always urged them in their Catholic activities. Besides thirty years teach ing, six years in Kowloon and the rest in Hong Kong, he was director of the Retreat House in Cheung Chau for six years between 1960-66. He promoted weekend retreats for men in business companies and for students during the week. His devotion and dedication to Christ were appreciated.

His death was unexpected. He had entered St Paul's Hospital for a prostate operation, but the doctors deemed a heart bypass essential first. He never recovered, dying within days...
He had been Spiritual Director of the enclosed Carmelite Sisters at Stanley since 1975 and the Director of the Third Order Carmelites since 1983. These people not only saw to his funeral expenses, but were present in force (fifty in habit) at his wake and funeral.

This was followed by Six Friday night Requiem Masses at 7pm in the Catholic Centre.

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

Complete dedication to missionary work among the Chinese is Matt’s epitaph. A conservative Jesuit, gentle but retiring, he had an integrity and dedication which ranks him with the martyrs and heroes.

HN SJ

Brown, Stephen J, 1881-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/54
  • Person
  • 24 September 1881-08 May 1962

Born: 24 September 1881, Holywood, County Down
Entered: 14 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1914, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1917, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Died: 08 May 1962, St Joseph's, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

Part of Milltown Park community at time of his death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

not in 1900 Cat index
by 1903 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1920 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ not in 1900 Cat index - it would appear that he originally entered 14 September 1897 was dismissed by and reentered 16 March 1900, involving the Provincial P Keating and Father General.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online : Brown, Stephen James Meredith
by Catherine Moran

Brown, Stephen James Meredith (1881–1962), Jesuit priest, bibliographer, and librarian, was born 24 September 1881 in Holywood, Co. Down, eldest of four children of Stephen James Brown (1853–1931), solicitor and JP, and Catharine Brown (née Ross; d. c.1888/9). He was raised in Co. Kildare. After his mother's death, his father married (1897) Mary Spring (née Ball); they had a child.

Educated at Clongowes Wood College (1892–7), Co. Kildare, and the Royal University of Ireland, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg (September 1897) and was ordained a priest (1914). Interested in producing firstly Irish and later catholic bibliographies, he earned an international reputation as a bibliographer. Among his more important works are A reader's guide to Irish fiction (1910), A guide to books on Ireland (1912), Ireland in fiction, vol. i (1915; 2nd ed. (1919) reprinted 1969), The realm of poetry (1921), Catalogue of novels and tales by catholic writers (many eds, 1927–49), International index of catholic biographies (1930; 2nd ed., revised and greatly enlarged, 1935), Libraries and literature from a catholic standpoint (1937), and A survey of catholic literature (1943). He was a prolific contributor to several periodicals including Studies (and its assistant editor 1925–6); edited the missionary magazine St Joseph's Sheaf; also edited (1918, 1919) The Clongownian while still at Clongowes; and published many spiritual books, including From God to God: an outline of life (1940) and Studies in life: by and large (1942).

In 1922 he founded the Central Catholic Library (Westmoreland St., Dublin; later in Hawkins St. and latterly in Merrion Square), which was firmly rooted in the then popular ‘Catholic Action’ movement; he was hon. librarian (1922–32, 1935–59), joint hon. librarian (1959–60), and on several of its more important committees till his accident in 1960; he tendered his resignation in May 1961. A member of the Bibliographical Society of Ireland (c. 1919–1938), he was vice-president in 1924 and 1925, and president in 1926 and 1927. He served (1926–31) as a coopted member on Co. Dublin Libraries Committee. Elected to the executive board (1928–c. 1943/4) and council (1928–49) of the Library Association of Ireland (LAI), he became chairman (1933–c. 1943) of its advisory committee on book selection, chairman of the Irish literature committee (1940–41), and an honorary fellow (1953). In recognition of his services to catholic librarianship he was granted honorary membership of the American-based Catholic Library Association (1932). In 1934 he sat on the advisory council of the Spiritual Book Associates (USA).

He lectured (1928–c. 1950) on bibliography, book selection, and reference books at UCD's school of library training, of which he was a founding member. Appointed hon. librarian of the Academy of Christian Art, where he gave lectures and was involved in setting up and running children's art classes and at least one children's art exhibition, he contributed to the Academy's short-lived Journal, and was a member of its council and later (1942) its vice-president. His abiding interest in establishing a hospital library service in Ireland led to the founding (1937) of the Hospital Library Council, which he chaired (1937–43). He was also chairman of the council of the newly established Book Association of Ireland (1943– ) and an organiser of Catholic Book Week (1948). He belonged to numerous other bodies, including Cumann Sugraidh an Airm; he was general adviser and one of the founders of the Catholic Writers’ Guild (1926–9) and the League of Nations Society of Ireland. From c. 1947/8 he represented the Central Catholic Library on the committee for history and archaeology of the Irish Association for Documentation. He was founder and first president of the Catholic Association for International Relations (1937–49) and was apparently a founder member (1948) of the Catholic Writers Association; he was listed (1935) as a member of the advisory council of the Irish Messenger Press, and sat on the board of governors of the Gallery of Living Catholic Authors.

His enormous workload only began to ease in the 1950s. After ordination he lived at Milltown Park, Dublin (1914–15); St Stanislaus College, Tullamore (1916); Clongowes Wood College (1917–19); Ore Place, Hastings, Sussex (1920–21), and in Dublin again at Milltown Park (1922–5, 1941–62), University Hall, Hatch St. (1925–6), and Rathfarnham castle (1927–40). Seriously injured in a traffic accident outside the British Museum (1960), he died 8 May 1962 at the nursing home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow, and was buried in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin. A portrait by David Hone is in the Central Catholic Library. His personal papers are spread among the CCL, Irish Jesuit archives, Fingal county archives, and the NLI.

Catalogus Provinciae Hiberniae Societatis Jesu, 1897–1962; ‘Fr Stephen Brown, S. J. (1881–1962)’, Irish Province News, x (1962), 414–18; Catherine Moran, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a library life 1881–1962’ (MLIS thesis, NUI (UCD), 1998) (includes list of photos and portrait); idem, ‘Fr Stephen J. Brown, S. J.: a methodological case study for library history’, PaGes: Arts Postgraduate Research in Progress, v (1998), 111–23

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

The Irish Rosary, May number, writes : Fr Stephen Brown is our most accomplished Catholic bibliographer in this country. He is also, as everybody knows the founder and guiding spirit of that admirable institution, the Central Catholic Library, which deserves more praise and publicity than it receives. It also merits more financial support than well-to-do Catholics in Dublin and the provinces realise. The Library is conducted on voluntary lines, no salaries being paid. " Supervisors " succeed one another from 11am to 10pm every day, Sundays included. It is owned by an association of priests and laymen under the patronage of the Archbishop. Fr S. Brown is the Hon. Librarian. There is no regular income other than voluntary subscriptions. The Library was intended as a source of information on all subjects touching Catholicism, and as a source of inspiration for all Catholic activities.

Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943

The Central Catholic Library, 74 Merrion Square, Dublin, reached its 2lst year on 24th June. At the annual general meeting Fr. Stephen Brown, who is the Librarian, said he had received letters recently from several Irish Bishops requesting membership of the Library Association. The Archbishop of Dublin, Most Rev. Dr. McQuaid, has become a foundation member. The Archbishop of Tuam, Most Rev. Dr. Walsh, and several other Bishops have become life members. There have been further additions in nearly all sections of the Library and the total number of book accessions during the year was 1,063. The attendances of readers at the Library have also increased during the past year, there being a total of 41,071 with a daily average of 112. About 2,400 books are borrowed each month from the lending department which has made marked progress during the year. Fr. Brown paid a tribute to the President, Rt. Rev. Mgr. Boylan, P.P., V.G., to the members of the staff and to all who helped in the work of the Association. The success of the Library is due chiefly to Fr. Brown's untiring labours as Librarian.

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

Obituary :

Fr Stephen Brown (1881-1962)

Stephen Brown was born in Co. Down on September 24th, 1881, but as a boy he lived with his parents at Naas, where his father was a solicitor. He was at school at Clongowes and entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 14th, 1897, but in his second year owing to an attack of pneumonia and consequent lung trouble he had to leave the Novitiate. Though his name does not appear in the Catalogue for 1900, he returned to Tullabeg in that year and finished his novitiate. He remained as a Junior for 1901 and 1902.
He did his Philosophy course at Jersey during 1903, 1904 and 1905. From 1906 to 1911 he was a scholastic at Clongowes teaching mainly English and French. He studied Theology at Milltown Park from 1912 to 1915, having been ordained on July 26th, 1914.
After his Tertianship at Tullabeg he returned to Clongowes where for three years he taught English, French and Irish and was editor of the Clongownian for his last two years.
In 1920 and 1921 we find him at Ore Place, Hastings, as a Biennist in Sacred Scripture. During 1922, 1923 and 1924 he lectured on sacred Scripture at Milltown Park. In 1925 and 1926 he was Adj. Praef. at University Hall, Hatch St., while in the latter year he was Adj. Ed. Studies. Then from 1927 to 1940 he was stationed at Rathfarnham Castle, where for the first two years he was given as Doc. et Script, but in 1930 he was appointed Laet. Scient. Bibliogr. in Univ. Nat., a position he held until 1954, many years after he had left Rathfarnham. In 1941 he was transferred to Milltown Park, where he remained until his death in 1962. In 1950 we find him Cur, agit., Central Catholic Library, a post he held until 1960.
On the evening of May 8th Fr. Stephen Brown died peacefully in the Nursing Home of the Brothers Hospitallers at Kilcroney, Bray, Co. Wicklow. He would have completed his eighty-one years of life next September. It was quite evident for several months that a decline had set in and he was fully cognisant of the fact. Many times he made remarks to that effect.
Fr. Brown must have had a very remarkable constitution. Looking back over the years...and the writer first met him in 1906- one cannot recall any illness. True, in more recent years he had to have a cataract removed from one eye to relieve total blindness coming over him, but apart from that, he had always remarkably good health and was very nimble even in his old age. The crisis came in September 1960. Fr. Brown insisted during the Summer in going to France on supply work. He was then seventy-nine and had sight in one eye only. On his returning in September he met with a serious accident as he stepped off the pavement to cross the the road in London's traffic. Fortunately he had only just left Southwell House - our retreat house in Hampstead, N.W.3 - in company with one of the community. He was anointed and taken to the nearest hospital. There it was discovered that he had a fracture in his skull and several broken ribs. Little hope was held out for his recovery. For months he lay helpless, but gradually his powers of recognition and movement returned and he was flown back to Ireland in mid-February 1961.
Now began the great fight-back which won the admiration of all in Milltown Park, and of those who came to see him. If any man had indomitable courage it was Fr. Brown, Slowly he was able to get on his feet and be helped to walk. His one ambition was to be able to offer Holy Mass, to recite again the Divine Office, and to return to the arena of his literary work. That he was able to stand again at the altar, and recite the Breviary, was due to the unselfish and untiring efforts of Fr. Paul O'Flanagan. It is literally true that the Mass had to be learned all over again, and likewise the Divine Office. Slowly but surely, with his mentor always at hand. Fr. Brown achieved his ambition. The one great handicap was his inability to walk without support. Though there were no leg injuries, he never succeeded in walking without sticks or without assistance. All the Summer and Autumn of 1961 there were hopes of complete recovery, but as 1962 dawned there were ominous signs of relapse. The mind which had become clear began to get blurred, and the walk practically ceased. He knew himself it was the beginning of the end. An accident of such a kind for a man of his age was just too much. Yet he worked all day at his books, articles, reviews and papers. He laboured through his daily Mass and Office and prayers until he could labour no more.
It is quite obvious that Fr. Stephen Brown's outstanding quality was his courageous tenacity. Once he had set his mind on any task, once he had determined on any course of action, he was almost ruthless in seeing it through. He expected the whole world to rally round him and lend support. Naturally, at times, such an attitude, while it attracts some people, it repels others; but it was the secret of Fr. Brown's magnificent achievements.
What were these great achievements? Space does not allow a full and detailed account of all this Irish Jesuit accomplished in his sixty-five years of religious life above all in his almost fifty years of priesthood. It is doubtful if any member of the Irish Province did such an enduring work. Let us see from the following enumeration:

  1. He founded the Catholic Central Library.
  2. He founded the first Lectureship in Librarianship in the National University.
  3. He had published more books, pamphlets, articles and reviews than anyone else.
  4. He founded the Society for Catholic International Relations,
  5. He helped on very many activities in Church and in State, not merely by his pen, but by his presence, for he was intensely holy and intensely patriotic.
    The rock foundation of these and many other works was a solid religious life. Fr. Brown was a man of simple, childlike faith. One proof of this was his great love for children. He had a charming manner, and could attract the young by his winning ways. He had a wonderfully clear and well-modulated voice. It was a pleasure to listen to him whether he read or preached. He was in no sense a vigorous speaker, because he possessed a great evenness of temper, and never seemed to get excited. The most extreme preparation was made for everything he had to do. This is seen in his writings, hence his spiritual books and articles appealed to many. There was accuracy and restraint in all things. As a director of retreats in convents, as a speaker at meetings, Fr. Brown had always something fresh and thought-provoking to contribute. He was one of the great workers and scholars of his generation in the Society, and there were quite a few. He took up a line, and he kept on it. The reading of good books, the writing of good books, the collection and distribution of good books was Fr. Brown's life. His name will never die, for it is in print in libraries all over the world. The Irish Province has had a distinguished gathering of Fr. Browns. Looking back half a century one recalls Fr. Tom Brown (Provincial), Fr. Eugene Browne, who lived to a ripe old age after holding many important positions in the Province; Fr, Henry Browne (Professor of Greek, N.U.I.); Fr. Michael Browne, Rector, Master of Novices for three periods, Socius to Provincial; Fr. Frank Browne, who died two years ago and whose bravery on the battlefield, eloquence in the pulpit, unbounded energy are still on our lips. To this group of illustrious priests Fr. Stephen Brown has added further lustre. R.I.P.

Publications by Rev. Stephen J. Brown, S.J.
A Reader's Guide to Irish Fiction, pp. 224. Dublin: Browne and Nolani. 1910. An early edition of Ireland in Fiction (out of print),
Ireland in Fiction, 3rd ed., pp. XX+362. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 10/6. 1919. A guide to Irish Novels, Tales, Romances and Folklore.
A Guide to Books on Ireland, pp. xviii+372. Dublin: Hodges Figgis. 6/-. 1918. A bibliography of Irish Prose Literature, Poetry, Music and Plays.
Poetry of Irish History, pp. xviii +-382. Dublin: The Talbot Press. 61-. 1927. A revised and enlarged edition of Historical Ballad Poetry of Ireland. edited by M. J. Brown. Irish history told in poems selected from Anglo Irish and Gaelic (translated) literature, with notes.
The Realm of Poetry, pp. 216. London: Harrap, 2/6. 1921An Introduction to Poetry, studying the nature of poetry, what it can do for us, and the approach to the appreciation and love of it.
The World of Imagery, pp. 354. London: Kegan Paul, 12/6. 1927. A study of Metaphor and kindred imagery.
Libraries and Literature from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. 323. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 1937. Discusses Catholic libraries, their influence and some of their problems, librarianship, the scope and extent of Catholic literature, Catholic fiction and poetry, children's books, the Catholic writer, censorship, etc.
Poison and Balm, pp. 143. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1938. Lectures on Communism with allusions to other anti-religious movements. Con trasts Communism as it actually works with Christianity in respect of the human person, the home, attitude towards the workers and the poor, religion.
The Preacher's Library. Re-issue with Supplement, 1928-1938. Dublin : Browne and Nolan. 1939.
From God to God. An Outline of Life, pp. 316. Dublin: Browne and Nolan, 7/6. 1940. 2nd edition 1942. Studies in Life By and Large, pp. 243. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6. 1941.
Towards the Realisation of God, pp. 180. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 7/6. 1944.
A Survey of Catholic Literature, pp. 250. Milwaukee: Bruce. $2.50. 1945. (With Thomas McDermott.)
From the Realm of Poetry, pp. xx+360. London: Macmillan. 4/6. 1947. An anthology for the Leaving Certificate and Matriculation examinations.
The Teaching of Christ, An Introduction and a Digest. Oneself and Books.
The Church and Art. Translated from the French of Louis Dimiar.
The Divine Song-Book, pp. 84. London: Sands. 2/6. 1926. A brief. introduction to the Psalms not for scholars, but for ordinary readers.
The Preacher's Library, pp. 130. London: Sheed and Ward. 3/6. 1928. A survey of pulpit literature from a practical standpoint.
The Well-Springs, pp. xxviii +164. London; Burns Oates and Washbourne. 5/-. 1931. Counsels for the guidance of the mind and for the conduct of life, translated from the French of Père Gratry, with Intro duction and Bibliography.
International Relations from a Catholic Standpoint, pp. xvi+200. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 8/6, 1932. Translated from the French. Edited, with Foreword and Bibliography, for the Catholic Union of International Studies (Irish Branch).

The Catholic Bibliographical Series
An Introduction to Catholic Booklore. Demy 8vo, pp. 105. Cloth, 5/-.
An International Index of Catholic Biographies. New Edition. Demy 8vo, pp. 285. 10/6.
Catalogue of Novels and Tales by Catholic Writers. Eighth Edition Revised. Demy 8vo, pp. 140. 2/6. 1946.
Catholic Juvenile Literature. Demy Svo, pp. 70. 3/6.
Catholic Mission Literature. A Handlist. Price 2/- in manila covers; 3/6 bound in cloth.
The Press in Ireland. A Survey and a Guide, pp. 304. Dublin: Browne and Nolan. 1937. (Not available.)

Pamphlets
The Question of Irish Nationality. Imp. 8vo, pp. 44. Dublin: Sealy, Bryers and Walker. (Out of print.)
Irish Story-Books for Boys and Girls. Dublin: Offices of the Irish Messenger, Price 2d.
Catholics and the League of Nations, Dublin: League of Nations Society of Ireland. London: Catholic Council of International Relations. Price 3d.
Some Notes on Europe Today (with Anthony Count O'Brien of Thomond). 4to, pp. 11. Dublin: Catholic Association for International Relations. 1947.
Librarianship as a Career and a Vocation. In Prospectus of School of Library Training, University College, Dublin.
The First Ten Years of an Irish Enterprise, pp. 80. Dublin: The Central Catholic Library. Price 3d,
The Catholic Library Comes of Age (1922-1943), pp. 48. Dublin: Central Catholic Library. 1943.

The following are published at the Offices of the "Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart", Great Denmark Street, Dublin & France

God and Ourselves; What Christ Means to Us; What the Church Means to Us; Our Little Life; Little Notes on Life; Home to God.

◆ The Clongownian, 1946

Jubilee

Father Stephen Brown SJ

Father Stephen Brown, who celebrates his Golden Jubilee in the Society of Jesus this year, has had a long and close association with Clongowes. He was at school in Clongowe from 1892-1897, taught here as a Scholastic from 1905-1911, and as a Priest from 1916-1919.

On June 25th, 1922, Father Brown founded the Central Catholic Library, which now in its jubilee year, has ten branches in Dublin and 50,000 volumes on its shelyes. That institution alone would entitle him to the esteem and gratitude of those who seek further information about the Catholic Faith and about the part it is playing, and has played, in lifting the human heart to higher things, and in informing the human mind with trut which holds within'it an eternal and a temporal value.

In addition, Father Brown has founded in collaboration with Fred Ryan, anothe Old Clongownian, the Catholic Association for International Relations. Another prominent member is Fred King.

He has written many books on a wide variety of subjects on Poetry, on International Affairs, on the Psalms of David, and on the meaning and influence of religion in personal life.

Obviously Father Brown has, not wasted his time nor allowed his talents to rust unused. Clongowes fostered his bent towards reading; and, while a master here, he formed the purpose of publishing the extensive knowledge he had acquired about books and about literature. From that, in time, the rest has flowed.

The School and the Union congratulate Father Brown on his Jubilee, and assure him that they are proud of the work he has done and are thankful for it. He is still vigorous with many more years yet before him. - so we hope. We are quite certain that as long he can read and write the world will hear of him. And Clongowes, more particularly, will take a grateful interest in his indefatigable work for Faith and Country.

J E C

Brown, Thomas P, 1845-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/75
  • Person
  • 09 October 1845-28 September 1915

Born: 09 October 1845, Newfoundland, Canada
Entered: 01 August 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881
Final vows: 15 April 1883
Died: 28 September 1915, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 7 May 1883-2 February 1888
Mission Superior Australia 14 June 1908

by 1867 at Vannes, France (FRA) studying
by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1883 at at Hadzor House, (FRA) making Tertianship

Father Provincial 07 May 1883
Came to Australia 1888
Mission Superior 14 June 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Owing to some delicacy he spent some time in France.
He was then sent as Prefect of Third Division at Tullabeg for Regency, and soon became First Prefect.
He then went to Stonyhurst for Philosophy, and then back to Tullabeg for more Regency.
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne.
He was Ordained at St Beuno’s.
During Tertianship in France (1883) he was summoned to Fiesole (the Jesuits had been exiled from Rome so the General was there) and appointed HIB Provincial
1883-1888 Provincial Irish Province, During his Provincialate Tullabeg was closed and Father Robert Fulton (MARNEB) was sent as Visitor 1886-1888.
1889 He sailed for Australia and was appointed Rector of Kew College, and later Superior of the Mission.
1908-1913 He did Parish work at Hawthorn.
1913 His health began to decline and he went to Loyola, Sydney, and he lingered there until his death 28/09/1915.
Note from Morgan O’Brien Entry :
1889 In the Autumn of 1889 he accompanied Timothy Kenny and Thomas Browne and some others to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Carlow College before entering the Society at Milltown Park, Dublin, under Aloysius Sturzo.

1869-1874 After First Vows he was sent to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, where he was Prefect of Discipline and taught Writing and Arithmetic.
1874-1876 He was sent to Stonyhurst College, England for Philosophy
1876-1879 He was sent to Innsbruck, Austria for Theology
1879-1881 He returned to Stonyhurst to complete his Theology. he was not considered a good Theology student.
1881-1882 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College SJ as Minister
1882-1883 He was sent to Hadzor House, Droitwich, England to make Tertianship. During his Tertianship he was summoned to Fiesole, Italy, where the General was residing, and appointed PROVINCIAL of the Irish Province.
1883-1888 PROVINCIAL of the Irish Province. He was reputed to be a sound administrator, and he was only 37 years of age when appointed.
1888-1889 He returned to Clongowes as Minister
1889-1897 He went to Australia, and appointed Rector of Xavier College, Kew 1890-1897. he was also a Consultor of the Mission, and served as Prefect of Studies at Xavier College during 1890-1893. While at Xavier, he had the foresight to build the Great Hall and the quadrangle, which even by today’s standards is a grand building. He also planted many trees. However, at the time, money was scarce during the Great Depression, and many in the Province considered him to be extravagant. So, from then on, Superiors were always watchful over him on financial matters. Grand visions were rarely appreciate by Jesuits of the Province at this time.
1897-1898 Generally he did not seem to be a gifted teacher, and so he didn't spend much time in the classroom, However, in 1897-1898 he was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, where he taught and ran the “Sodality of Our Lady”.
1899-1901 He was sent to St Ignatius Parish, Richmond
1901-1902 He was sent to the parish at Norwood
1902-1906 He returned to the Richmond parish
1906--1908 He was sent to the Parish at Hawthorn.
1908-1913 Given his supposed administrative gifts, it must have been hard for him to do work that did ot particularly satisfy him. However, he was appointed Superior of the Mission. After a sudden breakdown in health he returned to Loyola College, Greenwich, and died there three years later.

He was experienced by some as a man of iron will and great courage, broad-minded with good judgement, a man whom you could rely on in difficulties, and with all his reserve, an extremely kind-hearted man.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Brown 1845-1915
Fr Thomas Brown was born in Newfoundland on October 9th 1845. He received his early education in Carlow College, entering the Society in 1866.

He was ordained at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and during his tertianship he was summoned to Fiesole and appointed Provincial of the Irish Province 1883-1888. He then sailed for Australia where he later became Superior of the Mission.

During his Provincialate in Ireland Tullabeg was closed as a College, and Fr Fulton was sent from Rome as a Visitor.

Fr Brown died in Sydney on September 28th 1915.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1915

Obituary

Father Thomas P (T P) Brown SJ

On September 28th of this year, Fr Brown, another of the old Rectors of Xavier, passed away. He was well known in the Eastern States, and much esteemed for his great qualities. He was a man of iron will and great courage, broad-minded, and of good judgment, a man upon whom one could rely in difficulties, and with all his reserve an extremely kind-hearted man.

Born in Newfoundland in 1845. he entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, and studied in Ireland, England and Germany, On the completion of his studies, after a short period of office at Clongowes, he was made Provincial of the Irish Province in 1883. He came to Australia in 1889, and soon after his arrival was appointed Rector of Xavier. Here he remnained till 1897, his chief work in Australia being done during this period. To him the school is indebted for the fine hall and the quadrangle, He was much interested in the plantations, and many of the trees now thriving so well were planted and tended with much labour by himself and Fr O'Connor. The troubled times following upon the bursting of the “boom” occurred during his rectorate, and made management of the school difficult, the number of boys falling very low. But he was far-seeing and not easily discouraged, and the spirit which he introduced lived; and those who have seen the school through many of its vicissitudes know what a debt it owes to Fr Brown.

His long reign at Xavier ended in 1897, after which he was occupied with parish work in Adelaide and Melbourne till 1908, when he was made Superior of the Jesuits in Australia. In 1913 his health completely broke down, and for the next two years he lived as an invalid - at the Novitiate and House of Retreats in Sydney. To the end of his life the very name of Xavier College seemed to be written in his heart. He followed the fortunes of the school with the most intense sympathy. He died on September 28th, and is buried beside Fr Keating, at the Gore Hill Cemetery, North Sydney. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father Thomas P Brown SJ

Though Father Thomas Brown was not at school at either Clongowes or Tullabeg, he was long connected with both these colleges as a master and prefect. During his time of work in Clongowes and afterwards as Provincial, Father Brown was responsible for many improvements in the College. We take the following notice of his death from . an Australian paper :

On Tuesday morning last, Sept. 28th, 1915, Rev. Father T P Brown SJ, of “Loyola”, Greenwich, died, after an illness extending over nearly three years. Towards the end of 1912 he got a paralytic stroke. Though he rallied a little. now and again, from the first it was quite clear that in his case complete restoration to health was out of the question. At the time of his death he was within a few days of his 70th year, and had his life been prolonged for another twelve months he would have celebrated the golden jubilee of his career as a Jesuit.

The late Father Brown was born in Newfoundland, but went to Ireland when quite young, and was educated at Carlow College. On the completion of his secondary education he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, when not yet 21. Two years later he went to Paris for his juniorate, or further classical studies. This was followed by philosophy. He then returned to Ireland, and was head prefect of discipline for some years in St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore. He studied theology at Innsbruck, and St Beuno's College, Wales. After ordination he returned to college work in Ireland for a short while. In 1882 he went to England for his Tertianship, the further year spent by Jesuits in training after priesthood. Early in 1883 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province.

We have given the bare outlines of his career so far - but, that one so youthful as he then was should be elevated to a position of such dignity and responsibility, clearly indicates that he had all along shown eminent qualities. His period of office as Provincial was one of unchecked progress for the Order in Ireland, With a foresight which did not commend itself to all at the time, but which every year has confirmed as wise, he closed a flourishing college, St Stanislaus; threw concentrated energy into Clongowes Wood College, a movement which has ever since leít Clongowes amongst the foremost, if not actually the first, institution of the kind in the United Kingdom. When he ceased to be Provincial, Father Brown went to Australia. He was immediately appointed to the Rectorship of Xavier College, Melbourne - a position he held for many years. His hand is visible there yet. Its noble assembly ball, its tasteful quadrangle, and the many features that make “Xavier” the best appointed college in Australia, are owing almost exclusively to Father Brown. When relieved of the burdens of office there followed some years of other scholastic work and missionary labours. In 1908 he had to take up government once more; for the General of the Jesuits called him to the office of Superior of the Order in Australia - an office which he filled till the illness began which brought about his death.

“To have known him”, wrote one of his former pupils, “is to have known what is best in man” - and these words express the thought of his many admirers. He was a bigmnan in every sense - big in stature, big in heart and sympathy, big in ideas and of unflinching fortitude. He was eminently a man of character, a man whose life was regulated by principles of the noblest type. His judgment was faultless, and up to a few days before his death one went to him with confidence in that his opinion on any matter would be invaluable. He was widely read in many branches, and few had amassed more information on useful topics. His taste was cultured and refined. At the same time he abhorred show. The world outside his own Order heard little of him. But the impression made by him on those who came into close contact with him will last as long as life itself. Judged by the severest test of human worth the opinion of those who know us best - Father Brown was a great man. This is the verdict of those who lived with him on terms of intimacy, of his pupils, of his religious brethren, and of his wide circle of admirers amongst the clergy up and down through Australia.

His Grace the Archbishop of Sydney presided at a Solemn Requiem High Mass for the late Father Brown, SJ, at St Mary's Church, North Sydney, on Wednesday morning.

“Catholic Press” (Sydney, N.S.W.), September 30th, 1915.

Browne, Eugene, 1823-1916, Jesuit priest

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

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

by 1851 at Laval France (FRA) studying theology

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

He died on December 17th 1916.

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

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

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

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China :

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

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

Father F M Browne SJ

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

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

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

Browne, Henry Martyn, 1853-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/72
  • Person
  • 07 August 1853-14 March 1941

Born: 07 August 1853, Birkenhead, Liverpool, Cheshire, England
Entered: 31 October 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 22 September 1889, St Beuno's, Wales
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 14 March 1941, St Beuno's, Wales

Part of the Heythrop, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire, England community at the time of death

by 1888 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1923 at Campion House, Osterley, London (ANG) teaching
by 1927 at Mount St London (ANG) writing
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) writing
by 1941 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire, England (ANG) writing

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Henry Martyn
by Christina Souyoudzoglou-Haywood

Browne, Henry Martyn (1853–1941), classicist and Jesuit priest, was born 7 August 1853 in Claughton, Woodchurch, Cheshire, England, the second of four sons and one daughter of John Wilson Browne, hardware merchant, born in Portugal (1824), and Jane Susan Browne (née McKnight), one of eight children of Robert McKnight, farmer, and Jane McKnight (née McLean) from Kelton, Castle Douglas, Kirkcudbrightshire. Henry grew up in Birmingham, where his father set up in business. He lost his mother (d. 14 May 1859) when he was almost six; in 1862 his father married Agnes Bowstead and had another two children.

Brown was educated at King Edward's school, Birmingham, and in 1872 entered New College, Oxford, as a commoner. He took moderations in 1873, obtaining second-class honours in Greek and Latin literature, but left the university the following year, without taking his second public examination – he was granted a BA in 1891 (MA 1895) upon embarking on his academic career – having converted to the catholic faith and joined the Society of Jesus. He later gave an account of his conversion in The city of peace (1903). In 1877 he joined the Irish province and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park. He took his vows in 1879, remained for a year at Milltown Park as a junior, and taught at Tullabeg, Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1880–84). He was ordained in 1889 at St Beuno's, north Wales. Five years earlier he had begun a degree in theology at Milltown Park, which he completed in 1890. He was then appointed to teach classics at UCD, then run by the Jesuits, filling the post formerly held by Gerard Manley Hopkins (qv). During this period he published the Handbook of Greek composition (1885; 8th ed. 1921) and Handbook of Latin composition (1901; 2nd ed. 1907). At the founding of the NUI in 1908 he was appointed professor of Greek at UCD, a position he held until his retirement in 1922.

What characterised Browne's approach to classical scholarship was his interest in the ‘reality’ of the ancient world, which he tried to convey to students through visual and tactile materials (maps, lantern slides, photographs, artefacts, and replicas). He became an enthusiastic advocate of archaeology, and particularly of prehistoric archaeology. He gave public lectures on Minoan and Mycenaean archaeology and – a first for Ireland – he introduced these subjects into the university's syllabus. In his popular Handbook of Homeric study (1905; 2nd ed., 1908) he debated extensively the implications for Homeric studies of the recent archaeological discoveries in the eastern Mediterranean. His greatest legacy to UCD was the Museum of Ancient History (afterwards renamed the Classical Museum), inaugurated at Earlsfort Terrace in 1910. Browne built up his teaching collection of more than 5,000 Greek, Roman, and Egyptian antiquities, replicas, and coins through his personal contacts with archaeologists and museums in England, through purchases on the antiquities market – an important purchase being that of Greek vases at the Christie's sale of the Thomas Hope collection in 1917 – and through loans from the National Museum of Ireland. He became a member of the committee of the British Association for Museums, and chairman of the archaeological aids committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching. In this capacity he visited the USA in 1916 to inquire into the educational role of American museums, and included his observations in Our renaissance: essays on the reform and revival of classical studies (1917). His practical approach to the classics led him to experiment with Greek choral rhythms; he gave demonstrations at American universities, and regularly chanted Greek choral odes to his students. He had many extra-curricular interests. For several years he was in charge of the University Sodality. He played a major role in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland (he was its chairman in 1913) and served on the Council of Hellenic Studies. He was involved with the St Joseph's Young Priests Society and supported the work of the Mungret Apostolic School.

After his retirement from UCD Browne left Ireland, where he had resided at the Jesuit residence, 35 Lower Leeson Street, Dublin, and was transferred to London, first to Osterley, then Farm Street in Mayfair, and in 1939 to Manresa House, Roehampton. During this period of his life he channelled his energy to the study of the English martyrs, and to catechism and conversion. He wrote The catholic evidence movement (1924) and Darkness or light? An essay in the theory of divine contemplation (1925), and tried to improve the fate of the under-privileged youth of Hoxton by organising and running a boys’ club there. He returned to Dublin a few times, and he wrote with Father Lambert McKenna (qv) a history of UCD, A page of Irish history (1930). His last publication was A tragedy of Queen Elizabeth (1937).

Browne died 14 March 1941 at Heythrop College, near Oxford, where he was evacuated because of the air raids on London. His brothers, all heirless, continued the merchant tradition of the family. His sister, Lucy Jane, died in a Birmingham asylum in 1917. His half-brother Arthur Edward Wilson died in South Africa in 1941 where he lived with his wife and five children. Browne's correspondence relating to the UCD museum is in the British Museum, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Winchester College, and the NMI. Some papers are in the archives of the British Province, Mount Street, London. The whereabouts of a known portrait are uncertain; it was reproduced in his obituary in the magazine of the British Province with the caption ‘from a Dublin portrait’.

Browne family wills, inc. John Wilson Browne (1886) and Charles Knightly Browne (1926); census returns, United Kingdom, 1851 (Woodchurch, Birkkenhead), 1881 and 1891 (Solihull, Birmingham); ‘Browne, Henry Martyn’, New College, Oxford, Register for 1872; Oxford University Calendar, 1873, 1892, 1893; ‘The Cretan discoveries’, Freeman's Journal, 11 Feb., 17 Feb. 1905; National Museum of Ireland: letter books, 1910, 1912, 1914, 1915, 1917, 1918, 1921; University College Dublin: Calendar for . . . 1911–1912, 457–8; H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: report, 1913 (1913); H. Browne, Museum of Ancient History: Report, 1914 (1915); H. Browne, Introduction to numismatics (1915); University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1922–1923, 3–4; Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930); ‘Obituary’, University College Dublin: Report of the President, 1940–1941, 16–17; ‘Obituary’, Irish Province News, iv (1941), 566–9; WWW; M. Tierney, Struggle with fortune: a miscellany for the centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland, 1854–1954 (1954), 37–8, 90; W. B. Stanford, Ireland and the classical tradition (1976), 65–6, 68–9, 168–9, 240; C. Haywood, The making of the classical museum: antiquarians, collectors and archaeologists. An exhibition of the Classical museum, 2003 [exhibition catalogue]

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927
Jubilee : Fr Henry Browne
Fr Henry Browne was fêted at Leeson Street on November 1st. He had his share of College work in Tullabeg. But as far back as 1891 he was sent to University College, Dublin, where he played a full man's part in making that Jesuit establishment the first College in Ireland of the old “Royal”. Even “Queen’s” Belfast notwithstanding its enormous advantages, had eventually to acknowledge the superiority of the Dublin College, and the men who worked it.
Fr. Browne's Oxford training was a valuable asset in bringing University College so well to the front. He remained Professor in the Royal, and then in the National University to the year 1922, and is now engaged, amongst other things, in doing a work dear to the heart of men like Francis Regis, looking after the poor, especially children, in the worst slums of London.

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :
Father Henry Browne
Father Henry Browne died at Heythrop College on March 14 1941. He had been in failing health for the past two or three years, and had recently been evacuated from Roehampton to Heythrop owing to the air-raids over London. To quote the words of an English Father who knew him well in these last years “here he occupied himself mostly in prayer, and on March 14th brought to a serene close eighty-eight years of arduous, enthusiastic, joyful, supernatural work for the Master”.

Father Henry Browne was born at Birkenhead on August 7, 1853 but his father, Mr. J. Wilson Browne, was a Birmingham man, his mother was Joan McKnight. Who's Who contains a notice of his grandfather, Captain J. Murray Browne, who “fought at Albuera and throughout the Peninsular War, and joined the Portuguese army where he became Assistant Quartennaster-General under Marshal Beresford.” Father Browne was educated at King Edward's High School, Birmingham, and went to New College, Oxford. He was received into the Church in 1874, when his undergraduate course was not yet completed, and was advised by Cardinal Manning to interrupt his studies. Je joined the Irish Province in 1877, and entered the novitiate at Milltown Park on October 31st. After his first vows he spent a year as a Junior at Milltown Park. In 1880 he went to Tullabeg, where he spent four years as master under two Rectors, Fr Sturzo and Fr. George Kelly. The Intermediate System was then in its early stages, and Mr. Browne taught Rhetoric and Mathematics (1880-81),
Humanities (1881-2) , 1 Grammar (1882-3), Syntax, Classics and English (1883-4).
From 1884-6 Father Browne studied Philosophy at Milltown Park, where he had Fathers Peter Finlay and William Hayden as his Professors. In 1886 he went to St. Beuno's, where he was ordained in the summer of 1889. He returned to Milltown for his fourth year of theology. and was then sent to University College to teach Latin and Greek, replacing Father Richard Clarke of the English Province.
From 1890 to 1909 (with the exception of one year, 1894-95, which he spent as a Tertian Father at Roehampton), Father Browne was kept busy in Dublin as Professor of Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. His energy was simply amazing. Two early Handbooks of Latin and Greek Composition went through various editions, though they have since lost their vogue. His Handbook of Homeric Study was for many years counted the best popular introduction in English to the famous controversy, on which Father Browne
was never weary of lecturing his own students at U.C.D. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland and was elected President of this body in 1913. He was also a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies, Chairman (for a time) of the Archaeologica Aids Committee of the Association for the Reform of Latin Teaching, and member of the Committee of the British Association for Museums. In this connection he visited the U.S.A. in 1916 as a member of a special Committee to report on the American museum system, and his volume of essays (Our Renaissance : Essays on the Reform and Revival of Classical Studies), published in 1917 reflects his interests in these strenuous years. Father Browne's old students will not need to be reminded of his immense zest for all forms of archaeological research. He counted several of the leading English
archaeologists as among his personal friends. There had been an earlier stage when Greek music had attracted his attention - though it must be confessed that Father Browne's aptitude for musical theory was disputed by some of his colleagues. But who could resist so great a vital force? Father Browne would strum a piano for hours on end, convincing himself (and some others) that Greek music was most closely connected (through Gregorian music) with ancient Irish music as represented in Moore's Melodies. Who's Who contains the following condensed statement of this phase of Father Browne's activities “He has experimented in the melodic rendering of Greek choral rhythms giving demonstrations before the British Association at the Dublin meeting (1908) and at Columbia and Chicago Universities.
It seems a far cry from these external activities to the inner motive which explains the dual character of Father Henry Browne's life. But those who lived with him knew that he had other interests. For many years he was' exceptionally successful as Director of the Students Sodality in the old University College, giving monthly talks to large numbers. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society by his lifelong friend and fellow-convert, Father Joseph Darlington. Father Darlington had to leave Ireland for a year to make his tertianship, and he succeeded (with some difficulty) in persuading Father Browne to take his place for one year. Those first hesitations were soon forgotten, and Father Browne continued to edit Saint Joseph’s Sheaf, and to be the life and soul of the Society for the next twenty-five years. He was particularly keen on the work of the Mungret Apostolic School, and deserves to be reckoned as one of the chief benefactors of that important work for the missionary priesthood. He was also a pioneer propagandist for the Chinese Mission here in Ireland. In 1915 he helped to re-organise Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society as a national work, approved and commended by the Irish Hierarchy.
The last twenty years of Father Browne's life were spent outside of Ireland. Although he came back to Dublin more than once, and was always eager to keep in touch with the Leeson Street community.
A brief record of his activities during these years will help to complete the picture of this strenuous worker for Christ’s Kingdom. For the first two years Father Browne was stationed at Osterley, where he helped Father Lester up his work for late vocations (Our Lady's Young Priests), and taught Latin to some of the students. In a recent issue of Stella Maris Father Clement Tigar, who has succeeded Father Lester at Osterley, pays warm tribute to Father Browne's work for this good cause. He also wrote a pamphlet on the K.B.S. movement, and a very pleasant book on the recent work of the Catholic Evidence Guild (1924). This latter work made a special appeal to Father Browne - zeal for the conversion of Protestant England - and he soon threw himself heart and soul into the work of open-air lecturing and catechising. His older friends in Dublin, who knew him for the most part as the very type of an academic Professor of Greek were first startled, then amused to hear that Father Browne was exceptionally successful in this new role. He had a knack of answering casual hecklers in their own style - his answer was often so completely unexpected (and occasionally so irrelevant) that the heckler was left speechless with surprise, and unable to cause any further trouble. From Osterley, Father Browne was soon transferred to Farm Street, where he added a new field to his labours. This was a Newsboys' Club which he himself organised and directed at Horton one of the most difficult of London's slum areas. It was open to boys of every religious denomination. The mere labour of going down to Horton from Farm Street on several nights a week would have been sufficient to flaunt a younger and more vigorous man. But Father Browne now well on in his seventies, was indomitable.
In 1927 Father Browne came back for a visit to Dublin, to celebrate his Golden Jubilee with the Fathers of the Lesson Street community. In 1930 and 1931 he was here again, and was busily engaged on compiling a short history of the old University College, with the collaboration of Father Lambert McKenna. The book appeared in 1930 under the title “A Page of Irish History”. In the next year Father Browne took part in the Congress of the Irish Province which was held in University Hall, Hatch Street. for the purpose of studying the Exercises. He chose for his share in the discussion the subject of Ignatian Prayer - always a favourite topic with him in private conversation - and his comments will be found in “Our Colloquium”, pp. 129-131. He had already published a book on the theory of mystical contemplation under the title “Darkness or Light? : An Essay in the Theory of Divine Contemplation” (Herder, 1925). Many years earlier (1903) he had edited a volume entitled “The City of Peace”, in which he gathered together various autobiographical accounts of recent conversions to the Catholic Church. His own account of his conversion to the true Faith at Oxford is well worth reading for the light it throws on his own strong direct and outspoken character.
Hoxton Club and these many other activities filled Father Browne's life until 1984, when he was in his eighty-second year. He had already made plans for the transference of the Club to other hands, and it was finally passed over to the management of a joint committee of past students of Stonyhurst and the Sacred Heart Convent Roehampton. He himself felt that the end was near, but his energy was not yet spent. For the next few years he threw himself with all his old fire and enthusiasm into one last campaign for the conversion of England
through the intercession of Teresa. Higginson, in whom he had implicit faith. An adverse decision came from Rome some three years ago and Father Browne found this set-bask one of the severest trials in his long life. But he never hesitated in his obedience and submission to authority, and his faith in the ultimate conversion of his fellow countrymen never wavered for an instant. The present writer visited him frequently in the last years of his life, and it was impossible to resist the impression of a life that was more and more absorbed in the work of prayer for his fellow-Christians. Old memories of Dublin days would come back to him, but the conversion of England was his main preoccupation. He had asked to be moved from Farm Street to Roehampton, so that he might prepare himself for death in the company of the novices. But it was not to be. The air-raids on Roehampton made evacuation a duty, and Father Browne was transferred some months before his death to Heythrop near Oxford. Old memories of Oxford days. and of his own conversion, must have come back to him with double force. Those who knew him say that his last months were spent mainly in prayer. He was in his eighty-eighth year, but still unwearied in his zeal, when the end came at last, and he has been laid to rest at Heythrop College, which is now one of the most active centres of that campaign for the conversion of England which lay nearer to his heart than any other human cause. May he rest in peace. (A.G.)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Henry Browne SJ 1853-1941
Fr Henry Browne was born of Anglican parents at Birkenhead, England, on August 7th 1853. He was educated at King Edward’s High School, Birmingham and New College Oxford, and entered the Catholic Church in 1874. Three years later he joined the Irish Province of the Society at Milltown Park. He pursued his higher studies at Milltown Park and at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and was ordained priest in 1889.

In the following year he began his long association with University College Dublin as Professor of Ancient Classics and Fellow of the Royal University of Ireland. During these fruitful years, 1890-1922, Fr Browne’s talent as lecturer, writer, organiser found its full scope. In addition to a very useful volume dealing with Greek and Latin composition, he was the author of “A Handbook of Homeric Studies”, which held its own as the best secular introduction to a famous controversy. He took a leading part in the foundation of the Classical Association of Ireland, and was a member of the Council of the Society for Hellenic Studies and of the Committee of the Irish Association of Museums.

Another side of Fr Browne’s activities in Dublin during these years was the zeal he displayed in promoting vocations to the missionary priesthood. As early as 1896 he had been drawn into the work of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society, which he served for a quarter of a century.

The last twenty years of Fr Browne's life were spent outside Ireland, and marked what we might call its Second Spring. He helped Fr Lester in his work for late vocations at Osterley, London, and in open-air lecturing and catechising. In these years date his very pleasant book on the work of the Catholic Evidence Guild. On his transfer to Farm Street, he added a new field to his labours, a newsboys club in Hoxton in the East End of London.

He remained in touch with the Irish province during this period of his life, and wrote an account of the old University College in “A Page of Irish History”. The story about his own conversion to the faith is told in “The City of Peace” (1903), and also in a chapter of a book “Roads to Rome” by Rev John O’Brien. Deserving also of special mention is Fr Browne’s work on the theory of mystical contemplation entitled “Darkness or Light” (1925).

Fr Browne closed his strenuous apostolic life on March 14th 1941 at St Beuno’s, North Wales, where he had been evacuated during the air-raids of World War II, interested to the end in the work for the conversion of Protestant England.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1941

Obituary

Father Henry Browne SJ

The death of Father Browne on the 14th March, 1941– St. Joseph's month - at the Jesuit House of Studies, Heythrop, Oxford, brought to a close a long and fruitful life.

Born in Birkenhead in 1853 and educated at New College, Oxford, he was received into the Church in 1874. Three years later he entered the Novitiate of the Irish Province and from that date till his retirement in 1922 he was engaged in educational work in Ireland. As a scholastic he taught in Belvedere and Tullabeg. He was ordained in 1890 at St Beuno's, Wales, and when his studies were completed we find him back once more in Ireland.

There is no need to chronicle here the scholastic attainments of Father Browne or his part in the great work for university education in Ireland. These are matters of history. But it is well to recall his close association with the early days of the Apostolic School. Brought into contact with Mrs Taaffe and her great work, Father Browne, at first very doubtful about the success of the venture, became one of the pillars of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Realising the need of missionary priests and the possibilities of the work, he threw himself into the enterprise with all his characteristic thoroughness. His lantern lectures were utilised to make the work known and by these he was instrumental in having the Moloney Burse completed and handed over to the Apostolic School.

Shortly after his retirement in 1922 from the University, he returned to England and worked mainly in London.

The later years of his life were spent in the peace and quiet of Manreso and Heythrop College.

Browne, Liam, 1929-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/825
  • Person
  • 18 August 1929-26 October 2017

Born: 18 August 1929, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 26 October 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1963 at Campion Hall, Oxford (ANG) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/liam-browne-sj-much-loved-missionary/

Liam Browne SJ – a dedicated missionary
Irish Jesuit Fr Liam Browne SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin on 26 October 2017 aged 88 years. His funeral took place on 31 October at Milltown Park, Ranelagh followed by burial in Glasnevin Cemetery. The Dubliner spent much of his early priestly life on various missions in Zambia, before returning home to work at various places in Ireland in 1974. Below find the homily at his funeral mass given by Fr John K. Guiney SJ.
A dedicated missionary
We remember and celebrate a long and eventful life of Liam Browne.
He was born in the Rotunda on 18th August 1929 and brought up in Kilmainham Dublin, went to CBS James’s St... and entered the Jesuits at Emo Park on 7th September 1946, was ordained in Milltown Park on 28th July 1960, and took his final vows at Chikuni in Zambia on 2nd February 1964.
Four of the 12 companions who took first vows with him in Emo are with us still: John Guiney, John Dooley, and Jim Smyth... MJ Kelly who is living in Lusaka, Zambia.
To say Liam had a rich,varied and eventful life is an understatement. He worked in Zambia, Ballyfermot and Cherry Orchard, was Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital and Marlay Nursing Home and all through was constant in his research on the Chitonga language and culture. He went to God peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge last Thursday at 4pm.
A common theme of Liam’s life was his desire and wish to be close to ordinary people and to understand their cultures and ways of life. In an interview with the Irish Jesuit Mission Office he expressed his desire to become a Jesuit and priest in this way: “to help people and to enable them to experience Christ’s forgiveness and he noted the great influence on his vocation of his grandmother Susan Waldron.
When Liam arrived in Zambia in 1954 he plunged himself into learning the local language Chitonga in the diocese of Monze. He was not only interested in learning a language but set about researching the culture of the people, looking at what makes them tick – trying to understand seeing how culture/religion/faith are interrelated.
His work in the study and preservation of Tonga culture was similar to the work of another renowned student of Tonga culture – Frank Wafer who founded the Mukanzubo Kalinda Cultural Centre in Chikuni. They did so much to record, store and document traditional proverbs, dance, songs, customs and rites of the community. Liam did what every effective missionary does; he fell in love with the people he was called to serve – the Tonga people and culture.
Liam was the go to person for scholastics/young volunteers, learning the language and entering a new culture. He was the person to induct them into Tongaland. Colm Brophy as a scholastic in Zambia in 1969 recounts: “I was anxious to acquire a knowledge of Chitonga. So I asked the Provincial, John Counihan, to send me to a place and to a person who could help me do that.
“In 1969 I was posted to Chilala-Ntaambo (‘the sleeping place of the lion’), a metropolis of remoteness... because I knew it was remote and that I would be living with a man who was very fluent in the language – Liam Browne.”
Liam, he remembers, would spend a lot of his time researching the Chitonga language and culture. He would go around various villages with his tape-recorder interviewing mainly elderly people.
Chilala-Ntaambo was frontier missionary land in the 1960s.
It wasn’t an easy life for Liam there as parish priest. There was no solid Catholic community. The place was new. For Sunday Mass only eight or ten people would turn up mainly from two families. He was ploughing a lone furrow.
Liam continued to work in missionary frontiers in the Fumbo and Chivuna parishes and in 1973 took a break to study cultural anthropology in Campion Hall, Oxford under the guidance of the renowned Professor Evans Pritchard.
Liam then published some of his research on the initiation rites of the Tonga people but fell foul of at least one influential Tonga political leader who felt that secrets of their culture was not for public reading. He was not allowed to renter the country.
Two years ago while visiting Monze I met his mentor and friend in Zambia – the great cultural anthropologist of the Tonga people Barbara Colson who worked with Liam.
She was full of admiration for the work and research of Liam and admitted that Liam’s kind of research is now prescribed reading for students of the Tonga culture in every African library. A real joy for Liam in latter years was The Tonga-English Dictionary that Liam had started in the 60s and was finally completed and published by Frank Wafer just 3 years ago.
Liam returned to Ireland in 1974 and from then to 1989 he went to work in Ballyfermot and began to build firstly a temporary and then a permanent Church with the people and with the able assistance of the Daughters of Charity and especially Sr Cabrini.
His friends in Cherry Orchard still remember him as a man of great kindness and compassion. They remember his outreach to the most needy, his wisdom in counselling people and also his ability to plan, budget and look ahead even when the share budget of the diocese was small. Amongst Liam’s talents was wood work and he loved making things; much of the design and wooden fixtures and paintings were done by Liam in the Churches he built.
Those who knew Liam in Zambia and Ireland remember him as good-humoured, generous and who loved music especially jazz.
His friends also remember Liam as a man who shot from the hip, spoke his mind with a bluntness that could put people off. He had a certain distrust of superiors and people in authority, sometimes with well founded reasons. However, once he had got it out of his system, he got on with things and remained on good terms with all whom he encountered.
Perhaps the phrase ‘he got on with things’ sums up the greatest characteristic of Liam’s life. Liam was a man always available for mission and when the mission he really loved, Zambia was suddenly interrupted – it must have been a heartbreak for him, but he moved on without complaining to the new missions on the home front.
At the end of his life Liam shared with his friends. I am glad I did what I did when I could. He had few regrets. Once he decided that Cherryfield Lodge nursing home was the best, he moved and had the highest regard to all who cared for him there.
He was indeed always ready for a change and recognised in the wisdom of the ancestors that there is a time and a season for all things under the sun. On Thursday last a final time had come; he surrendered in peace to his maker in the presence of his sister Monica.
Finally, a word of thanks to two great missionary families: the Browne’s and the Cassidy’s. Liam’s niece Susan shared with me that as a child she saved up her pocket money for the missions. Monica helped out Tommy Martin for years with cake sales and raffles for the missions and coincidentally two weeks ago we got a letter from a Zambian PP, from that very parish that Liam founded 50 years ago with the help of his family and friends saying hello to Liam.
It reads:
My name is Fr. Kenan Chibawe, parish priest of St. Francis Xavier parish in Chilalantambo, Monze in Zambia. Our parish was officially opened in 1967 by Fr Liam Browne. This year on 28th October, we are celebrating 50 years or Golden Jubilee of the growth of the Catholic faith that was planted by the Jesuit missionaries in particular Fr Brown and the Late Fr Norman McDonald SJ. We would have loved to see Liam here but maybe his age may not allow him to travel. People still remember these priests in our parish.
We too remember and celebrate Liam’s life with the people of Zambia, Cherry Orchard, his former colleagues alive and dead in the Vincent’s and Marlay chaplaincies. We pray for and with Liam in his adopted language Chitonga:
Mwami leza kotambula muzimo wakwe kubuzumi butamani, which means in our own language, Ar dheis dei go raibh an anam dilis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :
As in “Jesuits in Ireland” : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/571-liam-browne-sj-a-dedicated-missionary and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/238-interview-with-fr-liam-browne

Fr. Liam Browne, born in 1929 in Rotunda, Dublin, can easily sum up why he wanted to be a priest: ‘to help other people’, particularly by allowing them to ‘experience Christ’s forgiveness’. Fr Browne had been encouraged in his calling by his grandmother, Susan Waldron, who raised his brother, his sister, and himself after the death of his mother. He had first become interested in the Jesuits after attending a retreat with his school, James’ Street Christian Brothers, and was attracted to missionary work because of the possibilities it offered for helping others abroad.
Fr. Browne left Dublin as a young scholastic bound for Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) to work with the Tonga. Although direct flights now link London and Lusaka, in the 1950s it took three days to reach the Zambian capital by air. Despite the distance and the difficulty, Fr. Browne recalls his first year in Africa as the happiest of his life: ‘it was the happiest time because I was doing exactly what I wanted.’ He spent this first year acclimatising, learning the language, and immersing himself in Tongan culture. His greatest consolation, or most rewarding experience, was learning the language and speaking to the Tongan people about religion. He spent his time with the Tonga working in the mission station and at Canisius College, the Jesuit-run boys’ school, and served in Zambia for a total of thirteen years (three years as a student, and ten as an ordained priest). It is clear that Fr. Browne immensely enjoyed his time in Africa: his only desolation in mission was the frustration of waiting for the rains to come, with October standing out as ‘the most dreadful time of the year’!
Fr. Browne became fascinated with Tongan culture, and with the broader field of social anthropology. He had been able to study Zambezi culture thanks to work by Elizabeth Colson, an American anthropologist who had begun studying the Tonga through the Rhodes-Livingstone Institute. In between postings, he had the benefit of spending a year at Campion Hall, Oxford, studying under Professor Evans-Pritchard at the Institute of Social Anthropology. He states that this training was ‘invaluable’ to his work in Zambia, and recalls Evans-Pritchard (a legend in anthropological circles) as an ‘outstanding’ scholar. Fr. Browne went on to write a detailed study of the Tongan way of life; studies such as these were useful not only in providing a record of Tongan custom, but also for instructing new missionaries about their host culture.
Although life in Zambia was very different to life in Ireland, Fr. Browne never experienced a ‘culture shock’. His entire philosophy was based around being open and receptive to Tongan culture, and he didn’t ‘allow himself the luxury of being shocked’ by unfamiliar practices. ‘I felt you should be open. I was convinced you needed to know the people’s language and customs- if you didn’t know that then you were really clueless! The prevailing view was that you had everything to give and nothing to receive, but I didn’t believe a word of it.’ He argues that this openness is the secret to success in both missionary work and in anthropology: ‘there is a Jesuit saying that one must go in another’s door in order for that other to come out of your door...You need to be receptive.’
Because missionaries had been working in Zambia since 1896, the Tonga were not tabula rasa when it came to the Christian message. However, Christianity still needed to be culturally located: ‘What I believe is that you have to make an effort to understand the people; that will determine your approach to preaching Christianity. To preach in a way which people will understand, you must preach in terms with which they are familiar.’ When asked if African Christianity differs from European Christianity, Fr Browne replies that it does so ‘as much as Africa differs from Europe’. Some interpretations of Christianity were more Pentecostalist than Catholic, but the Tonga were generally a receptive people who took the Christian message to heart. Indeed, Fr. Browne argues that the Zambian mission housed some of the holiest people one could ever hope to meet. In his own words, it takes ‘a hell of a long time to build a Christian culture’: given this, the fact that Christianity has become rooted in African culture in only a few generations is astounding.
However, there were areas in which the acceptance of Catholic doctrine was somewhat superficial. Although the Irish tendency is to assume that we can separate the ‘religious’ from the social or the economic, life among the Tonga shows that this is not the case. For example, polygamy was common amongst Tongan men, even those who were Christian. Converts knew that this went against Biblical teachings on marriage, but because polygamy was seen as an economic rather than a moral practice, they did not view it in the same way that their Irish missionaries did. There were also some issues of cultural ‘translation’: because the Tonga are a matrilineal people, it was somewhat difficult to promote a patrilineal religion such as Christianity, with its emphasis on Father and Son. Fr. Browne argues that new converts always tried to live the Christian life; like all Catholics, however, this was a work in progress.
Political agendas have always been a part of the mission process, and this was equally true for Jesuit missionaries in Zambia. Although race relations in Zambia were significantly less strained than those in South Africa or Zimbabwe, there were still tensions between white and black populations. However, Fr. Browne believes that a distinction was made between white government officials and white missionaries. Missionaries, unlike government officials, made an effort to assimilate into the local culture: they had to, after all, if they were to have any success. Because they were not familiar with Zambezi culture, white government officials misunderstood local power relations. For example, they would treat one man as local headman despite the fact that he was not seen as such by his would-be subjects. This was a mistake which was avoided by missionaries, who had learnt (through living with them) that the Tonga valued democracy and the ability to compromise or broker peace far more than an abstract colonial understanding of power; as the Tongan saying goes, ‘anyone can call himself a chief, but it doesn’t mean we have to obey him’! Headmen tended to be European appointees. Further, Christian missionaries were respected because they had opened schools. Although the British government had claimed that education was important, they had only introduced primary schools, and it was left to religious organisations to open schools for secondary education.
The mission station also benefited the community by distributing basic medical supplies. The Sisters of Charity ran a small bush hospital, and the mission distributed pills, tonics, supplies for cuts, etc. With the nearest hospital 35 miles away, and high rates of infant mortality, this proved a very useful service. The parents of sick children would go to great lengths to prevent their premature deaths. Fr. Browne recalls a woman who decided to begin the 35 mile walk to the hospital in the middle of the night so that her sick baby could get access to medical treatment; although she was eventually persuaded to wait until morning, when she could be driven there, this incident demonstrates the very real danger of having a sick child in the bush.
The mission station is now run by local recruits rather than Europeans. Fr. Browne is ‘delighted’ to see local people running the mission, and has high hopes for Zambia’s future. He believes that the Catholic Church can act as a unifying force in Africa today, because this is the message of the liturgy. Although the mission station is now largely run by African priests and nuns, there is still a role for Irish Catholics to play. Fr. Browne speaks highly of volunteers who give up their time to work in Zambia. He gives a particularly glowing report of a couple from Derry, who taught at the Catholic girls’ school for six years. The children grew up with their parents’ students, and Fr. Browne laughs as he recalls their daughter being taught to dance by the African girls.
If there is an overarching theme around which to organise Fr. Browne’s narrative, then surely it is that of being open and receptive: ‘Be ready to learn. If you go in with a full head, thinking you know everything, you’ll learn nothing.’

1948-1951 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1951-1954 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1954-1957 Chikuni, Zambia - Regency at Canisius College, learning Chitonga
1957-1961 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1961-1962 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1962-1963 Oxford, UK - Diploma in Social Anthropology at Campion Hall
1963-1964 Monze, Zambia - Parish Priest at Sacred Heart
1964-1965 Chikuni, Zambia - Teacher at Canisius College
1965-1972 Chivuna, Zambia - Parish Work at Chivuna Mission
1968 Parish Priest at Chilala-Ntambo, Pemba
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 Working in Parish at Fumbo
1972-1973 Chisekesi, Zambia - Studying Language and Social Anthropology at Charles Lwanga Teacher Training
1973 -1974 St Ignatius, London, UK - Studying Social Anthropology at London University
1974-1989 Gardiner St - Parish work in Dublin Diocese at Ballyfermot
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (26/03/1982)
1986 Parish Ministry at Blessed Sacrament, Cherry Orchard, Dublin
1989-2017 Milltown Park - Historical Research and Writing
1993 Chaplain at St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2000 Chaplain at Marlay Nursing Home, Rathfarnham, Dublin
2009 Research in African Studies
2014 Praying for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/74
  • Person
  • 22 April 1853-20 November 1933

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Br Thomas Johnson Entry :
He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.
Note from James Dempsey Entry :
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Jubilee : Fr Michael Browne
The official celebration in Fr Michael Browne's honour took place in Rathfarnham on the 29th September. After a good deal of College work, Rector of the Crescent, Clongowes and Tullabeg he was Master of Novices at three different periods and is now Spiritual Father to the fifty-seven Juniors at Rathfarnham and, whenever he gets a chance, spends, at least, seven days a week giving retreats,

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
Obituary :
Father Michael Browne
Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

He was born in Limerick in 1853 and was educated partly at Crescent College in that city and partly at Clongowes. On leaving the latter college he applied to enter the Society. Superiors thought him too delicate and rejected the application. He accordingly went to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. But the call was insistent. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes he tried again and this time was successful. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown
Park on the 7th of September 1877. The fifty-six years of his life in the Society were outwardly uneventful. He had relatively little contact with the outer world and shunned all
appearances in public. But within the Province he held nearly every office of trust and responsibility with the exception of that of Provincial. He was Master in the colleges (Tullabeg
1883-85, Clongowes '86 and Mungret 1891-94). During this last period he was Prefect of Studies. He was Spiritual Father in Clongowes ('96- '99) and later in Rathfarnham (1924-51). He was Rector of Tullabeg from 1920 to 1924, again 1918 to 1910. During these two periods of office he was Master of Novices. He was Rector of the Crescent (I905-7). Finally he was for eleven years Socius to the Provincial. That is surely a remarkable record.
But he will perhaps be remembered not so much for his eminent services to the Society as for his personality. For throughout his life he was known to be a man of deep and genuine holiness and there were many who did not hesitate to speak of him as a saint. Despite all his efforts to conceal it his austerity was well known. Especially in his Tullabeg days he was merciless to himself, Without being a very close observer one could know that he was all tied up with hair-shirts and chains. Indeed this was the origin of some of his characteristic gestures. Superiors had to exercise constant vigilance to see that he took sufficient food. He was more lenient in his later years, but even in his last year he sometimes made his meal of dry bread. He never smoked nor drank wine or spirits. He had schooled himself in the most rigid observance of “custody of the eyes.” He seldom, in fact looked at the person to whom he was speaking and he not infrequently made upon outsiders an impression of aloofness and indifference. There was indeed no little aloofness in his way of life. He made few friends and acquaintances. But his manner was by no means cold and repelling. He had a temper but it was under such stern control that few suspected its existence.
He was the most unworldly of men. He never read newspapers and took little or no interest in the little events of the day. He preached a lofty spirituality that soared high above the earth. One felt oneself among naked mountain peaks and breathed a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. Still humor, of a simple and homely kind, was by no means banished from
his Retreats and exhortations. He even courted a hearty laugh from his audience. He himself could laugh heartily in his deep bass voice and often when telling some amusing anecdote
the tears would run down his cheeks and his mirth would so choke his utterance that listeners sometimes failed to catch the climax or the point of the story. His memory held a great
store of such anecdotes centering very largely in Limerick, which always held a warm place in his heart.
He was always an intense student and a lover of books. He wrote, so far as I know, nothing for publication, but he accumulated copious notes, largely written in shorthand. Many
years ago he discarded large quantities of MS. material relating to his work as a master. He loved to pick up for a few pence in second hand bookshops books that appealed to him. His friends knew that books were the only gifts that would be acceptable. He belonged, one might say, to the Victorian epoch. In literature as in other things, modernity had no appeal for him. His taste was for history and biography and he seems never to have read fiction.
He went to God as straight as he knew how, without hesitations or compromises and regardless of the cost. He thought, as he lived, in straight lines, looking neither to right nor left. His character was strong and simple without subtlety and without crookedness of any kind. On subjects about which he cared at all his principles were fixed, his mind was made up. And as with principles of thought so with principles of conduct. Early in life he had laid down such principles for himself and to these he adhered undeviatingly to the end.
His spiritual life was hidden with Christ in God. One could only guess at its characteristics. It included certainly a great love for Our Lady and he never began an exhortation in the
chapel without reciting in full an Act of Consecration to her. Much of his time, especially towards the end, was spent in the chapel. All who really knew him were convinced of his great holiness.
As long as strength remained to him he worked unsparingly. I have known him to give as many as seven Retreats on end. During these Retreats he was the despair of the Sister who
waited on him at meals. In the last year of his life he was still giving domestic exhortations and lectures in various convents. He held the honorable post of confessor to the Archbishop of Dublin.
In his last illness, as long as his mind held good, he was his old self, concerned only about the trouble he was giving, and praying almost without interruption.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Brown 1853-1933
Fr Michael was preeminently the Ascetic of the Province. His austerity was well known, in spite of all his efforts to conceal it. Especially in his Tullabeg days as Master of Novices, he was merciless on himself. He was a great believer in hairshirts and chains, and Superiors had to exercise vigilance to make sure he took sufficient food. Yet he was not a solitary, given over to lone contemplation. In his time, he held every administrative post in the Province, save that of Provincial, though he acted as Vice-Provincial on one occasion. He was untiring in giving retreats, even up to his last years, and was known to have given 7 retreats on end, without interval.

At the same time he was not a repelling character, rather he engendered great respect and affection. He had his sense of humour, and his deep laugh was familiar to all his listeners.

He went straight to God as he knew how, without compromised. His use of creatures was mainly by abstention. When he died on November 22nd 1933, after 56 years in the Society, one eminent fellow Jesuit remarked that Fr Michael Brown’s holiness was reminiscent of the old Irish monks, to which an equally eminent Jesuit replied “Nay more, his eminence was pre-Christian”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

Father Michael Browne, whose death took place at Rathfarnham Castle, on Monday, November 20th, 1933, in his eighty-first year, was one of the links that bound together Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was an Old Clongownian, had been a master and Prefect of Studies in both Colleges, was Spiritual Father and Rector of Clongowes and had been twice Rector of Tullabeg when it was no longer a secondary school. For over thirty years before his death, he had no direct connection with Clongowes. His name was hardly known to the later generations of boys here, but those who were at Clongowes in the late nineties realise that a great Clongownian has died.

Michael Browne was born in Limerick on April 22nd,. 1853. His early school years were spent in that city at the Sacred Heart College, then known as St Munchin's College. Having already a wish to become a Jesuit, he came to Clongowes in 1872, and, after two years here, he applied to enter the noviceship. Owing to his delicate state of health the application was refused It was a sore trial; but Michael Browne did not lightly abandon anything on which he had set his heart. He wanted to become a priest and succeeded in gaining admission to St Patrick's College, Carlow. His lungs were weak and his health did not improve, while the call to the Jesuit noviceship became more insistent. Heaven was stormed with prayers by himself and by his friends. It used to be told how his sister, who was a nun and who died at an early age, offered her life that Michael might be able to become a Jesuit. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes, undertaken to obtain his desire, he asked again to be received into the Society of Jesus. This time he was accepted, and he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, on September 7th, 1877, three years after he had left Clongowes.

Before we write of the man, let us recall dates and occupations, for they are instructive. At the end of his noviceship. at Milltown Park, Michael Browne took his yows on September 8th, 1879. Then followed four further years at Milltown, one as a Junior, the remaining three studying philosophy. From 1883 to 1886 he was Prefect of Studies and Master of English and Mathematics at Tullabeg. He came to Clongowes in the Amalgamation Year, as Assistant Prefect of Studies and Mathematical Master of the Royal University students. From 1887 to 1891, he studied theology, for the first two years at Louvain and later at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1890. During his last year at Milltown as a priest he was a constant visitor to the Incurables Hospital, Donny brook, where the memory of his kindness and of his holiness was still fresh among the patients twenty years afterwards. In 1891, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Mungret, a position which he held for four years, when he also taught the Royal University students at a time when they were bringing fame to Mungret. On leaving Mungret in 1895, he went to Chieri, Italy, for his tertianship. The next year found him Spiritual Father and a master at Clongowes. When Father Devitt left Clongowes in the summer of 1900, Father Michael Browne succeeded him as Rector, but it was only for a few months, as he was nominated Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg towards the end of November of the same year. During this period the late Father John Sullivan was a novice under Father Brownie's direction. They were kindred souls, and ever after novice and Novice Master had a lifelong veneration for one another. In the August of 1905, Father Browne was made Rector of the Sacred Heart College and Church at Limerick, This was, perhaps, the most active period of his very busy life, as, while Rector, he taught in the College, worked in the Church, and had charge of the three branches of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin the Children of Mary whom he addressed once a week, the Ignatian Sodality for young men and the boys' Sodality of Our Lady. In August, 1908, we find him again Master of Novices and Rector of Tullabeg. Three years later he was named Socius to the Provincial, a position which he held for eleven years, during which time also, he was an indefatigable worker in the Church at Gardiner Street, In 1922 he went to Tullabeg as Master of Novices for the third time, and in 1924 he was transferred to Rathfarnham where he was Spiritual Father and occupied in giving Retreats to within a few months of his death. It is a summary of over half-a-century which Father Browne spent slaving in the service of God.

Though holding most important positions within the Society of Jesus, where he earned universal respect and reverence, Father Michael Browne's life was to a great extent hidden from the outside world. But within and without the Society, the striking holiness of his life impressed everybody with whom he came in contact. One could not help noticing his complete other-worldliness. “God everywhere and in everything; a constant endeavour to be pleasing in His eyes, and to require nothing of Him except the means so to be” : such was the motive force behind the life of Father Michael Browne. Despite his efforts to escape notice he could not conceal his austerities. Hair shirts, chains and disciplines were part of his everyday life. His only rest during many years was a few hours on a plank bed. When Father Browne was a priest at Clongowes there was a tradition among the boys that their spiritual father slept on “boards and pebbles”, and the schoolboy phrase was not far removed from the truth. Indeed, Superiors, knowing that he worked very hard, had to be constantly vigilant to see that he took enough food. During Retreats, when urging his hearers to practise what they preached, he frequently mentioned the phrase said to have been used by a member of his congregation to a preacher who had taught stern self-denial : “When I heard you in the pulpit I despaired of salvation, but when I saw you at your meals I took courage again”. When one saw him take his food, the courage was all on Father Browne's side, for dry bread was the chief item of his unchanging menu, While this was his daily routine he astonished all by his capability for constant and trying work. He was known to have given as many as seven Retreats on end. More than once, when others engaged in the same work fell ill, he conducted two Retreats simultaneously.

Yet though he taught self-denial, he would not allow others to do anything rash in this respect : “Take your food”, he would say, “we must keep the engine going, if it is to do its work”. His war on self was relentless. It extended to everything in his life. Passing through Switzerland on his way to Italy, it was known that he did not raise his eyes to look upon the beautiful scenery, upon which he did not expect to have the opportunity of gazing again. It was not, indeed, that he did not like pleasing sights, for while at Mungret as a young priest he used to go to the upper storey of the College to admire the charming sunsets, and then would kneel down and recite the Te Deum. When at Lourdes he prayed that he might not witness a miracle, for he did not want to lessen the full merit of his faith. .

But this war on self was only one means which Father Browne employed to bring him nearer to God. In his eyes, prayer was much more important than exterior mortification. His constant union with God was remarkable. He spent a large portion of the day and many hours of the night in formal prayer. To the ordinary spiritual duties of a Jesuit he added many more to which he was ever faithful. He passed hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament, There, in meditation, he prepared the subject matter of his sermons and Retreat lectures, It was in the Chapel he recited the Divine Office, where in a quiet corner he usually knelt without resting on any support. He had a strong and tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, and from his early years he said the full fifteen decades of her Rosary daily. He once told a friend that the biggest thing in his early life had been his being made a Child of Mary. How really he took this was shown by his unbroken habit of reciting the short act of consecration used in the reception into the Sodality before every spiritual address which he gave. Never was anything allowed to interfere with his spirit of prayer and of recollection. Rarely, if ever, did he read newspapers or novels, unless when such reading was part of his work. This practice he recommended to others. To their questioning, about reading a book or a novel, nearly always came the same disconcertingly logical answer, by way of another question: “Does it help you to say your prayers?” Devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Passion he held very dear. Among the saints he seemed to be especially devoted to St Teresa and St Francis de Sales, to St Aloysius and St John Berchmans. This last saint had a big place in his life. “What would St. John Berchmans do?” was a frequent question to guide those under his direction.

It was as a Spiritual Director that Father Michael Browne was chiefly known. For those who met him for the first time, and who had never come to him with a serious trouble, there was much in the strict custody of his eyes and a certain aloofness in his manner, which made them think that Father Browne was too cold and too much removed from them to be really helpful. Yet it certainly was not so. When he came in contact with a weak or troubled soul, Father Browne was kindness itself. He was fond of repeating the saying of St Francis de Sales : “You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar”. And again he would say: “I have not found any instance in the New Testament where Our Lord dealt harshly with the penitent sinner”. He dealt with those in trouble as did the Master. The poor around Gardiner Street knew that he was not cold, and felt that “Saint Browne”, as they used to call him among themselves, was their friend.

He would encourage those who had to struggle against temptation by telling them that he had a lifelong fight against a violent temper, and then he would urge the recital of Blessed Claude de la Colombière's Act of Confidence in God. Some of his sayings already mentioned show how Father Browne constantly employed the best method of the Spiritual Director, which consists in making the soul help itself. For him, Spiritual Exercises were always to be under stood in the Ignatian and literal meaning, a real striving after higher things. During Retreats and at other times, he expected a strong effort in response to his advice, yet he was ready to pardon failure which comes from weakness and not from lack of good will.

His marvellous memory held a seemingly inexhaustible store of anecdotes from history and biography, sacred and profane, of which he was a deep student. He was Victorian in his reading and conversation, and most of his stories were of people and of events of the last century. Archbishop Healy and Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick, whose cousin he was, were the subjects of many a reminiscence. He had a great fund of anecdotes about Limerick, which ever had a warm place in his heart. His sense of humour, another help to holiness, often so overcame him when telling a story that the end was lost in the loud and hearty laugh so characteristic of him, while tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. His wide reading served him well when preaching and giving Retreats. He prepared his matter most diligently, wrote out his sermons carefully, in which one saw the influence of Newman, with whose writings he was very familiar, but he never used a note nor a book in the pulpit or when giving a Retreat lecture. Yet he would recite a dozen verses of the Scriptures, or a large part of a chapter of the Imitation of Christ, or the full text of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with faithful accuracy.

Father Michael Browne is dead. But he has left behind him among his fellow-Jesuits a lasting memory of great kindness, of severe asceticism, of very hard work, of a prayerful life and of remarkable holiness. To have known him is regarded as a privilege by those who were brought into familiar contact with him during life. To have been asked to pen these lines by the Editor of “The Clongownian” has been looked upon as a very great privilege by the present writer, who gladly pays this tribute to his old Master of Novices and to a loved and revered friend through many years.

May God give His richest rewards to Father Michael Browne who spent his life so generously in working for Him.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934

Obituary

Father Michael Browne SJ

It is our sad duty to have to record the 1 death of one, whose connection with Mungret goes back to the nineties of last century - Father Michael Browne. But, though it is many years since he was working amongst us, still the memory of him and of his saintliness has remained ever fresh and lasting among those who had the good fortune to live with him.

Father Michael was a Limerick man, born in that city in 1853, the son of the late County Court Judge, Daniel Browne. His early years were spent at the Crescent, Limerick, and then at Clongowes Wood College. On leaving the latter college, he applied to be admitted into the Society of Jesus, but, to his great disappointment, was rejected on the score of ill-health. Being determined to be a priest, he entered Carlow College. Here his vocation for the Society persisted. In response to its dictates, he applied again to be admitted into the Society, and, to his great joy, was accepted. He always attributed the success of this second application to the intercession of the Virgin Mother, and here we have the first evidence of that sweet devotion which was the predominating and all-pervading one of his life.

In 1877 he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Milltown Park. His ideals, like those of all novices, were very high, St Stanislaus was to be outdone, but, there was this difference with Father Michael, as his brethren can attest - he arrived where they. aspired and his striving after sublime perfection never lost the fervour of the noviceship days.

His noviceship finished, Father Browne continued on at Milltown Park, studying Philosophy for three years, and then departed for St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, at that time one of the leading lay colleges in the country. Here he acted as Prefect of Studies in 1883. In the year of “the amalgamation with Clongowes”, 1886, he proceeded there, to act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. Theology absorbed his energies for the next four years, partly at Louvain, partly at Milltown Park, culminating in the long-awaited glory of the priesthood in 1891.

Mungret claimed him for the next three to four years, as Prefect of Studies. During these years, he had charge of the Sodality of Our Lady, an office that was especially dear to him on account of his tender devotion to the Virgin Mother. The following extract from the history of the Sodality is not without interest :

“Father D Gallery (the first Director) was succeeded by Father M Browne. By him the Sodality was directed for four years, and it owes to his assiduous care, the deep root it has taken in the College”. -(”Mungret Annual”, 1897).

From Mungret, he next set off for Chieri, Turin, there to go through his tertianship, the final moulding process of the Jesuit. He returned from Chieri to take up the Office of Spiritual Father to the boys and of Assistant in the People's Church. The kindness and saintliness displayed by him in these functions, won for him the “one post of distinction in the Society-Master of Novices”. This he held for ten years, at different intervals.

For three years he acted as Rector of the Crescent, Limerick, then was Novice-Master again, then Assistant to the Provincial. After eleven years in these duties, for the latter few of which he also exercised the ministry at Gardiner Street with great fruit and renown, he set out for Tullabeg once more, to fill the office of Novice-Master. After two years interval, he became Spiritual Father to the Scholastics in Rathfarnham Castle, which post he filled till his death. Though he had never been a man of robust health, owing to his natural delicacy and to his austerities, nevertheless he had successfully come through many a severe bout of sickness and had often been anointed. So his last illness was not looked upon with any great alarm at the beginning. But after a few days' illness, very little hope of his recovery was entertained, and he passed away, after a comparatively short illness, in his 81st year, on November 20th, 1933.

It would be an impertinence on our part to attempt to give an adequate estimation of Father Browne's lofty character within the narrow limits at our disposal. Suffice it to say, that, within the Order, he was held to be a man of great sanctity and of model observance, without, he was eagerly sought after, as a spiritual guide and Retreat giver by religious and clergy, and as a father confessor by the laity. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

A native of Limerick city and a pupil of this college, entered the Society in 1877. Until the close of the last century, he was master, or prefect of studies or spiritual father to the boys in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret. From 1900 onwards he was given one post of responsibility after another and gave distinguished service to the Society: Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg (1900-1905); Rector of Sacred Heart College, Limerick (1905-1908); Rector again at Tullabeg (1908-1911); secretary to the Provincial (1911-1922); Master of Novices (1922-1924). The remaining ten years of his life were spent as spiritual father to the community at Rathfarnham Castle.

For many years, Father Browne's duties brought him into little contact with the outside world. Apart from his rectorship at the Crescent, his work was within the Society. Yet, without realising it, Father Browne, in his lifetime, was known to many outside the Society as a man of singular holiness. It was he who formed the servant of God, Father John Sullivan in his noviceship days. Until death called both these priests away in the same year, 1933, the former novice-master and the former novice regarded one another with humble veneration. A biography of Father Michael Browne from the able pen of Father Thomas Hurley (master at the Crescent (1928-33 and 1940-52]) was published in 1949.

Buckeridge, George, 1842-1904, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/967
  • Person
  • 19 January 1842-30 October 1904

Born: 19 January 1842, County Wexford
Entered: 15 July 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1889, Australia
Died: 30 October 1904, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Came to Australia with James O’Connor, Joseph Tuite and scholastic John O’Neill 1886

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His Nephew John Bradshaw died a Novice at Cork (Milltown) 15 December 1881

At the age of 15 he went to Propaganda College in Rome, graduating D Phil 1862, and D Theol 1866.
When he returned to Ireland he was appointed by Archbishop Cullen as Professor of Theology at Clonliffe. He spent eleven years there teaching Dogmatic and Moral Theology and also Canon Law. He was known for his piety and asceticism during these years. He had no interests in titles, and longed to be released from his position at Clonliffe, but his request was often deferred. Eventually in 1878 Dr Cullen granted his request, and in July of that year he Entered the Society. 1886 He was sent to Australia where he worked in the Colleges and Churches of the Mission for eighteen years. He died at Norwood, Adelaide 30 October 1904.

Note from James O’Connor Entry :
1886 He was sent to Australia, and sailed with Joseph Tuite, George Buckeridge and Scholastic John O’Neill.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He had studied for the priesthood at Propaganda College, Rome, graduating as Doctor of Philosophy (1862) and theology (1866). When he returned to Ireland, Cardinal Cullen appointed him a professor at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, where he taught for eleven years. After repeated requests for release in order to join the Society, cardinal Cullen granted his request in 1878, and he entered at Milltown Park.

1880-1886 After First Vows he gave Retreats and performed pastoral work at Milltown Park, except for a year teaching the Rudiments class at Clongowes, French and Italian.
1886-1889 He arrived in Australia and was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne as Prefect of Studies, and he was also involved in pastoral work
1889-1891 He went to Xavier College Kew as Spiritual Father and Assistant Prefect of Studies.
1891-1894 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn Victoria
1894-1896 He went to St Mary’s Sydney as Minister.
1896 He undertook Missions in the Adelaide parishes of Norwood and Hectorville, and then volunteered to work in the Indian Jesuit Mission at Changanasserry, Travancore, Kerala. When he arrived in India he found that an Indian Bishop had been appointed and the General ordered him to return to Australia.
1897-1898 He served at the Richmond Parish
1898-1901 He served at the Hawthorn Parish as Superior and Parish priest
1902-1904 He served at the Norwood Parish.

He was one of the few Jesuits in Australia to be nominated for a Bishopric, however another candidate was chosen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Buckeridge 1842-1904
George Buckeridge was born in the diocese of Dublin in 1842. At the age of 15 he went to the College of Propaganda in Rome where he had a distinguished course. In 1862 he was made Doctor of Philosophy, and in 1866, Doctor of Theology.

On his return to Ireland, He was appointed by Cardinal Cullen as professor of Theology at Clonliffe College Dublin. Here he spent eleven years. During those years he was known as Dr Buckeridge, but titles of distinction, even ecclesiastical distinction, had no attraction for him. He longed to cut himself off in the humble obscurity of a religious order, from all chance of ecclesiastical preferment. To this end, he petitioned each year to be released from his responsible position, and each year his request was refused. At last, during the long vacation of 1878, Cardinal Cullen granted his request, and on July 15th 1878, he entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park.

He went to Australia in 1886 where he laboured with an active zeal in the Colleges and churches for eighteen years, and died on October 30th 1904, in the Residence, Norwood, South Australia.

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

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

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

Chaplain in the Second World War.

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

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 49th Year No 3 1974

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

Obituary :

Fr John Burden (1907-1974)

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

And now we allow contemporaries to take over:

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father John Burden SJ

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

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

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

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

Bürger, Peter, 1841-1922, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/994
  • Person
  • 18 April 1841-29 March 1922

Born: 18 April 1841, Köln, Germany
Entered: 01 October 1859, Friedricksburg Germany - Germaniae Province (GER)
Ordained: 1872
Professed: 02 February1877
Died: 29 March 1922, Exaten, Limburg, Netherlands - Germaniae Inferioris Province (GER I)

by 1884 came to Milltown (HIB) to lecture in Metaphysics for 1 year

Burke Savage, Roland, 1912-1998, Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/35
  • Person
  • 11 August 1912-15 September 1998

Born: 11 August 1912, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, St Ignatius Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 15 September 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1946 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Savage, Roland (‘Ronnie’) Marcus Anthony Burke-
by David Murphy

Savage, Roland (‘Ronnie’) Marcus Anthony Burke- (1912–98), Jesuit priest and editor, was born in north Dublin on 11 August 1912, son of Matthew Burke-Savage, medical doctor, and his wife Alice (née O'Connor). Educated at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare, he entered the Society of Jesus at Emo Court, Co. Laois, on 7 September 1931. He lived with the Jesuit community in Rathfarnham, Co. Dublin, while he studied arts at UCD (1933–6), where he was Hutchinson Stewart scholar in English literature (1934) and graduated BA (1936) and MA (1941) with first-class honours.

Professed of his first vows in March 1934, he moved to Milltown Park in Dublin, where he studied theology (1941–5). Ordained on 31 July 1944, he spent his tertianship at Milltown, before moving to the Leeson St. community in 1946 as a writer and assistant editor of Studies. He published his biography of Catherine McAuley (qv) in 1946 (reprinted, 2nd ed., 1955), a work of which he was justifiably proud. In 1947 he took over the editorship of the Irish Monthly (1947–50), while still continuing to work on Studies, of which he became editor in 1950. During his tenure as editor of Studies he reorganized the journal's administration and encouraged a new generation of contributors, including Garret FitzGerald. Towards the end of his term as editor it was thought by some that Studies had become less critical of the catholic hierarchy than it had been previously. In 1968 he handed over the editorship.

Having served as superior of the Leeson St. community (1951–9), he was appointed in the latter year director of the Central Catholic Library from which he resigned in 1968. Moving to Clongowes, he worked as house historian, writer, and editor of the Clongownian. He served later as college archivist and curator of the college museum. In failing health he moved to the Jesuit nursing home at Cherryfield Lodge, Sandford Rd, Dublin, in 1997 and underwent an operation. He never really recovered and died there 15 September 1998. He was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery. Throughout his life, Ronnie Burke-Savage suffered from depression and found life more difficult as he grew older. His affliction often manifested itself in reclusiveness and difficult relations with his colleagues.

ITWW; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory (1991); Ir. Times, 16 Sept. 1998; Studies, lxxxvii, no. 348 (1998); Interfuse (Jesuit in-house publication), no. 101 (1999); information from Fr Fergus O 'Donoghue SJ and Dr Thomas Morrissey SJ

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

Obituary

Fr Roland (Ronnie) Burke-Savage (1912-1988)

11th Aug. 1912: Born in Dublin
Early Education at Clongowes
7th Sept. 1931: Entered the Society at Emo.
13th Mar. 1934: First Vows at Emo.
1933 - 1936: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD, MA
1941 - 1945: Milltown Park - Theology
31st July 1944: Ordained at Milltown Park.
1945 - 1946: Tertianship
1946 - 1968; Leeson Street
1947 - 1950: Assist Editor Studies; Editor Irish Monthly, Writer.
1950 - 1951: Minister, Editor Studies.
1951 - 1959: Superior; Editor Studies.
1959 - 1968: Director Central Catholic Library,
1968 - 1997: Clongowes - Editor Clongownian; Writer; House Historian.
1973 - 1976: Writer; Curator College Museum.
1976 -1997: Writer; College Archivist; Curator College Museum.
1997: Cherryfield Lodge - Prays for the Church and the Society

Father Burke-Savage had been in Cherryfield Lodge for the last year. He underwent a serious operation last May and never fully recovered. Although in good form he deteriorated over the week-end and died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge at 6.10 a.m., Tuesday, 15 September 1998.

Homily at the Funeral Mass of Fr. Burke-Savage
The popular writer, Fr. John O'Donohue has a wonderful image of birth and death.

“Imagine if you could talk to a baby in the womb and explain its unity with the mother. How this cord of belonging gives it life. If you could then tell the baby that this was about to end. It was going to be expelled from the womb, pushed through a very narrow passage finally to be dropped out into vacant, open light. The cord which held it to its mother's womb was going to be cut and then it was going to be on its own for ever more. If the baby could talk back, it would fear that it was going to die. For the baby within the womb being born would seem like death."

Death is a kind of re-birth. We cling to the cord of life but eventually we must let go and then we enter a new world where time and space are utterly different, a world without shadow, darkness, loneliness, isolation or pain. We are at home with the God from whom we came and to whom we go. We are in God's world of goodness, unity, beauty , truth and, above all, absolute love. The Trinity, Absolute Love, Absolute Giving and Receiving, Absolute Intimacy and Creativity is where all the longings of the human heart at last find fulfillment.

It is to that world that Ronnie, as he was affectionately known in the Society, has now gone. Roland Marcus Anthony, to give him his full name, was born in Dublin in 1912. Somehow that name fits for, in many ways, he was a renaissance man. Educated here in Clongowes, he entered the Society of Jesus in 1931. He took a first class honours BA in UCD and later a first class honours MA also in UCD. While in UCD, he was president of the Literary and Historical Society and thought nothing of bringing the likes of the poet T.S. Eliot to speak to the students. In 1946 he became the assistant editor of the Jesuit review “Studies” and at the same time he published a life of Catherine McAuley, the foundress of the Sisters of Mercy, a book of which he was very proud.

In 1950 he became the editor of Studies. During his years as editor he was embroiled in many controversies. At the same time he got to know many of the students in UCD and had a deep and lasting influence on many of them. Some later rose to prominence in Irish public life.

In 1959 he became the Director of the Central Catholic Library and in 1968 he retired to Clongowes where he was the college archivist and curator of the college museum.

All his life, Ronnie suffered from one major cross. He was prone to deep depression but he bore this cross with great constancy and faith. It was his faith that sustained him and gave him the courage and will power to continue.

In many ways his life, particularly in his later years, can be illustrated by two stories. The first is a Taoist tale.
The carpenter said to his apprentice: “Do you know why this tree is so big and so old?” The apprentice said: “No. Why?” Then the carpenter answered: “Because it is useless. If it were useful it would have been cut down, sawn up and used for beds and tables and chairs. But because it is useless, it has been allowed to grow. That is why it is now so great that you can rest in its shadow”.

Ronnie, in his periods of depression, often felt that he was useless. But as he grew to accept himself for what he was - when he ceased to link his own value and worth to past achievements or to work he could or could not do in the present, as so many people tend to do - then, like the tree, he achieved a serene and gentle maturity as, in these latter years especially, he quietly prayed for the Church and his brother Jesuits. Another story sums up his life:

The Master was in an expansive mood so his disciples sought to learn from him the stages he had passed through in his quest for the divine. “God first led me by the hand”, he said, “into the Land of Sorrows; there I lived until my heart was purged of every inordinate attachment. Then I found myself in the Land of Love whose burning flames consumed whatever was left in me of self. This brought me to the Land of Silence where the mysteries of life and death were bared before my wondering eyes”. “Was that the final stage of your quest?” they asked. “No”, the Master said. “One day God said, ‘Today I shall take you to the innermost sanctuary of the temple, to the heart of God himself. And I was led to the Land of Laughter’.”

May Ronnie's joy now be complete, all the longings of his heart fulfilled as he joins the Lord he served for so long in that Land of Laughter.

Philip Fogarty

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

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

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

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

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

Second World War chaplain

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was by the Christian Brothers at St Mary’s, Toowoomba and then at the University of Queensland, before entereing at Loyola College Greenwich.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Burke, Patrick Francis, 1882-1941, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/969
  • Person
  • 05 March 1882-07 September 1941

Born: 05 March 1882, Cork City
Entered: 01 March 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 07 September 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942
Obituary :
Brother Patrick Burke

Brother Burke was known to have expressed more than once the desire to die in harness, yet not even he can have imagined that the end would come so suddenly. He complained for the first time on Monday 1st of September, but it was not until Saturday that his illness took a serious turn and he was removed to hospital. His condition grew rapidly worse and be died the following day.

Born in Cork city in the year 1882, he was from an early age attached to Messrs. Egan, jewellers, and remained with them for twenty two years. From there he went to Stokes in Westmoreland Street Dublin, where he worked from 1918 to 1921. Then. to use his own words, there came to him the call to leave the world and he decided to enter the Society as a, Lay-Brother. His Noviceship days were spent in Tullabeg. In 1925 we find him in Belvedere, in 1929 he went to the Crescent, whence, after a year, he was transferred to Milltown Park. where he remained until his death.

Perhaps it is as sacristan that Br. Burke will be always best remembered. In all that had to do with that office he showed an enthusiasm and devotedness quite remarkable. “The happiest moments of my life were spent in work for Our Lord on the Altar” he was heard to say, and there can be no more eloquent testimony of his devotion to his hidden Master than the care and pains he took with all the Altar arrangements. He rose magnificently to all great occasions, such as major feasts, and, most of all, ordinations, when his altars won many a word of admiration.But his daily care of the altar and of the chapel was a finer proof of the reality of his devotion. Many of us can be painstaking on occasion, but Br. Burke was painstaking in the chapel always. No effort that this work demanded of him was too great for his diminutive. but indomitable frame, no detail too small for his care and attention. Day after day and year after year this unwearying care went on, and Br. Burke continued to be to all who knew him an example of one who waited for his Lord, and kept his lamp trimmed, and all in readiness. With true zeal Br Burke wished to share with others his devotion to the altar. He trained boys to serve Mass and was ever at pains to imbue them with his own reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. He intensified and extended this work in the last year of his life, and the bearing of those he has trained is living testimony to his success. His contact with those who brought flowers for the altar gave him another outlet for his zeal. Those who thus came in contact with him loved him for a may humour he had and for his very real. sympathy with them, but it was his simple and sincere piety that most of all affected them.
Br. Burke's life in the Society was a little life, the thoughtless will say, taken up with simple hidden things. It may seem little in the eyes of the thoughtless, but it was the work his Master had given him to do, and it was splendidly done. That, for all its apparent littleness that his life shone before men is evidenced by the surprising number of people who attended the Requiem Mass for Bro Burke in the chapel of Milltown Park, and followed the coffin afterwards to Glasnevin. Br Burke left many friends to mourn him, not least among them, his little Mass-servers, and many who have learnt from him the beautiful lesson of devoted. reverent service of the Blessed Sacrament. and left behind the record of a life that was this lesson lived. Such a life may be little by the standards of the world, but it must be very great by the only standard that counts when life is over. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Patrick Burke 1882-1941
Br Patrick Burke was referred to by externs as “The Saint”.

Born in Cork in 1882, he was attached to Egan’s the jewellers in that city, and then with Stokes of Westmoreland Street Dublin. It was here that he heard the call in 1921, and answewred it to become a lay-brother in the Society.

Always extremely neat in his person, he was precise in his manner and exact in his duties. All his religious life he devoted to the altar as Sacristan, and there he displayed exquisite taste in adorning the altar and looking after the vestments.

He had a wide circle of friends and admirers, who revered him as a holy man, many of whom had known him “in the world”, under the soubriquet of “The Major”.

He was most closely associated with Milltown Park, where he died an edifying death on 7th September 1941.

Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel, 1893–1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/973
  • Person
  • 26 December 1893–14 September 1958

Born: 26 December 1893, 9 Rathdown Terrace, Dublin
Entered: 17 February 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 September 1958, Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1917 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1921 in Australia - Regency
by 1928 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ before he entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1915-1916 After First Vows he was at University College Dublin for his Juniorate
1916-1919 He was sent for Philosophy to St Aloysius, Jersey and Milltown Park, Dublin
1919 he was sent to Australia for Regency. He spent one year at Xavier College Kew (1919-1920) and then to St Ignatius Riverview as an Assistant Prefect of Discipline and a Teacher (1920-1922)
1922-1927 He returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park.
1727-1728 He made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1929-1946 He returned to Australia and St Ignatius Riverview, where he was assistant Minister, Senior Science Teacher and took care of the Rowing.
1945-1950 He was appointed Assistant Director of the Observatory at Riverview
1950 He was appointed Director of the Observatory at Riverview after Daniel O’Connell was appointed to the Vatican Observatory. He was particularly good at interpreting seismic patterns, and he picked up the Bikini atomic explosion, which was considered a security risk at the time he informed the US authorities. he was also the author of a number of scientific papers, the best known of which was probably “The Seismological and Related Aspects of the 1954 Hyrdogen Bomb Explosion”, which he wrote in conjunction with Professor KE Bullen, and was published in the “Australian Journal of Physics” in 1957.
He was a keen scientist. Teaching Physics he improvised brilliantly. he created the “Gaffoscope”, a device to illustrate the action of magnetic lines. His chief interest probably lay in Biology. he was very interested in wild life, especially snakes, which he dealt with fearlessly. But the most valuable part of his teaching probably was his devotion to truth that he instilled in his students and the appreciation he gave them by his own example of meticulous and untiring work.

As a Spiritual Father to the community, he was remembered for his monthly talks. They were simple, practical and solid, and expressed in an English of rare dignity and beauty, but more importantly their impact came from the fact that they were so clearly the principles that ruled his own austere life, the life of a man clearly dedicated to God and the truth.

He was a reserved man, very faithful to his duties and was an exemplary religious.. His observance of obedience was very strict, and he worked until just before his death. He was also a gentle man, considered too sensitive for the boys of Riverview who did not treat him kindly.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel (1893–1958)
by G. P. Walsh
G. P. Walsh, 'Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel (1893–1958)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/burke-gaffney-thomas-noel-9632/text16989, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 1 July 2020.

Died 14 September 1958 : Lewisham, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

astronomer; Catholic priest; schoolteacher; seismologist

Thomas Noel Burke-Gaffney (1893-1958), Jesuit priest, seismologist and astronomer, was born on 26 December 1893 at 9 Rathdown Terrace, Dublin, fourth son of Thomas Burke Gaffney, valuer, and his wife Jenny, née O'Donnell. Educated in 1901-12 at Belvedere College, Dublin, Noel entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg on 17 February 1913. He attended science lectures at the National University of Ireland in 1915-16 and in 1917-19 studied philosophy at Jersey, Channel Islands, and at Milltown Park, Dublin. After teaching at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, in 1921, and at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, in 1922-23, he returned to Ireland to complete his theology studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 31 July 1926.

In September 1928 he returned to Riverview where he taught science until becoming assistant-director of Riverview College Observatory in 1946 (director from 1952). Although Burke-Gaffney was a dedicated and unorthodox teacher of physics who used ingenious devices like his 'gaffoscope' to illustrate degaussing, he was a poor disciplinarian in the classroom, 'too gentle for the boys of Riverview'. Nevertheless, he was loved by his pupils and famed for his little zoo of native animals—his 'gafferoos' as he called them—which delighted a loyal and devoted following of country boys. He possessed 'an uncanny ability to tame wild creatures', and instilled into his boys the importance and nobility of the natural sciences.

A keen and devoted scientist, Burke-Gaffney published papers on the seismicity of Australia, on the detection of S waves in the earth's inner core and on special phases from New Zealand earthquakes. His most notable contribution was four papers written with Professor K. E. Bullen on the seismic aspects of nuclear explosions, studies which attracted worldwide attention. Burke-Gaffney was the first to discover that nuclear explosions detonated at or near ground level showed up on seismographs. A council-member (1954-58) and vice-president (1957-58) of the Royal Society of New South Wales, he unstintingly helped many young seismologists and did valuable work as secretary-convenor of the sub-committee on seismology of the Australian national committee for the International Geophysical Year (1957-58).

Father Burke-Gaffney also carried out extensive work on variable stars. A man of great faith, he found it hard to understand how an astronomer could ever be an atheist: 'Astronomy', he said, 'constantly impresses you with the majesty of the Almighty, and the regularity of its laws presupposes the Lawgiver'.

Slightly built and somewhat self-effacing, Burke-Gaffney lived quietly and austerely. Few outside his college friends and scientific colleagues got to know him well, but those who did found him 'a charming and liberal-minded man, graced with a gentle dignity and a delightful humour'. Revered as an outstanding community member, he was truly—vir Deo deditus et veritati (a man dedicated to God and to the truth). He died of Hodgkin's disease on 14 September 1958 in Lewisham hospital and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Select Bibliography
E. Lea-Scarlett, Riverview (Syd, 1989)
St Ignatius College, Riverview (Sydney), Our Alma Mater, 1952, 1957, 1958
Nature (London), 15 Nov 1958, p 1343
Australian Journal of Science, 21, 1958, p 133
Royal Astronomical Society, Monthly Notice, 119, 1959, p 344
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 93, 1959, p 86
Belvederian (Dublin), 1959
Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Oct 1948, 9 Sept, 4 Oct 1952, 25 Apr 1953, 4 Mar 1954, 8 June, 3 July, 19 Sept 1957, 15 Sept 1958

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 1 1959
Obituary :
Fr Thomas Noel Burke-Gaffney (1893-1958)
With the death of Fr. Burke-Gaffney Australian geophysics and Jesuit science suffered a great loss. He was the director of the Riverview College Observatory since 1952, when the former director, Fr. D. O'Connell, was appointed to the Vatican Observatory, Castelgandolfo. He maintained and increased the reputation of Riverview as a first class observatory and the most important in the southern hemisphere. He carried on the work of his predecessors, the routine observations and measurements of stars and earthquakes, as begun by Fr. Pigot and continued by Fr. O'Leary and Fr. O'Connell.
Educated at Belvedere College, Fr. Burke-Gaffney entered Tullabeg, on 17th February, 1913, studied at the National University, did philosophy in Jersey and theology in Ireland and returned as a priest to Australia. At Riverview he was appointed senior science master. Always a scientist, his earlier interest was in biology and his “200” is remembered by former generations of Riverview boys. He taught physics for many years and in 1946 was appointed assistant to Fr. O'Connell in the observatory, Here he quickly mastered the routine work and became expert in the reading and interpretation of the records. As director he continued this work which is summed up in, the bulletins issued by the observatory. This should be reckoned his most important contribution to science on account of the excellence of the records and the accuracy of his measurements.
Fr. Burke-Gaffney played a valuable part in the Australian I.G.Y. programme on the national committee for seismology and was for several years a member of the council of the Royal Society of N.S.W. His published work includes seven papers on seismology mainly written in collaboration with Professor Bullen of the University of Sydney. The papers were concerned with the seismicity of Australia, the problem of discovering S waves in the earth's inner core, special phases from New Zealand earthquakes, and seismic aspects of nuclear explosions, The last work attracted world-wide attention, he was the first to publish the recordings of atomic explosions. Professor Bullen, in his presidential address to the International Association of Seismology in Toronto, 1957, on Seismology in Our Atomic Age paid full tribute to this work of Fr. Burke-Gaffney and in Nature (15th November, 1958) described him as one who “lived austerely and was one of Australia's most unassuming scientists and a man of quiet gentle dignity”. He was, moreover, spiritual father of his community, his exhortations are described as simple, practical, solid and expressed in English of rare dignity and beauty. He died on 14th September and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1959

Obituary

Father Noel Burke-Gaffney SJ

With the death of Fr Burke-Gaffney, Australian geophysics and Jesuit science suffered a great loss. He was director of the Riverview College Observatory since 1952, when the former director Fr D O'Connell, was appointed to the Vatican Observatory, Castelgandolfo. He maintained and increased the reputation of Riverview as a first-class observatory and the most important in the southern hemisphere. He carried on the work of his predecessors, the routine measurements and observations of stars and earthquakes begun by Fr Pigot and continued by Fr O'Leary and Fr O'Connell.

He was born in Dublin and educated. at Belvedere. Having completed his initial training in the Society of Jesus, which he entered in February, 1913, he attended lectures at the National University and did his course of Philosophy, partly in Ireland and partly at Jersey, Channel Islands.

He went to Australia in 1921 and after some years teaching returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park. He was ordained priest there on July 31st, 1926. He then returned to Australia and was Senior Science Master at Riverview until 1946 when he became Assistant Director of the College Observatory and Director in 1952.

Fr Burke-Gaffney was a keen scientist, yet his chief interest lay probably with biology and he was famous among the boys of Riverview principally for his “zoo”. Teaching Physics, he improvised brilliantly and was a master in the devising of equipment. But the most valuable part of his teaching was surely the devotion to truth he instilled into his pupils and the appreciation he gave them, by his own example of meticulous and untiring work, of the importance and nobility of the natural sciences - “The heavens proclaim the glory of God”.

He played a valuable part in the Australian IGY programme on the national committee for seismology and was for several years a member of the council of the Royal Society of New South
Wales. He wrote many scientific papers the chief of which were concerned with the seismicity of Australia, the problem of discovering S waves in the earth's inner core, special phases from New Zealand earthquakes, and seismic aspects of nuclear explosions. The last work attracted world-wide attention, he was the first to publish the recordings of atomic explosions. Professor K E Bullen, in his presidential address to the International Association of Seismology in Toronto, 1957, paid fuil tribute to this work of Fr Burke-Gaffney.

His fellow religious have paid tribute to his qualities as a religious and as a man. He was always a wonderful community man. It was one of his greatest consolations during his last illness that he was allowed to return for a few weeks to be with them at Riverview. He had been Spiritual Father to the Community there and had been much valued for his practical, solid talks, valuable chiefly in that they were so clearly the outcome of the principles that ruled his own austere life, the life of a man completely dedicated to God and the truth. - Vir Deo deditus et veritati.

Burke-Gaffney, Walter M, 1896-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/974
  • Person
  • 17 December 1896-14 January 1979

Born: 17 December 1896, Dublin
Entered: 13 October 1920, Guelph, Ontario, Canada - Canada Superioris Province(CAN S)
Ordained: 31 July 1930, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1967
Died: 14 January 1979, St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Canada Superioris Province(CAN S)

by 1929 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1928-1931

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1979

Obituary

Father Walter Burke Gaffney SJ

Colonel J J Burke-Gaffney has released some cuttings about the life of his brother Walter S.J. We reprint one from the Halifax Star, and follow this with the panegyric preached by the Most Rev Dr Joseph Hayes, Archbishop of Halifax Nova Scotia. The Halifax Star concentrates on Fr Walter's formidable academic achievements; the strong light which the bishop directs from the side, shows up some new depths in the image.

We will perhaps be pardoned for proudly drawing attention to the few simple words: “the Canadian Martyrs Church” ... Those martyrs are Jesuit martyrs, and some of the most glorious martyrs in the history of the Church! Not a cape, not a headland, not a river estuary in Eastern Canada exists, that was not rounded, tramped, waded, splashed, cut-through and beaten down by French Jesuits. They were among the first Europeans on the “location”. A total world away from their native land, among natives of matchless cruelty and savagery, their intense spirituality and total dedication might almost make St Lawrence envy them. In fact their actual slow-fire martyrdom, their actual lack of cooperation with their torturers in not responding with screams, is strongly reminiscent of the accounts of the death of St Lawrence Martyr: “This side is cooked, turn me over ...”, “... now eat me!” In the case of St Lawrence Martyr there may be some exaggeration, but in the case of saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf, and Companions, Jesuit Martyrs, there is none. (One wonders who named the St Lawrence River? Was it so named by these first European explorers because of what they foresaw of their likely end?)

We repeat our apology, but protest that we are proud to belong to a company that produced such men as these, the “Canadian Martyrs”. Fr Walter, in life, was proud to be numbered in such a group, and surely, his spiritual life during forty years in Canada must have been influenced by such glorious roots.

From The Halifax Star 16.1.1979

Rev Michael Walter Burke Gaffney, well known teacher, engineer and astronomer at St Mary's University, died Sunday in St Vincent's Guest House, Halifax, He was 82.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Father Burke Gaffney was one of the original group of Jesuit priests who arrived in Halifax in 1940 to begin teaching and administration at Saint Mary's.

He studied at Belvedere College and University College in Dublin and graduated from the National University of Ireland with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in 1917.

Attached to the British war office and air ministry in London from 1917 to 1920, he constructed aerodromes in Britain during the First World War.

He later designed bridges in Manitoba before making the decision to enter the Society of Jesus in 1920...

...Ordained a priest in 1930 he took a Master of Science degree in 1933 and two years later his doctorate in astronomy, both at Georgetown University, Washington.

Following four years as a lecturer at the Jesuit Seminary in Toronto and a year at St Paul's College, Winnipeg, he came to Saint Mary's in 1940. He was dean of engineering for eight years and dean of science for four years. He was professor of astronomy from 1955 to 1965 when he became professor emeritus.

He was a past member of the board of governors and the senate of the Nova Scotia Technical College. He was the first Canadian to hold membership in the International Academy of the History of Science and in 1951 he was elected honorary president of the Nova Scotia Astronomical Society, an organisation he helped to found.

A member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the American Astronomical Society and the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, he has written books and articles about astronomy and engineering for scholarly journals.

An astronomical observatory unit atop Saint Mary's academic residence was named in his honour.

He is survived by a brother, Lieutenant-Colonel John Joseph Burke-Gaffney, Dublin, and 14 nieces and nephews. Besides his parents he was predeceased by six brothers and three sisters.

The body will be at the Canadian Martyrs Church from 2 p.m. today, Office of the Dead will be recited this.evening at 8 o'clock.

Funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Canadian Martyrs Church, Most Rev James M. Hayes, Archbishop of Halifax presiding.

The address of Archbishop Hayes

In the second reading from I Corinthians, St. Paul is speaking like a scientist of his day. He goes to the scientific facts commonly known and held to help his readers understand the mystery of God's great gift of new life and of a future resurrection. Biology or botany (the seed and the plant) astronomy: (the make-up of human beings) he uses all to teach what was for Him a deeper and more basic truth. The dead will rise again.

It seems to me most appropriate that we should hear Paul speaking in this way when we come to the funeral liturgy for our departed brother Michael Walter Burke-Gaffney. The sciences have advanced a lot since Paul's day but the eternal truths revealed to us by God in His Son Jesus, have not changed at all. The good man whom we come to remember and honour today used the scientific knowledge which he possessed to pass on the same eternal truths about God and His saving work.

In the passing of Father Burke-Gaffney, we have lost a friend or an associate or a brother in the priesthood and we all feel his passing in a different way. But no matter what our association was, we all mourn a good man, an accomplished scientist and author, who was first and always a priest and a devoted religious member of the Society of Jesus.

A store of scientific knowledge he possessed; and he was always ready to share it with others. But all his talents and knowledge were, in his mind, to be used only for one purpose, to teach the kingdom of God and bring it to his students, his Listeners, his readers.

Just yesterday, his latest publication came from the press. It is an account of the devotion of our Lady among the missionaries and early settlers in New France from 1634 to 1641. This essay was awarded first place in a Canadian history contest held during the Marian year in 1954.

We learn in the scriptures that the tiny seed must die to produce a rich harvest. Otherwise it remains alone in the earth and barren. Jesus used this exam ple to point to His own self-giving, His own death and resurrection. We christians believe that those who die believing in Jesus will rise with Him to a new life. We celebrate these funeral rites today, precisely because we believe these truths. As we look back over the life of our departed friend and brother, it is not hard to make the comparison. Here is a man, who for the almost 40 years we in Halifax have known him, gave himself generously to be of service to others as a teacher, a counsellor, a community builder, a priest. It can be said without equivocation that Father Burke-Gaffney literally gave his life for others. His service was complete, his dedication total, so that he served others as long as his physical and psychic strength permitted him to do so. Even after it was difficult for him to read, his fertile mind continued to Speculate on so many things, things he liked to share with his visitors. Doing his life's work as he did joyfully for the sake of Jesus, we confidently believe that the servant and the master are united. That the glory of the resurrection is now to be the fruit of a life generously and gladly given.

It was as an astronomer that Father Burke Gaffney received public acclaim in Halifax. The advent of space travel gave him ample scope to deepen and share his knowledge of the heavens and the stars. I remember my first contact with him 38 years ago, to hear him lecture on “New stars”. I am told that he showed delight recently when he heard that his 1937 article on the “Star Of Bethlehem From An Astronomer's Point Of View”, is still quoted as a reference for scripture scholars.

This interest in astronomy like all the others, was used by this good man to bring other people to know God better. For him every star, like the Star of Bethlehem was a means of bringing wise men nearer to Jesus, “The heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork”. (Ps. 19)

I don't think we would be far wrong in saying that now, when the limitations of the mortal body have been thrown oft, Father Gaffney will realise, make real, the word of the Lord spoken through Daniel: “The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars, for all eternity”, (Daniel 12:3). Surely a part of his heavenly reward will be to marvel at the wonders of the universe that fascinated him so much while he was with us.

Now that he has gone from us, many people will miss him. I think particularly of his brothers in the Jesuit Community; of Monsignor Granville, the Chaplain at St Vincent's Guesthouse, for whom he was a friend and a brother; of Sister Susan Duggan and the other sisters, nurses and members of the Guesthouse staff who were so kind and dedicated to him. In the name of all the priests, I want to thank you for all you have done.

It remains now for us to remember; and to pray that the peace and glory of the Resurrection will be his and that we hope someday follow him to that reward. Let that be our intention as we continue the celebration of the Eucharist.

Bury, James, 1866-1927, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/77
  • Person
  • 02 October 1866-04 March 1927

Born: 02 October 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died 04 March 1927, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

by 1892 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy in Jersey, and then went for Regency to Clongowes for many years. After that he studied Theology at Milltown, was Ordained there and went on the FRA Tertianship at Mold, Wales.
After Tertianship he spent two years at Clongowes before joining the Mission Staff for a year.
The following four years he spent at Milltown as Minister.
He then was sent to Gardiner St as Minister and held that office for eight years, before his unexpected death at St Vincent’s, Dublin after an operation 04 March 1927.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927
Obituary :
Father James Bury
Early in March the province got a painful surprise by the news that Fr Bury was dead. He had been operated on for appendicitis, complications set in, and a second operation became necessary. The heart gave way, and he died on the 4th March. Fr. Bury was carried off in the full vigor of mature manhood. At the time of his death he was Minister of Gardiner Street, Prefect of the Church, had charge of two Sodalities, and of the “Penny Dinners”. He took a full share in the work of the Church, and was head of the missionary staff. He certainly served a full apprenticeship in the Society.
After Philosophy at Jersey, he went to Clongowes, where he spent one year Gallery Prefect, four at 3rd line, and then got charge of the “Big Study”. Theology at Milltown followed and Tertianship at Mold. The next year saw him at Clongowes, where for two years he ruled the Higher Line. In 1907-8 he was Missioner, and for the four following years Minister at Milltown. He then returned to Mission work, and was connected with the Staff until his death.. From 1913 he was stationed in Gardiner Street, and was Minister of the House for eight years.
How much he was appreciated by those with whom he came in contact is, perhaps, best evidenced by the simple address of the Gardiner Street Staff : “Very Rev. Fr, Superior, on behalf of the House Staff, Who sadly miss our lamented Father Minister (RIP), We ask your Reverence to accept this little offering, £2 8s. 6d., for a Novena of Masses to be offered for the Repose of the Soul of dear Father Bury. We believe that this spiritual remembrance would be preferable to any perishable wreath”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Bury SJ 1866-1927
At the comparatively early age of 57 and in the full vigour of his powers, Fr James Bury died in Dublin on March 4th 1927 as a result of an operation.

He was long associated with Gardiner Street, where he was Minister for wight years previous to his death. A great churchman, popular with all, both priests and laity, he had a special gift for dealing with children. He was often called upon to preside at functions for children, and had the knack of producing order out of chaos.

He was born in Dublin in 1866, and he was educated at Belvedere College. He spent some time in Paris and also engaged in business in Dublin before he entered the Society in 1888.

During his time in Gardiner Street and at the time of his death, he was in charge of the Night Workers Sodality, but whom he was deservedly loved.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The name of Father Bury will recall many memories to those who were here between the years 1894 and 1907. He came to Clongowes on the completion of his philosophical studies in Jersey, and filled the post of Gallery Prefect for one year. From 1895 to 1899 he guided the destinies of the Third Line, and those who had the happiness of being under him will recall his geniality and ready understanding of, and sympathy with, all that interests and worries boys at that early age. For the following two years he was Prefect of the Big Study; a strict disciplinarian, but withal popular with the boys, who admired him for his zeal for their success at examinations and his helpful interest in the struggling members of the “pass” classes, and the way he joined in their cheers when a surprise Play-day cut short the morning study. Returning from Theology in 1905, he became Higher Line Prefect, relinquishing the post in 1907 to take up the work of giving missions throughout the country, which occupied him more or less continually, until 1921, when he joined the staff of St Francis Xavier's Church in Dublin, becoming Minister the following year, and directing the work of the Missioners until his death.

Father Bury was a specialist in the very difficult work of giving children's missions, and the manner in which he gripped his youthful audiences and wrought them to a pitch of enthusiasm showed a rare power of sympathy and understanding with little folk, combined with great oratorical gifts; Indeed he will be missed by none more than the children of the poor, who idolised him, and on his walks they literally mobbed him for the privilege of holding his hand. He practically never left the Presbytery door but a poor flower-seller waylaid him and presented him with the choicest blooms in her basket.

He was a big-hearted man, very lovable, and the sobs of the poor who crowded the Church at his obsequies and followed his remains to the grave told more eloquently than speech or pen could of his sterling worth as a priest and a Jesuit. RIP

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The death of Father James Bury SJ, on March 4th came as a great shock to all. He had gone to hospital for a very necessary but simple operation, from which no one anticipated the slightest danger. An entirely unexpected complication set in, and, as a result, Father Bury had breathed his last before it was generally known that he was ill. Great was the grief of the Gardiner Street congregation and particularly of the poor when they learned of his unexpected death.

At the time of his death he was Minister of the residence in Gardiner Street, Dublin, and Superior of the Missions given by the Irish Jesuits. Previous to that he had been Minister in Milltown Park, and Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes. In all these offices he was genial to all, ever ready to oblige, devoted to his work, and kind to the poor. A sound, pleasing preacher, whose forte was plain, convincing instruction, he will be greatly missed. In the difficult role of preacher to children he was at his best. In this last work, which was particularly dear to him, he had few equals and perhaps no superior.

Butler, Reuben J, 1890-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/980
  • Person
  • 21 October 1890-05 December 1959

Born: 21 October 1890, Foilnamuck, Dolla, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 24 October 1912, Senbahanoor, Madras, India - Tolosanae Province (TOLO)
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926
Died: 05 December 1959, St Anthony’s Hospital, North Cheam, Surrey, England - Madurensis Province (MDU)

Transcribed : TOLO to MDU

by 1921 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1920-1924
by 1925 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 2 1960
Obituary :
Fr Reuben J Butler (1890-1950)

Reuben Butler was born on 21st October, 1890, at Dolla, Nenagh, in Co. Tipperary. He did his secondary studies at Mungret College, 1906-12, In the Mungret Annual for 1913 there is the note: “R. Butler, B.A. is in the novitiate S.J. at Shembaganur, India, for the Madura Mission”. He did his Philosophy in the same house after the Noviceship.
The following brief account of the saintly life and death of Fr. Butler. is given in the Chaplain's Weekly, 30th December, 1959 :
He entered the Society at Shembaganur, S. India, on 24th October, 1912, for the Madura Mission, now a Province, but then dependent on the Province of Toulouse. He taught at St. Joseph's College, Trichinopoly, from 1917-1920. Then he came for Theology to Milltown Park, where he was ordained on 31st July, 1923. Tertianship followed immediately and was done at Tullabeg. In the summer of 1925 he became chaplain at New Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, where he also took his last vows and where he spent the rest of his priestly life. In July 1959 he entered St. Anthony's Hospital, North Cheam, to undergo an operation, but he gradually grew weaker. He was anointed on 30th November and he died very peacefully on 5th December. His nephew, a priest from Ireland, was with him a few hours before he died, and shortly after his death Archbishop O'Hara, the Apostolic Delegate, who happened to be at the hospital, prayed by his bedside. In view of his long and devoted connection with New Hall, the Mother Prioress asked that he might be buried there and her request was granted. She writes the following account :
Fr. Butler came to New Hall in the summer of 1925 and during his thirty-four years as Chaplain all whose privilege it was to know him came to appreciate the sincerity, sympathetic understanding and unfailing kindness that was so characteristic of him. A scholar, widely read and knowledgeable on a number of subjects (1), leading an unobtrusive life, he had words of wisdom and sound advice and encouragement for the many who sought his guidance. Above all it was the evident sanctity that attracted people, giving them confidence in his judgment and making them aware of the strength imparted by the holiness of one whose priestly life was so wholly hidden in Christ. On 8th December, twenty-one weeks after he had left us to undergo an operation, his body was brought from Cheam and the Office of the Dead was sung by the community. His nephew, Fr. Joseph Butler, remained in the chapel during the night. On the following day Solemn Requiem was sung by Monsignor Wilson, P.P. of Chelmsford, in the presence of the Bishop of Brentwood, who was attended by his Chancellor, Monsignor Shanahan, and his secretary, Fr. David Donnelly. Fr. Cammack represented the Provincial and many of the diocesan clergy, who also provided the altar staff, attended. His two nephews, Frs. Reuben and Joseph Butler from Ireland, his sister, Mrs. Slattery, and his niece were present, while the large congregation of local people showed how much he had been esteemed during his long years at New Hall. The Absolutions after the Mass were performed by the bishop and the burial in the convent cemetery followed immediately”.
Mother Prioress adds : “We shall miss him more and more as time goes on. His quick recognition of difficulties and the needs of others and his prompt meeting of them kept so much running so smoothly. How much he was doing comes perhaps to be realised only when it ceases to be done. May he rest in peace”.

(1) In 1948 Fr. Butler published a book, The Words of the Mass (Clonmore and Reynolds, Dublin), which was very highly praised in The Clergy Review. He had hoped to follow it up with a book on the Divine Office, but ill-health forced him to give up the idea.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1913

Letters from Our Past

Father Reuben Butler SJ

India - Reuben Butler writes from Sacred Heart College, Shembaganar, Madura District, India, March 12th, 1913:

I am praying that it may be God's will to send some good labourers from their (the apostolics') midst, to Madura. It is a beautiful mission. I do not think that any mission in India has such a history, We have St Francis Xavier, Blessed John de Britto and Father de Nobili with a host of other apostolic ancestors to urge us on, and to look after us in Heaven.

The mission is extremely well regulated. Every month the missioners meet at a convenient centre to look after the interest of their souls, and to enjoy a little holiday. The work is rather trying. Their parishes are large and of course the heat is sometimes strong. Their converts are sufficiently nunerous but possibly not always fervent, and of course the missioner cannot see them all very often.

There is a crying need for more labourers here. There are villages quite close to us in which there are no Catholics and this want is solely due to want of priests. There is no one who can be spared to go to them. It is the same story all over the mission. The devil reigns supreme in many places and over many hearts. It is heart-rending to see the Sacred Heart deprived of such a beautiful country.

The Protestant missionaries do a good deal to hinder Catholicity, anyone whom they are unable to catch themselves they try to prevent from becoming a Catholic.

Here in Shembaganar the surroundings are very beautiful and extremely interesting. It is well suited to a naturalist's taste. There are all kinds of insects, birds and reptiles and also a good selection of animals. The blackberries are ripe here now, though they are not so plentiful as on the “Blackberry Road”. There seems to be no regard for seasons here. Some trees are just in blossomn while others of the same kind are bearing ripe fruit. The highest temperatore recorded this year has been 26° centigrade, that is, in the shade. The thermometer has fallen to 4°c during the month of January. We see hoar-frost on the mornings of villa-days, a little higher. up in the mountains,

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1915

Letters from Our Past

Father Reuben Butler SJ

writing from Madura, tells us of an exciting event :

I was in Madras, when it was bombarded by the Emden, but escaped with being dis : tracted during Iny evening examen....

There is fine work here in a climate that is no doubt hard, but in which one can live and work with ordinary health. There is no lack of labour. There are about 6,000,000 pagans to be converted here in Madura alone. There is no fear of being a martyr unto blood, though all may be martyrs of charity.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1920

Letters from Our Past

Father Reuben Butler SJ

Rev Reuben Butler SJ, writes from Trichinopoly:

Though St. Francis Xavier laboured a good deal in the mission, it was really founded in the early 17th century by Fr de Nobili, a man famous in missionary history in India for his efforts to convert the Brahmins by a complete adoption of their social customs. He was succeeded by such great men as the martyr, Blessed John de Britto, and Fr Beschi, The latter was not only remarkable for his apostolic labours and sufferings, but is also one of the foremost names in Tamil literature, the language spoken in this part of India. The mission cultivated by these men was much larger than the present, and numbered at the beginning of the 18th century some 150,000 Christians. During the suppression of the Society in the Portuguese Dominions the Mission suffered severely; some Christian, centres were completely ruined, others were played havoc with by the Protestants. It was again handed over to the Society in 1838, and later on constituted a diocese. The present diocese numbers over 267,000 Catholics, out of a total population of over 6,000,000, mostly Hindus, and covers an area of 16,500 square miles. Imagine, if you can, our difficulties -137 priests have to look after our various institutions and 267,000 Catholics spread over an area of two-fifths that of Ireland, and to try to convert a population half again as large as that of Ireland, For the year ending June, 1918, the latest returns that I have, there were over 9,000 conversions from paganism. No other reason for the fewness of conversions is needed than the want of missionaries; our missionaries are all busy with their Christians, and they can exert but a very indirect influence on the pagans. If one could set aside a certain number of men for the pagans alone, I have no doubt but that things would be otherwise.

Long, long ago, St Patrick heard the voices of the Irish calling on him to come to their rescue, and to bring them out of the darkness of paganism to the light of truth. St Patrick responded to the call, and it is due to his faithful response that Ireland is a holy Catholic Ireland, The very same cry is wafted to-day not from the children of Ireland to the ears of the youthful Patrick, but from the children of India steeped in paganism, to the children of Ireland, glorying in the possession of the Faith. How many generous souls listen to it?

Speaking of St. Joseph's College, he says:
In St Joseph's College we have well over 2,000 students, divided pretty equally between the school and college departinents. Of these, over 700 are Catholics, the major portion are Hindus, mostly Brahmins, with an insignificant sprinkling of Protestants and Muhammadans. Of the 700 Catholics, about 500 are boarders, who spend the day from sunrise until after dark in a special institution called the Semiboarding, set aside for them. The home life of the poorer people in India is very badly adapted for studies. About 200 of our Catholic students attend the University classes in the College department.

It would be difficult to give you any idea of the standard of knowledge required in the students, but the standard is very high, and the studies are extensive and require a very well-equipped institution. The physics and chemistry laboratories have few equals in private colleges the world over. Our library is up-to-date, and contains nearly 12,000 volumes; and the museum is a great centre of attraction for visitors. A large hall, capable of containing between two and three thousand students, serves as a theatre for the college assemblies, debates, etc, and for a study for the students during leisure hours. You have no idea as to the size of the various buildings; they are simply colossal.

In the school the numbers of students in a class are limited to forty, so we have the phenomenon of one class being divided into several sections. In the college there is no limit, the number of students in a class ranges between 120 and 200, and approaches nearer the latter in the History branches. It is wonderful with what ease those large classes can be managed. I do not suppose that a class of European boys, of like size, would be so easily controlled.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1960

Obituary

Father Reuben Butler SJ

The death took place on December 5th of Father Reuben Butler SJ, at St Anthony's Hospital, Cheam.

Born in Ireland in 1890, he came to the Apostolic School in 1906. Leaving in 1912, he joined the Madura Province of the Society of Jesus. After Philosophy he taught in the College of Trinchinopoy 1917-20, and then came to Milltown Park for Theology, where he was ordained in 1923. After Tertainship he became Chaplain to the Convent of the Holy Sepulchre, New Hall, Chelmsford, Essex, where he spent the remainder of his priestly life. All at New Hall came to appreciate his sincerity, his sympathetic understanding and unfailing kindness. He was a widely read scholar, but it was his sanctity that attracted people, giving them confidence in his judgment and making them aware of the strength given by holiness in one whose life was hidden in Christ. To his nephew we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Butler, Richard P, 1915-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/588
  • Person
  • 27 November 1915-21 April 1999

Born: 27 November 1915, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 21 April 1999, Galway University Hospital, Galway City, County Galway

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dickie) Butler (1915-1999)

27th Nov. 1915: Born in Waterford
Educated at Waterpark College, Waterford
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First vows at Emo
1935 - 1938: Rathfarnham, study Arts at UCD
1938 - 1941; Tullabeg, study Philosophy
1941 - 1942: Mungret College, teaching
1942 - 1944: St. Ignatius College, Galway, teaching
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, study theology
30th July 1947; Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham, tertianship
1949 - 1951: Hong Kong, at language school
1951 - 1952: Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, teaching
1952 - 1954: Wah Yan College, Kowloon, teaching
1954 - 1999 St. Ignatius College, Galway:
1954 - 1956: Teaching
1956 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1990: Teaching

When he retired from teaching in 1990, Richard continued in College administration, and as health prefect. He was admitted to University Hospital, Galway, almost two weeks before Easter. He was operated on for a perforated ulcer. Though initially he appeared to make good progress, he subsequently suffered a stroke, rallied somewhat again, but then suffered kidney failure. He died very peacefully at 6.45 a.m. on Wednesday 21st April 1999.

I first met Father Dickie Butler, as we affectionately knew him, on the doorsteps of Coláiste lognáid in Galway, 31 years ago, when I arrived there to begin my regency. I had spent the whole summer in the Gaeltacht building up my Irish but I knew about the place I was going to teach, and was somewhat fearful. I was greeted at the front door of the residence by a tall, mandarin-like figure with small round glasses and winged gown. On learning that I had just arrived to embark upon my teaching life, he informed me that he was the acting-minister and that before I went any further I was to put down my case and follow him. He ushered me into the kitchen and within five minutes produced a full glass of red wine, and giving it to me said “Drink that boy, you'll need it”.

Dickie Butler was a man who always made people feel welcome. He had a great eye for the details of life. I could say that Christianity is all about caring, - caring for one another, “whatever you do to one of these”, - because Christ first cares about us. Dickie was a man who always cared and made room for others. I'm sure that he has now found the room in his Father's house prepared for him from the beginning. (Though I should say “the mansion” in his Father's house, for Dickie did not update biblical translations lightly).

Richard Butler was born in Waterford in 1915 and entered the society at Emo. He studied at UCD, Tullabeg and Milltown Park and spent his regency teaching at Mungret and Coláiste lognáid in Galway. He was ordained priest at Milltown Park and after his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, went to teach at Wah Yan College in Hong Kong, with a view to moving further inland on the mission. He used to say that Celtic Scholars were particularly marked out by the Provincials for work on the missions, especially in China, presumably because somebody thought that if you could make headway in the Irish language you could certainly master Chinese. Whether it is true or not, what is definitely true is that Dickie Butler was a brilliant Irish scholar, a wonderful speaker of Irish and an excellent teacher of the language to generations of schoolboys (and latterly, girls).

He became the great Irish teacher he was because his health broke down in China in 1954 and he was sent to the school down in Galway where he taught for 45 years. Dickie was a man of great discipline, a man with an incisive mind. He served as a headmaster in the school before he returned to the classroom to teach for 37 years, at a time of rapid change in Ireland and in education. I lived in his community for 12 of those years and met with him regularly afterwards. Dickie was an engaging and imaginative conversationalist; he had a marvelous command of both the English and Irish language, and he used both daily in his daily all his adult life. Sitting at a table with him in the refectory was informative and entertaining as well as refreshing. Much of his colourful imagery will remain with those of us fortunate enough to have been in his community. Whether he was sharing his insights into information in the Province or on some aspect of contemporary Irish culture, he was always well worth listening to.

Dickie was a theologian and theology was never far from his thoughts. He was an avid reader, especially of the latest publications in theology. Often in the refectory we would watch with interest as visiting theologians, in Galway for a few days rest, sat down at table with Dickie and how he would ask them some seemingly innocent question about theology which would lead to a whole conversation that would keep them on their toes, so to speak, defending whatever their side of the argument was through the whole meal, answering the questions he put so casually. His favourite phrase throughout these encounters was “de vera religione”. I think Dickie would have made many a theological board proud with his questioning. I always felt he would have made a fine professor of theology but he only wanted to do what was asked of him, whether it was going on mission to China at the beginning of his priestly life, or working in College administration towards the end. He had what we used to call in the Province 'a fine mind' but he was a humble man too and one who never put himself forward. He was both modest and devout.

Dickie Butler was a very personal man, who always gave you the impression that he was speaking directly to you. He was interested in everybody in the community and the work they were at. Some might have seen him as old-fashioned but that might be because he had very definite ideas on things and would let you have the benefit of them whether you wanted them or not. Everyone I knew who met with him acknowledged that he was a wise man, and that brings me again to this mandarin-like figure. In his later years Dickie rode a motorbike and dressed in his special biker's gear, with the wire glasses and the all-seeing eyes, he cut a dashing figure as he rode up Sea Road, off into the dust.

Dickie was a man of routine who did not move much out of Galway. But in the early 1980's he decided, and we helped him, to go to America for a summer supply. He had not been out of the country for nearly 30 years when he boarded the plane for California. Despite his initial trepidation, he loved California once he became accustomed to it. But even in this he was different because Dickie took a supply in an island parish at the edge of a hot desert. And he continued this supply until he retired from teaching, and then he moved into school administration in Coláiste lognáid where his genius at Irish was much appreciated and must have caused many an envious eye in the Department of Education when school reports were processed. When Dickie was taken to hospital just before Easter this year he was very concerned to let the school authorities know that his work for the school right to the end of the summer term was all prepared and sitting on his desk.

He was a man of great discipline. The last time I spoke with him, he was sitting in his room with the door open, seemingly doing nothing. We had a few words and I asked him if he was waiting for something. He replied in his lovely Irish, “When you get to my age, you'll know what I'm waiting for”.

We say good-bye to an excellent teacher held in high esteem by his colleagues, a marvelous companion in community, a scholar and a storyteller, but most of all, a good Jesuit and a holy man. An tAthair Risteard de Buitléar will be missed by many.

In lothlainn Dé go gcastar sinn.

Liam Greene

-oOo-

Funeral Mass of Fr. Richard Butler, SJ
A Jesuits room reveals a great deal about its occupant. The most striking feature about Fr. Dickie's room was how spartan it was. All that was superfluous had been removed by Dickie in the last few years. It was as if he had folded up his tent some time ago and had already moved most of his belongings to a more everlasting home. But not everything was superfluous - some things had to be kept - just in case!

What remained tells you a great deal about this kind and gentle man. Only seven books are to be found on his bookshelf. These books are the New Testament; The Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; The Code of Canon Law; The Catechism of the Catholic Church; The Concise Oxford Dictionary; Dineen's Irish-English Dictionary and The Oxford Book of Irish Verse. Fr. Dickie was a man who thirsted for God, for Truth, for Certitude, for Precision and if the mysteries of faith were sometimes shrouded in darkness, Dickie would struggle for light. If the intricacies of Irish grammar left other mere mortals somewhat disillusioned, Dickie would delight in shedding much needed light.

St. Ignatius warns anyone who might want to be a Jesuit, “Let any such person take care, as long as he lives, first of all to keep before his eyes God and then the nature of this Institute which is, so to speak, a pathway to God; and then let him strive with all his effort to achieve this end set before him by God.” Dickie always strove to remain faithful to his vocation as a Jesuit priest. His personal, unobtrusive fidelity to prayer and the daily celebration of the Eucharist in what became affectionately known in the house as “Dickie's Chapel”, spoke more loudly than long lectures in theology.

Not that Dickie was adverse to theological discussion and argument. He was never too certain about all this new-fangled theology since Vatican II. Sometimes he would put the younger Jesuits through their paces just to check out their theological orthodoxy. I remember one Easter Sunday evening being the victim of one of Dickie's theological inquisitions. In his estimation I probably came out with today's equivalent of a “D3” on the Foundation level paper!

The Ardmháistir of Scoil Iognáid, Niall Ó Murchadha, said to me only last Tuesday, “Bhí an t-Athair de Buitléar go hiontach ag múineadh Teagasc Chríostaí". One of Dickie's past students, now a Jesuit priest himself, remarked how Dickie would insist with the boys (for there were only boys in Coláiste Iognáid then) that they must always remain faithful to the basic truths of Christianity and to the teaching of the Church. However, Dickie confessed to the same class of boys, “Boys, when I was in Honk Kong in the early Fifties, if those Communists had invaded from China brandishing red hot pokers, I'd have said anything they wanted me to - I'd even have sworn that there were twelve persons in the Blessed Trinity!” Here indeed was a good man who though he struggled for Truth, acknowledge his own limitations and kept a gentle sense of humour.

Obviously I chose today's readings with this good man in mind. The first reading spoke of the necessity always to pursue and to respect Wisdom. It said, “Is le hintinn ghlan a d'fhoghlaim me agus tugaim uaim gan doicheall; ni choinnim a saibhreas i bhfolach”, or translated, “What I learned without self interest, I pass on without reserve, I do not intend to hide her riches”. Over the past few days, many of Dickie's past students have spoken to me of their fondness for him as a teacher. They spoke of how organised he was, how every class was planned, how clear he was in explaining the subject matter. But more than that, they spoke of how gentle he was, as the Beatitudes would have us be. A card arrived for Dickie a few days ago, it reads:

“I heard that you were poorly. I am sorry to hear this and so I just wanted to say hello. I'm not sure if you remember me; I finished the Jez in 1981 and you taught me Gaeilge for about five years. If you recall, I was a bit of a chatterbox and, to dissuade me from talking, you used to place me right in front of you. I didn't mind it and it did me no harm. Thank you. I have very fond memories of you teaching us.”

Fr. Dan Dargan, a former parish priest of St. Ignatius' here and a contemporary of Fr. Dickie's in the order said to me the other morning that there was always a “a certain giddy quality” about Dickie, a sense of fun, that twinkle in the eye. Past students of Dickies from the fifties and sixties speak of how he used to delight the young first years by shouting at them (gently, of course) in Cantonese. He objected strongly to the use of bad language in English and so taught his classes how to curse really and truly “as Gaeilge” much to their delight and to the advancement of the Irish language. Even in the last year when Dickie was much more confined to the house, he would often watch the students “ag pleidhcíocht” in the yard and would give a guffaw of laughter. Little did the students know that they were being watched in more ways than one for it was Dickie who right up to the end almost wrote out the term reports for each student in Coláiste Iognáid. He loved to help Joan with this seemingly tedious work, but this was important for Dickie because it meant that this former headmaster was still part of the school administration and Jesuits, as you know, never retire!

My lasting memory of Dickie will be that he was forever whistling Lara's Theme from Dr. Zhivago. I sometimes wondered did he know any other song. Even in the last months, Dickie would walk along the corridor whistling, and so I found it particularly poignant one day when he stopped me and said in Irish for he always spoke to me in Irish, “Ta a fhios agat, a Bhreandáin, go mbímse i gcónaí ag feadail - níl ansin ach cur i gcêill - taimse ag fulaingt go mór”. Before he went into hospital, this essentially discrete and private man, spoke very movingly of his own physical weakness and sense of anxiety, I thought at that time of the first Beatitude, “Blessed are the poor in spirit” in other words, blessed are those who know their own fragility and their need of God. The same beatitude continues with consoling words “for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”.

Dickie, guímid uile ar maidin nach bhfuil tuileadh de dhíth ort, go bhfuil tú i gcomhlúadar Dé agus naomh uile - bain sult as an bhfírinne go síoraí, a chara shéimh, uasail.

Brendan Comerford

Butler, William, 1848-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/814
  • Person
  • 04 September 1848-03 February 1907

Born: 04 September 1848, County Galway
Entered: 07 November 1865, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Professed: 02 February 1888
Died: 03 February 1907, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1868 at Amiens, France (CAMP) studying
by 1869 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1871 at Spring Hill College AL, USA (LUGD) Teaching
by 1874 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1879 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Educated at Coláiste Iognáid.

After First Vows he studied Philosophy at Laval and Theology at Louvian.
He was then lent to NOR as a scholastic for three years.
When he returned from New Orleans he was sent to Clongowes for some years. He spent some time as a Priest at Tullabeg, and when the College closed there he went for Tertianship to Drongen. He then joined the Missionary Band and was an excellent and very vigorous speaker.
He spent the remaining years of his life at Gardiner St where he died 03 February 1907

Excerpts (paraphrased in part) from An Appreciation by One Who Knew Him (EM SJ)
He was a native of Galway. That he was endowed with natural talents of no mean order is quite true, talents for a somewhat extended range in Mathematical and Philosophical speculation. It is true that during his lifetime he improved and developed these natural gifts by assiduous toil. Truer still that he possessed a rare sensibility for the fine arts, especially for the art of Music. Those who are capable of forming a just judgement bear witness to the elegance and perfection of execution which he reached on more than one instrument, but especially on his favourite instrument, the violin..........he was far from looking on Music as the serious occupation of his life........He looked on it more as a legitimate means of relaxation after a hard day’s work, or still more, as a legitimate means of ministering to the recreation and enjoyment of others.
........After First Vows he went to St Acheul near Amiens for Rhetoric, and then to Louvain for three years Philosophy. He was then sent for Regency to Clongowes, and Spring Hill College Alabama on the New Orleans Mission. He was then sent to Louvain again for Theology, and was Ordained 1880. His Priestly life was spent at Tullabeg, Crescent and Gardiner St until his death there.
....Father Butler’s nature was highly sensitive and refined will, I suppose, may readily be taken for granted by those who understand what are the qualities which combine to make a talent for music approaches to genius. Whatever Father Butler may have appeared to strangers, this writer can amply testify that he was to those who lived with him, and knew him intimately, the simplest, most genial, and the most kind-hearted of men. To the end of his life he was as light-hearted, I had almost said frolicsome, as a boy. Few men could rival the gusto with which he told or listened to a merry tale. Few equalled the heartiness of his laugh.
....But though taking a measured delight in the innocent joys of this life, it was very evident that his serious purpose was often “to muse on joy that will not cease”. Underneath all his outward gaiety there was the abiding consciousness of weighty responsibility.......laboriously taming and bringing to subjection a somewhat naturally hot and impulsive nature. Certainly he did not wear his religion on his sleeve........but....he possessed in no stinted measure a deep faith, informed by a piety at once simple and tender.......

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Butler (1848-1907)

Born in Galway, educated at St Ignatius College, and received into the Society in 1865, was at the Crescent for two short periods, 1888-1889 and 1901-1902. He was a talented preacher and most of his active religious life was spent as missioner or at work in Gardiner St Church. Father Butler, in his day, was known to many as a musician of outstanding ability. He was a violinist of sensitive technique and his services as leader for orchestral accompaniment to the choir at Sacred Heart Church were frequently availed of.

Byrne, Charles J, 1886-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/985
  • Person
  • 28 February 1886-22 February 1967

Born: 28 February 1886, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 May 1918, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 February 1967, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1907 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Charles Byrne SJ (1886-1967)

Fr. Charles Byrne was born in Dublin on 28th February 1886. He received his primary education at Synge Street and his secondary education in Belvedere, where he went in 1897. James Joyce was one of his companions but Fr. Charles did not find him a congenial soul. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1902 and remained there as a junior to study for his B.A. “Work was real, work was earnest”, in those days and he felt grateful to have survived the ordeal unscathed and with a B.A. to boot.
The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst and on his return to Ireland he was sent for a year to the Crescent where he taught the First Arts class and then for four years, as a teacher, to Clongowes where he had His Grace, Archbishop McQuaid as a pupil. In 1915 he began his theology in Milltown Park and was ordained in May 1918, the early date being due to the conscription scare of that year. At the end of theology he was sent to the Crescent for a year before tertianship and returned there in 1921. For ten years he was operarius, teacher and Minister at the Crescent. Then in 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he taught for 29 years without a break. When he retired from teaching he was appointed Superior of Loyola House and then last summer (1966) he returned to Belvedere where he died on 23rd February after the briefest of illnesses.
Of his 65 years in the Society, Fr. Byrne spent 46 in the colleges, doing that work which the General Congregation has again asserted to be one of our most important ministries. He was the kind of totally dedicated teacher that every college wants - for all his activities were centred around the work of the house whether it was teaching or theatricals or games. He had far more of the graces than the average Jesuit and he made use of them in a way that impressed the boys. Thus, he had a fine voice which was heard to advantage at a High Mass; he was a most graceful skater on ice, an elusive half at soccer and so good a hockey player that he was capped for Munster, which must be a Jesuit record.
As a teacher of Latin he used many industriae, mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes and competitions, so that he rarely had need to order punishment. Then the lazy boy was shamed into working by noticing how hard his master worked for him and he could not help noticing it. Every mark for a theme was duly noted down and every mark in an examination was duly entered so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the school. For most of his time at Belvedere Fr. Byrne taught the first divisions in the top years. There was a very close bond between him and his class, so close indeed that when he was replaced by a younger Jesuit they resented losing him and the Prefect of Studies had his work cut out trying to smooth things over.
When Minister at the Crescent Fr. Byrne entered wholeheartedly into the activities of the Cecilian Society and tales of those days are still current in Limerick where he was remembered with affection, as his Christmas post from Limerick testified. On his transfer to Belvedere he put his skill at the disposal of Fr. M. Glynn who had just launched out on his long programme of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. During opera week Fr. Byrne was a familiar sight in the green room in a khaki dust coat and with neat boxes of grease paint laid out like a surgeon's instruments.
On Fr. Glynn's breakdown Fr. Byrne at a moment's notice stepped into his shoes and with admirable skill and still more admirable patience produced year after year the college opera from 1939 to 1960. He appreciated good singing, good speaking and graceful movement. Year after year to make some forty boys good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately, like Fr. Glynn, he possessed the secret of attaching the cast to himself so that all were anxious to do their best.
As has been said already any school was glad to have him and the same may be said about any community. The reason was obvious; he was unassuming, considerate and prompt to offer assistance. He was the Prefect of Studies answer to prayer for he considered the work assigned to him on the status had first claims on his time and energy. Only when he had conscientiously done his work did he consider himself free to do work of his own choice.
From our mode of life most of us are inclined to develop marked bachelor characteristics, carelessness of dress, untidy habits and general disregard for what we despise as “the frills”. Others of us react strongly against such ways and Fr. Charles was one of these. He is said to have asked a friend whose dishevelled breviary he viewed with disapproval : “Do you wash your hands after using that book?”
Without being foppish he was always carefully dressed. He took great care of his clothes and made them last a long time. A visit to his room was quite an experience; it was so unlike the typical lair of a Jesuit. Nothing was out of place. Everything was brushed and polished and the humblest furniture decorated.
When he returned to Belvedere last September he endeavoured to follow the order of time as far as possible. And he remained like this to the end. Indeed he was at recreation the evening before he died. Then on the day of his death he celebrated Mass and in the afternoon before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his beads. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room suffering obviously from a stroke. He was anointed by Fr. B. Murray. A doctor was summoned (Dr. E. Guiney, one of his former pupils) and he advised transfer to hospital. He was brought by ambulance to the Mater, but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away.
He was considerate to the end, dying in the manner that would inconvenience the community as little as possible. May his quiet and gentle soul rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father Charles J Byrne SJ (Pupil 1897-1902; Teacher 1931-1960)

Fr Charles Byrne died most unexpectedly : on the evening of 22nd February 1967. He had returned to Belvedere the previous summer having spent six years as Superior of Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin. On the day of his death he said Mass, in the afternoon recited his Breviary and before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his Rosary. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room apparently dozing in his chair but really in a semi-coma. He was conscious of what was going on around him but was unable to communicate with those present though he made efforts to do so. The Last Sacraments were administered to him and then it was decided to transfer him to hospital. He was brought to the Mater Hospital but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away. This gentle and unobtrusive going was in complete keeping with his whole life, considerate for others at all times and dying in the manner that would cause as little inconvenience as possible.

After five years as a pupil in Belvedere Fr Byrne entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1902 and after his profession remained there as a junior to study for his BA degree. The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst College, England, and his teaching as a scholastic extended over six years, one at the Crescent and five at Clongowes where he taught science. In 1915 he began his theology at Milltown Park and was ordained there in May 1918. After tertianship he returned to the Crescent College, Limerick, where he combined the duties of Minister and teacher and was also in charge of the public church. During this period he entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of the Cecilian Society and even to this day he is remembered with affection in Limerick.

In 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he resumed a long unbroken association with his Alma Mater for almost thirty years. He taught mostly Latin to the Senior Honours classes in which he had remarkable success. He had a close bond with all his pupils and never had to resort to sanctions as an incentive to work. He had a fund of mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes which made life for the boy that little more interesting and somewhat easier when it came to imbibing knowledge. He was a very dedicated and industrious teacher, noting down most meticulously every mark for a theme and every mark for an examination, so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the college.

Fr Byrne had a lively interest in sport and maintained this interest right to the end. He supported all the college matches and was keenly interested in the welfare of the old boys rugby and cricket clubs. He was no mean athlete himself giving a good account on the soccer field, golf course and tennis court. He had the unusual distinction of being capped for Munster in hockey.

The work for which he is best remembered was the annual staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. For twenty-two years he produced almost single-handed a very polished and finished work. He attended to every aspect of the opera - production, music, dialogue, stage grouping and make-up. No detail escaped his eye whether it was a note of music, a small point of pronunciation, gesture, deportment - all was brought to a fine art making each play more impressive than the previous one. It cannot be said too often that it is to his credit that he secured his achievement from a cast which were in the most literal sense school boys. Year after year to make forty boys into good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately he seemed to have the gift of attaching the cast to himself so much so that the boys vied with each other in attempting to put his directives into practice.

In the 1948 “Belvederian” we read: “Fr. Byrne labours for some four months and each year he must, if he is human, wonder if this straw will yield brick. Each year as the fruit of his work appears he must have a qualm. Each year we leave saying with awe - he has done it again. There are bold statisticians who tell us this present production is the best ever”. And indeed so it was with all operas - each one seemed to be better than the previous one. The community, the boys, the parents, and the old boys often reminisce on those wonderful and enjoyable nights with his memorable productions. It was his fervent wish that the college operas would be resumed in the not too far distant future. For many years he was the mentor and support of the Old Belvedere Musical and Dramatic Society, guiding it through its hazards in its early years.

In his dealings with others he exercised a gentle but very marked influence. He was unassuming, considerate and ever prompt to offer assistance. He was courteous to the extreme and even the slightest favour rendered would never go unrewarded. He had a wonderful equanimity of temperament and whether approached first thing in the morning or last thing at night he always gave the impression of being ever ready and pleased to deal with the particular situation in hand. With his many loyal helpers during opera week, and there were many, and with others with whom he came into contact during the course of every day life, he left the impression that it was a privilege to be associated with him or having to do business with him.

Ungentlemanliness was foreign to his character and the boys realised this, respected him for it and did their best at all times to behave as gentlemen in his presence. More than once he has been described as one of nature's gentlemen - a truer estimation would be a gentleman of God.

He was happy to return to Belvedere last summer. He entered into the spirit of the college activities, picking up the broken threads after a lapse of six years. He died as was his wish, almost in harness, slipping away in his own quiet and unobtrusive way.

May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.

Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

Part of the Sacred Heart, Monze community at the time of death.

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Fethard,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Byrne, Davy, 1935-2013, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/805
  • Person
  • 15 January 1935-14 August 2013

Born: 15 January 1935, Dublin
Entered: 14 March 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 14 August 2013, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Iona, Portadown, County Armagh community at the time of death.

by 1971 at Bethnal Green, London, England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried. Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

◆ Interfuse

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/256-goodbey-to-davy-byrne

A uniformed band played ahead of the hearse as they brought Davy Byrne’s body down the Garvaghy Road to be buried.
Davy came to Portadown 28 years ago, after working on social services in Gardiner Street.

Interfuse No 153 : Autumn 2013

Obituary

Br Davy Byrne (1935-2013)

15 January 1935: Born in Dublin.
Early education at the National School, Rialto, and the Kildare Place Training College.
He was in employment from 1949 1956 as a mechanic on duplicating machines before joining the Society.
14 March 1957: Entered Society at Emo
29 March 1959: First Vows at Emo
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Cook at Gonzaga
1960 - 1967: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1967 - 1969: St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1972: London – Courses in Sociology at Polytechnic, Barking College
1972 - 1974: Milltown Park – Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
1974 - 1985: North Circular Road - Working in Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street
2 February 1975: Final Vows at Gardiner Street
1985 - 2013: Iona, Portadown;
1985 - 1996: Community Development
1996 - 2004: Community Development and Reconciliation; House Consultor
2004 - 2011: Pastoral Visitation, Bereavement Counselling; Reconciliation
2011 - 2013: Pastoral Visitation, Ministry of Presence, House Consultor

Davy Byrne was born in Dublin on 15th January 1935. His mother died seven weeks later and he knew little about her. One of many things he came to appreciate about his adoptive family was that he got to go to a Protestant school for his early education, despite the protestations of his local parish priest.

He was in employment from fourteen years of age until he joined the Jesuits in 1957, and during that time he developed an enthusiasm for long-distance cycling. He took part in many team races and had one serious fall over the handlebars of his bike.

After the noviceship he worked mainly in the Milltown Park refectory for seven years. From 1967-69 he was in charge of staff at the high school in Lusaka, Zambia. There he experienced the alienation of the manual worker in relation to established Jesuits. He was, nevertheless, convinced of the role of the brother's vocation in the church. It really mattered to him that he was a Jesuit brother. He never had any desire to be a priest. He knew that he could do things as a brother that priests cannot. His friends among the Irish Jesuit brothers contributed wonderful music and prayers to his requiem.

After Tertianship he stayed with a religious community in London while taking courses in sociology at Barking Polytechnic.

Following this, he worked from 1972 to 1985 in the Social Service Centre, Gardiner Street, where he developed a lifelong friendship with his colleague Sister Emmanuel. There he looked after people on the streets who needed food, a wash and a shave. He had great stories about the characters he met. He cared for them, and could understand where they came from.

Being a Jesuit was a deeply important part of his life. Every year he would make the Spiritual Exercises. In these he would hear again the call of Christ to serve his Kingdom. He would also reflect on the experience of God that Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuits, had at the river Cardoner, near Manresa in Spain. Ignatius never spoke much about what went on in this, other than to say that he experienced God in a completely new way. From then on he was able to see God in all people and in all things. Davy would also remember Ignatius' vision at La Storta in which he saw Christ telling his Father that he wanted Ignatius to follow him. Davy heard that call and responded to it, however much he failed, like the rest of us.

He had a great love of God and of prayer. He used to talk of Holy Cross, the Benedictine monastery in Rostrevor, as his second spiritual home, especially in later years when his health failed. For many years he attended meetings of the European Jesuit Workers' Group. These were Jesuits who worked alongside people in difficult situations in factories and tried to find Christ in their situation. It was important to Davy that these Jesuits came from many different European countries: he knew the Society is an international body.

In 1985, as a fifty-year old true Dub, he took the courageous step of joining the new venture at Iona, Portadown, in the middle of The Troubles. Portadown was to become his home, where he wanted always to be, and he was the first ever Jesuit to be buried in Northern Ireland. There was a Jesuit house in Donard, County Down, in the 19th century with some Jesuit graves, but that was before the creation of Northern Ireland.

The Jesuit work in Churchill Park began with community development, and Davy was part of the setting up of the Drumcree Community Centre. People from there attended his funeral. He developed a more personal mission to people in stress, which was expressed in the Gingerbread group. Many people give testimony to Davy's presence and words of healing wisdom. He said that his real work was being present to people. When he was present and listening to them, God was present.

He made close friends among Protestants, especially in the Corcrain area which is across the peace wall from Garvaghy Road. In Corcrain they paint the kerbstones red and blue and burn foreign flags on enormous bonfires, but on the day of the funeral a woman from there commented on how he was mourned by so many there. It was very important to him that some of his closest friends were Protestants. Building relationships in Portadown between Catholics and Protestants was very important to him. He hated bigotry and sectarianism.

In 2012 he discovered that his mother was buried in Templemichael, near Arklow where she had grown up. He managed two trips to the grave, which meant very much to him. The final trip included a visit to Sr Emmanuel in Co, Wexford. Some months later she preceded him in death. Mutual friends arranged that he was buried with her rosary beads. His friend Gabrielle, of Gabrielle's flower shop, began to send him single red roses for his mother's grave. In the end he sent two for Davy's grave,

He would have loved his own funeral - the uniformed band preceding the hearse, the hosts of neighbours and friends, the sense of a life fulfilled. A fellow Jesuit said it was the happiest funeral he ever attended. The bishop of the diocese, Cardinal Sean Brady, presided over the liturgy, and while Davy may not have been impressed by celebrity, he would in this case have smiled. Fr Thierry OSB was there to represent the Benedictine community of Rostrevor. Davy had very little family but was always close to his nieces and their families in Birmingham. They obviously cherished him, visiting him during his illness and turning out in force for his funeral.

People regretted the passing of a gentleman, a friend, one whose presence was like a timely sent angel. He ambled along, trusting in the right moment, saying it as he felt it, and people got the message and loved it.

Byrne, George, 1879-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/708
  • Person
  • 07 February 1879-03 January 1962

Born: 07 February 1879, Blackrock, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 July 1911, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 03 January 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of William Byrne - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Came to Australia for Regency 1902
by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission : 02 December 1926
by 1927 first Hong Kong Missioner with John Neary
by 1931 Hong Kong Mission Superior 02 December 1926

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1894-1898 After his First Vows at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, he remained there for two further years of Juniorate
1898-1901 He was sent to Valkenburk Netherlands for Philosophy.
1901-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency, where he taught and was Third Division Prefect. He was also in charge charge of Senior Debating (1905-1908) and in 1904 was elected to the Council of the Teachers Association of New South Wales.
1908-1912 he returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology
1912-1914 He made Tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and the following year appointed Socius to the Novice Master.
1914-1919 He was sent to Australia as Superior and Master of Novices at Loyola College Greenwich. He was also a Consultor of the Sydney Mission and gave Retreats and taught the Juniors. This occurred at a time when it was decided to reopen the Noviceship in Australia. As such he was “lent” to the Australian Mission for three years, but the outbreak of war and some delaying tactics on the part of the Mission Superior William Lockington, he remained longer than expected.
1919-1923 On his return to Ireland he became Novice Master again.
1930 He went to the Irish Mission in Hong Kong and worked there for many years, before returning to Ireland and Milltown Park, where he died.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father George Byrne
R.I.P.

Father George Byrne, S.J., the first Regional Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits and for many years one of the best Known priests in Hong Kong, died in Ireland on Thursday, 4 January 1962, aged 83.

Father Byrne arrived in Hong Kong from Ireland, with one other Jesuit Father, on 2 December 1926, and at once started to look for work, both for himself and for the Jesuits who would soon follow him to Hong Kong. He found abundant work for both. Within a decade, though always very short of men, he had staffed the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, built and opened Ricci hall, a Catholic hostel for students in the University of Hong Kong, taken over Wah Yan College from its founders, restarted as a monthly the Hong Kong Catholic review, The Rock, which had ceased publication shortly before his arrival, and provided for a time Jesuit teachers for Sacred Heart College, Canton.

These were the works he did through others. His own personal work was infinitely varied, as might have been expected from one of his many-sided character - at once scholarly and practical. At the time of his ordination he had been informed that he was destined a specialist’s life as a professor of theology. This plan was later changed and for the rest of his life he was to be, not a specialist, but one ready for anything. Nevertheless he retained some of the marks of the savant.

He was always a voracious reader, able to pour out an astonishing variety of information on almost any subject at a moment’s notice in English, French, or Latin. This gift, joined to a strong personality, a commanding appearance, and a powerful and very flexible voice, made him an admirable public speaker, whether in the pulpit, at retreats and conferences, at meetings of societies and associations, or in the lecturer’s chair in the University of Hong Kong. Where he readily deputised during the furloughs of the professors of education and of history. As a broadcaster, he had the rare gift of being able to project his personality across the ether and so hold the attention of his unseen audience.

As a writer, and he wrote much, he was primarily a discursive essayist, a member of a literary tribe that seems to have disappeared during World War II. His monthly articles in The Rock and the weekly column that he contributed for years to the South China Morning Post under the title ‘The Student’s Window’ might be in turn grimly earnest, genially informative, and gaily trivial, but they were always written in urbane and rhythmic English that carried the reader unprotestingly to the last full stop.

Despite these numerous public activities, he was probably best known as an adviser. During the many years he spent in Ricci Hall, he was always at home to the great numbers of people of all kinds - lay and cleric, Catholic and non-Catholic, men and women, young and old - who came seeking the solution of intellectual, religious, or personal problems from one who they knew would be both wise and kind.

Father Byrne was in Hong Kong in the early days of the war and displayed remarkable courage and physical energy in defending Ricci Hall against a band of marauders. By this time he was no longer superior, and he was already over 60. He went, therefore, to Dalat, Vietnam, where he spent the rest of the war years, Soon after the war, he went to Ireland for medical treatment and, though still capable of a hard day’s work, was advised on medical grounds that he must not return to the Far East.

This was a blow, but he did not repine. He retained his interest in and affection for Hong Kong, but he quickly set about finding an abundance of work in Ireland. Once again he found it. Not long after his arrival the director of retreats in Ireland was heard to say that if he could cut Father George Byrne in four and sent each part to give a retreat, he would still be unable to satisfy all the convents that were clamouring for him.

He still wrote and he still lectured and he still gave advice. Only very gradually did he allow advancing old age to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January. In the congregation that filled the chapel, in addition to his fellow Jesuits, there were many who still remember Father Byrne even in the city of short memories. Those present included Father A. Granelli, P.I.M.E., P.P., representing His Lordship the Bishop; Bishop Donahy, M.M., Father McKiernan M.M, Father B. Tohill, S.D.B., Provincial, Father Vircondalet, M.E.M., Brother Felix, F.S.C., Father P. O’Connor, S.S.C., representative groups of Sisters of St. Paul de Chartres of the Maryknoll Sisters, of the Colomban Sisters, and many others. The Mass was served by Dr. George Choa.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 12 January 1962

RICCI Souvenir Record of the Silver Jubilee of Ricci Hall Hong Kong University 1929-1954

Note from John Neary Entry
He has nevertheless his little niche in our history. He was one of the two Jesuits - Father George Byrne was the other - who came here on 2 December 1926, to start Jesuit work in Hong Kong. Their early decisions have influenced all later Jesuit work here.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He could be called the founder of the Irish Jesuits in Hong Kong, as most of the older institutions in Hong Kong were started under him at Ricci (1929), Aberdeen (1931 and Wah Yan Hong Kong (1933).
After his term as Mission Superior (1926-1935) he lectured, preached and wrote. He had a weekly column in the “South China Morning Post” called “The Philosophers Chair”. During the Japanese occupation he went to a French Convent School to teach Philosophy. After 1946 he returned to Ireland and taught Ascetical and Mystical Theology yo Jesuits in Dublin.
Imaginative and versatile, pastoral and intellectual, he gave 20 of his peak years to Hong Kong (1926-1946) after which he returned to Ireland to give another 20 years service.

Note from John Neary Entry
In 1926 Fr John Fahy appointed him and George Byrne to respond to the request from Bishop Valtora of Hong Kong for Jesuit help.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr Pigot attended the Pan-Pacific Science Congress in Tokyo as a delegate representing the Australian Commonwealth Government. He was Secretary to the Seismological Section, and read two important papers. On the journey home he spent some time in hospital in Shanghai, and later touched at Hong Kong where he met Frs. Byrne and Neary.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

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

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

Obituary :

Fr George Byrne (1879-1962)

Few men in the history of the Irish Province for the last sixty years have seen so many aspects of the life and development of the Province as did Fr. George Byrne, who died in Dublin on 4th January at the ripe age of 83, of which 67 were spent in the Society. Born in Cork in 1879, he received his early education first at Clongowes (where he was in the Third Line with a boy three years younger than him called James Joyce!) and later at Mungret. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894; made his philosophy at Vals, in France, taught for seven years as a scholastic in Riverview College, Australia; then back to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology where he was ordained in 1911. His tertianship was made in Tullabeg, and he remained on there in the following year as Socius to the Master of Novices, but after a few months Australia claimed him again.
Early in 1914 he was named Master of Novices of the resuscitated Australian novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, combining this with the office of Superior of the House until 1918. A year later, in 1919, he is on the high seas again, this time returning to be Master of Novices at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922,
In 1922 he became an operarius at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, and during the next four years, among his other ministeria, was the first chaplain to the first Governor-General of the newly-established Irish Free State, Mr. Timothy Healy, K.C.
With 1926 came the decision that the Irish Province establish a Jesuit mission in Hong Kong at the invitation of the Vicar Apostolic, Bishop Henry Valtorta. Fr. Byrne, with Fr. John Neary, arrived in Hong Kong on 2nd December of the same year. Shortly afterwards Fr. Byrne became the Superior of the young mission. The years that followed, until his retirement to Ireland for health reasons in 1946, will undoubtedly be the period of Fr. Byrne's life that will establish his important standing in the recent history of the Irish Province. It is therefore fitting that we should allow them to be dealt with from Hong Kong sources. We take the following from The South China Morning Post for 5th January, 1962:
“News has just been received from Dublin, Ireland, of the death there of Fr. George Byrne, S.J., who was well known in Hong Kong for many years. He was the first Superior here of the Irish Jesuits. He was 83.
Fr, Byrne, with one other Jesuit priest, came to Hong Kong in Dec ember 1926. It was under his direction that arrangements were made for the various forms of work undertaken by the Jesuits in the Colony. The first of these was the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, which was under the direction of the bishops of South China, and was intended for the education and training of candidates for the priesthood in their dioceses. The staffing of it was entrusted to the Jesuits.
Fr. Byrne also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a Catholic hostel of the University of Hong Kong. He lived there for many years and always maintained a close contact with the university. He was a member of the Court and deputised, during periods of leave, for the Professor of Education and the Professor of History,
He was prominent in the years before the war as a lecturer and broadcaster and writer. He re-started the publication of the Catholic monthly magazine, The Rock, to which he was a regular contributor. He also for a long time contributed a weekly article, "The Student's Window", to The South China Morning Post.
He took an active part also in cducational matters. He was a member of the Board of Education, and he arranged for the taking over of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, from its original founders. He had many associations with the religious institutions, where he was much in demand for conferences and retreats, He spoke with equal fluency in English, French and Latin.
During the war he was in Dalat, Indo-China, and soon after his return to Hong Kong got into bad health and returned to Europe for medical treatment. His recovery was more complete than was expected, but medical advice was against his return to the East.
During recent years, though old and in failing health, he was still very active as a writer in Catholic periodicals, and he always maintained his interest in Hong Kong. He left here many friends who remember him as a man of great kindness and universal sympathy, who carried lightly his wide scholarship, and who was always unchanged in his urbanity and good humour. Many professional men remember him too for his wise guidance in their student days and they, with a host of others, will always recall him with respect and affection”.
It only remains to say that though medical authorities refused to allow his return to Hong Kong, the years from 1946 until his death were as full of activities as ever. He continued to write and to lecture and to direct souls as of old. He filled the important post of Instructor of Tertians for years at Rathfarnham and from than until his death he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and spiritual director to the theologians at Milltown Park. Only very gradually did he allow advancing years to cut down his work. As he had always wished, he worked to the end.

From the Bishop of Hong Kong

16 Caine Road,
Hong Kong
10th January, 1962.

Dear Fr. O'Conor,
The news of the death of Rev. Fr. George Byrne, S.J., caused deep regret among all the many friends he left in Hong Kong, among whom I am proud to count myself.
His pioneer work here was that of a great missionary and of a far sighted organiser. His memory and the example of his zeal will be cherished in Hong Kong.
While expressing to you, Very Reverend Father, my sympathy for the great loss of your Province and your Society, I wish to take the opportunity of assuring you of tne grateful appreciation by the clergy and laity of Hong Kong for the generous collaboration your Fathers are offering to us in carrying the burden of this diocese.
Asking for the blessing of Our Lord on your apostolic work,
Yours very sincerely in Christ,
+Lawrence Bianchi,
Bishop of Hong Kong.

The Very Rev. Charles O'Conor, S.J.,
Loyola,
87 Eglinton Road,
Ballsbridge,
Dublin,
Ireland.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Byrne SJ 1879-1962
Few men in the history of the Province for the last 60 years have seen and contributed to so many aspects of the life and development of our Province than Fr George Byrne, who died in Dublin on January 4th 1962.

He was born in Cork in 1879, educated at Mungret at Clongowes, and he entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1894.

In 1914 he was named Master of Novices to the resusicitated Novitiate at Loyola, Sydney, Australia, returning from that post to take up a similar one at Tullabeg from 1919 to 1922.

On the foundation of the Irish Free State he became chaplain to the first Governor-General, Mr Tim Healy.

When we started our Mission in Hong Kong, Fr Byrne went out as founder and first Superior. These were creative days,. He built Ricci Hall, negotiated the taking over of the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen, and he took over Wah Yan College from its original owners. At the same time he was prominent as a lecturer, broadcaster and writer, as well as part-time Professor in the University. He started the Catholic magazine “The Rock”, and for a long time contributed to the “South China Morning Post”

For health reasons he returned to Ireland in 1946. During the remaining years of his life he was Tertian-Instructor at Rathfarnham and Spiritual Father at Milltown. He continued to write, give retreats, thus keeping in harness till the end, as he himself wished.

Truly a rich life in achievement and of untold spiritual good to many souls. As a religious, he enjoyed gifts of higher prayer and was endowed with the gift of tears.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929

Our Past

Father George Byrne SJ

Fr George Byrne SJ, who was in Mungret for some years in the nineties, is bringing glory to the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus. Under him as Superior the little band of pioneer missionaries of the Irish Jesuits at Hong Kong, Canton, and Shiuhing are doing wonderful work for the Church. In addition to his business of organisation, Fr George frequently contributes to “The Rock” and to a new Chinese monthly, the “Kung Kao Po”. His articles are usually reprinted in many of the local papers, with the result that Fr Byrne has gained a great reputation in Hong Kong. He is constantly giving retreats and missions. Two retreats were given by him in Latin to groups of Chinese priests, Fr Byrne is at present attending to the building of Ricci Hall, the new Hostel for Chinese University students. At the laying of the foundation stone by the Governor General, Fr George made a brilliant speech. Plans are being drawn up for the building of a new Regional Seminary. This building will be completed in 1930, and Fr Byrne will have an additional burden thrust upon him. May God give him strength to continue his wonderful work.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1930

Three Years in China : Impressions and Hopes

Father George Byrne SJ

The Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to China, Very Rev George Byrne SJ, visited us in March, and gave us a very interesting lecture. We expected great things from Father George, and were not disappointed. He gave a very clear account of the present position in China, of the Customs and mentality of its people, and of the working of grace amongst them. The many anecdotes told by Father Byrne and the beautiful illustrations he showed us kept our interest alive. Throughout the lecture We heard the call of China - the call of Christ the Redeemer of the world, appealing for helpers to bring those who are in the valley of the shadow of death to the Life that comes by knowledge and love of the Son of God.

We experienced no little joy when we heard of the work that has already been accomplished by the thirteen missionaries who have gone to China during the past three years. Their first task was, of course, study of the Chinese language, and in this they have already made progress sufficient to enable them to under take some missionary work through the medium of that language. The work of editing a Catholic monthly magazine called”The Rock” was entrusted to them by His Lordship the Bishop of Hong Kong; but their biggest undertaking has been the erection of Ricci Hall, a hostel for students attending the University of Hong Kong. When their numbers and resources increase, they hope to undertake a still more important work, namely, the management of the new Regional Seminary which is at present in course of erection, and in which the native clergy of Southern China will be educated and prepared for the priesthood. God's grace is manifestly assisting them in their labours.

Mungret rejoices in these achievements, especially as three of her old pupils and one old master are amongst the thirteen. Father G Byrne SJ, the Superior, was here in the nineties. Father J McCullough SJ, a boy of 1912-14 and a master here a few years ago, is working in Canton. Rev R Harris SJ, who left us in 1922, is teaching in Shiu Hing. Father R Gallagher SJ, who is remembered by many Old Boys, is the zealous Editor of “The Rock”. Anyone who knew Father Dick will not be surprised to hear that in addition to the burden of editorship, he cheerfully shoulders many other burdens.

The interest of Mungret boys in the Mission can be very practical. Help is needed. Perhaps those who read may help in one or many of the following ways: (1) By prayer ; (2) by sending books to stock the libraries of the Hostel or Seminary (Ricci Hall, Hong Kong, China); (3) by collecting old stamps and tin-foil, and forwarding them to Treasurer, Ricci Mission, Milltown Park, Dublin ; (4) by subscribing to The Rock (Editor, PO Box 28, Hong Kong); (5) by contributing to the Ricci Mission Fund (The Treasurer, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin). Those who cannot be with their friends in the front trench, as it were, where Paganism meets Christianity, can help them greatly. Spiritual and material help are necessary. By helping them, you give them strength and courage, and will have the privilege of consoling your Greatest Friend.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1962

Obituary

Father George Byrne SJ

It is with great regret we chronicle the death of Father George Byrne, which took place in Dublin on January 4, at the 1 age of 83.

Father Byrne was born in Cork. After leaving Mungret he entered the Society of Jesus. He taught in Australia for seven years as a scholastic, and then returned to Milltown Park for his theological studies.

After ordination, he was recalled to Austrialia, where he became Master of Novices and Superior of the House. After a few years he was back in Ire land again, this time to Gardiner St, While in Gardiner St he became first Chaplain to the first Governor-General of the Free State, Mr Tim Healy, KC.

In 1926 came the decision to establish a Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, Father Byrne was appointed Superior of the newly-formed Mission. On him fell the burden of much of the organisation. He arranged for the staffing of the Regional Seminary. He also arranged for the building of Ricci Hall, a University Hostel. He was also instrumental in taking over Wah Yan College from its original founders.

In Hong Kong he was a well-known broadcaster, writer and lecturer. He was always prominently associated with education.

In 1946 he returned to Ireland for health reasons. He continued active work. He was Instructor of Tertians for a number of years and after that, until his death, he was Professor of Ascetical Theology and Spiritual Director of the Theologians at Milltown Park, He worked until the end. RIP

Byrne, John A, 1878-1961, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/79
  • Person
  • 07 June 1878-03 June 1961

Born: 07 June 1878, Rathangan, County Kildare
Entered: 07 September 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 03 June 1961, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 36th Year No 3 1961
Obituary :
Fr John Aloysius Byrne (1878-1961)

Fr. John A. Byrne died on Saturday, June 3rd, after a fairly long illness. He had been failing for some years past and had, much to his dislike, to be sent to hospital a few times, when the professional care and his great powers of recuperation soon restored him to comparative health. But these powers were now exhausted. He grew weak, he could take no food, his memory grew very confused: and he passed away almost imperceptibly within a few days of his eighty-third birthday.
He was born at Rathangan in Kildare and was educated at Clongowes from which he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in 1896. Here also, after his vows, he did his juniorate and then went on to Vals in France to do his philosophy two years later. He had a special gift for foreign languages and came to speak French like a native. In fact, he was one of the very few foreigners who were allowed to read at first table. His stay at France coincided with one of the periodical outbursts of anti-clerical legislation, by which the Society was exiled. He used to describe how the mayor with a posse of gendarmes came to promulgate the sentence which was resented by the local population. All the property, including the great library, had to be packed up and transported to the house fraternally given at Gemert in Holland. The scholastics had to make their way mostly on foot, staying at religious houses en route.
He did his colleges at Clongowes where he taught French with remark able success. Years afterwards middle-aged men would accost him as mon père - they were his old pupils. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1913 and did his Tertianship at Tullabeg the first year of the first World War, where he had as a fellow Tertian the future Archbishop Chichester, In 1915 he returned to Clongowes as master where, with the exception of three years spent at Galway, 1923-26, he remained until 1931 when he was transferred to Rathfarnham Castle. Clongowes remained always for him his truest home in the Society; but it could be said that the Castle ran it close.
He spent thirty years at Rathfarnham. He was minister and procurator in the rectorships of Fr. T. V. Nolan and Fr. P. G. Kennedy. In 1942 he retired from the office of Minister but remained on as procurator for many years. By degrees he became an institution in the Castle. Generations of Juniors and Tertians came and went with whom he had much to do in one way way or another, All came to appreciate his kindness and friendliness. He became a great favourite with the community and the children at Loreto Abbey, where he often said Mass and heard Confessions. For years he attended the excellent concerts which are a feature of that school, and his speech of thanks and appreciation at the end was always one of the highlights of the entertainment. He was also much esteemed and liked by the Sisters of Mercy at the children's preventorium hospital at Ballyroan. He helped regularly at the parish Masses and was well known and esteemed by many of the neighbours.
Fr. “Johnny”, as he was universally known by “Ours”, was emphatically a community man. His interests were those of the house. He was always at his best at recreation. He usually managed to have some piquant or new contribution to make which he had picked up in the paper or from the wireless. He verified fully the demands of Nadal - he was religiously agreeable and agreeably religious. He was a regular subject for perfectly good-natured leg-pulling. He had a stock of stories and adventures which he told dramatically and which never failed to get their laugh even towards the end when he had to be prompted. At the concerts on St. John Berchman's day he was a necessary feature and always brought down the house by his song which he accompanied himself. One of his best “pieces” was the ordinary tone in French, which he rendered with hilarious effect. He was always very kind and considerate to the staff of the house and the children at the gate lodges and many other children from the village loved him.
He was a religious of very perfect observance; he was most particular in his attendance at all community duties. It always excited a certain surprise if he was not at the community dinner or litanies. He practised in his personal life a rigorous observance of poverty. He had much to do with others because of his different offices; he was always most obliging and more than willing to give any help he could. He seemed always to be at the disposal of others. In speech he was the most charitable of men. By St. James's estimate he was the perfect man. He never said an uncharitable or unkind word; he never showed any impatience. When something was said or done that seemed to call for condemnation his comment would be c'etait moins bien. This absence of sharpness and censoriousness, this kindness of mind for everyone, was his most gracious quality. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father John Byrne 1873-1961
Fr John Byrne was born at Rathangan County Kildare in 1878, was educated at Clongowes and entered the Society in 1896.
The early part of his priestly life he spent as a teacher in Clongowes, a superb master of the French language, known to generations of boys as “mon père”.
The rest of his life, thirty years in all, he spent in Rathfarnham Castle, where he became quite an institution. He was a fine pianist and incomparable mimic, talents which he used for the entertainment of his brethern, contributing in no small way to enlivened recreation and oil the machinery of community life.

He was a most kindly and lovable person, known and dear to all the people in the vicinity of the Castle, and to all he ministered to in his long life at Rathfarnham. After a fairly long illness, his end came quietly on June 3rd 1961. A truly gentle and religious soul.

◆ The Clongownian, 1961

Obituary

Father John Byrne SJ

John Augustine Byrne was born in Rathangan in 1878. He was one of a large family, nine sons and three daughters. Of his brothers, five beside himself were Clongownians, Joe (1890-94), Peter (1892-97), Harry (1893-98), Aloysius (1896-01) and Patrick A (1903-07). They were not only a large, but also a highly gifted family, whose members achieved distinction in various careers in after life. They had, however, the sorrow of losing two of their number at an early age, Ally and Paul Stanislaus, both killed in action in 1917, the former at Arras, the latter at Passchendaele.

John Byrne went from Clongowes to the Jesuit novitiate, then at Tullabeg. He remained on there for some years of study, and in 1900 went to commence philosophy at Vals near le Puy in the south of France. It was a crucial period for the Church in France. In the following year the Jesuits found their position made impossible by the Waldeck-Rousseau law against “unauthorised congregations”, and had to leave the country. The Toulouse Jesuits, with whom John Byrne was studying, took refuge in Holland, at first at Helmond and in 1902 in Gemert.

The year 1903 found Mr John Byrne as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes, but in the following year he was appointed to the two tasks most closely associated with his name, the teaching of French and direction of the choir. In 1910 he went to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained in 1913, After tertianship in Tullabeg, he was back at Clongowes for a long period, from 1915 to 1931, broken by three years in St Ignatius College, Galway. In 1932, he was appointed Minister of Rathfarnham Castle, where he spent the rest of his life.

It is thus seen that Father Byrne was some twenty-three years at Clongowes, as a boy, as a scholastic and as a priest, but it may also be said that, though the last thirty years of his life were spent away from Clongowes, his heart was always there. He maintained the keenest interest in all that concerned Clongowes, had a remarkable knowledge of the careers of the boys whom he had known there, and it was noted that in the last few months of his life his conversation constantly recurred to the college where he had been so happy and had given so much happiness to others.

I think that is the outstanding memory preserved by all of us who knew Father John, that he was a happy man and one whose happiness communicated itself to others, because it was the evidence of a kindly, simple, utterly unspoiled nature, inspired by a deep and genuine spirituality. My first recollection of him is when I was a small boy at Clongowes and he was a scholastic. Even allowing for the romantic aura that time casts over far-off days, I think I can truly say that I never recall a more beloved master. He had a rich endowment of the gifts that appeal to the young. Though not a very methodical teacher, he had the great gift of making us enjoy what we were learning. He spoke French like a native and had a keen appreciation of the genius of the French language; so we picked up without effort the phrases with which he bombarded us, usually accompanied by vivid dramatisation. He had a number of funny little ways for holding our attention. One was to point violently at one boy and simultaneously address a question to a boy at the other side of the room. It was all a bit unorthodox, but it was certainly “French without tears”.

Outside of class, he had many gifts that endeared him to us. He was a most talented musician. He played, to my knowledge, the violin, cello, double bass, clarinet and euphonium, in addition to the piano and organ, and had a quite extraordinary gift for improvisation. He had a fine baritone voice, and I can remember well a trio, “Memorare, O piissima Virgo”, occasionally sung by himself, Father John G Byrne and Father Dom Kelly. Of Father Byrne as choirmaster, I have one grateful, non-musical memory. As a small boy, I was making my way up to the choir on Sunday evening, when he met me on the stairs and pressed something into my hand, with a whispered injunction not to let the study prefect catch me eating it. It was a large slice of cake wrapped in a paper napkin, a welcome gift in those more Spartan days when sixpence a week was thought liberal pocket-money. Apart from his choir work, he was invaluable to the Line prefects in getting up concerts, and was always a welcome performer himself. Though of so delicate, almost frail build, he was a good all-round athlete, being a reliable half-back on the community soccer team, and at cricket a good bat and first-class fielder.

Some ten years later, I was back at Clongowes as a scholastic and found my old master on the staff again. Now, of course, I knew him in a different way, and could appreciate qualities that a boy would not discern. One of these was his whimsical sense of humour. It often took the form of recording, always in a kindly spirit, little scenes in Clongowes life of the past, introducing such familiar figures as Father Daly, Miss Ellison, the Matron; John Cooper, the butler; Knight or Simpson, the cricket professionals; Sergeant-Major Palmer, the drill instructor; Kit Doyle, the carpenter (always addressed by Father Daly as “Mr. Christopher”); Mattie Dunne, the smith, whose artificial leg fascinated and rather terrified us, and a host of others who stood out as only those do whom one meets in youth. These reminiscences might have been tedious to others, but I know that to me, both at that time and in much later years, they were a source of undiluted pleasure, bringing back in most happy vein the scenes of my boyhood.

Other, deeper qualities I also learned to value in Father Byrne during the period when we worked together, his deep, simple piety, his solicitude for the spiritual welfare of the boys, and above all, his complete unselfishness. He was one of those who could always be called on for help in the organisation of school entertainments or other extra-curricular activities. (In this connection, one must recall his skill as a scribe. He had a remarkable gift for engrossing ornamental headings for time-tables, class results, concert programmes, etc., and his beautiful script was in evidence all over the college.) Although of a sensitive nature, he was never out of humour or depressed, never reseniful of slights, always ready to make the best of things and of persons.

I fear that this tribute to my old master and colleague is somewhat disjointed and inadequate, but it is my best endeavour to do honour to the memory of one who did much to add happiness to my life as a boy and as a young master, and with whom I shared grateful affection towards our Alma Mater, To Father John Byrne's sisters, Miss Tessie and Miss Josie Byrne, and to his brother, Major Patrick A Byrne, we offer our deepest sympathies.

F McG SJ

Byrne, John Baptist, 1898-1978, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/80
  • Person
  • 22 August 1898-15 December 1978

Born: 22 August 1898, Coolbeg, Rathnew, County Wicklow
Entered: 09 October 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1930, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Died: 15 December 1978, St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Denbigh, Wales

by 1927 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire (ANG) working
by 1938 at Roehampton, London (ANG) working
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) working
by 1943 at St John’s Beaumont, Berkshire (ANG) working
by 1946 at Heythrop, Oxfordshire (ANG) working
by 1972 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Became a Brother because of difficulties in studies. Lent to ANG Province

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 2 1979

Obituary :

Br John Baptist Byrne (1898-1978)

Brother John Baptist Byrne, SJ, who died at St Beuno’s on December 15th 1978, was born in Wicklow, Ireland, on August 22nd 1898.
He entered the Irish Noviceship in Tullabeg, as a scholastic novice on October 9th, 1917. He did not go to the University but went through the “Home” Juniorate in Tullabeg: 1919-1921. He completed the three year Philosophy Course at Milltown Park, in the years 1921-24. He spent two years in Mungret College (1924-1926), but his work was that of a Prefect, - he did not teach. By now it had become clear that whether from lack of ability or lack of interest in concentrated study, he was unsuited for further scholastic studies. In 1926 the Provincial gave him the option of leaving the Society or of remaining on as a Brother. He decided to become a Brother, but asked to be ascribed to the English Province. Although there is no certain reason why he made this request, perhaps the most probable one is that it relieved himself and his relatives) of some embarrassment at changing his status to that of a Brother after about nine years as a scholastic on the way to the Priesthood. The English Province agreed to accept Brother John Byrne, SJ.

I give here a contribution of Father John Duggan, SJ, of St Beuno’s: his letter includes that of Father P McIlhenry, SJ, of St Beuno’s, a letter of great interest, and supporting strongly the opening sentence: “Br Byrne was something of an enigma ..”
John Baptist Byrne was brought up in the town of Wicklow, and attended the day school in that town going along with his sister Sr Colette, Irish Sister of Charity, (who tells us of his early life). She writes: “John was a good student, very fond of reading in his spare time. He was very gentle and quiet in his behaviour. He entered the noviceship of the Society (at 19) then at Tullabeg. Seemingly, all went well until he had to face exams (pre-Ordination)”. Meanwhile he had followed the usual course, being a Junior at Tullabeg 1919-21, and doing the course in Philosophy at Milltown Park 1921-24, There followed two years teaching at Mungret College, near Limerick, then a most flourishing Jesuit apostolic school for boys mostly aspiring to the priesthood in foreign parts (an American cardinalis an alumnus).” (This school has been given up and regrettably closed in the 1970's).
His sister's reference to facing exams for Ordination would seem to refer to the prospect of such an ordeal (very likely Ad Auds, etc.), rather than to the imminence of the real thing. His sister continues: “It was after this time it was decided he would not be for Ordination, and got the option of remaining in the Society as a Brother, or being placed in a bank. My father naturally was disappointed, but the rest of the family felt relieved he did not choose the bank! John wrote a letter home which was indicative of his spirituality: one sentence in it I remember even now, 50 years later: “I have only to know God’s Will - and then love it!” I do not know if he chose the English Province - I understood it was settled for him”. We have begun with his sister’s account, so we will finish that forthwith. “He kept up with the family by regular letters, came over for the funerals of my two brothers, and when holidays at home were permitted he came as lately as two years ago. But by this time his deafness was an obstacle to his safety, as well as a general restlessness and failing sight. He became a bit of a recluse, but always interested in current affairs. He could make some shrewd remarks such as one to me: ‘I always admire you because you keep your religious habit’. Evidently some of the Sisters attending St Beuno’s had become ultra-mod! ... He led a holy life as a religious, very unworldly in dress and manners, and kept his sufferings to himself”.
When John Byrne came across the sea to England, we are assured in the deadpan tone of officialdom that, after nine years in the Society, he was excused a further novitiate. On this change in Br Byrne’s status and habitat, and his life for the next fifty years or so, Fr McIlhenny (well versed in the workings of top management in the Society) has these penetrating, if somewhat caustic, comments: “Br. Byrne was something of an enigma. It was always something of a puzzle to understand why he was accepted for transfer from the status of scholastic to that of coadjutor - and then sent out of his own Province. Also, why were Superiors so reluctant about insisting on the use of proper instruments to remedy what seemed to be defects in both hearing and eyesight from a very early period of his religious life. Was it the ‘English love of odd people - of characters?’ This seems to reflect badly on both general care of members of the Society and particular consideration for personal relationships, Br Byrne, both in the early days at Heythrop and in his final years at St Beuno’s left a feeling of frustration in most of his contacts. The devout Brother praying in the chapel was somewhat difficult to reconcile with the evasive Brother in the matter of a definite job; the apparent inability to give attention to any topic seemed to contradict assiduous reading of such periodicals as The Times and The Tablet; the normal attitude of not hearing a remark from one of the regular community made surprising an easy readiness to greet an occasional visitor. How can a proper judgment be made?

Fr J McSweeney, Editor of the Irish Province Newsletter offers this useful comment: “Although there is no certain reason why John made the request (to change his Province), perhaps the most probable one is that it relieved him and his relatives, of some embarrassment at changing his status to that of a Brother after about 9 years as a scholastic on the way to the Priesthood”.

Fr McIlhenny's puzzlement remained, as it did with many of us, in particular at Heythrop in the early years. Could it be, pace Fr Ledochowski, that the Collegium Maximum formula was a grievous mistake, so that the officials concerned knew far too little of the life of their community and were prepared to let them sink or swim? Br John had ten years of this and the die was cast.
Speaking on the strength of two years with him at Heythrop (1931 33) and then four years at Beaumont in the war (1941-45), one can record a few reflections. Admittedly, Br John did not butter many parsnips, and maybe his work-rate was not high. But just as it would be a poor sort of monastery that did not welcome an obviously spiritual monk though he could not be of great economic benefit, so the Society would be the poorer if it had not welcomed such an ‘anima naturaliter christiana’. There was the curiously intriguing smile, as though there were a leprechaun inside trying to get out. Then the placid out-of-this-world outlook on life, ever unruffled and patiently putting up with others who were busy with many things. Of course there is a danger in this that ‘tout comprendre, c'est tout condamner’. But his fellow Brothers do bear witness that John was interested in everybody and made a point of knowing all about them. Perhaps this ties in with his enjoyment of his job as postman to the community: at Heythrop this could mean up to 200 people's mail, which he delivered daily andante, but conamore, to everyone in God’s good time.
He was withal something of an ascetic: he was observed regularly kneeling bolt upright in the most draughty spot in Heythrop chapel (the choir-loft) indifferent to the cold. Either he was an extremely early riser, or sometimes in later life) never went to bed at all, but he was often about by 4 o'clock in the morning, I am told. On sleepless nights he would wander through the marble halls of Heythrop and sometimes drop into an empty mansion room to wander therein for a change. Once the empty room happened to be occupied by the Provincial, who is said to have been ‘not amused’. If Heythrop Hall (new style) proves to be haunted in time to come, John Byrne will be the most likely revenant. It was only when we left Heythrop in 1970 that John moved to St Beuno's where he was to spend the last eight years of his untroubled existence ‘amid the alien corn’ on the wrong side of the Irish Sea.
Though not having first-hand acquaintance with Br Byrne in the latter half of his life in the Society, the editor can willingly claim responsibility for most of the above (and endorses Fr McIlhenny's strictures on management), but he hopes it has not been too explosive and that no one will be blown up for it, or by it.
John Duggan SJ

The following postcrript in the author's inimitable idiom helps us to realise how his fellow Brothers appreciated Br John :
“I attended Brother John Byrne's Requiem at St Beuno’s; Father Gerard Hughes, the Tertian master and Rector, said a few words to those assembled. The Irish Jesuit Provincial was there, for Brother Byrne belonged to the Irish Province. Who decided that he should change Provinces I don’t know, maybe it was by mutual consent. It seems he must have had a breakdown and further study was out of the question. As time went by he became a little eccentric, and more so as the years rolled on; but we must remember at the outset, Brother was accepted as a Jesuit Religious and fulfilled all the religious duties expected of a Brother to the very end. I think Father made this clear to us in the Chapel at St Beuno’s, but it would not surprise his Sister a nun, who was there, who knew John. I knew his other Sister also a nun who on visiting John at Heythrop, whispered to me, you know our John is a bit odd. They had learnt to come to terms with John and let him get away with his little oddities.
I lived with Brother for nine years at Heythrop College. He was the Postman. In the early days there was a very big community at Heythrop so that the job of Postman kept Brother busy, also going round with notes from one Professor to another. He hardly ever left the house save to make his annual Retreat. On returning, more often than not he took a bus from Banbury, to what we old Heythropians know as the Banbury lodge at the Banbury gate, the lodge built by the Brassey family, which meant a two mile walk down the old Shrewsbury drive. So the Brother would walk down the drive, enter unnoticed and so commence his job as the College Postman. He must have re-addressed many thousands of letters and when Jesuits moved on, they would be amused to see a little aside on their letters. Please notify your change of address?
One very amusing episode which I think has gone all round the Province is this. Each year at Christmas, each member of the Community was allowed so many Christmas cards each, a ration so to speak. Now one well known Professor, who had a huge correspondence, had sent off well over the allocated ration, I dare say to the tune of 200 (as had many others though not quite so many), so after the allocated ration had been duly despatched by Brother, he put the rest under his bed. His strict understanding of the Law made no allowances for the individual. By chance some one had to go into Brother’s room and was amazed to see all these letters under his bed. A gentle reproof from the then Rector, sent the Brother in all obedience licking four or five hundred stamps and sending them on their way. The Professor was fuming. I think the Rector must have been inwardly amused, while the good Brother was unperturbed. He certainly kept the Rule to the letter. He was a very well read man, when every one was asleep in the early hours of the morning he read all the periodicals in the Father's library. He knew all that was going on, but I think he turned himself off outwardly, but inwardly he was very sharp. He had come to terms with himself, perhaps his early breakdown had left its mark, he had to live with it for the rest of his life. But as a good, kind, simple in the right sense of the word) Jesuit Brother.
Richard Hackett SJ

Writing of Br Byrne's final years in St Beuno’s (1970-1978) Father Gerard W Hughes SJ, says: “Johnny, as we called him, was always full of charm and courtesy, but he became increasingly withdrawn and lived the life of a recluse and appeared to become increasingly deaf. I say ‘appeared to become’ because a few months before his death, I took him out in the car and he carried on a conversation without very much sign of deafness! Among other topics he was eloquent in his disapproval of some changes in the Liturgy, and of nuns who did not wear the veil; but when he spoke of individuals it was always with kindness. I chatted with him almost every day until his death, but his mind was usually very confused. In all the confusion there was a source of great peace and gentleness in Johnnie and his eyes were very kindly. In the hospital the nurses nicknamed him “The Cherub”. He spent hours in the Chapel, by day and night, and he had an uncanny ability for knowing where Mass was being said. Small groups would arrange a Mass among themselves, and Johnnie would appear ... I saw him a few hours before he died. He was only half awake, but he smiled and gripped my hand firmly. He is buried in the St. Beuno's Cemetery’.

Byrne, John Gabriel, 1873-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/81
  • Person
  • 26 March 1873-07 November 1943

Born: 26 March 1873, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 November 1943, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 : Left on account of sight. Studied for priesthood in Rome and went on South African Mission!

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944
Obituary :
Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr. John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school, He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.
The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche which he himself translated and produced.
He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.
He was the Father of the House. He had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr, Byrne began to fail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked “Why get me these things, they must cost a lot at the present time.” On one occasion he asked Fr. Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him - the price, etc., - and was told they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”
He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was; “but Father, he has his own work to do.” It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br. Colgan to remain with him for the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. Fr. Rector, Fr. Socius, Fr. Minister, and other members of the Community witnessed his happy death. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.
On Monday morning Fr. Rector said a Requiem Mass in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, a number came to pray there during the day.
The President and Officials of the Past Pupils Union, Officials of various Committees, the Lay-Masters and a large number of Priests attended the funeral. The Lay-Masters, the boys of II Syntax I, and some past pupils sent Mass cards. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school. He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of maty generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped to popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatišts, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.

He was the Father of the House; he had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr Byrne began to ail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked: “Why get me these things; they must cost a lot at the present time?” On one occasion he asked Fr Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him : the price, etc., and was told that they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”

He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was “But Father, he has his own work to do”. It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br Colgan to remain with him during the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.

On Monday morning Fr Rector said a Requiem Mass. in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, and a number came to pray there during the day, RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Father John G Byrne was a most efficient and popular teacher in Clongowes for seven years (1898-1905) when he was a Scholastic. He was later Minister for two years, 1908–1910. From that date until his death last November, he was on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, but he always took a deep interest in the welfare of those Clongowes boys whom he had known during his nine years here. Those who benefited by his labours and his kindness may now repay him by a prayer for his eternal welfare and niay be sure that they in their turn will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father John Gabriel Byrne SJ

Rev John Gabriel Byrne who died at Belvedere College, Dublin, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, Limerick, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school and his name appears second in the list of the Sodality of Our Lady after the name of Mons Joyce of Portumna.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, in 1891, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes Wood College his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote forty years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he con tributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days. RIP

Byrne, Thomas, 1904-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/82
  • Person
  • 30 November 1904-03 August 1978

Born: 30 November 1904, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 03 August 1978, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Older brother of Patrick Byrne - RIP 1968

by 1935 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 15 August 1947-30 July 1953.
Mission Superior, Hong Kong, 09 May 1957
Father General's English Assistant (Substitute), at Rome Italy (ROM) 1962

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

Father Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits from 1957 to 1960, died in Ireland on 3 August 1978, aged 73.
Father Byrne was born in Ireland in 1904. He joined the Jesuits in 1922 and was ordained priest in 1933. In 1934, the Irish Jesuit Province lent him to Hong Kong, where he taught Philosophy (1934-1936) and Dogmatic Theology (1936-1939) at the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He returned to Ireland in 1939 to complete his Jesuit training.

After a period as Master of Novices, he was appointed provincial Superior of the Irish Jesuit Province.
He returned to Hong Kong as Superior of the Hong Kong Jesuits in 1957. In 1960, he was summoned to Rome to be Assistant to the Jesuit Superior General (1960-1963). In his last years he was assistant priest at St. Ignatius Church, Galway, Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 August 1978

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Educated at O’Connell’s School Dublin, he Entered the Society in 1922 at Tullabeg. He obtained a BSc and MSc and then did Philosophy at Milltown Park. He then went straight from Philosophy to Theology
In 1936 he was sent to the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen as Professor of Dogmatic Theology.
In 1939 he returned to Ireland to make Tertianship and was then sent to Tullabeg to teach Philosophy.
In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices
In 1947 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province
In 1957 he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission

During his term as Provincial (1947-1953) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald. He opened the Novitiate in Cheung Chau in 1958, starting with 10 Novices.

In 1960 he was brought the Roman Curia as the English Assistancy Assistant to Father General, and held this role until 1965.
In 1965 he returned to Ireland and teaching Theology at Milltown Park.

He was an intellectual. His social contribution in public committees included the housing Authorities and Discharged Prisoners Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

Galway
The death of Fr Thomas Byrne on August 3 came as a great shock. He became unwell after dinner on August 2. When the doctor saw him, he ordered him into hospital immediately. His heart condition worsened that evening, and he died on the morning of August 3, R.I.P. The funeral Mass was on August 5. Dr Eamonn Casey, Bishop of Galway, presided. The Provincial, Fr Patrick Doyle, the Rector and Parish Priest, Fr Robert McGoran, and Fr Bernard Murray, were the chief concelebrants. Very many members of the Province travelled to Galway to pay their last respects to Fr Byrne.
Herewith is a tribute by Fr McGoran to Fr Byrne in the September issue of the Parish Newsletter
“Hardly had we recovered from the sense of loss at the death of Fr Jack Kerr, when God took to himself a second member of our Parish team, Fr Tommy Byrne. Although Fr Byrne had had a rather severe operation last February, he appeared to be holding his own in recent months - although everyone noticed that he had slowed down a great deal. However, for a week or two before his death he was visibly failing; yet he remained faithful to his parish duties right up to the eve of his death.
During his eight years here in Galway, Fr Tommy endeared himself to all the parishioners, and many felt his death as the loss of a close friend, and one who felt for them in their cares and difficulties. He was untiring in his visitation of families and utterly devoted in ministering to the sick and the aged. He took a keen personal interest in the families entrusted to this care and had a very special way with children. He was a kindly and encouraging man and seemed able to forget his own ailments in his solicitude for other people”.

Another tribute is paid by Fr Desmond O'Loghlen in the July/August issue of the Jesuits in Zambia News. Sincere thanks to him for it.
“Fr Thomas Byrne did not spend long in Africa, only three months. Nevertheless the occasion of his death calls for grateful remembrance of his lasting contribution of the Jesuit Mission effort in Zambia, To this end we may make use of a report on the Chikuni Mission written in 1967 for the Sociological Survey of the Society. (It should be borne in mind that at that time the Lusaka Mission and the Chikuni Mission had not yet amalgamated to form the Vice Province, but were still separate, attached to the Polish and Irish Provinces respectively).
Fr Thomas Byrne Irish Provincial at the time) arrived to visit Northern Rhodesia (as it then was) in April 1952. He spent about three weeks in Africa, met the Apostolic Administrator (Very Rev Adam Kozlowiecki SJ) and the Regional Superior (Very Rev Marian Folta SJ) and saw all the Irish Jesuits in the country. Fr Byrne was the Provincial, who, in 1950, had taken the generous step of Officially pledging the Irish Province to help the Mission. On his initiative nine new members, (eight priests and one brother) joined the Mission in 1950, and eight more in 1951 (five priests, two scholastics, and one brother) and others followed yearly. From this visit of Fr. Provincial, in consultation with the Apostolic Administrator and the Regional Superior, emerged the main lines of development followed by the Irish Jesuits for the next ten years, through the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in 1956 up to the establishment of the Diocese of Monze in 1962.
Plans were made to continue the pastoral and educational work already built up around Chikuni by Frs Moreau, Zabdyr, Prokoph, and others. Three new stations had been already started at Chivuna, Kasiya, and Fumbo. Plans were also made for pastoral coverage of Mazabuka, Monze, Choma, Kalomo, with an eventual westward thrust to Namwala. Provision was made for Irish Jesuits to work in Lusaka.
Fr Byrne again visited the Mission in 1963, now as Assistant of the English Assistancy, and took deep interest and evident satisfaction in the progress of the work, which owed so much to his earlier initiative. At this time he explored views about the possible union in one Province of the Jesuit Missions in Zambia and Rhodesia. However, this project was halted by the declaration of UDI to the south of us, and subsequent developments.
In December 1969, when the Zambia Vice-Province was established, Fr Thomas Byrne was an honored guest at an informal gathering in Dublin to mark the occasion. We can trust, now that he is in Heaven, his interest and his benign influence will continue to benefit the work in Zambia. May he rest in peace”.

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Byrne (1904-1978)

On August 3rd Father Tom Byrne died at Galway, where for nearly eight years he had been engaged on Parish work. This period in Galway was the peaceful, retired conclusion to an exceptionally active, varied and front-line work as a Jesuit.
Father Tom Byrne was born at Dun Laoire on November 30th 1904. He entered Tullabeg as a novice on August 31st 1922. Having pronounced his First Vows on September 1st 1924 at Tullabeg, he passed through the rest of the scholasticate training in Ireland: from Rathfarnham he studied Science at UCD (1924-1927); 1927 to 1934 were spent studying Philosophy and Theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1933. He completed his Tertianship at Rathfarnham: 1939-1940.
From the end of his Tertianship in 1940 to his commencement of parish work in Galway in 1970, Father Tom Byrne was a “specialist” in one form or another. He was Lecturer in Sacred Scripture and Dogma in the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong: 1934-1939. He lectured in Philosophy in Tullabeg 1941-1945; 1953-1957. He was Master of Novices in Emo for two years (1945-1947). He was Provincial in Gardiner Street from 1947 to 1953: and it was by his enterprise and decision that the “mission” in what is now part of the Vice-Province of Zambia was begun by the opening of the Irish Mission at Chikuni: eight priests and one brother reached Chikuni from Ireland in August 1950. They began at once to work in the Mission Church at Chikuni, to open “mission stations” further afield, and to staff Canisius College which rapidly developed to become a splendid Secondary School. For many years after our arrival at Chikuni there was only one other Secondary school in “Northern Rhodesia” (now Zambia): the Government Secondary school Munali in Lusaka.
Father Byrne visited us within a few years of 1950 and continued generously to send brothers, scholastics and priests, so that Ireland's commitment in what is now the Vice-Province of Zambia developed rapidly.
After his second period as Lecturer in Tullabeg - after being Provincial - (1953-1957), Father Tom Byrne went to be Superior in the Hong Kong Mission. He remained in this Office until 1960 when he went to Rome for five years as English Assistant, substituting for Father J Swain who was Vicar General (1960-1965).
Father Tom Byrne was Prefect of Studies and Spiritual Father in Milltown Park from 1965 to 1968. There followed two years in Tullabeg as Spiritual Director of the Sisters there (1968 to 1970). In 1970 he moved to take up the parish work in Galway which occupied the last eight years of his work-filled life.

One of his many admirers - Father Harold Naylor, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, writes:
“As a philosopher in Tullabeg I remember being impressed by the vigour of the religious observance of ‘Tommy’ who was then professing Psychology. He was the first at Morning Oblation at 6 am. I met him again in 1977 in Galway and found the same man I had always known, with alert mind and zealous heart. Assistant to the Parish Priest in St Ignatius, he was always ready to hear confessions and take calls at the door to help people. I noticed something else which is not common in Jesuits of over forty - he had great hope in the future of the Church and of the Society. He had well assimilated the thrust of the Second Vatican Council, and made his own the content of the last two General Congregations. He was at home in the new Church, and the modern Society and had no nostalgia for the past. He could appropriate to himself our new life style and see every advantage in it. I sometimes wondered if this was not partly due to what he taught on obedience of the intellect, and to a real self abnegation, seeing the Will of God in everything and having the real spirit of Ignatian indifference ...”
See also the special tributes included in the contributions from Galway, tributes from Galway and Zambia.

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Galway

Fr Thomas Byrne RIP
We are greatly indebted to an unnamed contributor to the Hong kong Vice-Province Letter/August, 1978, for the following account of Fr Thomas Byrne's life. Sincere thanks to him. The account arrived too late for inclusion in the October issue of the Province News,
Fr Thomas Byrne, Superior of the Hong Kong Mission from 1957 to 1960, died on 3rd August, after a few hours of illness, aged 73. The following account of his life has been contributed by one who knew him well.
Though he is a major figure in the history of the Hong Kong Jesuits, Fr Thomas Byrne spent in all only eight years here. For information about his pre-Jesuit years, his forty-five Jesuit years in Ireland, and his three years in Rome, I have had to rely on vague memories and hearsay. Much must be left vague, and some details may be inaccurate. .
He was born on 30th November 1904, and was educated at O’Connell’s School, Dublin. In 1922, he entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had as contempararies R Harris, C Daly, and G Casey. As a junior, he did a brilliant BSc. He later - during his philosophy at Milltown Park, I think tried for a travelling studentship (in Philosophy?), but was beaten, to the surprise of many, by the Clonliffe student who, as Fr. Boyland, was to leave the Dublin Archdiocese to become a Carthusian.
Mr. Tommy Byrne, already destined for a professorial chair, did no “colleges”, and went straight from philosophy to theology. He came, I think, to regret this gap in his formation, especially when appointment as a major superior made him responsible for the well being of many schools.
He was ordained priest on St Ignatius Day, 1933. In 1934, the Regional Seminary, Aberdeen, found itself critically short of staff. The Irish Provincial, Fr L Kieran, lent Fr Byrne to Hong Kong, on the understanding that, when the Seminary could spare him, he should return to Ireland to do his tertianship and then settle down there as a professor, probably of philosophy. He came to Hong Kong, by ship of course, with Fr H Craig and two scholastics, F Cronin and T Sheridan, and for his first two years taught philosophy in the Seminary.
Since he had not come as a permanent member of the Mission, it was taken for granted that he should not even attempt to learn Cantonese - another gap in his formation that he was to regret in later years.
In 1936, he became professor of dogmatic theology in the Seminary. It was in that year that I first met him. I still feel gratitude for the warmth of the welcome he gave me on my arrival in Hong Kong. By then he had developed to the full his aptitude for giving lengthy analysis of any subject that might turn up - the state of the world, the calling of a bridge-hand, St Jerome’s outlook on bishops, or his own outlook on his duties as minister. This may suggest that he had turned into a bore. The suggestion is false. He was interested in your views as well as in his own, and he was unaffectedly delighted when you knocked him off his perch. This made all the difference.
He went to Ireland for tertianship in 1939, making no secret of his wish to return to Hong Kong if possible. However, when his tertianship ended, the course of World War II had made immediate return impossible. After tertianship, Fr Byrne went to Tullabeg to teach philosophy. In 1945 he was appointed Master of Novices.
He was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province in 1947. By then the world was beginning to settle down after the confusion and frustration of war and its aftermath. The time called for initiative, and Fr Byrne was ready to initiate. In the course of his provincialate the Manresa Retreat house and the Workers' College (now the College of Industrial Relations) were opened, and the Irish Province accepted a new mission in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). Not since the legendary days of Fr Sturzo had any Irish Provincial added so much to the work of the province.
I myself left Ireland soon after Fr Byrne's appointment. I therefore know little about his administration or his dealings with individuals. I do remember an aged fountain of ideas. Fr R Devane,
saying rather sadly: “At last there is a Provincial who will listen to me; but I am too old now". There are rumours that scholastics were put off by Fr Byrne's highly characteristic habit of gazing into the middle distance and musing on the nature of things or giving gnomic advice. Presumably they felt inhibited from knocking him off his perch - unfortunate but inevitable.!
At the end of his term as Provincial, Fr Byrne returned to Tullabeg, and seemed likely to spend the rest of his days there. Then in 1957, to the surprise of the most highly skilled forecasters, he was appointed Superior of the Hong Kong Mission. He returned with delight; an eighteen-year-old dream had come true.
Neither Hong Kong nor Singapore was in great need of initiative. In Hong Kong, the two new Wah Yans had been built shortly before, and it would have been difficult to find staff for new works. In Singapore, the plans laid in the earlier 50s were moving towards fulfilment. In Malaysia, however, things were still tentative. The cancellation of a government invitation to undertake a major work faced the Superior with the decision: to go forward or to retreat. Fr Byrne decided to go forward. Perhaps nothing in his superiorship interested him more deeply than the problems of Petaling Jaya. A grasp of the geography of Kuala Lumpur and its environs became necessary for anyone who wanted to understand his conversation.
In Hong King, Fr Byrne’s main task was to encourage the work that was being done by individuals and institutions. For himself, he took up the work of public committees - the Housing Societry, the Discharged Prisoners Aid Society and so on. In Ricci Hall, where he lived, he quickly made many friends among the students. Equally quickly he made himself a welcome guest in all Jesuit houses. When he had to act as Superior he was unmistakably the Superior. At other times, like a famour duke, “he never remembered his rank unless you forgot it”. In spite of recurring bad health - stomach trouble and phlebitis - he enjoyed life, and he wished others to enjoy life. The brilliant frivolity of Fr J B Wood’s speech of farewell at the end of Fr Byrne’s Superiorship was a tribute to the friendliness and personal equality that he had made characteristic of his period of authority here.
He was Superior for only three years. In 1960 he was summoned to Rome as Substitute Assistant for the English Assistancy. Of what happened at that high level I know nothing except that Fr Byrne seemed to enjoy it.
He returned to Ireland after the 31st General Congregation, but his interest in Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia never waned, as returning visitors from these parts will testify.
He spent his last years as curate in St. Ignatius' Church, Galway, and it was there that I last met him. He was unchanged - full of interest in the Vice-Province and better informed about it than I was - ready to speculate about the state of the world and of all things in it, and full of philosophical interest in the future of the Jesuit parish in Galway,
No hint had been received here that his health was failing. The news of his death came as a shock, and to many it meant, not “a former Superior has died”, but “a cherished friend is dead”.

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Byrne, William, 1868-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/83
  • Person
  • 04 October 1868-01 December 1943

Born: 04 October 1868, Cork City
Entered: 12 November 1886, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 02 August 1903
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 December 1943, Dublin

Part of St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at time of his death.

Older brother of George Byrne - RIP 1962

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1903 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1905 at Linz, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father William Byrne SJ

Fr. William Byrne. Fr. Byrne was born in Cork in 1868, was educated at Clongowes, and entered the Society in 1886. He pursued his studies at Valkenberg, Holland, Milltown Park, Dublin, Innsbruck, and Linz, Austria. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1903, and subsequently taught in various colleges from 1906 to 1931. Since 1931 he had been Professor of Science and Astronomy at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore. He was a brother of Fr. George Byrne, formerly Superior of the Mission in Hong Kong and now at Mission Catholique, Dalat, Indo-China, and of the late Mr. Matthew Byrne, Listowel.
When Fr. Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894 he began a life long career devoted to teaching. He had a genuine love for Mathematics and Physical Science, and this love he sought to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his pupils was vigorous, patient, attractive, and above all clear. The word “clear” seemed to have a special association with him, it was the keynote of all his demonstrations. Judged by the standard of examination results, Fr. Byrne was not an outstanding success as a teacher, though some of his more talented pupils did brilliantly. His own great knowledge and familiarity with the matter he taught made it not too easy for him to understand the difficulties of beginners. But he was a reilly great educator in the more liberal and higher sense of the word, aid his methods provided a fine mental training with broadness of outlook and accuracy of thought as chief characteristics. He never lost sight of the ultimate aim of all true Catholic Education, the religious formation of youth. His own personal example and tact won high respect.
His public speaking, in preaching and retreat giving, was marked by very evident sincerity and conviction, together with a simple tranquility and sympathy that appealed to his audience. He was a very good preacher and retreat giver.
As a conversationalist he was fascinating and at times very brilliant. He had a fund of interesting knowledge on a great variety of subjects. He had great appreciation of humour and told an amusing story with inimitable grace. He was uniformly genial and good humoured. Though a good speaker himself he was also an excellent listener. His manner and speech were full of great charm.
As Minister in Mungret for five or six years, and again in Galway for two or three years, he was most faithful, though the duties of that office did not have any great natural appeal to him. He was ever most kind to the sick whether boys or members of the Community or poor in the neighbourhood of our Colleges.
For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of Chemistry, Physics and Astronomy in the Philosophate, first at Milltown Park for three years and then at Tullabeg for twelve years. This work was worthy of his attainments and most congenial to him and he accomplished it with great success. By constant study he kept well abreast of modern advances in Science. His experiments were prepared and carried out with utmost care and he had a true scientist's gentleness with his scientific apparatus. He was also a good linguist, speaking German and Irish fluently, and a great lover of Ireland's culture.
Fr. Byrne was truly a man of principle, and his ideals were lofty and truly Jesuit. He was steeped in knowledge of St. Ignatius, and the Early Society and the Institute. His fidelity to the Institute was inflexible. He was hardworking, conscientious, earnest, zealous, generous and most amiably kind. He was certainly a very true Jesuit whose example was a shining light. He was a man of great regularity and punctuality at all Community duties, no superfluity found place in his room. The virtue of Charity was particularly dear to him, his great physical strength, his intellectual gifts and his counsel were at the disposal of any who sought them.
His last illness was short, as he had desired. On Saturday he gave his lecture as usual, on Monday evening he was brought to hospital in Dublin and received the last Sacraments, and died peacefully on Wednesday morning. He was very patient and kindly in his illness. A valiant soldier of Christ be is much missed by all who knew him. R.I.P.

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

In Fr William Byrne Clongowes lost a, son remarkable for holiness, intelligence, and quaint charm, of character, though one who disliked nothing so much as to be remarked. He care of a distinguished family, being a brother of Mr Matt Byrne, the brilliant Cork solicitor, and of Fr George Byrne SJ. Holiness was the first characteristic remarked in him in Clongowes, where he won the admiration of his companions, who readily distinguish between the boy who is merely unaccustomed to wrongdoing and the one who resolutely avoids it on principle. On leaving school he entered the Society and pursued his studies for the most part in German houses. During the nineties he returned to Clongowes for some years as a scholastic, the last period of his connection with his old school. He is remembered at this time for his prowess on the ice. Full of useful work, the rest of his life was yet uneventful. He was Prefect of Studies and afterwards Minister at Galway. He was Minister and teacher at Mungret, and taught also at the Crescent. For some years he prepared the Juniors of the Society for entering the University, teaching them Irish, mathematics, physics, and imperturbability. His last years were spent as Professor of various scientific subjects in the Philosophate at Tullabeg.

It was probably his central independence and love of the hidden life that attracted him to the unspoiled poor of the Gaedhealtacht, and gave him his ardent nationalism. It was rather a cultural than a political nationalism, pacific though uncompromising, and naturally inclined him to a hero-worship of Dr Douglas Hyde and early Gaelic League ideals. He was never more at home than when chatting in his slow, beautiful Irish in some fisherman's cabin. His mind was full of schemes for helping the country folk. One remembers his invention of an instrument for cutting turf and a deeply suggestive but almost un noticed article in Fáinne an Lae on the irrigation of the West. But he was content with knowing that these schemes would work without attempting to push their adoption. One of his greatest cronies around Tullabeg was an elderly lady, an Irish speaker, who lived by hawking debris around in an almost extinct perambulator.

His last illness was over in three days. We should have known that the end was at hand for on his last journey he expressed no curiosity whatever about the machinery and equipment of the motor ambulance that carried him to Dublin. Even then, however, he chafed gently at his illness, for it interrupted his study of a work he had recently acquired on Crystallography. Now his study of crystals is resumed in his contemplation of the jasper and sardonyx of the Apocalyptic City. But one sees him still as he was on his daily walks with his old friend, Fr John Casey, his rosy face lit with its habitual welcoming smile, talking, delightedly and delightfully, stickless, yet looking oddly incomplete without a stick, wearing a hat so small that it seemed to have drifted down autumnally from a restless bough and, all unobserved by him, to have settled furtively on his head. His life at bottom was a quest for beauty or, to be more precise, a quest for the Grail. For there was more knightliness in his character than was superficially apparent.

AL

-oOo-

The following appreciation is from one who lived and worked with Fr William Byrne for many years, Fr John Casey SJ :

We are grateful to Fr. John Casey, S.J., for the following appreciation of Fr. Byrne as a teacher :

“Fr Byrne returned to Clongowes in 1894, and a life-time devoted to teaching then began. He came to his work fresh, eager, young, enthusiastic. He had a genuine love of Mathematics and Physical Science. I once heard him, alluding to the Integral Calculus, call those, strange integ ration signs his “dear, dear friends”. This he said half-jokingly, of course, but very much half in earnest too. This love he longed to communicate to his pupils. His method of presenting the matter to his classes was vigorous, patient, attractive and strikingly clear. His past pupils will remember the oft repeated question : “Is it clear?” and the prolonged emphatic intonation of that word “clear”. It was the keynote of his demonstrations.

In the broad, high, and liberal sense of the word, he was a really great educator. Many of his pupils now look back with pleasure and gratitude to the fine mental training, the accuracy of thought, the broad outlook, given them by his pedagogic methods.

In his years of teaching, he never lost sight of the ulterior aim of all Catholic and Jesuit education, the religious training and formation of youth. His splendid example won respect; and the tactful word in season from one so revered had lasting good results.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father William Byrne SJ

Mungret boys of the years 1910 to 1916 will surely be sorry to hear of the death of their Minister, He seemed to be the fixed star in the comnunity of that period and, though men might come and go, he went on for ever. They will not, we know, forget to pray for the soul of Father Byrne. His death took everyone by surprise, for, though he was not a young man, he did seem to go on for ever. He was teaching the Jesuit students of philosophy for the last twenty years of his life, ever since he left Mungret for the last time in 1922. Mungret he loved and loved in his own way, so much so that he regretted any change in it. He had liked it as it was and he was conservative. Father Byrne was a man of brilliant gifts, an able scientist, whose practical gift was wedded to intellectual grasp. It was a joy to hear him expose scientific theory, but who will forget his naive pride in a nice instrument. He cherished it and woe betide the crude hand that was laid on it. He loved his violin too and charmed dull care away with it every single day. His pupils here will recognise that trait. Simple in all things he was simple with God. No one less like the fictional Jesuit ever perhaps wore the Jesuit gown. Mungret owes him a debt for the years of labour, kindly companionship and good example. She will repay it where remembrance is best. To his brother Father George and to his relatives we offer our sympathy. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father William Byrne (1868-1943)

A native of Cork, entered the Society in 1886. He studied at Valkenburg, Milltown Park and Innsbruck and was ordained in 1903. Father Byrne taught at the Crescent from 1906 to 1908 and again from 1926 to 1929. He was a brilliant mathematician and scientist and gave splendid service for many years in the Jesuit colleges. For the last fifteen years of his life he was professor of science at the Jesuit House of Philosophy, Tullabeg. Father Byrne had considerable gifts as a linguist and was a pioneer Gaelic enthusiast.

Cagney, Joseph, 1861-1885, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/995
  • Person
  • 25 October 1861-02 August 1885

Born: 25 October 1861, Buttevant, County Cork
Entered: 01 October 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 02 August 1885, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Of a great sporting family, and one of three brothers who graduated from Tullabeg.

During his Juniorate at Milltown he was sent to Tullabeg for Regency to teach one of the highest classes. He soon developed some internal trouble which the doctors were not able to diagnose. So he returned to Milltown in early 1885, and died there 02 August 1885 greatly regretted.

Cahill, Edward, 1868-1941, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/55
  • Person
  • 19 February 1868-16 July 1941

Born: 19 February 1868, Callow, Ballingrane, Askeaton, County Limerick
Entered: 08 June 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1897, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1905
Died: 16 July 1941, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Cahill, Edward
by C. J. Woods

Cahill, Edward (1868–1941), Jesuit, was born at Callow, Ballingrane, Co. Limerick, on 19 February 1868, son of Patrick Cahill, a farmer, and his wife, Lucy (née Culhane). One of a family of eight (he had three half-brothers, a half-sister, two full brothers, and a full sister), he was educated locally at the Jesuit-run Mungret College and then at St Patrick's College, Maynooth, from where, on completing three years of theological studies, he joined the Society of Jesus (10 November 1890). He was ordained priest in 1897 at the Jesuit church in Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. From then until 1923 he was back at Mungret as master, prefect of studies, and rector, and finally as superior of the apostolic school attached to the secondary school. As rector he ‘had the opportunity to implement his ideas for the cultural and intellectual development of Irish youth along national lines’ (obituary, Ir. Independent). While at Mungret he wrote his first pamphlet, Rural secondary schools (1919).

In 1924 Cahill moved to the Jesuit house of studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, to become professor of church history and lecturer in sociology, and eventually (1935) spiritual director. There his influence grew as he contributed articles to the Irish Ecclesiastical Record (the catholic bishops’ monthly), the Jesuit-published Irish Monthly, and the popular Irish Messenger. He wrote a five-act play, The abbot of Mungret (1925), and two full-length books, Freemasonry and the anti-Christian movement (1929; 2nd ed., 1930) and The framework of a Christian state: an introduction to social science (1932). Several articles were republished as pamphlets: Ireland's peril (1930), The catholic social movement (1931), Capitalism and its alternatives (1936), Ireland as a catholic nation (1938), and Freemasonry (1944). The titles of these works are highly indicative of Cahill's interests and opinions. In October 1926 he and other Jesuits formed, for the purpose of establishing ‘the social reign of Christ in modern society’, a body they called the League of the Kingship of Christ (also known by the Irish form of its name, An Rioghacht). Cahill's pamphlet Ireland and the kingship of Christ (1928) is an apologia for that body.

In 1936, with Bulmer Hobson (qv) and Mrs Berthon Waters, Cahill formed a group to create public interest in banking, currency, and credit in accordance with his own views at a time when a government commission was inquiring into that subject. The group influenced a rural member of the commission, Peter O'Loghlen, whose minority report (which accused civil servants at the Department of Finance of being ‘hypnotised by British prestige and precedent’) it practically drafted. In September of the same year Cahill sent Éamon de Valera (qv), with whom he was very friendly, a submission outlining catholic principles on which he believed the new constitution being drawn up by the head of government ought to be based. Although a committee of five Jesuits (Cahill included) was set up by the Jesuit provincial to consider the constitution, Cahill presented a memorandum of his own to de Valera and wrote him three letters advocating a much stronger catholic ethos. It is argued that Cahill ‘may have been indirectly influential’ in the wording of article 44 referring to religion (Keogh). His initiatives were regarded with disquiet by his confrères.

A firm believer in farming as a vocation, Edward Cahill was associated with Muintir na Tíre, seeing it as the practice of the ‘corporatism’ recommended in the papal encyclical Quadragesimo anno (1931). He was also an enthusiast for the Irish language. He died 16 July 1941 at Milltown and was buried, with de Valera among his mourners, at Glasnevin cemetery.

Ir. Independent, 17 July 1941; bibliography, Irish Province News (Oct. 1941); Bulmer Hobson, Ireland yesterday and tomorrow (1968), 171; Ronan Fanning, The Irish Department of Finance (1978); Dermot Keogh, The Vatican, the bishops and Irish politics, 1919–39 (1986), 208–9, 275–6; Seán Faughnan, ‘The Jesuits and the drafting of the Irish constitution of 1937’, IHS, xxvi (1988–9), 79–102; Dermot Keogh, ‘The Jesuits and the 1937 constitution’, Studies, lxxviii (1989), 82–95; Louis McRedmond, To the greater glory: a history of the Irish Jesuits (1991), 282–4; information from the Rev. Stephen Redmond; Dermot Keogh & Andrew J. McCarthy, The making of the Irish Constitution 1937 (2006)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

Fr. Cahill is spiritual director of the An Rioghacht, a Catholic Citizens' League. lt was inaugurated on October 31st, 1926, Feast of Christ the King. This League, which owes its foundation to the devoted interest in social work of Fr. Cahill, will, it is hoped, do for Ireland what the Volksverein has done for Catholic Germany.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

Obituary :

Father Edward Cahill

Fr. Edward Cahill died on July 16th, 1941, after a long and trying illness borne with exemplary patience. He was 73 years of age and had just completed fifty years in the Society.
He was born at Callow, Ballincrane, Co Limerick, In February 1868. He received his secondary education at Mungret, and three years of theological training at Maynooth. Like Fr Matthew Russell, he was in Major Orders though not yet a, priest, when he entered the Society on June 8th, 1891. His Ordination to the priesthood took place six years letter at Gardiner Street. The years of his priestly life were spent mainly a Mungret and Milltown Park. with brief periods at Galway and Clongowes. At Mungret, his “alma mater”, he was in succession, Master, Rector and Superior of the Apostolic School. After one year, as Spiritual Father in Clongowes. he went to Milltown Park in 1924. as Professor of Church History, Lecturer in Sociology, and, later, Spiritual Father. He was stationed at Milltown Park up to the time of his last illness.
One of Fr. Cahill's older pupils at Mungret has borne enthusiastic testimony to his skill as a teacher and to the esteem in which he was held by the boys. As Rector he had the opportunity to implement his ideas for the cultural and intellectual development of Irish youth along national lines. To promote amongst the boys a realisation of their social duties and responsibilities, he founded an Academy in the School for the study of social problems. This Academy foreshadowed the study-circles of “An Rioghacht”. As Superior of the Apostolic School, Fr. Cahill devoted himself wholeheartedly to the intellectual and religious training of large numbers of young men who were later to do credit to Mungret as missionary priests in America, South Africa and Australasia. Mungret had no more loyal son than Fr Cahill - the College and its pupils, past and present were ever the objects of his affectionate interest.
From 1924 onwards Fr. Cahill lectured at Milltown Park, Church History to the Theologians and Sociology to the Philosophers. In the latter subject he was most at home. His enthusiastic interest in social problems communicated itself to his students, though they might on occasion, smile at his homely illustrations or novel remedies for very complex economic ills. After Fr. Fegan's death Fr. Cahill became Spiritual Father at Milltown. His domestic exhortations were remarkable for their solid piety and constant emphasis on the essentials of Jesuit spirituality, rather than for eloquence or entertainment value. But it is as a, wise, kindly and sympathetic friend and father to whom the members of his community could turn in trouble or perplexity, sure of the needed encouragement or advice, that he will be remembered by many generations of Miltown scholastics.
Fr Cahill's chief work amongst externs was that of a teacher of Catholic social principles by voice, pen and personal contact. In October, 1926, on the occasion of the first celebration of the Feast of Christ the King, he founded : “An Rioghacht”, the League of the Kingship of Christ. He was acutely conscious of the need for combatting the modern anti-Christian movement which seeks by all means to discredit Christianity and to substitute a. purely secular ideal of life for the Christian ideal. He held that Ireland was by no means immune
from the influence of this movement, nay rather that the Irish Catholic Nation, for historical reasons was in some ways more exposed to un-Catholic and un-Christian influences than any other Catholic people in Christiandom. He sought a remedy in the teaching of recent Popes Leo XIII and his successors, especially Pius XI had repeatedly insisted on a sound and widespread knowledge of Catholic social principles, and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. Hence the objects which “An Rioghacht”, under the aegis of Fr Cahill, has pursued quietly but with considerable success for the past fifteen years. Serious social study, freely undertaken is something which appeals to a very limited number of lay people. Still the study-circles of “An Rioghacht” have been well attended, and several of those who learned Social Science under its auspices, now occupy public positions in the State. The study-circles of the C.Y.M.S. in some cases carry on the good work commenced by “An Rioghacht.” Besides these study-circles, “An Rioghacht”, under Fr.CahilI's guidance, organised public meetings three or four times a year, published pamphlets on current topics and even attemtbed to produce a weekly paper to further its ideals.
Fr. Cahill's output of written work is a monument to his unobtrusive. but tireless, labour during the years when he was professor and Spiritual Father at Milltown Park. When we glance over the Table of Contents of the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” from 1923-1930, and again from 1925 to 1940, and remember his “Notes on Sociology” which appeared constantly in the “Irish Monthly” from 1923 to 1929, and add to these the number of his books and pamphlets (a list of which we append) we are amazed at the amount of quiet work which must have been on behind his closed door on the Retreat House corridor.
His achievements show Fr Cahill to have been a man of more than ordinary mental ability, but, perhaps it was his qualities of character which most influenced people, rather than his intellectual gifts. To great gentleness, sympathy and kindness, he joined an amazing fund of quiet courage and determination. If he thought that any enterprise were for the glory of God and honour of Ireland, and that he had the slightest chance of carrying it out, he would undertake it with a light heart despite all difficulties. He was exceedingly loyal to his friends and his principles. He had a charming affability, even towards strangers which won him many friends, and his utter sincerity was enhanced by that touch of simplicity, which sometimes characterises very earnest people.
Father Cahill’s social ideals were those of the Papal Encyclicals which he had studied thoroughly. They may be summed up in the quotation from Pius XI, which appears on the title page of “Framework of the Christian State” : “When once men recognise, both in private and public life, tat Christ is King, , society will at last receive the great blessings of real liberty, well-ordered discipline, peace and harmony.” May he rest in peace.

The following is a list of Fr Cahill’s writings (besides magazine articles) :

Books :
The Abbot of Mungret - a play in 4 acts (1925)
Free-masonry and the Anti-Christian Movement - 1929 )1930 second edition)
The Framework of the Christian State (1932) - reprinted Pamphlets
The Truth about Freemasonry (Australian C.T.S.)
The Catholic Social Movement (Irish Messenger Office)
Rural Secondary Schools (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland and the Kingship of Christ (Irish Messenger Office)
The Oldest Nation in Europe (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland as a Catholic Nation (Irish Messenger Office)
Ireland’s Peril (Messers. Gill)
Capitalism and its Alternatives I.C.T.S.)

There is a note in the Province News of December, 1929, which apropos of Fr. Cahill's book on Freemasonry recently published, quotes from a review in the “Irish Catholic” as follows :
“We consider this book indispensable to every Irish Catholic who would claim an intelligent acquaintance with the bearing of the principles of his religion upon Irish public life. It should be found in every library, public and private. The wide dissemination of the knowledge it contains must needs have a salutary effect on the whole public life of the country.”
This book gave rise to controversy in the public press, but Fr. Cahill maintained his position successfully and his book had a wide circulation. His other book, '”The Framework
of a Christian State”, in which he established in orderly form the principles of Catholic Social Science has proved to be of the highest utility and has supplied later Catholic writers with the fundamental arguments of this science.
It is as Superior of the Apostolic School that the name of Fr Cahill will be best remembered and most revered. For twelve years he devoted himself whole-heartedly to the mental and moral formation of the young levites entrusted to his care. No detail was too insignificant, no task too onerous when it was a question of a better formation or a closer approach to the Ideal. He kept ever before the students' minds the lesson of Our Lord’s life and his constant exhortation was “to spend themselves and be spent in His service”. The many priests that he formed will remember with gratitude the sound training in prayer and perseverance and in self-denial - all of which he exemplified in his own laborious and prayerful life. In later years Fr. Cahill was wont to reproach himself for expecting too much from boys and setting too high a standard. This is not without a certain element of truth but the same boys will remember that Fr Cahill himself led the way in all that he asked of others. News of his death will be heard with sorrow in America, South Africa and Australia and many a priest will breathe a fervent Requiescat in Pace for his kind and generous soul.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Edward Cahill 1868-1942
The outstanding work of Fr Edward Cahill was his foundation of the Catholic Social Study Circle called “An Ríocht”. All his life he was intensely interested in this apostolic endeavour. He was the author of numerous works on Social questions and on Irish National movements. His best known works are “Freemasonry” and “The Framework of the Christian State”.

He was closely associated with Mungret, first as an ecclesiastical student of the Diocesan Seminary, when that institution was under the care of Ours in Mungret. Having entered the Society from Maynooth in 1891, he returned to Mungret to become Director of the Apostolic School for twelve years and Rector of the College for three.

During the last years of his life he was stationed at Milltown Park, as professor of Church History and Spiritual Father. He was most deeply religious. Kind in word, deed and aspect, he never judged even the worst harshly. “Substantially” was his saving word. Of the greatest villain in history, he would say that he was “substantially” good.

He was a true patriot. He loved everything Irish, the people, the language, the very land itself. He had high hopes for the future of Ireland, and helped by his advice the framing of her Constitution. But his great kindness and humility prevented him from hardness or bitterness towards those who did not share his convictions.

He died on July 16th 1941, being aged 73 and 50 years a Jesuit.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1942

Obituary

Father Edward Cahill SJ

The death of Father Edward Cahill SJ, which occurred in the summer of last year, was a source of heartfelt grief to the wide circle of his friends both at home and abroad, and brought to a close a life dedicated to the service of God and the well-being of Ireland. As a tribute to the memory of one of Mungret's illustrious sons, who, besides the services rendered to his country, devoted well-nigh a quarter of a century to the education of youth in his Alma Mater, we offer the following short account of Father Cahill's life and achievements.

Early Years
The son of a well-to-do Munster farmer, Edward Cahill was born at Callow, Ballingrane, Co Limerick, on October 19th, 1868. In order to prepare for the secular priesthood he came, in 1883, to Mungret, which, besides Father Ronan's Apostolic School, contained the seminary for the diocese of Limerick. Mungret students in those days were prepared for the examinations of the Royal University of Ireland, In 1887 Edward Cahill, at the comparatively early age of nineteen, took out his BA Degree with Honours, securing Second Place in Mental and Moral Sciences, as well as an Exhibition. In the same year he went to Maynooth College, where he completed his course of Theology and was ordained Deacon; and in 1891 he entered the Novitiate of the Society of Jesus. In 1894 he re turned to Mungret, where, with the exception of two short intervals each of but one year's duration, he was stationed until 1916.

He was ordained priest in 1897; and in 1904 he was appointed Superior of the Apostolic School, an office which he held until 1918, and again from 1921-1923.

Superior of the Apostolic School, Mungret
It is as Superior of the Apostolic School that Father Cahill will be chiefly remembered and revered by past students of Mungret. During the eleven years in which he held this important and responsible office, Father Cahill devoted himself whole-heart edly to the intellectual and spiritual forma tion of the young aspirants to the priest hood entrusted to his care. He zealously availed himself of the different opportunities afforded him to speak to the boys of God and the things of God. On such oc casions he emphasised in particular those aspects of the spiritual life that had direct reference to the priesthood. But it was in those intimate personal conversations with each individual boy that Father Cahill ful filled in an especial manner, the rôle of Spiritual Director, emphasising those high ideals which were the guiding principles of his own interior life.

While thus training to holiness Mungret's future priests, Father Cabill constantly kept before their minds the great mission fields in which they were one day to labour. Every week he read to the boys extracts of letters which he received from past Mungret students, giving an account of their missionary work; and priests returned from the Missions were invited to lecture on their apostolic labours in distant lands. By such means, as well as by his own lectures and exhortations, he created and maintained in the hearts of his youthful disciples the spirit of missionary zeal.

“To spend oneself and be spent in the service of Jesus Christ” - these words were constantly on the lips of Father Cahill and aptly summarise the high principles by which be was guided in the training of Mungret students for the priesthood. In after years he was wont to reproach him self for his excessive strictness in dealing with boys, and for not making sufficient allowance for the failings of the young. On one occasion, at a dinner for the Past in Cruise's Hotel, Limerick, he made public confession of what he considered his short comings in this regard. Replying to Father Cahill's speech Mr Eamonn O'Neill TD, said that he and his school-companions were impressed not so much by Father Cahill's words, as by the example of his life. Mr O'Neill's appreciation of Father Cahill will, we feel assured, find an echo in the hearts of many a Mungret priest in distant lands, who will make kindly allowance for what ever must be admitted in Father Cahill's humble self-accusation. They will remem ber the sound training which he gave them in prayer and self-denial, and the shining example of his holy and self-sacrificing life.

Rector of Mungret

Education and Patriotism
Father Cahill was appointed Rector of Mungret in 1913, an office which afforded him ample scope for putting in practice his schemes for a sound system of Irish education. Besides religious and intellectual training, Father Cahill considered that the cultivation of patriotism, so much neglected in Irish schools in those days, should occupy a leading place in the College curriculum. Father Cahill's own mind was steeped in the history and traditions of his country. All who had the privilege of a personal ac quaintance with him will recall the thrill which swept his spirit at the sight of some noble Irish landscape, or by a visit to some historic locality such as the Rock of Cashel or the Glen of Aherlow, or St Kevin's sanctuary in Glendalough. Father Cahill was born when Irish had all but ceased to bę a spoken language, and he went to school before the revival of the national tongue had been undertaken. Not the least strik ing proof of the intensity of his patriotism was the zeal with which he applied himself amidst all his varied occupations, to the study of Irish.

With a mind and heart thus “pledged to Ireland”, Father Cahill made it his aim to revive in Mungret the knowledge and love of the Irish past, and to fire the hearts of the young with the patriotic ideals which were a part of his own life. Prominent leaders in Irish national life were invited to lecture to the boys. Amongst the most distinguished of these lecturers were An t-Uachtaran (Dr Douglas Hyde) at that time Pres of the Gaelic League; Rev Dr Henebry, the great authority on Irish music; Mr Francis J Bigger, MRIA, and Rev Thomas Finlay SJ. To encourage the study of Irish history and anti quities, Father Cahill offered an annual prize for the best Essay on some aspect of Irish life. By such means he strove to create & truly national spirit, and to counteract the policy of anglicisation that had made such deep inroads into Irish life.

Education for the Land
As an educator, Father Cahill was deeply concerned with the sociological aspects of Irish country life. While fully alive to the importance of business and the professions, he never lost sight of the fact that the land was the great source of Ireland's wealth, and that for the great majority of our young people Irish education should have a strong agricultural bias. From this point of view he judged that the programme of the then existing Intermediate Education Board was quite unsuited to the needs of the country. During the years spent at a secondary school the boy from the rural district lost contact with the land, and ac quired an unhealthy taste for urban life. At the same time Father Cahill was a strenuous opponent of the current idea that second ary education was not necessary for a far mer, or that if a boy received a secondary education and returned to the farm, his education was thrown away. In a pamphlet, published in 1919, and entitled “Rural Secondary Education”, he outlined a system of Education for the Land in which a boy, while receiving a good course of general culture, was at the same time given practical instruction in farming, and thus kept in constant touch with agricultural life. The problem of rural Ireland has to-day be come little short of a grave national crisis; and it may well be that the solution of this problem is to be found in Father Cahill's scheme of agricultural education.

The Mungret Social Study Club
The great Dublin Strike of 1912 took place the year before Father Cahill's appointment as Rector of Mungret; and for a long time after the public mind was preoccupied with the deep-seated social grievances which the Strike had revealed. It was in these circumstances that the Social Study Club was founded in Mungret in the Rectorship of Father Cabill. Besides the study and discussion of social questions, the boys engaged in active social work, collect ing money and clothes for the poor, and or ganising sports for the children of the locality. By means of the Social Study Club the senior boys were made familiar with the great problems of modern industrial life, and were instructed in the principal duties of citizenship. Is it fanciful to see in the Mungret Social Study Club the germ of “An Ríoghacht”?

Father Cahill Catholic Sociologist

Catholic Social Education
To the great majority of his fellow countrymen it was as a Catholic Sociologist that Father Cahill was a well-known, indeed, almost a national figure. It is no small indication of Father Cahill's intelligence and discernment that he should have perceived so keenly the widespread need in Ireland of thorough education in Catholic social principles. His sound diagnosis of the chief social ills from which our country suffers is an additional proof of that intelligence and discernment. For a time he looked around and waited, hoping that someone would appear who would launch a movement for the Catholic social education of Irish lay-people outside the Universities, where the “Leo Guild” had been doing good work amongst the students of University College. No one appeared, and so with that simple courage which was characteristic of him, he determined to be the pioneer himself. Though no longer young, he took up seriously the work of studying, teaching and writing on Catholic sociology. He was aware of his deficiencies in knowledge and training, and worked hard to remedy them. But if his learning had lacunae, Father Cahill had that shrewd penetration of intellect, that intuition of social needs and remedies, those qualities of character--sincerity, zeal for justice, courage, patriotism-which are more im portant for the sociologist than mere book lore.

An Ríogacht
Through Father Cahill's enterprise, the League of the Kingship of Christ (An Ríoghacht) was founded on the occasion of the first celebration of the least of Christ the King, October, 1926, Father Cahill was acutely conscious of the Deed of com-. bating the modern anti-Christian movement which seeks by all means, overt and hidden, to discredit Christianity and to substitute a purely secular ideal of life for the Christian ideal, He held that Ireland was by no means immune from the influence of this movement; rather, that the Irish Catholic Nation, for historical reasons, was in some ways more exposed to un-Catholic and un-Christian influences than any other Catholic people in Christendom. He sought a remedy in the teaching of recent Popes Leo XIII and his successors, especially Pius XI, had repeatedly insisted on a sound knowledge of Catholic social principles and on lay organisation as the pressing needs of the hour. Hence the objects which Father Cahill set before his newly-founded organisation. These objects are, briefly :

(a) To propagate among Irish Catholics a better knowledge of Catholic social principles.
(b) To strive for the effective recognition of these principles in Irish public life.
(c) To promote Catholic social action.

And the means used to achieve these objects are:

(1) Study-centres where members can work through a systematic course of Social Science.
(2) Public Lectures.
(3) The or ganisation of Summer Schools.
(4) The publication of pamphlets, as well as articles in current reviews and magazines.
(5) Independent research work on social matters by members.

For sixteen years An Ríoghacht has been pursuing these objects quietly but with considerable success. The study-circles are Well attended, Several of those who learned Catholic Social Science under its auspices, now occupy public positions in the State, and have an opportunity of putting their knowledge to good use. Three or four times a year An Ríoghacht organises public meet ings at which papers bearing on Irish social problems are read and discussed. These meetings are a means of propagating Cath olic social principles. An Ríoghacht has published several useful pamphlets on social questions. It has also attempted, though unsuccessfully, to publish a weekly review.

Irish Rural Problems
Next to his Faith, Father Cahill loved his native land, and promoted by his work and writing its material and cultural well-being. He was specially interested in the welfare of the country-people, believing with Gold smith, that a bold peasantry is its country's pride. In his opinion, the land of Ireland could easily support four times its present population. He was an advocate of small farms and plenty of tillage. As already mentioned, he deplored the urban bias of much of our education, and called for the establishment of rural secondary schools for the education of a race of enterprising, scientific farmers. For a period of his life he was in favour of organising cottiers on large estates directed by religious, as was customary on the medieval Irish monastic estates. He had in mind a similar scheme for the development of our sea-fisheries.

Principles of Social Reform
The ends which Father Cahill's social policy aimed at achieving were such as must recommend themselves to right-thinking Catholics. Regarding the means by which he proposed to attain those objectives - especially the economie means - not all Catholic sociologists would be disposed to agree with him. Thus towards the close of his life, Father Cahill was profoundly influenced by : the economic teachings of Major Douglas on the control of credit. He endorsed, on the whole, the Douglas criticism of the existing system, but rejected the positive proposals of the Douglas system, preferring the plan outlined in the Third Minority Report of the Banking Commission of 1988.

Last Years and Death
During the latter years of his life Father Cahill suffered from chronic ill-health, and after a lingering illness, borne with Christian fortitude and resignation, he died in Dublin on July 16th, 1941.

His funeral was attended by a distinguished gathering of the clergy and the laity. The Rt Rev Mgr James D'Alton, DD, President of May nooth College, presided at the Requiem Mass. Amongst the large number of clergy present were Very Rev P Canon Dargan, President, Clonliffe College; Very Rev T W O'Ryan, PP, St Audeon's; Very Rev M F Boylan, Adm, Pro-Cathedral; Very Rev J A Kelly, O.Carm, Prior, Orwell Road; Very Rev S P Kieran, SM, Provincial; Very Rev Laurence J Kieran SJ, Provincial, as well as many other Superiors and members of the Society of Jesus. The general attendance included An Taoiseach and Mrs. de Valera; Very Rev Bro J P Noonan, Sup-Gen., Christian Brothers; Mr P J Little, Minister for Posts and Telegraphs; Mr Frank Fahy, Ceann Comhairle; Mr Sean Brady, TD; Senator Liam Ó Buachalla, Senator Seán Goulding, Mr Kevin Haugh, SC, Attorney-General; Mr Justice Gavan Duffy, Mr P J Kenny, Acting Honorary Consul for Chile; the Supreme Knight and Council of Directors, Knights of Columbanus. An Ríoghacht was represented by Mr J Waldron, President; Mr B J McCaffrey, Secretary, and other members. The Catholic Truth Society was represented by Dr F O'Reilly, KCSG, Organising Secretary; and Mr Peadar O'Curry, Editor, represented Mr T P Dowdall, TD, the Chairman, and the Directors of “The Standard”.

For God and Ireland
In reviewing the manifold activities of Father Cahill's long and useful life, there springs instinctively to the lips, in all its depth of meaning, the time-honoured phrase: “For God and Ireland”.

Father Cahill appears, first and foremost, as the saintly priest and religious, living for Jesus Christ, and zealous for the spread of His Kingdom; then as a patriot with soul aflame with a passionate love of Ireland and the Gaelic heritage, and as à Catholic social reformer, toiling to mould the young life of a free and indepen-- dent Ireland in accordance with the great Christian social principles outlined by Pope Leo XIII and Pius XI, and in harmony with the cultural and economic life of the Irish people. While admittedly inexpert on many technical points of political and social economy, and advocating plans of reform that were open to question, it cannot be denied that Father Cahill's broad and general principles of social reconstruction were thoroughly sound.

Father Cahill did not live to see the fulfilment of his cherished hopes. Indeed, the closing years of his life were clouded with doubts and fears of Ireland's future, which found expression in his pamphlet entitled : “Ireland's Peril”, a work which strikes a very serious note of alarm for the Irish race both at home and abroad. As Father Cahill lay slowly dying in a nursing home in Leeson St, Dublin, Ireland was celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Easter Week, 1916. Twenty-five years is a short stage in the life of a nation, Progress journeys slowly by zig-zag paths of trial and error; and many problems in Ireland's cul tural, social and economic life are still out standing. If our country is to remain true to her religious and national ideals, she must in many things follow the path pointed out to her by Fr. Cahill. When the goal is at last attained, it may well be that a nation's voice may acclaim Father Cahill as one of the truest and noblest of Irish patriots, and rank him with the makers of twentieth century Ireland.

Cahill, Joseph B, 1857-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/996
  • Person
  • 13 January 1857-30 November 1928

Born: 13 January 1857, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1896
Died: 30 November 1928, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia

by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1895

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Stonyhurst.

After his Noviceship he spent a further two years at Milltown in the Juniorate, and then he was sent to Clongowes for Regency. At that time the Intermediate Cert was only two years in existence and he was given the task of preparing the boys for the senior grade. He also acted as a Sub-Prefect of Studies.
1891 He was back in Milltown for Philosophy, and then he returned for more Regency at Clongowes.
1888 He was sent to Louvain for Theology, and returned the following year when the Theologate at Milltown was opened, and he was Ordained there in 1890.
After Ordination he spent three years at Belvedere and was then sent to Roehampton for Tertianship.
1895 After Tertainship he was sent to Australia and started his life there at Xavier College Kew.
During his 33 years in Australia he worked at various Colleges : 19 at St Aloysius Sydney; 7 at St Patrick’s Melbourne - one as Prefect of Studies, two as Minister and Spiritual Father; 3 years at Riverview was Minister. He was also in charge of Sodalities, Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to Communities and boys, Examiner of young Priests and so on. Whatever he did, these were always part of his work.
He died at St Aloysius Sydney 30 November 1928

Earnestness and hard work were the keynotes of Joseph’s life. Whether praying, teaching, exercising, he was always the same, deadly in earnest. Imagination was for others! Time and reality were his benchmarks. At the same time he was immensely kind, very genuine if not so demonstrative. He was an excellent community man, a good companion and he enjoyed a joke as well as any other man.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Stonyhurst College and St Stanislaus Tullabeg before he entered the Society in Dublin.

1879-1880 After First Vows he continued at Milltown Park for a year of Juniorate
1880-1881 He was sent for a year of Regency at Clongowes Wood College, teaching Rhetoric, and as Hall Prefect and Assistant Prefect of Studies.
1881-1884 He returned to Milltown Park for Philosophy
1884-1888 He was back at Clongowes doing Regency, teaching Grammar, French and Arithmetic. He also prepared students for public exams.
1888-1889 He was sent to Leuven for Theology
1889-1891 He continued his Theology back a Milltown Park
1891-1894 He was sent to Belvedere College to teach Rhetoric and Humanities.
1894-1895 He made Tertianship at Roehampton, England
1895-1896 He was sent to Australia and firstly to Xavier College Kew
18996-1901 He moved to St Patrick’s Melbourne, where he was also Minister and Prefect of Studies at various times.
1901-1903 He returned to Xavier College
1903 He was sent as one of the founding members of the new community at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point.
1904-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius Riverview
1909 He returned to St Aloysius, Sydney, and remained there for the rest of his life.

Those who knew him say he was a most exact man in all he said and did. He was meticulous with dates and had a good memory for names and facts. He was also a fine raconteur and enjoyed conversation. He took an interest in the doings of those around him and longed for communication of ideas. He maintained a steady interest and curiosity in everything he approached. He appeared to have enjoyed his life.
He was also a man able to adjust to circumstances. He certainly had many changes of status in his earlier years. However, he was happy in the Society, wherever he lives, relishing every moment and enjoying the recollection of memories.
He was a teacher for 42 years, a man who prepared his classes most carefully and was regular and exact in correcting. He was absorbed in his work and completely dedicated to duty, absolutely punctual to class, a model of exactitude to others, and happy in the hidden daily routine of classroom teaching.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 4th Year No 2 1929

Obituary :
Fr Joseph Cahill
Fr. J. Cahill was born in Dublin on the 13th January 1857, educated at Stonyhurst, and entered the Society at Milltown Park 7th September 1876.The noviceship over, he spent two more years at Milltown in the juniorate, and was than sent to Clongowes. The “Intermediate” was just two years old, and Mr Cahill was entrusted with the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade. He also acted as Sub-Prefcct of Studies. in 1881 he began philosophy at Milltown, and when it was over returned to Clongowes as Master. 1888 found him at Louvain for Theology. Next year the new Theologate of the Irish Province was established at Milltown, and Mr Cahill was one of the first students. He was ordained in 1890. Three years at Belvedere followed, and then came the Tertianship at Roehampton. At its conclusion he bade farewell to Ireland, for in 1895 we find him a master at
Xavier College, Kew.
During the 33 years that Fr. Cahill lived in Australia, he worked in the Colleges - 19 years at St. Aloysius, 7 at St. Patrick's, 4 at Riverview and 3 at Xavier. At St Patrick’s he was one year Prefect of Studies and two years Minister and two Spiritual Father. Riverview had him as Minister for three years. He had charge of Sodalities, was Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to communities and boys, Examiner of young priests etc. But whatever else he did the inevitable “Doc” or “Par. alum. ad exam.public” always found a place in the list of his activities. According to the Catalogue of 1929 he was Master for 43 years. He crowned a very hard working, holy life by a happy death at St. Aloysius on Friday, November 30th 1928.
Earnestness, steady hard work were the key-notes of Fr. Cahill's life. Whether saying his prayers, teaching a class, making a forced march across the Dublin hills, or playing a game of hand-ball he was always the same - deadly in earnest. If imagination ever sought an entrance into his life - and it is doubtful if it ever did - the door was slammed in its face. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Fr Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him, of a surly disregard for others. Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of “the milk of human kindness” in his character. That kindness was very genuine, but not demonstrative. Fr. Joe was an excellent community man, a very agreeable companion, and he could enjoy a joke as well as the gayest Of his comrades.
Some one has said that it is easier to run fast for a minute than to grind along the dusty road for a day. Fr Joe did grind along the road, dusty or otherwise, not for a day only but for the 52 years he lived in the Society. RIP

Irish Province News 4th Year No 3 1929

Obituary :
Fr Joseph Cahill continued
The following appreciation of Fr. Cahill has come from Australia where he spent 33 years of his Jesuit life :
As a religious he was a great observer of regularity. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for class, his correction of home work etc. were the joy of the heart of the Pref. Stud. Amongst his papers were found the notes of his lessons up to the very last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy Convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar
with unvarying punctuality at 6.55. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars. For a number of years his chief break was to go in holiday time to hear confessions in some remote convents which but for him would have no extraordinary. He rarely preached as he lacked fluency and was rather unimaginative, but he was splendid at giving a short and practical address.This was shown during his time as director of the Sodality for Professional men attached to St. Patrick's Melbourne. Here he won the esteem of the best educated Catholics in the city and held it to the end.
He was a great community man, the life and soul of recreation. He was one of the working community to the end. When his doctor assured him that a successful operation was possible but unlikely, he decided to face it. He was suffering far more than was generally known, yet he worked to the end. He delayed the operation till he had taught his last class for the Public Exams in History, and then, packing a tiny bag and refusing to take a motor car to the hospital, he went cheerfully, like the brave soul he was, to face the danger. In a week he was dead, but it was typical of him that he lasted long after the doctors had given him but a few hours to live. He was a man who never gave up, and we are greatly poorer for his loss. May he rest in peace.

An old pupil of his at St. Patrick's writes as follows :
He was a man of most engaging personality and a great favourite with the boys. He took part in our games of football and cricket. Sometimes his vigour was not altogether appreciated, although we admired his tremendous energy. He was a simple, homely, engaging man, keen in everything he undertook. A fine servant of God with all the attributes of one of Nature's Gentlemen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Cahill 1857-1928
Born in Dublin on January 13th 1857, Fr Joseph Cahill spent twenty-three years of his life as a teacher in Australia. As a religious, he was a great observer of reality. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for classes, his corrections of class work, were the joy of the heart of the Prefect of Studies. Among his papers found after his death were ther notes for the last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar with unvarying punctuality at 6.55am. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars.

For a number of years, his chief break during vacations was to go to some remote convent, which but for him would have no extraordinary confessor.

When his doctor assured him that a successful operation for his complaint was possible but unlikely, he decided to take the risk. But, he delayed operation until he had taught his last class due for public examinations in History. Then packing a little bag and refusing to take a car to the hospital, he went cheerfully to his ordeal. He died within a week on November 20th 1928.

A fine servant of God, with all the attributes of one of nature’s gentlemen.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1928

Obituary

Father J B Cahill SJ

Father Joseplı Bernard Cahill died at Sydney on Friday, 30th November, 1928, after a brief illness. He was born in Ireland in 1857 and, after being educated at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, entered the Society of Jesus in 1876. Coming to Australia in 1895 on the completion of his studies, he was first sent to St Patrick's, and afterwards came to Xavier. After a couple of years at Xavier he went to Riverview and finally to St Aloysius, where he has been stationed for the last 18 years.

Father Cahill preserved a very live interest in everything Xaverian, and more especially in the doings of the Sydney Branch of the OXA, whose Patron he was. In spite of his seventy odd years Fr Cahill remained active to the end of his life. At the time of the Eucharistic Congress he was able to take part in all the functions of that crowded week. He had the joy of living a full life and dying in harness. May his soul rest in peace.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1929

Obituary

Father Joseph Cahill SJ

Three years ago we recorded in “The Aloysian” and celebrated at the College the Jubilee of Father Cahill-fifty years in the Society. And this year we cele brate the Jubilee of the foundation of the College. We should have wished to have Father Cahill, who had given twenty years consecutive good service to the College with us, but God wished otherwise. Last year he went to his reward, at the age of seventy-one, being born in 1857. He has, we hope, already entered on the great jubilee the eternal rest sung of in the Church's liturgy. And if our departed friends can know of and appreciate our wordly activities, and I think they can, Father Cahill is with us in spirit at our celebrations, keenly sympathetic.

Searching in one's memory for a word. to suggest the most characteristic fea. ture of Father Cahill, one finds one word continually recurring to mind - exactness.

For Father Cahill was exact in all he did and said. Like all historians he relished the dates of history, those num bers which give down to an exact point the deeds of man. And again he was exact in his memory of names and facts. If one hears a story often from the same person, one oftens notes slight discrep ancies in the telling, but with Father Cahill no, I have often heard him give his memories for example, of the famous case Saurin v. Starr, which had a peculiar interest to Catholics in the old world. ..... it was always the same as to fact in detail. He seemed to relate the details with a satisfaction which increased until the whole story finished, as it were, with a click of a complete adjustment and a smile in Father Cahill's face, as if one who would say “There you are, complete, exact the real and whole truth of this interesting little human comedy”. It was this obvious relish of telling that made his account. attractive to the listener. Father Cahill believed in and practised conversation, almost a lost art nowadays. “Tell me, now ...” he would question and at once you got going. He took an interest in all the doings of his fellow-men, and so longed for communication of ideas. Of all men and things with which he had contact at any time, he always retained an inter est. His days of schooling at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, his studies in Ireland and on the Continent, his years of teaching in Australia. His life was full and his life was interesting to himself, And again here we react back to the same idea - exactness.

The obvious interest of Father Cahill at all points of his life showed an ad justment to circumstance. We are interested in what is, from a mental.view point, both new and yet old ... linked up with the old and introducing something new. Father Cahill relished his life as a Jesuit, because he fitted exactly into the cadre. He was at home and happy in the Society where all essentials were old and familiar, and looked out on the world outside with the interest almost of a child watching a procession from a window, every detail recorded and its beauty and novelty a delight for that moment, and for years after too, : in memory. . It was this exact adjustment to his milieu which made Father Cahill essen tially a good religious and Jesuit, an exact and devoted teacher. Of the seventy one years of his life - he was born in 1857, and died in 1928 - forty-two years were spent in teaching, and until the very end he showed by his careful preparation for class and his careful cor rection of work done by his class, his absorption in the work at hand. It often has been said that a life of each ing is a life of obscurity - I suppose in one sense this is so. The world hears little of the teacher, but he leaves his mark of good or ill, and the example of Father Cahill with his exact devotion to duty, his absolute punctuality - of course, true to type he had a watch that was always right, though the house clock might sometime be wrong - was an object lesson to all. But the abiding memory which is uppermost, and does most to help one, still in the struggle of life, is the memory of one, exactly adjusted to his vocation and surroundings, doing exactly the work assigned, and obviously relishing that work. It is a lesson of the joys that follow the exact performance of what God wants done, a consolation to us all in a world seething with dis content. In brief Father Cahill was the “faithful and prudent servant” rendered manifest in the flesh - a model to us all, “faithful over few things”, and now, we trust, placed over many, as a reward for exact dutiful service.

PJD

◆ The Clongownian, 1929

Obituary

Father Joseph Cahill SJ

Father Cahill’s first experience of Clongowes was from the master's desk. (As a boy he had been in Stonyhurst.) He came here just two years after the “Intermediate” was started, and was given the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade, as well as acting as Sub-Prefect of Studies. Two years teaching then, and another spell of three years, from 1885 to 1888, and his work at Clongowes was done. Those who were taught by him know how well it was done. Some years later he left Ireland forever to do his work in Australia. No less than thirty-three years did he work in the Australian Colleges, and when death came it found him still active. Eamestness, steady, hard work were the key-notes of his life. Whether saying his prayers, teach ing a class, or playing a game, he was always the same-deadly in earnest. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Father Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him of a surly disregard for others, Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of the milk of human kindness in his character, and that kindness was very genuine, if not demonstrative. He crowned a very hard-working holy life by a happy death in the College of St Aloysius, Sydney, on November 30th, 1928. RIP

Callan, Bertram, 1879-1939, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1002
  • Person
  • 05 September 1878-07 May 1939

Born: 05 September 1878, Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1897, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1914
Died: 07 May 1939, Makumbi, Rhodesia - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1913 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

Calter, John A, 1885-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/84
  • Person
  • 06 May 1885-10 November 1946

Born: 06 May 1885, Newry, County Down
Entered: 20 June 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 10 November 1946, Ms Shuley's Home, Dublin

Part of St Mary’s community, Emo, County Laois at the time of his death.

by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

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

Obituary :
Fr. John Calter (1885-1916-1946)

Fr. Calter died at Miss Shuley's Home, Mount St. Crescent, Dublin, on Sunday, 10th November, at 8 a.m. Some four weeks previously he had been motored up from St. Mary's, Emo, suífering from serious asthma trouble. He appeared to be improving despite recurrent attacks, when he died very peacefully and somewhat unexpectedly. The funeral took place to Glasnevin after Office and Solemn Requiem Mass, at which Fr. Mahony, his Rector, was celebrant, on 12th November. R.I.P.
Fr. Calter was born at Newry on 6th May, 1885, and educated at the school of the Christian Brothers in the same place. Before his entrance into the Society on 20th June, 1916, he was for some fourteen years working as an accountant, first at The Newry Mineral Water Co., and later on the staff of Messrs. Knox, Cropper and Co., Chartered Accountants, Spencer House, London, E.C. After his two years' noviceship at Tullabeg he studied philosophy and theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 31st July, 1924. From 1926 to 1931 he was master and prefect at Mungret College and in the following year did his tertianship at St. Beuno's, North Wales. He was on the teaching staff at Clongowes during the years 1933-1938, when he was transferred to Belvedere College, where he remained, as procurator, till 1944, when failing health rendered a change advisable. He was at Milltown Park for a year, and then last July was given a rest at St. Mary's, Emo.
A former fellow-novice of Fr. Calter sends us the following appreciation :
“Father John Calter was what our telescopic vocabulary calls ‘a late vocation’. I well remember the evening - it was a lovely June day's close - when he first arrived in Tullabeg. Outwardly, he was certainly the average man's idea of the religious novice, but it did not take any of us long to discover that our new Brother (the very name would have jarred upon him) was going to be ‘up against it’. He was neat, fastidious, sensitive, frail and already in his thirties, and he had set young in his ways. We were for the most part breezy, care free, jovial and hefty young men. I shall always remember his noviceship as something akin to heroism. One visualises J.A.C. in a once smart and fashionable suit of light grey cloth, now the colour of Joseph's coat and the consistency of plate-mail from many layers of paint. It was his somewhat startling manual works outfit. In it he toiled leaf-collecting on the avenue and weed hacking on the long vanished Spiritual Meadow or performed the Weekly Offices and cleaned the fowl-run with nose physical and moral slightly averted, but hands and heart steady enough. One recalls, too, a memorable July day, his first in the noviceship and one which he loved to recall to the very end, when he carried - he alleged - an endless chain of buckets filled with scalding water from Coffee-scullery to the Old Dormitory, relaxing only for one minute to sit on the bottom step of the stairs and draw breath for the climb, but to be implored by the master of the company to rouse himself, praise God and pass the ammunition. Of course it was not all toil. He spent happy hours in the Sacristy, where his great taste in decoration and an enduring capacity for putting on a good show staged floral festivals that would have delighted the kind lady who sent the December roses and early lilies he enjoyed so much.
Perhaps it is true that Superiors tested this unusual late-starter more than most. He would have been the first to admit the justification for it. But he came through, not so much with flying colours as with colours nailed to the mast, surviving gallantly a last trial, the postponement of his vows until a ruling could be obtained that the ‘New’ Code of Canon Law did not abrogate the Jesuit privileges of making swiftly a perpetual self-dedication.
Noviceship over, he did not go to the University, but embarked at once, on his priestly studies, carrying them through without the usual break in Colleges. It was again a formidable task, for he had no special scholarly taste, and though his mind was orderly and his judgement good, he was well aware, as he told me during our student days, that he could aspire to nothing more than a good standard of priestly efficiency. It requires little effort to imagine the strain nine years of unbroken student routine meant to a man who was over forty when he was ordained.
On the conclusion of his studies, he was sent before and after his tertianship to the Colleges, first to Mungret and then to Clongowes, finally to Belvedere, each time as a bursar, a post which his pre-Jesuit activities as an accountant in his native town of Newry and in London made rather obvious. In addition he taught Religious Knowledge clearly and painstakingly, and business methods with uniform and rather marked success. At Mungret, now many stages behind him, I overtook him again and found him good to live with. He was loyal to a friend, up to and perhaps beyond partisanship. I remember an occasion on which a cherished scheme seemed about to fail, and J.A.C. came to the rescue, holding, on the last night of term, an impromptu concert at which he accompanied every item on the piano and provided the hit of the night by an undignified contest in mere speed with the boy who manufactured the violin music for the Irish dancing. At this time he had a strong hold on boys, not as much perhaps through their affection, for his character made little natural appeal to them, but rather by his determination to make them do their best for their own sake. Some years ago one of his pupils described to me ruefully, but gratefully, the appalling ordeal of being coached for an ‘interview’ for a position by this master of business-methods. It included a close examination of seventeen-year-old's ill-kept nails. But he got him the job.
At Clongowes he had less to do with boys, and in Belvedere scarcely anything. It was perhaps a pity, for the conventional clerk, which was certainly part of his make-up, became more apparent. But it was a scarcely avoidable pity, for with advancing years his health failed notably. He was forced to abandon the care of the little study which he had ruled with a rod of iron (but a minimum of strap) and in which office, as I can testify, no Prefect of Studies could have had a more faithful or reliable coadjutor. Year after year he would have one, two or three bouts of bad flu, and those who for the first time saw him down with one could easily believe his half-joking and often reiterated statement that he was dying. But he kept on. Gone in the end was much of his gaiety. He had a keen sense of humour and could give the most redoubted wit a Roland for an Oliver, but he used it chiefly in defence. In the end, too, he tended to be at times and in ways more difficult to work with, a little exacting and not always consistent. He himself was naturally so orderly and accurate in figures and papers and details that he perhaps exaggerated their importance or overlooked the difficulty they present to many not trained as he was. He had a great admiration for the Brothers' vocation, which he often expressed to me, and I think the late Br. James O'Grady had more of his affection and respect than any other friend. But he easily over looked the difficulties which lack of experience in a Brother or his lay staff.could create, and like many an admirer, tended to set quite impossible standards. With all this he did loyal service, and his twenty years of hard toil and uphill fight against ill health almost continuous and finally crushing, deserve recognition.
His more intimate life as a Jesuit was not so easy to fathom. Exact, he was, devout, conventional, a zealous retreat-giver, a steady upholder of law and rule, whether it pinched or not, and there was behind all a strength of will approaching passion and a simple devotion to Our Lord and His Mother which made him, at a word from Fr. Willie Doyle, leave his worldly prospects to go to the Irish bog and take up an uncongenial life and pursue it with dogged persistence in ever deepening pain and weariness till God crowned his efforts with a swift and peaceful death. I saw little of him in his last years, for I was much away, but am glad to remember that our last contacts were two trifling points of business, in one of which he served me and in the other of which I served a friend at his request. The request reached me in a letter, written a matter of days before his death. In it he characteristically said nothing of his illness, but made a wry half jest at his retirement to country life. That was the J.A.C. with whom those who really knew him were proud to share their vocation. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

Fr Calter died in Dublin on November 10th. Although he was six years at Belvedere, 1938-44, the boys who had him in class could scarcely have appreciated the many lovable qualities which lay hidden beneath his reserved exterior. Owing to his delicate health he was unable to undertake much work in the classroom, and even the few boys who had him for Religious Knowledge or Economics probably only regarded him as a good and painstaking but rather exacting teacher. Earnestress of purpose was indeed one of the salient features of his character, but those who knew Fr Calter well found other qualities besides - a great loyalty to a friend, a quiet gaiety and keen sense of humour, which not even his continual ill health could crush. Few would think that one who had so little contact with the boys would show any interest in their games, yet the Fr Calter Cup, which he presented to the College for swimming, bears witness to the very real interest he took in this side of the boys lives. We are glad to think that this cup will help to keep his memory alive in Belvedere for many years. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

Father John Calter died on November 10th, 1946, having patiently endured for many years bronchial trouble. He was born in 1885 at Newry and entered the Society of Jesus in 1916, having spent fourteen years in business as an accountant. He pursued his philosophical and theological studies at Miltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1924. He was master and prefect from 1926-31 at Mungret. He was strict and very precise in class but withal had a great and kindly interest in the students who were under his care. Many times, the Editor of the Mungret Annual, was corrected and correctly informed of the news of the Past by Father John.

He was attached to the teaching staff of Clongowes 1933-38 and at Belvedere 1938-44. He was then appointed Procurator at Milltown Park where he stayed until 1946. He then moved to St. Mary's, Emo Park, where he lived only for a few months. To his sister and relatives we send our deepest sympathy.

Camilleri, Carmelo, 1865-1933, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1004
  • Person
  • 02 May 1865-02 May 1933

Born: 02 May 1865, Mellieha, Malta
Entered: 14 August 1896, Birkirkara, Malta (SIC)
Professed: 15 August 1906
Died: 02 May 1933, Birkirkara, Malta

by 1916 came to Milltown (HIB) working 1915-1922

Campbell, Richard, 1854-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/86
  • Person
  • 24 January 1854-01 April 1945

Born: 24 January 1854, Sackville Street, Dublin
Entered: 16 September 1873, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 25 September 1887
Final Vows: 02 February 1892, Dublin
Died: 01 April 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1876 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Baptised 02 February 1854; Conformed 30 May 1865; First Vows 19 September 1875

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Richard Campbell (1754-1873-1945)

On Easter Sunday, 1st April, 1945, at Milltown Park, where he had spent the last few years of his life, Fr. Campbell died very peace. fully in his 92nd year. He had been anointed again on the day of his death, after he had contracted congestion of the lungs.
Born in Dublin, Sackville Street (as it was then called) on 24th January, 1946, son of Mr. John Campbell, who was twice Lord Mayor of the city, he was educated at Belvedere and Downside. He entered the Society at Milltown Park on 16th September, 1873, and had Fr. Aloysius Sturzo as Master of Novices. He spent one year of Humanities at Roehampton, London, and studied philosophy at Laval in France and then taught at Clongowes from 1879 till 1885. He did his theological studies at St. Beuno's, North Wales, and was ordained priest by Bishop Edmund Knight on 25th September, 1887. On his return to Ireland he taught at Belvedere College til 1890, when he made his third year's probation in Tullabeg, being at the same time Socius to Fr. William Sutton, Master of Novices.
During the following two years he was Minister at Milltown Park, and from 1893 to 1897 was on the teaching staff of the Junior House, Belvedere College. In the latter year he went to Tullabeg as Minister and Socius, posts which he held till the summer of 1906. After spending a year at Crescent College, Limerick, as Minister, he again taught at Belvedere (1907-1918) and at Mungret, where he was Spiritual Father as well. After a two years period at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister, under Fr. John Sullivan as Rector, he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, in 1926, and remained there till 1943.
Two of Fr. Campbell's brothers were Benedictine priests, both of whom predeceased him. One of these, Dom Ildephonsus Campbell. O.S.B., was lost on the 'Leinster' in 1918 on his way back to Coventry from Mungret College, where he had been making his retreat.
An old Belvederian, who knew Fr. Campbell well, the Most Rev. Francis Wall, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, in a letter of sympathy on his death, written the Superior of Gardiner Street on 2nd April, sums up very appositely, we think, the story of the seventy three years he spent in the Society:
“He was a grand soul, always at work for his Master, but moving so unobtrusively at it, in our midst”.
Outwardly those year's were not spectacular. They marked the even succession of ordinary tasks faithfully and even meticulously performed, as is the case in so many Jesuit lives. Fr. Campbell was a religious of remarkable devotion to duty, of a regularity out of the common, faithful and punctilious to a fault, sincere in his friendships, which were deep and lasting. Behind a brusqueness of speech and manner, which to casual acquaintances seemed gruffness, was an eager and almost hypersensitive soul, around which his iron will, bent on self conquest, had erected a rampart of fictitious asperity. All through his life, this sensitiveness, securely screened from casual observation by his manner, was his greatest cross. Far from rendering him self centred or selfish, this characteristic of his bred in him an almost intuitive sympathy with others, especially those who suffered from loneliness and misunderstanding”.
Fr. Campbell had a very special talent for dealing with young schoolboys. He could inspire them with a lofty idealism in all that pertained to truth, duty and loyalty, and employed many ingenious ways of stirring them to class-rivalry. Without any conscious effort he won their abiding affection, while instilling in their young hearts a solidly Catholic outlook which rendered them proof against the storms of later life. On several occasions his pupils of the Junior House, Belvedere College, have left on record the feelings of regard and affection which they had for him. For example - in January, 1889 - in an ‘Address’ of thanks, which bears among other signatures that of E. Byrne, later Most Rev. Edward Byrne, Archbishop of Dublin, or in that quaint little sheet, decorated with shamrocks “Presented to Fr. Campbell on your retiring from teaching this 6th February, 1897, as a small token of gratitude for your entiring efforts to get us on in our studies”. From a few of his pupils of '96.' This was on the occasion of his going to Tullabeg as Socius. Another, undated. 'Address' to him from his boys in Belvedere runs as follows: “Fr. Campbell, the very kind attention shown by you to us during the past two years was so considerate that the boys cannot refrain from offering you this small token of affectionate gratitude. Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a long one”.
The same zeal and devotion which characterised his dealings in the class-room were maintained in all spheres of Fr. Campbell's labours, most especially during the long period in the priestly ministry which he spent at Gardiner Street. Despite his growing infirmities he was ever at his post of duty, whether in the pulpit or confessional, at the sick bed or in the parlour, at his own prie-dieu in his room or the little table in the Domestic Chapel giving the Community his Exhortation as Spiritual Father.
The Long Vacation the boys spoke of has come for him at last, and his mortal remains lie in the exact spot he had hoped would be free for him, just inside the railing of the Society Burial Plot, only a few feet from the grave in which his father and mother lie. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Campbell SJ 1854-1945
Fr Richard Campbell was one of those men, who by force of character make an indelible impression on his generation. He was the most quoted man of the Province on account of his pithy remarks, whilst at the same time, most revered for his austerity of life and fidelity to duty.

Born in Sackville Street Dublin, as it was then, on January 24th 1854, he received his early education at Belvedere and Downside, entering the Society in 1873.

It was as Socius to the Master of Novices that he left his imprint on generations of future Jesuits. One of these novices at least, testified to the austerity of his own life afterwards, and that was Fr Willie Doyle.

As Minister of one of our houses Fr Campbell coined the immortal expression “The first year I tried to please everybody and failed, the sencod year I tried to please nobody and succeeded”.

His manner outwardly seemed brusque, but this was really a defence mechanism to cover a sensitive nature, which made him keenly sympathetic with those souls who were lonely and misunderstood.

He live to the age of 92 and died at Milltown Park on April 1st 1945.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father Richard Campbell SJ
Belvedere, 1864-67 - died on Easter Sunday, April ist, in his 91st year,

After leaving Belvedere, he went to Downside with two younger brothers, both of whom became Benedictines.. The elder, Fr Ildephonsus Campbell OSB, was drowned when the Mail Boat, Leinster was torpedoed off the Kish Lightship in 1918. The younger, Fr Martin Campbell OSB, who died in 1938, had been for many years Parish Priest of Beccles, Suffolk.

Fr. Richard was for many years connected with Belvedere. Shortly after his ordination in 1887, he began a connection with his old College, which was to last with some intervals for nearly thirty years. Through all those years he won not only the respect but also the genuine affection of the boys he taught. Those who knew him but slightly sometimes wondered at this, for to casual acquain tances Fr Campbell's manner seemed gruff and brusque. Those, however, who knew him best - most of all, the boys for whom he worked - soon realised that this external manner was but a cloak for an extremely sensitive and affectionate heart. Shy by nature, he found it hard to make advances, but once contact had been established there was no limit to his response. How fully his boys understood him - and he them - is wittiessed by the little addresses which they presented to him, not once only, but many times during his years in Belvedere :

“We the Junior pupils of Belvedere College on resuming our Studies beg most earnestly to testify our respectful and at the same time grateful appreciation of your qualities ... as the guide and master in whom we trust as conscientiously endeavouring to shape our futures both spiritual and temporal. We return dear father (sic) after Christmastide to College with the firm resolution of pursuing our Studies with renewed vigour, and, as far as it is possible for us, to your satisfaction”.

The date is January, 1889, and among the signatories is E. Byrne, who was thirty years later to become Archbishop of Dublin, J A Coyle, Lucien Bull and many other names which are familiar to us.

Seven years later, the boys protest at his being removed from Belvedere to be Assistant Master of Novices in Tullabeg, is quaintly worded :

“ Presented to the Rev Father Campbell as a small token of gratitude for your untiring efforts to get us on in our studies, and as a protest for your retiring from teaching on this 6th February 1897.
From a few of his pupils of 96: Érin go Brágh”. Among the names appended are A McDonald, W Fallon, H Redmond, W Doheny, E O'Farreli and P O'Farrell

There are many other testimonials, and, per haps we may cite the words of just one more. It was presented by the Boys of II Grammar and bears no date, but the concluding words are -

“Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness, and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a Long one:.

The long vacation has come for Fr Campbell, and looking back on the years of faithful work we may surely say that it is an eternally happy one. May he rest in Peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Richard Campbell (1854-1945)

Born in Dublin, educated at Belvedere and Downside, and admitted to the Society in 1873, was at the Crescent as a scholastic in 1878-1879 and again as minister of the house, 1906-1907. He was many years on the teaching staff of Belvedere College and in Gardiner St Church.

Canavan, Joseph E, 1886-1950, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/28
  • Person
  • 26 May 1886-25 January 1950

Born: 26 May 1886, Kune-Khandala, Maharashtra, India
Entered: 07 September 1904, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1919, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1923, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome Italy
Died: 25 January 1950, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1909 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1922 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1923 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Canavan, who, as briefly recorded in our last issue, is attending Congresses, at San Sebastian and Barcelona, writes on 12th-13th September from the former place:
"The trip out was pleasant and rapid. Señor Don Jose Arnau, who leaves for Dublin tomorrow, met me at the frontier, saw me through the customs and drove me to San Sebastian, a perfectly lovely place. I had hardly arrived at the Residence when I was called on the phone by the Irish Loreto nuns at Las Arenas, near Bilbao, asking when I was going to them. They had received permission from the Bishop for me to give them a couple of talks and to hear the confessions of the community! I fancied I was back in Milltown Park. Our Fathers have been extremely kind, in fact everyone goes out of his way to do me services. On Saturday last I got up at 4 o'clock, caught an early train and said Mass at Loyola in a chapel all silver, the altar silver, the very flooring of silver. To-day some Spanish friends are driving me to Pamplona and Puente la Reina, and I shall try to see Xavier, and that will take in most of Navarra..
We opened the Conversaciones with Mass and Breakfast at the Episcopal Palace. The Nuncio presided, flanked by a Bishop on his right and left. The Council then set up three Commissions, and I am or one. We speak French and English and Spanish to a lesser extent. The resolution on Liberty of Education adopted practically entire the account I had given of the Irish outlook and system, and has recommended it to the general body. We have Spaniards, Portuguese, Brazilians, English, French, Italians, Swiss, Belgians and Dutch on our committee. We meet twice a day for two hours or so each time, and now and again we have a plenary session in the evening. Yesterday we were invited to a reception given by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, which I refrained from attending, as I had had a long day already, what with my trip to Loyola and my attendance at the Conversaciones in the afternoon. I forgot to mention that at Loyola I offered Mass for the Province and its needs”.

13th Monday :
“Yesterday I drove to Pamplona through the mountains of Guipuzcoa and Navarre, saw the spot where St. Ignatius was wounded, had dinner with some friends at Puente la Reina and then went on to Xavier. One of the Fathers there had been at Milltown, and another knew Fr. Joy at Rome. It was a wonderful day spent in a country vibrating with the memory of St. Ignatius and St. Francis, On Wednesday I go to Bilbao, then to Oña, Burgos, Valladolid, Salam anca and Madrid. The Minister for Foreign Affairs (a former President of Catholic Action in Spain) has presented me with a Kilometrico, a document which entitles me to travel first-class and free over 5,000 kilometers in Spain. The climate here is rather like Ireland's : plenty of rain, some storms, but much hotter when the sun shines. The other side of the Sierras, in Navarre there is little or no rain, the land is dry and rather parched, and the vine and olive flourish. Loyola is in a pleasant green valley, Xavier is a hard, severe, austere barren, opening in the hills. Spain is a country of sudden violent contrasts, but the people, at least here in the north, are splendidly Catholic...!”

Irish Province News 25th Year No 2 1950

Obituary

Fr. Joseph Canavan (1886-1904-1950)

Father Joseph E. Canavan. Born Khandalla, India, 26th May, 1886. Educated St. Mary's High School, Bombay and Clongowes Wood (1901-1904).
At. C.W.C. he gained high priase for his maiden speech in the Higher Line Debating Society in his last year.
Cricket : On the House XI, second in batting averages and first in bowling averages. Soccer : On the House XI. Athletics : Easter Sports, 1904 won the Higher Line 100 yards and 2nd in the 440.
Entered Novitiate 7 September, 1904. Juniorate, got B.A., Philosophy at Stonyhurst, 1908-1911.
Taught at C.W.C. 1911-1917. Theology at Milltown, 1916-1920. Taught for a year at C.W.C., 1920-1921. Editor Clongownian. Tertianship - Tronchiennes, 1921-1922.
Biennium, Rome, 1922-1924.
Prof. Philos. at Milltown, 1924-1931 and at Tullabeg, 1930-1933.
Prof. Theol. Milltown Park, 1933-1949. Praef. Stud. Milltown Park, 1947-1949. Elector at General Congregation, September October, 1946. Died, St. Vincent's Nursing Home, 25th January, 1950,
“I was taught here to accept success without arrogance and defeat without repining. I was taught here, by precept and example, the lessons of truth, of chivalry and of manliness”. This extract from John Redmond's speech at the Clongowes Centenary Celebrations is quoted with approval by Father Joseph Canavan in an article which he wrote for the Riverview College Magazine in 1948.
It is revealing in a two-fold manner. It shows directly something of what Father Canavan thought of his Alma Mater, and it shows indirectly and unconsciously something of the man himself. The revelation, limited as it is, is valuable because he was not one who opened his heart readily, fearless in expressing his convictions, he kept his sentiments to himself. Bearing in mind the words, we may review the chief activities of his life as a Jesuit.
After his Biennium in Rome - which gained for him the coveted degree of Magister Aggregatus of the Gregorian University - he returned to Ireland to begin the unbroken course of teaching which ran from 1924 to 1949 : Philosophy for nine years and Theology for sixteen years. One of his students has kindly supplied the following impression of Father Canavan as a Professor of Philosophy :
“I was lucky enough to have Fr, Canavan for my three years of Philosophy and to have him as my professor for three of the six main subjects, i.e., for Critica, Cosmology and Ethics. The years were 1929-1932, the heyday of his professorship. He was clear and incisive in exposition, cutting away irrelevancies. He never went in for spoon feeding - his students had to make a considerable personal effort. There were no such things in those days as polycopied pages handed round, each philosopher had to make up the theses for himself. This system was excellent for the averagely intelligent - though it must be admitted that the weaker brethren found it rough going. Fr. Canavan lectured, in the true sense of the word. When the main point of the thesis had been dealt with clearly, succinctly, he sat back, as it were, and began to open up larger horizons - allied questions in the same subjects, the interconnection of the various disciplines, the points of contact with modern thought (how often he brought into class articles from contemporary reviews, cuttings from newspapers and the like!). In the light of his future activities, which seem to have been connected mainly with ethical and moral questions, it is interesting to note that his first and deepest love was metaphysics. (Later on, in Louvain, I was reminded of him time and again by the professing of Pere Pierre Charles.) He took a great personal interest in his students, and this was especially evident in his dealings with them outside class. Always at their service in his room, he was affable and stimulating. One of his most outstanding traits was his way of talking to you as man to man - he never condescended. Even - or perhaps particularly - in his treatment of the least philosophically minded was this true. It was ever his habit to speak to you on his own level of intelligence. For him you were a grown-up, not a school-boy, and an intelligent grown-up, at that. He gave you confidence, drew you out of yourself, made you face difficulties, both philosophical and personal. A true educator”.
When Father Canavan came to teach Theology, his method and his manner did not change and his classes were almost to a man as enthusiastic about their Professor as his classes in Philosophy had been. And a point not mentioned in connection with Philosophy, he was an ideal examiner. His questions were clear and fair. He put the candidate at his ease with a sympathetic courtesy which, without impairing the rigour of the examination, did much to diminish its nervous strain.
Without ever neglecting his main work - that of Professor - he contrived to meet, to a great extent, the demands that were made for his services by the many externs who were not slow to recognise his ability. He had a masterly grasp of business, and a fund of tact and patience which made him an excellent committee-man and chairman, and won for him many tributes, of which the following is an example :

An Appreciation :
“I had not set eyes upon Father Canavan for ten years, but my brief encounters with him in 1938 and 1939 when I served with him as a member - under his chairmanship - on the Citizens Housing Council are so clear that they might have occurred yesterday. There was more than one man of character on that Council, and more than one man of high distinction. I met none who was not proud to serve under Father Joseph Canavan.
As one in charge of a major social programme, he had the ideal qualifications - of tenderness, of incisiveness, and of what, for want of a better phrase, I may call social conscience. He possessed also, in very high measure, that courtesy which, above all else, is desirable in the controller of a committee. I am not in fault, I think, in saying that at least one very high ecclesiastic of the Church of Ireland would second my weakness in this respect. As a layman, Joseph Canavan would have proved himself eminent in this or any other State. To his capacity for the leadership of men he added the finest qualities of a priest of God. Such at least is the sentiment of one who admired and loved him”. W.A.N. (Irish Times, 26/1/50).

In addition to the Housing Council just referred to, he served on the Governmental Commission on the Civil Service. His work for the Civics Institute won an expression from that body not only of grief at his death, but also of grateful appreciation.
His many lectures to externs on a variety of subjects, from Medical Ethics, Miracles, Church and State, to Matt Talbot were marked by thorough knowledge and clear expression. His writings ranged from poetry for instance, the Clongowes Centenary Ode to the scientific prose of his Biennium Thesis, entitled : “De Iure Proprietatis ; Sententia Hodiernorum Collectivistarum comparata cum Doctrina S. Thomae et Doctorum Scholasticorum”. And in all of them, the standard was high - nothing that he did was second-rate.
His interest in Social Science found early expression when as a young priest in Clongowes he was appointed director of the Leo Guild, and manifested itself soon after in his choice of the subject for his Biennium Thesis. That interest was maintained all his life and it was not merely the theoretical interest of a detached observer, it was the practical interest of one who had at heart the welfare of those in need and who did not spare himself trouble when there was question of helping them. The full extent of the services rendered by him in the sphere of practical sociology cannot be estimated, for they were as unostentatious as was his practice of private charity.
There were, I think, several stages in getting to know Father Canavan. And for those who did not go the whole way it would have been easy to misjudge him. Speaking in a general way, it may be said that the first impression was that one had met a brilliant thinker, a witty conversationalist, a man of the world, polished and thoroughly competent to hold his own in any company. This impression was followed often enough by another, less favourable. An element of vanity, of cock-sureness, of cynicism, seemed to emerge and become conspicuous. At this second stage, the effect of the brilliance and the wittiness wore off, and the views expressed - and still more the manner of their expression - became irritating. How was it then that Father Canavan enjoyed the high esteem and the warm and loyal friendship of so many people, both inside and outside the Society? The reason was because there was a third stage, reached by those who recognised the truth : that the cock-sureness was but the incisive expression of views clearly formulated and sincerely held; that the vanity, such as it was, was the product of a childlike simplicity; that the cynicism was a defensive armour, hiding and protecting a profound sensitiveness. And, making fair allowance for these mannerisms, one had not to know him for long to detect his extraordinary kindliness. This is the trait which made the deepest impression on those who knew him best.
His judgements on men might be severe (though never unjust), but whenever he could do anyone a good turn, he did it, generously and graciously. He could not abide humbug or pretensions, but he could and did sympathise with misfortune, with weakness, with lack of ability. Of malice or meanness, there was not a trace in him. If he was sensitive, and I believe he was, he did not betray it. If he was disappointed, he did not complain. I fear that Superiors were sometimes tempted to overburden him with work, because of his readiness to accept any task and his prompt and efficient discharge of it.
He did not make a parade of personal piety, but the solidity of his religious life was proved by his religious regularity, his obedience, his punctilious care in asking for leaves, and his loyalty to the Society. I never made a retreat under him, but I am told that, when giving an eight-day retreat, he used to devote two full days to the study of the character of Our Lord.
It is not surprising that, in his last illness, after months of unrelenting pain, his patience should have occasionally worn thin but a remark made by him not long before the end was an eloquent revelation of the real man - his nurse was about to give him an injection to relieve his agony, but he refused to accept it, saying: “I want to die in pain”.
If I were to suggest that he was faultless, he himself would be the first to protest - and with vigour. But, I do firmly hold that, if chivalry be understood in the Ignatian sense of the word, those lessons of truth, and chivalry, and manliness, which he learned as a boy, remained ever deeply impressed in the heart and were consistently and nobly followed in the life of Father Joseph Canavan.

◆ The Clongownian, 1950

Obituary

Father Joseph Canavan SJ

A friend writes :

On that cold, bleak day last January when So many assembled in Gardiner Street Church to pay a last tribute to Father Canavan perhaps the most remarkable feature of a poignant morning was the number and variety of those present who regarded him as their own most intimate friend and who felt his death as a loss peculiar to themselves and themselves alone. This thought threw a vivid light on one of the many facets of Father Canavan's enchanting personality. He truly had a genius for friendship and an ability to enter wholly and with complete understanding and sympathy into the lives of those who were fortunate enough to be included in that circle; a circle which he always, half-humourously, like to consider an eclectic one. What were the most prominent features of that many sided character which won the l'espect and admiration of all who met him, even casually, and the love of those who were admitted to his friendship?

The clear and comprehending intellect fortified by a robust and unsentimental common sense gave him a rare mental equipment. His approach to a subject and later, his considered view on it had a diamond-like clarity and outline which was most stimulating in these days when views and opinions are so often more remarkable for wooliness than for clarity. This intellect expressed itself with an Addisonian pungency and, very often, a searing and Sardonic wit. The latter was reserved for the exposure of pretentiousness, cant and humbug in all their varied forms. To him
Truth and Justice were supreme and in their defence the feelings of individuals counted for nought. Anyone endeavouring to obscure the one or obstruct the other swiftly had cause to regret their temerity for they were instantly assailed by the exposing probe of that clear brain and razor tongue. How often were pretentions and intellectual dishonesties killed by one vivid shattering phrase? He operated skilfully on petty vanities with a scalpel and often without an anaesthetic. The exercise of these gifts on such occasions and on such persons was, at times, the cause of resentment and even anger but later a realisation of the essential truth and justice of the cause was borne in upon the sufferer, respect and admiration overcame the emotions earlier aroused. To those, and they were legion who sought his aid and guidance in difficulty he gave upstinted sympathy and understanding but clear, detached and impersonal advice which was uniformly and admirably effective even if, at times, the recipient found it unflattering. This detachment and lack of sentiment made his opinion much sought and being treasured for what it was it was the source of much Platonic “right action”. His influence was vast and his views were widely canvassed for be possessed a unique gift for resolving the abstruse problems which beset the modern world demonstrating that they were of mere passing interest and importance when brought into perspective and proportion with the eternal verities.

Father Canavan's spiritual life was strictly private to himself but was obviously illuminated by a faith simple, sincere and powerful and was the source of spiritual strength and refreshment to those who realized its simple vigour. A full appreciation of his inner life could be experienced only by a religious and a mysticma layman could but stand in awe and refresh himself in its effulgence.

Lest this brief memoir should have created an impression overwhelming in its accumulation of virtues but slightly super human and chilly the portrait must be completed by recalling the warm courageous humanity and the tolerant enjoyment of life which were his most endearing traits. So many other facets spring readily to mind - the scintillating conversationalist who held a rapt table effortlessly - the dashing batsman who wooed gracefully a fifty or a century from the panting but admiring bowiers - the urbane, cultured gentleman - the poor but cheerful bridge player - the pleasant companion and above all the steadfast friend. To everything he did he brought enthusiasm and skill and in most he excelled. To some, his proper and just realization of his gifts was counted arrogance but to those who knew and understood it was but simple justice and a refusal to indulge in false modesty.

The last months of his life were lived in great pain and, often, agony harrowing to those who witnessed them but here again he rose superbly to his full stature for he displayed during all those months a Roman courage, a fortitude, a gentleness and a faith so magnificent that one friend, at least, can face the future strengthened and ennobled and secure against many fears.

No coward soul is mine;
No trembler in the world's stoem troubled sphere;
I see Heaven's glories shine,
And faith shines equal arming me from fear

-oOo-

A Jesuit who had studied philosophy and theology under Fr. Canavan, sends this appreciation of him as a professor :

With Father Canavan, you knew, as you listened, that it was a good lecture. For one thing, he had the supreme power of bringing out the dominant ideas of a tract; he could talk for an hour on those ideas, sometimes he spent a week on them but he was never tiring on them. By metaphors, popular asides, topical illustrations and well-told stories he held your interest but he fixed your attention ultimately and surely on the fundamental notions of the matter.

Not that he did not give you detailed matter also. He supplied all the mechanism of the Schools, the tidy definitions, the exact syllogisms, the neat distinctions. He was meticulous about preparation and whether he lectured on theology, philosophy or pedagogy his work bore the stanıp of reading and thinking and showed the noble pride of a craftsman in doing his work well. In detail, as in general, his point of view was as clear to his class as to himself,

His voice was more of a help to him than most people recognised. At first its metallic ring was all that one noticed but it had more flexibility and expression than was at first apparent. On one occasion, dealing with the promise of the Blessed Eucharist in the sixth chapter of St John, he came to the end of the scene where Christ turns to the Apostles and asks; “Will you also go away?” To this day I can remember Father Canavan giving the answer “Domine, quo ibimus?” In a way which brought out the perplexed and almost pathetic loyalty of a St Peter who always loved Christ and still loved Him even when he no longer understood Him. Father Canayan was well endowed with all the gifts of a teacher.

But, at least in dealing with philosophy and the philosophical questions connected with theology, he was more than a mere teacher. He created intellectual enthusiasm : the great questions of being and knowing, of causality and finality, took on an almost poetic excitement. These problems, over which Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas had brooded, appeared as the root problems of humanity; even poetry, drama and science seemed ancillary to this supreme use and expression of the mind of man; philosophy lay spread before us as sky of majestic clouds and infinite deeps. I suppose that you could hardly call Father Canavan's intellect massive but it was brilliant, nimble and inspiring.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Canty, William, 1869-1944, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1007
  • Person
  • 16 July 1869-08 March 1944

Born: 16 July 1869, Charleville, County Cork
Entered: 29 October 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 08 March 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 2 1944
Obituary :
Brother William Canty SJ (1858-1943)

Brother Canty died a happy, peaceful death at Milltown Park, on March 8th. He was born at Charleville, on July 16th, 1869, and entered the Society on 29th October, 1890. He came into touch with the Society through the instrumentality of Mrs. O'Mahony, two of whose sons, after having studied in Clongowes, became Jesuits.
Nearly all Brother Canty's work for God was confined to the tailor's shop, where he was not only a model of tireless work, but also very expert. He valued highly the quiet of such a scene of activity : “It's so much easier” he would say, “to get in a fair amount of prayer when you have no one disturbing you”. He was for a time Sacristan in Galway, looking after the altar boys as well as the Church. The best comment on his good influence on these lads was the visit that two of them, now living in Dublin, paid to Milltown to visit the remains.
His was a quiet, unobtrusive figure. He was the servus bonus et fidelis to whom the rich reward is promised. One felt in him, as the years went by, the growth of the spiritual deeper and simpler. It was another example of what Fr. Martindale has so truly said of St. Alphonşus, the type. “It may be that old men of this type I will not say the complete expression of the type, like Alonso are not so seldom to be met with in the ranks of lay-brothers of religious Orders. Perhaps anyone who has lived in a larger house of some such Order a house of Studies, for instance, will remember more than one of these gentle old men, full of profound spiritual insight expressing itself often in acts of the most pathetic childlikeness or downright childishness”. Again he says, and we should like to make his words our own, “Let so much, then, be said in homage of Alonso, and in affectionate recollection of not a few of his brothers, still, or not long since, among us”.
Some of this simplicity in Br. Canty's character appeared in his love of the birds. Twice or oftener in the day one might see him come with a few crusts from the Refectory, which he crumbled for the sparrows, finches and even blackbirds. They had got so used to his kindly ministrations and quiet ways that he could walk among them without disturbing them unduly.
One of the gifts he had received from God was that of unfailing good health. He said he had not ailed for 17 or 18 years. On this account he may have been a trifle rash in ignoring the bronchitis that attacked him and which developed into pneumonia, and carried him off after a few days illness. He said, just after the anointing, that he was glad to die in Milltown above any other house in the Province, his reason being that in no other house would he find so many Priests who would speed him on his way with the gift of the three Holy Masses. There were over 50 Priests in the house at the time,
He has left a kindly, holy memory behind him. May God give him the eternal reward of his temporal labours in His House,
He worked in many Houses of the Province : Tullabeg, Clongowes, Galway, Mungret and Milltown Park. He had celebrated his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit. The details of his years of service being : Tullabeg 10, Clongowes 12, Galway 9, Mungret 6, and Milltown 16, R.I.P.

Carbery, Robert, 1829-1903, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1010
  • Person
  • 27 September 1829-03 September 1903

Born: 27 September 1829, Cobh, County Cork / Green Park, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 20 October 1854, Amiens France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1855, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1866
Died: 03 September 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1875 at St Beuno’s Wales Rhyl Parish (ANG) health

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Came from a well known and highly respected family in the Youghal district, and was a general favourite among all classes there.
Early education was local, and then he went to Trinity, and also studied at Clongowes where he did some Theology. He then went to Maynooth for Theology, and was Ordained there. Soon after he Entered the Society.

After First Vows he was sent teaching at Tullabeg, and he was there for twelve years.
He was then appointed Rector of Clongowes. His charm and character won him great admiration and affection from his students there.
He was then sent as Rector to UCD. Here he found his métier. Under his tenure he raised the stature of the College for teaching in Ireland.
When he retired from UCD he was sent to Milltown, and was involved in giving Retreats to Lay people and Religious.
He enjoyed good health up to a few days before his death. He contracted a bad cold which quickly became more serious, and even the ministrations of Sir Francis Cruise were able to impede its progress.
(Taken from “The Freeman’s Journal’ 04/09/1903)

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was to have gone to the Congregation which elected Father Luis Martin of Spain, but bad health kept him away, and Robert Carbery replaced him as 1st Substitute.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Robert Carbery 1829-1903
Fr Robert Carbery was born in Youghal County Cork on September 27th 1829. Strange to relate, according to his biographer, he went first to Trinity College and then to Clongowes. He was ordained a priest in Maynooth and became a Jesuit soon after in 1854.

He taught for about twelve years in Tullabeg and then became Rector of Clongowes. He is best remembered, however, as Rector of University College. His tenure of office was one of the most successful in the history of the College, and may be said to have constituted it to the centre of higher Catholic education in this country.

The last years of his life he spent in Milltown Park engaged in the work of giving retreats. He died in this house on September 3rd 1903.

He wrote a book on devotion to the Sacred Heart, and his pamphlet on the Novena of Grace did much to spread that devotion.

◆ The Clongownian, 1904

Obituary

Father Robert Carbery SJ

by Father Matthew Russell

Father Robert Carbery has more than one claim to be specially commemorated in these pages : he was a Clongowes boy, a Clongowes professor, and a Clongowes Rector. He was born in the year of Catholic Emancipation, and sufficiently late in the year 1829 to be from his birth one of the emancipated. His birthday was the 27th of September, a domestic feast in the Society of which he was destined to be a member - not on account of any special devotion to the saints of the day, Cosmas and Damian, but because that day is the anniversary of the confirmation of the Society by Pope Paul III, through the Bull “Regimini Militantis Ecclesia”, dated September 27, 1540.

Robert, son of William Carbery (of Green Park, Youghal), and Elizabeth Olden, was born at the Cove of Cork, which twenty years later changed its undignified name of Cove into Queenstown, in honour of Queen Victoria's first visit to Ireland, with perhaps a better reason than Dunleary had for becoming Kingstown in honour of the last of the Georges. His home, however, was not Cove but Youghal, that interesting old town “at the mouth of the exquisite Blackwater, which is the Anniduff of Spenser and the Avondhu of many an Irish tale and legend”. Here it was that Sir Walter Raleigh.smoked the first tobacco seen in Europe (and much more important), planted the first potato. The house in which he lived is well preserved, with its “outhanging oriel window in which Spenser read the beginning ‘Faery Queen’ to Raleigh”. (Some of these phrases are taken from a delightful paper, At Youghal, by Lady Gilbert, in The Irish Monthly, vol. xix,, pp. 617-627.)

Robert Carbery's father, and his uncle Andrew Carbery, of Shamrock Lodge, Dungarvan, were among the first Catholics appointed to the office of Justice of the Peace after Catholic Emancipation. They were the chief instruments in introducing the Christian Brothers into Youghal and Dungarvan.

I have sought in vain for some particulars concerning Robert Carbery's childhood. The Right Rev Monsignor Keller, the beloved pastor of Youghal, conjectures that young Carbery attended a school established there about that time by a zealous curate, the Rev John Russell, afterwards Dr Keller's predecessor as Dean of Cloyne. († Mr. Joseph Carbery, of Beila Vista, Queenstown, tells me that his brother's first schoolmaster was a : Dr. Edwards.) The little boy from Green Park was not old enough to be a pupil of the classical school conducted at Youghal by the father of the late Father Alfred Murphy SJ, who told Dr Keller'that he was born at Youghal but that his family removed to Cork so soon after that he did not remember the event. The home of Robert Carbery's childhood is now the Green Park Hotel, which transformation implies that it must have been a spacious family mansion. No doubt the boy felt very homesick for it when he was sent to Clongowes in 1844. He went through all the classes there till the summer of 1848. During all his time the Rector of the College was the holy and genial Father Robert Haly, well known as a missioner in almost every parish of Ireland twenty or thirty years ago his work, indeed, was over then, but well remembered; and, as Young of the “Night Thoughts” said of himself, “he has been so long remembered that he is now almost forgotten”. How many are there who can still recall the pleasant old man with the snow-white head stooped down, so venerable looking that in the country parishes the people would say of him, when he and Father Fortescue and Father Ronan were giving a mission, “I want to get to confession to the ould bishop”.

The only record of Robert Carbery's achievements during his Clongowes course that has come into my hands regards the school year 1846-1847. In the academical exercises which wound up the term in July, 1847, he took the part of Bassanio in a scene from “The Merchant of Venice”, and the part of Malcolm in a scene from “Macbeth”; and in the printed list of prizes the name Robert Carbery is very conspicuous. It appears first and alone in Christian Doctrine, and fourth in Natural Philosophy. In the Rhetoric class he was second as regards the examination in the authors studied, while, as regards original composition, he came first in the Greek oration, English oration, Latin Alcaic ode and English ode, second in Latin and French, and third in the Greek ode. In the first class of mathematics he got the second prize, and in the Debate he and his friend Nicholas Gannon of Laragh are marked as equal in their competition for the medal for excellence, A still more intimate friend, whose friendship lasted till the close of his life, won from him the first prize in mathematics. This was Christopher Palles, who has since gained an illustrious place in the history of the legal profession in Ireland as the greatest and the last of the three Catholic Chief Barons of the Exchequer, who have between them filled almost the whole of the long period that has elapsed since the Emancipation Act made Catholics eligible. This high office is now abolished, the Court of Exchequer being amalgamated with the rest of the High Court of Justice in Ireland, though the last, and certainly not the least distinguished holder of the extinct office continues to enjoy the title. Long inay he continue to do so, and to discharge with characteristic thoroughness the duties of President of the Clongowes Union. (Chief Baron Palles's immediate predecessor was David Pigot, who succeeded Stephen Woulfe. The former was grandfather to the Rev Edward Pigot SJ, who has recently been obliged to exchange China for Australia as the scene of his labours. Chief Baron Woulfe, in one of his parliamentary speeches, used a phrase which “The Nation” newspaper adopted as its motto - “To create and foster public opinion in Ireland and to make it racy of the soil”. This half sentence i now all that is remembered of him,)

Robert Carbery spent another year under the care of his Alma Mater, in the class of philosophy, although the register of Trinity College, Dublin, shows that he matriculated there on the 8th of November, 1847, and was assigned as a pupil to Dr Sadlier. He stayed on, however, as we have said, in Clongowes, till the summer of 1848. His acknowledged prowess in the Debating Society had helped to turn his thoughts towards the Bar. We do not know how his vocation was finally settled. We are not allowed to overhear “what the heart of the young man said to the Psalmist”, or rather what the Holy Spirit said to the heart of the young man. Long afterwards he told one of his brothers in religion that the following incident had been the turning point in his career, or at least had some share in fixing his determination to quit the world. He was over in London, enjoying keenly his first sight of the wonders of that already overgrown metropolis. It was the beginning of the year 1849, for he had during his visit an opportunity of seeing Queen Victoria open Parliament in person on the ist of February. The kindness of Richard Lalor Sheil, who was Youghal's brilliant representative in the House of Commons, had secured for his youthful constituent an excellent place for viewing the outside portion of the pageant. Even if it were worthwhile, the details of the scene cannot be verified on the spot at present. The old Houses of Parliament were destroyed by fire in October, 1834. Sir Charles Barry began to rebuild them in 1840. The Lords entered their new premises in 1847, but the Commons did not assenible in theirs till November, 1862. In the building as it stood at the time of which we are writing there was, it seems, a balcony over the entrance, from which one particularly observant pair of Irish eyes looked down upon the expectant throng. Among other things they watched the efforts of a gentleman to provide a somewhat similar coign of vantage for a lady whom he was escorting. There was a corner fenced off by a low iron railing, and it occurred to the gentleman that, if the lady were snugly ensconced behind this railing she would be guarded from the crush and could see in security nearly all that was to be seen. Accordingly a chair was procured and placed against the railing to enable the lady to cross the barrier, but in the hurry of her excitement, or through some sudden swaying of the crowd, she slipped and struck ber forehead violently against one of the spikes. She was hurried off to the nearest hospital, but died before reaching it. Meanwhile plenty of sawdust was scattered over “.. the pathway to hide the blood that had gushed forth profusely, and the ringing cheers of the multitude went up, as the royal carriages with their brilliant escort at last swept in, while no one thought of the poor soul that had just been hurried before the Judgement-Seat. The dreadful contrast of life and death affected Robert Carbery powerfully; and, whatever may have been his hankering after the Bar, he sacrificed it for ever.

He did not, however, enroll himself at once under the banner of St Ignatius. Most of the Twelve Apostles were called twice, the first time not involving so complete and permanent a renunciation as the final “Follow Me”. This dual vocation has its counterpart in many lives. “Show, O Lord, thy ways to me, and teach me Thy paths”. (Psalm xxiv., 4). First, via the road that turns the traveller's footsteps in the proper direction, and then senita, the path that leads him straight to his special destination.

To prepare for the ecclesiastical state, Robert Carbery entered Maynooth College as a student of the diocese of Cloyne, on the 19th of September, 1849, and satisfied the Board of Examiners so well in logic that he was placed at once in the Physics Class, then taught by the holy and gifted Dr. Nicholas Callan. Throughout his course he won the first or second place in nearly all departments of study, his chief competitor and also his closest friend. being a saintly youth from Derry, Patrick Kearney, though I suspect that the third of the triumvirate who were “called to the first premium” was the most solid theologian of the three; this was John Ryan of Cashel - the holy and learned priest of that - southern archdiocese considered by his fellow-priests “most worthy” to succeed the Most Rev Dr. Patrick Leahy. Dr Croke, who was appointed Archbishop by the Holy See, had the most profound confidence in Dr Ryan as his Vicar-General.

It is needless to say that for piety and virtue, Robert Carbery stood very high in the esteem of his superiors and his fellow-students. One proof of the character that he had gained for himself is the fact that in September, 1852, at the beginning of his third year of theology, he was one of the two prefects placed in charge of the Junior House, which comprised the Classes of Humanity, Rhetoric, and Logic. As that was my second year in Maynooth, I was one of his subjects, but not a single word ever passed between us. My most vivid memory of him regards the speech that he made at our festive dinner in the Junior Refectory on St Patrick's Day, 1853. To set his eloquence off to greater advantage his colleague happened to be Peter Foley of Killaloe, afterwards a Jesuit also - he died at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Feb 1st, 1893; aged 67 - a holy man, and one of the subtlest of thinkers, but one of the worst of speakers, and - till the end of his life the most inaudible of the race of articulately-speaking men, On the other hand “Carbery of Cloyne” proved that not in vain had he won the prize of excellence ii the Clongowes Debate. He electrified his youthful audience, one of whom guarantees after fifty years the almost verbal accuracy of one passage: “The greatest military genius of modern times, addressing his army before the Battle of the Pyramids, exclaimed : ‘Soldiers of France! from the summit of yonder Pyramids four thousand years look down upon you!’ And to you, students of Maynooth, I will say fourteen bundred years look down upon you, From their place in Heaven our forefathers in the Faith” - but if I went further, my guarantee for literal exactness would fail.

Soon after this God's will became clear to hin. He obtained leave to join the Society of Jesus, beginning his noviceship on the 20th of October, 1854. His friend, Patrick Kearney, continued another year or two in College, on the Dunboyne Establishment before joining the Vincentian Fathers. After he had come to an understanding with his confessor, Dr Thomas Furlong (after wards Bishop of Ferns) on this important point, he told me at the time that he sometimes wavered in his choice of a religious order, casting a wistful glance towards the Society of Jesus on account chiefly of his love for St Aloysius and Robert Carbery - this was precisely the way be put it - but whenever he ventured to moot the matter in confession, Dr Furlong would say: “Beware of the pillar of salt! Beware of the pillar of salt!” - an admonition that would have been more pertinent if the young priest had borne a closer resemblance to Lot's wife by “looking back” in a very different direction.

After two years in the novitiate of St Acheul, near Amiens, in France, Father Carbery was called home to Ireland in the summer of 1856. and was ordained priest in St Francis Xavier's, Dublin, in the presence of his father and mother. He was then placed on the teaching staff of his old “nutrix pientissima”, Clongowes Wood, where be taught for many years with great success. I have heard a very competent judge speak with warm admiration of the care and skill with which he trained his pupils to turn the various authors into good English. (Those who knew Father William Molony SJ, as a nonagenarian may be surprised to learn that Canon James Daniel, himself a clever writer of the journalistic type, praised the elegance of Father Molony's versions of Virgil, etc., when he was his professor at Belvedere College.)

I will not attempt to trace his course year by year. For some years towards the close of the sixties he filled very efficiently the office of Socius to the Master of Novices at Milltown Park, Father Aloysius Sturzo; who is still working in Australia, and who is still remembered with affection and respect in Ireland. A novice thus partly trained by Father Carbery, tells us that the novices recognised a sharp line of distinction between the Father Socius and Father Carbery. The former was a rigid and implacable stickler for rule and regularity, on whose lips the admonition was frequent: “Brother, no innovations!” But if a novice fell ill, or in any other way needed a mother's tenderness, then Pater Socius disappeared and his place was taken by Father Carbery, who was unceasing in his kindness and patient care.

In 1870 he returned to Clongowes as Rector. During his reign the new dormitories and class rooms and the present infirmary were built, the foundation stone of the new wing being laid and blessed by the oldest Clongownian then living, Dr James Lynch, who was also the bishop of the diocese. Since the good old bishop's death, who is the oldest alumnus of Clongowes Wood?

He was succeeded at Clongowes by Father Thomas Keating in 1876, taking his place (but after an interval) as Superior in St Patrick's House, 87 St. Stephen's Green, a house of residence for students of the Catholic University. I had the happiness of being his only companion there, as I had been for his two predecessors, Father Keating and Father James Tuite; and in so small a community I had the opportunity of being more intimately acquainted with him than a much longer term of years might allow in a large community. Father Carbery bore this test admirably. The arrangement with the Bishops of Ireland in reference to St Patrick's House came to an end in the summer of 1880; but Father Carbery was destined to return to St Stephen's Green under different circumstances, succeeding Father William Delaney as Rector of University College April 1oth, 1888, till he was succeeded by him in turn in 1897.

During the years that we have traced