Showing 299 results

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Upper Gardiner Street

Colgan, James E, 1849-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/96
  • Person
  • 14 January 1849-06 August 1915

Born: 14 January 1849, Kilcock, County Kildare
Entered: 18 March 1868, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, North Great George's Street, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1888
Died: 06 August 1915, Mount Saint Evin’s Hospital, Melbourne Australia

Part of St Mary’s community, Miller St, Sydney, Australia at time of death.

Brother of John - RIP 1919
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1871 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1881 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
Came to Australia 1896

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education at Clongowes.
Owing to ill health he made some studies privately.
He was sent for Regency as a Prefect at Tullabeg.
He was Ordained at the Convent Chapel in Nth Great George’s St Dublin, by Dr Patrick Moran, Bishop of Dunedin.
He was Procurator for some years at Clongowes and Dromore, and was Procurator also at Clongowes, and then Minister at UCD. He also spent time on the Missionary Band in Ireland.
1896 He sailed for Australia to join a Missionary Band there. He was Superior for a time at Hawthorn.
1914 He returned to Ireland but set sail again for Australia in 1915.
1915 He returned to Melbourne, but died rather quickly there 06 August 1915.

Note from John Gateley Entry
1896 He was sent to Australia with James Colgan and Henry Lynch.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of John - RIP 1919

His early education was at Clongowes Woof College before he Entered at Milltown Park.
1869-1870 He was sent to St Acheul, France for his Juniorate.
Owing to ill health he did the rest of his studies privately, and he was Ordained by Dr Moran of Dunedin, New Zealand in Ireland in 1881
1874-1880 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a Teacher and Prefect of Discipline
1880-1888 He was sent to Clongowes where he carried out much the same work as at Tullabeg
1888-1891 He was sent to St Francis Xavier Gardiner St for pastoral work, and then spent some time on the “Mission” staff giving retreats.
1891-1892 He was sent to University College Dublin as Minister
1892-1896 He went back to working on the Mission staff.
1897-1902 He was sent to Australia and began working as a rural Missionary
1902-1910 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn
1910-1915 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at St Mary’s Sydney

In 1914 he went back to Ireland, but returned to Australia the following year and died suddenly. He was a man of great austerity of life, and was valued as a Spiritual Director.

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/95
  • Person
  • 28 December 1873-10 October 1954

Born: 28 December 1873, Clogheen, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1911, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 10 October 1954, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1910 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926
The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 30th Year No 1 1955
Obituary :
Father Bartholomew Coghlan

Fr. Bartholomew Coughlan Fr. Coghlan was born on December 28th, 1873 at Clogheen, Co. Tipperary. After attending Mungret College he entered the Noviceship at Tullabeg on September 7th, 1893. He went to Roehampton for his classical studies in 1895, and did Philosophy in Valkenburg from 1896-1899. He came to Crescent College, Limerick in the summer of 1899, and taught there until he went to Belvedere in 1901. In 1903 he went to teach in Clongowes, and in 1905 began Theology in Milltown. He was ordained there in 1908 and after Theology taught for a year in the Crescent, then going to Linz, in Austria, for his Tertianship.
After Tertianship, Fr. Coghlan spent a year in Belvedere, teaching, and assisting Fr. Joseph MacDonnell, in the work of the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart. Then he spent three years teaching in the Crescent, followed by four in Mungret. In 1918 he came to Galway to work both in church and school. He taught in the college until it was suspended in 1926, when he continued on with his work in the church. For a number of years he was Director of the Irish Sodality attached to St. Ignatius.
After long years of unswerving devotion to all aspects of church work, but especially to the arduous toil of the confessional, advancing age began to make its demands on his splendid constitution. For a time he fought off these attacks and continued to live by the regime he made peculiarly his own, but in the end he could no longer rally spent forces, and died peacefully, fortified by the rites of the Church, on October 10th. He was laid to rest mourned alike by the community, to which his very presence gave a special, highly-prized character, and his passing a sense of irreparable loss; and by the people of the city whom he had served so long and so unselfishly.
We give below two appreciations of Fr. Coghlan which have reached us. That the writers are separated by almost a generation suggests the universality of the appeal of Fr. Coghlan's personality,
“A man of giant frame, and of giant intellect and amazing memory; a reader and speaker of the chief European languages, Irish, German, French, English, Italian, Russian and Swedish and a lover of the classics; a historian consulted by many on the bye-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions; a confessor, who was a real anam-chara, a soul friend, to prelates and priests and people, high and low, from all over Connacht; a true patriot, in the Fenian tradition, one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, and always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom - Fr. Batt was all that. But it was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self-sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour, springing from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From that root, too, came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose or affectation and was the chief characteristic of his death-bed, when as men view all life from ‘that horizontal’, all pose or affectation falls away.
“We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man.
“Go ndéantar toil Dé. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam umhal uasal”.
“When I thought of writing something by way of appreciation of Fr. Coghlan, a remark of Fr. Peter Dwyer, who died some years since, occurred to my mind : '’ am a good friend of Fr. Coghlan's’ - and then, ruefully, ‘But Fr. Coghlan is very hard on his friends’. He was alluding, of course, to Fr. Coghlan's obliviousness of time, once he had induced you to sit down in the big chair - which he himself rarely or never used, ‘for a few words’. Fr. Coghlan loved a chat - it was his only relaxation in these later years when he became unable to move about freely; the wonder is that he survived, and with relatively good health, without some modicum of physical exercise.
And then while you were thus ensconsed you had the benefit of his varied knowledge the method was informal - the transitions, simplicity itself; but when you surveyed this mass, you found included - Russia and Sweden, and Germany and Italy, an episode from Michelet, a remark from Pastor. But these were only a fraction of his acquisitions; then Silva Gadelica and Séadhna and the Homes of Tipperary brought him home and it was home moulded his outlook, however extensive his other learning. With all that he was not merely bookish; his wide experience as a confessor had broadened the humanity in him which won him so much esteem and so many friends at home and without. Some of these friends were won many years previously, and correspondence continued when direct contact had long become impossible; his Christmas letters were well nigh as far-flowing as his reading - to religious whose vocations he had fostered, to scholastics or young priests who had won his intimacy while attached to the staff here. In his friendship for the latter particularly, I think, he preserved his youth.
His character and whole temperament was simple and straight forward; nothing studied or calculated attracted him; he was impatient of affectation or what appeared affectation to him and he reacted accordingly; if he had a ‘wart’ it was this - that he was possibly over-sensitive on this point.
The sincerity, which was instructive, was readily recognised; the sympathy and consolation he could provide in his equable fatherly way made him the confessor par excellence and priests and laity, having once discovered this treasure, returned continuously over long years for his guidance. These demands were no small burden, but he was devoted to this work and even towards the end - when his strength was evidently overtaxed - he replied to expostulations ‘some people will probably be waiting below who would find themselves less at home with another’ and he trudged to the box.
These appear to be the salient points in this review from one who only knew him late; if Fr. Dwyer's remark was true we only now appreciate ‘when the well is dry’ that the balance of payments for time expended was all in our favour his value was of things from afar. R.I.P.”

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Bartholomew Coughlan 1873-1954
Fr Batt Coughlan, as he was affectionately called, was a man of giant frame, giant intellect and amazing memory, a reader and speaker of the eight chief European languages, including Russian and Swedish.

He was a lover of the classics, an historian, consulted by many on the by-ways of history, a theologian whose advice was widely sought for, especially in moral questions. He was a confessor who was a real “anam-cara”, a soul friend to prelates, priests and people, high and low from all over Connaught.

He was a true patriot in the Fenian tradition, and one of the first priests to join the Gaelic League, always at hand with his aid in the fight for freedom.

But is was his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and the sick, and his rich fund of humour springing up from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all. From that root too came a strange childlike simplicity, that made him above all pose of affectation, and was the chief characteristic of his death bed, when as men view all life from that horizontal, all poise of affectation falls away.

He was born in Clogheen Tipperary inn 1873, educated at Mungret and entered at Tullabeg in 1893.

His life in the Society was spent mainly in the classroom and Church. From 1918 he was stationed at Galway, till the breath left him peacefully and effortlessly on October 10th 1954.

Coffey, Patrick, 1909-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/94
  • Person
  • 10 June 1909-19 August 1983

Born: 10 June 1909, Cork City
Entered: 01 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park
Final Vows: 02 February 1944, Mungret College Sj, Limerick
Died: 19 August 1983, Kilcroney, County Wickow

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

Early Education at Presentation Brothers College, Cork City

1933-1934 Caring for Health
by 1967 at West Heath Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Southwark Diocese (ANG) working
by 1971 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1972 at Deptford London (ANG) working

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 4 1983

Gardiner Street
The summer months saw the passing of two members of our community. Fr Johnny McAvoy († 26th July), who had given us an outstanding example of cheerful endurance during his long struggle with ill health, was the first to go. As noted in our last report, he had had to return to Cherryfield Lodge some months ago, to receive special care. At the very end, however, he moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died after a brain haemorrhage which mercifully saved him from prolonged suffering.
Fr Paddy Coffey, who died almost a month later († 19th August), was also attached to our community, though he had been living at St Joseph's, Kilcroney, or many years. It is no exaggeration to say that he was a legend in the Province for his amazing will-power and persistence. It would have been fascinating to listen in to his last battle of with the Lord! His ever-widening circle of friends will miss his gentle but determined winning ways.
May he and Johnny rest in the the serenity of eternal peace.

Obituary

Obituary

Fr Patrick Coffey (1909-1926-1983)

Paddy Coffey arrived in Tullabeg on 1st September 1926: a sporty little Corkonian ready for anything, a bony little flier at football who would go through you with delight, kicking the shins off you in his passage. He seemed to lose a lot of this zest in the he had a period of pious “broken head” - a term which older Jesuits may have to explain to younger, less pious ones.
As far as I recall he was well while in Rathfarnham, where he got an Honours BA, but after that he was seldom free from illness and disability. In philosophy at Tullabeg he had a long and serious illness, during which he was reduced almost to the state of a vegetable. It is said that the authorities thought he should leave the Society, but Paddy dug his heels in. That dogged and even obstinate determination became a well-known characteristic of his. He began philosophy in 1931, but his was so interrupted that it did not end until 1936.
After Tullabeg he spent two years in Mungret, where he was prefect of Third Club and teacher. After theology in Milltown, where he was ordained in 1941, in 1943 he returned
to Mungret, where by far the greater part of his life was to be spent: indeed, he became identified with Mungret. For two years he was prefect of First Club. The boys used to mimic a saying from a pep-talk of his: Rugby is a game of blood and mud! When there was a difference of opinion about policy or a fixture, he would fight quite fiercely to the last and when he yielded, it was from his religious spirit.
Besides teaching, he also edited the Mungret Annual. This was his greatest work in and for Mungret. He had a great feeling for the boys - I never heard him running them down - and an exceptional involvement with the Past: probably the reason he was made editor of the Annual. Indeed, he founded and produced the Mungret Eagle for the Past. This was a brochure of about 8 to 12 pages,containing photographs and all the bits of news that could be gathered about their whereabouts and activities, with a section about the Present. It was sent out free several times a year, and was eagerly read.
I don't think any function of the Mungret Union took place without him. Later on, in Gardiner street, he asked Fr Kieran Hanley if he might go to the Mungret Union dinner. When that benign and not easily outwitted superior, said, “Certainly,Paddy, in fact you ought to go”'. Paddy added, with his little grin, “It's in London, you know”.
Paddy's life-story is less than half told without mention of his serious accident. He was on a supply in the Dartford area of Kent in August 1953: the date was the 16th. His motor-bike stalled as he was crossing the highway, and a speeding car crashed into him. He was unconscious for at least a week and a leg had to be amputated. The hospital staff said that in his situation any ordinary person would have died, and they were astonished at his exceptional determination, which gradually carried him through. He never learned to use the artificial leg as it could be used, but when he returned to Mungret, he had obviously resolved to carry on as if nothing had happened. He got a bicycle made with one loose pedal crank, and on it he propelled himself shakily with one leg into town almost every day. He also insisted on keeping his room at the very top of the house, until the community could no longer bear the nerve-racking sound of him stumping up the stairs at midnight or later. It was during these years that his notable work with the Union and the Annual was done. He also taught (at least until 1964), but was quite likely to fall asleep in class.
He was well-known to be quite shameless and even peremptory in 'exploiting' his friends of the Past with regard to motor transport by day or by night. When he had left Mungret (which he did in 1966), I happened to be with a group who were jokingly recalling the occasions when they were commandeered, and it made me wonder when they ended up saying unanimously “All the same, he was a saint”. I have always suspected that he gave a good deal of his presence to less well-off people in Limerick, but Paddy played his cards so close to his chest that one never
knew the half of his activities,
Mention of cards reminds me that he loved card games, “hooleys”, sing songs, hotels, and visiting his friends. Yet I always felt that though he was ready for any escapade that didn't involve excommunication, with himself he was a very strict religious, unswervingly faithful to the way he was brought up.
I don't think anyone expected that he would ever leave Mungret as well again, but in 1966 he launched out, “wooden leg” and all, to Birmingham, where he did parish work for three years, then for six more years did the same in Deptford (Southwark diocese). In 1975 he joined the Gardiner street community, but lived in some kind of accommodation in North Summer street and worked in Seán McDermott street parish.
He was about a year in Dublin when he suffered a stroke which left: one arm useless and affected his leg. With his unconquerable determination he soldiered on in St Joseph's, Kilcroney, for seven long and trying years, keeping in touch with his friends by continual letters, getting taken out at every opportunity, even when he was reduced to using a wheelchair. He was always glad to see members of the Society. The last, almost inaudible, words I heard from him, a few hours before he died (19th August 1983), were “Coffee, piles of it, but don't tell the nurse!”
May he rest in peace at last, and may his long sufferings and indomitable spirit merit for him 'above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory.

Boyle, Robert, 1833-1878, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/939
  • Person
  • 11 June 1833-20 November 1878

Born: 11 June 1833, County Louth
Entered: 30 April 1856, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Clane, County Kildare
Professed
Died: 20 November 1878, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1869 At Home Sick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was a cook in Belvedere and Gardiner St and then went to Clongowes. From 1869 he was “netia domus” and he died at the Richmond Hospital Dublin 20 November 1878.

Bianchini, Aloysius, 1812-1874, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

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

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

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

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

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

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

Finlay, Thomas A, 1848-1940, Jesuit priest and economist

  • IE IJA J/9
  • Person
  • 06 July 1848-08 January 1940

Born: 06 July 1848, Lanesborough, County Roscommon
Entered: 01 November 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1880
Professed: 25 March 1885
Died: 08 January 1940, Linden Nuring Home, Dublin

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

Older brother of Peter Finlay - RIP 1929

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Lacens College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Peter Finlay Entry
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.
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.

See: Morrissey, T. J. (2004). Thomas A. Finlay: Educationalist, editor, social reformer, 1848-1940.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

Thomas Finlay went (1869) to the Gregorian University, Rome, and thence, after Garibaldi's invasion, to Maria Laach where he was trained (1871–3) in modern scientific methods and was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government, an experience he drew on in his later work. On his return to Ireland (1873) Tom joined his brother at the Crescent, Limerick, where he stayed till 1876, acting as headmaster as well as teaching German and French. He also found time to publish, under the pseudonym ‘Thomas Whitelock’, a best-selling novel, The chances of war, based on the life of Owen Roe O'Neill, which went through several editions. In addition he wrote pamphlets and was co-founder of the periodical Catholic Ireland, which became the influential Irish Monthly. In 1877 he went to St Beuno's for theology, and was ordained in 1880. His self-reliance, great energy, equable temper, and gifts for making and keeping friends were already in evidence, as also his prowess as a conversationalist and a fisherman. In 1881 he was placed in charge for a short time of St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, near Tullamore, before being entrusted with the joint task of rector of Belvedere College, Dublin (1882–7), and fellow of the RUI in classics. In 1883 he and Peter were appointed joint professors of philosophy at UCD. He occupied the chairs of philosophy (1883–1900) and political economy (1900–30). Hence his unusual distinction of professing in three different disciplines – classics, philosophy, and political economy. Like Peter, he was a highly successful lecturer, noted for his clarity of exposition, and popular also with the students for his human qualities and his policy of promoting responsibility and independence. At Belvedere he built a new wing and purchased additional playing fields, while at the same time reconstructing the philosophy programme of the Royal University and responding to demands for retreats and spiritual lectures from the clergy of different dioceses. In 1887 he took up residence at UCD and turned again to writing as well as teaching. He translated articles from German on philosophy, and Stockle's History of philosophy. The extent and range of his articles during a busy life may be judged from the incomplete list of titles in R. J. Hayes's Sources . . . articles in Irish periodicals. He founded and edited the Lyceum magazine (1889–94) and the New Ireland Review (1894–1911), which was succeeded by Studies in 1912. In addition, as part of his deep involvement in the Irish cooperative movement, he founded and was an incisive editor of the Irish Homestead. In support of the movement, he traversed the country preaching the merits of being industrious and self-supporting, and won support among northern unionists as well as southern farmers. Sir Horace Plunkett (qv), founder of the movement, termed him ‘a remarkable living Irishman’ who had ‘largely moulded my own life work’, and who, ‘for a full half-century, laboured disinterestedly for the moral, social, and economic uplifting of the Irish poor’ (A page of Irish history, 246–7). Finlay's strong advocacy of high moral standards in public life made him enemies in the Irish parliamentary party; and his critical review of Cardinal James Gibbons, Our Christian heritage (1889), led to complaints to Rome from American Jesuits and his suspension from writing (1890–92).

Despite these varied activities, he was primarily an educationalist. Apart from his teaching in Jesuit schools and at UCD, he was a commissioner for intermediate education for many years, was active in establishing and administering a system of technical education at the start of the century, was editor-in-chief of the ‘School and College’ series of books for pupils and students, and inspired and guided those who created the Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction. Moreover, he was for many years a prominent member of the senate of the NUI and of the governing body of UCD, and was chairman (1909–38) of the trustees of the NLI. Little wonder that his successor to the chair of economics, George O'Brien (qv), remarked in Studies (1940) that ‘to write about him is like writing about a number of persons rather than a single man’. He alleged that in forty-seven years Finlay ‘never broke an engagement, never missed a lecture, never was late for a meeting’. Finlay's retirement (1930) was marked by a collection to provide a presentation portrait (now in UCD) by Leo Whelan (qv). It was so generously subscribed that funds were available to endow an annual Finlay lecture on an economic theme; the first was given by John Maynard Keynes. Tom Finlay died 8 January 1940 in his ninety-first year. He had been an invalid from 1936.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

University Hall :
On November 16th the Community at Lesson St. celebrated the Diamond Jubilee of Fr T Finlay. As a scholastic, Fr Finlay helped Fr. Matt Russell to found the Irish Monthly and the Messenger. The latter periodical ceased to appear after a short time; it was to be revived later, again under Fr Finlay's inspiration. He took a leading part in conducting the brilliant but short-lived “Lyceum”, and its successor the New Ireland Review. For Belvedere College his rectorship represented, until quite lately, the high-water mark of its success. Since 1883 he has been a Professor at University College, first under the Royal and then under the National University. During that time he has been prominent in many movements for the betterment of his Country. He was a member of the Boards of National and of Intermediate Education, is still Chairman of the National Library, Committee, has organised food depots for the poor, while his work for industrial and agricultural co-operation has won him fame in many lands. As a preacher and a lecturer his success has been extraordinary. And though he no longer appears in the pulpit, his power and his popularity as a lecturer are as great as ever. From 1912 to 1922 he was Superior in Leeson St, and President of University Hall.

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 15th Year No 2 1940
Obituary :
Father Thomas Finlay
When the Editor of “Province News” did me the honour of inviting me to write a notice of Father Finlay's life, he added a comment on the usual summary of dates which he
enclosed from the annual Catalogues : “Never did Catalogues conceal so completely the life of a Jesuit as Father Finlay's Catalogues conceal his splendid and most active life.” There is a great deal of truth in this comment, though the fault does not lie with the compiler of the annual Catalogues. From his early years as a Scholastic in Rome, Maria Laach, Limerick and St. Beuno's, Father Tom was never lacking in that remarkable power of initiative which enabled him to attempt and accomplish so much during his long life of ninety-one years. His initiative was largely personal, and many of the works for which he was known throughout the country are not even mentioned in the official records of the Catalogues. Apart from his activities, Father Tom's fame was largely due to his great gifts of personal charm, sympathetic kindness and quiet humour. No man was better. fitted to make friends everywhere, and Father Tom made and kept a host of friends during his long and most useful life. Even his birthplace is matter for dispute among the learned. He was always claimed as a Cavan man; but a record is extant from his novitiate, in which he himself has entered his birth-place as Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon. The mystery is solved by a reminiscence, of which he was proud. His father was an engineer on the Shannon River works, and young Tom Finlay was born on an island just north of Lough Ree, which his father was later to submerge beneath the waters of the Shannon. One of his favourite reminiscences was of a Hedge-schooI which he attended somewhere near the Shannon in the early fifties. The master used to test the ability of his pupils by making them spell “Antitrinitarian.” But discipline was too severe for the engineer's young son, and he ran away home from class on the second or. third day. He was then sent to school at St Patrick's, Cavan, where he remained until he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Milltown Park, on November 12, 1866. He took his first vows at Milltown on the Feast of St. Stanislaus, 1868. Just seventy years later it was any privilege to say Mass for Father Tom at Linden Convalescent Home on the Feast of St Stanislaus, 1938. He had then been an invalid for two years and was almost ninety years old. He had been wheeled into the Convent Chapel in a chair, and heard his Jubilee Mass in the midst of the patients and children of Linden. “Consummatus in brevi explevit tempera multa.” The young novice of 1868 can have little dreamed how many long years lay before him. But there was a great deal of simple novice's piety about Father Tom in his last years. Day by day he was wheeled into the Chapel for his morning Mass; and it was seldom indeed that he would allow his nurse to keep him away from the Chapel for the daily Rosary, which he loved to recite with the other patients every evening. From Milltown he was sent to the French Juniorate at Saint-Acheul. where he spent part of the year 1869. Then, with Father Vincent Byrne as his companion, he was sent to the Gregorian at Rome, where they witnessed the stirring scenes of the Vatican Council and Garibaldi entry into Rome. In 1936, Father Vincent McCormick, then Rector of the Gregorian visited Dublin, and stayed in Lesson Street, where Father Finlay was still resident. He was introduced as a past student of the Gregorian. “And when were you in Rome?” asked the Rector, not realizing how old his new acquaintance was “At the Vatican Council” was the smiling answer, and Father Tom’s eyes were twinkling, for he felt that he had scored a point. Garibaldi's entrance into Reine threw the Gregorian into confusion, and Father Tom was sent to Maria Laach, where he spent the next two years (1871-73). It was here that he was impressed by the new agricultural policy of the Prussian government - a lesson in practical economics that he was later to turn to most practical uses. And it was from the German Fathers at Maria Laach that Father Tom received his training in modern scientific methods, which (for a time, at least) made him anxious to specialise in Biology. His intellectual activity during these years must have been remarkable. When he became Professor of Metaphysics in Father Delany's University College ten years later, one of his chief enterprises was to bring Irish Catholic students into contact with modern German thought by the translation of German works on Scholastic Philosophy.
From 1873-76 Mr. Thomas Finlay was teaching his class at the Crescent College, Limerick, with extra work as French and German master and (for the last two years) as Prefect of Studies. A full programme for most men. and the work was not lessened by the fact that the Irish schools were adapting themselves to the new Intermediate System in these years. Mr Finlay's results were brilliant in the new system of competitive examinations, but that did not prevent him from writing his historical novel, “Chances of War,” during these same years. As an old priest, with a long record of useful work behind him, he was fond of telling a story that happened in these Limerick years. Some of the older Fathers found this young scholastic too enterprising, and complaints reached the Irish Provincial, who was a firm believer in the established order of things. Father Tuite summoned the budding author to his presence, and gently suggested to him that “he should remain in his legitimate obscurity.” But the Society has its own ways of checking too great enterprise for a time, and Mr. Finlay was sent to St. Beuno's for his four years of Theology in 1877.
Father Tom was ordained in 1880, he lived to say the Jubilee Mass of his ordination in 1930. There is no trace of his Tertianship in the official Catalogues, and the reason is not far to seek. When Father Tom emerged from Theology in 1881 the Irish Province was faced with an unusual responsibility. The Catholic University which had been founded, with Newman as Rector, in 1851, had failed, so far as practical results were concerned. But the long struggle for equality of rights in University education had at long last met with a partial response from the English Government of the day. The Royal University of Ireland was founded as an examining body, with a limited number of endowed fellowships, in 1881, and the Irish Hierarchy invited Father William Delany, whose energy and ability had made Tullabeg a centre of intellectual life, to take over control of University College under the new conditions. Father Finlay was sent to Tullabeg without further delay, to assist Father Delany as Assistant Prefect of Studies. From Tullabeg a small group of Jesuit Fathers came to Temple Street in Dublin, whilst the Bishops were negotiating the final transfer of University College. As soon as the teaching staff of the new College was formed, with Father Delany as first Rector, Father Finlay was nominated to one of the fellowships in the Royal University, and was appointed Professor of Metaphysics. He held this chair until 1900, when he resigned it in favour of his most brilliant student in these early years, the present Professor William Magennis. Meanwhile, another of his brilliant students, William Coyne, had been appointed Professor of Political Economy. University College suffered a sore loss by William Coyne's death in 1904 and Father Tom Finlay, who had meanwhile taken a leading part in the Co-operative Movement throughout the country, took over the vacant Chair of Political Economy in the same year, He held this chair until the end of the Royal University in 1909; and was immediately appointed to the same chair in the new National University of Ireland. It was this chair that he resigned in 1930, having taught his classes without interruption for forty-seven years (1883-1930). It was his boast that, during all those years he had never omitted a lecture for ill-health or any other reason. God had certainly blessed him with a wonderfully strong and harmonious constitution.
During the first five years of his new career, Father Finlay was not resident in St. Stephen's Green, but was Rector of Belvedere College (1883-87) with his duties as fellow and professor of the Royal University as an extra charge. It is indeed hard to understand how any man can have thrown himself with such energy into his various activities as Father Finlay did during these early years. In Belvedere the new school-buildings were rising as proof of his keen organising ability; and they were only the symbol of an active intellectual life that was attracting general attention to the College. Father Finlay planned a whole series of school text-books and copy books that were to help him pay off the debts incurred in the erection of the new buildings. But this policy was checked for a time, and Father Finlay left Belvedere for University College in 1887. Memories still survive among some old inhabitants of North Dublin : Father Tom Finlay, as a young, vigorous and good-looking priest, riding a fine, black horse down the streets of Dublin to the Phoenix Park. For the Rector of Belvedere College was a conspicuous figure in the social life of Dublin City at that time. The friendships which Father Tom made in the 'eighties and nineties opened up a new sphere of activity, which led to his becoming one Of the best-known and influential priests in the country. His influence in Government circles was very great. He was appointed a Commissioner of National Education, a Trustee of the National Library, and a member of various Royal Commissions. His word was often decisive in the appointment of some Catholic to a post that had hitherto been jealously reserved by the Protestant ascendency, and Father Tom had the knack of making himself liked as well as respected for his solid judgment and courageous support of what he held to be good and true. During these same years he founded and edited two notable monthly magazines : “The Lyceum” (1889-94), and the “New Ireland Review” (1894-1911). There is no space here to tell in any detail the story of Father Tom Finlay's work for the Irish Co-operative Movement, by which he will probably be chiefly remembered in Irish history. It was work that could only be done by a man who had attained the special position which he held in Irish public life. But it is worth recording that gratitude to Father Tom was felt by the poor as well as the rich, for he would spare no time and trouble if he thought the Irish people could be helped by his labourers. His memory is perhaps most cherished .in Foxford Co. Mayo, where he took a leading part in the establishment of the Providence Mills, that have been founded and managed from the first by the Irish Sisters of Charity. During his last illness two of the workers in the Mills were married in Foxford. They were old friends of Father Tom, and they were not satisfied until they had travelled to Dublin in one of the lorries owned by the Mills, to get the old priest's blessing on their married life. When news of his death reached Foxford this year, telegrams of condolence were sent by the staff as a whole, and by some of his personal friends in the Foxford Mills. A notice of Father Finlay's life would be incomplete without some reference to the out-door sports which he had always clung to, in the midst of his busiest years. He was a firm believer in the policy of one good holiday a week, for which good Jesuit tradition can be quoted. His own tastes favoured fishing and shooting, and his friendships. through the country gave him opportunities that were sometimes perhaps the subject of envious comment. Father Tom and his brother Father Peter were keen sportsmen, but it is not certain that their skill was equal to their interest in the sport. Both men were individualists; and their individualism was sometimes erratic in quality, One leading Irish statesmen still has memories of a day's shooting on the lands of O'Conor Don. The party went to to the bog after breakfast; and a council of war was held during the lunch interval. The more cautious members gave it as their opinion that there was only one completely safe position in the field. You could get it by drawing a straight line between the two brothers Finlay! Even his brethren in Leeson Street were sometimes inclined to be sceptical. To the very end, when Father Tom was already long past eighty he made it a practice of. going off for a few days fishing in the Easter holidays, and Good Friday was not complete unless Father Tom brought home a salmon for the community. It was always welcome; but some at least of the Fathers used to murmur that perhaps a faithful Gilly in Co. Wexford was as much responsible for the salmon as Father Tom. But that was a joke that no one would venture to make in Father Tom’s presence. The end came, after four long years of illness, on January 8th. 1940. Father Tom had been stricken down in Leeson Street in the early autumn of 1936, and ever since he had been confined to his bed-room and an invalid chair. It was a long trial, which he bore with wonderful patience, and it was good to think that so many of his friends showed their loyalty and gratitude to him by their frequent visits and messages of sympathy. He died peacefully, having spent the last two days in almost continuous prayer. The funeral Mass at Gardiner Street gave a last opportunity for a tribute of respect and affection, which, once more, revealed the wide connections that Father Tom Finlay had made in his long and laborious
life. May he rest in peace. “A. Gwynn”

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.

Keenan, Francis, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/863
  • Person
  • 04 October 1929-22 April 2020

Born: 04 October 1929, Portrush, County Antrim/ Glenavy, County Antrim / Belfast County Antrim
Entered: 24 March 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Collège Saint-Michel, Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: 22 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB 1999

by 1952 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1957 at Monze, Zambia - Regency, teaching
by 1966 at Mukasa, Choma, Zambia - teaching
by 1967 at Kizito, Zambia - Director of Training Centre
by 1971 at St Louis MO, USA (MIS) studying
by 1993 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) Mission Office
by 1996 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working
by 2007 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) - working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-frank-keenan-sj-a-faithful-servant/

Fr Frank Keenan SJ – ‘a faithful servant’
Fr Francis (Frank) Keenan SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin, on 22 April, 2020. He was an Irish Jesuit missionary who spent 30 years in Zambia. Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place at Gardiner Street Church, Dublin, on 25 April followed by burial at the Jesuit grave in Glasnevin Cemetery. The main celebrant at the funeral Mass was the Gardiner Street Superior, Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, while Irish Provincial Fr Leonard Moloney SJ and Parish Priest Fr Gerry Clarke SJ concelebrated. His death is deeply regretted by his loving sister Bernadette, by his nephew John and his wife, Sally, and family, and by his Jesuit confreres and friends in Ireland and Zambia.
Francis was born on 4 October, 1929, in Portrush, County Antrim. He was raised in Belfast and in the village of Glenavy and attended St Mary’s CBS before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1950. After taking his first vows, he studied in Laval, France, for two years followed by philosophy studies in Tullabeg and regency as a teacher in Monze, Zambia. Upon further Jesuit formation in Ireland, he studied Catechetics in Brussels, Belgium, and then returned to Zambia where he was a teacher of the local language at Mukasa Secondary School.
From 1967 to 1979, he worked in a variety of roles in Monze including Director of Catechetics, Parish Priest, Retreat Director and as Vicar General for Religious in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. He also studied Pastoral Theology at St Louis University, Missouri, USA. Later, he directed the Spiritual Exercises at the Jesuit Education Centre in Lusaka and worked in the Kizito Pastoral Centre in Monze before returning to Ireland in 1993.
Fr Francis was Director of the Jesuit Mission Office, Spiritual Director and Parish Assistant while living in Gardiner Street Jesuit community in Dublin. He was also a community member of St Bueno’s retreat centre in Wales for 11 years and directed the Spiritual Exercises there. From 2007 to 2017, he continued active ministry in Gardiner Street as Spiritual Director, Parish Assistant, Chaplain, Assistant Treasurer and Pastoral Worker. He prayed for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home right up until his death.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, who gave the homily at the funeral Mass, noted that Francis grew up in difficult circumstances. He experienced the death of his father when very young and witnessed bombing in Belfast during the Second World War. His family supported each other and moved to Glenavy village about 15 miles outside of Belfast. He came to appreciate the gift of life and told his sister Bernadette in later years, “I have loved every day of my life”.
Fr O’Dwyer said that Fr Francis became very proficient in the Zambian language of Tonga and taught it for a number of years and wrote a book on grammar. He said, “Francis was very humorous and a very kind, considerate man.”
Fr O’Dwyer noted that when Fr Francis came home to Ireland after 30 years in Zambia he was a very committed presence among his community and very much appreciated. He said, “He was always very willing to offer Mass, hear confessions, and he had a very good reputation as a very compassionate and“He was also a very sympathetic preacher and explained the Good News in a very compassionate and understanding way”. Fr O’Dwyer referred to his chaplaincy work at St Monica’s Nursing Home in Dublin City, saying he was “utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry with the elderly”.
Fr O’Dwyer said, “He was a very faithful servant. Any work he undertook he did so with a great spirit of service and dedication. I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words: ‘Well done my good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness.'”
Mr Colm Brophy, art psychotherapist and former Jesuit missionary in Zambia, paid tribute to his late friend.
“Frank, as we called him in Zambia always wanted to be known as Francis. This I only discovered in Cherryfield. He was renowned for his sharp, even acerbic, wit coupled with kindness, hospitality and generosity. He did not suffer fools gladly and hated hypocrisy as the gospel hates it.
And so he could bring a person down to earth with a brilliant, yet highly humorous thrust of the verbal dagger. He was kindly towards wisdom and kept another person’s honesty close to his heart. I always enjoyed joining him for a meal over his years in Kizito.
He had four roles in Kizito’s. First, Kizito’s was built as a compound of family cottages where Monze diocese catechists and their families lived while following a two-year program. Then it became a diocesan pastoral training and retreat centre for a wide variety of groups. Francis was the director. One of the groups was the ciTonga language school. He wrote a grammar of, and taught, the local language for a period.
He also wrote a book for those directing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius for retreats in daily life. He was also a great confident of Bishop James Corboy and a member of the diocesan consult. He dealt with a great number of different people coming through the centre and had a gracious ability to adapt.
His other time in Zambia was a number of years he spent in Lusaka archdiocese in the role of Vicar General for religious. It meant having the listening skills to sort out two sides of an argument where strong personalities were involved.
I miss meeting Francis in Cherryfield. May he rest in peace.”
A recording of the funeral Mass is temporarily available on the Gardiner Street website. Under recordings,
see the funeral Mass for 25 April. Click here for the link ».
Fr Frank spoke about his missionary work in Zambia with Irish Jesuit Missions in 2010. Click here to watch
the video ».
A Memorial Mass will be held at a future date. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.

Full text of the homily at the funeral Mass
Francis Keenan was born in Portrush, Co Antrim, and grew up in north Belfast, the second youngest in a happy, close-knit and united family of 5 children with his parents John and Mary Agnes.
When Frank was only 7 years old, his Dad, John died suddenly at the age of 39. Just 2 years later, World War 2 began. As you know Belfast was heavily bombed especially in 1940 and the area where Francis and his family lived at the intersection of the bottom of the Cliftonville/Duncairn Gardens had a number of houses destroyed and badly damaged. I remember Francis mentioning to me once that sadly the local school survived unscathed and I said to Frank that his story reminded me of John Boorman’s film Hope and Glory set in London during World War 2. John’s school was destroyed in the London blitz and when he sees the bombed-out school, he murmurs “thank you Adolf”. Francis said to me I would have liked to have uttered the same words about my school!
Francis’ sister Bernadette said that because of the danger of bombing, she and Frank were evacuated from Belfast out into the country to the village of Glenavy about 15 miles west of Belfast very close to Lough Neagh. Bernadette was 5 and Frank was 10. They grew very close to each other and forged a deep bond between them. It would have been easy for Francis to opt to play with boys his own age but after the death of his father, under the care of his mother, the family grew very close and supported each other in their loss and grief. They had to pull together to survive. Out in the country, Francis grew to love nature and the countryside, something which never left him.
I can only imagine how the death of his father and his experiences of the mortal danger and evacuation had a profound effect on the young Francis and I believe it gave him a profound appreciation of how precious the gift of life is and that that gift is there to be fully appreciated and lived to the full. Frank much later in life told his sister Bernadette, “I have loved every day of my life”. At his birthday last year when he turned 90, Francis told his nephew, “Life is a gift from God, enjoy every moment”.
At age of 20 in March 1950, Francis entered the Society of Jesus, at Emo, County Laois. Bernadette told me that she and his family missed Francis during those 2 years. Francis spent 2 years in France, followed by 3 years philosophy in Tullabeg and then he went to Zambia, or as it was then Northern Rhodesia in 1957 where he spent 3 years. That was the beginning of 30 years spent as a missionary in Zambia, as a teacher as director of training of catechists, working closely with Bishop James Corboy in Monze. Francis became very proficient in the Tonga language and taught it for a number of years and wrote a grammar book of Citing.
I just want to turn to our gospel reading for today. “That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” I wonder when Francis walked on the shores of Lough Neagh or on the savannah of Zambia, did he ponder and treasure those words of Jesus, knowing that with the love and support of family, of his fellow missionaries and lay catechists that one can keep going, and continue with our life’s journey and mission, despite the loss of a beloved father, despite have one’s home badly damaged by Nazi bombing. Those words of Jesus, “Will not my heavenly Father not much more look after you?” I believe that no missionary, Jesuit or lay could never undertake work anywhere in the world, without a sense of being called and accompanied by God and the prayers of family, fellow Jesuits and friends.
When Francis came home on leave from Zambia to his beloved family in Belfast, to visit the wee Ma and his sisters and his brother in England he regaled them with wonderful stories of the people he worked for in Zambia, whom he greatly loved. Francis was a very considerate and kind man. He referred to their houseman in Zambia as his gentleman’s gentleman!
After his 30 years of service in Zambia, he returned go Ireland. He continued his mission as director of the Jesuit Mission Office, working in spirituality and as a retreat director on the staff of St Beuno’s in north Wales for 11 years. He then came back to Gardiner Street and Francis was a committed presence and church priest. Always obliging for Mass and confessions, and a reputation as a preacher with a good message, and a compassionate confessor both in the confessional and for people who called to the parlour for confession. I am deeply grateful for his ministry when I was parish priest. Latterly, he was chaplain in St Monica’s Nursing Home around the corner from us in Belvedere Place and again he was utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry to the elderly.
Almost up to the end of his life, Francis continued to visit his family in Belfast, and in particular, his sister Bernadette. He always travelled on the Dublin-Belfast Enterprise train and he was on first name terms with the train staff and was usually given an upgrade to the First Class carriage. This had many advantages, and one time he met the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. Bernadette as she awaited Francis’ arrival was amazed to see him coming down the platform accompanied by the Irish President!
Frank lived a long life, he saw the darker side of life in the premature death of his beloved father and he learned to appreciate, rejoice and be glad. He was grateful for the most important aspects of life and loved both his natural and Jesuit families. He was a faithful servant who loved those who were entrusted to him. He trusted in God and in God’s providence.
I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words, “Well done good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness”.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ

Early Education at Star of the Sea, Belfast; St Mary’s CBS, Barrack Street, Belfast

1952-1954 Laval, France - Studying
1954-1957 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1957-1960 Monze, Zambia - Regency : Teacher at Chivuna Station
1960-1964 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1964-1965 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1967 Choma, Zambia - Teacher of local language at Mukasa Secondary School
1967-1979 Monze, ZA - Director Kizito Catechist Training Centre
1968 Parish Priest St Mary’s Parish; Chair of Diocesan Catechetical Commission; Member of Diocesan Consult
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 St Louis, MO; USA - Studying Pastoral Theology, at St Louis University
1975 Retreats; Workshops / Seminars; at Kizito Pastoral Centre; CiTonga Language Course
1976 Vicar General for Religious, Archdiocese of Lusaka; Member of Archdiocesan Consul
1979-1984 Chelston, Lusaka, Zambia - Directs Spiritual Exercises at Jesuit Education Centre, Xavier House
1984-1993 Monze, Zambia - Kizito Pastoral Centre
1987 Superior
1993-1996 Gardiner St - Director of Mission Office, Dublin; Spiritual Exercises; Assists in Gardiner St Church
1996-2007 St Bueno’s, St Asaph, Wales, UK - Directs Spiritual Exercises
1999 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (05/01/1999)
2007-2020 Gardiner St - Directs Spiritual Exercises; Assists in Church
2010 Chaplain in St Monica’s Home, Dublin
2012 Assistant Treasurer
2014 Pastoral Work
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

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.

McKenna, Dermot, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/859
  • Person
  • 18 September 1929-21 January 2020

Born: 18 September 1929, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park , Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 21 January 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early Education at O'Connell Schools, Dublin

1949-1952 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1952-1955 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1955-1956 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1956-1958 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1958-1962 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1962-1963 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1963-1964 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Chaplain Belvedere Newsboy’s Club
1964-1974 Rathfarnham - Teacher & Chaplain at Bolton St College of Technology, Dublin
1969 Sabbatical
1970 Province Social Survey
1974-2010 John Austin House - Teacher & Chaplain at Bolton Street College of Technology, Dublin
1987 Vice-Superior
1991 Bolton Trust - Development Director & Secretary; Sabbatical
1995 Vice-Superior
1997 Chair of Co-operative Development Society
2010-2014 Gardiner St - Chair of Co-operative Development Society; Vice-President of Bolton Trust; Writer
2014-2020 Milltown Park - Chair of Co-Op Development Society; Vice-President ‘The Bolton Trust’; Writer
2015 Researching Ecology
2018 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/bolton-trust-at-25/
Dermot McKenna, just turning 84, is celebrating the silver jubilee of the Bolton Trust. He traces his interest in cooperatives to Maggie Thatcher. In 1987 Dermot was a chaplain in Bolton Street College of Technology,… and teaching management and industrial psychology to engineers, showing how people can achieve a lot if they organise in small groups.
In the terrible recession of the 1980s (not as bad as the one we are suffering now) he and his colleagues saw their graduates snatched off to jobs in the offshore island by interviewers sent over by English companies.
“After all our labours, off they went to work for Maggie Thatcher. A group of us used to meet over lunch, and eventually came up with the idea of setting up a kind of co-op, a company limited by guarantee. 25 years ago we formed the Bolton Trust which started in Bolton Street and spread to the other DIT colleges. Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship and grow sustainable indigenous enterprises. A lot of teachers joined in, salaried by the DIT but giving their services freely to the Trust. A key figure in the development was Rea O’Neill, who has put enormous work into it and is highly regarded in all the colleges.
“The ESB gave us an old hotel down on the docks where we could bring in people and they could set up their own companies. At first we used that as our centre – about 20,000 square feet, which was rather small. In 1999 the Bolton Trust took over the East Wall Enterprise Centre from the IDA, renamed it the Docklands Innovation Park (DIP) and formed a long-term plan to upgrade the extensive facilities and create a hub for enterprise and innovation.”
The DIP is now home to some 40 established companies, and it “incubates” a further 40 start-ups every year. Its tenants employ some 350 people. It is central, connected by road and rail in all directions, with excellent online and phone services in its modern and secure offices. It is well described as a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. In its meeting rooms you sense a buzz of young, technically sophisticated people whose horizon is the globe.
The Bolton Trustees still remember with gratitude the support of Dermot McKenna throughout its life (he is still Vice-President), and the financial help of the Irish Jesuit Province at a time when the DIP was just a bright idea, a sign of hope. It is an example of two of the three dimensions which Fr General seeks in our ministries: the promotion of justice and collaboration with others.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/dermot-mckenna-sj-animated-by-vatican-ii/

Dermot McKenna SJ: animated by Vatican II
It was Vatican II above all that gave Dermot McKenna SJ, who passed away on 21 January, aged 90, the freedom to live out his Jesuit life fruitfully, according to Gerry O’Hanlon who gave the homily at the requiem Mass on 24 January.
The council brought with it “a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice”. It was all of this that allowed Dermot to “breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God”.
Fired by this new spirit in the Church, Dermot became engaged in technical education, especially in Bolton Street College of Technology. According to Gerry, Dermot threw himself into “direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded”, studying urban sociology and social psychology. Eventually he set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life.
Dermot passed away on 21 January 2020. You can read Gerry O’Hanlon’s homily notes here » Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

https://www.jesuit.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Dermot-McKenna-Homily-notes-GOH.pdf

REQUIEM MASS FOR DERMOT MCKENNA SJ 24 JANUARY 2020
Homily notes by Gerry O’Hanlon SJ
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. When you were young, you used to get ready and go wherever you wanted to: but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go’
— John 21: 15-18
You can sense Simon Peter a bit impatient and uneasy as Jesus asks him three times, do you love me? Well, those of you who knew Dermot so well can imagine how blunt he might have been in his reply!
But as we gather to celebrate and give thanks for him, to mourn his passing, I think those words of love and of being young and old say a lot about someone we have all known, will miss so much, and of whom we have our own particular memories.
When you were young: I think first of his time as a young Jesuit, joining in 1947 – not so easy: a pre-Vatican II church that saw the modern world as its enemy, a Society of Jesus that had a tough, of its time, emotionally illiterate formation, a spirituality that focussed on an ascetic reading of the Spiritual Exercises, and a notion of obedience that often bypassed consultation and discernment. The camaraderie that existed among the foot soldiers was often accompanied by an anti-authority hostility and even anger.
And then the climate changed. The Church in the modern World of Vatican II, a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice
– all this meant that Dermot could breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God. He found Paddy Doyle in Rathfarnham to be a kindred spirit in the 60s and 70s, and he became engaged in the main apostolate of his life, Bolton Street College of Technology, later to become the Dublin Institute of Technology, now part of a University.
It’s almost as if those changes in title – reflecting a struggle for parity of esteem on behalf of technical education, taken for granted in continental Europe but always somewhat second-class till then in Ireland – mirrored the kind of project Dermot and his colleagues were engaged in. In retrospect it seems to me that he – and they, including Brendan Duddy who is still with us today – were kind of unsung heroes, in first touch with the secularisation and secularism which we take for granted in Ireland today but which then was new, with a group of students who were often viewed as second best by wider society, and, as priests, in a role was really very un-clerical, demanding new responses.
Dermot and his colleagues had different ways of going at this challenge. Some preferred a more traditional, chaplain and pastoral/sacramental role, while others, Dermot among them, preferred a more direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded. Dermot studied in urban sociology, in social psychology, and with apprentices, students of professions, trades and crafts, taught and ran groups which took into account their experience of the world about them and tried to point to the values they might otherwise have missed. Above all, with the help of many staff members, and through his study of the Mondragon Cooperative project in the Basque Country in Spain, he eventually set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life – more of this later in the mass.
He was a great walker, hill walker, as well, and he often joined staff and families on walks on weekends. And so, over decades, this often hidden work, took shape: a real option for the poor, with Catholic Social Teaching at its core, but always in the humble guise of service, for believer and unbeliever alike, far from the critique of clericalism and entitlement which Pope Francis sees as such an obstacle to the gospel proclamation in these days.
And so at the banquet at the end – see Isaiah (25: 6-9) – this unsung work, these seeds scattered without apparent much fruit – need to be celebrated and told about.
And his family: his five brothers, Kieran, Padraic, Gearoid and Tome, all of whom are here today, as well as John who is in Canada and whom I got to know through Dermot, with Pat his wife, both of them wonderful people who would love to be with us today – would be part of this celebration, with their wives and children, and their children, as well as his cousin Angela. Dermot was a quiet and thoughtful presence in his family – well, they will admit themselves that it’s sometimes hard to get a word in edgeways when they’re all in full flow! – but he enjoyed the banter and slagging, often spoke about them, was proud of their achievements.

I had an email from John and Pat in Hamilton, Ontario, last night in which they wrote that they are with us in spirit today and that “Dermot was a special person and we all have great memories of him. We saw him in November and said our goodbyes to him then. His caregivers in the nursing home were caring and compassionate and gentle with him”.

  1. When you are older.... like many of us, Dermot found it hard to transition into older age, to leave his beloved NC road for Gardiner Street and then later Milltown and here in Cherryfield. As he said, close enough to his death, how come the birds outside Cherryfield were so happy and free and he was locked into his chair? He knew then, and also earlier in life, through his own insecurities and weaknesses, that he needed God’s mercy, the experience of the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises. He could be grumpy, stubborn, blunt, not mincing his words. One of my last conversations with him, familiar to many of you I’m sure, began with me asking how are you, and he replying, awful! But then, before too long, even with some confusion and fading memory, he was smiling and there was even the old familiar laugh. His traditional faith would have helped him: he did love Jesus, he knew that if God is for us nothing can be against us (Romans, 8: 31-35, 37-39). He knew, with Rahner, that all life is a giving-back to God of what God freely gives to us and that death is the last big gift we give, of our own life, like a little child jumping from a high wall into the arms of his mother or father.
  2. Life is changed, not ended –
    Our great hope of course is the resurrection, based on our faith in Jesus Christ. This is where the sophisticated Athenians walked away from Paul at the Areopagus, the Public Square – this was too much to believe! And yet Paul himself says we are the most foolish of people as Christians if there is no resurrection. There is a natural human longing for life and its continuance. And so we speak of heaven, sometimes in terms of eternal life, sometimes as the beatific vision, and sometimes – as I prefer – beatific life, a changed life, the fullness of life, in communion with God and all those we love. And so Dermot, we hope with a sure hope, has gone before us into this new life, with his virtues celebrated and his weaknesses healed, enjoying a table of good food and wine, getting more than the odd word in!
    Conclusion:
    It was a kind of running joke between Dermot and myself that when we ran into one another (we had first met when he trained the U-16s rugby team of which I was a member in 1964 in Belvedere!) he would greet me with something like, “Do I know you?”, with a twinkle in the eye and the smile and then laugh. And so it requires no great leap of my imagination to see that scene between Jesus and Peter now unfolding between Jesus and Dermot, as Jesus asks “Do I know you” and Dermot smiles, at rest, seeing, sensing the fullness of life that is before him.
    Amen.

Mallin, Joseph, 1913-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/853
  • Person
  • 13 September 1913-01 April 2018

Born: 13 September 1913, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 01 April 2018, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

Son of Michael Mallin - executed following he 1916 Irish Rising
Brother of Seán Ó Mealláin - RIP 1977

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Easter farewell to long-serving Jesuit

Father Joseph Mallin (連民安神父), of the Society of Jesus, returned to the Lord he served on 1 April 2018, Easter Sunday. He was 104-years-old.

Born in Ireland on 13 September 1913, he joined the Jesuits on 7 September 1932 and was ordained on 31 July 1946. He made his final vows on 8 December 1976.

He arrived in Hong Kong and proceeded to Canton (Guangzhou) in 1948, returning to the then-British colony in 1949.

Between 1950 and 1968, Father Mallin taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Kowloon, then served as the principal of Pun U Association Wah Yan Primary School, Stubbs Road, from 1971-1977 and subsequently as the school’s supervisor from 1977 to 2002.

He was chaplain of Pun U from 2009 to 2103, formally retiring when he reached 100-years-old.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated for Father Mallin at 10am on 14 April at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Konh - 8 April 2018

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/child-of-two-revolutions/

Child of two revolutions
When Father Joseph Mallin celebrated his 100th birthday in Hong Kong on 13 September, he was hailed in Ireland’s newspapers as the oldest Irish priest in the world. Sitting in Wah Yan College, he gave a lively interview to Fionnuala McHugh of the Irish Times, who pointed to the two revolutions that Joe has survived: the Easter Rising of 1916, which claimed his father’s life; and the coup which made Sun Yat Sen the first president of the Republic of China, the year before Joe’s birth.
Joe’s father was Michael Mallin, who left home on Easter Monday 1916 to take command of the fighting in St Stephen’s Green, and never came home; he was shot in Kilmainham along with Connolly, Pearse and the other leaders. The night before the execution, 3-year-old Joseph was taken by his mother (then pregnant with her fifth child) to visit Michael in his cell. Though Joseph has no memory of that goodbye, he heeded the plea in Michael’s last letter: “Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can.” His brother Sean had preceded him into the Jesuits, and both brothers were assigned to the Hong Kong mission.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/featured-news/fior-eireannach-gan-dabht/

‘Fīor Eireannach gan dabht’
President Michael D Higgins and the Lord Mayor of Dublin Mícheál MacDonnacha are among the dignitaries who will attend Fr Joe Mallins SJ’s Memorial Mass on Sat 21 April, 2018 at 11:00am in St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St. Fr Joe Mallin was the son of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was executed for his role in the Easter Rising. He died peacefully and fittingly, on Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 2018, in Hong Kong. He was 104 years old. The funeral Mass for Fr Joe, presided over by the Bishop of Hong Kong, took place at 10am on Saturday, 14 April, at St Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon. The burial was in St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley.
In his homily at the funeral Mass, Fr Joe Russell SJ, commenting on Fr Joe’s longevity said, “It is easy to understand why the people of the Old Testament were sure that a long life was the sign of God’s blessing, and explains why extraordinary life-spans were credited to their great men.” He added, “Joe was a private person. He seldom if ever spoke about himself. Which of us knew what his likes and dislikes were? More remarkably he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another. He never complained. With a family background like his and proficiency in the Irish language, another might have baulked at being assigned to Hong Kong. But not Joe. This is what God was asking of him; there was nothing more to be said.”
Concluding his short homily which you can read in full below, Fr Russell commented, ”As Joe comes before his judge his good life will speak eloquently for him, not only his service to the community at large but also, as the poet puts it, that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. These have not been forgotten, they have been indelibly recorded in the book of life. Now, there is a special difficulty in speaking on the occasion of the death of someone esteemed and admired, that in recalling their virtues we may deprive them of the prayers they need for their soul’s repose.”
He was born in 1914, just two years before his father was executed by firing squad, leaving a wife and five small children. One of Fr Joseph’s brothers, Seán, also became a Jesuit priest, and his sister Úna entered the Loreto order in 1925. She was sent to a convent in Spain, where she spent the rest of her life. Commandant Mallin would have been proud of his children. In his last letter he wrote: : “Úna, my little one, be a nun; Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can ...” Fr Joe joined the Jesuits, and in 1948 he went to Hong Kong and China as part of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. He spent over 70 years of his life there.
Fr Joe entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1932, the same year as the Eucharistic Congress and after his ordination, he was sent on the Jesuit mission to China, where he would spend 70 years of his life. His first posting was in Canton (Guangzhou) in China in 1948. This was the era of Mao Tse Tsung’s and as his Communist Red Army advanced on the city, he and other missionaries had to move to Hong Kong.
According to Fr Alfred Deignan, another Irish Jesuit missionary there, this mission was a new challenge to the Irish Province, “and a new experience for the Jesuits who went there to work among poor people speaking a different language, the Cantonese dialect, with different food, customs and weather, often very hot and humid.” Fr Joe was mission bursar for a time there, and was Director of a social centre before working as a secondary school teacher in a Jesuit-run school. He was appointed Headmaster of their primary school and Principal of Ricci College, a kindergarten in Macau, which was a Portuguese colony until 1999. He was still holding teaching duties there when he returned to Ireland in 2006 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006.
Fr. Joseph, a freeman of Dublin, received an invitation from the Taoiseach’s Office to attend the 90th commemoration, as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was chief-of-staff of the Irish Citizen’s Army and commander of the St. Stephen’s Green garrison during the Easter Rising. Commdt. Mallin was executed in the Stonebreakers’ Yard, Kilmainham Gaol, along with the other leaders of the revolt, and buried in Arbour Hill.
His visit at that time attracted a great deal of media attention. The late Gerald Barry interviewed him for the Easter Sunday edition of ‘This Week’ (RTE 1, 1.00pm), and he also spoke to Joe Little for RTE News and to a Sky News correspondent. “I will attend the parade on Easter Sunday, as the Government was good enough to invite me, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to go to the grave of my father in Arbour Hill, with the other families of those executed, for a ceremony in early May,” he said.
Fr Joe was also musical and played the very flute which his father’s had played in Liberty Hall as a member of the Workers’ Orchestra on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father’s watch are on exhibition in the National Museum of Ireland.
Coming up to Fr Joe’s 100th birthday, he was asked if he regretted anything about leaving Ireland 65 years earlier. He replied that he would have liked to have spent some more time working as a priest in his home country and that he “missed the rain”.
In a moving statement on his death, Fr Joe’s family in Ireland said, “Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history... He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong... and like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.”
They also spoke of the kind of man Fr Joseph was to them, singling out his humility and spirituality. “He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.”
Referencing his communication skills they said, “Fr. Joseph was... a prolific letter writer, just like his father, and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply.” And they spoke of his love of the Irish language – “His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Homily at Funeral of Father Joseph Mallin SJ Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong 14 April 2018
When Father Mallin was two and a half years old, his mother took him to the prison cell where his father was awaiting execution by firing squad the following day at dawn for the part he played in his country’s struggle for independence. As his father embraced his then youngest child for the last time he said to his wife: he’ll make a fine priest.
Wish and prophecy splendidly fulfilled in the life we are remembering this morning.
Father Mallin – he was always Joe to us – was born in Dublin 104 years ago. In him it is easy to understand why the people of the Old Testament were sure that a long life was the sign of God’s blessing, and explains why extraordinary life-spans were credited to their great men.
Joe became a Jesuit in 1932, was ordained priest in 1946. In 1948 he arrived in Hong Kong, where – with the exception of a stint in Macau as principal of Colegio Ricci, he spent the rest of his life.
As we gather together in this chapel to commend him to the Lord’s tender mercy, we have wanted prayers offered, God’s praises sung, the scriptures read, the Eucharist celebrated. It is our way of saying thank you to almighty God for the gift of Joe, and to thank him for sharing his life with us, to thank him too for all the good he accomplished with God’s grace in a long life of service of others. His pilgrim journey came to an end on Easter Sunday – on what better day could one choose to die? – and those who were privileged to have walked some part of that journey with him are left to mourn his loss.
Our Mass this morning then is an act of thanksgiving, it is a last public act of love, an opportunity to surrender Joe into the loving embrace of the God he so faithfully served. Our Mass is also the joyful assertion of our Christian belief that we – that all of us – are called to share Christ’s resurrection. We are asserting that we have been created, not for death but for life, that death has not the last word. Because of Christ’s resurrection death, from being final and immediately destructive has become fruitful and triumphant, has become the beginning of something magnificent rather than the end of everything. Though Joe has died he still lives on, in the thoughts of those who knew and loved him, and he lives on, we confidently believe, in our Father’s house, experiencing now the truth of those lovely words of St Augustine: You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.
Joe was a private person. He seldom if ever spoke about himself. Which of us knew what his likes and dislikes were? More remarkably he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another. He never complained. With a family background like his and proficiency in the Irish language, another might have baulked at being assigned to Hong Kong. But not Joe. This is what God was asking of him; there was nothing more to be said. Joe was a man of many parts. Though most of his time was given to education, he was called on to fill many and varied roles. Because of his good judgement and attention to detail he was asked to supervise the construction of both Wah Yan Colleges as well as the Adam Shall student hostel on the campus of the Chinese University. For a time he was in charge of a Caritas social service centre. He was bursar for the communities where he was stationed. And when the Jesuits took on the running of the Pun U Association primary school, it was he who was called on to be its principal and then its supervisor. The Provincial who assigned him to this new venture gave as the reason for his choice: Joe seems to succeed in whatever he undertakes.
His was a life without frills. His hobbies were few: he was a lover of nature and delighted in treks up and down the hills and dales of the New Territories. He also played the recorder. Living in the room next to his I can vouch for this. He had a phenomenal, computer-like memory which remained with him until the end. He took the trouble to remember the name of every boy in Pun U school. The boys’ names were written in a little book which he carried around with. For him to make this effort to know the names of his students was a mark of his respect for them.
This morning we are a guard of honour escorting Joe home to meet his Lord, to that presence where each of us will one day just as surely go. We are outriders accompanying him on his final journey. As Joe comes before his judge his good life will speak eloquently for him, not only his service to the community at large but also, as the poet puts it, that best portion of a good man’s life: his little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love. These have not been forgotten, they have been indelibly recorded in the book of life. Now, there is a special difficulty in speaking on the occasion of the death of someone esteemed and admired, that in recalling their virtues we may deprive them of the prayers they need for their soul’s repose.
As we hand Joe over to the mercy and compassion of his Saviour and ours, we bid him a fond good-bye, conscious that we are saying au revoir and not farewell. As we salute him with pride and affection, we turn to God in prayer for ourselves who are left behind: that the Lord may support us, all the day long, till the shadows lengthen and the evening comes and the busy world is hushed and the fever of life is over and our work is done. Then in his mercy may he give us too a safe lodging, a holy rest and peace at the last.
Fr John Russell SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/memorial-mass-for-joe-mallin-sj/

Memorial Mass for Joe Mallin SJ
President Michael D. Higgins was among the dignitaries at the Memorial Mass for Irish Jesuit missionary Fr Joseph Mallin SJ at Gardiner Street Church on 21 April, 2018. Fr Mallin’s funeral was previously held in Hong Kong where he had lived and worked for the last 70 years.
The service was a celebration of his remarkable life, which had both historical and spiritual significance and offered his family, friends and fellow Jesuits the opportunity to mark his passing in his home town.
The packed congregation in St Francis Xavier Church also included the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Mícheál Mac Donncha, the Taoiseach’s aide-de-camp Commandant Caroline Burke, Councillor Cormac Devlin, Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Senator Mark Daly, who were in attendance due to Fr Mallin’s stature as the last surviving child of an executed 1916 leader and as a Freeman of Dublin.
A book of condolence was signed by mourners as they entered the church. The book sat on a table against a backdrop of photographs of Fr Joseph’s parents. The portrait of his father Michael Mallin sits beside a photo of his mother Agnes who is captured sitting with her five small children Séamas, Seosamh, Séan, Maura, and Úna at Maura’s baptism in 1916 – the year her husband was executed.
Fr Joseph’s cousin, Fr Ray Warren OMI, was the main celebrant at the Mass and delivered a heartfelt homily in which he said that his cousin was a man who was ‘blessed indeed with understanding, wisdom, and knowledge’ and noted his ‘encyclopaedic memory’.
The Mass was a bilingual celebration in honour of Fr Joseph’s lifelong love of the Irish language and of course his heritage. It was also an event in which both his biological and Jesuit family came together. Fr Gerry Clarke SJ, the Gardiner Street parish priest welcomed the congregation and was joined on the altar by many other Jesuits including Ashley Evans SJ, James Hurley SJ and the Provincial, Leonard Moloney SJ. John Guiney SJ, Director of the Jesuit Missions Office, accompanied the President, Michael D. Higgins throughout the ceremony.
Fr Joseph’s niece, Una Ni Challanáin, did the first reading and his cousin, Fr Ray Warren OMI, read the Gospel on ‘The Beatitudes’. Other members of the Mallin-Hickey family read prayers of the faithful and sang at the event.
An offertory procession that presented symbols of Fr Joseph’s life were presented at the altar during Mass. The items chosen were a flag, a flute, and his rosary beads and also his pen and glasses. Fr Joseph didn’t return home very often from the time his mission in Hong Kong began but he was a prolific letter-writer who corresponded with many people in Ireland and around the world. A letter to his nephew arrived in Ireland five days after his death and added a poignant touch to the collection.
Seán Tapley is a nephew of Fr Mallin’s who corresponded with him right up until his death and worked closely with him on the document that revealed new evidence about his father Michael Mallin’s court martial and execution. He gave a moving eulogy which gave tribute to Fr Mallin’s legacy of education and pastoral work in Hong Kong, and his love of his adopted home. He also noted that in spite of the many letters that Fr Mallin wrote, he was essentially ‘a thoughtful man with a droll sense of humour’ who was economical with words.
The Jesuit tribute to the deceased missionary was delivered by Fr Leonard Moloney SJ, the current Provincial of the Society of Jesus. In it he emphasised Fr Mallin’s dedication to his mission in Hong Kong, and his reputation for never speaking ill of anybody over his long life (see the full speech below).
After the ceremony, the congregation stayed for refreshments and conversation in Gardiner Street Jesuit community, to celebrate the life and achievements of this remarkable man.
Photo: Accompanying the President are John K. Guiney SJ and Yanira Romero of Irish Jesuit Missions.

Reflection by Irish Jesuit Provincial Leonard Moloney SJ
In the second last letter to his wife Agnes, written literally on the back of an envelope, Commandant Mallin, Joe’s father, wrote, “All is lost, my love to all my children. No matter what my fate I have done my duty to my beloved Ireland, to you, and to my darling children.”
Joe’s father was one of those Irish men with a deep Catholic faith and a sense of sacrifice, who were prepared to give their lives for what ‘was right and just’, as Joe himself has said.
Ireland has that tradition of self-sacrifice for the good of others, and it’s also expressed in another vein – that of our missionary tradition. We have the monks of old like St Columcille, St Columbanus and St Gall who left their native land to spread the good news of Christ and his vision of justice and peace.
When Fr Joe became a Jesuit, he joined an order whose early founders, like Francis Xavier, began the European missionary journey to the East. Indeed, Francis wanted to go to China but died on the island of Shangchuan, in sight of the mainland.
So like the early Jesuit Fathers, Fr Joe become a part of the Jesuit tradition of mission, going where the need is greatest, obeying orders! And following in the sacrificial tradition of his own Father, (and Irish missionaries) he gave his life – over 70 years of it – working for and with the people of China and Hong Kong.
As he said in an interview a short while ago, the men and women of the Rising, like his father “had a vision of what was right and just, and they wanted to do what they could to build a better Ireland free from poverty and oppression.”
That too was Fr Joe’s motivation as a missionary and as a Jesuit. In the words of Pedro Arrupe, a former Fr General of the Jesuits and himself a European missionary to Asia, Jesuits are men called to live ‘a faith that does justice.’
And that was the faith that Joe lived out, teaching those he was sent to, and in the best missionary tradition, allowing them to teach him. In that same interview, he quoted a Chinese saying that summed up what life was about: “It’s not about ‘ourselves alone’, (now there’s a resonant phrase!) “it’s about what the Chinese call ‘sharing with others’.”
Joe certainly shared his long life with others, be it as teacher, construction supervisor, bursar, headmaster, or director of a social services centre. He found himself in those various roles because, “of his sound judgement and attention to detail” to quote his fellow Jesuits in China.
That word attention is key. For as 20th century mystic Simone Weil points out, “Taken to its highest degree, attention is the same thing as prayer. It presupposes faith and love”. And what else would you call it when someone takes the trouble to remember the name of every boy in his school, as Father Joe did.
The Jesuits in his community also attest to his goodness – ‘He never complained’, fellow Jesuit community member Fr Joe Russell tells us. And in fact, as Fr Ray has pointed out, Fr Joe was a great communicator, and he was very careful with words.
This is something that Pope Francis singles out for attention in his recent apostolic letter Gaudete et Exultate. He tells us that resisting the temptation to gossip or engage in back biting is a holy thing.
And Fr Russell also adds, “Remarkably, he never spoke unkindly about others. I never remember him ever speaking disparagingly about another”. 104 years and never an unkind word about another person – remarkable indeed!
In that letter on the envelope that Commandant Mallin wrote to Joe’s mother he started by saying, “All is lost”. He ended by qualifying that statement saying, “All is lost, Agnes, except honor and courage”.
Those qualities were certainly not lost in his son whom we remember today. Fr Joe Mallin, a man of courage and honour, a good and holy Jesuit.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-rebel-stock/

JESUITICA: Rebel stock
A curious bond links the first scholastic of the restored Irish Mission with the oldest Jesuit in our Chinese mission: both lost their fathers to execution by the British. Bartholomew Esmonde returned from his studies in Sicily in 1814 to join the staff of the new college of Clongowes. Some ten years earlier his father, Dr John Esmonde of Sallins, Kildare, had been publicly hanged on O’Connell Bridge in Dublin for his part in the 1798 rebellion. William Aylmer of Kilcock, whose Jesuit brother founded Belvedere, was convicted of treason for the same reason, but escaped execution. Michael Mallin, a leader in the 1916 rising, called his family to Kilmainham Gaol on the eve of his execution, and prayed that his little son Joseph would be a priest. 94-year-old Joseph SJ, pictured here on the steps of Kilmainham Gaol, is still ministering in Hong Kong. Despite stereotypes, many Jesuits are of rebel stock.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/242-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of-service and https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/587-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of-service-2

FR. JOE MALLIN SJ - A LIFE OF SERVICE
The last eighty years have seen momentous changes and Fr. Joe Mallin SJ has been a witness to many, during his years of service in China. Clearly a life of service to others was not unknown in his own family - his brother Sean entered the Society a few years before him and his father was Commandant Michael Mallin, executed by the British for his part in the Easter Rising of 1916.
Fr. Mallin was only two and a half years old and therefore has no memories of his father but was very moved by an article about him written in 1917 by an American Jesuit. Fr. Mallin remembers his mother as a wise woman, who tried to let them experience as normal a family life as possible. At the time of his execution she had four children and was expecting their fifth. In a final letter to her, her husband wrote "to pray for all the souls who fell in this fight, Irish and English".

Eucharistic Congress 1932
Shortly before he entered the Irish Jesuit Novitiate, in September 1932, Joe was an active participant in the Eucharistic Congress, remembering the huge crowds in Phoenix Park, the relief that the weather held, and the excellent marshalling by General O'Duffy, Garda Commissioner. Joe had been in contact with the Jesuits whilst at St Enda's Rathfarnham and met Fr. Ernest Mackey at Knockbeg College.

China
On the ship out to Hong Kong the Catholic cargo supervisor died and Fr. Joe was asked to conduct the burial service at sea. It was a very moving experience he remembers and the captain was most helpful. Fr. Mallin arrived in Guangzhou (Canton) in early September 1948. But in May 1949, the Jesuits had to leave the city for Hong Kong due to the advance of the Chinese Communist army. Hong Kong in the late 1940s was not in good shape due to the Japanese occupation and the Allied bombing but it recovered very quickly.
Fr. Mallin didn't have much time to explore his new home but got to work straight away. He had to take over the top floor of the Paris Foreign Mission Society house which had kindly been handed over to the Jesuits. Joe had no difficulty adapting to the new life and culture. He pitched in head first into dealing with all kinds of people – architects, builders and suppliers, cooks and cleaners. He supervised several construction or building conversion jobs and had to arrange for the temporary accommodation of many Jesuits expelled from Mainland China after the Communist takeover.
An incident he recalls clearly was when a phone call came one night, very late, from the Queen Mary Hospital asking for a priest to come to attend a dying patient. He went down to the street and stopped a taxi. The taxi driver got him to the hospital very quickly. When he thanked him, the driver replied "I am a Muslim, and my father told me that if a Catholic mission priest ever stopped me in the middle of the night to go to a hospital I should drive like the wind because it was very important."

Few words, but many loving actions
He had a very varied apostolic life, successfully doing the job of minister in the community, Mission Bursar, Director of a Social Centre, secondary teacher, Headmaster of Pun Yu Primary School in Hong Kong, Principal of Ricci College in Macao, among other things. He was known as a man of few words, but of many loving actions.

National Museum Dublin
Fr. Mallin played the flute, which had belonged to his father. Indeed his father had played it in Liberty Hall in the Workers' Orchestra on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father's watch are now in the National Museum in Dublin.
When asked if he regretted anything about leaving Ireland, he said that he would like to have had some more time working as a priest in Ireland. He said that he also missed the rain! Fr. Joe Mallin has been a Jesuit for over 80 years and will celebrate his 100th birthday next September! He is viewed with almost incredulous amazement for all he does at his age. He is deeply respected by all those who know him.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/460-fr-joseph-mallin-sj-looking-back-2016-1916

FR JOSEPH MALLIN SJ: LOOKING BACK 2016-1916
Fr Joseph Mallin SJ received the freedom of the city (https://www.thejournal.ie/joseph- mallin-freedom-of-dublin-hong-kong-2671842-Mar2016/) award from the Lord Mayor of Dublin Críona Ní Dhálaigh who flew to Hong Kong to meet him on the 21st March. An Irish concert was enjoyed by all, including Fr Mallin's visiting niece Una, and the two conversed "as Gaeilge" all evening. The award was a tribute to his life’s service through his ministry to the people of Hong Kong and Macau and in recognition of his status as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, one of the executed leaders of the Irish 1916 Easter Rising.

Oldest Irish Jesuit missionary priest
Joe Mallin was born in 1913. At age 102 (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/416-happy- 102nd-birthday-to-fr-joe-mallin-sj), he is the oldest Irish Jesuit missionary priest, living in Hong Kong.
His father Michael Mallin commanded the fighting at St Stephen’s Green on Easter (https://jesuitmissions.ie/news/459-celebrating-easter-2016) Monday 1916 with Countess Markievicz as his deputy. The Commandant paid the ultimate price for his part in the Irish Easter Rising and was shot in Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin on May 8th, 1916.
The night before his father’s execution, Joseph was taken to Kilmainham Gaol by his mother, then pregnant with their fifth child, to say goodbye. He was only two and a half years old and does not remember the occasion. Michael Mallin wrote to his little boy in the last letter to his family: “Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can.”
Portrait of Michael Mallin by David Rooney from 1916 Portraits and Lives(Royal Irish Academy)
Fr Mallin often played the flute that his father used in the Workers’ Orchestra, in Liberty Hall, Dublin on the eve of the 1916 Rising. The flute and his father’s watch are now in the National Museum in Dublin.

The ultimate price
In a greeting on Fr Mallin’s 100th birthday, Senator Mark Daly wrote:
“As a nation we owe a huge debt of gratitude to the sacrifice made by many men and women through the generations.
“The price paid by your father in laying down his life, the price paid by your mother who lost her husband, the price paid by you and your siblings who grew up without their father is a debt un- repayable by any nation.
“The proclamation whose ideals they tried to fulfill contains concepts that are both timeless and universal. Those aims are as relevant to people struggling for rights all over the world today as much as they were for the people of Ireland in 1916.”

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/588-‘fīor-eireannach-gan-dabht

‘FĪOR EIREANNACH GAN DABHT’
Joe Mallin SJ, son of Commdt. Michael Mallin, who was executed for his role in the Easter Rising, died
peacefully and fittingly, on Easter Sunday morning, 1 April 2018, in Hong Kong. He was 104 years old.
He was born in 1914, just two years before his father was executed by firing squad, leaving a wife and five small children. One of Fr Joseph’s brothers, Seán, also became a Jesuit priest, and his sister Úna entered the Loreto order in 1925. She was sent to a convent in Spain, where she spent the rest of her life. Commdt. Mallin would have been proud of his children. In his last letter he wrote: : “Úna, my little one, be a nun; Joseph, my little man, be a priest if you can ...” Fr Joe joined the Jesuits, and in 1948 he went to Hong Kong and China (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/587-fr-joe-mallin-sj-a-life-of- service-2) as part of the Irish Jesuit mission to China. He spent over 70 years of his life there.
According to Fr Alfred Deignan, another Irish Jesuit missionary there, this mission was a new challenge to the Irish Province (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/543-90th-anniversary-of-the-arrival-of-the- jesuits-in-hong-kong), “and a new experience for the Jesuits who went there to work among poor people speaking a different language, the Cantonese dialect, with different food, customs and weather, often very hot and humid.” Fr Joe taught in a a Jesuit-run secondary school and was still holding teaching duties there when he returned to Ireland in 2006 to commemorate the 90th anniversary of the Easter Rising in 2006.
Fr. Joseph, a freeman of Dublin, received an invitation from the Taoiseach’s Office to attend the 90th commemoration, as the child of Commandant Michael Mallin, who was chief-of-staff of the Irish Citizen’s Army and commander of the St. Stephen’s Green garrison during the Easter Rising. Commdt. Mallin was executed in the Stonebreakers’ Yard, Kilmainham Gaol, along with the other leaders of the revolt, and buried in Arbour Hill.
His visit at that time attracted a great deal of media attention. The late Gerald Barry interviewed him for the Easter Sunday edition of ‘This Week’ (RTE 1, 1.00pm), and he also spoke to Joe Little for RTE News and to a Sky News correspondent. “I will attend the parade on Easter Sunday, as the Government was good enough to invite me, but what I am most looking forward to is being able to go to the grave of my father in Arbour Hill, with the other families of those executed, for a ceremony in early May,” he said.
In a moving statement on his death, Fr Joe’s family in Ireland said, “Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history... He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong... and like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.”
They also spoke of the kind of man Fr Joseph was to them, singling out his humility and spirituality. “He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.”
They spoke also of his communication skills – “Fr. Joseph was... a prolific letter writer, just like his father, and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply.” And of his love of the Irish language – “His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them. (Read their full statement below).
The funeral Mass for Fr Joe will take place at 10am on Saturday, 14 April, at St Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College Kowloon.The burial will take place after the Mass at St. Michael’s Cemetery, Happy Valley, Hong Kong. The Mass will be presided by the Bishop of Hong Kong.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Statement from the Mallin/Hickey Family on the death of Fr Joe
It is with great personal sadness that we learned from Hong Kong this Easter morning of the death of Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ, and just as we were about to commemorate the 102nd anniversary of the Easter Rising. We always knew this day was near but it came as a shock all the same to know that Fr. Joseph is gone to his heavenly reward. What a poignant day to complete his earthly life. And what a good and long life in the service of God it was and he lived it well. May he rest in peace. We will miss him. Solas na bhflaitheas dó agus ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.
Joseph Michael Mallin was born in September 1913. He was the youngest son of Agnes Hickey and Michael Mallin. His mother was the daughter of Joseph Hickey, a Fenian man who was deported from Ireland for 11 years for his part in the Fenian Rising of 1867, and the granddaughter of John Francis Nugent a United Irishman, a printer & publisher from Cookstown Co. Tyrone. Agnes was born in Liverpool in 1870 during the deportation. Joseph was just a young boy when his father, Michael Mallin, Commandant and Chief-of-Staff of the Irish Citizen Army was executed at Kilmainham Gaol in 1916.
Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was the last direct living link with that period of our history. His siblings, brothers Séamus and Fr. Seán, sisters Sr. Agnes, a Nun with the Loreto Community in Seville, Spain, and Maura Phillips have all predeceased him.
He served for more than 70 years as a missionary and educator in mainland China and Hong Kong with the Jesuit community there. He was ordained in 1946 and two years later was sent to the Jesuit Mission in China. He worked tirelessly for the people there. He loved that community and they loved him and it is there where he will be laid to rest. With others he played a significant part in the ongoing development of education and progress of Wah Yan School and college in Hong Kong and Kowloon. He managed Wah Yan College for a number of years and, like most teachers, he often talked with pride of the pupils educated at that college, many of whom went on to become leaders in their various walks of life.
Fr. Joseph was a very spiritual and humble man. He had a deeply held Christian faith and love for his fellow man and woman. His was a practical faith with a strong base in social justice and equality; not unlike his father who as a trade union activist fought for social justice and workers’ rights and who gave his young life for such a cause.
Fr. Joseph lived to be 104. He was given more time than most on this earth and he used that time wisely. His parents, Michael and Agnes Mallin would be very proud of their son’s achievements and the way he lived his life.
Fr. Joseph was a great communicator all his life, a prolific letter writer, just like his father. He was an inveterate letter-writer and he wrote letters to his family members on a regular basis and also to many other correspondents, never failing to respond to a letter when anyone wrote to him, be it a young school child from Donegal or an academic historian from the University, they would receive a thoughtful reply. His command of the Irish language, written and oral, was unbelievable considering he was out of the country since 1948. He wrote to family members and others as Gaeilge – always, san sean-cló, in the old Irish script, and he was delighted to speak Irish to anybody from Ireland who visited him, Fīor Eireannach gan dabht. He had numerous friends in Ireland and around the world. He kept in contact with them all and whenever he was home in Ireland he would make sure to visit them.
Fr. Joseph Mallin SJ was proud to be honoured with the Freedom of the City of Dublin during the 1916 Centenary Commemorations. An honour presented for his service to education and his family’s connection to the Easter 1916 Rising and the struggle for Irish Independence.
One of his last official acts was his major historical contribution to the memory of his father, Commandant Michael Mallin. This historical document was published last year and it presents new insights and facts about the record of his father’s court martial. This document is now available in the archives of Kilmainham Gaol Museum and the National Library of Ireland. It was Fr. Joseph’s wish that historians would be cognisant of this work.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father was a martyr for Irish Independance. He was born in 1913. His father was shot in 1916 for his part in the insurrection against the British, and so his father was considered a martyr.After his father’s death his family were cared for, he was sent to a special Irish Primary School and then to a Jesuit one.

He joined the Society in 1932, was Ordained in 1946 and came to Hong Kong in 1948, going to Guangzhou for language studies until he was forced to leave in 1949.

He was highly respected among Jesuits as a holy man of charity and practical work. The Jesuits in Hong Kong owe much to him in maming the buildings on Cheung Chau typhoon proof (Typhoon Mary had killd 30 people there in 1930)
He was in charge of building Wah Yan College Hong Kong 1954-1955.
He was also in charge of the School Chapel at Wah Yan Kowloon and the extension over the avenue in 1969. He was also responsible for the construction of the Adam Schall Residence at the The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
He spent four years in Macau, one as teacher and three as Proncipal, until he was recalled to Hong Kong to be Principal of the Pun U Wah Yan Primary School when the Society took over the management of that school. He later became Supervisor there.
He was sent back to Macau to work at the Jesuit school there, and was recalled to Hong Kong as Supervisor of the Primary School again, He knew the teachers there so swell and they all loved him. He was interested in people and kind.
According to Mr Wallace Yu, and alumnus of Wah Yan Hong Kong, he is keen to point out that Joe Mallin was “Headmaster” rather than “Principal” at Pun U, and that the Wah Yan was only added later in 1971 between his two periods at Pun U he was in Macau at Collegio Ricci.

Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - St Enda’s Rathfarnham student

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

Dunne, James, 1921-2014, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/845
  • Person
  • 22 May 1921-07 November 2014

Born: 22 May 1921, Kilbeggan, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 November 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 02 February 1960, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 07 November 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969; ZAM to HIB 1979

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
In the late 50s, Joe pioneered the Chivuna Mission where he built the community house, church and Trade School with the co-operation of Br Jim Dunne and won the esteem and affection of the people in the locality

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 158 : Winter 2014

Obituary

Br James (Jim) Dunne (1921-2014)

22 May 1921: Born in Kilbeggan, Co. Westmeath.
Early education at Rahugh National School and CBS Tullamore.
Worked in the family business
7 November 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8 November 1951: First Vows in Zambia
1951 - 1959: Chivunia Mission, Zambia – Teacher in technical and building skills
1959 - 1960: Manresa, Roehampton - Tertianship
1960 - 1974: Bishop's House, Monze - Builder
2 February 1960: Final Vows at Chikuni
1974 - 1981: Belvedere College - Minister
1981 - 1983: CIR - Secretary to the College
1983 - 1985: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Minister; Supervisor of staff
1985 - 1987: Tullabeg - Minister
1987 - 1988: Tullabeg - Sabbatical; studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1988 - 1995: Milltown Park - Treasurer
1995 - 1999: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the church
1999 - 2007: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
2007 - 2014: Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society

Brother Jim Dunne was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 13th July 2007. He was a happy resident and enjoyed fairly good health over the years. His condition deteriorated over time and he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

On Friday, 7th November 2014, Brother Jim Dunne, a member of the Milltown Park community, died at Cherryfield Lodge, at the age of 93 years and several months - a monumental age for a man of many monuments. Always a man of few words, Jim became more quiet-spoken as the years advanced. But underneath this quiet exterior lay a deeply spiritual man whose longings and desires were always for the Lord and how he could use his talents to make the love and service of Christ our Lord a reality in his own life, as well as in the lives of his fellow-Jesuits and the many individuals whom he encountered during his many years with us.

From the very beginning of his religious life, Jim was a rock-solid man of God. Very early witness to this was the trust that the Irish Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, placed in him by sending him in his second year as a novice to Northern Rhodesia, to what was then a newly developing world for Irish Jesuits. Jim was just over 30 at the time, mature in years but still grappling with the beginnings of the religious life. However, there was no need for any fear about the depth of his commitment. His solid spirituality stood by him through the long sea and rail journey from London (via Cape Town) to Chisekesi and on to Chikuni, where he arrived early in September 1951, and during the months of learning Chitonga in the somewhat spartan conditions that then prevailed. And it never deserted him after he took vows in Chikuni on the feast of St. Stanislaus Kostka later that year. This gave Jim the remarkable distinction of being the only Irish Jesuit ever to take his First Vows in what today is Zambia. He reaffirmed his Jesuit commitment on 2nd February 1960 when he took his Final Vows, again at Chikuni.

Endowed with great practical intelligence, Jim brought into the Society a wide range of skills developed and exercised in the family's workshop not far from Tullamore. Construction, artistic brick-laying, carpentry, joinery, plumbing, electrical work – he took all of these in his stride, almost as if they were second nature to him, and yet he was always prepared to learn more from those who were more qualified than he was. Jim was also a gifted manager, with a flair for organising and getting the right people, with the right tools and equipment, into the right place at the right time. His ability to give directions simply and effectively, and his own manifest skills, helped greatly in building up confident teams of proficient and well-motivated building workers. Working with and through these, Jim became key to building-development in what was to become the Diocese of Monze. But in addition to the buildings that bear his stamp even today, Jim also left a great monument in the skills that he passed on to the local people with whom he worked. He was very particular that anything he turned his hand to should be of the highest quality and he always tried to make sure that his trainees and workers would also be concerned not just with getting a job done but with getting it done to the highest possible standards.

One of Jim's earliest assignments was to develop and run with Father Joe McCarthy the Civuna Trades Training Institute (TTI). In time, the TTI gave way to a secondary school for girls, but not before, under Jim, it had qualified several hundred first-rate carpenters and brick-layers who fanned out to bring building development across much of the southern part of Zambia. Later, when the Diocese of Monze was established, Jim became in effect its building manager, working closely with Fr. Fred Moriarty and others in the development of Kizito Catechetical Centre, churches, parish houses, schools, and houses for teachers and catechists.

In the strangely coincidental ways in which God's providence works, another Jesuit Brother from the Irish Province came to Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1952, one year after Jim's arrival in Chikuni. This was Pat McElduff who in his younger years had done some of his apprenticeship as a tradesman in Rahugh on the borders of Westmeath and Offaly where, in the years before he joined the Jesuits, Jim himself had been trained. The two knew each other from these early years and now they found themselves working together again, this time on a larger canvas. And almost after the manner of the Apostles Peter and Paul, building responsibilities were assigned to them in different ways: Jim became responsible for all projects that belonged to Monze Diocese, while Pat took on those that belonged to the Jesuits (or Chikuni Mission). As a result of this arrangement, for the last period of his life in Zambia, from 1960 to the time of his return to Ireland in 1974, Jim lived in what was to become the Bishop's house in Monze. While he was happy there and got on very well with Bishop Corboy and the rest of the community, at times he felt almost out of his depth and yearned for more interaction with the fellow-Jesuits he had lived with in earlier days. In the way of many quiet people, things sometimes got through to Jim, making him feel that bit down in himself. However, as a solid religious man, he would not let this interfere with his commitment as a hard working Jesuit but would eventually regain his equilibrium through his prayer, work, community involvement and, sometimes, rest and better physical health.

Jim was a very agreeable companion, one who was easy and enjoyable to live with. He was quiet in his manner but this did not stop him enjoying a game of cards, a good movie or the comradeship of a walk in the evening with one of the community. He was greatly loved by the Batonga people among whom he worked and is particularly remembered for the concern he showed that their marriages be happy and stable and that their children attend school. He showed special kindness and understanding towards Jesuit scholastics newly arrived in the country and was particularly attentive to their health needs; many a young Jesuit received gentle but firm admonitions from him about taking their anti-malaria medicines or wearing a hat until acclimatised to the sun.

Ironically, it was malaria that brought Jim's years in Zambia to a close. He contracted fever in days long before Artemesin or other drugs could provide powerful protection. Though frequently quite unwell, he continued with his work as best he could, but in time developed a recurrent form of malaria that was intractable to treatment. In the circumstances, the Holy Rosary Doctor-Sisters (Lucy O'Brien, Maureen O'Keeffe, Eileen Kane) advised that he return permanently to Ireland, because remaining in Zambia would always mean serious health problems for him.

So it was that after 23 years in Zambia, from 1951 to 1974, Jim returned to Ireland and was re-incorporated into the Irish Province. Until his mid-80s he was busy, a wonderful man to have on your side, practical and resourceful, moving where he was needed, always concerned about those around him; ever seeking perfection in anything undertaken by him or any of those for whom he was responsible; and always, simply always, a solid man of God, devoted and faithful to his religious duties, serving the God he loved through what he could still do, building up others through his sympathetic and understanding nature. Jim, sparing of speech, gentle and perceptive, contributed massively to the smooth running of the five Irish houses in which he served. These were not always the havens of peace one would like to imagine. Belvedere, where he was Minister for seven years, was a settled (I nearly wrote entrenched) community, hard-working but not easy to administer. If Jim was quiet, he was also alert, and concerned about everyone around him. From his sick bed in Cherryfield he would admire and appraise the craft of workmen in the building opposite. His regular greeting of How are you? was no formality. He wanted to know. No wonder he is missed. May God be good to this deeply spiritual Jesuit.

Michael J Kelly

O'Driscoll, Cornelius, 1933-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/844
  • Person
  • 31 July 1933-27 January 2015

Born: 31 July 1933, Wexford / Ballyhale, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Mukasa Seminary, Zambia
Died: 27 January 2015, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Grew up in Ballyhale, County Kilkenny.

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1960 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

Early Education at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny and Defence Forces (Cadetship and Commission)

31 July 1933: Born in Wexford.
Early School years in Ballyhale National School, Kilkenny
1945 - 1951: St Kieran's College, Kilkenny
1951 - 1954: Defence Forces - Cadetship and Commission
7th September 1954: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956-1959 Tullabeg – Studied Philosophy
1959-1960 Zambia – Studied the language
1960-1962 Chikuni College – teaching, prefecting, games, helping in Parish
1962-1966 Milltown Park – Studied Theology
1966-1968 Zambia – Chikuni College, teaching
1968-1969 Mukasa Minor Seminary – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1969-1971 Chikuni College – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1971-1972 Tertianship: Liverpool/St. Bueno’s
1972-1976 Chisekesi, Zambia – Teacher; Prefecting; Games at Canisius College, Chikuni
1976-1978 Mukasa – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1978-1981 Namwala; Chikuni; Chivuna, Assistant Parish Priest
1981-1985 SFX, Gardiner Street – Vocations and Church/Parish Work
1985-1988 Chikuni; Namwala – Teaching; Parish Work; Marriage Encounter
1988-1991 Namwala-Superior, Assistant P.P.
1991-1992 3M Course at St. Beuno’s, Wales
1992-1994 Namwala/Mukasa – Teaching; Parish Work; Marriage Encounter
1994-1995 Milltown Park – Directing Spiritual Exercises; Pastoral Work;
1995-2005 Galway – Church/Parish/Retreats
1997 Parish Priest; Librarian
2003 Prefect of the Church
2005-2006 Sabbatical (USA); Rome C.I.S. Course on Spiritual Exercises
2006-2010 John Austin House – Assistant Director Jesuit Mission Office; Assisted in Aughrim Street Parish
2008 Superior
2010-2015 St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner St. – Assisted in Mission Office; Spiritual Director, Legion of Mary
2015 Residing in Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Joseph B (Joe) Conway Entry
Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-fr-neil-odriscoll-sj/

RIP: Fr Neil O’Driscoll SJ
Fr Neil O’Driscoll died peacefully in St. Vincent’s Hospital on Tuesday 27th January, aged 81. The eldest of five children, he was born in Wexford but moved as a child to Kilkenny, the county that commanded his loyalty from then on. He was a fine figure of a man who never lost the military bearing that reflected his three years in the army, moving from cadetship to commission. Was it the example of the soldierly Ignatius Loyola that moved him to the next stage, entering the Jesuit noviciate at Emo? Or the fact that Neil, like his father, was born on St Ignatius’ feast, 31 July? As with Ignatius, what met the eye was impressive, but less important than the depth and gentleness that lit up his face when he smiled. He was a dear and delightful companion.
Of his fifty years of priesthood, he spent half in Zambia, first learning the language, then schoolmastering and parish work in Chikuni and Namwala. When Bishop James Corboy founded Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma, Neil went there as Prefect and teacher, and had a great influence on the boys there. His ability to encourage vocations and his good-tempered approach to teaching and to discipline made him a valued member of staff. I don’t think it is just coincidence that among his pupils there were two who later became Bishops and many others who were priests in various dioceses.
Neil was 61 when he returned to Ireland for a new ministry of giving retreats and running St Ignatius’ parish in Galway – he was the last Jesuit Parish priest. It was a good time for him. He always spoke of Galway with special affection; he found a warm welcome there and made many close friends. Meeting Neil you sensed a man who was happy in his priestly vocation, right up to his last years in Cherryfield. And he was a man of strong loyalties: to his family, his county of Kilkenny, his Alma Mater St Kieran’s College, and to the Jesuits, his comrades and spiritual home for sixty years of his life. May the Lord reward him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 159 : Spring 2015

Obituary

Fr Cornelius (Neil) O’Driscoll (1933-2015)

Neil O'Driscoll died peacefully in St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on 27th January 2015, aged 81. Like his father, he was born on the feast of St. Ignatius, something that may have had a bearing on his decision to enter the Society. He was baptised as Cornelius, though his Jesuit colleagues will ever remember him as Neil. But there are more significant things they will surely remember about him; his bright reassuring smile; the twinkle in his eye; his personal concern for his fellow-Jesuits and their work; the warmth, kindness and sincerity of his friendship; his gentle manner; the patient resignation with which he bore adverse health conditions; the uncomplaining way in which time and again he readjusted the course of his life in answer to the demands of his deteriorating health; his deep spiritual life, never paraded openly, but obvious in his great devotion to the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary.

The human context for all of this was the characteristic that first met the eye: Neil's impressive, almost military, bearing and the measured way in which he would deal with an issue. The years he spent in the Irish Army Officer Cadet Corps before entering the Jesuit novitiate made a deep impression on him and in God's surprising ways equipped him for some of the roles he would fill in the Society. A very early one, while still a novice, was to take some of his fellow-novices for drill, marching thern round in efforts to improve their carriage and bearing. This was at a time when Ireland was experiencing renascent Irish Republican Army (IRA) activity; so it is no surprise that when light aircraft were seen flying over Emo, the rumour went round that the Irish authorities were checking in case the Jesuit novitiate had become a hot-bed for training IRA recruits! Neither is it any surprise that Neil was affectionately known to so many fellow-Jesuits as “the Captain” - almost instinctively you wanted to salute him when you first met him!

Neil spent 27 years, or almost exactly one-third of his life in Zambia. He would certainly have remained longer if the problems with his health had not made it necessary for him to return permanently to Ireland in 1994. In 1959, he arrived in what was then Northern Rhodesia for his three years of regency, spent most of his first year learning Chitonga and the following two years teaching in Canisius College, the Jesuit secondary school at Chikuni, He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained on 27th July 1965, along with two other stalwarts of the Zambia-Malawi Province, Frank Wafer and Frank Woda. Following his fourth year of Theology and then Tertianship, Neil returned to Zambia in 1967. There he found both national and church scenes greatly changed compared with the way they had been when he left in 1962: what had been Northern Rhodesia had become Zambia; the Diocese of Monze had been established, with James Corboy as its first bishop; and Mukasa, a Jesuit run minor seminary for Monze Diocese, had been opened in Choma.

Neil was always happy to be sent where there was a need. At the time of his return to Zambia the need was for dynamic teachers and exemplary role-models in the schools for which the Society was responsible. And so it was that he spent the next eleven years of his life teaching either in Canisius or Mukasa. His colleagues remember with great admiration the way he always gave himself totally to the job. Very cheerfully he would take on extra classes or deal creatively with double sized classes of 75 or more (necessitated by a shortage of teachers). And as might have been expected from such a fine figure of a man, he knew how to use his impressive presence to bring control out of what otherwise might have been bedlam.

In some ways these were Neil's best and most fulfilling years. He was totally engrossed in his work, never seemed to have a moment for himself, and clearly enjoyed almost every minute of the diverse demands of his teaching apostolate. Around this time he began to show the attractive personality trait that was to become his hallmark in later life - pausing in a reflective and somewhat ponderous manner when asked a question and then giving a characteristic "hmmm” before answering. But for Neil one great thing about these teaching years was that he was just too busy to be able to pay attention to the dark and nameless anxieties that were lurking under the surface of his personal life and that became such a heavy cross for him in later years.

As was not unusual at that time in schools in Zambia, Neil also had to provide back-up and support for his teaching colleagues and the school administration if there were any disturbances among the students. This was a challenge for him, often involving a situation where he did not feel comfortable or at ease. But invariably he provided courageous support and showed unswerving loyalty. The experience of such situations burned deeply into him, unsettling him in some ways, though in later life he could recall them with sardonic humour. Thus, in mid-March 1974, he was with Jerry O'Connell one Sunday evening in the Canisius Headmaster's office when they heard sounds of shouting and rioting that were getting ominously louder. Quickly, Jerry and Neil switched off the lights and remained low, letting the disorderly students pass by outside. All settled down that night, but ever after when he would meet Jerry, Neil would say in characteristic fashion, “Jerry, beware the ides, beware the ides of March”

The legacy that Neil brought with him into the Society as a cadet officer in the Irish Army stood him in good stead during the years of his assignment to Canisius. Under Tom McGivern, a cadet contingent, attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Zambian Army, had been established at the school in 1964 and flourished over the years. On his return to the school in 1967, Neil enthusiastically became involved with these Cadets - the records show him as “Lieutenant the Rev. N. O'Driscoll” for five years and then for a year as Contingent Commander until he withdrew gracefully from this position so that a Zambian could take charge.

In 1979 Neil moved from school to parish work, becoming assistant parish priest in Chivuna. He served in this position for two years before returning to Dublin to spend three years in Gardiner Street on vocations promotion and parish work. From there he moved back to Zambia, first to a teaching post for three years in Canisius, then to Namwala for five years as superior and assistant parish priest, and then once again back to teaching, this time in Mukasa for a year.

The background to these many adjustments and changes was Neil's uncertain health status. For a considerable period he suffered from the undetected condition of excess iron in the blood, something that necessitated regular replacement of his blood supply. It was this that eventually made it necessary for him to leave Zambia in 1994 and return permanently to Ireland, At the same time he had to withstand the almost unremitting onslaughts of what St. Ignatius called the "evil spirit”. This plagued the second half of his life with a great burden of nameless anxieties, apprehensions and uneasiness. Notwithstanding his fine presence, he disliked being in a position of responsibility as he felt it difficult to make important decisions. But for as long as he was able, he continued with his apostolic work despite the physical and psychological burdens that he was carrying. Unfailingly he also continued to show himself a warm-hearted and delightful companion.

That he never deviated from the steady paths of apostolic engagement and very agreeable companionship shows that spiritually as well as physically Neil was truly a man of God and a man of stature. This made a strong impression on his Jesuit colleagues as well as on the Zambian people. It is gratifying to be able to record that late in 2014, just some months before he died, former parishioners of his recalled with great appreciation the work that he and Frank O'Neill had done when they were running Namwala parish. Even today, more than twenty years after his departure from the country, the people of Zambia remember with affection and appreciation Neil's pastoral presence among them.

Neil was 61 when he returned to Ireland in 1994 to a new ministry of giving retreats and running the parish in Galway, This was a good time for him. He always spoke of Galway with special affection. Meeting him, you sensed a man who was happy in his priestly vocation, right up to his last years in Cherryfield. And he was a man of strong loyalties: to his family, his county of Kilkenny, his Alma Mater St Kieran's College, the people of Zambia, his fellow-Jesuits, and the Society that was spiritual home for sixty years of his life.

In his wonderful book Where To From Here? Brian Grogan envisages a person who has just died moving with Christ in a small boat into the unbelievably wonderful life that lies ahead and being welcomed on the other side at a crowded quay. Undoubtedly it was that way with Neil when, towards the end of January, he got into that boat and left us. And surely among those offering him a thunderous welcome when he arrived at the other side were the Jesuit colleagues with whom he had worked in Zambia and who had pre-deceased him in Cherryfield - John Fitzgerald, Dick Cremins, Paddy Kelly, Charlie O'Connor, John McCauley, Jim Dunne, Denis Flannery and, of course, Frank O'Neill – and the countless Zambian people to whom he was such an inspiration, guide and genuinely good person. Can't you see him characteristically raising his bushy eyebrows, smiling radiantly with his whole being, joy shining through his eyes, completely overwhelmed, unable to find a word, and a small sound coming from his lips -- "hmmm”? Neil, you were a great and wonderful companion and priest. We greatly took forward to the welcome you will have for us when the time comes for us also to get into the boat and cross with the Lord to where you are now.

Michael J Kelly

Murphy, Martin, 1934-2015, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/843
  • Person
  • 07 August 1934-12 March 2015

Born: 07 August 1934, Ringsend, Dublin
Entered: 10 August 1966, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Professed: 15 August 1985, Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 12 March 2015, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1974 at Canisius Chikuni, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1979 at Babati, Tanzania (AOR) working for “Concern”
by 1995 at JRS Malawi (MOZ) working

Early Education at National School; Ringsend Vocational School

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/br-martin-murphy-sj-may-he-rest-in-peace/

Br Martin Murphy SJ: may he rest in peace
Death has finally got the better of Martin Murphy, but after a mighty struggle. Born in Ringsend, he learned his building skills and qualifications (a Diploma from the Catholic Workers College) before he entered the Jesuits at the age of 32. Over the next 50-odd years he practised or taught motor mechanics, building maintenance, construction, irrigation and pastoral care of refugees. Nearly thirty of those years were given to Africa, especially Zambia and Malawi.

Martin was strong as an ox, but he suffered enough sicknesses to fill a text book. His multiple health problems, touching all his senses and most parts of his sturdy body, involved treatment in four hospitals. He made full use of medical help, and carried his oxygen supply with care as he walked the pavements round Gardiner Street. He would not let medical problems absorb his energy.
At the age of 73 he embarked on a 5-year course in theology with the Tallaght Dominicans. He worked his way right up to the last assignment, on “The Just Society”, at which he balked. Why? they asked. “Because I never lived in a just society, and do not know what it is like.” Dear Martin was a strong and distinctive presence in the Irish Jesuits, a model for anyone who with God’s help has to fight sickness. “Death, be not proud.”

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 160 : Summer 2015

Obituary

Br Martin Murphy (1934-2015)

7 August 1934: Born in Dublin.
Early Education at National School; Ringsend Vocational School
1961 - 1965: NCIR. Socio-Economics Study (Diploma)
10 August 1966: Entered Society at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
15 August 1968: First Vows at St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
1968 - 1969: St Mary's, Emo - Mechanic; Maintenance
1969-1975: Chisekesi, Zambia - Construction; Irrigation; Teaching at Canisius College, Chikuni
1975 - 1978: Milltown Park - Maintenance
1978 - 1983: Tanzania, East Africa - Working for “Concern” at Babati, Tanzania
1983 - 1984: Tullabeg - Tertianship
1984 - 1986: Lusaka, Zambia - Minister at Luwisha House
15 August 1985: Final Vows at Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia
1986 - 1992: Mazabuka, Zambia - Concern Development Project
1987: Youth Development Project at St Paul's, Nakambala
1992 - 1993: Santry - Pastoral Care of Refugees
1993 - 1994: Limbe, Malawi - Working for JRS
1994 - 1995: Mozambique - Working for JRS
1995 - 1996: Clongowes - House and College Maintenance
1996 - 2015: Gardiner St - Assists Director of Arrupe Society
2009 - 2014: Hospital visitation; Studying at Priory Institute, Tallaght
2014 - 2015: Residing at Cherryfield Lodge

In October 2014, Martin was admitted to hospital after a fall. He had many health problems, which meant treatment in four hospitals. He moved to Cherryfield Lodge on 25th February 2015. He was happy to be in Cherryfield again, where he died peacefully on 12th March. May he rest in the peace of Christ.

After a mighty struggle, death finally got the better of Martin Murphy on March 12, 2015. His sisters had prayed to St Francis Xavier that the Lord would spare him further suffering, and in response he died on the final day of the Novena. His funeral was delayed because an autopsy was required, and so he was finally laid to rest on March 19, the Feast of St Joseph. Martin had had a strong devotion to Joseph the Worker, so things fitted in nicely at the end of his life.

Like Joseph, Martin was a great worker: before he joined the Jesuits, he worked for Cramptons, the builders. His grandfather had been in the same trade, and had helped to build the Titanic! This came to light only when Martin showed up in Youghal in 2012 for the launch of Eddie O'Donnell's book on Fr Browne and the Titanic! Sadly, Martin's building work, so helpful to many people, carried the seeds of his own death, because as we now know, he died of asbestos poisoning.

His early education was in the National and Vocational Schools in Ringsend, where he was born. He then began his building career, From 1961-65 he did a Diploma in Socio-Economics at the Jesuit-run NCIR. It appears that he was so impressed by the Jesuit teachers there that he decided to join them in 1966, at age 32. He waited till his mother died to do this, as he was one of her carers.

Martin was a perfectionist, took pride in his work, and always did a great job. He could turn his hand to anything, including leatherwork. He was also a great teacher of his crafts and skills. I had the good fortune to discover him early on, and we became lifelong friends, even if not without some awkward moments! In 1967 I wanted to build a back wall to the handball alley in Milltown and got his help, though he was a novice at the time. It was very definitely his wall, not mine, but he never emphasised the fact. We worked in the early mornings before my classes began, and he would then continue through the day, while I dug academic furrows. One dull morning Martin looked up with an innocent smile at the Milltown buildings and asked, 'Why is it that the scholastics mostly pray in the dark'? Later Martin built the bindery which still stands at the back of the Library. And when a Le Brocquy mosaic of the Madonna and Child came our way mysteriously in the late seventies, he put it up single handed, though it weighed three quarters of a ton. It is now in the Milltown Community foyer. He was, as one of the Brothers said admiringly, “a mighty man”.

He liked philosophy, and especially the ideas of Bernard Lonergan. He could get so animated about these that when driving in Zambia he would slow down to get his point across, which lengthened journeys considerably. At the age of 73 he embarked on a 5-year course in theology in the Priory Institute in Tallaght. He worked his way right up to the last assignment, on “The Just Society”, at which he balked. Why? they asked. “Because I never lived in a just society, and I don't know what it's like”. He enjoyed the phrase “the hermeneutic of suspicion” because it gave him the leeway he needed to be devastatingly honest.

Africa
He went to Zambia in 1969, and worked there and in Tanzania, Malawi, and Mozambique, with occasional breaks, for 25 years. He built churches and schools, dug wells and cultivated a huge garden. He practised or taught motor mechanics, building maintenance, construction, irrigation. He also engaged in pastoral care of refugees. He was well loved by those who worked with him. He delighted in planning and carrying projects through. He loved the moment when he could hand over a set of keys of a new building and say: 'The job is done’. But he had time for soccer also. I have it on reliable authority that when he was playing in Dublin for Transport FC, he was considered to be of international standard. And the Zambians used watch him admiringly: Kalango mulilo! they'd shout - “Look at his fire!”

The Acting Provincial of Zambia, Jim McGloin, said in his message of condolence: “The hidden nature of the work is often the case for the Jesuit Brother. Although Brother Martin did the actual building of the Church in Chikuni Mission in the 1970's, it was the parish priest who received the credit. The serving tables in Luwisha House are still used today, thirty years later, but no one remembers that it was Brother Martin who built them.... While the workmanship was appreciated, the worker often went unnoticed. Yet the professional workmanship of Br Martin itself stands as its own monument. And those who saw his effort and dedication were grateful.'

Martin had used his many talents 'to help others' in simple ways, as Ignatius would have wished. But by 1995, the outer job was done: he had to retire because for the remaining twenty years of his life, ill health dogged him -- glaucoma, diabetes, arthritis, lung problems. But even when exiled from Zambia he always kept in contact and retained a deep love for his 'first mission'.

The inner side
Martin had his own unique relationship with God - his secret scripture. He prayed. He loved his time in the Holy Land. He lived simply. But like the rest of us, he had his own fixed attitudes, his weaker points, his awkwardnesses. A mature man by the time he joined the Jesuits, he had, not surprisingly, something of a Trade Union perspective on things. This included a keen sense of what he perceived as injustice, foot dragging, and so on. The Jesuit way of proceeding, he felt, was not always the most efficient. With his critical mind, he found it hard to be asked to do things by people who, he felt, didn't know what they were talking about. He had little time for eloquence that was not matched by action. “They can talk the talk” he'd say “but can they walk the walk?”

Martin would tell it like he thought it was, and his craggy style disconcerted more than a few, and left people feeling uncomfortable. He was, one might say, of the warrior class. Critical of many in authority, at the same time he was a great defender of the small and the poor. He volunteered for Tanzania because it was one of the twenty poorest countries in the world. He was both admirer and critic of Julius Nyerere, founder of the state of Tanzania. But his mischievous humour carried him a long way. He would say outrageous things just to get a reaction: often he didn't want to be taken too seriously. And he could get caught out himself on occasion, as when he had an appointment with a consultant about his glaucoma: the great man was late and eventually came into the waiting room to apologise, only to find Martin reading the Irish Times. And he would smile and laugh at himself. A stern commentator on the foibles of humankind, he also had a great and welcoming smile.

Stay Clear! God at Work
God was steadily at work in him, as in us all. That work is to make us grow in love', to bring out the best in us. In the final phase of his life, a deep mellowing took place while he endured enormous discomfort, especially in his breathing. He carried his oxygen supply as he walked the pavements round Gardiner Street. He did not complain. His time and energy were taken up with coping with his own illnesses. He made the rounds of many hospitals and consultants, and his reports of medical encounters were never dull. To one man who wasn't measuring up, Martin said: “Take a good look at my face!” “Why?” said the consultant. “Because”, said Martin, “you won't see it again!” His humour never deserted him, and he would get great joy out of recounting such incidents. He told me how grateful he was to his family for all their care and love; and to the Cherryfield staff for looking after him so well. In turn, they enjoyed his company; he had a word - often funny - to say about everything. They loved him. And he became a grateful man.

So when the moment of death came, and Martin met the Lord face to face, the “inner job” was substantially done. Like Peter in the Gospel, he jumped out of the safety of his life's boat and struggled to the shore where Jesus was waiting, watching. Surely like Peter, Martin heard Jesus say, “Bring the fish you've caught, and come, let's have breakfast!”

Then, we may surmise, came the one-to-one chat with Jesus, who now could safely ask him: Martin, do you love me more than these others do? There would have been no digging-up of the failures of the past. No comparisons and contrasts with others. The present state of his heart was all that mattered. He would have answered like Peter: Lord, “You know everything, you know I love you”. That would be enough. Because in the evening of life we will be examined in love.

It so happened that when the news came to me that Martin had died, I was reading a book titled Love is Stronger than Death, by Cynthia Bourgeault. It tells of a Trappist monk in Colorado who had a turbulent personality and was awkward in his relationships. Community life fell short for him, and so he moved out and became a hermit. He wrestled much of his life with God and others. But at the end he became liberated and happy. I felt this man's life and Martin's had parallels! In our final conversation a week before he died, he had told me he had been struggling, not with the problem that others were not measuring up, but that he wasn't measuring up. He found it consoling to hear Pope Francis' remark from The Joy of the Gospel, “When everything is said and done, we are infinitely loved”. Perhaps, then, he felt, all would be well at the end, because God's love is stronger than our failings or our death.

And so, off he went, happily, into eternal glory. He is now fully alive, radiant with his best self, supporting us on our pilgrim way, looking forward to the great reunion when all will be made well.

Brian Grogan

Clancy, Finbarr, 1954-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/842
  • Person
  • 14 November 1954-15 July 2015

Born: 14 November 1954, Dunlavin, County Wicklow
Entered: 26 September 1979, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 25 June 1988, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 2011, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died; 15 July 2015, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1989 at Campion Oxford (BRI) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/born-teacher-never-forgot-students/

A born teacher loved by his students
The first anniversary of the death of renowned Jesuit theologian Fr. Finbarr Clancy SJ was on 15 July. The following is an extract of a personal tribute paid to Fr. Finbarr by Fr. D. Vincent Twomey, Professor Emeritus of Moral Theology at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth, a colleague of Finbarr’s in patristic studies, at the end of Finbarr’s funeral Mass on 18 July 2015. Finbarr died following a short illness and is fondly remembered by his fellow Jesuits as well as his many colleagues and friends. He had lectured at St. Patrick’s College Maynooth and was formerly Professor of Theology at the Milltown Institute.

I got to know Fr Finbarr, when he and his confrère, Fr Ray Moloney, joined the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in 1994, two years after Finbarr had completed his DPhil in Oxford. He was teaching at the time in Milltown. Later I invited him to teach the seminarians in Maynooth. His first paper to the symposium was an introduction to his thesis on St Augustine’s understanding of Church. Over the course of the following twenty-one years, he never missed a meeting and delivered several scholarly papers either at the ordinary meetings of the symposium during each academic year or at our triennial international conferences.

What strikes me is how his earlier life-experiences all coloured his scholarship and enabled him to discover treasures that others had failed to notice. His training as a scientist enriched the way he researched his topics and the care he took in his presentation. His erudition, which he wore lightly, was evident in all he wrote. He was familiar not only with Scripture and with the Greek and Latin thinkers, pagan and Christian, who formed Western civilisation, but also the Syriac and the early Irish Christian writers, who are often neglected. And he could illuminate one or other point with a reference to some literary classic. Typical was a paper he wrote for the last Maynooth International Patristic Conference in 2012 on ‘The pearl of great beauty and the mysteries of the faith’. Patristic studies, to which Fr Finbarr devoted all his free time, when he was not involved in teaching or administration in Milltown, is not concerned with what is passé, but with what is ever new. The excitement of discovering such pearls, such richness, expressed itself in Fr Finbarr’s teaching, when he offered his students the results of his own labour of love. He was a born teacher. His students loved him. One former seminarian wrote to me on hearing of his untimely death: he was a gentleman both in his lectures and outside them – and he never forgot his students.

His life-long concern for the poor and marginalised was reflected in a major paper on the Cappadocian Fathers, who are generally studied primarily for their profound theology of the Holy Trinity. By way of contrast, Fr Finbarr highlighted their care for the poor. His last public lecture, on 5 May in Maynooth under the auspices of the St John Paul II Theological Society, was, fittingly, devoted to the topic: ‘St John Chrysostom on Care for the Poor’.

His love of gardening, which he inherited from his father, and his interest in botany can be seen in the quite extraordinarily rich paper read at the International Conference held in conjunction with Queen’s University, Belfast and devoted to the topic of Salvation. Fr Finbarr spoke on ‘Christ the scented apple and the fragrance of the world’s salvation: a theme in St Ambrose’s Commentary on Ps 118’. In his paper, he showed how, in contrast with the fruit from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, good to eat and pleasing to the eye but bringing death and decay, Ambrose ‘teaches that the story of salvation concerns the gracious invitation to inhale the fragrance of the world’s redemption emanating from the scented apple, Christ, the fruit that hangs on the cross, the tree of life. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 33:9)’.

Perhaps his most spiritually inspiring paper was that read to the Oxford Patristic Conference commemorating the outbreak of Diocletian’s so-called Great Persecution in AD 303. It was entitled: ‘The mind of the persecuted: “Imitating the Mysteries you celebrate”’. Here his own priestly spirituality found eloquent expression as he showed how martyrdom – bearing witness to Christ, even to the point of death – was not only made possible by sharing in the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar but that the martyrs themselves were existential realisations of the mystery of the Eucharist. The liturgy was Fr Finbarr’s passion. At the end of April last, he invited me to join in the Clongowes liturgy, involving some 450 pupils and some fifty parents in the new Sports Hall, which. I gathered later, bore the distinct imprint of his own theology and aesthetics. It was quite magnificent. He told me, not without a sense of justified pride and genuine pleasure, that he and his colleague and friend Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes, gave weekly talks on the liturgy to as many as 100 students each Thursday from 9.00 to 10.00 and that, what’s more, the students seemed to enjoy them. They too will greatly miss him.

The Eucharist was at the heart of Fr Finbarr’s life and theology, as it was for his first scholarly love, St Augustine, because it is at the heart of the Church. Likewise, as a Companion of Jesus, Scripture was his deepest inspiration, which he read through the eyes of the Church Fathers. He once gave a paper on the apt topic: ‘Tasting the food and the inebriating cup of Scriptures: a heme in St Ambrose’s Psalm Commentaries’.

When Fr Finbarr hosted a special meeting of the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in Clongowes on the 2 May last, he drew our attention to the motto of the school over the entrance: Aeterna non caduca. These sentiments, he informed us, were echoed by St Columbanus, as he himself would demonstrate that morning in his paper to the Symposium, in effect a trial-run for the Oxford Patristic Conference which he had hoped to attend in August. According to him, ‘Columbanus loved to contrast the transience of things temporal and earthly with the permanence of things eternal. The thirsting human soul, like a pilgrim in a desert land, longs to be dissolved and be with Christ. The reward of the soul’s pilgrimage is the vision of things heavenly face to face’. I conclude with what seems a fitting quotation from St Columbanus’s song De mundi transitu, which Fr Finbarr once quoted: ‘Joyful after crossing Death / They shall see their joyful King: / With him reigning they shall reign, / with him rejoicing they shall rejoice ...’ May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 161 : Autumn 2015

Obituary

Fr Finbarr Clancy (1954-2015)

14 November 1954 : Born in Dunlavin, Co Wicklow.
Early Education at Dunlavin NS, Clongowes Wood College SJ & Trinity College Dublin
26 September 1979 Entered Society at Manresa House, Dollymount,
25 September 1981: First Vows at Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
1981 - 1983: Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1983 - 1985: Belvedere - Regency: Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at TCD Dublin
1985 - 1988: Leinster Road - Studying Theology at Milltown Institute
25 June 1988: Ordained at St Francis Xavier Church, Gardiner St, College Dublin
1988 - 1992: Campion Hall, Oxford, UK - Doctoral Studies in Theology
1992 - 1996: Milltown Park - Lecturer at Milltown Institute; Pastoral Work
1996 - 1997: Belfast, Co Antrim - Tertianship
1997 - 2014: Milltown Park - Lecturer at Milltown Institute; Pastoral Work
1999: Invited Lecturer in Theology at Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare
2000: Co-ordinator of Evening Programmes in Theology at Milltown Institute
2001: Senior Lecturer in Theology at Milltown Institute
2004: Director of Evening Programmes in Theology at Milltown Institute
2006: Associate Professor of Theology, Pontifical Faculty, Milltown Institute; Rector of the Pontifical Athanaeum, Milltown Institute
2011: Acting President of Milltown Institute; Rector Ecclesiastical Faculty
2 Feb 2011: Final Vows at Gonzaga Chapel, Milltown Park, Dublin
2013: Sabbatical
2014 - 2015: Clongowes - Lecturer in Theology at Pontifical University, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, Co Kildare and at Loyola Institute, Trinity College, Dublin; Librarian

Finbarr suffered a serious heart attack on 3 July and was admitted to the Mater Hospital for treatment and recovery. He had a number of operations to stabilise and improve his condition, but unfortunately the damage from the initial episode was too compromising. Having happily received visitors in recent days and been in good form, he was not able to sustain a second attack and died in his sleep in the early hours of 15 July. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

At Finbarr's funeral, Fr Provincial, Tom Layden, preached the homily, of which the following is an edited version.

My memories of Finbarr go back to our days in the noviciate 1979 1981. I especially remember the weeks we spent together in Lent 1980 in the Morning Star hostel, helping the staff to provide meals and shelter for the homeless men who resided there. I recall his great kindness to the men and his great desire to respect their dignity and do all he could to make their lives easier and more enjoyable.
Each evening we would pray Compline, the office of Night Prayer, together. At one point, we would pause to look back over the day and, after some quiet moments, share the day's ups and downs, the joys and sorrows, the successes and failures. It was in those moments of faith sharing that he and I came to know each other at a deep level. He could speak easily about each day's journey from the perspective of faith. In those reflections we encouraged and strengthened each other. Often in his sharing he would mention his family and how important they were to him. He would speak of his late father, who had died two years earlier. I recall him telling me about his father saying to him the last time they spoke before his death, as Finbarr was bringing his Trinity research to its conclusion, Don't worry'. Those words, echoing what Jesus says in the Gospel, 'Let not your hearts be troubled', stayed with Finbarr. He certainly saw his father's words as encouraging him to trust in God. He was concerned about his mother living by herself in Dunlavin. Her letters, phone calls and visits always brought him joy and encouragement. This remained the case until she went home to the Lord in 2000.

We served together some years later in Belvedere College, where we were teaching before going to theology studies. Finbarr went there the year ahead of me, so, when I arrived in 1984, he knew his way around the place and was able to explain to me how things were done in the Jesuit community and the school. He was a model teacher. Always so carefully prepared, he knew each of his students and took a personal interest in them. He was a most efficient and knowledgeable sacristan. Above all, he was a simply a good companion. At the end of my first year, he and I went on holiday in the Burren. It was a rare treat to be introduced to such an interesting landscape by a botanist who could point out the various flowers to me. I saw his great knowledge but also the great joy he found in sharing that knowledge with me.

He had great appreciation of the gift of God's beauty reflected in creation. He noticed that beauty, observed it and attended to it. Later, after doctoral studies in Oxford, specialising in St Augustine's theology of the church, he returned to the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, where he taught up until last year. The same meticulous preparation, careful planning and attention to detail that had been evident in the classroom in Belvedere characterised his classes in the lecture rooms in Milltown. And also that same personal interest in the students. He had a clear sense of where each one was at in their learning and wanted to help them to move to the next stage. He found joy in seeing the students making progress.

As well as care for the students, he also showed care for his colleagues on the faculty. This was especially the case in his years as Rector of the Ecclesiastical Faculty and as Acting President. The community of teaching, research and learning in the Milltown Institute mattered greatly to him. He wanted to support colleagues. In recent days one of those colleagues commented on Finbarr's ability to show interest and give personal support, even when he did not himself agree with the line being taken. He would sometimes attend a talk where the position adopted would be different to the one he was known to hold. He would come up at the end, express appreciation and point out elements he had liked in the presentation. There was in him a tremendous loyalty to his colleagues and a capacity to remain friendly with people, even when he did not agree with their views. Echoes here of the Gospel words about “many rooms in my Father's house”.

The liturgy was always the centre of his life. I recall the lovely altar cloths he made in Belvedere in the 1980s, with different colours for the liturgical seasons, the purifiers and lavabo towels well laundered by his own hand, and the artistically created Advent wreaths. He knew that the visual helps us in our openness to the transcendent. His scientist's eye noticed things and gazed upon them. This was also reflected in how he would decorate the sanctuary for the Masses celebrated at the time of Institute conferring ceremonies.

Many of us will miss Finbarr's gifts as a homilist. His homilies consisted of well-crafted reflections, containing little gems from the Fathers. We heard them even on days when there was no designated celebrant and he ended up leading us, a clear indication that he prepared carefully for each day's Eucharist. The Lord had blessed him with a great sense of reverence, reverence for the holy mystery of God and for the things of God. That reverence was not just confined to chapel and sanctuary. Finbarr, while himself a fine scholar with two doctorates, was always at home in the company of people in ordinary situations. He loved helping out in parishes (in Clane in the past year and in many Dublin parishes in his years in Milltown). He found the Lord among the people in everyday life. He had a sense of our triune God nourishing him through them. He had great awareness of them as carriers of God's goodness.

He delighted in being able to make theology available to the people in parishes. He wanted these treasures opened up for them. One of my memories in recent years was his kindness in driving home the staff who had been working serving at dinners in Milltown. He was always ready to hop in the car and bring someone home, no matter how late the hour or how inclement the weather,
In the Gospel, Jesus speaks of himself as the way, the Truth and the Life. He is the way that leads to the Father. He is the Truth who sets us free. He is the Life that has overcome death. It was Finbarr's deepest desire to be a companion of this Jesus, to walk his way, to serve his truth, to share his life and carry on his mission. This he did as priest and Jesuit in library and classroom, in church and chapel, in caring for the garden and in looking after the details of administration.

In the past year, he was teaching in St Patrick's College Maynooth and in the Loyola Institute in Trinity College. I told him earlier that I was very happy that he was involved as a theologian in the training of the priests of tomorrow in the seminary and in teaching theology to lay students in a secular university,

Coming back to Clongowes in the past year was a homecoming. Clongowes had been the cradle of his Jesuit vocation. He loved the grounds. He also got involved as a theologian in the school, especially in preparing the students for the Sunday liturgies and in the liturgies themselves. There was also a homecoming in going back to teach in Trinity College, where he has been a botany student in the 1970s. And then there was the final homecoming of the early morning of 15th July, when he left us to return to the Lord, the Lord who had gone ahead himself and prepared a place reserved for him.

At the end of Mass, Finbarr's friend and colleague, Professor Emeritus D. Vincent Twomey SVD, paid a personal tribute from the viewpoint of a colleague in patristic studies. This is part of his address :

I got to know Fr Finbarr when he and his confrère, Fr Ray Moloney, joined the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in 1994, two years after Finbart had completed his DPhil in Oxford. He was teaching at the time in Milltown. Later I invited him to teach the seminarians in Maynooth. His first paper to the symposium was an introduction to his thesis on St Augustine's understanding of Church. Over the course of the following twenty-one years, he never missed a meeting and delivered several scholarly papers either at the ordinary meetings of the symposium during each academic year or at our triennial international conferences.

What strikes me is how his earlier life-experiences all coloured his scholarship and enabled him to discover treasures that others had failed to notice. His training as a scientist enriched the way he researched his topics and the care he took in his presentation. His erudition, which he wore lightly, was evident in all he wrote. He was familiar not only with Scripture and with the Greek and Latin thinkers, pagan and Christian, who formed Western civilization, but also the Syriac and the early Irish Christian writers, who are often neglected. And he could illuminate one or other point with a reference to some literary classic. Typical was a paper he wrote for the last Maynooth International Patristic Conference in 2012 on The pearl of great beauty and the mysteries of the faith'. Patristic studies, to which Fr Finbarr devoted all his free time, when he was not involved in teaching or administration in Milltown, is not concerned with what is passé, but with what is ever new. The excitement of discovering such pearls, such richness, expressed itself in Fr Finbarr's teaching, when he offered his students the results of his own labour of love. He was a born teacher. His students loved him. One former seminarian wrote to me on hearing of his untimely death: he was a gentleman both in his lectures and outside them - and he never forgot his students.

His life-long concern for the poor and marginalized was reflected in a major paper on the Cappadocian Fathers, who are generally studied primarily for their profound theology of the Holy Trinity. By way of contrast, Fr Finbarr highlighted their care for the poor. His last public lecture, on 5 May in Maynooth under the auspices of the St John Paul II Theological Society, was, fittingly, devoted to the topic: “St John Chrysostom on Care for the Poor”. His love of gardening, which he inherited from his father, and his interest in botany can be seen in the quite extraordinarily rich paper read at the International Conference held in conjunction with Queen's University, Belfast and devoted to the topic of Salvation. Fr Finbarr spoke on “Christ the scented apple and the fragrance of the world's salvation: a theme in St Ambrose's Commentary on Ps 118”. In his paper, he showed how, in contrast with the fruit from the tree of life in the garden of Eden, good to eat and pleasing to the eye but bringing death and decay, Ambrose “teaches that the story of salvation concerns the gracious invitation to inhale the fragrance of the world's redemption emanating from the scented apple, Christ, the fruit that hangs on the cross, the tree of life”. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps 33:9).

Perhaps his most spiritually inspiring paper was that read to the Oxford Patristic Conference commemorating the outbreak of Diocletian's so-called Great Persecution in AD 303. It was entitled: "The mind of the persecuted: “Imitating the Mysteries you celebrate”. Here his own priestly spirituality found eloquent expression as he showed how martyrdom - bearing witness to Christ, even to the point of death - was not only made possible by sharing in the Sacrifice of Christ on the altar but that the martyrs themselves were existential realizations of the mystery of the Eucharist.

The liturgy was Fr Finbarr's passion. At the end of April last, he invited me to join in the Clongowes liturgy, involving some 450 pupils and some fifty parents in the new Sports Hall, which. I gathered later, bore the distinct imprint of his own theology and aesthetics. It was quite magnificent. He told me, not without a sense of justified pride and genuine pleasure, that he and his colleague and friend Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes, gave weekly talks on the liturgy to as many as 100 students each Thursday from 9.00 to 10.00 and that, what's more, the students seemed to enjoy them. They too will greatly miss him.

The Eucharist was at the heart of Fr Finbarr's life and theology, as it was for his first scholarly love, St Augustine, because it is at the heart of the Church. Likewise, as a Companion of Jesus, Scripture was his deepest inspiration, which he read through the eyes of the Church Fathers. He once gave a paper on the apt topic: "Tasting the food and the inebriating cup of Scriptures: a heme in St Ambrose's Psalm Commentaries'.

When Fr Finbarr hosted a special meeting of the Maynooth Patristic Symposium in Clongowes on the 2 May last, he drew our attention to the motto of the school over the entrance: Aeterna non caduca. These sentiments, he informed us, were echoed by St Columbanus, as he himself would demonstrate that morning in his paper to the Symposium, in effect a trial-run for the Oxford Patristic Conference which he had hoped to attend in August. According to him, “Columbanus loved to contrast the transience of things temporal and earthly with the permanence of things eternal. The thirsting human soul, like a pilgrim in a desert land, longs to be dissolved and be with Christ. The reward of the soul's pilgrimage is the vision of things heavenly face to face!” I conclude with what seems a fitting quotation from St Columbanus's song De mundi transitu, which Fr Finbarr once quoted: Joyful after crossing Death:

They shall see their joyful King:
With him reigning they shall reign,
With him rejoicing they shall rejoice ...

May he rest in peace.

Murphy, Vincent, 1929-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/834
  • Person
  • 19 April 1929-28 November 2016

Born: 19 April 1929, Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1972, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 28 November 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 1989

by 1960 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

Early Education at CBS Synge Street; Bolton Street DIT

1956-1959 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1959-1961 Monze, Zambia - Regency : Bursar at Charles Lwanga Teachers’ Training College; Learning CiTonga
1961-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1966-1972 Mazabuka, Zambia - Parish work in BMV Assumption Parish & Nakambala Sugar Estate
1972-1987 Gardiner St - Director of Mission Office; + Province Vocations Task Force
1972 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (02/02/1972)
1977 Assists in Church
1987-1988 Sabbatical
1988-1994 Crescent Church, Limerick - Superior ; Prefect of the Church; BVM & St Joseph Sodalities; Promoting Zambian Missions
1989 President “Cecilians Musical Society”
1989 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (05/12/1989)
1994-1996 Gardiner St - Promotes Apostleship of Prayer and Messenger; Ministers in Church
1996-2016 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Treasurer and Administrator; Ministers in People’s Church; 2000 Assistant Chaplain in St Vincent’s Private Hospital, Dublin
2007 Assistant Guestmaster; Assistant Community Treasurer
2010 Ministers in People’s Church: Assistant Community Librarian
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Jean Indeku Entry
During this time his real solace, as he says himself, was the weekend supplies in Mazabuka where he was duly missioned together with Frs Tom O’Meara and Vinnie Murphy.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-vincent-murphy-sj/

RIP: Vincent Murphy SJ
Irish Jesuit Fr Vincent Murphy passed away peacefully on the morning of Monday 28 November at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park. A native of Ranelagh, Dublin, Fr Vincent qualified as a Quantity Surveyor and played for Shamrock Rovers FC prior to joining the Jesuits in September 1954. He was ordained ten years later, in 1964.
Vincent spent a number of years on mission work in Zambia, then returned to Dublin, where he was in charge of the Mission Office in Gardiner Street and was Chaplain in St. Vincent’s Hospital. In 1996, Vincent moved to Clongowes Community, and he remained there until 2014, when a stroke required that he move to Cherryfield.
His last few weeks were spent very peacefully, and he told his Rector that Cherryfield was a great preparation for heaven because of the care he was receiving there from the Staff who came to love him dearly.
Below is the homily given by Fr Michael Shiel SJ at the funeral Mass :
“This I know, that my redeemer lives, and, after my awaking, He will set me close to Him. And from my flesh I will look on God.”
As we gather to celebrate the long and full life of Vincent – rich in years and bearing much fruit – the above words are very appropriate to sum up the depth of faith of this follower of Ignatius Loyola and his ‘Friends in the Lord’. For if ever anyone was prepared to meet His Lord it was Vincent.
Some time last year, when I visited him in Cherryfield, he told me that his consultant had promised that he would live to see the new RWC Champions crowned. After the final, I asked him what his next deadline was. He said: “Now, I’m just waiting for Godot!” To which all I could say was: “Well, I hope you’ll have more luck than the other pair – Vladimir and Estragon!
Today we, as Christians, believe that he has. For we believe in the promise of Jesus just heard in the Gospel: “I am going to prepare a place for you, and I shall return to take you with me”.
Vincent was born in the year of the Great Depression. He went to school in Synge Street – and how proud he was of his Christian Brothers’ education there! He joined the Jesuits in 1954 as a late vocation, having qualified as a quantity surveyor in Bolton Street, DIT. Outside his professional life, he made his mark in (as he put it) the glory-days of Shamrock Rovers! His contemporaries in the Society used to recount how frustrated Vincent could become as they tried to find an approach to the beautiful game other than a Jack Charlton-like Garryowen-type hoof and follow!
The Irish Province’s mission to Zambia was still developing, and Vincent joined the growing band of Irish Jesuits for his regency there in 1959. After theology and ordination here in Milltown, and a final year of study in Rathfarnham, Vincent returned to Africa where he ministered in parish work before coming back again to Ireland to head up the Mission Office in Gardiner Street. His generous care of returning missionaries knew no limits and was greatly appreciated. He also helped out in the Church, and he was Vocations Director as well.
est of his apostolic life was spent in Dublin and Limerick, before he joined our Community in Clongowes just 20 years ago. He followed in the footsteps of Fr John Sullivan as he served in the People’s Church and then ministered as Chaplain in St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin. And lastly, as failing health brought him to Cherryfield Lodge, his final – and very important – mission was to pray for the Church and the Society of Jesus, for his Companions who continue to carry on God’s work in many different fields.
Such, in very few lines, is the life of Fr Vincent Murphy SJ. He was unsung and unheralded in the world at large, but so too was he rewarding and fruitful in doing good and in enriching the lives of very many people and families to whom he brought the Good News of God’s saving power, as he lived it in his own life. God’s love was indeed inscribed with iron chisel (his faith) and engraving tool (his generosity) cut into the rock of people’s lives as they experienced his ministering zeal. Nowhere was this seen to greater effect than in his years as Hospital chaplain, where his patience and care for both the sick and the hospital staff bore much fruit and brought comfort and hope to those who were facing an uncertain future.
In later years, first of all in Clongowes Wood College and more recently in Cherryfield, God continued to give Vincent as a special gift to others, this time as someone in need of their love and care. It is only right, at a time like this, to pay tribute to the CWC Infirmary Nurses and Community Staff whose care allowed him bonus-years there.
For someone who, as I said at the start, was surely prepared to meet his Lord, Vincent seemed simply not to want to let go of his Cherryfield carer-friends, as I was to witness during the past week. It began for me as a simple overnight stay, and it ended as an extraordinary and privileged experience of seeing at first hand – behind-the-scenes, early mornings and late nights – the care of every single one of the staff, both nursing and support. It was fitting that the former dispenser of God’s caring love as a hospital chaplain should himself be the receiver of a quite extraordinary outpouring of care and love by the team in Cherryfield. On behalf of the CWC Community, and of the Irish Jesuits, I can only say a deep-down thanks to each and every one of you.
“I am going to prepare a place for you – and, after I have gone and prepared a place for you – I shall return to take you with me, so that, where I am, you may be too.”
It is our Christian faith which brings us to the Eucharist this morning – our Faith that Christ did indeed return to call His disciple home, when just two days ago, accompanied by George Fallon and myself, Vincent came to the end of his long and faith-filled journey. It was his dies natalis, his heavenly birthday, as the Roman martyrology called it, as his tent that we live in on earth was folded up, and he moved to the everlasting home, not made by human hands, in the heavens. Now, in his turn, Vincent has gone ahead of us to help prepare a place for us and he will be on hand to welcome each one of us to Our Father’s home.
So often in life we say good-bye. It comes from the ancient wish or prayer ‘May God be with you’. And today we say it to Vincent at this, his last Mass.
And so we pray: “May Christ enfold you in His Love, and bring you to eternal life; may God and Mary be with you.”
Be assured that we will pray for you, Vincent. May you also pray for us. And so we say farewell, and, until we meet again, good-bye.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Tommy Martin Entry
1974 He retired from this work of Missions Procurator and handed over to Vincent Murphy.

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.

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

O'Holohan, John, 1923-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/824
  • Person
  • 31 March 1923-19 April 2018

Born: 31 March 1923, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park , Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 19 April 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Brother of Colm O’Holohan - RIP 1998

by 1958 at Gandia, Valencia, Spain (TARR) making Tertianship
by 1994 at Orlando FL, USA (NOR) working
by 2001 at Simpsonville SC, USA (NOR) working
by 2004 at Lancaster SC, USA (NOR) working

Early education at Loreto Convent Bray, CBS St. Canice's NCR; Belvedere College SJ

1943-1946 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1946-1949 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1949-1952 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD (49-50)
1952-1956 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1956-1957 St Mary’s, Emo - Assistant Socius; Bursar; Teacher; Confessor;
1957-1958 Gandia, Valencia, Spain - Tertianship in Palacio del Santo Duque
1958-1960 Mungret College SJ - Teacher
1960-1965 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Directs Conf VdP; Editor of “Belvederian”
1965-1966 Chivuna Mission, Zambia - Studying CiTonga
1966-1978 Chisekesi, Zambia - Teacher ; Spiritual Father; St John Berchmans Sodality; Editor “Canisian” at Canisius College, Chikuni
1969 Transcribed to Zambia Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1978-1981 Mazabuka, Zambia - Teacher and Spiritual Father at St Edmund’s Secondary School
1981-1982 Sabbatical
1982-1986 Zomba, Malawi - Acting Rector; Professor of Moral Theology; Directs Pastoral Ministry at St Peter’s Major Seminary
1986-1987 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - Teacher at Juniorate; Writer, Director National Apostleship of Prayer, Edits Newsletter
1987-1988 Spokane, WA, USA - Pastor at The Ministry Institute
1988-1992 DeLand, FL, USA - Assistant Pastor at St Peter's Catholic Church
1992-2000 Orlando, FL, USA - Assistant Pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church
1992 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (24/11/1992)
2000-2003 Simpsonville, SC, USA - Associate Pastor at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church
2003-2009 Lancaster, SC, USA - Pastor at St Catherine Catholic Church
2007 Pastor at St Joseph Parish, Chester, SC; Pastor at St Michael’s, Great Falls, SC
2009-2018 Gardiner St - Writer; Chaplain St Monica’s; Locum in Mater Hospital; People’s Church in Clongowes
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/remembering-john-oholohan-sj/

Remembering John O’Holohan SJ
Fr John O’Holohan SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin on 19 April 2018 aged 95 years. Prayers were said at Cherryfield Lodge on 22 April, and his funeral Mass took place at Milltown Park Chapel on 23 April, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
Born in 1923, John grew up in Drumcondra, Dublin and was educated at Belvedere College SJ in Dublin City. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois in 1941. He studied arts at UCD and philosophy at Tullabeg, County Offaly. He did his regency as a teacher in Belvedere while also studying for the Higher Diploma in Education at UCD. He was ordained in 1955 after further studies in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. John continued to teach in Jesuit schools in Ireland and did his tertianship in Spain.
In 1965, John went to the missions in Zambia. There, he learned the Chitonga language, taught in schools, and ministered as Spiritual Father among other roles. He was transcribed to the Zambia Province in 1969. He continued to mission in Zambia except for a period as a key formator in St Peter’s Major Seminary in Malawi from 1982-1986. He was the national director of the Apostleship of Prayer in Zambia from 1986- 1987.
In his later years, John worked in pastoral ministry in the United States from 1987-2009. First in Washington state as pastor, then in Florida as assistant pastor, and later as associate pastor and pastor in South Carolina. In the meantime, he was transcribed to the Irish Province again. He returned to Ireland as a member of the Gardiner Street Community in Dublin where he was a writer among other positions. Notably, John celebrated his 90th birthday in 2013, and he finished the day by watching reports of the election of Pope Francis.
He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in 2014 where his family visited him very often, and he was most appreciative of the care he received there. John died peacefully on the evening of 19 April in the loving care of the staff at Cherryfield. He is deeply regretted by his sisters Dympna Cunningham and Nesta Tuomey, his brother-in-law Larry, his nephews, nieces and extended family, his Jesuit Community and by many friends in the United States.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

The Early Years – in appreciation of my brother John Terry O’Holohan SJ by Nesta Tuomey
As I often told you your influence on me when I was growing up gave me my strong faith in Jesus Christ and your loving chats about God and the saints so interesting and inspiring, they led me to know and want to love Him from an early age. When you took my sister and myself on walks in the Botanic Garden I particularly remember your stories about Wopsy, the little angel, who was always getting into trouble but when he saw the error of his ways he was penitent and tried to do better. He was the role model for me when I was as young as five or six and I loved hearing about him and all the adventures he had. When you were appointed to Belvedere College you would often bring the boys’ essays home with you and allow us to read them, even, at times, to allot marks in order of excellence. All very exciting and heady stuff for ones as young as we were then. Of course, you would put your own marks on the actual copies but it taught us literary appreciation and perception. I remember being intrigued by the letters A.M.D.G. written at the top of each copybook page. When I asked, you explained what the letters stood for – Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam which was the Latin motto for the Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola and meant ‘To the greater glory of God’. We enthusiastically imitated the Belvedere boys and put A.M.D.G. at the top of our exercise copies until the Sacred Heart nuns at our school in Leeson Street gently bid us to desist.
Undoubtedly, you passed on to us your own fervour and love of St. Ignatius and when you were ordained you chose to spend your Tertianship at Valencia in Spain, despite the rigorous regime this would entail. When you returned to Ireland after a year away, you could speak Spanish and loved to tell us of St. Ignatius and how he came from a very wealthy family and what a proud aristocratic man he was. How when his leg was severely injured by a cannon ball at the Battle of Pamplona he courageously endured the agony of having it broken again and set without benefit of anaesthetic, rather than endure the mortification of walking for the rest of his life with a limp. During his long convalescence, as his leg slowly healed, he underwent a religious conversion. The only books available to him were the lives of the saints but, before long, he found them very much to his taste, and was inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who showed their burning love in their unconditional service of God. Giving up his great wealth, he resolved to live a life of poverty and sacrifice, doing everything to the greater glory of God, later founding the Society of Jesus. I read the books you gave me including the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and learned discernment and how to make the right decisions but that was not until I had reached a more mature age.
Back in my childhood I very much liked hearing of St. Ignatius’s life and generosity and how when St. Francis Xavier was very strict on new novices and inclined to send them away from the seminary St. Ignatius always gave them a second chance and took them in again by the back door. That was the saint for me, I decided, he was just like Jesus Christ compassionate and ready to forgive and I found myself very much drawn to the order you had chosen to join. From what you told me I was aware that at the age of seven you knew that you wanted to become a priest and it was through your influence on your pupils at Belvedere that a great many joined the Jesuits and were ordained priests. I was no saint myself and in those early years when I used to complain about having to set the Sunday lunch table while my older sister sat listening to you, you told us the story of Mary and Martha, pointing out that in listening to Jesus and letting her sister cook and set tables ‘Mary had chosen the better part’, as indeed she had. But I could never really like Mary or Martha and would have much preferred to be sitting comfortably listening to your stories myself, particularly, when you had such a wonderful way of engaging our interest. You often told us the Bible was the most exciting book ever written, certainly it was the most blood thirsty too. The stories of David and Jonathan’s great friendship and Saul’s jealousy came alive when you told them, making me long to read them for myself.
You were always very generous with your time and I particularly loved the way you would keep front seats for us at the Belvedere College operas. How we loved Gilbert and Sullivan and came to know all the songs. I can still see you young and vigorous, your soutane flying out behind you, as you came smiling towards us. There were our ‘Lemmo’ parties when you financed a bottle of fizzy lemonade and the luxury of Mikado biscuits with jam and marshmallow topping. You would play cards with us, simple games of ‘Snap’ or ‘Beggar My Neighbour’ and there would be a sweet as the winner’s prize. My mother used to laugh and say you could see no wrong in us, I suspect she would have liked us to be more like model children but was forced to put up with the reality.
On looking back, it was on our walks as children and later when you came to spend your leave from Africa with myself, my husband and children, becoming their friend as you had become mine, that our friendship blossomed and grew. I am so thankful you entered into our lives from the beginning enriching them by your affectionate presence, always stirring us gently to an awareness of Jesus and telling us how important it was to put him first in our lives. Somehow you always saw the best in us no matter what and by your unstinting friendship and wise counselling helped us to become more worthy, less selfish, less self- orientated. Undoubtedly, you helped and guided so many others while abroad on the missions in Africa and during your time spent in America as a Jesuit priest. By your ministry you have touched so many lives. At 86 you returned home to Ireland, having been pastor to three parishes in South Carolina, where you had a driver who brought you to the distant towns to say the weekend masses. You took on so much having always expressed the desire to ‘work while there was work to be done’, always of the mind that you would go anywhere a priest was needed; in your eighties even offering your services on an American troop ship. When the officer with a smile in his voice asked, ‘Do you mind my asking, Father, how old you are?’ you told him your age, adding ‘Well, even if I can’t go on board I can set up a confessional on the dock,’ adding the sobering observation, ‘Many of those young soldiers will never come back from Afghanistan and it may be the only time they will have an opportunity to confess before death.’
With your passing, I feel as though I have lost my best friend but believe and take consolation from the fact you have gone to a better place and you are now with Jesus whom you served so faithfully and for so long. With all my love and thanks until we meet again.

Naylor, Harold, 1931-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/821
  • Person
  • 03 November 1931-04 October 2018

Born: 03 November 1931, Damascus, Syria
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 15 May 1965, Saint Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan, Hong Kong
Final Vows: 03 January 1971, Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Hong Kong
Died: 04 October 2018, Kwong Wah Hospital, Hong Kong - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 January 1971; HK to CHN : 1992

by 1961 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language
by 1962 at Bellarmine, Baguio City Philippines (ExOr) studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
The four members of the Diocesan Ecumenical Commission; Theresa Kung, Father Stephen Tam, Sister Laura Watt and myself, had the opportunity to make a follow up visit to the Studium Biblicum run by the Hong Kong Bible Society on June 12. We had already been able to look at the books of bible stories, which are presented in beautifully printed and strikingly attractive cartoons, but on this occasion, the topic under discussion revolved around what type of cooperation the Studium Biblicum could offer to the commission in terms of enhancing ecumenical relations in the diocese.

Father Placid Wong Kwok-wah spoke of the decades it took the staff at the Studium Biblicum to translate the scriptures into Chinese and the endless hours that went into producing the first, one-volume Catholic Chinese Bible, which was published in 1968. On the wall of the conference room, portraits of seven Franciscans, who had laboured over the production of that historic publication and now have been called to their eternal reward, are hung. Father Placid is the last of the team still alive.

However, he noted that a translation of the bible is never finished and requires constant updates, as in the past decades, there have been changes in both the written and spoken language.

“People just write and speak differently from what they did 50 years ago,” he told the visiting ecumenical commission. He explained the ins and outs of the extensive revision necessary to update the four gospels, as well as the Old Testament, which he described as long and meticulous work, probably taking at least 10 years.

Periodic checking is also necessary and suggested updates are sent to Catholic scholars in Taiwan and more recently in southern China for comment. Material is also sent to the Orthodox authorities for double checking on the accuracy in the translation.

However, even with limited resources in both personnel and computing, efforts still continue to make the Chinese translations faithful to the original texts, as well as comprehensible and acceptable to modern readers. Father Wong also had high praise for the quality of downloading of texts onto MP3, which he described as being common today and acceptable.

For me it was a worthwhile day out, as the last time I was there was to visit Father Theobald Deiderick in 1979!
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 27 June 2010

Wah Yan mourns the death of teacher par excellence

A Jesuit educator par excellence and one of the most endearing figures of the Jesuit Wah Yan College, Kowloon, Father Harold Cosmatos Naylor passed away on October. 4. As a dedicated educator, he has inspired generations of students at the Wah Yan College with his innovative teaching methods.

According to Father Stephen Chow Sau-yan, head of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong, Father Naylor will be remembered for his commitment to ecological education and Christian Ecumenism. “His creative pedagogy was way ahead of his time. Father Naylor was very committed to a simple lifestyle, caring for the poor, protecting the environment, and fostering Christian ecumenical dialogue,” said Father Chow.

Father Naylor was born in Damascus, Syria on 3 November 1931 and was baptised in the Anglican Church in Jerusalem. After the elementary education in Jerusalem his parents moved to Dublin in 1942. After becoming a Catholic at the age of 18, in 1951 he entered the Society of Jesus in Ireland.

Father Naylor came to Hong Kong in 1960 and studied Cantonese while staying in Cheung Chau for two years. He then moved to the Philippines for his Theology studies at Bellarmine College, Baguio and returned to Hong Kong in 1965 and was ordained a priest on May 15 at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College by Bishop Laurence Bianchi, late Bishop of Hong Kong.

Father Naylor had his illustrious career as an educator and a champion of green movement at the Wah Yan College from 1967 to 2016. In the meantime, in 1968, he co-founded Hong Kong’s first conservation group, together with Lindsay Ride, former vice chancellor the University of Hong Kong, and vice-president of Chung Chi College Robert Rayne. During this period, he also served as a promoter and member of Diocesan Ecumenical Commission, and a chaplain at Kwong Wah Hospital.

His Autobiography, No Regrets ends with these words:

What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life.

I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart.

Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy.

A Funeral Mass for Father Naylor was celebrated on October 11 by Bishop Michael Yeung Ming-Cheung, Bishop of Hong Kong at St. Ignatius Chapel, where Father Naylor was ordained a priest 53 years ago.

He had donated his remains to Hong Kong University (HKU) for medical studies. HKU received his remains on October 12.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 14 October 2018

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/harold-naylor-sj-a-wonderful-life-in-hong-kong/

Harold Naylor SJ: A “wonderful life” in Hong Kong
Fr Harold Naylor SJ died peacefully in Hong Kong on 4 October, 2018 at the age of 87. He is the third Irish Jesuit missionary to have passed away this year. His funeral takes place at Saint Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College secondary school in Hong Kong on 11 October, 2018.

Background
Fr Naylor was not born in Ireland; it was his adopted homeland and, he said, “the only place I ever felt welcome and wanted”. He spent the first 19 years of his life in the Middle East, in cities including Damascus, Cairo, and Jerusalem, and attended boarding school in Beirut. He felt out of place in these places, because of his unusual heritage. His mother was from a Greek family who lived in Egypt and his father was an Englishman who arrived in the country as a dispatch rider for the army at the start of World War I. His parents married in 1929. They lived a happy life in the Middle East, but things changed in 1948 when his father died. His mother became engaged to an Irish man who was in the Palestinian police, and when the Jewish state of Israel came into being he brought the family to his homeland, Ireland.

Joining the Society of Jesus
Fr Naylor attended Trinity College Dublin as a medical student but he knew that he wanted a spiritual life, and left after a year. In January 1950 he knocked at the door of the Jesuit Superior at St Francis Xavier’s Church, Dublin and this interview was the first step to join the Jesuits. He was accepted and so began his journey with the Society of Jesus. The Irish Jesuits planned to send many men to develop Jesuit service in what was then known as Northern Rhodesia – Zambia – to expand missionary work. Fr Naylor was excited to become a missionary, but felt that his lifelong delicate constitution prevented him being of best service in the harsh environment of Africa. He was asked to become a missionary to China, and the thought of following Jesuits Francis Xavier and Matteo Ricci gave him great joy.
In an interview with Maurice O’Keeffe from Irish Life and Lore, Fr Naylor stated: “So, after a year in college my mother took me away”. “I can see where your heart is. Go ahead,” she said. “And I became a Jesuit... It took me two years to make the decision”. He also spoke about his early days in the Society: “When I joined the Jesuits, I didn’t feel Irish. I’m an Englishman... I was the only foreigner in the Jesuit house.” He commented that many of the Jesuits were pro-nationalist who only spoke in Irish. However, when he got the call later to go to Hong Kong, he was told it was better to be English.

Wah Yan College, Kowloon
He first travelled to Hong Kong in 1960 to begin his mission, and spent an interim four years (1962 – 1967) in the Philippines to better prepare him for his work in China. He recalls these years as among the happiest of his life. He took a post in the Jesuit-run Wah Yan College in Kowloon in 1967, and remained there for more than forty years. Fr Naylor was a year-three English and Biology teacher, but his commitment to the students of the college was in more than just teaching.
In 1968 he took over from fellow Irish Jesuit Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (who died earlier this year) as the Director of the Wah Yan Poor Boys’ Club and was delighted to have the opportunity to help young boys who had no opportunity of schooling. The club members were living in huts or on rooftops. Some of them were apprentices. He attributed the idea behind the club as coming from Belvedere College, where he had studied in Dublin. There was a Newsboys Club for young boys who sold newspapers and were not able to go to school. The club became, after several years, the Wah Yan Childrens’ Club and Fr Naylor remained as Director from 1968 to 1994.
Speaking with The Shield about teaching ethics at Wah Yan College, Fr Naylor noted: “A teacher is to help a person to grow and develop”. It’s not only biological growth. It’s also emotional growth; it’s intellectual growth; it’s imagination growth; and it’s moral growth.
In the South China Morning Post, Civic Party chairman Alan Leong Kah-kit, who studied at Wah Yan College from 1971 to 1978, said Father Naylor was an unconventional teacher who conducted a lot of field trips even in the 1970s. “He was well liked by his students and I am sure he will be remembered as an enlightening mentor to many,” Leong said. The long list of Naylor’s pupils at the college includes Leong, lawmaker James To Kun-sun, Secretary for Security John Lee Ka-chiu and Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung.

Conservancy and ecology
In 1968 Fr Naylor received a letter from Chung Chi College, Hong Kong inviting him to join its prestigious Conservancy Association. Botany and ecology were lifelong interests of his and after joining the association he began the Secondary School Conservancy Clubs and studied Ecology at the University of Hong Kong.
His involvement in ecology attracted the attention of the South China Morning Post and he wrote a column on environmental matters for over two years. Environmental news was a hot topic in the 1970s, and Fr Naylor went on to become a delegate representing Hong Kong at the United Nations Conference on The Human Environment, in Stockholm, June 1972. He had a commitment to what is now known as sustainable living and enjoyed living a simple life. Wah Yan College Kowloon is an ideal of sustainable living and is unusual in having vast areas of greenery in low-density building, where parts of Hong Kong have the highest residential population per square kilometre in the world.
Reflection on his life
In a 2007 interview, Fr Naylor reflected on his decades in Hong Kong and concluded that his life there had been a happy and fulfilling one.
“What then could be my last word? It is of gratitude to the students whom I have taught, thanks to the teachers who have put up with me, and indebtedness to Hong Kong, which has given me such a wonderful life. I have lived in the same room in Wah Yan College for forty years. My fellow Jesuits have been supportive and friendly. I have enjoyed living in the greenery and good air in ten acres of King’s Park. No wonder I have no regrets, but only happiness and joy in my heart. Then I have to add all those I have known as a priest outside the school, and they are in the hundreds. And all this happens in my adopted home of Hong Kong, so thanks to Hong Kong and all its people who have harboured me and made my life so happy.”

◆ 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 at school with Ciarán Kane in Belvedere College Dublin, but joined the Society two years after him. He joined after four years of deliberation.

After First Vows he was sent to University College Dublin where he graduated BSc in Natural History, Geology, Botany and Zoology, intending that this would be helpful in understanding the relationship between Christianity and Science.
After this he was sent to study Philosophy for three years, and he was encouraged to consider the issues of handing the faith to non-believers.
He was sent to teach Science at Mungret College SJ Limerick for Regency.
1960 In August he was in Hong Kong and spent two years at Cheung Chau with a private tutor learning Cantonese.
1962-1966 He was in the Philippines at Bellarmine College, Baguio, along with 65 other Jesuits destined for work in China. The College was mandarin speaking, and so he had chosen to go there deliberately with mainland China in mind. By 1964 there were 15 Jesuits who had learned Vietnamese and knew no Chinese, and the young Chinese were gravitating towards Taiwan
1966-1967 He made Tertianship in Dublin
1967 He was back in Hong Kong teaching at Wah Yan College Kowloon, and encouraged to also work with Alumni. He engaged in ecumenical work and was active in the environmental movement. he also spent the weekends on priestly ministries.
1981 He was offered a sabbatical at the age of 50, but he declined it as he was convinced of the value of teaching and wanted to keep his work commitments.
1991 He retired from the salary scale, but he opted to keep teaching, seeing it as the vehicle for his Jesuit life.

Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

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

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.

Cassidy, Derek, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/811
  • Person
  • 10 April 1943-30 March 2017

Born: 10 April 1943, Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1965, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 04 March 1985, Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
Died: 30 March 2017, Beaumont Hospital, Dublin

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

Grew up in Howth, Ballyfermot, Donnycarney, Dublin.
by 1977 at Regis Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

Derek Cassidy SJ – a soulful presence
Fr Derek Cassidy SJ died peacefully on Thursday morning, 30 March, in Beaumont Hospital, Dublin. He had been a dialysis patient for many years. In recent months, his health began to deteriorate very rapidly. The staff of Beaumont Hospital knew him well and gave him great care. He lay in rest at Belvedere College SJ on 2 April and his funeral mass took place on 3 April in Gardiner Street Church, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery. Leonard Moloney SJ, the Irish Provincial who worked with Fr Derek in Belvedere College, was the principal celebrant and homilist at the mass.
Fr Derek served as Rector of Belvedere College since 2002 and was a much-loved member of the College community. He was also a member of the Jesuit community in Gardiner St, Dublin and will be sadly missed by them. He is deeply regretted by his brother Damien and wife Anne, sisters Thelma, Sandra and Denise, nephew Joe, nieces Frances, Susan and Jennifer, grandnieces Chloe, Lucy, Katie and Baby Anne, Jesuit brothers, extended family and his many friends.
Tributes were paid to Fr Derek through the Irish Jesuits page on Facebook. Bláth McDonnell commented, “Rest in Peace Fr. Derek. He had always been such a calm, kind and gentle presence around the College and will be sadly missed”. Thomas Giblin said, “What I remember of Derek was his complete presence in a conversation. It is in his eyes in the photo above. When you needed him, he was with you. There was no doubt. That made him a great chaplain and a wonderful friend”. And Clar Mag Uidhrin said, “So sorry to hear this. I’m blessed I had the opportunity to work alongside him. Rest in peace Fr Derek”. And Niall Markey noted, “Rest in peace, Derek. Thank you for the kindness you showed to me throughout my Jesuit journey. God bless”.
Fr Derek worked in school chaplaincy for a large part of his Jesuit life. He also taught as a Religious Education/Religious Studies teacher at Belvedere for several years. His ratings were above the average at 4.35/5 stars as recorded on ratemyteachers.com. Students comments included: “Biggest baller going, inspiration and a half, aspire to be like this man”; “legend of the school”; “great guy”; and “a class act, very quiet but when he preaches it all makes sense, especially with the Simpsons references”. The school’s pastoral blog noted his Golden Jubilee in 2015 and remarked, “Fr Derek is a wonderful example of what Jesuit life represents”.
Fr Derek made deep impressions on the Belvedere community during the last 16 years of his life. Headmaster Gerry Foley was particularly close to him, as evident from this personal tribute:

Remembering Derek
When we gathered in St. Francis Xavier Church, in Gardner Street, we gathered in sadness, but we wanted to celebrate and give thanks for Fr. Derek’s life with his family and with the Jesuit province. Each of us knew Derek in a different way and we all have memories of a man who could laugh at himself, the world and laugh and talk with people of very different ages and backgrounds. In mourning him we remember fondly stories that highlight his wit, his willingness to confront what he perceived was wrong, even if that led to a difficult experience for both himself and whoever thought he was going to hold back, simply because of his vocation. You did not have to guess Derek’s opinions and views. He could be subtle or when required, bold and forthright when subtlety failed.
Derek’s response to illness made you realise that we should never take being alive and having health, for granted. The theology of salvation was not theoretical for him, it was a lived example.
Images of him laughing, chatting driving in the car or the cheerleaders in the minibus, mix with images of him being silent and attentive. I was lucky enough to bring him the Leinster Senior Cup on the Sunday morning after St. Patrick’s Day. He was delighted and it was uplifting to see the chief cheerleader who loved rugby so much. He received that cup three times previously on the Front door of Belvedere House, so it represented commitment and dedication for him.
There are many things in his office, which point to who Derek is and what he brought to the college. There is a small-framed reproduction of the painting, Light of the world, Holman Hunt, Jesus carrying a lantern knocking on the door. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice, open the door, I will come to him, and I will sup with him and he with me”. On the left side is the human soul, locked away behind an overgrown doorway. Derek invited people to listen more carefully for that knock and when it came, wrench open the door, which could be difficult, and invite Jesus in.
On the table in Derek’s office is “The Simpsons and Philosophy, The D’oh of Homer.” It’s noteworthy that Richard Dawkins, Brief Candle in the Dark” is on the shelf, so Derek was catholic in his sources of inspiration. The connection may not seem obvious, but one of Derek’s favourite episodes of the Simpsons, which he used in his homilies, is the one where Bart, declaring he does not believe in having a soul, sells it, only to regret it when he discovers that life with soul is a life deprived.
If you re- watch the episode of the Simpsons he oft quoted, where Bart sells his soul, you will get a better understanding of Derek’s ability to pick something simple and use it to point to what is profound. He used it in his homily to remind all of us that soul is important, the essence of who we are and not to sell out for something else. For what doth it profit a man, to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul? For what should a man give in exchange for his soul?
By using the Simpsons, Derek highlighted the challenge of Jesuit Education, to place the person of Jesus at the heart of what we do.
So, amid all Derek’s jocularity, there lay a sincerity, a belief that life was so much better lived if the gentleness of humility and care of Jesus was our inspiration.
Looking around his office, the photograph of one of the first Kairos, a card depicting Fr. John Sullivan, the photo of Fr. Reidy, photos of his family, the mass booklet from one of the Past Pupil Reunions, the framed newspaper article on the Jes winning the cup, The Belvo black and white, the Poster of the Holy Land, the model of the BMW 3 series reveal that Derek treasured many people and held them close to his heart, and indicated why he was held in their heart.
One of Derek’s many achievements in Belvedere was to develop the role of Rector, which was a challenge given we are not residents in the school but we are a community almost without boundaries. His presence as a man who was reflective and invited reflection has had an impact on so many people and on so many different levels.
His dry wit often brightened the moment and his genuine question asking “How are you?...” was never followed by a hurried moment, he gave generously of his time and gave people space so they could take time out of their hurried day, to stop, think and enter that space where prayer leads us. That appreciation of the moment lay at the heart of so many memories of him either sharing a glass, or at a meal or on a journey in somewhere like Greece, Rome, with students, or for me, very fond memories of when we were setting up the Chinese Exchange or the Boston exchanges. In Hong Kong, climbing a steep hill, the hand drawn rickshaw pullers approached Derek and avoided both the late Barry O’ Leary and I. We joked that it was the result of old age being respected in China, he quipped that their reluctance to approach us was a justified concern for their back, given our weight!
These exchanges expanded the Jesuit network and helped develop the sense of being a community sharing our faith journey. As with his untiring work in Fundraising and on the Buildings Committee, and Jesuit Identity Committee, he was passionate in providing the right environment to nurture community, friendship and learning.
Derek’s publican background gave him the skills to be fully present to people, to hear their story and enter into it with them. That is why so many students hold his memory dearly and fondly. He was there, fully present, not just physically, but in his un-divided attention to them.
If you asked Derek how he was, he never complained, instead he would reply with something like, “looking down on the daisies, which is better than looking up at them!” Even when he lost his toe he made a joke of it, saying the coffin was getting lighter by the day, and that was another aspect of Derek that made him attractive, particularly to students, he was a bit of a rebel, could be anti-establishment, feared not death because he believed and yet remained true to all that was good.
When we went to Hong Kong, Derek met Fr Joseph Mallin SJ (102), the last surviving child of Michael Mallin, executed leader of the Easter Rising in 1916. Derek and he shared a Republican background and he was immensely proud to be Irish. The Coleman’s mustard, sitting on the shelf in his office, is probably the only British thing he would admit tasted good.
On the little table is the statue of the Holy Family, Joseph and Mary looking at Jesus as he learns the trade of carpentry. Joseph’s hand is raised, obviously in instruction, while Mary looks on with great pride in her son. Derek had that care and pride for the students as they grew in their apprenticeship of what would be their adult personality. He loved young people and loved the privilege of being involved in their life. Lastly there was the prayer on the wall, and I think it captures a lot of his humour and honesty.
“Dear God, so far today I’ve done alright, I haven’t gossiped, I haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish or over indulgent. I’m very thankful for that. But in a few minutes God, I’m going to get out of bed, and from then on I’m probably going to need a lot more help...”
Derek was that help for a lot of us and while extending our sympathy and condolences to his community and his family, I want to extend, on behalf of the Belvedere family, a sincere Thank You. For 16 years, we enjoyed Derek as chaplain, teacher, Form Tutor, Rector and Board member. You shared him with us and we are forever grateful for that. His soul will continue his work with the students and families and we gain strength from his example as a Jesuit, a priest, a friend and a companion.
May he rest in the peace of Christ. Gerry Foley

Early Education at St Mary’s Convent Arklow; SS Michael & John, Smock Alley, Dublin; De La Salle, Ballyfermot, Dublin; Mungret College SJ; Apprentice Solicitor & Barman

1967-1970 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1970-1971 Mungret College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for H Dip in Education at UCD
1971-1976 Milltown Park - Studying Philosophy & Theology (integrated)
1974 Milltown Park - Administration at Irish School of Ecumenics
1976-1977 Toronto, Ontario, Canada - Studying Theology at Regis College
1977-1978 Tabor House - Vice-Superior; Minister; Assistant Director of Retreat House
1978-1980 Leave of Absence
1980-1982 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Chaplain; Teacher
1982-1983 Tullabeg - Tertianship
1983-1989 Coláiste Iognáid SJ - Director of Pastoral Care; Teacher
1989-1990 Tabor - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assistant in Retreat House
1990-1999 Campion House - Vice-Superior; Young Adults Delegate; Assists Tabor House & JVC; Young Adult Ministry
1993 Superior at Campion
1995 Principal & Treasurer at University Hall
1996 Formation Delegate
1999-2001 Leeson St - Principal & Treasurer at University Hall; Young Adults & Formation Delegate
2000 Sabbatical
2001-2004 Belvedere College SJ - College Chaplain; Teacher
2002 Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2003 Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2004-2017 Gardiner St - Superior of Gardiner St Community; Rector of Belvedere College SJ
2011 College Chaplain & Teacher at Belvedere College SJ
2012 Rector of Belvedere College SJ

O'Brien, Kennedy P, 1956-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/810
  • Person
  • 11 October 1956-07 January 2018

Born: 11 October 1956, Oughterard, County Galway
Entered: 04 October 1975, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 20 June 1987, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 24 January 1996, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 07 January 2018, Gonzaga College SJ, Ranelagh, Dublin

by 1980 at Osterley, London (BRI) working
by 1981 at Manresa, Birmingham, England (BRI) studying)
BY 1988 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEN) studying

1977-1979 John Sullivan House, Monkstown - Studying Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1979-1980 Isleworth, London, UK - Residential Care work at Lillie Road Centre
1980-1982 Manresa House, Harbourne, Birmingham, UK - Studying Youth and Community Work at Westhill College
1982-1984 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Regency : Teacher
1984-1986 Luís Espinal - Studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1986-1987 Rutilio Grande - Studying Theology at Milltown Institute
1987-1988 Avon St, Cambridge, MA, USA - Studying Theology at Weston School of Theology
1988-1993 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Teacher; Chaplain; Subminister; Pastoral Care Co-ordinator; Studying H Dip in Education at UCG (88-89)
1989 President “An Club Rámhaoicht”
1993-1994 Belfast - Tertianship
1994-2001 Belvedere College SJ - Minister; Chaplain; Pastoral Care; Teacher; Social Integration Committee; Cherryfield Board
1995 Vocations Promotion Team
1996 Vice-Principal Junior School
1998 Pastoral Care Co-ordinator
2001-2018 Gonzaga College SJ - Minister; Teacher; College Spiritual Father

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/god-love-kennedys-mantra/

‘God is love’ – Kennedy’s mantra
The Funeral Mass of Kennedy O’Brien SJ took place at the Church of the Holy Name, Ranelagh, on Saturday 13 January before a packed congregation, with crowds outside in the cold. A native of Galway, Kennedy (aged 61) devoted his Jesuit life to teaching.
Mourners at the Mass included a large number of students from Gonzaga College SJ, where the Kennedy taught English and served as chaplain and retreat leader. The College choir provided the music, and a number of students removed the pall from the coffin. Irish Provincial, Leonard Moloney SJ, was the main celebrant.
At the end of a traumatic week for Gonzaga (with the deaths of both Kennedy and his fellow-Jesuit Joe Brennan, who had taught in the college for many years), Principal Mr Damon McCaul spoke at the Mass. “For me personally, he [Kennedy] was a friend, a confidant, a sounding board. What I really appreciated – and Kennedy was good at this – was being told when he thought things could be done better, or differently. In that, Kennedy was the embodiment of Magis [the Jesuit principle of more or greater]... a half job was never enough.”
With good humour, Mr McCaul reminded the congregation of Kennedy’s initial reluctance to come to Gonzaga. He taught in his alma mater, Coláiste Iognáid, in Galway and in Belvedere College in Dublin beforehand. However, he said of Kennedy: “He went where the need was greatest; he threw all of himself into Gonzaga, to such an extent that he loved it in spite of himself”. He then expressed his gratitude for the care and support the school had been given in recent days. Mr McCaul finished by asking the Gonzaga students to join him in reciting Kennedy’s favourite Gospel message, one he used to repeat at every College Mass: “God is love. Whoever lives in love, lives in God, and God in him or her”. Kennedy had a wide range of hobbies and interests, including heraldry, gardening, rowing, cricket and the poetry of G M Hopkins. His popularity and regard as a priest was attested to by the number of weddings, baptisms and funerals at which he was asked to officiate. He was buried at Glasnevin Cemetery following the Funeral Mass.

McParland, Terence, 1914-1934, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/807
  • Person
  • 11 December 1914-08 October 1934

Born: 11 December 1914, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 08 October 1934, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois community at the time of death.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 1 1935

Brother Terence McParland

Brother Terence McParland died at St. Vincent's on Monday 8th October, 1954.
He was born in Dublin, 11th December 1914, and educated by the Christian Brothers at Synge St.
In 1933 he passed the Leaving Certificate Exam., securing Honours in seven subjects, and won first place for a University Scholarship offered by the Dublin Corporation. The 7th Sept that same year saw him a Novice at Emo. Here he quickly endeared himself to his companions, who were not slow to appreciate a character of exceptional excellence. He was ever bright and cheerful. “Recreation with him”
writes one of his companions “was never dull, and his rather quaint and poetic mode of speech added a charm to his easy manner. Scrupulous in the observance of rules and customs he edified us all : “' The Mass is the one big thing in my life, It means a deal to me”. Little peeps like this gave us an occasional insight into our Brother's beautiful soul.
Nor was it his companions alone who learned to appreciate Brother Terence. Those who were responsible for his training knew that great as he was in intellectual gifts, he was far greater in soul and character.
The end came unexpectedly. A sudden haemorrhage necessitated his removal to hospital. There, for some days, he seemed to be making satisfactory progress, but a second attack supervened, and although recourse was had to a transfusion of blood he never rallied, and died on Monday the 8th October.
The Requiem Mass Xmas said by Father John Coyne in the Ignatian Chapel. Father Provincial and a great many Fathers and Scholastics from the various houses were present.
A thoughtful kindness, which was much appreciated, was the presence of Rev. Brother Bourke. Superior of Synge St., with his senior boys, who joined in the Mass and prayers, and
stood by, as a last tribute to their former pupil and comrade, while the remains were laid to rest in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin. RIP

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.

Murphy, Michael J, 1894-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/802
  • Person
  • 01 April 1894-27 July 1971

Born: 01 April 1894, Ballybay, County Monaghan
Entered: 09 October 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1930, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died :27 July 1971, Mungret College SJ, Limerick

Studied for BA at UCD

Editor of An Timire, 1930-31.

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
With the encouragement of Michael Murphy he then entered the Novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo under the newly appointed Novice Master John Neary. Michael Murphy followed him to Emo as Spiritual Father, and then onward to Rathfarnham as his Prefect of Studies in the Juniorate.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 46th Year No 4 1971

Obituary :

Fr Michael Murphy SJ (1914-1971)

Fr Michael Murphy was born in Monaghan on April 1st, 1894 and received his secondary education at the diocesan seminary. He then went to Dublin to study engineering in the recently opened UCD. Money was not easily come by and Fr Michael would cycle from Monaghan to Dublin at the beginning of each term and back to Monaghan at the end. For good measure, he had to take his brother in tow as he had not got Fr Michael's reserves of strength. While he was the University, Fr Egan used to admire his steadying influence on the wilder members of the engineering faculty,
Before completing his course in UCD he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1914 shortly after the beginning of World War I, In 1916 after taking his vows he remained on in Tullabeg in the home Junioriate before sitting for his final University examiniation in 1917. Then he went to Stonyhurst for philosophy only to return within a year to Ireland when the Conscription scare blew up and go to Milltown to finish philosophy. He taught in Clongowes from 1920 to 1923 and after theology returned to Clongowes for a year before going to tertianship in St Beuno's. After his tertianship he went to Belvedere as assistant to the editor of the Irish Messenger and the following year became a teacher in Belvedere. He was transferred in 1927 to Mungret as Prefect of studies, a position he held till he was sent in 1935 to Emo as Socius to the Master of novices, Two years later he went to Rathfarnham Castle as Minister of Juniors, remaining thus till 1941. He was next appointed as Prefect of Studies in the Crescent, and from 1941 to 1954 he occupied this position either in the Crescent or in Mungret with a one year break when he went to Belvedere to teach from 1945-46. When Fr. M. Erraught replaced him as Prefect of Studies in 1954 he remained on in Mungret teaching Mathematics till 1956 when he went to Emo Park as Procurator. When Emo was sold in 1969, Fr. Murphy, now an old man, returned to Mungret, his working days over. Two years later, he passed peacefully away in a nursing home close to Mungret College. He died July 27th.
Most of Fr. Murphy's life as a Jesuit was spent in the Colleges either as teacher or as Prefect of Studies. He taught in Belvedere, Clongowes and Mungret, and was Prefect of Studies in the Crescent and for two periods in Mungret. Moreover, he was Prefect of Studies of the Province from the institution of the post for many years.
There is no gain-saying his success as Prefect of Studies. He possessed the capacity for carrying out endlessly tedious chores on the progress of the boys in the school. He was not severe and administered very little corporal punishment, producing results by steady pressure on boys and masters. Mungret in particular had remarkably consistent success in the public examinations under his guidance.
On the occasion of his annual visit to the College as Province Prefect of Studies, the local Prefect of Studies found him understanding and helpful with little taste for dull uniformity. Scholastics were encouraged by him to improve their teaching techniques and prompt assistance given to help them become efficient masters.
In his dealings with the Juniors as their Minister in Rathfarnham he was not a success, but indeed it is hard to see how anyone could be a success if he carried out the instructions he was given. The attitude of those in charge of the Juniors had been one of trust, now it was obviously one of suspicion. Studies do not flourish in such an atmosphere. It was a great relief for Fr Murphy to leave Rathfarnham and go as Prefect of Studies to the Crescent in 1941. The problems he had to deal with in a school were familiar to him and he knew how to deal with them successfully.
Fr Murphy was a Northerner with the faults and virtues of the North. As they say up there he was very “true” and most reliable and conscientious. One could not imagine him shirking a job no matter how demanding or unattractive it was. He possessed a good sense of humour combined with the patience of Job which he practised in dealing with the bores of the Province who were sure of a sympathetic hearing from him. In his habits he was austere and allowed himself little indulgence. Smoking, drinking, novel-reading had no attraction for him and his one form of exercise was cycling.
For Mathematics he had an abiding passion. I do not think he taught any other subject during his many years in the Colleges, but even after his teaching days were over, he spent many a day happily with figures. He was a constant correspondent of Fr R Ingram after the computer was set up in UCD and many an hour of the computer was occupied in testing for him whether this or that formula would always give you a prime number..
The rising generation of Jesuits would describe him as pre Vatican II, the Society will flourish if its younger members give the ungrudging service Fr Murphy did. RIP

Dillon, Edward J, 1874-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/801
  • Person
  • 05 September 1874-29 July 1969

Born: 05 September 1874, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin
Entered: 20 May 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died 29 July 1969, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

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

by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
The most important event of the past quarter in Gardiner Street was Fr. Dillion's Diamond Jubilee, which was celebrated on 20th May. A large gathering of his near-contemporaries and those who had been stationed with him during his long and distinguished career in the Society agreed heartily with the felicitous tributes paid to the Jubilarian by Father Provincial and Father Superior and others. This is not the place for an advance obituary notice as Fr. Dillon himself would be the first to reckon our praise: but we cannot omit our tribute on behalf of Gardiner Street to all that he contributes both to our edification and our entertainment. His photographic memory ranges as easily from London in the nineties to Old Trafford in the fifties as from Beaumont to Mungret, and brings alive again all the Society stalwarts and “characters” of the past : our recreations would be vastly the poorer without his reminiscences and our link with the traditions of our predecessors very much the weaker. Withal he is still sturdily at the service of the faithful “ from the distinguished gentleman who will tell you - not that he goes to confession to Fr. Dillion - but that he “consults him professionally”, to the old ladies of seventy-five who are “worried about the fast”. Long may he continue with us!

Irish Province News 44th Year No 4 1969

Obituary :

Fr Edward Dillon SJ (1874-1969)

Fr. Edward Dillon died at Talbot Lodge, Blackrock on July 29th. He was within five weeks of his ninety fifth birthday, and was seventy two years in the Society. He was born in Dunlaoire on September 5th, 1874, and was educated at Belvedere, St. Gall's (Stephen's Green), Beaumont and Trinity College.
He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg on May 20th, 1897. Fr. James Murphy was his novice master.
For Philosophy he went to Vals, in the Toulouse province.
As a scholastic he taught for one year at Belvedere, one year at Clongowes, and three years at Mungret.
He did Theology, and in 1910 was ordained, at Milltown. His tertianship was at Tronchiennes, Belgium
In 1911 he went to Mungret as Prefect of Discipline. Two years afterwards he began a five year term as Minister at the Crescent. sometimes referred to as “the Dillon-Doyle regime”.
After a period of twelve years teaching at Belvedere, Fr. Dillon became Rector of Mungret.
Two years at Rathfarnham Retreat House followed. From 1938 till his death he was on the staff of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, but for some years he was in the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity at Talbot Lodge,
Fr. Dillon's life stretched far into the past, and during his noviceship there were two priests, Frs. C. Lynch and P. Corcoran who were born about 150 years ago; but he was never out of touch with the present. He was never out of date or old-fashioned in his outlook or ways.
Fr. Dillon had a rare gift for dealing with boys. As Prefect in Mungret he made things go with a swing. He was generous in providing splendid equipment for the games. He improved the libraries and organised the “shop” so that the boys got good value. He was quick and energetic, and could join skilfully and cheerfully in any game. He was not severe, but had no difficulty in controlling boys, who had confidence in him and respected him.
It is recalled by a Father who was in the Community with Fr. Dillon during part of his long period of teaching at Belvedere, 1919-31, that he was an excellent teacher. He taught Honours Latin classes, but also during his teaching career he taught Greek and French.
He did not mix much with the boys outside class. He used to attend, in a class-room in the Junior House at Belvedere to enrol boys for membership of the Pioneer Association. There were no big meetings, big Notices, but “what went on behind those closed doors only Fr. Cullen (in heaven) knows”.
During this time at Belvedere he was very attentive to an invalid brother who lived at Clonsilla. He cycled out regularly to visit him.
In 1931 Fr. Dillon returned to Mungret as Rector. In 1932 he had a busy time organising celebrations for the Golden Jubilee of the College. He succeeded in gathering a great number of past pupils, among them some Bishops from America and Australia who had been Apostolic students, and were in Ireland for the Eucharistic Congress. He had a contemporary of his own, Fr. Garahy, to preach.
While in Mungret he got the College connected with the Shannon Scheme, dismantling the old power house, which had done its work. He also had the telephone installed! There was, no motor car in Mungret in those days, and one remembers Fr. Dillon frequently “parking” his bicycle at the Crescent when he visited the city.
From 1936-38 Fr. Dillon gave retreats at Rathfarnham.
From there he moved to Gardiner Street. He entered zealously into the various activities of the Church. He prepared carefully for preaching. His sermons were direct and practical. He had an easy fluency in speaking and a pleasant and clear voice; and he gained the people's attention as he leaned confidentially over the edge of the pulpit.
His preparation was also notable in another work which took much of his time, the instruction and reception of converts. A sister of his in the Convent next door, Sister Bride, also instructed many of the converts who were received at St. Francis Xavier's. Sister Bride was also well known as a “missioner”, visiting the district. Mountjoy prison was in her area of zeal, and she met and counselled many who were under the death sentence.
Fr. Dillon for some years gave the Domestic Exhortations, which he prepared carefully. Preparation, planning, foresight were in deed very characteristic in his life.
As a confessor he was a very busy man. He had a worldly wisdom that stood him in good stead, and many sought him out because of this. But he was a patient, kind and sympathetic priest, and a great favourite.
Community recreation was always the better and livelier for his presence. His easy manner, conversation and sense of fun enlivened the daily meetings.
For many years at Gardiner Street, he was still as active, alert and full of energy as ever. Games still interested him, though I do not think he went to watch them much. He was still keen on golf, and played it fairly often. His slight figure sped quickly around the course, and he came back with a healthy glow on his face from the outing.
His brother and other members of his family were interested and much engaged with horses and racing, and Fr. Eddie always kept a very remarkable interest in the important races. Even when, at last, sight and hearing were almost gone, he would try to pick up the story of the big races from the TV at Talbot Lodge.
In his last years Fr. Dillon won the admiration of all by the gentle, patient way in which he bore a life of great handicaps and discomfort, and quite an amount of pain. His many ailments did not seem to lessen the robustness of his heart and constitution; though he grew progressively more helpless, needing first one stick, then two, and at last almost unable to move from his bed.
His mind was certainly not affected by his ailments. He was quick to catch the subject of a conversation. He kept up his interest in the community and the Province. He had a great memory which enabled him to relate interesting episodes of the past, or to recount any news he had heard from visitors. He had, during life, made many constant friends, and some of them were able to keep contact with him to the end. His two nieces from Bray were most devoted to him. They visited him regularly, and he was deeply grateful to them, and also to the staff at Talbot Lodge who gave him such care and kindness.
Fr. Dillon was never an effusive man, in any sentimental way; but in the last months when, though still having use of his. faculties and clarity of mind, he felt he had not long to live, he let his appreciation of friendship shown him, appear very visibly. The prospect of the end he felt to be very near, seemed to make him glow with happiness.
Eternal life be his.

Finlay, Peter, 1851-1929, Jesuit priest and theologian

  • IE IJA J/8
  • Person
  • 15 February 1851-21 October 1929

Born: 15 February 1851, Bessbrook, County Cavan
Entered 02 March 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881, Tortosa, Spain
Professed: 02 February 1886, St Beuno’s, Wales
Died: 21 October 1929, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at time of death.

Younger brother of Tom Finlay - RIP 1940

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1879 at Poyanne France (CAST) Studying
by 1880 at Dertusanum College, Tortosa, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1888 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) Lecturing Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.

1868 He was sent to St Acheul (Amiens) for a year of Rhetoric, and then to Stonyhurst for two years Philosophy, and then to Maria Laach for one more year.
1872 He was sent for Regency teaching Latin and French at Crescent for two years, and the four at Clongowes teaching Greek, Latin, French, German, Mathematics and Physics.
1878 He was sent to Poyanne in France with the the CAST Jesuits, expelled from Spain, and then three years at Tortosa, Spain where he was Ordained 1881. He also completed a Grand Act at the end of his time in Tortosa which attracted significant attention about his potential future as a Theologian.
1882 He returned to Ireland and Milltown where he lectured in Logic and Metaphysics for three years.
1885 He was sent to St Beuno’s as professor of Theology and made his Final Vows there 02 February 1886.
1887 He was sent to Woodstock (MARNEB) to help develop this Theologate with others from Europe - including Aloisi Masella, later Cardinal.
1889 Milltown opened a Theologate, and he was recalled as Professor of Scholastic Theology, and held that post for 40 years. During that time he hardly ever missed a lecture, and his reputation as an educator was unparalleled, shown in the quality of his lecturing, where the most complex was made clear. During this time he also took up a Chair of Catholic Theology at UCD from 1912-1923. In addition, he was a regular Preacher and Director of retreats, and spent many hours hearing Confessions of the poor.

He was highly thought of in HIB, attending two General Congregations and a number of times as Procurator to consult with the General.
His two major publications were : The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution” (1915) and “Divine Faith” (1917).
He died at St Vincent’s Hospital 21 October 1929. His funeral took place at Gardiner St where the Archbishop Edward Byrne presided.

“The Catholic Bulletin” November 1929
“The death of Father Peter Finlay......closed a teaching career in the great science of Theology which was of most exceptional duration and of superb quality, sustained to the very close of a long and fruitful life. ..news of his death came as a shock and great surprise to many who knew him all over Ireland and beyond. ...in the course of his Theological studies at Barcelona he drew from the great tradition of Suarez and De Lugo. ....Behind that easy utterance was a mind brilliant yet accurate, penetrating, alert, subtle, acute in its power of analysis and discrimination, caustic at times, yet markedly observant of all the punctilious courtesies of academic disputation. ...The exquisite keenness of his mind was best appreciated by a trained professional audience .... and with his pen even more effective in English than Latin. Those who recall “Lyceum’ with its customary anonymity failed to conceal the distinctive notes of Peter Finlay’s style, different from, yet having many affinities with the more leisurely and versatile writing of his brother Thomas. The same qualities...
were evident in the ‘New Ireland Review”, from 1894-1910. Nor were the subjects ... narrowly limited ... he examined the foundations and limitations of the right of property in land, as viewed by English Law and Landlords in Ireland. On the secure basis of the great Spanish masters of Moral Philosophy, he did much to make secure the practical policies and enforce the views of Archbishops Thomas Croke and William Walsh.
He had a close relationship with the heads of the publishing house of ‘The Catholic Bulletin’. That said, this relationship was far outspanned by his marvellous service in the giving of Retreats to Priests and Religious and Men, added to by his work in the ministry of Reconciliation among the rich and poor alike, the afflicted and those often forgotten.”

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.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Finlay, Thomas Aloysius
by Thomas J. Morrissey

Finlay, Thomas Aloysius (1848–1940) and Peter (1851–1929), Jesuit priests, scholars, and teachers, were born at Lanesborough, Co. Roscommon, sons of William Finlay, engineer, and Maria Finlay (née Magan), who had four other children: three daughters, all of whom became religious sisters, and a son William, who became secretary of Cavan county council. Tom and Peter were educated at St Augustine's diocesan college, Cavan (predecessor to St Patrick's College), and in 1866 both entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. Subsequently, they were sent for studies to St Acheul, near Amiens, after which they moved in somewhat different directions.

From St Acheul Peter Finlay went to Stonyhurst College, England, for two years philosophy, and spent a further year in philosophic studies at the Jesuit college of Maria Laach in Germany. Returning to Ireland (1872), he taught for two years at Crescent College, Limerick, and for four years at Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare. His theological studies were conducted with distinction at Poyanne in France and Tortosa in Spain. Recalled home, he lectured in philosophy at the Jesuit seminary college, Milltown Park, and at UCD for three years; and then in theology at St Beuno's, Wales, for three years. The next six years were spent at Woodstock College, USA, where he professed theology. When in 1889 a theologate was established at Milltown Park, Peter was summoned home. He professed theology there from then till his death. His lectures, said to have been models of clarity, were presented in fluent and exact Latin, the medium of the time for such lectures. He also lectured (1912–22) in catholic theology at UCD. In constant demand for retreats and lectures, and with a heavy weight of correspondence, he was also rector (1905–10) of Milltown Park, and was three times elected to represent the Irish province at general congregations in Rome. Peter Finlay did not have his brother's range of interests nor his literary productivity, but his published writing on theological and apologetic themes were widely read. These included The church of Christ: its foundation and constitution (1915), Divine faith (1917), and smaller works reflecting the issues of the day, such as The decree ‘Ne temere’; Catholics in civil life, The catholic religion, The catholic church and the civil state, The authority of bishops, Was Christ God?, The one true church: which is it?, and Is one religion as good as another?. He was an unassuming man, dedicated to a life of poverty, obedience, and obligation – never, it was said, missing a lecture for thirty-nine of his forty-four years as lecturer. He died of cancer of the kidneys on 21 October 1929, having lectured till 2 October, the day before going to hospital for the final time.

The brothers were among the most influential academics in Ireland in the last quarter of the nineteenth and the first quarter of the twentieth centuries. Thomas was described by W. E. H. Lecky (qv) as probably the most universally respected man in Ireland. Peter, who professed theology in Britain, America, and Ireland for 44 years, was widely consulted on most aspects of theology and highly regarded for his gifts of exposition.

Provincial consultors' minute book, 20 Feb. 1890 (Irish Jesuit archives, Dublin); Irish Jesuit Province News, Dec. 1929 (private circulation); ‘Sir Horace Plunkett on Professor Finlay's career as social reformer’, Fathers of the Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: story of University College, Dublin, 1883–1909 (1930), 246–57; W. Magennis, ‘A disciple's sketch of Fr T. Finlay’, Belvederian, ix (summer 1931), 19; obit., Anglo-Celt, 13 Jan. 1940; George O'Brien, ‘Father Thomas A. Finlay, S.J., 1848–1940’, Studies, xxix (1940), 27–40; Aubrey Gwynn, obit., Irish Province News, Oct. 1940 (private circulation); R. J. Hayes (ed.), Sources for the history of Irish civilization: articles in Irish periodicals (1970), ii, 310–12; Thomas Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany, S.J. (1835–1924) (1983); Trevor West, Horace Plunkett: co-operation and politics (1986)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

On March 2nd, Fr Peter Finlay celebrated his Diamond Jubilee. After a brilliant Grand Act at Tortosa, Fr. Peter was working at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study at Beyrouth, when a telegram summoned him back to Ireland to be Prefect of Studies at Tullabeg. From Tullabeg he passed to Millton to Professor of Philosophy, thence to St. Beuno's where he professed theology, but Fr General sent him to Woodstock instead. From Woodstock he was transferred to Milltown in 1889; he took possession of the Chair of Theology and held it ever since. Fr, Finlay has spent 42 years professing theology, and during all that time never once missed a lecture till he fell ill in March, 1924.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 1 1929

Obituary :

Fr Peter Finlay

Fr. Peter Finlay died at St. Vincent's hospital, Dublin on October 21st of cancer of the kidneys. Some twelve months previously, he felt the first symptoms of the attack. But so far was he from giving in, that he continued his lectures during the entire scholastic year that followed. This year he gave his last lecture on October 2nd, went to hospital on October 3rd, and died on October the 21st. His loss will be keenly felt far beyond the limits of the Society, for his opinion on all questions of theology was eagerly sought for and highly valued here at home in Ireland, and in many another country outside it, into which his wide learning and wonderful power of exposition had penetrated.

Fr. Peter was born in Co. Cavan, on the 15th February 1851, and educated at St. Patrick's College, Cavan. He had just turned his 15th year when on March 2nd 1866, he began his novitiate at Milltown Park. He made his juniorate at St. Acheul, France, two years philosophy at Stonyhurst, a third at Maria Laaeh in Germany, and returned to Ireland in 1872, Two years were passed at the Crescent and four in Clongowes as master. Theology was commenced at Poyanne in France, where the Castilian Jesuits, driven from Spain, had opened a theologate. The remaining three years of theology saw him at Tortosa in Spain, and the course was concluded by a very brilliant Grand Act.
Fr. Peter was working away at Hebrew and Arabic, with a view to further study when a telegram recalled him to Ireland. Milltown Park had him for three years as Professor of philosophy, and St. Beuno's for two as Profcssor of theology. It was said that at the end of these two years he was under orders to start for Australia, but Fr. General sent him to America instead to profess theology at Woodstock.
In 1889,the theologate was established at Milltown Park, and of course Fr. Peter was summoned home to take the “Morning” Chair. That chair he held with the very highest distinction, and without interruption, until less than a month before his death. In all, Fr Finlay was 44 years professing theology, and it is said that he never missed a lecture until he fell ill in the year 1924. And often, these lectures were given at a time when suffering from a bad throat.
Milltown Park had him for Rector from 1905 to 1910, and he was Lecturer of Catholic Theology in the National University Dublin, from 1912 to1922.
Fr. Peter was three times elected to represent the Irish Province at General Congregations, and on three other occasions at Procuratorial Gongregations at Rome.
His published works are : “The Church of Christ, its Foundation and Constitution”, 1915; “Divine Faith” 1917. In addition, he has left us several smaller publications, such as : “The Decree Ne Ternere”; “Catholics in Civil Life”; “The Catholic Religion”; The Catholic Church and the Civil State”; “ The Authority of Bishops”; “Was Christ God”; “The One Church, which is it”.
Fr. John McErlean, who had the privilege of having him as Professor for four years, writes as follows : “Merely to listen to his lectures was an education, for he was gifted with a wonderful power of exposition before which difficulties dissolved, and his hearers became almost unconscious of the subtilty of the argument. A past master of the Latin tongue, he poured forth without an instant's hesitation, a stream of limpid language in which the most critical classicist failed to detect the slightest grammatical inaccuracy in the most involved sentences”.
In addition to his duties as professor, he was frequently employed as Preacher, Director of the Spiritual Exercises etc. His correspondence alone must have been a heavy tax on his time, for his advice was much sought after by all classes of society. All these manifold duties did not prevent him from spending many hours every week hearing the confessions of the poor in Milltown village.
Fr. Finlay's piety was not of the demonstrative order, but was very genuine. He was a model of regularity. Day after day he said one of the very earliest Masses in the Community. He was most careful to ask permission for the smallest exemption. In the matter of poverty, he was exact to a degree that would astonish a fervent novice. He never parted with a trifle nor accepted one without leave. Devotion to duty, to the work in hand, accompanied him through life. His brother, Fr. Tom, gave his usual lecture in the University on the very morning that Peter died, and another lecture on the day of the Office and funeral. When some one mildly expostulated with him, his answer was : “I have done what I knew would please Peter, and what I am sure he would have done himself under like circumstances”.
Peter is now, please God, reaping the rich fruits of his 63 years loyal and devoted services to the Society.

Irish Province News 5th Year No 2 1930

Obituary : Fr Peter Finlay
We owe the following appreciation to the kindness of Fr, P. Gannon
“No man is indispensable, but some create by their departure a void that is very sensible and peculiarly hard to fill. To say that Fr. Peter Finlay was one of these is certainly not an exaggeration. Milltown Park without him causes a difficulty for the imagination. He was so large a part of its life since its foundation as a scholasticate, its most brilliant professor and most characteristic figure. Others came and went, but he remained, an abiding landmark in a changing scene. Justice demands that some effort be made to perpetuate the memory of a really great career, which, for many reasons, might escape due recognition. In this notice little more can be attempted than an outline sketch of his long and fruitful activities.
Fr. Finlay was born near the town of Cavan on Feb, 15, 1851, of a Scotch father, and an Irish mother. He was one of seven children of whom three girls became Sacred Heart Nuns, and two boys Jesuits.
The boys of the family attended St. Patrick's College, the seminary to Kilmore. Diocese, - then situated in the town. In 1866 Peter, now barely fifteen years of age, entered the Noviceship, Miiltown. Park, where his elder brother Torn soon joined him, and thus began a brotherly association in religion that was to be beautifully intimate and uninterrupted for over sixty years - par nobile fractum.
In 1868 he went to S. Acheul for his Juniorate. In 1869-70 he did his first two years Philosophy at Stonyhurst, and his third at Maria Laach (Germany) in company with his brother (1871-2). On his return he commenced his teaching in the Crescent (1872-74), passing to Clongowes in 1874, where he remained till 1878. The versatility of the young scholastic may be gauged from the fact that he is catalogued as teaching Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics, Latin, Greek, French and German.
In 1878 he was sent to Poyanne, France, where the exiled Castilan Province had opened up a house of studies. Here he commenced his study of Theology (1879-9). This was continued in Tortosa, Spain, (1879-82), and crowned by a Grand Act which became historic even in that land of theology, and marked him out at once for the professor's chair.From 1882 till 1885 we find him in Milltown Park teaching Philosophy and acting as Prefect of Studies. From 1885-1887 in St. Beuno's, Wales, teaching Theology (Short Course), In 1887 he was invited to Woodstock USA. where he lectured on Theology for two years with Padre Mazella, the future cardinal, as a colleague. In 1889 he finally cast anchor in Milltown Park, as professor of “Morning” Dogma. and this position he held till within a few weeks of his death in 1929 - over forty years. He was also Prefect of Studies from 1892 till 1903, and Rector from 1905 (Aug.) till 1910. In 1912 he was requested by the Bishops of Ireland to undertake the Lectureship in DogmaticTheology which they were founding in the National University of Ireland. This he retained till 1922 when he insisted on resigning. The weekly lectures he delivered during Term time were published in full in “The Irish Catholic” and made his teaching accessible to wide circles. They formed the basis of his two published works “The Church of Christ” and “Divine Faith”. Earlier in his career he had written some articles for The Lyceum, under his brother's editorship, which caused no small stir and led to certain difficulties. It would almost appear as if this disagreeable experience had frozen a promising fountain at its source. For a long time it ceased to play. The invitations of The Catholic Truth Society and the pressure of friends to reprint his University lectures were needed to win him back to authorship, For the C.T. S. he wrote several very valuable pamphlets such as “Was Christ God”, The “Ne Temere Decree” etc. Occasionally also he penned public utterances of great weight and influence as, for example, his letter to the Press vindicating the Bishop's action in regard to Conscription (1918 and his articlein Studies on Divorce when that topic occupied the attention of the Dáil (1924-25).
To finish with his literary activities a word of criticism may not be out of place, And the first thing that occurs to the mind is a sense of regret that he did not write more, he, who was from every point of view so well equipped for the task. What he has left us is very precious. All he wrote was solid, practical and beautifully clear. He had in a high degree the gift of exposition and could render the abstrusest questions of theology intelligible to any educated reader. He passed from the technicalities of the Schools to the language of the forum with instant success. Only those who have attempted something similar will be in a position to appreciate the skill with which he could combine thorougness, accuracy and lucidity. His style was very correct. Indeed he was a good deal of a purist. He abhorred slovenliness, slang, journalese and Americanese. His prose is consequently classical clear, flexible, fitting his thought like a well-made garment, but perhaps a trifle cold, lacking colour and emotional appeal.
The occupations hitherto outlined might seem enough to fill his days and hours, But Fr. Finlay managed to add many other zealous endeavours. He was one of the founders of the Catholic Truth Society and remained to the end an energetic member of its committee. He played a large part in the creation of The Catholic Reserve Society, which has done such good work in the fight against Protestant proselytism in its meanest form.
During his Rectorship and under his auspices Week-End retreats for Laymen Were inaugurated in Milltown Park. And it would be difficult to estimate all the good these have done in the intervening years, He was a lover of books, and all through a busy life found time to keep an eye on booksellers' catalogues for rare and useful volumes, especially in Theology,
Philosophy, Church History and Patristics. More than anyone else he is responsible for the excellent library which Milltown possesses.
It was he who built what is sometimes known as “the Theologians' wing” and sometimes as “Fr. Peter's building” with its fine refectory characterised by beauty of design without luxury or extravagance. Finally he did much for the grounds and garden, planting ornamental and fruit-bearing trees. And unlike Cicero's husbandman he lived long enough to enjoy the fruit and beauty of the trees he planted.
In his relations to the outer world Fr. Peter never became as prominent a public or national figure as Fr.Tom. But he was well known in ecclesiastical circles, where his advice on theological questions was often sought. Through diocesan retreats and in many other ways he came into contact with most of the Irish bishops of his time, and he was on very intimate
terms with Cardinal Logue. He was regularly invited to examinations for the doctorate in Maynooth, when his mastery of theology and dialectical skill were conspicuous.
He counted many of the leading Catholic laymen of Ireland among his friends, such as Lord O'Hagan and Chief Baron Palles, to name only the dead. His inner, personal knowledge of Catholic life in Rome, Spain and England was also considerable , and in private conversation he could give interesting sidelights on much of the written and unwritten history of the Church in his generation.
As a confessor and director of souls he enjoyed a wide popularity. His prudence, wisdom and solid virtue fitted him peculiarly for the ministry, and his labours in it were fruitful Since his death the present writer heard quite spontaneous testimony from two nuns in widely different places as to the debt they owed him. They went the length of saying that they attribyted their vocation and even their hopes of salvation Under God to his wise and firm guidance in their youth. He possessed a rare knowledge of human nature and he spared no pains in helping all who came to him. His fidelity to the Saturday-night confessions in Milltown parish chapel to the very end, in spite of obviously failing health, was truly edifying. And spiritual direction involved him in a wide correspondence that must have made big inroads on his time. In general Fr.Finlay was prodigal of time and trouble in helping others, whether by way of advice, theologicaI enlightenment, or criticism of literary work. This seemed to spring from that strain of asceticism in him which was noticeable in his whole life - in his regularity, punctuality and devotion to duty. There was some thing of the northern iron in his composition or, as some might style it, Scotch dourness. He could be steely at times in manner, but most of all he was steely with himself. This was seen very clearly in the closing years of life when he really kept going by a volitional energy and a self-conquest which, though entirely unostentatious, was yet unmistakeable to close observers, and revealed to them as never before the fundamental piety of his character - a piety made manifest in his death .
It was, however, as a professor that he won his high reputation and gave the true measure of his greatness.Only those who had the privilege of knowing him in this capacity were in a position to appreciate his real eminence. He seemed the incarnation of what Kant calls a the “pure intelligence”. He united qualities rarely combined, subtlety, profundity, clarity. He had something of the nimbleness of a Scotus without his obscurity. And that perhaps explained his marked leaning to Scotistic views on disputed questions, and his liking for Ripalda. His mind seemed attuned to theirs, though he was too independent to be addictus iurare in verba magistri. When we add to these characteristics a conscientious care in preparation, an admirable method, and a power of expressing himself in a Latin which Cicero could hardly have disowned (allowance being made for the necessary technicalities of the schools), it will be seen that his. equipment for his life's task was very complete. At his best he was a model of scientific exposition. Theology is a vast and difficult science. How would it be otherwise in view of what it treats? And to expound it adequately demands a combination and gifts granted to few. Fr. Finlay's pupils were nearly unanimous in the belief that hardly anyone of his generation possessed this combination in a higher measure or more balanced proportions than he. The only exception that could be taken to his lecturing was perhaps that it was more analytical and critical, or even destructive, than constructive. But these very features of it gave one the assurance that a conclusion which had stood the test of his scrutiny was sound indeed. Moreover he was genuinely tolerant of dissent from his views. Though a professor of dogma he was the least dogmatic of men and even strove rather to elicit your own thinking than to impose his on you. He revelled in the thrust and parry of debate and respected a good fighter. This could be seen best during the repetitions at the end of the year, and in the examinations, where he sought to test the pupil's understanding and grasp of principles rather than mere memory of councils or scripture texts. His objections were clear, crisp, to the point and faultless in form. There was no side-stepping them, no escape into irrelevancies, no chance of eluding him by learned adverbs or ambiguous phrases. Patiently, with perfect urbanity, but with deadly insistence he brought the candidate back to the point and held him there till be solved the difficulty or confessed that he could not do sol which was often enough a saving admission. Yet on the other hand no examiner was really fairer. For he seemed to see one's thoughts before they were uttered, and could penetrate through the worst Latin periphrases to what one was really trying to say. Hence no one was ever confused by misunderstanding him or lost by being misunderstood.
Neither did he keep urging a difficulty when it was solved. The answer once given he passed, easily and lightly, to something else.
Again, in Provincial congregations, of which he was the inevitable secretary, his conduct of business was a sheer delight. His writing of minutes, his resumés of previous discussions were masterly. Many a speaker was surprised, and perhaps a little abashed, to hear all he had laboured, in broken Latin and through many minutes, to express, reproduced integrally, in a few short sentences, which gave the substance of his remarks without an unnecessary word. As this was done almost entirely from memory, with the help of a few brief jottings, it compelled a wondering admiration. His election to represent the Province in Rome was nearly automatic. He attended every Congregation, general or procuratorial, which was summoned since the election of Fr. Martin, After the last general congregation he was specially thanked by our present Paternity for his signal services as head of the Commission in the Reform of Studies. These services taxed his strength severely and on his return the first clear signs of serious infirmity made them selves manifest. If even then he had taken due precautions, his essentially robust constitution might have enabled him to live for many years. But he would not take precautions and no one dared suggest any remission of work. He obviously wished to die in harness. And he did. His last lecture, as brilliant as those of his prime, was delivered within three weeks of his death, which took place on Monday Oct. 21, 1929.
No life escapes criticism, and it would be idle to pretend that Fr. Peter did not come in for his share of it. It would be even flattery to deny that he afforded some ground for it. But, take him all in all, only blind and incurable prejudice can deny that he was a very remarkable man, intellectually and morally, an ornament to the whole Society and a just source of pride of the Irish Province, which is the poorer for his loss and will feel it for many a day. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Peter Finlay 1851-1929
In the death of Fr Peter Finlay at Milltown Park on October 21st 1929, the Province lost its greatest Theologian. His death ended a teaching career in Theology, which was of exceptional duration and superb quality, which made him renowned not only in Ireland, but far beyond.

He was born in County Cavan on February 15th 1851 and was educated at St Patrick’s College Cavan. He was accepted for the Society bby Fr Edmund O’Reilly at the early age of 15.

His teaching career began in 1872 at the Crescent, followed by four years at Clongowes, during which his curriculum included Greek, Latin, French, German, Physics and Mathematics. At the end of his theological course at Tortosa Spain, he was chosen for the Grand Act, the public defence of all Philosophy and Theology. His brilliant defence placed him in the front rank of the rising generation of Theologians. He lectured in Philosophy at Milltown, Theology at St Beuno’s and at Woodstock USA.

On the opening of the theologate at Milltown Park he was recalled to fill the chair of Dogmatic Theology, a chair which he held for a full 40 years, even during his Rectorate of Milltown Park from 1905-1910.

When a chair of Catholic Theology was established at the National University, Fr Finlay was appointed and continued to held it from 1912-1923.

He was an able administrator and builder. The old Refectory at Milltown, which later burnt, was built by him. He often represented the Province in Rome. He was an able controversialist and an incisive writer, as may be seen by the numerous articles of his in the Lyceum and the Nre Ireland review. His writings, popular and appreciated even today, include “The Church of Christ”, “Divine Faith”, “Catholics in Civic Life”, “The Authority of Bishops”, “Was Christ God?” and “The one Church, which is it?”.

Ward, Séamus, 1935-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/799
  • Person
  • 31 May 1935-22 February 2011

Born: 31 May 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1975, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
Died: 22 February 2011, St Mary Star of the Sea, Key West, Florida, USA

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

Nephew of Eugene - RIP 1976

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1971 at USF San Francisco, USA (CAL) studying
by 1972 at St Michael’s Bronx NY, USA (NEB) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/seamus-ward-rip/

Seamus Ward RIP
Seamus Ward SJ passed away in Florida yesterday, 22 February. He was staying at St. Mary, Star of The Sea Church, Florida. Earlier, he had had a fall away from the house on 18th February and broken his femur. He was badly shaken and was hospitalised. The doctors advised that he was unlikely to recover. He needed a breathing machine. Fr Conall O’Cuinn, Rector of Milltown Park, and Eoghan, a nephew of Seamus, travelled to the USA on Tuesday 22nd and were met at the airport and taken straight to the hospital. They were waiting for them before removing the breathing machine. There was time for prayers and singing Ag Criost an Siol and Soul of My Saviour. Seamus died very quietly and peacefully about 15 minutes later. May he rest in Christ’s Peace!

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/burying-seamie-2/

Burying Seamie
There was something astonishing about the obsequies of Fr Seamus Ward, whose death was reported in the last AMDG Express. Within the Irish Province he had a low profile,
partly because of his wretched health. He had taught in Bolton Street DIT, and served the Jesuit Refugee Service in Africa. Fr Tom Layden wrote of his “pioneering spirit, inquiring mind and independence of outlook”: a kind man, with an attitude of welcome and encouragement for those around him. He worked out of weakness, a real pastoral asset with which people could identify. His two funerals, one in Florida where he served a parish, the other in Gonzaga chapel, were memorable events, crowded with his kith and kin and friends who loved him and grieved deeply. In death as in life Seamus could spring a surprise.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Séamus (Seamie) Ward (1935-2011)

31st May 1935: Born in Dublin
Early education at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1958: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1958 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1964: Belvedere College - Teacher
1964 - 1968: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10th July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1969 - 1970: Rathfarnham - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
1970 - 1972: Fordham, USA-Studied Sociology; Assisted in Holy Family Parish, NY
1972 - 1974: Rathfarnham - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
1974 - 1978: John Austin House - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
2nd February 1975: Final Vows
1978 - 1979: Campion House - Chaplain in DIT
1979 - 1982: Rathfarnham - Curate in Wicklow parish
1982 - 1985: Dolphin's Barn - Parish Curate
1985 - 1986: Clongowes - Sabbatical year
1986 - 1988: Clongowes - Assistant Librarian
1988 - 1989: Ethiopia - Jesuit Refugee Service
1989 - 1991: Belvedere College - Refugee work: Cairo, JRS Rome and Ethiopia
1991 - 1992: Working with refugees in Sierra Leone and Somalila
1992 - 1994: Working with refugees in Mali
1994 - 2005: Belvedere College - Pastoral care of refugees.
2005 - 2011: Milltown Park - Parish Chaplaincy, USA
22nd February 2011: Died in Florida USA

Fr Seamus was at St. Mary, Star of The Sea Church, Florida. He had a fall away from the house on 18th February and broke his femur. He was badly shaken and was hospitalised. The doctors advised that he was unlikely to recover. He needed a breathing machine. Fr Conall O Cuinn, Rector of Milltown Park, and a nephew of Seamus’, Eoghan, travelled to the USA on Tuesday 22nd and were met at the airport and taken straight to the hospital. They were waiting for them before removing the breathing machine. There was time for prayers and singing Ag Críost an Siol and Soul of My Saviour. Seamus died very quietly and peacefully about 15 minutes later. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Brendan Duddy and Noel Barber
Seamie Ward was one of 8 children. He had 5 brothers and 2 sisters who were at the heart of his life. He had a marvellous relationship with his siblings and with their children. I got to know him during our time in UCD. When I arrived in Rathfarnham, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. The regime was tight and he found the rules of the house somewhat oppressive but he did not take them too seriously. We all felt that we did not have enough time for study; most of us accepted this state of affairs but he did not. He would put his umbrella over his bedside lamp and read through Troilus and Cressida into the night. Serious would have been his fate had he been caught. While others dutifully made off on bikes on special free days, he usually had other ideas, bringing me on one occasion to the Shelbourne Hotel where his father awaited us and ordered toast in a magnificent silver bowl and coffee laced with brandy.

In days when it was presumed that one had to avoid any reading of material that was not 'wholesome', he had the nerve to borrow Joyce's Ulysses in the ritual brown paper bag which the kind librarian passed surreptitiously under the counter, On more regular lines he introduced me to O'Casey's plays and to Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon. He took a good degree in English, enjoyed the literary delights that were on offer and ignored what was not to his taste. There was an iconoclastic side to him which to some looked as if he saw all authority as authoritarian. There was a shyness which he concealed with a brusqueness that could be disconcerting but he was true gold as a friend. Philosophy in Tullabeg followed where the isolated life did not entirely suit him and literature rather than philosophy captured his interest but doing what was necessary he got through without much effort albeit with little joy but used his time to indulge his literary tastes and to make many excursions, licit and illicit. I then went to Zambia and he to Belvedere where an observer noted that he showed remarkable administrative talents as an assistant to the Prefect of Studies, the formidable Jack Leonard, whose approval and fulsome praise he won. He proved to be a severe disciplinarian and an exacting task master who exercised his authority with a firm hand. However, he won the admiration of the pupils if not their lasting affection. It was noticeable that a number of middle aged men turned up to his funeral – his former pupils from his Belvedere days; they remembered him with something approaching reverence.

His years in Theology were not entirely happy and a contemporary of his considered that his attitude towards authority hardened and he ended up asking to have his ordination postponed to the end of his fourth year. Following his Tertianship in 1968-69 he spent one year in the Dublin Institute of Theology, Bolton Street, before going to Fordham where he took an MA in Sociology. He then returned to Bolton Street where he remained until 1979. I worked with him there and once again he was my mentor and guide. He introduced me to all sorts of people: porters, sweepers, electricians, cooks, his friends in Sean Mc Dermot Street where I became life-long friends with his friends. With these people he was Newman's Perfect Gentleman at ease with all and generous with his time and energy to a fault. He took particular care of foreign students helping them to find their feet. He then spent 3 years (1979-82) as a curate in Wicklow. There he was wonderful with the children, the old folks and with pre-marriage couples. For recreation he took to the joys of sailing, most often with his brother. He moved to Dolphin's Barn in 1982 where he had three not very happy years. He became somewhat restless and spent a few years in Clongowes during which he was unfocused and dispirited.

Then he opened up a new life for himself with the Jesuit Refugee Service from 1988 to 1994. He served in Cairo, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Mali. A person who knew him well in his JRS days commented on his remarkable ability to live in the most austere circumstances, and to accept the hardship and isolation of his assignments without complaint, his great love and devotion to the poor and the weak and the excessive physical demands he made on himself. On the other hand it was noted that for one of his ability and sterling work he lacked self-confidence to a surprising degree and showed that below the surface there could be strong anger which would occasionally flare.

In 1994 he returned to live in Belvedere as a sick man in the grip of severe emphysema but he found a modus vivendi. To avoid the wet, cold Irish winter he began to do supply parish work in California and then Florida where he flourished as he did in Wicklow years before. He devoted himself to the poor and the weak; he gave of his time and people took the chance to pour out their hearts to him and he listened, gave sound advice and became the wise old man.

In the midst of his successful apostolate, he had a fall, went into hospital where, because of his underlying condition, an operation was out of the question. Inevitably he took a bad turn and died quietly and peacefully. As a Jesuit, he was not prominent and was never well known in the Province but despite his difficult middle years and the poor health of his later years he achieved a great deal at the frontiers.

Reidy, Michael, 1917-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/795
  • Person
  • 23 October 1917-18 January 2008

Born: 23 October 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died 18 January 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/death-of-mick-reidy-sj/

Death of Michael Reidy SJ
Fr Michael Reidy SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield early on the morning of Friday 18 January 2008, aged 90 years. May he rest in the peace of the Lord. Fr. Michael (Mixer) in the loving care of the dedicated staff of Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home; sadly missed and deeply regretted by his loving sisters-in-law Chris and Nonie, his nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and a wide circle of friends, especially his very many past pupils of Belvedere College and by his Jesuit companions.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 24th Year No 2 1949
The Fire at Milltown Park :
Early in the morning of Friday, February 11th, fire broke out in the tailor's shop over the Refectory. The alarm was given and the Fire Brigade summoned. At first the progress of the fire was slow, but after a short time it became terribly rapid, and some of the Community were rescued barely in time. Fr. Johnston, Fourth Year Theologian, lost his life. He had remained to dress himself completely, as he was due to say Mass at the Sisters of Charity, Mount St. Anne's, and was asphyxiated by the fumes before he could escape - one may say, a martyr of Duty. Fr. Gannon got severely burned, and Mr. Reidy suffered injury to his spine as the result of a fall ; both are doing well and will, it is hoped, be none the worse in the end. The Fire Brigade was able to prevent the fire from spreading beyond the building where it had broken out.

Milltown Park, Dublin :
The morning of Friday, February 11th was a tragic morning here in Milltown Park. The two top stories of the Theologians House (built in 1908 by Fr. Finlay) were burnt out. Fr. James Johnston, a 4th Year Theologian lost his life, Fr. Gannon was severely burnt on his hands and face, and Mr. Reidy dislocated some of the vertebrae of his spine, jumping from a ledge underneath his window.
At 5.30 Br. Kavanagh discovered a fire in the Tailor's Room. He summoned Fr. Smyth, acting Minister, who telephoned for a fire brigade, while a few scholastics endeavoured, unsuccessfully, to extinguish the fire with Minimaxes and water. Br. Kavanagh carried. Fr. W. Gwynn (aged 84) to safety, and Fr. Smyth warned the occupants. of the Theologians House to make for the fire escape.
By this time the stairs end of the Theologians' House was burning fiercely; the fumes and heat in the corridors were unbearable, and it is due to the Mercy of God that so many were able to get to the fire escape before they were overcome with suffocation. In the meantime, the first of the fire brigades had arrived and Frs. Power, Hannigan, Gannon and a couple of scholastics were rescued. The firemen then concentrated on saving the New House which was by this time filling with smoke.
A roll-call shortly after 6 o'clock confirmed that Fr. Johnston was missing, but by this time the whole of the doomed wing was ablaze. Coincidentally with the celebration of the Community Mass at 7.15 the six fire brigades got the conflagration under control.
Offers of assistance and accommodation began to pour in from all sides and within a couple of days ran into thousands.
The Scholastics were transferred to the Retreat House, Rathfarnham, where they stayed for four days. They will always remember the kindness and hospitality shown by the Rector, the Community and the Retreat House staff of Rathfarnham.
On Tuesday 15th the Scholastics returned to Milltown, where a field kitchen, presented by the Army, had been installed. They occupied the Retreat House and many of the rooms had to accommodate two occupants, as the Minister's House also had to be vacated owing to damage and water.
On Friday 18th, the ‘octave' of the fire’, lectures were resumed, and routine was gradually established.
Fr. Gannon recovered rapidly and hopes to be back in Milltown soon. Mr. Reidy is also on his feet again, and he too hopes to be out of hospital in the near future, though he will be partially encased in plaster of paris for a considerable time.
The majority of the occupants of the Theologians' House lost all their personal effects, notes, etc. Fr. Gannon, however, being at the end of the corridor, and having his door closed, will salvage all his books and notes.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 137 : Autumn 2008

Obituary

Fr Michael Reidy (1917-2008)

23rd October 1917: Born in Dublin
Early education at Belvedere College
7th September 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1938: First Vows at Emo
1938 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1946: Belvedere College - Regency; H Dip in Ed
1946 - 1950: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1949: Ordained at Milltown Park
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1951 - 1982: Belvedere College - Teacher, Chaplain to News Boys Club and Legion of Mary; work with St. Vincent de Paul Society
2nd February 1981: Final Vows
1982 - 1983: Gardiner Street - Sabbatical (3 months)
1983-2001: Belvedere College -
1983 - 1999: Pastoral work Gardiner St.; “Penny Dinners”:
1999 - 2001: Off “Penny Dinners"; Spiritual Director (SJ)
2001 - 2008: Cherryfield - Prayed for Church and Society.
18th January 2008: Died peacefully at Cherryfield.

Frank Sammon writes:
Gerry Walsh, for so many years dedicated to the Jesuit Community at Belvedere and its apostolates, noted that “Mickser” rather than “Mixer” is the right way to spell the name by which Michael Reidy was known to generations of Belvedereans. There was an Irish Comedian whose name was Mickser Reid. Michael was happy to call himself “Mixer” or “Mickser” - and at one of our Class of 1966 Reunions he told us, with a laugh, that he was happy to be with us for our Class Reunion - as a “good Mixer/”Mickser”.

Michael Reidy was associated with Belvedere College for most of his life. He seemed to be the Jesuit with whom Belvedere Past Pupils could most easily indentify - because of his simplicity, his humility, his kindness, his good humour and his holiness. Michael lived out these aspects of Jesuit life in the Belvedere Jesuit Community. These years saw the Jesuit Community at Belvedere change from a community numbering close to thirty Jesuits to a community close to half that number. The style of Jesuit education at Belvedere changed significantly - envisaged through the changes in headmaster (Gerry McLaughlin, Diarmuid O Laoghaire, Jack Leonard, Bob McGoran, Noel Barber, Bruce Bradley, Leonard Moloney and Gerry Foley (the first lay Jesuit Headmaster of Belvedere).

Michael was a student of theology at Milltown Park when the fire at Milltown occurred in 1949. For several years some of the Jesuits studying theology at Milltown had their beds in the Milltown Park Library - between the shelves. Michael injured his back at the time of the fire...

As a teacher in Belvedere he taught Religious Knowledge and Irish. It was as Spiritual Father at Belvedere that he would have been best known by our generation at Belvedere (1960 1966). He organized the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary and the Society of St Vincent de Paul. He preached in the Boys' Chapel, And he interviewed each of the sixth year students (about seventy five in the class of 1966) as we prepared to leave Belvedere and began to make plans to get a job, study for one of the professions, leave Ireland for the UK, US or Canada, or join the Jesuits, one of the other orders or the Archdiocese of Dublin.

Henry Nolan was the Rector at Belvedere (1965), Jack Leonard was the Prefect of Studies. These were years when the Jesuits world-wide were introducing changes instigated by the Second Vatican Council and the Thirty First General Congregation of the Society of Jesus (1965-1967). These were years when the culture and the life-style of Jesuit Community life and Jesuit Education went through huge changes.

As Spiritual Father in Belvedere he interviewed all the Leaving Certificate class and discussed with them their plans for when they left Belvedere. I told Michael that I was thinking of joining the Jesuits. Michael suggested that I might like to talk to the Jesuit Provincial - Brendan Barry - who was then visiting the Belvedere Jesuit Community.

Maybe his attraction to the Belvedere Past was his availability and his interest in pupils and past pupils. They sensed that he was present with them and was happy to be with them. They felt, perhaps, that he was content to be there with them - sharing a memory, a bit of news, a joke. He was happy to be with a group connected with Belvedere. They felt he wasn't so busy that he would be rushing away from them.

Michael Reidy was linked in his last years with Cherryfield Community. He used a walking frame. In the years at Cherryfield he always looked forward to going back to Belvedere for a feast-day celebration in the Jesuit Community, an event organized by a class of old Belvedereans or to attend meetings connected with the Belvedere Lourdes group or the Belvedere Youth Club. He conveyed a sense of good humour - to “how are you?” the reply would come: “could be worse!”. There would be a chuckle that expressed a sense of humour as he bore his health struggles with patience. He kept an interest in the lives of the boys. He would mention that he met somebody - and would give a short account of their life. He would signal if there was a difficult situation in their life.

His involvement - in his later years - with the Lourdes group from Belvedere - was a very important commitment; his presence, his involvement in the committee and his appeal to the Past Pupils for financial support for the work. He worked a lot with Eamonn Davis in making the arrangements for the Annual Lourdes Pilgrimage.

Another big commitment he had was to the Belvedere Youth Club - as Chaplain. This would have commenced - in the years soon after his ordination - with his involvement as Chaplain for the Sunshine House groups at Balbriggan; and with the Belvedere Newsboys Club which later became the Belvedere Youth Club. Paul Brady, Director of the Belvedere Youth Club, and Michael Reidy were awarded the Belvedere College Justice Award. Michael was involved in organizing Retreats and Mass for the Belvedere Youth Club. In recent years he would have been present at most of the gatherings.

What was it in him that drew people to him? His humour, his wit, his enjoyment of celebrations. Michael liked a party. He enjoyed gatherings of Past Pupils. He felt happy to be associated with Belvedere College and with the groups that sprouted from it. He was blessed to live almost his entire life in Belvedere College.

In a life-time of 90 years, almost all were spent in Belvedere - as student, scholastic, young Jesuit priest, as a “mature” Jesuit and as an older Jesuit. “Per Vias Rectas” was the legend that Michael was happy to give shape to his Jesuit life.

The decision to amalgamate the Jesuit Communities of Belvedere College and the Gardiner Street Jesuit Community meant that Michael was stationed in Gardiner Street for a short number of years. He would make the journey from Great Denmark Street over to Gardiner Street at a slow pace - greeting people he met along the way and bringing his faith and his goodness to those he met along the footpath.

A final image of Michael Reidy that I came across in recent weeks was in a collection of photographs of John Paul II's visit to Ireland in 1979. One of the photographs of the Mass in the Phoenix Park shows a group of Irish priests during the Mass in the Phoenix Park. One can pick out Michael's profile among the faces of that huge crowd. That is an image Michael would be happy with - celebrating the Mass, in a large gathering of people with a huge cross-section of Irish people coming together for a special celebration led by John Paul II.

Redmond, John O'C, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/794
  • Person
  • 18 June 1924-29 September 2011

Born: 18 June 1924, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 29 September 2011, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/sadness-and-style/

Sadness and style
Fr John Redmond died peacefully in Cherryfield on 29 September at the age of 87. How would we like to remember John? In two scenes, from the start and the end of his adult
life. With a group of fellow about-to-be novices he hired a chauffeur-driven car and proceeded in style from Dublin to the noviciate in Emo. Other photos from this time show him handsome, stylish, full of charm. There is a transparent innocence and optimism in his face. He never lost that innocence. In his seventy years as a Jesuit, John schoolmastered and ministered as a priest. But he suffered from serious illness, initially depression, later accompanied by physical illness. Last month, after a particularly traumatic spell in hospital, he returned to Cherryfield literally weeping with joy that he would be able to die at home.
One remembers too a picture of the Belvedere Cricket Team from the college annual of 1942. A close friend describes it: “In the middle, small, confident, nonchalant in his blazer and whites is John the team captain (also a disconcerting slow bowler and steady bat). In the row behind, tall and angular, Dermot Ryan, namer of metropolitan parks. The photograph celebrates a victory and is full of life and promise.
Another memento from that time marks his victory in the Belvedere debating society. Classmate Garret Fitzgerald’s rapid-fire delivery had for once met its match. It was a wonderful consolation to the family that in his final days he returned to Cherryfield. Then he was at peace – like the man in Luke who was sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. That is how I will remember John, at peace at the end, as he was on that sunny day of cricket. I know he gave his best as a Jesuit for 70 years, even if he thought his best was not good enough. He never ceased to think of and pray for all his family and to thank God for all his good companions in the Society of Jesus. It is with thoughts such as these that I comfort myself.”
John’s contemporary, Dick Cremins, preached at the requiem Mass in Cherryfield:
“An early memory: in Emo we were gathered at the back door, waiting to go in after recreation. I said or did something unusual, at which he exclaimed encouragingly, “Brother Cremins, you missed your vocation!” Then his hand on his mouth, as he realised that in another sense this was not something one novice said to another. Even then John was the life and soul of the party.
In our years of formation, in Tullabeg and Milltown, he continued as a cheerful spirit, always engaged in the choir and on the stage. That was the man I left behind when I went to what was still Northern Rhodesia. We lost touch until 50 years later when I returned home and found he had become the Hermit of Cherryfield. He was odd, withdrawn, and never left his room. On the few occasions when I met him, I found him gracious, although I believe this was not the experience of every one, including his family. I heard then how he had isolated himself and given up work – until in the end there was no place for him except in this nursing home.
One of our contemporaries, Michael O’Kelly, who was a strong young man and one of the best footballers of our time, began in Tullabeg to complain about a pain in his knee. My reaction was to say to myself, “Why doesn’t he snap out of it and get on with life?” It was a cancer. In a short time his leg was amputated above the knee, and he died before he could be ordained. I learned not to take the pains of others so cavalierly.
Likewise, we should not underestimate John’s sufferings: isolation, depression (those who have never known it wonder why he didn’t snap them out of it), low self-esteem, a feeling of being useless and achieving nothing (what could be worse for a Jesuit?). John’s achievement was a life of suffering borne with great fortitude and who knows how much prayer. For that we give thanks.
Edmund Campion (d. 1581), in his Brag, spoke of being “merry in heaven” with his persecutors, a word he borrowed from Margerie Kempe (c. 1400). We pray that John may be merry with the Lord and that with help of his prayers we will join in their merriment when our time comes.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr John Redmond (1924-2011)

18 June 1924: Born in Dublin.
Early education at St. Vincent's CBS, Glasnevin and Belvedere College
7 September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1950 - 1952: Crescent College - Teacher (Drama, Choir, Games)
1952 - 1953: Clongowes - Teacher (Drama, Games)
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1962: Loyola House - Teacher of Religion and Philosophy at Bolton Street
2 February 1959: Final Vows at Loyola House
1962 - 1975: Gonzaga College: Spiritual Director to boys; Teacher; Prefect; Sports Trainer
1964: Teacher (rugby, cricket, games); Sub-minister; founded Vincent de Paul for boys in the school
1975 - 1985: Belvedere College - Teacher; Spiritual Father to students
1976: Spiritual Father to Students IV, III, II, I
1981: Assisted in Gardiner Street Church
1985 - 1994: Gardiner Street - Assisted in Church
1994 - 1997: Milltown Park - Pastoral ministry
1997 - 2004: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in Church
2000 - 2004: Assistant to Prefect of Health
2004 - 2011: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for the Church and the Society
from 2006 : Attached to Milltown Park Community

John Redmond was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 2001 following heart surgery in the Mater Private Hospital, and recovered well. He became a full-time member of Cherryfield Lodge in 2004. Following the death of his twin sister Peg, his condition deteriorated, particularly in the last year. After 2 days in a coma, he died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge at 9.30pm on Thursday 29 September 2011

Obituary : Paul Andrews

John entered the Jesuits in 1942, at a time when such an action was piously spoken of as “giving your life to God”. One was offering the Lord a chalice full of sweet wine, the whole of one's future. John made the offering with joy; he had a quality of optimism and enthusiasm which was infectious, and stood out even among the bright sparks who went with him to Emo. A couple of them joined him in hiring a chauffeur-driven car to carry them from Dublin to the noviciate. He wanted do it in style.

As we look back on his long life as a Jesuit, we can see how inadequate is the image of a goblet of sweet wine. Our lives and relationships are inevitably a mixed drink, bitter-sweet. We can see in retrospect what a mixture it was, at once richer and more painful than when we took vows. John's remarkable mother may have had some inkling of this. In his journal of jottings and quotations, John notes an extraordinary memory. On 18 June 1942: Upon my telling mother, with great joy, that I was going to join the Jesuits, she replied: “You do not know what you are doing!!!”

People have warm, happy memories of John in those early days: handsome, smiling and gifted in many directions. Despite his small stature he was a sportsman who could captain the Belvedere cricket team, swing a golf club, play a respectable game of soccer; and a debater who won the school prize ahead of the rapid-fire delivery of his classmate Garret Fitzgerald. He was at ease on the stage, singing, dancing, acting. And he was the best of company, with an unaffected charm.

He read English in UCD, and he left behind a journal with a telling collection of the literature that spoke to him, pages and pages of meticulously transcribed poems and prose. He obviously loved the romantic poets, Keats, Laurie Lee, Browning: The year's at the spring and day's at the morn... He copied at length St Augustine's account of the death of his mother Monica, and strong pieces from St Patrick, Newman and Fulton Sheen. Gerard Manley Hopkins features more than any other poet, but here we begin to see John's own history. He moves from Hopkins' wide-eyed love of nature: Look, look up at the stars! to the desolation of his late sonnets: I am gall, I am heart-burn. God's most deep decree Bitter would have me taste. My taste was me.

That gradual move from joy in the world around him to an overwhelming sense of his own inadequacy, is the story of his life, and difficult to understand from the outside. John taught in Bolton Street College of Technology for four difficult years, difficult because he was in strange territory with few of the old signposts to help him. He could not take for granted that his students were open to religion, much less that they were pious. Yet a recent encounter reveals another side of his ministry. David Gaffney was visiting houses in the parish of Esker when he met a parishioner outstanding for his devotion to the community and the parish. As they chatted, the man told David: As a young man I had no time for religion, really disliked it. But then I went to Bolton Street Tech and was taught by a priest called Father John Redmond; and he made such good sense of religion that it has stood to me ever since. I told John this story on his deathbed, but do not know if he was conscious enough to savour it.

John would have had little sense of success. In 1962 he moved into Jesuit schools, first Gonzaga, then Belvedere, as spiritual father, teacher and trainer of sports. He founded the Vincent de Paul Society in Gonzaga, and introduced generations of boys to an awareness of the poverty not far from their doors. He led pilgrimages to Lourdes, and could show a dazzling smile to the camera in the group photograph. But gradually in his middle years, in the nineteen sixties and seventies, he fell prey to the black dog of depression, which goes hand in hand with feeling unloved. The self-confidence needed to meet people, or to impose himself in a classroom, deserted him. He would look at his life, at his achievements, and wonder: is there anything there? Did I make any difference?

The changes in the church did nothing to cheer John. The new form of the Mass, which opened its treasures to so many Catholics, remained alien to him. The turmoil that followed Vatican II in the Church and in the Jesuits stirred him to anxiety and anger. That firm, well-rounded faith, nurtured in the hallowed parish of Iona Road, nursery of countless vocations, seemed to have less and less to say to the world around John.

His reaction to depression was to retire. It is not that he was neglected. While he did meet sometimes with the snap-out-of-it sort of advice, that was not the general pattern. In Gonzaga, Belvedere, Crescent, Milltown and Cherryfield, in varying degrees, his Jesuit colleagues agonised over how he could be lifted. Good professional help certainly mitigated some of the pain and damage. But increasingly through his seventies and eighties he tended to withdraw not merely from work but from his human contacts both with Jesuits and with his other kith and kin. Dick Cremins, a near-contemporary, was astonished on return from Zambia to find that the charming and sparkling young John he had known in the 1950s had become the hermit of Cherryfield. He could still be lovely company when the black dog was put outside the door. But most of the time he suffered, especially at losses like that of his twin sister Peg.

John's Requiem Mass was on the feast of a Scottish Jesuit martyr, St John Ogilvie. The government forces that captured him in Edinburgh, tortured him at length in the hope he would betray other Catholics. They crushed his limbs under huge weights. They pricked and pierced him with needles continuously for nine days and nights to keep him without sleep – but he maintained his patience and even gaiety right up to his last moment, when he was hanged in Glasgow.

John Ogilvie gave his life to God as a young man; John Redmond over nearly nine decades. It is only at the end that we can see what is meant by "giving our life to God". His tortures for the most part were not physical but interior, and they lasted for years. They climaxed during a terrible spell in hospital in his last month. When George Fallon arrived to drive him back to Cherryfield, the exhausted John broke down in tears of joy that he would be able to die at home. On the third page of his journal he had copied out Newman's prayer. Let me end with it:

“May He support us all the day long, till the shades lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in his mercy may He give us a safe lodging and a holy rest and peace at the last”.

O'Neill, Niall, 1926-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/793
  • Person
  • 23 February 1926-19 November 2009

Born: 23 February 1926, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1962, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 November 2009, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Spring 2010

Obituary

Fr Niall O’Neill (1926-2009)

23rd February 1926: Born in Limerick
Early education at Crescent College
7th September 1944: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1946: First Vows at Emo
1946 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1950 - 1953: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1953 - 1956: Belvedere - Teacher
1956 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1959: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1960 - 1961: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1961 - 1962: Clongowes- Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
2nd February 1962: Final Vows
1962 - 1967: Crescent College, Limerick - Spiritual Director (pupils); Confessor; Teacher
1967 - 1973: Tullabeg - Missions / Retreat Staff
1973 - 1989: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick
1973 - 1984: Missions / Retreat staff
1984 - 1989: Missions / Retreat staff; Promoted the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger
1989 - 2000: Tory Island - Parish Curate
2000 - 2001: Gort an Choirce - LeitirCeanainn, Dun na nGall
2001 - 2006: Gallen Priory Nursing and Retirement Home, Ferbane - Residential Chaplain
2006 - 2009: Della Strada, Limerick - Prayed for Church and Society
19th November, 2009: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Liam O'Connell writes:
Niall O'Neill grew up on the North Circular Road, Limerick. His family was important to Niall, and he remained close to his brother and three sisters. His father, Dick, died in his 40's, and a photograph from the ordination day of Niall and his mother, whom the family called Mater, had pride of place in Niall's room. All of his family shared a devotion to Our Lady of Lourdes, and a commitment to the care of the sick, and over the years their annual pilgrimages there also became a family reunion.

Niall took great pleasure in the achievements of his nieces and nephews, and they in turn were great at keeping in touch with him. He introduced them to music at an early age, buying guitars and a set of uileann pipes for them. They were most grateful to him for this, and many of them followed musical careers.

In 1944, during the World War, Niall left the Crescent and began his life as a Jesuit, when he went to Emo. Years later when Emo closed, Niall salvaged the bell from there, called the Challenger, and he used it to summon people to Mass on Tory Island. After studies in UCD and in Tullabeg, Niall taught as a scholastic in Belvedere where he also ran the Field Club, and he became a lifelong friend and supporter of the Belvedere Youth Club. In later years he went as chaplain with them on their annual seaside camp in County Meath.

During the years of study Niall belonged to a great group of Jesuit companions. These included Tom McGivern and Gerry Keane, who later worked in Zambia and Singapore, but they still remained his steadfast friends. Contemporaries enjoyed Niall's personal qualities, his rugged determination, his patriotism, his good humour, his talent as a musician, as a sportsman, as an actor, and as one of the authors of the pantomimes and reviews they produced regularly. In these they poked gentle fun at everybody and everything, and they maintained a sense of balance and good humour at a time of Spartan living conditions.

As a schoolboy Niall and a friend cycled from Limerick to Portlaoise on a bird watching expedition, to see the first collared doves in Ireland, and as a Jesuit this love of nature continued to enrich his life. Years later he attracted hundreds of 'twitchers' to Tory, by alerting the BBC to the presence on the island of a bird rarely seen in Europe. He amassed a specialised collection of Irish bird books, and even when in Cherryfield be sent for his binoculars so that he could continue to be close to the natural world.

After Tertianship Niall became Lower Liner Prefect at Clongowes. Then in 1962 he went to Limerick, to Crescent College as a teacher and Spiritual Father. In 1967 he joined the Retreat and Parish Mission staff. This new work brought him to every diocese in Ireland, giving parish missions that lasted up to two weeks at a time, and he worked closely with Seán Noonan and Kevin Laheen and Noel Holden. Niall had a great love of the lore of country places, and took many fine slide photographs of the places he visited.

For much of this time Niall continued to live in the Crescent, until he went in 1989 to live as the resident priest in Tory Island off the Donegal coast. He described this as the happiest period of his life, and he adapted his Munster Irish to Caighdeán Cuige Ulaidh. At this time he began to say the Divine Office and Mass in Irish, a practice he continued till the end. On Tory he also visited the sick, worked as a peacemaker, welcomed visitors, and brought encouragement and friendship to many, especially the housebound. He also had time to fish for his supper, and to wander in all weathers all over the island. In recent years he used to look at his collection of videos of life on Tory. These included pictures of the Ferry journey to Tory, programmes about Tory recorded from TG4, homemade videos that recorded the island way of life, and some great Atlantic storms.

We also have some beautiful photographs of Niall from Tory; processing outside the church with altar servers, with their vestments blowing in the wind; bounding over rocky outcrops with two beautiful dogs; ringing the bell for Mass, and smiling with delight as he greeted friends. In recent Niall used to receive a large post every day, and the Donegal postmarks on many of these letters were a sign of strong and lasting friendships formed on Tory.

In the year 2000 Niall had a stroke, and had to leave his beloved Tory. He always was a determined person, and entered into his rehabilitation programme with great resolve. He lived for a year in Cherryfield and then in Gort an Choirce, Letterkenny, before becoming Resident Chaplain, in Gallen Priory Nursing and Retirement Home, Ferbane, Co. Offaly. Gallen Priory is the site of a 5th century herinitage of Saint Canoc, on the River Brosna, and it is one of the oldest Christian sites in Ireland. Niall loved his time here, and became great friends with the sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny who lived there, and with the staff and the patients of the Priory. Again Niall was a constant friend the these people visited him often in Limerick for his last three years.

And every morning he spent two hours in his own little sanctuary, down by a bend in the River Brosna. Here he built a shaded seat at the base of an ivy clad tree, and trained the ivy so that it formed a canopy that gave shelter from the wind and rain. He prayed here, surrounded by a beauty that only comes slowly to those who know how to sit and wait. Here among the wildlife, including all the songbirds and otters and kingfishers, and other rare species he said his prayers. Ignatius of Loyola asks us to consider how God works and labours for us in all things created on the face of the earth. On this bend on the River Brosna, where the sky is constantly changing, Niall made time for God, and allowed God to touch his heart. Here he was like the person in Coleridge's poem:

    “He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all...”

In 2006 Niall had to move again, because of ill health, this time back to Limerick, to Della Strada, Dooradoyle. He became a regular patient and visitor to Ward 2C in the Regional Hospital. Here he established a strong friendship with the nurses and doctors.

Niall was blessed by their professional and personal care, and by their friendship. Later Niall was to receive the same loving care at the Jesuit nursing home, at Cherryfield Lodge in Dublin.
Niall was stubborn and determined, and during national elections his trenchant views might not have been shared by many of his colleagues. But everybody who got to know him learned to have enormous respect for his integrity and his faithfulness to the Gospel, and they were grateful for the prayerful support we received from him. He had a public disagreement with another Jesuit colleague about Tory Island affairs, but in his final months Niall used this colleague's mortuary card as a bookmark and he became reconciled with him through in prayer.

People were struck by Niall's happiness. His faith and his Jesuit vocation brought him great joy, deep down contentment, the sort of joy that is bigger than any of life's difficulties. This was true especially in the last three years, when he was diagnosed with oesophageal cancer, which at first made speech difficult, and then impossible. However Niall never seemed to be wrapped up in himself. He was a great host to visitors to Della Strada, and even in illness he became their willing chauffeur. And whenever colleagues and friends faced a difficulty, they valued his prayers and his support.
During these three years of sickness, Niall spent much of this time praying, in the chapel with the curtains to the outside world drawn back, to let the world of nature in. God works and labours for us in all things created on the face of the earth. Every morning he put an apple on the ground outside the window of his room, to feed two blackbirds who became his companions. Then for much of the day he put a cushion on his lap, used his bad hand to steady a writing pad, and he proceeded to write long letters to his friends.

Niall O'Neill was closely connected to God, to God's creation and to his family and his Jesuit friends in the Lord. And that's not taken away by death. That faithful life and prayerful support is stronger than death, and we continue to be enriched by his faith and his hope and his love.

O'Neill, Frank, 1928-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/791
  • Person
  • 11 July 1928-06 April 2011

Born: 11 July 1928, Castletownbere, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, St Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 06 April 2011, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency
by 1958 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-frank-oneill-r-i-p/

Fr Frank O’Neill, R.I.P.
Fr Frank O’Neill, who died on 6 April, grew up on a farm in Allihies, West Cork, in peaceful days when living was simple and you knew your neighbours. After school in Mungret he entered the Jesuits and volunteered for the Zambia mission. He loved the Tonga people – the gentlest he had ever met, he said; and he attained real fluency in their language. He was attuned to country people and worked mostly in parishes in the bush, living austerely, with no creature comforts. What made him a great missionary was that he was able to enter into the rhythm of the Africans. He revelled in their music and dance, and they loved him, a happy man, always positive and hopeful, with a deep trust in God’s Providence.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Frank O’Neill (1928-2011) : Zambia-Malawi Province

11 July 1928: Born in Castletownbere, Co Cork.
Early education in Castletownbere National School and Apostolic School, Mungret,
7 September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 -1953: Rathfarnham - BA Degree, UCD
1953 - 1956: Studied Philosophy, Tullabeg
1956 - 1959: Regency, Chikuni Mission -learning language, teaching
1959 - 1963: Milltown Park, studying theology
31 July, 1962: Ordained at Miltown Park, Dublin
1963 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham

Zambia
1964 - 1966: Namwala pastoral work
1966 - 1968: Kasiya parish priest
1968 - 1982: Chivuna parish priest
1969: Transcribed to Zambia Province
5 November, 1977: Final vows in Chikuni
1982 - 1983: Sabbatical in Toronto
1983 - 1993: Namwala parish priest
1993 - 1998: Mazabuka, Nakumbala: superior, parish priest

1998 - 2007: Limerick, Sacred Heart Church, pastoral work.
2000: Superior
2007 - 2008: Della Strada, Asst. Chaplain, Dooradoyle Shopping Centre
2008 - 2009: Gardiner Street -- Chaplain, St. Monica's.
2009 - 2011: Residing in Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home
6th April 2011: Died at Cherryfield

Frank settled in very well to Cherryfield and made a significant contribution to the liturgical music, which was much appreciated and enjoyed by all. His condition deteriorated over the last year and he died peacefully on 6th April 2011. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Jim McGloin
Frank O'Neill was born on 11 July, 1928 to Michael and Margaret (O'Donovan) O'Neill in Eyeries village on the Beara Peninsula in County Cork. He did his early education in the area and then went to the Jesuit-run Mungret College near Limerick for his secondary schooling. In his youth he was called “Ollie”, short for Oliver. (My grandfather was from the same Eyeries village. Whenever I visited my cousins who still live there and who were his age-mates, they always asked me, “How is Father Ollie?” He told me that it was only when he entered the novitiate, the Jesuits started calling him by his other name, Francis, “Frank”.)

Frank entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park in 1948. After completing his philosophy studies in Dublin in 1956, Frank was sent to Northern Rhodesia for regency. During his three years here, he studied Chitonga and taught at Canisius College in Chikuni. He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained in 1962. Following tertianship in 1964, he returned to Zambia and began his many years of pastoral service for the people of the Monze diocese.

As a side note, while Frank was doing theology, Arthur Cox, a famous Dublin solicitor, on retirement requested the Archbishop of Dublin to accept him for the priesthood. The Archbishop asked James Corboy, the rector of Milltown Park to take Cox, who was 71 years old and a widower, for his theological studies. Corboy reluctantly agreed and asked Frank to take charge of Cox. In his book, Arthur Cox 1891 1965, Eugene McCague writes, “That Arthur fitted so well into Milltown is a tribute to his own determination and resourcefulness, but is also thanks, in no small measure, to the friendship of one particular fellow scholastic, Frank O'Neill”. Frank, as Cox's “guardian angel” fulfilled (the role) “with great devotion and understanding”. (p 126). After his ordination in 1963, Cox followed Frank (and Bishop Corboy) to Zambia. He died tragically following a car accident on the Namwala road in 1965 and is buried in Chikuni.

Frank's first assignment was Namwala where he worked for two years; then Kasiya for another two years. In 1968 he was missioned to Chivuna where he served as parish priest for the next fourteen years. He took a year away from Zambia in 1982-1983, studying pastoral theology at Regis College in Toronto. He thoroughly enjoyed the year away, especially the stimulus of studying theology and the companionship of a larger Jesuit community.

When he returned, he was assigned to Namwala parish as the parish priest and superior of the community. He served the people of Namwala for the next ten years. His final posting in Zambia was in 1993 to Nakambala parish in Mazabuka. After all the years working in very rural parishes, with numerous outstations over rough roads, he found the work in Nakambala pleasant and less taxing. However, late in 1997 while driving outside Mazabuka, he ran off the road and hit into a tree. Although he was not injured in the accident, there was concern that dizziness or a blackout might have been the cause of the accident. He returned to Ireland for a rest and to have his health examined. He was given medication for high blood pressure which seemed to have been the cause of his other problems.

However, surprisingly he asked for permission to stay in Ireland and not retum to Zambia. He complained of tiredness and a heaviness concerning the way some things were going in Zambia. Colm Brophy in a note expressed his own surprise; he wondered why Frank did not want to return since “he was deeply immersed in the pastoral scene, so much identified with ordinary people and is still so much talked about by Zambian priests, religious and lay people. They keep on asking when is he coming and would love to have him back”.

Frank was sent to work in the Crescent Church in Limerick. He quickly settled into the work of the Church saying Mass, hearing confessions, taking care of callers, directing a Legion of Mary group, offering days of recollection. He was happy that he had returned to Ireland while he was still in good health and able to do some work. In 2000 he was appointed the superior of the community in Limerick.

In 2006 the Church and community in Limerick were closed. Frank continued for a short time with a chaplaincy in Limerick and in 2007 he was sent to Gardiner Street in Dublin. With his health deteriorating, he was sent to the Irish Province Infirmary in 2008 where he died on 6 April 2011.

Frank will be remembered in Zambia for his zealous apostolic work among the rural Tonga of the Monze Diocese. His vibrancy, his optimism, his welcome smile were wonderful characteristics giving hope and support to many people over many years. May the Lord whom he served so faithfully welcome him into the eternal joy of his Kingdom.

From the funeral homily preached by Fr Paul Brassil:
Frank's life was marked by hard work, in difficult circumstances, little rest or comfort in the rural areas of Zambia. There were bad roads, poor housing, makeshift churches, basic food and the task of communicating the Gospel in another language. It was characteristic of Frank to take all this in a spirit of optimism and buoyancy. He was blessed with a cheerful and outgoing nature which helped him make friends wherever he went. It also helped him make little of the difficulties and frustrations which were inevitable. To my mind his lifetime of work in Zambia was nothing short of heroic.
After his first few years in Zambia be returned to Ireland to take up theological studies in Milltown. There he was asked by the rector, Fr. (later Bishop) James Corboy, to chaperon the distinguished solicitor and, as he was then, candidate for the priesthood, Arthur Cox. Frank revelled in his task and followed a very unorthodox regime of studies. Frank and Arthur struck up a close friendship, so that later when Frank returned to Zambia, Arthur, by then ordained, came out there, too, and joined Frank in the same out-station of Namwala. Unfortunately a short time after coming to Zambia both men were involved in a car accident which led to the untimely death of Arthur.

Despite this deep sorrow, Frank proceeded to engage with great enthusiasm in the basic work of evangelisation. He was among the first to put into practice the theology of the laity which was promoted by Vatican II. He spent a major portion of his time and energy in the zealous promotion of the laity. He saw this as the only way to insert the faith in a living and vibrant community. Much of his time was dedicated to the training of leaders and he built up a strong partnership with the leaders and catechists in various outstations. He shared in the tragedies of the people and in their difficulties, but never lost his positive outlook, and always had a word of encouragement in the darkest moments. His later years were affected by the scourge of HIV/Aids which ravaged the people he served .

Frank was a man of deep faith which survived difficulties and disappointments. This faith came from his own family background in West Cork, as well as from his grounding in the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius. He was blessed by a warm and sunny disposition and entertained his fellow-workers with Danny Boy on many a social occasion.

On his return to Ireland for medical reasons he worked in Limerick where he found the people just lovely. Later, as his health declined, he helped out in Gardiner Street. Then his last years were spent in the kind care of the staff in Cherryfield. When he arrives at the gates of heaven, he will surely be cheered up at all the simple folk he has guided to the knowledge and love of the Heavenly Father, who has revealed these things not to the wise and clever but to little children. We pray that he will hear the words of the Heavenly Father: “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest”. Frank has earned his rest.

O'Keefe, T Edmund, 1927-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/790
  • Person
  • 25 April 1927-13 October 2011

Born: 25 April 1927, Castlereagh, County Roscommon/Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 13 October 2011, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Older brother of Fergus

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-edmund-okeefe-rip/

Fr Edmund O’Keefe RIP
Fr Edmund (Ned) O’Keefe died peacefully in St Vincent’s Hospital on 13th October, at the age of 84. We offer sincere condolences to his younger brothers Fergus SJ and Niall, and to his wider family. Though born in Castlereagh, Ned lived and worked mainly in the Dublin area, teaching for many years in the colleges of technology. He spent himself especially on two causes, devotion to the Sacred Heart, and the canonisation of Fr John Sullivan. He worked on the staff of the Sacred Heart Messenger, and produced a Novena to the Sacred Heart for radio. He gave similar energy to the Cause of Fr Sullivan, and produced a CD on John’s life. He spent the last year of his life in fragile health in Cherryfield, but remained to the end an active and engaged member of the Milltown Park community.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr T Edmund (Ned) O’Keefe (1927-2011)

25 April 1927: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Templerainey National School, CBS Secondary, Callan and Clongowes
7 September 1945: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1947: First Vows at Emo
1947 - 1950: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1950 - 1953: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1953 - 1956: Clongowes - "Gallery Prefect"; Teacher (History and Geography)
1956 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1959: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1960 - 1961: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1961 - 1962: Clongowes -- Third Line Prefect; Teacher (History, Geography and RK)
5 November 1977: Final Vows
1962 - 1963: College of Industrial Relations - Teaching in Rathmines College of Commerce (and and 3rd level)
1963 - 1966: Emo - Minister; Socius to Novice Director
1966 - 1974: SFX, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church; Chaplain to Kevin Street College of Technology
1974 - 1979: Austin House - Head Chaplain at Kevin Street DIT and Lecturer in Bioethics
1979 - 1980: Leeson Street - Head Chaplain at Kevin Street DIT
1980 - 1982: SFX Gardiner Street - Assistant Director of Pioneers; Assisted in Church
1982 - 1984: Campion House - Promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger
1984 - 1996: Austin House - Promoter of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger
1992 - 1996: Sabbatical (to January 1993); John Sullivan Cross Apostolate
1996 - 2003: Belvedere College - Assistant Vice-Postulator of John Sullivan SJ Cause
2003 - 2011: Milltown Park - Assisted in Community; Assistant Vice-Postulator of John Sullivan SJ Cause
2010: Milltown Park - Residing at Cherryfield Lodge - praying for the Church and the Society
13th October 2011: Died Cherryfield

Fr. O'Keefe was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 2009 following surgery. He improved fairly rapidly and was happy to stay on in our Nursing Home. He deteriorated over the last six months and was transferred to St. Vincent's Hospital after suffering a stroke three weeks ago. In the last week, it was clear that he was not going to recover. Family members and Jesuits kept an eye on him and prayed at his bedside up to the end. He died peacefully in hospital on the morning of 13th October 2011. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Paul Andrews
Ned was what he liked to be called, although he had lived through many changes: Edmund from birth, then Brother O'Keefe in the noviciate, and Mr O'Keefe in Rathfarnham, and Nedser in Tullabeg. He had grown accustomed to changes as he moved with his parents from one bank house to another: Castlerea, Sligo, Arklow, Callan. For six years, until the arrival of Fergus, and later Mary and Niall, Ned was an only child, but he showed an older brother's sense of responsibility.

Of his various homes, he would look back on the seven years in Arklow, from the age of 6 to 13, as the idyllic years: a little town where there were friends and fishermen, a reasonable school, a beach, a harbour for messing about in boats, Jack Tyrrell's boatyard, and the chance to ride a pony and join the hunt. The move to Callan and the CBS was hard. Ned found himself among Kilkenny farmers' sons, but was clueless about hurling, and living in the Bank House was seen as a wealthy outsider. It was a relief to move to Clongowes at fifteen, and to make new friends. He became a Pioneer and remained one all his life. He joined the Sodality and the FCA, and absorbed some memories of Fr John Sullivan, who was to be very important in his priestly life. He received his first Communion on the Feast of Saint Aloysius, 1934, and that was the name he took at Confirmation. His godmother gave him a statue of Aloysius, which graced the mantelpiece of his bedroom. So Ned moved like Aloysius into the Company of Jesus, and went to Emo in 1945. In giving his life to God he had a powerful model in his mother's cousin, Edel Quinn.

There was one special feature in his years of Jesuit formation. He did his tertianship in St Beuno's under Fr Paul Kennedy, an experience he always treasured. After it he was delighted to be appointed to Clongowes as Third Line Prefect, a job he loved. But only a year later Visitor McMahon scattered a large part of the Clongowes community, and Ned found himself a chaplain and teacher in the Colleges of Technology, first in Rathmines, later as Head Chaplain in Kevin Street. Not the easiest of assignments, but Ned brought a special strength to it. Unusually for a priest, he joined the Teachers' Union of Ireland, so that he could speak for those who needed a spokesman. He contributed much to the chaplain's role, lectured well on Bioethics, and created a Social Action group among the students. One summer he brought a group of building apprentices to work on a building project of the Kiltegan Fathers in the desert of Turkhana, Kenya, to show them a poverty more profound than anything in Dublin.

In his early fifties Ned moved to a new ministry: he spent eight years promoting the Sacred Heart Messenger and the Apostleship of Prayer, mostly in the West of Ireland. He claimed to have brought them into every school in County Clare, and reached a still wider audience when he collaborated with Stephen Redmond to produce a Novena to the Sacred Heart for local radio.

In 1992 Ned took up the apostolate of Fr John Sullivan's Cross, and was Assistant Vice-Postulator of Fr John's cause. He produced two videos, with great help from the Kairos group of SVD priests in Maynooth; they are still in use today. These interests stayed with him to the end of his days, when he lived in Milltown Park and finally in Cherryfield.

How will we remember Ned? As a devoted Jesuit, hard on himself, but with a kind and compassionate spirit - he would always speak up for those he felt were hard done by. A contemporary called him “one of the kindest Jesuits I have ever known”. He was a gentleman, with impeccable manners and easy social graces, a stickler for propriety, with total integrity; the soul of discretion, never gossiping about community life, telling no tales out of school; a man who worried, and tried to anticipate problems – the boot of his car held equipment to face almost any emergency from the Arctic to the Tropics. His nephews and nieces remember his sense of fun, the twinkle in his eye, and the educational tours he would give them as children. He was devoted to, and immensely proud of his extended family, and grieved over the loss of his only sister Mary, who herself had buried both her husband. Hugh and one of her children. Her son John McGeogh was to die in a rafting accident in Austria in 1999.

Ned faced the diminutions of age with courage: the loss of his car - a hard blow – and reduction to a walking frame, then a wheelchair, and finally a mandatory escort whenever he went outside the house. But to the end he was a real presence, felt both at community meetings in Milltown, and at the prayers of the faithful at Cherryfield Mass. May the Lord be good to his gentle soul.

Osborne, Joseph, 1928-2011, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/789
  • Person
  • 25 April 1928-26 December 2011

Born: 25 April 1928, Kildare Town, County Kildare
Entered: 24/ March 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1963, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 26 December 2011, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1958 at Rome, Italy (ROM) working
by 1963 at Tullabeg making Tertianship

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Br Joseph (Joe) Osborne (1928-2011)

25 April 1928: Born in Co. Kildare.
Early education in CBS, Naas and Blackrock College, Dublin
1946 - 1952: Worked as jockey and horse trainer
28 March 1952: Entered the Society at Emo
29 March 1954: First Vows at Emo
1954 - 1957: Milltown Park - in charge of house and staff
1957 - 1958: Rome SJ Curia - Secretarial work
1958 - 1961: Crescent College, Limerick - Sacristan
1961 - 1966: SFX, Gardiner Street - In charge of staff
During 1962: Tullabeg - Tertianship
3rd February 1963: Final Vows St. Ignatius, Leeson Street
1966 - 1967: Galway - In charge of staff, Sacristan
1967 - 1968: Clongowes - In charge of staff
1968 - 1970: Manresa - In charge of staff; Sacristan
1970 - 1974: Crescent College, Limerick - In charge of staff: Infirmarian
1974 - 1980: John Austin House - Minister
1980 - 1982: St. Ignatius, Galway - Sacristan; Infirmarian
1982 - 1983: Belvedere College - CLC
1983 - 2011: Leeson Street - CLC
1991 - 2003: Subminister; Sacristan; CLC
2003 - 2010: Sacristan
2010 - 2011: Residing in Cherryfield
26 December 2011: Died Cherryfield

Br Osborne went to Cherryfield in 2010 when his health began to fail. He settled down well but broke his hip in a fall shortly before Christmas. He returned to Cherryfield for Christmas but got pneumonia and died on December 26th 2011, aged 83 years, in St Vincent's Hospital. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary : Paul Andrews
More than most Jesuits, Joe Osborne had to be seen in the context of his birthplace, Craddoxtown in County Kildare, where the rich soil builds the bones of great race-horses, especially hunters. Joe's father, also Joe, was a well-known and successful trainer who had won at Cheltenham, Punchestown, Naas, Leopardstown and elsewhere. As Gerry Cullen, Joe's brother-in-law put it, Joe Senior (schooled in Clongowes) was the one who must be obeyed. Joe's mother, Helen Cunningham, was a delightful lady whose brother, Professor John F. Cunningham, was a prominent gynaecologist. There were priests in her family. Joe's sister Vera married Liam Cosgrave, a former Taoiseach and good horseman.

Joe moved from primary and secondary school in Naas to Blackrock College for a couple of years, then returned to the horses. Bonnie Flanagan dedicated her book Stillorgan Again but Different to Joe. One photo shows him leading the field at Leopardstown. I quote from the “Any list of famous jockeys who rode in Leopardstown would be incomplete without the name of Joe Osborne, son of the trainer of that name, of Craddoxtown House, Co Kildare. Friend and colleague of such legendary figures as Pat Taaffe and Martin Moloney, Joe astonished the Jockey Club by his decision in 1951 to embark upon the religious life. He never rode again. Pat Taaffe said of him: 'Joe had more wins than I, but he gave it all up to enter the Jesuit Order”.

He joined the SJs at 24, having consulted his brother Paddy on the matter of what he felt was his vocation. He had made a brilliant success of his first career, but felt there was more to life than steering horses over the jumps in Punchestown. He told Paddy he was not content with his present life, and that he felt this deep call to something else. Paddy diplomatically wished him well in whichever career he chose. There were family connections with Jesuits and CWC, so the Jesuits were his choice.

He could have been a priest but preferred to become a brother. On his 70th birthday his friends put together an album on his life: “From Saddle to Sanctuary” which delighted Joe, and spoke eloquently of the affection in which he was held. You could see there the handsome young horseman, with a taste also for tennis, swimming, dancing and cards (he only played if money, not matches, were involved). In the Jesuits he gave up the saddle, but not dancing. Light-footed, with endless energy and a strong sense of rhythm, he was a superb ballroom dancer, and indulged this talent whenever the opportunity arose.

He worked in ten Jesuit Houses in Ireland, and for a short spell at our Generalate in Rome. His ministry included: Secretarial work, Charge of Staff, Infirmarian, Minister, Sacristan, CLC office work for 20 yrs. All ordinary jobs, and all done with great grace.

Brian Grogan, Joe's superior at the end, has his own treasured memories:

Visiting him in Cherryfield, I found a man lying on his back, with the TV on, rosary in his hands. I finally asked him would he like us to fix the Telly to the ceiling. What occupied his mind in his waking hours he did not say, Memories? There are the Secret Scriptures of each of us. I asked him once was he looking ahead to better things. “Begobs, yes, that's what matters!” “Joe, you'll be 7 lengths clear!” “That'll be great!” That was the beginning and end of our discussion on matters eternal! Later I discovered that Joe rarely if ever spoke about God; he lived his relationship with God, and felt that was enough.

His smile: It is there in the earliest photos, and shone out at the end. His habitually worried look would yield immediately to a great welcoming smile when you met him. There was a twinkle in his eyes. Perhaps there was little conversation but he communicated gratitude and joy that you had come along.

“He was the best of the best” – so said one of the Cherryfield staff. By which she meant his endless courtesy and appreciation of whatever was done for him. He was never demanding. Never a harsh word. 'A man of low maintenance was my term for him and he enjoyed it. As the nurse said: he did not have the illusion that he was living in the Four Seasons Hotel, he was grateful for whatever could be done for him. Now Ignatius considered ingratitude the greatest sin of all. Not to be grateful, he felt, was to miss the point of life completely. Why? Because life is a gift: people are gifts; all that is done for me is gift. Joe got full marks here, and I'm sure Ignatius must have embraced him with joy. No doubt Joe bad learnt this courtesy at home first!

Once Joe opened the door for a visitor and brought him to the parlour. The visitor remarked to the Jesuit whom he had come to see: “I have never been so graciously received as by that man! Who is he?' He had a deep sense of respect for others. He thought of them as better than himself. He saw around him “The image of God, multiplied but not monotonous” as GKC said of Francis of Assisi.

Joe would wish to apologise for any way in which he offended anyone. In tum we ask his forgiveness for any way in which we offended him. He was a loving and sensitive man. It appears that a well-intentioned but insensitive interaction with a Superior a number of years ago hurt him and diminished the joy of his later years. I know personally that Joe was a forgiving man. When he was in Vincent's, recuperating from his hip surgery two weeks ago, a nurse rang me to say that he would neither eat nor drink, nor do his physiotherapy. I went in and spoke to him on the merits of exercise if he was to get on his feet again. I obviously went on a trifle too strongly, as I discovered only later. The night before he died I asked his forgiveness for pushing him. “There's no need to worry about that now he said -- they were the last words I had with him."

His last years in Cherryfield were uneventful until a week before he died, when he broke a hip. He was discharged from hospital just before Christmas, developed pneumonia on the morning of 26h and became unconscious. He died peacefully on the evening of St Stephen's Day. A friend remembers: “I never heard him speak critically of anyone. His life seemed to be one of faith and hope and charity. He never discussed religion; he lived it. Joe, you have truly won the race that matters.'

Murray, Seán, 1922-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/783
  • Person
  • 02 May 1922-21 July 2008

Born: 02 May 1922, Carrigaholt, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1940, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mazabuka, Seminary, Choma, Zambia
Died 21 July 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Seán was 49 years of age when he first came to Zambia in 1971. It was for him a new country, a new people and a new language. In the normal course of events, he would have come to Zambia thirty years earlier during regency time. As a scholastic, he spent his three years regency teaching, one year at the Crescent College in Limerick and two years at Clongowes Wood College.

He was born in Kilkee, Co Clare, a seaside resort, in 1922. His schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Limerick, at The Crescent College in Limerick and also at St Flannan's College in Ennis.

At the age of 18 he joined the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park in 1940. After his first vows, he followed the normal course of studies: humanities, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained at Milltown Park in 1954. Tertianship came at the end of his formation in 1956. He spent a short time in Emo as bursar, then for twelve years he was back in Limerick at the Sacred Heart Church as minister of the house and prefect of the church.

Fr Seán brought to his work as a priest a spirit of prayer, a warm personality, a spirit of hard work, a friendliness which people found easy to approach, a concern for people and a good sense of humour.

In 1971 there came a great change of life and of lifestyle for Fr Seán. He came out to Zambia. His first assignment was as secretary to the Bishop of the Diocese for six months. Then he went to Malawi to the Language Centre at Lilongwe to learn this new language called ciNyanja, followed by a few months in a parish in the Chipata diocese to practice what he had learned.

Returning to Zambia, he was posted to Nakambala to the Sugar Estate in Mazabuka where he spent the rest of his time in Zambia doing parochial work among the people on the Estate. These were workers who came from various parts of Zambia with their different languages. For this, the ciNyanja Fr Seán had learned, was ideal as it is a sort of lingua franca in Zambia, though its main location is the Eastern Province and Malawi.

Poor health took him back to Ireland for a long break but he returned to continue his work at Nakambala until 1986 when he had to return to Ireland for good. When he had recovered after a few years in Ireland he had hoped to come back again to Nakambala, as he wrote clearly to his Provincial, ‘I am keen to return to Nakambala’. But unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse and he could not return.

For the next sixteen years until his death, Fr Seán soldiered on, working in the church, often in pain but he was always most welcoming to all who sought his services. The qualities – shall I call them virtues – which Fr Seán brought to his priestly life in the Crescent in Limerick, he brought also to Nakambala in Zambia and he also brought them back with him to Gardiner Street in Dublin. He died in Cherryfield Lodge infirmary in Dublin on 21st July 2008 at the ripe old age of eighty six years.

My fond memory of Fr Seán (known to his near contemporaries as Fr Max) is a Sunday evening in Mazabuka with two of his fellow Jesuits from other communities, meeting for a chat, a cuppa, a bar of chocolate, one of them lighting his pipe, and a game of canasta. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 137 : Autumn 2008

Obituary

Fr Seán (Max) Murray (1922-2008)

2nd May 1922: Born in Carrigaholt, Co. Clare
Early education at Crescent College, Limerick.
7th September 1940: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1942: First Vows at Emo
1942 - 1945: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1945 - 1948: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1948 - 1949: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1949 - 1951: Clongowes - 1949-1950 Teacher
1950 - 1951: Prefect
1951 - 1955: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
29th July 1954: Ordained at Milltown Park
1955 - 1956: Emo - Treasurer
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Emo - Treasurer; Assistant Socius to Novice Director
1958 - 1971: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Minister; Prefect
1971 - 1980: Zambia - Parish Ministry
2nd May 1978: Final Vows at Mazabuka, Zambia
1980 - 1983: SFX, Gardiner Street - Minister; Assisted in Church
1983 - 1986: Zambia- Parish Ministry
1986 - 2007: SFX, Gardiner Street -
1986 - 1995: Assisted in the Church
1995 - 1997: Ministers in Church; Superior's Admonitor;
1997 - 1998: Vice-Superior; Assisted in the Church; Superior's Admonitor;Assisted in Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2007: Assisted in the Church
2007 - 2008: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
21st July 2008: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Homily preached at Funeral Mass by Barney McGuckian on July 24th, 2008 in St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St., Dublin
“Yes, my yoke is easy and my burden light” (Mt 11:25)

These final words of our Gospel passage must have proved challenging to the faith of Fr Seán Murray over the last years of his life. The Lord's yoke may be easy and the burden light but to those of us looking on that's not how it appeared in Seán's case. His ordinary daily round entailed much labour with the overburdening of chronic arthritis and diabetes. Here in Gardiner Street we were conscious of the painfully slow movements, the unappetizing, indeed, bizarre diet and the self administered injections. It was truly a way of the Cross entailing several falls leading to broken limbs and on one occasion serious facial injuries. When I saw him after one fall I could not but think of Isaiah's Suffering Servant. “He had no form or charm to attract us, no beauty to win our hearts; he was despised, the lowest of men, a man of sorrows, familiar with the suffering, one from whom, as it were, we averted our gaze”. Isaiah 53: 2-3.We were blessed to be in a position to entrust him to the tender care of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge.

None of these vicissitudes, however, could wipe away that benign smile which was so much a part of him since any of us ever knew him. I'm sure that same smile was there during his boyhood in Co Clare where he was born on 2 May, 1922 just as our tragic Civil War was about to break out. Seán did not let his sufferings get him down. In his case God certainly fitted the back for the burden. During his last years it struck me that he lived out a spiritual maxim attributed to St John of the Cross, the Carmelite saint, who in his early years like Sean, also received a Jesuit education. “Adjust your cross to yourself, not yourself to your cross”. In other words don't let difficult things get you down. Stay on top of them. Seán did. Growing old gracefully isn't too demanding when we enjoy on-going good health. To do so, as Seán did, in his situation, was an indication of no small degree of virtue.

I kept a diary during a visit to Zambia over thirty years ago in 1978. The entry for January 28th refers to a journey from Chivuna to Mazabuka with the late, kindly Fr Robert Kelly. It reads “Breakfast with Joe, Frank and Bob. Said goodbye to the Ferrybank Sisters and set out. Made it without mishap to the Holy Rosary's, after having a coke with Max Murray, a photo with Vinny Murphy's roses and a meeting with Dinny O'Connell en route though the Sugar Plantation to a great rally in the afternoon at Mazabuka”. Of the six Jesuits mentioned two are still happily with us, Frank O'Neill and Vinny Murphy. The other two have gone on the slí na firinne. I mention this because it was the first time in my life that I had met Sean. He was to become a great support and anam chara to me as he was to so many others during his priestly life. Members of the family may be puzzled by the name Max Murray. So was I. It was a nickname so commonly used that I did not know that his name was Seán. When he entered the novitiate in 1940, his co-novices called him Maximus, Latin for big and strong because of his towering presence as a formidable back at football. Others have told me that that is putting it too mildly. Apparently he was anything but gentle on a football field. The two remaining novices from his own year, Michael Hurley and Stephen Redmond are still happily with us. It was Michael who has just read the Gospel for us.

What may have been characteristic of his football persona was in no way reflected in his religious and priestly life. There, he shared in the gentleness and humility of the Sacred Heart to which he was greatly devoted. Some little prayer to the Sacred Heart often featured in the penance he prescribed in the Confessional, a place where many people were touched by his kindness. It would be no exaggeration to say that he was a man who was universally loved. This would be admitted even by those who considered him to be gentle to a fault. They thought that he would do anything to avoid conflict even where a little bit of it was required. He was strongly influenced by the idea of St Francis de Sales, known as the Gentle Doctor, that you catch more flies with a little pot of honey than a big barrel of vinegar. Only God alone knows the number of souls he influenced for their good.

One of the last things I did for him after a visit to our Nursing Home in Cherryfield was to bring back to Gardiner Street the stipends he had received for the Masses he had offered for the donors' intentions. This prompted the choice of the reading from the Book of Maccabees where there is a distinct emphasis on the importance of sacrifice and atonement for sin, both for the living and the dead. Sean never wavered in his love for his daily Mass and always started his day with it. He tended to do this at such an unearthly hour that his congregations tended to be small. However those who did join him could detect the sincerity behind the somewhat mournful cadence he adopted when on the altar.

He never asked for concessions on the grounds of his health and made himself available all day for priestly duties. He is remembered affectionately for this in all the placed he served; Limerick, Clongowes, Zambia and in more recent years here in Gardiner Street. He always had a concern for the poor and the under-dog expressed in the work he has done over the years as a most conscientious Spiritual Director of the parish Conference of St Vincent de Paul. In his personal life he showed a marked detachment from the goods of this world. I have been told by one of the community with a direct interest in the matter that clearing the personal belongings from his room will take about five minutes, it is so sparse. Sean was deeply committed to religious life with all that he signed up to when he took vows of poverty, chastity and obedience upwards of sixty year ago.

He was a delightful person to have in a community. He encouraged others and believed in praising them during their lifetime. He kept abreast of events, read widely in spirituality and current affairs, spoke kindly of others and always made an interesting contribution to conversation. His very hearty laugh did not leave him even in his debilitating illness. I remember especially one story that he enjoyed telling, even using the actual French words used. In one of the French-speaking Jesuit houses on the continent, where there was a large community, two of the priests had the same name, let's call them Duval. One had a reputation for well-authenticated holiness. The gifts of the second one seem to have lain in some other direction. During dinner one of the staff came into the refectory and called out that the Père Duval was wanted at reception. “Lequel?” (Which of them?). “Le Saint” (the Saint). “Oh, j'arrive” (I'm coming), said the truly holy man as he stood up. There is a touching simplicity about goodness, a more ordinary word for holiness, something that all of us recognise.

The Gospel read today provides us with an opportunity to eavesdrop on Jesus as He prays to His Father. It provides us with a window into the ongoing conversation between Father and Son that we have been invited to join in forever. “No one knows the Son but the Father and no one knows the Father but the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him”. Seán spent his life as a Jesuit praying that the Son would reveal the Father to him. Now that it has come to an end he can appreciate better than ever the wisdom of the words of St Bernard. “Life is for love and time is for searching for God”.

Just as the young man came to the refectory door to ask for one of those in that French-speaking house, so Someone came a couple of days ago on a similar errand to Seán's door. “Come to me, all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give you rest." Eternal rest. Sean may have been surprised to hear himself numbered among the saints with an invitation to remain in their number forever. The rest of us would not.

Additional note: An t-athair Prionsias O Fionnagáin vouched for the authenticity of the anecdote about the two Jesuits with the same name. His source was Fr John Ryan. The “saint” in question was, in fact, Fr. Alphonse Petit, a celebrated Tertian Master in the South Belgian province, whose cause for canonisation is in process. Among his Tertians was Fr James Cullen, S.J.

Taken from an obit written in Zambia by Tom McGivern:
In 1971 there came change of life and of lifestyle for Fr. Seán. He came out to Africa, to Zambia. His first assignment was secretary to the Bishop of the Diocese for six months. Then off to Malawi to the Language Centre at Lilongwe to learn this new language called CiNyania, followed by a few months in a parish in the Chipata diocese to practice what he had learned. Returning to Zarnbia, he was posted to Nakambala to the Sugar Estate in Mazaabuka, where he spent the rest of his time in Zambia doing parochial work among the people on the Estate, workers who came from various parts of Zambia with their different languages. For this, the C:iNycl.nia he had learned, was ideal as it is a sort of lingua franca in Zambia though its location is the Eastern Province.

Poor health took him back to Ireland for a long break. But he returned to continue his work at Nakambala until 1986 when he had to return to Ireland for good. When he had recovered after a few years in 1942 he had hoped to come back again to Nakambala, as he wrote to his Provincial, “I am keen to return to Nakambala". But unfortunately, his health took a turn for the worse and he could not return. ..

For the next sixteen years until his death, Fr. Seán soldiered on working in the church, often in pain but welcoming all who sought his services. The qualities - shall I call them virtues? - which he brought to his priestly life in the Crescent in Limerick, hc brought to Nakambala and he brought back with him to Gardiner Street in Dublin. He died in Cherryfield Lodge in Dublin on 21st July 2008

My fond memory of Fr. Seán (known to his near contemporaries as Fr. Max) is a Sunday evening in Mazabuka with two of his fellow Jesuits (living in other houses) meeting for a chat, a cuppa, a bar of chocolate, one of them lighting his pipe, and a game of canasta. May he rest in peace.

Ready for the Call - July 2008
Our members dwindle as the days go by
And one by one the Father calls His sons.
Seán Murray was the very last to die -
We knew that he was one of our weaker ones.

“Oh world, O life. O time
on whose last steps we climb”
Why should we mourn our friends' decease
When our faith assures us they are in peace?

How will it be with me when my time has come,
Who should have been a true son of Ignatius?
With all my sins, shortcomings, I'll stand dumb
Before our God, forgiving and most gracious.

And may he join me to my better brothers;
I lived with them in this life, after all.
I know I am not worthy as those others,
Yet be I cleansed and ready for the call.

Thomas MacMahon

Murray, Christopher, 1912-2008, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/782
  • Person
  • 29 February 1912-09 January 2008

Born: 29 February 1912, Aughrim Street, Stoneybatter, Dublin
Entered: 26 May 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1947, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 09 January 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 30 July 1970; ZAM to HIB : 31 July 1982

by 1941 at Rome Italy (ROM) working at Curia

29th February 1912 Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, St. Mary’s Place and Bolton Street Technical College
1929-1936 Worked at French Polishing
26th March 1937 Entered the Society at Emo
1st April 1939 First Vows at Emo
1939-1940 Milltown Park – Book binding and French Polishing
1940-1946 Roman Curia – Secretary
1946-1958 Crescent College, Limerick – sub-sacristan; in charge of staff and Infirmarian 15th August 1947 Final Vows at Crescent College
1958-1960 Loyola House – Provincial’s secretary
1960-1961 Manresa House – Secretary to Editor of Madonna
1961-1963 Curia Rome – Mission Secretariat
1963-1970 Zambia – Assistant Secretary : Bishop of Monze
1970 Transcribed to Zambia Province
1970-1979 Bursar – Canisius College & Community, Chikuni
1979-1984 Milltown Park – ‘Messenger’ Office administration
1982 Transcribed to Irish Province
1984-2008 St. Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street –
1984-1993 Bursar
1993-1995 Assistant Treasurer; House Chapel Sacristan.
1995-2002 House Chapel Sacristan
2002-2008 Cherryfield Lodge – Prayed for the Church and the Society
9th January 2008 Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Brother Christopher Murray, known to his fellow Jesuits as Christy, but always to his family as Kit, was born on 29 February 1912. He was always ready for a joke or wisecrack about the fact that he had a birthday only once every four years and so was still only in his 23rd year when he went to Cherryfield at the age of 90!. During that long life he was to live in close proximity to some of the great drama of the 20th century both in Ireland and in Europe. He was born about six weeks before the Titanic foundered in the Atlantic, and two years before World War 1 broke out. He was too young to join his elder brothers and sisters who walked a mile down North Circular Road from their Aughrim Street home to say the Rosary outside Mountjoy Jail as Kevin Barry was being hanged. As a boy he saw Michael Collins walk past the Christian Brothers' School beside the Black Church at the head of the funeral cortege of Arthur Griffith. A short week later he saw Collins' own funeral pass the same spot on its way to Glasnevin Cemetery.

He did his early schooling at the Christian Brothers School in St. Mary’s Place and got a two year scholarship to Bolton St. College of Technology but only stayed for one year. He worked for seven years apprenticed to a French polisher of furniture. He was an official in the Trade Unions. Those who knew him will not be surprised to know that he led at least two strikes! At the age of 27 he entered the novitiate (1937) having made what he said was a ‘mature decision’. Later his mother said she was surprised at the decision but he saw no problem once he made his mind up.

Shortly after he ended his novitiate, he was posted to Rome in 1940. While en route he had barely passed through Paris when it fell to the Germans. The day he arrived in Rome was the time Mussolini declared war. As long as he stayed in the house he was technically in the Vatican but if he walked out the front door he was in Italy! It was a difficult time since on arrival he was asked to type a letter in Latin. He had no idea of Latin and never typed in his life. However he soon mastered the necessary skills with his usual intelligence and determination. While he was in Rome the food shortages became desperately severe. The situation took such a toll on his health that he was on a milk diet for a whole year after the war ended. One thing that upset him very much afterwards was the suggestion that Pope Pius XII had abandoned the Jews to their fate during the war. He himself had run messages on behalf of the Holy Father to Jewish families in hiding around the city, bringing them food and other supplies. He rarely traveled twice by the same route lest he was under surveillance. Christy worked with Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, the legendary "Vatican Pimpernel" who did so much for the Jews and whose life was portrayed by Gregory Peck in a major feature film. He did two stints at Rome 1940-46 in the secretariat of the English Assistant and 1961-63 at the Mission Secretariat.

Back in Ireland he did various jobs in the Crescent both in the Church and the community from 1946 to 1958, before being appointed secretary to the Provincial from 1958 to 1960. He also worked as secretary to the editor of The Madonna from Manresa House in 1960/61.

While in Rome he volunteered for the Zambian mission and for seven years (1963-70) he was secretary to Bishop Corboy, whom he had known as a novice. These were the heady years of post-independence. At the end of his life it was these years with Bishop Corboy that always came to his mind. He then was bursar at Canisius Secondary School from 1970 to 1979.

He returned to Ireland in 1979 and worked from Milltown Park in the Messenger Office up to 1984 from where he went to Gardiner Street where he spent his remaining years (1984-2002) before he went to the Nursing Unit of Cherryfield. His work always included looking after the finances and the sacristy.

Christy was gifted with a high IQ as was evident in his ease in dealing with figures and accounts. He was widely read and well informed. This led to his holding a very definite position on a variety of matters. In any discussion it was not long before this was made clear with the words ‘the facts of the matter are’. Naturally this ensured lively and occasionally heated discussions on a variety of topics. An inveterate walker, he must have known every street in Dublin. Until he was into his 90s he did a four mile walk every Wednesday up and down the North Circular Road to visit Stephanie, his youngest sister, still living in the family home. She herself categorized him as a "man of will". We, in John Austin House, noticed his pace slacken towards the end until at last he had to give it up.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/christy-murray-rip/

Christy Murray RIP
Please pray for Rev. Brother Christopher Murray, S.J. who died at Cherryfield Lodge on 9 January 2008, aged 95 years. May he rest in peace.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/from-french-polisher-to-roman-secretary/

From French Polisher to Roman Secretary
An interview with Christy Murray on Nov, 10, 2005
First published in Interfuse
Interfuse: I was amazed when I found out that you were born in 1912 – on February 29! You are one of those special people.
Christy Murray: Yes. A birthday only every four years.
That’s why you have lived so long, probably! Sure you’re only 23 years old! 1912 – that was before the First World War. Have you any interesting memories from those early days?
I can’t really say I have. I didn’t start school until I was nine.
Was the school in Dublin?
Yes. I didn’t go to Junior School. I went to a med Miss Ryan on the Berkeley Road, and only spent a year there. Otherwise I got taught until I was nine at home. And then I went to the Christian Brothers in St. Mary’s Place near the Black Church.
How many years were you there?
All my school life – until I was 14 or 15. I did the exam for Bolton Street Tech and got a scholarship there. So I was there for a couple of years, catching up on some of the things I was short on in my education. I got a scholarship for two years, but I didn’t stay the two years. I went as an apprentice to a trade. I was a French polisher.
A French polisher! That’s very interesting.
I worked for seven or eight years at French polishing before I entered the Society.
So you were a late vocation?
Yes. I was 27 when I entered. One of the things I decided was that I must qualify in something before I enter religious life. It was a planned thing, you know, and then I was interviewed in Gardiner Street by the Provincial there. When I went to Emo I wanted to feel that, if I didn’t like what I met with there, I could go back to the trade. As well as being a qualified tradesman I was an official in the trade union.
Was Gardiner Street your church, or how did you come into contact with the Jesuits?
No, Berkeley Road was my parish church. But I went down to Gardiner Street to have an interview. Since I was thinking of entering the religious order there, I had to be interviewed by a Jesuit, so that’s what brought me to Gardiner Street.
And you met the Provincial. Who was the Provincial then?
I don’t remember. I thought at that time that it was the Superior of Gardiner Street who interviewed me.
You went to Emo in 1936, and finished your novitiate about 1939. What was your first assignment?
My first assignment was to Rome. I was sent directly to our head house in Rome. I was secretary to the Assistant General – the English assistant.
So, instead of polishing wood you were writing letters.
I had to learn to use a typewriter there. When I was sent out I hadn’t any experience of doing secretarial work. So in Rome they had to give me time to learn how to use a typewriter, and so on. I remember that well because I felt very awkward then, arriving. And, you see, I couldn’t come back from Rome because I arrived in Italy the day that country entered the war alongside Germany, so there was no question of coming back.
So you spent all the war years there. And when you went there the General was Fr. Ledochowski. He died during the war.
Yes. He died the second year I was there.
I see. And then you had Father Janssens.
That’s right.
It must have been interesting knowing both of those men. Any memories of those times?
Well, I can’t say I can remember clearly now, but the fact was that I found them both very encouraging. I was doing a type of work I had never done before and they were giving me time to get used to doing it. There were fifteen assistants – general assistants. When I arrived I didn’t know anything about typing or anything like that and they gave me time to learn it. It was a Canadian brother who taught me.
You were there till the end of the war. And then in 1946 you came back to Ireland. Had you been away all seven years without coming back?
There was no question of coming back. I was locked in Italy. I was one of the enemy, so I couldn’t travel. And, of course, there wasn’t any question of Mussolini giving permission to anybody but himself. It was a hard time, because we hadn’t enough to eat. We were living on Vatican territory. The Curia of the Jesuits was on Vatican land. When we stepped outside of the house we were in Italy, but when we were in the house we were in the Vatican. And therefore, the police couldn’t come into the house to arrest anyone. Once you stepped outside the hall door you were officially in Italy, but once you remained in the house you were a Vatican citizen.
What kind of work did you do in Ireland when you came back at the end of the war? Were you in Gardiner Street?
Yes. I was in Gardiner Street. Brother Priest was the sacristan there and I was his assistant.
Brother Priest?
That’s right. A funny name, but I found him very good. He helped me along.
You were assistant there. And did you stay in Gardiner Street for many years?
To tell you the truth, I forget.
You didn’t go to any other place? Were you in Gardiner Street for the rest of your days?
I forget the sequence, but I know I volunteered to go to Zambia.
Oh, so you went to Zambia?
Yes. It was the time that Father Corboy was made bishop. I knew him in his noviceship. Later he became Bishop Corboy. I volunteered to go because I had secretarial experience.
So you volunteered to work as secretary to Bishop Corboy.
That’s right. I spent fifteen years in Zambia with him.
And that was secretarial work, too.
Yes. I was in Rome at the time I volunteered to go to Zambia. I had a chat with the General at the time that Bishop Corboy was created bishop, and I had a chat with the General about going and joining him. He invited me to go and do the same kind of work as I had been doing.
You went back to Rome on a visit and when you were there you talked to the General about going with Bishop Corboy?
Yes. I was appointed to Rome at the time. I had been in Rome a number of years. It was my second time in Rome.
Oh, you went back a second time, after the war?
Yes. I was invited back.
That was after time as assistant sacristan in Gardiner Street?
That’s right.
That was a good few years afterwards because Bishop Corboy didn’t go until well into the 50s. You had quite a few years then in Zambia, did you?
I had fifteen years there. I got leave every five years – this is how I know. I just got leave once in five years…
Back to Dublin?
I was on my third leave back to Dublin when someone else was placed in my job.
I see. And were you then back in Gardiner Street again? You didn’t have any other assignment?
No, not that I remember.
So you’ve had a very varied career – Rome and Zambia and Ireland. And of course you came here to Cherryfield from Gardiner Street, so that was your last assignment there. And how do you find it here in Cherryfield?
The fact of the matter is that I was over 90 when I came here. Actually it was my 90th birthday the day I came in here. The 29th of February. I’ve been here over a year. I’m close to two years here.
And are you comfortable here?
In fact I’m surprised I’m so comfortable, because I had some experience of being in hospital, in care, before. I was in a ward with five or six others. Then I come here and I have my own room. This place is a great idea, I think. We’re really blessed to have this place. We’re one of the few Orders that has a good organised house for the aged.
The changes that have taken place in your time in the Society are tremendous. Especially, there were a lot more brothers when you entered.
Yes. Hadn’t got the same chances, you might say.
They had larger communities of brothers in the society.
Yes. There were a bigger number of brothers then than now. The brothers did a lot of work taking care of the houses and the farms. There were far more vocations then. In fact, it was nearly a fight to get into the Society then. Personally, I think I had an exceptionally happy time in all my years in the Society and in all the different jobs I was doing, and I got a fair amount of travel done.
Would you have a word of advice or a special message you’d like to give to the Province as you celebrate nearly 94 years?
I would like to say that they should keep the Brothers’ vocations in Ireland. They shouldn’t be sent to England. And even if they are few, they’ve a better chance of increasing their number by keeping them at home. I think that parents get preoccupied if they can’t visit them. I remember the impression I got from the first visit from my family in the novitiate in Emo. When I got talking to my mother – six people came to see me – she said that she expected to be bringing me back home, that I really wasn’t a person who was a likely Religious, and she thought she’d be taking me back home. She told me afterwards, “I didn’t expect you to be so happy; I thought you’d be coming back home, that you’d made a mistake”.
But you hadn’t made a mistake.
That’s the thing. I was thinking the opposite – that I was old enough to decide at that point in my life what my future was going to be, because I had already served my time at French polishing and as a trade union official.
You never felt like giving up. You were happy in your vocation.
I thought I was deciding when I was mature enough to decide. I felt that I had made it quite clear that I wasn’t making a mistake. I was surprised when she told me that.
That satisfaction with your vocation seems to have continued over the years.
Yes. When I was working in Rome, for example, everything went so well that I couldn’t believe it.
It’s great to be able to say in your nineties that you have no regrets about the way you chose.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Polisher before entry
Quite the reverse.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 15th Year No 2 1940

Milltown Park :
Rev. Fr. Assistant (P. A. Dugré) reached Dublin 21 December 1939, and stayed with until 30 January, when he left for Scotland via Belfast. He counted on reaching Rome on 1 March. He was accompanied from London by our Brother Christopher Murray who has taken up the duties of amanuensis in the Curia at 5 Borgo Santo Spirito.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008

Obituary

Br Christopher (Christy) Murray (1912-2007)

Homily preached by Barney McGuckian at the Funeral Mass at St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St., on Jan. 11th, 2008
On a headstone in one of the catacombs of Rome, where Brother Christopher Murray spent a number of challenging years, there is an inscription which reads “He has completed his baptism”. This short statement reveals something of how the early Christians understood Baptism. For them it was not a simple rite of passage or a brief passing ceremony. It was the first step in a process that would only end with death. Just as in show business it takes a life-time to become an over-night success, so it takes a whole life time to become a fully baptized Christian. This completion came for our Brother Christy two days ago in the Nursing Home at Cherryfield Lodge. He was holding the hand of Rachel McNeill, and, evidently, was quite conscious right up until the end. I, exceptionally, was among the concelebrants at Mass in the chapel across the corridor. As we had been told that Christy was very low, we commended his soul to the Lord. We do so again today strengthened by the encouraging text from the book of Maccabees that it is a holy and a wholesome thought to pray for the dead, including even those “who make a pious end” that they may be released from their sins. cf II Maccabees 12:43-45.

Jesus Himself was baptised in the River Jordan at the beginning of his public life as we will hear at Mass on Sunday next. But this was only the first of many Baptisms that he would undergo. When Jesus referred to Baptism he seemed to become tense. “There is a baptism I must receive, and what a constraint I am under until it is completed” (Luke, 12:50). His complete Baptism came on Calvary when he finally gave up the ghost, after taking the vinegar, surely symbolic of everything distasteful in life and bowing his head in acceptance. (Cf John 19, 29-30). As his followers, who have been baptized into Christ Jesus, as St Paul puts it, we are all called to follow a similar path.

If Brother Christopher, known to his fellow Jesuits as Christy, but always to his family as Kit, had lived until February 296 of this year he would have been 96. He was always ready for a joke or wisecrack about the fact that he was still only in his 23 year while in Cherryfield. During that long life he was to live in close proximity to some of the great drama of the 20th century both in Ireland and in Europe. He was born about six weeks before the Titanic foundered in the Atlantic, and two years before World War 1 broke out. He was too young to join his elder brothers and sisters who walked a mile down North Circular Road from their Aughrim Street home to say the Rosary outside Mountjoy Jail as Kevin Barry was being hanged. As a boy he saw Michael Collins walk past the Christian Brothers' School beside the Black Church at the head of the funeral cortege of Arthur Griffith. A short week later he saw Collins' own funeral pass the same spot on its way to Glasnevin Cemetery. Shortly after he ended his novitiate, he was posted to Rome in 1940. While en route he had barely passed through Paris when it fell to the Germans. On arrival, he was in time to see Mussolini declare war. However, when in 1963 he went to join Bishop Corboy in the Diocese of Monze in Zambia, it was to the relative stability of the newly-won independence of the country. While there he was a most conscientious worker. As assistant secretary for education at Canisius Secondary School in Chikuni, he is still remembered as someone dedicated to his work, carrying it out meticulously to the last detail.

Christy won a scholarship to Bolton Street College of Technology on leaving primary school and became a French Polisher. Many of us still remember the beautiful finish of the doors in the Chapel at Emo, a testimony to the quality of his workmanship. Before entering the Jesuits he was active in the Trade Unions. Those who knew him will not be surprised to know that he led at least two strikes! After working for seven years at his trade he decided to embrace religious life. He may have been influenced in this by the example of two of his elder sisters who had joined the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, and headed off for Australia and New Zealand respectively. One of them, Sister Lua is still alive at 98 in New Zealand.

Christy took his first vows on April 1st, 1939 at Emo. Realizing that he had “turned pro" that day he took the implications of what he had done with the utmost seriousness for the rest of his life. His commitment, particularly his obedience, was sorely tried very shortly afterwards. He had only arrived a few days in Rome when he was told to type an important letter in Latin. Not only did he not know the basics of Latin, he had never ever typed a word in any language in his life! The kindness of Fr, General Ledochowski, one of his great heroes, helped him survive this and other trials. While he was in Rome the food shortages became desperate. The situation took such a toll on his health that he was on a milk diet for a whole year after the war ended.

One thing that upset him very much afterwards was the suggestion that Pope Pius XII had abandoned the Jews to their fate during the war. He himself had run messages on behalf of the Holy Father to Jewish families in hiding around the city, bringing them food and other supplies. He rarely travelled twice by the same route lest he was under surveillance. Christy worked with Monsignor Hugh O'Flaherty, the legendary “Vatican Pimpernel” who did so much for the Jews and whose life was portrayed by Gregory Peck in a major feature film. Another of his friends was Mrs Thomas Kiernan, wife of the Irish Ambassador to the Holy See, better known for her renderings of "If I were a blackbird" and “The three lovely lassies from Banyon" as Delia Murphy. Her relationship with non-Nazi German officers through the Irish Embassy, the only English-speaking Embassy in Rome after the U.S. entered the war, proved a life-saver for many endangered young Italians. Christy remembered her arriving at the Borgo Santo Spirito with the gift for the starving community of a much appreciated pig in the boot of the ambassadorial car,

Christy was gifted with a high IQ. This was evident in his ease in dealing with figures and accounts. He was widely read and well informed. This led to his holding a very definite position on a variety of matters. In any discussion it was not long before this was made clear with the pronouncement “the facts of the matter are”. Naturally, this ensured lively and occasionally heated discussions on a variety of topics. However once he entered the chapel he moved into a different mode. His recollection and silence here was very evident. Most of his life in religion was spent either in finances or in the sacristy of our churches. He is still remembered with great affection in Limerick, where he was sacristan for 12 years from 1946-58.

An inveterate walker, he must have known every street in Dublin. Until he was into his 90s he did a four mile walk every Wednesday up and down the North Circular Road to visit Stephanie, his youngest sister, still living in the family home. She herself categorized him as a “man of will”. We, in John Austin House, noticed his pace slacken towards the end until he had to give it up. Shortly afterwards, we heard that he had moved to Cherryfield. He was remarkably regular in both his religious observance and his physical exercise right up until he was confined to a wheel-chair in Cherryfield.

As a disciple of Ignatius of Loyola, Christy would have learned to begin his daily prayer with the same formula; that all my intentions, actions and operations may be directed solely to the service and praise of the divine majesty. This is a prayer for holiness and one that is only fully answered at the hour of death. Indeed it could be described as a prayer for the fullness of baptism into Christ Jesus. We hope that it was fully answered for our brother Christy when the time came. Like Ignatius he was a man small in stature and, indeed, in death his features reminded me very much of the death-mask of our Holy Founder that has come down to us. As we pray today for the repose of Christy's soul there is nothing to prevent us also praying to him.

Kelly, Patrick, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/779
  • Person
  • 21 February 1920-04 May 2012

Born: 21 February 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 04 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1986 at Chicago (CHG) studying
by 1987 at Roosevelt NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1989 at Sunland-Tujunga CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Kelly (1920-2012)

21 February 1920: Born in Limerick
Early education at Salesian Convent and CBS, Limerick
7 September 1937: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1945 - 1947: Belvedere College - Teacher
1947 - 1951: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1950: Ordained priest in Milltown Park
1951 - 1952: Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle
1952 - 1953: Chikuni College, Zambia - Language school
2 February 1953: Final vows at Chikuni College
1953 - 1955: Kasiya Mission
1955 - 1959: Chikuni - Teacher in Secondary School and Teachers' Training College
1959 - 1960: Charles Lwanga - Teacher training
1960 - 1962: Chikuni - Manager of Schools
1962 - 1969: Mungret College - Teacher
1969 - 1985: Crescent College - Teacher
1985 - 1988: New York - Prison Chaplain
1988 - 1992: California - Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
1992 - 1994: SFX, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
1994 - 2002: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in the Church, Librarian
2002 - 2012: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
4 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr. Patrick Kelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 27th January 2012. He had got unsteady and it was feared he would have a fall. He settled in very well. It was only in the last few weeks that he looked gaunt and passed away quietly on 4 May 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary Liam O'Connell and Michael J. Kelly
Paddy Kelly was born in Limerick in 1920 where his family lived in Patrick Street. He remained steeped in the history and lore and the sporting traditions of his native city. His father manufactured boots and shoes, and also wooden clogs for the large numbers working in the bacon factories in the city, and when Limerick expertise was needed to set up bacon factories in Russia, he exported these clogs as far as Russia, Paddy lived during eventful times.

When he was very young, both the mayor of Limerick and the former mayor were murdered near Patrick Street by Black and Tans, and theIrish civil war deeply divided his native city.

Paddy had two brothers and three sisters, and every year they spent the summer months in a lodge in Kilkee. There is a photograph from one of these outings of Paddy as a four year old, complete with a large sand shovel, surrounded by his parents and family and ready to make his mark on the world. Throughout his life as a Jesuit Paddy returned to spend time at Kilkee with his mother, and his sisters and brothers, and they have happy memories of the life and fun he brought to these holidays.

In his final years in Sexton Street CBC in Limerick Paddy did a retreat with Fr. Mackey SJ, who was famous for encouraging Jesuit vocations. Afterwards they remained in correspondence and four days after the declaration of World War II, on 7th September 1939, Paddy left home at the age of 17 to go to the Novitiate at Emo. The 19 young novices who entered then were to live through a time of emergency and rationing that was to last for several years after the war ended. One of the other novices was Brendan Barry who had been educated with Paddy in Sexton Street CBC. The writer, Benedict Kiely, also belonged to their year, and he recorded his impressions of Emo in his novel There was an Ancient House.

After Emo, Paddy completed an Arts degree in UCD in 1942, and after Philosophy at Tullabeg, Tullamore, he spent two years in Belvedere as a teacher and sports coach and while there he obtained the Higher Diploma in Education. He was ordained in Milltown Park in 1950.

While in Tertianship in 1951-52, Paddy was assigned to the Chikuni Mission, the mission territory in present-day Zambia that Father General had committed to the Irish Province in 1949. When he arrived with others on 31st August 1952, Paddy was a member of the third large contingent from the Irish Province who took up work in the Chikuni Mission and among the first to travel there by air. At that time, the work of the Mission across an area about the size of Ireland was still in its infancy and faced the enormous challenge of a shortage of human resources, not just for strictly evangelical work, but for all those other aspects that constitute life in virtually virgin mission territory. It's no surprise, then, that the records show that on 6th August, less than a week after his arrival, Paddy spent the whole of his first Saturday in Africa loading a lorry with bundles of thatching grass, or that a few weeks later he and Norman MacDonald spent some days building a teacher's house in one of the out-stations. This kind of active involvement with what had to be done on the ground was characteristic of Paddy, who seemed happiest when doing things, developing things, getting his hands dirty, and talking all about it afterwards. Again and again, the records speak of things that Paddy did - shooting a hawk, getting a reluctant grinding mill to work again, celebrating the day of his final vows by being a member of the community football team that scored a 2-1 victory over the boys at Canisius College.

As with other newcomers, Paddy spent a large part of his first months learning the local language, ciTonga, under the able guidance of Bob Kelly. While necessary for all who were working at Chikuni Mission, this was especially important for Paddy who was appointed in August 1953 as Assistant Parish Priest at Kasiya, a mission sub station which had been established about two years earlier some 40 kilometres from the central Chikuni Mission. Here he was to work alongside Fr. Maurice Dowling, one of the earliest Irish Jesuits to go to the Chikuni Mission. The fact that Kasiya is now a well-established parish, with about 15,000 Catholics and ten outstations, is a tribute to .. what Paddy and his successors were able to accomplish there.

On completion of two years of fruitful parochial work, Paddy was transferred to the Mission's central education apostolate - Canisius College which at that time comprised both the full range of secondary schooling and a two-year teacher training programme. Paddy's work was principally in the latter, in the areas of religious education, English and mathematics. That he was moved in this way from a successful and - to him congenial – directly evangelical ministry to that of education bespeaks the tensions that existed in the Chikuni Mission (and indeed throughout the Society in its long history) between educational and other apostolates, with the human resource demands of school provision frequently taking precedence over what many perceived as the more Kingdom-oriented work of direct evangelisation and parochial ministry. But as a true and loyal Jesuit, Paddy threw himself into his new sphere of activities and was to remain in these for the following five years. Being a teacher educator, he was one of those who accompanied John Counihan, John Fitzgerald, Charlie O'Connor and others who moved from Canisius College to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teachers College in 1959.

But just a year later, apostolic needs and the shortage of personnel saw Paddy being moved to another responsibility, this time as Manager of Schools for all the Catholic primary schools that fell under Chikuni Mission. The maintenance and development of these schools, ensuring school supplies, the posting of teachers and their accommodation, and fostering the development of new schools all became part of Paddy's job. And given his nature it was a job in which he revelled. He showed a child-like delight in facing the challenges of long journeys over difficult terrain, of getting building and other supplies to locations where there were no roads or bridges, of being firm but courteous with local headmen about the importance of having their own school, of mobilising community support in making bricks, drawing sand, and maintaining buildings, and of making sure that the appointed teachers actually turned up for duty and did teach.

Throughout the decade in which he so generously served the people within the area of the Chikuni Mission, Paddy remained very true to himself – always good-humoured and good-natured, generous in responding to requests, forthright in manner, sometimes very blunt in approach and expression, and yet always very private about himself as a person and what motivated him. He is well remembered as a loyal and faithful Jesuit, a deeply spiritual man who downplayed what he felt might be extreme expressions of his spirituality, always anxious to do more (though seemingly never concerned about being more) and always a good companion. He served Zambia's people well and they were the losers when circumstances brought about his return to Ireland in 1962 and the commencement there of almost a quarter century of teaching ministry.

In 1962 Paddy returned to Ireland to minister in Mungret College, where he taught History and Geography and was in charge of the Study Hall. Paddy was by nature an optimist, and visiting parents who met Paddy regularly received glowing accounts of how their son was doing. Unfortunately these assessments often had to be revised downwards when the same parents met with other less optimistic teachers. Paddy's nick name in Mungret was Gazebo - a gazebo being an exotic outdoor garden house, a place for resting and shelter, and Paddy lived up to this description, as he was a breath of fresh air in the lives of many of the students.

In 1973 when the closure of Mungret College was announced, Paddy and other teachers from Mungret transferred to the new Jesuit Comprehensive School at Dooradoyle. To this day the Crescent students remember Paddy with a mixture of amazement and affection. In Crescent he was nicknamed 'Ned' after the Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, who did things his own way, and I think that this was a tribute to Paddy's originality and independence.

At Crescent Paddy became one of the founder members of the new Geography department. At this time when the syllabus was expanded to include more Geology and Human Geography, and Paddy's colleagues at Crescent never ceased to be amazed at the breadth and depth of his knowledge. He pioneered Geography Field

Trips and he became an expert on the Burren region in Co. Clare. He was also a great collector of valuable Geography books and of rocks, and he guarded them well. One day a group of teachers thought that they would build a Sun Dial, and began to wonder how. Paddy left the discussion briefly and returned with a book on 'How to make Sun Dials'. And his name - Paddy Kelly SJ – was written across the front of the book, in big black marker lettering, in case somebody dared not to return it to him.

Everybody he taught remembers Paddy's wonderful turn of phrase. Latecomers were warned not to 'shilly shally. In congested corridors between class periods, to the amusement of all, Paddy encouraged good order by booming out “file fast past fat fools”, or “hurry up you meandering tortoises”,

I have plenty of other pictures of Paddy: setting out on a Saturday morning from Dooradoyle on foot on a 20-mile-round walking trip to the Clare Hills; constructing unusual-looking but very comfortable garden seats; painting everything in sight; planting trees and daffodils, and cutting grass; fixing anything that was broken with carefully guarded tools; nodding during a conversation and saying "you're perfectly right and being positive and encouraging; sitting outside the back door in the evening, smoking his pipe, and looking the picture of contentment.

In 1985, at 65 years of age Paddy retired from teaching at Crescent, and left Limerick to work for a few years in the Prison Service in New York as a Chaplain, and then in a parish in Los Angeles, before returning to Gardiner Street and the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick, and finally to the Community in Milltown Park where he lived happily for ten years. In Gardiner Street some people did not care much for the added prayers and commentary he added to the liturgy, but many people loved the outgoing way in which he celebrated Mass. His Jesuit colleagues remember his optimism. There is a story that one morning in Gardiner Street, at breakfast Paddy was just too optimistic and charitable about everything, and an exasperated brother Jesuit remarked “Paddy you are so positive that you would speak well of the devil”, to which Paddy replied. “Indeed I would - he's a very hard worker”.

Paddy was often great fun, but he was serious too, and serious about things that he did not easily talk about, serious about his faith and his commitment to the Eucharist, nourishment from God for our journey, and especially as we prepare for the journey into the unknown. Two months before he died, Paddy moved to Cherryfield Lodge, and he knew that this part of his joumey was coming close. This was a time of special grace and acceptance for him. He was most thankful to the staff at Cherryfield, to the Rector and Milltown community, and to family and to old friends who stayed in touch. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 4 May 2012.

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.

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

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 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.

Clear, John B, 1922-2009, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/768
  • Person
  • 13 September 1922-21 September 2009

Born: 13 September 1922, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1958, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 21 September 2009, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1974 at Oxford, England (ANG) working
by 1986 at Reading, England (BRI) working
by 1989 at North Hinksey, Oxfordshire (BRI) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 142 : Winter 2009

Obituary

Fr John Clear (1922-2009)

13th September 1922: Born in Dublin
Early education Stanhope St. Convent and CBS Richmond St.
6th September 1941: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1943: First Vows at Emo
1943 - 1946: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Crescent College - Teacher
1951 - 1952: Clongowes - Prefect
1952 - 1956: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained at Milltown Park
1956 - 1957: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1957 - 1958: Loyola House - Minister
3rd February 1958: Final Vows at Loyola House
1958 - 1961: Gardiner Street - Church work; Sodality
1961 - 1968: Emo - Mission staff
1968 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Mission staff
1969 - 1971: Tullabeg - Mission staff
1971 - 1973: Rathfarnham - Mission and Retreat staff
1973 - 1978: Holyrood Church, Oxford, England - Parish work
1978 - 1985: Rathfarnham -
1978 - 1981: Mission and Retreat staff
1981 - 1983: Mission and Retreat staff; Asst. Director Pioneers
1983 - 1985: Asst. Director Retreat House; Asst. Director Pion.
1985 - 1986: Reading - Parish Ministry; Asst. Editor Messenger
1986 - 1990: Oxford -
1986 - 1988: Parish Ministry
1988 - 1990: Parish Priest
1990 - 1991: St. Ignatius, Galway - Parish Curate; Spiritual Director, Our Lady's Boys' Club
1991 - 1998: Dooradoyle -
1991 - 1996: Subminister; Asst. Treasurer; Asst. for John Paul II Oratory; Asst. in Sacred Heart Church
1996 - 1997: Minister; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian
1997 - 1998: Treasurer; Care of John Paul II Oratory; Assistant in Sacred Heart Church; Health Prefect; Librarian; Asst. Minister
1998 - 2002: John Austin House - Pastoral work; Vice Superior; Assistant Hospital Chaplain
2002 - 2009: Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
4th August 2009: Fr. Clear was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home on from the Mater Hospital following a short illness. His condition deteriorated very quickly.
21st September 2009: Died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge

Brian Lennon writes:
John died early on Monday 21st September 2009 at the age of 87. His health had gradually declined over the past few years. He was beginning to lose his memory, Over the summer he had a few bouts of confusion and pain. He spent some time in hospital in the Mater and Vincent's in Dublin. Eventually inoperable cancer was diagnosed and he arrived in Cherryfield on 4 August, where, like so many, he got great care.

He was born in Dublin on 13th September 1922 and educated by the Christian Brothers at O'Connell's School, North Richmond Street, Dublin. He went to Emo in 1941, so was a Jesuit for 68 years. He went through the normal course of studies and then spent 21 years working in parishes and 19 on the Mission staff. Hearing confessions was very important to him, especially in the years he spent in Gardiner St. since 2002 right up to the year of his death. It was a natural apostolate for him because he had great kindness. He told me once that in his parish work he always involved lay people, and - extraordinarily - he never had a row with any of them.

At different times he was based in Emo, Rathfarnham, Tullabeg, Oxford, Reading, Galway, Limerick, Loyola and John Austin House, as well as Gardiner St, from 1958 to 1961 and then again since 2002.

He wrote a lot: pamphlets on “Mary My Mother”, “Elizabeth of Hungary: Princess, Mother and Saint”, the “Japanese martyrs”, and “Lily of the Mohawks - Kateri Tekawitha”, the first North American saint. He also wrote many articles for the Pioneer and other journals.

My memory of him is of someone with a great sense of humour. I sometimes teased him about not attending events like Province Days and also polluting his room and the whole corridor with his infernal pipe smoke, to all of which he would respond with a deeply satisfied belly laugh. He had no airs or graces and he had a natural way of relating to people. He had a very simple view of life with a great devotion to Our Lady. He was deeply grateful for even the smallest things one did for him.

When his remains were brought to Gardiner Street there were several Sisters of Charity present. Two of them knew at least seven other sisters who traced their vocation to meeting John. One of them said: 'He showed me my way to God', a pretty good obituary for anyone. There must have been a lot of others in those 21 years in parishes and 19 years on the Missions who would say the same thing, but these are the stories that we other Jesuits may be the last to hear about.

He took an interest in what was happening around him. He was a great reader. One of the topics that fascinated him in recent years was research on DNA pools, showing where we have all come from, and that all of us all over the world are much more closely related to each other than many might like. He would always check out new publications by Jesuits.

He had a great friendship with some families, and loved to go back to Oxford to visit them. One of them told the story of John giving out to a young three year old, Daniel, by telling him that he was “too bold”, to which the young man responded that he was not “two bold”, but “three bold”.

He was a great swimmer in his young days. His brothers say that they coped with his leaving home for Emo with a certain amount of delight because they had more room in the house, and they suggested also that John, the eldest, was a bit correct and rule bound at that stage. They danced on his bed when he left, something they would not have had the nerve to do while he was still there. By the time he had grown old gracefully he had certainly lost any stiffness.

He died on the feast of St Matthew. The tax collectors were bad apples: not only did they rob people with little money, they also collaborated with the foreign occupiers who polluted the holy places. The fact that Jesus had fellowship with them by eating and drinking with them was deeply scandalous to the Jews, and understandably so. The meal in Matthew's house may have taken place after Matthew's conversion, but others there were surely not converted. But that did not stop Jesus eating with them. Calling Matthew to follow him was worse.

It's a feast that is appropriate for John's own day of entry into eternal life. He too reached out to people in trouble, and the cause of the trouble was never a block for him. He has now gone to join Matthew and the other tax collectors, and many of those with whom he walked during his ministry. He will also join the Pharisees, whom he knew are in each one of us. May he rest in peace.

Donovan, John, 1931-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/764
  • Person
  • 08 February 1931-01 October 2008

Born: 08 February 1931, Woodford, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Mount Street, London, England
Died: 01 October 2008, Newham University Hospital, Glen Road, London, England

St Margaret & All Saints' Church, Barking Road, Canning Town, London, England - Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

by 1970 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) working
by 1981 at Custom House, London (ANG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jack-donovan/

Fr Jack Donovan has died in London, a largely forgotten hero. He had worked in London for forty years, and on one occasion
volunteered for a parish that no other priest could handle. A parish priest had been convicted of child abuse, provoking understandable fury in the parishioners. In the spirit of the Ignatian Third Degree of humility Jack lived with the hatred, anger and resistance of the parish. In the end the people learned to accept this quiet, inarticulate, intensely private Corkman. He seldom appeared in Ireland, and eventually retired to be first a chaplain, then a resident in sheltered accommodation in London. Brian Grogan and other Jesuits will join his funeral next weekend.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/burying-jack-donovan-sj/

AMDG does not normally report funerals, but Jack’s was special. All through his life he had opted for obscurity. He was described at the funeral Mass as a “low maintenance
priest, a humble servant”. He was a voracious reader. He slept in a chair because his bed was buried under books; so was the gas metre in his sheltered accommodation – that nearly got him evicted. But his death brought out the crowds. London traffic was held up as the funeral procession walked for half an hour from St Anne’s church where he had been PP, to St Margaret’s where he died. His beloved Filipinos held an all- night vigil for him before the funeral, and escorted him to St Patrick’s Cemetery, the resting-place of the nuns immortalised by Hopkins in the “Wreck of the Deutschland”. May he rest there in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 138 : Christmas 2008

Obituary

Fr John (Jack) Donovan (1931-2007)

8th February 1931: Born in Woodford, Galway
Early education in Kanturk Secondary School, Cork, and Mungret College, Limerick.
7th September 1949: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1951: First Vows at Emo
1951 - 1954: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1954 - 1957: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1957 - 1960: Belvedere - Teacher
1960 - 1964: Milltown Park - Theology
31st July1963: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1965: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1965 - 1966: Gardiner Street - Mission Staff
1966 - 1968: Rathfarnham - Assistant Director, Retreat House
2nd February 1978: Final Vows at Mount Street, London
1968 - 2008: London, England - Pastoral Ministry
1968 - 1998: Parish Priest, St. Anne's parish, London
1998 - 2008: Retired, but continued with pastoral work with the poor of London, particularly immigrants
14 October 2008: Died in London aged 77 years.

Paul Andrews writes:
The reason why Jack was born in Galway but grew up in Kanturk was that his father was a Garda, who was moved around. They were a large family, seven boys and two girls. Of these, Jack was closest to Tom, and used stay with him when on holidays. One brother became an Oblate priest, another a Columban, and a sister joined the Mercy nuns, taking the name of Loyola out of affection for Jack, who at that stage had opted for the Jesuits.

He had his early schooling with the Mercy nuns, then in a secondary school run by Mr and Mrs Kelleher. He read about the Jesuits - he was always a voracious reader - and declared his interest to Fr Tommy Byrne, then Provincial. At the Provincial's request, the Rector of Mungret accepted Jack for a year, to complete his Leaving Certificate, and so that Jack could get to know the Society better, and the Society get to know Jack better. The Provincial agreed to pay Jack's fees:”'I think that Seán deserves the chance to fulfil his vocation”. Big and strong, Jack made the senior rugby team as a second row forward, and reached the final of the cup.

When he entered Emo in 1949, he changed from Seán to Jack, and dropped the O' of his surname - a hint there of a residual tension with his father. Donal O'Sullivan welcomed this fellow-Corkman into his care. Fellow novice Tony Geoghegan remembers him as a gentle soul, a kind but shy person. They soldiered together through Rathfarnham, Tullabeg and Milltown. During his regency in Belvedere Jack volunteered for Japan “because of the state of Ireland”. This application was neither accepted nor supported by the Provincial, Luigi O'Grady. Five months later, in a letter to the incoming Provincial, Charlie O'Conor, Jack repeated his desire, and prayed “that my life in Japan be less useless than it has hitherto been”.

There is a hint here of huge frustrated longings. A bright mind, open to experience, disappointed in his scholastic success up to then (he had a breakdown during his UCD studies), was looking for broader horizons than were visible in the Ireland and Irish Province of 1959. He wanted to be on the frontiers. In 1960 he wrote to Father General volunteering again for the Japanese Mission, “having given the matter prayerful consideration for seven years”. Still no joy.

After ordination he went for two unhappy years to Rathfarnham Retreat House, where the Director failed to see his potential and reduced him to leading the Rosary. So he was 36 when, to his delight, Provincial Brendan Barry sent him on the English Mission. He worked for ten years in the Jesuit parish of Stamford Hill with a large West Indian population. He had a great way with them. He loved them and they loved him. His ministry in England gave Jack a new lease of life. Visitors to the parish house looked above all for Father Jack. He had discovered his strength, as a servant of the parishioners, with a huge heart for the most needy. His focus was always on his parishioners. He touched lives all over London.

When the parish of St Anne's, near London City Airport, ran into crisis (the PP had been convicted of child abuse, and the parishioners were understandably furious, at times stoning the presbytery in their anger), and a British Jesuit retreated from it after a few months, Jack volunteered to hold the fort. See Pat Davis's graphic account below of how Jack managed this difficult move. It was his finest hour. He looked after the beleaguered church for twenty years, and his tough kindliness slowly impressed the reluctant parishioners. One unsought ally turned up in the notorious Kray Brothers, who liked Jack, and made it clear that anyone who messed with Jack, messed with them.

Dermot Brangan visited him at St Anne's and remembers: “Jack was a great man for visiting the sick or the hospitalised, especially in the evenings. He told me in a simple but serious way that he was thinking of investing in a bicycle to help him get around more easily - but a bike costs money. He cooked for himself using the frying pan to rustle up meals that were mostly junk food – instant this and that. He probably never had a cook. About 20 years ago when I visited him I noticed that several of his teeth were missing and he did not seem to be in a hurry to do anything about the gaps. This must have played havoc with his already unclear diction. I suspect sermons were a cross for him, but he soldiered on, and the people loved and trusted him. He took phone calls at all hours. The house was in total, glorious chaos, with stuff piled up to the ceilings. And yet you could catch glimpses of the real man, Jack was a good priest. Praise and thanks be to the Lord”.

He built a new church for the parish, and faced the labour of begging funds for it in a circular letter in 1981:
“Berwick Road's new octagonal, unpretentious building was completed for the estimated £134,000 - all Bank Manager's money, Sunday congregations have now risen four-fold, but the weekend plate in these parts does not exactly brim over - £88 p.w.!”

Jack was easy with people, and loved gardening, but he was not good with money: he had no meas on it, except for giving it away. At his death, coins and notes littered the floor of his room. Nor was he good with machines. Computers remained a closed book to him. When his brother Tom tried to teach him to drive his car, Jack burned out the clutch. In London he bought himself a bicycle, but it was stolen and the parishioners bought him a car, but he could not manage it and gave it away. At the end of his life his closest friend said: “He gave everything away - except books. He lived in the spirit of the old Dean in Babette's Feast: ‘The only things we take with us from our life on earth are those which we have given away’.”

Jack remained intellectually ravenous, and bought books and magazines all his life. They so filled the presbytery at St. Anne's that in the end he took to sleeping in the church. He peppered the parish newsletter with quotations from Lonergan and Rahner, to the mystification of his flock. In the flat where he lived at the end of his life, he slept in a chair because his bed was buried under books; so was the gas metre, to the indignation of the gasman, who threatened to have him evicted.

There was a period at the end of his tenure of St. Anne's when Jack became a recluse. He was always open to his parishioners, but kept a distance from other clergy, including Jesuits. Jack feared to return to the Irish Province - he had a misconception that things would not have moved on from the time he had left, over thirty years before. He, who had been terrified of dogs from his childhood, got an Alsatian to guard the house. He neglected himself. His last visit to the dentist was at the age of six, and he began to pay the penalty for that in middle age. So in 1999 the bishop moved him into retirement - he was 68. In some desolation Jack tried a sabbatical, staying with his brother Tom; it only lasted one week.

A friend helped Jack to acquire a Council flat in sheltered accommodation, modest in size, but secure. For the last nine years of his life he continued his pastoral work from there, supported by the Warden, Irene Jackson, who became a close friend and admired him: “He was a great man, very gentie, made no demands on anyone, never said anything negative about anyone, and great love was shown him in return. It was a privilege to be with him”.

Two years ago he was hit by cancer, which resisted treatment. He lost an ear and joked that a dog had bitten it off. He recovered, and resumed work, but then developed colon cancer and began to pack up. He was happy to die and would not have wanted to be a patient. He was moved to Newham General Hospital where he had been the first Catholic Chaplain, and where he was anointed several times. He died there unexpectedly while sedated.

His death brought out the crowds. The British Provincial, Michael Holman, attended the Mass on the eve of the funeral. 24 priests concelebrated the funeral Mass on the following day. Fr Brian Grogan, representing the Irish Provincial, John Dardis, was principal concelebrant, and read a tribute from John at the start of Mass. The current PP of St. Anne's, Mgr John Armitage, preached the homily and spoke of this humble servant, this low maintenance priest. London traffic was held up as the massive funeral procession walked for half an hour from St Anne's church where he had been PP, to St. Margaret's where he died. His beloved Filipinos held an all-night vigil for him before the funeral, and escorted him to St. Patrick's Cemetery, the resting-place of the nuns immortalised by Hopkins in the “Wreck of the Deutschland”.

In his last years Jack saw much of the Filipino community and gained their trust and affection, travelling with them to many places. They looked after him as best he would allow. Leave the last word to them: “We have been privileged to know him, or at least to know about him. He lives in people's hearts. He will hardly be formally named a saint but surely is. He was a shy, quiet man with no great achievements, but there is more love and hope and goodness in the world because of him. We are glad for him, proud of him, miss him and look forward to meeting him again”.

Memories of Jack received from Pat Davis, Peter Faber House, Belfast:
I first met Jack in the autumn of 1974 when I came to join the community at Stamford Hill in North London. Jack was working in the St Ignatius parish and I was in my final year for the BD at Heythrop. There was a large Irish community at that time in Tottenham and Jack ministered to them as one of the staff on the parish. After finishing the Licentiate at the Greg I returned to London to teach at Heythrop and Campion House, Osterley in the autumn of 1979. I had heard from a priest friend of the Brentwood diocese, Fr Joe White, who I knew at Mungret, that Jack had gone to look after the parish at Custom House.

Fr Joe had been asked by his bishop to stand in at St Anne's Custom House for a weekend. In the early hours of the Sunday morning the shattering of glass woke Joe up. There was a mob outside hurling bricks through the windows and baying for the blood of the priest. Joe rang for the police immediately and they appeared promptly on the scene. It was only then that Joe was informed of the situation at Custom House. The mob was looking for the paedophile priest who had molested their children. The priest had already been arrested and was in custody. The crowd had not realised that Joe was not that priest.

The situation in the parish caused by the paedophile priest was grim to say the least. To make things even worse the Church building at Custom House had just been demolished due to shaky foundations as a result of war damage. So Custom House had no Church, the local Primary school Hall being used for the weekend masses. The bishop had difficulty in finding a priest to take over the parish and he approached the Jesuits for help. Jack very generously stepped into the breach and took over the parish.

I rang Jack and asked if I could be of help at the weekends and he was delighted for the help. So from autumn 1979 until I went to terianship in summer 1981 I helped out at Custom House with Jack. One of the things that helped in my relationship with Jack was the fact we had both been at Mungret. My fond memory of Jack was of a very shy man who was dedicated to his mission to those local people. He was a man wedded to a life of poverty both actual and spiritual and went about his work in a quiet determined but unassuming way.

The previous parish priest had abused not only the local catholic children but also the protestant children. Hence there was a great deal of hostility towards the Church there and the locals regularly stoned Jack's presbytery. At one stage Jack ran out of the presbytery and collared one of the children breaking his windows. He was reported to the police for assault but it came to nothing due to the understanding of the local police. Jack told me in that first year that the other local Church got more money for the flowers on their altar than the total amount in his collection each weekend. Jack was quite at home living a life of not only of spiritual poverty but real poverty.

During my two years there Jack visited the local parishioners regularly and built up the congregation slowly from a handful on Sunday to a sizeable number. His quiet unassuming simple manner won over the local community, He also had the job of overseeing the building of the new Church, which we moved into in early 1981. He was a huge support to the local primary school. He also worked hard at landscaping a garden outside the presbytery beside the Church, which became the envy of the neighbourhood.

A measure of his success in winning over the local resident both Catholic and Protestant was the year the East End club West Ham won the FA cup in the summer of 1980. Early on a the Sunday morning after the win the leaders of the local community approached Jack and asked him to adjudicate the children's fancy dress at the street party to celebrate the great victory. I attended with Jack and noticed how they went out of their way to make sure Jack had all he need in the way of food and attention. So within the two years I attended Custom House the people came to love and appreciate this humble Jesuit from Ireland.

He decided he would have a Corpus Christ procession around the local area. I had to admit I was sceptical of the outcome but to my pleasant surprise it was a huge success. Jack had the wisdom to realise that he could appeal to the faith of the parents in the area through their children who were keen to dress up their children for the procession and come to see them.

The first wedding in the new church was an Irish “travellers” wedding. The wedding ceremony was delayed due to the arrival of the police on the scene because of the traffic congestion caused by the travellers' lorries around the Church. I remember Jack pointing out to me as we awaited the bride coming down the aisle, that she was chewing gum. We had difficulty also accommodating her seventeen bridesmaids! The East Enders had experienced nothing like this before!!

Jack went on to be parish priest there for twenty years, building the parish from little or nothing to a very vibrant parish. Record keeping and timekeeping were not his strongest attributes but I can't help feeling that given Jack's personality, he was just the right man for St Anne's parish in Custom House in their hour of need.

Foley, Henry, 1862-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/762
  • Person
  • 14 February 1862-01 March 1930

Born: 14 February 1862, Newtown, Kinnity, County Offaly
Entered: 11 September 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1893
Final Vows: 02 February 1899, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 01 March 1930, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1898 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

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

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

In St Ignatius College, Galway, Fr Henry Foley SJ wrote on 25 February 1919: “We have been hit hard again by the Flu”. Three Jesuits were laid up and “43 of our pupils [out of 100 pupils] are in bed... There have been many deaths lately, and the infection shows no sign of abating. Otherwise things are fairly well.”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930

Obituary :

Fr Henry Foley

Fr Foley was born on the 14th Feb. 1662, educated at Tullabeg, and on the 11th Sept. 1880 entered at Milltown, where he spent six years, two as novice, one as Junior, three as philosopher. In 1886 he was sent to Clongowes, but left after a short time for the Crescent. The regency was passed at the Crescent, Mungret, Belvedere, then back to Milltown in 1890 for theology. When it was over he returned to the Crescent, and put in three years there before going to the tertianship at Tronchiennes. Tertianship finished, he had the short course at Milltown for one year, Moral and Canon Law for another, and then went to Galway, There he remained for 22 years, For four of them he was Rector, for twelve, Minister, and or the entire period had charge of the Men's Sodality, as well as doing a large amount of teaching. 1922 saw him in Gardiner St. as “Praef Spir and Oper”. Early in 1929, his health broke down very badly, heart failure, and the August of that year found him in Tullabeg. It was not to rest, for the Sodality attached to the Church, was entrusted to him, and he worked it with energy and success as long as he was able to stand. His holy death took place on Saturday, the 1st March, 1930.
Had Fr, Foley lived a few months longer he would have celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society. That well nigh half century was a period of constant, hard, unselfish work, and of work done very often in the shade. As soon as he got into the sunlight he seemed to get dazed, and sometimes failed to do himself justice. This was very much in evidence for the two
years he professed theology at Milltown. During the twenty-two years that the Galway Sodality was under his care he made himself a host of life-long friends, and, better still, he did an amount of good that will surprise a great many when the curtain is lifted at the end of time.
Fr. Foley was by no means a pulpit orator, but his sermons were full of practical common-sense , and the grave, experienced Fathers of Gardiner St. speak highly of the domestic exhortations he gave them, replete with sound spirituality, kindliness, and grounded on solid principles of theology.
It has been said of an American Father who died recently that “90 per cent of the care of souls is accomplished by being kind. For that Fr. Rielag needed no prodding. He couldn't be anything else...He was an expert at self-effacing”. That hits off Fr, Foley's character to the letter.
No outstanding achievement marked his career, but his personal holiness, his gentle, kindly cheerful ways, his unremitting hard work, endeared him to ail that knew him, and have prepared for him a splendid reward that he is now enjoying in the happy land above.
We owe the following appreciation of Fr. Foley’s work in Galway to the kindness of Fr E Downing : “The news of Fr. Foley s death was heard in Galway with deep, sincere and universal regret as the passing of one who had endeared himself to all, rich and poor alike.
For nearly quarter of a century, Galway was the field of his missionary and educational acitvities, as priest and teacher, as confessor and preacher, as Director of the Men's Sodality BVM, as Minister, and finally as Rector. In all these various works, he displayed his characteristic virtues of zeal and devotion, urbanity, cheerfulness, charity.
As a schoolman. he is gratefully remembered by crowds of his old boys, many of whom have spoken to me since his death with “tears in the voices”.
As a preacher he is remembered for the soundness and clearness of his reasoning and doctrine. He was more of the eloquent lawyer than the passioned orator.
But it was as a confessor he was best known and most widely appreciated. He had been professor of Moral Theology at Milltown Park, and the knowledge, there acquired was placed at the disposal of the city and county of Galway and of the many summer visitors to this well known sea-side resort. He was ever ready to be called to the “box”. It was more than once remarked that he lived in the Confessional.
As Rector he was in authority during the dark days of the of the “Black and Tans”. His sympathy with his countrymen was not concealed, and in consequence he was subjected to much verbal bullying the night our house in Galway was raided.
His pure soul and kindly spirit were wafted heavenwards. with many a heartfelt “God bless him”, “God speed him” from the lips and hearts of those who felt that they had lost awhile a holy priest, a wise adviser and a good friend in Fr, Henry Foley”.

Croasdaile, Henry, 1888-1966, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/760
  • Person
  • 09 October 1888-30 November 1966

Born: 09 October 1888, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 30 November 1966, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Henry Croasdaile SJ (1888-1966)

Lancelot Henry Croasdaile was born on the 9th of October 1888, at The Drift, Belfast, the native place of his mother, formerly a Miss O'Rourke. His childhood was spent at Rynn, Rosenallis, in the then Queen's County, the estate of his father, Major Croasdaile, D.L., J.P. He had a brother, who died in infancy, and two sisters, younger than himself. His father was a member of the Church of Ireland, but all the children were brought up Catholics. His mother died in 1905. Harry was educated at home until early in 1906 when he was sent to Clongowes. Though over sixteen, he was in the junior grade for his first two school years and ended in the middle grade. This comparatively undistinguished career was doubtless due to the informal nature of his previous education. He was later to show that he had more than average intellectual powers. In his last year at Clongowes he was Secretary of the House, an office then usually bestowed not for athletic prowess, but for the ability to entertain visitors, a task for which he was admirably suited.
In September 1908 he entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. His father, not unnaturally, strongly opposed this step, and Harry must have had considerable strength of character to persevere and to renounce an inheritance which must have been peculiarly attractive to one who had such a love of country life. After a year's juniorate at Tullabeg, he went to St. Mary's Hall, Stonyhurst, for philosophy.
From 1914 to 1919 he taught at Clongowes. He was quite an effective teacher, and his musical gifts added to his usefulness on the staff. He figures in many photographs in the Clongownian as a member of the choir and conductor of the orchestra. He was very popular with the boys, and no doubt this popularity was enhanced by his remarkable prowess as a sportsman. Though it belongs to his later time at Clongowes, there may be recorded here an excerpt from a letter still treasured in the family of one of the boys. “We went for a walk today with Fr. Croasdaile and he shot a peasant (sic)”
During this period occurred an incident which he was fond of recounting. In the early days of the Easter Rising of 1916 he be came anxious about his sisters, who were then living in Dublin, and set off on his bicycle to try to locate them. On reaching Dublin, he found the usual roads blocked by the military. He then attempted a circuitous approach, but somewhere in the vicinity of Dundrum was arrested by a patrol of soldiers and brought to Dunlaoire police station. Here he was lucky in finding a sympathetic sergeant of the D.M.P. who was indignant at the arrest of a priest and secured his release.
It may be mentioned in passing that Fr. Croasdaile used to boast that he was the only member of the Province to be imprisoned for his country. This was not correct. During Easter Week a present member of the Milltown Park community was lodged for an hour in Beggars Bush barracks. Some idea of the confusion that reigned in the minds of the military may be formed from the fact that the chief grounds for making the arrest were that the Jesuit had in his pocket a handkerchief with the initials of another member of the community and a list of names (which turned out to be his selection of “Possibles” for the next rugby international).
In 1919 Harry went to Milltown Park for theology and was ordained in 1922. After tertianship at Tullabeg he taught for a year at Belvedere and then returned for his second spell on the staff at Clongowes, 1926-31. It was about this time that he began to write a series of short stories for boys, largely based on his own experiences. At intervals, published by the Irish Messenger Office, appeared Stories of School Life, Parts 1-6, and later When the Storm Blew and a Dog Led. It seems to have been during these years also that his interest in organ-building was developed. He had a remarkable combination of the two gifts required for this craft, being a good musician (he played, besides the organ, the double bass and the euphonium - an unusual combination) and a first-class carpenter. This activity continued all his life until ill health forced him to relinquish it. He was an adept at buying up old organs and combining their parts to make new ones. He thus provided organs for Emo, Rathfarnham, Clongowes and for several country churches.
In 1931 Fr. Croasdaile was transferred to Mungret where he again taught and organised musical activities until 1939. He then acted as Assistant Director of Retreats at Rathfarnham, and in 1944 was appointed teacher of religion in the Commercial College, Rathmines, which post he held until 1955. In some ways this was the most successful period in his life. His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin had in 1941 appointed the first teachers in the Dublin vocational schools and the system was still in an experimental stage. Fr. Croasdaile entered into the work with enthusiasm, and carried out the purpose intended, not merely to teach religion formally, but to act as spiritual guide to the pupils. He interested himself in all their activities, especially, as might be expected, in music, and with a production of The Geisha in Rathmines Town Hall began a tradition of musical entertainments which still con tinues. He also established most friendly relations with the members of the teaching staff. One of them recalled a statement made to him by the late Mr. George Clampett, then Principal of the College : “I am not a co-religionist of Fr. Croasdaile, but I have no hesitation in saying that he has meant more to this school than any other person”. The following tribute to Fr. Croasdaile was recently paid by Mr. Seán O Ceallaigh, the present Principal :
“The teenage boys and girls attending the Technical School in Rathmines accepted him immediately as one of themselves. His fatherliness, his simple loyalty to the simple Christian principles which at their age they could understand, his facility in using the language which they could grasp, his obvious interest in the material progress and spiritual welfare of each one of them and of their families, all these virtues endeared him to them in a perfectly natural way. The obvious happiness which he took in their extra curricular activities brought them nearer him; his active participation in their games, in their drama, in their operas, in their Gaelic cultural activities (to make up, as he used to tell them, for his being a direct descendant of Oliver Cromwell!), and particularly his desire to give them a love for church music, exemplified in his accompanying the school choir in their rehearsals for the annual Votive Mass.
He took the greatest pleasure in meeting ex-students and in his daily conversation with the men and women teachers of different denominations in the school. He was really the first of the permanent priest-teachers in the city's technical schools; he exercised a new and wonderful influence on all of them. To this extent, Fr. Croasdaile was the pioneer, the man who proved to the educational and religious authorities that priest-teachers could play a vital role in vocational education. The remarkable development of this work in recent years is a monument to his character”.
When Fr. Croasdaile retired from his work in the College of Commerce in 1955, his health had been for some time giving cause for anxiety. After a year as Assistant in University Hall, he was transferred to Emo, and from that on was more or less an invalid. One who knew him well wrote: “There was a staunch courage and hardy faith about the way he met the ever-present prospect of death during the later precarious years of his life”.
It was, however, a consolation to him to be back in the county of his boyhood. He had always been devoted to his native Rosenallis, and delighted in reminiscences of his family. He found relief also from the inevitable monotony of a semi-invalid's life in a new interest which he developed, the local history of Laois. In this he was helped by the kindly interest of a good neighbour, Fr. Barry O'Connell, C.C., Mountmellick, with whom he made frequent historical and archaeological trips. His death, so often expected, came at last on 30th November 1966.
In the foregoing sketch many of Fr. Croasdaile's gifts have been touched on, his success in dealing with boys and young people, his musical talents, his skill in field sports, which was often a help to him in establishing good relations with men who would ordin arily have fought shy of a priest. To fill in the picture, a word must be said about him as a good companion. During the long years in which he worked in the colleges, he was heart and soul in his task. Knowing the boys so well, their work and play were a constant source of interest to him, and he had a droll sense of humour which enabled him to see the amusing side even of their misdemeanours. He was, therefore, a great community man, a great enlivener of recreation. He was an outstanding raconteur, and seemed to have an uncanny gift of getting involved in strange experiences, which he related with gusto. It is regrettable that the best of his stories have escaped the writer's memory.
Such are our memories of Fr. Harry Groasdaile, “Cro”, to use the name by which he was affectionately known throughout the Province, a memorable character, and, in his own humorous and original way, a most loyal and devoted son of the Society.

MacSheahan, John, 1885-1956, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/753
  • Person
  • 08 December 1885-30 October 1956

Born: 08 December 1885, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1917, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 30 October 1956, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 6th RI Regiment, BEF France

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 1 1957

Obituary :

Fr John MacSheahan (1887-1956)

When the death of Fr. MacSheahan was announced, a Jesuit said to me: “The Society has another martyr in heaven”. Anyone who knew him intimately, especially for the past ten or twelve years, will have no difficulty in endorsing that statement. Instinctively one thinks of him as a man enduring suffering, constant and severe, and sustaining throughout an infectious spirit of cheerfulness and trust in God. “How are you, Fr. John?” I asked him on meeting him one day in Gardiner Street. At that moment he was the wan, emaciated figure, slightly stooped, that gave you a shock if you had not seen him for a period. “How am I? Why, I'm grand! Of course you know I have lost the sight of this eye, and the hearing of this ear”, - and he indicated both, covering them for a moment with his open palm. Then the “tummy gives me no end of trouble. If only I could live without eating! And the noises go on all the time in my old head”. “You have them at this moment?” “At this moment there is a throbbing up there like an engine; it never stops, day and night. But otherwise I'm fine!!”
“Otherwise I'm fine”. That is the characteristic note. I saw him at recreation that same evening, and he laughed and joked and told stories in his own inimitable way. But who knows the heroic effort demanded daily, hourly, by this struggle extending over his whole life - for he was always a delicate man and calling for even greater courage as the end approached? This man of indomitable will I saw one day in his room and he broke down completely. His head sank into his hands and he wept freely. “It's not easy going. Life is so useless and so lonely. I wish God would take me or give me some health and relief”. But at once he gripped himself, apologised for letting me see him weeping, and by the time I was going, the familiar patient smile was back again. But the incident gave me an inkling into the depths of depression that must have often crushed and nearly overpowered him. But nobody knew,
His optimism was irrepressible. He would tell you of his confidence in Our Lady during a novena he was making in her honour as one of her feasts came on. And when there was no cure and no relief Fr. John grinned and braced himself to carry on. He was in high glee when the Eucharistic Fast was mitigated. He could now have a cup of coffee in the early morning and “I don't know myself, it's such a help saying Mass”. He was keenly appreciative of even a tiny act of thoughtfulness...a letter or a visit or a promise of prayer. He told me at considerable length and with obviously deep gratitude in his voice of a reply he had received from a Superior. He had been lamenting the fact that he was such an expense and unable to do any work. He was assured on both points. He was reminded that his sufferings, borne with such Christlike patience, were beyond doubt calling down immense blessings and graces on the Province. I know how he treasured that word.
The moment he got any respite he was all out to give himself to work. At Gardiner Street he exercised a fruitful apostolate, doing full-time as “operarius”, director of the Irish-speaking Sodality, and settling down to “figures” - the House accounts. He was ever on the watch to multiply deeds of charity, visits to the sick, letters of advice or congratulation or of sympathy. All was done unobtrusively; much remained, and remains, entirely hidden. Often on returning from some errand of mercy he would get a “black-out” and collapse in the street. Such incidents never deterred him. He would joke about them afterwards. He would tell you of the four or five different occasions upon which people thought he was dead or dying.
He enjoyed in particular describing the night when, recovering from a “black out," he began to realise he was lying in a bed, and surrounded by lighted candles, They must surely believe that this time he really is dead, and he wondered hazily if perhaps they mightn't be right! But again he came back from the tomb. The electricity had failed that night, that was all.
Fr. MacSheahan entered the Society at Tullabeg, in 1902, when he was seventeen. His tales of the sayings and doings of a renowned Fr. Socius provided many a good laugh, nor did they lose in the telling. He went to Stonyhurst for philosophy, to Clongowes, and Mungret for “colleges”, and he was ordained at Milltown Park in 1917. He was chaplain in France during World War I, was twice Rector of Galway, worked in the Church and School at the Crescent, and, in 1940, began his long association with Gardiner Street, He went to Rathfarnham in 1955, having himself suggested the change, which he found hard to make - because he recognised he was no longer equal to the work at Gardiner Street.
As chaplain he won the M.C. and a “bar” to it. When this distinction was commented on at his Jubilee, he replied that it meant little to him. The two letters he prized, the only two, after his name were |S.J.” His daily life was the most compelling proof that he spoke the truth,
He was a fluent Irish speaker and all his life an enthusiastic supporter of the language and culture. While his work in this field was characterised by that energy and zeal which he brought to every task, he would have been the last man in the world to obtrude his interest on others. He was unfailingly companionable. His charity at recreation, and at all times, if it did not win others to the Cause he had so much at heart, ensured at least that it did not alienate them from him, nor him from his brethren. Indeed this is understatement.
A truly Christlike priest, this great Jesuit, laden with the Cross, walked unflinchingly the hard road to his Calvary. Far from hardening him, his sufferings developed, rather, that exquisite charity which bears all things, hopes all things, believes all things. Like the Master he loved so ardently, Fr. MacSheahan was obedient even to the death of the Cross. He put the Cross down only when it was impossible for him to carry it any farther. He died in Dublin on 30th October, 1956. “From his childhood”, writes his sister, “John always impressed me with his innocence, simplicity, and humility”. May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John MacSheahan 1885-1956
Fr John MacSheahan was a fluent Irish speaker, and all his life he was an enthusiastic supporter of our native language and culture.

He was twice Rector of Galway. The latter part of his life was spent in Gardiner Street, where he directed the Irish Sodality. He was Chaplain in WWII, and he was awarded an MC with a bar to it. But when thus distinction was mentioned at his jubilee celebration, he remarked, that the letters he prized after his name, the only two were SJ.

The last ten years of his life he suffered heroically from all kinds of complaints, and he carried on his work in spite of handicaps. At his own request he was transferred to Rathfarnham, when he felt his usefulness in Gardiner Street was at an end.

He suffered so much at this time that he often asked God to take him home, but he bore his cross obediently and resignedly until God called him on October 30th 1956.

McKenna, William, 1921-2013, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/752
  • Person
  • 12 August 1921-02 March 2013

Born: 12 August 1921, Ballybunion / Listowel, County Kerry
Entered: 07 November 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1957, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 02 March 2013, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1970 at Southwell House, London (ANG) studying and the London School of Economics

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-liam-mckenna-dies-at-91/

Fr Liam McKenna dies at 91
Fr Liam McKenna died on 2 March in Cherryfield, having moved there from his community in Gardiner Street five days earlier. He was 91, but was alert and engaged to the very end of a full and fruitful life. Liam (as he was known in his family – Jesuits tended to call him Bill, with which he was happy) was born in Ballybunion and grew up in Listowel, though with long periods away from home as a boarder first in Kilashee, then in Clongowes, where in his last year he was captain of the school.
He had an early interest in economics, but was put on for a classics degree in UCD. It was only after several false starts that he was launched into the work which was to occupy most of his life, as a mentor of trade unionists in public speaking and in negotiation – but a mentor who was himself learning every step of the way. In a rambunctious partnership with Fr Eddy Kent he helped to found and develop the Catholic Workers College. It was not an academic setting, though the team (McKenna, Kent, Hamilton, Kearns, Des Reid, Michael Moloney) included some of the brightest in the Province, who would spend their summers upgrading their expertise in European countries.
Back in Sandford Lodge, where money was scarce, they would spend their afternoons putting out the chairs and preparing the classrooms and canteen for the evening sessions. They gradually built up a trusting relationship with the unions, and a clientele of up to 2000 adult students. Bill spent 35 years training shop stewards and foremen in the sort of speaking and listening skills that would empower them for their work in the unions, shaping their own destiny.
In the mid-1970s Bill moved to work for the Province, then for the Centre of Concern, the conference of Religious, and the Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice. He paid the penalty for heavy smoking in a serious heart attack, but lived life to the full, aware that he could drop dead at any moment. In Gardiner Street he would join in concelebrated Masses twice a day. On 24 February he acknowledged his need for full-time care, and moved to Cherryfield, after arranging daily delivery of the Financial Times.
He was alert until shortly before his peaceful death, as his curious, questing mind moved to explore the ultimate mystery of God.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 152 : Summer 2013

Obituary

Fr Bill (Liam) McKenna (1921-2013)

12 August 1921: Born in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry:
Early education in Kilashee Prep, and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1939: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1947 - 1950: Mungret College - Teacher
1950 - 1954: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31 July 1953: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham: Tertianship
1955 - 1969: College of Industrial Relations - Studied Economics / Sociology at UCD; Lectured in Sociology, Economics and Industrial Relations at CIR
2 February 1957: Final Vows
1969 - 1970: Tavistock Institute, London - Research
1970 - 1976: CIR – Lectured in Sociology, Economics and Industrial Relations
1976 - 1979: Loyola - Member of Special Secretariat
1979 - 1980: Milltown Park – “Centre of Concern' Office”, University Hall & Heythrop
1980 - 1982: Director “Centre of Concern” Office (moved to Liverpool Jan 1982)
1982 - 1984: Espinal - Secretary to Commission for Justice CMRS (Justice Desk)
1984 - 1989: Campion House - Secretary to Commission for Justice CMRS
1989 - 2005: Belvedere College
1989 - 2002: Assisting in Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice
2002 - 2003: Assistant Guestmaster
2003 - 2005: Assisted in SFX Church, Guestmaster
2005 - 2013: Gardiner Street: Assisted in SFX Church, Assistant Librarian (since 2011)

By mid-February, Bill was becoming weaker and eating very little. He was still concelebrating Mass twice daily in the church and in the house chapel. On Sunday 24" February, he agreed that he needed full time care, so he moved to Cherryfield Lodge the following day. Bill appreciated the care and was alert until very shortly before his peaceful death at 7.35pm on Saturday 2nd March.

Liam McKenna died only eleven days before the election of Pope Francis, having taken a great interest in the resignation of Pope Benedict. A Jesuit Pope would have provoked many a question from Liam and many a conversation. His mind remained lively until the very end of his long life, so his deep love of the Church and his commitment to prayer and to the Eucharist would have informed anything he might have said about having a Pope from his own Order. His breviary and missal were well used, and he had spare copies of each.

There is a photograph, taken in the mid-1920s, of Liam, as a very small boy, with his mother and his elder brother: Mrs McKenna is a slim, elegant and very well-dressed woman; Liam and Jack wear expensive clothes. The image is one of comfort and security, as might be expected from a very successful merchant family in a Kerry town, but Jack's health was so precarious that his mother sent him to Switzerland for a year; he is still in good health at 95. Liam became a Jesuit and his two sisters (who predeceased him) became Ursulines, so Jack was the only one of the four siblings to marry.

Listowel was not a town where Catholics were universally welcomed: one of Liam's sisters wanted to join the local tennis club, which was reserved for Protestants, so Mr McKenna was forced to enlist the unwilling help of the bank manager by the simple threat to move his account elsewhere. Liam's attitude to everything was influenced, and positively so, by being a younger brother all his life.
Liam (as he was known in his family - Jesuits tended to call him “Bill”, with which he was happy) was born in Ballybunion and grew up in Listowel; his Kerry roots remained very important throughout his life, despite long periods away from home as a boarder in County Kildare, first at Kilashee, and then at Clongowes, where he was captain of the school. Bill went to the noviceship at Emo just a few months after leaving school.

He had an early interest in economics, but was told that the topic was “of no use”, so he was sent for a classics degree in UCD. Bill followed the normal Jesuit formation of the period and, in a time of European war, it had to be entirely in Ireland, up to his completion of Tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1955. His formidable brain helped him to see that many aspects of Jesuit formation were outmoded, and over stylised. Bill emerged from Tertianship with a great love of the Society, a deep commitment to his priesthood and a great ability to recognise nonsense when he saw it.

Until that point, Bill's Jesuit career had been like many of his Jesuit contemporaries, until he was assigned to the Catholic Workers College in 1955. He was based there for twenty-one years. Bill had finally managed to study economics and sociology at UCD, so he lectured in sociology, economics and industrial relations. Significantly, Bill was launched into the work which was to occupy most of his life, as a mentor of trade unionists in public speaking and in negotiation - but a mentor who was interested in everything and who himself was learning every step of the way. In a rumbustious partnership with Fr Eddy Kent, he helped to found and develop the College. It was not an academic setting, though the team (Kent, Tim Hamilton, Lol Kearns, Des Reid and Michael Moloney) included some of the brightest in the Province, who would spend their summers upgrading their expertise in European countries. Back in Sandford Lodge, where money was scarce, they would spend their afternoons putting out the chairs and preparing the classrooms and canteen for the evening sessions.

They gradually built up a trusting relationship with the unions, and a clientele of up to 2000 adult students. Bill spent 35 years training shop stewards and foremen in the sort of speaking and listening skills that would empower them for their work in the unions, shaping their own destiny. The Catholic Workers College evolved into the National College of Industrial Relations and now, on a different site) is the National College of Ireland.

The three-man Special Secretariat was set up in 1972 following the McCarthy Report on Province Ministries. Liam joined it in 1976, when it was no longer quite so centered on Jesuit Province administration, leaving its members free to work elsewhere. Liam gave great help to the Holy Faith Sisters as they produced new Constitutions.

Liam's passion for social justice was based on calm analysis and passionate commitment. It was the focus of his work from 1979 until 2002, no matter where he was living, be that London, Liverpool, Gardiner Place, Hatch Street, Belvedere College or Gardiner Street. He helped set up, with Ray Helmick (New England) and Brian McClorry (Prov. Brit.), the Centre for Faith and Justice at Heythrop, then in Cavendish Square in London. The 1970s and early 1980s could fairly be described as 'strike-ridden'; in or about 1982, Liam and Dennis Chiles, Principal of Plater College, Oxford, were joint authors of a 91-page pamphlet Strikes and Social Justice: a Christian Perspective, but it may have been for private circulation.

In all those years of activity, Liam made many friends. He was especially kind to anybody who was ill, but very impatient if he detected excessive “self-absorption”. Liam's style of talk was unique, with every word well enunciated and with a regular, almost rhetorical, pause as he gathered himself to declare a supplementary opinion. Was he disappointed at never becoming superior of a Jesuit community? Being highly intelligent, he may have realised that his gifts would be wasted in such a role. Liam always admired those who did any job well; he was very proud of his niece who became a forensic scientist.

Liam gave the impression of being very serious, and he did some very serious reading, but there was a lighter side. He kept all the novels of Dick Francis; he had boxed DVD sets of every television series that starred John Thaw. Videos, DVDs and his own television entertained him when it was no longer easy for him to leave the house. Liam was the only member of the Gardiner Street community to have a small coffee bar in his room. He became a familiar figure on Dorset Street, as he walked briskly along, pushing his walking frame.

Liam paid the penalty for heavy smoking in a serious heart attack, but lived life to the full, aware that he could drop dead at any moment. In Gardiner Street be would join in concelebrated Masses twice a day (one in the church and the other in the house chapel). On 24 February 2012 he acknowledged his need for full-time care, and moved to Cherryfield Lodge, not permanently, after arranging daily delivery of the Financial Times. He was alert until shortly before his peaceful death five days later, as his curious, questing mind moved to explore the ultimate mystery of God.

Moylan, John, 1938-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/750
  • Person
  • 01 March 1938-26 November 2012

Born: 01 March 1938, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1969, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 September 1985, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Died: 26 November 2012, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying
by 1971 at Auriesville, NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1972 at St Gregory NY, USA (NEB) studying
by 1996 at Berkeley, CA, USA (CAL) studying

Fortescue, William. 1814-1888, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/749
  • Person
  • 26 June 1814-23 February 1888

Born: 26 June 1814, Killyman, County Tyrone (Armagh)
Entered: 24 April 1850, Amiens, France (FRA)
Ordained - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1866
Died 23 February 1888, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1866 at Rome Italy (ROM) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was for a short time at Clongowes.
1853-1884 He was sent as Operarius and Missioner to Gardiner Street. As a Missionary he preached in all parts of Ireland with Robert Haly and others.
1884-1888 He was sent to Galway and then to Limerick
1888 He was moved to the Mater Hospital Dublin where he died 23 February 1888, and of the Gardiner Street Community.
He was a powerful Missionary, and very strong on Hell!

Mulcahy, Timothy J, 1898-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/744
  • Person
  • 18 April 1898-21 May 1962

Born: 18 April 1898, Cork City, County Cork
Entered: 09 October 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 21 May 1962, Mungret College, Mungret, County Limerick

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

BA 1st Class at UCD

by 1923 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1933 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner St.
The community was profoundly shocked by the news received on the afternoon of Monday, May 21st, of Fr. Tim Mulcahy's sudden death at Mungret. He had given the annual Triduum for the Sick, broadcast by Radio Éireann from the Ignatian chapel, towards the end of April. It was known that recurrent pains in the head had made him consult his doctor, but x-rays and cardiograph examination did not reveal anything more than usually untoward before he went to Mungret on May 14th for the rest which he regarded as his Major Villa. But the last of his typically charming letters, posted on the 21st, had not reached its destination before the fatal thrombosis struck him. One of those letters read "I shall be back on Wednesday". But he was not to return to Gardiner Street. May he rest in peace, in the shade of the ancient Mungret Abbey, near to the remains of those monks of an earlier Ireland whose faith he held so firmly and which he did so much to spread in another age.
Earlier issues of the Province News have recorded the many material benefits which Fr. Mulcahy brought to Gardiner Street while he was Superior here. His charming charity had perhaps too often been taken for granted: but he is lovingly, sorely, missed.
The Bishop of Limerick, Most Rev. Dr. Henry Murphy, presided at the Solemn Office and Requiem Mass for Fr. Mulcahy at the Crescent, on May 23rd. The Mass was sung by Fr. Andrews, Rector, and Frs. Quigley and Guinane were deacon and sub-deacon. Fr. Visitor and Fr. Provincial were present, as well as many of the Gardiner St. community and representatives of most of the Province Houses. The boys of the Crescent walked behind the funeral procession as far as the city boundary, and those of Mungret lined the avenue and cemetery there. The prayers at the graveside at Mungret were recited by Fr. Provincial. The Gardiner St. Sodalities were represented by Mr. John Monahan, President of the Ignatian Sodality, and Mr. L. S. Ó Riordáin, Secretary, and by Mr. A. Ralph, President and five members of the Evening Office Confraternity.

The Sacred Heart College and Church, Limerick

Fr. T. I. Mulcahy, R.I.P.
The community was deeply shocked when the sad news was announced of Fr. Mulcahy's sudden death at Mungret. Everyone, not only in the Crescent community, where he had been Rector, but in the city of Limerick, seemed to look on Fr. Mulcahy as a personal friend, and only the week previously, having finished his retreat, he came in from Mungret to dine with us. Fr. Rector and the community deemed it a signal honour to have the Requiem Mass in the Crescent Church, and the many priests who attended, both from the Society itself and from outside, bore testimony to the great personality of the deceased. Very many Mass Cards, letters and messages of sympathy were sent to the Crescent, and His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin wired: “Rector, Crescent. ... Deepest sympathy on death of Fr. Mulcahy - a worthy priest”. His Lordship the Bishop of Limerick presided at the obsequies and Mgr. Moloney chanted a Lesson in the Office. Together with Very Rev. Fr. Visitor and Fr. Provincial, representatives from almost all our houses were present at the funeral, The Mass was celebrated by Fr. Rector and Frs. Quigley and Guinane were deacon and sub-deacon. Fr. Provincial officiated at the burial in the Mungret cemetery.

Obituary :

Fr Timothy I Mulcahy (1898-1962)

Born: Cork, 1898; education: C.B.S., Our Lady's Mount, Cork, and Mungret College; entered Society, Tullabeg, 1916; studied, Rathfarnham and U.C.D., 1918-1922, Louvain, 1922-1925; teaching staff, Belvedere, 1925-1928; theology, Milltown Park, 1928-1932; ordination, 1931, and tertianship, St. Beuno's, N. Wales, 1932-1933.
Stationed Irish Messenger Office, Belvedere College, 1933-1947, as National Director, Sodality of Our Lady, Editor Madonna, Irish Monthly and Irish Jesuit Directory. Rector, Sacred Heart College, Crescent, 1947 1950. Superior, St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, 1950-1957. Director, Ignatian Sodality there, 1950-1959. Rector, St. Mary's, Emo, 1959-1961. At Gardiner Street to death (at Mungret College), May 21st, 1962.
On a May afternoon in 1962, while talking to a friend in the parlour of Mungret College, Fr. Tim Mulcahy was struck by the heart-attack which he survived only long enough to receive the Last Sacraments. He had been a boy in the College fifty years before. Fifty years bring big changes and to Mungret not less than elsewhere. Fr. Tim seldom spoke of his schooldays, but through those fifty years he was a constant visitor to his old school, making his annual retreat there and when ill-health came choosing that rather out of the way spot for a brief holiday or an unavoidable rest. He kept his interest in the Past as anyone who saw him welcome successive Mungret Annuals will agree, and though away from home he died among friends who had the best of reason to be proud of a distinguished pupil.
Good noviceships have as little history as happy nations. That to which Fr. Tim came had scarcely been stirred by a ripple of the Easter Rising, known only through letters from home and the very rare newspaper cuttings read aloud by the Socius. It cannot have been difficult in the lull that followed it to forget the outside world. His “angelus” was his life long friend, Fr. Tom Perrott. It was a friendship thirty years' separation by half a world never weakened and one may be forgiven if one imagines they sometimes forgot the custom-book to rendezvous as they had often done as boys under the clock” in their well-loved Cork City, to which each in his own way was to do honour,
The abolition in 1918 of a home juniorate enabled Fr. Tim to catch up, as it were, and more than one generation were his contemporaries. In Rathfarnham Castle he quickly showed what he was always to remain - he was the perfect community man. There was a triumvirate who talked a “little language” (Fr. Tim's stage-name was “factorial five”) and brightened life by their original pranks, for he had and retained a charming playfulness. Alas, Fr. Gallagher, Fr. Little and Fr. Tim are all gone, but they lived to delight in their maturity an extraordinarily wide circle and to win and hold a unique place in the affection of the Province as well as in the hearts of the innumerable souls they helped.
Rathfarnham was already proving old; the honeymoon of Fr. Jimmie Brennan's reign almost over; and Fr. Tim's university career is perhaps chiefly memorable in that he was the last young Jesuit for over ten years to conduct the affairs of the English Society in College, which - founded a decade before by Thomas McDonagh, one of the immortal sixteen of Easter Week, and the brilliant Australian student, Fr. Peterson, happily still with us - had been almost a Jesuit pocket-borough in the days when Violet Connolly, Kate O'Brien, Fr. Paddy O'Connor and Professor Gerard Murphy starred its eager assemblies.
English was Fr. Tim's subject, and though he wrote little he put his training and critical judgment to good use later. But now it was time for Philosophy, in the great university of Louvain, still staggering from the unexpected shock of its demolition in the First World War. It was not in fact a congenial posting and some were to see its influence in deepening the natural intellectual tolerance of his mind into something like indecision in speculative studies. Happily, his “colleges” were spent in Belvedere, the house in which he passed the greatest part of his working life and which he loved and which loved him. Fr. Tim was before all things urbane in the best sense of that word. A city man, the great city school found him reserved, dignified, friendly and wise. His influence would always be the result of personality and not propaganda. Indeed he seldom urged a case, never raised his voice, rarely argued, and held clear, firm, tenacious opinions without dogmatism or contradiction. A born teacher.
Perhaps in Theology at Milltown or Tertianship at Beuno's it is pardonable for a contemporary to remember chiefly the way he sweetened the last years of formation: his conversation round a fire at Glencree, the way he and Fr. Perrott would burst into their own version of the Volga boat-song to carry a weary group up the steep, stony avenue of St. Beuno's.
His work in the Society fell into two parts. For twenty years he was editor of The Irish Monthly and The Madonna. A big school is very much a closed shop, but Belvedere was well aware of what it gained by the presence of Fr. Mulcahy and his friends and co-workers in the Messenger Office, Fr. Scantlebury and Fr. McCarthy. Though his only official contact with the school was as confessor, he became in a very real sense a Belvederian whom even Fr. John Mary O'Connor would have ranked as one hundred per cent.
His editorship of The Irish Monthly was not an altogether happy story. He had not perhaps the genius of its founder, Fr. Matt Russell, to make it a nest of singing birds, but it was in that great tradition he would have liked to work and was fitted to work. Policy in an emergent nation wanted economics, civics and social theory. He did his best but the medium was a poor one. With the sodality it was different. There, too, winds of change were blowing. A long and somewhat inactive tradition had to be re modelled in a society which greeted the “Age of Mary” with fresh enthusiasm and, incidentally, a sheaf of Marian magazines. He was the perfect uncontroversial leader, never disillusioned, never unwilling to be content with less than absolute perfection, if only he could foster genuine holiness under Mary's banner.
It seemed surprising to many who knew him well that his obvious talent and graces for government were not used earlier. But the chance came and in three full, rich years as Superior of the Crescent, in as many in the delicate task of Superior of a noviceship, and above all in a never-to be-forgotten period in Gardiner Street, he did work for God, the country and the Province only he could do.
His Gardiner Street activity will be remembered for three notable elements. He was, as may be imagined, a devoted confessor with devoted penitents. It is a role upon which he would not have tolerated any comments, His predecessor as Superior, Fr. Tyndall, had incorporated in the remarkable celebrations of the Novena of Grace a special feature by which the vast and growing congregations who assembled long before the devotions were led from the pulpit in prayers, hymn-singing and a real effort to bring to the exercises that confidence and fervour which the Novena calls for. Fr. Tyndall carried through his admirable plan so well that many feared an anti-climax when his term of office came to an end. They need not have. Fr. Tim made his own unique personal contact with those great crowds and he will be remembered by them till all the generation is gone, and his is only a legend.
For a long time there the need for a renovation of the church had been admitted, but only piecemeal work was done. Fr. Mulcahy made the Gardiner Street of today, transforming an old and, it must be admitted, rather grimy church, thickly hung with inartistic pictures and meaningless decoration, into a lightsome, joyous church which seemed to blossom into a new and fundamental beauty. To execute the task he called in Michael Scott, whom he had known in Belvedere, and his namesake and co-worker, Patrick Scott. It needed courage to approve a scheme which - apart from the few last-ditch traditionalists who loved every fold of the robes of the Indian and Chinese watchers in the painting of Francis's death-bed-might not be acceptable to the great body of loyal friends who are Gardiner Street's pride and glory. Fr. Tim did not compromise. The great panels of undecorated scarlet damask stood out from white and grey walls which some would have thought more suitable to a garden city than to the faded glories of the north side of Dublin. But they filled the house of God with light and on the side-altars were statues that could not be passed with a casual glance, and if the splendid scagliola pillars of the high altar had to be painted white it was to give its lapis-lazuli tabernacle the true focal value which its Inhabitant deserves, One could stand at the lower rail of Gardiner Street and, asked for an obituary of Fr, Tim, say “Circumspice”. He has another monument to his memory in the new St. Francis Xavier Hall in Sherrard Street, for hardly had he completed the decoration of the church when he was called on to replace Fr. Cullen's famous “Pioneer Hall”, more than worn out by its forty eight years of varied activity. Despite the ill-health which was already making itself felt, he carried the new and more solid hall through its planning and building stages, leaving only the formal opening to his successor.
But a friend cannot leave monuments to speak for Fr. Tim - and how many and how good friends he had! It is sometimes said that a man who has no enemies is a poor creature. Fr. Tim was the living proof of the falsehood of this saying. He had none. His friendship was essentially that of a giver : he asked for nothing but he concealed this, and it was easy to think and indeed perhaps true that the friends meant as much to him as he to them. He fostered friendship with a long memory and a recurrent refreshment of its precious times. Separation was a minimal interference with this intercourse, as we have seen in the case of Fr. Perrott. From Mungret on the last Easter the sick man sent a charming little letter of greeting to a Dublin lady whom he had not met in many years, and by the same post to one of the community he had just left a gay anecdote of his own special brand. It is commonplace to say no one will fill his place, but perhaps it should be added that he filled it so perfectly that he can never lose it,
A handsome tribute to Fr. Mulcahy from His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin:

Archbishop's House,
Dublin 9.
23-5-1962.

My Dear Fr. Provincial,
I am very sorry--but not surprised to learn of Fr. Mulcahy's death, May be rest in peace! He was a great priest. From the year 1941 I. knew his zeal and patience and very courteous charity. I believe that I shall have in him a strong friend before God.
With kind wishes.
I remain,
Yours very sincerely,
+John C. McQuaid

Lonergan, Cornelius, 1909-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/743
  • Person
  • 06 December 1909-18 May 1963

Born: 06 December 1909, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 18 May 1963, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

Father T. Corcoran's labours in connection with the examinations for the Higher Diploma had scarcely concluded when he had to betake himself to Holland to preside at the second International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education. The meetings of the Congress took place at the Hague each day from 31st .July to 5th August.
Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Holland, were patrons of the Congress, which was attended by some 350 delegates representing the leading Catholic countries. Among the delegates were about 45 members of the Society from lands outside Holland. Prominent among the visitors were the Provincial of the Paris Province, with various Rectors and Prefects of Studies from our French Colleges. Père Yoes de la Brière, the Rectors of Brussels, Namur, Liege and other Belgian Colleges, Fathers Errandonea, Herrera and others from Spain,the French Oratorian Sabatier and various distinguished lay-men from Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Pacelli, in the name of the Holy Father, sent a long and cordial telegram of good wishes to the Congress , also the Nuncio Apostolic in Holland, who was prevented by serious illness from attending in person.
In the absence of the Nuncio the final allocution was delivered by the Bishop of Haarlem, after the Rector Magnificus of the University of Nijmegen and Father Corcoran, as President of the Congress had already spoken. Mr. J. O'Meara from Louvain Messrs. B. Lawler and C. Lonergan from Valkenburg acted as assistants to Father Corcoran at the Hague.
A splendid paper on “The Present Condition of Secondary Education in Ireland” was read by Dr. John McQuaid, the President of Blackrock College. All accounts agree in stating that the Congress was a brilliant success.
As the proceedings at the Hague coincided with the Biennial Conference of the World Federation of Education Associations, Father Corcoran was unable to be present at the functions in Dublin, but an important paper from his pen was read by Mrs McCarville, Lecturer in English in University College, Dublin. This paper expounded the Catholic philosophy of Education.

Irish Province News 38th Year No 3 1963

Obituary :

Fr Cornelius Lonergan SJ

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.
Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st September, 1927, In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning he served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of The Irish Messenger, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was' Fr. Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology; there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Fr. Con and Fr. Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park. One of his Milltown professors later commented on Fr. Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.
The Status of 1940 appointed Fr, Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.
Never was there a more conscientious professor than Fr. Con Lonergan, He read copiously and continuously. He was for ever revising and improv ing his course, subjecting his doctrine to relentless scrutiny, modifying it in the light of maturer thought, changing his presentation of it as a result of his teaching experiences. His lectures never became stereotyped. There were always new insights to be communicated, new difficulties to be examined and resolved, new efforts to achieve maximum precision and clarity. His class sometimes found it difficult to grasp the new point of view, and it was always necessary to be on the alert. But when the professor was approached in private for elucidation, he was affable and enlightening. As a examiner he was kindness itself.
On the retirement of Fr. John Casey in 1954, Fr. Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation, though it was not always easy to obtain access to him. Quite frequently the warning “flag” on his doorknob reminded callers of that indifferent health and weakness of constitution which required a daily period of rest and sometimes laid Con low for days on end. He succumbed easily to colds and flu, and having had one bout of T.B., wisely took pains to avoid a repetition of it.
This lack of robust health did not, however, materially interfere with his work as professor, spiritual Father, and holder of many minor offices as well. Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he appeared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them; the letter of Mother M. White, printed below, is typical of many testimonies, oral and written, made even during his lifetime. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memorable: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Fr. Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extra ordinary confessor to the novices.
As a personality, Fr. Con was gentle and kindly almost to a fault, as the saying is. The fault in this case may have been a certain lack of drive and assertiveness which, in a man of his unusual ability, might have achieved quite exceptional results, say in writing, lecturing and research. But who knows? More “dynamism” (to use a word which often made Con smile) might have negatived the great good he undoubtedly achieved by gentler methods. He was a man of wide and truly humane culture interested and well-informed in literature, music, history, films and sport. One rejoiced to be near him at recreation or at dinner on talk-days. His conversation was sometimes fascinating, often witty; for he had a keen perception of the humorous in sayings, situations and characters. And he had a surprising store of excellent stories, though never one with a barb. But these gifts, as a rule, only appeared when he conversed with one or two. In a large group, he was pleasant, an interested listener, but somewhat self-effacing. Though he never obtruded himself, he was liked by all who got to know him. He was sensitive, but far too reasonable to allow his sensitivity to get the better of him. He was not the athletic type, but, as already mentioned, he played a resolute, well-studied game of golf. During the summer before he entered the Noviceship. Con and toured Ireland on a motor-bike. This mode of travel always attracted him; when about 1950 the professorial staff of Tullabeg acquired a rather powerful motor-cycle-and-sidecar, Con was one of the few people who could really master this formidable machine.
Fr. Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathbed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.
To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. To one of his former colleagues he spoke jokingly about calling on the resources of Theodicy to enable him to face the end. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death. He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”. Whether he consciously adverted to it or not, Fr. Con Lonergan, it would seem, did in fact observe the Rule of the Summary which reads: “As in the whole of life so also and much more in death, let each of the Society make it his effort and care that God, Our Lord, be glorified in him and those around be edified....”

20 Upper Gardiner Street,
Dublin 1.
Letter of Mother M. White, Sacred Heart Convent, Mount Anville, to Fr. Provincial :
Dear Father,
Allow me to offer you the very sincere sympathy of the community on the loss of Fr. Lonergan, R.I.P. - and please count on much earnest prayer from us for the repose of his soul. The news of his death came as a shock to us as we did not know of his illness, and we realise that he must be a great loss to you.
Father gave us an outstanding retreat here in 1958 under very trying conditions (during the re-roofing of the house). Many graces were given to souls through him and since then we always considered him as one of our “special” Jesuit friends.
You have had great losses in the Province this year, but I expect the price must be paid for the wonderful apostolic work being down by the Fathers and Brothers.
With sincere sympathy and begging your blessing,
I am, dear Father, yours respectfully in Christ,
M. White, R.S.C. 22nd May, 1963.

Letter to Fr. Provincial from Fr. Geoffrey Crawfurd, parish priest of Holy Family Church, 226, Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Bucks :

Dear Father O'Connor,
I needn't tell you how shocked and sad we all were here in Langley to hear of poor Fr. Lonergan's death last Saturday. (I saw it in the Irish Press.) As you know he had come here every summer for the past four years and we were all looking forward to welcoming him here again this year. He really endeared himself to my parishioners by his kindness and obvious priestly goodness. Although we only heard the news yesterday evening I have already had a number of requests for Masses for his soul.
We shall all miss Fr. Con more than I can say. May I offer my deep sympathy to you and the Province. Please pray for me.
Yours in caritate J.C.,
Geoffrey Crawfurd

Kelly, Michael, 1892-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/742
  • Person
  • 14 November 1892-19 January 1964

Born: 14 November 1892, Talbotstown, Kiltegan, County Wicklow
Entered: 05 October 1911, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 2 February 1929. Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 19 January 1964, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Studied for BA at UCD

by 1918 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1928 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 2 1964

Obituary :

Fr Michael Kelly SJ

Father Michael Kelly came as a small boy to Clongowes and left it in 1911 an undisputed leader and the most popular boy in the school. A good worker of average ability he had athletic gifts which transcended limitations of physique and made him an excellent Rugby centre three quarter and a fine attacking batsman. A new boy in his last year worshipped him from afar and has for fifty years esteemed a characteristic memory of him. He is returning to the pavilion with “134 not out” to his credit. Beside him marches Bill Dundon, head erect and rightly proud of his 60. Father Michael's bat trails, he is only up to his companion's shoulder and his head is a little bent and his eyes on the ground. This score still stands as the record for a Clongowes boy in an out-match, Three years later there was another glimpse: this time of a Jesuit Scholastic in procession to the High Mass which celebrated the centenary of Clongowes.
There followed a degree in history and after three years philosophy, he returned to Clongowes, surprisingly enough, not as a prefect but as a teacher of history when history was being made in Ireland. Again it was to Clongowes he came after his priestly studies. This time as Higher Line Prefect and then as priest-prefect of the Third Line-something of an innovation and certainly a successful one. Already the ill health which was to cause him so much suffering-patiently even heroically borne through all the years to come—was a serious menace. After a second period as Higher Line Prefect the doctors intervened and he took up that dull and obscure office of Prefect of the Big Study. He must have felt the change but he never showed it. There is a special bond between a Prefect of Studies and a Study Prefect and the man who had the blessing of Father Kelly's advice and help and sympathy for the next three years is not likely to forget the generosity and self-effacement Father Kelly showed. In 1936 he was made Minister - a position he occupied for the then unprecedented period of ten years. They included the war years, with exceptional problems of fuel and transport and food, with which Father Minister coped so effectively that there were no serious hardships. Special crises, indeed, there were a foot and mouth epidemic that called for a difficult isolation policy; the worst series of epidemics the school had in recent years. With such affairs Father Kelly dealt with an energy and resource that often deceived people as to their magnitude.
Peace had come and after an unequalled and unbroken record of service to a school that he loved with fervour but without fanaticism, he was called on to start an entirely new life. For almost twenty years he gave to Gardiner Street Church and its people an equally unstinting service-a service which included the direction of one of the great Sodalities, charge of the Boys' Club as well as countless hours of unrecorded but invaluable advice in the confessional and the parlour.
A Jesuit who knew him well described as his outstanding quality loyalty in the very best sense of the word. As a boy Father Michael had Father T. V. Nolan as his Rector, Father John Sullivan as Spiritual Father, and Father George Roche as Higher Line Prefect. For them all and especially for the last named he had a deep and lasting respect and gratitude. For Father Kelly was one of the many boys who owed their vocation under God, in part at least, to the bed time visits which the Higher Line Prefect regularly made to the senior boys. At Father Roche's jubilee celebrations he told of the deep and lasting impression made on him by a few words on the true order of priorities spoken on a night many years before to a boy flushed with joy in a big athletic success in which his share had been notable. His was the sort of loyalty which strove to repay in kind what he himself had received. His school friends Jimmy Gaynor, Tom Finlay and Tom Duggan had meant and continued to mean, alive or dead, very much to him. To generations of boys at school and of men and women in the parish, he gave his help with a warm confidence that not even his extreme modesty could curtail and which his utter lack of ambition made the more acceptable. He might well have become vain in the days of his prowess on the playing field, but he was to the end almost distressingly modest. Immensely popular, he certainly never courted popularity and scarcely seemed to know the esteem in which he was held. Yet few Jesuits have won so many grateful and enduring friends and he made no enemies. This was partly the result of his unfailing courtesy and gentleness. “A fine gentleman” as one of his subalterns described him in his last days. Perhaps still more it was a refusal on the part of a really sensible man to allow opposition or misunderstanding to embitter him. The success of others meant far more to him than any achievement of his own. But with all his tolerance and sympathy he was a man of unbending principle and, when it was necessary, of firm action, An unequalled judge of character, he did not conceive of rule or influence by fear or bluff or deceit, and in practice almost invariably got the best out of those for whom he worked.
That such a man should have borne the very severe pain of a long final illness heroically is not surprising; that to the end he could reward the affection and gratitude of those he had befriended with unfailing humility and tenderness, must be their consolation, Father Kelly was indeed a Christ-like man and in the extreme of suffering like Christ his thought was for others. To his much loved family we offer our sincere condolences.

Devine, Charles, 1896-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/740
  • Person
  • 02 August 1896-12 September 1964

Born: 02 August 1896, Dublin / Drogheda, County Louth
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly - HIB for Siculiae Province (SIC)
Ordained: 31 July 1925, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1932
Died: 12 September 1964, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Transcribed SIC to HIB 1955 by Provincial Father M O'Grady

by 1927 came to Tullabeg (HIB) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946
FROM OTHER PROVINCES :
Malta. (through Fr. Clarke) :
Fr. Devine had an operation for hernia. He hopes to leave Malta in August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Fr. Charles Devine, a member of the Sicilian Province, who has spent over twenty years in Malta, arrived in Dublin in August.

Irish Province News 40th Year No 1 1965

Obituary :

Fr Charles Devine SJ (1896-1964)

Fr. Devine had just completed fifty years in the Society when he died in the Mater Hospital on 12th September. He had been there since the previous November, almost all the time confined to bed. Fr. Charles was born in Drogheda on 2nd August, 1896. He went to the Apostolic School, Mungret, in 1909, and from there to the noviceship in 1914. His noviceship was in Tullabeg, but he had entered for the Sicilian Province. As a boy he had been quiet, studious, serious, taking little part in games at Mungret. A few times he appeared on the stage, in non-speaking parts. In Tullabeg he was gentle, unobtrusive, contented, and used his free time industriously. He set himself the task of getting through the four or five large volumes of a work called The Catechism of Perseverence by Gaume, and completed it in the two years. Afterwards he enjoyed references to Gaume. Part of his time was claimed also by Fr. C. Mulcahy for choir practices as organist. He also played the piano well and accompanied at concerts. In a verse of a topical song, Fr. W. Long, a Maltese Tertian of the English Province, referring to some musical feat in which Charles had a part, finished by saying: “In fact it was devine”. Then and later, Charles would humorously quote A Kempis : “It is not hard to despise human comfort when we have devine”. During philosophy in Milltown also, Charles played the organ for the choir.
He, with eight or nine other Irish scholastics, began philosophy in Stonyhurst, but in the middle of the years 1917-18 they were called back to Ireland, and with a group from Jersey, continued their philosophy at Milltown.
For many years after philosophy the Irish Province saw little of Charles. His work was chiefly in Malta, teaching at St. Aloysius. College. For a short time he was at Palermo. He worked for some time in parishes in Preston and Worcester. Though his health by this time had become rather poor, he led a very busy life in the parishes, and had happy memories of these two places where he made many friends. From 1956 for five years, he was in the Crescent on the church staff, and directed the Bona Mors Arch confraternity and the Apostleship of Prayer, giving the monthly Holy Hour. He prepared very diligently for all his sermons. He left a great number of fully written sermons and much other writing. He wrote well and gracefully and with serious intent.
After a short stay in Manresa, Fr. Devine joined Gardiner Street community. He was not given long for work at the church. A minor stroke incapacitated his limbs, but left him full use of speech, hearing, and mental faculties, so that he could converse and read and keep in touch with life and with friends, and could also give an example of courage in bearing a very tedious illness.
He was able to be present at Fr. Maurice Dowling's jubilee celebration on 31st August, at Gardiner Street. He was brought into the refectory in a wheelchair and made a short and happy speech. A few days later an operation became necessary, which he did not survive. On 14th September he was buried in Glasnevin. Three of his fellow-novices, Frs. Tyndall, Paye and Quigley, officiated at the Solemn Requiem Mass in Gardiner Street. R.I.P.

Byrne, Patrick J, 1908-1968, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/738
  • Person
  • 26 January 1908-13 March 1968

Born: 26 January 1908, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1938, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg aan de Geul, Holland
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 March 1968, Jervis Street Hospital, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Tommy Byrne - RIP 1978

by 1936 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 43rd Year No 3 1968

Gardiner Street
The even tenor of our ways was rudely disrupted by the 'tragic death of Fr. Paddy Byrne in a road accident on the night of 12th March. A note on the circumstances of the occurrence, based on the horarium made out by Fr. B. O'Neill, a witness and almost a fellow-victim, is appended to the obituary account.
The remains were removed from Jervis Street Hospital on Thursday evening at 5.15. It was a moving and unique tribute to him from his old friends the Civic Guards of whose sodality he had been director. All the traffic lights in O'Connell Street were turned off (at the peak hour), the Guards on duty stood to attention as the cortege passed and saluted, all along the route to Gardiner Street. As someone remarked, it was a pity Fr. Paddy was not alive to see it.
The funeral took place on Friday morning after Office and Mass at eleven o'clock, to Glasnevin Cemetery. His brother Fr. Tom sang the Mass, with Fr. Superior as deacon and Fr. O'Neill as sub-deacon. Very Rev. Fr. Provincial presided. The Bishop of Nara, an old friend of the family, attended. The church was packed to overflowing. There was a very good representation of his old friends from Clongowes, from the Army, the Guards and, of course, all his clientele from his well-known box in the corridor. His death leaves a big gap in our midst in Gardiner Street for he was a great community man. A more detailed appreciation on him will be found in the Obituary notices.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Byrne SJ (1908-1968)

Fr. Patrick Byrne was born in Dun Laoghaire (then Kingstown) on 26th January 1908. He was educated at O'Connell School, North Richmond Street, Dublin, and always maintained an affectionate loyalty to the Irish Christian Brothers. Paddy, along with his elder brother, Tommy, was an altar-server at Gardiner Street : thus his acquaintance with old vintage of Jesuit preachers eloquent orators who captivated the Dubliners of earlier generations went back very far and he could list their names for the edification of his own contemporaries. When Tommy had just completed his noviceship, Paddy entered the Society at Tullabeg.
After three years of juniorate in Rathfarnham and two years of philosophy at Tullabeg, he went to Mungret as a teacher for three years. He taught mathematics mainly, but also took some classes for Geography, Latin and other subjects. In 1935 he began Theology at the German house of studies, Ignatiuskolleg, Valkenburg, Holland, where he was ordained. He was one of the first group of tertians at Rathfarnham, the outbreak of war had occasioned the policy of having tertianship in Ireland instead of at St. Beuno's, Wales.
In 1940 Fr. Byrne returned to the colleges and served as an unremitting teacher of Mathematics at Mungret for two years and at Clongowes for twenty. In 1962 he was transferred to Gardiner Street, where he remained until he was accidentally killed at the end of the Novena of Grace this year.

• The following paragraphs give a memoir-sketch from the pen of a colleague.
Was it Chesterton who remarked that we, rational animals, make a fetish of consistency, whereas of all the animals we are inconsis tently the most inconsistent? That was true of Fr. Paddy Byrne known affectionately as “Patch” among his closer friends in the Society. He was a strong personality, a character, but a personality revealing on closer examination traits running counter to each other in a very human inconsistency.
Outwardly he was a rugged individualist, cynical, tough, hard boiled. Inwardly, deep down, he was of softer fibre, one might even say, over emotional. He had an intense love of the Society, especially Gardiner Street, and all that appertained to it, where in his early days he was an altar server. He had his heroes from those days, Fr. Bury, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Kirwan. No one could now come up to their standards nor equal their achievements. Clongowes also had a niche in his heart; Clongowes where he spent upwards of twenty years teaching and looking after the grounds. Yet he could be fiercely critical of individual Jesuits, if in his opinion, they had let down the Society. Careerists and exhibitionists were anathema to him. His criterion of a good Jesuit was one who did a good day's work and work for him meant primarily work in the classroom. At the same time, he, himself, in the opinion of many was no great advertisement for the same Society, mainly owing to his manner of speech and carelessness about his personal appearance. This latter external fault sprang from his excessive love of poverty which often degenerated into love of economy. He could not stand anything that smacked of waste or extravagance among Ours : “Pouring the people's money down the drain” was his way of describing this. He took pride in the fact that the ordinary coat he wore in the house was over twenty year's old, a cast-off of Br. Corcoran's rescued at Clongowes. At the same time no priest could look more impressive than himself with his height and commanding presence when dressed and smartened up for an occasion, and his speech was always impeccable in his public utterances.
Though outwardly rugged in manner and facetiously cynical in his conversation - that exterior was his defence mechanism. It concealed a heart, tender (I do not exaggerate) to the point of pain. For his mother, whose photograph always held a place of honour in his room, he had a love and reverence that amounted almost to adoration. Her opinions and sayings he often quoted as oracular. For Mary, the Mother of God, he had such a tender devotion that he found it difficult to recite her litany in public without being moved and his voice breaking. This same emotional susceptibility appeared in his confessional work and in the parlour when on “domi”. The sad cases, the tragic stories all took their toll of him. He identified himself with his client, was never niggard of his time or sympathy. He had a special grá for defenceless widows and lonely spinsters, living on meagre pensions and apt victims of red tape and tricksters. During the few years he spent in Gardiner Street he endeared himself to the old women of the neighbourhood. Some saw in him a great resemblance to Spencer Tracy, the actor, others were reminded of the good Pope John. An old bicycle was his means of propulsion up to hospitals and off to remote side streets on errands of mercy and friendly interest. “I was rebuilding my house, Father”, one of his friends reminisced, “he'd often drop by and examine progress and make sure the contractors weren't cheating me”. Talking of his bicycle, an institution in Gardiner Street, his favourite pastime, apart from golf, was to go down to the docks on his warhorse and sit on the wharfs reading his office and chatting to the dockers. He had the human touch in excelsis : nil humanum illi alienum.
He used to say that his long years of teaching in Clongowes had unfitted him for church work. The fact of the matter is, the comparatively few years he spent in Gardiner Street brought out the basic pastoral traits in him. He was diffident of himself in his public appearances, yet his sermons and addresses to the various sodalities he directed in his time, were always meaty and genuinely appreciated by his audiences. His big appearance and naturally slow delivery lent weight and authority to his utterances. This was only to be expected, for he was of very high intellectual ability.
His years in the juniorate and University College, Dublin, were devoted to science and mathematics, during which period he had charge of the now-defunct seismograph. His regency was spent in Mungret. He was more at home in theology than in philosophy, both moral and dogma, in which disciplines he was at once clear, accurate and reliable. At the same time he took pride in his knowledge of farming. I suspect his secret ambition as a Jesuit was to be put in charge of a farm. His criticism of procurators of our farms was scathing, with perhaps one exception. He was adept with his hands with mechanical devices and electrical gadgets : his elaborate electrical invention for lighting cigarettes was a great source of amusement to his friends. His room was full of clocks he was mending for his clientele in the church. He was a fund of esoteric information on all subjects ranging from good recipes for the kitchen to cures for varicose veins.
His intellectual powers, however, were marred by two faults. Firstly he was never able to convey his ideas clearly to an audience. This was sometimes manifest in his teaching, in his relations with superiors, in social intercourse. He was inarticulate, spoke in unfinished sentences and gestures, with resultant impatience when the listener failed to understand. So he gave the impression of being supremely intolerant of fools. Paradoxically enough, he was master of the telling phrase, the quip, some of which will go down in history. Secondly, his intellect was impeded by deep prejudices. His years in Valkenburg imbued him with a horror of Nazism which coloured a great deal of his political thought. He blamed all the world's troubles on clumsy American diplomacy. It was futile to argue with him on matters Irish. As for innovations in the liturgy, he had no time for them. He had witnessed the beginning of this movement in Germany long before Vatican II and was not impressed. Indeed he never tired of hearing the story repeated of the old woman who asked her confessor, “Father, is it a mortal sin not to join in the shoutin' at Mass?” To many generations of Clongownians he was known as “The Genius”. Perhaps with the schoolboys unerring instinct to pinpoint a basic trait, they were right. He was a genius but cursed by an inability to express himself clearly, because from his early days he never disciplined that genius by writing. Whenever he did so (and it was torture) as in his sermons and addresses, he was precise and telling. He was a man of strong opinions with a weltanschauung, as he used to call it, which often enough gave rise to weltschmerz.
Yes, he was a character and his tragic passing creates a gap in Gardiner Street not easily filled. He will be missed too, by many young Jesuit priests of the Province to whom he was guide, friend and counsellor during their college days, Ours don't usually cry over the death of Ours but there were many who were not ashamed to drop a tear over “Patch”. Of the contradictory traits which went to make him what he was, his qualities of heart, sympathy and understanding, were basic and permeating. A man who succeeded in his time in winning the affection of his fellow Jesuits, in worming himself into the hearts of the people of Gardiner Street, was certainly of solid worth in that which is, after all is said and done, the essential, love of one's fellow men and he went before his master full of good works and fortified with the rites of the Church he loved and served so well. He loved a joke and I'm sure he'll give a wry smile as I suggest this epitaph-a parody of a phrase famous in rugby circles : “He went over the line, festooned with souls”. May he rest in peace.

12th March 1968 : Fr. Patrick Byrne, being on “domi” duty, was constantly called to the parlour during the afternoon and evening, He helped Fr. O'Neill in sorting out the Mass stipends and Br. Davis in counting the Novena of Grace offerings. He assisted in giving Holy Communion at the evening Mass. He presided over his St. Vincent de Paul Confreence meeting. Coming from a final parlour interview and confession at 11 p.m., he had a late supper in the refectory and went out with Fr. O'Neill for a breath of fresh air at the end of a tiring day. As they were crossing an apparently deserted street at the corner of Mountjoy Square, a van suddenly swept towards them at high speed. Fr. O'Neill saw the van, uttered a warning and jumped forward to the kerb, thinking that they were evading the danger together, but - “I heard a tremendous thud or impact and saw Fr. Paddy tossed into the air, turning over and landing on the pavement with a horrifying bump. I ran to him, called him by name, got some reaction and immediately absolved”. He had been struck on the head and must be on the verge of death. Fr. MacAmhlaoibh brought the oils from nearby Gardiner Street and gave the last anointing on the way by ambulance to Jervis Street Hospital. The medical and nursing staff made a supreme effort to save Fr, Byrne's life, until soon after midnight he was pronounced dead.

Maguire, Rory, 1913-1971, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/726
  • Person
  • 19 January 1913-23 February 1971

Born: 19 January 1913, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 16 November 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 23 February 1971, Cahir, County Tipperary

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

by 1960 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ (CAL) working
by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working

Died in a car accident.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Rory Maguire S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Rory Maguire, S.J., formerly of Wah Yan Colleges, Hong Kong and Kowloon, was killed in a road accident in Ireland on 23 February 1971, aged 58.

Father Maguire came to Hong Kong in 1947. His whole time here was devoted to education. He was principal of the afternoon school in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and later was prefect of studies in Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

During much of his time in Hong Kong he suffered grievously from an intractable slipped disc. Ultimately he had to go to Arizona, where the extreme dryness of the climate helped him to a partial recovery. After a period there he was able to return to Ireland, but there was no prospect of his being able to stand up to Hong Kong humidity.

Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul will be celebrated at 6pm, today, Friday, 5 March, in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 March 1971

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 46th Year No 3 1971

Obituary :

Fr Rory Maguire SJ (1913-1971)

Sudden death always leaves a sense of shock; sudden and violent death leaves one numb. When the news of Fr Rory Maguire's death in a car crash reached us on Tuesday, February 23rd, those of us who knew Fr Rory well were overwhelmed. He had left Dublin that day with Wilfrid Chan, SJ, to go to Cork. Near Cahir, about 2.30 p.m., the fatal accident occurred. Fr Rory was killed instantly and Wilfrid Chan was seriously injured. Fr Knight, CSSp, of Rockwell College, and Mr Carey of Cahir Vocational School, the occupants of the other car, were both injured but are now well on the road to recovery. Wilfrid Chan, after a long and painful time in St. Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park, is now back in Milltown Park and making satisfactory progress.
On Wednesday evening, February 24th, Fr Rory's remains were brought from Cashel Hospital to Gardiner Street Church. Those who travelled with the funeral will long remember the immense crowd awaiting the arrival at Gardiner Street - a tribute from so many people to one who during his life as a priest had been a sincere friend and unfailing helper to countless people in all walks of life. That tribute was repeated on Thursday morning in a packed Gardiner Street at concelebrated Mass. At Glasnevin he was laid to rest and one felt that each person at that graveside mourned for a personal loss. In his lifetime as a Jesuit he had endeared himself to all with whom he came in contact,
Fr Rory's life as a priest was lived in three continents. His early years, since he joined the Society in 1931, were all spent in Ireland. Those early years of study were not easy for him, but he applied himself to them with that spirit of duty and devotedness that were to be so characteristic of all his work in later years. After ordination in 1945 and tertianship in 1946-47, he went to Hong Kong. Those who worked with him on the mission during the long years he spent in the Far East, bear the highest tribute to his zeal and energy as a missioner, the impact he made on all he met and, above all, his tremendous influence on the boys he taught and guided for so many years in Wah Yan College.
It was in China that he contracted that back illness that was to stay with him until the end of his life and cause him so much suffering. After a disc operation in Hong Kong, he returned to Ireland and the next few years were spent in and out of hospital and always pain and discomfort. Yet, through all this, Fr Rory was always looking for something to do in the way of an apostolate. And in all those efforts the man, who was also the priest, shone out. No one, not even his closest friends, will ever know the work he did for people in those days.
On medical advice, he went to Arizona, to the Jesuit house in Phoenix and his next few years were spent there doing church work and teaching religion. After the years in Arizona, with little by way of improvement to his health, he returned to Ireland and joined the church staff in the Crescent, Limerick. The same devotion to duty, the same concern for people characterised his work there and his box in the church was a popular one. 1970 saw him transfer to Tullabeg and the mission staff. He was happy in this work as it gave him many opportunities to work.
His sympathy and his understanding, his unfailing good humour and his obvious sincerity won him many friends all over Ireland and England during his short time on the mission staff. A heart attack during the last year before his death forced him to retire from the too heavy work of travelling and preaching missions and he joined the Retreat House staff in Rathfarnham. This was his last appointment and in the short time he was to spend at this work he gave the same zeal, enthusiasm and effort. His life might be summed up in words written of another great Jesuit : “He was at home with all kinds of people and in many different worlds - this was part of his greatness - but his own personal world had at its centre that priestly and religious dedication to which he was heroically true to the end”. May he rest in peace and to his family, four brothers and one sister, deepest sympathy from all who were privileged to have known Fr Rory.

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.

Finegan, Francis J, 1909-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/717
  • Person
  • 18 February 1909-07 March 2011

Born: 18 February 1909, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland / Castleblaney, County Monaghan
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1945, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 07 March 2011, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Early education at St Macartan's College, Monaghan
Tertianship at Rathfarnham

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi, India (RAN) teaching
by 1976 at Nantua, Ain, France (GAL) working
by 1979 at Belley, France (GAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fin-again/

The country, the Society of Jesus, the Irish Province and the Gardiner Street community combined beautifully and joyously to celebrate the first Irish Jesuit to reach the venerable
age of one hundred years. Forty Jesuits gathered on 18 February to toast Proinsias O Fionnagain, our “great gift of grace”, as Derek Cassidy, Superior of the Gardiner Street community, said in his warm, welcoming words. What were the messages and gifts? Read more: President Mary McAleese sent a moving letter and a cheque which topped €2500. From Derek Cassidy a card for one hundred Masses. Fr Provincial read a letter from Fr General who mentioned, among many compliments and accomplishments, the fact that Frank’s piano playing has not led to arthritic fingers. John Dardis also read from a poem composed by Fr Tom McMahon before he died, for this special milestone in Frank’s life and the life of the Province. Then the man himself spoke: in Engliish, Irish, French and Latin we heard lovely lines from St Paul and Cardinal Newman. The emotions must have been bubbling away inside, but the voice, apart from a faltering pause, was clear and strong. Then a lovely surprise: Mrs Bridie Ashe and her staff (who pulled out all the stops with the balloons, banners and photos all over the house of Frank wearing the Lord Mayor’s chain of office) presented a beautiful sculpture of St Ignatius, brought from Spain.
The beginning was memorable. All forty diners were upstanding when Frank made his entrance, led by Tom Phelan playing the bagpipes. Tears were wiped from eyes as the musical melody harmonised the room, and Frank took his place between Derek Cassidy and John Dardis, and opposite his nephew who had flown in from Berlin for the party. Next month there will be another celebration for family. Finegan, fin, the end, is again and again and fin-again!

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/our-first-centenarian-an-t-athair-o-fionnagain/

Our first centenarian, An t-Athair Ó Fionnagáin
Wednesday 18 February sees a unique birthday. For the first time an Irish Jesuit has turned a hundred. In the face of Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin you see a man prone to gratitude, with a wardrobe full of memories: of a Spartan early life in Monaghan during World War I; of noviciate in Tullabeg – Frank is the last survivor of that house. He was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes; and of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian, and by his researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins. In 1975, as he qualified for the old age pension, he volunteered for the French mission, and dressed in beret and clergyman served two under- priested areas, Nantua and Belley, for seven years before returning to research and the Irish Mass in Gardiner Street. We thank God, as Frank himself does, for the blessings of his first hundred years.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuit-who-taught-saint-101/

Jesuit who taught saint turns 101
The Jesuit priest who taught Saint Alberto Hurtado English, Fr Frank Finnigan SJ, celebrated his 101st birthday on Thursday 18 February. He is the first Irish Jesuit to live to
such an age. As well as receiving the birthday wishes of his fellow Jesuits in the Gardiner St Community, he also got a congratulatory telegram and cheque from President McAleese. Fr Finnegan’s student Alberto Hurtado was a Chilean Jesuit who died in 1952 and was canonised on 23 October 2005. After joining the Jesuits he came to Ireland and stayed with the Jesuits in Rathfarnham where Fr Finnigan taught him. Fr Finnegan is a fluent Irish speaker. Also, he was a teacher of classics in Crescent, Galway and Clongowes, and a teacher of philosophy in Ranchi, India. He is a writer, pianist, historian, archivist and librarian. His researches contributed heavily to the beatification of Dominic Collins.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/oldest-ever-irish-jesuit-goes-to-god/

Oldest-ever Irish Jesuit goes to God
Yesterday, 7 March, Fr Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully in his room in Gardiner Street. Last month he had been touched and delighted to receive a message from President
McAleese, congratulating him on his 102nd birthday. He was the first and only Irish Jesuit to reach 100, and up to recently he thought nothing of walking across the city from Drumcondra to Milltown. In the last few days he had been rising later in the morning. On Sunday he celebrated a public Mass in Irish in Gardiner Street church. Then his strength faded rapidly, and yesterday he went to the Lord peacefully in his own bedroom. While he is remembered by many Irishmen as a teacher of Greek and Latin, he had also given years of his life as a missionary in India and a Curé in France. May he rest in peace.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011

Obituary

Fr Prionsias Ó Fionnagáin (1909-2011)

18th February1909: Born in Glasgow (Nationality: Irish)
Early education at Castleblaney Boys' School and St. Macartan's Seminary
1st September 1927: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
2nd September 1929: First Vows at Tullabeg
1929 - 1932: Rathfarnham - Studied Classics at UCD
1932 - 1935: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1935 - 1937: Mungret College - Teacher
1937 - 1938: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1938 - 1942: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1941: Ordained at Milltown Park
1942 - 1943: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1943 - 1952: Crescent College, Limerick – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
2nd February 1945: Final Vows
1952 - 1954: Clongowes – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1954 - 1957: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, India - Teaching Philosophy
1957 - 1961: Crescent College – Teacher (Latin and Greek)
1961 - 1973: Leeson Street
1961 - 1973: Writer; Librarian
1962 - 1966: Assistant Eitor of Studies
1973 - 1974: Province Archivist
1974 - 1981: France - Curate in Parishes Nantua and Belley
1981 - 2011: SFX Gardiner Street - Work included assisting in the church; Writer; Librarian; House Historian and, in recent years, Aifreann an Phobail
7th March 2011: Died at Gardiner St

Fr Ó Fionnagáin was delighted to receive a message of congratulation from Her Excellency, President Mary McAleese, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday on February 18th last. In subsequent days he became noticeably weaker and tended to celebrate his Mass later in the day than usual. However this did not prevent him from preparing his sermon and celebrating the Sunday Mass as Gaeilge on the day before he died peacefully in his room.

Obituary by Barney McGuckian
Father Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin died peacefully, aged 102, in his room at St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, on the morning of March 7th, 2011. No other Irish Jesuit had ever reached such a venerable age. In command of all his faculties right up to the end, he had celebrated Aifreann an Phobail the previous morning and preached as Gaeilge as he had been doing for several years. In the last month of his life he was still capable of a full genuflection before the Blessed Sacrament each time he entered and left the omestic Chapel.

Of Monaghan Finegan (the one “n” was significant) farming stock, of which he was intensely proud, he was born in Glasgow on 18th February, 1909 but was taken to Ireland in early infancy. As an alert five-and-a-half year old, he remembered the start of the First World War. He was aware that the "big men were going out to fight”. His First Communion, a couple of years later, took the form of Holy Viaticum, as he was not expected to survive the night! He recalled distinctly his father telling him that the War was over, After early education in Castleblayney he became a boarder at St Macartan's Diocesan College. A thorough grounding in Greek, Latin and Irish would later stand him in good stead when he joined the Society at Tullabeg in 1927. A recurrent theme in his later conversation was the reasoning behind his appointment to teach in the Crescent, Limerick. The late Jimmy McPolin, a Crescent student and nephew of the Socius, John Coyne, could benefit from a good course in Classics! He used his knowledge of Irish to good effect through the years, celebrating Mass frequently through Irish after Vatican II authorised the use of the vernacular in Liturgy. He also published in Irish a number of monographs and biographies based on his assiduous research into Jesuit and Irish Church History. Although there is no evidence of his ever having concelebrated Mass himself, he assisted at community Concelebrated Masses. Even after his 100th birthday, with the help of Brother Gerry Marks, he often made his way on Sundays to the Latin Mass in St Kevin's, Harrington Street, where he was held in high regard by members of the Latin Mass Society. He never expressed any preference about the form his funeral should take but, as a mark of respect, Latin, Irish and English were all used in his Concelebrated Requiem Mass at St Francis Xavier's.

At UCD, he studied Classics, although his preference would have been for History. He subsequently taught Latin and Greek in Mungret, Crescent and Clongowes where his pupils still recall the invitation to join in the struggle to turn back the tide of barbarism'. Besides three years teaching philosophy in India and seven as a curate in France, at Nantua and Belley, most of his life was spent in historical research. He was in his element among documents, foraging around archives. Perhaps his most notable contribution in this area was his work on the Causes of the Irish Martyrs. Without his efforts, the Cause of Blessed Dominic Collins could well have been rejected by the relevant Roman Congregation. He argued strenuously and convincingly that although the Blessed had been a professional soldier at one stage in his life and was not an ordained priest, consequently not qualified to be a full Chaplain, his contribution during the Battle of Kinsale was purely religious. His only objective in coming to Ireland was to help consolidate the Catholic faith. Frank deduced from the documents, in particular those of his English captors, that Blessed Dominic could have been set free on condition of denying his faith and abandoning his Jesuit vocation. This Dominic resolutely refused to do.

A highpoint in his life was to have taught English to the future patron saint of Chile, Saint Alberto Hurtado, in 1931. He enjoyed recalling a day in the Dublin Mountains when the Saint volunteered to have a go when the proprietor of the land where they were having a picnic asked “Is there a shot among you?” Confidently, Alberto grabbed the proffered shot-gun and blew the billy-can tossed into the air to smithereens. He had done his military service in Chile and had his eye in.

Anything Frank did he seems to have done to the best of his ability. He was an accomplished pianist but in later years only played for personal pleasure. His attention to the garden was much appreciated in the houses where he lived. In later years he concentrated on flowers and plants, enhancing a number of window-sills around the house. He was tending his beloved gloxinias right up to the end of his life. He attributed his lack of interest in sport to the fact of ill-health in childhood that precluded much involvement in games.

Frank was devoted to his family and friends and carried on a correspondence with them, frequently inviting them to meals in the house. As his hearing was adequate right to the end (although occasionally selective), he could add to the table-talk with his inexhaustible store of anecdotes and corroborative details about events in Irish, British and Jesuit Province history. He never made the transition to the computer but remained faithful to his typewriter. One touching Mass card was from the family who serviced his typewriter over the years. Unfortunately he destroyed his diaries of many years, written in Irish and in his beautiful “copper-plate” hand-writing.

Frank was a man of strong and definite opinions to which he clung tenaciously. At times he could be feisty, a word he would never have used himself. He would have considered it in the same category as “ok” which he eschewed as an instance of encroaching “American vulgarity”. As the decades rolled on he seemed to mellow somewhat and learned to live with things as they were. However, even when well into his second century, there could be the occasional flare-up about personalities, attitudes, situations and decisions from an age long gone. Towards the end, although he would never accept help in preparing his breakfast porridge or doing his own laundry, symptomatic of a deep-seated independent streak, he admitted to some limitations and willingly conceded that it “can be lonely to be so old”.

He was delighted to receive what he described as a “splendid silver medallion” from Mary McAleese, Uachtaran na hEireann, on the occasion of his 102nd birthday. Members of the community who wished were formally invited to a private viewing in his room before 12 30 p.m. each day. The President's warm message of congratulations contained words, most à propos, from a speech she had given before Christmas 2010 at a Reception for Senior Citizens: bua na gaoise toradh na haoise (the gift of wisdom is the fruit of age). In the three weeks left to him after this event he began to become visibly feebler but this did not prevent him walking around the house and carrying on as usual. On Friday, February 25th he actually walked to the Polling Booth to cast his vote in the General Election. Ten days later, he died peacefully on his own in his room.

The “Nunc dimittis” of Simeon, that upright and good man, from Luke, the Gospel read on the occasion of his Final Vows over sixty-five years earlier in the Sacred Heart Chapel, the Crescent, Limerick, on February 2nd, 1945, featured again at his Final Requiem. On that day so long ago, the much desired peace of the nations following World War II was almost in sight. We can rest assured that an tAthair Proinsias is now enjoying a much more comprehensive and lasting peace. Ní bheidh a leithéid arís ann.

Wrafter, Joseph, 1865-1934, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/705
  • Person
  • 09 August 1865-05 September 1934

Born: 09 August 1865, Rosenallis, Co Laois
Entered: 03 November 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin/Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1899
Final Vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 05 September 1934, St Vincent’s Hospital

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

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

Chaplain in the First World War.

by 1894 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Sartirana, Merate, Como, Italy (VEN) making Tertianship
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers, France
by 1918 Military Chaplain : 7th Leinster Regiment, BEF France
by 1919 Military Chaplain : Chaplain to the Forces, Schveningen, Netherlands

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Nicholas Walsh Entry :
He died in the end room of Bannon’s corridor, and the Provincial William Delaney and Minister Joseph Wrafter were with him at the end.”

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

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

Fr Joseph Wrafter SJ, 8th Royal Munster Fusiliers (06 July 1916):
It is a very terrible thing where a show is on & no one I know wants any more of it than he has seen if he has been in it at all. But of course all have to see it through & the men are really splendid...Between killed & wounded we lost in that period quite a fourth of our Battalions & the Leinsters nearly as many. But they did good work & the enemy got a good deal more than they gave. It is dreadful to see the way the poor fellows are broken & mangled sometimes out of all recognition.

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

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

The influenza was widely referenced by Irish Jesuit chaplains in the First World War. And Fr Joseph Wrafter SJ writing in December 1918: “the influenza is raging here and all over Holland as everywhere”.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 9th Year No 4 1934
Obituary :
Father Joseph Wrafter

Father Wrafter died at St. Vincent's Hospital on Wednesday5th September, 1934. For a considerable time he had been in very poor health, even before he left Clongowes in 1932, he had suffered a good deal. He was an invalid for nearly the two years he spent in Gardiner St., yet, with his usual courage, he did very fully all the work he was allowed to do. At last he was compelled to go to St. Vincent’s, where for some three weeks before his death he was very often quite unconscious.
In next number, we shall give a short sketch of his life in the Society.

Irish Province News 10th Year No 1 1935
Father Joseph Wrafter Continued
Father Wrafter was born near Rosenallis in Leix on the 9th August, 1865. He went with his two elder brothers, William and Thomas, to Tullabeg in 1877, where he remained until

  1. On November 3rd of that year he entered the Novitiate which was then at Milltown Park, but was transferred the following year to Dromore, Co. Down. He next spent a year
    as a Junior in Milltown, and had just begun his Philosophy there, when in November, 1886, the year of the amalgamation (Tullabeg and Clongowes) he was sent to Clongowes. He was Third Line and Gallery Prefect there for three years, and from 1889 to 1891 had charge of the Large Study. In the former of these years he utilised his great histrionic powers in getting up “The Tempest” which was an unqualified success. In 1891 he was appointed Higher Line Prefect although he had not yet done his Philosophy, and was the youngest man on the prefectorial staff. But his strength of character and sense of justice made up for these drawbacks. In 1893, after seven years' work as a scholastic in Clongowes, he went to Louvain for Philosophy, and in 1896 to Milltown Park for Theology, joining the Long Course.
    In the early summer of 1899 he went down to Clongowes to stay for about a month, in order to take the place of Father Fegan who had left to undergo a serious operation. However Father Wrafter remained in Clongowes the following year as Prefect of the Small Study, and next year saw him a Tertian in the Province of Venice.
    From 1900 to 1903 he was stationed in University College St, Stephen's Green, as Minister. After a year on the Mission Staff, with headquarters at the Crescent, Limerick, he renewed
    his connection With Clongowes, this time as Minister, remaining there until 1908, when he went to Gardiner St. and, in addition to the ordinary work, got charge of the Police Sodality. The next year he was appointed Minister and held that position until 1942, with the exception of a break of three years (1916-1919), when he was Military Chaplain in France and Holland. While at the front he distinguished himself by his great coolness and bravery. He was awarded the MC, but an officer who himself won the V.C., said that “every day, Father Wrafter did things that deserved the VC”.
    In 1924 he became Minister in Leeson St., and had charge of University Hall. Next year he again took up work in Clongowes as Minister and held the position for ten years. It was during these years that the new building was erected in Clongowes, in which Father Wrafter took a very great interest. 1934 saw him once more in Gardiner St, but incapable of much active work. However, as long as he possibly could, he said Mass and attended to his Confessional to which he had always been most devoted.
    He celebrated his Golden jubilee in the Society in November 1933, but did not long survive the event. The malady to which he had long been subject - phlebitis - had poisoned his system and after some weeks in hospital he died on 5th September 1934.
    The most remarkable thing about Father Wrafter's life in the Society was his long term of office as Minister in all twenty six years, thirteen in Clongowes, ten in Gardiner Stand ten in the University. He possessed in a high degree the qualities required for that office. He was a fine organiser quickly saw what was wanted, and then had the power to descend to details. He was extremely just and patient and was moreover the very soul of generosity, loving to see and to make others happy. To the poor also he was very kind. Many of the beggars and tramps who came to Clongowes made it a point to ask for Father Wrafter, they almost seemed to be personal friends of his so familiarly did he chat with them.
    What struck one most in Father Wrafter was his strong will and his great sense of duty Whatever he took in hand he saw through, and whatever was his duty would be done thoroughly. During his last few years as Minister in Clongowes he suffered from phlebitis which caused his legs to become very much swollen and painful, but unless absolutely forbidden by the doctor, he was sure to go down to the refectory to preside at the boys' meals. He was indefatigable in his care of and kindness to the sick, frequently visiting them in the infirmary during the night. This did not prevent him from being the first to rise in the morning. He always said the 6 o'clock Mass. Indeed it was wonderful how he contrived to do with so little sleep. In his last illness this strength of character was most noticeable, for though he suffered very much he never complained, but always made as little as possible of his sufferings. The nurses who attended him marvelled, and were much edified at his patience and resignation.
    How much his kindness and help to so many were appreciated was shown by the number of people, many of them in humble circumstances who called at the hospital to enquire for him during his last illness. R.I.P

Henry, William Joseph, 1859-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/704
  • Person
  • 02 April 1859-25 March 1928

Born: 02 April 1859, Cahore, Draperstown, County Derry
Entered: 14 September 1874, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1892, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1895, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 25 March 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin

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

by 1877 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1879 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1881 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His brother was Sir Denis Henry KC (First Lord Chief Justice Northern Ireland having been Attorney General for Ireland, Solicitor General and MP for South Londonderry)

After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy at Jersey and Theology at Milltown, and was Ordained there 1892.
He held the positions of Rector at Belvedere, Mungret and Milltown. He was later Professor of Theology at Milltown.
He was then sent to Gardiner St, and left there to become Rector at Tullabeg. His health began to fail and he died in Dublin 25 March 1928.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 3 1928

Obituary :
Fr. William Henry
Fr. William Henry died at Milltown Park on the 25th of last March.

In 1922, when in class with the Juniors at Tullabeg, he got a paralytic stroke and had to he carried to his room. He never completely recovered, and the third attack, early in March, proved fatal. Fr. Henry entered the noviceship at Milltown 14th Sept. 1874. At the end of two years, he went to Roehampton for his juniorate, but after one year he was recalled and sent to complete the juniorate at Tullabeg, then a flourishing College, with Fr. William Delany as its Rector. At this distance of time the move seems a strange one, and to understand it rightly the state of education in Ireland at the time must be taken into account. In our own Colleges the “Ratio” was still followed, but in many places it had fallen into a gentle slumber, and needed a good deal of waking up. Things were not much, if at all, better in the rest of the country. The educational authorities were satisfied with - a little Knowledge, - indeed a very little was quite enough for them. One day in the Summer of 1873, a learned professor of the Catholic University of Ireland paid a visit to Tullabeg. The three higher classes were brought down in turn to meet him, and he examined them in the Latin and Greek lessons they had for that particular day, The boys did not know what it meant, but in a short time many of them received formidable parchments declaring them to be undergraduates of the C. U. I.
To improve matters, preparation for London University Matriculation Exam was commenced in Tullabeg in 1875.
It was to prepare for this exam. that Mr Henry went to Tullabeg. He was accompanied by Mr Guinee, and at the College they met Mr James Murphy. AIl three passed the exam at the end of the year.
1878 found Mr Henry amongst the philosophers at Laval where he remained for two years, and was then, with the rest of the Community, turned out of the house by the French Government on the 30. June 1880.He finished philosophy at Jersey. It would be putting things very mildly to say that Mr Henry was a hard working student. He was positively, cruel to himself. “To-morrow will be a Villa-day” , he once said to a companion, “I shall tire myself well in the morning, we shall start for the country house as late as possible, and have a walk in the evening”. That was the dominant note of his student life. Furthermore, if hard work ever exempted a man from the law of fasting Fr. Henry was that man, Yet he never availed of his privilege. He fasted rigidly, though the food was so different from that in his own country.
Seven years of teaching followed - two at Clongowes, four at Belvedere, during two of which he was Prefect of Studies, and one at Milltown as Superior and Master of Juniors. That he was severe on the boys he had to deal with admits of no doubt. He expected from them, to some extent, the devotion to duty that he mercilessly exacted from himself. That severity
did not proceed from any strain of unkindness in the man's character, but from a stern sense of what be owed to the boys whose training was entrusted to him. Many an event showed that beneath a hard exterior a kindly heart was beating.
In 1888 he began Theology at Louvain, but in the following year the new Theologate was opened at Milltown and he joined it. After Theology he spent another year teaching at Clongowes, then came the Tertianship at Tullabeg. In 1894 he was appointed vice-Rector of Belvedere, and Rector the year following. He held that office until 1900 when he went to Mungret as Rector. After three years he returned to Milltown as vice-Rector, and was succeeded at the end of the second years by Fr. Peter Finlay. At Milltown he was Professor of the short course for four years, of Moral for one, and spent another as Spiritual Father. In 1909 he went to Gardiner St, where he did splendid work, until in 1919 he became Rector once more, this time of Tullabeg. After eight years he returned to Milltown where the final call came on the 25th March, and he went to his reward.
No one would venture to say that simplicity, in the ordinary sense of the word, was the characteristic virtue of his life, but if we accept the definition given by St. Francis de Sales : “so a heart that looks straight to truth, to duty and to God”, we have found the key to the strenuous, holy, self sacrificing life of Fr. William Henry.

Sincere thanks are due to the author of the following appreciation :
He came from that strong northern stock, and from that corner of the north, that gave, I believe, more than one President to America and many a captain of Industry and many a distinguished soldier to other lands.
Willie Henry was only a few months over 15, when he joined at Milltown Park. But even then the native lines of character were well defined. And yet I have heard those that knew him in the noviciate say that not a novice amongst them was readier to see a yoke, poke a bit of fun, or mischievously pull a friend's leg. But still it was a hard headed, solid little man they got amongst them. In meditation books he chose one after some trial, and stuck to it all the way through - Avcneinus. A tough nut. Even in ordinary noviciate duties fellow novices told of a certain maturity in his attitude towards them that one would hardly expect from the youngest novice of them all. This union of stern purpose in time of silence, and of fun at recreation stamped him all through life.
I am afraid I cannot tell much about his career in the Society. The little I have to tell is of a side of him that is not so well known, indeed by some not even suspected - for energy and laborious, unremitting work were the outstanding features of his life. Duty, God's will, that out-topped all with him. What the work was did not so much matter. Was it his duty? He was every bit of him in it. I was perhaps more struck by some other things.
I remember once, when somewhat ailing, I was sent to his house for a rest. How genuinely good and kind he was. He met me on my arrival, brought me to my room, and saw himself that I had everything I needed. And then, afterwards, would come again and again to see how things were getting on, and if he could do anything for me. Before I left the house he
ceased to be Superior, and I could not help writing him a little note, and leaving it on his table, to thank him for his great kindness (It is no harm, is it, to salute gratefully the setting Sun?) He came to my room to acknowledge it - but Adam's apple gave him a lot of trouble, and he turned away to the window, as he said with big gentleness : “It was only yourself would have thought of it.” This was no new revelation of the man to me.
I had heard him over and over again talking about his boys, and I knew how they were in his heart. Indeed I doubt if I ever knew any master fonder of his boys. It was, I think, in '83 he went with the new Rector, Fr. Tom Finlay, to Belvedere. They made records in the Intermediate that year - records that have never since been broken. How keen Mr Henry was about it all. Once a number of scholastics were discussing the prospects, and one seemed to be a bit pessimistic about some of them. “I’ll Bet” said he “that each of you named will get an exhibition if he gets honour marks in your matter”.
It has been said many a time, that the best the Intermediate did for the schools was to start and foster a spirit of hard work. Mr Henry certainly did his part in that matter - and many a boy owed his after success to that same spirit of work he acquired under him in Belvedere or Clongowes. He was strong, somewhat dour, as I have said, with a voice of thunder that frightened youngsters sometimes, still his youngsters ran to him and gathered round him as he relaxed after school, and twitted them on their prospects of success.
In the closing years he was Superior at Tullabeg and there God's finger touched him - partial paralysis. During these trying years what sweetness and gentleness he showed to all. He kept pulling away at the work as if nothing much were wrong. The Tertian Fathers spoke keenly appreciative things of his head and heart, He was an even and understanding
Superior, eminently sane and manly. As for the two ailing saints who pray and suffer for us all, (two faithful old laundry maids). They never tire telling of his goodness to them. It wasn't merely that he visited them regularly, but he took infinite pains to read up things that would interest them and so distract them from their sufferings.
I have heard there was a strange little scene the night before he left Tullabeg for Milltown Park. The novices had given an excellent concert, and it was well through before the word went round amongst them that their old Rector was going away in the morning. The last item of the concert over, there was something like a rush for him, and forty pairs of hands wanted to take and press his. And many a young face just looked as they felt. They were very fond of him. He was utterly unprepared for it. lt was too much for him. But he was too manly and too pleased to attempt to hide how he felt. Well might he feel affectionate praise like that - praise beyond suspicion from the very little ones of the Province. Genuine it was, spontaneous, simple. You see they have still all that is best and most delightful in boys, and a great deal more that boys never have.
It was the same in the last months at Milltown Park. Every letter from it that mentioned his name - and all did that I saw, told of how he had won home to the hearts of all of them.
God rest you - good, brave, toil worn soldier of Christ.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Henry SJ 1859-1928
Many priests of the Irish Provice who did their noviceship at Tullabeg will remember the formidible yet kindly face of the Rector Fr William Henry. They can still picture him on his Rector’s walk with a group of novices around him, “Stick to your meditation and you’ll never leave the Society”, was his constant advice to us. It is related of him that in his early years he went through various meditation manuals, and finally selected one to which he was faithful for the rest of his life – Avecannius.

Born in Draperstown County Derry, on April 2nd 1859, he entered the Society in 1874. As a Jesuit he held many offices, b Rector in turn of Belvedere, Mungret and Tullabeg. It was as prefect of Studies at Belvedere in 1883 that he made his name. With Fr Tom Finlay as his Rector, he achieved results in the examinations at the end of the year, which have never been excelled before or after. He had a name for severity, perpetuated in some books written about Belvedere, but nobody could ever accuse him of being unjust. In fact, in the words of a biographer of his “I doubt if I knew any master fonder of boys, and certainly the boys showed their affection for him, as they used to run to him and gather round him in the yard after school”.

His name will always come up for discussion whenever ghost stories are on the round, for he is supposed to have laid a ghost in Mungret. A priest was seen at midnight at the graveyard on the Black Walk. Fr Henry is supposed to have gone to meet him. It is said that on the following morning, Fr Henry said a Requiem Mass, though this was forbidden by the rubrics of the day. Anyhow, the ghost never walked again. The only comment Fr Henry was every heard to make was “Fathers, be careful about your stipends for Masses”.

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.

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

O'Brien, Desmond, 1936-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/685
  • Person
  • 22 September 1936-17 July 2007

Born: 22 September 1936, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 17 July 2007, Mater Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1973

by 1963 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency
by 1971 at Swansea, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Des O’Brien was born on 22 September 1936 in Dublin. He did his early schooling with the Christian Brothers in Monkstown obtaining his leaving certificate in 1954. That same year, he began his life as a Jesuit in Emo Park. After his novitiate, he did his juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle, obtaining a BA degree in Arts from UCD Dublin in 1959. Philosophy studies followed at Milltown Park from which Des obtained a licentiate in 1962.

For his regency he was sent to the then Northern Rhodesia. He studied Chitonga for a year at Chikuni and other mission stations. In 1963 he taught at Canisius College and the following year at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka. Completing his regency, he returned to Milltown Park for theology studies and was ordained on 10 July 1968. Tertianship in Dublin followed and in 1970 he went to Swansea University in the UK and obtained a diploma in social policy and administration.

Returning to Zambia in 1971, Des was appointed parish priest in Monze where he served until 1975. Among his many pastoral activities he began a strong youth club called the Red Arrows which was well known for its football success. He was then appointed chaplain of the lay apostolate for the Monze Diocese, living in Kizito Pastoral Centre from 1976 to 1980 and then at Charles Lwanga Jesuit community from 1980-84. He initiated renewal programs for the laity and traveled throughout the diocese giving workshops. During this time he also became involved with the charismatic renewal and provided steady and balanced leadership.

Des had a sabbatical in the United States in 1981, working on spiritual direction. On his return he was appointed national chaplain of the YCS and took his national team around the country in a minibus offering workshops in all the dioceses. As rector of Xavier House, he was able to provide care for the older members of the community and offer support for the novice director without interfering in his work. The late Paul Lungu often commented on how much he depended on Des’ support in his work with the novices.

The Episcopal Conference asked him to be national secretary for the laity while the Provincial appointed him as delegate of formation. He moved to Matero for a year but then went to Luwisha House which was more central for his work. In 1998 he was made superior of Luwisha House. He was a great man in community with his ready wit and happy demeanour. He was an excellent mimic and often had his companions rolling around in laughter with a few well chosen words and a little gesture. Since his job as delegate and superior took up more and more of his time, he withdrew from his position with the laity. As a delegate for formation, the young men found in him a great listener. However he could be challenging, but he was always fair and supportive. During his years in Lusaka Des offered regular courses on prayer and spiritual direction to the novice groups at Kalemba Hall as well as to the sisters’ formation program at Kalundu Centre. He was a fine teacher, entertaining yet substantial in the material he offered. Many Church personnel came to him for counselling and direction.

In 2000 Des moved back to Monze and took over Kizito Pastoral Centre, offering retreats and seminars as well as renewing the physical structure of the plant. The Bishop asked him to take care of the young priests of the diocese with regular meetings and direction. He was the chairperson of the organising committees for the celebration of the Centenary of the Jesuit arrival in the Monze Diocese. He kept the different committees working together. However towards the time of the big celebration at Chikuni he was quite ill with constant bronchial problems. He did not want to take his home leave until after the big event. When he finally went home it was found that he had inoperable cancer in his left lung. He underwent chemo- and radio-therapy but he weakened with time and eventually lost his voice. He was accepting of his condition and at peace with it. In an email in May he wrote: ’The picture is not bright but, thank God, I am very deeply at peace (even joyful!) I have no doubt that this is all the fruit of the many prayers being offered for me. I am ready for anything and in the meantime enjoying all the leisure I have’.

He tells how a woman from the parish in St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St., came up to him after a Sunday Mass in which he concelebrated, grabbed his hand and said: ’Thanks, Father, for the words’. Des was surprised and said to her, ’but I didn’t say anything, my voice is too weak’. The lady whispered in response, ‘Being up there silent on the altar with us every day is a powerful homily’. He entered the fullness of life on 17 July 2007.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Desmond Francis (Des) O’Brien (1936-2007) : Zambia-Malawi Province

Jim McGloin writes:
Des O'Brien was born on 22 September 1936 in Dublin. He did his early schooling with the Christian Brothers in Monkstown obtaining his leaving certificate in 1954. That same year, he began his life as a Jesuit in Emo Park. After his novitiate, he did his juniorate at Rathfarnham castle, obtaining a BA degree in arts from University College Dublin in 1959. Philosophy studies followed at Tullabeg from which Des obtained a licentiate in 1962.

For his regency Des was sent to then Northern Rhodesia. He studied Chitonga for a year at Chikuni and other mission stations. In 1963 he taught at Canisius College and the following year at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka. Completing his regency, he returned to Milltown Park for theology studies and was ordained a priest on 10 July 1968. Tertianship in Dublin followed his fourth year of theology. In 1970 he went to Swansea in the UK and studied at the University College there obtaining a diploma in social policy and administration.

Returning to Zambia in 1971, Des was appointed parish priest in Monze where he served until 1975. Among his many pastoral activities at the parish, he began a strong youth club called the Red Arrows which was well known for its football success. After his fruitful time in the parish, Des was appointed the chaplain of the lay apostolate for the Diocese of Monze, living in Kizito Pastoral Centre from 1976 to 1980 and then at the Charles Lwanga Jesuit Community from 1980 to 1984. As chaplain, Des initiated many different formation and renewal programmes for the laity and traveled throughout the diocese giving workshops. During this time, he also became involved with the charismatic renewal and provided steady and balanced leadership in the renewal.

Des had a sabbatical in the United States in 1984, working in the area of spiritual direction. On his return to Zambia he was appointed national chaplain of the YCS, living at Luwisha House. In 1986 he was appointed rector of Xavier House while continuing his work with YCS. Des was a dynamic powerhouse in dealing with young people. He would take his YCS national team around the country in the minibus, offering workshops in all the dioceses of the country. As rector of Xavier House, he was able to provide care for the older members of the community and offer support to the novice director without interfering in his work. The late Paul Lungu often commented on how much he depended on Des's support in carrying out his work with the novices.

In 1992 Des completed his term as rector and started winding up as chaplain of YCS. The Episcopal Conference asked him to serve as national secretary for the laity and the Provincial had appointed him delegate of formation. He moved to Matero and lived there for a year, later moving to Luwisha House which was more central for his work. In 1998 he was appointed superior of Luwisha House. Always doing the work assigned to him diligently, Des threw himself into the work of the lay apostolate and the work of formation. However, he found that he could not do both adequately; he withdrew from the work with the laity to spend more time as delegate of formation.

From the men in formation who experienced Des as their delegate, you often hear that he was a great listener, that he could be tough and challenging, but that he was always fair and supportive. He managed to blend a concern for the well being of the individual and a concern for the well being of the Society, both of which were important for the delegate's job.

During his years in Lusaka, Des also offered regular courses, mostly on prayer and spiritual direction, to the novice groups at Kalemba Hall and to the sisters' formation programme at Kalundu Centre. He was a fine teacher, entertaining yet substantial in the material he offered. During those years many sisters, priests and lay people came to him for counseling and spiritual direction. His welcoming attitude and compassionate listening provided many with new strength and direction.

In 2000 Des moved back to the Diocese of Monze where he had begun his apostolic work and took over as director of Kizito Pastoral Centre. Once again he took on the work with great enthusiasm, offering retreats and seminars, renewing the physical structure and adding new facilities to the centre. The Bishop of Monze found in him a wise counselor and would often seek advice from him. The Bishop also asked him to take care of the young priests of the diocese (the under-fives), offering them spiritual direction, regular meetings as a group and other care. Des was also chairperson of the organizing committees for the celebration of the centenary of the Jesuit arrival in the Monze Diocese. In his usual well-organized and efficient manner, Des kept the different committees at their tasks and was able to organization a wonderful celebration of the centenary. Towards the time of the big celebration at Chikuni, however, Des was quite ill with constant bronchial problems. He did not want to move up his home leave until after the celebrations.

Although Des worked hard and was very efficient, he also gave time and enjoyed his community. He was welcoming and hospitable. He spent time with the members of the community at prayer, meals and recreation. He had a way of engaging and a sense of humour that were much appreciated. He also an ability to mimic others in their way of talking and acting that was never hurtful, but very true to life. Father General in a letter written to Des for his golden jubilee in 2004 said, “They (his fellow Jesuits) better than I can witness to the inner life that you nourished in prayer, for you could not have lived and served as you have done without a close relationship with Jesus”. Des did have a close relationship with Jesus, nourished by prayer and the Eucharist, a relationship he deeply desired and was willing to share with others.

When Des did finally go on his home leave in September 2005, it was discovered that his health problems stemmed not from bronchial infection but from an inoperable malignant growth in the upper part of his left lung. He underwent chemo and later radiotherapy to reduce the tumour. The treatment left him weakened and caused him to lose most of his vocal functions, but he was accepting of his condition and at peace with it.

In an e-mail in May, Des wrote: “The picture is not too bright but, thank God, I am very deeply at peace (even joyful!). I have no doubt that this is all the fruit of the many prayers being offered for me. I am ready for anything and in the meantime enjoying all the leisure I have”.

He also reflected on his life as a priest with limited ability to function as a priest in a recent issue of Interfuse (Summer 2007, No.132), in which he expressed the frustration he had in not being able to exercise his priesthood in the active way he had been used to. He relates this incident:

“One Sunday morning, having concelebrated a parish Mass, I walked down the aisle with my companion to the end of the Church to greet the congregation as is the custom. As we shook hands and greeted people, an elderly lady made a beeline for me and grabbing my hand, said, ‘Thanks, Father, for those words”. Surprised by this comment, I replied, ‘But I didn't say anything, my voice is too weak’. Learning over, she whispered in my ear, ‘Being up there silent on the altar with us every day is a powerful homily’.”

Des was very consoled by this. He had made a pilgrimage to Lourdes in September 2006 seeking healing but there was no physical change in his condition. However, he wrote: “I was much more at peace and much more accepting of what had happened to me. I am stiil substantially at peace as I pray daily, 'O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”.

Des then reflected in his article, “These few simple words connected me in an extraordinary way with the deeper mystery underlying my present circumstances which I had begun to sense but was resisting, how to be a priest without any normal or visible ministry”. That deeper Mystery guided Des throughout his life, in his active priestly ministry and finally in his silent priestly ministry. Des entered the fullness of that Mystery on 17 July 2007.

From a homily delivered by Clive Dillon-Malone on 25th July, 2007, at St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka:
There's a popular saying that "good goods appear in small packages". Well, this is certainly true of Fr. Des O'Brien, He was small in stature but, like our founder, St. Ignatius, or St. Paul - who were also short in stature - Des was tall in spiritual riches.

Des was always conscious of his height. He once told me how embarrassed he was in having to go into the children's section of shoe shops as the shoes in the adult's section were all too large for him! The late Fr. Bill Lane was a very good friend of Des and they used to joke one another about their height as Bill was also quite short. There was an occasion when, on his 50+ birthday, Des approached Bill in a jovial mood and said proudly, “I'm 50 today”. Bill replied: “Is that in centimetres or in inches?” On another occasion for a concelebrated Mass, Bill took an impish delight in handing Des an alb which was about six feet long! However, Des learned to joke about his height and he was quite capable to giving back as much as he got in good humour. He always had a great sense of humour and a gift for turning the simplest of happenings into amusing incidents. His ability to mimic others contributed to this and he was always good fun in a group.

Des was born in 1936 and he entered the Jesuits in 1954 at the age of 18. After two years of novitiate at Emo in Portarlington, he went to University College Dublin where he spent three years doing a pass B.A. degree from 1956-1959. I mention "pass degree" because, although Des was always a very hard worker, he was not intellectually gifted in the way that so many of his fellow Jesuits in his year were, who were taking honours degrees. Although he never showed any sign of resenting others, his lack of high-powered academic potential accompanied by his small stature left him with an inferiority complex against which he struggled throughout his life. After his university degree, he spent three years in Tullabeg in Ireland from 1959-1962 studying philosophy which he also found difficult. But it was when he came to Zambia in 1962 that his real talents began to emerge and, from then on, he continued to grow in self-confidence and in pastoral achievements.

Des had a great way of relating with children and he would laugh and joke with them at his ease. When he began learning ciTonga in Chivuna on his arrival in Zambia, he quickly became proficient at speaking the language on account of his relating with children. Although they would make fun of mistakes he would make, he learned from them and he could laugh at himself. During vacations, he would enjoy joining Fr. Joe McDonald down in the valley in Fumbo where he increased his ability to speak ciTonga.

In 1963, he moved into Canisius College where he taught for a year and where his ability to relate with young people shone, and where, he was in charge of the medical needs of the pupils. He told me once an amusing incident. When a transfusion group came to Canisius to collect blood, the boys were very scared of giving blood. In order to put them at ease, he told them to come and watch as he gave blood. There were all crowded around the window looking in, but just after giving blood, he fainted. The boys just ran!

In 1964, he moved to Lusaka where he taught for a year at Munali Secondary School before returning to Ireland where he studied theology for four years from 1965-1969 at Milltown Park. He was ordained a priest in 1968. After finishing theology, he went to the University of Swansea in Wales where he obtained a diploma in social policy and administration. The topic of his dissertation was, “The Primary School Leaver Crisis in Zambia”.

On returning to Zambia in 1971, he was appointed as parish priest in Monze, a ministry which he continued for five years, and during which his ability to converse fluently in ciTonga grew. Then from 1976 to 1980, while living at Kizito Pastoral Centre, he was appointed as Director of the Lay Apostolate in the diocese of Monze, and was also involved with the on-going formation of Zambian priests there. A further item that needs to be mentioned is that Des played an important role in the charismatic renewal in Zambia. He had set in motion the Charismatic Movement in the diocese of Monze, at Musaka Secondary School in Choma, and later in Lusaka.

From Kizito, he moved to Charles Lwanga Teacher Trainer College, where he remained for four years from 1980 to 1984. He had already become diocesan lay apostolate chaplain in 1976 and he continued with this work while at Charles Lwanga. He then went on sabbatical for a year in 1984 to Berkeley in California and, on his return, he resided at Luwisha House for a year during which time he was appointed as National Chaplain to Zambian Young Christian Students (ZYCS), a position he held from 1985 to 1993.

After his sabbatical, Des told me of a rather frustrating experience he had. Before going on sabbatical, he had burnt all of his retreat notes so that he might have a clean start with new material when he returned. Just after returning, however, he was asked to give a retreat which he accepted - but then, he suddenly remembered that he had destroyed all his notes and hadn't yet produced new ones! Needless to say, he regretted his earlier action.

By this time, Des' many talents relating to pastoral concerns, spirituality, managerial skills, and ability to assume authoritative positions were noted. In 1986, he was appointed Rector of our Novitiate, a position he held until 1992, and which he fulfilled with great success. He then moved to Matero for a year where he acted as Secretary for the Laity Section of the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC). He held this position for three years until 1995.

In 1993, he moved from Matero to Luwisha House where he remained for seven years during which time he was also appointed Delegate for Formation of Jesuit scholastics. This is not only a very important position to have but a very difficult one as well - as the current Delegate for Formation, Fr. Charles Chilinda, will tell you. Des came to this position at a time when much suspicion and distrust had developed among young scholastics from a previous era, and it took a lot of skill and prudence to do away with built up resentment and bitterness, and restore a feeling of trust and confidence. He managed to do this very successfully. Indeed, it was noted that departures from the Society diminished during this period. He also did a lot to open up more flexible opportunities for different kinds of studies which was much appreciated.

Des was appointed as Superior of the Luwisha House community from 1998 to 2000. After that, he was appointed as Director and Superior of Kizito Pastoral Centre outside Monze where he remained until 2005. While there, he was not only totally dedicated to the development of spirituality programmes but he did immense work in planning and overseeing renovation and building extensions. In this respect, he was very talented in getting funding for different projects. He was also noted for his care and concern for his workers, and more particularly for those affected by HIV and AIDS for whom he obtained ARVs. During this time, Bishop Patriarca gave him the task of visiting his priests throughout the year which he did willingly, although he found it quite burdensome.

Des had become well known as a capable spiritual director and retreat giver over the years and he gave spirituality courses each year for many years at Kalundu Study Centre in Lusaka. The material of these courses was later published in book form under the title, “Lord, Teach us to Pray”. He gave courses in spirituality for many years in Kalemba Hall to religious in formation.

Des had always made himself available when asked to do anything. He found it very difficult to say 'no' to any request. However, he later admitted that he had to learn to say 'no' at times, as he was burning himself out. He was very conscientious and he put great preparation into anything he was asked to do. The negative outcome of this was that he ended up becoming so tense at times that he became sick just before an event.

Des had smoked a lot during his early years and he was aware of lung problems which he had developed. However, although he knew that he should have paid more attention to seeking medical diagnosis and treatment earlier, he left it too late. In September 2005, he went into hospital in Ireland where his condition was diagnosed as “malignant growth in the upper part of the left lung” and “inoperable cancer” for which chemo and radiation treatment were administered. For almost two years, Des underwent this treatment which was very painful and weakening. His response to his suffering was acknowledged by all in Ireland as truly admirable. He never lost his sense of humour and expressed his readiness to die once it became clear that this was inevitable within a relatively short period of time. I had visited him on a number of occasions while in Ireland in 2005 and, like so many others, I was truly edified by his positive resignation to the possibility of an early death. He soon lost his hair and wore a head cap for heat. He also became quite bloated as a result of medication. Up the end, he was determined to keep as active as possible but his energy was becoming less and less, and his ability to speak was seriously affected.

He was finally moved into the Mater Hospital for more on-the spot observation with the intention of moving him to a hospice for the terminally ill. He died more quickly than expected on the 17th July, 2007.

I've been told that Des loved looking after pigeons or doves when he was a young boy. Is it too fanciful to suggest that the Holy Spirit might have been among them in choosing Des even at this early stage for the Lord's work! May the Lord now welcome him home and reward him for his priestly ministry, and for the manner in which he has touched so many lives with his love and service. Amen.

Interfuse No 134 : Christmas 2007

IN MEMORY OF FR DESMOND O’BRIEN

An obituary from Zambia was published in Interfuse, September 2007

As an exact contemporary of Des O'Brien, standing humbly and powerlessly at the door of Gardiner St church, as his coffin was being carried out, it seemed to me that an era had passed away. It was a very different situation from that when first we met in 1954. I have vivid memories of him, while we handed in our belongings to the Socius, smiling greatly as a half-smoked cigarette was being abandoned. From then on he was part of our lives, and was diligent and cheerful, in a period that Fr Bill Johnston describes as “remote, strict, austere”. I would add the word “demanding”. Some time in his 2nd year, Donal O'Sullivan told him that he would give him vows and this assured him.

Later, he proved bright enough, but without a strong line of interest or the personal freedom to be an academic. He liked the study of history, and in class he and Paul Cullen became very friendly with a then corpulent young lady, later to acquire fame, Maeve Binchy. I wonder has she forgotten them! He liked greatly being “bird man”, and learned much about these creatures.

I don't think philosophy was his line of country. He looked after the altar boys and was very kind to them. Amidst a busy life, he may have remembered these now and again, especially the young Cantwell who died. He liked working with young people and the marginalized. (His achievements in Africa have been noted elsewhere).

His humour and liveliness were always in our background - which was something we took for granted. He enlivened many a scene for us. He was witty, a great mimic at least of certain people, and had wonderful acting ability. But he was also very shrewd and sharp. I recall several observations he made to me about myself, and they were correct. Similar remarks made to at least one other caused me some strain, though they were beneficial to the other. His judgement was good, and he had a sharp eye for traits in others that I never averted to.

He was always very true to himself. He could readily banter and give as good as he got. Sometimes some minor plans of his did not work out, but he could laugh at his misfortune. He could be serious and demanding with others, and behind the scenes smile at it all.

He developed an open, liberal train of thought, and some years ago swept me off my feet with his progressive thinking. How deep this was I don't know - it wasn't tested in any discussion. But then, people's attitudes come very much from their reading - from the people they rely on -, from their background and inclinations.

Some years ago, I said to him, “You never come to see us”, and he answered, “You never invited me”. Perhaps we are not as welcoming, as we should! We may feel too much that people like to be left alone.

I don't know what personal difficulties he had to cope with, as he tried to discover his deepest self. However there was a firm, unwavering core to his priestly commitment. His life could simply and profoundly be summed up by saying, “He served the Lord”. He was committed to Jesus, which was very evident in his final illness.

Since his return sick to Ireland, I met him fairly frequently. He was very friendly and we were at great ease - with a mutual looking up to each other. I admired his missionary experience and his ability to give. Whenever I said - many times - to him, “You've a severe blow to face up to”, he agreed, and added that he was ready for all. He added: “I never complained, and I'm not going to do so now”. Physically he resisted his cancer as long as he could, but eventually had to yield and nobly went away.

It is good for the rest of us that he has departed - to hopefully help prepare a place for us. It will be hard to find his leithéid arís.

James Kelly

Monahan, John, 1920-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/676
  • Person
  • 08 May 1920-08 December 1993

Born: 08 May 1920, Dublin
Entered 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 04 January 1956, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 03 December 1977
Died: 08 December 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Joseph’s, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1951

by 1948 at Australia (ASL) - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Seán Monahan's family attended St Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, and he received his secondary education at Belvedere College nearby. On 7 September 1939 he entered the Irish noviciate at St Mary's, Portarlington, and then did juniorate studies in arts, studying English, French, Latin and Irish, at the Irish National University, while living at Rathfarnham. He developed tuberculosis during this time and never completed the course. For the next three years he was an invalid, and the decision was made for him to go to Australia.
At the beginning of 1948 Monahan arrived in Australia and began the three year philosophy course at Loyola College, Watsonia. He was a wonderful companion with his sense of humour, his gift for mimicry and his talent for friendship. He enjoyed participating in the scholastic dramatic performances, particularly the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. He produced Iolanthe.
For regency he spent some time at St Louis School, Perth, teaching and working in the boarding house, but he found the heat did not benefit his health, so in 1953 he began theology
studies at Canisius College, Pymble. After ordination in 1956, Monahan became a member of the Australian province. Tertianship followed in 1957 at Sevenhill, SA, under Henry Johnston, his theology rector.
His first priestly appointment was to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, where he was minister, bursar, prefect of liturgy and librarian. In 1958, there were 189 diocesan students; 42 in the first year. Monahan was a good administrator, shrewd, diplomatic, and with a care for detail. His special eye for individuals was much appreciated. He soon became involved in spiritual direction and the students found him a most warm and understanding confessor. He kept contact with many of these men in later years, either as priests or laymen. He was probably one of the best known Jesuits among the Melbourne diocesan priests.
Monahan's special talent for spiritual direction became well known, so he was sent to Loyola College, Watsonia, in 1960, first as socius to the master of novices and later as master of novices. In his first year as master there were 36 novices. Monahan was a most successful and highly acclaimed novice master. Despite his obvious garishness, he understood Australian young people and the contemporary needs of the Church and Society, and initiated many sensible changes into the life of the Jesuit novice. In many ways, he was a significant turning point in the formation of Jesuits in the Australian province, and the last of the Irish novice masters. At the time of his death, 42 of his novices were still members of the Society.
Monahan spent 1971 as spiritual father to Jesuit University scholastics at the Dominican house of studies in Canberra. In 1972 he was recalled to Victoria to become rector of Corpus Christi College, Werribee. It was the last year of the college at that place, the Society handing over its administration to the diocesan clergy.
For the next two years Monahan was spiritual director to the ]suit scholastics at Campion College, and in 1976 he was appointed socius to the provincial and lived at the provincial residence, Hawthorn. Having made his mark as socius, he was given the job, in 1977, of secretary to the South East Asian assistant in Rome, Robert Rush. However, the Roman climate affected his health, and he had difficulty learning Italian, so Paul Gardiner replaced him. He returned to Australia in 1978. At this time the archbishop of Melbourne, Frank Little, asked for him as vicar for religious in the archdiocese.
On his return he took up residence at the provincial house, and was superior from 1979-85, secretary of the province, giving wise advice to the provincial, while continuing his work as spiritual director to many in Melbourne. He was a most hospitable man, and Jesuits enjoyed being invited to Power Street for some Jesuit celebration. During this time his health continued to deteriorate.
In 1993 his health improved a little and Monahan was keen to revisit Ireland. He went and stayed at Cherryfield Lodge, Milltown Park, Dublin, where he received many visitors. He related by mail that he was very happy to be in Dublin. However, his health further declined, his return to Australia was postponed, and he finally died there in December.
Monahan was much loved in the Australian province for his personal humanity and charm, his loving care of others, his encouragement and cheeriness, his sense of fun and wit. He was one of the great storytellers and was a good companion. He loved news, enjoyed being consulted and gave wise advice. Above all he engendered love of, and confidence in, the Society.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Fr. Peyton left for Australia on the “Mauretania” on 31st October in company with Fr. Conway, a member of the Viceprovince. Fr. Kevin Carroll, also a member of the Viceprovince, left Shannon Airport on 3rd November for New York, bound for San Francisco and Sydney. Mr. Monahan left Southampton on the “Queen Mary” on 20th November for New York; he took boat at San Francisco on 12th December for Sydney which he reached on 4th January. He will be doing his first year's philosophy at Loyola, Watsonia in the coming year.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 1 1973

A recent letter from Fr Seán Monahan, Corpus Christi College, Werribee, conveys the new that the Seminary is being replaced; “After just 50 years in Jesuit hands; the diocesan authorities have to find a buyer for a property a bit like Emo. A new Seminary is a building and though scheduled to be ready for the opening of this year on February 26th it will not in fact be ready in time. We have handed over the administration to the diocese but there will be Jesuits on the staff of the new establishment as academic and spiritual directors. It is in this latter capacity that I go there together with the present spiritual director here, Fr Paul Keenan. Altogether there will be five of us working with the same number of diocesan priests for 161 students following an 8 year course”.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 77 : Summer 1994 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

John (Seán) Monahan (1920-1993)

During the six decades of my life, an unbelievable number of people have crossed my path, some friends, others mere acquaintances.

Out of this vast galaxy of people, some have shone like stars to light my way, a select few have been guiding lights that have helped me to believe in myself and to keep on course when I was in danger of losing my way or of being overwhelmed by what confronted me. These latter luminaries have exerted a colossal impact on my life, and I am ever conscious of my debt to them.

On this occasion I want to talk about one that I treasure very specially, one who died on the 8th of December last year after a life of extraordinary dedication to God and to people who needed him. He was John (Seán) Monahan, and I met him first in my last year in the seminary 1958. He had been born in Dublin, Ireland, on 8th May 1920, and had entered the Society of Jesus just prior to the outbreak of the Second World War, on 7th September 1939.

Interestingly enough, he had been ordained a priest only two years before our own group, on 6th January 1956. Because of health reasons he was sent to work in Australia where he spent over thirty years; ironically enough, for the latter part of this period he was contending quietly and courageously with a debilitating illness.

I was thinking back, as I was putting these thoughts together, about how we first met, and I can't quite recollect exactly how that meeting took place. What I do recall, however, is the fact that during the space of a few short months we established a bond that was to link us in friendship every since that time.

As I indicated earlier, I saw him as one of those luminaries who exerted a colossal impact on my life. Whether our contacts were frequent or separated by long intervals, those points at which our lives touched each other, either by letter or in person, exerted a considerable influence on me, both as a man and as a priest. All this was so profound and leaves me so indebted to him that I would like to tell you about at least a few of the riches that I derived from my friendship with Father John Monahan.

My first comment might well sound extraordinary, but I believe it to be the truth; in John Monahan I met Jesus. He was a person in whom I perceived, particularly at a time I needed it, that he really cared about me. He was unhurried as he walked with me on my journey.

There was an extraordinary warmth in him. He had a graciousness, a charm that was not artificial but from the heart. It wasn't a performance designed to impress, it was a natural outflow from his personality. Quite obviously, I wasn't the only one to have experienced this Monahan touch. From the testimonies of others ! know that he endeared himself to an incredible number of people, who were, like myself, influenced and enriched by his part in their life.

As I said, he really embodied Jesus for me, and I mean that if I were to meet Jesus, he would act towards me as John did. Related to this Christlikeness, he breathed an extraordinary inner peace. Any contact that transpired between us was characterised by this quality. There was this relaxing, disarming approach that he adopted, and it said to you in unmistakable terms, “Just be at home while you're with me”.

Had I been aware that he was going home to Ireland for a final farewell to his relatives, friends and fellow religious, I would have grasped the opportunity of saying my own good byes. Therefore, regret that I failed to say goodbye to him and to thank him for everything.

In a way, this tribute to him is a public goodbye and thanks to John for all he was for me and did to me. That is not to suggest that I have finished what I want to say about him, because there is one other comment that completes the picture, and it is this.

The most indelible and most lasting impression that I will always carry with me is that he was a great affirmer. How often, when important events occurred in my life and I let him know about them, and sometimes when I omitted to do so, through the mail would come, written in his neat and thorough way, a letter that complimented me on what I had achieved, or encouraged and supported me in what I was about to undertake.

So often in regard to this very programme he was a source of endorsement and positive comment which encouraged me to give of my best. He wouldn't hesitate to provide a suggestion, too, of how this or that might be improved, but there was always a sensi tivity and enthusiasm that urged me on.

His was a caring ministry and I know from comments of other priests and people how widespread and powerful was the influence for good in their lives. Which means that the greatest kindness would be for us to emulate him and his Christlike behaviour in our daily lives. That is no easy prospect, to absorb all these great qualities of a genuine loving priest, but it would be worth the effort.

I already miss John very much; I was always aware that he was there, selflessly supporting me in the background through his suf fering and by his prayer.

I thank our heavenly Father that in his providence our lives did touch each other and that I am so much the richer for that as I share these thoughts with you now.

So, to fittingly conclude these thoughts about the man who was for me my Christlike Character for 1993, I share with you a text of Scripture that John referred to often and which presumably affected his personal and priestly ministry and sustained it.

It was found highlighted in his Bible, following his death. It comes from Paul's Letter to the Colossians, chapter one, verses twenty-six to twenty-nine. As I read it, I can perceive John really reaching into the very depths of his being, and opening himself to the power of the Spirit, seeking to be a true priest - a bridge between us and the Father, in and with our Brother, Jesus.

These are the words that animated and challenged John Monahan, Priest and Member of the Society of Jesus, to be Christlike in character:
“...the mystery is Christ among you, your hope of glory. This is the Christ we proclaim, this is the wisdom in which we thoroughly train everyone and instruct everyone to make them all perfect in Christ. It is for this I struggle wearily on, helped only by his power driving me irresistibly”.

Christopher Gleeson, Riverview Australia

Fitzgerald, Maurice, 1907-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/660
  • Person
  • 28 March 1907-16 October 1996

Born: 28 March 1907, County Waterford
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1942
Died: 16 October 1996, Marycrest, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1929 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at the Christian Brothers Waterford before Entry at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1925-1928 He studied at University College Dublin gaining a BA in Latin, Greek and English.
1928-1931 He was sent to Chieri, Italy for Philosophy
1931-1935 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency
1935-1939 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1939-1940 He made tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin
1940 He was sent to work at Gardiner St Parish in Dublin
He then returned to Australia at the Toowong Parish
1950-1961 He was then sent back to Riverview as Minister. He was remembered for his kindness, patience and equanimity, as well as for his efficiency and his Irish stories. The boarders well remember his supervision of the refectory and ringing the bell.
1962-1972 He was sent back to Toowong as Parish Priest at St Ignatius, Toowong
1972-1975 He was sent to Lavender Bay parish in Sydney
1975 He came back and spent the rest of his life in Brisbane. He was chaplain at the hospital and nursing home at Nundah. He eventually settled into the Marycrest Retirement Centre at Kangaroo Point.

He was respected by many for his pastoral work, his preaching, administration of the sacraments, his wise counsel especially to many religious sisters throughout Brisbane. he was also a practical administrator, erecting a purpose built school at Toowong to replace the hall below the Church.
He was also responsible for erecting a second Church in the Toowong Parish - Holy Spirit Church, Auchenflower, a modern construction intended for the post Vatican II liturgy. He is remembered there for his dedication and friendliness, his willingness to help anyone in trouble and for his interest in the youth.
He found the new theology after Vatican II quite hard to accommodate, especially in preaching, and he was grateful to the Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Rush, for asking him to become chaplain to the Sisters of St Joseph at Nundah. The sisters there were very good to him, and he gradually regained some confidence in his ability to be a pastor and preach again. He loved the pastoral care of the sick and the rose garden there.

He died a happy and contented priest. he enjoyed the Jesuit weekly gatherings at Toowong in his latter years.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996

Obituary

Fr Maurice Fitzgerald (1922-1997)

1907: Born in Waterford
1923: Entered the Society at
1925 - 1928: Tullabeg Juniorate (National University of Ireland)
1928 - 1931: Philosophy at Chieri, Italy
1931 - 1935: Regency at Riverview
1935 - 1939: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1938: Ordained a Priest
1939 - 1940: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1941: Parish work at Gardiner Street
1942 - 1949: Parish work at Toowong, Brisbane
1950 - 61: Minister at Riverview
1962 - 1971: Parish work at Toowong. Superior/Parish Priest
1972 - 1975: Parish work at Lavender Bay, Sydney
1976 - 1993: Chaplain at hospital and nursing home, Nundah, Brisbane
1994 - 1996: Chaplain at Marycrest Retirement Centre

Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald was born in Ireland in 1907 and entered the Society there in 1923. Like a number of others from the Irish Province, he was transferred in 1931 to what was then the Australian Vice-Province, where, apart from Theology and Tertianship, he spent the rest of his life. Apart from over ten years in St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, his ministry was in parish or chaplaincy work, chiefly in Brisbane. For over 17 years he was on the staff of the Toowong parish, chiefly as parish priest, where he endeared himself to the people by his dedication, friendliness and willingness to help anyone in trouble. He was responsible for the building of a new Church in the parish. Due to ill health he had to retire from the strenuous activity of parish work and the last twenty years of his life were spent as Chaplain to a hospital and nursing home, conducted by Sisters. Here, too, he was much beloved. He delighted to keep in touch with his Jesuit brethren. At the time of his death, he was 89 years of age and had been a member of the Society for 73 years. The Australian Province owes a great debt of gratitude to Irishmen like him who left home and country to minister in a distant land.

Austrialian Provincial's Office

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.

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Monaghan, Hubert, 1938-2000, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/637
  • Person
  • 26 November 1938-29 May 2000

Born: 26 November 1938, Hardwicke Street, Dublin
Entered: 06 April 1958, St Mary's , Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Clongowes Wood College
Died: 29 May 2000, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin

by 1991 at Toronto Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Br Hubert (Hughie) Monaghan (1919-2000)

1938 Nov 26th: Born in Hardwicke Street, Dublin
Hubert was educated by the Christian Brothers at CBS Richmond Street, Dublin.
He went to Sandymount High School and was an apprentice Radio Serviceman before he entered.
6th April 1958: Entered the Society at Emo
7th April 1960: First vows at Emo
1960 - 1962: Tullabeg - Refectorian ; Infirmarian
1962 - 1969: Milltown Park - in charge of staff
1969 - 1970: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1970 - 1975: Galway - Supervisor of staff, Assistant Director “Boys' Club”
1975 - 1981: CIR - Subminister, College Tutor; Supervisor of staff
1981 - 1983: CIR - Minister; Supervisor of College
1983 - 1990: CIR - Subminister; Supervisor of College
1990 - 1991: Toronto - Sabbatical year
1991 - 1997: Gonzaga - Assistant Co-ordinator of Pastoral Care; Ass, Administrator.
1997 - 2000: Gonzaga - Minister; College Administrator, House Consultor

Hubert was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 11th May 2000 following major surgery at St. Vincent's Hospital. After an initial steady recovery from his operation he passed away suddenly but peacefully on Monday 29th May at 3.30 p.m

Mícheál Mac Gréil preached at Hubert's funeral mass in Gonzaga

It is but right and proper that I should begin this sermon on the untimely death of a very dear friend, Hughie Monaghan, RIP, by expressing my ; sincerest sympathy to his brothers and sisters-in-law, Denis and Eileen and Tony and Dorothy, to his nephews and nieces, to his Auntie May Drumgoole and his cousin, Marie Drumgoole, to his Jesuit colleagues, to his many friends, neighbours and to all who mourn Brother Hubert today. It is great to see you all here. I welcome especially Bishop James Corboy, SJ, and the great number of Jesuit Brothers and Priests as well as the staff and students of Gonzaga College. This requiem Mass gives us an opportunity to bid farewell to Hughie and reflect on his life and death.

What does Dying Mean to the Christian?
This is one of the most profound questions which each of us must attempt to answer. It is in its answer we begin to grasp the true meaning of life. In a sense we all should live to die well. I understand that for the many young students here present death is something quite remote but, as Pádraig Mac Piarais wrote in his poem on death: “Brón art an mbás, ní féidir a shéanadh” ("Death is sad, it cannot be denied"). Death cannot be denied or avoided. So, let us face up to it!

I have been pondering on the question of the meaning of dying since I was very young and I have tried to find the answer wherever I could. It was while I was a student of philosophy in Louvain in Belgium in the early 1960s that I got a most helpful answer form a wise and holy Jesuit priest. He said that my whole life comes together or converges into one act at the moment of death. It is really the completion of life and the moment of transition between time and eternity!

The Lifting Up of the Mosaic
It is necessary that we distinguish between physical death, which can be explained by doctors, i.e., the failure of the cardiac and respiratory systems leading to or caused by a cessation of brain function, and what happens to the spiritual and metaphysical person as the body dies. The body becomes a remains! What is in the coffin before us is not Hubert Monaghan, but rather, his remains. We will not bury Hughie in Glasnevin. He is now complete and more alive than we are. So Pádraig Mac Piarais was incorrect when he said in the poem (already quoted): “Och, is fuar é do leaba sa gcillin uaigneach” ("Alas, your bed is cold in the lonely graveyard”). Hughie is alive because as St. Paul says in the Letter to the Romans (just read): “Alive or dead we belong to the Lord” (Romans 14).

Returning to the mosaic analogy, the holy and wise Flemish Jesuit put it like this. Imagine, an artist creating a large mosaic. He builds it piece (or gem)-by-piece over time. He places each precious stone upside down on a flat surface. When the artist has the last gem in place, he binds all the pieces together with a strong adhesive substance. Then comes the great moment of lifting up the mosaic and exposing the completed work of art for the first time to the ecstatic joy of those who view it!

So it is with the life and death of the Christian and of the good person. Throughout our lives we place the precious stones on the mosaic of our lives, i.e., all of those acts of kindness and support, all the sufferings endured, all our work and prayer for others, our good intentions, our good thoughts and prayers, and so forth. The artist building my mosaic is myself responding to the inspiration of the Holy Spirit within me and the good people around me. (Sins do not constitute any part of the mosaic as they are negations, and, once I repent and God forgives, they
are blotted out). We are all contributing to our own mosaic of life every time we do even the smallest act of goodness every day we live and as long as we live! Our guide to those acts of goodness is summarised in the eight beatitudes (Matthew 5:1-12), just read in the Gospel Dying, then, is the moment our mosaic is completed and it is unveiled in one great act that brings all my life together. This view of me is what God sees and embraces (it is my judgement) and welcomes home-my true self.

Let Us Now Reflect on Brother Hubert's Mosaic!
Hughie was born and reared in Hardwicke Street, Dublin, and grew-up in a good family. He went to school in Brunswick Street C.B.S. and spent two years as an 'apprentice Radio Serviceman'. He was a very dedicated altar boy in St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street (at a time when I used to attend the early Mass each morning when working in Lucas' in North Portland Street in 1950, but I did not know Hubert at the time). He also joined the drama group 'Jo Mac's Productions' and entertained the children in Temple Street Hospital.

When he was nineteen years old (1958) he joined the Jesuits in Emo Park. He served in the Society of Jesus for forty-two years and I had the privilege of sharing a community with him for twenty-two years (i.e. in the Noviceship in Tullabeg, in Milltown Park and in the C.I.R.). What kind of gems did he place in his mosaic? In a short homily it is very difficult to do justice to Hubert.

(a) He was a Hard Worker: Hard work is our best way of serving others. Those of us who knew Hughie must agree he was a very hard worker. There was not an idle bone in his body! If St. Benedict is right when he implied "Laborare est orare" then Hughie was a prayerful man! As a worker he was most obliging. Right up to his final illness, as the staff and students of Gonzaga will bear witness, he worked hard and long hours in the College and in the Community.

(b) He was a person for Others: Hughie, according to most people I have consulted when preparing this sermon, was a person for others. My own experience of him confirms this view. He tried to help people and to persuade others to do likewise. While he was not reluctant to give his view, he was also a good listener, and he was very witty.

When serving in Tullabeg, for instance, Hughie organised a 'school for the house staff and others and I were recruited to help out. Again, in Milltown Park he roped others and me into teaching the house staff in the 'staff school'! We even gave out certificates to those who attended. While working in Galway, he also looked after the staff and became Assistant Director of the 'Boys Club' of which he was very proud.

When Brother Hubert came to the C.I.R. in 1975 for a term of service of fifteen years he worked beyond the call of duty and got to know and help the staff and students. He knew the names of every one of them. He was the human face of the Jesuits for many. He was a quiet, almost hidden worker, who had very little time for image or glossy recognition. He was plant manager of the C.I.R. for years and contributed to its successful survival in a most important way.

For the past nine years he has served in Gonzaga College and Community, where he become College Administrator, Minister of the Jesuit Community and House Consultor - all responsible positions. But Hubert worked on in support of students and staff, His colleagues Ben and Bennie, the Ladies Community and the students owe him much. He has been happy here in Gonzaga.

(c) Hubert the Family Man Hubert was very close to his family as his family was to him. He appointed me as an honorary chaplain' to the Monaghans and this enabled me to get to know his late mother, Madge, his Auntie May (still with us, thank God) and his brothers, sisters-in-law and nephews and nieces. He was very proud of his nephews and nieces. Every Sunday he was free, Denis would call and they had the day together. He loved to visit Tony and family in Preston and enjoyed going to football matches in the local club. He loved football. He was very attached to his family.

(d) Hubert the Jesuit His brother Denis told me the other night that ever since he was an altar boy in Gardiner Street Church, Hubert had only one major desire – to be a Jesuit. And in my experience of him he was a real Jesuit. We both had our difficulties, which we shared, but that even made him (and I hope me) more committed to the Society of Jesus.

Hughie was a Jesuit Brother, which I often think is the truly Jesuit vocation. Often the glamour and prestige of the priesthood gives us Jesuit priests a double identity which may obscure our religious Jesuitness. On completion of my own studies, I remember going to the Rector to explore the possibility of becoming a Jesuit Brother and continuing my academic work as a Brother, I feel I must say this to bear out the point I am making. Of course, my superior's advice was to seek ordination! I still maintain, however, that Jesuits like Hubert only had their Jesuit religious status and in that way they were and are very privileged.

He Brought Christ Closer
The Mosaic of Brother Hubert is now completed and what a mosaic it is! He radiated that basic goodness. Your turn-out today and the impressive scene in the hospital morgue when his Rector, Fr. Brendan Staunton, was visibly and emotionally grieving the loss of such a fine companion and fellow-worker, speaks volumes. He will indeed be missed by his family, by his Jesuit colleagues and all who had the privilege of knowing him. For me, he brought Christ closer. In a way he fulfilled his calling by becoming an Alter Christus for all of us. Thanks Hughie, for being yourself?

Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal.

Micheál Mac Gréil, SJ

-oOo-

Beyond an odd handshake at Province gatherings, I had no contact with Hughie Monaghan until 1975, when he arrived in the College of Industrial Relations. We quickly became good friends. I found Hughie to be a very warm person. He made people feel appreciated and I found him an affirming presence. He was a very hard worker, and very flexible, and he made it possible to introduce initiatives in the College that would have been very difficult without him.

At that time, around 1975, Hughie liked an odd pint, as did I. Some evenings after class we would go down to the Sandford House and review the joys and crosses of the day. But we could really only do this in summertime, when there was late closing, as it was customary to offer the students a free cuppa after night classes, so that it was nearly eleven when the premises was vacated. Eventually this got Hughie down, SO (without stating the real reason) he suggested that tea be served between classes, at five minutes to nine. He argued that all the students would go to the tea-room, instead of about a quarter of them, and that this would improve the students' social life. This proved quite correct, and the College's tea bill soared by 400%. The faculty were sceptical that as many as two hundred students could be served tea in 15 minutes, but Hughie ran the tea points like a military operation. The tea-break became the high point of college life, and undoubtedly helped retain and attract students. Perhaps this bears out Camus's assertion that "all great thoughts and all great deeds have ridiculous beginnings".

Hughie talked a lot about the Boys' Club in Galway, where he had been assistant Director. He deeply loved the Club and seemed somewhat sore that he had been moved from Galway. Many people connected with the Club continued to contact him when they were in Dublin and undoubtedly he brought the same warm and caring qualities as he did to his later work

When we began to run classes for unemployed people in the College I encouraged Hughie to get involved, which he did with relish. He was particularly good helping students who had reading and writing difficulties. But he also had a gift for just talking to course participants (he would not have called it 'counselling) and for giving them encouragement during what was a rough patch in their lives. Unfortunately the classes for unemployed came to an end and Hughie missed the involvement. He had a yen for something other than pouring tea and shifting chairs which over time led to a fairly deep dissatisfaction with his role in the College and even in the Society. He did not feel he had fulfilled his potential.

Hughie's deep spirituality sustained him through difficult times. He had been an altar boy in Gardiner Street, just around the corner from his home, and no doubt this laid the foundation of his vocation to the Sociey. He was not particularly 'pious', but he had a very homely relationship with God. Whenever he talked about God he spoke of him as a good and understanding friend, and I am sure he cheered many people up (he certainly cheered me) with his pithy observations on this theme.

Hughie and I shared a good few interests. One was folk music. He liked to organise parties from time to time in his mother's flat in O'Deveney Gardens, and invited a host of people, Jesuits and others, who could make music. His aunt May, who lived in the flat next door, played the piano for us. He had a group of mainly lay friends who loved music and for many years of the 70s and 80s we gathered regularly in houses and hostelries and played and sang into the small hours. Hughie was more of an appreciative spectator than a performer, but he had a few songs, such as “The Singing Bird", that he sang with great feeling to wild applause. Hughie and I also enjoyed a game of pitch and putt, and when we were in CIR Wednesday afternoon trips to Sandyford became a ritual that helped keep us both sane. We enjoyed a number of holidays together too, including a memorable week in Inishbofin where there were no Gardai to enforce closing time.

Hughie was the quintessential “Dub” and he was intensely proud of his roots in Hardwicke Street. He felt the death of his mother keenly, and the break with the old home. He was a great family man, and was very close to his brother Denis, whom he met every week without fail. He showed enormous devotion to his aunt May as her health gradually declined and there is great poignancy in the fact that she outlived him.

In his fine homily at Hughie's funeral, Micheál Mac Gréil spoke of the part Hughie played in setting up the staff school in Milltown Park. This was typical of Hughie because he always had an eye for the lame ducks or the people on the margins. In the noviceship we were told, “Always look after general needs before particular needs”, but Hughie tended to do the opposite and if someone was in trouble or had a problem everyone else could wait! In CIR Hughie was perhaps closest of all to the voluntary helpers, whose status in the organizational pecking order was probably lowest. He took a keen interest in the Cherry Orchard apostolate, and every Christmas he would give me a big bag of sweets for the local children. When he heard that the children often asked me for stationery items he began to pass on to me the fruits of the end-of term clean ups in Gonzaga, pens, pencils, copy-books and so on left around the place.

Hughie had a rocky start in Gonzaga, but it forced him to face up to some of the tensions in his life. As he gradually worked through these he became much more settled in himself, and happier and more calm than I had ever seen him. I heard from many quarters how much he was liked by the children and the staff and how much they appreciated his warmth, cheerfulness and hard work.

After we both left CIR I did not see so much of Hughie. We enjoyed a few days together in Clogherhead each summer where we could renew our rivalry on the pitch and putt course. He would occasionally meet a group of us who met in Burchill's on Monday night, but as he had decided to give up the drink he was not happy sipping rock shandies and he never stayed for long. In retrospect I think he was also growing tired, and various illnesses and complaints which later became serious were beginning to slow him down.

Hughie is the first close friend I have lost, and his death creates a great gap in our circle of friends. Still, Hughie's vitality and optimism were so great right up to the end that I am still very conscious of him looking down on us with wry humour as we complete our own pilgrimages. May the God he knew as a friend during his life be close to him now in his place of rest.

Bill Toner

McGoran, Robert, 1920-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/633
  • Person
  • 30 May 1920-01 October 2007

Born: 30 May 1920, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955
Died: 01 October 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008

Obituary

Fr Robert (Bob) McGoran (1920-2007)

30th May 1920: Born in Belfast
Early education at St. Patrick's N.S., Drumcondra, and Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
4th October 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
5th October 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy,
1946 - 1949: St. Ignatius College, Galway - Teacher
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1961: St. Ignatius, Galway - Teacher
2nd February 1955: Final Vows at St. Ignatius, Galway
1961 - 1968: St. Ignatius, Galway - Prefect of Studies
1968 - 1973: Belvedere College - Prefect of Studies
1971 - 1973: Headmaster
1973 - 1984: St. Ignatius, Galway - Rector
1978 - 1984: Parish Priest; Parish Treasurer
1984-1990: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Parish Priest
1986-1990 Parish Priest Parish Treasurer; Prefect of the Church; Director Social Services Centre
1990 May-July: Zambia - Musaka Minor Seminary, Choma
1990 - 1993: Campion House - Promoted Apostleship of Prayer and Messenger; Assistant Editor of An Timire
1993 - 2003: Galway
1993 - 1994: Rector; Promoter A of P and Messenger
1994 - 2002: Parish Curate; Promoter A of P and Messenger
2000 - 2003: House Historian
2003 - 2007: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
1st October 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Bruce Bradley writes:
Bob McGoran was born in Belfast on 306 May 1920, and had County Down connections, but he was brought up in Dublin and educated first at St Patrick's NS, Drumcondra, and later at Coláiste Mhuire in Parnell Square. He was only 17 when he joined the Society at Emo in 1937. His long association with Galway, where he spent a total of 36 years after ordination, began, as a scholastic, when he taught there from 1946 to 1949. He was an immediate success, in the classroom, where he showed himself a naturally gifted teacher, and in the co curricular activities, which he threw himself into with characteristic generosity and enthusiasm. He had a great way with people, not least with the boys -- of all ages – in his care, but his humanity and unforced spirituality made a big impact on everyone who had contact with him.

It was no surprise that, after ordination in 1954 and tertianship, he came back to Coláiste Iognáid two years later, first as teacher and later as prefect of studies. It has been suggested that he was possibly the most versatile teacher in the Province, teaching almost every subject except modern continental languages. When a science teacher was needed, he enrolled in UCG for a course, so that he could fill the gap. He took over the games from Eddie Diffely and, in just one year, the college eight won the Anderson Trophy at Galway Regatta for the first time - a feat Eddie had greatly desired but never achieved. It was typical of him that, although not knowing much about rowing when he arrived, he effortlessly mastered his brief with the perfect result. All through his life he would do the same, taking on a diversity of new tasks, however unfamiliar to start with, and acquiring the necessary mastery without seeming to exert himself. Besides being prefect of studies, and subsequently headmaster, he ran choirs, produced operas, and raised funds for the construction of the Griffin Building. In those years, too, he led the school into the just-introduced (free education scheme. It was all taken in his stride.

Those who worked with him in those years recalled his way of getting others to work for him, his warmth and his marvellous smile bringing you along with him even against your better judgment. At the same time he had the steel to go above the Tertian Master's head when he badly needed one of the Tertians as an emergency replacement after Jack Hutchinson's heart attack at a Province meeting. When Michael Connolly refused, Bob appealed to the Assistant and duly got his man. He rarely took “no” for an answer, while managing to give no offence in the process.

In 1968, before the new building in Galway, on which he had worked so hard, was finished, he was transferred to Belvedere and served as first headmaster for five years. It is no surprise that he quickly commended himself to a new community of pupils and staff, as well as the Jesuit community, and he left many warm memories behind him when he returned to Galway. These were the years of student protest and the transition was not always easy. He wasn't above sending scholastics he trusted to do disciplinary battle on his behalf, which sometimes involved tricky assignments, but Bob's smile and innate decency disarmed any fleeting resentment felt by his subordinate and he was universally regarded as easy to work for .. and easy to live with. He brought the school through difficult
times of change in curriculum and discipline, restoring an ethos of personal care and approachability and re-establishing trust in authority after what some at least considered dark days that had gone before. A born teacher himself, his professionalism impressed his colleagues and he was an invaluable support to new teachers. He was respected by the boys for his good humour and his scrupulous sense of justice. Someone said of him: “He was fair to everyone and had no favourites”.

He returned to Galway for another eleven years in 1973, this time as rector and then parish priest. This represented a major transition into pastoral work and away from the school, although his continuing involvement with music and choirs formed a kind of continuity. In 1984 it was back to the centre of Dublin once more, first to raise £1 million for the new roof in Gardiner Street Church, then becoming parish priest and, latterly, working as director of social services, along with various other tasks, all assumed with Bob's steadiness and good humour. He is remembered as someone who brought the church and the parish through difficult times in the eighties, judging shrewdly what would work well, sympathetic to the traditional, but also keen to introduce innovation. The measure of how he was regarded was the warmth with which he was always greeted by parishioners and community alike, whenever he reappeared in Gardiner St after returning once more to the west.

Before returning to Galway for the last time in 1993, he worked in the promotion of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger and was Assistant Editor of An Timire for three years. He continued that work in Galway for a few years as rector before becoming involved again in the parish full-time, as curate. He involved himself in everything in the parish - Parish Renewal, Marriage Encounter, the choir, neighbourhood liturgies, and a variety of other activities. In June 2004 he had a swimming accident when getting out of the water on a stormy day at Blackrock. This necessitated him being brought to Cherryfield, which, to his dismay, he was destined never to leave. He would fret about this, especially early on, asking those who came to see him: “When can I go home? I want to go home. Can you arrange for me to go home?' He died on 1st October 2007, a few days before he would have celebrated seventy years in the Society.

In his moving homily at the funeral in Galway, Conall O'Cuinn welcomed him back to what was certainly his true home on this earth. “God's grace”, he said, “was at work in Bob's life and, through him, at work in all of our lives”. He graced the Province and everywhere he worked with his great human gifts and, even more profoundly, with the profound spirituality which seemed so entirely part of who he was.

McDonald, John, 1913-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/632
  • Person
  • 16 April 1913-09 July 2006

Born: 16 April 1913, Dalkey, County Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 09 July 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr John (Jack) McDonald (1913-2006)

16th April 1913: Born in Dublin
Early education in Belvedere College
12th November 1932: Entered the Society at Emo
13th November 1934: First Vows at Emo
1934 - 1937: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1940 - 1942: Belvedere - Regency, HDip in Ed
1942 - 1946: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1945: Ordained at Milltown Park
1946 - 1947: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1947 - 1950: Tullabeg - Minister; Prefect of the Church; President of B.V.M. Sodality
2nd February 1948: Final Vows at Tullabeg
1950 - 1961: Rathfarnham -
1950 - 1955: Minister; Assistant Teacher
1955 - 1961: Rector; Treasurer
1961 - 1962: Crescent College - Treasurer; Ministered in the Church
1962 - 1964: Gardiner St. - Minister; Prefect of the Church
1964 - 2006: Milltown Park -
1964 - 1965: Treasurer, Sub-Minister; Milltown Institute Treasurer
1965 - 1987: Bursar
1987 - 1988: Cherryfield Lodge - Bursar; Assistant Bursar, Milltown Park
1988 - 2001: Assistant Bursar, Milltown Park
2001 - 2006: Cherryfield Lodge - Praying for the Church and the Society
9th July 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

From the homily preached by Fr. Michael Hurley:
“Well Done, Well Done”, Good and Faithful Servant. Enter into the Joy of Your Lord' (Mt 25: 14-17, 19-23)

We're all here this morning, you will agree, to praise and thank. God for the life and work of Fr. Jack McDonald, for the blessing he has been in our lives; we're here too to ask forgiveness from God and from Jack himself for our failure to appreciate him sufficiently, to love him as much as he deserved; and we're here to pray that he may rest in peace and use his influence in the heavenly places to get us a replacement for himself and also many others of his stature to carry on the work of the Irish Jesuit Province, the work to which he devoted himself so wholeheartedly, for so long.

My name is Michael Hurley. But why am I the one to be giving the homily this morning, trying to put into words some of the thoughts in our minds, the feelings in our hearts? I'm no contemporary of Jack's: I'm only 83: he was 93: he was ten years senior to me. But I am a fellow Jesuit and I lived amicably here in Milltown Park with Jack for many years. However the main reason, I think, why it has fallen to me to give the homily this morning is this: some years ago Jack approached me and asked a favour: his nephew, Arthur, knowing he didn't have long more to live, was putting all his affairs in order and had asked to see a priest: would I oblige? Of course, I would and did and did so very gladly. In asking me Jack was doing me an honour; it was a gesture of trust. as unexpected as it was undeserved, and in giving the homily this morning I am once again saying thanks to Jack and also to the family: on the occasion of Arthur's funeral I was privileged to get a glimpse of the veneration in which Jack was held and how devoted all were to him.

For our Gospel reading this morning I chose the parable of the talents (Mt 25: 14-17, 19-23) because those great, glorious words I wanted as my text occur in it not just once but twice and I can think of no words more appropriate for the occasion. 'Well Done, Well Done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord'. These were surely the words which the choirs of angels and the whole court of heaven were singing on Sunday morning when Jack made his entry. As we'll be reminded once again at the end of Mass, the funeral liturgy explicitly invites us to imagine the angels and saints leading and escorting and welcoming Jack into paradise, into the holy city, to the bosom of Abraham, to meet our Lord and his mother, to sit down at table with them at the banquet feast which is heaven.

But who else was in that welcoming party? Surely his patron Saint John but Jack was such an intensely private person that we can't be sure whether this is the aggressive John the Baptist or the amiable John the Evangelist. Also present will have been all those who have gone before him to prepare a place for him: his father, John J. founder of the now well-known law firm, his mother, Maud Flannery of Ballaghadreen; Jack's eight sisters and brothers, four of each, especially Joe who followed him to the Jesuit noviceship; all the fifteen who entered Emo with him in 1932 (except Joe Mallin who was home from Hong Kong recently to take part in the 1916 celebrations); all the ten who were ordained with him in this chapel in 1945, all the fellow residents of Cherryfield who have gone before him, not least perhaps Joe Gill who was ordained with him in 1945.

Jack entered Emo in November 1932, the year of the eucharistic congress. His novice master was Fr John Coyne who subsequently exerted an enormous influence on the life of the Province. After Rathfarnham from where the studied Arts in UCD and Tullabeg where he studied philosophy he went to Belvedere to teach from 1940-42 and one of the first tributes which we have to Jack's characteristic personal kindness comes from these years.

The tribute occurs in an autobiographical sketch written by one of the boys he taught who is still alive, and Fr John Guiney has kindly shared a copy of this document with me. Jack is here referred to as “a special friend”, with “a heart of solid gold”; mention is made of his “courtesy and superb manners” and of “the myriad of good deeds that he performed”. Other such tributes would follow in the course of Jack's life.

After ordination and tertianship, Jack became involved in administration and this was to continue for the rest of his active life. In 1947 he went to Tullabeg as Minister, as second in command and in charge of all practical matters in the house. After three years in Tullabeg he went to Rathfarnham - for five years as Minister and then for six as Rector. The Crescent in Limerick came next, but only for one year in which he was Treasurer; then Gardiner Street for two years where he was Minister, and finally, in 1964. Milltown Park where he acted as Bursar until his retirement to Cherryfield in 1999.

Administration can be difficult. Ever since the disobedience of Adam those subject to authority resist it. Administration can be particularly difficult in a period of rapid social change, when attitudes all round are changing but without as yet the sanction of law. Law is slow to catch up with life even in non-controversial matters and this time-lag can be very troublesome for those in positions of responsibility. Jack could not escape from this dilemma. Here in Ireland we had no experience of the horror and turmoil of the second world war, but neither did we experience much of the changes and experimentation to which it led in church as well as in society. Some changes did take place here (Zambia, Gonzaga, Manresa), but, in general, the winds of change were not altogether welcome and one sign of this can possibly be seen in the fact that for almost quarter of a century from 1935 until well after the war, until 1959, the important position of Socius to the Provincial, Assistant Provincial, was held by the same person. The Vatican Council and the Jesuit Congregations eventually helped but before these took place it was extremely difficult to be a superior of any sort, specially if you were a perfectionist as Jack was. So Jack's years in administration cannot have been easy. But he enjoyed figures and was an excellent bursar and bookkeeper, fully deserving of a Well Done Well Done.

He also enjoyed gardening -- the greenhouse in our quadrangle is a monument to his interest in gardening -- and fishing in Mayo in the summer time, and, of course. family visits. His reputation for personal kindness continued to grow. Br John Adams recalls with much appreciation and thanks how in 1961 when he himself was away in London on tertianship and his father in Limerick was dying, Jack was wonderfully kind to his mother.

Those who make the Spiritual Exercises hear Christ in the meditation on the Kingdom addressing them in these words: “It is my will to conquer the whole world and all my enemies. Therefore whoever wishes to join me in this enterprise must be willing to labour with me, that by following me in suffering, he may follow me in glory”. Jack made the Exercises and that meditation. He heard that call and answered it with great generosity, wishing indeed with God's help to distinguish himself in the service of Christ his Lord and King.

So the angelic chorus which sang Jack into heaven on Sunday were simply indicating the fulfilment of the promise made to him by Christ the King: Jack having followed him in labours and in suffering as a Jesuit for seventy four years would now follow him in glory; would now share his joy, his peace: “Well Done, Well Done, good and faithful servant. Come take possession of the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world”. (Mt 25:34).

McAsey, Edward, 1920-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/631
  • Person
  • 04 March 1920-30 December 2001

Born: 04 March 1920, Rathgar, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 30 December 2001, Manresa, Dollymount, Dublin

??Brother Joe McAsey - RIP 1991??

by 1985 at Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Fr Edward (Ted) McAsey (1920-2001)

4th March, 1920: Born in Dublin
Early education at Belvedere College
7th Sept. 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1946 - 1948: Mungret - Teacher
1948 - 1949: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July, 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1958: Mungret - 3rd Club prefect
1955: 1st Club prefect
1958 - 1960: Rathfarnham - Assistant to Director of retreats.
1960 - 1962: Manresa House - Teacher of Religion in Vocation Schools and Bolton Street
1962 - 1968: Gardiner St. - Teacher of Religion in Bolton St. Church work in Gardiner Street
1968 - 1969: Eglinton Road - Studied psychology at UCD
1969 - 1970: NCIR - Studied psychology at UCD
1970 - 1973: Gardiner Street - Teacher of Religion in Vocation Schools and Bolton Street
1973 - 1984: Tullabeg - Directed Spiritual Exercises
1975: Spent 3 months in Far East.
2nd Feb. 1981: Final Vows at Tullamore
1984 - 1989: Nairobi - Mwangaza House - Minister, Directed Spiritual Exercises
1989 - 1995: University Hall - Assistant Prefect; Director LRA, Directed Spiritual Exercises
1995 - 1998: NCIR - Director LRA, Directed Sp. Exercises
1998 - 2001: Manresa - Director LRA; Counselling; Health Prefect; Director, Spiritual Exercise

Ted was on his way back from saying Mass in Balally on December 30, 2001, when he died at the wheel of his car, probably from a heart attack. He will be terribly missed, not only by numerous clients and apostolates, but by the elderly and sick of Manresa, to whom he was devoted; and by all of us as a lively, happy companion.

Todd Morrissey writes....
Perhaps the most striking aspect of Ted's sudden and dramatic death has been the gap it has left in the lives of so many. Several weeks after the event, one woman commented: “I still expect to hear his large cheerful voice on the phone, I cannot believe that he is dead”. In the community, one still expects to see him stride into the refectory exuding vitality, and always in good form. The gap reflects somehow his bigness in so many ways. He was big physically, with a big voice, a big laugh, and with a big heart, which was reflected in his care of others, his interest in others, his availability to others. Whether as friend, spiritual guide, or psychological counsellor, he gave the impression of solidity, of being there for one, ready to listen and, if needed, to provide shrewd advice and encouraging, yet searching analysis.

“Compassion” is a word that so many of his clients use in his regard. It was evident in his last two communities, at Sandford Lodge and Manresa, where he had care of the sick. Nothing seemed to be too much trouble, and service always seemed to be accompanied by a quip or a laugh. His interest in those who were ill was reflected also in his frequent visits to Cherryfield. During his twelve years as spiritual director to the Lay Retreat Association, numerous members experienced his compassion, and a number of retreatants were surprised and touched to receive a phone call from him a couple of weeks after a retreat, asking how they were getting on and how they were managing with the problem they had discussed.

Ted's vitality, trim appearance, and full head of hair made him seem younger than he was. He lived a disciplined life: early to bed, early to rise, and a short snooze after dinner, combined to leave him with what seemed an endless supply of energy. Each day, up to his final two years, he had a continuous stream of clients, Monday to Saturday Saturday evening and Sunday were frequently devoted to LRA retreats. Holiday periods were filled with tridua or eight-day retreats. Last summer was devoted, after a couple of retreats, to several weeks of supply work in a parish in California, where he was the sole priest. A friend, studying nearby, who rang and suggested they go out for a meal, was told he had not the time - there were weddings, christenings, funerals, on top of the usual masses, confessions and sick calls, and he was enjoying every moment of it! Not surprising then that so many experience a large gap in their lives, and none more than his only, much loved niece, Phena Gee, in Australia, with whom he kept in regular contact, and with whom and her family he spent a memorable few months during his 79th year.

Ted was born in Rathgar, Dublin, on March 4, 1920, one of three children. He seems to have had a happy childhood and to have enjoyed his school days at Belvedere. On September 7, 1938, he entered the Society at Emo. One contemporary recalls him as a large, energetic, noisy and awkward youth, cheerful and anxious to please. During the novitiate there was a severe prolonged frost, and old ice-skates were brought out for skating on the lake. Ted is remembered as giving so much time to fixing the skates of others as to have had little time to skate himself. His generosity, however, was not entirely appreciated. His awkwardness did not make for skill, and some of his fellow novices, with a facility in Latin, were heard to remark - “Quod tangit, frangit”. After Emo, Ted went through the usual round of studies at Rathfarnham/UCD and Tullabeg, before going on to regency at Mungret and Clongowes Wood colleges, 1946-49. His ordination was at Miltown Park in 1952, and his tertianship at Rathfarnham.

Then, free at last, he spent the years 1954-1958 at Mungret College, first as Third Club, and then as First Club, prefect. It was a difficult time at Mungret, but he relished the work as prefect. It provided an outlet for his vast energy, and revealed his capacity for detailed organisation and his ability to deal with large numbers of boys in an ordered yet human way. After Mungret, he moved to Rathfarnham as assistant to the director of retreats. There he had his first in depth contacts with the men of the Lay Retreat Association. From 1960-1973, he worked as a teacher of religion in vocational schools, and especially in Bolton Street. During that time he spent two valuable years studying psychology at UCD. It was an important time for his own development, and for his subsequent capacity to help countless people with their personal and psychological problems. It also helped him work on his own natural impatience and impetuosity. In 1973 he moved to the type of work that was to occupy him for the rest of his life - namely, directing the Spiritual Exercises, and counselling, first in Tullabeg, then in Kenya, and finally back in Dublin. In the Jesuit retreat house in Nairobi, he was minister as well as spiritual director, and he learned much from two Indian Jesuit directors on the staff with him.

A feature of Ted's life was his openness to new experiences, to new learning. One of the joys of his work with the LRA, during the last twelve years of his life, was the fact that his predecessors had opened the theology and spirituality of Vatican II to the members. This challenged him to keep reading, to keep updating his knowledge and spirituality. Shortly before his death, he eagerly shared with others what he was learning from the tapes of Raymond Brown on the Acts of the Apostles, and on the Gospel of St. John. In the community, Ted coordinated the Revision de Vie meetings, and from his frank comments it was clear that prayer was frequently a struggle for him, and yet he was to be seen in the chapel for an hour every morning giving his time to meditation. The effort paid off. The impetuosity and impatience that marked his earlier years disappeared almost entirely, and he became increasingly a man for others.

A central feature in each day was his celebration of Mass with a few members of the community. Fittingly, his final religious service was offering Mass for some of his friends of the sisters of Charity. Afterwards, he was the life of the party as usual, and then drove some of the sisters to their lodgings with no intimations of mortality. A few minutes later, on the road home, life ended with a crash - without danger to anyone else. An appropriate way to go for someone who radiated life and energy, and whose favourite texts were: “I am come that they may have life and have it to the full”, and the saying attributed to Irenaus, “The glory of God is man fully alive”.

Marmion, Joseph, 1925-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/630
  • Person
  • 24 November 1925-15 November 2000

Born: 24 November 1925, Liverpool, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 02 February 1960, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 15 November 2000, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1955 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1979 at Rue de Grenelle Paris, France (GAL) sabbatical

Bellew, Christopher, 1818-1867, Jesuit priest

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

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

Older brother of Michael RIP 1868

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Loftus, John, 1915-1999, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/629
  • Person
  • 11 November 1915-27 March 1999

Born: 11 November 1915, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo
Entered: 11 March 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 27 March 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Tailor before entry

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Br John Loftus (1915-1999)

11th Nov. 1915: Born at Ballyhaunis, Co. Mayo.
Early education: National School, Ballyhaunis.
Pre-entry crafts: 6 years with Prices Tailors.
11th Mar. 1941: Entered the Society at Emo.
12th Mar. 1943: First vows at Emo
1943 - 1953: Rathfarnham Staff Supervisor
1953 - 1972: Belvedere Staff Supervisor
1972 - 1976: Tullabeg, Staff Supervisor
1976 - 1981: Manresa House : Administration in Retreat House
1981 - 1998; S.F.X., Gardiner St.
During the 18 years he spent at Gardiner Street, John worked in various posts: Assistant Minister, Assistant Director SFX Hall, Buyer, Infirmarian, Assisting in the Community.

Brother John Loftus was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on September 15th 1998 with leg ulcers. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on the 25th with pulmonary emboli, returning to Cherryfield on 12th October. He had to be hospitalized again on 13th November with severe bowel obstruction, and was discharged to Cherryfield on 9th December. His general condition was very poor and he was in need of total nursing care. There was a gradual deterioration in his condition and he surprised everybody by how long he held onto his life. He was under the care of Dr. Matthews. He died peacefully on Saturday evening 27th March 1999, aged 83 years.

Brother John Loftus was born on 11th November 1915 in Co. Mayo, about ten miles from Knock. He worked in Dublin at Tailoring for a number of years. During this period he lodged at the Brazen-Head guest house beside Wood quay. This is reputed to be the oldest pub in Ireland, going back to the 12th century, John was always proud of this achievement.

He joined the society in 1941 and took final vows in 1951. We were together on several occasions for summer holidays. He was always cheerful and my mother said he had a perpetual smile. He was very close to his family and often spoke about them. He had a great devotion to Our Lady and often went to make his Annual retreat at Knock, His faith was very strong. He always had his rosary beads in his hands. He never passed the chapel without opening the door, As he said to me 'I like to say hello to the boss'. His prayerful life spilled over into everyday life. I always noticed his kindness and gentleness to the poor.

He suffered a lot from arthritis, but he seldom complained. He was very patient man. I talked a good deal with him during his last illness. He was well prepared to meet with his God. I count it a privilege to have known and lived with him. I'm sure he's still smiling down upon us.

George Fallon

Lawler, Raymond,1921-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/627
  • Person
  • 28 May 1921-14 April 2001

Born: 28 May 1921, Bunclody, County Wexford
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 14 April 2001, Clongowes Wood College, Naas, Co Kildare

Youngest Brother of Brendan - RIP 1993 and Donald - RIP 1984

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1982 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Raymond Lawler was born in Co. Wexford, Ireland on 28 May 1921. Fr Raymond (Ray) came to Clongowes Wood College, a Jesuit boarding school, as a small boy of eleven years. Little did he realise that he would spend almost half of his life there as teacher, prefect of studies, higher line prefect, and finally as third line Spiritual Father which he was when he died at the age of 80. Clongowes (CWC) was the love of his life (apart from golf) and it was a mutual relationship between him and the successive generations of boys – always a difficult and critical body, who held him in high esteem. After the funeral Mass, members of his family and students of the school carried his coffin along the Third Line gallery where he had passed so often in the final six years of his ministry. A guard of honour was formed by present and past pupils in a moving tribute to someone who had come to mean so much to so many young people over so many years.

Ray followed the normal formation of the Society: humanities (BA honours in Latin and French), philosophy, regency in Crescent, Limerick and CWC, and theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained on the feast of St Ignatius in 1952. After tertianship, he was posted to CWC as teacher and then prefect of studies for eight years. An official visitor from Rome to the Province did some shuffling of personnel and Ray found himself changed to Belvedere College for two years. He returned quietly to CWC in 1964 again as higher line prefect (1964 - 68) and teacher from 1968 to 1981.

Now at the age of sixty, Ray had a sabbatical in Toronto. Then came a big change in his life when he opted to come to Zambia, Africa where he spent two years teaching French and Scripture to the novices in Lusaka. Fr Bob Kelly went on sabbatical for a year and left his gleaming new car in charge of Ray whose talents did not extend to motor maintenance! But this was ideal for Ray to ferry himself and his clubs to the nearby golf course. He had a passion for birds and was appreciative of anyone who helped him add to his beautiful collection of Zambian bird stamps.

When he returned to Ireland he worked in Tullabeg as Director of the Spiritual Exercises for a year followed by ten years at Gardiner Street Church as parish chaplain. Like a captain viewing the horizon from the bridge of his ship, Ray looked south to his beloved CWC and at the age 74 moved there to be third line spiritual Father.

He enjoyed good health to the end. He preached on Holy Thursday to the past pupils who were on retreat in CWC and played golf all Good Friday afternoon. He died in his room on Holy Saturday following a massive heart attack, on the 14 April 2001 at the age of 80.

Ray was a man who found God in all things whether playing cards, scrabble, chess, whether on the golf course, whether teaching, whatever he was doing he was never far from God. Before he left for Zambia, the school made him a presentation of a set of golf clubs. The school secretary said in his speech, ‘If there were a university degree for gentleness, I think that Father Lawler would have a PhD’. His character was summed up in the phrase “a lovable and loving person”.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Raymond (Ray) Lawler (1921-2001)

28th May 1921: Born in Bunclody
Early education at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1946 - 1948: Crescent College - Regency
1948 - 1949: Clongowes Wood College - Regency
1949 - 1953: Milltown - Studying Theology
31 July 1952: Ordained at Milltown
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1962: Clongowes Wood College - Teacher
2nd Feb 1956: Final Vows
1956 - 1962: Clongowes - Prefect of Studies
1962 - 1964: Belvedere - Teacher
1964 - 1968: Clongowes - Higher Line Prefect
1968 - 1981: Clongowes - Teacher
1981 - 1982: Sabbatical Year
1982 - 1984: Zambia
1984 - 1985: Tullabeg - Director of Spiritual Exercises
1985 - 1995: Gardiner Street - Parish Chaplain
1995 - 2001: Clongowes - Third Line Spiritual Father; Assisted in Cherryfield
14th April 2001: Died Clongowes Wood College

Ray enjoyed good health to the end. He preached on Holy Thursday to the Past Pupils, who were on Retreat in Clongowes, and played golf on Good Friday afternoon. He died in his room on Holy Saturday following a massive heart attack. He will be greatly missed by all, but particularly by his beloved Third Liners.

Michael Sheil writes

When Ray Lawler came to Clongowes as a young boy of 11 in 1932, he had already spent 7 years in boarding school. At the tender age of 4 he had started his academic career in Dominican Convent, Wicklow. When he died suddenly in Clongowes at Easter, he had experienced over three-quarters of a century of institutional living.

He once described his birthplace, Bunclody, as the back of beyond (he was preaching at the funeral Mass of his neighbour and friend Dr Tom Murphy, former President of UCD, who lived “a bit beyond that”!) But he was always loyal to Wexford and rejoiced when good fortune came the way of their teams,

After leaving Clongowes, where he figured prominently at cricket and rugby, Ray followed the usual pattern of Jesuit formation in the 40s and 50s, studying Arts at UCD, philosophy in Tullabeg. He did his regency in Crescent College and Clongowes and was ordained on 31 July 1952. Afterwards Tertianship in Rathfarnham followed and then began his long association with his beloved Clongowes.

He filled a number of posts there, beginning as a Teacher for 5 years and then as Prefect of Studies for a further 3, until in the general mass migrations which signalled Fr Visitor's (McMahon) passage through the Province in 1962, Ray moved to Belvedere,

My own memories of him go way back to 1949 when, in my first year in the Third Line in Clongowes, we used to hear everyone talking about the marvellous Mr Lawler, who had left the year before. For he had just finished his regency there. In my last two years, I had him for Latin and French and Religion - and was able to realize for myself just why he had been held in such high esteem by that most discerning - if not downright difficult, critical body - the students themselves!

After two short years in Belvedere, Ray returned for what was to be his longest stint in Clongowes - 17 years, until 1981. He began as Higher Line Prefect ( 4 years) and rejoined the teaching staff for the remainder of that time. He was an excellent teacher of French and duly coached rugby and cricket (he played cricket regularly for the local club, North Kildare.) But it was during this time that he fell in love...he discovered the joys of golf! He became a regular sight on the College's golf course and competed frequently in competitions in Naas Golf Club. One year he came home with no less than 5 turkeys won there. And the school's S.R.P.A. (The Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged - founded by Fr Brian Cullen) was the happy beneficiary.

He was still here when I returned as Higher Line Prefect in 1975 and was a marvellous companion in Community .... and I don't ever remember getting the better of him in a game of golf! Before the golf course was as good as it is today, he used to practise hitting golf bails from the Third Line rugby pitches on to the cricket oval - in all kinds of weather. I remember one day taking a Senior Rugby Practice in miserable, coid, sleety weather. After a while the Captain dared to suggest that we were only wasting our time, for it was too cold to do anything really useful. But I insisted that we might have to play a Cup match in such conditions (as indeed turned out to be the case - it even snowed!). So we battled on. However, after a while, the Captain approached me again and said, “Look, Fr Lawler has gone in!” “All right”, I said, “if it's too cold for Fr Lawler, then it's too cold for us!” And so in we went!

Six years ago we both returned together for what was to be such a wonderful Indian summer of his life. The story is told of how a fellow-Jesuit, on meeting Ray shortly after that change to CWC was announced, said that he had heard that it had taken him only 5 minutes to accept to come back here as Spiritual Father to the Third Line. The story goes that Ray got quite angry at the suggestion and protested that that was an awful thing to say about him. His companion - unused to see the usually placid Ray showing anger - back-pedalled a bit and said that it was only what he had heard from someone else. But Ray was only having him on - and to put him out his agony explained that 5 minutes was a gross exaggeration - it had taken him only 5 seconds! Just after he died, someone said: Surely he is in beaven - to which the reply came back: Sure he arrived in heaven when he came back to Clongowes! That speaks wonders for the spirit which he helped to encourage. It also means that the boys themselves had a part to play in making him so happy - in making him what he was - a lovable and loving person.

When he left CWC in 1981 to go to Zambia - the school made Fr Lawler a presentation of - surprise, surprise! - a set of clubs ... for that, even then, was his great pastime love. In his speech in the Concourse, the School Secretary said something which I never forgot - and which summed Ray up to perfection. “If there were a University degree for gentleness - I think that Fr Lawler would have a PhD.!” For that was indeed one of his great qualities.

On his return to Clongowes in 1995 he became Spiritual Father (or, as some used to say, Spiritual Grandfather!) and he became a central figure in the lives of very many young boys - some of them desperately homesick - and of their parents. The testimony of the great number of letters of sympathy written to the Community bears witness to this. His night prayer with Third Line was spiritual and deeply thought out - informal and always interesting - relevant and touching the lives of Third Liners where they were. How appropriate was it - however much it brought a lump to the throat - to see him on the recent RTE programme, leading this year's Opening Assembly last September, for what was to be the last time - reminding the assembled school of the importance of what really brought the school community together - when they gather to give thanks and glory to God.

St Ignatius of Loyola wanted his companions to be able to find God in all things. And, surely, didn't Ray do just that?! Whether playing cards - scrabble - chess - whether on the golf-course (as he was on the very day before he died) - whether teaching the yoyo (the very first online purchase made by CWC on the internet was yoyo string!) whatever Ray was doing - wherever he was - he was never far from God. For God was never far from him. Psalm 138 (139) was his favourite and he often quoted the lines: “It was you who created my being... ...I thank you for the wonder of my being, for the wonders of all your creation”. The Psalm ends with the words: “See that I follow not the wrong path and lead me in the path of life eternal”.

And so God did come to lead Ray home - as quietly as he had lived - in the silence of a Holy Saturday morning. As the Church waited to celebrate again the great Feast of Christ's Resurrection Ray left for a better place. Although his funeral took place during the school holidays at Easter, the College Chapel was full for Mass. Afterwards, members of his family and students of the school carried his coffin along the Third Line gallery (where he had passed so often in the final six years of his ministry.) A guard of honour was formed by present and past pupils in a moving tribute to someone who had come to mean so much to so many young people over so many years. In Clongowes Ray continues to be an inspiration to his Brethren who remember with gratitude and affection his pleasant companionship. And his memory will long be held in reverence in the school where he spent nearly half of his long and full life.

Keelaghan, Edward, 1925-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/625
  • Person
  • 15 April 1925-08 April 2005

Born: 15 April 1925, Ballybay, County Monaghan
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 26 July 1957, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin
Died: 08 April 2005, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1956 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR) studying
by 1986 at East Acton, London (BRI) working Hammersmith Hospital

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Edward (Ned) Keelaghan (1925-2005)

15th April 1925: Born in Ballybay, Co. Monaghan
Early education at CBS, Monaghan
7th September 1943: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1945: First Vows at Emo
1945 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1948 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1954: Belvedere - Regency
1954 - 1955: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1955 - 1958: Innsbruck - Studied Theology
26th July 1957: Ordained at Innsbruck
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1960: Clongowes - Teacher, Assistant Prefect of Studies; Lecturer in Pedagogy
1960 - 1962: Crescent College - Teacher; Assistant Prefect of Studies
1962 - 1963: Clongowes - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher; Lecturer in Pedagogy
1963 - 1966: Clongowes - Minister
1966 - 1967: Tullabeg - Mission Staff.
1967 - 1969: Rathfarnham - Director of Retreat House
1969 - 1974: Leeson Street - National Director of Sodalities & CLC Group
1974 - 1976: Gardiner Street - Minister
1976 - 1978: University Hall - Principal
5th November 1977: Final Vows
1978 - 1980: Leeson Street - Minister; Directed Spiritual Exercises
1980 - 1985: University Hall
1980 - 1983: Assistant Principal; Mission Staff
1983 - 1984: Promoter of Messenger
1984 - 1985: Minister in Leeson Street
1985 - 1988: London - Chaplain in Hammersmith Hospital
1988 - 1989: Chaplain to Irish Emigrants
1989 - 1994: Cherryfield Lodge -
1989 - 1993: Vice-Superior
1993 - 1994: Superior
1994 - 1995: Dooradoyle - Assistant Chaplain
1995 - 2001: John Austin House - Superior; Eucharistic Youth Movement, Directed Spiritual Exercises
2001 - 2004: Belvedere
2001 - 2002: Mini-sabbatical; Promoted Eucharistic Youth Movement; Directed Spiritual Exercises
2002 - 2003: Minister; Health Prefect; Guestmaster
2003 - 2004: Promoted Eucharistic Youth Movement; - Directed Spiritual Exercises, Assisted in Gardiner St
2004 - 2005: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Church work.
8th April 2005: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Keelaghan was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on March 4", 2005 having spent some time in the Mater Hospital. For the first few weeks he seemed to improve and was mobile. In the final ten days his condition deteriorated slowly and he died peacefully on Friday 8th. April. Father Dargan and the nursing staff were present.

John Guiney writes:

A brief glance at Ned's "curriculum vitae" indicates a great wealth and variety of talent. Most of his apostolic life after formation was spent in areas of responsibility as Superior, Minister, Director of Retreat House, Principal of University Hall, Superior in John Austin House, and Cherryfield.

There is a little vignette previous to his appointment to run Cherryfield Lodge. The then Provincial , Philip Harnett, was visiting Ned in the U.K. prior to his next status. When discussing the next status, Philip asked, “What about Cherryfield?" Ned was naturally somewhat nonplussed - was it not too soon ? (he was only aged 63 ) – he thought Philip was suggesting he become a patient there.

What suited Ned so admirably to fulfil these various areas was his outstanding talent of friendship and kindness with others. Ned was always sympathetic, generous, thoughtful, kind. If he needed help, he was not shy to ask for it.

Ned had a wealth of friends and admirers outside the Society, due not only to his variety of apostolates, but also to his obvious goodness. This made himn quite unafraid, on occasion, to enlist help. He was not slow to take an initiative or make expected requests.

Whien he was Minister in Clongowes in 1963-66 (with Hilary Lawton as Rector), Clongowes had plans for a large new building, but all our usual bankers refused to furnish the necessary loan facilities, much to Hilary's disappointment and frustration. However, he had not counted on the initiative of his Minister who went into the Ulster Bank in Naas (unusual territory for us), the management of which was very happy to secure the large prestigious Clongowes account. And so the building forged ahead.

Ned's years as Superior in Cherryfield were notable for his invitations to open it to the Province by inviting all of us to use the unoccupied space for stays in Dublin or for private retreats. He was gracious in his hospitality, and if ever he was visiting a sick member of the staff, or other associates, he could come loaded with flowers or chocolates or a bottle of wine.

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:

In his early days Eddie was a cheerful boy, attending school at CBS, Monaghan, and, I am very reliably informed, addressing all his homework with great care and even a song! He was a contented and a happy child, little trouble to anyone. I suggest that this is the way Ned led all his life - little trouble to anyone. Indeed to all who have spoken to me of their experience of Fr Eddie, this sense of a quiet and contented person has been theirs.

Eddie joined the Society of Jesus, at Emo Park, Portarlington, in 1943, and after eight years of studies, he joined the Community at Belvedere College as a 'scholastic' or Regent until 1954. It was the beginning of some lasting friendships and good companionships and again many Past Pupils have expressed their deep gratitude to me for this gift to them from Ned. After Belvedere, Ned went to Milltown for one year and then completed his study of Theology at Innsbruck, where he was ordained in 1958.

Over the years Ned had a most fruitful and varied ministry: all of his ministry may well be summed up in the response we have used in our psalm: "The Lord is Compassion and Love". I have no doubt that God used the talents of His friend and priest, Ned, to bring to our world this awareness of compassion and love. Ned could be a tad obsequious from time to time and some, including myself, found it infuriating! But I am sure that this only reflects on my own impatience, and nothing to be set against Ned!
The first reading from the Book of Wisdom (3:1-9) has God reminding you and me that “Grace and Mercy await those He has chosen”. How deeply Ned longed for these qualities. He practiced 'grace' everywhere he went - a gentleman to his very core, and his God will, without any hesitancy, reflect that same gentle mercy to him now:

Gill, Joseph Mary, 1915-2006, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/623
  • Person
  • 03 February 1915-22 June 2006

Born: 03 February 1915, Westport, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 June 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The sad and peaceful death of Fr Joe Gill, SJ, took place in the afternoon of 22 June, 2006, in the Jesuit Nursing Home, Cherryfield, Dublin. His passing marked the end of an era, for he served 72 years in the Society of Jesus. May his noble soul be at the right hand of God.

Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on 3 February 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare.

At the age of 19, Joe entered the Jesuit noviceship at Emo Park in 1934 and took his first vows in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in philosophy at Tullabeg (1939-1942) and in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on 31 July, 1945.

After his tertianship (1946-1947) he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. He took his final vows as a Jesuit on 2 February 1948.
In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the 'founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years in Zambia he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in the mission outstations of Kasiya, Chivuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956 Fr Joe was made minister of the recently founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh, later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland.

It was in 1958 however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first 44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Fr Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counsellor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wide variety of penitents from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity. He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Fr Joe encouraged an extraordinary gathering of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Fr Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002 which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital. Galway), Fr Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, he kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister.

Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

Note from Bill Lee Entry
In 1951, two of these places (Kasiya and Chivuna) became new mission stations. Kasiya was set up by Fr. Bill Lee in 1951, the year after he arrived in the country. Later in December, he was joined by Fr J Gill.. When Fr Gill arrived and a 250cc motorbike was available, Fr Gill looked after the station and set out to visit the centers of Christianity within a radius of up to 30 miles.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.
Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949
Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Joesph (Joe) Gill (1915-2006)

3rd February 1915: Born in Westport, Co. Mayo
Early education in Mercy Convent & CBS Westport and Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg -Studied Philosophy
1942 - 1946: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31st July 1945: Ordained at Milltown Park
1946 - 1947: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1947 - 1948: Crescent -Spiritual Father (boys) & Teacher
2nd February 1948: Final Vows at Sacred Heart College
1948 - 1949: St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka
1949 - 1951: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1951 - 1952: Kasiya - Building Outstations
1952 - 1954: Civuna and Fumbo -Building Outstations
1954 - 1956: Canisius College, Chikuni - Minister and Teacher
1956 - 1958: Catholic Workers College, Dublin - Minister
1958 - 2006: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street -
1958 - 1977: Pastoral Ministry; Director SFX Social Services;
1977 - 1985: Ministered in the Church
1985 - 1989: Sub-minister
1989 - 2002: Assisted in Church; Director of the Sodality of Our Lady and St. Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration and work for poor parishes.
2002 - 2006: Cherryfield - praying for the Church and the Society.
22nd June 2006: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Micheál MacGréil wrote in the Mayo News July 12th 2006:
Joseph Mary Gill was born to the late Dr Anthony and Mary (nee Mulloy) Gill of Westport on February 30, 1915. He got his early education in the Mercy Convent and the Christian Brothers' Schools in Westport and in Clongowes Wood College.

At the age of 19 years, Joe entered the Jesuit Noviceship at Emo Park (near Portarlington) in 1934, and took his first vows as a Jesuit in 1936. During the following ten years (1936-1946) he completed his third-level studies in Arts (at UCD, 1936-1939), in Philosophy (at Tullabeg, County Offaly 1939-1942) and in Theology (at Milltown Park, Dublin 1942-1946). He was ordained a priest at Milltown Park on July 31, 1945. Following a third spiritual year (Tertianship, 1946-1947), he taught for a year in the Crescent Secondary School for boys in Limerick. Fr Joe took his final vows as a Jesuit on February 2, 1948.

In 1948, Fr Gill was chosen to become one of the founding fathers' of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia in Africa (then known as Northern Rhodesia). During his eight years he worked tirelessly as pastor, builder, teacher and administrator in St Ignatius Church, Lusaka, in St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, and in mission outstations in Kasiya, Civuna and Fumbo.

On his return to Ireland in 1956, Fr Joe was made Minister (administrator) of the recently-founded Catholic Workers' College in Ranelagh (later to be known as the National College of Industrial Relations and today renamed as the National College of Ireland).

It was in 1958, however, that Father Gill was given his major appointment for the pastoral, spiritual and administrative care of souls in St Francis Xavier's Church, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin. This was to be his spiritual vineyard for the next 48 years. For the first-44 years of his time in Gardiner Street, Father Joe achieved an extraordinary grace as pastor and spiritual counselor. He spent hours upon hours hearing confessions and trying to bring peace of mind to a wider range of penitents - from the ranks of clergy, religious and laity.

He was always available as long as his health enabled him. In addition to the onerous tasks of the confessional and the parlour, Father Joe encouraged an extraordinary collectivity of devout souls in the Sodality of Our Lady and Saint Patrick and the Association of Perpetual Adoration. He became spiritual director of both groups in 1989. Every year his dedicated friends would make a wonderfully colourful variety of vestments for Churches in Ireland and in the Mission fields. Father Joe was extremely proud of the creative work of his team.

Following an accidental fall in 2002, which resulted in a hip replacement (in Merlin Park Hospital, Galway), Father Joe's health began to fail somewhat. This extraordinary pastor kept up his role as spiritual counsellor in the Jesuit Nursing Home until all his energy had faded away. His passing marked the completion of a very full life as a priest and as a kind friend.

Fr Joe will be sadly missed by his Jesuit brothers and members of his family. Although living and working away from Westport, Father Joe Gill kept constant contact with the parish of his birth and early rearing. He is survived by his sister, Moya Gill, Westport; his nieces Marlene Lavelle (Achill), Brenda Furnace (Dublin), Janice Gill (England) and by his nephews, Joe, James, Peter and Vincent McGovern (Newport, Westport, Galway and Naas), John and Paul Gill (Dublin), Anthony, James, John and Joseph Gill (England).

Fr. Joe was predeceased by his twin sister, Ella McGovern, and his brothers, Dr Anthony, Lt. Col. Gerrard (Engineer Corps) and Xavier (Xavie) Gill. His removal and funeral Mass were celebrated in St Francis Xavier Church, where he ministered for so long. The final tribute to Father Joe was given by the Jesuit Superior of St Francis Xavier's Community, Father Derek Cassidy, SJ, during his sermon at the funeral Mass. There was a very large and representative attendance at Fr Joe's funeral Mass, including members of his extended family from Ireland and abroad.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Father John Dardis, SJ, and the former Jesuit Provincial of Zambia, Father Paul Brassil, SJ, concelebrated the Mass with scores of other priest colleagues of Father Joe's. A substantial representation of Jesuit Brothers, and Sisters and Brothers of other congregations also took part.

It was very fitting that so many friends travelled from west Mayo to make their prayer of farewell to 'one of their own', whose great love was boating on Clew Bay, Sagart dilis, muinteartha, carthanach a bhí ann. Rinne sé a dhícheall ar son an tsoiscéil bheo. I bhfochair Dé go raibh sé.

Curran, Shaun, 1924-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/622
  • Person
  • 29 December 1924-14 August 1999

Born: 29 December 1924, Dublin
Entered: 02 October 1946, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 06 January 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 August 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1949 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1985 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) Sabbatical

Nolan, Henry J, 1910-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/620
  • Person
  • 06 April 1910-24 December 2006

Born: 06 April 1910, Hong Kong
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly / St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Chiesa del Gesú, Rome Italy
Died: 24 December 2006, Casa Di Cura Villa Cherubini, Florence, Italy

Part of the Via Silvia, Florence, Italy community at the time of death

Early education at Presentation Brothers College, Cork and Belvedere College SJ

by 1935 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1948 at Rome, Italy (ROM) - writing
by 1970 at Florence, Italy (ROM) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Henry Nolan (1910-2007) : Paraguay Province

6th April 1910: Born in Hong Kong
Early education at Convent of Our Lady of Chartres and Victoria British School, Hong Kong; Presentation College, Cork and Belvedere College
2nd September 1929: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
3rd September 1931: First Vows at Emo
1931 - 1934: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1934 - 1937” Maison Saint Louis, Jersey - Studied Philosophy
1937 - 1940: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency); Studied for H Dip Ed
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Gardiner Street - worked in Church
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham and Rome
3rd February 1947: Final Vows in Rome
1946 - 1962: Curia, Rome - English Section of Vatican Radio; living at the Curia and subsequently at the House of Writers, where he was Superior. He became ill in 1961 and returned to Dublin to recuperate following surgery.
1962 - 1965: Rathfarnham - Spiritual Director (SJ); Assistant Director of Retreat House; Editor of magazine “Madonna”.
1965 - 1968: Belvedere College - Rector
1968 - 1969: Emo - Minister; Socius to Master of Novices
1969 - 2006: Florence - Pastoral Care of English-speaking Community in Diocese; Spiritual Assistant to groups of Renewal in the Spirit
24 December 2006: Died in a Nursing Home in Florence.

Charles Davy writes:
When Henry Nolan was made an honorary citizen of Florence in an unforgettable ceremony at the city's magnificent Palaccio de Vecchio, some forty members of his extended family travelled out
for the occasion. The strong bonds between him and his nephews and nieces and their families can be explained, at least in part, by family bereavements in childhood.

When he was ten his father died. He had been the chief interpreter (Chinese/English) of the Supreme Court in Hong Kong, His widowed mother took the decision to return with her eight children to Cork, the county of her origin, foregoing the offer of free education in England. So it was in Cork he spent his first years in Ireland.

When his oldest brother obtained a place in the Civil Service in Dublin, his mother, wanting to keep the family together, decided they would all move with him. Henry, along with his brothers, was sent to Belvedere. In those years before he went to Emo, tragedy twice struck his family. His younger brother, Desmond, died aged nine, and, not long afterwards, his mother also, following a fall on the stairs of their house. These trials created unshakeable bonds among the seven surviving children.

It was during his Tertianship in Rathfarnham that his life took a different turn with the request of Fr. General to the Provincial for someone to run the English speaking section of Vatican Radio. In the immediate aftermath of the war the Vatican wanted an Irishman rather than an American or an Englishman. Henry was chosen. He was to take up the post immediately without finishing his Tertianship. His first task was to procure an Irish passport! A challenging mission to head off to Rome knowing no Italian, nor anything about radio programmes.

The early months were difficult. He was given no time to go to Italian classes. He had to learn it on the job. Nor was it a consolation to have to attend regular private sessions on the Constitutions from one of the senior Curia fathers to make up for what he missed in Rathfarnham! With time he settled in and grew to love Rome. Ever afterwards he remained both proud and grateful for one aspect of his Vatican radio work: his close relationship with Pope Pius XII.

Whenever the Pope had to speak to an English speaking group, Henry was sent for to go through the text with him. He used say he was one of the few Jesuits to whom a Pope had apologised - for having come late for his appointment! His broadcasting in English of the new dogma of the Assumption in 1954 was an occasion of special joy for him. In those early years he came to know the former chief Rabbi of Rome who, at the end of the war, decided to become a Catholic. For his baptismal name he chose Eugenio, after Eugenio Pacelli! This was out of his esteem for Pius XII from whom he had received such help during the war. The chief Rabbi's conversion, however, had left him penniless. Henry got him to give talks on the psalms on Vatican radio and he was given a part time job in the Vatican library.

This happy period of his life ended in illness, indeed almost in death. He returned to Ireland in 1961 a sick man, but soon recovered his health. He was assigned first as Spiritual Father to the Juniors and then to Belvedere as Rector. This latter role as Rector proved difficult. He was unfamiliar with the Irish school scene and not robust enough to face into leadership of a community which numbered some strong personalities! A former member of that community told me of one incident in the community. One day a certain unwell member of the community was acting in a strange and dangerous manner on the roof. When Henry was told, he answered with, “Keep me informed!”

After three years, relief came with his appointment as Socius to the Novice Master (Joe Dargan) in Emo. For a man born in Hong Kong and who had lived in Rome, Emo must have been a step into another era with few outlets for talents that were yet to be uncovered. In these years, however, formality hid his truer self.

With the closure of Emo in 1968, life began anew with a new mission coming once again from Italy. This time it was from the archbishop of Florence, Cardinal Benelli, asking him to be chaplain to the English speaking community of Florence. Alluding to this moment in later years, he used say, “The Provincial told me I could go for a year, but I stayed for life!”

Florence was to be the soil in which he reaped a harvest working with Irish, English, American, but also English speaking immigrants from other countries. His warmth, goodness and sense of humour consoled many a person in hospital and prison. His work did not go unnoticed by several British Consuls in Florence. It was one such Consul who sought to have his ministry of compassion recognised by the city with the conferral of honorary citizenship of Florence - an honour that had been given to only a small group of distinguished statesmen and others.

Many English speaking immigrants finding themselves in trouble encountered in Henry a compassionate listener. In encountering all shades of human problems he believed in a God ever at work bringing good out of tragedy. When he preached in the Duomo on Sundays it was out of a familiarity with God that had grown in prayer. His work was not limited to his English speaking community. Among his wider pastoral work he was also Diocesan exorcist. In his ministry he received as well as gave. Late in life he had the courage to embrace the charismatic renewal and those spirit-filled groups opened him to a liveliness of the Spirit, bringing a new freedom and joy to his life.

In his last years he had to keep adapting to increasing physical limitations. A critical moment came some years back when he had to leave his community in Via Silvo Spaventa for the diocesan nursing home for retired priests. His Italian Superior and members of the community continued to support him with regular visits and phone calls, as did his many friends, his nephews and nieces and different Irish Provincials who kept in close contact.

Alleluia, was a word he often used to end a conversation, accompanied by a big smile. So much so, when the Cardinal Archbishop of Florence used meet him or ring him, he greeted him with an Alleluia! Back in 1991 I spent a weekend with him in Florence. I recall him telling me that the golden Jubilee of his ordination was coming up in two years time. Then he added, “Of course who knows if I'll be alive, but one way or the other I'll celebrate, either here or with the Lord”, using his finger to indicate above! Henry loved a party. On his visits to Dublin when he stayed in Loyola House there was rarely a day when he didn't have an invitation to visit friends. However, he was sufficiently present in the community to stir a little sibling rivalry in his fellow novice, Séan Hughes, with whom he had also studied in Jersey!

In January last I saw a film called Into Great Silence about a Carthusian monastery in France. At the end, an old blind monk speaks: “Dieu est infiniment bon.... God is infinitely good, and wants nothing but our good. I thank God for my blindness because I know it has been for my good. Why should I be fearful of death when it is this God I am going to meet?”

Henry had a similar sort of faith and he brought this confidence in God to those to whom he ministered in Florence for over thirty years. He had a strong sense that he was under the protection of the Mother of God. He loved to tell how she was present at every significant turning point of his life. Recalling in recent years the devastating experience of losing his mother he wrote, “In prayer, I am sure it was an inspiration, I deliberately asked Our Blessed lady to be my mother”. He liked to recount how that prayer had been heard. In 2001 he wrote to his friends: “I think I am one of the happiest people in the world. Why? Because I know, not just intellectually, but I really am convinced that the Lord loves me; and secondly, I know that I am loved by people like you”.

Tyrrell, Michael, 1928-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/618
  • Person
  • 27 May 1928-28 June 2001

Born: 27 May 1928, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 28 June 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 1978

by 1956 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1970 at Bristol University (ANG) working
by 1971 at Glasgow, Scotland (ANG) working
by 1972 at London University, England (ANG) working
by 1984 at Berkeley CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Michael Tyrrell was a Dublin man and before entering the Jesuits in 1947 he worked for a short time for Guinness’ Brewery, becoming proficient at barrel rolling! After philosophy in Tullabeg, he came to Zambia, Africa, first as a scholastic in 1955 for three years and then again in 1964 when he came back as a priest. The first time, he learnt the language and taught in Canisius Secondary School. He returned to Ireland for theology and for ordination which took place in Milltown Park in 1961. Before returning to Zambia in 1964, he obtained his Master of Arts in History. When he came back he hoped to get into the newly opened university in Lusaka to lecture in history but unfortunately this was not to be. He was in Canisius again teaching the A-level course and he also got interested in sports. With Br Aungier and scholastic P Quinn, he helped train the Canisius athletic team which won the National Inter High School Sports at Matero Stadium in Lusaka (July 13 1966) at which a few records were broken. It was a proud day for the school.

He liked to walk and he liked to talk; he would laugh at jokes among the brethren even those against himself at times, with the oft repeated expletive 'James' Street'. Being a walker, he organized a walk from Chikuni to Chivuna, a journey of over 30 miles. When the walkers arrived, weary and footsore, they saw a large notice put up by the Sisters, “Blessed are the feet of those …..”

Michael was quite disappointed in not getting into the university even though he was a successful teacher at Canisius. He moved into parish ministry in the Monze diocese, at Kasiya and Civuna parishes.

His health deteriorated, a condition which was not helped by a failure by others to appreciate that he was genuinely ill and not just suffering from imagination. While on home leave, a doctor friend put him straight into hospital for surgery for a rather rare stomach condition which had not been previously detected. A second operation was deemed necessary, the doctor warning the family that Mick might not survive the night. However he did survive and was advised not to return to Zambia.

When he recovered, he entered the university chaplaincy in the British Province. As Mick had always hankered after the academic life, the twelve years spent in London University were perhaps the most fulfilling and satisfying period in his life. His specialty seems to have been working with post-graduate students, with whom he relished hours of discussion and stimulating conversation for which he was amply qualified.

In 1983 he went to Berkeley USA for a sabbatical year. On returning to Ireland he gave retreats and directed the Spiritual Exercises. In 1987 he was posted to Gardiner Street where he remained until his death in 2001. While there he was chaplain to Temple Street Hospital, assisted in Gardiner Street Church and was Province Archivist for three years.

Michael was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 17 October 1998 with an unusual degenerative condition of the brain. He had a problem of mobility and in the last six months or so he was confined to a wheelchair. His condition was treated with. medication. In the last few weeks his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died peacefully at 9.30 a.m. on 28 June 2001, surrounded by his family and Jesuit colleagues’.

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Fr Michael Tyrrell (1928-2000)

27th May 1928: Born in Dublin
Early education in St. Vincent's CBS School, Glasnevin and Mungret College.
Before entering, he worked for Guinness
6th Sept. 1947: Entered the Society at Emo Park
8th Sept. 1949: First Vows at Emo
1949 - 1952: Rathfarnham - studying Arts in UCD
1952 - 1955: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1955 - 1958: Zambia - language studies; teaching in Chikuni College
1958 - 1962: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1961: Ordained at Milltown Park
1962 - 1963: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
2nd Feb, 1964: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1963 - 1964: Milltown Park - Special studies
1964 - 1970: Zambia, Chikuni College - Teacher
1970 - 1971: Glasgow - University Chaplain
1971 - 1983: London - University Chaplain
1983 - 1984: Berkeley, USA - Sabbatical year
1984 - 1985: Austin House - Retreat Staff
1985 - 1987: University Hall - Chaplain, Pax Christi; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1987 - 2001: Gardiner Street
1987 - 1991: Chaplain Temple Street Hospital and Pax Christi
1991 - 1994: Province Archivist
1994 - 1995: Assisting in the Church; Chaplain in Temple Street Hospital
1995 - 1998: Assisting in the Church
1998 - 2001: Praying for the Church and the Society

Michael was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 17th October 1998 with an unusual degenerative condition of the brain. He had a problem with mobility and in the last six months or so he was confined to a wheelchair. His condition was treated with medication. In the last few weeks his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died peacefully at 9.30 a.m. on 28th June, 2001, surrounded by his family and Jesuit colleagues

Frank Keenan writes...
In November 2001, the London University Chaplaincy in Gower Street, London, organised a memorial mass for Michael Tyrrell. The students to whom he ministered there have long since moved on to take up their professions, get married, begin families. It was a tremendous tribute to Michael's work among them to see the packed chapel to which so many returned that morning to express their appreciation and gratitude for what he had been for them in their student days. From those who could not be at the mass there were written tributes, including some from well-known names such as Baroness Helena Kennedy Q.C.

Listening to his former co-chaplains at the memorial Mass, it was striking how much he had been appreciated by them, not only for the services he offered the students, but also for the companionship and wit he had contributed to the community in Gower Street. There were those present also who had been touched by the wide-ranging retreat apostolate that Michael had developed in England. The Irish Province was represented by Jack Donovan, Parish Priest of Custom House London for the past twenty years, and myself from St. Beuno's in Wales.

Michael had always hankered after the academic life. After tertianship, he asked for and was given the opportunity to do an MA in the subject that was always his first love - History. On his return to Zambia he hoped he might find a place lecturing in the University, but this was not to be. He had had a successful record as a classroom teacher in Canisius College, Chikuni, but was not enthusiastic about resuming this career, possibly as a reaction to his disappointment at not getting the University appointment. He ventured into parish ministry in Monze Diocese, which was not really his charism, and so followed some rather unfulfilling years in Kasiya and Civuna parishes.

His health deteriorated, a condition which was not helped by a failure by others to appreciate that he was genuinely ill, and not just suffering from imagination. Providence came to his aid on the eve of his return to Zambia from home leave. A doctor friend was unhappy with Michael's state of health and asked him to visit his surgery the following day. As a result of this visit he put Michael straight into hospital for surgery for a rather rare stomach condition, which understandably had not been detected by the limited resources of the Zambian medical services. A second operation was found necessary, with a sobering warning - without this second operation Michael would die, since his digestive system had ceased to function; but, given that it would be a second operation so soon after the first, he would only have a fifty per cent chance of survival. Michael recalled lying in a coma after surgery and hearing the doctors advising members of his family to prepare for the worst, as the patient might not survive the night.

Michael was advised not to return to Zambia, where the medical facilities might not be available, should he have a recurrence of the problem. He entered the university chaplaincy service in the British Province, and there he seemed to have found his true niche. From what I observed when visiting him in London on my way to and from Zambia, he savoured at last being in the academic world. His speciality seems to have been working with post-graduate students, with whom he relished hours of discussion and stimulating conversation for which he was amply qualified.

I often wondered at the wisdom of his returning to Ireland, where he did not seem to have really been able to find the sort of satisfying and effective apostolate, which he had been enjoying in London. During the years when he was chaplain to Temple Street Childrens' Hospital he made himself totally available at all hours, although he must have found dealing with children much less rewarding than his post-graduates. Eventually he found the work too draining and accepted that he had to retire. The illness, which was to be final, must have begun to effect him at this time.

The deterioration in Michael's condition, which left him, finally, barely able to speak, had been going on over a number of years. At this period he struggled to master the computer under my, at times, less than sympathetic tutelage. It was only much later that I realised that when he said he could not remember the most basic instructions, this was a symptom of the illness that was causing deterioration in his brain cells. Michael tended to make light of the symptoms, and, consequently, was somewhat misunderstood during this period even by his friends.

There was a basic simplicity and a certain innocence about Michael which he never lost till the end. In Cherryfield, he would still respond to the old jokes, and although he could not contribute to the banter, he clearly enjoyed it as always. He once recounted an example of this simplicity, which revealed a similar unsuspected spirit of simplicity in the rather forbidding figure of J R McMahon, Rector of Milltown, Provincial and distinguished legalist. J R was provincial when Michael was being interviewed for entry to the Novitiate. On impulse, Michael invited J R to tea with his family, to which the latter agreed promptly. In due course J R turned up on his antique bicycle, joined the family for tea and charmed them all. We would cite this to Michael as an example of his trying to advance his career in the Society from an early age, which never failed to amuse him, since he always retained a freedom of spirit, which was the antithesis of any tendency to curry favour with the establishment for his own advantage. For me one of Michael's most endearing characteristics was his clear interest in and love for his family. He spoke to me often of his admiration for, and gratitude to, his parents in particular,

Among several photographs on display at the Memorial Mass was one of the young Michael walking in the Wicklow Mountains in the 1940s. He continued this passion right up to the time when he no longer had the capacity, even achieving his ambition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. A walking companion has written the following poem in memory of the enjoyment Michael derived from showing others his beloved Wicklow Mountains.

In Memory (of Michael Tyrrell SJ)

Mullacor and Mullaghcleevaun,
Tonelegee and Lugnaquila,
These Wicklow Hills evoke memories of you:
I see you striding with ease across the heather,
Side-stepping the squelchy spagnum moss and feathery bog
cotton,
To disappear into the mists that swirl around their summits:
Or resting by the shores of mountain tarns,
Lough Ouler, Lough Tay, Lough Dan,
Art's Lake, where with Dunstan, we sipped cool wine
And wearied the sun with our talk:
Lough Bray, where you camped and prayed
Fighting the demon midgets with burning, smoking heather
sticks.
Your great spirit lives on in these hills
And hovers over the still, dark waters of these lakes.
There is freedom from dis-ease here.
Rest peacefully, Michael.

Elizabeth Mooney SHC), July 2001

Ryan, Patrick, 1918-1998, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/615
  • Person
  • 26 February 1918-31 May 1998

Born: 26 February 1918, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final vows: 15 August 1948, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 31 May 1998, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1979 at Lahore, Pakistan (MIS PAK) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Br Patrick Ryan (1918-1988)

26th Feb. 1918: Born in Dublin.
Pre-entry experience: He did a commerce course in the Technical School, Parnell Square.
He was employed as a clerk for 4 years.
7th Sep. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo.
8th Sep 1939: First vows at Emo.
1940 - 1941: Galway, Cook
1941 - 1945: Clongowes Wood College, Cook.
1945 - 1958: Belvedere, Sacristan
1948: Tertianship at Tullabeg,
He took Final Vows on 15th Aug. 1948, at Belvedere.
1958 - 1977: Gardiner Street Church, Sacristan (Assistant sacristan/Parish work since 1975)
1977 - 1978: Milltown Park, Sacristan
1978 - 1980: Pakistan, Administration, Loyola Hall.
1980 - 1993: Milltown Park, sacristan.
After that, he helped with administration: post, papers, etc.

In latter years, Pat went across to Cherryfield Lodge for an occasional rest and nursing care. He loved the place, and the nurses were very fond of him. His last stay lasted six weeks during which he showed signs that old age was catching up on him. Even when his voice went, he could converse in a whisper till the end. He died perfectly resigned and at peace on Sunday morning 31st May 1998.

Homily at the funeral Mass of Br. Pat Ryan, SJ
Pat Ryan died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge early on the morning of May 31st, 1998 - the Feast of Pentecost. Today we gather to give thanks to God for Pat Ryan's life, and to pray that he will now enjoy God's presence for ever. Pat dedicated his life to the Lord in the Society and worked in a number of Jesuit apostolates with great dedication and fidelity - the longest of these were in Gardiner Street, where he was Sacristan for eighteen years.

Our readings today speak to us about the Christian vision that inspired Pat's life over eighty years. Brother Patrick Joseph Ryan was born on the 26th February 1918. He attended the Local National School in Phibsboro, and followed this with a commerce course at a technical school. Pat then worked for four years as a clerk before entering the Society of Jesus in 1937. His work in the Society began with some assignments that he did not like very much. He served as an assistant cook in two of our Colleges and then from 1945-1958 he was in Belvedere College as a sacristan and general houseman. From 1958 to 1977 he was a sacristan in our large public Church here, St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. From 1975 to 1977 he trained in a new sacristan and worked as a member of the newly established parish team. In 1978 he was appointed to replace the Sacristan at Milltown Park and also to work in the Library. Providence had its own special plans for Pat at that time and I will return to that a little later!

As Pat came in recent weeks to recognize that he was nearing the end of his life, he expressed in a very peaceful and serene way his gratitude to God, to his family and relatives, to his many friends in the Society of Jesus and outside for the many blessings he had received during the course of his life. For many of us here in the Jesuit Community at Milltown Park, Pat's great appreciation for his vocation to the Jesuit way of life will be linked with a memorable celebration we had at Milftown last September as we celebrated Pat's sixtieth anniversary as a Jesuit.

Pat's faith was nourished in his family, where he received a strong sense of Christian values. This led him to join the Society of Jesus in 1937. His first assignment was as a cook in Galway - a job he didn't like too much! Pat spent long periods after this in three communities: Belvedere, Gardiner Street and Milltown. Since 1980 he has been a member of the community at Milltown, spending short times at Cherryfield Lodge when he needed some quiet and some nursing.

Pat spent two years in Lahore, Pakistan from 1978 to 1980. He enjoyed the completely different perspective on life that this stay in Lahore gave him. He wrote in a letter; “There is no other way to describe it all only that it is a completely different world out here. In six weeks here I have heard and seen things I never really knew existed. I went into a Mosque the other day and saw the Muslims at Prayer. Very devout. Indeed, I had to take off my shoes and I was provided with a very small hat to wear. If some of my fellow Irish Jesuits had seen me they would have wondered what had happened to ultra conservative Pat Ryan ... The one thing I must admit I do find hard here is the loss of the companionship of my fellow Irish Jesuits. Unfortunately I was spoiled by the friendship of the young men at Milltown during my very happy stay there. However it is a small price to pay for the opportunity to giving testimony to my belief in God and I am happy to do so”.

In his eighteen years as sacristan here in Gardiner Street, Pat worked very hard in the Parish and in the Church. In his own quiet and efficient way Pat lived out his Jesuit vocation in a life of service inspired by his love for Jesus Christ, his Lord and Master. In Milltown Pat was able to continue that life of generous service. In recent years, he knew the limits that his health put on his activities. But he paced himself well - like any good Everton player!

In the spiritual exercises of St. Ignatius, we are invited in the Contemplation to Achieve the Love of God, to grow in our awareness of the way God is present in all life and is giving Himself to us. Pat's life showed that sense of God's presence and he learned to find God in all things. One of the places that Pat found God was in his great love of soccer. He was a great Everton fan, with Everton colors proudly displayed on his door! That simple enjoyment of soccer, that sense of fun about life, that ability to joke with his community and friends were great gifts he brought to us all.

Pat died early on the morning of the Feast of Pentecost, at 12:20 am. At Pentecost the Holy Spirit comes as a gift to the Christian community. In Pat's life we have glimpsed what the fruits of the Spirit are: love, joy, peace, gentleness, patience, self-control. Pat's faithfulness, his gift of “keeping going” (to use a phrase which Séamus Heaney uses to describe his brother going through the ordinary activities of the day) have been an inspiration to us - a breath of the Spirit. We now give Pat back to God who has given him to us. We return him to God with a profound sense of gratitude.

Frank Sammon

Rumley, Brendan, 1959-1999, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/614
  • Person
  • 12 December 1959-24 June 1999

Born: 12 December 1959, Ballymacoda, County Cork
Entered: 27 September 1977, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Ordained: 03 August 1992, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 24 June 1999, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1987 at Asunción, Paraguay (PAR) Regency teaching
by 1990 at Belo Horizonte, Brazil (BRA) studying
by 1993 at Asunción Paraguay (PAR) working
by 1997 at Cristo Rey College, Tacna, Peru (PER) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000

Obituary

Fr Brendan Rumley (1959-1999)

12th Dec. 1959: Born in Cork City.
Early Education, Ring College, Castlemartyr College, Clongowes Wood College.
27th Sept. 1977: Entered the Society at Manresa House.
27th Sept. 1979: First vows at Manresa House.
1979 - 1982: Sullivan House, Arts degree at UCD
1982 - 1985: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1985 - 1987; Clongowes, Regency
1987 - 1989: Paraguay, teaching in Colegio Tecnico Javier.
1989 - 1993: Brazil, study theology.
30th Aug. 1992: Ordained priest, S.F.X. Church, Dublin.
1993 - 1997: Paraguay, Pastoral Director, parish work.
1997 - 1998: Peru, Pastoral Director, parish work.
1998 - 1999: Belvedere College, pastoral work at S.F.X, Church.

Brendan returned from Peru in January 1998 and lived in Belvedere. While he had some health problems, he was sufficiently well to go to the U.S.A. that summer to do supply work. While there, his health deteriorated. On his return to Dublin, he was diagnosed to have lymphoma (cancer of the lymph glands) Thereafter he stayed either in Belvedere or with his brother or at Cherryfield Lodge. He went periodically to have special treatment at the Mater Hospital. Members of his family together with Joe Dargan and Myles O' Reilly were with him when he died on the morning of 24th June 1999.

Kevin O'Higgins writes ...

Brendan was a member of the Belvedere Community for eighteen months. He died in June 1999 aged 39 years. Our vigil went on for six months. It began on a cold January day, when we heard the shocking news that Brendan had been diagnosed with a life-threatening form of cancer. It ended on a bright morning in late June, when he drew his last breath and went quietly on his way.

Nothing in Brendan's life had been so undramatic as the manner in which he departed it. In Paraguay, where we worked together for almost ten years, he was regarded as a live wire. He always seemed to be planning some sort of event. He had the knack of living life as if it were a never ending fiesta. Maybe that is why he felt so at home in fun-loving Latin America. Like the good people of Asuncion's poorest barrios, Brendan knew how to turn water into wine. When it came to choosing the gospel text for his funeral Mass, we had no hesitation in opting for the account of the marriage feast at Cana.

Brendan's Christianity was essentially joyful, and he had a horror of solemnity and formality. He was captivated by the itinerant preacher from Nazareth, and felt distinctly uncomfortable in the midst of ecclesiastical pomp and circumstance. He liked to keep things simple and to see people enjoying themselves.

We had gone together to Paraguay in 1986, responding to an urgent appeal for Jesuit reinforcements. The dictatorial government of Alfredo Stroessner had recently expelled a group of our Spanish colleagues. Brendan and myself hoped to fill the gap and help to keep the show on the road. Our arrival in Paraguay opened the door to a whole new world and introduced us to an endless series of experiences of the kind which leave you marked for life.

Brendan was in his mid-twenties when we arrived in Paraguay. Ordination as a priest was still several years off, but that did not prevent him from plunging head-long into the task at hand. He was assigned immediately to work as pastoral director in a large secondary school and was an instant hit with students and teachers alike. His infectious optimism and can-do attitude quickly translated into a whole host of projects.

When he saw that the school was in need of a library, he enlisted the help of some friends in his home town in County Cork, and the Ballymacoda Library blossomed in far off Asuncion. The introduction of an electric kettle turned his little office into a coffee shop, permanently open to all and sundry. His creativity and energy transformed school retreats and special liturgies into memorable, life giving celebrations.

During his years as theology student in Brazil, Brendan launched out in new directions. He began accompanying lay people in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius, and even devised his own manual. The idea caught on, and by the time he left Brazil some thirty Jesuit students were engaged in this ministry. During the final weeks of his illness, messages from Brazil and elsewhere spoke of how Brendan's wise and gentle guidance through the Exercises had transformed people's lives.

Brendan's first mission after ordination was back in Paraguay. Priesthood meant that his ministry was enriched by the celebration of the Eucharist and other sacraments. He initiated the custom of early morning mass in the college chapel. At weekends, he exercised his ministry among the poor.

He had a great gift for comforting the afflicted. When a teaching colleague fell victim to a fatal disease and had to be moved to hospital in Brazil, Brendan thought nothing of facing the twenty-hour bus journey to be at his side. He did this trip repeatedly, departing on Friday evenings after completing his work in the College, and returning on Sunday nights, ready to face the following week's challenges.

His last years were spent in Tacna, a small city on the border between Peru and Chile. The rapid increase of Paraguayan Jesuits had led him to wonder whether there might not be a greater need elsewhere. In Tacna, he felt even more at home than in Asuncion. Undoubtedly, he would have spent long years there had illness not intervened. Even while he was undergoing chemotherapy in Dublin, his friends in Peru constantly assured him that they would be happy to take care of him should he wish to return there.

Brendan himself never stopped hoping that he would be able to return. He had vowed to serve the people of Tacna, and he constantly continued to do so right up to the end, in sickness as in health. When it became clear that he was too weak to face the journey, his friends pooled resources to send a representative to Dublin, They wanted him to know how close they were to him in his own time of need.

Right up to the end, Brendan spoke of his strong desire to carry on living and continue his ministry. Even as he grew progressively weaker, he insisted on organising small fiestas for groups of friends. His sense of humour remained undiminished, and he was able to mock his illness. He simply refused to acknowledge defeat. His love of life prepared him to face death with extraordinary courage and deep, unwavering faith. That was his parting gift to his friends.

Interfuse No 103 : Winter 1999

REMEMBERING BRENDAN

Michael O’Sullivan

Arica in Chile and Tacna in Peru are just across the border from one another. I was back in Arica for the first time in fifteen years at the end of August 1999. A requiem Mass for Brendan Rumley was held in Tacna on September 17th. At 6.45 a.m. that morning I set out for Tacna. Crossing the Chilean border around 7.30 a.m., I arrived in Tacna at 7.45 a.m. Pedro Barreto, the 'Superior' of the community met me at Cristo Rey College, where Brendan worked. Gerry, one of Brendan's brothers, had arrived the evening before and was staying with a Peruvian family, and Clem, another brother, had been delayed, but was expected at the college around 11.30 a.m. Clem would be bringing the urn with Brendan's partial remains - Brendan's ashes had been divided among his family, the Irish Province, and the college in Tacna.

Pedro spoke about how much Brendan meant to them in the community and in the college, As I listened it became clear that Brendan had a good friend in Pedro, someone who accompanied him with understanding, care, and feeling in the transition from Paraguay to Peru, from Asuncion to Tacna. He would receive Brendan in death back to Cristo Rey, he had prepared for it, and he had got permission from the Bishop for Brendan's ashes to remain in the chapel for always. He showed me a letter from Brendan to him about a year earlier where Brendan spoke about his hope of returning to Tacna. Pedro read from this letter at the liturgy.

Pedro and I and two members of the community met and welcomed Brendan and his brothers Clem and Gerry at the entrance arch to the section of the compound leading to the college auditorium where the Mass was to be celebrated. Staff and students carrying college flags gathered behind the Rumley brothers.

In the Waiting
We all stood in silence for a time while Pedro spoke about how the liturgy would proceed. As I looked at Clem I wondered what it was like for him to travel to Peru with his brother in an urn. My mind also went back to March 1982 when I was about to leave Ireland to live and work among the poor in Chile at a time when that country was in the grip of the death-dealing military dictatorship of General Pinochet. A Mass of farewell was held in St. Francis Xavier Church, Dublin. Brendan, who was not long in the Society at the time, was at the Mass, his desire to minister in Latin America developing in his heart.

I was very happy that I could be in Tacna for him now and that I could make the link on behalf of the Irish Jesuit Province between his funeral Mass and burial in Dublin and his requiem Mass and the placing of the urn in the Jesuit college in Tacna.

I thought of the amazing impact he had made on so many in a relatively short time in Tacna which I had learnt so much more about in the hours before the Mass. All those who spoke to me, including students, singled out this quality in Brendan: his speed at making friends. He had an amazing ability to make friends with many different kinds of people within and outside the college. The other qualities mentioned often were his simplicity and his kindness. He would do things like take cups of tea or coffee to others on a tray, which is not usual for a man feel better. They spoke about how he built up the college library, which has now been renamed 'The Library of Brendan'. His smile, too, was singled out, and his dedication and enthusiasm.

Hernan Salinas Paiza, a teacher who was sent to Brendan in Dublin when he was ill on behalf of the staff, had told me that Brendan had broken a mould by being the first Director of Pastoral Care to also address the needs of the staff. This was repeated to me by other lay staff whom I met before the Mass. They were all visibly upset at Brendan's death.

I also thought of Declan Deane's words to me when we met in Dublin during his visit to Ireland shortly after Brendan died, that he had never met anyone who had become so completely Latin American. Brendan had stayed with Declan in the United States when he was ill before the cancer had been diagnosed.

I thought of Kevin O'Higgins who had been with him for years in Paraguay and who arrived back in Ireland around the time that Brendan was diagnosed with cancer. Kevin had accompanied Brendan all through those final months in a way that, it seemed to me, no other Irish Jesuit could. This was a great consolation to Brendan, and something for which all of us in the Irish Province can be very grateful. Kevin has written his own tribute to Brendan in the November 1999 issue of the Irish Messenger

I thought of the tenacity with which Brendan had fought for life in Kieran and Miriam's home in Terenure, and later in Cherryfield. The last time I saw him in Cherryfield I knew that, medically, he was near the end, I had phoned him that morning to know if he would receive a visit around 6 p.m. I said that John Henry, a Maryland Jesuit, who was a friend of mine working in Arica and whom he knew as a result of visits to Arica from Tacna, was in Dublin and wished to see him. When we got to Cherryfield Brendan had some letters on the bed for John to bring to people in Arica and Tacna. He was that strong, that focused, that thoughtful, and that giving to the end.

Brendan died in the prime of his life, a few months before his 40th birthday. He had lived and worked in Tacna for only two years. And yet back in Dublin as he fought terminal cancer his great desire was for Tacna to be his place of departure for eternity. When his condition meant that he could not travel, his dying wish was that some of his remains would do so instead. He did not want to be separated from those he loved in Tacna, and he knew that they in their love would want him with them. His friend, Hernan, had said as much in his tribute to Brendan that morning in the Tacna newspaper, Prensa Sur: “The delight Brendan feit for the people of Tacna was mutual. It was a delight of giving and receiving, of loving and of being worthy of that love”.

The Farewell in Tacna
Around 12.15 p.m., the procession to the auditorium began. “Hermano del Alma’, Soul Brother/Sister, sung by Roberto Carlos, accompanied us through the college sound system. As we entered the auditorium the soft sound of one of Latin America's best known singers gave way to the power and strength of the College band.

Tributes
Pedro invited me to speak at the beginning of the Mass and again after the reception of the Eucharist. He told the congregation that I was representing the Irish Jesuit Province and had a message from the Provincial in Ireland. This let the people know that the Irish Province recognized Brendan's gifts and valued him as much as they did. It also made them feel good about themselves.

The message relayed by me on behalf of Gerry O'Hanlon spoke of the bond in the Spirit between the Mass congregation and Irish Jesuits, due to a shared desire to give thanks for Brendan's life of giving and happiness; it said that they would miss Brendan as much as we would; it drew attention to how much it meant to Brendan that so many prayers and messages of support from Tacna came to him during his illness in Ireland, and how much it lifted him to receive a visit from Hernan Salinas on behalf of his colleagues at the College. The last words of the message were: “in solidarity with you in prayer, sadness, gratitude, and friendship”.

In his homily Pedro told the congregation that Brendan was with them still, not only in his remains, but also and even more so in what he meant to each of them in their minds and hearts.

A short video of Brendan and his work followed. This was one of the most moving parts of the whole ceremony as we saw Brendan animating and addressing groups, listening and speaking to people, in prayer and celebrating Mass, and carrying a tray of drinks to children with his distinctive smile and enthusiastic movement.

His brother Gerry spoke for the family, and Hernan translated. He brought them quickly through the story of Brendan's life and did so with humour and a great sense of pride in his younger brother.

The Director of Formation at the College spoke about how he had met Brendan when they were travelling to a conference in Bolivia for delegates of Jesuit schools. This was while Brendan was still in Paraguay. Brendan's capacity to make friends quickly meant that they became friends and he invited Brendan to Tacna. Brendan came, and now he would remain there always.

Two women also paid tribute to Brendan. They did so without words. They were the widow and mother of a man whom Brendan accompanied over many months during the man's struggle with cancer. They were at the front of the congregation where those closest to the deceased tend to be. They were mouming him as one of their own.

Entrusting Brendan to the People of Tacna
During the offertory of the Mass, Clem came forward and gave me the gift of Brendan. He entrusted me with him on behalf of the Rumiley family. I received Brendan on behalf of his Jesuit companions from Ireland. Pedro then took the urn from me on behalf of Brendan's Jesuit companions in Peru, and placed it on the small table in front of the altar. Brendan had gone from Cork to Tacna via the Irish Province. We had done what he had wanted us to do, namely, share him, so that he could remain in Tacna for always.

The offertory procession also included a map of Latin America, taken from Brendan's office. The commentator said, “today we want to present it to you, Lord, as an offering and testimony of the service of our brother”.

After the final song, “Holy Mary of the Journey”, we processed to the College chapel. Inside Pedro told us that Brendan used to come there in the early mornings to celebrate Mass. The Director of the college gave a final tribute, and Pedro showed where Brendan's remains would lie. Because the urn turned out to be bigger than expected it could not be placed there straight away. That would be done later after the space provided had been altered.

The inscription where the urn will stay reads: “UN HOMBRE PARA Y CON LOS DEMAS” - “A MAN FOR AND WITH OTHERS”. Prensa Sur had pointed out that day that laying Brendan's ashes to rest in the college chapel was "an act without precedent in the history of the Society of Jesus in Tacna." Brendan's dates of birth and death are also given. Pedro pointed out that Brendan's birthday, December 12"", was the important date because, for a Christian, to be born is to be born to eternal life. An IHS emblem can also be seen. Amen! Alleluia!

It was now 2.25 p.m. The whole ceremony had lasted almost two and a half hours. It was an extraordinary and unique tribute by people from Peru to a young Irish Jesuit from Cork in their own language and land. The Latin American spring was about to begin, and the sun was shining, but not oppressively.

O'Holohan, Colum, 1919-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/609
  • Person
  • 13 August 1919-23 April 1998

Born: 13 August 1919, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 23 April 1998, St Joseph’s, Shankill, Dublin

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

Brother of John O’Holohan - RIP 2018

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Colum O’Holohan (1919-1998)

13th Aug. 1919: Born in Dublin
Early education: Presentation College Bray and Belvedere
7th Sept. 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham: Arts at University College Dublin
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg: Studying Philosophy
1946 - 1948: Crescent College, Limerick, Regency
1948 - 1950: Clongowes Wood College, Regency
1950 - 1954; Milltown Park: Studying Theology
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1955 - 1973: Clongowes; Teaching, Mission Staff for a year
1973 - 1977: Tullabeg: Minister
1977 - 1978: University Hall: Bursar, Assistant Prefect
1978 - 1991: Gardiner Street: Church work/Chaplain, Voc. School, Ballymun
1991 - 1997: Milltown Park: Writer, Irish Messenger Promoter
23rd Apr. 1998: Died age 78

Colum was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in June 1997 suffering from dementia. His condition deteriorated slowly and in January 1998 he was transferred to the St. John of God Nursing Home at Shankill, near Bray, where he died peacefully on 23rd April, May he rest in Christ's Peace.

I first met Colum O'Holohan in Presentation College, Bray, when we were both preparing for the sacrament of Confirmation. In those days great emphasis was placed on memory work, and his power to remember was something we all admired and envied. He could recite pieces of the gospel, and any of the matter from the religious knowledge programs as though he were reading it from the printed page. We all hoped that his bright blond head of hair would catch the Archbishop's eye when the time came to examine us candidates for Confirmation. Even at that age he was a great reader and possessed a store of general knowledge. One day he corrected a master who gave us an incorrect date for some historical event. “Thank you very much” replied the teacher and handed Colum a look that made it quite clear that he did not appreciate corrective contributions of that nature. His ability on the football field was of a very limited nature, and some of us, less skilled in the classroom, drew considerable consolation and comfort from the fact that in one area we were superior to him.

We both left Pres and went to Belvedere and left Belvedere and arrived together in Emo. Throughout his days as a scholastic Colum was multi talented, but showed a remarkable ability for writing. The pity is that he published so little. He was a perfectionist in writing and would often pitch an article into the waste paper basket because he was not satisfied with a paragraph, or even a few sentences in what he had written. Much of what he wrote deserved publication. He had a particular gift for writing clerihews, and many a Jesuit was immortalised in one of his witty four liners.

He spent much of his priestly life in Clongowes, Tullabeg and Milltown Park. He was a Minister of the House in Tullabeg, and during his time there the queues at his confessional in the public church lengthened as the word got round that he was a sound and sympathetic guide of souls. Occasionally I was able to borrow him for a parish mission, or more frequently for only part of it. It was only at a time like this that he really seemed to relish the work. His short morning talks were of a very high standard, and had he been given the opportunity and training in the skills needed for that essentially Jesuit apostolate, he might have done much good. Colum was a kind man and nowhere was this so evident as when dealing with the people and their problems during a parish mission.

His last years were sad and involved much suffering. The confidence of his earlier days seemed to desert him, and a certain aimlessness seemed to take possession of him, During his sojourn at Crinken I tried to make a weekly visit to him. It was sad to see the deterioration setting in, and eventually the complete loss of speech, and recognition of those around him. Apparently he did not hear me, then I said, “Colum, I am going to absolve you and anoint you” and slowly but firmly his grip tightened and I knew he had got my message and was glad to get it. I was with him minutes before he died. It was peaceful, and I felt, a harbinger of a peace that will be his for all eternity. To all his family, whom he loved so much and spoke of so often, we all offer our sincerest sympathy and a place in our prayers. May he rest in peace.

Kevin A. Laheen, SJ

-oOo-

“Your brother is gravely ill. He may have only hours to live. Can you come at once?” This was the message I got on a line from Dublin about my brother, Father Colum, who had been unwell for some time. The caller was his Jesuit Superior. My reply was, “Of course, I will get there as soon as possible”. That was Mercy Sunday, April 19th. Actually it took me two days from Orlando to Dublin. Eventually I got to his bedside early on Wednesday morning and along with my three sisters had 24 hours prayer with him before he passed over into eternity on Wednesday at 4:00pm. He was unconscious - it seemed miraculous he was still alive, Watching him die gradually, as the sands of time ran out, was a profoundly moving experience.

The early Christians described death as “going asleep in the Lord”. Cemeteries were places where the bodies slept till Gabriel's trumpet sounded the reveille. Mindful that dying people can often hear when speech and movement are impossible, we prayed and spoke quietly very close to him. The prayers we found most helpful were the Divine Mercy Chaplet and the Rosary. Jesus is reported as saying to Blessed Faustina (1938), “Encourage souls to say the chaplet which I have given to you ... When they say this chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person, not as the first Judge but as the Merciful Saviour”. (Diary 1541) In the past 10 years I have attended many dying people. I have always been amazed how easy death can seem when the person is prepared to meet our loving Saviour. Time, trial and suffering are over. Now enter into the joy of Our Lord.

The most consoling passage for me in the whole bible is John 14, 1-6. The specter of death has haunted all mankind from the moment that Adam and Eve gazed in tears on the slain body of Abel. When Jesus at the Last Supper told His Apostles, “Tomorrow I will be mocked, scourged, crucified”, they were filled with sorrow. He reassured them in those wonderful words, “Do not be worried and upset...there are many rooms in my Father's house and I am going to prepare a place for you. I will come back and take you to myself”. I whispered those words in Colum's ear, reminding him of God's infinite mercy through His Son Jesus. I reminded him, "Remember how Jesus on the cross gave instant pardon to a criminal who asked only for remembrance. In spontaneous love and forgiveness Jesus said, “I promise you that today you will be with me in Paradise...” (Luke 23,43) Then I added, “If Jesus said that to a man with a long history of crime, how could we have any doubts of the wonderful welcome He has prepared for you. 1938 you entered the Society of Jesus. You were 60 years a Jesuit and 45 years a priest. Soon your sufferings will be over and you will be welcomed by Jesus and Mary into the Father's household of love and joyful fellowship forever’.

He died at 4.00 pm on Thursday afternoon, April 23rd. The requiem Mass was on Saturday morning at 11 o'clock in the old Jesuit parish church in Dublin. Fifty Jesuit priests concelebrated with me. In my homily I gazed down at Colum's brothers in Christ. Many of them were 70 years plus and some over 80. When I spoke about life's brevity and “death's grim chariot hurrying near”. I perceived that some visibly flinched, “Who will be next?” When you dedicate your life to God you should not fear death as anything but a reunion with the Beloved. All is a gift, all is loving mercy with God. “Death is not extinguishing the light ... it is putting out the lamp ... because DAWN has come”.

John O'Holohan, SJ

McPolin, James, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/607
  • Person
  • 04 June 1931-09 October 2005

Born: 04 June 1931, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 04 September 1962, Kaiserdom Sankt Bartholomäus (Frankfurter Dom), Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Final Vows: 02 February1966, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 09 October 2005, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1962 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1965 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1979 at Gonzaga Spokane WA, USA (ORE) teaching
by 1990 at San Salvador, El Salvador (CAM) working
by 1997 at Zomba, Malawi (ZAM-MAL) teaching
by 2001 at Cambridge, MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical
by 2002 at Venice, CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
James McPolin was born in Limerick and educated at the Jesuit Crescent College. In 1948 he entered the Society at Emo and followed the standard course of studies of the Irish province. After a year’s theological studies at Milltown Institute he transferred to Frankfurt a.M. for his final years of theology.

Jimmy as a scholastic always gave the impression of youth and energy. He was deeply interested in sports of all kinds and persuaded those of us studying philosophy with him to build a basket-ball court on which he tutored the ignorant among us in the rules of the game. He sailed through his Jesuit studies effortlessly and we were not surprised when he was sent to the Biblical Institute in Rome for a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture. Thus he lectured in Scripture for 23 years at the Milltown Institute, Dublin, alternating semesters for 3 years with the Biblicum in Rome. Subsequently he also taught scripture at Gonzaga University, Spokane, at the University of Central America (UCA, El Salvador) and at St. Peter’s Seminary in Zomba, Malawi. His textbook on St. John’s Gospel is still very popular with students of scripture.

He was elected as the representative of the Irish Province for the 32nd General Congregation of the Jesuits in Rome in 1975 and was deeply involved in drafting the document of that Congregation on the formation of our young men. He acted as the Irish Provincial’s delegate for formation for many years.

After serving as Dean of the Theology Faculty at Milltown Institute for four years he was appointed as President of the whole Institute. During this time he was transferred to a small community of scholastics living in poor quarters in the centre of Dublin city. During his seven years in that community he showed great concern for the difficulties of the poorer neighbours. His cycling to work every day to and from his office at Milltown, 6 km away, surprised many of his academic colleagues at the Institute.

In 1989 he moved to San Salvador in Central America where he worked as assistant priest in the Jesuit Parish, eventually becoming the Parish Priest. When he first arrived in San Salvador he was invited to visit the University community for a meal and spend the night with them because of the curfew. In fact there was some urgent business in the parish which prevented him from accepting the invitation. That was the night in which the six Jesuits in the University community together with their housekeep and her daughter were murdered by the army. Jimmy thus narrowly escaped sharing their fate.

On his return from San Salvador in 1996 he joined the small group of Jesuits who were teaching at St. Peter’s Seminary at Zomba, Malawi. He first studied the local Chi-Chewa language and then settled into teaching scripture for five semesters.

He had a very good relationship with the Malawian seminarians: he always greeted his class with the word “Wawa” which is a term of great respect in Chewa and which invariably elicited a loud response. He set himself up as coach of the football team and could be seen at half-time surrounded by a ring of players whom he harangued in a good natured way. He also endeared himself to the teaching staff by the jokingly provocative way he would express some outrageous opinion during meals at our ‘round table’ which would immediately spark a lively discussion.

His deep commitment to the Faith and Justice agenda proposed for Jesuits by GC 32 was very obvious in his homilies at the daily Liturgy – he would illustrate his point by telling stories from “a certain parish where I served”. He was referring to the San Antonio Abac parish in El Salvador where he served as parish priest and where one of his predecessors and several young people on retreat had been shot by the military a few years before.

When he returned to Ireland he joined the Belfast community for a year and contributed to their efforts in the reconciliation between opposing factions in Northern Ireland. This was followed by a year’s sabbatical at Cambridge, Mass. and then by three years in the parish at Venice, California where his fluency in Spanish was appreciated by the many hispanic parishioners.

A series of strokes starting in 2004 forced his return to the Irish nursing unit at Cherryfield and he died there on 9 October, 2005.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/remembering-james-mcpolin-sj/

In his homily at the funeral of James McPolin SJ, Michael O’Sullivan recalls a life dedicated to faith and justice in El Salvador, in Malawi and here in Ireland. He also remembers
Jimmy as a dedicated and innovative president of the Milltown Institute.
About two years ago Jimmy said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the years he was in El Salvador (1989-96) – despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there straight after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983-89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement.
Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba Julia) and her daughter (Celina), were murdered by an army death squad at the Jesuit residence on the grounds of the University of San Salvador. The Jesuits were murdered because of their commitment to the faith that does justice; the women, who had taken refuge with the Jesuits after their home had been damaged by gunfire, were killed so as to leave no witnesses. Jimmy could have been among the dead that night, 16 November 1989, given that he had deferred accepting an invitation to stay with the Jesuit community at the University until he had spent more time among the ordinary people. (2) Afterwards his concern to see justice done in the case of his dead Jesuit companions and the two women was viewed by him as a way also of promoting justice for the people of the country. In a letter to members of his family in Ireland in 1990 he wrote: “The future of justice is obfuscated by the fact that the trial of the soldiers for the killings is being impeded by false evidence of the military and by the collusion of the American Embassy and Government.” (3)
You may be aware of the memorial bell on the Milltown avenue in front of the Irish School of Ecumenics building. It was put up in honour of those who were killed that night. One of the dead Jesuits, Amando Lopez, had studied theology at Milltown, and was ordained to the priesthood in this chapel. You can see him in the 1965 ordination photo on the corridor outside this chapel. Another of the dead Jesuits, Ignacio Ellacuria, had done part of his Jesuit formation in Dublin as an ordained priest. The memorial bell will also always be a reminder of the third president of the Institute and the values that took him to El Salvador at that time.
Jimmy also narrowly escaped death at a subsequent date when he found himself under the table while army bullets were sprayed around the room. He was the pastor of San Antonio Abad parish, where a predecessor, and several young people on retreat, had been slain by the army in 1979. I stayed with Jimmy and the Jesuit community at San Antonio Abad during part of my time in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992. One day he asked if I would like to see the new houses he was having built for the poor. We headed toward a four wheel drive vehicle. Remembering that Jimmy did not drive in Ireland, and knowing I did not feel like handling such a large vehicle there and then in San Salvador, I asked him who would be our driver. He told me he would drive. He proved to be a very able driver, having become such out of his desire to serve the poor more effectively.
To understand the development of Jimmy’s commitment to economically poor and politically persecuted people it is necessary to know that in 1974-75 the Jesuits worldwide committed themselves to the work of justice as integral to the service of faith and that Jimmy was one of two Jesuits elected by his Irish colleagues to represent them in Rome where that decision was taken. Then in 1980 I asked him as a leading scripture scholar to review a book that was generating a lot of interest at the time, namely, Jose Miranda’s Marx and the Bible. (4) He told me later that reviewing this book led to a quantum leap in his Jesuit commitment to what had been decided in Rome some years earlier. Viewed from the perspective of spirituality as an academic discipline it can be said that his quantum leap of faith was facilitated by the practice of an intense reading experience. Other kinds of practices would evoke, express and enhance his conversion.
In that year, 1980-81, some of us here at the Institute – students at the time – thought the Institute should take an initiative to stop the intended tour of apartheid South Africa by the Irish rugby team. We held an all night vigil at the premises of the IRFU and collaborated with others in organising and taking part in protest marches on the streets. Jimmy, who was the Dean of Theology at the time, was one of very few academic and administration staff to join us. He also went on a placement to Brixton, England, around that time to work with marginalised black people. This commitment to black people reappeared strongly after his years in El Salvador when he went to live and work in Malawi (1997-99). One of his former Malawian students told me that Jimmy was a friend of the poor and oppressed, and that he lived what he taught from the Bible. This was also true of him in Ireland.
During his years as President of Milltown Institute he accepted an invitation from Seamus Murphy, now a member of the Philosophy Faculty, to live in inner city Dublin as a member of the Jesuit community called after Luis Espinal. Espinal was a Catalan Jesuit who had been murdered in Bolivia for his commitment to the faith that does justice. The Espinal community, which had been brought into being in 1980, the year of Espinal’s martyrdom, by Seamus, Kevin O’Higgins, the former Dean of Philosophy, and myself, when we were students at Milltown, and which was joined almost immediately by John Moore, then a Professor and Head of Department at UCD, was committed to simple living, was a friend to the flat dwellers in the local Dublin Corporation estates, and was a meeting place for social action groups. Jimmy used to cycle to and from Milltown in those years. He also participated regularly in protests outside the U.S. embassy against U.S. foreign policy in Central America, protests in which some staff and students at the Institute took a prominent part.
In line with how he understood and lived his faith and scholarship a defining characteristic of his Presidency was the way he enabled the teaching of liberation and feminist theologies to progress in the Institute. He welcomed me on the staff in 1986 and I am grateful to him for the support he gave me to teach these theologies. Una Agnew, the first female head of a programme at the Institute, and now Head of the Dept. of Spirituality, remembers his commitment to improving the situation of women, while Dominique Horgan, now the Archivist, remembers how he initiated the Adult Religious Education programmes, of which she was the first Director. This commitment to adult religious education is also reflected in the fact that during his years as President he taught scripture at the People’s College, which was located near the Espinal community. He did so there in order to reach out to people who at that time would not come to places like Milltown because of their social class, feelings about the Catholic Church, or educational attainment. Jimmy was a great success with such groups.
After his years in Malawi, following his term as President of the Institute, and his years in El Salvador, Jimmy went to Belfast to be in solidarity with those struggling for peace and justice there. During that time he also wrote a series of very fine articles on scripture texts for readers of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Then, given his language skills, and feeling for Latino peoples, he went to California to be a pastor in a parish with a very large Latino population. While there he suffered a stroke, and had to return to Ireland. More strokes followed. He died on October 9th. May he rest in peace, and may we be inspired by the way he lived the Institute motto to bring scholarship to life. Amen. Alleluia!

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

James (Jimmy) McPolin (1931-2005)

4th June 1931: Born in Limerick
Early education at Crescent College, Limerick
7th September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1960 - 1963: Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Studied Theology
4th September 1962: Ordained at Frankfurt, Maine
1963 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1964 - 1967: Biblical Institute, Rome -D.S.S.
2nd February 1966: Final Vows in Rome
1967 - 1976: Milltown Park -
1967 - 1970: Professor of Sacred Scripture / Rome in alternate semesters
1970 - 1976: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture; Superior of Scholastics
1976 - 1977: Betagh House - Professor of Sacred Scripture at Milltown Park
1977 - 1978: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture
1978 - 1979: Gonzaga Univ., Spokane, WA, USA - Professor of Sacred Scripture
1979 - 1983: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture; Dean Theology Faculty
1983 - 1990: Espinal community -
1983 - 1990: President, Milltown Institute; Lecturer in Sacred Scripture, Writer
1987 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1998: El Salvador - learning language and parish work
1998 - 1999: Malawi - Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Peter's Seminary
1999 - 2000: Belfast- Ecumenical and Reconciliation Ministry
2000 - 2001: Sabbatical - Faber House, 42 Kirkland Street, Cambridge MA
2001 - 2004: Venice, California - Associate Pastor, St. Mark's Church
2004 - 2005: Gardiner Street - Residing in Cherryfield
9th Oct 2005: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Jimmy McPolin was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on April 5th, 2004 for respite care following a stroke in the USA. While his mobility was poor at times he was self caring for the first six months. Then he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on four occasions, having suffered more strokes. His condition deteriorated over this time and in the last six months to a year he needed full nursing care. In that time his mental state also deteriorated. He was unable to converse and was unaware of his surroundings. However, he did appear to know some of the staff.

Michael O'Sullivan writes:
Jimmy was a fellow Limerick man and past pupil of the old Crescent College. I did not meet him, however, until I went to Milltown to study Philosophy in 1974. I found our first meeting painful. I was struggling to come to terms with life in the Milltown of that era after three years in the company of many women friends at UCD, and he, in his role as “Superior of Scholastics”, did not understand that. But he changed. He was an architect of the Formation document at GC 32 with its focus on “the integrated character of apostolic formation”. He also got in touch with his “inner child” and would express this, for example, by dressing up as Santa Claus at the Christmas staff party in Milltown Institute in an effort to lighten up what could be an over sombre atmosphere. His preference to dress in grey rather than the customary clerical black meant that on one occasion at least he was taken for a Protestant minister. This happened when he visited my mother, who did not know him at the time. When she answered the door to him and lie asked her if she was Mrs. O'Sullivan, she replied that, yes, she was, but that she was a Catholic!

In a conversation with Jimmy about two years before he died he said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the period he was in El Salvador (1989-96) - despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983-89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement. Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba Julia) and her daughter (Celina), were murdered by an army death squad at the Jesuit residence on the grounds of the University of San Salvador. The Jesuits were murdered because of their commitment to the faith that does justice; the women, who had taken refuge with the Jesuits after their home had been damaged by gunfire, were killed so as to leave no witnesses. Jimmy would have been among the massacred that night, 16 November 1989, had he not chosen to spend time among the ordinary people before accepting an invitation to stay with his Jesuit companions at the University. (Jimmy shared this with me in El Salvador in 1991. He had also said this to his family in Ireland, according to his niece, Gráinne) Afterwards his concern to see justice done in the case of these companions and the two women was viewed by him as a way to also promote justice for the people of the country. In a letter to members of his family in Ireland in 1990 he wrote: “The future of justice is obfuscated by the fact that the trial of the soldiers for the killings is being impeded by false evidence of the military and by the collusion of the American Embassy and Government”. (The source for this quote is his niece Gráinne who had also spoken with other members of his extended family.)

Jimmy also narrowly escaped death on another occasion when he found himself under the table while army bullets were sprayed around the room. He was the pastor of San Antonio Abad parish, where a predecessor, and several young people on retreat, had been slain by the army in 1979. I stayed with him and the Jesuit community at the parish during part of my time in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992. One day he asked if I would like to see the new houses he was having built for the poor. We headed toward a four wheel drive vehicle. Remembering that Jimmy did not drive in Ireland, and knowing I did not feel like handling such a large vehicle there and then in San Salvador, I asked who would be our driver. He told me that he would drive. He proved to be a very abie driver, having become such out of his desire to serve the poor more effectively.

To understand the development of Jimmy's commitment to economically poor and politically persecuted people it is necessary to remember that in 1974-75 we committed ourselves at a global level to the work of justice as an integral part of the service of faith and that Jimmy was one of the two delegates elected by his peers to go to the 32nd General Congregation where that decision was taken. Then in 1980 I asked him as a leading scripture scholar to review a book that was generating a lot of interest at the time, namely, Jose Miranda's Marx and the Bible. ((At that time I was co-editing a magazine on faith and justice issues.) He told me later that reviewing this book led to a quantum leap in his Jesuit commitment to Decree 4 of GC 32. Viewed from the perspective of spirituality as an academic discipline it can be said that his leap of faith was facilitated by the practice of an intense reading experience. Other kinds of practices would evoke, express and enhance his conversion.

In the academic year, 1980-81, some theology students at Milltown Institute were strongly of the view that the Institute should take an initiative to stop the intended tour of apartheid South Africa by the Irish rugby team. We held an all night vigil at the premises of the IRFU and collaborated with others in organising and taking part in protest marches on the streets. Jimmy, the Dean of Theology at the time, was one of the very few academic and administration staff who joined us. He also went on a placement to Brixton, England around that time to work with marginalised black people. This commitment to black people reappeared strongly after his years in El Salvador when he went to live and work in Malawi (1997-99). One of his former Malawian students told me that Jimmy was a friend of the poor and oppressed, and that he lived what he taught from the Bible. This was also true of him in Ireland.

During his years as President of Milltown Institute he accepted an invitation from Séamus Murphy to live in inner city Dublin as a member of the Jesuit community called after Luis Espinal. Espinal was a Catalan Jesuit who had been murdered in Bolivia for his commitment to the faith that does justice. The Espinal community, which had been brought into being in 1980, the year of Espinal's martyrdom, by Séamus, Kevin O'Higgins, and myself, when we were theology students at Milltown, and which was joined almost immediately by John Moore, then a Professor and Head of Department at UCD, was committed to simple living, was a friend to the flat dwellers in the local Dublin Corporation estates, and was a meeting place for social action groups. Jimmy used to cycle to and from Milltown in those years. He also participated regularly in protests outside the US embassy against US foreign policy in Central America, protests in which some staff and students at the Institute took a prominent part.

In line with how he understood and lived his faith and scholarship a defining characteristic of his Presidency was the way he enabled the teaching of liberation and feminist theologies to progress in the Institute. He welcomed me on the staff in 1986 and I am grateful to him for the support he gave me to teach these theologies. Una Agnew, the first female head of a programme at the Institute, and now Head of the Dept. of Spirituality, remembers his commitment to improving the situation of women, while Dominique Horgan, now the Archivist, remembers how he initiated the Adult Religious Education programmes, of which she was the first Director. This commitment to adult religious education is also reflected in the fact that during his years as President of the Milltown Institute he taught scripture at the People's College, which was located near the Espinal community. He did so there in order to reach out to people who at that time would not come to places like Milltown because of their social class, feelings about the Catholic Church, or educational attainment. Jimmy was a great success with such groups.

After his years in Malawi, following his term as President of the Institute, and his years in El Salvador, Jimmy went to Belfast to be in solidarity with those struggling for peace and justice there. During that time he also wrote a series of very fine articles on scripture texts for readers of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Then, given his language skills and feeling for Latino peoples, he went to California to serve in a parish with a very large Latino population. While there he suffered a stroke, and had to return to Ireland. More strokes followed. He died on October 9h. May he rest in peace, and may we be inspired by the way he lived the Institute motto to bring scholarship to life. Amen. Alleluia!

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:
I have no doubt in my heart or mind that this virtuous soul, at whose invitation we gather today in faith and prayer, is residing easily and comfortably in the hands of our God. It is also unquestionable that Jimmy's illness looked like a disaster and we watched as the person we knew and loved was leaving us over these past twelve months or so, we were stunned and amazed how one who so loved God and who was such a devoted friend and servant of His was so afflicted: God certainly put Jimmy to the test.

But in his own words, writing in his well-received and celebrated tome on “JOHN”, Jimmy reflects for us “the suffering of Jesus is an expression of love, for the Good Shepherd is on His way to lay down His life for His friends out of love” - not like the hired shepherd who would run away from suffering.

Wisdom concludes that “they who trust in the Lord will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with The Lord in love; for grace and mercy await those He has chosen”. That is a verse that Jimmy took on as his leit motiv. He is one who trusted and who lived a faithful life, and now that Jimmy has gone home to the God who chose him, grace and mercy will embrace him. As he wrote in his book, “Jesus' death is a pass(ing) over to the Father, so that Death and Resurrection are inseparable; and the light of the Resurrection penetrates suffering and gives it meaning”.

St Paul confirms our Faith for us in the reading we have just heard. Because of the resurrection, death has no more power over us. We learn this message as we continually enter the waters of our Baptism and let the grace we received there be at work in our lives calling us ever more deeply into the Mystery of Life.

Writing in the introduction to his volume on John, Jimmy alerts us to the fact that the sign of the Fourth Evangelist is that of the Eagle, and reflects for us that this is because John had the MOST penetrating GAZE into the Mystery of God Made Man - of Jesus. We each have our own special memory of Jimmy. Mine centres around Jimmy's own gaze into my eyes - he had a way of looking into my eyes that invited trust and response in care. I often imagine to myself that this is a very Jesus-like gaze, as He (Jesus) looked at the Rich Young Man and loved him.

Foley, Joseph, 1921-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/600
  • Person
  • 24 April 1921-04 September 2006

Born: 24 April 1921, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
Died: 04 September 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; HK to HIB: 21 May 1993

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1958 at Cheung Chau, Hong Kong - Regency studying language

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Hong Kong says farewell to a friend and a scholar
Father Neary

Around 500 people gathered at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception on 14 September for a memorial Mass, celebrated by the local ordinary, Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun, to mourn the passing of a much-loved teacher and creative administrator, who began the process of systemising Catholic education in the diocese.

A revered teacher at both Wah Yan College in Kowloon and in Hong Kong, Jesuit Father Joseph Foley died in his native Ireland at 11pm on 4 September 2006 at a nursing home in Dublin. Born in Limerick on 24 April 1921, Father Foley entered the Society of Jesus at Emo, Ireland, in September 1939, and eight years later was appointed to the China mission, arriving in Canton for language studies in 1947.

Forced to leave the mainland in 1949, he taught as a scholastic in the Hong Kong Wah Yan campus for one year before returning to Ireland to finish his theological studies and final formation for priesthood. He was ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin, on the feast of St. Ignatius, 31 July 1953.

The year 1955 again saw him teaching in Wah Yan, once again at the Hong Kong school. Then after another year studying Cantonese at Xavier House in Cheung Chau, he was back teaching, an activity he continued for the next 13 years, alternating between the Kowloon and Wan Chai schools. He did a stint as principal in Kowloon from 1962-1968, then in 1970 completed a masters’ degree in education at Loyola College in Chicago, the United States of America.

The photograph published with this tribute to the man who is remembered as much for his joviality, good humour and ceaseless care for students as for his excellence in education, is one of fond memory for many alumni of both colleges. “It is how we remember him,” reads a short obituary on the alumni Website.

The tribute comments that the value of a teacher can be measured by the number of past pupils who take the trouble to revisit. “You may be comforted to learn that of late, many old boys have written to the late Father Foley and a few even made the trip (to Ireland) especially to visit him,” the Website tribute reads.

Father Foley spent 1973 and 1974 setting up a junior college of education in Singapore, returning to Hong Kong in 1978 to take up what was maybe his greatest professional challenge, an appointment as the first Episcopal vicar for education in the diocese. His successor, Alice Woo Lo-ming, said that it was a difficult time of “breaking the ice.” She explained that up until then, each school had operated quite independently, but Father Foley persistently wrote to the Education Department on various issues and “worked hard to promote “collaboration” between the different institutions.

“It was difficult work,” she said. “Many were not so willing to move.” However, she said that his legendary sense of humour assisted him to break through deadlocks and “he tried to make central management work and drew up guidelines for the Catholic Board of Education and the diocesan and religious councils.”

Woo said that “he achieved much, even though he was a one man office with only one secretary to assist him.”

Father Foley stepped down in 1991 and returned to Ireland to work in parishes until ill health forced his retirement earlier this year.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 September 2006

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first came to Hong Kong as a Regent in 1947 and went to Guangzhou to learn Cantonese.
1949-1950 He was sent to Wa Yan College Hong Kong teaching
1950-1955 He went back to ireland for Theology and was Ordained in 1953.
1955-1968 He returned to Hong Kong and Wah Yan College Hong Kong. By 1962 he was Proncipal there (1962-1968)
1968-1971 He was sent to Wah Yan Kowloon
1971-1972 He went to the USA to gain a Masters in Education
1972-1973 He was sent to Singapore (Principal of Catholic Junior College)
1973-1977 He was back in Hong Kong at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong
1977 He was appointed Episcopal Vicar for Education. His task was to coordinate the work of all Catholic schools in the territory. An educationalist of many years standing, he said in an interview that there were many problems i Hong Kong’s educational system. A particular issue was about education in the vernacular. He believed that each school should form its own policy, but all parties locally must discuss the vernacular issue thoroughly before coming to any decision.

Sermon at the Requiem Mass for Fr Joseph Foley SJ, by Freddie Deignan SJ on 14 September 2006 (excerpts) :
“We gather here this evening to celebrate the Eucharist and to thank God for the gift of the life of Fr Joseph Foley who has passed away and to pray for the repose of his soul. We remember him as he touched the lives of many of us here. Today happens to be the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross.....His death on the Cross has made it possible for us to join him in the eternal happiness of Heaven. Father Foley is now enjoying that happiness......and we should celebrate that he has finally reached his home safely and joyfully after a life of service.......
He was born in Limerick on April 24th 1921. He entered the Society of Jesus when he was 18 years old and went through the usual course of studies. He got an Arts Degree at University College Dublin and this was followed by three years of Philosophy. He first came to Hong Kong in 1947 when he was 26 years old, studied Chinese in Canton for two years and then spent a year teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.
He returned to Ireland to study Theology and was Ordained on 31st July 1953. So, he died having been 53 years a priest. In 1955 he came back to Hong Kog, which was to be his home for 34 years. He first spent a year at Cheung Chau trying to improve his Chinese, and in 1962 he was appointed Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College Kowloon. he held this post until 1968. He was fondly known as “James Bond”, as people thought he looked like Seán Connery, and his o