Born: 13 January 1857, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1896
Died: 30 November 1928, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia
by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1895
◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Stonyhurst.
After his Noviceship he spent a further two years at Milltown in the Juniorate, and then he was sent to Clongowes for Regency. At that time the Intermediate Cert was only two years in existence and he was given the task of preparing the boys for the senior grade. He also acted as a Sub-Prefect of Studies.
1891 He was back in Milltown for Philosophy, and then he returned for more Regency at Clongowes.
1888 He was sent to Louvain for Theology, and returned the following year when the Theologate at Milltown was opened, and he was Ordained there in 1890.
After Ordination he spent three years at Belvedere and was then sent to Roehampton for Tertianship.
1895 After Tertainship he was sent to Australia and started his life there at Xavier College Kew.
During his 33 years in Australia he worked at various Colleges : 19 at St Aloysius Sydney; 7 at St Patrick’s Melbourne - one as Prefect of Studies, two as Minister and Spiritual Father; 3 years at Riverview was Minister. He was also in charge of Sodalities, Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to Communities and boys, Examiner of young Priests and so on. Whatever he did, these were always part of his work.
He died at St Aloysius Sydney 30 November 1928
Earnestness and hard work were the keynotes of Joseph’s life. Whether praying, teaching, exercising, he was always the same, deadly in earnest. Imagination was for others! Time and reality were his benchmarks. At the same time he was immensely kind, very genuine if not so demonstrative. He was an excellent community man, a good companion and he enjoyed a joke as well as any other man.
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Stonyhurst College and St Stanislaus Tullabeg before he entered the Society in Dublin.
1879-1880 After First Vows he continued at Milltown Park for a year of Juniorate
1880-1881 He was sent for a year of Regency at Clongowes Wood College, teaching Rhetoric, and as Hall Prefect and Assistant Prefect of Studies.
1881-1884 He returned to Milltown Park for Philosophy
1884-1888 He was back at Clongowes doing Regency, teaching Grammar, French and Arithmetic. He also prepared students for public exams.
1888-1889 He was sent to Leuven for Theology
1889-1891 He continued his Theology back a Milltown Park
1891-1894 He was sent to Belvedere College to teach Rhetoric and Humanities.
1894-1895 He made Tertianship at Roehampton, England
1895-1896 He was sent to Australia and firstly to Xavier College Kew
18996-1901 He moved to St Patrick’s Melbourne, where he was also Minister and Prefect of Studies at various times.
1901-1903 He returned to Xavier College
1903 He was sent as one of the founding members of the new community at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point.
1904-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius Riverview
1909 He returned to St Aloysius, Sydney, and remained there for the rest of his life.
Those who knew him say he was a most exact man in all he said and did. He was meticulous with dates and had a good memory for names and facts. He was also a fine raconteur and enjoyed conversation. He took an interest in the doings of those around him and longed for communication of ideas. He maintained a steady interest and curiosity in everything he approached. He appeared to have enjoyed his life.
He was also a man able to adjust to circumstances. He certainly had many changes of status in his earlier years. However, he was happy in the Society, wherever he lives, relishing every moment and enjoying the recollection of memories.
He was a teacher for 42 years, a man who prepared his classes most carefully and was regular and exact in correcting. He was absorbed in his work and completely dedicated to duty, absolutely punctual to class, a model of exactitude to others, and happy in the hidden daily routine of classroom teaching.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 4th Year No 2 1929
Fr Joseph Cahill
Fr. J. Cahill was born in Dublin on the 13th January 1857, educated at Stonyhurst, and entered the Society at Milltown Park 7th September 1876.The noviceship over, he spent two more years at Milltown in the juniorate, and was than sent to Clongowes. The “Intermediate” was just two years old, and Mr Cahill was entrusted with the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade. He also acted as Sub-Prefcct of Studies. in 1881 he began philosophy at Milltown, and when it was over returned to Clongowes as Master. 1888 found him at Louvain for Theology. Next year the new Theologate of the Irish Province was established at Milltown, and Mr Cahill was one of the first students. He was ordained in 1890. Three years at Belvedere followed, and then came the Tertianship at Roehampton. At its conclusion he bade farewell to Ireland, for in 1895 we find him a master at
Xavier College, Kew.
During the 33 years that Fr. Cahill lived in Australia, he worked in the Colleges - 19 years at St. Aloysius, 7 at St. Patrick's, 4 at Riverview and 3 at Xavier. At St Patrick’s he was one year Prefect of Studies and two years Minister and two Spiritual Father. Riverview had him as Minister for three years. He had charge of Sodalities, was Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to communities and boys, Examiner of young priests etc. But whatever else he did the inevitable “Doc” or “Par. alum. ad exam.public” always found a place in the list of his activities. According to the Catalogue of 1929 he was Master for 43 years. He crowned a very hard working, holy life by a happy death at St. Aloysius on Friday, November 30th 1928.
Earnestness, steady hard work were the key-notes of Fr. Cahill's life. Whether saying his prayers, teaching a class, making a forced march across the Dublin hills, or playing a game of hand-ball he was always the same - deadly in earnest. If imagination ever sought an entrance into his life - and it is doubtful if it ever did - the door was slammed in its face. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Fr Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him, of a surly disregard for others. Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of “the milk of human kindness” in his character. That kindness was very genuine, but not demonstrative. Fr. Joe was an excellent community man, a very agreeable companion, and he could enjoy a joke as well as the gayest Of his comrades.
Some one has said that it is easier to run fast for a minute than to grind along the dusty road for a day. Fr Joe did grind along the road, dusty or otherwise, not for a day only but for the 52 years he lived in the Society. RIP
Irish Province News 4th Year No 3 1929
Fr Joseph Cahill continued
The following appreciation of Fr. Cahill has come from Australia where he spent 33 years of his Jesuit life :
As a religious he was a great observer of regularity. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for class, his correction of home work etc. were the joy of the heart of the Pref. Stud. Amongst his papers were found the notes of his lessons up to the very last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy Convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar
with unvarying punctuality at 6.55. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars. For a number of years his chief break was to go in holiday time to hear confessions in some remote convents which but for him would have no extraordinary. He rarely preached as he lacked fluency and was rather unimaginative, but he was splendid at giving a short and practical address.This was shown during his time as director of the Sodality for Professional men attached to St. Patrick's Melbourne. Here he won the esteem of the best educated Catholics in the city and held it to the end.
He was a great community man, the life and soul of recreation. He was one of the working community to the end. When his doctor assured him that a successful operation was possible but unlikely, he decided to face it. He was suffering far more than was generally known, yet he worked to the end. He delayed the operation till he had taught his last class for the Public Exams in History, and then, packing a tiny bag and refusing to take a motor car to the hospital, he went cheerfully, like the brave soul he was, to face the danger. In a week he was dead, but it was typical of him that he lasted long after the doctors had given him but a few hours to live. He was a man who never gave up, and we are greatly poorer for his loss. May he rest in peace.
An old pupil of his at St. Patrick's writes as follows :
He was a man of most engaging personality and a great favourite with the boys. He took part in our games of football and cricket. Sometimes his vigour was not altogether appreciated, although we admired his tremendous energy. He was a simple, homely, engaging man, keen in everything he undertook. A fine servant of God with all the attributes of one of Nature's Gentlemen.
◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Joseph Cahill 1857-1928
Born in Dublin on January 13th 1857, Fr Joseph Cahill spent twenty-three years of his life as a teacher in Australia. As a religious, he was a great observer of reality. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for classes, his corrections of class work, were the joy of the heart of the Prefect of Studies. Among his papers found after his death were ther notes for the last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar with unvarying punctuality at 6.55am. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars.
For a number of years, his chief break during vacations was to go to some remote convent, which but for him would have no extraordinary confessor.
When his doctor assured him that a successful operation for his complaint was possible but unlikely, he decided to take the risk. But, he delayed operation until he had taught his last class due for public examinations in History. Then packing a little bag and refusing to take a car to the hospital, he went cheerfully to his ordeal. He died within a week on November 20th 1928.
A fine servant of God, with all the attributes of one of nature’s gentlemen.
◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1928
Father J B Cahill SJ
Father Joseplı Bernard Cahill died at Sydney on Friday, 30th November, 1928, after a brief illness. He was born in Ireland in 1857 and, after being educated at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, entered the Society of Jesus in 1876. Coming to Australia in 1895 on the completion of his studies, he was first sent to St Patrick's, and afterwards came to Xavier. After a couple of years at Xavier he went to Riverview and finally to St Aloysius, where he has been stationed for the last 18 years.
Father Cahill preserved a very live interest in everything Xaverian, and more especially in the doings of the Sydney Branch of the OXA, whose Patron he was. In spite of his seventy odd years Fr Cahill remained active to the end of his life. At the time of the Eucharistic Congress he was able to take part in all the functions of that crowded week. He had the joy of living a full life and dying in harness. May his soul rest in peace.
◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1929
Father Joseph Cahill SJ
Three years ago we recorded in “The Aloysian” and celebrated at the College the Jubilee of Father Cahill-fifty years in the Society. And this year we cele brate the Jubilee of the foundation of the College. We should have wished to have Father Cahill, who had given twenty years consecutive good service to the College with us, but God wished otherwise. Last year he went to his reward, at the age of seventy-one, being born in 1857. He has, we hope, already entered on the great jubilee the eternal rest sung of in the Church's liturgy. And if our departed friends can know of and appreciate our wordly activities, and I think they can, Father Cahill is with us in spirit at our celebrations, keenly sympathetic.
Searching in one's memory for a word. to suggest the most characteristic fea. ture of Father Cahill, one finds one word continually recurring to mind - exactness.
For Father Cahill was exact in all he did and said. Like all historians he relished the dates of history, those num bers which give down to an exact point the deeds of man. And again he was exact in his memory of names and facts. If one hears a story often from the same person, one oftens notes slight discrep ancies in the telling, but with Father Cahill no, I have often heard him give his memories for example, of the famous case Saurin v. Starr, which had a peculiar interest to Catholics in the old world. ..... it was always the same as to fact in detail. He seemed to relate the details with a satisfaction which increased until the whole story finished, as it were, with a click of a complete adjustment and a smile in Father Cahill's face, as if one who would say “There you are, complete, exact the real and whole truth of this interesting little human comedy”. It was this obvious relish of telling that made his account. attractive to the listener. Father Cahill believed in and practised conversation, almost a lost art nowadays. “Tell me, now ...” he would question and at once you got going. He took an interest in all the doings of his fellow-men, and so longed for communication of ideas. Of all men and things with which he had contact at any time, he always retained an inter est. His days of schooling at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, his studies in Ireland and on the Continent, his years of teaching in Australia. His life was full and his life was interesting to himself, And again here we react back to the same idea - exactness.
The obvious interest of Father Cahill at all points of his life showed an ad justment to circumstance. We are interested in what is, from a mental.view point, both new and yet old ... linked up with the old and introducing something new. Father Cahill relished his life as a Jesuit, because he fitted exactly into the cadre. He was at home and happy in the Society where all essentials were old and familiar, and looked out on the world outside with the interest almost of a child watching a procession from a window, every detail recorded and its beauty and novelty a delight for that moment, and for years after too, : in memory. . It was this exact adjustment to his milieu which made Father Cahill essen tially a good religious and Jesuit, an exact and devoted teacher. Of the seventy one years of his life - he was born in 1857, and died in 1928 - forty-two years were spent in teaching, and until the very end he showed by his careful preparation for class and his careful cor rection of work done by his class, his absorption in the work at hand. It often has been said that a life of each ing is a life of obscurity - I suppose in one sense this is so. The world hears little of the teacher, but he leaves his mark of good or ill, and the example of Father Cahill with his exact devotion to duty, his absolute punctuality - of course, true to type he had a watch that was always right, though the house clock might sometime be wrong - was an object lesson to all. But the abiding memory which is uppermost, and does most to help one, still in the struggle of life, is the memory of one, exactly adjusted to his vocation and surroundings, doing exactly the work assigned, and obviously relishing that work. It is a lesson of the joys that follow the exact performance of what God wants done, a consolation to us all in a world seething with dis content. In brief Father Cahill was the “faithful and prudent servant” rendered manifest in the flesh - a model to us all, “faithful over few things”, and now, we trust, placed over many, as a reward for exact dutiful service.
◆ The Clongownian, 1929
Father Joseph Cahill SJ
Father Cahill’s first experience of Clongowes was from the master's desk. (As a boy he had been in Stonyhurst.) He came here just two years after the “Intermediate” was started, and was given the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade, as well as acting as Sub-Prefect of Studies. Two years teaching then, and another spell of three years, from 1885 to 1888, and his work at Clongowes was done. Those who were taught by him know how well it was done. Some years later he left Ireland forever to do his work in Australia. No less than thirty-three years did he work in the Australian Colleges, and when death came it found him still active. Eamestness, steady, hard work were the key-notes of his life. Whether saying his prayers, teach ing a class, or playing a game, he was always the same-deadly in earnest. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Father Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him of a surly disregard for others, Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of the milk of human kindness in his character, and that kindness was very genuine, if not demonstrative. He crowned a very hard-working holy life by a happy death in the College of St Aloysius, Sydney, on November 30th, 1928. RIP