Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

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Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

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25 December 1890-17 May 1955

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

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

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

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

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

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Bartley, Stephen, 1890-1955, Jesuit priest

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