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34 Name results for Bavaria

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Andrews, Paul W, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/a-man-of-many-talents/

A man of many talents
Milltown Chapel was packed on Friday morning, 30 November, for the funeral of Paul Andrews SJ, who passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Nursing Home on 27 November. A large number of family members joined Paul’s fellow-Jesuits, and they paid tribute, both by bring up gifts and by recounting stories, to the deep and meaningful role he played in their lives. In his opening remarks, the principal celebrant Bill Callanan SJ noted the many talents Paul had received and the generous way in which he responded to them. Paul was a writer, a therapist, a psychoanalyst, an educationalist, and a spiritual director. He was also a pivotal presence at critical moments in the life of the Irish Jesuit province.

In his homily Bruce Bradley SJ picked up this same theme, emphasising Paul’s willingness and enthusiasm when it came to a new venture. He was particularly heartened by his work in the 1970s chairing several national committees and writing their reports, most notably the ICE (Intermediate Certificate Examination) and FIRE (Future Involvement of Religious in Education). But his involvement in education was not only at a policy level. Over the years he taught in Clongowes, head-mastered in Gonzaga, and was rector of Belvedere College. He also, for 18 years, directed St Declan’s special school, a venture founded by the Jesuits for primary school children who need special attention and support for personal or emotional reasons. He was especially dedicated to this work. Both in St Declan’s and through private practice, Paul served about 10,000 individual clients in psychotherapy or spiritual direction. As Bruce Bradley said, “Paul was effortlessly intelligent and correspondingly but unselfconsciously articulate, but he wore his learning lightly and what he knew and what he could achieve through his education was essentially in aid of the pastoral ministry to which he had dedicated his life.”

Fr Bradley also recalled a curious accomplishment of Paul’s from his time as editor of the Old Clongownian, when he was a scholastic:
In 1955, well-read and highly cultured man that he was and always remained, with full knowledge of what he was doing, he invited a near-contemporary of Joyce to write his reminiscences of the college in the 1890s, in which the writer recalled what he had heard of Joyce at that time. This was the first occasion when any reference had been made to the school’s most famous past pupil for more than fifty years, even his death in 1941, as by then a world-renowned writer, having been passed over without comment in the college magazine and in other Jesuit quarters. Undeterred, not setting out to shock or act as the enfant terrible and draw attention to himself, which was never his way, but judging that it was time and, although even – as it used to be said – ‘a mere scholastic’ (how we wish we had a few more ‘mere scholastics!’) and in his mid-twenties, Paul was quite prepared to break the disapproving silence and begin the process of setting the record straight at last.

In many ways throughout his Jesuit life, Paul proved himself to be a skilled communicator. He wrote over 300 articles for the Sacred Heart Messenger, about 1700 contributions to Sacred Space, a best-selling book called Changing Children, and many sections of other books and magazines, in psychology, Jesuit history, and spirituality. In 2010 he began working in Irish Jesuit communications, editing Irish Jesuit News and Interfuse, and writing the obituaries of Jesuits.

The enthusiasm which Paul showed in all his work ventures also showed in his more leisurely activities. In particular he was a very keen fisherman, in Ireland, England and even New Zealand, which he loved to visit in the later years of his life.

Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis.

Early Education at Cross & Passion, Lytham St Annes; CBS, Great Crosby; Belmont Abbey, Hereford; Wimbledon College, London; St Columb’s Derry; Blackrock College, Dublin
1946-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1950-1953 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1953-1955 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; CWC Cert in Education
1955-1959 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1959-1960 Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship in Our Lady of the Martyrs
1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Minister of Juniors; Inspector of Studies in Colleges of Province; Psychology Studies at UCD
1963-1966 Birmingham, England - Studying Pedagogy at Birmingham University
1966-1972 Gonzaga College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher of Religion; Province Prefect of Studies
1971 Directory of Province Organisation Project
1972-1976 Loyola House - Special Secretariat; Writer
1976-1982 Belvedere College SJ - Rector; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD & Milltown; Director of St Declan’s, Northumberland Road, Dublin
1982-1989 Gonzaga College SJ - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD; Writer
1988 Psychotherapy Studies - St Vincent’s Hospital Dublin
1989-2000 Leeson St - Director of St Declan’s; Lecturer in Psychology at UCD
1992 Province Consultor; Chair Board of St Declan’s School
1996 Consultant Psychotherapist; Lecturer; Writer
1999 Sabbatical
2000-2006 Manresa House - Rector; Continuing Formation Delegate; Treasurer; Counselling; Writer
2006-2010 Leeson St - Director Communications; Associate Editor Sacred Space; Therapist; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Board Jesuit Communications
2008 Editor “AMDG” & “AMDG Express”
2010-2018 Milltown Park - Assistant Editor Sacred Space; Editor AMDG Express; Directs Spiritual Exercises; Therapist; Writer
2012 Editor Irish Jesuit News; Editor Interfuse; Editor Province Obituaries; Assistant Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2015 Chaplain at Cherryfield Lodge
2016 Editor “Interfuse”; Province Obituaries; Rector’s Admonitor
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Booler, Arthur J, 1907-1986, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/930
  • Person
  • 11 July 1907-20 August 1986

Born: 11 July 1907, Carlton, Sydney, NSW, Australia
Entered: 27 March 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Final vows: 15 August 1944
Died: 20 August 1986, Canisius College, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Ent as Scholastic Novice

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He lived in Huntsville, a South Sydney suburb and he was educated by the Christian Brothers, first at St Charles and then Waverley College where he had gained a scholarship. he then went on to begin an apprenticeship in pharmacy. A year into that he entered St Columba’s Seminary at Springwood for priestly studies. There he read the story of William Pardow, an American Jesuit, and the inspiration and attraction he got from this led him to ask to be released by the Archdiocese.
Having entered as a scholastic novice at Loyola Greenwich, he was subsequently sent to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin for his Juniorate, graduating from University College Dublin with First Class Honours in Hebrew and Aramaic, the first Jesuit to attain this distinction at that time. From there he was sent to Pullach in Germany for Philosophy, in the process leaning German, which he attempted to maintain through the rest of his life.
During his time abroad the first signs of epilepsy appeared. He returned to Australia and was sent to Xavier College, Kew for Regency. Because his condition continued it was decided that he would not proceed the scholastic course of studies to ordination. This decision brought him to a crossroads which tested his vocation. The Provincial of the time, John Fahy earnestly urged him to leave the Society, which advice was a source of resentment for the remainder of his life. He was obsessed with scholarship, and becoming a Brother would mean the end of his studies. He was pained by being separated from his scholastic companions and joining in with the Brothers, who in general would have had simpler tastes than his, but he decided to do so in order to remain a Jesuit.

1938-1940 He went as a Brother to Sevenhill, which was something of a refuge for men in difficulty of one kind or other, and it was thought that the climate would be good for his condition.
He was then sent to the Noviciate at Loyola College Watsonia as kitchen hand, occasional cook and infirmarian. The latter did not suit his temperament, but he was faithful to his duties. Here he also learned some basic bookbinding from Brother Maurice Joyce. With characteristic thoroughness he decided that he wished to master this craft. He was unable to do this until such time as a retired chief bookbinder of the Sydney Municipal Library gave him weekly lessons.
1944-1986 His remaining years were spent doing the work of bookbinding at Canisius College Pymble, and the Theologate Library contains many of his professionally bound books and periodicals.

At times he felt frustrated that much of the work given to him was unworthy of his talents, and in addition when many of the Latin Missals he had bound he took to the incinerator following the liturgical renewal. As with everything he faced these trials with a brave and humble heart.
Even in his later years he could be called on in an emergency, stepping in to cook meals or help clean up a room of one of the older men when nobody else could, and he did so with a certain joy in facing the challenge presented.
For many years he had shown a degenerative condition of the spine which occasioned spondylitis, and this caused him increasing pain and distress. It was a relief to his sufferings when he died at Babworth House, the Sydney mansion at Darling Point that had been the home of Sir Samuel Horden and his family, but acquired by the Sisters of Charity and used as an adjunct to St Vincent’s Hospital. He would have been pleased to die in the midst of such expired affluence.

He was a great raconteur and enjoyed talking about his time in Europe and about the sayings and doings of Ours. In his earlier days he enjoyed walking and went on many long hikes with scholastics, especially in the region around the holiday house at Geoora. Each year he joined the Riverview Villa (holiday) in December and was a regular member of the card players. He was a good companion and a faithful Jesuit.

Brangan, P Dermot, 1932-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/351
  • Person
  • 20 July 1932-04 January 2021

Born: 20 July 1932, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 18 March 1965, Tokyo, Japan
Final Vows: 15 January 1978, Japan
Died: 04 January 2021, Loyola House, Tokyo - Japoniae Province (JPN)

Transcribed HIB to JPN, 15 August 1967

Born : 20th July 1932, Dublin
Raised : Drumcondra, Dublin
Early Education at Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
7th September 1950 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1952 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1952-1955 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – 3rd level studies at University College Dublin
1955-1958 Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany - Studying Philosophy
1958-1960 Eiko Gauken, Yokosuka-shi, Japan – Regency Studying Japanese language
1960-1962 Hiroshima Gaukin, Hiroshima-shi, Japan - Regency : Teaching
1962-1966 Iesus Kai Dhudoin, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Studying Theology
18th March 1965 Ordained at Tokyo
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – Tertianship
1967 Transcribed to Japanese Province [JPN] (15/08/1967)
15th January 1978 Final Vows in Japan

◆ Obituary and Tribute
FR PATRICK DERMOT BRANGAN, SJ
July 20, 1932 ~ January 4, 2021

Perhaps because there are too many “Patricks” in Ireland (and because his father’s name was Patrick), he was always known by his middle name “Dermot,” frequently shortened to “Derm.” His mail address, however, was “branganpatrick,” and it might have been the influence of St Patrick, the great British missionary to Ireland, that prompted the Irishman Fr Dermot Brangan to bring Christ to another island country, Japan.
He was born in Dublin on July 20, 1932, the last of five siblings, and was baptised four days later. As a teenager, Dermot attended an Irish-language high school, where he acquired a great love and appreciation for Irish culture and traditions. Surely these enhanced that enjoyable Irish wit that he carried with him throughout his life.
On graduating from high school at the age of 18, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo on September 7, 1950. He was fortunate to have as his novice master Fr Donal O’Sullivan, a man known to be very wise and even “ahead of his times.” Three years of humanities (1952-55) at University College Dublin followed on his novitiate, and then he was sent to Pullach in Germany to study philosophy (1955-58). While there, he became proficient in the German language, which was to prove useful in his future community life among German Jesuits in Japan. In fact, someone mentioned that it might have been as a preparation for missionary work in Japan that he was sent to Germany for philosophy.
Having been accepted for missionary life in Japan, Dermot set out with a group of Irish Jesuits going to Hong Kong and fellow scholastic, Donal Doyle, who was also destined for Japan and would be a close companion for the duration of Dermot’s life and a valuable family contact on his demise. (Not even Donal Doyle could fill in the blanks about what drew Dermot to the Jesuits in the first place or why he took an interest in Japan.)
The missionary group traveled by train to Lourdes and then to Rome, where they met with Fr General Janssens at Villa Cavaletti and received Pope Pius XII’s blessing at Castel Gandolfo. They set sail from Naples, auspiciously enough on the feast of St Ignatius, July 31, 1958 and on a ship named “Asia.” Transferring to a smaller ship at Hong Kong, Dermot and Donal sailed on to Japan, stopping off overnight at Kōbe, unaware of the many years Dermot would eventually be spending in that port city. Their final port of call was Yokohama, where they were met by a Father from the language school in Yokosuka and were taken there for the usual two-year Jesuit language program.
After successfully adding Japanese to his familiarity with Irish and German, he was sent to Hiroshima in the summer of 1960 for the first stage of a long career teaching English to Japanese students. Hiroshima Gakuin had opened only four years earlier and was still struggling to set firm roots in the city that had rebuilt itself with surprising vigor from that fateful August day of 1945. While Dermot was teaching there, he was involved in an incident which threatened to leave a deep scar on the name of the school.
As a young scholastic not unfamiliar with mountain climbing, Dermot was asked to go along with the teacher in charge of a group of students on a trek into the mountains just after Christmas of 1961. Along the way the group got caught in an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm. Totally exhausted from plodding through the deep snow and with their destination stopover a mere 100 meters ahead of them, one of the students collapsed and died on the spot. The incident got newspaper coverage, and the young school was both saddened at the loss of a precious life and panicked over what might ensue. Public attention soon passed, but this tragic incident remained in Dermot’s heart as one traumatic downside of his two years of regency in Hiroshima.
The next step in his formation was four years of theology studies at the Jesuit Kamishakujii scholasticate in Tokyo (1962- 66), with ordination to the priesthood on March 18, 1965 at the hands of Cardinal Peter Doi in the newly erected Tokyo cathedral. Those were the days when the professors of theology were rapidly attempting to catch up with the spirit of Vatican II, some more successfully than others. It was also the time when Japan’s phenomenal post-war recovery startled the world with its flawless staging of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Immediately after theology, Fr Brangan returned to his native Ireland for tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin under Fr Michael Connolly (September 1966 to July 1967). Returning to Japan after that, he began a 27-year career that took him in and out of three Jesuit high schools, mainly teaching English and always being available for consultation with students and teachers. He was a good listener, always trying to understand and help.
The first assignment was to Kōbe to teach English and introduction to Christianity for nine years at Rokkō High School (1967-76). Then there was a twelve-year presence in Hiroshima (1976-88), where he served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community at Hiroshima Gakuin and Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees (1977-83). During that time, the school celebrated its 25th year with the building of a new classroom wing, not without all the troubles and tensions that normally accompany such a project.
On finishing his term as Superior and Trustee Chairperson, he was awarded a year’s sabbatical, which he spent in a rather unusual way. To quote a letter which he wrote to Fr Provincial Awamoto on February 7, 1983:
“I would like to live for three months at Fr Oshida’s place in Nagano ken. ... Life there is extremely simple, primitive in fact. So whether I can stand it for three months remains to be seen. I would like to live with the greatest simplicity possible in terms of material things and spend a lot of time in prayer and silence for three months.”
The same letter asking for permission to live with Dominican Fr Shigeto Oshida’s group in a simple house in the Nagano countryside also contains a very revealing note about how he would like to spend the rest of his life:
“I would like to say that I do not wish to spend the rest of my life in a school. Put simply, I would like to get out of schools around 55 and certainly before 60.” (He was 50 years old at the time.)
After the three months with Fr Oshida, Fr Brangan’s sabbatical took him to Ireland and a renewal course at St Beuno’s in Wales. Despite that plea in the letter already quoted, he was told to go back to Hiroshima Gakuin. His four remaining years in Hiroshima (1984-88) were spent commuting uphill to the school from the Kōgo Catholic Center. Another letter to Fr Awamoto, dated September 6, 1984 shows clearly what he felt at the time:
“After being out of schools for a year, the prospect of returning to the high school situation in Japan was painful and crushing. Being asked to return to Hiroshima Gakuin, where I had been Board Chairman just one year before, and start working again with the staff, some of whom I had had painful dealings with as Chairman, was a hard blow which exacerbated my negative feelings. ... I found my teaching assignment very taxing in terms of physical and psychic energy.”
What, then, must have been his shock when in 1988 he was assigned to move to Taisei High School in Fukuoka, where teaching would be even more taxing than at the previous schools! However, great consolation was soon to come his way a year later. Beginning in April 1989, his teaching load at the school was lightened, and he was asked to serve as pastor of the local parish Jōsui-dōri, which had been entrusted to the Society. Even during his busy days in Hiroshima, his pastoral zeal had urged him to go to the Hiroshima Cathedral every weekend to help, mainly with hearing confessions. Now he was able to dedicate himself more fully to the work he mainly desired.
And he was good at it. Over the years serving in various posts of responsibility, he had learned how to get people to work together. The parishioners greatly appreciated his style of leadership. He remained at the Fukuoka parish until April 1992 (with a brief sabbatical interlude March to August 1991), then returned to the Taisei residence until 1994. By then he was 62 years old, well beyond the desire he had expressed to leave schoolwork “around 55 and certainly before 60.”
In 1994, Provincial Nicolás wrote to him, with profuse apologies, asking him to serve as secretary in the province offices, saying he had looked over the list of Jesuits “from top to bottom and up again to the top,” only to find that Fr Brangan was the only man for the job—but that he need work only in the morning and could have the rest of the day for pastoral work at St Ignatius Church!
But the moving around did not stop there. After two years in Tokyo (1994-96), he was sent back to Kōbe, this time as Superior of the Kōbe Community, which was comprised of both the high school and the parish Jesuits. He was to live in the parish during his six-year term as Superior (1996-2002) doing pastoral work in the parish and being named officially as associate pastor in 1998. Fr O’Malley was pastor, followed by Fr Sakurai. Being familiar with the Spiritual Exercises, Fr Brangan was often asked for retreats. His contacts with parishioners and former students also occasioned preparing couples for marriage and presiding at their wedding.
When his term in Kōbe was over, in 2002, Fr Renzo De Luca, Superior in Nagasaki, wanted someone to replace Fr Clarkson for pastoral work in the residence and retreat house, concomitantly serving as Minister of the small Jesuit community. After three years there, when he was now 73 years old, he was asked to return to Tokyo to live in SJ House and take over from Fr Barry as translator for the Japanese Bishops’ Conference. This he continued to do until 2009, when failing eyesight prevented him from continuing that work. He made a three-month visit to relatives in Ireland and Germany that year and another to Ireland and Vancouver, Canada in 2012.
He continued with regular pastoral work in St Ignatius and retreat work as occasions offered until, by the beginning of 2020, he showed signs of mental confusion, not being able to find his keys, or wandering into other people’s rooms looking for his things. He moved to Loyola House on January 24, 2020.
A year later, in the evening of New Year’s Day 2021, he collapsed in the chapel and was taken to a hospital, where he was found to have suffered from a left subcortical hemorrhage. There being no room for him there, he was transferred to another hospital the next morning, where he passed over to the Lord two days later, just before 10 a.m. on January 4, 2021. He was 88 years old and had been a Jesuit for 70 years. Due to the raging COVID-19 corona virus, a modest funeral was held in St Ignatius Church and live-streamed for simultaneous participation in Ireland, with Fr Doyle speaking.
In conclusion, though written 20 years ago for Fr Brangan’s golden jubilee in the Society, Fr General Kolvenbach’s encomium is still so fitting as to warrant its repetition here. Each of us can make these our own parting words to Fr Dermot Brangan:
“As I look back on your life, dear Father, I esteem the fine spirit of availability that you have shown so gently and so constantly. Your obvious love for the spiritual things in life has had and continues to have an uplifting effect on those in your care and on all those whom God places in your path. I thank God for your wisdom, your gentle graciousness, and your spirit of availability.”

By Robert Chiesa, SJ

Byrne, Vincent, 1848-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/5
  • Person
  • 5 May 1848-21 October 1943

Born: 05 May 1848, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 16 March 1880, Munich, Germany
Died: 21 October 1943, Dublin, Milltown Park, Dublin

Brother of Henry Byrne LEFT as Novice 1875 due to ill health resulting in death

by 1869 at Amiens France (CAMP) studying
by 1870 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
by 1871 at Maria Laach College Germany (GER) Studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from James Redmond Entry :
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.
Note from Thomas P Brown Entry :
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne
Note from Br Philip McCormack Entry :
Father Vincent Byrne said his funeral Mass which was attended by many of the Brothers from the city houses.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944

Obituary :

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Fr. Byrne died on 20th October at Milltown Park at the age of 95. He was a brother of the late Mr. George Byrne, of the firm of Messrs. Byrne, Mahony and Co., flour and grain merchants, wbo was for a number of years chairman of the Dublin Port and Docks Board. His nephew, Mr. George Byrne, is a member of the present Port and Docks Board.
Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society at Milltown Park in 1866, studied rhetoric at St. Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St. Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work, as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector, from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forcefui personality.
The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, were all due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State - like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev. Dr. Curley - the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev. Dr. Killian, Mr. Frank Fahy, T.D - he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.
An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.
Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoilation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.
He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. R.I.P.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 38 : September 1985

Portrait from the Past

FR VINCENT BYRNE : 1848-1943

Seán Hughes

  1. Memories:
    As a young lad: of a quiet gentle confessor in Gardiner Street - though he had a disconcerting habit of dozing in the Box, with the additional alarm caused by the peak of his biretta, on the nodding head, descending like a blackbird. At a later time: or the elderly silk-hatted, frock-coated priest with his umbrella, setting out from Gardiner Street. I never, though, saw him in a tram - like some others of his distinguished-looking, silk-hatted community. As a scholastic: particularly at funerals, when he hatted, gazing down into the open grove of soneome junior to hio. Lastly, in Milltown, pathetically helping or being helped up the two steps to the chapel corridor - Fr. Vincent Byrne, in his nineties, and Fr. Nicholas Tomkins, in his eighties, linking one another from the refectory....

  2. The Official Record:
    Fr. Vincent Byrne was born in Dublin, 5th May 1848. He went to school to Belvedere, and entered the Society in Milltown Park on 7th September 1866. He went to St. Acheul, Belgium, for his juniorate, and was sent to Rome, to the Roman College, for phisolophy. After the fall of Rome, 1870, he moved to Germany to Maria Laach for his second year of philosophy. Then came a five-year regency - a year each in Tullabeg (still a college) and Crescent, and three years in Clongowes where he was Third Line Prefect. To Innsbruck then for theology - and he was ordained on St. Patrick's Day, 1880, in the private Chapel of the Archbishop of Munich: his health having broken down during his second year of theology. A leisurely return home, recuperating his health, became a Grand Tour.

As a young priest, before his tertianship, he spent seven years teaching in different colleges - three years in Tullabeg, two in Galway, one each in Clongowes and Crescent. Apparently a good teacher of languages (he has four to offer) and drama. Fr, Byrne was “in demand”...

In 1889, he was posted to Mungret - first as Minister, for two years; then as rector for nine years. For four of these, 90 - 94, he was in addition Moderator of the Apostolic School. Those years were the apex of his career - the man who Made Mungret - the tangible evidence being the embellishment of the College Chapel. But there was more: those years of Mungret's history were marked by its remarkable successes in the University Examinations of the old Royal University of Ireland. Fr. Byrne claimed that of his pupils in the Apostolic School, nine became Bishops, Archbishop Curley of Baltimore, USA, being the most notable. Ichabod!

After Mungret, Fr.Byrne went to Gardiner Street, where he was to spend all but four years of the rest of his long life. The first four years in Gardiner Street were spent as a member of the retreat and mission staff. There followed, 1904 - 07, three years as rector of Clongowes, then a return to Gardiner Street - as an operarius until 1934; as Conf. Dom., until 1942 - when he retired to Milltown, where it all began seventy-six years previously. He died on 20th October 1943. I don't remember his funeral - but being choir-master, I must have been there.

  1. The Legend:
    Arriving in Mungret, thirty-seven years after Fr. Byrne had left it, I found a green memory of great days and deeds of derring-do. To sift out the facts from the folklore would take a gift of discernment of very high order: so let us be content with the legend w some of the tales may well be apocryphal - but what matter? As Chesterton said about the legends of St. Nicholaus - “He was the kind of man about whom that kind of story was told”. So too “the Pie” - as he was nicknamed, because, it is said, he had a somewhat un-Ignatian “affection” for the dish.

I suppose the legend begins in Rome in 1870 - when he saw “service” with the Papal Army making its token stand at the Port Pia against the invading arny of Victor Emmanuel. The service was, no doubt, as a medical orderly - but, no matter; it was a signal beginning. When we were in Milltown, 1942-43, we understood that Fr Byrne was writing his Memoirs - I wonder where that piece of archives is? The stay in Maria Laach coincided with the beginning of Bismark's Kultur Kampf - and the saving of the library from confiscation by the process of pasting in the book-plate of a friendly Baron in each of the books was another tale.

Although Vincent's health did break down in Innsbruck, he must have been a man of extraordinary stamina and strength. He related, himself, how, when Third Line Prefect in C.W.C., he walked to Dublin (and back) to beg £5.00 from the Provincial to buy a small billiard table for his Line. He rode a bicycle - on what we would seem cart-tracks of roads (and not even a three-speed gear on the machine): he swam - whenever he could, until he was literally rescued from the stormy waters of the Forty-foot in his eighties/nineties and forbidden to swim again. And he died, the oldest member (then) of the Province - but was often heard to say: “That man” (the late E. de Valera) “has taken ten years off my life”. Did he die disappointed?

But the Mungret Legends: Fr Byrne's term as rector of Mungret saw stormy days - on two fronts. The then Bishop of Limerick, Dr. Edward Thomas Dwyer, a man of strong, positive views and irascible temperanent, apparently decided that the Jesuit occupation of Mungret was irregular. His predecessor had invited Ours to run the Diocesan Seminary which he had opened at Mungret. Bishop Dwyer withdrew the seminarians - and left us in occupation. He pursued his case in Rome - and lost it. But Fr Byrne had to face up to the tensions of such a situation. One story may indicate how he coped. He met the Bishop at a funeral. Said the Bishop: “Did you get the letter I sent you?”. Replied the Rector: “Your letter arrived but I did not receive it”. It was related that on another occasion, the Rector was cycling down the Mungret avenue. The Bishop in his coach was driving up to the College. Noticing his visitor, Fr. Byrne continued on his way. The Rector was not at home when the Bishop arrived. The failure of the Bishop's case in Rome did nothing to improve relations.

There was a further assault on his beloved College from quite another quarter. This arose from the complex history of the Mungret establishment. In the 50's the British government decided to do something for the agricultural community. It set up two (I think) agricultural colleges - one of them on land taken from (”ceded by”) the Church of Ireland diocese of Limerick, namely, the Mungret property. The college had a short and unsuccessful life. In or about 1870, the Catholic Bishop of Limerick secured a lease of and premises of the agricultural college, for the purposes of having his diocesan Seminary established there. There was, I believe, some kind of commitment to maintain instruction in agriculture in the new enterprise.

As already related, we remained in occupation of the former agricultural college - now Mungret College and the Mungret Apostolic School. The Protestant Dean of Limerick now challenged our right to be there: the land had been ceded for a specific purpose - which was not being carried out: the agricultural instruction had become a mere token. So, nothing less than a Royal Commission was set up to determine the matter. With the good help of Lord Emly a friend and neighbour, the Commission found a solution - and the Technical School in O'Connell Avenue, Limerick was the British Government's restitution to the people of Limerick.

But more intimate and family adventures: Community relations between Crescent and Mungret were normally very amicable. Whenever one Community was rejoicing, the other was invited to join in the celebration. Indeed it is related that the citizens of Limerick (who always knew, somehow or other, what was going on in either community!) used assemble at Ballinacurra Pike to enjoy the spectacle of the Mungret Long Car bringing one or other community home - rejoicing. Well, on one occasion the Minister of Crescent forgot to invite the Mungret Community to the party. Result: a breach in diplomatic relations - which went unhealed until the said Minister came out to Mungret and read an apology to the Mungret Community - Rector and all present in the Library. (A Community Meeting of a different kind). I mentioned the Long Car which transported the Community of Mungret: all, Rector down, had apparently bicycles: but there was some kind of coach too - for the Rector would be driven to Limerick (or Tervoe, Emly's place). Any respectable coachman would wear a tall-hat: but the Mungret coachman had no such thing. So a tin, black japaned headgear was provided for occasions when the Rector went driving. All was well - until in a bad hail storn descended. The hailstones on the tin hat made such a racket that the horse bolted... History doesn't recount the sequel.

There were tales of cycling expeditions. “Be booted and spurred at such a time” was the Rector's goodnight summons to his men. And off they would go - on their gearless, fixed-wheel bicycles, on the Limerick roads - trying to keep up with the Rector - and trying not to outstrip him when going downhill - a lesson that had to be learnt the hard way! The quality of the lunch depended on the Rector (a) not being overtaken coming down hill and (b) arriving first at their destination. Not all the picnics were cycle runs: there is a tale of an expedition to Killarney (cycling to Limerick Station, of course) with a return in the company of one of the Circuit Court Judges (Adams was his name, I think) who spoke highly of the gaiety of the journey - the bottle had the colour of lemonade (and maybe the label!). One of the party assured me that he found himself in bed the following morning with no recollection of getting there - nor any idea of how he cycled out from Limerick on a bicycle with a buckled front wheel.

There were tales, too, of adventures on villas - the Rector's requirement of his swim before lunch often the nub of the tale - as, for instance, once the party went to the Scelligs (by row boat, of course). Lunch was to be on the rock: but the Rector had to have his swim. The brethren sought to persuade him otherwise - no doubt, it was a hungry and thirsty journey. So they alleged that the waters were shark-infested. Nothing daunted, Fr Byrne had his oarsmen beat the waters - to scare off any intruding shark, while he had his daily plunge...

At home, of course, life was apparently of the “semper aliquid novi” ex Mungret type. Once, the orchard was raided - and the very angry Rector threatened the assembled boys with cancellation of the next free day - unless the culprit owned up. There was silence - and then, Pat Connolly one of the Rector's favourite pupils stood up and confessed. By no means nonplussed, the Rector's anger melted away and in volte face, he cried out: “May God forgive the boy who led this poor child into error. The poor child entered the Society and in the course became the devoted editor of “Studies” for many a long year. It is said that an application from Bruree for a boy with the unusual name of Valera did not meet with the Rector's sympathy - and went to WPB unacknowledged: so the boy went to Rockwell - and, maybe, history was made... With all, the Rector was a forceful personality where the religious, literary and artistic life of the College was concerned. He took his share of teaching and was Proc. Dom. in addition.

His triennium at Clongowes left no such harvest of Folklore. There, he had an outstanding Minister (Fr. Wrafter) and a dymanic Prefect of Studies (Fr. James Daly, in his prime): so Fr Byrne let then run the School while he went to Dublin regularly - coming back every few days to collect his post. It is related that the return was often by the “Opera Train” - the last train from Kingsbridge bringing county theatre goers home - and then by coach from Sallins - the coachman, no doubt, properly attired...

To the end of his active days, he attended both the Spring Show and the Horse Show on each of the four days. Every International Rugby Match and/or Cup Final saw him ensconced on the East Stand at Lansdowne Road, The umbrella element of his tenue on these social occasions, was wielded with vigour on those enthusiasts who stood up at thrilling moves on the pitch and blocked his reverence's view. He was a keen bridge player and commanded his friends to provide “a good four”. However, he developed a habit of pausing during play to recite his favourite poetry - with feeling. The provision of “a good four” became increasingly difficult.

But despite all these eccentricities, Fr, Byrne was one of the devoted and faithful members of the Church staff at Gardiner Street. In a time when the Province rejoiced in having a number of eloquent and sought after preachers - Fr. Robert Kane, Fr. Tom Murphy, Fr. Michael Phelan - Fr Vincent Byrne was 'an eloquent and graceful speaker. A panegyric of St. Aloysius is noted in the Clongownian obituary as outstanding. Some ten years before his death he published a volume of his sermons - and the edition was sold out, which, in 1933 must say something about them.

We shall not see his like again.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere. He entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, studied. rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens, philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany, and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St. Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama; and through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare. Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret College, Limerick, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector, from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the chapel at Mungret with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and its organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil paintings, all were due to his initiative. With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Most Rev Dr Curley; the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Most Rev Dr Killian ; Mr. Frank Fahy, TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship. Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Prefect of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving' alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher-bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over 30 years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with persevering fidelity, and preserved his keen interest in all that touched human life. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Rector (1904-1907)

Although Fr Vincent Byrne was for over seventy years a member of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, his connection with Clongowes was very short, being practically confined to the three years of his Rectorate. He had indeed been Third Line Prefect and had taught here for a short time, but it was so long ago that it is almost beyond the memory of even the oldest Clongownian. He was, however, known to many of more recent years who remember his eloquent occasional sermons, particularly his panegyric of St Aloysius, which is included in the volume of his published sermons which was published a few years ago and was so well received by the public. His venerable figure was well known to those who live in Dublin where he will be greatly missed by his numerous friends.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father Vincent Byrne SJ

Father Vincent Byrne, veteran of the Irish Province and “clarum et venerabile nomen” to Mungret men of his day here, passed away last October, To the last, in spite of his venerable age, he was interested in life and up to a short time before his death, he was one of the best known men in the city of Dublin. Police, newsboys, tram-men, everyone whose business it is to be abroad knew him and recognised him familiarly. His old pupils never forget him and he is a very vivid memory to them indeed. He came to Mungret full of vigour and he was not niggardly of his energy in her service. He built here, decorated, furnished and encouraged every side of college life whether it was sport of music or debates. His own humorous comment in old age when he revisited us “I made Mungret” has its quantum of truth.

Father Byrne was born in Dublin in 1848 and educated at Belvedere College. He entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park in 1866, studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens; philosophy at Rome and Maria Laach in Germany and theology at Innsbruck University. He was ordained priest in the private chapel of the Archbishop of Munich on the eve of St Patrick's Day in 1880, having had to interrupt his theological studies for some time owing to ill-health.

Authority on Shakespeare
Possessed of literary and artistic talents of no mean order, Father Byrne as a young master in the Colleges of the Irish Province did much to disseminate among his pupils an appreciation of all that was finest in literature and drama, and, through the encouragement he received from the late Father William Delany, his Rector at St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, did notable work as an interpreter of Shakespeare.

Father Byrne will perhaps be best remembered for the success he achieved at Mungret, with which he was long associated, first as Vice-Rector from 1889 to 1891, and then as Rector from 1891 to 1900, and whose religious, literary and artistic life received fresh impetus from his forceful personality.

The present scheme of decoration of the college chapel, with its oak panelling, its marble entablature and organ, the founding of the College Annual, the embellishment of the college walls with many oil-paintings, were all due to his initiative.

With his pupils of those days, many of whom distinguished themselves in Church and State, like the present Archbishop of Baltimore, Dr Curley the late Archbishop of Adelaide, Dr Killian; Mr Frank Fahy TD, he remained all his life in the closest and most affectionate relationship.

Father Byrne was also Rector of Clongowes Wood College, whose destinies he guided in the old Intermediate days under the late Father James Daly as Dean of Studies.

An eloquent and graceful speaker, Father Byrne spent three years on the mission staff, and during his long career in the sacred ministry was constantly invited to preach from various pulpits on occasions of special importance. A selection of these discourses he published some ten years ago.

Father Byrne was the oldest surviving alumnus of the Gregorian University. In the stormy days of 1870, as a stretcher bearer, he was present at the breaching of the Porta Pia, which led to the seizure of Rome and the complete spoliation of the Papal Possessions by Victor Emmanuel.

He was attached to the Church of St Francis Xavier, Dublin, for over thirty years, where, even to an advanced age, he discharged his priestly duties with per severing fidelity, and preserved his keer interest in all that touched human life.

Mungret boys of every vintage will not forget to pray for the soul of this great old campaigner. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Vincent Byrne (1848-1943)

A native of Dublin, at the time of his death was one of the oldest priests in Ireland. He was in the Crescent as a scholastic, 1873-1874 and again as priest, 1883-1884. Father Byrne was later Rector of Mungret College (1890-1900) and for a brief period Rector of Clongowes. He was for nearly four decades a member of the Gardiner St. community and was in his day a distinguished preacher. A volume of his occasional sermons was published some twenty years ago.

Carroll, Joseph F, 1892-1955, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1021
  • Person
  • 31 July 1892-12 December 1955

Born: 31 July 1892, Baltinglass, County Wicklow
Entered: 20 October 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly/St Andrew-on-Hudson, NY, USA
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1928
Died: 12 December 1955, Milwaukee, WI, USA - Missouriana Province (MIS)

Transcribed HIB to MARNEB : 1911; MARNEB to MIS

◆ Mungret Annual, 1956

Obituary

Father Joseph Carroll SJ

Fr. Joseph Carroll was born in Baltinglass in 1892. He was in Mungret in the years 1907-10. He entered the Society of Jesus at the age of eighteen. Shortly afterwards he went to America to continue his studies. He studied at St Andrew's on the Hudson, Woodstock and Georgetown. As a scholastic he taught for two years at Regis College, Denver and two years at Marquette University where he taught physics. This was when he first became acquainted with the Marquette seismograph. After that he went abroad to complete his theological studies in Holland and to study physics, mathematics and chemistry at the University of Munich, and the University of Bonn. There he received the degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy. After ordination at Milltown Park in 1928, he returned to Marquette University as head of the physics department. He taught physical optics and spectroscopy to advanced students. His main interest however was in the seismograph. With the wit that was characteristic of him, he used to recall the first seismograph he saw at Mungret. “It stood in a little shed in the middle of a pasture. But it was never of mạch use. The cows would come up to the shed and scratch their backs against it. Every time they did County Limerick had a major earthquake”.

In his classroom work Father Carroll was respected by both students and faculty members for the seriousness and thoroughness of his teaching. Besides this he took an active interest in the spiritual welfare of the students. When ever he heard that anyone was ill he went to see him. Besides these visits to the sick his duties included leadership of the Jesuit Mother's club an organization of mothers whose sons were Jesuits. To his two surviving brothers we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

Donnelly, D Leo G, 1903-1999, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/595
  • Person
  • 09 August 1903-31 January 1999

Born: 09 August 1903, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 31 January 1999, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Younger brother of Don Donnelly - RIP 1975

Second World War Chaplain.

Part of the Sacred Heart, Limerick community at the time of death.
Brother of Fr Don Donnelly SJ.

by 1923 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1936 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1952 in Australia
by 1956 at St Albert’s Seminary, Ranchi India (RAN) teaching

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

Mr Leo Donnelly has already commenced his career as an author by the publication of a small but very readable and interesting book entitled “The Wonderful; Story of the Atom”. It is meant to cater for the popular taste, and does so admirably. Possibly, in a few places, it may be a little too technical and learned for those not initiated into the mysteries of modern science.

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Chaplains :
Our twelve chaplains are widely scattered, as appears from the following (incomplete) addresses : Frs. Burden, Catterick Camp, Yorks; Donnelly, Gt. Yarmouth, Norfolk; Dowling, Peebles Scotland; Guinane, Aylesbury, Bucks; Hayes, Newark, Notts; Lennon, Clackmannanshire, Scotland; Morrison, Weymouth, Dorset; Murphy, Aldershot, Hants; Naughton, Chichester, Sussex; Perrott, Palmer's Green, London; Shields, Larkhill, Hants.
Fr. Maurice Dowling left Dublin for-Lisburn and active service on 29 December fully recovered from the effects of his accident 18 August.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

India.
Fr. Leo Donnelly, St. Mary's College, Kurscong, D. H. Ry, India, 24-8-46 :
“Fr. Rector here and the Community received me very kindly and are doing their best to make me feel at home. I left Southampton on July 25th and reached Bombay on August 10th after an uneventful voyage. There were two other Jesuits on board : Fr. Humbert of the Aragon Province for the Bombay Mission, and Fr. Shields, a Scotsman. for the Madura Mission. Fr. Shields was an Army officer in the first war and an R.A.F. chaplain in the second. In addition there were seven Redemptorists : the Provincial and another priest and five students en route for Bangalore. Don met me at Bombay and brought me to Bandra, where I spent a week. He introduced me to his ten Chinese candidates. They are certainly splendid boys, industrious, serious-minded, but withal very cheery. At Calcutta I met the eleventh candidate, a medical student who is returning to Hong Kong where he will either complete his course or apply for admission to the Society, immediately, as the Superior decides. He has been held up since May, but hopes to leave on August 31st. The riots in Calcutta delayed me for two days, as Sealdha Station (from which the Darjeeling Mail leaves) was a centre of disturbance and was unapproachable. In the end I got a military lorry to take me. It will take some time adequately to prepare myself for my job here, but I suppose allowances will be made for my lack of ‘Wissenschaft’.”

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leo Donnelly who has been offered to the Vice province of Australia, completed his course at Kurseong recently (he was professor of Church History) and sailed on the SANGOLA for Hong Kong on 10th September. “As it proves impossible”, he writes, “to secure a passage direct to Australia within reasonable time, Fr. Austin Kelly has given me permission to travel via Hong Kong. It was quite easy to book a passage to that port, and Fr. Howatson has booked a berth for me from there to Melbourne. Needless to say, I am delighted at the chance of seeing the Mission, even if I am not to stay there. The ship for Australia will not sail till near the end of October, so that I shall not be at Fr. Kelly's disposal till sometime in November. This, however, is quicker than waiting for a direct passage”.

Fr. Donnelly's name was published in the London Gazette on 8th November, 1945, as mentioned in a Despatch for distinguished service as Army Chaplain. The document from the Secretary of State for War recording His Majesty's high appreciation was not received till early in September, 1948.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

On 6th November Fr. Daniel O'Connell, of the Vice province, who during his stay in Ireland gave evidence in Fr. Sullivan's cause, left Southampton for U.S.A. on 6th November. Fr. Leo Donnelly reached Sydney by air from Hong Kong (on his way from India to Australia) on 16th November ; after a week's stay he resumed his journey to Melbourne where he was welcomed by Fr. Provincial; he is doing temporary work at St. Ignatius Richmond until the status when he will be assigned to one of the Colleges.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 101 : Special Edition 1999

Obituary

Fr Leo Donnelly (1903-1999)

9th Aug. 1903: Born in Dublin.
Early education at Belvedere College.
1st Sept. 1920: Entered the society at Tullabeg.
2nd Sept. 1922: First vows at Tullabeg.
1922 - 1923: Fourvière, start of Juniorate
1923 - 1926: Rathfarnham, study science at UCD
1926 - 1927: Milltown Park, study philosophy
1927 - 1928: Pullach / München
1928 - 1931: Belvedere, teaching
1931 - 1935: Milltown Park, study theology
31st July 1934: Ordained at Milltown Park
1935 - 1936: Tertianship at St. Beuno's
1936 - 1941: Belvedere, teacher, games master
1941 - 1946: British Army chaplain (England, France, Germany) Crescent College, teacher
1946 - 1948; St. Mary's, Kurseong, teacher of church history
1949 - 1950: Newman College, Melbourne & St. Patrick's College, teacher
1950 - 1954: Holy Name Seminary, N.Z., teacher of philosophy
1954 - 1981: St. Albert's College, Ranchi, teacher of philosophy and church history
1981 - 1999: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, church work

Fr. Donnelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge in September 1998. He had recently become frail and needed treatment for leg ulcers. He remained reasonably well and mobile up to mid-January. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Private Hospital on 24th January 1999 for investigation and was due to return to Cherryfield Lodge on the 31st, but died peacefully early on the morning of the 31st January 1999 at the hospital.

Father Leo Donnelly was born in Dublin on August 9, 1903 and died there in a private hospital on January 31, 1999. He had his early education at Belvedere College in Dublin too. He was, therefore, a truly Dublin Irish-bred Jesuit for the whole of his life. He entered the Society on September 1, 1920, and pronounced his First Vows there on September 2, 1922. His studies brought him in contact with much of Western Europe's culture: juniorate at Fourviere, philosophy at Pullach, Munchen and back to Ireland for Theology. He displayed his talents for sports during his six years teaching at Belvedere. Enlisted in the army in 1941, he took part in the Normandy landing on the second day of the offensive. Six years of roving with army units developed in him a liking for adventure. After the war he looked for wider horizons: Ireland was too small for his dreams. We find him successively as professor of Church History at St. Mary's, Kurseong; teaching at Newman College, and St. Patrick's College, Melbourne; professor of philosophy at Holy Name seminary in New Zealand; till he finally landed at St. Albert's College, Ranchi for a long spell of 27 years (1954-1981). There he had been teaching philosophy, Church History and Science. In 1981 he returned to Ireland and resided at Limerick where for some years he exercised priestly ministry. He fell sick towards the end of 1998 and died peacefully at St. Vincent's Private Hospital on January 31, 1999.

-oOo-

I have known Father Leo only when I joined the staff of St. Albert's in 1962. Father L. Donnelly belongs to that large group of Jesuits who are steady workers, fulfilling their tasks quietly and conscientiously, who make no noise and are not in the limelight, yet have a great impact because they are fine religious men.

Not withstanding his keen intelligence and vast knowledge, he was a truly humble man, aware of his limitations. He never spoke about his past achievements, but acknowledged and appreciated the success of others. He had a deep faith, firmly rooted in his Irish past; sober, not too ostentatious, but ardent and apostolic. Being a fiery Irish nationalist, he would never fail to celebrate the Mass of St. Patrick, Sunday or no Sunday, Lent or no Lent. That day he would appear at breakfast proudly displaying the three-leafed clover freshly received from Ireland. He was a regular visitor of the Irish Sisters at Loreto Convent, Doranda. He led a life of poverty and his room was rather bare. He often gave to the poor the little he had. He showed a keen interest in the life of the church. His liturgical and biblical education, however, did not keep pace with Vatican II, and he would often censure persons in Rome who dared to tamper with the liturgy, abandoned cherished prayers and novenas. He could really get excited when the conversation turned to those new-fangled” ideas of some biblical scholars, who then got rough treatment from him. He found it difficult to adapt himself to the changes in the Society during Father Arrupe's generalate. Yet he remained totally loyal to the Church. In the sixties and seventies, he used to give regular monthly instructions in Manresa House, Ranchi to all the Jesuits of the neighbourhood, an ungrateful task to such a critical audience.

He was a very prayerful person. One of his chief preoccupations was to instill in the Seminarians, especially in those who went to him for spiritual direction, a taste of prayer, and helped them to lead a life of solid virtue. He would often give meditation points, especially on the mystery of the rosary in the month of October. He often meditated with them in the philosophate chapel. With his students he was kindness itself, very understanding and encouraging. He kept a regular correspondence with so many of his old students. After his return to Ireland he often inquired from me how his former students were faring, and also about the seminary and the Church in India.

He was a great lover of sports, and he could get excited when the philosophers did not play football as well. He was impatient with a referee who whistled too many off-sides. In a hushed voice he would give the team a tip on how to win the match. “You know what you have to do to win?” he would ask. The magic reply to their question then came. “You have to score!” Like his elder brother he was a lover of horses. On the day of the great derby in Ireland, he would be glued to the radio so as not to miss any word of the commentary. One of his distractions was a game of bridge with some colleagues.

As a teacher he was rather dry and monotonous. The students found it difficult to understand his Irish accent. He was not gifted for languages and his Hindi was restricted to a few words.
This is only a glimpse of Fr. Leo Donnelly's personality, a very likable, intelligent, kind and generous person. “Well done good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord.”

Flor Jonkheere

-oOo-

When I came back to the Crescent in 1990, I met Fr. Leo Donnelly for the first time. He was then well into his 80's. He had returned to Ireland after over 25 years as a lecturer in Church History in a Jesuit Seminary in Ranchi, India. He was posted to the Church here as operarius. After a while I noticed that he never read the Limerick Leader or the Limerick Chronical. His vision was wider. Every day he spent much time after breakfast reading the national papers. He often wrote to the Prime Minister of England or to government ministers at home. He pointed out mistakes that they were making and told them how things should be done. I discovered that he was born in Rutland (now Parnell) Square in Dublin, around the corner from Belvedere. Belvedere was in his blood, you might say. He was a very independent character and this showed itself early in life. As a young boy he was brought out early one evening by his nurse-maid. In Parnell Street she met a friend of hers and stopped for a chat. Leo quietly slipped his hand loose and ran home. He stood up on the mud scraper and rang the bell. His mother answered the door.

“What brought you home Leo?” she said, “Oh”" said Leo, “the nurse met a friend and stopped for a chat. I had no interest in their conversation so I thought I would come home and not waste my time”.

Because Leo had a brother Don in Belvedere his mother managed to persuade the Rector to take Leo also, although he was not yet the required age. He did well at school but always in the shadow of his brother Don whom he idolised. After school he entered the Jesuits. He followed the normal course of studies but went on the continent for two periods. He picked up a good knowledge of spoken French and some German. He did his regency in Belvedere where he trained a junior rugby team which won the Leinster Junior Schools cup. From time to time we were to learn of this in the Crescent. "Bertie" was the nick-name given to him by the boys. This name in brackets was given in the announcements of his death in the newspapers, at his own request. After ordination he was again sent to Belvedere. Then he was appointed Chaplain to the British Forces and landed on the Normandy beaches on “D” Day. While stationed in a small town in Normandy, he was invited to lunch by a local countess who had a very pretty daughter. On walking down the street with them he noticed the young officers eyeing him with envy as he chatted away in French with the two ladies. He had a twinkle in his eye as he told us of this incident. He later spent a year in Australia, then in New Zealand, before being appointed to India, as I have already mentioned.

As a man he was very fixed in his ideas. He did not take kindly to many of the changes made after the second Vatican Council. He had a bias against anything American. He was a very pleasant person to live and had many worthy stories. Belvedere always remained a big part of his life. He did not interest himself in the local scene in Limerick. In India he was not, it seemed to me, that interested in the way of life of the people and never learned any Indian dialect. To use an old fashioned word, he was very edifying in his life style. Mass at 6.30a.m. every morning. Altar prepared the previous night. A simple room and a regular prayer life. He was a “fear ann féin”!!

Seán Ó Duibhir

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1986

The Travelling Donnellys

Don Donnelly SJ (1915) died in 1975 after a varied life in a different world. His brother Leo (1920), now in Sacred Heart Church Limerick, sends this report which he calls “The Travelling Donnellys”:

The older, Donal or Don (later Latinised into Daniel or Dan), Belvedere 1903-1915, was always first in his class. He entered the Jesuit novitiate in 1919 after taking his MSc in UCD After two years in Tullabeg, Rahan, he went for Philosphy to Valkenburg, Holland, with the German Jesuits expelled from Germany by Bismarck. After three years teaching in Clongowes, he studied Theology in Innsbruck, Austria. Ordained in Dublin in 1929, he spent a year in Rome attached to the Jesuit Mission Secretariat. Then, after Tertianship in North Wales, he sailed for Hong Kong in July 1932.

Having learnt the Cantonese version of Chinese mainly with the Portuguese Jesuits in Shiu Hing, he worked as Headmaster of Wah Yan College in Hong Kong until the second World War broke out. No more Scholastics would come from Ireland, so the house intended for their Language School was vacant, and was utilised as a Minor Seminary for boys intending to become Jesuits. Don was put in charge. Then, on 8th December 1941 the Japanese invaded and occupied Hong Kong. The Irish Jesuits, as neutrals, were not interned. So, after things had quietned down, Don made his way into Free China with a dozen of the “Little Lads”. He settled down with the American Maryknoll Fathers at Tanchuk. Alas, a year orso later, the Americans began to construct an airfield nearby. Whereupon the Japanese Army made a drive to occupy that part of China as well, so the Maryknoll Minor Seminary had to be abandoned.

With his charges Don made an adventurous journey westwards by antiquated train, up turbulent rivers in over-crowded boats, and finally up steep mountain roads in delapidated trucks, ending in Kunming, the Capital of Yunnan Province, the nearest to India. To Kunming the Allies were bringing supplies by air over the “Hump” for the Chinese Army of Chiang Kai Chek. The planes were returning empty to India, so Don succeded in getting passage for himself and the twelve boys. Eventually they settled in St Stanislaus School, Bandra, Bombay. When the war was over and the older boys had completed their matriculation, the party returned to Hong Kong by sea.

Don went on to Canton, now liberated, to act as Headmaster in the Archbishop's school. But all too soon the Communists took over the whole of China, and Don was on his travels again. He asked to return to India and worked in Bombay for twenty five years as Headmaster in various schools until his death of a stroke in 1975.

The younger brother, Diarmuid Leo (the second name was always used) Belvedere 1908 - 1920 was never first in his class. He entered the Jesuits straight from school. After two years in Tullabeg, he was sent for a year to study Humanities in France. Then after three years Science in UCD, he began Philosophy in Milltown Park. However, owing to illness, a colleague returned to Ireland and, to replace him, Leo was transferred to Pullach-bei-München in Germany.

There followed three years teaching and coach ing Rugby in Belvedere. Then, after Theology and Tertianship he returned to Belvedere to teach Mathematics as a side-line to coaching Rugby.
In September 1941 he was appointed Chaplain in the British Army. He spent nearly three years in various posts in Great Britain, then transferred to Normandy on D-day. Always remaining safely behind the lines, he ended the war in Ostend, Belgium. Shortly after he was appointed to the Irish Guards in Germany, and was demobbed early in 1946.

On suggestion ot his brother he was appointed Professor of Church History in Kurseong, the Theologate of the Jesuits in India, situated in the foothills of the Himalayas, After a little over two years, he was transferred to Australia, visiting Hong Kong on the way. There followed one year in Newman College, Melbourne, and then five years in the Holy Name Minor Seminary, Christchurch, New Zealand

The Belgian Jesuits in India were having difficulty in securing Visas for new blood from Belgium, so a “swop” was arranged. Leo went to Ranchi, Bihar, India, while a Belgian went to the Irish Jesuit Mission in Zambia. Leo remained as Professor of Philosophy in the Regional Seminary, Ranchi for twenty six years, and finally returned to Ireland in 1981.

(Editor: Fr. Leo forgets to mention something about his 1938 SCT...)

Eustace, Richard, 1562-1597, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1260
  • Person
  • 1562-25 February 1597

Born: 1562, Harristown, County Kildare
Entered: 02 February 1585, San Andrea, Rome, Italy (Romanae Province)
Ordained: 1590, Dilingen, Germany
Died: 25 February 1597, Fribourg, Switzerland - Upper Rhenish Province (RH INF)

Studied Philosophy before entry, then at Rome.
1587: In Augsburg College Germany.
1589: Studying Theology at Ingolstadt.
1590: At Dilingen Prefect of Boarding School and studying Theology.
1592: Teaching at Rudiments Brunthurst College.
1593: In Augsburg College and Brunthurst College.
1594-1597: At Fribourg College - Minister, Consultor of Rector, Confessor.

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica”:
Probably the same who was in Augsburg in 1593 and appears in the HIB CAT of that year.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ:
He was the younger brother of James, Viscount Baltinglass who died in Spain some months after Richard was received into the Society.
Had studied at Rome before Ent there 02 February 1585. After First Vows he was transcribed to the Upper Rhenish Province and completed his studies at Ingolstadt and Dillingen where he was ordained 1590. 1590-1597 After Ordination he taught Humanities for a brief period before being sent as an Operarius at Freiburg until his death there 25 February 1597.
Robert Rochford, then in Lisbon, wrote to the General on the occasion of the death of James, Viscount Baltinglass, brother of Richard. He indicated the precarious health of the heir to the title, their brother Edmund, who was also unmarried and childless. Fr Rochford was inquiring about the wisdom of keeping the heir apparent in the Society. The General’s response is not on record, but Richard stayed in the Noviceship.

Fackler, Johan, 1907-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1266
  • Person
  • 04 September 1907-12 May 1969

Born: 04 September 1907, Lamerdingen, Bavaria, Germany
Entered: 28 April 1927, Feldkirch, Vorarlburg, Austria - Germaniae Superiors Province (GER S)
Ordained: 28 August 1938
Final Vows: 15 August 1944
Died: 12 May 1969, Augsburg, Germany - Germaniae Superiors Province (GER S)

by 1932 came to Tullabeg (HIB) studying
by 1940 came to Belvedere (HIB) teaching
by 1941 at Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1942 at Milltown (HIB) working and studying 1941-1946
by 1947 at Mungret (HIB) teaching 1946-1948

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Mungret College, Limerick :
Fr Fackler on the request of the Bishop of Raphoe spent the month of September as Chaplain to the German children at Killybegs, Donegal. The month was a very busy one for him, but he feels that it was well worth while. His Lordship sent a letter of thanks and very high praise on Fr. Fackler's return.

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.

Finn, Daniel J, 1886-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/150
  • Person
  • 24 March 1886-01 November 1936

Born: 24 March 1886, Cork City
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 January 1919, Zakopane, Poland
Final Vows: 02 February 1924, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 01 November 1936, London, England

Part of the Holy Spirit Seminary community, Aberdeen, Hong Kong at time of his death.

by 1910 at Oxford, England (ANG) studying
by 1914 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Zakopane, Poland (GALI) working
by 1920 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1928 second batch Hong Kong Missioners

◆ 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 Presentation Brothers College Cork. While still underage he won first place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2.600 competitors, securing 90% all round in his subjects. He was presented with a large gold medal and chaired through the College by his school fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He obtained a First Class Exhibition in his Middle and Senior Grades, while still underage, and in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in three modern languages. During these years he also showed special devotion to Our Lady, and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition, which he never lost.

He Entered the Society under Michael Browne in 1902 at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg
1904-1907 He remained at Tullabeg for his Juniorate.
1907-1909 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle and University College Dublin gaining a BA in Archaeology.
1909-1910 He taught the Juniors at Tullabeg and went to St John’s College Oxford, where he gained a Diploma in Archaeology, and working under Sir Percy Gardner.
1910-1913 He was sent to Clongowes for regency, teaching Bookkeeping, Latin and Greek. His lectures to the community at this time on the great works of painting and sculpture were much appreciated.
1913-1917 He was sent to Innsbruck for Philosophy, and while there he learned Hungarian and some Slavic languages. His first sermon was in Irish on St Brigid, and while there he continued his interest in art and archaeology. Then because of the Italian entry into the war he was banished from the Tyrol and went to Kollegium Kalksberg close to Vienna, and he began Theology there in private, and gaining a sound knowledge of Hebrew.
1917-1920 He joined the Polish Theologate at Dzieddzice in Prussian Silesia. As a result of a severe cold here he contracted TB and was sent to the Jesuit residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was Ordained there on 24 January 1919, in order to have consolation of dying a Priest. However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June that year, after spending the winder of 1919-1920 at Petworth Sussex in England.
1920-1922 He was sent to Australia and completed his Theology studies there and made Tertianship at Loyola Greenwich, whilst at the same time teaching the Juniors.
1922-1926 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview as a Teacher and Prefect of Studies. Here he was remembered for swimming in the baths, rowing on the river in the Gladstone skiff of a four, or throwing himself into a production of the Passion Play. Meanwhile, he taught one boy Japanese. During his time in Riverview he volunteered for the Japanese Mission, but he was diverted by Superiors to the Hong Kong Mission.
1926-1928 He resided in Hong Kong, engaged with the language and was employed at the University as a lecturer in pedagogy
1928-1931 He was in Canton in charge of the studied at Bishop Fourquet’s Sacred Heart School. There he also began the study of Chinese archaeology. He also translated several volumes of “Researches into Chinese Superstition” written by Fr Henri Doré SJ.
1931 He returned to Hong Kong he was appointed Spiritual Director of the Seminarians, Professor of Church History, and also a Lecturer in Geography at the University. In addition he found time for the research for which he would be chiefly remembered - his archaeological research in Lamma Island and other regions around Hong Kong which greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East.
He represented the University and the Government at an International Congress in Manila and Oslo in 1936. His paper at Oslo was entitles “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. At this same time he also managed to have published thirteen articles in the Hong Kong “Naturalist” entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island 1932-1936”
1936 he left Dublin for the British Museum on October 05, to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he developed a carbuncle which indicated a general blood infection. He was transferred to hospital on the 16th, where despite expert treatment he failed to respond and he died.

He carried his learning lightly, and he laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous. He was extremely humble, unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power for work. He was gifted with a strong robust character that knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appeared from the little that was left in the way of letters written during his first years in China. He was an extraordinarily fine linguist, speaking Chinese, Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish and Japanese.

His early death saddened both his Jesuit and scientific colleagues.

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Daniel Finn, S.J.
(1886-1936)
By Thomas. F. Ryan SJ

The news of Father Finn’s death came as a shock to all who knew him even by name, and it was a painful blow to those who knew him personally. He was one of those rare characters that are equally conspicuous for qualities of heart and of head, and among all who came in contact with him his genial disposition will be as well remembered as his brilliant intellect. His death is a loss to science and especially to Hong Kong, and it is particularly tragic that he should have died abroad while on a scientific mission, representing both the Government and the University of Hong Kong.

It is close on forty years since I first met Father Finn, and I can still remember the first occasion on which I heard his name. It was at the first distribution of prizes which I attended at school. As a new boy and a very diminutive member of the lowest class, I listened with awe to the Headmaster’s account of the successes of the year, and I can recall his attitude and the tone of his voice as he told how one Daniel Finn found himself in a very enviable dilemma after his first public examination - he had to choose which of two gold medals he would accept. He had qualified for two, one for being first in Ireland in whole examination, and the other for being first in modern languages, but even in those amazing nineties when gold medals were awarded so liberally, no student in this examination could receive more than one. I forget which he chose, but I remember that the Headmaster fully approved of it - as headmasters always do on such occasions.

It was not long before the “Daniel” of the Headmaster’s speech gave place to “Dan.” Three years is a considerable gap between school-boy ages and to me Dan Finn was one of the Olympians, but he was a very cheerful divinity and was as much a hero to the smaller boys as if he were a proud athlete who never passed an examination. He never changed much in appearance from what he was as a boy. He was of the same build then as later, short and sturdy, with the same quizzical look about his eyes, and the same pucker of the lips, and the same odd angle of the head when he was hesitating about something. He grew careless about his clothes as the years went on, but as a boy in Cork forty years ago he was neatness itself, and the wide white collar above the Norfolk coat of those days was always spotless. He took no active part in games, but his best friend was a prominent athlete, and at school football-matches he was constantly to be seen on the touchline, leaning on the shoulder of some companion, and talking incessantly.

He had many family sorrows during his school-days, but they left no scars, and his good-humoured disposition never varied. His success in studies was phenomenal. It was commonly said of him in our school-days that he got first in every examination for which he sat. I am sure that this was an exaggeration, but it cannot have been very far from the truth. He was the only boy I remember whose photograph was hung in the school immediately after he left it. It was put over the fireplace in my classroom, and as we sat around the fire before class or during recess, remarks were often made about him.
“Where is he now?” someone asked one day.
“He is gone to be a Jesuit,” someone else answered.
That was the first time that I heard of anyone I knew becoming a Jesuit.

After a few years he began his University studies in Dublin, and before long the name of Rev. D. Finn, S.J., began to head the lists of examination results. As a boy he had taken up modern languages - French, German and Italian - for no other reason than that the school which we both attended cultivated them particularly. At the University he took up classics, and it was classics that formed the basis of the wide culture that was afterwards his. His entrance into classical studies was almost sensational, for after six months study of Greek he won a scholarship and first place in Greek and Latin in the University entrance examination. First with first-class honours in every examination, and every scholarship within reach, would be a correct summing up of this university career.

Recording examination successes is a monotonous thing, and in the case of Father Finn the less said about examinations the better if a proper estimate of him is to be given. He hated examinations. The humdrum work which they demanded was nauseating to him, and it was fortunate that preparation for them demanded such little effort on his part. He was always at his best when off the beaten track. I remember once meeting him in a country place when he was resting after a bout of examinations. He had a geologist’s hammer in his hand and was off to a railway cutting to look for fossils. The byways of the classics soon interested him. He stopped his first reading of Homer to make a model of a trireme, and a very ingenious model it was, with the oars made to scale and of a much more reasonable length than some antiquarians suggested. A year later he had developed a new theory for completing the friezes of the Parthenon, and he beguiled a number of people into adopting statuesque poses and allowing themselves to be photographed to demonstrate his theory. I have a vivid recollection of the sheepish look of a village shoe-maker who found himself dressed in a trousers and a long red curtain, standing on one leg and holding his arms at unnatural angles.

Whenever he seemed on the point of demanding a return to modern clothes and village dignity, Father Finn used tactfully to interject a remark about his splendid muscles, and so secure a continuance of the pose for another photograph.

On being awarded a Travelling Studentship from the University in Ireland, Father Finn went to Oxford, and from his time his classical studies were carried on more and more in museums rather than from books. His reading indeed was then as at all times, enormous, but he was by nature an explorer in unusual spheres and henceforth his reading was mainly a background for his explorations. In Oxford he devoted himself to the writing of a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture. It won him the highest praise, and one of the professors excused himself from the usual examination on the plea that the reading of the thesis showed that the writer know more about it than he did. When he returned to Ireland the first thing that he did was to look up the Greek professor in Dublin who had whetted his interest in archaeology and suggest to him that they should start some excavations on the hill of Tara.

A few years teaching classics in a secondary school followed. These were undistinguished years, for preparing boys for examinations was emphatically not Father Finn’s strong point. But he interested some of his cleverer pupils in all kinds of strange branches of study, and years later many men acknowledged their indebtedness to him for an interest in intellectual pursuits which they would otherwise never have had.

When it was time for him to go abroad to do further studies I received a letter from him. I was then in Italy and he wanted to know if it would be good for him to go to study in Rome, as was suggested. His idea was that an alternation of lectures in philosophy and visits to museums would be better than whole-time philosophical studies. But before my reply reached him it was decided that residence in a German-speaking house would be most useful for his future studies in the classics. So he was sent to Innsbruck, in the Tyrol. This decision, with which he was delighted, was to prove a fateful one for him.

In the December before the war broke out I was passing through Austria and met him in Innsbruck. I was bewildered by the number of new interests that engrossed him. Munich was near enough for an occasional visit to its museums and picture-galleries, but now the social movements in Germany and Austria had begun to attract him, and Austrian folk-lore was tugging at his attention too. He had always been a student of art, and his special leaning was towards Gothic architecture and Gothic sculpture, and he found time to give considerable time to it in Innsbruck. There was a problem here, too, to attract him, and I was not many hours in the town before he had me standing beside the Emperor Maximilan’s tomb while he expounded his theories about the identity of the famous figures surrounding it.

In the following summer the war broke out and Fr. Finn, from being among friends, became a stranger in a hostile land. Though the Austrians treated the alien residents with all that courtesy in which they excel, yet war is war and conditions were hard. At first things were not so bad, he was allowed to continue his studies, and all that was demanded was that he should report regularly to the police authorities. Then he had to do hospital work; then supplies began to run low - then his health gave out. The remaining years were difficult ones. An effort to get permission for him to leave the country did not succeed. But within the possibilities of wartime conditions he was treated with every consideration. He was moved from place to place, to countries that have since changed their names, and after some time in Lower Austria, in Hungary and in Czechoslovakia he was sent finally to Poland, where he could continue his studies. He was fond of Poland, and spoke more of it than of any of the other countries in which he lived. He learned the Polish language and a certain amount of Russian. It was in Poland that he was ordained to the priesthood.

After the war he returned to Ireland sadly broken in health. He had developed tuberculosis, and the only hope of saving his life was to go to a drier climate. He went to Australia and there he made a rapid recovery. To anyone who knew him in Hong Kong it would seem fantastic to suggest that he was a delicate man, but it is true that his health was never the same after the period of semi-starvation which he had gone through in the last years of the war, and it was only by adopting a special diet that he could keep going. The diet was not an attractive one, but he certainly kept going.

In Australia he became Prefect of Studies in Riverview College, near Sydney, and there as usual he continued his interest in all kinds of side issues. It was one of these latter that eventually brought him to the East. There were some Japanese pupils in this College, and in order to be able to help them in their studies Father Finn began to study Japanese - a language more or less never worried him. Inevitably he soon became interested in Japanese antiquities, and before long he was in communication with some fellow-Jesuits in Japan.

There is a Jesuit University in Tokyo, directed by German Fathers, and when they found that a man of Father Finn’s standing was interested in things Japanese, they declared at once that the place for him was Tokyo, and they made demarches to get him there. After some negotiations everything was arranged, and he left Australia on a boat that was to bring him to Japan. That was in the beginning of 1927.

Then happened one of those things that people say happen only to Jesuits. When the ship was on the high seas and Father Finn was immersed in his Japanese studies, a wireless message came to him, telling him that he was not to go to Japan after all, but that he was to get off at Hong Kong and go no further. It had happened that between the time that arrangements were made for him to go to Tokyo and the end of the Australian school year, when it would be possible for him to start, it had been decided that some Irish Jesuits were to come to Hong Kong, and it was felt that this colony had first claim on the services of Father Finn. So, a little bewildered by the unexpected change that blew all his plans sky-high, Father Finn landed in Hong Kong in February, 1927. He was then forty-one years old.

It happened that during his years in Australia his position as Prefect of Studies in a large college had brought him a good deal into educational circles and aroused his interest in pedagogical matters. As interest for him found expression in deep study, he set to work to master the theory of education. In a few years whatever he had to say on matters connected with education was listened to with respect, and when he was leaving Sydney there was public expression of regret that New South Wales was losing a leading authority on education. Hong Kong at that time was looking for a substitute for Professor Forster, to take his place as Professor of Education in the University while he was on leave, and the result was that Father Finn was only a few days in the Colony when he was asked to take the position, So his connection with the Hong Kong University began.

Always a conscientious worker, Father Finn took the greatest care to do his work in the University in a way that was worthy of his position, and this was little short of heroic on his part, for, having come to China, his one desire was to go as deeply and as quickly as possible into the new field of antiquities that was open to him. He found time to begin the study of Chinese, however, but it was not until his temporary occupancy of the professorship was at an end that he was able to devote himself with all the intensity that he desired to his new studies. But he was not long free, and his next move was to Canton, where he taught, and later directed, the studies in the Sacred Heart College. Here his colleagues had an opportunity of seeing the way in which he worked, for, while most of his day was given to work in the classroom, he managed at the same time to give from five to seven hours each day to the study of Chinese. He made rapid strides in the language and, though he never acquired a good pronunciation, he learned to speak fluently Cantonese and some other local dialects and to read Chinese with such ease as is rarely acquired by a foreigner.

From that time forward Chinese antiquities occupied every moment that was free from his regular duties. When he spent some time in Shanghai, part of it was given to translating some of the Recherches sur les Superstitions en Chine, by P. Doré, S.J., and in whatever house he lived in Hong Kong his room soon took on the appearance of a museum. There was never any such thing as leisure time in his programme-study of one kind or another filled every available moment. He worked with great rapidity. He got to the “inside” of a book in a very short time, and every book that he read was a work of reference to him ever after, for at a moment’s notice he seemed to be able to trace any passage or any illustration in any book that he had read. In the few years that he had it was remarkable how much ground he covered in Chinese antiquities. On this subject his reading extended to practically every work of note in English, German and French, and to a considerable number of books also in Chinese and Japanese-for he had worked hard at Japanese when he realized that it was necessary for his antiquarian studies. His appointment as Lecturer in Geography in the Hong Kong University revealed another side of his interests, for it was only when his name came up in connection with the position that it was realised how fully abreast he was of modern methods of geographical study, and how detailed, in particular, was his knowledge of the geography of China.

His interest was gradually converging on archaeological research in Hong Kong when an accidental circumstance threw him right into the midst of it. He was living in the Seminary at Aberdeen, and one morning, about five years ago, he crossed the creek in the early morning to go to say Mass in the Convent of the Canossian Sisters in the village. As he climbed up from the sampan he saw a pile of sand being unloaded from a junk by the shore. His eye caught a fragment of an arrow-head in the sand. He picked it out, put it in his pocket and went on. But on his return an hour later he stopped to examine the sand, and found that it came from an archaeologist's gold mine, for within a short time he found several other interesting stone fragments and a few pieces of bronze. He questioned the men who were still engaged in unloading it, and found that it came from Lamma Island out in the bay. Further inquiries revealed that the work was being done under Government authority, and the sand was being removed rapidly by shiploads. To him this was vandalism and tragedy combined. He knew already from the work of Professor Shellshear and Mr. Schofield how important were the archaeological remains to be found around Hong Kong, and how illuminating they might be in their relation to many of the unsolved problems of pre-history, and here he found valuable evidence of the past being used to build walls and make drains. He had to act at once if he was to do his part for science and Hong Kong, he got through preliminaries as quickly as possible and within a week he was excavating on Lamma Island.

The results exceeded all expectations. To the uninitiated the stones and bits of earthenware which he handled so reverently were a disappointing result after hours of digging in the glaring sun, but to him and to others that were able to read their message, they were keys to unlock new storehouses of knowledge of the past. He now began to communicate his discoveries to scholars in other lands, and their interest was manifest. The Government of Hong Kong was alive to the importance of this new field of research and it gave a grant towards the expense connected with it. Henceforth Father Finn’s big interest in life was the archaeology of Hong Kong.

It would seem as if all his previous life was a preparation for these few years. Up to this time one might have said of him that he was taking too many things in his line of vision and that he would have done better if he had concentrated on some one branch of study. He had in him the capacity to do really great work in some one direction, but the multitude of his interests made him just a man of encyclopaedic knowledge when he might have been a specialist of eminence. But now all the jigsaw elements of his previous studies seemed to fall together and to make the essential background for his work in an almost unexplored branch of science. His classical training, his long study of classical archaeology, his scientific interests, his close study of history and geography, his knowledge of art-these were all essential to him now, but they could only be utilised because he possessed the archaeologist's flair that made him know what to seek and how to interpret, and gave his work in this field the character of genius. He enlarged the field of knowledge in this particular branch of archeology, even though, as he claimed, his work in it had hardly begun. His numerous articles in the Hong Kong Naturalist, ably illustrated by his esteemed friend Dr. Herklots, and the collection of objects excavated by him are all that remain as a record of his work. What he might have done if he had been spared for a few years more we can only surmise. It is the possibility of great achievement that makes his death so tragic.

And what of the man behind the student and the scholar? I have told of him as a well-liked boy even though of a class rarely conspicuous for popularity. As a man, among his Jesuit associates and with his few other friends, he was known and will always be remembered for his delightful disposition and perennial good humour. I am sure that no one who ever came into contact with Father Finn ever found in him a trace of conceit. The mere suggestion of it is ludicrous to anyone who knew him, and when any were led by ignorance of his own particular field of research to be critical of its utility, he was never provoked-even in their absence-to anything more than a good-humored sally. His wide interests embraced the work of all his companions. He knew what interested each one, and he was genuinely interested in it too. In everything he was always ready to help those who wanted his assistance, and much as he deplored the loss of a moment of time, he gave it unstintingly when the need of another claimed it. His thoughtfulness and sympathetic kindness made him a friend of all who knew him, and it is those who were associated with him most closely that will miss him most.

When writing of a priest-scholar it is often thought enough to add a paragraph at the end stating that, of course, this scholar was also a priest, and that he was all that a priest should be. To do so in the case of Father Finn would leave the picture of him very incomplete. His life was essentially that of a priest and religious devoted to science and scholarship rather than that of a scholar who happened to wear a Roman collar. The principles that moulded his life were visible in his attitude towards every duty assigned him and every branch of his study. If at any time, for any reason, he had been told to drop whatever work he was doing and turn to something completely new, he would have done it without question at a moment’s notice. Everyone who knew him realised that. From the moment he came to China he regarded himself as a missionary. His work was to spread the knowledge of God’s Truth, and he was ready to do it in any way that came within his scope. He did it abundantly by his example alone, and the testimonies about him since his death show that this influence of his example extended over a far wider field that he would ever have imagined.

In June, 1936, he left Hong Kong to attend an Archaeological Congress in Oslo. His report there on the work in Hong Kong attracted wide attention. Invitations poured in on him-to go to various centres of learning in Europe and America, to join in excavations in many lands. He was able to accept only a few, for he had already arranged to join in some research in the Malay Peninsula next spring. But he visited Sweden, Denmark and France, and then made a brief visit to his native Ireland. From there he went to London, to study in the British Museum. While in London he was attacked by some kind of blood poisoning-the result, he believed, of something he contracted in his archaeological work in Hong King, but who can tell? The doctors could not trace the source of the infection, but it proved fatal after a month’s illness.

When the news of his death came to Hong Kong it was felt as a personal sorrow by those whose sympathy he would have valued most. Poor boat-women on the sampans at Aberdeen wept when they were told it, and little children on Lamma Island were sad when they were told that he would not come back. It was the welcome of such as these that would have pleased him most if he returned; it is their regret at his death that most reveals to us his real worth. May he rest in peace.
The Irish Jesuit Directory and Year Book 1938

From Milan to Hong Kong 150 Years of Mission, by Gianni Criveller, Vox Amica Press, 2008.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaelogical Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He excelled at school in modern languages, being awarded Gold medals for French, German and Italian. He did a brilliant thesis on the colouring of statues by the ancient Greeks.
1913 He was sent to Innsbruck Austria for Philosophy. There he took up a keen interest and fascination in Austrian folklore.
1931 Chinese antiquaries absorbed him when he taught at the South China Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He made a study of the deities and statues of the Aberdeen boat people, ad then he sent these to the Lateran Museum in Rome. In the 1930s he lectured also at The Chinese University of Hong Kong in Geography.
1932 While teaching Theology and Scripture at Aberdeen he came across a fragment of an arrowhead in sand brought from the south western shores of Lamma Island. He traced the source and found stone fragments and bronze pieces along with pottery fragments. This led to his writings on the Pre-Han and Stone Age history of the South China coast, which at the time was new to the archaeological world. He was a pioneer in archaeology in Hong Kong

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
In 1941 he published “Jesuits under Fire”. He edited “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”, the work of Daniel Finn.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Dan Finn SJ :

  1. “Researches into Chinese Superstitions," by Rev. H. Doré, SJ (Shanghai - Translated into English by Father D. Finn, S.J.
  2. Vol IX : Taoist; Taoist Personnages, 1931 - pp xx + 227, 76 plates
  3. Vol X : Boards of heavenly Administration, 1933 - pp ix + 179, 39 plates (Both published at Tusewei Printing Press, Shanghai)
  4. A booklet : “Some Popular Indulgences Explained” - Messenger Office
  5. A series of articles on “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island” - They appear in the Hong Kong Naturalist (Quarterly), From Vol. III, Parts 3 and 4, Dec. 1954, up to current issue.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 1 1937

Father Daniel Finn

Following so soon on the loss of Father Lyons, the unexpected death of Father Finn in a nursing home in London on Nov. 1st comes as a tragic blow to the Province and the Hong Kong Mission. Had he been allotted the normal span of life he would in all human probability have emerged a savant of the first order. He died just as he was winning a European reputation through his archaeological discoveries in China.
Born in Cork city, 24th March, 1886, he was educated at the Presentation College. When still under age he won 1st Place in Ireland in the Preparatory Grade, 1896, against over 2,600 competitors, securing 90 per cent all round in his subjects, and was awarded by his school a large gold medal, and was chaired through the College by his school-fellows. Two years later he came second in the Junior Grade, winning four first composition prizes in Latin, French, German and Italian. He got first-class exhibitions in Middle and Senior Grades, while still under age and, in the Middle Grade, a gold medal for first place in the three modem languages.
In these youthful days he had a wonderful and outspoken devotion to Our Blessed Lady and was noted for a certain gravity and cheerfulness of disposition which he never lost.
He began his noviceship in Tullabeg 6th September, 1902, remained there for two vicars' juniorate, during which he won 1st Place in the Classical Scholarship Examination (Royal University) and then went to College Green, where he began the study of Archaeology. After getting his B.A. degree he was sent for a year to Tullabeg to teach the juniors. In 1909-10 he studied Archaeology at Oxford, and secured a diploma in that subject. For the next three years he was a master at Clongowes. He could scarcely be pronounced a successful teacher on Intermediate lines and was given other classes. In them, with a number of other subjects, he taught book keeping with characteristic zest and humility. The delightful lectures he gave to the Community during these years reveal an astonishingly detailed acquaintance with all the great works of painting and sculpture.
He began his philosophy at Innsbruck in 1912, and during the three years acquired a certain fluency in Hungarian and in three at least of the Slav languages, keeping up his knowledge of Irish all the time. His first sermon in the refectory on St. Brigid was preached in his native tongue. His first loves, art and archaeology were by no means neglected.
in July 1915, in company with Father Halpin, and with the writer of the present lines, he alas banished from the Tirol by the War authorities, on Italy's entry into the struggle, and went to our College at Kalksberg near Vienna, where he began theology in private. While there he acquired a profound knowledge of Hebrew.
In 1917 he was able to join the Polish theologate at Dziedzice in Prussian Silesia. It was here, as a result of a severe cold he contracted consumption and was sent to the Jesuit Residence at Zakopane, a famous health resort. He was ordained on 24th February, 1919, in order to have the consolation of dying a priest.
However, he was able to return to Ireland at the end of June, and after spending the winter of 1919 at Petworth, when he continued his study of theology, he was sent to Australia. At Loyola he did his “third year”, and spent another year teaching the Juniors, getting completely rid of his delicacy. His chief work in Australia was done as Protect of Studies at Riverview 1922-26.
During that period he volunteered for the Japanese Mission and, after a splendid send-off from Riverview, set sail. A letter of his to Father Fahy best explains that he landed not at Yokohama but at Hong Kong.
For a year he resided at Hong Kong engaged on the language and employed at the University as lecturer in pedagogy. From 1928 to the summer of 1931 he was at Canton in charge of the studies of Bishop Fourquet's College. Just then things were looking bad, and there was a possibility of martyrdom. It was at Canton he began the study of Chinese archaeology. Returning to Hong Kong he was made spiritual director to the Seminarians, their professor in Church History, lecturer in geography at the University. Notwithstanding all this, he found time for that fine work for which he will be chiefly remembered - his archaeological researches on Lamma island and other regions around Hong Kong, by which he greatly enhanced the reputation of the Church in the Far East. He represented the University and the Government at the International Congress of Manila in 1935. and at Oslo in 1936. This latter was the occasion of his return to Europe, His paper read at Oslo was entitled - “Crucial Doubts about the Most Important Finds in the Hong Kong Region”. The full bearing of his discoveries he had not yet been able with certainty to divine, and herein lies the full tragedy of his untimely death. However, we have an enduring monument of his powers of research in the thirteen articles printed in the “Hong Kong Naturalist”, entitled “Archaeological Finds on Lamma Island”. They date from December, 1932, to 1936.
On October 5th Father Finn left Dublin for the British Museum to continue his reading and discussion of the prehistoric specimens he had brought home with him. He was engaged in this work up to the 10th when he was attacked by a carbuncle trouble which indicated a general blood infection. On the 16th he was transferred to SS. John and Elizabeth's Hospital, where, despite expert treatment, he failed to put up an effective resistance, and died at 10.10 am. on Sunday, 1st November, having received Holy Viaticum for the last time about an hour before his death. He was buried in Kensal Green cemetery on 3rd November.
Father Dan carried his learning lightly. He laughed amusedly at the pedantic and ponderous when he met them, he was extremely humble unassuming and simple, though a man of intense intellectual concentration and power of work. He was gifted with a strong, robust character which knew no temporising or equivocation. His literary gifts were of a high order, as appears from the little he has left in the way of letters written during his first years in China and preserved in the Province News of that period - in them are best mirrored his character and gifts of imagination and heart, his profound humility, his Ignatian spirit of obedience, his exquisite sensibility, his love of Christ and souls.
We owe the above appreciation and record of Father Finn's life to the great kindness of Father john Coyne, Socius to Father Provincial.

Irish Province News 12th Year No 2 1937

Father Dan Finn - Hong Kong Letters
News of Father Finn's death came as a very severe blow. It is unnecessary to say how much the Mission feels his loss. both as a member of the community and as a worker who had won for the Society very considerable honour by his industry and erudition.
Many letters have been received from all sections expressing their sympathy. The following is that received from the Vice Chancellor and Council of the University :
Dear Father Cooney,
There is no need for me to write to tell you how profoundly affected I am by Father Finn's death. Father Finn was a great scholar and his was an all-winning personality. His death is a
severe loss to this University, to this Colony, to China, and indeed to the rapidly disappearing world of scholarship and culture. What Father Finn’s death means to his fellow Jesuits in Hong Kong I can faintly imagine but am totally unable to express. The University Council will, at its next meeting, record a resolution. Meanwhile, on behalf not only of myself, but also of the University. will you please precept my sincerest sympathy.
Yours Sincerely,
W. W. HORNELL

Extract from the minutes of the seventh meeting of the Council held 6th November :
The Council learned, with great regret, of the death of the Rev. D. J. Finn SJ, the University lecturer in Geography, and passed the following resolution - “The Council wished to place on record its poignant regret at the death of the Rev. Father Finn of the Society of Jesus. The Council realises the devoted work which Father Finn did not only for the Colony of Hong Kong and its University but also for the world of scholarship, learning and culture, and is painfully conscious of the loss which his untimely death involves. The Council hereby instructs the Registrar to convey to the Superior and Procurator of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong its profound sympathy with the Mission in its heavy loss. The Council will be grateful if the Superior would convey to the members of Father Finn's family the assurance that the University shares with them the affliction of their bereavement.” The members indicated the adoption of the resolution by standing in silence.

On 7th November there was a Sung Office and Solemn Requiem Mass at the Seminary. The Bishop presided at the special invitation of the Italian Fathers, who said that they regarded Father Finn as “one of their own priests,” a Solemn Requiem Mass was celebrated in the Cathedral on 26th November. Amongst those present were His Excellency, the Governor of Hong Kong, the Vice-Chancellor and Professors of the University, and many friends, both Catholic and non-Catholic. The newspapers gave a full account with the title “Tribute paid to Jesuit - Governor attends Requiem Mass for Father Finn” “Indicative of the high esteem in which Hong Kong held the late Rev. Daniel Finn, S.J., who died in Europe three weeks ago, was the big attendance of distinguished non Catholic mourners who attended the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul in the Catholic Cathedral this morning. Among them was His Excellency the Governor, Sir Andrew Caldecott, who took his seat with Sir William Hornell, Vice-Chancellor of the University, near the impressive catafalque” etc.

Father Finn's last letter to Father Cooney, dated London, 10th October, ran :
“Here I am enjoying myself as usual. Most days at the British Museum from I0 am. to 5.30 pm. l have developed some boil trouble which I am getting a local doctor to overhaul. I suppose it will be nothing.”
At the Mass the Seminarians. from Aberdeen formed the choir. Father G. Bvrne preached a short panegyric.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Daniel Finn 1886-1936
Fr Daniel Finn, a native of Cork, entered the Society in 1902. With his University studies over, he went to the continent for his philosophical and theological studies.

In 1919 he returned to Ireland in poor health, and for this reason he was sent to Australia, where for seven years he was Prefect of Studies. He was on his way to Japan in 1926 when notified of his attachment to the Hong Kong Mission. Here he turned to what was really the big work of his life, for from his University days in Oxford he had excelled in Archaeology.

In spite of all his work, travels and successes, he never forgot the primary object of his life – God’s greater glory, and he always had a notable devotion to Our Lady.

He went, on his way to an Archaelogical Congress to in Oslo, when he fell ill in London, and he died there on the Feast of All Saints 1956, being only fifty years of age.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1928

Letter from Father Finn

Dear Mr Editor,
Here I am living this past month under the comforting shadows of a pair of Gothic spires in the heart of a fascinating Chinese city - and I have been too lazy to stir out! I have settled down again to being a school-master-and a very uneventful schoolmaster at that.

It is over a year and a half since I left 'View and since then I have seen many a new sight in China - yet it is always China. There are the full-breasted waterways with their traffic of ill-assorted craft where the Western built steamer hustles about the little sampans or the statelier junks; then there is the setting of the rivers, amid vast fertile alluvial plains, or cutting through crowded. hills. But these rivers have come thousands of miles and they bring down timber, produce, refuse, the living and the dead. Even the very earth itself. On them live people in their hundreds of thousands, even millions, who never quit them; their boats are their homes. I have only to walk two short streets to reach the Canton Bund, and there I can see one of the most characteristic sights of all China. It is a long quay beside the water-way that runs be tween the City proper and its suburb - Ho-nam. How many miles long, I don't know, but it is a very long way to the Railway station at the one end and it is over a quarter of an hour to Shameen at the other end, and this latter we count as near, All that long stretch is lined thick at both sides with craft, mostly small things, a little bigger than a Lane Cove fisherman's boat, but covered over for about half the length by a tunnel-like cover of matting. Down towards Shameen, every day when the Hongkong steamer comes in, there is a sudden scattering of these like the disturbance of an ant's nest, when the big river-boat makes for her berth. At places these boats merely cater for the pleasures of the Cantonese, and on them you can have meals-music-opium perhaps, but far more interesting are the other boats that earn a hard-won livelihood as passenger or cargo boats.

On board you can see all the members of a family, from the grandfather and grandmother down; all of them work. You will see an old woman at an oar, and on her back is strapped one of the newest members of the family. whose neck seems to be made of rubber, to judge by the case with which he sleeps amid all sorts of movements to which his head bobs about. The younger limbs of the household who can crawl about or walk for themselves are usually clad in full costumes of sun-tanned skin with a little crust of dirt to deepen it. Perhaps a charm hangs about the neck, but almost certainly a gourd or a kind of wooden drum will be hanging about the waist, with perhaps a bell tied at the child's ankles; still more cautious parents have a light rope tying their valuable offspring to some post.on board; such methods help to lessen the inevitable risk of tumbling overboard. A further stage of boyhood hops in itself for a swim in the yellow brown water, but that is not yet and it needs no precautions. Domestic animals dogs, cats, hens, pigs, are equally carefully guarded against the useless process of getting into the water.

Life is lived in all its stages on board: sleep at night on a mat-spread floor and completely under a padded quilt; the meals of rice with scraps of fish and vegetables - all washed down with tea - are cooked in an ingenious kitchen-well on board, and often eaten under the oar-handles in very movement. But it was the rowing that interested me. Here, I said to myself, is the solution for 'View. They have a style - of course it is not for outrigged racing boats - but it is a “style”. They row facing the direction in which the boat is going--and only in difficult currents do they need a steersman aft; they row standing and they fling their weight on to the long oar or sweep when it is fairly deep; the oar handle is then as high as their heads. To secure their rhythmic swing of the body, there is a definite scheme of foot-work, resembling, too, that of the Chinese carpenter as he uses his long saw with a similar movement. Now, actually the youngsters of four, five and six have got that body swing and foot-work by imitating their father and mother in play before ever they can contribute to the driving force of the boat. Hence the lesson! Put your “Eight”
into the boat from say four years of age - let them pick up “style” while they are young! The Prefect of Studies would be happier later on.

The social life of these people reproduces the life on land. They have their floating shops, mostly for comforts or food things, cakes, fruit, cigarettes, and wonderful brews; they have their beggars afloat in their own tubs; they have religious rites for marriages and deaths with the same squealing music and the droning chants; they have magic decorations in red with the fascinating characters; they probably have the wise-acres, who will write letters for them or tell their fortunes. Even just as you see men and women on the road ways tugging huge loaded trucks (where we are accustomed to see only draught animals at work), so you will see the boat people towing from the bank their boats up some river. against a heavy current. I don't know whether they have schools afloat; usually the people know enough characters for ordinary purposes - but there is no place for a library. We hope later to get into closer touch with these people when we have our place at Aberdeen (Small Hong Kong); perhaps then, we shall have to rig up a floating church. Up in the Shanghai Mission, however, they get such Catholics to bring their boats in groups to certain churches situated convenient for them.

But what is the use of all this writing? One must leave half the scene untouched. The accompaniment of unending chatter, of warning shouts, of abuse at times, of bumping boats, of creaking oars, the yelling in emergencies, the monotonous two-note chant of the coolies loading or unloading cannot be produced in ink. The heat, the glistening perspiration, the strange smells - tobacco being one and joss sticks another - the streams of rickshaws moving along the Bund, the thick current of white or black clad pedestrians, the big buildings and their green, red or blue signs with gold characters; you cannot get all in the picture if you want the Canton Bund on paper.

Now you see how long it takes me to get finished once I start with one thing here in China. So I must jettison all the notes I wrote on the back of your letter. I then intended to make “a short article” (your words) on the Hongkong New Year (Chinese) Fair which comes about the end of January; if anybody wants to get something distinctive let him come himself and see its booths, its crowds, its varieties. or again, if I were to start on Zi-ka-wei Shanghai with its Ignatius Church and College, I should take pages to tell you of the Communion rails crowded daily and of the Corpus Christi procession, wonderful displays of Chinese Catholicity. No Sydney man would feel homesick in Shanghai - but of its European flavour I shall not waste space. Personally, I prefer the Chinese town with its three-century-old Church (which has been in one interval a pagoda), its quaint tea-house in a gold fish pond, its temple with a stream of men worshippers. But there I am again! I seem to discover bits of myself in different places - -a library in Zi-ka-wei, ruins in Macao, unbroken quiet in the rice fields of Tai Wan or the snug village of Wong Tung, art at Tsat-Shing-Ngam, sea and hill at Hongkong, mediaevalism at Wai Chan - and I love to rehandle the fragments. And yet - and yet - the Riverview fragment still gets mixed up with the others, and somehow blends with the scheme. If Riverview but helps with prayer, it will fit in perfectly.

Yours,

DJF.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1936

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn

A cable announcing the death of Father Daniel J Finn SJ, on November 2nd, arrived as the Alma Mater was due to go to press. It is fitting that some account, how ever inadequate, should appear of a remarkable man and one to whom Riverview owes much,

Memories of a quarter of a century's friendship call up many varied scenes, some lived through together, others known from delightful letters and from reminiscences in later years - a Greek class in Clongowes (Ireland) clustered round Mr Finn's desk while he expounded the glories of Greek architecture and sculpture and coinage, as a change from reading Euripides and Thucydides; Mr Finn in his shirt sleeves arranging the Greek antiquities in the University museum in Dublin; revelling in the beauties of the mountain scenery and the historical associations of the Tyrol; teaching youthful Grafs and Freiherrs in Vienna; adventures in the midst of great battles on the Polish-Russian frontier during the war; at Riverview, swimming in the baths, on the river in the Gladstone skiff or in a four (Joe Alagna and other small boys of the time will remember coxing on these occasions); throwing himself heart and soul into the production of the Passion Play; then years later at Hong Kong, lecturing to Chinese students; with his gang of coolies excavating on Lammas Island; in his museum expatiating on the significance of the prehistoric pottery and arrow heads and rings he had discovered, or hunting in the glorious confusion of his room to find some notes on the ancient Chinese constellations.

Fr Finn was born in Cork just fifty years ago, After a brilliant career at Oxford, where he acquired a reputation in Greek archaeology, he taught for some years at Clongowes. In 1913 he went to Innsbruck to study philosophy and was interned in Austria, and later in Poland, during the war. For some time he taught at the College of Kalksburg, Vienna, then was sent to the college of Hieruf in Poland. This college was the chief building for many miles around, and, during the fierce battles that raged there, was used as headquarters by Russians, Austrians and Germans in alternation as the tide of war ebbed and flowed. Fr Finn was not ill-treated - that is not the Austrian way. He was not put in prison or in a concentration camp. Nevertheless, the privations he underwent, in common with the rest of the population, undermined his health so seriously that the doctors did not give him long to live. He went to the Carpathian mountains, where he studied theology and was ordained very soon, so that he might die as a priest. However, he was able to leave Austria in 1919, though quite broken in health.

He came to Australia in 1920, and in time his health was completely restored. During his five years as Prefect of Studies at Riverview (1922–1926) he got through an amazing amount of work. Many Old Boys will recall with gratitude now much their education owes to him. In addition to the ordinary routine of teaching and work as Prefect of Studies, he maintained a number of other activities. Each year saw a play excellently staged, due largely to his untiring exertions (as Mr. Harry Thomas testifies)—Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Hamlet, and, culminating triumph, the Passion Play in 1925.

A boy wanted to learn Japanese. Father Finn agreed to teach him. That was the overt reason why he undertook the study of Japanese. The main reason was not known until later.

For some years Fr Finn had been interested in missionary work in Japan. From a close friend of his, a German Jesuit, who worked for years in Tokyo, he obtained detailed information about the tasks and prospects of Catholic missions in Japan. He was fired with the desire to devote his life to helping on the conversion of Japan. The difficulties of the work, about which he had no illusions, did not deter him. The first of these difficulties, the language, he tackled vigorously in the intervals of his work at Riverview. When he had mastered it sufficiently, he obtained leave from Father General to transfer himself to the Japanese mission and sailed for Tokyo at the end of 1926.

At Brisbane a cable from the General reached him to say that the Irish Jesuit Province had been commissioned by the Pope to undertake a Mission in Hong Kong, and that his services would be wel comed there. Father General realised, however, that it would be hard, after lab ouring for years to prepare himself for work in Japan, to abandon that work and start all over again on the extremely difficult Chinese language. Accordingly, Father Finn was left perfectiy free to go on to Japan if he thought well. He left the ship forthwith and took the next boat to Hong Kong.

On arrival at Hong Kong he was at once offered a temporary chair in the (State) University. Later on he was given a regular professorship there. He acquired a profound knowledge of Chinese, and in particular of ancient Chinese characters (incidentally, he already spoke Irish, Latin, Greek, French, German, Polish, Japanese). He has produced several learned volumes on Chinese religion and mythology. The branch of learning which owes most to him during these years is archaeology. His thorough training under expert archaeologists, his wide learning and real flair for the subject were given adequate scope. He carried out systematic excavations on Lammas Island, near Hong Kong. One day each week was spent on this island, directing the operations of some thirty coolies which the Government put at his disposal. He made many important discoveries, and seems to have opened up a whole new phase in the prehistory of Southern China.

In Hong Kong, Father Finn lived in the Seminary in which the Irish Jesuits educate for the priesthood Chirese students from all Southern China: He did his share in this work of training.
This year he went to Norway to attend an archaeological congress. Apparently he died while still in Europe, but no details have reached us so far. The results he achieved in the short space of not quite ten years in Hong Kong gave promise of a truly remarkable output had he been granted the normal span of life. Talents and labours and labours were devoted unstintingiy to the service of God. For that he has earned his reward, but the Chinese mission and the learned world are the losers by his early death. His learning was tempered by modesty, humour and charm, and friends in many parts of the world will mourn his loss.

D O’C SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1937

Obituary

Father Daniel Finn SJ

The Irish Province of the Society of Jesus was deprived of one of its ablest members by the death of Father Finn on 1st November last. Although he was not at school at Clongowes, he spent three years here as a master (1910-13) and during that time the boys knew him as a man of extraordinarily varied interests with a particular flair for archæology and a deep enthusiasm for the study of Greek and Roman antiquities. He wrote several articles for “The Clongownian” in which he described the Clongowes Museurn and gave an exhaustive account of some classical coins in the collection.

At the National University he specialized in Classics, and won distinctions innumerable. Afterwards he went to Oxford to write a thesis on the colouring of Greek sculpture, a work that brought him the highest praise from the professors there. He began theology in Austria, but owing to the outbreak of the Great War he was transferred to Hungary and finally to Poland. Through this period, his genius in mastering languages enabled him to add Polish and Russian to his knowledge of French, German and Italian, in all of which he had been proficient since his schooldays. However, on his return to Ireland, it was found that he had contracted tuberculosis, and the only hope of saying his life was to go to a drier climate. Accordingly he went to Australia and spent some time in Riverview College as Prefect of Studies. But here he became interested in Japanese antiquities, and the staff of the Jesuit University of Tokyo hearing of him obtained permission to have him transferred to Japan. It was while he was on his way there that he got orders to change his destination for Hong Kong where the Irish Jesuits were just starting a mission.

In this seemingly fortuitous way he came to be living in a land teeming with relics of bygone ages. With the kind assistance of the Government, he carried out extensive excavations on Lamma Island close at hand, and made numerous valuable finds. His reports on the new field of discovery won world-wide attention at the Archælogical Congress held in Oslo last year, which he attended as the representative of the Government and University of Hong Kong. It was shortly after the Congress, when he was working in the British Museum that he began to suffer from some curious type of blood-poisoning of which he died within a month.

The fifty years of his life had been years of unceasing toil, not merely as a student and archæologist, but also in his later years as a priest and missionary. No more fitting tribute could be paid him than that at the Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul offered in Hong Kong, the congregation numbered people of all classes; HE the Governor, University officials, merchants, boat-women and little children: a truly representative gathering of many who esteemed him as a friend as well as a scholar. RIP

FitzGerald, Richard, 1624-1678, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1294
  • Person
  • 25 November 1624-09 March 1678

Born: 25 November 1624, Vienna, Austria
Entered: 1640, Vienna, Austria - Austriacae Province (ASR)
Ordained: 1655, Rome, Italy
Final Vows: 01 November 1658
Died: 09 March 1678, Vienna, Austria - Austriacae Province (ASR)

Alias Geraldine

Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Born of illustrious Irish parents
Writer; Professor of Theology and Philosophy (cf Balthazar Geraldini in de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”)

Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
After First Vows studied Rhetoric and Philosophy at Vienna. He was so talented that he was chosen to make a public defence of his Philosophical theses.
He then went on Regency to Tyrnau and Sopron (now in Hungary)
Then he went to the Roman College for Theology, showing outstanding ability, and was Ordained there 1655 and graduated D Phil
He then held a Chair of Philosophy at Vienna and also taught Theology there and later at Munich
1671-1674 Rector at Linz College
1674-1678 At Vienna until he died there 09 March 1678

Fleming, Richard, 1542-1590, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1314
  • Person
  • 1542-26 August 1590

Born: 1542, County Westmeath
Entered: 1561, Louvain, Belgium - Franciae Province (FRA)
First Vows: 24 June 1563, Louvain, Belgium
Ordained: 16 December 1569
Final Vows: 4 June 1576, received by Peter Canisius
Died: 26 August 1590, Pont-à-Mousson, France - Franciae Province (FRA)

1565-1566 Theology in Roman College and German College. Master of Arts
1567 CAT Teaching Logic at Dillingen - sent from Rome by Fr de Borgia. Peter Canisius at Dillingen then - Fleming brought a letter to him from Borgia in Rome
1570 Licenced, Teaching Theology at school. Confessor
1572 At Ingolstadt
1576 Was Professor in France (Vatical Arch Inghilterra). Rector of Bordeaux College
1577 Sought by Fr Genat from Fr General for Pont-à-Mousson
1583 In Pont-à-Mousson teaching Theology Doctor of Philosophy and Theology. Chancellor 1584-1585
Wrote first Catalogue of Irish Saints - published by Fitzsimon
Fr General wrote to him at Bordeaux referring to him as Socius to Maldonatus

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”
He was a man of great virtue; A Writer; First Chancellor and Professor of Theology at Pont à Mousson, also Professor at Clermont and Paris (succeeding the celebrated Maldonatus)
The Blessed Virgin revealed to him in Paris that Fr Aquaviva would be elected General of the Society (cf Fr Hogan’s Irish list). Sacchini Part V Hist. Soc. mentions this prediction at Paris in 1581, of the election of Fr Claudius Aquaviva as general of the Society. He is mentioned in the “L’Université de Pont-à-Mousson” by Fr Nicolas Abram SJ (publised by Fr Carayon SJ, Paris 1870) - “He was of a noble Irish family and of noble and religious bearing”; Probably the “Richard” mentioned in Shirley’s letters; Stanihurst in “Description of Ireland” 1586 says “..of him I hear a great report, to be an absolute Divine and Professor thereof”. His name stands first in the list taken from the original in Vol II Anglia Hist. in ARSI. He appeared to Fr Derbyshire after his death.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Fleming 1540-1592
Our most eminent and honoured Theologian of the early years of the Penal times was Fr Richard Fleming. Born in 1540, in what was afterwards known as Westmeath, he came from the family of the Lords of Slane, a family which later have an Archbishop to the See of Dublin. Richard entered the Society in 1561, the year the first Irish Jesuit, Fr David Wolfe, landed at Cork.

He became the first Chancellor of the University founded at Pont-à-Mousson by the Cardinal of Lorraine in 1573. Two years later he was called upon to fill the chair of Theology at the College of Clermont, Paris, vacated by the celebrated Maldonatus. This eminent post he held for nine or ten years, professing with ever increasing success amid the full blaze of Parisian party spirit.

He retired to Pont-à-Mousson where he died on August 25th 1590. Before his death he had a vision of Our Lady, in which he was left into the General Congregation then in session in Rome, and heard Our Lady say to the Electors “Choose Claudio Acquaviva as General”.

Gaffney, David G, 1941-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/864
  • Person
  • 23 April 1941-06 May 2020

Born: 23 April 1941, Dangan, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 06 September 1958, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1977, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 06 May 2020, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1963 at Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1974 at Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) making tertianship
by 1975 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1978 at Pleasanton, CA USA (CAL) studying
by 1981 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/david-gaffney-sj-a-gentle-and-dedicated-jesuit/

David Ga(ney SJ: a gentle and dedicated Jesuit
Irish Jesuit David Gaffney, a native of Thomastown, Kilkenny, passed away in St Vincent’s Hospital on 6 May. He was 79. Due to current government guidelines regarding public gatherings, the funeral is private. A memorial Mass to celebrate David’s life will take place at a later date.

The condolences posted on the RIP.ie website display the high regard and warm affection which people had for him wherever he lived and worked. The same adjectives are used repeatedly: kind, wise, gentle, pleasant, peaceful, caring.

“We joined the Jesuits on the same day, September 6, 1958,” writes Barney McGuckian SJ; “He always edified me with his gentleness but also his tenacity in following the highest ideals of a Jesuit vocation. Gifted intellectually, he placed his God-given talents at the service of ordinary people, both as a writer and as a “hands-on” visitor to their homes.”

In the decades after he joined the Jesuits, David gained a great deal of intellectual and pastoral experience in many parts of the world. After an Arts degree in UCD, he went to Germany to study philosophy, returned to Ireland to study theology, then did further Jesuit formation in Canada before working for three years in a parish in Lusaka, Zambia.

He then worked in the United States in marriage counselling for four years before his definitive return to Ireland in 1982.

In the years since then he worked in marriage and family apostolates and as an editor of various publications. He was a regular columnist at the Kilkenny People and later with The Avondhu for a number of years, writing reflective opinion pieces regularly.

Regarding this work, Conall O’Cuinn, former Jesuit and Rector of Milltown Park, notes that in his articles David wanted to promote truly human values and “worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye-catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality...”

In all of David’s activities he worked with great grace and devotion.

Read below the appreciation by Conall. He had not known of David’s illness and so says, ” I write this piece as my way of mourning David’s passing, for a passing it is, into the permanent presence of Jesus who leads him into the Joy of the Father.” :

A Gentle Giant
I ‘met’ David first in 1989 when I sent him a letter from Zambia on hearing he had taken over the editorship of Interfuse, an internal Irish Jesuit Province magazine. I had had an article rejected by a previous editor, and, once David took over, I immediately resubmitted it for consideration. By return post, he accepted the article. Since then on he has remained in my good books!

David took his editing and writing seriously, and later, during the years I lived with him in Milltown Park, I witnessed him faithfully send out his articles to provincial newspapers which were still accepting spiritual reflections. He worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye- catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality, full of a depth that promoted true human values.

His other ‘apostolate’ at that time was Parish Visitation. Day after day he left the comfort of Milltown Park in his legendary anorak, in good, bad, or indifferent weather – “you’d never know, it might rain, or turn cold “- to travel by car across to Cherry Orchard Parish to visit the parishioners in their homes. He went with such dedication that I am sure he had many fans over there who appreciated his sincerity and his unassuming and unimposing manner.

David did not like fuss. He came quietly into a room and left quietly. Ideal for him would be a chat with one or two people in a quiet corner, where his sense of comedy and humour would show. A gathering was enhanced and deepened by his presence, even if he never took centre stage.

Many will remember that driving was not his forte. Smooth transitions from gear to gear eluded him, and he kept the local garage busy in clutch replacement. Eventually, we got an automatic in the community, and he liked that.

David was a member of the Milltown Park Consult. I valued his quite, gently proffered, wisdom. He always looked for the kind step to take, never encouraging harshness, always advising to proceed with gentleness and prudence.

I will always remember him as a gentle giant. He was personable and encouraging, always able to meet you in a way you knew afterwards you had been seen, had been regarded, esteemed, and valued. You felt bigger, never smaller. He did not crush the bruised reed, not extinguish the flickering flame. May he rest gently in the bosom of his Lord.

Conall O’Cuinn 12 May 2020

Early Education at Thomastown NS, Kilkenny; Mungret College SJ

1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1963-1966 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1966-1968 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 Manresa House - Socius to Novice Master; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1973-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher
1974 Guelph, ON, Canada - Tertianship at Ignatius Jesuit Centre
1975-1978 Lusaka, Zambia - Assists in Matero Parish
1978-1980 Pleasanton, CA, USA - MA in Counselling at Santa Clara University & Parish work at St Augustine’s Church
1980-1982 Chicago, IL, USA - Marriage Counselling at Our Lady Mount Carmel Church
1982-1987 John Austin House - Marriage & Family Apostolate; Community Co-ordinator; Minister; Bursar
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Parish Assistant, Most Holy Sacrament, Cherry Orchard; Marriage & Family Apostolate
1989 Editor “Interfuse”
1992 Parish Assistant, St Vincent de Paul Parish, Marino
1994 Assistant Editor of “Messenger Booklets”; Family Apostolate
1998 Assistant Editor “Pioneer”
1999 Family Apostolate; Working in “Studies”; Writer
2017 Family Apostolate, Writer

Galwey, James, 1655-1732, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1347
  • Person
  • 07 March 1655-17 February 1732

Born: 07 March 1655, Co Cork
Entered: 18 February 1677, Naples, Italy - Neapolitanae Province (NAP)
Ordained: c 1688, Naples, Italy
Final Vows: 15 August 1695, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 17 February 1732, Amberg, Bavaria, Germany - Germaniae Superioris Province (GER SUP)

1683-1685 Theology at Naples
1685-1686 Not in Catalogue
1689-1691 Procurator at Irish College Poitiers
1695 At Louvain 16/08/1695 and then left that Province
1699-1700 In Poitiers

◆ Fr John MacErlean SJ :
1683-1688 Studies in Germany
1689 Intended for the Scottish Mission this was prevented by the Revolution and consequent persecution, so he spent the next 10 years at Colleges in Europe
1699-1702 Accompanied Fr John O’Daly to the West Indies and was stationed at St Kitts until English occupation in 1702
1702-1732 Returned to Europe

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
GALWEY, JAMES. I read in a letter of the Superior Anthony Knoles, dated Waterford, the 21st of November, 1695 “I have written to F. James Galwey to continue in Belgium until I can be a better judge of the state of the times, as to his disposal”. In consequence of the dangerous illness of his brother, a merchant of St. Sebastian, he was allowed to quit the College at Poitiers to visit him in the beginning of the year 1697. Two years later, Pere Garganel, Superior of the Mission at Martinique, made application for some Irish Father to assist in that Mission and the neighbouring islands : he represented that there was a great number of Irish in his district that an abundant harvest of souls was opened to the view, and that he and his brethren would cheerfully provide a maintenance for one or two Irish Jesuits, who would assist these souls, together with the French population. It is an historical fact, that with Cromwell’s usurpation began the system of transporting the Irish, as slaves, to the West Indies : for a long time, says the letter, dated the 16th of April, 1699, almost every year, and sometimes often in the year, the English convey from Ireland shiploads of men, boys, and girls, partly crimped, partly carried off by open force, for the purpose of their slave-trade, and thus in process of time, an immense multitude of Irish has been scattered in these islands, but destitute of spiritual succor. This Mission was proposed to F. Galwey, and how it was received the following letter of F. James Kelly, the Rector of the College of Poitiers, the 6th of August, 1699, will best demonstrate. “With the most intense delight F. James Galwey embraces the Mission of Martinique, offered by your Reverence, and he does so with the more confidence in God, as the lot has fallen upon him not in consequence of any expressed wish on his part (for though he wished it, he durst not apply for it); but now he is solely guided by the spirit of obedience. With alacrity he is getting ready for the voyage. F. Garganel, who from his arrival from Martinique, has been on intimate terms with him, is desirous of having him for his companion. In the meanwhile, we cannot but humbly request, that you will not give up, but merely lend F. Galwey to the Martinique Mission; for should our affairs lift up their head again in Ireland, he will be very necessary for us”. Whether F. Galwey ever returned, I have yet to learn.

Gwynn, Aubrey, 1892-1983, Jesuit priest and academic

  • IE IJA J/10
  • Person
  • 17 February 1892-18 May 1983

Born: 17 February 1892, Clifton, Bristol, Gloucestershire, England
Entered: 30 September 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 18 May 1983, Our Lady's Hospice, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn
by Noreen Giffney

Gwynn, Aubrey Osborn (1892–1983), Jesuit priest and academic, was born 17 February 1892 at Clifton, Bristol, England, the second son among six children (four boys and two girls) of Stephen Lucius Gwynn (qv), writer and MP, and his wife and first cousin, Mary Louise Gwynn, daughter of Rev. James Gwynn of Dublin and Bath. Born into an esteemed Church of Ireland family, he was the great-grandson of William Smith O'Brien (qv), the grandson of Rev. Dr John Gwynn (qv), regius professor of divinity at TCD (1888–1907), and the nephew of Edward John Gwynn (qv), provost of TCD (1927–37). On his mother's conversion to Roman catholicism (1902), Aubrey, his brother Denis Gwynn (qv), and their siblings were received into the catholic church at Farm Street, London, and brought up as catholics. Due to the nature of his father's work, much of Aubrey's early life was divided between London and Dublin.

Educated at the Jesuit Clongowes Wood College, Co. Kildare (1903–8), Gwynn spent a year of private study in Munich before becoming the first student to sign the register at the newly chartered UCD, where he later gained first-class honours (BA, 1912; MA 1915) in classics. When Fr William Delany (qv) admitted him to the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg, Rahan (1912), Gwynn intended to join the Chinese mission and work in Hong Kong, but under the guidance of Delany's successor, Dr T. V. Nolan, he entered academic life. After studying for a year at Rathfarnham, he went in 1916 on a travelling studentship to Oxford (Campion Hall), where he was awarded the Cromer essay prize (1917) and graduated B. Litt. (1919). He taught classics and German for two years at Clongowes (1917–19) before spending two years studying philosophy at the Jesuit College, Louvain (1919–21), and a further four years studying theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. He was ordained at Milltown Park on 24 July 1924 and trained for a final year in Exaten, the Netherlands (1926), then took his final vows in Dublin on 2 February 1929.

Initially employed (1927) as an assistant lecturer in ancient history at UCD, Gwynn replaced Daniel A. Binchy (qv) as lecturer in medieval history on the latter's appointment as Irish Free State minister in Berlin. When John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv) resumed his duties as professor of history in 1932, he was so impressed with the young lecturer's abilities that he had his position made permanent. Sixteen years later, in 1948, Gwynn was appointed first professor of medieval history. Actively involved in the administration of UCD, he was a member of the governing body, dean of the faculty of arts (1952–6), and a member of the NUI senate. He also served as president of the RIA (1958–61).

A pioneering scholar, Gwynn wrote or edited numerous contributions to ancient, medieval, and modern history, on such subjects as Roman education, Archbishop Richard Fitzralph (qv) of Armagh, and Irish emigrants in the West Indies. His many articles, numbering over one hundred, as well as his reviews, which he often initialled P. D. (‘Poor Devil’), were published in various journals, including the Journal of Hellenic Studies, Analecta Hibernica, and the Irish Ecclesiastical Record. As a member of the Irish Manuscripts Commission (1943–74) he revived the study and publication of the Calendar of Papal Letters. He was exonerated after being accused, by Regina Zukasiewicz, of stealing her deceased husband's manuscripts (1956). Despite being plagued by bouts of depression, he gained international recognition and an array of awards, among them offers of honorary doctorates from QUB (1964), and TCD (1965) – the second of which he declined. However, Gwynn was not impressed with his honorifics asserting that the only qualifications he required were SJ – alluding to his membership of the Society of Jesus.

Gwynn lived mostly with the Jesuit community at 35 Lower Leeson Street (1927–62), where he was superior of residence (1932–45). A keen supporter of the Missionary Sisters of St Columba and St Joseph's Young Priests’ Society, he helped to establish the latter's civil service branch (1930), advised on the preparing of their constitution (1945), and was editor of their quarterly magazine, St Joseph's Sheaf (1927–49). After he retired from UCD in 1961 he moved to Milltown (1962), where he lectured for two years on church history and tended to the library (1962–6). He remained active, despite failing eyesight, until a fractured femur left him in St Vincent's Hospital; he then moved to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, where he died 18 May 1983. He was buried two days later, following funeral mass at the Jesuit church, Gardiner Street.

Aubrey Gwynn's private papers, Jesuit archives; file of correspondence between Robert Dudley Edwards and Aubrey Gwynn (1950–68), UCD Archives, LA 22/782–3; F. X. Martin, ‘The historical writings of Reverend Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Medieval studies presented to Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., ed. J. A. Watt, J. B. Morrall, and F. X. Martin (1961), 502–9; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn’, Hibernia (1962), 10; University College Dublin. Report of the president for the session 1961–62 (1962), 72–4; Burke, IFR (1976), 532–3; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Father Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Ir. Times, 21 May 1983, 8; Irish Province News, xx, no. 11 (1983), 348–50, 367–9; Report of the president, University College Dublin 1982–83 (1983), 154; R. D. Edwards, ‘Professor Aubrey Gwynn, S. J.’, Anal. Hib., xxxi (1984), xi; F. X. Martin, ‘Aubrey Osborn Gwynn, 1892–1983’, Royal Irish Academy Annual Report, 1983–4 (1984), 2–6; Clara Cullen, ‘Historical writings of Aubrey Gwynn: addendum’, Aubrey Gwynn, S. J., The Irish church in the eleventh and twelfth centuries, ed. Gerard O'Brien (1992), xiii–xiv; Geoffrey Hand, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the person’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 375–84; Fergus O'Donoghue, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the Jesuit’, Studies, lxxxi (1992); 393–8; Katherine Walsh, ‘Aubrey Gwynn: the scholar’, Studies, lxxxi (1992), 385–92

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

Recent articles by Fr. Aubrey Gwynn in the “Irish Ecclesiastical Record” were the subject of a very flattering notice in the 4 October issue of the 'Times Literary Supplement'. They referred to valuable contributions made by him to the history of the Dublin diocese in the 11th century, and in particular to interesting discoveries about Bishop Patrick of Dublin, whom he proves to have been a monk at Worcester under St. Wulfstain and author of the medieval scholastic poems in one of the Cotton MSS.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 3 1983

Milltown Park
Fr Aubrey Gwynn (†)
Aubrey Gwynn went to his Maker at 6.45 on the morning of 18th May: requiescat in pace! The Province will hardly see his like again. From his childhood days in London at the turn of the century, he could remember great events like the funeral of Queen Victoria, and the celebrations on the relief of Mafeking. Yet right to the end he took an interest in everybody and everything; he was in no way out of touch or out of sympathy with the times; he and the scholastics greatly enjoyed each other's company. Again, he was both a consummate scholar and a zealous, devout priest. In his late eighties he was still contributing learned articles to Seanchas Ardmhacha, and was rarely, if ever, missing from his accustomed spot at community Mass. In his earlier years he had been closely associated with St Joseph's Young Priests Society and the Columban Sisters, and both these bodies have contributed appreciations which are printed below. It is also perhaps worth recalling how well Aubrey succeeded in being on excellent terms with staff at Maynooth College and with members of the Hierarchy. At the funeral, Maynooth was represented by Mons. Patrick J. Corish and Dublin archdiocese by Bishop James Kavanagh: Cardinal 0 Fiaich regretted being unable to attend, owing to the death of his own brother (Dr Patrick Fee).
Aubrey is remembered with great affection by the Milltown Park community (here we are gathering into one many golden opinions) as a Simeon like figure, who redeemed the dignity of old age, never grumbled, complained or criticised, was so full of gratitude for his Jesuit vocation; who forty years ago treated scholastics as adults; the last of the generation of giants. He will continue to be remembered for his patient faith, his independence of spirit, tolerance of change, good humour, conviviality at table, debonair gentlemanliness, desire for life and determination to live, helpfulness and encouragement, graciousness, faithfulness and dedication, simplicity and humility.
One member of the community writes as follows: “Every day for ten years Aubrey concelebrated the Community Mass: at 10 am on Sundays, at 5.30 pm on weekdays in term, at 12.15 pm on weekdays in vacation and on Sundays. This showed an impressive willingness to adapt to different hours - a strength of faith which enabled him really to enjoy such varied styles of worship.
His loyalty to ‘The College’ (UCD, represented at the funeral by Mons. Feichin O'Doherty) showed me that an institution can be served with discrimination, with neither cynical detachment nor bland adoration.
His warm interest in each of us in the community was enormously encouraging - so different from the intrusive questioning by those who want to pigeon hole me for some future use, and different from the inattention of those who seem afraid to make human contact with me even for the length of a meal.
Another member expresses his appreciation in the following words: “I will remember Aubrey as a big man, a man who spanned the centuries and felt at home in many of them including much of our own. I will remember him as a grateful man, grateful to God and to us at Milltown. I will remember him as a lovable man who aged with grace and dignity. Finally I will remember Aubrey the priest, who celebrated the daily Eucharist with us faithfully and with determined step.
A fellow-historian and friend of Aubrey's, Katherine Walsh, who dedicated to him her recent work on Archbishop Richard FitzRalph, wrote from Vienna to the Rector as follows: “Kind friends contacted me by telephone and telegram to break the sad news of the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn, May I offer through you my deepest sympathy to the community of Milltown Park, also to the Irish Jesuit Province, of which he was for so long a distinguished and respected ornament at home and abroad. My personal sense of loss is great - it was not merely FitzRalph that bound me to him. His personal and scholarly qualities were such that I valued his friendship, advice and encouragement very much. Also my husband Alfred learned to share my very deep affection for him and wishes to be associated in this word of appreciation. Our subsequent visits to Ireland will be the poorer without the pleasure of his great company. Requiescat in pace”.
Mr Brendan Daly of Waterford, who was National President of St Joseph's Young Priests Society from 1975 to 1982, sent the following appreciation: “For over forty years, Fr Aubrey Gwynn played a very important part in the formation and development of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. Space will allow for only a brief mention of the highlights of these activities. From 1927 1949 he was the Honorary Editor of ‘Saint Joseph's sheaf’, the Society's quarterly magazine. During most of this same period, he was also a member of a the Society's governing Council. In 1930 helped to establish the Civil Service Branch, and was its chaplain until 1936. He was also actively involved in the formation of other vocational branches. He advised on the preparation of the Society's 1945 Constitution.
Fr Gwynn gave of himself quietly but building up a Lay Society that its identity, purpose and motivation in the Eucharist and membership of the Mystical Body of Christ. He encouraged greater lay participation in the Apostolate of the Church, and imbued members with those ideals that were subsequently to be voiced in the decrees of the Second Vatican Council. He was a true priest of Jesus Christ who helped many lay people to live their own royal . priesthood. He has helped St Joseph's Young Priests Society to build up a rich heritage - a heritage which it values and shares with many, many others'.
The Vicar-General of the Missionary Sisters of St Columban, Sr Ita McElwain, sent the following tribute: Fr Aubrey Gwynn had a long and happy association with the Missionary Sisters of St Columban. This came about through his relationship with Mother Mary Patrick, formerly Lady Frances Moloney, who was a friend and contemporary of his mother. Mother M. Patrick knew Aubrey from his childhood and followed his career with interest. He, in turn, had a lifelong regard for her, and greatly admired her spirit and courage when, at the age of fifty, she joined the little band of women who were destined to become the first members of the Columban Sisters.
“Fr Gwynn was a regular visitor to the Motherhouse at Cahiracon, Co Clare. On at least two occasions he gave retreats to the sisters there, as well as an occasional triduum of prayer to the to student sisters at the house of studies located at Merrion square at that time. The house at Merrion square was cquired in 1942 when Mother M Patrick was superior-general of the he Columban Sisters and Fr Gwynn superior of the Jesuit house at Leeson Street. Father offered to provide a weekly Mass for the sisters, and this continued He advised on the preparation of the for many years. He came whenever he could and took a keen interest in the sisters studies and in the sisters fully in themselves when they were missioned finds overseas. Especially worthy of note was his invaluable help and support to the sisters doing medical studies: this was at a time when it was quite a departure for sisters to undertake the study of medicine and surgery. Fr Gwynn is remembered by us as a devoted priest and renowned scholar; a loyal friend whose invaluable advice and experience were greatly appreciated by a comparatively young and struggling congregation; a very open-hearted and good-humoured man who kept in close touch with us through all the years of our existence. May his great soul rest in peace”.
The following is the text of Aubrey's last letter to the Columban Sisters: 2nd Dec. 1982.
Dear Sister Maura.
Very many thanks to you all at Magheramore for the splendid bird that was duly delivered here yesterday evening as on so many other happy occasions. And my special greetings to those of your community who may remember me from the old days in Merrion square and Fitzwilliam square. I shall be 91 years old next February, and am beginning to feel that I am an old man.
For the past 21 years I have been very happy here, where everyone young and old about here is very kind. And I am ever more grateful for the many blessings I have received during my 91 years. Blessings on you all at Magheramore, and may Mother Patrick, who was my mother's friend, rest in реаcе.
Yours in Xt, / Aubrey Gwynn, S.J.'
The appreciation by Professor Geoffrey Hand appeared in the columns of the Irish Times on Saturday, 21st May.

Obituary & ◆ The Clongownian, 1983

Fr Aubrey Gwynn (1892-1912-1983)

By the death of Fr Aubrey Gwynn the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus has lost one of its most distinguished and well-loved members.
He was born on the 7th February, 1892, at Clifton, Bristol, where his father, Stephen Gwynn, man of letters, historian, poet and member of the Irish Parliamentary Party, was at that time tutoring in a private crammer's. The Gwynn family were descended from Welsh settlers in Ulster during the 17th century, and were noted for the number of them who entered the ministry of the Church of Ireland. They also had a long and distinguished connection with Trinity College. Stephen's father, Rev John Gwynn, was Regius Professor of Divinity 1888-1917, and author of the great edition of the Book of Armagh, whilst his brother, Edward John Gwynn, was Provost of Trinity 1927-37. But the later generation of Gwynns had a strong infusion of Celtic blood, for Stephen Gwynn's mother was the elder daughter of William Smith O'Brien.
In 1896 the Gwynn family settled in London, where Aubrey attended a private preparatory school. He used to relate how amongst the small pupils was one Harold Macmillan – later British Prime Minister - who in some way made himself obnoxious and was sent to Coventry by his schoolfellows. The head master complained to their parents, with dire results for Aubrey, since at that time his father relied largely for income on his work as reader for the firm of Macmillan. In 1902 Mrs Mary Louise Gwynn was received into the Catholic Church and was followed by her children. Two years later Stephen Gwynn decided to return to Ireland and Aubrey was sent to Clongowes. He was accompanied by his elder brother, Lucius, a promising scholar who died at the age of twenty-nine after a long struggle against tuberculosis, and his younger brother, Denis, later a distinguished biographer and Professor of Modern Irish History in University College, Cork. Whilst at Clongowes, Aubrey already displayed his brilliance. He spent two years in Rhetoric class, winning in the first year the medal for first place in Senior Grade Latin, and in the second year the corresponding medal for Greek.
On leaving Clongowes, Aubrey had a year's private study in Munich and then entered University College, Dublin, becoming a member of Winton House, the predecessor of University Hall, He took his BA degree in 1912 and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg. After the noviceship he studied at Rathfarnham for a year, preparing for the MA and travelling studentship. The two years of the studentship were spent at Oxford, ending with the B. Litt. degree and Cromer Greek prize. Then followed two years teaching classics at Clongowes, philosophy at Louvain, theology at Mill town Park, ordination in 1924 and tertianship at Exaten, Holland, 1925-26.
Father Gwynn's first entrance into the life of University College was in 1927, when he was appointed lecturer in Ancient History. From then on, he was the recipient of one distinction after another. He became lecturer in Medieval History in 1930, professor of Medieval History in 1948, Dean of the Faculty of Arts 1951-56, member at various periods of the Governing Body of University College and of the Senate of the National University, President of the Royal Irish Academy 1958-61. In 1964 he was awarded the honorary degree of D. Litt. by Queen's University, Belfast.
As lecturer and professor Father Gwynn won universal praise. On his retirement in 1962, he was made the recipient of a Festschrift, a volume of essays on medieval subjects, edited by three of his colleagues, J. A. Wal . B. Morrall and F. X. Martin, OSA. The contributions by some twenty scholars from Irish, British, continental and American universities, were evidence of Father Gwynn's reputation outside Ireland. In the Foreword Professor Michael Tierney, president of University College, Dublin, emphasised the esteem in which Father Gwynn was held in his own country.
The essays gathered in this book are a well-deserved tribute to a man who has been a leader in historical work and in general scholarship for more than thirty years ... His unanimous election as President of the Royal Irish Academy was already evident of the position he held in the Irish world of learning... for a quarter of a century he has been the leader and teacher of a band of young scholars, and his pupils have achieved fame outside Ireland in countries where his own reputation had preceded them.'
Reviewing this volume in the Irish Times, another tribute was paid to Fr Gwynn by Professor F. S. Lyons, (later Provost of Trinity College) :
“Perhaps we are still too close to assess the full impact of Fr Gwynn on medieval studies in Ireland. But even now we can recognise that it has been very great. Great not only by virtue of his talents which, rather casually maybe, we have tended to take for granted, great not only because of the extent and quality of his published work, but great precisely through the influence he must have exer ted as a teacher”.
In addition to his constant work as lecturer or professor, Fr Gwynn displayed throughout his life an extra ordinary activity as a writer. Three of his major books are considered to be standard works of their kind, Roman Education from Cicero to Quintilian, Oxford, 1920, The English Austin Friars in the time of Wyclif Oxford, 1940. The Medieval Province of Armagh 1470-1545, Dundalk, 1946. He also collaborated with District Justice Dermot F Gleeson in producing the monumental History of the Diocese of Killaloe, Dublin, 1962. But, in addition, a flood of articles poured out from his pen, or rather typewriter. In the volume above referred to, Rey Professor Martin has listed over fifty of these articles, which are not articles in the ordinary sense, but learned monographs on ancient, medieval and modern topics. And this does not include the book reviews which he contributed steadily over the years to Studies and other learned journals. In this connection, a piece of Province folklore is worth preserving. Formerly book reviews in Studies were signed only with the writer's initials. Fr Gwynn felt that the initials AG were appearing with monotonous frequency, and alternated them with P.D. Asked what these letters signified, he smilingly replied ‘Poor devil'.
Although Fr Gwynn played such an active part in the life of University College, this did not mean that he he was in any way remote from the life of the Province. On the contrary, he was a most loyal and devoted member of it. He was a good community man, always in good humour, interested in the doings of others and ready to put his talents at their disposal. During his long stay in Leeson Street (he was Superior, 1932-'45), he did much to advise, encourage and help our Juniors who were passing through University College. For a considerable period he acted as editor of St Joseph's Sheaf, the organ of St Joseph's Young Priests Society, and enticed to write articles for it, thus giving them a useful introduction to the apostolate of writing. His loyalty to the Society in general was manifested by his constant study of its history, and many his articles dealt with the apostolate of Jesuits in various ages, especially on the foreign missions. Fr Gwynn had a special interest in the missions, and had close links both with our own missionaries and with others throughout the country, notably the Columban Fathers and Sisters.
On his retirement from University College, Fr Gwynn moved to Milltown Park. He lectured for two years on Church History and acted as librarian, 1962-6, but it became clear that he was no longer able for such tasks, and the rest of his retirement was devoted mainly to the revision of his articles on the medieval Irish Church, with the purpose of publishing them in book form. This again proved too much for his failing powers, and his final years were spent as a semi-invalid, consoled by the kindly care of the Milltown community, who came to regard him as a venerable father figure. His ninetieth birthday was signalised with a concelebrated Mass and a supper at which he received an enthusiastic ovation. He was reasonably active to the last until a fall resulted in a broken femur, the effects of which he was unable to recover. After some was weeks in St Vincent's Hospital, he was moved to Our Lady's Hospice, where he died peacefully on 18th May. His funeral at Gardiner Street was the occasion of a remarkable ecumenical event. It was presided over by BishopJames Kavanagh, representing His Grace the Archbishop of Dublin, and some of the burial prayers were recited by Right Rev.George Simms, former Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin and of Armagh, whose wife is a cousin of Fr Gwynn.
Fr Aubrey used to relate an incident which occurred when he was studying at Oxford. When the time came to submit part of his thesis to his supervisor, he followed the old Jesuit custom of inscribing the letters AMDG at the top of each sheet. The manuscript was returned to of him addressed to Rev A M D Gwynn, The writer unconsciously hinted at a truth. The familiar letters may not have been Fr Aubrey's initials, but they were most certainly the inspiration of his life.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 30 : December 1983

PORTRAIT FROM THE PAST : FATHER AUBREY GWYNN

Sister Sheila Lucey

A Columban Sister working in the Philippines pays tribute to the life and work of Father Aubrey

I first met Father Aubrey Gwynn in August in 1945, when I was assigned, straight after my profession, to our house of studies at 56 Merrion Square. Even then he had become a kind of Guardian Spirit to our young student sisters - some were studying medicine, others nursing, and I and a companion were taking up arts.

It was through Mother Mary Patrick that our sisters had come to know Father Gwynn. It seems that she had been a friend of his mother's. So, when the Columban Sisters came to Merrion Square in the early 40's a friendship started .which was to last throughout Fr Gwynn's long life.

His special concern was for the young student sisters. It was he who started the tradition of an eight o'clock Mass on Sunday morning, for the Merrion Square community, so that the students could have a longer sleep. He made it clear that there was to be no getting up earlier to study! When he couldn't come himself, he arranged for one or other of his brethren in Leeson St, to say the Mass, In later years, in the late 40's and early 50’s, he came for daily Mass.

Invariably he came for Midnight Mass at Christmas, in his very best attire, a beautifully-cut long clerical dress-coat. That was always a big occasion, and he seemed to enjoy every moment of it. Indeed, he was part of so many community celebrations in those years.

I remember how well he cooperated with all our clandestine preparations for Sister Mary Veronica's Silver Jubilee.

Right from the beginning, I found him a fascinating and stimulating personality, and a warm friend. He took a keen interest in each of us and in our studies. At the end of my first year I was asked to switch from German, as a degree subject, to history, which it was considered would be more useful on the missions. Certainly he made a difficult change easier for me. For two years I was his student. He initiated me into realms of history which were new to me, so I found his lectures valuabie, though I learned more from him outside the lecture-room than inside. Each vacation he arrived over to our house with an armful of books for me to read during the break, and he didn't limit himself to history - he also brought along some critical works on the English writers I was studying.

But it was after I finished my basic degree, and was sent on for graduate studies, that I really got to know Fr. Gwynn. At that time, he was coming for daily Mass, and at least a few times each week I was asked to see him in the parlour while he was having his breakfast, Those breakfast sessions stretched out longer and longer! He was so much of a medievalist that he could enter into all aspects of my MA thesis, on The Ancren Riwle (a medieval rule for anchoresses, which was also a treatise on the spirituality of that kind of life).

Later, when I got into my doctoral thesis, he got even more involved. This was right into his field, because the topic (English Prose Written by Irishmen in the Seventeenth Century) turned out to be as much historical as literary. It couldn't be otherwise in such a century, so full of religious and political controversy. From Professor Hogan I had imbibed a life-long appreciation of seventeenth century Eniglish literature. Now under Fr Gwynn's unobtrusive prodding I discovered for the first time that I had a glimmering of and historical sense after all!

Working on those seventeenth century writings, many of them anonymous, or written under pseudonyms, one had to be something of a literary sleuth. To satisfy" Fri Gwynn the evidence had to be exact and complete. He was a scrupulously honest scholar, and he expected those he worked with to be the same.

I certainly owe it to Fr Gwynn that I was able to persevere with my research and complete my PhD thesis. Theoretically Professor J.J. Hogan was my adviser, but he was an extremely busy person in those years. Besides he wasn't, familiar with the writings I had got into. In practice, Fr. Gwynn was my adviser and strong support throughout the years when I worked on my PhD thesis.

Indeed, many growing points of my life I seem to owe to Fr Gwynn. He it was who first launched me into print. While I was still a student he got me to review a book for Studies, a distinct honour in those days. (in fact, Fr Burke-Savage, the editor, asked that I used a nom de plume because “he didn't want all the nuns in Ireland to be wanting to get into the pages of Studies”. Shades of women's lib!). This was how I earned my first cheque for writing, and no later cheque ever made me feel so proud, (Strictly speaking my payment should have been the book, but Fr Gwynn purchased this for the Leeson St. house).

Another growing-edge of the mind happened when I'r Gwynn persuaded my superiors to allow me to go to Oxford and to the. British Museum in London, so that I could research by topic more thoroughly. Many of the writings. by Irishmen of the seventeenth century survive as very rare books, some indeed as single copies. The British Museum has some of them, others are in Oxford and Cambridge.

Father got quite a thrill out of sending me off on my Grand Tour, and he went to great pains to ensure that my visit would be a success. I went armed with letters of introduction to David Rogers of the British Museum, Fr. Basil Fitzgibbon of farm St.,and the library authorities in Oxford, He wrote beforehand to the Holy Child Sisters in Cherwell Edge, Oxford, where he knew some of the Sisters - his own sister had been a member of the congregation - and enjoyed their hospitality while I was in Oxford.

Of course, I fell in love with Oxford, as he intended me to, and he listened with happy amusement, as I shared my excitement with him on my return. This happened more than thirty years ago, in November December, 1950, yet it is still vivid in my memory. There was I, a young inexperienced person, given a welcome into the fellowship of scholars, and accepted as one of themselves. Ah, the daring and courage of youth!

Thinking back over all this, I believe I have hit on something very basic to. Fr. Gwynn's character, and very important: he helped people to grow. His own standards were high, and he helped others to live up to their highest potential, to a potential they weren't aware of until he pointed it out.

He was, too, a man of great patience and kindness. I'm sure a scholar of his calibre must have had to make many adjustments in trying to understand us young students. But his kindness bridged all distances. He had a genuine respect for others, and he paid: tribute to any gifts a person had, even if still in the bud!

It wasn't all an academic interchange. He had a puckish sense of humour, and those eyes could twinkle even over such daily dilemmas as “the problem of toast and butter: If I take more toast, I'll need another butter-roll, and if I take another butter-roll I'll need more toast to finish it!” At breakfast, one morning in our basement dining-room, I heard my gong ring upstairs. When I emerged at the top of the stairs, there was Fr. Gwynn, with a quizzical look on his face, saying: “How do you expect a fellow to eat his porridge without a spoon?” I had brought him in his breakfas. “You'd better stick to the History!”

Another time - I think it was when I was about to leave on my Oxbridge adventure - Fr Gwynn told me to kneel down for his blessing. Then, as I got up off my knees, he chuckled and told an anecdote about some Irish bishop, who was reputed to have said to his priests: “How did I get this cross on me belly? ... HARD WORRUK, YOUNG MEN, HARD WORRUK!” And he acted it out, standing tall and sticking out his chest.

He had a delightful sense of humour. I wish I could recall other incidents. I remember a letter he wrote shortly after he retired from UCD. He had been offered a chair of Philosophy (or History) in Milltown Park, he said, only to discover it was a sofa he had to share it with Fr. John Ryan!

It was while I was a student in Merrion Square that his father died. In fact, I answered his phone-call telling us the news. His father had been failing for some time - he lived to be a great age - and all the time Fr. Gwynn kept hoping that his father might be given the gift of faith before death. That did not happen I can recall the grief in his voice that morning over the phone. Later he described the funeral for us, saying how strange it felt to be an outsider at one's own father's funeral. As far as I remember, a dispensation had to be got from the Archbishop of Dublin, so that he could attend and, at the graveside, it was the Protestant Archbishop of Dublin who officiated and blessed the remains, while Stephen Gwynn's priest-son stood apart, on the fringe.

The faith; not given to his father, was very precious to him. In those years immediately after his retirement from UCD he got joy and great fulfilment from instructing some young. TCD students, converts to Catholicism. He referred to this in a number of letters written in those years.

It was in such things, and at such times, that the quality of his own spirituality shone through. It was never obtrusive. Yet, when he sensed that a person was anxious, or that obedience was hard, he knew how to say the right thing, or do just what was needed, tactfully, with gentleness and good hunour. He seemed to have a great, yet sensibly balanced, respect for obedience. But it was
his kindness and compassion, a compassion learned through his own suffering, that made him the person he was for others. There was always that the feeling that he too had been through it all.

He was a marvellous person to give anything to. He received as graciously as he gave, and never took a gift for granted. About two years ago I had a letter from him, thanking.me for the gift of a book on Philippine culture. Actually I hadn't been the person who sent it, but I had talked about him to someone who sent him the book as a result of our conversation - Fr. Miguel Bernad, SJ.

During all my years in the Philippines we corresponded a few times each year. Then, while I was in Ireland, from 1970 to 1979 I met him many times, mostly in Milltown Park, but once in the University club. On that last occasion we walked across St. Stephen's Green together - just imagine that!

There were times, too, when I went over to Milltown Park, only to learn that Fr, Gwynn wasn't well and couldn't see visitors. Then I knew that my old friend was deep into one of his bouts of severe depression, and I suffered with him. That finely-honed, brilliant mind, and yet the dark shadow of depression that hung over him so often ...

The last time I saw him, before I left for the Philippines in 1980, he was in great form, and he took some mischievous delight in my reaction to his beard. When I remarked that he looked the spit image of George Bernard Shaw, he said, “Sister Helen (he liked to call me by my old name), I would expect more originality from you!” Then he told me about all the other people who had made the same comparison, including a lorry-driver who had stopped beside him on the road and called out, “I thought Bernard Shaw was dead!” He was really enjoying his masquerade.

In his last letters to me, he told me about his latest and dearest research, the paper he was requested to write for the Royal Irish Academy, on the Mass in Ireland in the early Middle Ages. Much of it was based on a missal that had come to light in recent times. (Am I right?) He spoke of this paper with warmth and enthusiasm, as being the culmination of his life-work. I do hope that his failing eye-sight allowed him to finish this work, so dear to his heart.

I marvel at the courage of this man who, even at the age of ninety, was still using to the full those rare gifts God had given him, and sharing with us the fruits of his long years of reflection and study. I do not know now he died. I hope that his mental faculties were as sharp as ever. It would be poignantly sad if such a brilliant mind were dulled.

I thank God for the gift of this most dear friend, and for all that he has been to all the Columban Sisters.: His death is a personal loss for me. I miss him very deeply.

Händl, Karl, 1847-1915, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/173
  • Person
  • 25 August 1847-02 August 1915

Born: 25 August 1847, Weißenohe, Bavaria, Germany
Entered: 20 November 1878, Turnov, Czech Republic - Austriacae Province (ASR)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final vows: 19 March 1890
Died: 02 August 1915, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

Transcribed ASR-HUN to HIB - 01 January 1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was originally of the Austrian Mission in South Australia before amalgamation with HIB in 1901.
He was Minister at Sevenhill in 1914, and Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer for the diocese of Adelaide.
He was also Superior for a time at Sevenhill.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Karl Händl entered the Society 20 November 1878, as a secular priest, and was sent to Australia four years later, arriving in June 1882. He was at Manoora, 1884-86; St Mark's, Port Pirie, 1889-90, doing missionary work in the Crystal Brook district; Kooringa, 1891-92; Norwood, 1893-983 Kooringa, 1899; and Georgetown, 1900. That year he was also a mission consulter. Then he went to Sevenhill as vice-superior and minister and was involved in pastoral work.
In 1901 he transferred to the Irish province From 1901-05 he was superior and parish priest of Norwood, and then 1905-15, was minister at Sevenhill, and superior for the year 1912. In his later years he was moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer for the Adelaide archdiocese.

Hannigan, Edward, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/175
  • Person
  • 07 July 1907-15 February 1960

Born: 07 July 1907, Edinburgh, Scotland
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 15 February 1960, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1929 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1939 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1940 in Rome, Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 35th Year No 2 1960
Obituary :
Fr Edward Hannigan (1907-1960)

Fr. Hannigan died very suddenly on 19th February, shortly before 10 o'clock. He had said Mass and had his breakfast and gone through his post. He went down the corridor to use the telephone and on the way back to his room felt weak, sat down and died a few ininutes later. He had however time to make his confession before he lost consciousness and was anointed before he expired.
He had been educated in Mungret and did his noviceship in Tullabeg and juniorate in Rathfarnham. He went to Pullach for philosophy and then taught in St. Ignatius' College, Galway. After theology in Milltown Park and tertianship in St. Beuno's he was sent to Rome to do a biennium in Moral Theology in 1939. His work in Rome was interrupted when the war became active and he sailed for Ireland in May 1940 on a Japanese liner from Naples, possibly the last boat to reach England from the Mediterranean that year,
He was not given an opportunity to complete his studies after his return to Ireland but was asked to teach both Moral Theology and Canon Law in succession to Fr. John MacMahon who had just been appointed Provincial, and it was not until 1949 that he was able to return to Rome to present and defend his thesis. The thesis was a model of method and precision. The subject was: “Is it ever lawful to advise the lesser of two evils?” Fr. Hannigan carefully summarised all the recent and many ancient opinions of this difficult topic and then his own conclusions. The thesis was accepted and praised by his examiners; but what really impressed them was the brilliance of his Lectio Coram and his oral defence of the thesis. His ten years of teaching in Milltown had made him confident and self-possessed in his exposition; his command of Latin came as a surprise to them and he showed exceptional skill in dealing with the objections and difficulties which were urged against him, never allowing himself to be cornered or led into a false position. As a result not only did he receive the doctorate summa cum laude but negotiations were begun to have him assigned to the staff of the Gregorian. It was not due to any lack of earnestness on the part of the authorities of the Gregorian that these negotiations did not succeed.
It is not easy to form a just estimate of his work as Professor of Moral Theology at Milltown Park. It was widely felt that he did not do complete justice to his very great abilities. However he did bring to his work some very useful qualities. In the first place he spoke Latin fluently and accurately and so reduced to an absolute minimum the difficulties which inevitably arise from the use of Latin in teaching Theology. He was able to do this because of his remarkable gifts as a linguist. These gifts appeared at other stages in his life in the Society. He had an extremely good knowledge of Irish. As a scholastic he had proved that he was fully competent to teach through Irish, which he had done for three years in Galway; and although he did not frequently speak Irish he never lost his command of grammar and idiom. So too he brought back from Pullach a very good knowledge of German, which was still accurate and idiomatic when he came to Rome to defend his thesis twenty years later.
Again he planned his course carefully and finished it at the appointed time omitting nothing. Indeed one of the points of which he was often criticised was that he treated in class matter that anyone with intelligence could have made up for himself; but perhaps some of the weaker members of the class were grateful to him for this. However, he was unwilling to expand the matter contained in the textbook. This was a pity because his comments would have been interesting and reliable. He preferred to illustrate Genicot with quotations from other books. But when consulted in private on a case his opinions were very good indeed, clear and accurate and well supported. Priests who made retreats or days of recollection in Milltown Park were very loud in their praises and grateful to him for the help he gave them.
An account of Fr. Hannigan cannot omit to mention his very narrow escape from a tragic death during the fire at Milltown Park. He was living on the top storey of the Finlay wing and must have been slow in getting up after the alarm had been given. He was trapped in his room with the roof on fire and the corridor impassable with dense smoke. Fr. J. Johnston who was in the next room was similarly trapped, but opened the door of his room in a vain attempt to reach the fire escape, was overcome by the fumes and perished in the fire. Fr. Hannigan wisely stayed in his room and kept the door shut and waited for the fire brigade to run a ladder up to his window. The ladder was found to be too short so the fire-man handed him up a supplementary ladder which he hooked on to the window sill and so climbed down the twelve feet which separated him from the safety of the fire-brigade ladder. He must have been the last man to have left the top storey alive, saved by his own courage and self-possession.
Fr. Hannigan could give a good retreat although he could not often be persuaded to undertake this work. As procurator he will be remembered for his unfailing courtesy and for the quick and efficient way in which he did business with those of the community who had to visit him. He made the same impression on all with whom he came in contact especially on the tradesmen with whom he had to deal and with his assistants in organising whist drives for the building fund. The very numerous letters of sympathy received by Fr. Rector gave ample proof of this.
Fr. Hannigan had a very intense interest in life. He was a keen follower of almost all sports, rugby, soccer, golf and racing; also of politics national and international and of the obscure workings of the stock exchange. But above all he was remarkable for his charm and friendliness as a member of the community. Those who lived with him will be conscious of a deep sense of personal loss for a long time to come. We extend very sincere sympathy to his brother and sister.

Hanregan, Thomas, 1592-1623, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1408
  • Person
  • 1592-1623

Born: 1592, Clonmel, CoUNTY Tipperary
Entered: 1616, Landsberg, Germany - Gemaincae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Ordained: 10 June 1622, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 23 October 1623, England in transit

1619-1621 At Ingolstadt, in Theology and teaching Philosophy
1623 Sent from Germany to Ireland via England (1622)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1617 In Bavaria
1622 In Fourth Year Theology at Ingolstadt
Sent for by Christopher Holywood

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ
Had studied at Douai and graduated MA with a brilliant public defence before Entry 1616 Landsberg
After First Vows he studied at Ingolstadt and was Ordained there 1622.
1622 Sent to Ireland for health reasons. He was so poorly that he had to spend a year convalescing at Munich before departing for Ireland. He then died 23 October 1623 England in transit

Lavelle, Colm, 1932-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/855
  • Person
  • 09 April 1932-12 September 2019

Born: 09 April 1932, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, St Ignatius, München, Germany
Died: 12 September 2019, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1961 at Heythrop, Oxford (ANG) studying
by 1965 at Münster, Germany (GER S) making Tertianship
by 1966 at Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1985 at Vocation Sisters, Angmering Sussex, England (ANG) working
by 1999 at St Augustine’s Priory, Hassocks, Sussex, England (ANG) working

Early Education at Belvedere College SJ

1952-1955 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1955-1958 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1958-1961 Gonzaga College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1961-1962 Chipping Norton, Oxford, UK - Studying Theology at Heythrop College
1962-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Münster i Westphalia, Germany - Tertianship
1966-1967 München, Germany - Studying Catechetics Course at Barberzige Schwestern
1967-1969 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Teacher
1969-1978 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assistant Prefect; Teacher; Exhibiting own works of Art at home and abroad
1978-1979 Manresa House - Art Therapy; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1979-1980 Tabor - Art Therapy; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1980-1981 Milltown Park - Chaplain and Directs Spiritual Exercises in Mt St Annes, Killenard, Portarlington, Co Laois
1981-1985 Tullabeg - Directs Spiritual Exercises; Missions
1985-1986 Clongowes Wood College SJ/W Sussex, UK/St Bueno’s - Chaplain to Vocation Sisters, Angmering, W Sussex; Directs Spiritual Exercises at St Bueno’s
1986-1999 Milltown Park - Directs Spiritual Exercises
1999-2000 W Sussex, UK - Sabbatical as Chaplain to Canonesses Regular of St Augustine, Priory of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Kingsland Lodge, Sayers Common, Hassocks, W Sussex
2000-2019 Milltown Park - Directs Spiritual Exercises
2005 Tallow, Co Waterford - Chaplain to St Joseph’s Carmelite Monastery
2007 Directs Spiritual Exercises
2008 Rathmullen - Contemplative and Semi-eremetical life in Donegal; St Joseph’s, Rathmullen Parish, Letterkenny, Co Donegal (Oct to Easter); Directs Spiritual Exercises
2015 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/colm-lavelle-sj-rip/

Remembering Colm Lavelle, Jesuit and artist
Irish Jesuit and artist Colm Lavelle passed away peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge on 12 September, at the age of 87. Colm joined the Society in 1950, and for the greater part of his Jesuit life he was engaged in teaching, in art therapy, and in directing the Spiritual Exercises.
In 2014, Colm marked 60 years of his life as an artist with an exhibition of his large catalogue of paintings in Milltown Park, called ‘A life re-lived’. The paintings especially expressed Colm’s passionate interest in how art can represent the unconscious. Speaking at the event, the then-Provincial Fr Tom Layden SJ referred to the spiritual underpinning of Colm’s work: “The experience of conception and coming to birth, Colm sees as an unconscious reminiscence of the universal experience of origin”, and continued saying that there was an Ignatian strain in all of Colm’s works, as he found “the creator God in all things, the Source, and energising force that brings all things to birth”.
Fr Layden also gave the homily at Colm’s funeral in Milltown Park Chapel on Saturday, 14 September. He recalled having Colm as his German and his Art teacher as a first year student in Clongowes: “While he expected us to work and to pay attention in class,” he remarked, “we knew him as a kind and not excessively strict teacher.” He illustrated Colm’s kindness:
A few weeks after I received my first year academic report from the Prefect of Studies, an unexpected parcel arrived in the post. I recognised Father Lavelle’s handwriting on the outside of the large envelope. On opening it I discovered a book of German short stories and an accompanying letter telling me that this was a prize for doing well in the summer exam. This was not an official school prize. It was entirely an initiative on Colm’s part. As a student who had not found first year in boarding school either easy or enjoyable, I was moved by this teacher taking the time to show interest and give encouragement. This memory has stayed with me over the years.
Fr Layden continued: For so many of us here today Colm always reminded us of the centrality in our lives of our relationship with the Holy Mystery, the God who is beyond all and in all. Maybe we met Colm on a retreat or in spiritual direction. Above all there was the example of his own life in the years in which he spent time in solitude and prayer in remote places in the west and north west. We are not all called to that kind of solitude. It is a gift bestowed on a small number in our midst. That gift is a reminder to the rest of us of the one thing that is really necessary and that ultimately matters in life. Jesus tells his disciples that he is the way, the truth and the life. He is our way to the Father. We are all called to communion, to friendship, to intimacy with the Father. This is what brought Colm to the desert of his caravan, his mobile home.
Colm was always attracted to the idea of life as a hermit. Indeed in recent years he spent considerable periods of time living a contemplative and semi-eremitical life in Co. Donegal. In his funeral homily, Fr Layden quoted Colm himself on this matter: Leading up to the months of solitude can be difficult. I find myself weeping at the prospect of the loneliness involved. I can also find myself weeping at the prospect of leaving my solitude. It’s not easy to stay for long periods without any company. Such experiences fit with the traditional teachings of the mystics, for example John of the Cross who maintained that there is a benefit to being wholly in the desert. Sometimes I have a radio but I feel I am better off without one. I can visit neighbours, or sometimes they want to see me. It’s very much an experience of emptiness and searching. After all, God is ultimately beyond everything, so one has to let go of a great deal to live by faith without clinging to making an idol of this or that.’
For the last four years Colm lived in Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit nursing home in Milltown Park. After a short illness he died on the morning of 12 September. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Lyons, William, 1903-1936, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/234
  • Person
  • 26 September 1903-30 July 1936

Born: 26 September 1903, Mitchelstown, County Cork
Entered: 25 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 30 July 1936, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at St Colman's College, Fermoy. BA 1st Class Honours and 2 years Philosophy at St Patrick’s College Maynooth before entry

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Ordained 31 July 1935, finished Theology and died of cancer 30 July 1936

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 11th Year No 4 1936
Obituary :
Father William Lyons
Father C. Daly has most kindly sent us the following appreciation. He was with Father Lyons both in China, and, for theology, at Milltown Park.

The death of Father Lyons at the early age of thirty-three came as a great shock to all who had known him and come to appreciate the sterling qualities of his character. After a brief illness, which became acute only in its last stage, he died on Thursday evening July 30th, on the eve of the first anniversary of his ordination.
Born at Mitchelstown, Co. Cork, he received his early education at St. Colman's College, Fermoy. He went later to Maynooth where he did his degree in Celtic Studies, and then entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in September, 1924. After his noviceship he went to Pullach where he studied Philosophy for three years. In 1929 he was sent to China, where in addition to acquiring a very high proficiency in the language he taught at the Sacred Heart College, Canton, and later lectured in Philosophy at the Serminario S. José, Macao. Returning to Ireland in 1932 he had just, completed his theological studies when the end came.
Those who lived with Father Lyons could not have failed to have been struck by the fact that he possessed outstanding qualities both in the natural and supernatural order, qualities that pointed to assured success in the work for which he had already been set aside. During his magisterium in China and before that at Pullach he proved his aptitude as a linguist. His command of German was so good that on his way out to China an officer on the German boat was convinced that he was a German until near the end of the voyage. He tackled the formidable problem of Chinese with characteristic energy and thoroughness and in a short time acquired a fluency and correctness of tone quite above the average. He taught his classes with painstaking devotion, and later on at the Seminary in Macao was rewarded by the affection and esteem of the Seminarians.
There was always in him something above the ordinary, a greater spirit of self-sacrifice and unselfishness, a more exact devotion to rule and a greater severity towards himself all pointing to a deep interior life. This spirit brought him through a period of stress and anxiety during his first months at Canton when his endurance was tested and he had to do things very trying to his particular temperament. His life even in China, where many causes tend to drain one's energy, was most intense, and it was a marvel how persistently he followed out his daily routine and remained loyal to all his duties. Many do not find it difficult to take things quietly and be at rest, but that, I think, was what he found most difficult.
As a theologian at Milltown Park he was solid, painstaking, a slow worker, yet tenaciously holding what he had mastered. His public appearances at circles and disputations were not marked by any brilliant flights, but by a clear and lucid grasp of his subject in exposition and defence. He was ever ready to be of assistance to others and would gladly put aside his own work to come to the rescue of one who not infrequently got into difficulties in theological waters.
His spiritual life we can only gauge by exterior indications . At Milltown Park he spent his days as did the rest of us, and yet here too as in China there was a difference. There were little things on the surface that showed the swiftness of the current beneath, his anxiety, for example, to be with and to help those from other provinces. If we are right in judging of a man's interior life by his spirit of self-sacrifice, charity and general observance of rule, then Father Lyons led a life here amongst us very close to God indeed.
His last illness was comparatively short and the end came quickly. A few weeks after his Ad Gradum examination he became unwell complaining of rheumatic pains in his body. He was removed to a private hospital where he remained for some weeks. He was treated for an abscess under the teeth and seemed to be suffering from a general break-down. Then trouble developed in the kidneys and he was removed to St. Vincent's Hospital for X-Ray treatment On Tuesday, July 28th, he was found to be very seriously affected with cancer, and from that on sank with startling rapidity. He was quite resigned and although he knew there was no hope of recovery he put up a tremendous fight to the last. One of his last requests was to congratulate those who were to be ordained on the following day. He himself was not to see that day and he knew it. He was not suffering any very severe pain, but it was quite obvious that he would not last the night. At about 8,30 p m. on Thursday July 30th, after a severe struggle he quietly passed away.
His death was a great loss to our young Mission, a second sacrifice demanded of us. The first was made with resignation and has brought abundant blessings , the second will be equally abundant. We can confidently face the future with the thought that three of our number are of even greater assistance to us now than if they were with us in the flesh.

Macken, John C, 1943-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/531
  • Person
  • 22 December 1943-07 May 1996

Born: 22 December 1943, Ballinasloe, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 10 January 1986, John Sullivan House, Monkstown, County Dublin
Died: 07 May 1996, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Leinster Road, Rathmines, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1972 at Regis Toronto, Canada (CAN S) studying
by 1974 at St Ignatius Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) studying
by 1978 at Tübingen Germany (GER S) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr John Macken (1943-1996)

22nd Dec, 1943: Born at Ballinasloe, Galway
Early education: Crescent College, Limerick and Gonzaga College
7th Sept. 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1964: First Vows
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham, Study of Eastern languages at UCD.
1967 - 1969: Milltown Park, study Philosophy/M.A Languages, UCD
1969 - 1971: Crescent College - teaching/H DipEd, UCC
1971 - 1973 Toronto, Regis College, Guelph, Master of Divinity
21st June 1974: Ordained priest, Milltown Park
1974 - 1977: Loyola House, Special Secretariat
1977 - 1984: Tubingen, Doctoral Studies, Theology Tullabeg,
1984 - 1985: Tertianship
1985 - 1992: Sullivan House, Lecturer in Theology, Milltown Institute
1992 - 1995: Dominic Collins House - Superior/ Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Residence, Leinster Road/ President and lecturer at Milltown Institute

John felt very tired at the Easter break and had some tests done which revealed cancer of the liver. Further tests showed this to be the secondaries. The doctors discussed the option of treatment with John, but in the light of the prognosis it was decided against. He died peacefully a month later on 7th May.

Sermon at the Funeral Mass of Fr. John Macken

When Sir Thomas More heard of the death by execution of one of the bishops who had refused to bow to Henry's bullying: he said, “Ah Fisher, a lovely man”. Perhaps that sums up what is to be said about John - a lovely man.

Everyone here has their own treasured memories of him - how can you sum up anyone's life on their funeral day - it's foolish to think you can - but perhaps we can get glimpses. Asking a fair number of people over the last few days - perhaps the most consistent word was “gentle”.

We are faced with a mystery, dismayed and bewildered by the abrupt summons and departure of John, and we mourn and grieve as tenderly as we awkwardly can with his mother Eleanor, his brothers James and Frank, and sisters, Marian, Eleanor, Sheila and Nuala; their spouses Maeve, Andrew, Paraic and Susan, their children and the Macken relatives - but also with his large Jesuit family, his many friends and colleagues from the Milltown Institute, whose president he briefly was, friends in Toronto and Tübingen - the list goes on of those his life has graced

But we try to face into this mystery in the light and hope of the Resurrection - as Fr. Laurence Murphy said last evening John staked his life on the Word of God, on Christ - and his faith quickened and sustained many others.

St. Paul reminds us that we are God's work of art - everyone of us is a word of God - John was a special word and work of God's art. Our grief and loss are tempered by gratitude for such a gentle, lovely, gifted, simple man.

He was not faultless (unlike yourself and myself) - he could be heavy or morose or irritable. But these limitations were vastly outweighed by his gifts (as indeed they are in all of us if only we could see with God's eyes.)

He was a man of learning - but learning worn so lightly and unselfconsciously. He sort of belied the Gospel today, (Matt.11, 25 30) being the exception to whom the things of God are revealed. He was a scholar, a theologian, ecumenist, yet combining great intellectual integrity with a corresponding intellectual humility. He never patronised you or put you down. He could correct you, and very directly, but somehow graciously, painlessly. After five weeks in Tübingen he knew more about theology than others who had spent 20 years. When he left Crescent 100 years ago to move to Gonzaga, we all breathed a sigh of relief because we all moved up a place in class. “If he wasn't so nice and good”, a relative was saying yesterday, “he would have been intolerable, he knew so much”.

But he was also a very human and simple man: a great companion and dear friend - so easy to be with (most of the time anyway), so non threatening or judgmental. Interested in you and understanding - gently compassionate - courteous - in a delightful simple sense of humorous enjoyment. “Don was always a peacemaker”, his mother used to say of him - he spent many happy hours with his friends the MacNamara's in Waterford and Kilkee and his visits were much looked forward to by many. Sr. Marie in Maryfield - in visiting his mother used to say of him: “He left a kind of peace”. A colleague on a commission - he didn't say very much, but you were always aware of his supportive presence. He was a man of faith - his family was very important to him and he to them - he was so faithful to his mother and to Eleanor his sister, ill for many years, faithful to his calling as a Jesuit priest, a son of Ignatius - a faithfulness that was profoundly focused and simplified in his last weeks. The way he handled his illness was astonishing, to me certainly, but consistent with his life up to that point. He remained attentive to others and concerned about them to the end, and so appreciative of anything done for him. Mary, a nurse in Cherryfield said it was “a privilege to look after that man”.

God certainly put him to the test and found him worthy of him, as the reading from Wisdom said. He had said 'yes' to his life and he said yes to his death, with a courage ad objectivity that neither exaggerated or minimised the reality he was undergoing - yet without any posturing or bitterness that I could see - on the contrary his tranquillity made it all easier and bearable for his family and the rest of us.

If John of the Cross is right when he said “in the evening of our lives we will be judged on love” John will do very well in this only ultimately important exam. So while we do mourn most painfully even more do we celebrate and give thanks for such a rich and fruitful life, which has graced us all in different ways, evoking in everyone so many good feelings. He did incarnate Newman's prayer “Help me to spread your fragrance everywhere I go”.

So perhaps mysteriously, providentially Don's work is done: and ours now to follow with appreciative hearts this gracious, gentle friend of Christ, privileged to have walked some of the way with him. Maybe Bernanos was right in saying that the only sadness is not to be a saint. A lovely man, increasingly like his Lord who said “Come to me all you who labour.....”

It seems appropriate to end with a prayer written by Karl Barth, perhaps the most influential Protestant theologian of this century, and John's special study:

At the Start of Worship
O Lord our God! You know who we are, men
with good
consciences and with bad, persons who are
content and
those who are discontent, the certain and the
uncertain,
Christians by conviction and Christians by convention,
those who believe, those who half-believe,
those who
disbelieve.
And you know where we have come from:
from the
circle of relatives, acquaintances and friends or
from the
greatest loneliness, from a life of quiet
prosperity or from
manifold confusion and distress, from family
relationships
that are well ordered or from those disordered
or under
stress, from the inner circle of the Christian
community or
from its outer edge.

But now we all stand before you, in all our
differences, yet alike in that we are all in the
wrong with
you and with one another, that we must all one
day die,
that we would all be lost without your grace,
but also in
that your grace is promised and made available
to us all in
your dear Son Jesus Christ. We are here
together in order
to praise you through letting you speak to us.
We beseech
you to grant that this may take place in this
hour, in the
name of your Son our Lord.

Peter Sexton SJ

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1986

John Macken SJ

I came late to Gonzaga, joining Fourth year in 1962. I had already been in a Jesuit school, in Crescent College in Limerick, where I grew up, though I was born in Ballinasloe, Co. Galway. Going to Gonzaga appealed to me. I wanted a Jesuit school and had at the back of mind the idea that I might join the Jesuits. Gonzaga did little to hin der and much to reinforce the idea. The atmosphere, like the grounds, was open, positive and encouraging, in fact one might say sunny. The approach to education was a broad one and most of us enjoyed it thoroughly. What added an extra spice to our year was that we had in Paul Durcan a genuine poet who kept us entertained with his juvenilia.

My religious inclination was catered for by Mass-serving (we cycled in early to school and home again for break fast) and Fr Sean Hutchinson's sod ality as well as the excellent R.E. programme. (I still preserve some note books from fourth year as well as notes from a retreat in Rathfarnham Castle which now have first-class his torical value!) I did in fact join the Jesuits in 1962 and to my surprise I had two companions: David Murphy and Frank Roden. It was a surprise because each of us had kept the decision very private. I'm sure we weren't the only ones to whom the idea occurred, but it wasn't something to be discussed.

The two years noviceship in Emo Park were much as they had been described in Ben Kiely's There was an ancient House twenty-five years before, monastic and quiet - too quiet some of the time! In UCD I was asked by Fr Charles O'Conor to study subjects that would prepare me for theology later on, so I took Hebrew with Prof Dermot Ryan (later Arch bishop) and Greek with Prof. Michael Tierney jun. We took as much part in College life as we were allowed -- joining College societies was permitted except for L & H and Dramsoc. I enjoyed UCD and continued with it for two more years, doing an MA simultaneously with philosophical studies in Milltown Park. But Mill town was the more exciting place to be then, studying with Philip McShane, an uncritical enthusiast for the transcendental Thomism of Bernard Lonergan. A welcome interruption to studies was the two years I spent teaching in my old school, Crescent College in Limerick, which was then beginning to go comprehensive. There I also did a HDip in UCC under the direction of Fr James Good.

In 1971 I was permitted to go to Toronto, Canada for theological studies. This was a great experience as the Canadians were at the time far more advanced than we in the study and practice of Jesuit spirituality and the Spiritual Exercises, in pastoral training (it was the age of the encoun ter group and of Rogerian counselling) and in ecumenism. The college was joined in a consortium of seminaries that included Anglicans (High and Low), United Church and Presbyterian as well as three Roman Catholic Institutions. Students were encouraged to take lectures in Colleges of the other denominations, although the main ex aminations and the syllabus remained that of one's own college. I was especially grateful to a Scotsman, Dr David Hay, for a lively introduction to Presbyterian theology. My ordination in Gonzaga Chapel in 1974 alongside David Murphy was a memorable ex perience. But it was followed, not by pastoral activities, but by three years of administrative work with the Jesuit Provincial. I was leader of a team of management consultants for the Irish Jesuits. (The experiment has since been dropped!) Thereafter I was still wondering what I would do when I grew up! In fact, I returned to Fr. O'Conor's vision of me and went to Germany for seven years, studying philosophy and theology in Tübingen and Munich under Prof. Walter Kasper. My Presbyterian training stood me in good stead and I returned with a thesis on the famous Swiss theologian Karl Barth, whose centenary occurs this May. I began teaching theology this year (1985-86) in Milltown Park (now a consortium of eleven religious orders) and am enjoying it thoroughly.

◆ The Gonzaga Record 1996

Obituary

John Macken SJ

by Peter Sexton SJ

John Macken SJ, president of the Milltown Institute of Theology and Philosophy in Dublin, died at the age of 53 on May 7th. The death of such a gifted man, apparently in the summer of his career, has left his many col leagues, students and friends deeply saddened. And yet, as Bernanos says, perhaps the only sadness is not to be a saint.

John (Don to his family) was the son of Eleanor and the late Matthew Macken, former Dublin city and county manager. He was born in Ballinasloe and educated first in Crescent College, Limerick, where his father was city man ager at the time, and later in Gonzaga College, Dublin.

He joined the Jesuits in 1962 and stud ied Eastern languages at UCD under Professor (later Archbishop) Dermot Ryan. He combined an MA at UCD with philosophical studies at Milltown. After two years on the staff of Cres cent College, he went to Regis College, Toronto for theology.

After ordination in 1974, John worked for a number of years on the Provincial's ad ministrative team, before taking up post-gradu ate studies in Tubingen under Walter Kaspar. His doctorate, for a dissertation on the concept of autonomy in Karl Barth's theology, was awarded in 1984. Soon afterwards, he began teaching at the Milltown Institute.

Throughout his life, he was a commit ted ecumenist and in those years he also taught in the Irish School of Ecumenics and the Church of Ireland theological College. In August 1995 he became president of the institute, but his term in office was cut tragically short by his premature death.

John Macken was a brilliant and cultured man, who excelled at every stage of his studies. He had remarkable powers of concentration, that capacity for "attention” which Simone Weil considers to be the heart of study. He was an ideal companion when travelling - anywhere in Ireland, in Paris, Tubingen, Rome – because of his easy, profound grasp of history. But he wore his broad learning lightly and unselfconsciously. "If he wasn't so nice and good", one of his rela tives remarked, “he would have been intoler able - he knew so much!”

He was a great friend to so many people, human, simple, gentle, non-judgemental, quali ties which made a deep impression on those he met. He had an unusual ability to be on equal terms with all sorts of people, including children.

News of his cancer came as a great shock to those who loved and admired him. But the dignity and unfussy realism with which he faced his illness gave courage and a certain peace to his family and friends, during the short weeks which remained to him in the gentle, compe tent care of St. Vincent's Private Hospital and Cherryfield Lodge.

Our deepest sympathy goes to his wonderful mother and family. A friend, speaking for all of us, wrote on hearing of his death:

Farewell, noble friend. God knew you under the fig tree,
God knows You now, gentle one The cup drained, pain spent, the
burden shouldered, No projects unfinished,
Consummatum.

MacMahon, Brian, 1907-1960, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/293
  • Person
  • 24 October 1907-15 August 1960

Born: 24 October 1907, Streatham, London, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1940, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 15 August 1960, Dublin

Part of St Ignatius community, Lusaka, Zambia at the time of his death.

by 1932 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1934 at Kaulbachstrasse, Munich, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1935 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
At an early stage in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of ‘Bishop MacMahon’, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of ‘The Bish’.

Fr Brian was born in London, England in 1907 and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his BSc and then his MSc at University College Dublin also obtaining a traveling scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!) where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-1943, minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944, prefect of studies at Clongowes 1944-1947. He became rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until 1950 when he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits. For several years he was rector and principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary of the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on 15 August 1960, at 53 years of age and 20 years a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr Dominic Nchete preached at the Mass for Brian at St Ignatius Church, saying, ‘Fr MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big, he spoke big, he acted big. Amid his many and varied occupations, he remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient; he was kind to all whether they were white or black’.

As a school boy, as novice and as a man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Mathematics and Political Economy (under Fr Tom Finlay S.J.) but obedience took him down a different path of studies.

“He was dominant in height”’ one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner. He could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk, but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good-humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news and his brother had sent him a subscription to the air edition of the Times which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, ‘The Bish's biography should be entitled “20 years behind the Times'”

Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was headmaster (then called principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem.

He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. Eventually, in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
For the next 30 years he served the young Church in Zambia selflessly and with unbounded generosity. In Chikuni he served as a kind of ‘minister of supplies’. Fr MacMahon would lean heavily on him but Sher had his little hideouts which constituted his survival kit!

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Brian MacMahon (1907-1960)

Fr. Brian MacMahon died in a Dublin Nursing Home on 14th August, 1960. He was born in London on 24th October, 1907, was educated at Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society at Tullabeg on 1st September, 1925. Having taken his Vows in 1927, he went to Rathfarnham Castle, where he studied for his M.Sc. degree at University College, Dublin. He was sent in 1931 to Valkenburg for Philosophy. He did special studies in Biology, for one year at Munich and two years at Louvain, where in 1936 he obtained his degree of Docteur en Sciences Naturelles at Louvain University. Having returned to Ireland, after one year's teaching at Clongowes, he went to Milltown Park for the study of Theology and was ordained in 1940. He did his Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle. He was Minister, Professor of Cosmology and Biology at Tullabeg 1942-43, Minister of Milltown Park 1943-44, and Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944-47. On 25th July, 1947, Fr. MacMahon was appointed Rector of Mungret College, Limerick, an office which he held until 1950, when he was sent among the first missionaries to the new Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia. For several years he was Rector and Prefect of Studies of St. P. Canisius College, Chikuni. In July 1959, he became Catholic Education Secretary for the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia and also Superior of St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka.
On 14th April, owing to serious illness, he returned to Ireland and after four months of suffering he went to his eternal reward.
Fr. MacMahon's death was not sudden, for he had been in hospitals in Rhodesia and in Ireland for several months. Yet it was surprising that it came so soon; it seemed to cut him off while he was still in full vigour and on active service. “A short life in the saddle, Lord, and not a long life by the fireside” is a prayer that might come to mind when meditating on the possibility of an inordinate affection for length of days. Fr, MacMahon's twenty years from the time of his ordination was a short life of priestly activity. He did not easily resign himself to its close. His habit of hard work and constant devotion to duty made him eager to recover from the blood-poisoning and cancerous growth which proved fatal in the end. Those who visited him in hospital did not have to cheer him up; he remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And then in simple faith and acceptance he answered the call to eternity.
Many will remember Br. MacMahon as a novice, who was primus inter pares, in stature head and shoulders above the rest of us, an out standing Br. Porter, the very symbol of stability and regularity. He enjoyed looking up old Porters' Journals in order to find precedents for “Coffees” - indeed he claimed a record in this respect for his term of office. He enjoyed recreation and he liked to see others enjoy it. But, as schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was of steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He was an excellent example both as novice and schol astic, who was not exaggerated in any way, neither excessively recollected nor excessively austere, always a man of duty of the “no nonsense” variety. He was kind and helpful to the weak; he helped them to help themselves. He was both good humoured and strict in a remarkably well blended way.
Brian MacMahon had been a talented student in Clongowes, his strongest subject being mathematics. But his course of studies in the Society was not in accordance with his tastes, though well within his ability. He would have liked to include Political Economy - then taught by Fr. Tom Finlay, S.J.- among the subjects for his Arts degree; if that were not allowed, then mathematics would have been the obvious choice. But he was transferred to the Science faculty and the B.Sc. course in Biology. Holy obedience, sheer plod, mental acumen and a good memory brought him through triumphantly to the B.Sc., the M.Sc. and a Travelling Studentship. Two years of relentless application to Philosophy followed at Valkenburg, Holland, the North German Province's Collegium Maximum. Then three further years of Biology, one at Munich, till Professor Wettstein died, and two at Louvain under the direction of Professor Gregoire. This enforced move from one University to another meant for Brian a new start. He had to commence a line of research approved by his new Professor-an investigation into the chromosomal peculiarities found at meiosis of the pollen mother-cells of Listera ovata. It meant also a change of vernacular from German to French-no small cross for one who had very little gift for acquiring languages. Yet there may have been compensations; he may have found the circumstances and companionship at Louvain more congenial. He obtained the Doctorate in Science in the form of “Aggregé”, which is equivalent to First Class Honours or summa cum laude. He had done what he was told to do, had done it with éclat.
People looked up to him, and he spoke down to them. Everyone accepted the fact that it simply had to be so. Dominant in height, but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had. In the College of Science Mr. MacMahon was long remembered with respect and affection. He had been a very popular Auditor of the Natural History Club. He would have been welcomed as a Lecturer in the Botany Department. Officials and former fellow students took a friendly interest in his later career,
Among his contemporaries in the Society, Brian also won a considerable degree of respect and affection. He was respected as a model religious, conscientious, exact, living up to the greater and lesser obligations of his vocation. He was an example: what standards he maintained one felt one ought to aim at; what little liberties he allowed himself, one knew one could take with impunity. As regards affection, one might search for another way of expressing it: he was well liked, he was popular, for all his dignity he was a thoroughly decent fellow. He was a good community man; he fitted easily into any community and became one of its better ingredients. At an early stage in the Society someone had the courage to tell him that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop MacMahon”. But lest perhaps this might seem to declare him more pontifical than he really was, it was almost immediately reduced to its homely form “The Bish”. Those who knew him well will find far more meaning and pleasant memories in the mention of his nickname than in the bald statement that he was popular.
During the 1940's Fr. MacMahon experienced several changes of status: the fourth year at Milltown, Tertianship at Rathfarnham, Minister and Professor of Biology in Tullabeg, Minister in Milltown, Prefect of Studies in Clongowes, Rector of Mungret. His general capability made him an obvious choice for so many various appointments. As soon as he could be spared in one place he was sent to fill a need in another, especially a need for organisation and administration. He was eminently reliable; he could grasp and control a new situation at short notice. No doubt there are records of his successes at Clongowes and Mungret, for he was chosen to guide the educational policy of our Mission in Northern Rhodesia, a very important task to which as a matter of fact he devoted the remaining decade of his life. Round about 1930 he would have been glad to be chosen for the Hong Kong Mission, but his Travelling Studentship intervened; twenty years later he was suddenly asked to go to Rhodesia. As always he responded immediately to the wishes of superiors, to the will of God: “Here I am, Lord, send me”.
As Rector of the community at Chikuni, Fr. MacMahon was head master and Prefect of Studies of St. Canisius College, the secondary school for boys.
On completing his term as Rector he remained on as Principal. It was in this capacity that he is best remembered by students and staff. Under his direction the school was improved and enlarged and Senior Secondary Courses introduced. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice. To his fellow-missionaries devotion to his work and to the interests of the school was well known. And the government officials with whom he collaborated held him in the highest regard.
In 1959 Fr. MacMahon was appointed Education Secretary-General to the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia and Superior of St. Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, where he lived for six months before illness forced him to return to Ireland, The last months he spent in hospital, suffering a good deal, until death, for which he was well prepared, came to release him. His loss is very deeply regretted by his colleagues on the mission and by all those who benefited by contact with him" (Extract from Your St. Ignatius Newsletter, Lusaka, 21st August, 1960).
Under News from the Missions, Northern Rhodesia, in this issue will be found the panegyric preached by Fr. Dominic at the outdoor Requiem Mass at Chikuni on 19th August.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 124 : Summer 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA

Brian MacMahon

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi. Brian MacMahon was one of the first group assigned to Zambia in 1950. He died in 1960, the first Irish Jesuit in Zambia to die.

At an early stage of his life in the Society, someone had the courage to tell Brian that he was speaking and acting like a bishop. General agreement consecrated him with the nickname of “Bishop Mac Mahon”, almost immediately reduced to its homely form of "The Bish". Brian was born in London, England, in 1907, and educated at Clongowes Wood College. After vows, he studied for his B.Sc. and then his M.Sc, at UCD, also obtaining a Travelling Scholarship. He went to Valkenburg, Holland, for philosophy. This was followed by a further three years of Biology, one of them at Munich, Germany, and the other two at Louvain (changing from German to French!), where he obtained a Doctorate in Science with First Class Honours, or summa cum laude. He taught for a year at his Alma Mater and then went to Milltown Park for theology and ordination to the priesthood in 1940.

He was Minister at Tullabeg and Professor of Cosmology and Biology 1942-1943; Minister at Milltown Park 1943-1944; Prefect of Studies at Clongowes 1944 -1947. He became Rector at Mungret College, Limerick, in 1947 until he departed for Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) with the first batch of Irish Jesuits that were assigned there in 1950. For several years he was Rector and Principal of Canisius Secondary School. In 1959, he moved to Lusaka as Education Secretary to the Bishops' Conference. Serious illness brought him back to Ireland where he died of cancer on August 15, 1960, at 53 years of age, and 20 years as a priest.

What of the man himself? He was a big man. Fr. Dominic Nchete preached at the Funeral Mass for Brian at St. Ignatius Church, saying, “Fr. MacMahon was a big man. He had a big body, a big heart, big brains. He thought big. He spoke big. He acted big amid his many and varied occupations. He remained calm, kind, charitable, considerate and, above all, extremely patient. He was kind to all whether they were white or black”. “Dominant in height”, one wrote about him, “but not domineering in manner, he could achieve a certain loftiness of style that well matched his bulk; but his dignity had a fatherly flavour about it; his natural superiority was almost lost in that kindly, friendly, good humoured way he had”. He loved to keep up with world news, and his brother had sent him a subscription to the airmail edition of the Times, which Brian loved to read, sitting in his office. As one scholastic once remarked, “The Bish's biography should be entitled 20 years behind the Times!”

As schoolboy, as novice and as man, he was always ready to put work before play. His normal life was a steady application to duty, whether it appealed to his taste or not. He would like to have studied Maths and Political Economy (under Fr. Tom Finlay) but obedience took him down a different path of studies. Under his direction, Canisius Secondary School was improved and enlarged. He was Headmaster (then called Principal) from 1951 to 1959. Senior courses leading up to the School Certificate were introduced by him. Among the large number of African schoolboys who passed through his hands, he enjoyed a unanimous reputation for patience and kindness combined with an unwavering sense of justice To his fellow Jesuits, devotion to his work and to the interest of the school was well known. Government officials whom he dealt with held him in the highest esteem. He did not easily resign himself to the close of his life. He fought the blood poisoning and cancerous growth to the end. He remained buoyant and optimistic as long as there was any shred of hope of recovery. And in simple faith and acceptance, he answered the call to eternity.

◆ The Clongownian, 1961

Obituary

Father Brian MacMahon SJ

One remembers Brian MacMahon as a boy who was tall, intellectually gifted, well behaved, friendly, and keenly interested in all sides of life: in short a promising boy, wherever his future might lie. He was from London; but he would not have himself regarded as anything but thoroughly Irish. His accent was not noticeably English, except for one small feature characteristic of southern England which he always preserved: his “what ... why ... when ... etc.” sounded like “wot... wy ... wen ...” to the Irish ear - but then our usual style of speech sounds like “hwat ... hwy ... etc.” to the English ear; so perhaps Brian was simply correct after all.

He was tall, sometimes sombre-looking, but never really forbidding. Of course those who were smaller and younger could be momentarily cowed by his presence. But he lacked the ability to domineer. In other words, he possessed a very endearing quality, a willingness to be joked at and teased by those who with discernment and good humour could take him down a peg or two, for he liked to relax in a spirit of camaraderie. Surely all his friends still remember him in this way. He made loyal friends, who were deeply grieved by his comparatively early death.

He never took it easy just because he had plenty of brains. He worked hard in the study-hall and in class. In fact he applied himself with interest and attention to what ever he had to do. He was always in the honours classes, and regularly got cards for places in the weekly exams. Mathematics was his best subject. It so happened that during his final years in Clongowes the mathematics course underwent certain experimental innovations: some live-wire in the Department of Education managed to raise the standard of requirements while at the same time afflicting both teachers and boys with the awful nuisance of Long Tots. Brian was well able for it. Extra hard work enabled him to cover the enlarged course, and he could boast in his good-humoured way that he was willing to challenge all comers in a contest for speed and accuracy at the Long Tots.

Cricket was the game he preferred. All the summer term he enjoyed being on the cricket-pitch - though he could also make a sacrifice and get in a fair share of voluntary study as the exams approached. He was a good fast bowler; to very small boys he might have seemed a demon. Many a timid batsman quailed as he stood facing Brian's attack, as he saw the lofty figure, dark and perspiring and intent, running up to the wicket and swinging a long arm to deliver a flying ball, like some mighty Zulu warrior hurling an assagai with full force and determination.

Let it not be said that he was a “dab” at everything. As a debater he could not compare with his best friend, Ned Tracey; yet he was interested in the debates and duly did his bit. As an actor he would never be given a leading role; but in “The Private Secretary” he played his part well: a peppery old colonel retired from the Indian Army. He was always interested in what others could do better than himself, and only too willing to proclaim his own limitations. To the end of his life he was catholic in his curiosity, a great absorber of informative newspapers and journals, a storehouse of factual information on all kinds of topics, events and personalities at home and abroad. Not high-falutin', but sensible, matter-of-fact, down-to-earth, no nonsense.

Brian MacMahon was always a good boy, the sort of good boy that really makes a good man. He was serious about his religious life; he made a good job of his prayers and religious duties; but he gave no sign of adding trimmings to the solid essentials. He was just thoroughly reliable and faithful in this as in everything else. God gave him a vocation to the priesthood, and he simply responded. There was nothing surprising about that: it fitted in perfectly with people's proper appreciation of what a vocation is.

To anyone who asks about Brian's later career as a Jesuit the answer has to be that he had two careers, both of them extremely successful. His academic studies at UCD and at the Universities of Munich and Louvain, culminated in his winning a Doctorate in Science with the highest possible distinction and acclamation. Later, after his ordination to the priesthood, he was entrusted with administrative posts: Prefect of Studies in Clongowes and Rector of Mungret College during the 1940s; then Rector and Prefect of Studies at Chikuni, Superior at Lusaka and Education Secretary-General for the Catholic Schools of Northern Rhodesia during the 1950s. To his religious superiors he presented a sort of insoluble problem. They would have liked to multiply him by two, or rather to divide him into two persons: one with his academic ability, the other with his powers of organisation and administration. When ever his fellow-Jesuits heard how Mr MacMahon and then Father MacMahon had succeeded in this way or that they would say in a tone of friendly appreciation “Good old Brian” and “we all knew he could do it”.

Mr MacMahon taught in Clongowes for one year, 1936-37, before going on to theology at Milltown Park. At that time he was a somewhat eminent and senior scholastic. The Prefect of Studies valued him as a most reliable teacher and an excellent judge of a boy's ability. His pupils must have found that he was also a great '”spotter” of questions likely to appear on the exam papers. Father MacMahon was himself Prefect of Studies in Clongowes for three years, 1944-47, before he received his appointment as Rector of Mungret. A few years later he was chosen for the Irish Jesuit Mission in Northern Rhodesia to help in guiding the educational policy there a very important task to which he devoted the remaining ten years of his life. His final appointment made him the representative of the Catholic bishops in Northern Rhodesia; his duty it was to collaborate with the Government officials in all educational matters that concerned the Church as well as the State, Nowadays everyone knows that educational facilities are of vital importance in all foreign missions.

Respected and liked: these are the words that people use in recalling Father MacMahon. He was indeed highly respected and well liked everywhere he lived and worked, from the Biology Department in the College of Science to the Educational Department at Lusaka. The Africans who had known him at St Peter Canisius College, Chikuni, said the same in their own way. They said “he was a big man”, not because of his great stature but because they had immense respect for him; they said “he was a big man in every way” because they liked him, because he was so extremely fair to them and so concerned for them in every way; they said “he is a big loss”.

The ways of Divine Providence are inscrutable to men. Human wisdom would have kept Father Brian MacMahon another ten years in Lusaka in that special post that he was so qualified to fill in this critical period of African unrest. But God decided otherwise; that he should endure some months of puzzling lingering, wasting sickness and so move on to his final reward on 14th August, 1960. God decided that he may now rest in peace.

B L

Masterson, John, d 1731, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2342
  • Person
  • d 28 February 1731

Died: 28 February 1731, Hirschberghe (Hirschbergheim), Germany - Bohemiae Province (BOH)

Old/17 has “Masterson” RIP 28 February 1731 Hirschberghe (BOH)

Ó Cathain, Seán, 1905-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/317
  • Person
  • 27 May 1905-26 December 1989

Born: 27 May 1905, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1941, St Ignatius, Leeson Street, Dublin
Died: 26 December 1989, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

Had studied Medicine for one year before entry

by 1930 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Seán Ó Catháin (1905-1989)

27th May 1905: Born in Belfast
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society of Jesus
1923 - 1925: Tullabeg, novitiate
1925 - 1929: Rathfarnham, juniorate: MA (UCD) in Celtic studies
1929 - 1931; Pullach bei München, Germany: philosophy
1931 - 1934: Galway, regency
1934 - 1939 Milltown Park
1934 - 1935: private study,
1935 - 1939 theology
1938: Ordained a priest
1939 - 1940: Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1940 - 1946: Leeson Street:
1940 - 1941 private study,
1941 - 1946 University Hall, vice principal, private study culminating in a PhD.
1946 - 1948: Clongowes, teaching
1948 - 1978; Leeson Street:
1949 - 1966 Lecturer at UCD's department of Education;
1966-1973 Professor of Education;
1950 - 1959 Inspector of studies in colleges of the Province.
1973 - 1978 writing.
1967 - 1973: Superior.
1978 - 1989: Limerick (Sacred Heart Residence): church work, librarian. In 1982 (also in October 1989) he suffered a stroke which impaired the memory function of his brain. After spending some time in St. John's Hospital, Limerick, he was removed to Our Lady's hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin
26th Dec. 1989: Died

The following additional details concerning Seán's academic career have been gleaned from the Report of the President, UCD, 1972-3 (section on retirements) and 1989-'90 (obituary section). Seán gained four diplomas, all with first-class honours (the middle two in Irish), from one or other of three Irish university colleges: pre-medical (UCC, 1923), BA (UCD, 1928), MA (UCD, 1929), HDip in Ed (UCG, 1932). For his PhD in Ed (UCD, 1941) his thesis was on 'The diffusion of Renaissance ideals of education in the schools of the Jesuit Order'. 'During these years (seemingly 1932-48) he acted as an Assistant Extern Examiner (through Irish) in Education for the National University of Ireland.

Seán Ó Catháin was the second son of Seán and Kathleen nee Dinneen. Seán senior was a native of Kilbeheny, near Mitchelstown, while Kathleen from Rathmore, Co. Kerry. It was in London at the turn of the century that Seán, who had succeeded in the examinations for the civil service, found himself posted for work at the department of customs and excise. Kathleen Dinneen had qualified as a primary teacher and found employment also in London. They were both the children of Irish speaking parents.

Sometime about 1904 Seán Ó Catháin was transferred to Belfast. Some day a curious enquirer may discover whether his transfer was by way of promotion or downright exile to dour Belfast, where there were fewer Gaelic Leaguers!

Here our own Seán was born, and baptised at the parish church of the Sacred Heart, Oldpark Road. In due course he was confirmed at St. Patrick's parish church, Donegall Street. After primary school he was sent to St. Malachy's college and had all but completed his secondary schooling when his father was once more transferred to a very different location of the customs and excise. This time it was to Cork, not far from his native place. It is almost certain that the transfer was scheduled for the late spring of 1921 - a very significant date. Britain was busily partitioning Ireland in the administrative sector in preparation for political partition and the opening of a new Six-county parliament on 22nd June 1921. In fact, the separation of the administrative files of government had been going quietly on even before the general election and victory of Sinn Féin in December 1918! All this underhand work was unknown or unsuspected, apparently, by the young republican politicians, the heirs of 1916!

Seán junior resumed his secondary schooling at the North Monastery CBS in June 1922. He entered the medical school at UCC, but in the event he was not destined to become a medical doctor.

In 1923 Seán senior was transferred to Dublin, In August Seán junior entered the novitiate at Tullabeg, and in due course made his first religious profession. In after years he often spoke of his privilege to have spent his first year as a novice under the direction of the saintly Fr. Michael Browne. He went to Rathfarnham Castle where he was to spend four years. At UCD he won scholarships; at home he was a live-wire in the Irish Society, and every Christmas distinguished himself as an actor in the Irish plays. He crowned his career at Rathfarnham with a first-class-honours MS in Celtic studies.

He was next appointed to the philosophate at Pullach, where he graduated DPh of the Gregorian university. Bilingual from infancy, it is not to be wondered at that he acquired an enviable mastery of the German language. Later he added Italian and French to his linguistic accomplishments.

Back in Ireland he was appointed to Galway for his regency, and it was during this period that Fr. Timothy Corcoran, professor of education at UCD, began to take an interest in Seán as a future successor in his own chair at Earlsfort terrace. These were happy years in a youthful, full and flourishing province, with only an occasional rumour of trouble trickling into Ireland from Hitler's Germany. But peace in Europe was already openly threatened when Seán was ordained priest in 1938. By the summer of 1940 he had completed his fourth year of theology and made his tertianship.

He was now appointed to Leeson Street for private study. Here under the watchful eye of Fr. Corcoran he began his studies in education that would lead to another doctorate. By an odd turn of events his prospects of eventually succeeding to the Chair of Education diminished considerably before the year was over. Fr. Corcoran's health had not been robust of late but he battled on - not only conducting his own lectures but also supplying for his assistant, Mr. W J Williams, who had recently suffered a stroke. It was anticipated that Williams, who was within a very few years of retirement, would resign, but when Fr. Corcoran himself was obliged on medical grounds to resign in September 1942, Williams declared he was going forward for Fr. Corcoran's chair. Meantime the Provincial and consultors (at the urging of members of the Hierarchy) put forward the name of Fr. Fergal McGrath as candidate. (No complaint was ever heard from Fr. Seán.) However, as soon as Fr. McGrath learned of Williams' intention, he immediately withdrew his name - and Williams secured the professorship. He had to retire in 1948. Since 1942 Fr. Seán was stationed as vice-warden at Hatch Street, where he continued work on his doctoral thesis. At the end of this study he spent the years 1946-48 as a master at Clongowes, and 1950-59 - with his characteristic thoroughness - Seán carried out the duties of inspector of our province's schools.

In 1948, when the chair of education was once more vacant, Fr. Seán allowed his name to go forward, and found overwhelming support in the electoral body. However, for the next eighteen years he enjoyed the title (and salary) of lecturer only and not professor. It was an open secret that the late Professor Michael Tierney had used all his considerable influence to downgrade the chair of education. Tierney's hostility dated from the time (1920's and 1930's) when his political views attracted strong opposition in The Catholic Bulletin, on the editorial board of which Fr. Timothy Corcoran's word was law.

In 1966 came belated acknowledgement of Fr. Seán's ability and worth when he was accorded the rank of professor. However, I always felt that the seven years during which he held the professorship were wearying if not even distasteful to a man of his sensitivity. It is enough to recall here that in 1968 student unrest in France spilled out all over Europe and across the Atlantic, and in the universities civilised behaviour, good manners and respect for any authority were the first casualties.

During his later years as professor, when he was also superior at Leeson Street, Seán's health was not robust. He suffered much from sleeplessness, yet during the thirteen years I lived with him he never missed an appointment and was exemplary for punctuality. A product of the old school, that is, brought up in the province to value the necessity of co-operation whether in teaching, church work, parochial missions etc, he lived in no ivory tower of academia. He was interested in everybody and everything connected with the Irish province, and that meant all our fathers, scholastics and brothers, and the works they were engaged in. He had an authentic apostolic bent, as could be deduced from his active interest in the work of two societies, one named after St. Vincent de Paul and the other called St. Joseph's Young Priests. He was an excellent community man, incapable of pulling a long face at table or recreation: he simply radiated a sense of fun. It was a delight to hear him enter the lists with Fr. Frank Shaw, My own impression was that if they had chosen the law for their profession, both would have gained celebrity as advocates.

As superior, Seán tended to be over-scrupulous, but against this he was particularly caring for the sick and generously sympathetic in times of bereavement. Like Fr's Fergal McGrath († 1988) and Redmond Roche († 1983) he acquired an almost legendary reputation for attendance at funerals. 1973 seemed to be the end of his active life; early that autumn he resigned from the chair of education and two months earlier had been replaced as superior of Leeson Street. The next five years he spent in quiet study and in a ministry within his capacity.

An unexpected challenge awaited him in 1978. The Provincial was faced with diminishing manpower, and one of our churches, the Crescent, rather urgently needed an operarius. The difficult proposal was made to Seán, a Dubliner of long standing, and now in his seventies. Generously, as was the custom of this province, he answered the call of duty and courageously entered on a new and unaccustomed way of life. In Limerick, while his fragile health remained, he gave of his best; but the last years must have been frustrating for a man of his once boundless nervous energy. In 1989 he seemed to rally somewhat, and twice at least attended funerals in Gardiner Street, but his years were telling against him. At length he had to go into St. John's hospital, Limerick, whence he was taken back to Dublin to spend the short time that remained to him at Our Lady's hospice, Harold's Cross. There, on St. Stephen's Day, God called him home.

Tá an tAthair Seán imithe uainn ar shlí na firinne, agus tá uaigneas orainn dá dheasca sin go bhfeicimid arís sna Flaithis é; ach idir an dá linn guímis go bhfaigh a anam dilis suaimhneas síoraí, go raibh sé faoi bhrat Mhuire i radharc na Trionóide.

Proinsias Ó Fionnagáin

O'Brien, Bernard, 1907-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1849
  • Person
  • 09 December 1907-03 January 1982

Born: 09 December 1907, Christchurch, New Zealand
Entered: 04 February 1924, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained 24 August 1938, Leuven, Belgium
Final vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 03 January 1982, St John of God Hospital, Richmond, NSW - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death
Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931
by 1930 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Bernard O'Brien's father was a prominent Catholic in Christchurch, New Zealand, and an eminent surgeon. O'Brien went to Christ's College. The bishop excommunicated Bernard's father, but the two were later reconciled. Two sons entered the Jesuit noviciate; the younger only lasted a short time being declared “singulariter inaptus ad omnia”.
Bernard O'Brien entered the noviciate at Greenwich, Sydney, 4 February 1924, and went to Ireland for his juniorate, at Rathfarnam Castle, graduating from the National University with first class honours in the classics. He also graduated from Trinity College in London as a teacher of music. His philosophy studies were made at Pullach in Germany, and in Louvain, Belgium, 1929-31.
He came back to Australia for his regency in the province houses of studies, and then returned to Louvain for theology, 1935-39. Tertianship followed at Rathfarnham. After returning to Australia he taught at St Patrick's College for a while and from then on he spent his life in the Jesuit houses of studies or the seminaries conducted by the Society in Werribee and Christchurch, New Zealand, lecturing in philosophy, Theology, English and Greek. He spent 30 years in the seminary in his native city Christchurch, and was prefect of studies for seventeen years. He died at the St John of God Hospital, Richmond, NSW.
When he was appointed minister of juniors at Loyola College, Watsonia, he immediately discontinued the practice, customary in the Society, of having a “vis med and exam”. O'Brien thought it ungentlemanly The results were not altogether happy. He also assembled the scholastics into a production of “The Yeoman of the Guard” that he directed and for which he played the piano, As a master at St Patrick's College he produced a pantomime, a version of “Beauty and the Beast”. He also wrote an autobiography in 1970, “A New Zealand Jesuit”.
He was trained according to the code of gentlemanliness, honoor and decency He seemed to lack any meanness, dishonesty or coarseness. He was a gentleman to his fingertips. He even had an aristocratic bearing, a noble intellectual brow, a fine nose, and slightly protruding upper teeth. There was a dove-like simplicity about him, and he had a sense of enjoyment of pleasantries rather than of humour.
The word 'delicacy' fits well around everything in O'Brien's life. It was a word frequently on his lips. Delicacy was in his piano playing, his writing, his behaviour and his thoughts. There was a delicacy in his mind and even in the balance of his mind. Yet, despite this, when someone was in trouble, as happened to two people in heavy seas at Avoca, he and two other Jesuits attempted to save them. For his efforts he was awarded the Meritorious Award in Silver from The Surf Life Saving Association of Australia.

Prokoph, Maximilian A, 1910-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2350
  • Person
  • 28 March 1910-28 May 1990

Born: 28 March 1910, Dobřenice, Czechoslovakia
Entered: 07 September 1928, Mittelsteine, Grafschaft, Germany now, Ścinawka Średnia, Poland (GER I for Čechoslovacae Province - CESC)
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Munich, Germany
Final vows: 02 February 1948
Died: 28 May 1990, Nazareth House, Johannesburg, South Africa - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed BOH (Lusaka) to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1947 came to Rathfarnham (HIB) making Tertianship
by 1967 came to St Ignatius Lusaka (HIB) working 1966-1970

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Max was born in Hanersdorf in Bohemia on 28 March 1910. He entered the Jesuits in 1928. After philosophy and a two year stint as a teacher and prefect of discipline in the Jesuit College at Duppau, he went to England, to Heythrop College for theology but returned to Germany for ordination as a priest in Munich in 1937. He returned to England to do a post-graduate certificate in education at London University.

He came to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia) in 1940 and spent ten years in pastoral work as well as being in charge of teacher training at Chikuni from 1940 to 1950. During this time he fought for the establishment of Canisius Secondary School and eventually opened it in 1949.

He then moved north to Broken Hill (Kabwe) to the Sacred Heart Church where he worked for 15 years (1950 to 1965) as manager of schools, education secretary and parish priest. For his work he was awarded an M.B.E. from Governor Hone in 1964.

In 1966 he came to Lusaka to St Ignatius Church and was the first chaplain at the newly opened university (UNZA) from 1966 to 1979. During these thirteen years, he was pastorally active in preaching, giving marriage preparatory sessions and counseling. He also found time to visit, help and encourage detainees and prisoners. Then there were his radio programs. Through "Thought for the Day" and other programs, he reached an ever wider public, presenting clear, well-thought-out views on current questions and life in general.
On 24 October 1985, he received the Order of Distinguished Service (1st Division), from President Kaunda for tirelessly 'working for the development of this country for the past 40 years’.

Fr Max was devoted to serving others. School boys, school girls, teachers and managers of schools – all were helped in one way or another. He even organised a bursary fund for students who needed help.

He had the vision forty years ago to see the potential for development and education among the women of the country. Quite early on, he persuaded a group of girls, with permission from their parents, to enrol for teacher training. He transported them from Chikuni to Chilubula Training College. They changed their minds when they got there and wanted to return. But their tears were to no avail. Later, of course, they thanked Fr Max for launching them on a worthwhile career which gave an example to the many young women who followed them.

He did much to encourage, support and motivate the first Zambian priests, men like the late Elias Mutale, the late Dominic Nchete (the first Tonga priest) and Archbishop Adrian Mungandu who acknowledged his influence on them. He also introduced the Handmaid Sisters of the BVM into Zambia. Married couples, both before and after marriage, were a concern of his; he always encouraged and supported them.

Did he consider his life and work worthwhile? His answer was, ‘What could be more worthwhile than working for Christ. If it was given to me to choose again where to live and work for these 50 years, I would choose no other country, no other people’.

He was 'a man for others', driven by the love of Christ. At times he may have been impatient and he could say the most devastating things, but the people forgave him because they knew his heart was in the right place.

In the last few years, his health began to fail. The Nazareth Sisters accepted him in their hospital in Johannesburg where he died on 28 May 1990, aged over 80, fifty of those years were lived in Africa.

Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him.

Note from John Coyne Entry
Of Fr Coyne’s time in Zambia, Fr Max Prokoph writes:
‘In spite of his age, he tried to make himself useful in every way possible. For a man who had a finger in every pie in his home province for so many years, it was quite remarkable that he never tried to interfere in the province of his adoption, but spent his time in all sorts of projects for which a younger person would neither have the time nor the inclination. Having put the archives of the Lusaka Archdiocese in order and separated what belonged to the newly erected diocese of Monze (1962). He got down to gathering material for a history of the mission in the days of the Zambesi Mission. Since there was only one full-time priest available for the parish of St Ignatius (Fr Des O’Loghlen) he gave a hand wherever he could, in the confessional, extra Masses, keeping the parish registers and not least by regular systematic parish visiting, house by house, as far as he could get on foot, perhaps the most systematic visiting the neighbourhood ever had. Quite a few were brought back to the church’.

Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He also worked with Fr Prokoph on the Luwisha House project and when he returned back to Belgium in 1972, at 67 years of age, he sourced substantial funds to cover the cost of its chapel.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
Fr Fred was a radio program coordinator. He recorded many programs in ciTonga and English for ZNBC. He coordinated with Fr Bill Lane and Fr Max Prokoph in this area.

Quigley, Hugo, 1903-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2017
  • Person
  • 23 April 1903-22 August 1982

Born: 23 April 1903, Edinburgh, Midlothian, Scotland
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1939
Died: 22 August 1982, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1927 at Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1929 in Australia for Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Hugo Quigley, affectionately known as 'Quig', might be described as an anecdotal man. He went to school at Holy Cross Academy in Leith. Some time after leaving school he was enrolled at Osterly, the house for “late vocations” conducted by the English Jesuits to prepare students for entry into various seminaries. There, with John Carpenter and Laurence Hession, he answered the appeal of the then superior of the Australian Mission, William Lockington, for men willing to volunteer for the Society in Australia.
All his studies in the Society were made in Ireland, interrupted by a four year teaching regency at Xavier College, Kew. He returned in 1938 to St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, where he spent a term. But so impressed was the very exacting rector of the place, that he included Quig in his team to follow up the founding community of the new school, St Louis, Perth. There he remained for three years. Then followed 25 years at St Patrick's College, East Melbourne, teaching history and editing the college magazine “The Patrician” for some years. His latter years were spent at Toowong parish, Campion College, Hawthorn parish and eight years at the Jesuit Theological College.
Stories of his gift for a certain hyperbole are legion. Most famous, perhaps, was his boast at Milltown Park as to the number of buses in Edinburgh. Even when confronted with indisputable statistics that it equalled three buses per head of the population he held doggedly to his claim. He always did. To this he added that his grandfather lived to 112 and that the watch that he bequeathed to Quig, and which remained his faithful timepiece until his death, dated from 1742.
Quig preached a very good retreat. His sharp and distinctly Scottish accented voice would carry through the largest chapel. His illustrating stories were always memorable, but when he dealt wider infinite things one could note a certain disappointment that hyperbole was already outreached.
In community especially in his younger years, he was a bright and cheerful companion but on occasions he was morosely silent. In later years these gloomier periods became more frequent as he was separated from daily contact with his students and friends.
He was a solitary man. He claimed that he was always a “loner” and this was true. He liked solitary travel on a bicycle or a motorbike and on these he covered many miles as he filled up his vacations with giving retreats.
One of his many idiosyncrasies was a firm conviction that he should never have a midday dinner. When this was the hour of the principal meal on Saturdays, he left the house early in the football season for whatever ground North Melbourne were to play on. He always carried a small leather case, not unlike a child's school lunch case. It was presumed to contain a sandwich lunch.
Quig's allergy towards cold was notable, if quaint. If the weather were at all cold he wore four shirts and two pairs of trousers. He was also allergic to wool, but often on the coldest days and dressed like this he would go to the Middle Park swimming baths-one of the several semi-enclosed baths around the Port Melbourne bay There, divested, he would stand au nature for as long as an hour looking into space over the water, while characteristically rotating his hand over his very bald pate.
As the years progressed his peculiarities did not grow fewer. From time to time his voice would fail. When he arrived at the Jesuit Theological College, it was with an old-fashioned school slate on which, Zachary like, he wrote what he wanted to say As with many of his recurrent disabilities, no one ever felt quite certain as to its genuineness.
Perhaps he was not alone in not accepting the changes made by the post-conciliar congregations. His response to them was summed up in his excusing remark: “I have not left the Society. It has left me”. At concelebrations he always used his own chalice, a tiny thing like a bantam's egg-cup. Aware that when celebrating alone there was no point in facing the congregation, he faced the tabernacle. He used always an old set of vestments rescued from a wartime chaplain's kit, black on one side and gold on the other. He carried these with him wherever he went and even when he made a trip to his homeland these went with him. They went with him to the grave.
After the closure of St Patrick's College, he continued to act as chaplain to its Old Boys Union, and in that capacity he was most faithful. During those sixteen years he celebrated their marriages, baptised their children and buried not a few. He was present wherever they were gathered and they would be wherever he went. He became almost a mascot. They laughed at his idiosyncrasies but gathered warmth from his friendship.
After his requiem, Old Patricians told many stories about Quig, not the least how for a whole year he taught his own Scottish form of British history, following the wrong syllabus. The class made no attempt to report the matter, but all did their history by correspondence. On another occasion, the prefect of studies discovered a similar error, and remedied it through another teacher.
Perhaps Quig was a “loner”, and even a lonely man. But during his ministry, many boys and families surrounded him, giving him the treasure of their love and respect.

Note from John Carpenter Entry
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Australian Province.

Rochfort, Robert, 1530-1588, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2064
  • Person
  • 1530-19 June 1588

Born: 1530, County Wexford
Entered: the Society 05 December 1564, Professed House, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Final Vows: 1575
Died: 19 June 1588, at Sea in The Armada - “in classe quel ibat in Angliam” - Lusitaniae Province (LUS)

1567: He is being sent by Fr Borgia to Canisius “as he is one of the most talented of the pupils of Fr Pereira, Prof Philosophy at the Roman College, and advanced in virtue” (Letters of Borgia Vol III p510).
1567: “Robertus or Rochford Hibernus” at Dillingen in November (Richard Fleming there at the same time) - his talent at Rome having been noteworthy
1576: At Paris College Age 30.
1587: At St Anthony’s College Lisbon, Age 44, Soc 22, teaching Latin and Catechism. Said to be teaching Ireland under the Bishop of Cork -Tanner, an ex Jesuit) VAT Arch Inghilterra 1.308)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica”
Probably a brother of Charles - who only gets mentioned as being in Youghal 1588.
He was a great linguist; Prisoner; Missioner.
His name often appears in the Anglo-Irish State Papers.
He died on board a Spanish man-of-war; “a Martyr of Charity”; Had taught school in Youghal in 1575.
It is probably he of whom Stanihurst describes “born in the county of Wexford, is a proper divine, an exact philosopher and very good antiquary”.
In 1581 Matthew Lamport of Waterford and Matthias Lamport a Dublin PP were hanged for harbouring Fr Rochford; Robert Meiler, Edeard Cheevers, John O’Lahy and two sailors were hanged, drawn and quartered for bringing him from Belgium to Ireland; Richard French, A Wexford Priest, for harbouring him, was imprisoned in Dublin and died of misery in prison (IbIg).
Mentioned in a letter of Edmund Tanner, Cork 11 October 1577, as keeping a school at Youghall with Charles, spreading on every side the good odour of the Society of Jesus (Oliver, Stonyhurst MSS).
Highly spoken of in a letter from Henry Fitzsimon in a letter in Irish Ecclesiastical Record, March 1873 p 262, and is frequently mentioned in "Hibernia Ignatiana".
We know of his death 19 June 1588 from an entry in “Bibl. de Bourg. MS n 6397, liber primus defunctorum SJ in variis provinciis, Brussels” : “Balthazar de Almeida (died) in a ship which was proceeding to England, 17 June 1588. P Robertus Rocheford (died) on the same ship, 19/06/1588”. They were probably Chaplains in the Spanish Armada.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Robert Rochfort 1530-1588
After the departure of Fr David Wolfe from Ireland, there were two Jesuits left there, Frs Charles Leae and Robert Rochfort. The latter was born in Wexford in 1530 and entered the Society at Rome in 1564. St Peter Canisius was his Professor at Dilingen in 1567.

Having come to the Irish Mission, he succeeded in maintaining a school in Youghal, in spite of continual persecution until 1575, with the aid of Fr Leae. This school was highly praised by Edmund Tanner, Bishop of Cork and former Jesuit.

Fr Rochfort was closely associated with Viscount Baltinglass in the rebellion of 1581. On his account many people suffered imprisonment and death for harbouring him. The English seem to have had a great dread of him and his name is constantly mentioned in State Papers of the time. Finally, seeing how dangerous it was for people to harbour him, he withdrew to Lisbon in 1532.

In Lisbon he laboured for some years to the great spiritual advantage of Catholics from Ireland and England and other nations, and whom his skill in many languages enabled him to instruct and assist. According to common report, he died in Lisbon in 1588. However, in a list of Defuncti of the Society we find the following “Balthazar Almeida died in a ship which was proceeding to England June 17th 1588. P Robert Rochford died in the same ship, June 19th 1588. He had been a prisoner for the faith and died a victim of charity”. It would seem that he had been a chaplain to one of the ships of the Spanish Armada

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
ROCHFORD, ROBERT, is mentioned with honour in the Epistle Dedicatory of Father Fitzsimon’s Treatise on the mass, printed in 1611. In a letter of Father Edmund Tanner, dated Cork, the 11th of October, 1577, I read, “Rev. Father Charles and Master Robert Rochford spread on every side the sweetest odour of the Institute of the Society of Jesus. They keep a school in the town of Youghall, in the Dioceses of Cork, Munster : their auditors and the townspeople are daily trained in the Christian doctrine, and the frequentation of the Sacraments and good Morals, as well as the miserable circumstances of the times will permit, but not without molestation; yet God gives them perseverance and great benefit to their Hearers”.

Sall, Stephen, 1672-1722, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2086
  • Person
  • 26 December 1672-08 January 1722

Born: 26 December 1672, Cashel, County Tipperary
Entered: 19 May 1694, Landsberg, Germany - Germaniae Superioris Province (GER SUP)
Ordained: 1704, Ingolstadt, Germany
Final Vows: 15 August 1711
Died: 08 January 1722, Munich, Germany - Germaniae Superioris Province (GER SUP)

Studied 3 years Philosophy and 4 Theology. Taught Grammar, Poetry Logic and Controversies. Was Prefect Gymnasii, Minister and Operarius
1711 Amid the greatest torment of body his spirit remained brave and indomitable. He was distinguished for the practice of poverty and other virtues. Fortified by all the sacred rites he died of Dropsy at Munich

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Probably a grand-nephew of James Sall
1696-1701 After First Vows he studied Philosophy and then spent two years Regency at Eichstätt.
1701-1705 He was then sent to Ingolstadt for Theology and was Ordained there c 1704
1706-1712 He was then sent on the completion of his studies to teach Humanities or Rhetoric at Halle and then made his Tertianship
1712-1714 Held a Chair of Philosophy at Ingolstadt
1714-1720 Sent as Minister to Burghausen, Bavaria, and he was Operarius there as well.
1720 Sent to teach Controversial Theology and be Operarius at Braunsberg, Austria, but died at Munich 08 January 1722
His obituary notice mentioned his courage in carrying out his duties, where as Schoolmaster, Operarius or Teacher in spite of very indifferent health throughout his life. He was also said to have had a faultless command of the German language.

Sauregan, Thady, 1592-1638, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2091
  • Person
  • 01 March 1592-11 March 1638

Born: 01 March 1592, Kilmallock, County Limerick
Entered: 14 May 1620, Trier, Germany - Lower Rhenish Province (RH INF)
Ordained: 1625/6, Würzburg, Germany
Died: 11 March 1638, Kilmallock, County Limerick

1622 A BA on Entry and not yet a priest
1628 At Molsheim College France RH INF teaching Greek. Confessor of students.
1629 At Bamberg College RH INF teaching Logic. Confessor in the Church

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1630 Came to Ireland
1637 In HIB Catalogue

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had previously completed Philosophy at Douai before Ent 14 May 1620 Trier
1622-1626 After First Vows he was sent for Theology at Molsheim and then Würzburg where he was Ordained 1625/26
1626-1630 After Ordination he was sent to Bamberg to teach Philosophy until 1630 when he was sent to Ireland
1630 Sent to Ireland, and though there is no record of his Ministry, it is assumed that in accordance with the common practice of the time he was stationed in or near Kilmallock, and was of the Limerick Residence. We do know that shortly after his arrival, the Mission Superior, Robert Nugent, tried to have him sent back to Europe. He remained in Ireland however, and is mentioned in the Catalogue 1637, and the following year died at Kilmallock 11 March 1638

Schrenk, Franz, 1909-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/548
  • Person
  • 02 December 1909-15 August 1992

Born: 02 December 1909, Řetenice, Teplice, Czech Republic
Entered: 07 September 1929, Trnava, Czechoslovakia - Cechoslovacae Province (CESC)
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 15 August 1992, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Transcribed CESC to ASR; ASR to HIB 1952

by 1937 came to Milltown (HIB) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 2 1947
Belvedere :
The Times Pictorial of March 8th devoted its front page to photos of the German children who are under the zealous care of Fr. Schrenk. Photos showed them receiving religious instruction from Fr. Schrenk, at Mass and Communion in the College Chapel, at breakfast, etc.

◆ Interfuse No 82 : September 1995 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1993

Obituary

Fr Franz Schrenk (1909-1992)

2nd Dec. 1909: Born in Czechoslovakia
7th Sept. 1929: Entered the Society of Jesus at Velehrad, Moravia
1931 - 1934: Studied Philosophy at Pullach
1934 - 1936: Regency in Duppan
1936 - 1940: Studied Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1949; Ordained at Milltown Park
1940 - 1941: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1941 - 1992: Belvedere-Teacher (Philosophy/Russian/German), also Spiritual Welfare of German-speakers in Dublin.
1951: Transcribed to Irish Province in 1951
15th Aug, 1992: Died at Bon Secours Hospital

The story of Franz's life is quite quickly told. He did not speak much of it himself, although sometimes with a glass of whiskey he would indulge in a little reminiscence about his family and his experiences. He was gently critical of his Jesuit friend and compatriot Max Prokoph who spent his life in Africa and who wrote a small volume of reminiscences published shortly after he died. (”That he should be so foolish”). He always refused to give the boys an interview for the school annual, The Belvederian, if the subject matter was to be his own life, which is, of course, what they were really interested in. As a result of all this, some of the information I will mention has been gleaned from the archives and is mentioned among us now for the first time.

In stressing Franz's reluctance to speak of himself, I do not wish to convey an impression of any kind of neurotic self-depreciation - he was the most un-neurotic person you could ever meet.

He was born in Settenz, in what was then Czechoslovakia, in 1909 and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Velehrad in Moravia in 1929. He studied philosophy with the German Jesuits at Pullach, outside Munich where Fr. - now Blessed - Rupert Mayer was living at the time. (One of the most moving and memorable occasions in community in Belvedere was Franz's address to us about Fr. Mayer at the time of his beatification, when the rector managed to persuade him to take the unusual step of talking to us in this way). In 1936 he made the fateful move to Ireland to study theology, just as the war clouds were gathering over Europe. By the time he was ordained in 1939 and had completed his tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1941, there was no longer any possibility of going home, first because of the war itself, later because of the communist take-over in his country and the expulsion of his family. And so he was forced to stay.

In 1941 he began the longest continuous membership of the Belvedere Community in history (though Fr. Peadar MacSéumais is - if the image isn't too bizarre and he doesn't object - coming up fast on the rails!). He was chaplain to the German speaking community in Dublin (there is a touching picture in The Belvederian about this time of Franz shepherding three German war-orphans across the snow filled school yard in Belvedere, after giving them their First Holy Communion in the Boys' Chapel). He taught German and Religion in the school. He took charge of the Philosophy course from 1942 until it died out in the 1970's. He even taught some Russian, before school in the mornings, for a few years in the 1960's. As a teacher, he was intelligent, capable, solid and fair-minded. Through his German contacts, he was able to obtain substantial financial assistance from the Archdiocese of Köln for the building of the new Kerr Wing in the 1970's although - typically - he never spoke of this. In the early 1950's he began his European tours for senior boys, which were such a pioneering venture in Ireland at that time. They were gratefully remembered by all who took part and they allowed him to slip across the border in Berlin to visit his family behind the 'Iron Curtain'. He was to remain an intrepid traveller to the end of his life. In 1989 we had the joy of celebrating with him his eightieth birthday, the sixtieth anniversary of his entry into the Society of Jesus and the fiftieth anniversary of his ordination as a priest.

With such a history Franz might have been something of an exotic in the surroundings of Belvedere - yet he was the most unexotic person imaginable. He never drew attention to himself, he was always unobtrusive, ordinary. His room was typical of himself - furnished with the simple amenities he required, no more and no less. He was sane and balanced in his views. He was rarely outspoken and impressive when he was. He was patient and undemanding even when, in his last years, he was unwell. He bore his deafness without complaint - we would be forced to remember his difficulty by the whistling sound of his hearing aid as he adjusted it, but there was never any criticism of others implied. He simply never complained about his life or the lot which had condemned him to live in exile from his country and his family.

He was never changed from Belvedere over a period of 51 years and there was never any need to change him: he was a free man. He was open to new ideas (he told me once how his sister had said to him, at the time of the Second Vatican Council: 'This is not new for you - you always thought this'). Yet he was no faddist, not a man to espouse popular ideas just because they were popular, He was his own man. He would have appreciated the praise of one of the Christian Brothers at Marino, where we used to say Mass on a regular basis: “Fr, Schrenk knows which side of the altar he belongs to”! On the other hand, he willingly concelebrated on special occasions, until a few years ago, when deafness made this too difficult. (He would tell you about this quietly, undemonstratively). He said Mass with quiet, unspectacular reverence and absolute fidelity to the very end of his life. He had a genuine, well-informed and intelligent interest in world events, especially in Eastern Europe, where he and his family had endured so much. He watched the collapse of communism with initial scepticism and then lost no time in using the opportunity this gave him of visiting his brother and sisters outside Berlin and he would go not only in the summer, as was his custom, but at Christmas as well. (He made all his own travel arrangements and headed off with the courage and intrepidity that characterised everything about him). He took Irish citizenship in 1953 and the measure of his interest in his country of adoption was the strength of his republicanism and his support for Fianna Fail (the virulence of which sometimes surprised us!). He heartily disapproved of Mrs Thatcher! For recreation, he liked to watch football on television - any football anywhere! You would even find him viewing obscure matches in the Argentinian First Division, beamed on one of the new satellite stations. But, with Franz, if someone else wanted a different station, that was always negotiable - and those who live in community will know what heroic virtue such freedom can sometimes entail!!

It is impossible to think that Franz Schrenk left a single enemy behind him, not because he was the kind of person who would seek peace for peace's sake or was a time server of any sort - he was an utterly truthful, real person, with no pretence. His own man - but because of the spontaneous benevolence which he radiated to everyone, I think of the shy smile with which he would greet you, his quiet charm towards strangers and visitors to the community. For all the independence of mind with which he lived his life, he was very much in community and observed the brethren with wry but completely unmalicious humour, An example of his dry observation after one of the older fathers had described how all the lady-teachers on the staff had given him a kiss to mark his jubilee - “They call that sexual harassment!” He was very much in the community but he also got on with the quiet pastoral service with which he filled his spare time and the years of his retirement and about which we knew little enough. He was still driving a borrowed car in the final weeks of his life - to visit his friends and those he had committed himself to look after. His care for his family was with him to the very end. He admitted with gentle guilt that he had managed to skip the queue in the Mater Hospital to get his cataract operation done sooner, so that he could go to Germany and visit his family - a visit he was never able to make.

Franz died as he had lived, unobtrusively. His death marked the end of a long, contented, extraordinarily good life. It is hard for us to convey how deeply sad we are today, even though we are not sad for him. We know now it was a very great privilege to have lived with him. For me myself (I first met him when I was seven and he taught me English in Elements class), it is an inestimable privilege to say these few words for Franz, my father, my brother, “good faithful servant”.

Bruce Bradley

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

  • Person
  • 1526-04 June 1579

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wadding, Ambrose, 1583-1619, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2207
  • Person
  • 24 February 1583-22 January 1619

Born: 24 February 1583, Waterford
Entered: 11 January 1605, St Andrea, Rome, Italy - Romanae Province (ROM)
Ordained: c 1611, Ingolstadt, Germany
Died: 22 January 1619, Dilingen, Bavaria, Germany - Germanicae Superiors Province (GER SUP)

Brother of Luke OFM; 1st Cousin of Walter, Michael, Peter, Luke and Thomas

Alias Gaudinus

Had studied 2 years Philosophy before Entry
1607-1611 At Ingolstadt studying Theology. Repetitor Metaphysicorum in Boarding School. Socius to Fr Hoiss. President of the Major Congregation of BVM
1611 Age 28 Soc 6
1612-1619 At Dilingen teaching Physics, Logic, Ethics, Metaphysics and Hebrew. Confessor inchoarum. “Hypocauste” BV at Boarding School. Catechist of the Philosophers and Rhetoricians. Finished studies in 1612 but did not go to Tertianship because he could not be spared

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Elder brother of Luke OSF
An officer in early life.
1617 in Bavaria (Irish Ecclesiastical Record, August 1874)
A man of great talents and virtue; Writer; A perfect religious; Very devout to the Blessed Sacrament; Knew “Imitation” by heart;
Professor of Philosoophy; Director and Professor of Moral Theology to 150 religious of various Orders at Dilingen (1611-1619); Superior of the Convictus of St Jerome.
About ten writings of his were published at Dilingen in 1312 and 1613.
Named in a letter of Christopher Holiwood alias Thomas Lawndry, Irish Mission Superior of 04/11/1611
(Cf Sketch of this most distinguished man in “Hist. Prov. Super. Germaniae SJ” and in de Backer’s “Biblioth des Écrivains SJ”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Son of Walter and Anastatia née Lombard. Brother of Luke OFM. 1st Cousin of Walter, Michael, Peter, Luke and Thomas
Had already studied two years Philosophy at Salamanca before Ent 11 January 1605 Rome
1607-1611 After First Vows he was sent to Ingolstadt for studies and was Ordained there by 1611.
1611 From the end of his formation he held a Chair of Philosophy at Dilingen until his death there 22 January 1619
Father Holywood tried to get the General to have him sent to Ireland in 1616, but Wadding's services were deemed urgently required at Dilingen.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Wadding, Ambrose
by Terry Clavin

Wadding, Ambrose (1583–1619), Jesuit and university teacher, was born 24 February 1583, the son of Walter Wadding and his wife, Anastatia Lombard, both of Waterford. He was an older brother of the famous Franciscan Luke Wadding (qv). Following the deaths of both his parents in 1602, Ambrose left Waterford to study philosophy in the Irish college at Salamanca for a year or two, before joining the Spanish military. However, after narrowly escaping death during a naval battle, he decided to become a priest and eventually joined the Jesuits, entering the novitiate of San Andrea in Rome on 11 January 1605. He studied philosophy there for a year and in 1606–7 travelled to the University of Ingolstadt in Germany to study theology for four years. He demonstrated great piety and showed an aptitude for mathematics and other related subjects.

In 1610 he was repetitor of metaphysics in Ingolstadt and vice-president of the major congregation of the Blessed Virgin, and a year later he was superior of the clerics in the college. Having completed his theology studies, he was appointed professor of physics in the University of Dilingen, Germany, in 1612. Over the next few years he held various professorships in the university, before settling as professor of ethics and Hebrew from 1615. At Dilingen he also administered a nearby hostel, St Jerome's, which housed students from religious orders. In October 1616 the Irish Jesuits requested his transfer to Ireland, but the Jesuits at Dilingen blocked this, saying that he was too important. Always in poor health, he died 22 January 1619 at Dilingen, leaving behind nine printed philosophical theses and a manuscript on moral theology. His early death was mourned by his academic colleagues, who greatly admired him for his learning.

Edmund Hogan, ‘Worthies of Waterford and Tipperary’, Waterford and South-East Ireland Archaeological Society Journal, iv (1898), 3–13; P. Power, Waterford saints and scholars (17th century) (1920), 64–6

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Ambrose Wadding SJ 1584-1619
Ambrose Wadding was the brother of the famous Franciscan Luke. His mother and father both died of the plague in 1602, and Ambrose was sent, by the direction of his dying father, to be admitted at the Irish College, Salamanca. He had some idea of entering the army or navy in Spain, but changed his mind and entered the Society at Rome in 1605, eight months before his brother Luke became a Franciscan.

He soon made his name for learning and holiness. All his life he spent as Professor, filling at various times the Chairs of Theology, Logic, Physics, Ethics and Hebrew at the University of Dilingen. He could not be spared for his tertianship.

In spite of valiant efforts on the part of Fr Holywood and his own ardent desires, he never returned to labour in Ireland..

He left behind his none philosophical treatises besides an MSS on Moral Theology, now in the Benecdictine Monastery of Engelberg,

He died on January 22nd 1619, at the early age of thirty-five.

White, Stephen, 1575-1647, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2255
  • Person
  • 1575-23 April 1647

Born: 1575, Clonmel, Co Tipperary
Entered: 13 October 1596, Villagarcía, Galicia, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Ordained: c 1601, Salamanca, Spain
Final Vows: 06 January 1613
Died: 23 April 1647, Galway Residence

Younger Brother of Thomas - RIP 1622; Uncle of Peter White - RIP 1678; Cousin of William White - RIP 1625

His name appears on a list of 8 who got a BA from Salamanca University in 1595 and then entered
1597 At Villagarcía College Age 22 Soc 6. Already a BA and studying Theology
1600 At Salamanca studying Theology Age 25 Soc 3
1603 Age 29 Soc 7. Professor of Arts at Salamanca University
1605 Came from CAST to GER SUP
1606-1609 At Ingolstadt lecturing in Theology. Age 32 Soc 10 and a Doctor of Divinity. Confessor and “Oreses Religiosorum in Convictu”
1610-1323 At Dilingen teaching Sacred Scripture “vires mediocres”
1612 Professor of Scholastic Theology at Dillingen and Pres of Casus. Confessor
1623-1627 Went to Pont-á-Mousson (CAMP) - Confessor and Spiritual Father to Germans
1628-1630 At Metz Confessor, Spiritual Father and Prefect of Cases
1630 Came to Irish Mission
Usher praised White in his Collectanea 1621 Tom V & VI)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica”:
c1617 he was in Bavaria
1634 Distinguished Professor of Theology (IER)
The Protestant Archbishop Ussher in “Primordia” p 400 calls him a man of exquisite knowledge in the antiquities, not only of Ireland, but also of other nations.
Robert Nugent, Superior of Irish Mission in a letter from Kilkenny 10 January 1646 to Charles Sangri, speaks of his works which he had sent to censors for examination.
Professor of Theology at Dillingen, Ingolstadt and Pont-à-Mousson etc.; Writer; Antiquarian;
Called a “Polyhistor” by Raderus, Colgan and others on account of his extraordinary learning.
(cf Oliver Stonyhurts MSS; Dean Reeves “Memoir of Stephen White”; de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”; De Buck “Archéologie Irlandaise”)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Had already graduated with a BA in Arts and in Theology abroad before Ent 13 October 1596 Villagarcía
1598-1601 After First Vows he was sent to Royal College Salamanca for studies and was Ordained there c 1601
1601-1605 Taught Philosophy at Irish College Salamanca
1605-1609 To the disappointment of his Spanish Superiors he was withdrawn by the General from CAST and appointed to a Chair of Theology at the College of Ingolstadt in the Upper German Province (GER SUP). At the end of two years here he was reported to the General as having departed from the ratio studiorum in his teaching. His lectures were represented to the General as “partly temerarious, partly dangerous and in great part to be retracted”,
1609 In September 1609 General ordered that Stephen be dismissed from his post and sent back to Ireland. But his health was never robust and his physician decided against the return journey to the Irish Mission. Later the General was to learn that White had not been so unorthodox, he had merely been expounding the opinions of Vasquez and was not the only Jesuit who approved of that scholar's teaching.
1610-1622 He was sent to the College of Dilingen, and he was not reinstated as a professor of Theology for the next two years. But this temporary disgrace incurred at Ingolstadt proved to be providential. The two years of freedom from the lecture-hall were not spent idly by Stephen. From this time dates his interest in the rich manuscript materials for Irish history and hagiography buried away in German monastic libraries. By Autumn, 1612, he had composed a work on the lives of Irish Saints but the General ordered that the book be submitted to rigid censorship in case it might cause offence to people of other countries. That same Autumn, he resumed his theology lectures in Dilingen, and was congratulated by the General who warned him, however, not to deflect from the 'sententia ordinaria". During these years he was professor, for a time, of Sacred Scripture. He remained in Dilingen as professor of dogmatic theology until 1622
1622-1627 Ever since 1620 White was anxious to leave the Upper German province and in 1622 was allowed to pass to CAMP where he was assigned to the University of Pont-à-Mousson. Although he had been advised in advance that he could not expect a Chair in that University, he taught Theology in fact there over the next three years, although his status might be better described, perhaps, as coach and not professor. But the five years, 1622/27, spent by him at Pont-à-Mousson were mostly taken up with historical research. For within a year of his arrival, 1623, he had ready for the press his celebrated “Apologia pro Hibernia”. But the General stopped the printing of this work at Antwerp.
1627-1630 He was transferred to Metz but held no teaching post there.
1630-1644 The General in response to requests from the Irish Mission allowed White to return to Ireland. Very little is known with certainty about his career on the Irish Mission. There is no mention of his name again in the sources until 1637 when the CATS simply recapitulated his past career but gave no hint of his address or occupation that year. It also said that his was in poor health. That Winter he wrote to the General asking that the Will which he had made at Dilingen before his final profession should be implemented to the benefit of the Irish Mission. His well-known letter to John Colgan O.F.M., 31 January 1640, implies that he had been engaged in research work ever since his return to Ireland and that he had spent the previous decade for the most part at Dublin where he had access to the library or Archbishop James Ussher.
1640 His later years, after the Puritan occupation of Dublin were spent in Galway. Correspondence of 1644 and 1646 indicates that he had a work approved for publication. He died sometime in or after 1646. Stephen White was one of the most remarkable Irish scholars of his time. His ability as philosopher and theologian was widely acknowledged in Spain, Germany and France. But his enduring fame rests upon his pioneering work in unearthing the manuscript treasures that preserved so much of the story of Ireland's past. He transcribed manuscripts for the Bollandists, for John Colgan, for James Ussher. Both the latter acknowledged their indebtedness to him. His magnum opus, the “Apologia pro Hibernia”, did not see the light until two centuries after his death but Lynch had a precis of the work before him when he was writing his “Cambrensis Eversus”.
White was the first Irish writer to voice the national tradition which rejected as spurious the grant of Ireland by Pope Adrian IV to Henry II of England. Though his troubles at Ingolstadt gave him the heaven-sent opportunity of turning to historical research, it is to be noted that his contemporary Irish fellow- Jesuits seem to have had no appreciation whatever of his contributions to Irish historical scholarship. Indeed there is plenty of evidence to hand that he was plagued by members of the Irish Mission with invitations to return during his years at Ingolstadt, Dilingen and Pont-à-Mousson. When he returned to Ireland in 1630 he had very probably little facility in speaking either Irish or English after his forty years abroad. The mission itself was unable to furnish him with the library facilities needed for his research work. Yet taking into account all the successes, misunderstandings and disappointments that mark his career, he will always be regarded as the most eminent Irish Jesuit produced in the Old Society. He died at Galway 23 April 1647.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
White, Stephen
by Terry Clavin

White, Stephen (1574?–1646/7), Jesuit priest, academic, and antiquary, was born in Clonmel, the son of Pierce White. His was a remarkable family, two of his brothers also being priests: James was vicar apostolic of Waterford and Lismore and Thomas White (qv), a Jesuit, was the founder of the first Irish college on the continent. Another brother was deposed as mayor of Clonmel in 1606 for refusing to take the oath of supremacy. He was probably educated in the catholic school at Clonmel before travelling to study at the Irish college at Salamanca founded by his brother about 1590. After graduating BA, he entered the Society of Jesus on 13 October 1596 at Villagarcia. He remained at Salamanca, continuing his studies in theology, and obtained a doctorate of divinity about 1605.

In 1602 he taught a one-year course in humanities at Salamanca, marking the start of a distinguished academic career, and followed this up with a three-year course in mental philosophy. Such was his reputation that he was appointed to the chair of scholastic theology in the University of Ingoldstadt, one of the most distinguished universities in Germany, inaugurating his lectureship on 7 January 1606. In 1609 he went to lecture in the University of Dilingen on the Danube, being first professor of scholastic theology, and librarian of the university, and by 1612 confessor of the religious orders. He remained there for fourteen years, becoming one of the most accomplished theologians in Germany. After departing Dilingen he retired from academic life, being confessor to the Germans at Pont-à-Mousson, Champagne (1623–7), and spiritual father at the college of Metz (1627–9).

After 1611 two factors led him towards the study of Irish history. First, there had been little contact between Ireland and continental Europe since the early middle ages; the little that was known about Ireland tended to be from invariably hostile English sources. Second, Scottish antiquarians, capitalising on the fact that prior to the late middle ages the inhabitants of Ireland had been called Scots, claimed the Irish scholars and missionaries, who were a ubiquitous presence across the continent in the early medieval period, as their own. This opportunistic attempt to deprive Ireland of its saints and scholars, and of its best case for being a civilised Christian nation, did not go unchallenged, not least from White. He was aided in his scholarly labours by his academic contacts. Dilingen received students from abbeys and monasteries all over Germany and beyond, facilitating his access to vast reservoirs of ancient manuscripts relating to Ireland.

White wrote his Apologia pro Hibernia adversus Cambri calumnias between 1611 and 1613, declaring ‘The sole purpose of my writing is to defend the injured reputation of the old Irish whom I, and my fathers, for four hundred years have shared a common fatherland.’ He refuted the allegations of the twelfth-century Welsh author Gerald (qv) of Wales whose Expugnatio Hibernica justified the Norman conquest of Ireland through portraying the natives as barbaric and semi-pagan. The Apologia demolished such allegations but was marred slightly by his highly personalised attacks on Gerald. Although White was of Norman ancestry, he identified with the Gaelic Irish. During his career he wrote many works glorifying Ireland's past and refuting the Scots’ claims. He also transcribed a number of manuscripts on the lives of early Irish saints. However, none of his works was published during his lifetime, partly because of a lack of funds but also because of the politically sensitive nature of the material. A generous scholar, he freely shared his writings and discoveries with his contemporaries; others prospered from his unselfish spadework while he remained in comparative obscurity. His knowledge was such that he was accorded the title of ‘polyhistor’, or walking library.

The Irish Jesuits had frequently requested his transfer to Ireland, and in late 1628 he returned to his homeland, after an absence of thirty-eight years, to teach in a Jesuit college just established in Dublin. However, in January 1629 it was suppressed by the government. He returned to his native diocese of Waterford and Lismore, where the teacher who had lectured in some of Europe's most renowned academic institutions spent his autumn years teaching street children. During the late 1630s he was based in Dublin, and at this time embarked on his most celebrated and remarkable antiquarian collaboration. He several times met James Ussher (qv), Church of Ireland primate of Ireland and one of the most brilliant scholars of his age, who shared White's passion for Irish history. Ussher showed him his library and praised his learning. In return White gave Ussher his manuscripts on the lives of the early Irish saints.

After the start of the 1641 rebellion he fled Dublin to settle in Galway city. By then he was too infirm to carry out any more work or to become involved in the turbulent events of the 1640s. While in Galway he met John Lynch (qv), whose Cambrensis eversus was based on White's Apologia. His most likely date of death is shortly after January 1646 but some accounts have him alive in April 1647.

Burgundian Library, Brussels, xxi, nos. 7658–61; The whole works of Sir James Ware concerning Ireland, ed. and trans. W. Harris (1745–6), ii, 103; John Lynch, Cambrensis eversus, ed. Matthew Kelly (Dublin Celtic Society, 1848–52), ii, 394; Stephen White, Apologia pro Hibernia adversus Cambri calumnias, ed. Matthew Kelly (1849); William Reeves, ‘Memoir of Stephen White’, RIA Proc., xiii (1861); DNB; Edmund Hogan, ‘Worthies of Waterford and Tipperary’, Waterford ASJ, iii (1897), 119–34; William Burke, History of Clonmel (1983), 457–64

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Stephen White 1576-1646
In the estimation of historians and antiquarians, both Catholic and Protestant, Irish and continental, Fr Stephen White was a scholar of the first order. He was a nan of encyclopaedic knowledge, with a bent for antiquities. His contribution to the Annals of the Four Masters and their invaluable help in their compilation is attested warmly and generously by Michael Colgan, the greatest of them.

Born in Clonmel of a family which gave many illustrious sons to the Jesuits, he joined the Society at Villagarcia in 1596, and having pursued a brilliant course in the various continental colleges, professed Philosophy and Theology for many years in Germany and France.

A long wished for project in education, an Irish University, was started in Back Lane Dublin in 1629. Fr Stephen was sent home to profess in it. Its life span was short. For the next ten years Fr White spent most of his time teaching young boys in Waterford.

On the outbreak of the Confederate War he went to Galway, where he died an old man of 72 in 1646.

His works include : “Apologia pro Hibernia’, “Geste Dei”, “De Sanctis et Antiquitate Hiberniae” together with numerous philosophical and theological tracts. A great deal of these works are lost, indeed were never published through fear of exacerbating the English authorities.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
WHITE, STEPHEN. This Irish Father deserves a fuller eulogium than I am able to supply. He was the author of some historical pieces relating to Ireland, in confutation of the assertions of Giraldus Cambrensis. The Rev. John Lynch, who had the custody of this valuable MS mentions it in Chapter I and XIV of his “Cambrensis Evcrsus”, printed in 1662, and expresses his deep regret that a considerable part of it was lost during the Civil Wars. Archbishop Usher, an excellent judge of these matters, in p. 400 of his Primordia, gives F. White the character of being “a man of exquisite knowledge in the Antiquities, not only of Ireland, but also of other nations”. In a letter of F. Robert Nugent, Superior of his brethren in Ireland, and addressed from Kilkenny, the 10th of January, 1646, to F. Charles Sangri, I read what follows.
“I have given the commission to four of our Fathers diligently to examine the works of F. Stephen White, and to forward their judgment to your paternity, conformably to the directions you have recently sent us. His works are various, and as our Fathers live in places very distant from each other, and notwithstanding the most Reverend Bishops, (who are ready to defray the expenses of the printing), as also the supreme Council very earnestly insist, that a certain work of his, “De sanctis et Antiqititate Ibcrniae” be instantly sent to the Press, I find it difficult and next to impossible to resist their reasonable demand, since the Manuscript itself has been perused by several them, and has been pronounced not only worthy of being printed, but highly necessary for the credit and advantage of this Kingdom. Therefore I have written again to the Examiners, that each would privately report their opinion on this work as soon as possible to your Paternity; though all in their letters to me greatly extol it, and declare it most worthy to issue from the Press. But 1 am unwilling to allow any work to be printed that can give just cause of offence to any person : and yet there is less cause of apprehension in this case, as this book merely treats on the Saints and Antiquity of the Kingdom of Ireland”.