Belvedere College SJ

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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

Aylmer, Charles, 1786-1849, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/470
  • Person
  • 29 August 1786-04 July 1849

Born: 29 August 1786, Painestown, County Kildare
Entered: 21 May 1808, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: Palermo, Sicily
Final vows: 16 January 1820
Died: 04 July 1849, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin

Superior of the Mission : 1819

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Son of Charles. His brother William was an Officer in the Austrian Cuirassiers, and considered one of the best swordsmen in the service.
1814 He studied at Stonyhurst and Palermo, graduating DD there.
1816 Superior Dublin Residence, and again in 1822 and 1841
1817 Rector at Clongowes
1819 Superior of the Mission
1821 Lived at Dublin from 1821 to his death.
1829 At the laying of the foundation stone for Gardiner St
He was a good religious of indefatigable zeal and indomitable spirit.
He published some books, and promotes a society for the printing of Catholic works in Dublin.
There is a sketch of Father Aylmer in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Had studied at Stonyhurst before Ent.
He went to Palermo with Messers St Leger, Esmonde, Ferley, Butler and Cogan, graduating DD. He was present in Rome with the other Fathers at the establishment (Restoration?) of the Society in July 1814 by Pius VII.
1817 He was for a short time Minister at Clongowes, and then in 1817 appointed Rector by Father Grivelle, the Visitor.
1818 Clongowes was closed due to an outbreak of typhus, and immediately he built a Study Hall and Refectory.
1821 He went to Dublin where he remained until his death. He was Superior at the Dublin Residence in 1816, then 1822, and finally 1841. In 1829 the First stone of St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St was laid during his Rectorship. The Chapel at Hardwicke St was then converted into a school, and was the germ of the current Belvedere.
Father Aylmer was an edifying religious man, possessed of moderate but useful talents. He was a zealous, pious and indefatigable Missioner, a man of good sense, sound judgement and fortitude.
He promoted in Dublin a Society for the printing and distribution of cheap Catholic books of piety, when it was much needed.
He was subject to a hereditary disease of the heart which caused his death in a manner similar to that of his father. His end was very sudden.
His brother was an officer of the Austrian Cuirassiers, and considered one of the best swordsmen of that service.
There is a sketch of Father Aylmer in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Aylmer, Charles
by C. J. Woods

Aylmer, Charles (1786–1847), Jesuit priest, was born 29 August 1786 at Painstown, near Kilcock, Co. Kildare, the seat of his father, Charles Aylmer (1720?–1801), one of the county's representatives at the Catholic Convention held in 1792, and said in 1798 to be worth £1,600 p.a. He was the fourth son in a family of six sons, one of whom was William Aylmer (qv), and six daughters. His mother was Charles Aylmer's second wife, Esmay, daughter of William Piers of Castletown, Co. Meath, and his wife, Eleanor (née Dowdall). Charles Aylmer junior studied at the school conducted in Dublin by Thomas Betagh (qv) and at the catholic novitiate at Hodder, near Stonyhurst, Lancashire, moving in July 1809 to Palermo in Sicily to join the Society of Jesus, restored in that kingdom in 1805. While in Palermo he published with Paul Ferley and Bartholomew Esmonde, A short explanation of the principal articles of the catholic faith (1812) and The devout Christian's daily companion, being a selection of pious exercises (1812).

Aylmer's ordination to the priesthood came in Rome in 1814, the place and year of the formal restoration of the entire society, an event at which he was present. He returned to Ireland to become superior (1816) of the Jesuit house in Dublin, and rector (1817–20) of Clongowes Wood College, the Jesuit-run secondary school opened (1814) at a short distance from Painstown. In 1820 he took his final vows. He was again superior of the Jesuit house in Dublin in 1822, 1829, and 1841, as such presiding at the laying of the first stone of the Jesuit church – St Francis Xavier in Gardiner Street. From its origin in 1827 he was an active member of the Catholic Book Society and published further devotional works. On the death of his brother Robert in 1841, he inherited the Aylmer property at Painstown. Charles Aylmer died 4 July 1847 in Dublin.

W. J. Battersby, The Jesuits in Dublin (1854), 118–19; F. J. Aylmer, The Aylmers of Ireland (1931), 212; Timothy Corcoran, The Clongowes Record, 1814 to 1932 (1932); Timothy Corcoran, ‘William Aylmer (1778–1820) and the Aylmers of Painstown’, Seamus Cullen and Hermann Geissel (ed.), Fugitive warfare: 1798 in north Kildare (1998), 34–49

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Charles Aylmer 1786-1849
Charles Aylmer was one of the six novices who set out in 1809 for Sicily to study philosophy and theology on the Restoration of the Society there.

He was born at Painstown County Kildare on August 29th 1896. He was educated at Stonyhurst and entered as a novice at Hodder there in 1808. After his ordination he ministered to the British Army stationed at Palermo.

He witnessed the official Restoration of the Society at the Gesù in Rome :
“At eight o’clock in the morning, His Holiness came in state to the Gesù, where he celebrated Mass at the altar of St Ignatius, attended by almost all his cardinals and prelates, and about 70 or 80 of the Society. After his Mass and Thanksgiving, we ass proceeded to the Sacristy. None were admitted by the Cardinals, Bishops and Jesuits. Here the Bull, which reestablishes the Society all over the world was read. A soon as it was read, the Pope presented it with his own hand to Fr Pannizoni, whom he constitutes Superior in his own States, until the General shall otherwise determine. Drs Milner and Murray Archbishop of Dublin were present. Also the Queen of Etruria, and the King of Torino. Little did I expect to be present at so consoling a ceremony in the Capital of the World. O truly how sweet is victory after such a hard fought battle!”

Fr Aylmer returned to Ireland and held various posts at Clongowes and Hardwicke Street. He was Superior of the Mission 1817-1820. In 1829, while Superior, the foundation stone at Gardiner Street was laid. He, together with Fr Esmonde, did much for Gardiner Street Church, collecting money both at home and abroad for the building of the Church and Presbytery.

He also found time to write and is included in Caballero’s “Scriptores SJ” and de Baecker’s “Bibliotheque”.

He died of a hereditary disease of the heart on July 4th 1849.

Baggot, P Anthony, 1918-2001, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Anthony (Tony) Baggot (1918-2000)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Angela Ashwin

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

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

◆ The Gonzaga Record 2001

Obituary

Tony Baggot SJ

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

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

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

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

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

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam.

Fr John A Dunne SJ

Baker, William, 1879-1943, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ASL: 05 April 1931

by 1910 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 18th Year No 3 1943

Obituary :

Father William Baker SJ (1877-1943)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 113 : Autumn 2002

LEST HE BE FORGOTTEN : JOHN B BANNON

Kevin A Laheen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barragry, John, 1879-1959, Jesuit priest

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

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

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father John Barragry SJ (1879-1959)

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

Barrett, Cyril J, 1917-1989, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was the son of a banker and received his early education in Bagenalstown County Carlow and then at Clongowes Wood College.
In his Jesuit studies he graduated BA at UCD, then spent three years studying Philosophy at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
He was then sent to teach at Belvedere College SJ for Regency.
He then went to Milltown Park for four years Theology, followed by a year making Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle.

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril Barrett SJ

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1989

Obituary

Father Cyril J Barrett SJ

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

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

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

Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

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

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

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

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

Bellew, Michael, 1825-1868, Jesuit priest

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

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

Younger brother of Christopher RIP 1867

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 3 1970

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Benson SJ (1923-1970)

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1970

Obituary

Father Patrick Benson SJ

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

Birmingham, Alan, 1911-1991, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/642
  • Person
  • 02 January 1911-03 October 1991

Born: 02 January 1911, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, Hong Kong
Died: 03 October 1991, St Paul’s Hospital, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

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

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency

Second World War Chaplain

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Alan Birmingham, S.J.
Former editor of “Sunday Examiner” dies in Hong Kong
R.I.P.

Father Alan Birmingham, a long-time editor of the “Sunday Examiner” died here after a brief illness on 3 October 1991.

Father Birmingham, a Jesuit, had lived in Hong Kong for almost 50 years, having first arrived here in November 1936.

Born in Co. Mayo, Ireland, in 1911, he joined the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in 1928 after secondary school and went on to take an honours degree in mathematics in the National University of Ireland.

After his arrival in Hong Kong in 1936 he studied Cantonese and then taught for a year in Wah Yan College, then in Robinson Road, before returning to Ireland a few months before the outbreak of the Second World War to complete his Jesuit training.

Ordained a priest in Dublin on 13 May 1942, he became a Catholic chaplain, with the rank of Captain, in the wartime British Army, thus delaying his return to Hong Kong.

Having served in England and Northern Ireland, he was assigned to land with the Allied forces sea and air assault on the north coast of France on “D-Day”, 6 June 1944.

He afterwards said that his main task on those fateful first days ashore was burying the dead on the beaches where they had landed.

He stayed with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid-August 1945.

He was then re-assigned to India from where he was “demobbed” (returned to civilian life) in October 1946.

After returning to Hong Kong in February 1948, he was sent for some months to Canton (Guangzhou) where a Jesuit colleague, Father John Turner, was lecturing at Chung Shan University.

That summer he moved back to Hong Kong, becoming a professor of Dogmatic Theology and later of Sacred Scripture at the then Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where Chinese priests from many dioceses in South China received their professional training. He held these posts for nine years.

During those years he also lectured briefly on philosophy and English literature at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1957, he was appointed editor of the “Sunday Examiner.” He was by far the longest-serving editor of the paper, remaining in the position for 33 years until his 80th birthday on 2 January this year.

On the death of Father Fergus Cronin SJ, Father Alan took over as rector of the busy Catholic Centre Chapel.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 9 November 1990

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Having graduated from UCD with an Honours degree in Mathematics he was sent to Hong Kong in 1936.
He studied Cantonese in Hong Kong and then did some years of teaching in Wah Yan Hong Kong.

After Ordination in 1942 he was appointed Catholic Chaplain with the rank of Captain in the wartime British Army. He was assigned to land with the Allied force on “D-Day”, June 6th 1944. He remained with his soldiers in France, Belgium and finally Germany until mid August 1945. He was then reassigned to India until October 1946, when he returned to civilian life.

He returned to Hong Kong in February 1948and took up a post as Professor of Dogmatic Theology, and later Scripture at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen. He also lectured in Philosophy and English Literature at the University of Hong Kong.

He was the Editor of the “Sunday Examiner” for almost 33 years (1957-1991). For more than twenty years he edited the English writings of László Ladányi in the “China News Analysis”. He also celebrated Mass regularly at St Joseph’s Church on Garden Road for over thirty years.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1992

Obituary

Father Alan Birmingham SJ

Learned Priest Who Served Faithfully for “Fifty” Years in Hongkong.

Fr Biriningham did not say Mass in the Catholic Centre Chapel, in busy Hongkong Central District on Wednesday, October 4th. He had done so the day : before, and for many months since Fr F Cronin had died. Instead, Fr S Coghlan and Fr M McLoughlin took him to St Paul's Hospital Causeway Bay. He was feeling groggy and could not lift one of his arms. That afternoon, in the Intensive Care Unit, he died. A little more than a year previously, he had had heart surgery (aneurysm) but recovered. But he had a long beard which made him look like a retired sea captain. All his life he had had good health. He fought a cold on his feet, and though he did not feel so well in the mornings, regained his strength by the afternoon. For thirty years, he was never a patient in a hospital.Priests throughout East Asia and beyond will have known him as the editor of the Sunday Examiner, which was appreciated for his wide cover age of church news in the world, as well as for its well written editorials. In the diocese, he was not so much widely known, as well known. Some priests remember his kindness from the days he taught them Theology in the Seminary (1949-1956). Those who went to the nine o'clock Sunday Mass at St. Joseph's remember him since the days of Fr Franelli, which go back more than thirty years previously. His deep voice was often remembered as a mutter, inspiring devotion and trust. He often heard confessions in St Joseph's and the Catholic Centre Chapel.

He first went to Hongkong in 1936, where he spent time learning Cantonese, and then teaching in Wah Yan College, Robinson Road. He was born in Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, where the family had a wholesale business. His father qualified as a medical doctor, but never practised, taking on the family business, but retiring to Dublin when he was 45 years old. Alan first went to the Carmelite Fathers in Terenure, and retained an affection for the Carmelites. He then went to the Jesuit Colege, Belvedere, and after five years entered the Society of Jesus in 1928. His university studies at UCD were in Mathematics, and sometimes it was said that, in later life, the prime numbers gave him sleepless nights. After three years in Hongkong he returned to Ireland to study Theology and was ordained in 1942. While he was a priest in the Jesuit Church of Gardiner Street, the Provincial requested him to be a Chaplain in the British Army. He gave family reasons for not doing so, and he was told that these were valid but not sufficient to refuse the pastoral needs of those in the War. He joined as an Army Chaplain as part of christian charity and out of human solidarity. He was with the first wave to land on the beaches of Normandy on D-Day June 1944. He remembered a day when he saw 700 wounded and 250 burials. He was demobolised in 1947, and did Tertiaship in Dublin under Fr J Neary, who also had been in Hongkong.

When he returned to Hongkong as a priest in 1948, he went to join Fr Tumer at Chung Shan University, Gaungzhou, but after a few months was asked to teach in the South China Regional Seminary, Aberdeen. He taught Dogma and Scripture until he was asked to assist Mgr C Vath at the Catholic Centre, with the editing of the Sunday Examiner. And he did it for 33 years! Quietly working as a priest, he slowly did his writing. He always used a pen, and never a typewriter. He was a very slow worker, and always worked deliberately and accurately. He was never in a hurry and always had time for people. His clear English style was highly esteemed. His funeral was at St Joseph's Church, where he was known as the priest at the Sunday Masses for thirty years. The main celebrants were Cardinal Wu, whom he taught, Archbishop Tang, Fr W Lo, and 39 of his fellow Jesuits, thirty other priests; more than a dozen diocesan, a dozen Maryknollers, and those of other con gregations, not least being the PIME Fathers. The Mass was at 12.30 to enable the people from government and business offices to be present, and about
150 of them were there.

His brother had been a medical doctor teaching at University College Dublin. His father was anti-clerical, but a devout Catholic. “Alan” was more pastoral than clerical, and though his theological thinking was conservative, it was always kind, and at the service of people. Learned and kind, writer and at the service of all, such was the man all remembered.

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

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 10th Year No 3 1935

Works by Father Mattie Bodkin SJ :

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

Irish Province News 16th Year No 1 1941

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

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

Irish Province News 49th Year No 1 1974

Obituary :

Fr Matthias Bodkin (1896-1973)

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ (1896-1973)

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1974

Obituary

Father Matthias Bodkin SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Booth, Edward, 1917-1988, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 3 1988

Obituary

Fr Edward Booth (1917-1938-1988)

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1988

Obituary

Father Edward Booth SJ

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

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

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

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

Bourke, Edward, 1895-1985, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985

Obituary

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

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

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

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

Boylan, Eustace, 1869-1953, Jesuit priest

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 29th Year No 1 1954

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1954

Obituary

Father Eustace Boylan SJ

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

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

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

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

Boyle, Robert, 1833-1878, Jesuit brother

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

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

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

by 1869 At Home Sick

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

Bracken, Kevin, 1904-1931, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/699
  • Person
  • 12 February 1904-29 April 1931

Born: 12 February 1904, Limerick
Entered: 23 November 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Professed: 02 February 1913
Died: 29 April 1931, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ. He then studied Pharmacy and worked as a qualified Chemist in Dundalk.

1926-1930 After First Vows at St Stanislaus Tullabeg, he went to Rathfarnham as Infirmarian and in charge of the servants
1930 He became ill and was sent to Australia, stationed first at Riverview, then at Sevenhill and finally at Norwood, Adelaide, where he died.

Brother of Brendan Bracken (1901–58), politician.

◆ Irish Province News :

Irish Province News 6th Year No 3 1931

Obituary :

Br Kevin Bracken

Br. Bracken died at Norwood, Australia, on Wednesday 29 April 1931. His unexpected death, at the early age of 27, was a shock to all his friends in Ireland. Since the sad news arrived one of our Scholastics received a letter written by Br. Bracken 29 March. It is showed him to be in excellent health and as energetic as ever. Unfortunately, no details of the sad event have yet come to hand.

Br. Kevin Bracken was born 12 Feb. 1904. educated at Belvedere, and on leaving school, spent some time in the world as a chemist. For good reasons he preferred to join the Society as a Lay Brother, and began his noviceship 23 Nov. 1923 at Tullabeg. The noviceship over he get a hospital training in England that made him - when he returned to Ireland - a very efficient infirmarian at Rathfarnham. In addition to his work as infirmarian he had charge of the general up-keep of the house, and it was often remarked that under his care Rathfarnham was second to no house in the Province in neatness, and general material order. It came as a surprise to many that Br. Bracken sailed for Australia with the party that left Ireland in 1930.
Having spent a short time at Riverview he was sent to Sevenhill to nurse Fr. Fleury, and, when the patient died, was changed to Norwood to look after the material up-keep of the house. Here he died 29 April.
Br. Bracken was indeed a conscientious religious and attended as carefully to the interests of his own soul as he did to the various household duties that he discharged so thoroughly and so well. RIP

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ 1904-1931
Br Kevin Bracken was born in 1904. His family resided first at Kilmallock and then at Templemore. He was a brother of the famous Brendan Bracken, who was Minister of Information in Churchill’s Cabinet in World War II.

Kevin was educated at Belvedere College and spent some years after school training to be a chemist. He entered the Society in 1923 as a temporal coadjutor, declining the priesthood., He was of large stature, powerfully built with a luxuriant shock of red hair, cheerful nay even gay in manner, following that dictum of WB Yeats “For the good are always the merry save by eciul chance…”

He was very popular with generations of Juniors in Rathfarnham, where he acted as Infirmarian. In September 1930 Br Kevin went to Australia where, to the surprise of al, he died the following year on April 29th 1931, young in years, but rich in merit.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1931

Obituary

Brother Kevin Bracken SJ

It was only last August that Brother Bracken, full of buoyancy and health, left us for Australia. He was then in his twenty-seventh year. Bidding him farewell his many friends wished him every blessing during the long years of service that seemed in store for him under the southern skics. How great then was the shock with: which, at the end of April last, we received the sad announcement of his death. Few could have dreamt that God had destined to call him so soon from our midst. As we write, details of his death are not yet to hand. Having left Belvedere, in 1919, Kevin Bracken, the son of the late J K, and Mrs Bracken of Ardvullen, Kilmallock, and of Templemore, for some time studied pharmacy and worked as a qualified chemist in Dundalk. In 1923, however, he abandoned his position and at his own special request was admitted as a lay-brother postulant into the Society of Jesus. He did his noviceship in Tullabeg College, Offaly, and went afterwards as infirmarian to Rathfarnham Castle where he remained until his departure for Australia last August. In Australia he spent some time at St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, at St Aloysius', Sevenhills, and went finally, to Norwood in Adelaide, where he was stationed at the time of his death. He was the first Jesuit lay-brother ever attached to the house of the Society there and, as he said himself in a letter, tragically received some days after the announcement of his death, was the . cause of “a lot of curiosity”, at the time of his arrival. In his care of the sick none could be more devoted, while his previous training and experience as a chemist made him most efficient in every way. Deeply do we regret his early death; and to the sorrowing members of his family most truly offer our sincere sympathy. RIP

Brady, John M, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 156 : Summer 2014

Obituary

Fr John Brady (1925-2014)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill Toner

Brady, Philip, 1846-1917, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Older Brother of Thomas - LEFT 1872

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

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

Early Education was at Castleknock College.

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

Brangan, Gerald, 1912-1978, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 1 1979

Obituary :

Fr Gerald Brangan (1912-1978)

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1979

Obituary

Father Gerald Brangan SJ

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

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

The rest of this notice is quotation from Salisbury:

Salisbury,
Rhodesia,
12th November, 1978

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barney Flynn.

◆ The Clongownian, 1979

Obituary

Father Gerard Brangan SJ

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

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

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

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

Brennan, Brendan, 1910-1968, Jesuit priest

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

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

Cornelius changed to Brendan in HIB 1956

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1969

Obituary

Father Brendan Brennan SJ

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

Brennan, James, 1854-1941, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at St Stanislaus College SJ, Tullabeg

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1942

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1942

Obituary

Father James Brennan SJ

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

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

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

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

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father James Brennan (1854-1941)

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

Brennan, John F, 1920-2002, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Obituary

Father Jack Brennan SJ (OB 1937)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anraí Ó Braonáin (O.B. 1949)

Brennan, Joseph A, 1929-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1966 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying

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

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

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

Brereton, Joseph P, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Brereton (1920-2012)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 2012

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

The Captains Last Voyage

by Tom Goodman (Poetry)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-oOo-

Officers, Gentlemen and Villains

by Rossa McDermott (OC ‘78)

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

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

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

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

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

Brosnan, Matthew, 1923-1997, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

by 1951 at Hong Kong - Regency

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1997

Obituary

Father Matthew Brosnan SJ (OB 1942)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The hospital waived its fees, as did the doctors.

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

HN SJ

Browne, Eugene, 1823-1916, Jesuit priest

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

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

by 1851 at Laval France (FRA) studying theology

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

He died on December 17th 1916.

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

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

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

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

China :

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

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

Father F M Browne SJ

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

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

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

Burke, Patrick Francis, 1882-1941, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/969
  • Person
  • 05 March 1882-07 September 1941

Born: 05 March 1882, Cork City
Entered: 01 March 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 07 September 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942
Obituary :
Brother Patrick Burke

Brother Burke was known to have expressed more than once the desire to die in harness, yet not even he can have imagined that the end would come so suddenly. He complained for the first time on Monday 1st of September, but it was not until Saturday that his illness took a serious turn and he was removed to hospital. His condition grew rapidly worse and be died the following day.

Born in Cork city in the year 1882, he was from an early age attached to Messrs. Egan, jewellers, and remained with them for twenty two years. From there he went to Stokes in Westmoreland Street Dublin, where he worked from 1918 to 1921. Then. to use his own words, there came to him the call to leave the world and he decided to enter the Society as a, Lay-Brother. His Noviceship days were spent in Tullabeg. In 1925 we find him in Belvedere, in 1929 he went to the Crescent, whence, after a year, he was transferred to Milltown Park. where he remained until his death.

Perhaps it is as sacristan that Br. Burke will be always best remembered. In all that had to do with that office he showed an enthusiasm and devotedness quite remarkable. “The happiest moments of my life were spent in work for Our Lord on the Altar” he was heard to say, and there can be no more eloquent testimony of his devotion to his hidden Master than the care and pains he took with all the Altar arrangements. He rose magnificently to all great occasions, such as major feasts, and, most of all, ordinations, when his altars won many a word of admiration.But his daily care of the altar and of the chapel was a finer proof of the reality of his devotion. Many of us can be painstaking on occasion, but Br. Burke was painstaking in the chapel always. No effort that this work demanded of him was too great for his diminutive. but indomitable frame, no detail too small for his care and attention. Day after day and year after year this unwearying care went on, and Br. Burke continued to be to all who knew him an example of one who waited for his Lord, and kept his lamp trimmed, and all in readiness. With true zeal Br Burke wished to share with others his devotion to the altar. He trained boys to serve Mass and was ever at pains to imbue them with his own reverence for the Blessed Sacrament. He intensified and extended this work in the last year of his life, and the bearing of those he has trained is living testimony to his success. His contact with those who brought flowers for the altar gave him another outlet for his zeal. Those who thus came in contact with him loved him for a may humour he had and for his very real. sympathy with them, but it was his simple and sincere piety that most of all affected them.
Br. Burke's life in the Society was a little life, the thoughtless will say, taken up with simple hidden things. It may seem little in the eyes of the thoughtless, but it was the work his Master had given him to do, and it was splendidly done. That, for all its apparent littleness that his life shone before men is evidenced by the surprising number of people who attended the Requiem Mass for Bro Burke in the chapel of Milltown Park, and followed the coffin afterwards to Glasnevin. Br Burke left many friends to mourn him, not least among them, his little Mass-servers, and many who have learnt from him the beautiful lesson of devoted. reverent service of the Blessed Sacrament. and left behind the record of a life that was this lesson lived. Such a life may be little by the standards of the world, but it must be very great by the only standard that counts when life is over. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Patrick Burke 1882-1941
Br Patrick Burke was referred to by externs as “The Saint”.

Born in Cork in 1882, he was attached to Egan’s the jewellers in that city, and then with Stokes of Westmoreland Street Dublin. It was here that he heard the call in 1921, and answewred it to become a lay-brother in the Society.

Always extremely neat in his person, he was precise in his manner and exact in his duties. All his religious life he devoted to the altar as Sacristan, and there he displayed exquisite taste in adorning the altar and looking after the vestments.

He had a wide circle of friends and admirers, who revered him as a holy man, many of whom had known him “in the world”, under the soubriquet of “The Major”.

He was most closely associated with Milltown Park, where he died an edifying death on 7th September 1941.

Burke, William, 1826-1869, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/972
  • Person
  • 17 December 1826-26 September 1869

Born: 17 December 1826, Ower, Headford, County Galway
Entered: 25 October 1845, Amiens, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1859
Died: 26 September 1869, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1857 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) Studying Theology
by 1859 in Laval France (FRA) studying Theology

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He made his Noviceship at Amiens in France in the company of James Dalton and William Seaver.

1851 He was Teacher and Prefect at Tullabeg, and he spent about six years there.
1857 He was then sent to St Beuno’s for Theology. However, Frederick St Theologate was opened and William was one of the first to be sent there. The following year he was sent for studies at Laval.
When he returned from Laval, he was sent to Belvedere. By 1863 he was Minister there, and continued in that role for two years, and then took it up again in 1868. he was known to be very exact in the observance of the rule.
He also gave the Spiritual Exercises with great success, and generally very helpful in Direction.
He died of a fever at Belvedere 26 September 1869.

Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel, 1893–1958, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/973
  • Person
  • 26 December 1893–14 September 1958

Born: 26 December 1893, 9 Rathdown Terrace, Dublin
Entered: 17 February 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1929, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 September 1958, Lewisham Hospital, Lewisham, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1917 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1921 in Australia - Regency
by 1928 at St Beuno’s, St Asaph, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Belvedere College SJ before he entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1915-1916 After First Vows he was at University College Dublin for his Juniorate
1916-1919 He was sent for Philosophy to St Aloysius, Jersey and Milltown Park, Dublin
1919 he was sent to Australia for Regency. He spent one year at Xavier College Kew (1919-1920) and then to St Ignatius Riverview as an Assistant Prefect of Discipline and a Teacher (1920-1922)
1922-1927 He returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park.
1727-1728 He made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales.
1929-1946 He returned to Australia and St Ignatius Riverview, where he was assistant Minister, Senior Science Teacher and took care of the Rowing.
1945-1950 He was appointed Assistant Director of the Observatory at Riverview
1950 He was appointed Director of the Observatory at Riverview after Daniel O’Connell was appointed to the Vatican Observatory. He was particularly good at interpreting seismic patterns, and he picked up the Bikini atomic explosion, which was considered a security risk at the time he informed the US authorities. he was also the author of a number of scientific papers, the best known of which was probably “The Seismological and Related Aspects of the 1954 Hyrdogen Bomb Explosion”, which he wrote in conjunction with Professor KE Bullen, and was published in the “Australian Journal of Physics” in 1957.
He was a keen scientist. Teaching Physics he improvised brilliantly. he created the “Gaffoscope”, a device to illustrate the action of magnetic lines. His chief interest probably lay in Biology. he was very interested in wild life, especially snakes, which he dealt with fearlessly. But the most valuable part of his teaching probably was his devotion to truth that he instilled in his students and the appreciation he gave them by his own example of meticulous and untiring work.

As a Spiritual Father to the community, he was remembered for his monthly talks. They were simple, practical and solid, and expressed in an English of rare dignity and beauty, but more importantly their impact came from the fact that they were so clearly the principles that ruled his own austere life, the life of a man clearly dedicated to God and the truth.

He was a reserved man, very faithful to his duties and was an exemplary religious.. His observance of obedience was very strict, and he worked until just before his death. He was also a gentle man, considered too sensitive for the boys of Riverview who did not treat him kindly.

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel (1893–1958)
by G. P. Walsh
G. P. Walsh, 'Burke-Gaffney, Thomas Noel (1893–1958)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/burke-gaffney-thomas-noel-9632/text16989, published first in hardcopy 1993, accessed online 1 July 2020.

Died 14 September 1958 : Lewisham, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

astronomer; Catholic priest; schoolteacher; seismologist

Thomas Noel Burke-Gaffney (1893-1958), Jesuit priest, seismologist and astronomer, was born on 26 December 1893 at 9 Rathdown Terrace, Dublin, fourth son of Thomas Burke Gaffney, valuer, and his wife Jenny, née O'Donnell. Educated in 1901-12 at Belvedere College, Dublin, Noel entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg on 17 February 1913. He attended science lectures at the National University of Ireland in 1915-16 and in 1917-19 studied philosophy at Jersey, Channel Islands, and at Milltown Park, Dublin. After teaching at St Francis Xavier's College, Melbourne, in 1921, and at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, Sydney, in 1922-23, he returned to Ireland to complete his theology studies at Milltown Park where he was ordained priest on 31 July 1926.

In September 1928 he returned to Riverview where he taught science until becoming assistant-director of Riverview College Observatory in 1946 (director from 1952). Although Burke-Gaffney was a dedicated and unorthodox teacher of physics who used ingenious devices like his 'gaffoscope' to illustrate degaussing, he was a poor disciplinarian in the classroom, 'too gentle for the boys of Riverview'. Nevertheless, he was loved by his pupils and famed for his little zoo of native animals—his 'gafferoos' as he called them—which delighted a loyal and devoted following of country boys. He possessed 'an uncanny ability to tame wild creatures', and instilled into his boys the importance and nobility of the natural sciences.

A keen and devoted scientist, Burke-Gaffney published papers on the seismicity of Australia, on the detection of S waves in the earth's inner core and on special phases from New Zealand earthquakes. His most notable contribution was four papers written with Professor K. E. Bullen on the seismic aspects of nuclear explosions, studies which attracted worldwide attention. Burke-Gaffney was the first to discover that nuclear explosions detonated at or near ground level showed up on seismographs. A council-member (1954-58) and vice-president (1957-58) of the Royal Society of New South Wales, he unstintingly helped many young seismologists and did valuable work as secretary-convenor of the sub-committee on seismology of the Australian national committee for the International Geophysical Year (1957-58).

Father Burke-Gaffney also carried out extensive work on variable stars. A man of great faith, he found it hard to understand how an astronomer could ever be an atheist: 'Astronomy', he said, 'constantly impresses you with the majesty of the Almighty, and the regularity of its laws presupposes the Lawgiver'.

Slightly built and somewhat self-effacing, Burke-Gaffney lived quietly and austerely. Few outside his college friends and scientific colleagues got to know him well, but those who did found him 'a charming and liberal-minded man, graced with a gentle dignity and a delightful humour'. Revered as an outstanding community member, he was truly—vir Deo deditus et veritati (a man dedicated to God and to the truth). He died of Hodgkin's disease on 14 September 1958 in Lewisham hospital and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery.

Select Bibliography
E. Lea-Scarlett, Riverview (Syd, 1989)
St Ignatius College, Riverview (Sydney), Our Alma Mater, 1952, 1957, 1958
Nature (London), 15 Nov 1958, p 1343
Australian Journal of Science, 21, 1958, p 133
Royal Astronomical Society, Monthly Notice, 119, 1959, p 344
Royal Society of New South Wales, Journal, 93, 1959, p 86
Belvederian (Dublin), 1959
Sydney Morning Herald, 16 Oct 1948, 9 Sept, 4 Oct 1952, 25 Apr 1953, 4 Mar 1954, 8 June, 3 July, 19 Sept 1957, 15 Sept 1958

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 1 1959
Obituary :
Fr Thomas Noel Burke-Gaffney (1893-1958)
With the death of Fr. Burke-Gaffney Australian geophysics and Jesuit science suffered a great loss. He was the director of the Riverview College Observatory since 1952, when the former director, Fr. D. O'Connell, was appointed to the Vatican Observatory, Castelgandolfo. He maintained and increased the reputation of Riverview as a first class observatory and the most important in the southern hemisphere. He carried on the work of his predecessors, the routine observations and measurements of stars and earthquakes, as begun by Fr. Pigot and continued by Fr. O'Leary and Fr. O'Connell.
Educated at Belvedere College, Fr. Burke-Gaffney entered Tullabeg, on 17th February, 1913, studied at the National University, did philosophy in Jersey and theology in Ireland and returned as a priest to Australia. At Riverview he was appointed senior science master. Always a scientist, his earlier interest was in biology and his “200” is remembered by former generations of Riverview boys. He taught physics for many years and in 1946 was appointed assistant to Fr. O'Connell in the observatory, Here he quickly mastered the routine work and became expert in the reading and interpretation of the records. As director he continued this work which is summed up in, the bulletins issued by the observatory. This should be reckoned his most important contribution to science on account of the excellence of the records and the accuracy of his measurements.
Fr. Burke-Gaffney played a valuable part in the Australian I.G.Y. programme on the national committee for seismology and was for several years a member of the council of the Royal Society of N.S.W. His published work includes seven papers on seismology mainly written in collaboration with Professor Bullen of the University of Sydney. The papers were concerned with the seismicity of Australia, the problem of discovering S waves in the earth's inner core, special phases from New Zealand earthquakes, and seismic aspects of nuclear explosions, The last work attracted world-wide attention, he was the first to publish the recordings of atomic explosions. Professor Bullen, in his presidential address to the International Association of Seismology in Toronto, 1957, on Seismology in Our Atomic Age paid full tribute to this work of Fr. Burke-Gaffney and in Nature (15th November, 1958) described him as one who “lived austerely and was one of Australia's most unassuming scientists and a man of quiet gentle dignity”. He was, moreover, spiritual father of his community, his exhortations are described as simple, practical, solid and expressed in English of rare dignity and beauty. He died on 14th September and was buried in Gore Hill cemetery. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1959

Obituary

Father Noel Burke-Gaffney SJ

With the death of Fr Burke-Gaffney, Australian geophysics and Jesuit science suffered a great loss. He was director of the Riverview College Observatory since 1952, when the former director Fr D O'Connell, was appointed to the Vatican Observatory, Castelgandolfo. He maintained and increased the reputation of Riverview as a first-class observatory and the most important in the southern hemisphere. He carried on the work of his predecessors, the routine measurements and observations of stars and earthquakes begun by Fr Pigot and continued by Fr O'Leary and Fr O'Connell.

He was born in Dublin and educated. at Belvedere. Having completed his initial training in the Society of Jesus, which he entered in February, 1913, he attended lectures at the National University and did his course of Philosophy, partly in Ireland and partly at Jersey, Channel Islands.

He went to Australia in 1921 and after some years teaching returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park. He was ordained priest there on July 31st, 1926. He then returned to Australia and was Senior Science Master at Riverview until 1946 when he became Assistant Director of the College Observatory and Director in 1952.

Fr Burke-Gaffney was a keen scientist, yet his chief interest lay probably with biology and he was famous among the boys of Riverview principally for his “zoo”. Teaching Physics, he improvised brilliantly and was a master in the devising of equipment. But the most valuable part of his teaching was surely the devotion to truth he instilled into his pupils and the appreciation he gave them, by his own example of meticulous and untiring work, of the importance and nobility of the natural sciences - “The heavens proclaim the glory of God”.

He played a valuable part in the Australian IGY programme on the national committee for seismology and was for several years a member of the council of the Royal Society of New South
Wales. He wrote many scientific papers the chief of which were concerned with the seismicity of Australia, the problem of discovering S waves in the earth's inner core, special phases from New Zealand earthquakes, and seismic aspects of nuclear explosions. The last work attracted world-wide attention, he was the first to publish the recordings of atomic explosions. Professor K E Bullen, in his presidential address to the International Association of Seismology in Toronto, 1957, paid fuil tribute to this work of Fr Burke-Gaffney.

His fellow religious have paid tribute to his qualities as a religious and as a man. He was always a wonderful community man. It was one of his greatest consolations during his last illness that he was allowed to return for a few weeks to be with them at Riverview. He had been Spiritual Father to the Community there and had been much valued for his practical, solid talks, valuable chiefly in that they were so clearly the outcome of the principles that ruled his own austere life, the life of a man completely dedicated to God and the truth. - Vir Deo deditus et veritati.

Burke-Gaffney, Walter M, 1896-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/974
  • Person
  • 17 December 1896-14 January 1979

Born: 17 December 1896, Dublin
Entered: 13 October 1920, Guelph, Ontario, Canada - Canada Superioris Province(CAN S)
Ordained: 31 July 1930, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1967
Died: 14 January 1979, St Vincent’s Nursing Home, Windsor Street, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada - Canada Superioris Province(CAN S)

by 1929 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1928-1931

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1979

Obituary

Father Walter Burke Gaffney SJ

Colonel J J Burke-Gaffney has released some cuttings about the life of his brother Walter S.J. We reprint one from the Halifax Star, and follow this with the panegyric preached by the Most Rev Dr Joseph Hayes, Archbishop of Halifax Nova Scotia. The Halifax Star concentrates on Fr Walter's formidable academic achievements; the strong light which the bishop directs from the side, shows up some new depths in the image.

We will perhaps be pardoned for proudly drawing attention to the few simple words: “the Canadian Martyrs Church” ... Those martyrs are Jesuit martyrs, and some of the most glorious martyrs in the history of the Church! Not a cape, not a headland, not a river estuary in Eastern Canada exists, that was not rounded, tramped, waded, splashed, cut-through and beaten down by French Jesuits. They were among the first Europeans on the “location”. A total world away from their native land, among natives of matchless cruelty and savagery, their intense spirituality and total dedication might almost make St Lawrence envy them. In fact their actual slow-fire martyrdom, their actual lack of cooperation with their torturers in not responding with screams, is strongly reminiscent of the accounts of the death of St Lawrence Martyr: “This side is cooked, turn me over ...”, “... now eat me!” In the case of St Lawrence Martyr there may be some exaggeration, but in the case of saints Isaac Jogues, Jean de Brebeuf, and Companions, Jesuit Martyrs, there is none. (One wonders who named the St Lawrence River? Was it so named by these first European explorers because of what they foresaw of their likely end?)

We repeat our apology, but protest that we are proud to belong to a company that produced such men as these, the “Canadian Martyrs”. Fr Walter, in life, was proud to be numbered in such a group, and surely, his spiritual life during forty years in Canada must have been influenced by such glorious roots.

From The Halifax Star 16.1.1979

Rev Michael Walter Burke Gaffney, well known teacher, engineer and astronomer at St Mary's University, died Sunday in St Vincent's Guest House, Halifax, He was 82.

A native of Dublin, Ireland, Father Burke Gaffney was one of the original group of Jesuit priests who arrived in Halifax in 1940 to begin teaching and administration at Saint Mary's.

He studied at Belvedere College and University College in Dublin and graduated from the National University of Ireland with the degree of Bachelor of Engineering in 1917.

Attached to the British war office and air ministry in London from 1917 to 1920, he constructed aerodromes in Britain during the First World War.

He later designed bridges in Manitoba before making the decision to enter the Society of Jesus in 1920...

...Ordained a priest in 1930 he took a Master of Science degree in 1933 and two years later his doctorate in astronomy, both at Georgetown University, Washington.

Following four years as a lecturer at the Jesuit Seminary in Toronto and a year at St Paul's College, Winnipeg, he came to Saint Mary's in 1940. He was dean of engineering for eight years and dean of science for four years. He was professor of astronomy from 1955 to 1965 when he became professor emeritus.

He was a past member of the board of governors and the senate of the Nova Scotia Technical College. He was the first Canadian to hold membership in the International Academy of the History of Science and in 1951 he was elected honorary president of the Nova Scotia Astronomical Society, an organisation he helped to found.

A member of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, the American Astronomical Society and the Association of Professional Engineers of Nova Scotia, he has written books and articles about astronomy and engineering for scholarly journals.

An astronomical observatory unit atop Saint Mary's academic residence was named in his honour.

He is survived by a brother, Lieutenant-Colonel John Joseph Burke-Gaffney, Dublin, and 14 nieces and nephews. Besides his parents he was predeceased by six brothers and three sisters.

The body will be at the Canadian Martyrs Church from 2 p.m. today, Office of the Dead will be recited this.evening at 8 o'clock.

Funeral liturgy will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Canadian Martyrs Church, Most Rev James M. Hayes, Archbishop of Halifax presiding.

The address of Archbishop Hayes

In the second reading from I Corinthians, St. Paul is speaking like a scientist of his day. He goes to the scientific facts commonly known and held to help his readers understand the mystery of God's great gift of new life and of a future resurrection. Biology or botany (the seed and the plant) astronomy: (the make-up of human beings) he uses all to teach what was for Him a deeper and more basic truth. The dead will rise again.

It seems to me most appropriate that we should hear Paul speaking in this way when we come to the funeral liturgy for our departed brother Michael Walter Burke-Gaffney. The sciences have advanced a lot since Paul's day but the eternal truths revealed to us by God in His Son Jesus, have not changed at all. The good man whom we come to remember and honour today used the scientific knowledge which he possessed to pass on the same eternal truths about God and His saving work.

In the passing of Father Burke-Gaffney, we have lost a friend or an associate or a brother in the priesthood and we all feel his passing in a different way. But no matter what our association was, we all mourn a good man, an accomplished scientist and author, who was first and always a priest and a devoted religious member of the Society of Jesus.

A store of scientific knowledge he possessed; and he was always ready to share it with others. But all his talents and knowledge were, in his mind, to be used only for one purpose, to teach the kingdom of God and bring it to his students, his Listeners, his readers.

Just yesterday, his latest publication came from the press. It is an account of the devotion of our Lady among the missionaries and early settlers in New France from 1634 to 1641. This essay was awarded first place in a Canadian history contest held during the Marian year in 1954.

We learn in the scriptures that the tiny seed must die to produce a rich harvest. Otherwise it remains alone in the earth and barren. Jesus used this exam ple to point to His own self-giving, His own death and resurrection. We christians believe that those who die believing in Jesus will rise with Him to a new life. We celebrate these funeral rites today, precisely because we believe these truths. As we look back over the life of our departed friend and brother, it is not hard to make the comparison. Here is a man, who for the almost 40 years we in Halifax have known him, gave himself generously to be of service to others as a teacher, a counsellor, a community builder, a priest. It can be said without equivocation that Father Burke-Gaffney literally gave his life for others. His service was complete, his dedication total, so that he served others as long as his physical and psychic strength permitted him to do so. Even after it was difficult for him to read, his fertile mind continued to Speculate on so many things, things he liked to share with his visitors. Doing his life's work as he did joyfully for the sake of Jesus, we confidently believe that the servant and the master are united. That the glory of the resurrection is now to be the fruit of a life generously and gladly given.

It was as an astronomer that Father Burke Gaffney received public acclaim in Halifax. The advent of space travel gave him ample scope to deepen and share his knowledge of the heavens and the stars. I remember my first contact with him 38 years ago, to hear him lecture on “New stars”. I am told that he showed delight recently when he heard that his 1937 article on the “Star Of Bethlehem From An Astronomer's Point Of View”, is still quoted as a reference for scripture scholars.

This interest in astronomy like all the others, was used by this good man to bring other people to know God better. For him every star, like the Star of Bethlehem was a means of bringing wise men nearer to Jesus, “The heavens declare the Glory of God and the firmament proclaims His handiwork”. (Ps. 19)

I don't think we would be far wrong in saying that now, when the limitations of the mortal body have been thrown oft, Father Gaffney will realise, make real, the word of the Lord spoken through Daniel: “The learned will shine as brightly as the vault of heaven, and those who have instructed many in virtue, as bright as stars, for all eternity”, (Daniel 12:3). Surely a part of his heavenly reward will be to marvel at the wonders of the universe that fascinated him so much while he was with us.

Now that he has gone from us, many people will miss him. I think particularly of his brothers in the Jesuit Community; of Monsignor Granville, the Chaplain at St Vincent's Guesthouse, for whom he was a friend and a brother; of Sister Susan Duggan and the other sisters, nurses and members of the Guesthouse staff who were so kind and dedicated to him. In the name of all the priests, I want to thank you for all you have done.

It remains now for us to remember; and to pray that the peace and glory of the Resurrection will be his and that we hope someday follow him to that reward. Let that be our intention as we continue the celebration of the Eucharist.

Bury, James, 1866-1927, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/77
  • Person
  • 02 October 1866-04 March 1927

Born: 02 October 1866, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1888, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1903, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died 04 March 1927, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of St Francis Xavier's Residence, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin.

by 1892 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1905 at St David’s, Mold, Wales (FRA) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After his Novitiate he studied Philosophy in Jersey, and then went for Regency to Clongowes for many years. After that he studied Theology at Milltown, was Ordained there and went on the FRA Tertianship at Mold, Wales.
After Tertianship he spent two years at Clongowes before joining the Mission Staff for a year.
The following four years he spent at Milltown as Minister.
He then was sent to Gardiner St as Minister and held that office for eight years, before his unexpected death at St Vincent’s, Dublin after an operation 04 March 1927.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927
Obituary :
Father James Bury
Early in March the province got a painful surprise by the news that Fr Bury was dead. He had been operated on for appendicitis, complications set in, and a second operation became necessary. The heart gave way, and he died on the 4th March. Fr. Bury was carried off in the full vigor of mature manhood. At the time of his death he was Minister of Gardiner Street, Prefect of the Church, had charge of two Sodalities, and of the “Penny Dinners”. He took a full share in the work of the Church, and was head of the missionary staff. He certainly served a full apprenticeship in the Society.
After Philosophy at Jersey, he went to Clongowes, where he spent one year Gallery Prefect, four at 3rd line, and then got charge of the “Big Study”. Theology at Milltown followed and Tertianship at Mold. The next year saw him at Clongowes, where for two years he ruled the Higher Line. In 1907-8 he was Missioner, and for the four following years Minister at Milltown. He then returned to Mission work, and was connected with the Staff until his death.. From 1913 he was stationed in Gardiner Street, and was Minister of the House for eight years.
How much he was appreciated by those with whom he came in contact is, perhaps, best evidenced by the simple address of the Gardiner Street Staff : “Very Rev. Fr, Superior, on behalf of the House Staff, Who sadly miss our lamented Father Minister (RIP), We ask your Reverence to accept this little offering, £2 8s. 6d., for a Novena of Masses to be offered for the Repose of the Soul of dear Father Bury. We believe that this spiritual remembrance would be preferable to any perishable wreath”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Bury SJ 1866-1927
At the comparatively early age of 57 and in the full vigour of his powers, Fr James Bury died in Dublin on March 4th 1927 as a result of an operation.

He was long associated with Gardiner Street, where he was Minister for wight years previous to his death. A great churchman, popular with all, both priests and laity, he had a special gift for dealing with children. He was often called upon to preside at functions for children, and had the knack of producing order out of chaos.

He was born in Dublin in 1866, and he was educated at Belvedere College. He spent some time in Paris and also engaged in business in Dublin before he entered the Society in 1888.

During his time in Gardiner Street and at the time of his death, he was in charge of the Night Workers Sodality, but whom he was deservedly loved.

◆ The Clongownian, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The name of Father Bury will recall many memories to those who were here between the years 1894 and 1907. He came to Clongowes on the completion of his philosophical studies in Jersey, and filled the post of Gallery Prefect for one year. From 1895 to 1899 he guided the destinies of the Third Line, and those who had the happiness of being under him will recall his geniality and ready understanding of, and sympathy with, all that interests and worries boys at that early age. For the following two years he was Prefect of the Big Study; a strict disciplinarian, but withal popular with the boys, who admired him for his zeal for their success at examinations and his helpful interest in the struggling members of the “pass” classes, and the way he joined in their cheers when a surprise Play-day cut short the morning study. Returning from Theology in 1905, he became Higher Line Prefect, relinquishing the post in 1907 to take up the work of giving missions throughout the country, which occupied him more or less continually, until 1921, when he joined the staff of St Francis Xavier's Church in Dublin, becoming Minister the following year, and directing the work of the Missioners until his death.

Father Bury was a specialist in the very difficult work of giving children's missions, and the manner in which he gripped his youthful audiences and wrought them to a pitch of enthusiasm showed a rare power of sympathy and understanding with little folk, combined with great oratorical gifts; Indeed he will be missed by none more than the children of the poor, who idolised him, and on his walks they literally mobbed him for the privilege of holding his hand. He practically never left the Presbytery door but a poor flower-seller waylaid him and presented him with the choicest blooms in her basket.

He was a big-hearted man, very lovable, and the sobs of the poor who crowded the Church at his obsequies and followed his remains to the grave told more eloquently than speech or pen could of his sterling worth as a priest and a Jesuit. RIP

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1927

Obituary

Father James Bury SJ

The death of Father James Bury SJ, on March 4th came as a great shock to all. He had gone to hospital for a very necessary but simple operation, from which no one anticipated the slightest danger. An entirely unexpected complication set in, and, as a result, Father Bury had breathed his last before it was generally known that he was ill. Great was the grief of the Gardiner Street congregation and particularly of the poor when they learned of his unexpected death.

At the time of his death he was Minister of the residence in Gardiner Street, Dublin, and Superior of the Missions given by the Irish Jesuits. Previous to that he had been Minister in Milltown Park, and Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes. In all these offices he was genial to all, ever ready to oblige, devoted to his work, and kind to the poor. A sound, pleasing preacher, whose forte was plain, convincing instruction, he will be greatly missed. In the difficult role of preacher to children he was at his best. In this last work, which was particularly dear to him, he had few equals and perhaps no superior.

Byrne, Charles J, 1886-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/985
  • Person
  • 28 February 1886-22 February 1967

Born: 28 February 1886, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 16 May 1918, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1922, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 22 February 1967, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Belvedere College SJ, Dublin community at the time of death

by 1907 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Charles Byrne SJ (1886-1967)

Fr. Charles Byrne was born in Dublin on 28th February 1886. He received his primary education at Synge Street and his secondary education in Belvedere, where he went in 1897. James Joyce was one of his companions but Fr. Charles did not find him a congenial soul. He entered the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1902 and remained there as a junior to study for his B.A. “Work was real, work was earnest”, in those days and he felt grateful to have survived the ordeal unscathed and with a B.A. to boot.
The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst and on his return to Ireland he was sent for a year to the Crescent where he taught the First Arts class and then for four years, as a teacher, to Clongowes where he had His Grace, Archbishop McQuaid as a pupil. In 1915 he began his theology in Milltown Park and was ordained in May 1918, the early date being due to the conscription scare of that year. At the end of theology he was sent to the Crescent for a year before tertianship and returned there in 1921. For ten years he was operarius, teacher and Minister at the Crescent. Then in 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he taught for 29 years without a break. When he retired from teaching he was appointed Superior of Loyola House and then last summer (1966) he returned to Belvedere where he died on 23rd February after the briefest of illnesses.
Of his 65 years in the Society, Fr. Byrne spent 46 in the colleges, doing that work which the General Congregation has again asserted to be one of our most important ministries. He was the kind of totally dedicated teacher that every college wants - for all his activities were centred around the work of the house whether it was teaching or theatricals or games. He had far more of the graces than the average Jesuit and he made use of them in a way that impressed the boys. Thus, he had a fine voice which was heard to advantage at a High Mass; he was a most graceful skater on ice, an elusive half at soccer and so good a hockey player that he was capped for Munster, which must be a Jesuit record.
As a teacher of Latin he used many industriae, mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes and competitions, so that he rarely had need to order punishment. Then the lazy boy was shamed into working by noticing how hard his master worked for him and he could not help noticing it. Every mark for a theme was duly noted down and every mark in an examination was duly entered so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the school. For most of his time at Belvedere Fr. Byrne taught the first divisions in the top years. There was a very close bond between him and his class, so close indeed that when he was replaced by a younger Jesuit they resented losing him and the Prefect of Studies had his work cut out trying to smooth things over.
When Minister at the Crescent Fr. Byrne entered wholeheartedly into the activities of the Cecilian Society and tales of those days are still current in Limerick where he was remembered with affection, as his Christmas post from Limerick testified. On his transfer to Belvedere he put his skill at the disposal of Fr. M. Glynn who had just launched out on his long programme of Gilbert and Sullivan Operas. During opera week Fr. Byrne was a familiar sight in the green room in a khaki dust coat and with neat boxes of grease paint laid out like a surgeon's instruments.
On Fr. Glynn's breakdown Fr. Byrne at a moment's notice stepped into his shoes and with admirable skill and still more admirable patience produced year after year the college opera from 1939 to 1960. He appreciated good singing, good speaking and graceful movement. Year after year to make some forty boys good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately, like Fr. Glynn, he possessed the secret of attaching the cast to himself so that all were anxious to do their best.
As has been said already any school was glad to have him and the same may be said about any community. The reason was obvious; he was unassuming, considerate and prompt to offer assistance. He was the Prefect of Studies answer to prayer for he considered the work assigned to him on the status had first claims on his time and energy. Only when he had conscientiously done his work did he consider himself free to do work of his own choice.
From our mode of life most of us are inclined to develop marked bachelor characteristics, carelessness of dress, untidy habits and general disregard for what we despise as “the frills”. Others of us react strongly against such ways and Fr. Charles was one of these. He is said to have asked a friend whose dishevelled breviary he viewed with disapproval : “Do you wash your hands after using that book?”
Without being foppish he was always carefully dressed. He took great care of his clothes and made them last a long time. A visit to his room was quite an experience; it was so unlike the typical lair of a Jesuit. Nothing was out of place. Everything was brushed and polished and the humblest furniture decorated.
When he returned to Belvedere last September he endeavoured to follow the order of time as far as possible. And he remained like this to the end. Indeed he was at recreation the evening before he died. Then on the day of his death he celebrated Mass and in the afternoon before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his beads. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room suffering obviously from a stroke. He was anointed by Fr. B. Murray. A doctor was summoned (Dr. E. Guiney, one of his former pupils) and he advised transfer to hospital. He was brought by ambulance to the Mater, but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away.
He was considerate to the end, dying in the manner that would inconvenience the community as little as possible. May his quiet and gentle soul rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father Charles J Byrne SJ (Pupil 1897-1902; Teacher 1931-1960)

Fr Charles Byrne died most unexpectedly : on the evening of 22nd February 1967. He had returned to Belvedere the previous summer having spent six years as Superior of Loyola House, Eglinton Road, Dublin. On the day of his death he said Mass, in the afternoon recited his Breviary and before dinner walked up and down the corridor saying his Rosary. Shortly afterwards he was found in his room apparently dozing in his chair but really in a semi-coma. He was conscious of what was going on around him but was unable to communicate with those present though he made efforts to do so. The Last Sacraments were administered to him and then it was decided to transfer him to hospital. He was brought to the Mater Hospital but before he could get treatment he passed quietly away. This gentle and unobtrusive going was in complete keeping with his whole life, considerate for others at all times and dying in the manner that would cause as little inconvenience as possible.

After five years as a pupil in Belvedere Fr Byrne entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg in 1902 and after his profession remained there as a junior to study for his BA degree. The three years of philosophy were spent at Stonyhurst College, England, and his teaching as a scholastic extended over six years, one at the Crescent and five at Clongowes where he taught science. In 1915 he began his theology at Milltown Park and was ordained there in May 1918. After tertianship he returned to the Crescent College, Limerick, where he combined the duties of Minister and teacher and was also in charge of the public church. During this period he entered wholeheartedly into the spirit of the Cecilian Society and even to this day he is remembered with affection in Limerick.

In 1931 he was transferred to Belvedere where he resumed a long unbroken association with his Alma Mater for almost thirty years. He taught mostly Latin to the Senior Honours classes in which he had remarkable success. He had a close bond with all his pupils and never had to resort to sanctions as an incentive to work. He had a fund of mnemonics, rhymes, anecdotes which made life for the boy that little more interesting and somewhat easier when it came to imbibing knowledge. He was a very dedicated and industrious teacher, noting down most meticulously every mark for a theme and every mark for an examination, so that there was available a complete record of the work of each pupil during his progress through the college.

Fr Byrne had a lively interest in sport and maintained this interest right to the end. He supported all the college matches and was keenly interested in the welfare of the old boys rugby and cricket clubs. He was no mean athlete himself giving a good account on the soccer field, golf course and tennis court. He had the unusual distinction of being capped for Munster in hockey.

The work for which he is best remembered was the annual staging of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas. For twenty-two years he produced almost single-handed a very polished and finished work. He attended to every aspect of the opera - production, music, dialogue, stage grouping and make-up. No detail escaped his eye whether it was a note of music, a small point of pronunciation, gesture, deportment - all was brought to a fine art making each play more impressive than the previous one. It cannot be said too often that it is to his credit that he secured his achievement from a cast which were in the most literal sense school boys. Year after year to make forty boys into good singers, good speakers and graceful movers called for heroic devotion. Fortunately he seemed to have the gift of attaching the cast to himself so much so that the boys vied with each other in attempting to put his directives into practice.

In the 1948 “Belvederian” we read: “Fr. Byrne labours for some four months and each year he must, if he is human, wonder if this straw will yield brick. Each year as the fruit of his work appears he must have a qualm. Each year we leave saying with awe - he has done it again. There are bold statisticians who tell us this present production is the best ever”. And indeed so it was with all operas - each one seemed to be better than the previous one. The community, the boys, the parents, and the old boys often reminisce on those wonderful and enjoyable nights with his memorable productions. It was his fervent wish that the college operas would be resumed in the not too far distant future. For many years he was the mentor and support of the Old Belvedere Musical and Dramatic Society, guiding it through its hazards in its early years.

In his dealings with others he exercised a gentle but very marked influence. He was unassuming, considerate and ever prompt to offer assistance. He was courteous to the extreme and even the slightest favour rendered would never go unrewarded. He had a wonderful equanimity of temperament and whether approached first thing in the morning or last thing at night he always gave the impression of being ever ready and pleased to deal with the particular situation in hand. With his many loyal helpers during opera week, and there were many, and with others with whom he came into contact during the course of every day life, he left the impression that it was a privilege to be associated with him or having to do business with him.

Ungentlemanliness was foreign to his character and the boys realised this, respected him for it and did their best at all times to behave as gentlemen in his presence. More than once he has been described as one of nature's gentlemen - a truer estimation would be a gentleman of God.

He was happy to return to Belvedere last summer. He entered into the spirit of the college activities, picking up the broken threads after a lapse of six years. He died as was his wish, almost in harness, slipping away in his own quiet and unobtrusive way.

May his kind and gentle soul rest in peace.

Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

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

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Fethard,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Byrne, John Gabriel, 1873-1943, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/81
  • Person
  • 26 March 1873-07 November 1943

Born: 26 March 1873, Mullingar, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 November 1943, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

by 1895 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
by 1908 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 : Left on account of sight. Studied for priesthood in Rome and went on South African Mission!

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 19th Year No 1 1944
Obituary :
Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr. John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school, He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.
The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche which he himself translated and produced.
He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.
He was the Father of the House. He had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr, Byrne began to fail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked “Why get me these things, they must cost a lot at the present time.” On one occasion he asked Fr. Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him - the price, etc., - and was told they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”
He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was; “but Father, he has his own work to do.” It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br. Colgan to remain with him for the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. Fr. Rector, Fr. Socius, Fr. Minister, and other members of the Community witnessed his happy death. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.
On Monday morning Fr. Rector said a Requiem Mass in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, a number came to pray there during the day.
The President and Officials of the Past Pupils Union, Officials of various Committees, the Lay-Masters and a large number of Priests attended the funeral. The Lay-Masters, the boys of II Syntax I, and some past pupils sent Mass cards. R.I.P.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Fr John Gabriel Byrne, who died at Belvedere on November 7th, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school. He entered the Society at St. Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote 40 years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of maty generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he contributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped to popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatišts, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days.

He was the Father of the House; he had been in Belvedere since 1910. Last spring Fr Byrne began to ail. In July it became quite clear that he had not long to live. He suspected this and asked to be told the verdict of the doctors. He said Mass each day up to 29th August. From the beginning of September he was unable to swallow food. He received the last Sacraments on 29th September and again on 5th November. On both occasions he answered the prayers and carefully followed every detail of the ceremony. For the last 14 days of his life he suffered a great deal from thirst. Throughout his sickness he was an exemplary patient. He did complain of the excessive thirst, but more often asked: “Why get me these things; they must cost a lot at the present time?” On one occasion he asked Fr Minister about a few pears which he had brought to him : the price, etc., and was told that they were a present. He then said: “Why deprive the Community of them for me!”

He was most considerate about causing extra trouble. To suggestions his invariable answer was “But Father, he has his own work to do”. It was only on November 6th that he would allow Br Colgan to remain with him during the night. On Sunday morning, November 7th, about 10.30, he was called to his reward. He passed away very quietly during the third decade of the Rosary.

On Monday morning Fr Rector said a Requiem Mass. in the presence of the boys. The remains were placed in the Drawing Room, and a number came to pray there during the day, RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1944

Obituary

Father John G Byrne SJ

Father John G Byrne was a most efficient and popular teacher in Clongowes for seven years (1898-1905) when he was a Scholastic. He was later Minister for two years, 1908–1910. From that date until his death last November, he was on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, but he always took a deep interest in the welfare of those Clongowes boys whom he had known during his nine years here. Those who benefited by his labours and his kindness may now repay him by a prayer for his eternal welfare and niay be sure that they in their turn will not be forgotten. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1944

Obituary

Father John Gabriel Byrne SJ

Rev John Gabriel Byrne who died at Belvedere College, Dublin, came of a well-known Mullingar family. Born in 1873, he received his education at Mungret College, Limerick, where his name was one of the first to be entered on the roll of the lay school and his name appears second in the list of the Sodality of Our Lady after the name of Mons Joyce of Portumna.

He entered the Society of Jesus at St Stanislaus's College, Tullamore, in 1891, and studied philosophy at Valkenburg, Holland, after which he began at Clongowes Wood College his long career as a teacher, to which he was to devote forty years of a strenuous life. He pursued his theological studies at Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained priest in 1907. He completed his religious training at Tronchiennes, Belgium, and was then Minister for two years at Clongowes.

The remainder of his life he spent on the teaching staff of Belvedere College, which he joined in 1910. During the last three decades of the growth and expansion of Belvedere, Father Byrne was the faithful repository of its traditions and helped to mould the lives of many generations of Belvederians. A talented musician, he con tributed in large measure to the raising of music and the drama to the high level which is still maintained at the College, and helped popularise some of the best plays of well-known French dramatists, such as Labiche, which he himself translated and produced.

He was an efficient and enthusiastic teacher, and knew how to stimulate thought and win the pupils' interest and affection. His death will be mourned as a personal loss by generations of Belvedere boys who treasured his friendship among the longest and as one of the happiest memories of their school days. RIP

Byrne, 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.

Cahill, Joseph B, 1857-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/996
  • Person
  • 13 January 1857-30 November 1928

Born: 13 January 1857, Ballyragget, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1896
Died: 30 November 1928, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia

by 1895 at Roehampton London (ANG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1895

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Stonyhurst.

After his Noviceship he spent a further two years at Milltown in the Juniorate, and then he was sent to Clongowes for Regency. At that time the Intermediate Cert was only two years in existence and he was given the task of preparing the boys for the senior grade. He also acted as a Sub-Prefect of Studies.
1891 He was back in Milltown for Philosophy, and then he returned for more Regency at Clongowes.
1888 He was sent to Louvain for Theology, and returned the following year when the Theologate at Milltown was opened, and he was Ordained there in 1890.
After Ordination he spent three years at Belvedere and was then sent to Roehampton for Tertianship.
1895 After Tertainship he was sent to Australia and started his life there at Xavier College Kew.
During his 33 years in Australia he worked at various Colleges : 19 at St Aloysius Sydney; 7 at St Patrick’s Melbourne - one as Prefect of Studies, two as Minister and Spiritual Father; 3 years at Riverview was Minister. He was also in charge of Sodalities, Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to Communities and boys, Examiner of young Priests and so on. Whatever he did, these were always part of his work.
He died at St Aloysius Sydney 30 November 1928

Earnestness and hard work were the keynotes of Joseph’s life. Whether praying, teaching, exercising, he was always the same, deadly in earnest. Imagination was for others! Time and reality were his benchmarks. At the same time he was immensely kind, very genuine if not so demonstrative. He was an excellent community man, a good companion and he enjoyed a joke as well as any other man.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Stonyhurst College and St Stanislaus Tullabeg before he entered the Society in Dublin.

1879-1880 After First Vows he continued at Milltown Park for a year of Juniorate
1880-1881 He was sent for a year of Regency at Clongowes Wood College, teaching Rhetoric, and as Hall Prefect and Assistant Prefect of Studies.
1881-1884 He returned to Milltown Park for Philosophy
1884-1888 He was back at Clongowes doing Regency, teaching Grammar, French and Arithmetic. He also prepared students for public exams.
1888-1889 He was sent to Leuven for Theology
1889-1891 He continued his Theology back a Milltown Park
1891-1894 He was sent to Belvedere College to teach Rhetoric and Humanities.
1894-1895 He made Tertianship at Roehampton, England
1895-1896 He was sent to Australia and firstly to Xavier College Kew
18996-1901 He moved to St Patrick’s Melbourne, where he was also Minister and Prefect of Studies at various times.
1901-1903 He returned to Xavier College
1903 He was sent as one of the founding members of the new community at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point.
1904-1908 He was sent to St Ignatius Riverview
1909 He returned to St Aloysius, Sydney, and remained there for the rest of his life.

Those who knew him say he was a most exact man in all he said and did. He was meticulous with dates and had a good memory for names and facts. He was also a fine raconteur and enjoyed conversation. He took an interest in the doings of those around him and longed for communication of ideas. He maintained a steady interest and curiosity in everything he approached. He appeared to have enjoyed his life.
He was also a man able to adjust to circumstances. He certainly had many changes of status in his earlier years. However, he was happy in the Society, wherever he lives, relishing every moment and enjoying the recollection of memories.
He was a teacher for 42 years, a man who prepared his classes most carefully and was regular and exact in correcting. He was absorbed in his work and completely dedicated to duty, absolutely punctual to class, a model of exactitude to others, and happy in the hidden daily routine of classroom teaching.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 4th Year No 2 1929

Obituary :
Fr Joseph Cahill
Fr. J. Cahill was born in Dublin on the 13th January 1857, educated at Stonyhurst, and entered the Society at Milltown Park 7th September 1876.The noviceship over, he spent two more years at Milltown in the juniorate, and was than sent to Clongowes. The “Intermediate” was just two years old, and Mr Cahill was entrusted with the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade. He also acted as Sub-Prefcct of Studies. in 1881 he began philosophy at Milltown, and when it was over returned to Clongowes as Master. 1888 found him at Louvain for Theology. Next year the new Theologate of the Irish Province was established at Milltown, and Mr Cahill was one of the first students. He was ordained in 1890. Three years at Belvedere followed, and then came the Tertianship at Roehampton. At its conclusion he bade farewell to Ireland, for in 1895 we find him a master at
Xavier College, Kew.
During the 33 years that Fr. Cahill lived in Australia, he worked in the Colleges - 19 years at St. Aloysius, 7 at St. Patrick's, 4 at Riverview and 3 at Xavier. At St Patrick’s he was one year Prefect of Studies and two years Minister and two Spiritual Father. Riverview had him as Minister for three years. He had charge of Sodalities, was Moderator of the Apostleship of Prayer, Confessor to communities and boys, Examiner of young priests etc. But whatever else he did the inevitable “Doc” or “Par. alum. ad exam.public” always found a place in the list of his activities. According to the Catalogue of 1929 he was Master for 43 years. He crowned a very hard working, holy life by a happy death at St. Aloysius on Friday, November 30th 1928.
Earnestness, steady hard work were the key-notes of Fr. Cahill's life. Whether saying his prayers, teaching a class, making a forced march across the Dublin hills, or playing a game of hand-ball he was always the same - deadly in earnest. If imagination ever sought an entrance into his life - and it is doubtful if it ever did - the door was slammed in its face. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Fr Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him, of a surly disregard for others. Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of “the milk of human kindness” in his character. That kindness was very genuine, but not demonstrative. Fr. Joe was an excellent community man, a very agreeable companion, and he could enjoy a joke as well as the gayest Of his comrades.
Some one has said that it is easier to run fast for a minute than to grind along the dusty road for a day. Fr Joe did grind along the road, dusty or otherwise, not for a day only but for the 52 years he lived in the Society. RIP

Irish Province News 4th Year No 3 1929

Obituary :
Fr Joseph Cahill continued
The following appreciation of Fr. Cahill has come from Australia where he spent 33 years of his Jesuit life :
As a religious he was a great observer of regularity. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for class, his correction of home work etc. were the joy of the heart of the Pref. Stud. Amongst his papers were found the notes of his lessons up to the very last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy Convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar
with unvarying punctuality at 6.55. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars. For a number of years his chief break was to go in holiday time to hear confessions in some remote convents which but for him would have no extraordinary. He rarely preached as he lacked fluency and was rather unimaginative, but he was splendid at giving a short and practical address.This was shown during his time as director of the Sodality for Professional men attached to St. Patrick's Melbourne. Here he won the esteem of the best educated Catholics in the city and held it to the end.
He was a great community man, the life and soul of recreation. He was one of the working community to the end. When his doctor assured him that a successful operation was possible but unlikely, he decided to face it. He was suffering far more than was generally known, yet he worked to the end. He delayed the operation till he had taught his last class for the Public Exams in History, and then, packing a tiny bag and refusing to take a motor car to the hospital, he went cheerfully, like the brave soul he was, to face the danger. In a week he was dead, but it was typical of him that he lasted long after the doctors had given him but a few hours to live. He was a man who never gave up, and we are greatly poorer for his loss. May he rest in peace.

An old pupil of his at St. Patrick's writes as follows :
He was a man of most engaging personality and a great favourite with the boys. He took part in our games of football and cricket. Sometimes his vigour was not altogether appreciated, although we admired his tremendous energy. He was a simple, homely, engaging man, keen in everything he undertook. A fine servant of God with all the attributes of one of Nature's Gentlemen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Cahill 1857-1928
Born in Dublin on January 13th 1857, Fr Joseph Cahill spent twenty-three years of his life as a teacher in Australia. As a religious, he was a great observer of reality. He was punctuality itself. His preparation for classes, his corrections of class work, were the joy of the heart of the Prefect of Studies. Among his papers found after his death were ther notes for the last class he taught. He went every day to say Mass at the Mercy convent, and for 18 years he was on the altar with unvarying punctuality at 6.55am. He always walked, having a profound contempt for cars.

For a number of years, his chief break during vacations was to go to some remote convent, which but for him would have no extraordinary confessor.

When his doctor assured him that a successful operation for his complaint was possible but unlikely, he decided to take the risk. But, he delayed operation until he had taught his last class due for public examinations in History. Then packing a little bag and refusing to take a car to the hospital, he went cheerfully to his ordeal. He died within a week on November 20th 1928.

A fine servant of God, with all the attributes of one of nature’s gentlemen.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1928

Obituary

Father J B Cahill SJ

Father Joseplı Bernard Cahill died at Sydney on Friday, 30th November, 1928, after a brief illness. He was born in Ireland in 1857 and, after being educated at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, entered the Society of Jesus in 1876. Coming to Australia in 1895 on the completion of his studies, he was first sent to St Patrick's, and afterwards came to Xavier. After a couple of years at Xavier he went to Riverview and finally to St Aloysius, where he has been stationed for the last 18 years.

Father Cahill preserved a very live interest in everything Xaverian, and more especially in the doings of the Sydney Branch of the OXA, whose Patron he was. In spite of his seventy odd years Fr Cahill remained active to the end of his life. At the time of the Eucharistic Congress he was able to take part in all the functions of that crowded week. He had the joy of living a full life and dying in harness. May his soul rest in peace.

◆ The Aloysian, Sydney, 1929

Obituary

Father Joseph Cahill SJ

Three years ago we recorded in “The Aloysian” and celebrated at the College the Jubilee of Father Cahill-fifty years in the Society. And this year we cele brate the Jubilee of the foundation of the College. We should have wished to have Father Cahill, who had given twenty years consecutive good service to the College with us, but God wished otherwise. Last year he went to his reward, at the age of seventy-one, being born in 1857. He has, we hope, already entered on the great jubilee the eternal rest sung of in the Church's liturgy. And if our departed friends can know of and appreciate our wordly activities, and I think they can, Father Cahill is with us in spirit at our celebrations, keenly sympathetic.

Searching in one's memory for a word. to suggest the most characteristic fea. ture of Father Cahill, one finds one word continually recurring to mind - exactness.

For Father Cahill was exact in all he did and said. Like all historians he relished the dates of history, those num bers which give down to an exact point the deeds of man. And again he was exact in his memory of names and facts. If one hears a story often from the same person, one oftens notes slight discrep ancies in the telling, but with Father Cahill no, I have often heard him give his memories for example, of the famous case Saurin v. Starr, which had a peculiar interest to Catholics in the old world. ..... it was always the same as to fact in detail. He seemed to relate the details with a satisfaction which increased until the whole story finished, as it were, with a click of a complete adjustment and a smile in Father Cahill's face, as if one who would say “There you are, complete, exact the real and whole truth of this interesting little human comedy”. It was this obvious relish of telling that made his account. attractive to the listener. Father Cahill believed in and practised conversation, almost a lost art nowadays. “Tell me, now ...” he would question and at once you got going. He took an interest in all the doings of his fellow-men, and so longed for communication of ideas. Of all men and things with which he had contact at any time, he always retained an inter est. His days of schooling at Tullabeg and Stonyhurst, his studies in Ireland and on the Continent, his years of teaching in Australia. His life was full and his life was interesting to himself, And again here we react back to the same idea - exactness.

The obvious interest of Father Cahill at all points of his life showed an ad justment to circumstance. We are interested in what is, from a mental.view point, both new and yet old ... linked up with the old and introducing something new. Father Cahill relished his life as a Jesuit, because he fitted exactly into the cadre. He was at home and happy in the Society where all essentials were old and familiar, and looked out on the world outside with the interest almost of a child watching a procession from a window, every detail recorded and its beauty and novelty a delight for that moment, and for years after too, : in memory. . It was this exact adjustment to his milieu which made Father Cahill essen tially a good religious and Jesuit, an exact and devoted teacher. Of the seventy one years of his life - he was born in 1857, and died in 1928 - forty-two years were spent in teaching, and until the very end he showed by his careful preparation for class and his careful cor rection of work done by his class, his absorption in the work at hand. It often has been said that a life of each ing is a life of obscurity - I suppose in one sense this is so. The world hears little of the teacher, but he leaves his mark of good or ill, and the example of Father Cahill with his exact devotion to duty, his absolute punctuality - of course, true to type he had a watch that was always right, though the house clock might sometime be wrong - was an object lesson to all. But the abiding memory which is uppermost, and does most to help one, still in the struggle of life, is the memory of one, exactly adjusted to his vocation and surroundings, doing exactly the work assigned, and obviously relishing that work. It is a lesson of the joys that follow the exact performance of what God wants done, a consolation to us all in a world seething with dis content. In brief Father Cahill was the “faithful and prudent servant” rendered manifest in the flesh - a model to us all, “faithful over few things”, and now, we trust, placed over many, as a reward for exact dutiful service.

PJD

◆ The Clongownian, 1929

Obituary

Father Joseph Cahill SJ

Father Cahill’s first experience of Clongowes was from the master's desk. (As a boy he had been in Stonyhurst.) He came here just two years after the “Intermediate” was started, and was given the important work of preparing the boys of the Senior Grade, as well as acting as Sub-Prefect of Studies. Two years teaching then, and another spell of three years, from 1885 to 1888, and his work at Clongowes was done. Those who were taught by him know how well it was done. Some years later he left Ireland forever to do his work in Australia. No less than thirty-three years did he work in the Australian Colleges, and when death came it found him still active. Eamestness, steady, hard work were the key-notes of his life. Whether saying his prayers, teach ing a class, or playing a game, he was always the same-deadly in earnest. The realities of time and eternity were the things with which Father Joe Cahill had to deal, and he dealt with them to the exclusion of all others. Still there was not a touch of aloofness about him of a surly disregard for others, Quite the contrary, there was a plentiful supply of the milk of human kindness in his character, and that kindness was very genuine, if not demonstrative. He crowned a very hard-working holy life by a happy death in the College of St Aloysius, Sydney, on November 30th, 1928. RIP

Callan, John, 1802-1888, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1003
  • Person
  • 02 February 1802-24 May 1888

Born: 02 February 1802, County Louth
Entered: 01 September 1835, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 02 February 1850
Died: 24 May 1888, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Was a Priest of the Armagh diocese for some years before Ent.

1841 Teaching at Tullabeg,
1843-1846 Sent to Clongowes as a teacher.
1846-1854 Sent to Belvedere as Teacher and was also Minister for a time there.
1854 Sent to Gardiner St as Operarius, and worked there until his death, including two stints as Superior (1856-1864 and 1871-1877). His death occurred 24 May 1888.

He was a very remarkable man, very straight and thoroughgoing. He was very devoted to the work of the Confessional, but he never Preached. He was sought out by countless penitents, both rich and poor, and to all he was the same, patient and kindly. He also had something of a reputation as a Moral Theologian, and he was consulted in very difficult cases, not only by Priests, but also by judges and doctors, and other professionals.

Calter, John A, 1885-1946, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/84
  • Person
  • 06 May 1885-10 November 1946

Born: 06 May 1885, Newry, County Down
Entered: 20 June 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1924, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 10 November 1946, Ms Shuley's Home, Dublin

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

by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Obituary :
Fr. John Calter (1885-1916-1946)

Fr. Calter died at Miss Shuley's Home, Mount St. Crescent, Dublin, on Sunday, 10th November, at 8 a.m. Some four weeks previously he had been motored up from St. Mary's, Emo, suífering from serious asthma trouble. He appeared to be improving despite recurrent attacks, when he died very peacefully and somewhat unexpectedly. The funeral took place to Glasnevin after Office and Solemn Requiem Mass, at which Fr. Mahony, his Rector, was celebrant, on 12th November. R.I.P.
Fr. Calter was born at Newry on 6th May, 1885, and educated at the school of the Christian Brothers in the same place. Before his entrance into the Society on 20th June, 1916, he was for some fourteen years working as an accountant, first at The Newry Mineral Water Co., and later on the staff of Messrs. Knox, Cropper and Co., Chartered Accountants, Spencer House, London, E.C. After his two years' noviceship at Tullabeg he studied philosophy and theology at Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on 31st July, 1924. From 1926 to 1931 he was master and prefect at Mungret College and in the following year did his tertianship at St. Beuno's, North Wales. He was on the teaching staff at Clongowes during the years 1933-1938, when he was transferred to Belvedere College, where he remained, as procurator, till 1944, when failing health rendered a change advisable. He was at Milltown Park for a year, and then last July was given a rest at St. Mary's, Emo.
A former fellow-novice of Fr. Calter sends us the following appreciation :
“Father John Calter was what our telescopic vocabulary calls ‘a late vocation’. I well remember the evening - it was a lovely June day's close - when he first arrived in Tullabeg. Outwardly, he was certainly the average man's idea of the religious novice, but it did not take any of us long to discover that our new Brother (the very name would have jarred upon him) was going to be ‘up against it’. He was neat, fastidious, sensitive, frail and already in his thirties, and he had set young in his ways. We were for the most part breezy, care free, jovial and hefty young men. I shall always remember his noviceship as something akin to heroism. One visualises J.A.C. in a once smart and fashionable suit of light grey cloth, now the colour of Joseph's coat and the consistency of plate-mail from many layers of paint. It was his somewhat startling manual works outfit. In it he toiled leaf-collecting on the avenue and weed hacking on the long vanished Spiritual Meadow or performed the Weekly Offices and cleaned the fowl-run with nose physical and moral slightly averted, but hands and heart steady enough. One recalls, too, a memorable July day, his first in the noviceship and one which he loved to recall to the very end, when he carried - he alleged - an endless chain of buckets filled with scalding water from Coffee-scullery to the Old Dormitory, relaxing only for one minute to sit on the bottom step of the stairs and draw breath for the climb, but to be implored by the master of the company to rouse himself, praise God and pass the ammunition. Of course it was not all toil. He spent happy hours in the Sacristy, where his great taste in decoration and an enduring capacity for putting on a good show staged floral festivals that would have delighted the kind lady who sent the December roses and early lilies he enjoyed so much.
Perhaps it is true that Superiors tested this unusual late-starter more than most. He would have been the first to admit the justification for it. But he came through, not so much with flying colours as with colours nailed to the mast, surviving gallantly a last trial, the postponement of his vows until a ruling could be obtained that the ‘New’ Code of Canon Law did not abrogate the Jesuit privileges of making swiftly a perpetual self-dedication.
Noviceship over, he did not go to the University, but embarked at once, on his priestly studies, carrying them through without the usual break in Colleges. It was again a formidable task, for he had no special scholarly taste, and though his mind was orderly and his judgement good, he was well aware, as he told me during our student days, that he could aspire to nothing more than a good standard of priestly efficiency. It requires little effort to imagine the strain nine years of unbroken student routine meant to a man who was over forty when he was ordained.
On the conclusion of his studies, he was sent before and after his tertianship to the Colleges, first to Mungret and then to Clongowes, finally to Belvedere, each time as a bursar, a post which his pre-Jesuit activities as an accountant in his native town of Newry and in London made rather obvious. In addition he taught Religious Knowledge clearly and painstakingly, and business methods with uniform and rather marked success. At Mungret, now many stages behind him, I overtook him again and found him good to live with. He was loyal to a friend, up to and perhaps beyond partisanship. I remember an occasion on which a cherished scheme seemed about to fail, and J.A.C. came to the rescue, holding, on the last night of term, an impromptu concert at which he accompanied every item on the piano and provided the hit of the night by an undignified contest in mere speed with the boy who manufactured the violin music for the Irish dancing. At this time he had a strong hold on boys, not as much perhaps through their affection, for his character made little natural appeal to them, but rather by his determination to make them do their best for their own sake. Some years ago one of his pupils described to me ruefully, but gratefully, the appalling ordeal of being coached for an ‘interview’ for a position by this master of business-methods. It included a close examination of seventeen-year-old's ill-kept nails. But he got him the job.
At Clongowes he had less to do with boys, and in Belvedere scarcely anything. It was perhaps a pity, for the conventional clerk, which was certainly part of his make-up, became more apparent. But it was a scarcely avoidable pity, for with advancing years his health failed notably. He was forced to abandon the care of the little study which he had ruled with a rod of iron (but a minimum of strap) and in which office, as I can testify, no Prefect of Studies could have had a more faithful or reliable coadjutor. Year after year he would have one, two or three bouts of bad flu, and those who for the first time saw him down with one could easily believe his half-joking and often reiterated statement that he was dying. But he kept on. Gone in the end was much of his gaiety. He had a keen sense of humour and could give the most redoubted wit a Roland for an Oliver, but he used it chiefly in defence. In the end, too, he tended to be at times and in ways more difficult to work with, a little exacting and not always consistent. He himself was naturally so orderly and accurate in figures and papers and details that he perhaps exaggerated their importance or overlooked the difficulty they present to many not trained as he was. He had a great admiration for the Brothers' vocation, which he often expressed to me, and I think the late Br. James O'Grady had more of his affection and respect than any other friend. But he easily over looked the difficulties which lack of experience in a Brother or his lay staff.could create, and like many an admirer, tended to set quite impossible standards. With all this he did loyal service, and his twenty years of hard toil and uphill fight against ill health almost continuous and finally crushing, deserve recognition.
His more intimate life as a Jesuit was not so easy to fathom. Exact, he was, devout, conventional, a zealous retreat-giver, a steady upholder of law and rule, whether it pinched or not, and there was behind all a strength of will approaching passion and a simple devotion to Our Lord and His Mother which made him, at a word from Fr. Willie Doyle, leave his worldly prospects to go to the Irish bog and take up an uncongenial life and pursue it with dogged persistence in ever deepening pain and weariness till God crowned his efforts with a swift and peaceful death. I saw little of him in his last years, for I was much away, but am glad to remember that our last contacts were two trifling points of business, in one of which he served me and in the other of which I served a friend at his request. The request reached me in a letter, written a matter of days before his death. In it he characteristically said nothing of his illness, but made a wry half jest at his retirement to country life. That was the J.A.C. with whom those who really knew him were proud to share their vocation. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

Fr Calter died in Dublin on November 10th. Although he was six years at Belvedere, 1938-44, the boys who had him in class could scarcely have appreciated the many lovable qualities which lay hidden beneath his reserved exterior. Owing to his delicate health he was unable to undertake much work in the classroom, and even the few boys who had him for Religious Knowledge or Economics probably only regarded him as a good and painstaking but rather exacting teacher. Earnestress of purpose was indeed one of the salient features of his character, but those who knew Fr Calter well found other qualities besides - a great loyalty to a friend, a quiet gaiety and keen sense of humour, which not even his continual ill health could crush. Few would think that one who had so little contact with the boys would show any interest in their games, yet the Fr Calter Cup, which he presented to the College for swimming, bears witness to the very real interest he took in this side of the boys lives. We are glad to think that this cup will help to keep his memory alive in Belvedere for many years. RIP

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1947

Obituary

Father John Calter SJ

Father John Calter died on November 10th, 1946, having patiently endured for many years bronchial trouble. He was born in 1885 at Newry and entered the Society of Jesus in 1916, having spent fourteen years in business as an accountant. He pursued his philosophical and theological studies at Miltown Park, Dublin, where he was ordained in 1924. He was master and prefect from 1926-31 at Mungret. He was strict and very precise in class but withal had a great and kindly interest in the students who were under his care. Many times, the Editor of the Mungret Annual, was corrected and correctly informed of the news of the Past by Father John.

He was attached to the teaching staff of Clongowes 1933-38 and at Belvedere 1938-44. He was then appointed Procurator at Milltown Park where he stayed until 1946. He then moved to St. Mary's, Emo Park, where he lived only for a few months. To his sister and relatives we send our deepest sympathy.

Campbell, Joseph, 1867-1942, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/85
  • Person
  • 01 November 1867-06 August 1942

Born: 01 November 1867, Wicklow Town, County Wicklow
Entered: 09 October 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 06 August 1942, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942
Obituary :
Brother Joseph Campbell SJ

Brother Campbell was born on All Saints' Day, 1867, at Wicklow, and entered the noviceship, after the usual term as postulant, on 9th October, 1889, at Tullabeg, where Fr. John Colgan was his Rector and Novice-Master. In 1891 he began his long career as cook and dispenser a post he filled with exemplary fidelity for nearly forty years. A man of powerful physique and rude health, he consecrated to this life-work every ounce of energy he possessed, and the self-sacrificing devotion with which he addressed himself to the work in kitchen and pantry will have earned for him a high place in heaven.
Of charming gaiety, gentle and kind in manner and speech, his good humour and patience were never seen to better advantage than when a spur or admonition had to be administered to novice or helper on the kitchen experiment. Most of the houses of the Province benefitted by the example of his edifying life and skill in the culinary art most especially Belvedere, Galway and Tullabeg. In 1934 when at Galway, he began to show the first signs of a serious break-down in health, and, though he continued working to the best of his powers after a term spent in St. Bride's Nursing Home, he had to be relieved of the responsibilities of cook. In 1936 he was transferred to Tullabeg, and during the last years of his life he continued to help in the scullery whenever his failing powers permitted, being by temper and constitution as well as habit impatient of inaction. His last infirmity he bore with exemplary patience and sweetness. The end came suddenly in the forenoon of 6th August, shortly before Fr. Rector was due to leave for a retreat at Loughrea.
Fr. Socius celebrated the Requiem Mass in the People's Church which was attended by a very large crowd of externs, chiefly retainers of the College, who had come to know and venerate him during his long association with Tullabeg. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Joseph Campbell 1867-1942
Br Joseph Campbell was born in Wicklow on November 1st 1867, and entered the Society in 1889. He did his noviceship in Tullabeg where he had Fr John Colgan as hios Rector and Novice Master.

A man of powerful physique and robust health, he gave 40 years of his life as cook and dispenser in various houses of the Province. He was a man of unfailing gaiety, gentle and kind in manner and speech.

His end came suddenly on August 6th 1942 in Tullabeg, where for some years he had been a semi-invalid. His 40 years of humble service, carried out with patience and gladness will surely merit him a high place in heaven with St Alphonsus Rodriguez, his model and exemplar.

Campbell, Richard, 1854-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/86
  • Person
  • 24 January 1854-01 April 1945

Born: 24 January 1854, Sackville Street, Dublin
Entered: 16 September 1873, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 25 September 1887
Final Vows: 02 February 1892, Dublin
Died: 01 April 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1876 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1877 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1886 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Baptised 02 February 1854; Conformed 30 May 1865; First Vows 19 September 1875

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Obituary

Fr. Richard Campbell (1754-1873-1945)

On Easter Sunday, 1st April, 1945, at Milltown Park, where he had spent the last few years of his life, Fr. Campbell died very peace. fully in his 92nd year. He had been anointed again on the day of his death, after he had contracted congestion of the lungs.
Born in Dublin, Sackville Street (as it was then called) on 24th January, 1946, son of Mr. John Campbell, who was twice Lord Mayor of the city, he was educated at Belvedere and Downside. He entered the Society at Milltown Park on 16th September, 1873, and had Fr. Aloysius Sturzo as Master of Novices. He spent one year of Humanities at Roehampton, London, and studied philosophy at Laval in France and then taught at Clongowes from 1879 till 1885. He did his theological studies at St. Beuno's, North Wales, and was ordained priest by Bishop Edmund Knight on 25th September, 1887. On his return to Ireland he taught at Belvedere College til 1890, when he made his third year's probation in Tullabeg, being at the same time Socius to Fr. William Sutton, Master of Novices.
During the following two years he was Minister at Milltown Park, and from 1893 to 1897 was on the teaching staff of the Junior House, Belvedere College. In the latter year he went to Tullabeg as Minister and Socius, posts which he held till the summer of 1906. After spending a year at Crescent College, Limerick, as Minister, he again taught at Belvedere (1907-1918) and at Mungret, where he was Spiritual Father as well. After a two years period at Rathfarnham Castle as Minister, under Fr. John Sullivan as Rector, he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, in 1926, and remained there till 1943.
Two of Fr. Campbell's brothers were Benedictine priests, both of whom predeceased him. One of these, Dom Ildephonsus Campbell. O.S.B., was lost on the 'Leinster' in 1918 on his way back to Coventry from Mungret College, where he had been making his retreat.
An old Belvederian, who knew Fr. Campbell well, the Most Rev. Francis Wall, Auxiliary Bishop of Dublin, in a letter of sympathy on his death, written the Superior of Gardiner Street on 2nd April, sums up very appositely, we think, the story of the seventy three years he spent in the Society:
“He was a grand soul, always at work for his Master, but moving so unobtrusively at it, in our midst”.
Outwardly those year's were not spectacular. They marked the even succession of ordinary tasks faithfully and even meticulously performed, as is the case in so many Jesuit lives. Fr. Campbell was a religious of remarkable devotion to duty, of a regularity out of the common, faithful and punctilious to a fault, sincere in his friendships, which were deep and lasting. Behind a brusqueness of speech and manner, which to casual acquaintances seemed gruffness, was an eager and almost hypersensitive soul, around which his iron will, bent on self conquest, had erected a rampart of fictitious asperity. All through his life, this sensitiveness, securely screened from casual observation by his manner, was his greatest cross. Far from rendering him self centred or selfish, this characteristic of his bred in him an almost intuitive sympathy with others, especially those who suffered from loneliness and misunderstanding”.
Fr. Campbell had a very special talent for dealing with young schoolboys. He could inspire them with a lofty idealism in all that pertained to truth, duty and loyalty, and employed many ingenious ways of stirring them to class-rivalry. Without any conscious effort he won their abiding affection, while instilling in their young hearts a solidly Catholic outlook which rendered them proof against the storms of later life. On several occasions his pupils of the Junior House, Belvedere College, have left on record the feelings of regard and affection which they had for him. For example - in January, 1889 - in an ‘Address’ of thanks, which bears among other signatures that of E. Byrne, later Most Rev. Edward Byrne, Archbishop of Dublin, or in that quaint little sheet, decorated with shamrocks “Presented to Fr. Campbell on your retiring from teaching this 6th February, 1897, as a small token of gratitude for your entiring efforts to get us on in our studies”. From a few of his pupils of '96.' This was on the occasion of his going to Tullabeg as Socius. Another, undated. 'Address' to him from his boys in Belvedere runs as follows: “Fr. Campbell, the very kind attention shown by you to us during the past two years was so considerate that the boys cannot refrain from offering you this small token of affectionate gratitude. Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a long one”.
The same zeal and devotion which characterised his dealings in the class-room were maintained in all spheres of Fr. Campbell's labours, most especially during the long period in the priestly ministry which he spent at Gardiner Street. Despite his growing infirmities he was ever at his post of duty, whether in the pulpit or confessional, at the sick bed or in the parlour, at his own prie-dieu in his room or the little table in the Domestic Chapel giving the Community his Exhortation as Spiritual Father.
The Long Vacation the boys spoke of has come for him at last, and his mortal remains lie in the exact spot he had hoped would be free for him, just inside the railing of the Society Burial Plot, only a few feet from the grave in which his father and mother lie. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Richard Campbell SJ 1854-1945
Fr Richard Campbell was one of those men, who by force of character make an indelible impression on his generation. He was the most quoted man of the Province on account of his pithy remarks, whilst at the same time, most revered for his austerity of life and fidelity to duty.

Born in Sackville Street Dublin, as it was then, on January 24th 1854, he received his early education at Belvedere and Downside, entering the Society in 1873.

It was as Socius to the Master of Novices that he left his imprint on generations of future Jesuits. One of these novices at least, testified to the austerity of his own life afterwards, and that was Fr Willie Doyle.

As Minister of one of our houses Fr Campbell coined the immortal expression “The first year I tried to please everybody and failed, the sencod year I tried to please nobody and succeeded”.

His manner outwardly seemed brusque, but this was really a defence mechanism to cover a sensitive nature, which made him keenly sympathetic with those souls who were lonely and misunderstood.

He live to the age of 92 and died at Milltown Park on April 1st 1945.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1945

Obituary

Father Richard Campbell SJ
Belvedere, 1864-67 - died on Easter Sunday, April ist, in his 91st year,

After leaving Belvedere, he went to Downside with two younger brothers, both of whom became Benedictines.. The elder, Fr Ildephonsus Campbell OSB, was drowned when the Mail Boat, Leinster was torpedoed off the Kish Lightship in 1918. The younger, Fr Martin Campbell OSB, who died in 1938, had been for many years Parish Priest of Beccles, Suffolk.

Fr. Richard was for many years connected with Belvedere. Shortly after his ordination in 1887, he began a connection with his old College, which was to last with some intervals for nearly thirty years. Through all those years he won not only the respect but also the genuine affection of the boys he taught. Those who knew him but slightly sometimes wondered at this, for to casual acquain tances Fr Campbell's manner seemed gruff and brusque. Those, however, who knew him best - most of all, the boys for whom he worked - soon realised that this external manner was but a cloak for an extremely sensitive and affectionate heart. Shy by nature, he found it hard to make advances, but once contact had been established there was no limit to his response. How fully his boys understood him - and he them - is wittiessed by the little addresses which they presented to him, not once only, but many times during his years in Belvedere :

“We the Junior pupils of Belvedere College on resuming our Studies beg most earnestly to testify our respectful and at the same time grateful appreciation of your qualities ... as the guide and master in whom we trust as conscientiously endeavouring to shape our futures both spiritual and temporal. We return dear father (sic) after Christmastide to College with the firm resolution of pursuing our Studies with renewed vigour, and, as far as it is possible for us, to your satisfaction”.

The date is January, 1889, and among the signatories is E. Byrne, who was thirty years later to become Archbishop of Dublin, J A Coyle, Lucien Bull and many other names which are familiar to us.

Seven years later, the boys protest at his being removed from Belvedere to be Assistant Master of Novices in Tullabeg, is quaintly worded :

“ Presented to the Rev Father Campbell as a small token of gratitude for your untiring efforts to get us on in our studies, and as a protest for your retiring from teaching on this 6th February 1897.
From a few of his pupils of 96: Érin go Brágh”. Among the names appended are A McDonald, W Fallon, H Redmond, W Doheny, E O'Farreli and P O'Farrell

There are many other testimonials, and, per haps we may cite the words of just one more. It was presented by the Boys of II Grammar and bears no date, but the concluding words are -

“Every boy joins in thanking you for your kindness, and can only wish you a very happy vacation and a Long one:.

The long vacation has come for Fr Campbell, and looking back on the years of faithful work we may surely say that it is an eternally happy one. May he rest in Peace

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Richard Campbell (1854-1945)

Born in Dublin, educated at Belvedere and Downside, and admitted to the Society in 1873, was at the Crescent as a scholastic in 1878-1879 and again as minister of the house, 1906-1907. He was many years on the teaching staff of Belvedere College and in Gardiner St Church.

Cantillon, Eric, 1924-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/769
  • Person
  • 24 September 1924-02 April 2011

Born: 24 September 1924, Cork City
Entered: 28 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 April 2011, Clongowes Wood College SJ, Naas, County Kildare

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/eric-cantillon-r-i-p/

Eric Cantillon R.I.P.
Eric Cantillon SJ was 86 when he died on 2 April. He was a quiet Corkonian with the air of a countryman, loved by his parishioners in Staplestown where he has been a
curate for 32 years, happiest when he had a dog to walk with him, remembered warmly by Mungret alumni, especially the swimmers and athletes – he had trained them in Mungret and Belvedere with startling and untrumpeted success. The memory that unfailingly brought the light to his eyes was of a morning on Lough Currane when he fished the Comeragh river, swollen with fresh rain, where it enters the lake. He was held skillfully in position by boatman Jack O’Sullivan. They packed it in at lunch time with sixteen salmon in the boat – all taken on the one fly, tied by Eric. He landed every fish that rose to the fly, then gave them all away.

◆ Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2011

Obituary

Fr Eric Cantillon (1924-2011)

24th September 1924: Born in Cork
Early education in Lauragh Christian Brothers College, Cork
28th September 1942: Entered the Society at Emo
29th September 1944: First Vows at Emo
1944 - 1947: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1947 - 1951: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1951 - 1953: Clongowes – Teacher
1953 - 1957: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1956: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1957 - 1958: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1958 - 1964: Mungret College - Teacher and Prefect
2nd February 1959: Final Vows
1964 - 1965: Gardiner Street - Bursar
1965 - 1973: Mungret College - Teacher
1973 - 1979: Belvedere College - Teacher; Swimming Coach; Pool Supervisor
1979 - 2011: Clongowes: Parish Curate, Staplestown
1979 - 1993: Rector's Admonitor
1998 - 2011: House Consultor
2000 - 2011: Rector's Admonitor
2nd April 2011: Died at Clongowes

Eric had been showing signs of failing health for some months before being admitted to St Vincent's Private Hospital for tests on 8th March. These revealed that he was suffering from cancer of the pancreas, with secondaries. His own wish, as he put it, was for 'comfort, not intervention, and he was very anxious to come home to Clongowes, where the people among whom he had ministered for more than 30 years have some opportunity of coming to see him. Relatives, local clergy, Bishop Jim Moriarty (who had also visited him in Dublin), and his friends from the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh came to visit him here, after his return on 19" March. Over the following fortnight his condition gradually deteriorated and he died at 9.25 on Saturday morning, 2nd April. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Bruce Bradley
Eric went to hospital in Dublin for tests exactly four weeks before his funeral. I met him on the stairs in Clongowes as he was preparing to travel. “I'm off on my vacation”, he said, with the hint of a twinkle in his eye, though he knew he was unwell and must have been anxious about what lay ahead. After he had returned to Clongowes on 19th March, feast of St Joseph, patron of a happy death, knowing that he had, at the very most, only months to live, he spoke of going on another journey'. On the 2nd of April, much sooner than any of us foresaw, that journey was accomplished.

His reference to another journey puts us in mind of his first journey, the journey that began 86% years ago and took him from his childhood and schooldays in Cork to the Jesuit novitiate in Emo, Co. Laois, then to studies in UCD and Tullabeg and Milltown Park, with an interval of some years spent as a teacher and prefect in Clongowes, culminating in his ordination to the priesthood on 31st July 1956, a few months short of his 32nd birthday. For some twenty years after that he worked in schools – in Mungret until shortly before its closure, then for six years in Belvedere in the middle of Dublin. It was only in 1979 that, in a certain sense, he found his true vocation by coming to the parish of Staplestown and Cooleragh. There he was able to give himself to the pastoral ministry for which he was so supremely fitted and which, as his parishioners and his fellow-priests know so well, was to prove such a wonderful success.

Eric was raised and formed in the pre-Vatican II Church. His faith was planted and nurtured in those more tranquil but also more narrow times. As a young Jesuit, he experienced a formation process in ways out of touch with real life and divorced from people's needs, something for which he had little tolerance and wasn't slow to remark on in later years. Its authoritarianism, in particular, irked him, and authority in any form never got an easy ride from Eric.

Priests formed at that time, including not a few of his fellow Jesuits, were apt to find themselves a little like beached whales when the changes of the 2nd Vatican Council burst upon a largely unsuspecting Irish Church in the 1960s, their theology and spirituality largely irrelevant, leaving them struggling to adapt or function effectively in the new and evolving environment. But not Eric. One of his most obvious characteristics was his independence and his strength of mind. He thought for himself, he was full of common sense, and he kept himself in tune and up-to-date by whatever means it took. He knew who he was and what he wanted and he was unwilling to make himself the slave of any system.

This had some inconveniences at times, if you happened to be his religious superior, but it had huge benefits – for him and for the people to whose care he gave himself so completely. The professionalism with which he equipped himself to be a pastoral priest in a country parish was a quality he had already shown in previous assignments, some of them much less congenial from his point of view. He had a natural interest in and aptitude for sport of all kinds. In Mungret, Fr Jack Kerr had built a swimming pool during Eric's time there, which Eric had helped to run. When Jack Kerr was transferred as rector to Belvedere, a swimming pool, and then Eric, soon followed.

Eric was a countryman to the core, who never lost touch with his roots. He read the Irish Field every week, keen follower of horses that he was, and the Irish Examiner, as we now call it, every day. I cannot imagine that he found living in the cramped conditions of the inner city was remotely to his taste. But he set himself to become a hugely professional and meticulous supervisor of the pool in Belvedere, which not only served a large school but also public clients to whom it was hired out. He gave the long hours and immense care this charge involved, while also engaging with and befriending the boys and their families and coaching many a successful swimming team. Subsequently, through his work with St Kevin's Athletic Club in Cooleragh, he emerged as a hugely committed and highly skilled athletics coach.

Whatever he did, he made himself master of, always quietly and without any fanfare. And he met and mastered the requirements of his pastoral care in the parish in the same way. He absorbed and applied the person-centred theology of Vatican Two in his ministry and preaching and, at an age in life when many of his contemporaries preferred to have nothing to do with such modern gadgets as a mobile phone, Eric - never off duty, even at meal-times - was inseparable from his. The only difficulty that posed was that, in his last years, his deafness meant that we all heard his phone ringing in his pocket long before he did. Then he'd be up with his big diary, entering a new appointment, always available, even in the final months of his life.

Another hallmark of Eric's approach and personality was his love of, even insistence on, privacy. He was a very private man. We in the community heard little enough about his family or his pastoral duties, although we could see his relentless devotion. We almost never heard him preach, unless he happened to be celebrating the funeral of someone connected with the college. Of his success as an athletics coach we heard nothing, and only the chance of Fr Leonard Moloney, headmaster of Belvedere in the 1990s, bumping into him at the All-Ireland Schools Athletics Championships in Tullamore alerted us to the fact that Eric was bringing his young trainees from the parish to the highest levels of competitive achievement.

One of his favourite recreations was fishing - usually indulged just once a year in the west of Ireland, in the company of his Layden cousins and other friends. As a fisherman, he was as professional as he was at everything else to which he tumed his finely tuned practical intelligence. Once again, this was something about which we rarely heard much, not even about his record-breaking catch in the mouth of the Comeragh more than 30 years ago - the astonishing grand total of 16 salmon and a sea trout on a size 7 fly, with the assistance of Jack O'Sullivan. I know even this much because Anita Layden kindly drew my attention to an entry on the internet she happened to stumble on. Exceptionally, in this instance, Eric had actually shared the story with us about a year ago. Someone had written a ballad about the exploit of the Jesuit priest', as he was called, and it was broadcast on the radio. All those years later, quite untypically, Eric actually let us hear the tape. Otherwise - and I think this applied even within his own family – he kept the different compartments of his life almost completely separate.

Eric was a wonderful priest and his great friend, who was his second parish priest in Staplestown, Fr Pat Ramsbotham, spoke eloquently about that on the occasion of his funeral. He was a priest through and through, but he never, mercifully, acquired a clerical personality. In the same way, although he was nearly 87 when he died, he never really became old. It wasn't just the colour of his hair, which doggedly refused to turn properly grey, putting some of the rest of us to shame. It was his whole attitude and demeanour. He remained interested in what was going on and interested, above all, in the lives of people. His great humanity, his shrewd wisdom, and his unselfishness drew people to him. As Frank Sammon accurately remarked, he had a tremendous feel for the life and faith of local people and local priests. His days were shaped by the day-to-day lives of the people. He shared their lives and served them in so many ways. His conversation was not about himself and he was intolerant of pomposity or self-importance in others. He was extremely disciplined.

Following his car accident a number of years ago, he was utterly faithful to the daily walk which was part of his rehabilitation. One of my favourite memories of him now is of seeing him from my window in Clongowes heading off round the track behind the castle one morning, puffing his pipe as he still did at the time, with his little black cat trotting along at a respectful distance behind him.

I should say a word about the cat. He loved wild-life and was immensely knowledgeable about it, although, needless to say, he never flaunted his knowledge. Here, and earlier in Mungret, I think, he had kept a dog. The cat in question was dumped at our door, half domesticated, about six or seven years ago. As soon as he became aware of the cat, he began to feed her. From that time forward, he almost never missed a day and, if he did, Brother Charlie Connor filled in. With his usual professionalism, he provided a judicious mixture of milk, community left-overs and carefully selected cat-food. Inevitably, the cat became Eric's cat. For a long time, she had no name but eventually Eric decided she should be called Reilly because, as he said, she had the life of Reilly. One of our colleagues on the staff, Geraldine Dillon, told me of how she had been rushing from the staff-room one day and was stopped in her tracks by seeing, through the window, Eric sitting on the bench by the castle door, quite still and looking down the avenue. “His cat”, as she said, “was on the bench too, sitting up straight and facing the same direction”. “Apart and close”, as she said.

“Apart and close”. Perhaps that gets something profoundly true about Eric. He was a man apart in ways, partly reflecting the instinct for privacy I mentioned, partly reflecting how unusual and un-stereotyped he was, partly reflecting his priesthood itself. But he was also close to people, as the grief and bewilderment his death, even in his ninth decade, has caused among so many clearly shows. His humanity flowed out in his relationship with people. He had a particular gift for relating to the young, because of his interest in them, the range of his own interests, and the absence of all pomp and ceremony. He didn't waste words. As the old dictum says, he didn't speak if he couldn't improve the silence.

In his room after his death was a small pile of Mother's Day cards, bought for him at his request by Charlie Connor, which he was still hoping to send in the final days of his life. Perhaps the mothers for whom they were intended know who they are and will take them as sent.

They have better than Mother's Day wishes from Eric now.

I think everyone knew he wanted to die in his community in Clongowes and not in “that Cherryfield”, as he was once heard to say, fearing that he would have been too far away from his own people. Just a month before he died, showing clear signs of illness and finally acknowledging them himself, he went to St Vincent's Hospital for tests, which quickly showed that he had advanced cancer. He returned home ten days later and it became increasingly obvious that he had weeks rather than months to live. He said quite clearly on more than one occasion that he had had a good life and believed in the life to come. And so he prepared to embark on that 'other journey' to which I referred at the start.

In his last days, he was unfailingly gentle and grateful to the nurses and members of the Clongowes house-staff who cared for him with so much love and tenderness. He was especially grateful to his great friend in the community, Charlie Connor, who lived in the room beside him and took increasing care of him as the end grew near. The end came quickly. Only hours earlier, he had been looking forward to the Munster Leinster match, for which we had installed a television set in his room. He didn't get to watch television but, as Fr Dermot Murray suggested, he had by then acquired a better seat, May he rest in peace.

Carlin, Joseph M, 1915-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/480
  • Person
  • 11 December 1915-13 July 1988

Born: 11 December 1915, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 13 July 1988, St Francis, Cape Girardeau MO, USA - St John’s Parish, Leopold MO, USA

by 1962 at St Francis Xavier Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1965 at Brophy Prep, Phoenix AZ, USA (CAL) working
by 1968 at Our Lady of Guadaloupe, San Antonio TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1971 at Catholic Charities, Fort Worth TX, USA (NOR) working
by 1974 at New Orleans LA, USA (NEB) working
by 1975 at Tulsa OK (MIS) hospital chaplain
by 1977 at Aguilar CO, USA (MIS) working
by 1982 at Mountain Grove MO (MIS) working
by 1985 at Verona MS, USA (MIS) working
by 1987 at Leopold MO, USA (MIS) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 63rd Year No 4 1988 (Final Edition)

Obituary

Fr Joseph Mario Carlin (1915-1933-1988)

11th December 1915: born in Dún Laoghaire (then called Kingstown). 7th September 1933: entered SJ. 1933-35 Emo, noviciate. 1935-38 Rathfarnham, juniorate (1938: BA). 1938-41 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1941-44 regency (teaching, direction of choir): 1941-42 Belvedere, 1942-43 Mungret. 1943-44 Clongowes. 1944-48 Milltown, theology (30th June 1947: ordained a priest). 1948-49 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1949-59 Belvedere: 1949-52 teaching, direction of the choir (1957-59; also teach ing). 1952-59 editing and writing: 1952-53 assistant editor of Madonna and Messenger (then published from Belvedere). 1953-59 editor of Jesuit Year Book, which name he substituted for the older one used till 1954, Irish Jesuit Directory. 1956-59 he also edited The Sheaf, the organ of St. Joseph's Young Priests Society. (In a later summary of his career during the period 1953-59 he characterised himself as “editor, writer, newspaper columnist”.)
On 24th November 1959 Fr Carlin left Ireland to take up parish work in the Californian Province (IPN, January 1960), So began a career which was to span three American Jesuit provinces.
1959-67 California: St Francis Xavier parish, Phoenix, Arizona, assistant pastor. 1959-62 also athletic director and counsellor at the parochial grammar school. 1962-66 director of Youth office of Catholic Charities of Arizona and chaplain to the Maricopa county juvenile detention home, Phoenix.
1967-74 New Orleans: 1966-67 Our Lady of Guadalupe church, San Antonio, Texas, assistant pastor. 1967-69 Graduate studies, School of Social Work, University of Texas, Austin, Texas (1970: MSc in social work) and chaplain to Brown school for emotionally-disturbed children. 1969-73 Fort Worth: 1969 (half-year) social worker in Family Services; 1969-71 director of youth department at Catholic Charities; 1971-73 director of Catholic Social Service. 1973-74 (on a semi-sabbatical) assistant to Catholic Charities, Austin.
1974-88 Missouri: 1974-6 St Francis hospital, Tulsa, Oklahoma, chaplain. 1976-81 St Anthony Church, Aguilar, Colorado, pastor. 1981-82 Sacred Heart church, Mountain Grove, Missouri, pastor. (His few remaining assignments were also in Missouri state.) 1982-83 Mercy Villa, East Montclair, Springfield, chaplain, 1983-84 St John Vianney parish, Mountain View, associate pastor. 1984-86 Sacred Heart, Verona, administrator. 1986-88 St John's, Leopold, pastor.
13th July 1988; died in St Francis Medical Centre, Cape Girardeau, Missouri.

Fr Luke J. Byrne SJ, pastoral assistant to the Missouri Provincial, in summer 1980 received from Joe a résumé of his curriculum vitae. To this Joe had appended a short self-assessment, the only one available to the present writer:
Present (1980) skills, capacity, and preferences :
1) Hospital chaplaincy in busy live-in hospital. Social Work degree and experience might be acceptable in lieu of chaplaincy certification.
2) Pastoral work, preferably in a one priest parish. Location is not important but distance from Aguilar, Colorado, might be, to avoid any kind of continuing “entanglement”.
In the next year Fr Byrne forwarded the résumé to the bishop of Springfield - Cape Girardeau, M R Bernard Law (who since became archbishop of Boston and a cardinal), with the qualification that Joe “presently” (1981) wanted the one-priest parish and not the hospital. “His doctor thinks the lower altitude of the Middle West will be favourable toward his high blood pressure problem which he treats with medication”.

At the hospital where Fr Carlin died, the chaplain and Director of Pastoral Care was Mr Arthur Kelley, a Catholic layman. In a long letter addressed to one of Joe's three sisters last August, he wrote:
It was as chaplain here at the hospital that I first met my dear friend Fr Joseph Carlin, SJ, Needless to say, with a name like Kelley we got along famously. He was always a refreshing interlude in my day. I treasured the sweetness of his wit and his genuine sense of spirituality.
Whenever he was hospitalised I saw to it that he received the Sacrament of the sick and daily Eucharist. Though his hospitalisations were usually minor problems they seemed to be spaced at steady, predictable intervals, and may have been indicators that his general health was declining. However, he was not one to complain. Since we are the only Catholic hospital in the area, we were assured of a steady customer in Joseph, who except for his last admission always felt satisfied.
Forgive me if I seem frivolous, but I can almost sense him peering over my shoulder, chiding me about being too somber and urging me to treat his obituary with levity. Joseph loved to laugh - and we had many together,
Fr Carlin's death may have seemed sudden, but I can't say it was totally unexpected either by him or by me. As I said, I felt his health had been declining for some time. Still he clung tenaciously to his parish ministry. Truly, he was a priest forever ......'
After describing the progressive deterioration of Fr Carlin's condition, Chaplain Kelley wrote that in all probability his death resulted from a clot, with other conditions as complicating factors. His death was pain-free: for his last two or three days he was not conscious or responsive, therefore could communicate nothing. From the time that his condition began to deteriorate, the bishop kept in touch by phone, as did Joe's Jesuit confrères in St Louis. Since I (Chaplain Kelley) was the only one who was here consistently, I kept them informed of everything.
Fr Carlin's funeral Mass was absolutely beautiful. The bishop's homily was superb and the church was packed. The choir was truly heavenly. He would have loved it. They laid him to rest under the trees in a quiet country cemetery near the church with some thirty priests in attendance. It was a fine send-off.

Dorothy Holzum Arnzen, PhD, composed a poem in Fr Carlin's memory and offered it to the Missouri Provincial. In her accompanying letter she wrote: ‘I was privileged to know him as our pastor at Leopold, Missouri. A few days before he left for the hospital, Fr Carlin spoke to me of the deep affection that he had for the Jesuit community. If you wish to publish the poem in your Jesuit bulletin, I would consider it an honor: but whether you wish to publish it or not, I wanted to share with you in a small way the respect and regard that we had for Fr Carlin :

In memory of Father Carlin, SJ
by Dorothy Holzum Arnzen
Some said we needed a younger man
Not such an aging one:
A priest that wouldn't move so slow
And be able to get things done.

But in the midst of all of us
He moved with tranquil grace,
With kindly ways and manners
And a smiling Irish face.

He touched the sick and dying
In a very special way,
And to the soul that longed for peace
He knew just what to say.

He could speak an innate gentleness
That was for him a part
He reached out with loving kindness
And touched our parish heart.

He came to be our Pastor
When his race was almost won,
But before he reached eternity
The important things were done.

For the above poem and most of the above information, thanks are due to Mrs Nancy Merz, Associate Archivist at the Jesuit Missouri Province Archives, St Louis, USA

Casey, Gerard H, 1905-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/488
  • Person
  • 22 August 1905-03 February 1989

Born: 22 August 1905, Dungiven, County Derry
Entered: 31 August 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Ricci Hall, Hong Kong
Died: 03 February 1989, St Mary’s Home, Aberdeen. Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1928 at Eegenhoven, Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1931 fourth wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1938 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Following a Noviceship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg he was sent to UCD where he graduated with a First Class Honours Degree in Latin and Greek.
1927-1930 He was then sent to Leuven, Belgium for Philosophy, whilst at the same time writing an MA thesis in Classics for UCD.
1930 he was sent to Hong Kong for Regency, and he was outstanding in his mastery of Cantonese, and he also learned Mandarin.
He then returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and after Ordination in 1936, he made Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales

Having come originally come as a scholastic to Hong Kong. he returned after Ordination and became a teacher at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, a Lecturer in Geography at the University of Hong Kong. He had also taught at Belvedere College in Dublin. He was a teacher at Sacred Heart School, Canton. He taught English at United College in The Chinese University of Hong Kong, and also taught Church History at the Regional Seminary at Aberdeen.

He published a Cantonese-English Dictionary and a 100,000 Character Dictionary with basic meanings of characters and their sounds in Mandarin and Cantonese.

He also spent time as a Chaplain at Queen Mary Hospital in Hong Kong.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
In late May 1943, along with Fr Gerry Casey he was arrested by the Japanese and interned at Stanley until August 7. According to Fr Casey “The dominate feature in Paddy Joy’s character was his solicitude, primarily for the conversion of pagans Though he couldn’t speak Chinese well, he pointed out one prisoner to me that he thought could be instructed and baptised, and I found he was right...... he had an observant eye and a keen mind. In public debate about moral matters such as birth control, he was quick and effective,”

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

Frs. G. Casey and C. O'Conor represented the Province at the Solem Requiem Mass celebrated at Kikeel Church, Co. Down on 22nd January for the late Fr. John Sloan, S.J., of Patna Mission (Chicago Province) who perished in the Dakota crash outside Karachi on the night of 27th December. Fr. O'Conor was the Celebrant. A brief account of his career appears below.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1989

Obituary

Father Gerard Casey SJ

Fr Gerry Casey SJ, another who gave his whole life to Hong Kong as a school-teacher, spent the year 1947-48 on the staff of Belvedere, marking time after ordination before going out to the mission. He died there on 3rd February 1989, at the age of 83.

Casey, James Thomas, 1907-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/90
  • Person
  • 18 February 1907-26 April 1985

Born: 18 February 1907, Cappaugh Cottage, Union Hall, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 26 April 1985, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Mungret College SJ

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Irish Province News 60th Year No 3 1985 & ◆ The Clongownian, 1985

Obituary

Fr James Casey (1907-1924-1985)

Born on 18th February 1907. 1922-24 schoolboy at Mungret. Ist September 1924: entered SJ. 1924-26 Tullabeg, noviciate, 1926-30 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1930-33 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1933-36 Belvedere, regency. 1936-40 Milltown, theology. 1940-41 Rathfarnham, tertianship. 1941-44 Mungret, prefect of studies. 1944-85 Clongowes, teaching. Died on 26th April 1985.

Our Clongowes community suffered one more grievous loss within the last year when Fr James Casey died suddenly in Dublin's Mater hospital, to which he had been brought on the previous even ing. He had been unwell for several months last summer, but made what we thought was a complete recovery. That illness did not seem to recur till shortly before the end, when it showed to some extent in depression. His sudden and of course utterly unexpected death was indeed a painful shock to us all, the more keenly felt as he was very much a
community man.
For the past forty-one years that Fr James spent in Clongowes, he was truly remarkable for his fidelity to his work of teaching. Every morning one could see him five minutes before the bell for class (he was punctuality itself) carrying down his heavy load of themes, all meticulously - one might be inclined to say too meticulously - marked for his pupils to correct. His class work was equally well prepared.
The truth is that James was a model religious, fulfilling all his religious duties with a regularity and modesty - in the old sense of the word - that was really astonishing. His faithfulness in all this was a compelling example to the whole community, and so a great help to each and all of us to maintain a high spiritual quality in our lives. As one might expect from a man of these virtues, he was a lover of community life and seldom left it. He took part in all community activities of work and play. He had a quiet sense of humour, and a liking for humorous yarns, not a few of which were his own.
If one of our younger and less experienced men should object: “What did Jim achieve? After all, your description fits a rather stiff, unenterprising schoolmaster”, I should reply that while scrupulously teaching his subject, he also deeply impressed the boys as a holy and lovable priest: he never lost his temper nor his sense of humour. In a word, he had all the qualities of a Jesuit teacher who is a master of his subject, sticks to the lesson, likes and is liked by his boys, yet never forgets that in their regard he is an apostle of Christ. He always remembered that those boys of his would be in professions such as medicine, law, engineering and so on throughout Ireland and England, influential Catholics mostly, who in their turn would exemplify the solid virtues they absorbed while at school from men like Jim. This was Jim's achievement, and tell me of better in the Society today! great pride in their success both in class
By Fr Jim Casey's death Clongowes has lost one who loved it and its environs and its boys, and who took and in the playing-field. (Incidentally, he always attended the Cup-matches with intense interest.) In the end, though, we, his fellow-Jesuits here, are the real losers. Vivat in Christo.

Casey, Seán J, 1921-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/492
  • Person
  • 01 August 1921-21 February 1995

Born: 01 August 1921, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Sacred Heart College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 February 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at St Ignatius Chicago IL, USA (CHG) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Seán Casey (1921-1995)

1st Aug. 1921: Born in Glin, Co. Limerick
Education: Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1939; Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1942 - 1943: Supplying at Clongowes, Belvedere, Mungret
1943 - 1946: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1946 - 1948: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1948 - 1950: Regency at Crescent College, Limerick
1950 - 1954: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1953: Ordained Priest at Milltown Park by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid
1954 - 1958: Teacher - Crescent College, Limerick
1958 - 1959: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1959 - 1962: Teacher, Spiritual Father - Crescent College, Limerick
1962 - 1963; Studied Counselling in Chicago, USA
1963 - 1965: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1965 - 1966: Teacher of Philosophy - Rome, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1966 - 1967: Teacher of Philosophy - Apostolic School, Mungret, Doctorate Studies in Philosophy
1967 - 1969: Spiritual Father and Adult Education - Crescent College, Limerick
1969 - 1972: Ministered in Sacred Heart Church, Limerick and Adult Education
1972 - 1973: Lecturer in Philosophy - Milltown Institute
1973 - 1975: Director of Adult Education - Limerick
1977 - 1980: CLC.
1980 - 1985: Chaplain - "Eye & Ear" Hospital, Dublin
1985 - 1990: Cherryfield Lodge
1990 - 1995: Kilcroney Nursing Home and St. Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co. Dublin
21st Feb. 1995: Died

The words of our Gospel just read really startle us. They contradict our worldly experience and scale of judgements. “Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted”. This does not make sense to us when we feel a great loss and are confronted by the awe and mystery of death. Yet, I think, that it is only in the experience of bereavement that we can come to understand the meaning and truth of these words. For there is a blessedness in mourning that can bring us comfort.

We mourn because we have loved and lose and are loved. And St. John has told us that those who love, live in the light.

When we mourn, we support each other, often in silent, unobtrusive ways. That love between us is a truly blessed thing, for it tells us that God is really present among us and walks with us in our grief.

When we mourn, we often think and talk about the one who is no longer with us. Incidents in his life are recalled, words he spoke, humourous sayings, mannerisms or incidents. This fills out the picture of a person's character and life. But such memories are private recollections, intimate and personal, not shared in public - because they are sacred. But they nourish love. They are a comfort.

When we mourn, we learn what the really important things in life are and accept that suffering and the cross touches every life. We come to understand that a person's worth is not measured by success in life or achievements. It rests on their relationship with God and others, by their sincerity, goodness and generosity.

These were qualities Sean possessed in a remarkable degree. He was blessed with a keen, subtle mind. He loved study and was considered to be a person who would achieve great things in the academic world of philosophy. But ill health constantly interfered with his studies. He had to turn to less burdensome, apostolic work which he pursued with all his kindness and skill.

Then he had the terrible accident that rendered him incapacitated for the remainder of his life.

But I never heard him complain. When I visited him in hospital, I saw many of the beatitudes reflected in his demeanour, gentleness, a poverty of spirit that prevented him from criticizing anybody, Jesuit or non-Jesuit. But frequently I heard him expressing gratitude, especially for the care and kindness he received from the Staff and Community in Kilcroney and St. Joseph's. The patients, too, felt at ease with him, "I like Fr. Casey," a patient said to me the last time I was with him, only two days before he died. "I'd like to meet him and talk with him." This was Sean's apostolate over the last few years as he offered himself daily to be one with the Lord. It is in qualities such as these that true greatness is achieved.

The last great comfort that mourning brings us is that it widens our horizons. Our Lord seems to take us away from the narrow confines of a hospital bed and takes us, as it were, to a cliff-top and directs us to look out at a vast expanse of ocean where death and life intermingle, where love in time flows into love in eternity. Those we love never die. “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood shall live for ever” Christ said. This, surely, is the greatest comfort for all who mourn.

Paul Leonard SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1995

Obituary

Father Seán Casey SJ

Seán Casey was born on the first day of August in 1921 in Glin, Co. Limerick. After school he joined the Jesuits in Emo and took his First Vows there two years later on 8 Sep tember 1941. He broke off his Arts studies, pursued at UCD while living at Rathfarnham Castle; to help out in his old school and, also spent spells in Belvedere and Mungret. From there, he proceeded to Philosophy at Tullabeg and only when he had completed this part of his course in 1946 did he return to Rathfarnham and UCD and complete his Arts degree.

With one year's “regency”, as a Jesuit's years as a teaching scholastic are known, already behind him, Seán spent only two more at the “chalk-face”, this time back in his native Limerick, at the Crescent. He then went on to Milltown Park for the regulation four years of Theology and was ordained after three, on 31 July 1953, by the late Archbishop John Charles McQuaid.

He went back to the Crescent to teach in 1954 and remained at this work and that of Spiritual Father until 1962, with just one intermission, in 1958, when he made his Tertianship at Rathfarnham.

As the Second Vatican Council was ushe ing in a new era for the Church in the autumn of 1962, Seán headed west to study counselling in Chicago. Immediately afterwards, he went to Mungret to teach Philosophy in the Apostolic School and begin his own doctoral studies in Philosophy, which he later pursued in Rome. After a final year in Mungret, he moved once more to the Crescent, when the work of the Apostolic School ended.

For the next five years, he engaged in Adult Education, acted as Spiritual Father in the school (1967-69) and ministered in the Sacred Heart Church (1969-72). A further five years were devoted to teaching Philosophy in the Milltown Institute (1972-3 and 1975-77) and filling the role of Director of Adult Educaiton in Limerick (1973-75). After that Seán worked for the Christian Life Communities movement (formerly the Sodality of Our Lady) for three years and then, in 1980, took up chaplaincy at the Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin.

Seán's own health, never robust, failed in the last period of his life. He spent five years at the Jesuit infirmary, Cherryfield Lodge, and then, in 1990, when the need for more intensive care arose, he went to Kilcroney Nursing Home. He died peacefully at St Joseph's Centre, Crinken Lane, Shankill, Co, Dublin, where Kilcroney had been transferred, on 21 February 1995.

Seán Casey was a humble, even diffident man, whose considerable intellectual gifts were often concealed by his diffidence. His various postings in Dublin and Limerick gave him opportunities to deploy his gifts for study and teaching and the gentle listening which was one of his marked characteristics. May he rest in peace.

Cassidy, Derek O, 1943-2017, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2013 https://www.jesuit.ie/news/derek-cassidy-sj-man-soulful-presence/

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

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

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

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

Claffey, Thomas, 1853-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/92
  • Person
  • 25 March 1853-15 September 1931

Born: 25 March 1853, County Meath
Entered: 06 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 15 September 1931, St Mary’s, Miller St, Sydney, Australia - Australia Vice Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

Came to Australia 1895

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Charles O’Connell Sr Entry :
William E Kelly, Superior at Hawthorn, says in a letter 09 April 1912 to Thomas Wheeler “Poor Father Charlie was on his way from his room to say the 8 o’clock Mass, when a few yards from his room he felt faint and had a chair brought to him. Thomas Claffey, who had just returned from saying Mass at the Convent gave him Extreme Unction. Thomas Gartlan and I arrived, and within twenty minutes he had died without a struggle.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He entered the Society as a secular Priest at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.
After First Vows, he studied some Theology at Milltown Park
1895-1897 He was sent to Australia and to St Aloysius College Sydney
1897-1904 He changed to Xavier College Kew
1904-1908 and 1910-1923 he was sent to do Parish Ministry at Hawthorn
1908-1910 and 1923-1931 He was doing Parish work at St Mary’s Sydney

During his last illness he lived at Loyola Greenwich.

He was a big cheerful and breezy man.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 7th Year No 1 1932

Obituary :

Fr Thomas Claffey

Fr. Claffey entered the Society as a secular priest of the Meath diocese, where for several years he had been doing excellent work. He was born 25 March 1853, educated at Maynooth, and began his noviceship in Tullabeg 6 Oct. 1891. In one year he repeated his theology with success at Milltown, spent another teaching at Belvedere, then sailed for Australia in 1895.
He did two years teaching at Bourke St. (Sydney) and seven at Xavier. This was the end of his teaching career, for he was transferred to Hawthorn (Melbourne) as “Miss Excur.”, spent four years at the work before going to Miller St. (Sydney), where he lived for two years as “Oper”. then back to Hawthorn as Minister. He remained at Hawthorn for thirteen years, four as Minister and nine as Superior, The year 1923 saw him again at Miller St, as Spiritual Father, and there he lived until some months before his death when he was changed to Loyola where he died suddenly on 15 Sept. 1931.
During 27 years he took a strenuous part in all the activities of an Australian Residence, had charge of ever so many Sodalities, and was Moderator of the Apost. of Prayer. From his arrival in Australia he was Superior for nine years, Minister for six, Cons, Dom. (including his time as Minister) sixteen years, Spiritual Father for seven. For a very long time he was “Exam. candid. NN” and “Exam. neo~sacerd”. He frequently had charge of the “Cases”, and helped to bring out the Jesuit Directory.
All this shows that Fr. Claffey was a man of trust and ability. It is not too much to hope that some of his friends in Australia will send the Editor an appreciation of his character and work in that country to which he devoted so many and the best years of his life.
During the short period of his Jesuit life in Ireland those who had the privilege of knowing him found him to be a fervent, observant religious a steady, hard worker, full to overflowing with the best of good humour and the spirit of genuine charity.

Clancy, Finbarr GJ, 1954-2015, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1989 at Campion Oxford (BRI) studying

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse No 161 : Autumn 2015 & ◆ The Clongownian, 2015

Obituary

Fr Finbarr Clancy (1954-2015)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May he rest in peace.

Coghlan, Bartholomew, 1873-1954, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

Editor of An Timire, 1912.

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

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1955

Obituary

Father Bartholomew Coghlan SJ

Fr Batt Coughlan was born on December 28th 1873, at Clogheen, Co Tipperary. After leaving Mungret College he entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893. After doing some of his studies abroad he was ordained in 1908 at Milltown Park. After completing his studies, Fr Coughlan spent a year in Belvedere assisting Fr Joseph McDonnell in the work of the Irish Messenger. There followed three years teaching in the Crescent College, with four in Murgret. In 1918 he went to Galway to work in both school and Church, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Fr Coughlan was a man of great intellect, and amazing memory. He spoke the chief European languages, Irish, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish, and loved the classics. He was a historian consulted by many on the byeways of history, a theologian whose advice was often sought on moral questions, a confessor who was a real soul friend to prelates, priests and people of all classes from all over the West. It was, however, his sheer honesty and sympathy with our common humanity, his kindly self sacrificing ways with the poor and sick and his rich fund of humours spring from its spiritual root, humility, that endeared him to all who were privileged to know him. From thắt root too came a strange childlike simplicity that made him abhor all pose and affectation, and was characteristic of his deathbed when all pose and affectation fall away. As some one remarked “We have lost a mine of information, an unsparing confessor and comforter of souls, a true Irish priest, and a real community man”. RIP

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

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

Father Bartholomew Coghlan (1873-1954)

Was born in Clogheen, Co. Tipperary and at the end of his school days at Mungret College, entered the Society in 1893. He studied at Rhoehampton, Valkenburg, Milltown Park, and in Austria. He was ordained priest in Dublin in 1908. Father Coghlan's first association with the Crescent was during his scholastic days from 1899-1901. He returned as a priest in 1908 but spent only a year. He was again at the Crescent from 1911 to 1914. He continued as master at Mungret College (1914-18) when he left for St Ignatius College, Galway, where he remained until his death. By modern standards, Father Coghlan was not a great teacher. He was, perhaps, too learned to be a successful master. His repertoire of languages included Gaelic, French, German, Italian, Russian and Swedish. But he carried his gifts modestly. He was universally loved and respected by his pupils. During his long association with Galway city, Father “Bart”, as he was affectionately known, was the anam-chara of the town and county. His spiritual direction was highly valued by the clergy, religious and laity alike.

Colgan, Andrew J, 1909-1991, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/589
  • Person
  • 23 February 1909-25 March 1991

Born: 23 February 1909, Dublin
Entered: 20 December 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 15 August 1939, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 25 March 1991, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Collier, Richard, 1870-1945, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1070
  • Person
  • 25 September 1870-14 March 1945

Born: 25 September 1870, Duleek, County Meath
Entered: 05 January 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 02 February 1909, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 14 March 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945
Obituary
Br. Richard Collier (1870-1898-1945)

Brother Collier's happy death took place at Milltown Park on Wednesday night, March 14th, shortly before 9 p.n. He had received, a few hours previously, the last Sacraments. Though suffering from heart trouble and realising that the end was not far off he kept working gallantly, being occupied even on the day of his death, after the doctor had been with him, with details of bookbinding. Brother Collier was born at Duleek, Co. Meath, on September 25th, 1870, and entered the Society at the age of twenty eight on January 5th, 1898. Previous to his entry he had worked in Dublin in the meat. trade. His employer, Mr. Dowling, had two butcher's shops, and found Richard Collier so efficient and trustworthy that he handed over to him the complete management of the shop in Britain Street. Brother Collier made his noviceship in Tullabeg under Fr. James Murphy as Master of Novices, and was cook and dispenser for twelve years, first at Tullabeg and then at Milltown Park, 1903-'12, and again at Tullabeg. After a year spent at Belvedere College he went to Rathfarnham Castle in 1913 as mechanic. He was destined to spend almost thirty years in this house, chiefly in charge of farm and grounds. When declining health forced him to retire from strenuous outdoor work, he was transferred to Milltown Park in 1942, where he continued to labour with great fidelity in the bookbinding department as assistant to Bro. Rogers. On more than one occasion during these last years of his life his help was sought at Gardiner St., when he supplied for a Brother who was sick or absent on retreat. On such occasions he gave of his best, and displayed his love of hard work and his genial affability, characteristic qualities of his, coupled with a spirit of prayer, which he seems to have possessed to a notable degree. At the Castle the sign of Brother Collier's hand is everywhere visible in farm and garden. He entered the Castle with Fr. James Brennan, the first Rector, on the day it was opened as a house of Ours, August 18th, 1913. One of his last gifts to Rathfarnham was the wonderful dry track right round the grounds, which he completed before leaving for Milltown. In Milltown the spick and span condition of the books in both libraries will long be a reminder of his industry. R.I.P.

Collins, Bernard P, 1910-1987, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/97
  • Person
  • 24 November 1910-12 August 1987

Born: 24 November 1910, Laragh, Swatragh, County Derry
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 February 1953
Died: 12 August 1987, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia Province (ZAM)

Part of the Namwala Catholic Church, Narwal, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Early education at St Columb’s College Derry

by 1948 at Rome Italy (ROM) - editing “Memorabilia”
by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners

Tertianship at Rathfarnham

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Bernard Collins (known to his friends as Barney) was born in the north of Ireland at Laragh, Co Derry. He entered the Society in September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish Province. After the novitiate, a degree at the university in Dublin in humanities and a Higher Diploma in Education, philosophy in Tullabeg, and theology in Milltown Park where he was ordained on 31 July 1943.

At the university he took a classics degree, Latin and Greek, and when he did the Higher Diploma, he got a certificate to enable him to teach through Irish. He went to Rome for a number of years after his tertianship as an assistant secretary to the English Assistant. He added an extra language to his store, namely, Italian.

In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br. Jim Dunne, on their way to the then Northern Rhodesia. The ship's doctor diagnosed heart trouble in Barney so that he spent most of the voyage immobile in the prone position including when going through customs. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town, he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment. It must have been the sea air that cured him as they were at sea for two weeks!

From 1951 to 1960 he was parish priest in Chikuni. It was here his renowned proficiency in Tonga showed itself. His earlier linguistic studies stood him in good stead as he composed several booklets. In Tonga, he produced 'Lusinizyo', his pamphlet against the Adventists; ‘Zyakucumayila’, 61 Sunday sermons for harried missionaries; a Tonga grammar (now used in schools); a short English/Tonga dictionary; a translation of a pamphlet on the Ugandan Martyrs; and ‘A Kempis' which was written but never published. His knowledge of the villages and people of his time is legendary and he was always willing to give of his time to any willing ear that might wish to know the Chikuni people and their relationships. Towards the end of this period in Chikuni, he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence Centre.

From 1960 to 1966, he worked in Chivuna as parish priest and Superior and also taught the language to the scholastics, who delighted in relating stories of far off days when they struggled to master the prehodiernal past.

Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll. He went back to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Piekut as his assistant. The scene changed in 1984 when Fr Frank 0'Neill became superior and Barney was the assistant in the parish. This was his status at the time of his death
It was during lunch at St Ignatius, Lusaka, on Wednesday 12th August that Barney began to show signs of not being well. By five that evening he had gone to his reward. The funeral took place at Chikuni with 29 priests concelebrating. Fr Dominic Nchete, the principal celebrant, paid tribute to the long years that Fr Collins had mingled closely with the Tonga people. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed the sentiments of Fr Nchete.

Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people and was truly an incarnation of becoming all things to all people. With his fluency in Tonga, it was a delight to listen to him preach which he did in the grand manner. He had a sympathy and understanding of the mentality and customs of the Tonga that few from overseas have achieved. Here are the concluding remarks of the funeral oration: "We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where we are sure he will be able to sit and speak with so many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him"

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 62nd Year No 4 1987

Obituary

Fr Bernard Patrick Collins (1910-1929-1987) (Zambia)

The following obituary notice has been adapted from the one printed in the newsletter of the Zambian province, Jesuits in Zambia.

Fr Bernard Collins, born on 24th November 1910 in northern Ireland, entered the Society on 2nd September 1929. His course of studies was the usual one followed by members of the Irish province: noviciate (at Tullabeg and Emo, 1929-31), juniorate (at Rathfarnham, 1931-34) with university degree in classics, philosophy in Tullabeg (1934-37), regency in Belvedere (and Higher Diploma in Education: 1937-40), theology in Milltown Park (1940-44, with priestly ordination on 29th July 1943), and tertianship in Rathfarnham (1944-45). After two more years' teaching in Belvedere (1945-47) he was sent to the General Curia in Rome, where he worked as substitute secretary for the English assistancy (1947-51). There he also edited the Latin news-periodical, “Memorabilia Societatis Iesu”, which was a forerunner of the present-day “SJ news and features”.
In 1951 he accompanied the first two scholastics, Bob Kelly and Joe Conway, and Br Jim Dunne on their way to Northern Rhodesia (as Zambia was then called). En route the ship's doctor checked Barney's medical condition and diagnosed heart trouble, so that for most of the voyage and the passage through customs he lay flat and immobile. At the Blue Sisters hospital in Cape Town he was pronounced healthy and free from any heart ailment.
From 1951 to 1960 Barney was parish priest of Chikuni, and it was here that he developed his renowned proficiency in Tonga and wrote his Grammar, also “Lusinizyo”, his pamphlet against the Adventists. His knowledge of the villages and people of the Chikuni area were legendary, and he was always ready to give of his time to any hearer wishing to learn about the Chikuni people and their interrelationships. It was in April 1958, towards the end of his first time in Chikuni, that he founded the first Pioneer Total Abstinence centre.
From 1960 to 1966 he worked in Chivuna parish and was vice-superior of the community. He also taught the language to newly-arrived scholastics, who still entertain us with stories of those happy far-off days when they struggled to master the intricacies of the pre hodiernal past. During this time he was also a mission consultor.
From 1969 to 1974 Barney worked in Namwala parish with Frs Arthur Clarke and Edward O'Connor as his companions in the community. In 1975 for a short time Barney was parish priest at Chilalantambo. In 1976 he returned to Chikuni to be parish assistant to Fr Jim Carroll. During this his second spell in Chikuni, he had for some time Frs Joe McDonald and T O'Meara as collaborators. In 1983 he went to Namwala as superior and parish priest with Fr Antoni Piekut as his assistant. In 1984 the scene changed, with Fr Frank O'Neill becoming superior and Barney becoming parish assistant: this was his status at the time of his death.
It was during lunch at St Ignatius (Lusaka) on Wednesday, 12th August, that Barney began to show signs of illness. By five o'clock that evening he had gone to his reward. His funeral took place on the Friday (14th), with 29 priests concelebrating Mass. Fr Nchete as principal celebrant paid tribute to Fr Collins for mingling so closely with the Tonga people for long years. Bishop Mpezele in both English and Tonga re-echoed Fr Nchete's sentiments.
Fr Collins, a very unassuming man, had a deep knowledge of the Tonga people, and was truly an incarnation of the Pauline ideal of being all things to all people. He had a sympathy and understanding of Tonga mentality and customs that few from overseas have achieved. We pray that Fr Barney may have eternal rest where, we are sure, he will be able to sit and speak with the many from Tongaland that he had sent on before him.

Collins, Desmond, 1920-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/493
  • Person
  • 04 July 1920-02 February 1996

Born: 04 July 1920, Clonskeagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1956, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 02 February 1996, Mater Hospital, Dublin

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

Youngest brother of John (RIP 1997) and Ted RIP (2003)

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Desmond (Des) Collins (1920-1996)

4th July 1920: Born in Dublin
7th Sept. 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1941: First Vows
1941 - 1944: Rathfarnham Castle, BA at UCD
1944 - 1947: Tullabeg, Philosophy Limerick,
1947 - 1949: Crescent College, Regency
1949 - 1950: Belvedere College, Regency
1950 - 1954; Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1953: Ordination at Milltown Park
1954 - 1955: Rathfarnham Castle, Tertianship
1955 - 1959; Clongowes Wood College, Teacher and Study Prefect
2nd Feb. 1956: Final Vows
1959 - 1973: Belvedere College, Teacher
1973 - 1976: Rathfarnham Castle, Minister
1976 - 1996; St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street
1976 - 1980: Assistant Prefect of the Church
1980 - 1981: Minister, Church Ministry
1981 - 1990: Chaplain to St Monica's, Director Jesuit Seminary Association (TSA), Church Ministry
1990 - 1994: Assistant Chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Director JSA, Church Ministry
1994 - 96: Director JSA, Church Ministry, Assistant to Cherryfield Lodge.
Fr. Collins continued his Chaplaincy work at St. Vincent's Private Hospital until very recently, although in failing health. At the end of January, he got a severe pain and was operated on the same day for a ruptured aneurism. He suffered a heart attack during the operation, followed by renal failure. He never came off the life-support.
2nd Feb. 1996: Died at the Mater Hospital.

“I believe in the Communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting”.

This belief in the communion of saints is the reason for us all being here today for the funeral Mass of Fr. Des Collins who died last Friday. We are here either because we are his relatives or his companions as Jesuits or parishoners and friends who experienced his love and affection. The communion of saints is a bond which is not broken even by death.

In this funeral Mass we come together to ask God to have mercy on Des and to forgive him any sins which he may have committed in this life and to beg God to admit Des into the company of His saints in heaven.

Our Mass is also our Eucharist. We come together to thank the Lord for all the gifts he has given to this companion of Jesus and for all the good done by the Lord through Des during his life on this earth.

Des gave himself to the Society of Jesus when he was 19. After 14 years in formation, he was ordained a priest of the Society in 1953 and lived the priestly life to the full for 43 years - until he died last Friday, on the feast of the Presentation of the Child Jesus in the Temple. Des could say as Simeon said so long ago: “At last, all powerful Master, you give leave to your servant to go in peace, according to your promise”.

I have lived as a priest in Hong Kong for the past 46 years and so many of you had more contact with Des over the years here in Ireland. For the first 18 years of his priestly life he was teaching, first in Clongowes and then for about 14 years in Belvedere. For this period of his life I had little contact with him, as we did not come home so often from the missions. What I remember about him at that time was that he was a dedicated tennis coach in Belvedere, as well as being a dedicated teacher. But for the rest of his priestly life he was involved in more direct pastoral work and for over twenty years lived in this community of St. Francis Xavier's Gardiner Street, assisting in the Church but involved in many other pastoral activities as well.

To find out what people thought of Des, I asked several persons here with whom he lived or who knew him well. Many said he was a quiet, unassuming person. A person of great faith, he had a great love of persons. He had a good whimsical sense of humour. He was a very dedicated person both to his work and to his friends, many of whom were poor or sick. One colleague said to me at breakfast this morning “I wonder what will he say to Martin Luther when he sees him in heaven”, I myself thought afterwards, “And what will Paul the 6th say to him when Des meets him in heaven?” I met Des on the stairs one night at about 12.30, just after he had let a man out of the house. When I asked Des how come, he told me that this person had AIDS and that he was trying to find a place for him to live. Des had his limitations, as all of us have. But he was a kind, dedicated person who stood up for two fundamental values which he considered paramount: in the wider society he was pro-life and in his life in the Society he was pro-Pope. He concentrated so much on these two issues that I myself for a long time thought he over-emphasised them: the dignity of the human person, big or small and loyalty to the Pope as the mark of a Jesuit. But now he knows the truth and I wonder if he will feel vindicated. These two human and Christian values have many ramifications which we are now only beginning to realize.

Christ was a man for others and Des was a follower of his in this respect. When I was asked to say something about Des, a saying from Vatican II came to mind: “God has willed to make persons holy and save them, not as individuals but as members of a people” or of a family. I said that Des was involved in many other pastoral activities besides St. Francis Xavier's Church. For over twenty years he lived here and served in different capacities and was well loved by people in the parish. He was interested in the history of Gardiner Street Church and on the occasion of its 150th anniversary wrote a pamphlet on its history. What, then, were these other pastoral activities? I will mention only two here because I feel those were ones in which he had a special involvement. The first was being assistant chaplain to St. Vincent's Private Hospital. He was chaplain there for only five years but was sad and a bit indignant when his religious Superiors withdrew him for reasons of health. “I consulted several doctors”, he said to me, “and they told me my heart was alright”. But events showed that his superiors were right. The people in St. Vincents, whether patients or staff, had a deep affection for him.

The second pastoral activity was his summer holiday in California. Every year for more than twenty years he took a month or six weeks holiday in Susanville, north California, taking the place of the Irish pastor there who took his holidays in Ireland. Des would protest when we asked him: When are you going on holidays this year? I'm not going on holidays, he would say, I'm going to work in a parish. The parishioners there loved him and I found many letters to him in his room. Des could never take a holiday just for the sake of a holiday. When in Susanville he liked to golf on his free day. But this was an occasion for a group of Irish pastors in the diocese of Sacramento to meet him on the golf course, some travelling quite a distance. I believe he was to many of them an “anam chara” to whom they could bring their troubles, even on the golf course. They will miss him. So too his relatives, many of whom are here today.

One last remark. Since coming back, I have been living in Des's room and only here have I realized how much he himself has suffered from ill-health. I think it was a secret he kept to himself for he never complained until the pain was acute and he had to go to hospital. I chose the reading from St. Matthew's gospel today because I thought it appropriate to Des. Des had a love for persons, especially the sick and the marginalized. It was an Ignatian type of love, shown more by deeds than by words, for Des was not a demonstrative type of person. I can hear Christ saying to him: “Come you blessed of my Father and enter the kingdom, prepared for you since the coming of the world. As often as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me!” May we too hear these words from Christ's lips when we too come to the end of our journey in this life!

Ted Collins SJ, Tuesday, 6th Feb 1996 Feast of SS Paul Miki and Companions.

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Desmond Collins SJ

Those who were in Clongowes in the late 1950's may remember Fr Des Collins, who was teacher and study prefect here from 1955-59. A Dubliner, he spent the bulk of his working life as a Jesuit in the centre of the city - seventeen years in Belvedere College and the last twenty years of his life in Gardiner St. He died on the 40th anniversary of his Final Vows, 2 February 1996, aged 75. May he rest in peace.

Colman, Michael P, 1858-1920, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/98
  • Person
  • 25 September 1858-04 October 1920

Born: 25 September 1858, Foxford, County Mayo
Entered: 06 September 1890, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: Paris, France - pre Entry
Final vows: 15 August 1905
Died: 04 October 1920, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Part of the St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Australia community at the time of death

by 1903 in Rhodesia (ANG) - Military Chaplain
by 1904 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1906 at Chinese Mission (FRA)
Came to Australia 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was in his native locality and then he went to the Irish College, Paris, where he was Ordained for the Achonry Diocese before Ent.
He had a varied career. he taught at Belvedere, Clongowes and Galway. He was on the Mission Staff. He went as Chaplain to the British Troops in South Africa. He then spent some time in Shanghai as a Missioner, where he did great work, but found it difficult to work with the French.
He was then sent to Australia, where he did various jobs, including being a Chaplain to Australian troops.
He was a man of great talent but unusual temperament and difficult to manage. He died at Norwood 04 October 1920.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He enetered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg as a secular Priest.

1892-1894 After First Vows he studied Theology for two years at Milltown Park.
1894-1895 He was sent teaching at Belvedere College.
1895-1896 He was sent teaching at Clongowes Wood College
1896-1898 He was involved in the “Mission” staff
1898-1900 He was sent teaching at Coláiste Iognáid Galway.
1900-1902 He was sent to work in the Church at Tullabeg
1902-1903 He was assigned as a Military Chaplain to British Troops in South Africa
1903-1904 He made Tertianship at Drongen.
1905-1907 He went on the French Chinese Mission at Shanghai
1907-1908 He returned to Parish work at Coláiste Iognáid.
1908-1911 He was sent to Australia and first to St Ignatius Norwood
1911-1913 He was sent to the Immaculate Conception Parish at Hawthorn
1913-1914 He was at Loyola Greenwich
1914-1919 He returned to St Ignatius Norwood. During this time he was appointed as a Military Chaplain to Australian troops and went to Egypt in 1915. However by September of that year his service was terminated due to ill health. He only completed the voyage and did not see any action. When he returned to Australia he gave missions and retreats in various parts of the country.
1919 He was sent to Sevenhill.

He was a man with intemperate zeal, but dogged with ill health. He had considerable talent which could be hard to harness, which may help understand why he moved around so frequently.

Conlon, Vincent, 1890-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1086
  • Person
  • 17 May 1890-14 November 1959

Born: 17 May 1890, Maclean, NSW, Australia
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 November 1959, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Brother of Felix Colon - RIP 1933

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1918 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1921 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1925 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Felix Colon - RIP 1933

His early education, along with his three brothers was at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was a good student and sportsman. He was a member of the First XV 19071909, and was a champion athlete 1908-1909. He was also prefect of the Sodality for two years and was recognised as a boy of seep spirituality and strength of character.

1910-1912 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for his Novitiate
1912-1913 He was sent to Milltown Park for a Juniorate to prepare for University exams
1913-1917 He was sent to Belvedere College Dublin for Regency
1917-1920 He was again at Milltown Park and Stonyhurst for Philosophy
1920-1924 He was sent to Hastings for Theology
1924-1925 He made Tertianship at Drongen
1926-1937 He began a long association with St Ignatius College Riverview where he was at various times, Teacher, Second Division Prefect, Editor of “Our Alma Mater”, assistant Editor of the Jesuit Directory, Rowing Master, First Division Prefect (1927-1929 and 1932-1937 and 1939), and Third Division Prefect (1930-1931)
1938-1940 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1941 He was sent to Burke Hall as headmaster (1941-1942), Prefect of Studies (1943-1947) and Prefect of games and discipline (1949-1957. He was also a teacher of Latin and Mathematics.

He was a gentle quiet man, like his brother Felix, good with boys and at games. He was a diligent teacher, especially of younger boys. He paid great attention to detail. His classroom always had to be clean, boys were appointed to take class attendance, and homework was corrected with the greatest care. He loved cricket. He rolled and cut cricket creases until they looked like billiard tables, and he coached his teams with infinite patience.
He took ill one evening, went to the hospital and died the next day - all within one weekend.

Note from Richard Comerford Entry :
1967 The Rector of St Aloysius, Vincent Conlon finally succeeded in gaining his return to the College, and when he did he taught Religion, Geography and elementary Science.

◆ Our Alma Mater, St Ignatius Riverview, Sydney, Australia, 1960

Obituary

Father Vincent Conlon

Father Vincent Conlon SJ, died suddenly in November last year, about six months after he had passed the age of 69.

“Vin” (as he was most commonly called) had been six years at Riverview as a boy, being the third eldest of five brothers, who had been pupils at the College. Like his elder brothers, Joe (00-05) and Felix (”Fee”) (00-06), he was prominent both in studies and sport. He was a member of the First Fifteen in 1907, 1908 and 1909 (when he was Captain) and was Champion Athlete of Riverview in 1908 and 1909. His brother Felix had entered the Society of Jesus in 1907. (It will be remembered that in 1933, when on holidays with the Riverview staff at Terrigal, he was drowned in a gallant effort to save the life of a boy who had been swept off the rocks into a rough sea.)

Vin was Prefect of the Senior Sodality for two years in succession, and was a boy of deep religious feeling and strong character. In 1910 he followed his brother Felix into the Jesuit Order, having passed the Senior Examination and matriculated.

As there was no Jesuit novitiate in Australia at that time, Vin had to journey to Ireland and make his noviceship there, Australia being then included in the Irish Province of the Order, After his noviceship and early studies, he began his teaching at Belvedere College SJ, in Dublin and did great work over five or six years, not only in the class-room, but also in the sporting activities of the School.

After further studies, he was ordained priest in Dublin, and after two more years of trainign, he returend to his native land.

He was on the staff of his old school as a teacher and a sportsmaster for several years, during which time he displayed those qualities for efficiency, sense of responsibility, piety and strong character that had distinguished him as a boy.

He was later transferred to Xavier College SJ, Melbourne, where he continued his work as teacher and sportsmaster for the last twenty years or so of his life. His death in November last year was, as we said, quite sudden and unexpected. May his great, good soul rest in peace.

Conmee, John S, 1847-1910, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/13
  • Person
  • 25 December 1847-13 May 1910

Born: 25 December 1847, Glanduff, County Roscommon
Entered: 08 October 1867, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 18 April 1880, Thurles, County Tipperary
Final Vows: 02 February 1886
Died: 13 May 1910, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 2 August 1905-1909

by 1870 at Roehampton, London (ANG) studying
by 1871 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Born at Glanduff near Athlone, but was raised at Kingsland near Frenchpark, County Roscommon.
Early education was at Castleknock and Clongowes.
After First Vows he was sent for studies to Roehampton and Stonyhurst.
1873 He was sent to Tullabeg for Regency, when William Delaney was rector there at the time. He had a great ability to inspire, excite and sustain the interest of his students, and he remained there until 1878
1878 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology.
1881 he was Ordained at Thurles by Dr Thomas W Croke, Archbishop of Cashel, and then he returned to teaching this time at Clongowes.
1885 He was appointed Rector of Clongowes.
1891 He was sent to Belvedere, and later to UCD.
1895 He was sent to Gardiner St, and appointed Superior in 1898.
1905 He was appointed Provincial, and stood down in 1909 due to failing health. After some months of rest he was appointed Rector of Milltown, but his health gave away completely there and he died 13 May 1910 aged 62.
He was held in great esteem in the Province, and hence the various kinds of high Office, and all of which he was very successful at. He was a very gifted man, a delightful companion, and loved by all who had the privilege of his friendship.

Paraphrase of “Press Report” - Mr RJ Kelly wrote
The late Father Conmee SJ, whose lamented demise we all deplore, was a singularly gifted man. Almost every Catholic in Dublin has heard, at some time or other, his striking eloquence in the pulpit. The obituary notice does him a lot of justice to his many-sided activity, save one which is probably less known. he was a great antiquarian and student of Irish history, deeply read in the history of our country, and, perhaps most particularly in that of his native county of Roscommon, his connection with he was always so proud of. One of the most singularly attractive booklets describing the traditions and customs for a district, once came from his pen, and, was published under the title “Old Times in the Barony” by the CTS. With characteristic modesty, Father Conmee wished his name not to appear on the title page, and at his earnest request, it was published anonymously. I hope it is no violation of the secrecy to now disclose his name. A more graphic and beautiful piece of descriptive writing was probably never penned, and in reading it, one has only one regret - that it runs into so few pages. A further regret is that one who could write so well could also give so little time to doing this. I often asked him to write more on things not well known and of which he might write so well, but the responsibilities of his many high offices left him little time to take up such a task.
This particular work of his was one of the first of our Catholic Truth Publications, and it is no disparagement of many others to say that it was one of the best. It was a valued publication of ours, but not his only service to us. He was one of the most active and prominent of our supporters from the beginning, and to his end he continued his deep and practical interest in our work, regretting that his having to be away so much meant he could not attend our meetings and give us the benefit of his great learning, wise judgement and ripe experience.”

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Conmee, John Stephen
by David Murphy

Conmee, John Stephen (1847–1910), Jesuit priest, writer, and educator, was born 25 December 1847 in Glanduff, near Athlone, Co. Westmeath, the son of John N. Conmee, a prosperous farmer. His family later moved to Kingsland, Co. Roscommon, and it was here that he spent his early childhood. He was educated at Castleknock college, Co. Dublin (1861–4) and at Clongowes Wood college, Co. Kildare (1864–7). On 8 October 1867 he entered the Irish province of the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park, Dublin. He continued his studies at Roehampton, London and Stonyhurst college, Lancashire. Returning to Ireland in 1873 he began his teaching career as a master at St Stanislaus college, Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). His superiors soon realised that he was a born schoolmaster, with a talent for inspiring students. Known for his kindness, he was popular with both staff and students, and became involved in all aspects of college life. In 1878 he went to Innsbruck to begin theological studies and took the opportunity to travel around Europe. He was ordained in Thurles, Co. Tipperary, by Archbishop T. W. Croke (qv) in 1881, taking final vows in 1886.

He returned to Clongowes Wood college and served as prefect of studies (1881–5) and rector (1885–91). During his time as rector he oversaw the amalgamation of Tullabeg and Clongowes Wood colleges. He was appointed to the teaching staff of University College, St Stephen's Green, Dublin, first as prefect of studies and then as dean (1898–1904). In 1898 he was also appointed as superior of St Francis Xavier's Church in Gardiner St., Dublin. His teaching career finished with his promotion to provincial of the Irish province in 1905, after which he visited the Australian mission and toured the Holy Land. He retired as provincial because of ill-health in 1909 and was made rector of Milltown college. After a long illness, he died 13 May 1910 in Dublin.

While remembered as an educator, he also wrote poetry and prose. He published Ephesus (1873), Lines for the opening of the debate (1882) and Old times in the barony (1895). The Jesuit archive in Leeson St., Dublin, has a collection of his unpublished writings, including ‘Essays on spiritual subjects’. He is mainly remembered for his connection with James Joyce (qv), who spent three unhappy years at Clongowes while Conmee was in control. He clearly made a strong impression on the young Joyce, appearing as the kindly rector in A portrait of the artist as a young man (1916) and being mentioned more than sixty times in Ulysses (1922).

IBL, ii (1910), 8; ‘A relic of Father Conmee SJ’, Ir. Monthly , xxxviii (1910), 389–92; ‘Clongowes and Father Conmee: two filial tributes’, ibid., 421–7; Ir. Times, 14 May 1910; The Clongownian, June 1910; Patrick Murray, ‘A portrait of the rector’, IER, ser. 5, cix (1968), 110–15; Bruce Bradley, James Joyce's schooldays (1982); Thomas J. Morrissey, Towards a national university (1983), 190–91, 333, 360; James H. Murphy, Nos autem. Castleknock college and its contribution (1996), 18–19

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

Note from Thomas Gartlan Entry
In 1908, the visiting Irish provincial said of Thomas that despite his fondness for athletics, he was a very suitable person as Rector. He enforced discipline and was very popular with the people of Sydney, and this led to the success of the College. This report was made by Father John Conmee, when no other College in Australia had escaped criticism.

Note from Luigi Sturzo Entry
One of his Irish novices and later Irish provincial, John Conmee, praised him for his gentleness, meekness, admirable patience, faith, and ardent love of the Lord

Note from James O’Dwyer Entry
When the Irish provincial, John Conmee, came to Australia in 1908, he was not happy with conditions at Xavier College. “It is from almost all aspects, a failure - enormous debt (£30,000), fails miserably and increasingly at exams, fails in all athletic contests ...”. He believed that the college needed an educational rector who would improve the college intellectually and spiritually and remove the debt. James O’Dwyer was appointed rector in May 1908.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Conmee 1847-1910
At Glanduff near Athlone, on Christmas Day 1747 was born Fr John Conmee. Kingsland, near Frenchpark County Roscommons became his home afterwards. He was educated at St Vincent’s College Castleknock and at Clongowes.

He became a Jesuit in 1867 and spent many years teaching in Tullabeg under Fr Delaney. After his Theology in Innsbruck, he was ordained priest in 1881, in Thurles by Archbishop Croke. He resumed his teaching at Clongowes where he became Rector in 1885. Belvedere was the next scene of his labours, where he had a pupil afterwards world famous, James Joyce. He was named Superior of Gardiner Street in 1898, becoming Provincial in 1905. However, his health was not robust, and he retired from this onerous post in 1909, to become Rector of Milltown Park. Here, however, his health broke down completely, and he died on May 13th 1910.

He was a man who inspired great affection in those who knew him, and these were many, as he was for many years in the foremost rank of preachers.

He had great literary gifts. His name will always be remembered for that masterpiece of writing “Old Times in the Barony”. It was founded on his recollection of early years in the country, unsurpassed in its mingled pathos and humour, its nostalgic capturing of a way of life that has passed. He was a great antiquarian and student of Irish history, especially his native Roscommon. In a word, he was a man of the highest gifts, both of mind and heart, all directed to the service of God and the good or religion, by the powerful weapons of good example and persuasion.

He had a peculiar delicate skin which lacked healing power, and for this reason could never use a razor – the necessary shaving being done with a scissors. This defect was what caused his collapse, after an operation which resulted in his death.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1910

Obituary

Father John Conmee SJ

Though Belvedere could never claim the honour of having had among its alumni the Rev J S Conmee SJ, still so close was the link that bound him to our Alma Mater that we cannot omit to include his name in the list of those whom the Master has called to receive the reward of their toil. For some time past, since his return from Australia two years ago, Father Conmee's health had been failing, so much so that last Summer he had to be relieved of the office of Provincial, which he had held for nearly four years. In January of this preserit year, when his health seemed to be improving, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park, but scarcely had he entered on his new duties when once more his strength gave way, and after fighting the disease for three months he was finally compelled to enter St. Vincent's Hospital shortly after Easter. Report contradicted report, but yet on the whole he seemed to be gaining strength, so that the final announcement of his death, which followed close on an operation, came as a terribly unexpected blow to all who had the happiness of knowing him. For it was indeed a happiness to know Father Conmee. Rarely adorned with gifts of mind and heart, he possessed a manner so charming that it captivated you at once. Those who were, in Belvedere in the years 1891-2 will remember his kind and gentle sway when Prefect of Studies. The writer, who had. the good fortune to know him then, will never forget the kind interest that Father Conmee took in all his boyhood's little aims and dreams.

So it was with all. So great was this personal charm that it seemed to pervade his very sermons and his writings. Who that heard him preach before the great Medical Congress in the Pro-Cathedral, 1898, will forget the vivid eloquence of his discourse? or who that has read that little gem of literature, Old Times in the Barony, will not feel drawn to him who penned its lines?

Ever a friend to Belvedere and Belvederians, Father Conmee has a great claim on all our Past. Will they not discharge their debt in prayers for him who in his lifetime prayed for them?

◆ The Clongownian, 1898

IN MEMORIAM. The Thirteenth of May,

1910

On which departed from earth my dear old Master and Friend,

Father John S Conmee SJ

Once more the Springtime weaves around
Her witcheries of scent and hue;
Life pulses; in delightful sound
Earth laughs back to the mother-blue :

Sunlit, the grave old college towers
Crest the green pastures of Kildare;
Bees murmur in the meadow-flowers;
Keen boyish voices pierce the air.

Alas! How such a scene as this, .
Its harmonies of earth and sky,
Spoke to the soul of him we miss,
The sympathetic heart and eye!

Attuned to all things fair and good,
His spirit from each loveliness
Of Art's or Nature's changing mood
Had caught a charm to soothe and bless.

The child's new grief, the silent tears
Of helpless women, cares that bend
The weary man, youth's perils, fears, -
Knocked at his heart, and found a friend -

How gentle, genial, quick to share
Or joy or grief, to flash or veil
His own bright wit, alert to bear
Toils that o'ertasked a strength too frail,

A thousand mourners tell. The loss,
The pain, is ours; for him the prize:
Lifted at last the life-long cross,
Secure the opening Paradise.

He goes; there fadeth from these walls
Another link with dear days dead;-
But why sad dreams? 'Tis Love that calls
Each old friend homeward. Up, to tread

Their mounting path above these tears!
They wait thee where the shades decline,
Safe in the endless vernal years,
The radiance of the Heart Divine.

Eoghan

-oOo-

Obituary

Father John Conmee SJ

It is with sincere sorrow we chronicle the death of Father John Conmee SJ, formerly Rector of Clongowes. He died in Dublin on Friday morning, May 13th, 1910. Though it is close upon twenty years since he was Rector here, yet we have always counted him as belonging to the College. There was no place in the world so, dear to him; and, perhaps, of his life's work, he would like first to be judged by that done in Clongowes. He loved the old school well - few have loved it so well - and he loved the boys, past and present, with a fondness that had in it some thing of the depth and tenderness of a home affection.

During most of his priestly life he filled posts of superiority. He had a very kindly heart. Indeed it may be said with truth that he hardly.ever served in the ranks as a simple private. He began his career as a young master under Father William Delany in Tullabeg when that college was at the height of its fame. It was curiously said of the Rector of Tullabeg that he got more out of a man than was natively in him-and got it without asking.

But there was a great deal in Mr John Conmee, and all he had he gave unstintingly, He had much to do with the formation of the gifted boys who went out from Tullabeg in those days, and who have made their mark so well in life. Mr Conmee was a born school master. In fact, so striking was his personal influence over the boys that the balance of power was apt to be disturbed, and other masters complained that the boys gave too much time to Mr Conmee's work. He made the class really pleasant, and when he had explained an ode of Horace or a play of Shakspeare, the Mathematical Master got no fair play. The very playground of the boys became seasoned with Attic salt. Mr Conmee helped largely to create that atmosphere of willing work that marked the School. He poured out prologues to plays, racy things like the famous “Talk versus Chalk”, or “Classics v. Mathematics”. He started the debate on Parliamentary lines, and soon had the house ringing with questions that made the boys think and feel; and consequently read carefully and talk really well. He encouraged the musicians by taking an instrument himself in their band. All the while work in the lasses was going on with deadly earnestness.

Such was the state of things when the Rector thought the time had come for letting people know that the work done in Irish schools was as good as the best elsewhere, he steered his little ship of Tullabeg boldly ato the almost unknown waters of English competitive examinations. The result justified he experiment. The chief men of the Irish Parliamentary Party poured in delighted con gratulations. In this brilliant success Mr. Conmee had a good deal to say.

Years passed by, and not long after ordination Fr Conmee was made Prefect of Studies and afterwards Rector of Clongowes. During lis term of office as Rector occurred the most important event in the history of our School - the amalgamation with Tullabeg.

If ever the School needed a good man, then was the time. The step taken in amalgamating the two establishments was a grave one. The difficulties in the way of a successful fusion of the two sets of boys were many. The pace at the time in the steeplechase of Irish Intermediate Examinations was great. There was head-shaking and much croaking about the wisdom of putting all the eggs in one basket. But the young Rector was fearless. No point of the responsibilities that pressed upon him was missed. He radiated confidence and good humour. Studies, discipline, games - he saw the need of many changes in view of the changes going on all around. But he knew his boy world and its citizens - knew them better than they knew themselves. They grumbled at not having this and that. The Rector knew boys had a sort of eternal right to grumble; but he knew that if, in giving them what they grumbled for, you touched, with lightest finger only, any old School tradition, the boy grumbled again - that's why they're lovable.

It was well for Clongowes that the leaders amongst the Clongowes and Tullabeg boys were an exceptionally manly and decent lot of fellows. All went smoothly. The numbers were great, and the vigilant Rector was constantly on his guard against that evil in big schools, which contains every other evil monotony. Inside the house and outside he strove for variety. Indeed this human note was heard in all his work. With him dulness was a deadly sin. In preaching he would have you first make sure of your doctrine ther be interesting. He had an amusing horror of a bore. Outside he started new games, inside he made things bright and pleasant with play-room, music, frequent concerts, theatricals, debates on the Tullabeg lines (and only a little less brilliant), academies of one kind or another. School life went pleasantly.

Though he took an interest in the games such as few Rectors have taken, and helped more than any, I doubt if he ever grasped the power of the games to mould character. But he helped them as they helped against dark dangers - he helped them as relaxation from hard work; he helped them because the boys loved them and he loved the boys; and yet, he hardly knew the difference between an all-cane-bat and a three quarter at Rugby.

The regulation of the studies was not taken up till the following year. Then the Provincial, Father Thomas Browne, sent to Clongowes as Prefect of Studies, Father Daly, whose organising and sustaining power we all appreciate so highly. With the advent of Father Daly the Rector breathed. At once the School, now well knit, leaped to the front, and it has held its place ever since - never once failing. In after years, in whatsoever part of the world he might be, when the Examination results. came out, a hearty message of congratulation was wired to the Prefect of Studies and masters and boys by Fr Conmee.

He loved the place and all in it, and, though far away, it was in his heart. He loved the place and all in it-all the old folk, now past heavy labour, who worked about the grounds, the labourers on the farm, the cottage neigh bours around. They were all part of Clon gowes, and he would go to them, and chat with them about old times and old friends. A little bit of plantation known as Father Mac's wood, gave him the nom-de-plume he signed to “Old Times in the Barony: Max Wood.

Naturally he had a great love for things softened and beautified by the hand of time. He loved mediæval story and mediæval times. The Assisi of St Francis and its rich store of sacred legend had thrown a spell over him to which he rendered himself a willing captive. The old Bohemian town on the Moldau Prague, he loved best of all the towns in Europe.

Along with this we are not surprised to find a highly cultivated classic taste. Indeed, if he had lived in the days when John Philpot Curran and his “monks” flourished Father Conmee would have been admitted to that refined community without even a ballot, for in wit, in taste, and in scholarship he would have been a match for the brightest spirits amongst thetn. “If Gilbert (of operatic fame) were to die”, said a gentleman many years ago, “I know of only one man who could take his place - Father John Conmee”. It is a pity burthens were laid upon him that made writing well nigh impossible.

And yet the man who was all this was a man compact of nervous energy, who keenly watched the times and the trend of things, and strove with all his might to keep his School abreast of the best progress of the day. The old traditions of the School were dear to him, as we have said, but if they were hurtful he spared thern not. Nothing was so dear to him as the.weil-being and the welfare of the boys. That explains much.

Though he could be firm to severity if there : were need, yet he found it hard to refuse when a deputation from the boys came to ask some thing. Once he told the Prefect, on a glorious spring morning, not to permit the boys to come up for a holiday - there was no use in their coming, so let them not come, he would give nothing. The Prefect had his misgivings. He feared the Rector's - great big humanness, and he knew that those blessed boys would go up, despite their slender chances. That poor Jonas carried the message, and preached woe to them that went up. The crowd of Ninevites heard, took counsel, decided to go up, went up, and got the holiday, The Rector looked a delightfully guilty man when later he met that Prefect. Ah! these human weaknesses-these chords of Adam draw us!

He loved coming in contact with the boys, great and small, and loved them to talk freely before liim. It was a little child of eight. He had come to us from South America, Eugene Kenny. His Christmas vacation was to be spent in the College. Everyone, of course, was kind to him, but the friend of friends was the Rector. Go to his room when you might, there was the little chap sitting on the hearth rug before the fire with his toys about him, and occasionally from the toy basket of a child's mind he would draw out such funny questions: “Rector Conmee, could you jump far?” “Rector Conmee, do you own all that letter-paper ?” And, “Do you own all Clongowes, and the cricket-ground and the big roller?” And he crept over to the great man that owned all that note-paper and the big roller. Coming up to Christmas Day the child was terribly excited about Santa Claus. The Rector had evidently been throwing out words of mysterious import. Now, Eugene slept out in the Infirmary. In the middle of the night he was aroused; he heard something he listened, then he felt with his little hands all about. Yes, there they were not his own little stocking, but two big ones - football ones - and full to bursting of everything. He tore out of the bed and, plucky little chap, groped along the dark passage where he heard the creaking sound. He wanted to catch Santa Claus and thank him. But the Rector had got clear away and listened. Both listened - the child above, and the Rector-child below. Then the little feet went back to bed. Oh! the tales on Christmas Day of that adventure, and the tears in the little eyes for missing good Santa Claus; and the wonder, and something else besides, in the gifted man's eyes as he looked upon the little boy the Child Jesus asked him to make home for, as his own home was far away.

Eugene, Eugene! wherever you are, do you hear me? Father Conmee is dead !

One could go on telling many things that would be sweet to those that loved him. Indeed, so many-sided was he that some will doubt if we have not forgotten the best things. I am only asked about the Clongowes days. I have left out so much - those Sunday even ing sermons, perhaps the best ever delivered to boys in the old Chapel. The practical instruction conveyed with beauty of diction and charm of living interest, that made those giddy boys go eagerly to the sermon when the Rector preached. Then the love that lent such persuasiveness to his beautifully modulated voice. How he held them! I recall, too, the College Mass on Sunday morning. The gracious and distinguished look of the Rector in the sacred vestments; the reverence in his movements revealing the deep faith in the awful mysteries; the father-love in his face as he bent to give the Blessed Sacrament to the little ones-all of it comes back now so clearly.

The active brain and the kind heart, they are still in death. We have seen his career as boy, as young man, as Rector; it is hard to think the light of life is extinguished for ever.

When the end was near, the Father who attended him told him of his state. For an instant there was the old fashi Who said so? Have the doctors said so? Yes, Father.

Then, like a little child before a loved father, he said simply, but grandly "”ery well, as God wills”. And so he died.

He hoped for yet ten years of life to put in some good work for God. But the gentle way in which he received the word that all hope was over may count more with God than the years he hoped for. God rest him well, and all our dear dead ones.

◆ The Clongownian, 1931

“The Snows of Yesteryear”

IV The Kings

The memories of Fr Conmee retained by my brother, Con, are so much more vivid than my own that I quote them verbatim here from his manuscript. Afterwards I shall endeavour to depict the other great rector of the eighties, Fr Edward Kelly, from my own recollection. Follows my brother's manuscript:

With Fr Conmee there was without doubt that certain austerity which engendered a feeling of discipline because it seemed to emanate from a personal discipline of his own. But it was an austerity tempered by a generous outlook, a gentle and humorous affability, a wholehearted and complete under standing and an indulgent appreciation of the stuff and nature of youth. Joyously apparent were all these qualities especially when he was in the midst of a throng of clamorous Third-liners. For them he had as many jokes and stories and elusive ways of drawing out funds of spirited repartee, as with the elders. Old and young knew perfectly well that there was no better appreciator of their capabilities howsoever displayed—be it in a joke, a song, a concert or a play or in an achievement of scholarship or debate, than was their Rector.

In the long list of college directors it would be difficult to imagine one better endowed for such a position than Fr Conmee. In appearance refined and debonair, in manner always genial, in stature more than mediuin, his features rounded Father than aquiline, | his presence invariably produced the impression of an active mind and a personality not i only at ease with its environment, but ever alert and responsive to whatever “time and the hour” was capable of. His versatility was as wide as his scholarship was ripe. His indeed was a nature at home with all that was best in Arts or Letters; and together with that, he had the gift of imparting his enlightened enthusiasm to those with whom he had intercourse. His speech, always fluent, was, when occasion offered, often eloquent. His accent was charged with a Connaught “burr” which added homeliness to his utterance. Indeed that same outward sign. of homeliness, had its counterpart in his very spirit of which he has left us an imperishable impression in an essay bequeathed by his pen to current literature entitled “Old Days in the Barony”. Even in this he exhibited another feature of his character, humility, by publishing it under a pseudonym, Only lately have I heard that, the work was so prized for its human and literary excellence I that Walter Pater was in the habit of presenting its merits to his class of Oxford ? undergraduates for their admiration.

Literature was not, however, his sole métier. He had a fine musical taste which ranged from Sullivan to Beethoven, but dwelt with greatest complacency on the grace and tempo of Haydn and Mozart, especially in their minuets, which he had accomplishment sufficient to enable him to render for his own enjoyment, on piano or violin. But while his musical taste was proper it was not esoteric nor did it prohibit him the hearty enjoyment of a song, especially an old one, of any merit. Indeed in the ranges of song he made many a personal sally, not, so to speak, vocally so much as inventively in the sense of verse-interpolation of his own making. I still recall the words he put to two songs that he introduced into the Tavern Scene of Henry IV. The first as a glee that we sang to the setting of that graceful old quartet “See our oars with feathered spray”. But his words were more apropos to an occasion of indoor merriment, and ran thus:

Masters make a merry glee,
Pass the night in jollity,
Send around the ruby wine,
See it in the goblet shine

And deep we'll drown all grief of soul
Within the flowing, flowing bowi,
And here till morning's light we'll stay
And thus we'll chase all cares away.

His other song for the same play was an apostrophe on old Jack Falstaff, viz. :

Jolly old Jack he never doth lack
A quip or a repartee,
And loud he laughs and deep he quaffs
Of the rosy Malvoisie.
And he loveth his sack, doth brave old Jack
As well as well. can be,
And the top of his nose like a beacon glows
That's seen far out at sea.

These excerpts will please be taken not as the measure of his literary ability, but as . an example of his facility in making use of music as a medium for his own addition to the merriment that was going for ward. His sense of humour could always be counted on to better an occasion of merriment. Who that took part, during those days of near fifty years ago, in the staging of Henry IV can ever forget the zest with which Fr Conmee selected and drilled the tatterdemalion ranks of Falstaff's recruits accoutred with tin whistles on which he taught us (for I was one of the tattered band), to march past the footlights to the tune of “The cure, the cure, the perfect cure; the only perfect cure”, on the eve of our departure for the Battle of Shrewsbury. And if Fr Conmee delighted in contributing he equally delighted in receiving.

We had, I remember, one time a Christie Minstrel performance got up by the boys, and no one in the whole audience was more overwhelmed by paroxysms of laughter than our Rector. The bones and banjo were very far indeed from being below the dignity of his appreciation. At the same time his voice was ever ready to applaud our ventures into the spacious realm of Shakespeare, in the rehearsals of which he took an active part.

All that I have written serves to throw a play of light on the joyousness, sympathy and versatility, of Fr Conmee's nature, as well as on his disposition to be a party himself with the boys in their intellectual activities. Up to this, I have dwelt almost solely on the expansiveness of the less serious side of his nature. Now perhaps it is seemly to contrast this with the serious.

When need was for it, nothing could be more solemn than his thorough concentration in chapel functions. No boy, youngster or elder, ever left his confessional without a pause of thought and an after time reflection on his parting “Go in peace and pray for me”. During great Church ceremonies his presence on the altar was in just keeping with the ceremonial and his intonation of the “Preface” or the “Pater Noster” of the Feast day's High Mass, was as much a manifest of his love for the old Liturgical Chant as it was of the authentic voice of the Priest.

Up to this I have said nothing of Fr Conmee's great administrative ability. Let these my final paragraphs suffice to illustrate it.

The direction and administration of a College is no small matter even in its humdrum course of ordinary routine. What then must it be in a time of crisis, but a test of super-ability? Such a crisis did indeed occur in the year 1886, and it was one of a sort to test the hardihood of the best. The demon of fire in one night devoured the old study-hall and with truly demoniacal perspicacity and thoroughness included the refectory in its blaze. We boys only knew of it on rising in the morning at the usual hour. Then the building was a smouldering heap of ashes, and the nearest resembance to a form or remnant of panic lay in a wild-fire humour, that we should all be sent to warm our hearts at our respective homestead hearths.

Within a few days, with dashed hopes, we became increasingly, and I may say, irreconcilably conscious of an over-ruling power undismayed by conflagration and undaunted by adversity. In Fr Conmee the demon of fire had found an intrepid adversary, an antagonist already armed, one who in the encounter revealed all the qualities that belong to courage, force, resource and vision, vision that saw in the embers of the ruined pile but the ashes of a Phoenix preparing to rise in new life to a loftier flight. Fr Conme's vision was as compelling as it was prophetic, and was nothing less than the direct outcome of a strong, forceful, and resourceful vitality and an administrative genius. It would have been impossible for any boy listening to his farewell address to us at the end of that term, on the eve of our joyful departure for summer vacation, to ignore its portent, or to be cold to its perfervid, fire-heated fervour. It was a pæan of enthusiasm for a Clongowes re-endowed and revitalised, and with a future of unprecedented expansiveness.

In what way that was to come about, he did not then disclose, nor did we learn until half the ensuing summer holidays had spent themselves. Then suddenly the public press announcements spelt out solution by proclaiming the amalgamation of Clongowes and Tullabeg. Thus began the Clongowes Wood College we know to-day; its second growth, so to speak, and if the initiation of such a scheme did not originate in Fr Conmee's resourceful brain, to him, and to his courage must be attributed the initial and progressive success that attended the first stages of the new régime. · My own notion is that both the scheme and its success were entirely the work of Fr. Conmee-one of the most notable S examples of that product for which the Jesuiti
order is known in each nation and generation to be the producer, namely--the right man for the right place.

Edward J Little

Connell, Thomas, 1874-1942, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/99
  • Person
  • 03 January 1874-01 July 1942

Born: 03 January 1874, Moylagh, Oldcastle, County Meath
Entered: 09 October 1905, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 08 September 1919, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 01 July 1942, Dublin

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942
Obituary :
Brother Thomas Connell SJ

Brother Connell was born in 1874, near Oldcastle, Co. Meath. He spent several years in he service of the D.U.T.C., and was 31 years of age when he entered the noviceship in 1905. He spent 1907-1912 “ad dom” in Belvedere. and 1913-1914 as cook, infirmarian, and “ad dom” in the Crescent. In 1915 he went to Galway and there began his career as a most diligent and successful gardener. In 1928 he went to Tullabeg where he remained as gardener to his death. He was a very conscientious and genuine religious. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Thomas Connell 1874-1942
Br Thomas Connell was born at Oldcastle County Meath in 1874. Having spent some years as an employee of the Dublin United Tramway Company, he became a Jesuit in 1905 at the age of 31.

His life in the Society was spent as a gardener, first in Galway and then till his death in Tullabeg. A man of few words, he was always absorbed in prayer with God and was considered by many generations of Philosophers as a mystic. He was an example to all in his fidelity to duty and observance of the Rule.

He died in Tullabeg on July 1st 1942.

Connolly, Michael J, 1906-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/489
  • Person
  • 20 January 1906-01 January 1994

Born: 20 January 1906, Ballinagh, County Cavan
Entered: 21 September 1926, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1943, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 01 January 1994, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Cherryfield Lodge community, Dublin at the time of death.

Early Education at St Patrick’s College Cavan and St Patrick’s College, Maynooth

by 1938 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1939 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Michael Connolly (1906-1994)

20th Jan. 1906: Born Ballinagh, Co. Cavan
Secondary studies: St. Patrick's College, Cavan
Third level studies: St. Patrick's College, Maynooth - H. Dip in Ed
21st Sept. 1926; Entered Society at Tullabeg
28th Sept. 1928: First Vows at Tullabeg
1928 - 1930: Philosophy at Milltown Park
1930 - 1933: Regency in Belvedere College
1933 - 1937: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1936: Ordained a Priest in Milltown Park by Bishop Alban Goodier
1937 - 1938: Tertianship, St. Beuno's, Wales
1938 - 1939: Gregorian University, Rome
1940 - 1941: Milltown Park - Studies in Economics
1941 - 1961: Tullabeg - Professor of Ethics and Anthropology,
1947 - 1953: Rector
1953 - 1961: Prefect of Studies
1961 - 1969: Rathfarnham Castle - Tertian Director
1969 - 1993: National College of Industrial Relations - Lecturer in Philosophy of Person, Treasurer, Coordinator of Missions, Retreats and Novenas
1993 – 1994: Cherryfield - Prays for the Church and the Society
1st Jan. 1994: Died at St Vincent's Hospital

Michael Connolly spent the last twenty five years of his life as a member of the Jesuit community at the National College of Industrial Relations (Sandford Lodge). Those of us who knew him in those years remember his strong and faith-filled presence in the community. Michael in these years had left behind the years in Tullabeg as teacher of philosophy and superior of the Jesuit community, and no longer was the tertian instructor. So, we knew him as an energetic and active Jesuit, giving of his best to the community and apostolate in the twenty five years or so that made up this phase of his life. Michael's love for the Society was evident in the way he participated so fully in many community and Province events during these yeras, and discussed the issues of the day with concern and energy. He wasn't slow to argue his point, and would put difficult questions to you when necessary. He found great freedom in these years to rediscover aspects of Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit life. He had great energy for tackling difficult reading material. He always approached the liturgy of the word with a scholarly knowledge of the text, which he wanted to share at a concelebrated liturgy.

Of course we joked, too, about his approach to life. As a bursar, Michael took the financial side of the community very seriously. He lived a very frugal life himself. He would be the one at night to turn out electric lights when others wouldn't be bothered to ask who was going to pay the bill. Even with the community hog, it was recounted that Michael would usually look for a monthly account of masses and stipends, before dispensing with the monthly allowance! Kevin Quinn. a renowned economist, had the theory that all communities needed some kind of a "slush fund" out of an experience at the NCIR of buying Sultan, an expensive dog, and then having to request Michael Connolly for the full amount of the purchase.

In the final years of his life, Michael had a great determination to go on living life to the full, and not be deflected by emergency visits to the hospital nor special nursing at Cherryfield. No sooner had he recovered from one of these set-backs than he was taking steps to be back in his room and resuming duty.

The changes that took place in Michael's long association with the College - from Catholic Workers' College to College of Industrial Relations to National College of Industrial Relations - show how Michael's links with the College spanned the best part of forty years. Michael's serious approach to his topic as a teacher meant that he would be well prepared. He probably lacked the imaginative flair to be a memorable teacher. Yet, his conversation and his ability to meet with students and teachers meant that he played an important role in the vision of the Jesuits at NCIR to be a presence in the world of work at a key phase of the development of an industrial society in the Republic of Ireland.

Michael Connolly was born on the 20th January 1906 in Ballinagh, Co. Cavan. He received his secondary education at St. Patrick's College, Cavan, and then went on to St. Patrick's College, Maynoth for his arts degree and Higher Diploma in Education with a view to ordination in the diocese of Kilmore. However, Michael decided to enter the Society of Jesus, and went to Tullabeg in 1926. He went on to Milltown Park for two years of philosophy, and then did regency at Belvedere College from 1930 to 1933. This time at Belvedere was a time that Michael looked back on with a lot of satisfaction. It gave him the opportunity of learning to be a teacher, and to be involved with the pastoral care of the students, and to be interested in all their activities. He also liked to mention that he was the editor of the Belvederian during those years. Theology at Milltown Park followed, from 1933 to 1937, with ordination at Milltown Park on the 31st of July 1936 by Archbishop Alban Goodier. The ordination retreat given by Alban Goodier made a deep impression on Michael, He often spoke about it in later years when talking about preaching and giving the Spiritual Exercises. Michael went to St. Beuno's in Wales for his tertianship.

The next important event in Michael's life was the Provincial's decision to send him for the biennium in Rome, specializing in moral philosophy. This was a vote of confidence in Michael's abilities at his studies. However, looking back in his later years Michael regretted that he had not been informed earlier in his formation that he was to specialize in this field. He felt that he might have been better able to be competent in these disciplines were he to have worked at them over a longer period. Among his fellow students at the Gregorian was Bernard J.F. Lonergan - the great Canadian philosopher and theologian. His room was beside Michael's. Michael often recounted how with the onset of the signs of war in Italy in 1939, Lonergan spoke about the certainty of the direction events were taking, and of the way war would shape their lives. Michael had to leave Rome after a year's study - again, something he felt made it hard for him to feel competent at teaching in the specialized discipline of moral philosophy.

Michael was sent to Tullabeg to teach philosophy in 1939. This was to be his home until 1961. He taught moral philosophy and was rector of the community from 1947 to 1953. He also gave retreats in the summers. He acted as visiting confessor to some of the religious communities in the mid-lands, going out on his bicycle to visit them.

During the 1950's the Catholic Workers' College was beginning and Michael came to Ranelagh every Thursday - to teach courses in social ethics and on the philosophy of man (or of the person, as it would be called today). During these years Michael was a member of the European Jesuits in the Social Sciences, which met every two years, and which later took on the title of Eurojess. He was glad of the opportunity to meet at these gatherings some of the experts in Catholic Social Teaching: Oswald von Nell-Breuning and Leonard Janssens.

The next major turning point in Michael's life was his appointment as tertian director in 1961. He was to hold this position until 1969 when the tertianship at Rathfarnham was closed. Michael prepared for his post as tertian instructor by visiting Auriesville, New York, and other tertianships in the United States. Tertian Instructor was a demanding job. The whole shift in emphasis in Jesuit formation during those years with the 31st Congregation and the Second Vatican Council meant that Michael found it hard to meet all the expectations of young Jesuits. For those in the Juniorate at Rathfarnham, Michael could also be a bit demanding: Michael had a more orderly life than the Juniors and their late night arrival at Rathfarnham might disturb the quiet of the tertians' corridor. Among the tertians at Rathfarnham was Ignacio Ellacuria, who was one of the Jesuits murdered in El Salvador in November 1989.

Michael was appointed to the Catholic Workers' College in 1969, The Workers' College was later to change to the College of Industrial Relations and more recently to the National College of Industrial Relations. Michael was appointed bursar and also taught courses in the philosophy of the person.

During his years at what is now the NCIR, Michael was also the director of the Jesuit Mission band. He responded to requests for Jesuits to give Missions and retreats. He also gave retreats himself. Right down to his eighty-fourth birthday, Michael continued to give retreats and missions.

Frank Sammon SJ

-oOo-

Albert Cooney remembers Michael and some of his outstanding gifts: In Belvedere during my Regency I first met Michael, a confident, self-assured young man with a quiet sense of humour. He was liked by the boys, and they trusted him and confided in him. Often I remember saying to one of the boys: “Better talk that over with Mr, Connolly”. The Bicycle Club went to Pine Forest and the Glen of the Downs, and Michael found wise and entertaining stories to amuse the boys.

I next met him when I returned from Hong Kong. He was Rector in Tullabeg, courteous and affable - one of the best Rectors I have met in the Society and I have been in many houses all over the world.

When I was in Malaysia I mentioned to our Provincial the possibility of Michael coming to Malaysia where he would find interesting and useful work, and learning a language would not be necessary as in Hong Kong. Michael heard no more of that proposal. That's the Michael I knew. We kept in touch up to the end when he died here. I cannot say that his road of life was paved with friends. But they were many and true. He will remember us all now where there is Peace and Rest in the sunlit uplands of Eternity. His epitaph could be: 'He never spoke an unkind word about anyone'.

Michael was a conscientious and hard-working Jesuit. In his later years he had remarkable will-power to keep going, despite emergency visits to St. Vincent's hospital.

Michael had wide-ranging interests. He was interested in the life of priests and liked to be informed about developments in the places where Jesuits were working. He also had a keen interest in the Missions: his brother was superior-general of the Columbans.

Through his work in social ethics and in Catholic Social Teaching, Michael developed an interest in the co-operative movement. For many years he administered the funds of the Finlay Trust - a small fund established to foster the co-operative movement,

Michael Connolly's life touched each decade of this twentieth century, His faith helped guide his steps through these decades. He often felt himself not quite properly equipped to face the challenges and tasks he was asked to take on as a Jesuit. Nevertheless, in later life he had mellowed, and seemed to be able to smile wryly that life never works out exactly as we would plan it. Yet he would always want to be a man of the “magis” of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. We thank the Lord for having given him to us during these decades as our companion.

Connolly, Patrick J, 1875-1951 Jesuit priest and editor

  • IE IJA J/31
  • Person
  • 14 December 1875-07 March 1951

Born: 14 December 1875, Killomoran, Gort, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1913, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 07 March 1951, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson St, Dublin

by 1896 at Roehampton London (ANG) studying
by 1898 at Enghien Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1900 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1912 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online
Connolly, Patrick J.
by C. J. Woods

Connolly, Patrick J. (1875–1951), Jesuit priest and journal editor, was born 23 November 1875 at Killomoran, near Gort, Co. Galway, a son of Patrick Connolly, an illiterate farmer, and his wife, Mary (née Connors). He was educated at Mungret College, Limerick. After entering the novitiate of the Society of Jesus at Tullabeg in 1893, he studied in England, at Roehampton, and France, at Vals. He then taught at Mungret, Belvedere and Clongowes, and was ordained priest in 1910.

From July 1914 until September 1950 he was editor of the new Irish Jesuit quarterly, Studies, which he made the most important catholic periodical read by Irish intellectuals. It contained articles on social issues, philosophy, history, economics (all pertaining directly or indirectly to Ireland), and on the state of continental Europe. An example from 1933 is a perceptive assessment of Hitler by D. A. Binchy (qv). Connolly's only original contribution was a two-part article, ‘Karl Lueger’, on the militantly catholic mayor of Vienna (Studies, iii, 1914, 280–91, iv, 1915, 226–49). Having spent a year in Austria after ordination, he greatly admired Lueger, a man of humble origins supported by the petty bourgeoisie and industrial workers, as a daring social reformer and as an opponent of ‘the Liberals and the Jews’. From 1924 until 1949 Connolly was spiritual director of St Joseph's Young Priests Society. On 7 December 1939 he was awarded an honorary D.Litt. by the NUI. Attached, for almost all his career, to the Jesuit house at 35 Lower Leeson St., Dublin, he died 7 March 1951 in Dublin.

GRO; Ir. Times, 8 Dec. 1939, 8 Mar. 1951; Irish Independent, 8 Mar. 1951; Irish Provincial News, vii, no. 3 (July 1951), 76–9; Michael Tierney, ‘Looking back’, Studies, xxxix (1950), 369–72; Michael Tierney, ‘Studies, 1912–1962’, Studies, li (1962), 1–8 (with portrait); J. A. Gaughan, Olivia Mary Taaffe, 1832–1918, foundress of St Joseph's Young Priests Society (1995) (with portrait)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Father PJ Connolly

Father Patrick Connolly died on Wednesday morning, March 7th, just four weeks after an operation which had seemed to promise complete recovery. His sudden death came as a shock to many of his friends who had been expecting to see him back again in his familiar haunts. To the members of his own community it was the breaking of a very much cherished link with the past. For Father Connolly had come to Leeson Street in the summer of 1914, and had been Editor of Studies for the long and unbroken period of thirty-six years. Though his name no longer appeared as Editor in the status of 1950, he was asked to see the September issue through the press since he had in fact planned it. That was the last issue which came out under his supervişion. In December the new Editor very suitably produced an issue which opened with a most generous and sympathetic notice of Father Connolly's achievement from Dr. Michael Tierney, now President of University College, Dublin and for many years his most faithful and valued contributor. The issue for March had not yet appeared when the final call came. Fittingly enough, life ended within a few months of the end of an unusually long and fruitful editorship.
Father Connolly was a Galwayman, a native of Gort. On the day that he died Sir Joseph Glynn, another native of Gort, died after a long illness in Dublin. The two men, priest and layman, had been associated for many years in the work of Saint Joseph's Young Priests' Society, and their common interest in their native county may well have held them together in this good work for the education of young boys who wished to study for the priesthood. But Father Connolly had another motive for his life-long interest in this work. He himself had been educated in Mungret College, in the great days of Father Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and he never lost an opportunity of helping his Alma Mater when there was question of finding a suitable school for the education of some young aspirant to the priesthood. In later years it was a standing joke in the community to reproach him with having been the Rector's favourite boy during his years at school. He left Mungret in the summer of 1893, and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg in the following September. As a Junior he was sent for two years to the English Juniorate at Manresa, Roehampton, even then it was thought probable that his work would lie in literary activity. From Manresa he went to Vals as a philosopher, then to Mungret, Belvedere and Clongowes for the years of his regency. He was in Milltown Park from 1907 to 1911, being ordained in the summer of 1910. After a year in a Tertian in Austria, he came back to Clongowes as Master of English as 1912.
The Fathers of the Leeson Street community had begun to publish Studies in the Spring of 1912, with Father Corcoran as Editor. It was a false start - so false that it came near to being fatal. At the visitation of 1914 the abandonment of the whole enterprise was seriously considered, and one of the debts which the Irish Province owes to Father T. V. Nolan is that he decided to continue publication, bringing Father Connolly from Clongowes to Dublin for that purpose. Hitherto the Leeson Street community had been responsible for the finances of the new Quarterly. Henceforward the Province made itself responsible for any possible loss. But the appointment of the new Editor soon turned loss into gain.
The first ten or twelve years were the most successful of Father Connolly's long tenure of office as Editor of Studies. They were the years when the first World War was opening new horizons in social and international questions abroad. At home Sinn Fein was sweeping the country, and the Anglo-Irish literary movement of the first two decades of the century was giving place to a more actively political and national campaign. It was an opportunity for any Editor with vision, and Father Connolly's fellow-workers were never slow to remind him that vision was his special gift. Beyond all doubt the quarterly issues of Studies from 1914 to the early 'thirties were a fine achievement, of which lay Editor might be proud. Hardly a name that was known in .the country as writer or thinker is missing from the title-pages of those years. The Civil War took the heart out of the national movement from 1922 onwards, but there was still enough mental energy in the country to make men eager to plan, and put their thoughts on paper. Eoin MacNeill and his pupils had set men studying the history of Ireland from a new angle, and Father Connolly was always willing to print any article that could fairly be described as a serious contribution to the study of Irish history.
As the years went on, the split between the two sections of what had once been the Sinn Fein party tended to harden on party lines, and an Editor was less free in his choice of contributors. During the 'thirties the European scene was intensely dramatic in its swift movements, with the clash of strong personalities and the ever-growing challenge to Catholic principles. Some of the best articles printed in these years dealt rather with European than Irish politics, though there was always a steady stream of articles on Irish social and economic problems as well as on various aspects of Irish history. Then came the second World War, with the declaration of Irish neutrality. No Irish Editor found those years easy to negotiate, and Father Connolly's own mental and physical energies were beginning to fail. The astonishing thing is that he continued for so long to produce, four times a year, new issues of Studies which - though some of them lacked the old brilliance and effervescence - had still a wide range of interest for many readers. The end of the War brought the problems of the post-war world in which we are still struggling to live. It did nothing to lessen the economic difficulties which face all editors and publishers today. Father Connolly struggled manfully against failing health and ever increasing external handicaps. His successor inherits a fine tradition, and may be sure that he inherits also the good-will of many readers and contributors to what has become a national institution.
Father Connolly had been a member of the Leeson Street community for almost forty years at the time of his death, and his well-marked habits and mannerisms had come to be accepted as part of the permanent background of the community's life. In the city his friends were numerous, and they were most loyal to him as he was always loyal to them. It was at the suggestion of a group of these friends that the National University of Ireland conferred the degree of Doctor of Literature Honoris causa on Father Connolly in recognition of his services to Irish letters in the past thirty years. The ceremony took place on December 7th, 1939. In the December issue of Studies Dr. Tierney gave a rapid sketch of the various journalistic ventures that have been associated, at one time or another, with the long history of University College, Dublin. He ended as follows : “Though there has recently been a welcome revival in the kind of serious journalism of which Father Connolly is such a master, the last thirty years has been a hard period for quarterlies. Our present world is far less favourable to their survival than the very different one into which Studies was born. ... The continued existence of Studies at the level at once of scholarly inquiry and of appeal to an educated intelligence to which Father Connolly brought it under unceasing difficulties is a necessity both for the College and the nation it serves. He will, I am sure, ask for no better acknowledgement of the value of his work than the determination to continue it in the spirit he inherited from predecessors stretching back to Newman, and has handed on invigorated and enriched by his own long years of unselfish devotion”.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Connolly SJ 1875-1951
Fr Patrick Connolly was born in Gort, County Galway on December 14th 1875. He received his early education at Mungret College and after he entered the Society.

As a scholastic and as a priest he taught English at Clongowes, where he showed his fine literary taste, and high standard of writing. “Studies, the contemporary Review of the National University had been founded in 1912, and for some years run an editorial board with no great success. Indeed, things had come to such an impasse, that there was question of ceasing publication. To the credit of the Provincial FR TV Nolan was the decision to carry on, and to his greater credit and discernment was his appointment of Fr Connolly as Editor in chief. Almost immediately it began its course as a high class review, which was to have a great place, not only in the cultural life of Ireland, but also to be accepted by the leading Universities of the world.

Fr Connolly was a born Editor. He made the maintenance and advance of Studies is life-work. Questions of Irish interest, political, historical, economic predominated, but it remained a Catholic review and had articles of Church interest. This good wrk that Fr Connolly kept going through the gravest of crises – two world ward, the struggle for independence at home, the economic war and various smaller domestic storms. He did all of this for well nigh 40 years.

But Studies did not absorb all his energies. For many years he had a deep and practical interest in St Joseph’s Young Priests Society. He was the Spiritual Father and examined candidates and was accustomed to visit students in their various colleges. Personally he was a bit odd, but a great favourite, especially in Leeson Street, where he was somewhat of an institution. When he explained that the old “characters” of the Province had disappeared, his hearers would smile and remark to one another, that while he lived, the race of “characters”would not be extinct. He had a genuine affective love for the Society. As an appreciation of his distinguished services he received an honorary degree of Litt from the National University.

He died on March 7th 1951, after an operation which seemed to promise complete recovery.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1951

Obituary

Father PJ Connolly SJ

On March 7th we learned with regret of the death, in a Dublin Nursing Home, of Rev P J Connolly SJ. Born in Gort, Co. Galway, he was educated in Mungret, leaving here for the Noviciate of the Society of Jesus in the autumn of 1893. After he had completed his noviceship, he was sent to Manresa House, Roehampton, to pursue his studies in humanities, and upon leaving there, he continued his studies on the Continent, more particularly in France and Austria.

Upon his return to Ireland, he taught for some years at Clongowes, and in Mungret, leaving to begin his Theology at Milltown Park, Dublin in 1907. He was ordained at Milltown in 1910.
Two years after the foundation by the Jesuit Fathers of the quarterly review, “Studies”, Father Connolly was entrusted with its editorship in 1914. From the very first he brought new life to the pages of “Studies”, changing its rather severe academic tone to make it at once scholarly and topical. Almost every well-known writer and thinker in the Ireland of 1914 to 1950 contributed to it at one time or another, as well as a surprising number of writers famous all over the world. One cannot but admire the powers of persuasion he displayed suc cessfully for so long, as well as the tact and skill required from him in his exact ing task.

Like many great editors, he wrote little himself, but no one could excel the exactness with which he judged just what treatment a subject required, or the skill with he guided the first faltering steps in authorship of younger writers and castigated their literary efforts with a zeal no less kindly for its apparent sterness.

On 7th December 1939, the National University conferred on Father Connolly to the degree of Doctor of Literature, Honoris Causa.

After thirty-six years of devoted, un remitting, and immeasurably skilful labour, Father Connolly relinquished the editorship of “Studies” in August 1950, and his death only a few months later was a loss, not only to “Studies”, but to the service of Irish literature, not easily repaired. RIP

Cooney, Albert, 1905-1997, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/649
  • Person
  • 31 August 1905-06 December 1997

Born: 31 August 1905, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 06 December 1997, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Sinensis Province (CHN)

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death

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

by 1927 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1960 at St Aloysius College Birkirkara, Malta (MEL) teaching

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Albert Cooney, S.J.
R.I.P.

Father Albert Cooney died in Dublin on 6 December 1997. He was 92 years old and had been a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Albert Cooney was born in Ireland on 31 August 1905 and as a young man became very interested in the performing arts.

Before entering the Society of Jesus on 31 August 1923 he toured Ireland with a drama group. He was ordained on 31 July 1935.

On completing his formal training in the Society he was sent, in 1937, to the Hong Kong Mission where he immediately went to Tai Laam Chung, a language school in the New Territories, to study Cantonese.

At the end of two years of language study he was sent to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, where he was in charge of providing for the material needs of the community when the Pacific War began on 8 December 1941.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, Wah Yan became a Chinese middle school and Father Cooney joined his confreres who set out for free China in April 1942. First they went to Macau and from there on to fort Bayard (Kwangchowan). Towards the end of May he set out from Fort Bayard on the carrier of a bicycle for Pak Hoi in Southern china where he worked in a parish before moving on to Hanoi for a spell. Eventually he came back again to Pak Hoi but in less than a year he was recalled from there to join a new Jesuit venture in Macau.

With the Japanese occupation of Hong Kong, about 4000 Portuguese families returned to Macau. To look after the youth, the Macau governor asked the Hong Kong Jesuits to set up a school with all expense paid. The school, St. Luiz Gonzaga, began in January 1943 and Father Albert Cooney was called back from Pak Hoi when the school was well under way. He always looked back to the time that he spent in Macau and happily remembered the boys he taught there.

The war over, St. Luiz Gonzage College closed its doors in December 1945 and Father Albert returned to Hong Kong Wah Yan College. He worked on several committee dealing with social work, helping the Boys and Girls Clubs Association, saying Mass for the US naval forces, and helping students to get into US universities.

In 1947 while on home leave in Ireland, he was informed of his appointment as Rector of Wah Yan. Before returning to Hong Kong he went to the US to collect information about school buildings and equipment for possible Jesuit schools both in Hong Kong and Canton and made arrangements with universities to take students on graduating from Wah Yan College.

Although administration was not his forte, he was well-beloved by the community and was noted for his kindness and thoughtfulness.

On 31 July 1951 he was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon. In October of that year he suddenly suffered a stroke. Although he survived the crisis, a long convalescence kept him in Ireland for the next 10 years.

In November 1962 he arrived back in the Orient, this time to Singapore to take up parish work. The following year he was transferred to St. Francis Xavier’s Church in Petaling Java, Malaysia to work in the church giving retreats and conferences. He was also warden of Xavier Hall. But in 1969, the “right of abode” issue for foreign missionaries in Malaysia forced him to move on.

Early in 1970, he arrived back in Wah Yan College, Kowloon. He was to spend the next 22 years of his life here doing light work and keeping in contact with his former students of St. Luiz Gonzaga College.

In September 1992 he finally said good-bye to the Orient when he returned home to Ireland.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 11 January 1998

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He came from a wealthy family and a brother of his became a Carmelite priest. He had a keen interest in the performing arts and toured with a group in Ireland.

When he came to Hong Kong after Ordination in 1937, he went to Tai Lam Chung to study Cantonese. He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong and became involved in various social work committees. He also worked with the Girls and Boys Clubs and said Mass for the US Naval forces.

In August 1942 he moved to Luis Gonzaga College in Macau. He also went to Singapore for parish work, and he spent time at St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, working in the church and giving retreats and conferences.He enjoyed producing English plays acted by students, and had a great love of drama and poetry..

He left Hong Kong in 1951 and returned again in 1969 until 1996. At one time he was Principal at Wah Yan College Hong Kong.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

On 22nd October were announced the appointments of Frs. Albert Cooney and Harris as Rectors of Wah Yan College and the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong respectively. The former who is still in Ireland will be returning soon to the Mission via the United States.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Casey G., Grogan and Sullivan leave England for Hong Kong on 2nd July on the ‘Canton’. On the following day Fr. Kevin O'Dwyer hopes to sail with Fr. Albert Cooney from San Francisco on the ‘General Gordon’ for the same destination.
The following will be going to Hong Kong in August : Frs. Joseph Mallin and Merritt, Messrs. James Kelly, McGaley, Michael McLoughlin and Geoffrey Murphy.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 97 : Special Edition Summer 1998

Obituary

Fr Albert Cooney (1905-1997)

31st Aug. 1905: Born in Dublin
Education: Belvedere and Mungret
31st Aug. 1923: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
1925 - 1926: Rathfarnham: Juniorate
1926 - 1929: Vals: Philosophy
1929 - 1932: Belvedere College: Regency
1932 - 1936: Milltown Park: Theology
31st July 1935: Ordination
1936 - 1937: Tertianship St. Beuno's:
1937 - 1939: Hong Kong studying Cantonese
2nd Feb. 1938: Final Vows
1939 - 1941: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Minister and Teacher
1941 - 1943: Pak Hoi, China: Church work
1943 - 1945: Macau: Minister and Teacher
1947 - 1951: Wah Yan Hong Kong: Rector and Teacher
1951 - 1953: Recuperation from illness
1953 - 1957: Mungret: Teacher
1957 - 1958: Belvedere College: Teacher
1958 - 1959: Gardiner Street: Convalescence
1959 - 1960: Malta: Teacher at St. Aloysius College
1960 - 1962; Loyola Dublin: Librarian
1962 - 1963: Singapore: St. Ignatius Church, Pastoral work
1963 - 1969: Malaysia, Petaling Jaya: Warden of Xavier Hall
1969 - 1992: Wah Yan College Kowloon: Pastoral work, Tutor
1992 - 1997: Cherryfield Lodge.
6th Dec. 1997: Died aged 92.

Fr. Cooney maintained a consistent state of health during his time at Cherryfield. At the end of October concern was expressed at his condition, but he recovered. He made his farewells and left instructions that he was to be laid out in his Hong Kong gown. On December 5th he said he would go to the next life on the following day. He died shortly after prayers for the dead were recited in the early hours of December 6th. May he rest in peace. Albert enjoyed every moment of his five years in Cherryfield Lodge. He appreciated the comfortable lifestyle and especially the great care and attention he received from his Jesuit colleagues and the staff. He could not speak highly enough of the great kindness he received in the declining years of his long life. When one realizes that Albert was quite a demanding patient, the loving care and attention he received was all the more praiseworthy.

I suppose it was only natural that Albert should fully appreciate and thoroughly enjoy the kindness he experienced during those five years in Cherryfield, because he was such an extremely kind person himself so he could graciously accept the care and attention he received. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed; he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland. I accompanied him when he left Hong Kong in 1992 and I feared that after a little while in Cherryfield he would grow restless and pine for a return to the Orient, but I need not have worried. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them. One of my first memories of him goes back to Holy Week of 1948. Four of us, scholastics, were studying Chinese in Canton at the time and Albert, as Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong invited us to join his community during the Easter holidays. I can well remember his sending us out to Repulse Bay - one of Hong Kong's most popular beaches - to enjoy a swim and sunshine on Holy Thursday. Can you imagine, long before the more relaxed days that followed Vatican II, there we were, on Holy Thursday, relaxing in the glorious sunshine. If some of us had qualms about such frivolity during Holy Week, Albert felt that was what we needed and he saw to it that was what we got. That was just one of the many kindnesses Albert showed us as we struggled with the intricacies of the Chinese language. We were always welcome to join his community during our vacations and he frequently sent us cakes, chocolates and other goodies while we were in Canton.

In those days clerics were permitted to go to the cinema in Hong Kong only if they had the express permission of the Bishop granted on each occasion. Albert must have thought this was an unfair position. He used to borrow 16mm films and invite all the Jesuits in Hong Kong to showings in Wah Yan College. Another of his initiatives was to prevail on one of his friends who owned a cinema to have private previews for the convenience of all the clergy in Hong Kong. This was a facility that was much appreciated and well attended. It was just another example of Albert's desire to help all he could.

When the Japanese occupied Hong Kong in 1941 plans that had already been prepared by the government were put into operation. Albert, along with several other Jesuits, was assigned to “billeting” duties. The job consisted mainly in finding quarters for those who were displaced by the fighting, Little more than a year after the occupation, Albert, like many other Hong Kong residents, left the colony. Many Chinese returned to their native villages and many of Portuguese extraction set out for Macau - a Portuguese overseas territory, not far from Hong Kong. After some time Albert made his way first into South China, then Vietnam and then back again to South China, where he worked in a parish.

Then began for him what was probably one of the most interesting periods of his life. The government of Macau invited the Jesuits to open a college for young Portuguese boys who had come to Macau from Hong Kong. Albert seems to have loved the two years he spent there, and up to the end of his life he took an intense interest in the young men he had been teaching. He continued to keep in touch with some of them over the years - one of them even visited him while he was in Cherryfield.

After the end of the war in Asia Albert returned to Ireland on home leave and in 1947 he was informed that he would be the new Rector of Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. School administration was not one of Albert's strong points but he was extremely fortunate that during his term of office he had two excellent Prefects of Study - Fr. Harry O'Brien and Fr. John Carroll - who ran the College very efficiently. More or less relieved of the responsibility of running the College, Albert was able to devote much of his time to other activities. He took a special interest in the “Shoeshine Boys Club” - a club started by Fr, Joe Howatson for “Shoeshine Boys” - young lads who earned a meager living by shining shoes in the Central district of Hong Kong. In the Club they were given some basic education, they could play games in the College and they were given a hot, nourishing meal three evenings each week.

In July, 1951 Albert was transferred to Wah Yan College, Kowloon and in less than three months he was taken suddenly ill, due to a blood clot near his brain. For some time he was in a critical condition and eventually had to return to Ireland for a very long period of convalescence. He did not return to the Orient until 1962, this time to Singapore where he did parish work for one year and then was transferred to Petaling Jaya, in Malaysia, where, in addition to parish work he was Warden of a hostel for University students. Immigration restrictions limited his time in Malaysia and he returned to Wah Yan College, Kowloon in 1970. There he helped out in the church engaged in a good deal of tutoring, and kept in touch with past pupils of Wah Yan College and St. Luis Gonzaga College - the College in which he had taught in Macau.

With his health declining, Albert expressed a wish to return to Ireland; thus in September, 1992 he took up residence in Cherryfield. As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward on 6th December, 1997. May he rest in peace.

Joe Foley, SJ

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1998

Obituary

Father Albert Cooney SJ (OB 1938)

Fr Albert Cooney died on 6th December 1997 in Cherryfield Lodge. He was educated at Belvedere and taught there in the late 50's. Albert was an extremely kind person. He spoke frequently of the happiness he enjoyed. He had lived so much of his life in Hong Kong but he was satisfied that he made the right decision when he decided to return to Ireland for health reasons. His heart may still have been in the East, but he was happy and content in Cherryfield.

One of the most prominent traits in Albert's character was his concern for others, and his desire to do all he could to make life more comfortable and agreeable for them.

As long as his health continued, he did some tutoring in Cherryfield; one of his pupils was a French gentleman to whom he taught French! He also took a keen interest in the foreign scholastics who were helping out in Cherryfield, and helped them with their English.

Albert led a full life, active as long as he could be and went peacefully to his reward. May he rest in peace.

Corbett, Martin Burke, 1876-1957, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/103
  • Person
  • 27 December 1876-05 January 1957

Born: 27 December 1876, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1895, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, Belvedere College SJ
Died: 05 January 1957, Mungret College, County Limerick

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1900 at Valkenburg Netherlands (GER) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 2 1957

Obituary :
Fr Martin Corbett (1876-1957)
On the morning of Sth January, Fr. Corbett was unexpectedly taken from us in the 81st year of his age and the 62nd of his religious life, Only a few days before, during the Christmas festivities, we had been celebrating a well-known domestic event, his birthday. This year there seemed to be special cause for jubilation. Fr. Corbett had just made a very good recovery from a cycling accident which had kept him in St. John's Hospital for many weeks, he was now almost back to normal activity, and we looked forward with confidence to see him add quite a few more years to the goodly four score completed, On Friday, the day before his death, he had an X-Ray examination in St. John's which it was hoped might throw light on a certain stomach trouble that had been causing anxiety over Christmas. He returned to us at midday, a little tired after the ordeal, but obviously pleased that a thorough investigation had been made, and also relieved that nothing serious had been discovered. The remainder of that day went in the usual community round and he retired after Litanies at 9 o'clock. Next morning he was up in good time and apparently fully dressed when he felt the first warning of a heart attack, without seeming to recognised it as such. When it was just time to go down for Mass he came out to the corridor and, finding one of the Community nearby, asked him to come over to his room. Here he explained in a few words the symptoms of a sudden attack which seemed to puzzle rather than frighten or distress him. With a slight hesitation he accepted a suggestion to lie down for a while, then stretched himself as he was full length on his bed and seemed to settle down to rest. In perhaps less than a minute more, and with only a slight sign of struggle, he had passed into unconsciousness.
Father Rector was immediately summoned and anointed him. All the available members of the Community gathered to say the last prayers.
At the Solemn Office and Requiem on Monday His Lordship the Bishop presided and gave the last Absolution. Father Rector was celebrant of the Mass and Father Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. A large number of priests and laity were present.
Fr. Corbett was born on 27th December, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes he entered the Noviciate on the eve of the feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual period of Noviceship and Juniorate was completed he was sent to Valkenburg for Philosophy where he remained three years. His first year of colleges was spent in his Alma Mater as Prefect and Editor of The Clongownian. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere, where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Messenger for two years, In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years. In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the school of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field.
Fr. Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness, increasing with the years and so patiently borne, he always managed to keep contact with the brethren and to contribute a full share to the happiness and gaiety of every one. The community was his home, he was never willingly far away, Polite and courteous - in a word, found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. His sound judgment, accurate memory and shrewd sense were recognised, and his verdict or opinion sought on a variety of subjects. Was there a big legal case or a sworn inquiry in the news - he was in his element commenting on the cross examination, speculating on the probable result. Invariably he would recall a similar case of long ago, or tell a good story of a clever swindle or a dramatic arrest-his stories in this line were numerous, but he had many others too, not all in serious vein, of course, but all told word perfect. In matters of practical bearing on the improvement of Mungret, which indeed he ever had at heart, his suggestions were listened to by Superiors with respect and often acted on with profit. It was no small tribute to his practical versatility that he was chosen by Fr. Fahy, when Provincial, to take charge of the arrangements for the preparation of St. Mary's, Emo, for the Novices in 1930. When he was Master of a Villa the community could be confident that every detail would be seen to, in particular that the commissariat would be all right. They could be sure too, incidentally, that, kind-hearted though he was, a modicum of discipline would be maintained for the good of everyone. Fr. Corbett was himself, first and last, a man of regularity, who did not believe in avoidable absence or un - punctuality in community duties. His own example in this, and in particular his devotion to the Brothers' Points night after night for over twenty years were most edifying.
But no picture of Fr. Corbett could be complete without the old bicycle. The local people will surely miss the vision of the ageing priest, upright on the high frame, quietly and purposely pushing his way, hugging the side of the road - he took no needless risks - as the cars and lorries whisked past. It was his afternoon recreation, simple, inexpensive and healthy, and must have kept him not only healthy but cheerful and bright in darker times. He loved the countryside, the stretch of Lough More, the ploughed fields, the waving corn. He loved the Limerick Docks and the ships from all parts - to speak here and there perhaps with an old friend or acquaintance and then to tell at home of all he heard and saw. “A grand old man” “a noble priest” “a most loyal Jesuit”, they said about him.
At the turn of the year, when days are lengthening, a season of hope, he liked to talk about and think upon, it was then it came the day that knows no darkening - “that the highest Truth ever enlightened, a day always secure and never changing its state for the contrary”. R.I.P.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Martin Corbett SJ 1876-1957
Like Fr William Kane, Fr Martin Corbett was connected so long with Mungret as to become almost identified with it. Like Fr Kane too, his imposing frame seated on the inevitable bicycle was familiar to all the inhabitants of Mungret and the denizens of the Docks. This was his invariable form of recreation and exercise for years.

A man of remarkable gifts of mind, he was hampered throughout his life by deafness, yet his judgement and practical ability were prized by Superiors.

He held the post of Procurator in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret, and was chosen for his administrative ability by the Provincial Fr Fahy, to open our new house at Emo.

He was a valuable asset in the community, a model of punctuality and observance, faithful to the duties assigned to him, teaching English and Physics to the Apostolic School for many years. All of these past Apostolics will remember him with affection and gratitude.

He had quite a flair for writing in his younger days and wrote a couple of boys’ stories which had a wide circulation published by the CTSI and the Messenger Office.

He died quite suddenly on January 5th 1957 in his 81st year, having lived 61 years in the Society he loved so well.

◆ The Clongownian, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

Father Corbett was born on December 27th, 1876. After five years as a boy in Clongowes, he entered the Novitiate on the eve of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 1895. When the usual studies of Humanities and Philosophy were completed, he returned to Clongowes as Prefect and editor of “The Clongownian”. Next year he was transferred to the staff of Belvedere where, besides being engaged in teaching, he was assistant editor of the Irish Messenger for two years. In 1905 he returned to Clongowes as Prefect for four years, after which he went to Milltown Park for Theology. He was ordained priest in 1912 and made his Tertianship in Tullabeg the following year. From 1913 to 1917, years eventful enough in Irish and world history, he was Minister in Belvedere College and was witness of many stirring scenes in Dublin in those days. In 1917 he went for a year as Procurator to Tullabeg and then as Procurator to Clongowes for a further six years; In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret College, where he was first Procurator of the house and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for the next seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching, most of the time taking charge of the subsidiary subjects, English and Physics, in the School of Philosophy. In this work he continued to the end, and no doubt will be kindly remembered by many an Old Mungret priest on the Foreign Mission field. May he rest in peace.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1957

Obituary

Father Martin Corbett SJ

Although Fr Corbett was not an Old Boy of the College it would be ungracious not to pay a tribute to him considering the number of years he was on the staff.

In 1924 he began his long association with Mungret where he was first Procurator of the House and farm for two years, then Procurator of the farm for seven years. From 1933 onwards he was chiefly engaged in teaching English and Physics in the Apostolic School. In this work he c012 tinued to the end and will no doubt be remembered by many an old Mungret priest on the Mission field.

Fr Corbett was an excellent community man. Despite his deafness he always managed to keep in contact with others in the College, and contribute to the happiness and gaiety of everyone. Polite and courteous-found as he would like to be found, a gentleman. He was always ready to stop and chat with others about local topics in which he had a great interest. He had a great interest in past students of the College, and a great interest in the College itself. He was deeply devoted to its welfare. In his death we are sure he was remembered by many a far flung Apostolic with love and respect. To his brother and relatives we offer our deep sympathy. RIP

-oOo-

In Memory of Father Corbett SJ - RIP

By O Kemp

He was a man, a man of God
He fought for right, he fought the wrong
But now he's laid beneath the sod
His life was like one long sweet song.

Although he's gone, there still remains
A memory we hold most dear
A golden sheet without a stain
A life heroic without fear.

Then let his lasting epitaph be
He loved all as the one above
He departed life lightly and free
To all he gave his labour and love.

And then o'er his lonely grave at night
As the bloss'ming flowers sway to and fro
As the twinkling stars above show their light
On his lonely gyavestone on earth below
We send up a prayer which comes from our hearts
That he may go to God ne'er more to part
And may he abide with his cherished reward
With God and His Mother to act as his guard.

Corboy, James, 1916-2004, Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Monze

  • IE IJA J/590
  • Person
  • 20 October 1916-24 November 2004

Born: 20 October 1916, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 November 2004, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. Retired 1992

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The diocese of Monze was set up on 10 March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr James Corboy S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, Ireland, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of his own country of Ireland. It had a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. It was a daunting task ahead for the new bishop.

Bishop James was born in Caharconlish, Co Limerick, Ireland in 1916. He was the son of a country doctor who lived on a small farm. There he grew up appreciating nature and farming. He attended Jesuit schools and entered the Jesuits in 1935, followed the Jesuit course of studies, arts, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained priest at Milltown Park on 28th July 1948. After tertianship, he went to the Gregorian University for a doctorate in Ecclesiology. Later as bishop he attended the Vatican Council and became really interested in theology, something that he continued to study passionately throughout his life.

He returned to Milltown Park to lecture and also take charge of the large garden. He always loved pottering around in the garden of any house he lived in. He became rector there in 1962.

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the Bishop of a newly set-up diocese of Monze in Zambia, where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. So on 24th June he was consecrated bishop in Zambia. For 30 years he was the bishop of Monze. The task before him as he saw it was fourfold: development, pastoral work, health and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. Monze hospital was set up and run by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaids were already in the diocese. Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, and the teaching and healing ministry. The Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers are the chief male religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart – promoting vocations from the people themselves. So in 1966, he built Mukasa, a minor seminary in Choma to foster and encourage young boys who showed an interest in the priesthood. Boys came here not only from the dioceses of Monze but also from, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. Over 50 Mukasa boys have been ordained priests and several are studying in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters – Sisters of the Holy Spirit – in 1971. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. These local Sisters are involved in teaching, pastoral work, nursing and formation work among their own people. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Milltown Park, Ireland on the advice of doctors both here and in Ireland. Whenever anyone visited him from here, his first question invariably was: "How are the Holy Spirit Sisters”?

He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

People found Bishop Corboy approachable, kind, caring and simple. He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. He was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would often ask 'which is the Bishop?'. He loved to pray the Rosary. He was a very shy man and avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably after doing a confirmation he would say, ‘Gosh, I’d love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze’.

On 24 October 1991 he was called to State House to receive the decoration of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in the Monze Diocese.

He retired as Bishop in 1992, worked for four years at St. Ignatius in Lusaka before returning to Ireland because of his blood pressure. A short time before he died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, his nephew, Dr John Sheehan, was with him and thought the Bishop looked distressed and asked if he was in pain. Bishop James replied. "No. God bless you, and good bye"! He died on 23 November 2004, aged 88 years.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-bishop-corboy-sj/

Celebrating Bishop Corboy SJ
The life and work of James Corboy SJ, Bishop of Monze, Zambia, was celebrated with the launch of his biography by Sr Catherine Dunne, in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park on Thursday 24 January. It was a great occasion described by some there as a “reunion of the diocese of Monze”. Over fifty people attended the launch, including members of Bishop Corboy’s family, who had an opportunity to meet many of those who had known him in Zambia.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, warmly welcomed the publication of Catherine Dunne’s book, ‘The Man Called James Corboy’, published by The Messenger Office and sponsored by the Irish Jesuit Missions. He recalled meeting Bishop Corboy, whilst studying for his Leaving Certificate at Clongowes, and he remembered how he spoke about the plight of farmers in Zambia with real concern.

The Provincial said reading the book he was struck by the impact Vatican II made on James Corboy and how its vision of the Church as the people of God was always to the fore in everything he did in the Monze diocese. It permeated his leadership style and his sense of purpose, he said.

He also referred to the fact that James was given the Tonga name of “Cibinda”, meaning a wholesome person who knows where he is going and where he is leading others. Listen here to his talk. (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/two-funerals-for-jesuit- bishop)

Two of James Corboy’s nieces, Joanne Sheehan and Ann Ryan, painted an intimate picture of their uncle, especially in his later years at Cherryfield, far removed from his beloved Zambia.

Ann recalled how she and he shared a great love of gardening, flowers and muck! She said he also took great interest in the progress of his great nephews and nieces. Indeed, his great-nephews, Josh and Alan, and his great-nieces, Anna and Alice, were all present and received copies of the book from Catherine Dunne.
Joanne Sheehan told of how there had been Jesuits in the Corboy family for nearly 200 years. She said her uncle “gave his whole life to other people and in that way he was a real Jesuit – a true man for others.” But he only ever claimed a tiny role for his work in Zambia acknowledging the tremendous group of Irish people who had made an enormous contribution to the country besides himself.

Damien Burke from Jesuit Archives provided a recording of Bishop Corboy’s own words from 1962 on the occasion of his consecration as Bishop, along with slides from his early life and time in Zambia. In the recording Bishop Corboy said that “Africa owes a tremendous debt to the Irish people” and thanked everyone for their continued prayers and financial support.
Sr Pius, an 89 year old missionary nun who worked with him in Monze, recalled his attempts to teach them about Vatican II on his return from Rome. “He said that the Council changed his life forever, and he talked about ‘communio’ so often. Something about him touched our hearts as he tried to teach us about the Second Vatican Council – even us ‘noodley’ heads were moved.” She said he valued people and valued particularly the wisdom of women. “We owe him a great debt.”
Sr Catherine Dunne also spoke and read an appreciation of the book from Sr Rosalio of the Holy Spirit Sisters, the order founded by the Bishop with the assistance of Catherine herself.
She said she was encouraged to know the book meant so much to people because, “many’s a time whilst writing it I heard his voice from behind me saying ‘have you nothing better to do with you time?’ I’m glad I didn’t heed that voice now”.
After the launch and a celebratory lunch, Sr Catherine spoke in depth to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre about ‘This Man Called James Corboy”: Listen here : (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/the-man-from-monze).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

GENERAL
On April 18th the midday news from Vatican Radio contained the announcement that Fr. James Corboy, Rector of Milltown Park, had been appointed bishop-elect of the newly-created diocese of Monze, Northern Rhodesia.
The bishop of Monze entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo, in 1935.. and from 1937 to 1941 studied at U.C.D., where he obtained his M.A. Degree in Irish History. He studied Philosophy at Tullabeg and taught at Belvedere 1944-45. His Theology was done at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in July 1948. After his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, he attended the Gregorian University, where he obtained the D.D. in Dogmatic Theology. Since 1952 he has been Professor of Fundamental Theology and Rector since 1959.
The diocese of Monze comprises the mission area assigned to our Province in 1957 and, before its constitution as a separate entity, formed part of the archdiocese of Lusaka.
Bishop Corboy left Ireland on May 31st for Rome and thence to Rhodesia. The consecration has been fixed for June 24th at Chikuni and the consecrating prelates are Most Rev. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., Arch bishop of Lusaka, Most Rev. Francis Markall, S.J., Archbishop of Salisbury, and Right Rev. Timothy O'Shea, O.F.M.Cap., Bishop of Livingstone.
The Province and the Mission received with great joy the news of the erection of the diocese of Monze and of the election of its first bishop, who can be assured of the good wishes and prayers of all for a long, happy and fruitful pastorate.

Milltown Park
It was during the same week that news came of the appointment of our Rector, Fr. Corboy, to the newly-created diocese of Monze. Our pleasure at this compliment to Fr. Corboy and at the progress it signifies in the development of Rhodesia was marred only by our regret to be losing so kind and capable a Superior. A special lecture was organised on May 9th, the proceeds of which were presented to the bishop-elect. We are grateful to Fr. Moloney of the Workers' College for speaking on the title “Education for Marriage, 1962”. At a reception afterwards in the Retreat House Refectory, the Ladies Committee and the Men's Committee both made presentations to Dr. Corboy. A dinner was given in his honour on May 23rd and after it several speeches were made. Fr. Patrick Joy, Acting Rector, took the opportunity to assure Dr. Corboy of the continuing support of all those associated with Milltown, including the Ladies Committee. Fr. Brendan Barry, having prefaced his remarks with the words “Egredere de domo tua”, congratulated the mission on the erection of the new diocese and the election of its bishop. Fr. Tom Cooney then rose to voice on behalf of the missionaries their pleasure at welcoming one so young and capable to the government of Monze diocese. In fact he had to apologise for mistaking the bishop-elect a few days previously for a scholastic. In more serious vein, he went on to trace for us the history of the whole question of the Province's responsibility for a mission territory, since the appointment of a bishop has always been the corollary to that issue. He told us that it all went back to before the war, when it still seemed that we could expand in China. When that proved impossible there was question either of a territory in Rhodesia or of educational work in Malaya. Eventually it was Fr. General who decided on our taking responsibility in Rhodesia. Fr. Cooney viewed Dr. Corboy's appointment in the light of all that development and he wished to pay tribute to the constant generosity of the home Province, towards Australia, the Far East and Rhodesia. Fr. Kevin Smyth spoke on behalf of the Faculty, remarking that he was glad to note the departure from usual practice in selecting the bishop not from the canonists but, as he said, from the theologians. To the speeches of the upper community Mr. Guerrini, our Beadle, added his “small voice” on behalf of the scholastics. He proposed his tribute in the form of a thesis. This thesis, he said, was theologically certain, since it met with the constant and universal consent of the Theologians - not to mention the Fathers. There were no adversaries, and he went on to prove his point from the experience of the last few years. Dr. Corboy then spoke. He expressed his attachment to Milltown and of the debt of gratitude he felt towards all who had worked with him in Milltown. He commended the diocese of Monze to our prayers.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy (1916-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Oct. 20th 1916: Born in Caherconlish, Limerick
Early education at The Crescent, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teaching (Regency)
1945 – 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
July 28th 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1952: Gregorian, Rome - Studied Fundamental Theology
1952 - 1962: Milltown Park:
1952 - 1959: Lecturing in Theology and in charge of farm
Feb. 2nd 1953: Final Vows
1959 - 1962 Rector; Lecturing in Theology; Prov. Consultor
June 24th 1962: Consecrated Bishop of Monze, Zambia
1962 - 1996: Pastor of Monze Diocese.
1996 - 2003: Retired as bishop; returned to Milltown Park; writer, House Librarian.
2003 - 2004” Cherryfield Lodge.
Nov. 24th, 2004: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Bishop James Corboy Pioneer of Catholic Church in Zambia

From: Times of Zambia, 18 Dec. 2004 Written by: James P. McGloin, S.J. (Socius, ZAM Province)

Bishop James Corboy, S.J., the retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze, died in Dublin, Ireland on 24th November 2004. On 10th December a well-attended memorial Eucharist was held at the Monze Cathedral with Bishop Emilio Patriarca of Monze presiding. Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone and many clergy from the diocese and elsewhere concelebrated at the Eucharist. Fr. Colm Brophy, S.J., the provincial of the Jesuits, preached.

In 1962 the Diocese of Monze was established from the southern part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In March of that year Fr. James Corboy was appointed its first bishop. At the time he was a professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit School of Theology in Dublin. He had never been to Africa before. Looking from our perspective, it seems like a very strange appointment. However, the area of the new diocese was a mission area under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits based in Chikuni. These Jesuits ran the mission, Canisius College and Charles Lwanga Teachers' College in Chikuni along with seven other mission stations in the new diocese. Perhaps the Jesuit missionaries who were already there were thought too independent minded to accept one of their own as bishop. Perhaps it was thought that someone from the outside might bring a new perspective to the work. Whatever the reason, James Corboy, without any experience of Africa, was appointed the first bishop.

Bishop Corboy was born in the small village of Caharconlish in County Limerick, Ireland in 1916. Being from a rural area, he grew up appreciating nature and farming, an appreciation he kept all his life. He did his primary school in the village and got a good basic education. For early secondary school he had to travel to the nearest town. This meant using a bicycle to the train station, then by train to the town, then a walk to school, and back again each day. Since, his travel took so much time each day, his parents later sent him to a Jesuit boarding school to finish his education.

After his secondary school in 1935, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest thirteen years later in Dublin. He went to Rome, then, and studied at the Gregorian University, receiving a doctorate in theology. Returning from Rome, he began his career as a professor in the school of theology, where he eventually was made rector.

At the time of his appointment as bishop, the great reforming council of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, began in Rome. Bishop Corboy attend all four sessions of the Council from 1962 to 1965. The Council had an immense influence on him. He was wont to say that, despite his doctoral studies, he never really studied theology until the Council. During the Council he studied and read theology, something that he continued to do passionately throughout his life.

When he was ordained bishop in Monze in June 1962, there were about twenty Jesuit missionaries working in the area, some Religious Sisters of Charity, and one eminent Zambian priest, the late Fr. Dominic Nchete. Bishop Corboy began inviting other missionary groups into the diocese to improve the education and health services of the area. The Holy Rosary Sisters opened Monze Mission Hospital (now District Hospital) and Mazabuka Girls' Secondary School; the Christian Brothers began St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka and Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma; the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary managed St. Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna while the Presentation Sisters managed Kasiya Secretarial College; the Sisters of Charity of Milan opened a mission hospital in Chirundu and the John of God Brothers began a rehabilitation centre for the handicapped in Monze. Many lay volunteers came from overseas in these early days to help staff these new institutions.

In the area of development a well-run diocesan office was opened in Monze which, among many projects, offered agricultural advisory services and courses throughout the diocese. The Monze Youth Projects, managed by the Sisters of Mercy, was opened, offering catering, tailoring and carpentry training. In almost every parish in the diocese a homecraft or tailoring centre was begun.

Much of this development took place during the initial, exciting years of Zambian Independence. Bishop Corboy's vision of a better Zambia for all its people went hand in hand with the vision of the newly independent government. His contribution was recognized by President Kenneth Kaunda, who awarded him the honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service in 1991.

The bishop was also concerned with the pastoral development of his diocese. Besides inviting the Spiritans and Fidei Donum priests from other dioceses to open new parishes, he realised the importance of developing a local Zambian clergy. In 1966 he opened Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as a secondary school for boys considering a vocation to the priesthood. At present there are nearly 50 ordained priests from the boys who began their schooling in Mukasa. These priests work in the Monze Diocese and in other dioceses that send boys to the seminary. He also saw the need for Zambian Sisters and in 1971 began a diocesan congregation of sisters, called the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Today the sisters have convents in Chikuni, Choma, Chivuna, Mazabuka and Monze and offer a variety of services in the schools, hospitals and parishes.

From the Vatican Council, Bishop Corboy learned deeply that the Church was not just bishops, priests and sisters. Rather the Church, to use the Council's great image, is the People of God. Bishop Corboy wanted a well informed Catholic laity in his diocese, good Christians who could run parish councils effectively, preach and offer Sunday services when a priest was not available, teach young people the essential truths of their faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments. During his time as bishop, St. Kizito Pastoral Centre outside of Monze was open to offer courses in Christian and pastoral formation for the people of the diocese. Oftentimes, the bishop himself would present much appreciated talks on scripture and on different theological topics.

When Bishop Corboy came to Zambia, he studied Citonga and had a passable knowledge of the language. Whenever he preached in the language he spoke simply but clearly and correctly. Even in English, he always preached simply and sincerely also. Every year when he came to Charles Lwanga Teachers' College, his homily was essentially the same. He remembered still his own primary school teachers, men and women, who were dedicated to their work and concerned about the children. Then, he told the Lwanga students that they had chosen a noble profession and how they could be a force for good in the lives of so many young people.

True to his rural roots, Bishop Corboy loved nature and farming. For a day off he might spend a few hours bird watching at nearby Lochinvar National Park. He always had a small garden behind his house in Monze and would often be found there watering or weeding. It is said that sometimes. visitors who did not know him would be told that he was outside. They would meet the old man working in the garden saying, "Brother, we would like to meet the bishop." He would tell them to go back to the office and the bishop would be there in a few minutes. Shortly, the bishop, out of his garden clothes, would introduce himself to the surprised visitors.

A very shy man, the bishop avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably, after doing a confirmation at one of the colleges or parishes, he would say, “Gosh, I'd love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze." Although shy, the shyness did not deter him from working well with different organisations and groups of people. He was able to listen, to offer advice and to give his lay and religious colleagues plenty of leeway to do their work without interfering.

Bishop Corboy tried always to defer to the opinions of the Zambian bishops in the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Mazombwe, in a condolence letter, recalled an event in 1973 when he had just taken over from Bishop Corboy as president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. Bishop Corboy wrote to him, "I am not coming to the Executive Board Meeting of ZEC and I am not going for the AMECEA (the Bishops of all of Eastern Africa) Plenary Meeting in Nairobi. I am tired, I have been teaching mathematics at Mukasa Seminary and I will be in retreat." The Archbishop, who was then Bishop of Chipata, relates how he interrupted his own retreat and said, "My Lord, I have never chaired a ZEC meeting, this will be my first time. I need you. I have never attended an AMECEA Plenary Meeting, I need you.” Bishop Corboy's response was immediate and to the point. "I will come to the ZEC Executive Board Meeting, but I will not go for the AMECEA Plenary because there are enough African bishops with experience."

Looking forward to the day when a Zambian would replace him, Bishop Corboy had his dream come true in 1992, after thirty years as bishop of Monze. In that year Bishop Paul Lungu, S.J. succeeded him as bishop. From the 8 mission stations at the origin of the diocese, there were 21 parishes when Bishop Lungu took over, Bishop Corboy was able to hand over a well-established diocese with an active and effective body of Zambian clergy, religious and laity.

Bishop Corboy did not leave Zambia immediately on retiring. He moved to St. Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka where he frequently helped in the church and served as librarian at the Jesuit Theological Library in Chelston. In 1996 when his health began to deteriorate, he returned to his native country where he continued his reading and writing until his death.
His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan, who worked for sometime in Monze Hospital, was with him when he was dying. Dr. Sheehan saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he could give him something for the pain. Bishop Corboy, in his typical way, held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew, saying, “No, thanks very much, I'm all right...and then continued, “Good-by now, God bless you”. Then he died. "Good-by. God bless you”-his final words to his nephew-but also to the people of the Diocese of Monze whom he loved so much and served so well.

Tom McGivern wrote in ZAM Province News, Dec. 2004:

The diocese of Monze was set up on 10" March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr. James Corboy, S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of the whole country of Ireland from which the new bishop came. It has a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. A daunting task ahead for the new bishop!

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the bishop of the newly established diocese of Monze where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. On the 24h of June 1962 he was ordained bishop in Monze.

For 30 years he was the bishop. The daunting task before him was fourfold as he saw it: development, pastoral work, health care, and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaid Sisters were already in the diocese. The Holy Rosary Sisters, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, health care and education. Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers were some of the men religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart-vocations from the local people themselves. In 1966 he built Mukasa minor seminary in Choma “to foster and encourage young boys who show interest in the priesthood”. Boys came from the dioceses of Monze, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. At present there are about 50 of these boys who have been ordained priests and there are numbers in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. In 1971 the congregation began and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. As the bishop wished, the sisters are now involved in teaching, nursing, pastoral and formation work among the people of the Monze Diocese. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Ireland on the advice of doctors. Whenever anyone visited him from Zambia, the first question invariably was, “How are the Holy Spirit Sisters?”

As bishop, he regularised the 8 mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more. He also set up a development office in Monze, headed for many years by the late Fred Moriarity, S.J. Because of it, Monze became one of the leading dioceses in development in the country.

In Matthew's gospel when Christ sent out the Twelve, he advised them to be as clever as snakes and as simple as doves. Bishop James was extremely clever and yet very simple. To set up hospitals, schools, parishes, churches et al., money and personnel had to be found mostly from overseas. A frequent question on his lips to his secretary, the late Joe Conway, S.J. was, :Joe, has that cheque come through yet?”

When the war in Zimbabwe was raging, the Zambezi Valley was strewn with land mines, yet Bishop James drove down alone to Chirundu to make sure the people there were safe and to encourage them. After the war some government official wanted to close down the hospital there, but unsuccessfully, as he had to deal with Bishop James.

The bishop was a good theologian, and, for any important conference he had to give, he would retire to Chikuni to pray, read and prepare. Once sisters involved in health care had a day's seminar on the Theology of Healing. His phrase, "Healing begins at the door of the hospital” lasted with them for a long time.

People found him approachable, kind, caring and simple. Simple? He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. And he was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would ask, “Which is the bishop?”

From Colm Brophy's homily at a Memorial Mass in Monze:

His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan—who worked here in Monze hospital—was with him when he was dying. John saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he was in pain and could he give him something for the pain. Bishop James, in his typical way, said: “No, thanks very much, I'm all right”. - and then held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew John and said: “Good-by now, God bless you”. And then he died, That handshake, that “Good-by now, God bless you” was his “Good-by, God bless you” for all of us.

◆ The Clongownian, 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy SJ

James Corboy, who has died at the age of 88, was the first Bishop of Monze in what was then Northern Rhodesia. As a bishop he was to play an important role in the development of church and state in the emerging: Republic of Zambia.

He was born, the third of six children, to Dr John and Josephine (nee Coman) Corboy in Caherconlish, Co Limerick, in 1916. He was educated in Clongowes Wood College and entered the Society of Jesus in 1935. He studied History at UCD where he obtained his MA. After his ecclesiastical studies and ordination, he was sent to Rome to take a doctorate in theology. He returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, where he was a professor of theology becoming rector in 1959. He was made Bishop of Monze in 1962

The second Vatican Council had already begun and so he was plunged into the heart of what was happening in the church. He found himself transferred from a leisurely, well-ordered, sheltered life of an academic into a daunting range of new experiences and demands.

Nothing prepared him for setting up a new diocese, the size of Ireland, in a country and a church of which he knew little or nothing, while grasping and implementing the radically new attitudes of the second Vatican Council. He believed that the mission of the church was the evangelisation of the whole person, not just “saving souls”. He used to talk of his regret at how he had been sheltered from the hardships of the ordinary people of Ireland during the 1940s and '50s and was determined that he would not make the same mistake in the face of the poverty and needs of the poor in his diocese.

At the conclusion of the council, he began to implement its teaching, especially on the church in the modern world. This meant answering the pressing needs of the Tonga people, keen farmers, rearing cattle and growing maize. He began to develop the skills already there in the local people. He gathered around him like-minded people as the Monze Diocese Development Department parish priests, sisters, lay people, some of whom were trained agricultural instructors and social development workers. He was instrumental in starting the first credit union in what had now become Zambia. Monze diocese established excellent relationships with the aid agencies, including Ireland's APSO, which not only provided generous funding for the many projects that he initiated, but also sent out and supported a series of dedicated social workers, teachers and medical personnel.

He was keenly interested in education and recruited religious congregations to staff the schools and training institutes which sprang up under his efforts: the Christian Brothers opened a secondary school and a trades training school; the Presentation Sisters assumed responsibility for a commercial college; the Sacred Heart of Mary sisters and the Holy Rosary sisters both opened secondary schools for girls. The Irish Sisters of Charity, as they were called at that time, added a secondary school to the apostolates they had already begun in the area before James Corboy arrived. Monze hospital under the care of the Holy Rosary Sisters became a centre for the surrounding countryside for childcare clinics and a nursing school.

He used to say that the church in Zambia had to become a church of the laity if it was ever to shake itself free from being an adjunct of the church in Europe, depending on expatriate mission personnel and funding. So he set up Kizito Pastoral Centre, which catered for every sort of training for laity. The bishops of east and central Africa decided that their main pastoral thrust would be based on the formation of small Christian communities. The pastoral centre was timely and provided a centre for the training of the community members.

While he was a shrewd administrator and fund-raiser, he was the most unpretentious of men, with a simplicity that was most effective in winning people's minds and hearts. He was fully accepted by the people of Zambia, from the president down to the simplest subsistence farmer. He seemed to be happiest when working in the vegetable patch that he cultivated in his backyard.

He returned to Ireland where he lived simply and quiety in retirement until his death in November after a short illness. His brother Dr Patrick and sisters Maureen and Dr. Bernie survive him; his brother Shane and sister Alice predeceased him.

The Irish Times

Corcoran, John, 1874-1940, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1105
  • Person
  • 24 April 1874-14 May 1940

Born: 24 April 1874, Roscrea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1904, Petworth, Sussex, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1915, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 May 1940, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Younger Brother of Timothy Corcoran - RIP 1943

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1895 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1903 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1904 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying
by 1905 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
Came to Australia 1905

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His parents were Irish, and whilst they left Australia to return to Ireland, he later joined the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

His studies were in Dublin and Jersey, Channel Islands, and then he was sent to teach mathematics at Mungret College Limerick and Belvedere College Dublin. He then became ill and was sent to Petworth, Sussex, England where he made Theology studies. He was Ordained there in 1904 and then sent to Australia.
1904-1906 He arrived in Australia and was sent to the Norwood Parish
1906-1913 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview
1913-1914 He returned to Ireland and St Stanislaus College Tullabeg to make his Tertianship.
1915-1919 He came back to Australia and Riverview
1919-1940 He was appointed Novice Master and remained in that position at Xavier College Kew until his death in 1940. He was highly regarded by the Jesuits whom he trained.

When he was at Riverview he was given the task of Minister and so had responsibility for the wellbeing of the boarders. He was considered very adept in catching any boy who returned later after leave in the city, or in posting or receiving letters in an unorthodox way. He was known as the “Hawk”, but this name was given with the utmost respect for him, as the boys experienced him as a most charming man who went about his duties very quietly and thoroughly. They also liked his sermons.

His Novices appreciated his thirty days Retreat. He addressed them four times a day, sometimes speaking for an hour without the Novices losing interest. He spoke with considerable eloquence and feeling, slowly, pausing between sentences, and from time to time emphasising something dramatically. While Novice Master he hardly ever left the house. He lived for the Novices. His life was quietly and regularly ascetic. He went to bed around midnight at rose at 5.25am. He loved the garden, especially his dahlias.

His companionableness was memorable. The Novices enjoyed his company on their walks. He was unobtrusive and yet part of it, a most welcome presence. He was an unforgettable person, a wise and gentle director of souls. He taught a personal love of Jesus and was deeply loyal to the Society. he considered the rules for modesty to be among the great treasures of the Society, and gave the Novices true freedom of heart to make wise decisions.

He was a cheerful man, optimistic in outlook and easy to approach. People at once felt at home with him. He was experienced as a striking personality, a kind man with a sense of fun who spoke little about himself.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 15th Year No 3 1940
Obituary :
Father John Corcoran
1874 Born 24th, near Roscrea, Co. Tipperary Educated Clongowes
1891 Entered. Tullabeg 7th October
1892 Tullabeg, Novice
1893 Milltown, Junior
1894-1896 Jersey, Philosophy
1897-1900 Mungret, Doc
1901 Belvedere. Doc
1902 Petworth. Cur. Val
1903 Naples, Thel.
1904 Petworth, Cur. Val. Ordained 1904
1905 Norwood (Australia) Cur. Val
1906-1907 Riverview, Adj, proc, Doc. Stud. theol. mor.
1908-1912 Riverview, Minister, Adj. proc., etc.
1913 Tullabeg, Tertian
1914 Richmond (Australia), Oper
1915-1918 Riverview, Minister &c.; Doc. 17 an. mag
1919-1940 Mag. Nov. First at Loyola, Sydney; then at Victoria. For a time he was. in addition. Lect phil. in Univ., and for a great many years Cons. Miss. Sydney, as well as lending a hand in many other ways.

Fr Bernard O'Brien, one of Fr Corcoran's novices, kindly sent us the following :
Half the members of the Australian Vice-Province have done their noviceship under Fr Corcoran, and it seems strange to think that the noviceship is no longer under his kindly care.
His health was always weak, and his heart gave him trouble, he used to chuckle as he recalled how his ordination had been hastened for fear that he might die at any moment.
He could be extremely stern. He had no patience with deliberate wrong-doing, with irreverence or contempt of holy things. The novices sometimes' received electric shocks, as when after retreat points on sin that grew more and more heated he turned back from the door and burst out “There is no omnibus marked Jesuit for heaven”.
He kept himself, however, remarkably under control. Though at times the blood would rush to his face, he would say nothing at the moment, but sleep on the matter before acting, a practice he frequently recommended to his novices. Often nothing came of it at all, but the dead silence and the suspense of anticipation was a punishment severe enough to sober any culprit.
He became more and more kindly and sympathetic as time went on. “Gently Brother!” was a favourite remark of his.
He came to rely less and less on external regulations and reproofs, and to form his novices by personal contact and encouragement. In his first years he used to check all trace of slang, but later it became common to hear a novice who had received an order leave him with a cheery “Good-O Father!”
He gave and aroused great personal affection. The timid first probationer, whatever his age, was at once called by his Christian name and adopted among his “babies”. As the noviceship was usually small, he could give each novice individual attention. Even the candidates who left remained strongly attached to the Society.
Fr Corcoran was a man of strong emotion and imagination. He disliked giving the more abstract exercises of the long retreat, and was happiest when he came to the early life of Our Lord. He had made a thorough study of historical Palestine and one heard much about the Vale of Esdraelon and Little Hermon. Some of the other Fathers in the house were shocked to see coloured pictures of camels crossing the sandy desert appear at this time on the novices' notice board.
United with this imagination and emotion went a deep spiritual life. He may not have supplied very clear notions of Church and Society legislation, but he gave his novices strong draughts of the true Jesuit spirit : devotion to Our Lord, constant striving to give God greater glory and better service, love of the Passion and zeal for souls.
One Christmas he gave a remarkable series of points for meditation. He took as subjects the crib, the straw, the cave, the star and so on. The points began with homely remarks and simple reflections, but almost imperceptibly the objects described became symbols and we were on a high level of contemplation.
In his deep and gentle affection, his preference for the concrete and his high spirituality there was much to remind one of St. John, whose name he bore.

◆ The Clongownian, 1940

Obituary

Father John Corcoran SJ

Father Corcoran was born near Roscrea, in Tipperary, on the 24th of April, 1874. In October, 1891, soon after leaving Clongowes, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Tullabeg, where he had been preceded by his brother, Rev T Corcoran SJ, whose fame as an educationalist is world-wide. Ill-health. limited Father John's literary studies at Milltown Park to a single year, and from 1894 until 1897 he studied philosophy with the French Fathers at Jersey. The next five years were spent in teaching-four at Mungret, and one at Belvedere. His great understanding of boys, and his bright, genial sympathy made him a great favourite with all.

It was now time to study Theology (1902). His health had been seriously impaired by tuberculosis, which was to give rise to grave fears for a number of years, and Theology requires hard work and strength. But, to quote a phrase which Father Corcoran loved to repeat in later years, “difficulties are things to be overcome”, and at Petworth, in England, and at Naples, he overcame them sufficiently to be ordained priest in September, 1904.

The following year he was sent to Australia, and under its sunny skies he regained the health and strength required for his future work. After recuperating for a year at Norwood, he spent the years 1906-1913 on the staff of Riverview College.

In 1913 he returned to Tullabeg for his Tertianship; and twelve months later said a last good-bye to his native land, whose green fields and limpid streams lingered in his memory, and gave him “heartaches”, as he put it, even during his last years. After a year at Richmond, he once more became the Father Minister at Riverview, in 1915. In May, 1919, he was given the responsible position of Master of Novices at Loyola, Sydney, a position which he filled for the remaining twenty-one years of his life. Henceforth all his energies were to be devoted unsparingly to the religious formation of Jesuits. He used laughingly to speak of his novices as his “babes”, and he was in truth the spiritual father of the whole generation of post-war Jesuits in Australia.

His genial simplicity and kindness won the veneration and deep affection of all with whom he had to deal. He had the happy gift of making people feel at once at home with him; but perhaps his strong influence over others came mainly from his intense but child-like spirit of faith, which made him converse as familiarly with the Holy Family as with his novices, and which transformed the world for him into a temple of God. He was an enthusiastic gardener who loved weeding his flower beds, and tending his dahlias - but a gardener who could describe the garden as one of the best teachers of the spiritual life. It is often said that Christ's life was full of sorrow from the beginning; but, for Father Corcoran, “the rafters of the Holy House must often have rung with the sweet laughter of the Boy Christ” characteristic illustration of the joyful spontaneity of his own character and outlook.

He could be stern when occasion required; but those he trained treasure the memory of his remarkable gentleness - a trait which became more and more pronounced during the last years of his life. A prominent Jesuit remarked of him that he was an outstanding example of the transforming power of the Jesuit rule when it is lived and sincerely loved in all its fullness; and those who knew him during the latter part of his life were astonished at the constant mellowing of his sanctity. The Society of Jesus in Australia has suffered a great loss by his death, but he himself has surely passed to the happy state which he delighted to think of as “home”.

◆ Mungret Annual, 1939

Obituary

Father John Corcoran SJ

As we go to press a cablegram from Australia announces the death of Father Corcoran at the age of sixty six. Of these years forty-eight had been spent as a Jesuit. For the last twenty-two years he fulfilled the important office of Master of Novices and had given retreats to the clergy both in Australia and New Zealand. Father Corcoran's connection with Mungret was not very long - 1897-1901 - but the boys of these years never forgot the kindly scholastic who played with them and who prayed with them and who always found time to give them a word of encouragement in their trials. He was always ready to smooth out their difficulties and to lighten their load. He treasured to the end of his life, a kindly message from Florida that reached him through the “Annual” in 1907. It was as follows:

“If Father John Corcoran is still in this vale of tears, let him rest assured that the lads of 1900 loved him. In him we ever found a sincere sympathiser in our little troubles and I could not restrain my tears when I grasped his hand for the last time at Naples in 1902”.

Father Corcoran said that since the day of his ordination he never forgot these “boys” in his daily Mass. They are now priests and we ask them and indeed all Mungret priests, to pray for the repose of the kindly soul of Father John Corcoran. May he rest in peace,

Corcoran, Lawrence, 1932-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1106
  • Person
  • 27 July 1932-06 January 2019

Born: 27 July 1932, Brookline, MA, USA
Entered: 30 July 1950, Shadowbrook MA, USA - Novae Angliae Province (NEN)
Ordained: 15 June 1963, Weston College, Weston MA, USA
Final vows: 06 November 1970, Boston College High School, Boston, USA
Died: 06 January 2019, Weston MA, USA - Novae Angliae Province (NEN)

by 1978 came to Belvedere (HIB) teaching

◆ The Jesuits of Canada and the US https://jesuits.org/profile-detail/Lawrence-Corcoran

Corcoran, Lawrence E
Jesuit Father Lawrence E. Corcoran died on Jan. 6, 2019, at Campion Health Center, in Weston, Massachusetts. He was 86 years old. Fr. Corcoran was born on July 27, 1932, in Brookline, Massachusetts, entered the Society of Jesus at Shadowbrook, Lenox, Massachusetts, on July 30, 1950, and was ordained on June 15, 1963, at Weston College in Weston. He pronounced his final vows at Loyola Chapel, Boston College High School, Boston, on Nov. 6, 1970.

Corish, Edward, 1862-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1108
  • Person
  • 14 December 1862-08 January 1951

Born: 14 December 1862, London, England
Entered: 29 November 1884, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 1897, Tortosa, Spain
Final vows: 15 August 1901
Died: 08 January 1951, Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

by 1896 at Deusto Bilbao, Spain (ARA) studying
by 1900 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1901

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was born in England and received his early education from the Benedictines at St Augustine’s Abbey, Ramsgate, Kent. In spite of this, he Entered the Society in the Irish Province at Dromore, County Down.

1886-1890 After First Vows he made a Juniorate at Milltown Park Dublin and St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, and then did a year of Philosophy at Milltown Park.
1890-1893 He was sent for Regency to Clongowes Wood College
1893-1895 He continued his regency at Mungret College Limerick.
1895 He began his Theology studies at Milltown Park, and was then sent to Tortosa in Spain, in the Aragon Province, and was Ordained there after two years, receiving a special dispensation due to health.
1897-1899 He was sent to Mungret teaching
1899-1900 He made tertianship at Drongen.
1900-1902 He was sent teaching to Belvedere College Dublin, where he was also Minister and Prefect of the Church.
1902-1908 He arrived in November and was sent to teach at Xavier College Kew, where he also served as Minister.
1908-1913 He was sent to the Lavender Bay Parish
1913-1918 and 1922-1923 He was sent to St Mary’s Parish in North Sydney, where he was also Superior for a while.
1918-1922 He was sent to the Hawthorn Parish
1923-1931 He was sent to the Norwood Parish where he was also Superior for a time.
1931-1934 He returned to St Mary’s in North Sydney. While there he turned a former factory into Manresa Hall
1934-1940 He returned to the Hawthorn Parish. Hawthorn parishioners spoke of his kindness and fine social gifts.
1940-1948 He was sent to Canisius College Pymble as Spiritual Father and examiner of candidates. Whilst here he also gave a monthly day of recollection to Cardinal Gilroy
1948 His final mission was to Loyola Watsonia, for care and prayer.

His early ill health accounts for the sporadic nature of his studies in Philosophy and Theology. In Australia no one would have thought that he had suffered from ill health. He was a most zealous man, a whirlwind of activity, throwing himself heart and soul into any work that he was given to do, and doing it very well.

He was a kind and charitable man always willing to give a helping hand to others. As a Superior he probably did not allow the men enough scope and was inclined to very fixed views, and he struggled when dealing with others who had equally fixed but opposing views. he did great work especially at North Sydney and Norwood. He had a fine old gentlemanly manner,

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926
Residence. SS. CORDIS, SYDNEY :

In 1878 Archbishop Vaughan handed over the Parish of North Shore to the Society. The church was exceedingly small, had very little church furniture and the Fathers were obliged to hire a Presbytery at 16s. a week. The Residence S.S. Cordis completed by Fr D Connell in 1923. The parish now numbers some 3,000 souls. It has two splendid primary schools, with an attendance of about 740 children. These schools. the Brothers' residence and the hall capable of holding 1,000 people, owe their existence to the energy of Fr Corish. In 1924 there were 45,000 Confessions heard, and about 50,000 Communions given. Attached to the church are two Sodalities, a Catholic club, a debating club, an athletic club a tennis club, and a branch of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Costello, Charles P, 1928-2004, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1113
  • Person
  • 25 November 1928-29 October 2004

Born: 25 November 1928, Philadelphia PA, USA
Entered: 14 August 1948, Marylandiae Province (MAR)
Ordained: 19 June 1960
Professed: 08 September 1977
Died: 29 October 2004, Philadelphia PA, USA - Marylandiae Province (MAR)

by 1980 came to Belvedere (HIB) working

Counihan, John, 1916-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/650
  • Person
  • 29 December 1916-07 March 2001

Born: 29 December 1916, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 09 February 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1959, Charles Lwanga College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died; 07 March 2001, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1st Zambia Province (ZAM) Vice-Provincial: 03 December 1969
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969-1976

by 1957 at Chivuna, N Rhodesia - Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John was a man for whom decisions came before sentiment and who rarely changed his mind once he had made it up. This was the basis of the affectionately critical nickname given to him by some scholastics and others, namely "Dr No" because of his "no" to many requests. After finishing as provincial, he returned to Charles Lwanga TTC to lecture in education. One evening at table, a member of the community said to him, "John, you are right. You seem to know everything”. John replied, 'They do not call me" "Dr. Know" for nothing'!

He was born in Ennis, in Co Clare, Ireland, into a large family. He went to Clongowes Wood College for his secondary education and left laden with academic prizes. He attended University College in Dublin to study classics and after an M.A. won a traveling scholarship in ancient classics which brought him to Leipzig University in Germany. His academic habits served him well in studying the scriptures which would be his favourite spare time occupation for the rest of his life. Later a Greek New Testament and a Tonga dictionary helped him prepare Sunday homilies.

At the age of 26, he entered the Society at Emo in 1942. After the customary study of philosophy and theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1951. He went to teach Latin and Greek at Belvedere College in 1953 but three years later found him in Zambia. He learnt ciTonga after arrival and then moved to Canisius Secondary School until the newly built Teacher Training College across the river was opened. Then he went there to be its first principal, 1959 to 1964.

He then went to Monze as education secretary for the diocese and Bishop's secretary. However the unification of the two Missions of Chikuni and Lusaka brought about the creation of the vice-province of Zambia with John as first provincial from 1969 to 1976. This was no easy task, to get the different nationalities of Jesuits to think of themselves as one province. He organised an international novitiate for Eastern Africa, built Luwisha House near the university for future scholastic undergraduates and encouraged the recruitment of young Zambians into the Society. Such recruitment had been inhibited for a long time by the necessary policy of building up the local clergy. In 1975, the province began working in the Copperbelt. He was duly gratified at the end of his term of office when Fr Mertens, the Assistant for Africa said to him, “You have done a good job, you have set up a Jesuit province”.

After being provincial, he returned south again to the Monze diocese to the staff of Charles Lwanga TTC from 1978 to 1984, and then to Kizito Pastoral Centre, 1985 to 1998, to help in the formation of local religious.

A colleague paid the following tribute to him: "I recall some of John's characteristics. Such an intelligent man can hardly have been blind to the difficult spots in the characters of some of his confrères. Yet, I never heard him speak negatively of another. His tendency was to idealise them. Even if he was firm to the point of inflexibility in his decisions, he was unfailingly courteous, considerate and kind to others. You could always count on him being in a good humour. He did not wear his prayer life on his sleeve, yet he was everything that is implied in the term, ‘a good religious’. Without being overly pious he clearly gave priority to his spiritual life, took an Ignatian view of life's details and sought God in everything".

In 1999, John retired to Chula House in Lusaka, the infirmary for Jesuits, where he died peacefully on 7th March 2001.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinised but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day

Counihan, Tom, 1891-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/461
  • Person
  • 11 October 1891-12 January 1982

Born: 11 October 1891, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 12 January 1982, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Awarded a BSc 1st Class at UCD 1914, and offered a Postgraduate Scholarship, which he did not accept.
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News

◆ Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982 & The Belvederian, Dublin, 1982
Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982

Obituary

Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982)

I well remember Fr Tom Counihan coming to Belvedere in September 1916, when I was a boy in “prep”. We boys thought it strange that he should be so bald, knowing that he was only in his middle twenties. Our first impression of him was that we had a pleasant-looking fellow as our master, one who seemed happily disposed towards us and might not be too strict. Furthermore, on talking to us he gave us the impression of being kindly, and before long we discovered that he had a good sense of humour and could laugh just like any of ourselves.
As we got to know him better, we found that we had a master who would stand no nonsense and would expect us to listen to him and learn from what he had to say. He was strict, firm and determined, all with a view to teaching us and getting the best out of us. Behind all this we found him a most understanding teacher, scrupulously fair and prepared to listen to us. His subjects were mathematics and chemistry and he was a most competent teacher of both subjects.
Two very close and lifelong colleagues of his were in Belvedere to meet him on the first day he arrived: Fr Tom Ryan [d. 1971] and Fr Charlie Molony [d. 1978]. The former was dedicated to Dublin newsboys and particularly to the Belvedere Newsboys' Club, where he was much beloved by the boys. In later years he spent all his time working with the people of Hong Kong. The latter on leaving Belvedere spent most of his time in St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner street, and during his free time gave much support to the Old Belvedere Rugby Club, of which he was a founder member.
In his second year at Belvedere Fr Tom was assigned to the task of training the JCT. In the previous year, Mr Vincent Conlon, an Australian scholastic (d. 1959), had trained the team with such success that they won the Cup, beating our old rivals Blackrock in the final. Fr Tom had come to Belvedere from Clongowes, where he had played soccer. He knew nothing about the finer points of the game rugby, yet by sheer determination and dedication, he learned rugby skills to great perfection. Twice a week time we trained and on Wednesdays and Saturdays we had games against other schools. By the end of the season our team had greatly improved, especially in the art of passing the ball, and due to Fr Tom's efforts and enthusiasm we went through the Cup series winning all our games, thereby retaining the Cup, having played Castleknock three times in the final. The following year, Fr Tom trained us again with the same eagerness and keenness as in the previous year, and his dedication was so earnest that there was nothing we boys would not do for him. The result was that for the third year in succession we won the Cup, having beaten Blackrock once again in the final. It must be said of Fr Tom that for one who knew so little about rugby when he came to Belvedere, great credit was due to him for being the trainer of two consecutive Cup-winning sides. We schoolboys were conscious of his great devotion to our Lady of Lourdes. He knew by heart the days when she had appeared to St Bernadette, and rolled them off for us. He would expect a postcard from any boys going to Lourdes, and it would be seen later on his mantelpiece. If you went to Lourdes and failed to send a card, he would tell you so when next he saw you. He helped in the formation of the Belvedere Society of our Lady of Lourdes. Fr Tom was chaplain to the Belvedere Newsboys’ Club for many year later and endeared himself to the boys by his love and concern for them, They too regarded him as a friend whose advice they sought and respected. The young newsboys sold the Dublin Evening Mail and the Evening Herald barefoot on the streets of Dublin. The price of a paper then was one old penny, and a boy’s earnings for the evening were about a shilling, provided he had sold four dozen papers. Fr Tom gave many retreats to these newsboys, during which they came to know him really well, making friendships that lasted many years.
We Old Belvederians greatly enjoyed the retreats Fr Tom gave us in Milltown Park. He kept strictly to the Gospels and would talk to us for three-quarters of an hour without a note in front of him. We benefitted greatly from all he told us. To the Christian Brothers also he gave many retreats in their various houses: he was proud of his connection with them. One year he gave a retreat in the Clarendon street Carmelite church, a fairly big church. For five or six days he spoke to the people, having pushed the micro phone to one side.
He had a loud voice and used it to great effect in churches and oratories, the classroom and the playing-fields, I might add that he also used it in his own room, and when people knocked at his door he answered “Come in” with a voice that could be heard at the end of the corridor. Many visitors came to his room daily, some for a chat, some for advice, and some for confession. He would not leave his room in case he might miss one of these friends who needed him.
He had a great admiration for Frank Duff, who was a particular friend of his throughout life. He read Abbot Marmion's books and thought them excellent for spiritual reading. Fr Tom did not smoke, but to the end enjoyed his pinch of snuff, which he said kept him from dozing.
To me who knew him when he came to Belvedere and later visited him in his last days in Milltown Park and Richmond hospital, Fr Tom had changed very little. He came to Belvedere as one who was always happy, with a pleasant smile on his face, jovial and friendly, with a good sense of humour. Later on, he uttered criticism at times but laughed it off as a bit of fun. He would not spare those in high office: yet he had nothing but the highest praise for his own superior, who showed the utmost concern for his needs at all times.
We Belvederians well remember him as a true friend, one with a deep affection for us, whose wisdom and advice we sought and respected, who was deeply spiritual and put all his trust in the Mother of God. He told us: Devotus Mariae nunquam peribit, nunquam.
E.D.

Here is a viewpoint from the Far East:
As a student in the College of Surgeons, I first met Fr Counihan while on a week-end retreat in Rathfarnham in 1950. I was enthralled by his patriarchal manner, so understandingly human and yet so authoritarian and inspiring. He prided himself on voting Labour, and certainly was the working-man’s guru. Later on in the Society, I always had a warm spot in my heart for him. For three years in Rathfarnham I helped in the refectory by reading at meals for boys and men on retreat. Fr Tom and I got to know each other well.
He prided himself on Abbot Marmion, whom he had known. Everything said by Vatican II is in Marmion, he used to say! Perhaps the Belvedere connection was important here. He always had a predilection for Belvederians! This however did not restrain him from making caustic criticism. His witty tongue spared no one, and his prophetic denunciation covered all - Provincial and Taoiseach, superior and bishop - usually to the delight and enjoyment of listeners. With a whiff of snuff, the word of God was on his tongue. He claimed to be a priest to whom boys - and most ordinary men - listened. He had the wavelength of, and a charism for, people of the 1950s and 1960s. I remember his week-end retreats were based on the Sunday liturgy. The Mass prayers and Scripture texts were written out in his hand and placed on the board. His spirit was indomitable, forthright and courageous - to the edification and admiration of most people. A man of God for men, he told me he never visited anyone, as a visit was a waste of time, He was always available for anyone who called on him: many did call.
Surely he was a disciple of John the Baptist. May he pray for vocation to preach the word of God, to bring consolation to the desolate, forgiveness to the erring and vision to the down hearted.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982) : Continued
†12th January 1982
Fr Thomas Counihan passed into eternal life in the 91st year of his age, having outlived his eight brothers and five sisters. The President of Ireland, Dr Hillery, and the Archbishop of Dublin,Dr Dermot Ryan, who had been a schoolboy under him at Belvedere, sent letters of condolence. The former spoke of the encouragement he had been given Fr Tom when he was minister for Education, while the latter noted the sustained interest which Fr Tom had taken in the welfare of many of the priests and people of the diocese. Many other hearts were moved to pay tribute, and several of these appear in these pages. The brethren rallied in strength to his requiem; Fr Tom had remarked some years ago, on the death of one of his years.Jesuit peers, that now there were no more colourful characters left in the Province. It was an ingenuous judgment: he himself was one of the great characters among us; an institution, larger than life, he sailed like a liner among tugs, bumping some and swamping others, and it was impossible not to notice him with awe, so certain was his course and so majestic. He was very human, full of contradictions, an extravagant personality, never dull, gleefully imitated.
He was born in Kilrush, Co.Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers School; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life. “I saw Christianity in the Brothers in Kilrush. Their ascetic spirituality appealed to him, and in his latter years he used lament the softness and slackness into which he saw the Society slipping, and contrast us unfavourably with the Brothers. For thirty years he was their spiritual director and through direct contact and a large : correspondence had enormous influence among them. He loved them and trusted them, “When I die, the Brothers are to be told first, and a Brother will come and clear out my room: I want no Jesuits to touch it”. Given the state of his room, a small battalion would have been required for this labour of love, but Tom had no doubt but that the Brothers would have responded to the call.
He finished his secondary education in at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in Chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.
In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years in regency. After two further years of theology, Fr John Fahy, the Provincial of the day, seeking to remedy some urgent problems at Mungret College, sent Tom there as Minister instead of forwarding him to tertianship. Tom remembered the challenge well: there were three tasks assigned him; the ending of the food strikes by the boys; the cleaning of the house, and the reconciling of the opposing views of the Rector and the Superior of the Apostolic School. His principle for reform, repeated to me 55 years later in reference to Milltown Park was: bona culina, bona disciplina. “When. I got to the front door, I asked for water and a mop. I washed my way to my room! I found an excellent layman to take over the kitchen, and the whole atmosphere changed within a week. Everyone was thrilled: I examined every plate of food and every cup, and the Provincial said at Visitation that I was the best Minister he ever appointed”.
The following year saw Tom in tertianship in Tullabeg. He was remembered as “always jolly and gay, . and a good choirmaster”. In 1927 sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys. He had a lifelong interest in sport, and was good at games. To the end he recalled a Visitors versus Community match about 1930, when, partnered by Fr Matty Bodkin, he scored 97 runs. And during a school retreat in . 1954 at Rathfarnham, to illustrate the importance of determination, he told us how once, when playing Gaelic in Kilrush, he got the ball near the goal, lay down and yelled to his team-mates: |Kick me into the net!” He told me that he was excellent at tennis: “Cyril (Power) and I at were unbeatable: I stayed at the back and Cyril went to the net: I returned all the shots he missed”. Reminiscences of such feats, delicately tinted with passing of the years, consoled him in the time of his infirmity.

In the public eye
In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a 'man's man' were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat Staff. He was stationed at Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-'43), Although he once described himself as “patched-up second tenor” he knew he had a splendid voice and could pitch it at will: he made of it a most effective apostolic instrument. His clear faith, unclouded as it seems by even a moment's doubt, made his message clear and convincing. He liked especially his work with Fr Garahy: between them they attracted huge crowds. Tom developed hymn-singing and revelled in leading his congregation at Missions and Benedictions, although once, to general dismay, he failed to get the right note, and overheard a remark afterwards that he sounded like a bellowing calf. He claimed he could drown out the Rathfarnham organ; to which challenge Fr H. Croasdaile rose by putting on an 8 foot Diapason.
He was at the height of his energies in this period; he remarked once that he had had indifferent health till his mid-forties, and suffered from a distressing, though harmless heart complaint throughout his life, but now he was travelling the length and breadth of Ireland, moving from parish to parish, always available. “I came home once after giving a Long Retreat, and got a message to start another one that night, and off I went. I gave more and better retreats than anyone else. To give a long retreat you have to make it yourself and give good example. I never took a villa – too many retreats to give ...”
For many years Dr John C. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch' as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked for him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Commissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!” He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian principle and conviction: the Labour men respected him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. We who came to know him only in his declining years would not have thought of him as a mediator; yet the daily arrival of a personal copy of the Irish Independent was a constant reminder that he had intervened to avert a newspaper strike. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950s. He and "The Arch' fell out at a public meeting about the same time, because of a disagreement over policy. Happily good relations were restored at the time of Rathfarnham Retreat House's golden jubilee (1963).
His naive candour about his achievements ("Guess how many confessions I heard tonight!) added to his ex cathedra statements (I'm telling you ...) frustrated and annoyed many: those who disagreed with him found him difficult; patience was needed, but there seem to have been no shortage of patient men around, for the number of those who valued his friendship was legion. They valued his prayers during his lifetime too, and now have even greater trust in ' his power of intercession with God on their behalf. He had the ability to relate ' easily with young and old; doctors, : lawyers, bricklayers, priests – all could come and use him as consultant, moral theologian, as confessor and as friend. He was a great supporter of the Larkins and of James Connolly, and was sensitive to the rights of workers. He knew the social teaching of the Popes, and warned that anyone taking the encyclicals seriously would get into trouble. Men of vision and nonconformists often found in him an ally; institutions and officials which were failing in their duties found in him an outspoken and fearless critic. The lapsed called him 'the hound of heaven'; his zeal for souls sent him out on the streets to search for a relapsed alcoholic. He was sensitive, and visibly saddened if a penitent failed to keep the contract made in confession. He acknowledged that he good at helping the determined, but poor with the indecisive: he was grateful to be able to turn those with vocation crisis over to men like Fr Joe Erraught.

Retreat work
In 1950 he moved from Leeson street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House, and was equally effective both with men and boys. His years at Belvedere had taught him all the tricks of the schoolboy mind: in early 1954 we Sixth-years from St Vincent’s came trooping up the avenue towards the Castle, plotting all sorts of mischief. But the “The Coon” as we called him, dominated everything. He was impressive with his bald head and its odd bump at the back covered by a black skull-cap; but more by his voice and his kindly face. We knew he cared about us. He spaced us out, four to a bench, each with his own place, so that there would be no fooling in the chapel; he had a book which all must sign and this entailed going to his room, which ended in a chat and confession. His simple emphasis on the person of Christ was compelling. The tough grew silent, and that autumn, ten of the group went on for the priesthood.
For him the weekend retreats were times as of maximum effort. He was to be found after midnight of the opening night, patrolling Rathfarnham avenue with Br s John Adams, to catch the 'trailers - the nervous and the drunk. “The best wine comes last”, he'd say. He would see a man in the distance, go to him and lead him gently in. He became oblivious of time when dealing with the men in his room: Bishops took their turn in the queue, “I'm no respecter of persons”. Retreats didn't end on Monday morning: he encouraged men to return for direction. Marmion was most recommended; also Fulton Sheen. For spiritual ills, his remedies were crisp: frequent confession, penance and spiritual reading.
His penances were widely known was among the retreatants. “It's good for them to hear me (using the discipline)” he would say. The whole of religion is pain; you have to pay that price for the conversion of others. We are priests and victims. No man has ever refused to see me, because I suffered for them all. I used the discipline and the chain for the conversion of sinners. I got the idea from Michael Browne, my novice-master – he's a saint. A Bishop once asked me: “Is it true you use the scourge?” I said: “Yes. Do you?” I asked about his arthritis which had become so crippling towards end. “That's from the chains I wore.After a while the metal dug into the flesh and then affected the bone. Of course the pain is terrible, but I won't take anything to ease it. I must offer it to God, to make up what is wanting to the sufferings of Christ”. One felt that God must be impressed by his motivation. Not many could follow his ascetical path: “I didn't go to him for confession or counselling said one of the brethren, because I was afraid of his grá for the discipline”.
He came to Milltown in 1957, after some turbulence over the management of Rathfarnham, Again he was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.
It may be noted that except for some work in England, he never travelled abroad: one may speculate on the scope of his life-work had he been assigned to Australia or to Hong Kong after tertianship. Priests' and professional men's retreat work, retained his connections during Fr Tom's time as Assistant Director. He continued to do outside retreat work retained his connections with the Christian Brothers, had time for innumerable visitors and penitents, and followed the fortunes of the English cricket team. His certitude about the rightness of his own convictions gave great security to many friends and penitents: “If you'll just do as I say, you'll be all right!' He loved company and friendship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory of persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge: requests for Masses and prayers were unending.
He loved the poor and was very kindly. As rector, I got into the habit of asking him for cash for the needy who came to the front door, and he never failed: sometimes he would give his pocket-money, while on other occasions he would tell a well-to-do penitent that money was needed, and it would be generously given. When he finally went into hospital the poor at the door mourned his departure. A side of him that was suitably hidden from most was his great generosity, thoughtfulness and sympathy for the really poor and those who have no one to champion their cause. He was never embarrassed to use his influence for them: he kept to the end a great interest in them and their families. He interceded with State bodies for the poor, and could be relied on to get jobs for the needy, with his vast network of friends, but more by his gift of persuasion. His remarkable memory for names and faces helped here. A correspondent who lived many years with him gives the following summary:
“One reason for his great apostolic success was that he kept his nose to the grindstone: his was the asceticism of being in his room, always welcoming and available. He took little exercise, and no holidays - nor did he take dessert, nor drink nor smoke cigarettes. All he allowed himself was a little snuff. He never, to my knowledge, read a novel, nor watched a film; he restricted his use of the radio to sport, and refused TV altogether. He went to bed at all hours, as the apostolate demanded, but was up often at 4.15 am. He had great devotion to the Stations of the Cross, which he said in the Chapel until his legs would support him no longer, and in his final years made them in his room, where he had a large set on the wall. He admired Fr Willie Doyle, Matt Talbot, and most of all his novice master, Fr Michael Browne – all of them great ascetics. He lived for the spread of the Gospel, and if he took a day off, he spent it with the Christian Brothers in Bray, hearing in dealing with them. confessions. A simple pleasure which he indulged to the end was the crossword. When stuck, he used ring up one of his friends for help, and the business of the city would be halted while the clue was worked out!”
In regard to Fr Michael Browne, another correspondent adds: “He told me he owed everything to Fr Browne, and that he had tried to build his life on his teaching. He said that whatever way Michael Browne spoke, of us you would be moved by what he said; for example, by the statement: God needs you, or We must be not only priests but victims. I think Fr Michael would have been proud of him: everything he undertook for God, he did well”.

The later years
From about 1970 onward, his arthritis gave increasing trouble, and we watched with awe his declining years, the slowly diminishing sphere of his activity. First a room on the first floor, so that getting to the door would not be too awkward. Then a handrail so that he could manage the stairs. Then a room on the Chapel Corridor when stairs became impossible. Slow walks up and down the drive with faithful and patient companion, Fr Brendan Lawler. Then confined to the room, a den of wild chaos: plants, dust, tattered booklets, snuff. We spent weeks wondering would he refuse the wheelchair. Then one day: “There are our stages in getting old, you know. First it's the room, then the chair, then even the bed, and then the box”. He wondered once if Fr Willie Doyle, whose photo he had in his room, would have coped well with the pains of old age, a harder asceticism than the freely-chosen austerities of youth. Lively and athletic as he had been, he never complained about the ever-increasing restrictions the Lord placed on him. He was blessed in his infirmarian, Br Joe Cleary, even if he seldom acknowledged it openly. Joe built him a padded chair, and it became his throne: there he sat and slept and prayed, and held court and heard confessions, read the Tablet and said innumerable rosaries - the 15 mysteries daily.
He loved Our Lady, and read a five-volume Life of her, written by the Ven. Mary Agreda, and used quote at length passages detailing “facts” known neither to scripture nor tradition. He kept all Mary's feastdays with great solemnity, and was deeply devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette. Little wonder that Frank Duff was a long-standing friend, and that Legion of Mary affairs were important to him. I like to think of of him being wheeled down the Milltown Corridor by Br Joe Cleary or Bill Reddy – the latter used to stand in for the infirmarian, and put up patiently with lots of abuse when Tom was in poor mood, and that Bill did so is a measure of the devotion and respect Tom inspired in so many. Anyway, down the corridor he'd come and swing into the refectory: anyone daring to obstruct his progress t got poked with a stick. Tom dominated the refectory from his chosen table, singing a hymn at the top of his voice, and delighted if he created attention or gathered a chorus. “They're all too dull in his here: look at them all with their solemn faces. They need to smile”. It was hard, even on a wet morning, not to smile at him, with his black knitted hat firmly on the back of his head, and his gown and coat covered in snuff. Perhaps he recognised that he was not a community man, and that in fact distances and chasms yawned between him and some of the brethren, and in his own inimitable way was trying to make up, by allowing himself to become a figure of fun. It was a source of lifelong hurt to him never to have been invited to give a retreat to Jesuits; he felt a lack of trust in the “management”. He ignored the fact that many other good men had also failed to receive such an invitation.
He was a convinced anti-feminist, though he gave many retreats to sisters in his heyday. He had an Aloysius-like respect for the Ne tangas, rejected female nurses, and would have no women in for confession: he was there for the men, and others could look after the weaker sex. Sisters crowding around the Milltown Institute notice-boards learned to scatter at his approach. In the chapel, if one happened to be obscuring his line of vision of the tabernacle, a stage whisper would float through the air and the guilty soul, breathless with adoration though she might be, had to slink further along her bench. He opposed the introduction women visitors into the refectory: in this he was not unique. But when the battle was long lost, he still continued a guerrilla warfare by protesting against any women who happened to be facing him: they should all face up the Refectory and away from him. In his last year, however, spent in the Richmond, had to submit to the ministrations of the female staff, and by and large bore it well. He used to boast at Milltown that he took a bath twice a year, whether he needed it or not: when the nurses took charge of him, they apparently decided that this boast had been true, and proceeded to give him an ether bath, “They removed four or five pounds from me. They're very wicked nurses; now I'll be a prey to all sorts of diseases which the dirt saved me from”. The nurses grew very fond of him and tended him with love: it is not clear just how much that love was reciprocated!
The obverse of that simple certitude which was a blessing to so many was a quality of intolerance with those who disagreed with him. He was an easy man to work with only while one was on his side. The tale is told of a retreat for priests at Milltown. Tom had not been assigned to give it, but he thought little of the man who had, So at the end of each talk he would lurk about at the door of the chapel and waylay one of the group and ask: “Well, what did he say this time?” One being told, he would snort: “Rubbish”, and proceed to give his, the correct, version. These remedial instructions were so comprehensive that one retreatant was left with the scruple that perhaps he should pay for two retreats instead of one, while another felt that he was excused from the obligation of the following year's retreat.
He had a clear eye for the faults of the brethren, and could articulate them in devastating fashion. As Headmaster he acknowledged that he would have got rid of a number of scholastics then teaching in Belvedere, while fifty years later he offered unsolicited advice of the same nature to me at the breakfast-table. In his early years with the Christian Brothers. he was idolised by many because he seemed so far ahead in his outlook: it was sad that growth stopped at some point such that the forward movement of the Society and of the Province since 1965 left him angry and embittered. He could see nothing but compromise and weakness in many developments, and felt that the original spirit of the Society had been betrayed. Perhaps not surprisingly, he seemed untroubled by any regrets for his sometimes scathing criticisms. Superiors bore the brunt of his wrath, and so I entered on the job of Rector of Milltown in 1974 with trepidation, but a reliance on the fact that he had a soft spot for me, having sent me to the novitiate. Thus began a breakfast-table friendship, something forbidden all others. Through good moods or ill we chatted about the issues of the day; as the years passed and his deafness (selective, some thought) increased, I was cast as passive listener: while he played the part of self-appointed admonitor of all who needed correction, from Father General down to the kitchen staff. The remarkable thing was that if one stood up to him and contradicted him, there would be a brief storm, after which he would ease up and laugh. It was said of him that he lived by indignation. Certainly he loved the ring of battle: Quem timebo? he would say. But while he took joy into the smash that put his opponent away, he could acknowledge a good return and passing shot too. I look back on my years with him as a great privilege: sometimes I wonder if his crusty exterior was a façade for an inner gentleness. When he left Milltown for the last time, en route first to Our Lady's Hospice and then, at his nephew's insistence, to the Richmond (where Harry, his nephew, was Consultant), I went to tidy his room, and found there the letter I had sent him in 1954, three days after my entering Emo. Why should that have meant so much to him? Another gentle touch came at the end of a visit to him in hospital, when he said: “I. hope I wasn't boring?” On another occasion I was sitting on his bed, chatting, and moved position after a while. There was silence for a bit, then he said: “Now you're sitting on my other leg”. When I took leave of him in September 1981, and said I'd see him in six months, he was silent, but I'd almost swear his eyes glistened.
Thus, like most of us, he was a man of contradictions. 'Quem timebo?' yet he could not bear to sleep alone in the house at night. A totally spiritual man, yet he feared death and could be thrown into panic by a heart condition which though distressing, he knew to be harmless. Likewise, he had his gentle side and his rough edges. The trick was to learn to roll with the punches. 'Whatever job they give you next, he said to the Province Delegate for Formation, 'I hope it won't be in formation: you're useless at it! Fourth-year Fathers had to learn not to take too seriously the admonition; "You're not fit for hearing Confessions, Leave that work to me: it's me they want."

The end
He cherished for long a desire to be buried with the Christian Brothers: opinions differed on the real reason: Was it his lifelong friendship with them, or the fact that Brothers are buried in individual graves, whereas Jesuits have a single mass grave? The latter would appear to be the true reason; he let slip one day that he was concerned that in 50 years' time 'people won't be able to find me in Glasnevin!' The presumption was that there'd be those around who would wish to know: some of his brethren would consider this an irritating conceit. But he operated with a different frame work from that currently in vogue: Fr Michael Browne had taught him the importance of sanctity: it was a goal to be achieved, not simply admired in the saints of old. The means were clear: constancy in prayer, asceticism, zeal for the Kingdom of God, and total faith in God's grace. Tom saw miracles of grace worked in his friends and penitents; it did not seem too strange to him to think that God would do likewise in himself, and that he might be chosen by God as a channel of grace for others after his death, just as he had been during his lifetime.
In 1979 Fr Tom celebrated his 70th year in the Society, and the occasion was marked by a lunch in his honour, at the close of which he made a speech. "Love and joy' he said, “have been the chief characteristics of my life.' His hearers were a trifle incredulous then, but not so now. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again. And I have little doubt but that as he looks down on our topsy-turvy world he indulges in the occasional comment, meant for Them, as to what remedial steps should be taken.

◆ The Clongownian, 1982

Obituary

Father Thomas Counihan SJ

Fr Counihan died on the 12th of January 1981 in the 91st year of his age, having out lived his eight brothers and five sisters. He was born in Kilrush, Co Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers' school; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life.

He finished his secondary education in Clongowes and joined the Order in 1909, spending two years in the novitiate at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.

In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years teaching as scholastics. After two further years of theology he was sent as Minister to Mungret College.

In 1927 he was sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys.

In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a “man's man” were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat staff. He was stationed in Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-43).

For many years Dr John C McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch”, as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Cominissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!”

He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian prin ciple and conviction: the Labour men respec ted him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950's.

In 1950 he moved from Leeson Street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House.

In 1957 he moved to Milltown Park and again was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.

In 1957 he moved to Milltown Park and again was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House. He loved company and friend ship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory for persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge; requests for Masses and prayers were unending.

From about 1970 onwards, his arthritis gave increasing trouble and slowly but surely his sphere of activity declined. In 1979 he celebrated his 70th year in the Society of Jesus. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again.

Coyle Desmond A J, 1912-1962, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/739
  • Person
  • 10 April 1912-11 October 1962

Born: 10 April 1912, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948, Woodstock College MD, USA
Died: 11 October 1962, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

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

Younger brother of Rupert - RIP 1978; Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1947 at Woodstock MD, USA (MAR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

America :
Fr. Desmond Coyle, Woodstock College, Woodstock, Maryland :
“There were three other priests on board, two Irish-American parish. priests and a Capetown parish priest, so we had four Masses each morning in the ship's library, the first said by myself at 5.30. The times of the Masses were announced over the public address system in English and French, A French sub-deacon from Marseilles did the French announcing. We had Confessions on Thursday for the First Friday and 47 went to Holy Communion. After the Masses on Friday the Act of Consecration to the Sacred Heart was recited. One of the priests, who bad made the voyage several times, said he had never seen so many attending Mass. The three priests were a godsend to the passengers, as they were very lively and organised sing-songs every evening for young folk. It was amusing to see some very black Protestants from Belfast succumb to the charm of Fr. Thomas Masterson of Longford, now of Springfield diocese, Illinois. He ran the ship. They could not understand how a Catholic priest could be so affable. He is a great friend of our Fathers in St. Louis, and for the last seventeen years has had them three times a year for missions and retreats.
I am staying at St. Ignatius' Rectory, Park Avenue, for the moment. Fr. Vincent McCormick very kindly showed me some of the parish after dinner, as well as Mrs. Julia Grant's house (we had suffrages for her a few years ago ; she built and endowed the only endowed Jesuit school in U.S.A.). A few of the Fathers bound for Rome are here at present Among them is Fr. Dragon of Canada. The church here has two patrons : St. Ignatius and St. Lawrence O'Toole”.
Fr. Coyle is doing the second year of his doctorate in theology at Woodstock. He reached New York on August 4th after a pleasant sea trip on the S.S. Brasil

◆ Irish Province News 38th Year No 1 1963 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1963

Obituary :

Fr Desmond Coyle SJ

Desmond A. J. Coyle as he usually liked to sign himself-was born in Dublin in 1912, the youngest of a large family of boys. He went to school in Belvedere in 1921 and from there to Clongowes, in 1923, after the death of his mother. His brother, Father Rupert, was Lower Line Prefect at the time. A friend who remembers him at that time writes: “What stands out most in my memory is his complete friendliness. He was one of those happy boys who have nothing to conceal and who win friendship by taking it for granted that others are their friends”. In his final year in school - a year incidentally in which Fr. E. Mackey gave the retreat - six boys entered the novitiate; three of these were from a group of five friends: Val Moran, Harry Fay and Des Coyle. It would be hard, I think, to exaggerate the influence that Harry Fay had on Des's life. All of that large vintage of novices for a time there were fifty in the newly-opened Emo - will have vivid memories of Harry's break-down in health from heart disease and his long struggle from that first year in Rathfarnham until his death in Milltown Park in 1939 before he was ordained. Desmond did not have his own first serious skirmish with death till 1937, but even during Juniorate he was seldom really well. He had an unbounded admiration for Harry Fay's extraordinary unselfishness and courage. For Harry kept to the end a great zest for life, especially intellectual life, and he had a flattering way of making everyone else of his numerous friends feel that they had the same kind of capacity as he.
After getting a B.A. in Classics, Desmond went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. In November 1937 the very serious nature of his illness showed itself; he had a haemorrhage from duodenal ulcer early in the morning. Mr. Donal Mulcahy was soon on the scene and then Fr. Billy Byrne. He was anointed and Fr. Billy pronounced him “finished” of course thinking he was unconscious. Des heard this at the time and recalled it with relish as soon as he started to recover. In this crisis he showed himself an extremely courageous and even humorous patient. His remark, when he could barely whisper, “I am as tired as So-and-so”, went into folklore. From this on for a few years his studies were disorganised. He did a brief period in the colleges - Mungret - and then returned to Tullabeg.
When he came to Milltown Park he settled into a routine of life which in essentials he maintained to the end: extremely hard, conscientious work at theology, coupled with a surprising capacity for other interests. He thoroughly enjoyed concerts, matches, etc., perhaps more as social occasions and a meeting place for friends than for themselves. One thing he allowed no place for and that was self-pity on the score of health, which remained more than precarious. He could on occasion be vigorous in protest about some lesser snag but never about this. During his fourth year he became so engrossed in work that he husbanded every minute; though the story that he blessed the Palms in Roundwood from the bus to save time and be able to get back home in the morning is probably apochryphal!
After the Tertianship in Rathfarnham under Fr. L. Kieran, he was assigned to further study in theology; but as this was now the middle forties there was no question of going to Rome or any European centre. After a year in Maynooth he went to Woodstock College, Maryland. Here I should say, from the way he always spoke of it, he was extremely happy. Desmond really loved meeting new people; he was keen to hear all they had to tell him about their work and interests, and was tireless, in turn, in arranging things for them, whether a journey through the realms of dogma or through a city.
He taught the “Short Course” for a while and then Major Dogma; this was probably for him the term of his “ambition”. He was an enthusiast for theology and while in formal lectures his method was somewhat dry for most tastes and too cumulative of authorities, his industry and confidence in its supreme importance were inspiring. He was at his best in his room, speaking privately; visitors always seemed most welcome to him. While he shrank from committing himself to print he was tireless in helping others to amass authorities and sources for an article or book. With his encouragement and assistance, papers, originally read in class, were subsequently published in first-class theological journals. Fr. L. O'Grady, then Provincial, gratefully remembers the work he did in checking references and sources for his two papers read at the Maynooth Summer School and afterwards published in the book Mother of the Redeemer,
A notable and very pleasing trait in his character was his readiness to congratulate anyone who had written, lectured in public, etc. He was most genuinely appreciative on these occasions. In offering condolence and saying Mass for those in trouble he was particularly thoughtful and kindhearted.
He was very interested in Mariology and was an active member of the Irish Mariological Society. A run wrote of “a wonderful course of theological lectures which he gave to the community in the Marian Year on the Maternity of Our Lady. So we were much impressed by the fact that Our Lady should call him on that identical feast”. Another spoke of “his ardent zeal for theology which was contagious. ...”
Fr. A. Gwynn in a recent Province News commented on Fr. Coyle's most useful work as librarian in Milltown for nine years, in the increase “in number and quality of the periodicals purchased”, which attract students also from outside the Society.
Fr. Desmond had a number of very devoted lay friends whom he helped in all family events - baptisms, deaths, marriages, etc. He became a great apostle of the timely and frequent administration of Extreme Unction, as also of Confirmation of dying children and Communion for the sick. It gave him real pleasure to make full use of the relaxation of the fasting laws in such cases. In fact, for Desmond, not to use a privilege to the full was almost equivalent to heresy!
It was a hard bout of work on recent rubrical changes which showed that his strength was ebbing. At first it appeared that he was only some what overwrought and needed rest. While he was in hospital receiving suitable treatment the old, or similar, trouble recurred and he underwent surgical treatment for it. He had a long and trying illness during much of which he struggled with all his old resilience to get back to work. At what stage he realised that this was very unlikely is hard to know. However much he suffered he probably refused to think other than optimistically of his prospects and may have managed, as it were from habit, to exclude other considerations from his consciousness; certainly he never made melancholy play with them. He was a fine example of how to lead a hard life happily. May he rest in peace.

Coyle, Rupert F H, 1896-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/105
  • Person
  • 23 April 1896-20 January 1978

Born: 23 April 1896, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 30 August 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1927, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1933, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 20 January 1978, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Older brother of Desmond - RIP 1962; Studied Arts at UCD

by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 2 1978

Obituary :

Fr Rupert Coyle (1896-1978)

On January 20th, 1978 Belvedere lost someone who was morally part of itself when Father Rupert Coyle died.
Born in Dublin, on April 23rd 1896, Father Rupert Coyle completed his education in Belvedere and his First Arts Course at UCD, before entering the Noviceship on August 30th, 1913. He completed his Maths-Science Course in UCD from 1915 to 1918. After a year's teaching in Belvedere (1918-1919) he began his Philosophy in Milltown Park. His Philosophy Course was not completed until 1924 because it was interrupted by three years teaching in Clongowes, 1920 to 1923. Father Coyle was ordained priest at Milltown Park on July 31st, 1927. After three years teaching in Mungret (1928-1931) he went to St Beuno's for his Tertianship (1931-1932).
After his Tertianship began his uninterrupted work in Belvedere until his death in 1978.
In Belvedere he was : 1932-1933: Prefect of Games; 1933-1955: Prefect of Studies; 1955-1968: Teaching; 1968-1972: Adj. Oecon.; Editor “Belvederian”; Editor of the “Ordo”; From 1972 he was Adj. Oecon, until his death on January 20th, 1978.
A colleague of Father Rupert Coyle has sent us a tribute from Belvedere which, no doubt, expresses concisely what so many who have lived and worked for so long with Father Rupert Coyle would wish to say.

A Tribute to Father Rupert from a Colleague
Father Coyle was a man completely dedicated to his task as teacher and Prefect of Studies. He set a very high standard. Day after day in all weathers he patrolled the school yard. He was a frequent visitor to the classrooms and even though these inspections were unwelcomed by the boys they learned in later years that he was genuinely interested in their welfare.
A fine mathematician he introduced classes in Maths, Physics, and under his aegis the course in Philosophy for post Leaving Certificate students was started. He had high ideals of academic attainment for both staff and boys. But he was a man of sound common sense and realised that very many were not designed to be academics, and he encouraged his pupils to take part in the many extra-curricular activities of the school, and develop their talents that otherwise they might have been quite happy to hide.
Time after time he recalled at recreation how his past pupils had done so well. He was a “diehard” supporter of the Old Belvedere Rugby and Cricket Clubs, and even in his old age he was most conscientious in attending funerals of his former students. He was no “socialite”, and indeed in many ways he was a shy man, but with the passing of the years, and after a spell for Colostomy in St Vincent’s Hospital he showed qualities of human kindness dormant till then.
He was a model in his devotion to the religious life. He was a man of “de more” regularly and punctuality. He had a keen sense of humour and his repartee and wit brightened many recreations. Up to his last illness he worked steadily, A man of iron will, he left hospital to try to continue his work as Bursar.
In his last year of life his health declined steadily. It was a trying cross for a man of great ability and enthusiasm, and on occasions he confided that he was “bored to tears”. Brother Jim Dunne cared for him and tended him with a devotion far beyond the call of duty, and Fathers Finbar Lynch and Peter Troddyn did much to alleviate his loneliness. The Grand Old Man of Belvedere is now with God and the loss to Belvedere is irreparable.

◆ The The Belvederian, Dublin, 1978

Obituary

Father Rupert Coyle SJ (1912)

In the Belvederian 1963 the following tribute was paid to Fr, Coyle:

Father Rupert Coyle SJ (1903–12), so well known to many generations of Belvederians, is this year celebrating his Golden Jubilee as a Jesuit. His connection with Belvedere goes back to the beginning of the century and since then his name and those of many of his family appear repeatedly in the pages of The Belvederian. In the current roll some of the younger members figure still; perhaps no family has made a greater impact on College life than the Coyles.

In 1910 he captained the Junior Cup Team. In the same year Father Charles Moloney SJ, who recently celebrated his Golden Jubilee, was secretary of the team. In The Belvederian of that year both are mentioned as outstanding players. The Captain's untiring energy and enthusiasm are emphasised. In all his work during the year he has shown the same energy and enthusiasm for Belvedere and its ideals. In 1912 Father Coyle was Vice-Captain of the Senior Cup Team, while Father Moloney was Captain. In the same year Father Moloney was Prefect of the BVM Sodality and Father Coyle second assistant.

When Father Coyle came back in 1932 he had charge of the games until he became Prefect of Studies. His tenure of office as Games Master saw the transfer of the grounds at Cabra to future generations.

He held his post as Prefect of Studies a record number of years-about twenty-one-So that it would be impossible to touch on all who passed through his hands, but many a one who reads these lines will recall with gratitude the help and en couragement he got from the Prefect of Studies. He had a surprising interest in every boy-surprising that is, when one thinks of the numbers of his charges.

He watched carefully for signs of slackness but also for evidence of over-anxiety, and one of his former teaching staff relates that he was frequently asked whether a certain boy was working too hard or showing evidence of strain. If the answer was in the affirmative, that boy's hours of work and sleep were fixed by Father Coyle.

So he has the good wishes and gratitude of hundreds of his boys and will have the prayers of all for his welfare and his happiness that his dedicated work may continue.

AMDG

-oOo-

Fr Coyle never officially retired from active service. After a colostomy operation in 1956 his one desire was to come back and continue teaching, which he did for twelve years until 1968. After he collapsed in O'Connell Street at Christmas 1976 and the pacemaker was installed his only anxiety was to return to Belvedere and continue his work as assistant Bursar, Self pity never entered his reckoning. He never suggested that Belvedere owed him anything. He merely wanted to get back there and continue working. There was one later incident, amusing but poignant. Earlier this year an urgent phone call came from the dedicated Sisters at Our Lady's Hospice for the Dying. Fr Coyle wished to see a priest ...A priest was whisked out complete with stole and oils. To him Fr Coyle had only this to say: “I want to you to take me back to Belvedere now”. What sad scheming.

It must not be thought that he had been abandoned. He had visitors from Belvedere almost every day. Sometimes he could not remember who had been Sometimes he could. Before going to the Hospice he had had nurses day and night in his room in Belvedere. There he used to say Mass seated at a table with another priest concelebrating. But eventually the nurses could not manage: he might decide in the middle of the night that it was time to totter down the rickety stairs, and no woman was going to stop him.

The world, school world and outside world, was very different in 1933–1955. (This seems obvious to anyone who was alive then but in 20 year's time we will be fewer in number). In 1942 Fr. Coyle used to visit each class every day. he would walk in, probably say nothing, go over to the window, ook out, holding the cord. He look out, holding the cord. He would listen to the lesson for a while and then depart. In those days bus conductors wore uniforms, uniforms with numbers on. There were dictators all over Europe. People accepted and expected a well-defined system of control.

Fr Coyle would station himself on the corner of the stairway near his office at the beginning and end of every break. It was the one spot in the building that every boy had to pass. This made the boys more aware, if necessary, who was running the show. A name called out and a dreaded finger pointing to the space outside his office door meant that one had to wait there until everyone else was gone and then, perhaps, have one's latin verbs examined.

A Prefect of Studies had to be physically fit in those days. Perhaps now, in our enlightenment, we find it strange or shocking, but at that time there was in more frequent use in the home as well. In the nineteen forties hardware shops and family grocers would often have a bunch of canes on display for domestic chastisement. Fr Coyle used to tell of an occasion when Queen Victoria felt obliged to smack the little bottom of the future King Edward during some royal reception. A group of elder statesmen formed a screen. Something like a huddle in the middle of a rugby pitch, one supposes. Times change! In this matter not all the children of the school were cherished equally. It was more in the nature of "to each according to his need; from each according to his ability”. Fr Coyle took a particular interest in boys of the first two years, especially if he thought a boy was slacking or could be in a stronger class. Some were regularly called into his office to have lessons examined and given a straight talking-to. Those lectures ... Possibly no recipient can remember a single word of what he said - but they must have had a deterrent value.

Fr Coyle did not retire from Prefectship of Studies to become an eminence grise. He stepped back into the ranks to become a teacher of mathematics. Despite his sometimes dogged attachment to his own ways as Prefect of Studies he did not try to dictate to others how they should do the job. His own religious formation was in the old manner. Yet he made unostentatious efforts to adapt with the Church. He took part in Community discussions and listened with commendable patience to the ideas of people who were fifty years his junior. He was an optimist. He was a fighter. He was not an inspiring leader, but he was given a job to do and did it with no complaint. Possibly he is a man for our time, catching the pendulum on the counter swing. He never asked to be “fulfilled as a human person”, as we tend to do. Perhaps, in some modern senses of the expression, he never “found himself”. Of course he never went looking; he was too busy working for the Lord.

Coyne, John J, 1889-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/42
  • Person
  • 28 April 1889-17 March 1978

Born: 28 April 1889, Dunmore, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1906, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, Chiesa del Gesù, Rome, Italy
Died: 17 March 1978, Milltown Park, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03 December 1969

Unlce of Jimmy McPolin - RIP 2005 and John Russell

Early education at Christian Brothers College Cork and Clongowes Wood College SJ
Studied for an MA in Classics at UCD and awarded a Studentship in 1912-1913

by 1914 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1919 at Nowy Sącz Collège, Poland (GALI) studying
by 1925 at Baexem, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) making Tertianship
by 1927 at Rome Italy (ROM) Socius English Assistant (Substitute English Assistant)
by 1966 at Loyola Lusaka (POL Mi) Diocesan Archivist

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr John Coyne was born in Dromore, Co Galway, Ireland on 28th April 1889, where both his father and mother were teachers. Within a couple of years, his father became an inspector of schools and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a period in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then to Cavan and then on to Cork in 1902. After three years with the Christian Brothers in Cork, John came to Clongowes in 1905.

He entered the Society in Tullabeg on the 7th September 1906. After vows, he attended the university taking a classics degree, also taking an M.A. in 1912. He won a traveling scholarship and was posted to Innsbruck in Austria. Later he moved to Vienna as the First World War had broken out. Then he went on to Poland for a year to Nowy Sacz to prepare for his final philosophical examination. Returning to Ireland, he completed his studies and was ordained priest on 15 August 1922.

Assigned to Rome after tertianship, he became substitute secretary to the English Assistant from 1925 to 1929. Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General of the Jesuits, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become rector of Belvedere College in Dublin.

He was master of novices from 1931 to 1934. One of his novices said of him later, "I think it would not be unfair to describe Fr John as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist".

Then came a long period of 24 years (1935 to 1959) as socius to the provincial, not just to one Provincial but to four of them – Frs L Kieran, J R Mac Mahon, T Byrne and L O’Grady (who for reasons of health and temperament 'left Province decisions rest far too much on his socius, Fr John'). He worked for a few years in Gardiner Street Church after being socius.

In 1964 at the age of 75, he accepted an invitation of the Polish Archbishop Kozlowiecki of Lusaka to come and set the diocesan archives in order. Though his provincial suggested a stay of six months, Fr John spent about 8 years in Zambia.

Returning to Ireland, he spent a lot of time translating works of German into English. He was prevailed upon to write his memoirs. 'Memoirs of a Jesuit priest 1906 to 1977: Grafted on the Olive Tree’. He died a year after this on 17 March 1978 in Dublin.

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 0’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’.

Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 6th Year No 1 1931
Brussels Congress :
Fr. Rector (John Coyne) and Fr. J. O'Meara (Louvain) represented the College at the First International Gongress of Catholic Secondary Education, held at Brussels July 28 . August 2. Fr, O'Meara read a paper on State Aid in Irish Secondary Education. Our Irish Jesuit Colleges were well represented in the Exhibition organised by Fr. Corcoran S. J.

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

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

Irish Province News 53rd Year No 3 1978

Obituary :

Fr John Coyne (1889-1978)

Father John Coyne was born in Dunmore, Co. Galway on 28 April 1889 where both his father and mother were teaching. Within a couple of years his father became an inspector of schools, and as a young inspector he was kept on the move: after a brief spell in Dublin he was posted to Tralee, then Cavan and then in 1902 to Cork. After three years with the Christian Brothers on Patrick’s Hill, John came to Clongowes in 1905. He used to say that he felt the first feeble stirrings of vocation while in St Patrick’s College, Cavan, but that the call was peremptory one night in his cubicle in Clongowes when he felt “visited” by an overpowering grace of God: “a wave of deep peace and brightest light flooded my soul to its deepest”.
Two aspects of his youth will surprise those of us who came to know him only after his curial training in Rome: his mother whose parents were English found her favourite reading in John Mitchell's “Jail Journal”; secondly one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was in losing the Junior Munster Final, in which he played as a forward, to Presentation College when at the last moment a sturdy Presentation full-back dropped a goal from half-way which soared between the posts. That he took exhibitions, medals and prizes in his stride is what one expects; his father used to con a chapter of St Luke’s Greek with him every Sunday.
Though only one year in Clongowes he was much in luck to find among his masters four scholastics: Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O’Keeffe. Among his classmates in that year’s Rhetoric were Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Tom O'Malley and J B O'Connell, later to become an authority on matters liturgical. Paddy McGilliagan beat him by 25 marks for a medal in Latin.
When he decided to offer himself to the Society the then Provincial, Father John S Conmee, began his chat in this way: “Well John, what makes you want to join the ‘crafties’: that is how Dublin priest speak of us?” Later Father Conmee visited I Rhetoric during Latin class, and John was asked to construe “O fons Bandusiae”.
In the following September eight novices turned up in Tullabeg: among them Hugh Kelly from Westport, John Deevy from Waterford, Henry Johnson from Belfast, Michael Meeney from Limerick, Denis Nerney and John from Cork. In Tullabeg for a year and a half Father James Murphy was his novice master: John liked to tell how Father Murphy, like an Old Testament Prophet, summoned all his novices round his bed, recalling for the last time the great principles of Ignatian spirituality by which his novices were to live. Father Murphy died on 28th March 1908, and his Socius, Fr Tighe took over until Father Michael Browne was appointed in August,
After his first vows on 8 September 1908, he and his fellows moved to another table and wore their birettas. For his first two years he was coached by Fr John Keane and Mr Dan Finn in Tullabeg, going to Dublin only to sit for the Royal University exams. In his third year 86 St Stephen's Green had become the Dublin College of the new National University, so the Juniors moved up to Milltown. His Greek Professor was Father Henry Browne and for Latin Paddy Semple.
He took his MA In 1912: his thesis dealt with Hellenism as a force in Eastern life and thought; he spent most of this year in Trinity Library as facilities in 86 were understandably limited. He spent the Christmas term teaching English and Latin in Belvedere, but early in the new year Father T V Nolan, recently appointed Provincial, sent him back to Milltown to prepare himself for the travelling studentship in Classics coming up in the following September.
John won the studentship and was posted to Innsbruck. By a stroke of luck he met on the Holyhead boat the extern examiner for his thesis and his oral, Professor J S Reid, a notable Ciceronian scholar; generously the Professor gave him a letter of introduction to Professor Rudolf von Scala in Innsbruck, chief expert on Polybius, the Greek historian of Rome. Scala gave him a warm welcome, the run of his library and welcome to his lectures. With disappointment on John’s part he suggested as the subject of his Bodenpreise (Ground Rents). As sources for his thesis in Innsbruck were thin, John moved to Munich after Christmas where there was a flourishing centre for the study of papyri under the direction of an Austrian named Wenger. Occasionally Wenger invited small groups to his home for a beer evening where his wife proved a charming hostess. Here he used to meet from time to time Hermann Grisar, then the authority on Luther, and Peter Lippart.
Summer vacation drew him back to Innsbruck; fortunately he had a fortnight's villa before the war broke out. The Jesuits undertook care of the wounded, beginning to trickle back from the Serbian front. With a crash course from a Viennese doctor, they took over a large building to serve as a hospital. In May 1915 British subjects had to get out of Innsbruck as Italy had entered the war and was planning to force the Brenner Pass. Three Irish Jesuits Fr Tim Halpin, recently ordained, John and Dan Finn made their way to Vienna.
John was drafted to Kalksburg, where he spent three years as a spare tyre: “parratus ad omnia” as he loved to quote to us, novices. One year on returning from Christmas holidays Prince Liechtenstein brought the mumps with him; spreading through the school rapidly some 150 boys were affected. As the Brothers had all been called to the colours, John spent from January to May as a nurse: more serious were one case of scarlatina, one of typhoid, and the most critically ill of all was the Archduke Godfrey of Salsburg down with serious pneumonia. Trying enough as the nursing with its broken nights was, John preferred it to being gallery prefect, sitting in a glass box, regulating traffic, ringing bells or covering a sick or weary prefect’s beat. Sanctions were difficult: no corporal punishment to deter slackers or offenders-only detention or, for the younger boys, putting them in the booby corner. One Pole, called the Black Prince because of his dark features, had been recalled from an English public school and found Kalksburg considerably more to his liking,
His next move was to Poland to finish his philosophy at Nowy Sacz (now Sardac), a town two hours journey south of Cracow. His main task was to prepare for his “de universa”, and in keeping with Jesuit custom, to learn the language of the house of studies in which he lived: this time a Slav language.
On returning from Poland he taught in Clongowes for the year 1919-20, and liked to tell that one of his boys later broke his gavel in a vain attempt to stem Kruschev’s eloquence at UNO in New York - and subsequently became the first Catholic Chancellor of Trinity.
In the Autumn of 1920 he went to Milltown for theology: by a war-time privilege he was ordained at the end of his second year on 15 August 1922. After two more years in theology he went to Exaten in eastern Holland to do his tertianship in a German community (1924-5).
On the status of 1925 he was assigned to study Scripture in Rome but at the last moment he was asked to fill a gap by becoming substitute secretary to the English Assistant, Fr Joseph Welsby, previously Tertian instructor in Tullabeg. For his first year and a half he lived in the German College while the new curia on the Borgo Santo Spirito was being built. He quickly learned the “stylus Curiae” and after three years Fr Wladimir Ledochowski, the General, told him that he had learned as much in the Curia as he was likely to learn and that he was sending him back to Ireland to become Rector of Belvedere.
Fr Martin Maher, a long-time novice master, was beginning to fail and John was appointed to replace him in the Spring of 1931. The present writer entered the novicehsip the following September; we were the only group to have him alone for our master. He was a dedicated Ledochowski man, as indeed was his then Provincial, Fr Larry Kieran, whose contact with Fr General was 99% epistolatry. Fr John had an outstanding devotion to Our Lord, at times over emotional in its expression; eager to tell us that we had not real Ignatian indifference unless we kept one foot in the air; insistent on the 'magis' of the Exercises which meant his novices must be grounded in “agere contra”, and, at least, have a desire to live in the third degree. I think it would not be unfair to describe him as a Christian stoic rather than as a Christian humanist. His war-time experiences had taken a great deal out of him and one sensed the strain. Many of us found it difficult to feel relaxed in our regular visits to him: we waited for an opening as he gazed out the window at Dairy hill and played rather nervously with a paper knife. He found “priming the pump” difficult.
Not that he was inhuman but he didn't believe in showing that side to his novices. He did to his Provincial when he wrote to say that, for days on end, apart form the Community, all he ever saw was the postman and, occasionally, a stray dog. A few months break from Emo towards the end of 1933 didn't help to reduce the tension under which he was living; he was simple and humble enough to ask his Provincial to accept his resignation.
If his first three appointments were each three years long, his next one was to last almost twenty-five years: February 1935 until mid June 1959. Over that span he served as Socius to four Provincials. I think he would like to be described as “idus Achates”; but a Socius in the Society is much more than a secretary; ex officio he is one of the four Province consultors. In Fr Kieran’s reign both he and his Socius were too like-minded. Though Fr Kieran met Fr Ledochowski only once in the General Congregation of 1938, from his appointment as Provincial in 1931 he was an all-out Ledochowski man: “actio in distans non repugnat”. His successor in the difficult war years, Fr John R MacMahon, knew his own mind as did his successor Fr Tommy Byrne who founded three houses and took on commitments in Northern Rhodesia - the Zambia of today. Father Louis O’Grady, for reasons of health and temperament, left Province decisions rest far too much on his Socius, Father John.
On retiring from his unselfish devotion to a typewriter for twenty five years, from letters and forms to Rome, from Collecting informations for fitness for Hong kong or Zambia, for suitability for ordinations, and for government, and, perhaps, most tedious of all, bringing out the annual “Catalogus”, he was posted to Gardiner Street as operarius. Even as Socius pastoral work appealed to him: for years he guided two praesidia of the Legion of Mary, his first experience of it being in Rome when an ecumenical praesidium was formed in the mid-twenties: it didn't last long as the non-Catholics couldn't stomach the rigidity of the Handbook. He struck up a real friendship with Paddy Reynolds, Lord Wicklow's astute partner in Clonmore and Reynolds. Though Paddy had a heart of gold, in language he’d outdo any trooper. As a result John translated a number of German books which, to his delight, Reynolds managed to sell- despite the fact that John had a taste fot the “turgid” German.
Five years later (1964) carrying out what he had taught us in Emo, the “magis” of the Exercises, he accepted the invitation of the Polish Archbishop of Lusaka to set the Mission Archives in order. Though his Provincial, Fr Charlie O'Connor, suggested a stay of six months, John, apart from one furlough, spent almost ten years in Zambia where he wished to leave his bones.
By 1966 a new presbytery had been built adjoining the modern Church of St Ignatius. With his work on the archives completed he joined the Irish parish community, taking on the duties of a curate at the age of 77: baptisms, marriages, pre-marriage courses, keeping the parish registers. As most of the community was working outside the house, he acted as porter, answered the phone, dealt with callers. One of the Community - no great admirer of John in his Socius days - prevailed on him to take a glass of grog every night, and so he learned to relax.
Returning to Zambia in 1969 after a break in Ireland, he was able to spend four days in Greece - from the human point of view the highlight of his life. Less than three years later he had to return to Ireland on stringent medical advice, but he refused to hang up his boots. Between bouts in hospital he continued translation work, was no “laudator temporis acti” but had a warm welcome, a keen interest in the theologians whose régime was so different to what he had experienced when Fr Peter Finlay and Matt Devitt were the stars in his student days (1920-1924).
May the Lord reward him for his enthusiasm and generosity; may he win for his two Jesuit nephews of whom he was so proud, for his three sisters and all the family, abundant grace.
RBS.
PS. For most of the facts in this notice I have drawn from a sixty-one page typescript which Father John was prevailed upon to write in his last year in Milltown (1977): It is, in the main, Province history with little personal comment and remarkably restrained in passing judgments “discreta caritas”. (RBS).

◆ The Clongownian, 1978

Obituary

Father John Coyne SJ

John Coyne had moved round Ireland more than most of hie generation when he joined Rhetoric in September 1905; His father was an Inspector of Schools, so John Moved from Dunmore to Dublin, then to Tralee, next to Cavan and finally to Cork. His contemporaries in class included Paddy McGilligan, Tom Arkins, Canon J B O'Connell and Tom O'Malley who moved furthest afield to Malaya, as it then was. A formidable team of Scholastics stretched them to good effect: Messrs Tim Corcoran, Charlie Mulcahy, Patrick Connolly and William O'Keeffe. Paddy McGilligan beat John for the Latin medal by 25 marks.

One readily associates exhibitions, medals, prizes, even a travelling studentship with Fr John, but it will come as a surprise to those who knew him in later life that one of the greatest disappointments of his youth was when as a dashing forward the Munster Schools Junior Cup was snatched from his team when at the last moment the Pres full back dropped a goal from half way.

As a young Jesuit he had rather a unique travelling studentship: he spent his first term in Innsbruck, after Christmas moved to Munich, and was lucky enough to have a fortnight's holiday in the Austrian Alps before war broke out. Until Italy entered the war in May 1915 he worked in a make-shift hospital the Jesuits set up in Innsbruck, but with the Italians forcing the Brenner Pass he had to move to Vienna, and then to Poland for three years in Nowy Sacz, south of Cracow. On returning from Poland he taught for a year in Clongowes (1919-20). After four years Theology in Milltown he did his Tertianship in Exaten in eastern Holland.

Destined for Scripture study in Rome, at the last minute he was switched to a secretarial post in the Jesuit Curia. Three years later he was sent back to Ireland as Rector of Belvedere; then he was named Novice-master at Emo. So many switches were to be followed by an unprecedented stint of almost 25 years as Socius to four Provincials.

At the age of 75 he went out to Lusaka and spent almost ten years in Zambia. He came home on stringent medical advice but, though two or three times at death's door, he continued to keep alert and, more than occupied, in his favourite hobby, translating from German. He died within a few months of his eighty-ninth birthday, quite at home in the world of post-Vatican II.

We offer our sympathy especially to his three sorrowing sisters and all his family, not forgetting his nephew Fr John Russell SJ (OC 1941-43) who has recently completed his term as Vice-Provincial of Hong Kong.

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/751
  • Person
  • 24 August 1922-21 February 2012

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961
Died: 21 February 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/203-missionary-experience-of-the-late-fr-richard-cremins

Missionary Experience of the late Fr. Richard Cremins
Father Richard Cremins, SJ died on 21st February 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home in Milltown Park after a long illness. The funeral mass took place on Friday 24th February in Milltown Park Chapel, after which Fr. Cremins was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr. Cremins spent over 50 years working as a missionary in Zambia until a stroke brought him back to Ireland in 2006 where he remained until his recent death.
Fr. Richard Cremins was born in 1922 and attended Blackrock College in Dublin. He went on to study at university for 3 years before making the decision to become a Jesuit priest after being impressed by the spirit among the students of Milltown Park. Fr. Cremins taught in Belvedere College for 2 years before he was ordained in 1955. In 1957 Fr. Cremins was sent out to Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia, to work in the Chikuni Mission. He spent several months learning the local language, Tonga and was mainly involved with the primary schools in the area. He spent a year travelling around the country finding schools a job which required him to learn a second language, Bemba. In 1964, Fr. Cremins was sent to Monze to step in as principal of the secondary school for 6 months. He remained in the post for four and a half years until the appointment of Michael Kelly as principal. Fr. Cremins spoke fondly of his time as parish priest in Monze. “They were lovely people. Very nice” he said. He felt it was important to value the customs and traditions of the people in the area. He recounted an early experience he had of a woman who was having trouble with her husband and he had been asked to step in. He sat with them in their family home but realized that his presence there was enough. “They had their own way of settling these things. So I never tried to interfere and just let things take their course”. Fr. Cremins kept this stance throughout his time in Zambia. He did a lot of work in development in the area which included the setting up of Church councils in each area and also the translation of the Bible into Tonga. This occurred in 1970 after the events of Vatican II.
Fr. Cremins was most noted for his work in AIDS prevention and development in Zambia. He went to Lusaka, the capital, in 1970 and spent 12 years there working on development with particular attention given to the introduction of natural family planning. This followed the work of Doctor Sister Miriam Duggan who wanted to introduce the idea to the area. After the implementation of a programme in Lusaka, Fr. Cremins then moved to Malwai in 1990 where he spent 12 years working on a similar project resulting in the establishment of FAMLI. In 2004, he helped to set up an AIDS programme called Youth Alive which aimed at educating young people in Malawi about the risks of AIDS.
Fr. Richard Cremins enjoyed his work as a missionary and spoke positively of his experiences abroad. “I always had a principle that if you have to do something you might as well enjoy it and I always enjoyed my work whatever it was".

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/225-fr-richard-cremins-sj-1922-2012

Fr. Richard Cremins, SJ 1922-2012
Dick was raised in Dublin during the post independence and post civil war years. He attended the Holy Ghost Fathers' Blackrock College and then proceeded to do undergraduate studies at University College Dublin (UCD). Afterwards he began legal studies spending one year at King's Inn, passing his first bar exam with first class honours. He was a formidable debater and was elected president of the LH Society (Literary and Historical Society), well known for the who's who of Irish politicians and professionals who had been members in their younger days. Dick resigned as president of the Society and discontinued his legal studies to join the Society in 1943. He followed the usual course of studies in Ireland doing regency at Belvedere and Mungret Colleges. After theology at Milltown Park he was ordained a priest in 1955.
In response to a request from Father General, the Irish Province formally assumed responsibility in 1949/1950 for missionary work in much of the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia (later to become the independent country of Zambia). This led to the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in the Southern Province with a procure in the capital, Lusaka. Building on the great accomplishments of the Zambezi Mission and of Jesuits from the Polish-Krakow Province who had laid the foundations of Church presence in this area, the new arrivals for the Chikuni Mission quickly found themselves engaged in the work of mission development. This they did through the establishment of parishes, the consolidation and expansion of secondary and teacher training institutions, the management and growth of an extensive network of primary schools, and the advancement of women and lay leadership in the Church.
Throughout the 35 years of his period in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, where he arrived in September 1957, Dick Cremins found himself involved in each one of these works, apart from teacher training. On completion of a period learning chiTonga, the major local language used in the Chikuni Mission territory, his first assign- ment was as Manager of Schools, in charge of supervising, improving and expanding the large network of Catholic primary schools for which the Mission was responsible. In an era when Church presence in an area tended to be closely linked to educational presence through a Church-managed primary school, this involved much hard bargaining with similarly placed representatives from other Christian Churches and colonial officials. Though he threw himself into this work with enormous verve, this was something that did not fit well with Dick's broader ecumenical vision. Neither did it give much scope for his manifest abilities, including his sharp understanding of the needs of a colonial territory that sooner rather than later would become independent.
The situation changed for him in 1959 when he was appointed as Principal of Canisius College, a Jesuit boys' secondary school which had commenced in 1949, much to the displeasure of the colonial authorities who protested at the time that the territory already had a secondary school for boys and so did not need a second one. But by 1959 the winds of change were already blowing in Northern Rhodesia and Dick saw it as his duty, not to challenge the colonial authorities, but with their (sometimes grudging) financial support to develop a school that would respond to the territory's future needs for well qualified human resources. His task in doing so was facilitated by the transfer of the teacher training component from Canisius to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College nearby, leaving Dick free to promote a programme of expanding boarding and teaching facilities (especially science laboratories and a library) at Canisius and to increase the number of staff.
A very significant development during the four-and-a-half years of Dick's tenure as Principal of Canisius was the commencement of 6th Form (A-level). Those who completed this programme would have spent almost fifteen years in school - this in a territory where by 1963 less than 1,000 (up to 200 of them from Canisius itself) had completed even twelve years in school. Equally significant, and an early sign of what would be a major con-cern throughout the rest of Dick's life, was his determination that girls should benefit from this development and be able to attain the highest possible level of education. This resulted in Canisius becoming the only school in Northern Rhodesia that offered 6 h Form education to both girls and boys - a noteworthy advance not only towards gender equity but also in Jesuit understanding of the need to ensure that the equality between women and men became a lived reality.
A further development was the active recruitment of a large number of lay teachers for the staffing of the expanding Canisius College. But more was at work in Dick's case, for here he found it possible to give expression to his pre-Vatican II vision of increasing the role of the laity in Church affairs. The strength of Dick's convictions in this area led to his appointment in 1964 as parish priest of the town of Monze and subsequently as chaplain to the Lay Apostolate Movement in the newly established Diocese of Monze. That same year, Northern Rhodesia's colonial status ended when it became the independent country of Zambia. Dick identified wholeheartedly with the new State and as soon as it was possible for him to do so adopted Zambian citizenship, even though this necessitated renouncing his status as a citizen of Ireland, the country of his birth. For the rest of his life, Dick remained a Zambian, a man committed to improving the status of women, and a man passionately concerned to give practical expression to Vatican II's vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples.
Dick worked indefatigably for six years as parish priest of Monze town and for five years as promoter of the lay apostolate throughout the diocese. An outstanding legacy to his term as parish priest was the establishment by the Holy Rosary Sisters of Monze Mission Hospital. Dick always proved himself a staunch ally of these Sisters, some of them still fresh from the Biafran war in Nigeria. Always conscious of the dignity of women and the active role that lay and religious women could play in the Church, he supported the Sisters with deep practical love and respect (which they in turn generously reciprocated). Dick pursued these apostolic commitments in Monze Diocese at such expense to himself that he had to spend the greater part of 1976 rebuilding his health. When he was strong enough to return to Zambia late that year, his enduring commitment to the development of the laity resulted in his transfer to Lusaka and appointment, on behalf of the Catholic Hierarchy, as national chaplain for the lay apostolate and secretary for development. For the next seven years he spent the greater part of his time educating and training the laity, mobilising and energising lay groups, and advocating on their behalf. His constant concern was to ensure that Vatican II's vision of the role of the laity became a reality energetically adopted and practised, not only by the ordained ministry of the Church and by members of the Society, but also by lay-persons themselves. These years also saw his trail-blazing support for the National Council of Catholic Women in Zambia, with his unflagging insistence to the women who asked him to implement some of their ideas, "No; this is for you to do, yours are the voices that should be heard." His belief in the power of women was remarkably vindicated in 1982 when, because of the outspoken opposition of the Catholic Women's League to the Zambian Government's inclusion of communist ideology in the curriculum for schools at all levels, the Government capitulated and backed off from this development.
Dick's experience and reflections during this time brought into sharper focus for him the importance of the family. A prime concern here was to enable women to control the number of children they bore while observing the teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae about contraception. He was motivated here not just by loyalty to Church teaching, but also by his commitment to improving the lot of women and his anguish at the suffering women endured in bearing more children than their health, their means, the well-being of their already-born children or their prospects as persons who were fully equal to men, could sustain. He was further energised by his deep-seated conviction on the supremacy of human life and hence was driven by the imperative of preventing abortion and opposing its legalisation.
Both of these concerns led Dick to become a protagonist for natural family planning as a way that respected human dignity, while enabling women take more control of their lives and avoid abortions by not having unwanted pregnancies. He became skilled on the medical and social aspects of natural family planning and was soon recognised as a national and international authority in this area. His views did not always find acceptance with others, but this did not diminish their respect for his integrity, the consistency of his approach, and his manifest commitment to bettering the condition of women. His involvement in the area of natural family planning be- came more all-consuming when in 1983 he was appointed as Director of Zambia's Family Life Movement. He was to remain in this position until his appointment to Malawi, the second country that constitutes the Zambia- Malawi Province, ten years later. During this Lusaka period Dick also served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community of St. Ignatius. Throughout the latter years of that time, St. Ignatius' was the base for the newly established Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, a faith and social justice think-tank which received wholehearted support from Dick's wisdom, experience, and vision.
In 1993 Dick was sent to Lilongwe in Malawi to set up a Jesuit residence there. Since a number of Jesuits were already working in the Malawian seminaries, Malawi was now recognised as part of the Zambian province, but there was no specifically Jesuit residence there. Dick first stayed with the Kiltegan Fathers for a few months as he surveyed the houses which came on the market in Lilongwe. He was responsible for the purchase and rehabilitation of the present residence of Our Lady of the Way, more usually known as 9/99, the official address. This house became the rallying point for a scattered Jesuit community whose members were working hundreds of kilometres away to the four points of the compass (Zomba, Kasungu, Kachebere and Mangochi).
However 9/99 was not merely a convenient staging point - one of the attractions was meeting Dick. At breakfast and especially after evening meal, one could be sure of a stimulating discussion arising on some point relevant to our mission that had been noticed by Dick and obviously pondered over by him. One might not always agree with Dick's point of view, but that made the discussions all the more stimulating. Dick continued the family apostolate he had animated so well in Lusaka and set up an official NGO called FAMLI, supported by overseas aid.
In Lilongwe in 2007, Dick experienced a massive stroke that ultimately led to his return to Ireland and admission to Cherryfield, the Irish Province's nursing home for infirm, disabled and recuperating Jesuits. Here Dick was to remain until his death in February 2012. But his approach to his transformed conditions was not one of self-pity. Instead, with characteristic determination and enormous courage, he succeeded in teaching himself to speak with some sort of clarity and in making himself mobile with the aid of a "walker" that had been designed according to his specifications for a person whose right hand was crippled. The strength of his resolve and his unfailing commitment to his priesthood were shown by the way he struggled every week to serve as principal celebrant at the community Mass. Despite his limited mobility, he succeeded in attending outside lectures and functions. He taught himself to use a laptop by tapping out messages with one finger of his left hand. And in an effort to build up a sense of camaraderie among his fellow-residents in Cherryfield and the wider community of Jesuits living in the Dublin area, he organised Scrabble and draughts competitions.
Dick put his hard-won computer skills to good use in these final years. From the darkness that must have enshrouded his own life, he regularly sent warm and supportive messages to colleagues who, like himself, were experiencing the cloud of unknowing. But even more, despite his limitations, he continued to press for the better- ment of women, loyal adherence to the teachings of Humanae Vitae, ever greater involvement in the official Church on the part of "outstanding lay Catholics who are to be found as leaders in every walk of life," and advocacy for a Church "where St. Peter might feel at home. "At a meeting just six weeks before his death, he expressed concern that Cherryfield might be obtaining its medical supplies from a pharmacy where the "morning-after" pill could also be purchased. His spirited contributions continued after his death - nine days after he died, The Furrow, the respected religious journal from Maynooth, published his article in support of the Irish government's decision to close its Embassy to the Vatican as he saw this as a step in the direction of making it possible for the Church to remain true to the simplicity of the Gospel.
Throughout his long and very full life, Dick Cremins emerged as a gentle person, kind and peaceful, who lived his life joyfully in the service of others and in pursuit of the highest ideals. At times, people could be upset by his sabre-sharp remarks or forthright statement of his views. But behind these there always lay his fearlessness in challenging accepted points of wisdom, his passion to see the Kingdom of God as envisaged by Jesus realised among us, his zeal for the genuine development of all peoples, his razor sharp mind and his powerful sense of humour with its love of irony, laughter and the joy of people.
Years ago, Dick was characterised as being shaped like a paschal candle - tall, thin and luminous. But his moral stature far surpassed his physical tallness. The Bible tells us that there were giants in the early days. But Dick Cremins shows us that giants are still to be found in modern days.

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 147 : Spring 2012

Obituary

Fr Richard (Dick) Cremins (1922-2012) : Zambia Malawi Province

24 August 1922: Born in Dublin.
Early education: Blackrock College, UCD and 1 year at King's Inns (legal studies)
1943: Obtained a BA Degree in Legal and Political Science in 1943 from UCD
5 October 1943: Entered Emo
October 1945: First Vows: Emo
1946 - 1949: Tullabeg, studying Philosophy
1949 - 1951: Belvedere - Regency
1951 - 1952: Mungret College, Teaching, Prefecting
1952 - 1955: Milltown Park, studying Theology
28th July 1955: Ordained
1955 - 1956: Milltown Park, 4th Year Theology
1956 - 1957: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1957 - 1958: Zambia, learning the language
1958: Chikuni, Manager of schools
1959 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius College, Principal
2 February 1961: Final Vows at Chikuni
3 December 1969: Transcribed to Zambia Province
1964 - 1970: Monze, Parish Priest
1971 - 1975: Monze, Chaplain, lay apostolate
1976: Monze, Nairobi, Dublin, recovering health
1976 - 1983: Lusaka, Catholic Secretariat, Chaplain, Lay Apostolate, Secretary for Development
1983 - 1992; St. Ignatius, Director Family Life Movement St. Ignatius,
1983 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1993: Luwisha House, Director Family Life Movement
1993 - 2007: Lilongwe (opened the house in 1993) FASU consultancy (later FAMLI)
1999 - 2004: Chaplain Lilongwe International Catholic community
2000 - 2001: Assistant Diocesan Pastoral Coordinator
2007 - 2012: Dublin, Cherryfield Lodge, recovering health. Praying for the Church and the Society
21 February 2012: Died Cherryfield

Obituary : Conall Ó Cuinn
Dick grew up in Dublin and was the last surviving sibling, having been predeceased by his brothers, Pat, Gary and Paul, and by his sister, Nora. Though his education at Blackrock College left a strong mark, unlike his brother he was clear that the Holy Ghost Fathers were not for him. General Richard Mulcahy, his mother's cousin, connected him with the turbulent socio-political situation of post-independence and post civil-war Ireland. So it was not surprising that he studied Law and Politics in UCD, including a year at King's Inns. He was a bright student, a formidable debater with a razor sharp sense of humour tinged with a certain killer instinct, not always appreciated by his adversaries, and which sometimes got him into trouble. Having graduated from UCD and passed his first Bar exam, both with 1st class honours, he joined the Society at the then late age of 21, a late vocation, a man of the world. And all of this during World War II.

Zambia--Monze (1957-1975)
Dick spent 50 years living and working in Zambia (Northern Rhodesia for his first 7 years there). He embraced the new State on independence and became a Zambian citizen, a symbolic statement representing a desire to insert himself into Zambian life and culture. This involved revoking his Irish citizenship so that he required a visa each time he needed to visit Ireland. He put down roots in the Chikuni Mission which was later to become Monze Diocese. He arrived there in 1957, just nine years after the first involvement of the Irish Jesuits. From there he later launched himself nationally, and even internationally.

Learning Tonga for a year was always the first task before being thrown into the apostolate. His first job was that of Manager of Schools at a time when the primary education project of the mission was in full swing. He then became Principal of Chikuni Secondary College in the lead up to Independence (1964). Effectively he was educating what would become the leaders of the new Zambian state. And clearly Dick was seen by his superiors as a man of ability and initiative.

In 1962, as the Second Vatican Council was getting underway, James Corboy, then Rector of Milltown Park and Theology Professor, was appointed Bishop of Monze. The Council changed James, as a person and an ecclesiastic. He embraced it as a process, and ever afterwards claimed that the Council was his introduction to theology, especially the seminars given on the fringe of the Council's formal sessions. On his appointment to Zambia he had a clear vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples. With that vision he gathered people of the calibre of Dick Cremins around him to promote the project of Vatican II in the new Diocese of Monze. Dick would be a right-hand man when appointed Parish Priest of Monze in 1964 and also Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate movement.

At the same time and at the invitation of Bishop Corboy, the Holy Rosary Sisters were establishing their hospital next door. Dick became great friends with the sisters, a camaraderie and friendship similar to that of siblings in a family, brothers and sisters who supported each other in deep and practical love. This is an occasion to acknowledge and give public thanks for such support and love, and to thank God for it, not just to the Holy Rosary Şişters, but also to the Sisters of Charity, the RSHM sisters (Ferrybank), and the Holy Spirit Sisters (founded also by Bishop Corboy).

Amid the hardship, labour and struggle of those first years there was much fun and laughter. Dick's humour became legendary in the land. For example, rushing out the door at 9.50 a.m. one morning he declared: “I've got to rush. There is a meeting that was due to start at 8.00 am and I don't want to be late!”

And another, told by Sr. Theresa, a Holy Rosary sister. She arrives in the country, fresh with a sociology degree and some notion of community development. Her first task is to interview the PP to avail of his vast experience and local knowledge. Dick lets her ask her questions and avidly write her notes with that neophyte enthusiasm of the recently arrived. “Sister”, interrupts Dick as she begins to ask another question, “I'd like you to know that I've only arrived here myself 3 days ago. So I'm finding my feet too:. They became friends that moment, a friendship which included Theresa sitting by Dick's bed as he lay dying, 38 years later. Such was the quality of friendship on the Mission that we celebrate and acknowledge today.

Shortly after independence when three of the Sisters were PI'd (declared persona ingrata] by the new, youthful and over-confident government, for refusing the orders of local officials regarding medical matters, Dick went to bat for them with the government officials in Lusaka. The PI order was revoked after hours of palaver. Dick came within a hair's breadth of being PI'd himself, so that Zambia nearly lost this “troublesome priest”, a term used to describe him in a government memo on the events.

Zambia -- Lusaka (1976-1993):
Vatican II had taken place; the Decree on the Laity played a central role in Bishop Corboy's strategy. As a result a huge investment was made in the education and training of lay people. Dick, given his experience in Monze, moved to Lusaka in 1976 to take up an appointment at the Catholic Secretariat (set up by Fr. Colm O'Riordan SJ) as National Chaplain to the Lay Apostolate, and Secretary for Development

He was a trailblazing supporter of the National Council of Catholic Women of Zambia, at a time when women were invisible supernumeraries both in the church and in Zambian society. Dick encouraged them to take a lead and use their power. He campaigned hard for them to have an appropriate place both in the church and in African society, and he saw his job as an enabler, giving them the courage to make the moves themselves; so when they came up with an idea and asked him to act on it, he would say No, yours is the voice that should be heard.

Later in 1983, he became Director of the Family Life Movement which tried to implement the teachings of Vatican II on family life. Dick was very much taken with Humanae Vitae when it was published in 1968, and believed its practical teaching could be put into practice if the vision behind it were understood and assimilated. Of course, this was controversial, and in a sense grist to Dick's mill. With determination and humour he developed and led the organization, Famously, he introduced himself to a somewhat sceptical if not hostile international conference with a statement, that he had practiced natural family planning all his life!

So Dick had many friends, and some enemies. An example of such friendships is the message of Clare Mukolwe, now a graduate student at Fordham University in New York:
“A gentle spirit gone before us marked with a sign of faith. I was introduced to Fr Richard Cremins by my mother Grace Mukolwe. They worked together for the National Council of the Laity. Fr Cremins was also my mother's first spiritual director and he introduced Mum to the Ignatian Spirituality retreats. He gave me my first real job straight after high school. It was fun”.

Malawi --Lilongwe (1993-2007)
As a number of Malawian men had joined the Society, Malawi opened up as a mission possibility in the early 90's. Dick was sent to open a new house in Lilongwe and to develop his Family Life apostolate in that country. He worked there for 14 years, until his stroke in 2007. Like a tree being felled, he was suddenly reduced from full health to a state of great disability, both in his walking and in his speaking. He returned to Ireland via Zambia and moved into Cherryfield Lodge, his last home.

Ireland--Cherryfield (2007-2012)
Dick's approach was not one of self-pity. In his usual manner he confronted the problem head on. Getting himself as mobile as possible, and getting himself to speak with some sort of clarity was now his main goal. And with great determination, never accepting to lie down in the face of difficulty or refusal, he achieved much of what he set out to do. The sharp mind and quick wit never deserted him, even after the stroke in March 2007 which crippled and distressed him --- as with characteristic determination he set himself to recover clarity of speech.

An example of his logic and determination had to do with his wheeled walker: All wheeled walkers have two brakes, literally one on the left hand and one on the right hand. But what if your right hand doesn't work, as was the case for Dick and thousands of other stroke victims? Two-handed breaks do not work. They are positively dangerous. If you asked a car driver to break with two break pedals, he argued, there would be carnage on the roads. Why are stroke victims expected to do with two-handed breaks? Such a break doesn't exist, he was told. Should exist, he insisted, and if you won't locate one, I will do so myself. So using the Internet he located one in Sweden. Expensive, but existent. It was bought and functioned well. But he needed to redesign the right handle to suit his withered hand which design he then sent to Sweden where they made it for him and sent back to Ireland for fitting, Where Dick had a will, there was a way: Dick's way, “No” was not an option for Dick when he saw that something was possible.

And again the humour: Matron Rachel McNeil was the subject to which one of Dick's Ditties was addressed:

    Poem to Rachel
Dick has more problems with his vowels
than with his bowels
And therefore needs more alcohol
than Movicol®

Dick died six months short of his 90th birthday. Even to the end of his days in Cherryfield he was a formidable crusader for a number of causes, often a champion against the authorities, and always on the side of life – whether it was through natural family planning, or organising a draughts championship in Cherryfield for men who'd have thought their gaming days were over. He lived life to the full and to the last. In his last week in hospital he had an article accepted for publication in the Furrow, and one in the Irish Catholic. All he needed was a WiFi modem to send it to the editors. Both articles were controversial, questioning the standard version. Both rocked the boat.

Now the questioning and the rocking and the struggling are over. For those who did not know Dick, remember how a chieftain in Tanzania described him: :I know only one human being who is shaped like the paschal candle: Fr Dick Cremins, tall, thin and luminous”. His light faded for us on 21 February, but shines now in a broader heaven.

Croasdaile, Henry, 1888-1966, Jesuit priest

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

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1912 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

Irish Province News 42nd Year No 2 1967

Obituary :

Fr Henry Croasdaile SJ (1888-1966)

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

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1967

Obituary

Father L H Croasdaile SJ

Rev Lancelot Henry Croasdaile SJ, who has died, aged 78, at St Mary's, Emo Park, Portlaoise, was a well-known teacher.

He taught for a time at Belvedere College, Dublin, and at Clongowes Wood College for a period. He was chaplain to the College of Commerce, Rathmines, Dublin, for a number of years.

Irish Indpendent, 2-12-1966

Crowe, Patrick J, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/826
  • Person
  • 05 March 1925-04 July 2017

Born: 05 March 1925, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died 04 July 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1977 at St Ignatius College Prep San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/paddy-crowe-sj-a-quality-educator/

Paddy Crowe SJ – a quality educator
Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4 July, in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6 July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily. He was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Born on 5 March 1925 in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Paddy was the oldest boy in a large family. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College SJ in Co Kildare before entering the Society of Jesus in 1943. Early on, it was thought he would make a good professor of philosophy, but he had a more active interest in schools. He soon found himself working in education under various roles. At Clongowes Wood College SJ, for example, he became teacher, prefect, rector, and eventually headmaster.

He served as Director of Education Policy and Education Delegate for the Irish Province and worked at several other schools, including Crescent College SJ and Mungret College SJ in Co Limerick, and Belvedere College SJ, Gonzaga College SJ, and Greendale School in Dublin. Referring to his personality, Fr Bradley said: “He was an extrovert and had such a sense of humour. He was bravely adventurous, who loved to travel, have new experiences and make new friends”.

“Educational value,” Paddy said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young.” Fr Bradley, who worked with him for many years, noted: “In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm, but fair. He lived in the continual tension between the old and the new, always reading, questioning, and seeking to move on”.
One of his former students commented: “You always knew where you stood with Fr Crowe”.

Paddy was consultant to Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School, the only Jesuit school in Hungary, founded in 1994. He was heavily involved in the University of Scranton (USA) Scholarship Scheme, which led in time to his honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud.

Later from 1998 to 2009, he returned to Clongowes where he lived among his Jesuit community; acted as spiritual father for students; assisted in a local parish and ministered to the Holy Family Sisters. His mind remained very alert as his physical health deteriorated. As one friend said of him: “He was a great man to have a conversation with but a terrible man to play scrabble with”. He also retained a great interest in computers and loved using up-to-date devices.

His passing is deeply regretted by his family, Jesuit companions, friends, former colleagues and his many students, some of whom posted warm tributes on Facebook. Fr Bradley concluded: “As Paddy arrives at last at the father’s house, we can rejoice with him and for him. Paddy, go without fear. Amen”.

Early Education at Edenderry NS; Knockbeg College, Carlow; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1953 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1953-1954 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Third Line Prefect; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1959 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1959-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
1960-1965 Mungret College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1965-1976 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1968 Rector
1971 Headmaster
1976-1977 St Ignatius Prep. San Francisco, CA, USA - Sabbatical
1977-1978 Loyola House - Province Special Secretariat
1978-1979 University Hall - Vice Superior; Province Special Secretariat; Director Province Education Policy
1979-1984 Belvedere College SJ - Working in Education; Director Province Education Policy
1980 Headmaster; Teacher; Education Delegate; Colloquium
1984-1987 Campion House - Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1985 Manager Gonzaga College SJ; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ; Vice-Superior
1987-1992 Loyola House - Superior; Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1990 Central Province Admin; Asst Education Delegate; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ
1992-1995 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Rector; Provincial Team
1995-1998 Belvedere College SJ - Principal of Junior School
1997 Chair Board Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2017 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assists in Clane Parish of St Patrick & St Brigid
1999 Chair Board of Greendale School, Kilbarrack, Dublin
2001 Spiritual Father to Third Line
2006 Ministry to Holy Family Sisters, Clane, Co Kildare
2009 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ The Clongownian, 1977

Appreciation

Father Patrick Crowe SJ

It is doubtful if anyone has had such a varied experience of responsibility in Clongowes as Fr Crowe, our first Headmaster, who left us last summer. He was Third Line Prefect 1953-54, Lower Line Prefect '59-60, Prefect of Studies '65-68, Rector '68-71 and finally Headmaster from '71 to '76. For eleven years, then, his office, if not regal, was at least consular in the Roman sense: he was one of two holding “imperium” in our little state. Anyone in a position to make a “before-and-after” assessment of that period in Clongowes must agree that the many changes which took place have amounted to a transformation. These range from unlocked notice-boards and study. halls to new buildings, from boys distributing their own letters to voluntary Mass on week-days, from entrance exams to self-service in the refectory, from a catering committee to a School Council, from monthly breaks to women teachers, from an integrated staff lunch to a stand-by generator, from cups for tennis, choir and orchestra to work for the poor and aged of the district and the handicapped children in Stewart's hospital, from masters' classrooms to parents' meetings, from social evenings to an O Level year, from boys telephones to a crowded programme of holiday engagements in the college. The degree of Fr Paddy's involvement in these changes varied, of course, from agonising personal decision to mere encouragement of other people's energy and initiative. But the work of any man in government or administration is judged, for credit or condemnation, by what actually took place during his term of office. By that test our first Headmaster when he comes back to visit Clongowes - which we hope he will do very often - will be able, with all the confidence and gratification of Christopher Wren in St Paul's, to look around and see everywhere monuments to his vision and efficiency. His devotedness to visiting the sick and attending funerals will endure in the grateful memory of very many parents and past pupils, the community and teaching staff, and all whom, in a favourite phrase, he liked to call the “Clongowes family”.

◆ The Clongownian, 2017

Obituary

Father Paddy Crowe SJ : A Quality Educator

Fr Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4th July, 2017 in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6 and was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare. Paddy spent much of his life in Clongowes, first as a pupil and then as teacher, prefect, rector as well as being the first headmaster. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6th July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily

Herbert McCabe, the English Dominican theologian of Irish descent and a near contemporary of Paddy's, wrote in his book, “Faith Within Reason”, published posthumously in 2007: “The whole of our faith is the belief that God loves us; [...] there just isn't anything else. Anything else we say we believe is just a way of saying that God loves us”. And the corollary of that is that everything we hear in Scripture is the message of God's love. The whole of salvation history, the account of God's interaction with us from the beginning of time, through different epochs, across diverse cultures, expressed in a variety of human literary forms and devices, all of that history recorded in the complex collection we call 'the Bible', carries the same message, finally summarised in St John's heartbreakingly simple phrase of just three words at the end of the New Testament: “God is love”.

Herbert McCabe's fellow-Dominican, the great Flemish theologian Edward Schillebeeckx, prefaced his book on the Church with a memorable anonymous quotation: “People are the words with which God tells his story”. In the Word of God we read at a funeral, we seek to cast light on the human life we are celebrating and to discern the working out of God's love in that life. It's not difficult to see that the leit-motif of Paddy Crowe's story, the leading theme, was education. On one occasion, speaking in this instance about Clongowes - but the remark has much wider application when referred to himself - Paddy said: “We think Clongowes is a good school and to it we are willing to give our time, our energy. our humanity, our lives”. Education, the eliciting of potential and the nurturing of gifts and talents in young lives, is, properly understood, above all a work of creative love. And that is the work to which Paddy gave himself, directly or indirectly, for much of his long, dedicated life.

Clongowes, of course, where he went after the local national school and a period in Knockbeg, looms large in his story. The oldest boy in a large family from Edenderry, to which he remained always attached, he was there as a student in the war years from 1938 to 1943. The records - as is often the case - hardly presage the distinguished career in education that lay ahead of him, although he was clearly an able first division student and produced excellent Leaving Certificate results. He was a prominent and able debater from the beginning and in his second year - perhaps a little harder to imagine but accurately reflecting the interest he always had in music - he was praised for his portrayal of the shy and petite Germaine in the comic opera “Les Cloches de Corneille!”

His keen, enquiring intellect
Having joined the Jesuits straight from school, in the course of his formation he was at one stage envisaged as a future professor of philosophy. That points to his keen, enquiring intellect but it was almost certainly a misreading of his temperamental inclinations and he was destined to more active work in schools for almost all of his life. He served as Third Line Prefect in Clongowes from 1953 to 1954, as Lower Line Prefect from 1959-60, as Prefect of Studies from 1965 to 1968, as Rector in the old days of the Rector Magnificus from 1968 to 1971, as Headmaster from 1971 to 1976, as Rector again from 1992 to 1995 (though by then, as he discovered somewhat to his disappointment, with headmasters now in place to lead the school the role had gone down a bit), and, finally, for the years from 1998 to 2009, as a member of the community and carrying out some duties inside and outside the school, but without the burdens of office which he had carried for so long and at a time when his health was beginning to decline.

“But Clongowes was far from the whole story. Apart from the valuable work he did in other Jesuit schools in Ireland - the Crescent in Limerick; Mungret, where he was Prefect of Studies for five years before moving to the same role in Clongowes; Belvedere, where he served as Headmaster for four years at the beginning of the eighties, after his long stint in Clongowes, and later as Principal of the Junior School in the mid nineties; and Gonzaga, where he was manager for a time - he was also Education Delegate to the Provincial in the 1980s, giving him oversight of all the schools and those who worked in them. In addition, he was heavily involved in these years in promoting what was known as the Colloquium, which brought Jesuit and lay teachers together to talk about their shared aspirations - the kind of dialogue he had come to believe in more and more. It partly explains, too, his great interest in psychology. And I have not mentioned the many organisations and projects and committees beyond the Jesuit sphere to which he made substantial contributions, often in leadership roles, to promote an educational vision and foster its practical application to the actual life of classrooms; or his chairing of the board in Greendale Community School in north Dublin for several years from 1999; or his heavy involvement in the Scranton University scholarship scheme, which led in time to an honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud; and so on. And that list, long as it is, is not exhaustive.

Paddy thought a lot about education and, over his time of leadership in Clongowes, he delivered reflective, well-crafted addresses at the annual past pupils' dinner, expounding his own developing understanding and the need for change. One such speech even made the front page of The Sunday Press! His first administrative appointment was to Mungret in 1960 and he would remain in school leadership continuously until 1976, almost two decades, which finally left him exhausted. This was a period of huge change in ireland and further afield. Paddy was keenly aware of such change and worked hard, reading and consulting widely, to keep abreast of it. in his speech to the Clongowes Union, in the autumn of 1969. he made what must have been one of the earliest references to computers in such a context - computers, as we know, would prove a lifelong passion and his room in Cherryfield became something of a computer graveyard, as latest model succeeded latest model in the relatively confined space, all identified and ordered on-line by Paddy himself! In that speech he also spoke, in the same sentence, of the government's pivotal Investment in Education report and the all-important decree of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, 'The Church in the Modern World'. The introduction of free education in Ireland, followed by the points system, gradually transformed the system here, asking new questions of Clongowes and all the Jesuit schools. The Church's role in education, as has become so familiar to us now, was beginning to be called into question. Les évènements in Paris in 1968 took place as he was making the transition from Prefect of Studies, in which he had been, in the words of “The Clongownian”, “the architect of aggiornamento”, to the heavier responsibilities of Headmaster.

Personal contact of good people
“Educational value”, he said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young”. Paddy himself was one such good person and he sought this kind of contact to the extent that he could. Over time, his direct manner, which could be intimidating, softened considerably. In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm but fair. One former student was quoted as saying that you always knew where you stood with him. He was never afraid to confront but colleagues and parents found him accessible and often became his good friends. A notable part of his legacy in Clongowes was the effective abolition of corporal punishment, which took full effect after he left. In Belvedere he put an end to streaming just before he completed his term, a no less important change for the atmosphere and culture of a school. Schools, boarding schools especially perhaps, have a tendency to be somewhat conservative places and Paddy was well aware that his modernising policies were the subject of criticism inside and outside the school. He confronted the challenge directly at the Clongowes Union Dinner in 1974. “Meeting many of the older men here”, he said, “sets me thinking of all the things that have changed”. Having listed some of the changes, he asked: “How did it happen? If you like simple answers to complex questions, take your choice: ‘they’ have gone permissive, soft, have no backbone, will not stand out against the rot... As we see it, things began to happen, matters were forced on our attention - we began to listen to others, began to accept an enormously changed world, began to reflect more on what we were trying to do and what in fact we were doing. The Catholic school could easily become a place of comfortable conformity, he had said a year earlier.... Priests and religious do not wish to stay in their schools for this ... We are at the end of Phase | Catholic Education in Ireland. The response of 1814 does not answer the needs of 1973”.

He ended one of his addresses by quoting the inspirational Jesuit General of the time, Father Pedro Arrupe, whose “Men for Others” address in Valencia would soon make its impact on all Jesuit schools: “If our schools are to perform as they should, they will live in continual tension between the old and the new, the comfortable past and the uneasy present”. Paddy, destined to lead schools in a period of extraordinary change, always wanted them to live in that way. That was where he tried to live himself, always reading and questioning and seeking to move on.

Bravely adventurous There is so much more to be said but time does not allow and, despite what you might think, this is not, in the end, intended to be a lecture on the educational career of Paddy Crowe or a mere personal eulogy. Through these - often lonely and taxing - endeavours (and he could get down and discouraged), Paddy was working out his vocation, responding to God's call, telling God's story through his own life. In this very inadequate sketch, I have stressed the educational component and the richness of what he achieved, for particular reasons. From our present vantage-point, Paddy's life easily seems to fall into what we might almost think of as two “halves”. There have been more recently what seem - and certainly seemed to him - like the long years of decline, which weighed so heavily on him, despite the devotion - and even, we have to say, the forebearance! - of Mary Rickard and Rachel McNeill and the staff who cared for him in Cherryfield, since he went there actually less than a decade ago. Even before that, in his last years in Clongowes, as the extrovert that he was, with such an appetite for life and involvement and activity, as a man who was so bravely adventurous and loved to travel and have new experiences and make new friends, as a man used to being in authority and exercising influence and in control, he felt himself”'beached” and on the sidelines and found this very painful. Who knows what heroism he practised, behind the mask of failing powers and old age, as he went, increasingly and inscrutably silent, through all this? And so it is appropriate to correct the balance and beware of forgetting his achievements in the many earlier decades of his life. That's my first reason for laying such emphasis on them now, as the trajectory of that life comes more clearly into focus.

The second reason for thinking about those achievements, which perhaps brings us closer to what Paddy's inner experience was like, is that I think he did not always believe in all the good he had accomplished himself. And, for all his extroversion and his capacity to encourage others and promote development around him, there was a depressive side which showed at times and he was prone to self-doubt or at least to doubt the extent to which his efforts were appreciated by others. For him, on a superficial level at least, the measure of success - and perhaps of approval - was always further worthwhile employment. And when, in the judgment of others though not his own, he was past that, he found it harder to cope.

I began by quoting Herbert McCabe and I want to end with him. Paddy, full of humanity, longed for acceptance and emotional connection with others. In him I sensed that the emotion was often masked behind the brusque, direct, sometimes even abrasive manner. He was hardly aware of this or the degree to which it conditioned some of the responses he evoked in others. I think, to the extent that I knew this or have any right now to make such a surmise (and we lived and worked together in a variety of capacities over many years), in some measure it affected his spirituality and his search for a closer felt relationship with God. The uncertainty of the prodigal son in the parable in Luke's gospel at the reception he might expect from his father when he returned home, the journey on which we are all embarked, sometimes, judging by what he would say himself, seemed to infect Paddy's efforts to pray and to find rest in prayer. Herbert McCabe, interpreting that wonderful, utterly seminal parable in his posthumous book earlier referred to understands the essence of the story of the prodigal not to be the father's forgiveness of the son, but the father's welcoming and celebrating the son's homecoming with a feast. The love shown in this by the father is, for McCabe, analogous to God's love for us, sinners that we are. “His love”, he writes, “does not depend on what we do or what we are like. He doesn't care whether we are sinners or not. It makes no difference to him. He is just waiting to welcome us with joy and love”. As Paddy arrives at last at the Father's house and the banquet of which Isaiah writes so eloquently (Paddy would appreciate that!), the good fight finished (and he was always a fighter) and his race run, we can rejoice with him and for him that he knows the truth of the parable of the returned prodigal and the heavenly Father's welcome now. Now he can say with the psalmist that, through all his endeavours and all his struggles, “I was always in your presence; you were holding me by your right hand” (Psalm 73 1721,23). In the words Pope Francis, a man after Paddy Crowe's heart, likes to use for such a moment, we say to him: “Paddy, avanti senza paura! Go without fear! Amen”.

Cullen, Brian J, 1917-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/481
  • Person
  • 24 June 1917-08 December 1995

Born: 24 June 1917, Armagh City, County Armagh
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Belvedere College SJ,Dublin
Died: 08 December 1995, St Joseph’s, Shankhill, County Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 86 : July 1996

Obituary

Fr Brian Cullen (1917-1995)

24th June 1917: Born, Armagh, Northern Ireland
Education: CBS, St. Patrick's College, Armagh
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1943: Rathfarnham, Arts and H Dip in Education, UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg, Philosophy
1946 - 1947: Crescent College, Teaching
1947 - 1948: Belvedere College, Teaching
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park, Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Rathfarnham, Tertianship
1953 - 1962: Belvedere, Teacher, Choirmaster
1962 - 1995: Clongowes:
1962-70: Teacher and Prefect of Study Hall
1970-81: Promoting S.R.P.A. and teaching in Naas Technical College.
1981-82: Promoting S.R.P.A. and teaching in Prosperous Vocational School.
1982-90: Promoting Society for Relief of Poor and Aged (S.R.P.A)
1990-95: Retired from active apostolate due to ill health.
8th Dec, 1995; Died.

All his life, Brian Cullen remained proud of his Armagh origins. He was proud of having been an altar server of Cardinal McRory and of having known his successors down the years. His contemporaries recall his powerful build as a novice, his fine voice and his prowess on the violin. In his scholastic years, he was often given the role of choirmaster. He was gifted with his hands; he could make almost anything. As a scholastic in Milltown, he helped Jim Lynch and John McAuley install the first internal phone system in Clongowes!

Brian was of shy disposition, preferring the company of one to a group. Although a bit of a loner, he had a roguish sense of humour. One of his year said of him that “he kept custody of the eyes, yet took everything in!” On one occasion in Rathfarnham Castle he slept it out and missed morning oblation. When he finally appeared on the juniors' corridor he spotted Charlie O'Connor, the minister of juniors, at the chapel end, so he about turned and headed off down the back stairs to the stone corridor on the ground floor. The O'Conor Don, dutiful by nature, pursued him. All in vain; the unrecognised scholastic had vanished into a brush room!

A fellow philosopher in Tullabeg with an interest in the grounds used knock on scholastics' doors for volunteers for outdoor works. Whenever he asked Brian, “Visne rastrare, frater?”. Would you like to do some raking, brother?. Brian used answer with a roguish smile, “Non hodie, Frater”, Not today, brother. On a famous occasion also in Tullabeg, when the rector was away, the scholastics planned a meal in the chemistry lab. Brian's contribution was to supply the chicken. A contemporary recalls Brian returning from the farm, rosary beads in one hand, the dead chicken in the other. Such moments provided a welcome break from class and study that was far from being student friendly.

What carried Brian through these years was his strong desire to be a priest. According to one of his year, “There was nothing Brian wanted more than to be a priest”. His priestly life was spent in two houses: Belvedere and Clongowes. He liked Belvedere and I am told that initially he found the change to Clongowes enormously trying.

Brian's quiet voice and shyness did not help him to establish authority in the classroom. It made teaching difficult. It explains why as the years went by he did less and less teaching and was given the job of study prefect, supervising one of the large study halls: a job he did not like.

These were difficult years, but Brian was not without the capacity to respond creatively. For several years he taught in the Vocational School in Naas and in the mid-sixties started the SRPA (Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged). He had became aware of many old people living within a few miles of Clongowes, some of whom were on their own and living in poor housing. He saw that responding to their needs could also be a "schola affectus" for the older boys.

For twenty-five years this great work became the focus for all his energies, skills and compassion. He built up a well run organisation. Each year he made a careful selection from the members to form his committee. He taught them how to grow plants, make all sorts of toy animals, dolls, soldiers, lamp-stands and so much else which were sold on Union Day to raise funds.

On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays his white van would be seen around the country roads dropping off the boys in pairs to visit, clean, paint, chop firewood or just chat with an old person. Eyes were opened, and hearts were moved to respond. Many boys attained a responsibility that might not otherwise have been attained. The SRPA shed occupied a sort of extra territorial status within the school! Prefects and teachers respected this embassy-like status, and never entered. The SRPA was not confined to Clongowes. A branch still functions in Rathnew girls school, and for a time there were other branches in towns where former members lived. Brian wrote out a constitution to guide its development.

One cannot understand Brian without knowing something of his family. When he joined the Society, his mother was already widowed, his older sister Rita was an invalid, and his younger sister, Sally, a nurse in England. Brian worried about them and sought to attend to their needs as best he could. This was especially true of his time in Belvedere when he made many journeys to Armagh at weekends, sometimes “sub rosa’. Perhaps it was through them that he grew sensitive to the needs of the sick and the old.

My first meeting with Brian was not very auspicious! While on a visit to Clongowes as a scholastic, I asked him how the SRPA was going. I got the initials mixed up calling it the SPRA or something. Brian looked at me and said, “You are typical of the Province, you have no interest in what I am doing.....” This unexpected response was perhaps an indication that he felt his work was not appreciated by his brethren.

Ten years later when I was stationed in Clongowes we came to know one another better. It was the year before his stroke. He was still running the SRPA I remember being with him in Rathnew at the opening mass of the year for their ŞRPA. In community he enjoyed the company of some who could pull his leg. With others he was not at ease. Community meetings were not his joy! At recreation his conversation often went back to things of the past which did not make it easy for younger people to engage with him.

He always had a strong sense of priesthood and was most faithful to daily mass, office, and rosary. Brian loved nothing more than to head off in his van for a few days to visit friends. He hated to be tied down. He loved the independence of being able to come and go as he wanted. He was truly blessed in having wonderful friends. It was in their company that he was most at ease, most himself.

In June 1990 all was to change. While staying with his good friends, Maurice and Anne Dowling in Carlow, he suffered a stroke. After a fortnight in St. Vincent's the prognosis was not good. His speech was greatly impaired and conversation was difficult. The medical advice was that he would need some nursing care. I remember telling him that he would be going to Hazel Hall nursing home in Clane. He accepted it without complaint, mentioning he knew it from his visits. Thus began a stay of twenty months. He was well looked after. But it was not home. The day was long and he was often anxious; numerous were the telephone calls to Br. Cha Connor whose care of him was second to none. While he liked to be brought to Clongowes for his lunch, he was always anxious to leave again immediately afterwards. This was a time of adjustment; gone was his van, his bedroom in the castle, the SRPA work. Yet in all this he was sustained by visits from friends and Jesuits and his deep faith in God. In the midst of his confusion he never forgot the things of God and received Holy Communion with utmost reverence. From time to time he indicated his desire to go to confession, through some wordless gesture that I came to know. The mystery of the sacrament was deepened by his utter humility and my inability to understand anything he said.

Then came a moment of crisis that turned into a blessing. Brian began to get confused about which room was his! The nursing home with great regret told us they could not keep him any longer. There was a brief stay in Cherryfield followed by some time in St. John of God's, Stillorgan. It was while in Stillorgan that his close friends of twenty five years, Bill and Bridie Travers, asked if they could look after him in their country hotel in Prosperous, two miles from Clongowes. Their kindness and that of their family to Brian was truly wonderful. He remained with them until his health deteriorated still further and necessitated his going to the new St. John of God's nursing home in Shankill for his last three months.

It was fitting that Brian died in the company of Bill and Bridie, who along with their family had taken turns to keep vigil with him during his last week. Fitting too that Brian who had such love for Our Lady should have died in the early hours of the 8th December.

Charlie Davy SJ

◆ The Clongownian, 1996

Obituary

Father Brian Cullen SJ

The death took place of Fr Brian Cullen SJ, founder and first director of the Society for the Relief of the Poor and Aged (SRPA) on the feast of the Inmaculate Conception, 8 December 1995, at St Joseph's Nursing Home, Shankill, Co. Dublin. The following is an extract from the homily preached at Fr Cullen's funeral Mass by Fr Kieran Hanley SJ, for many years his colleague in the Jesuit community and its Rector 1983-89.

Seventy-eight years ago Fr Brian Cullen was born in Armagh on 24 June 1917. He certainly had a happy life as a schoolboy with good parents and two devoted sisters. He always spoke with a certain nostalgia of Armagh. Every step leading up to that majes tic cathedral on its imposing hill, every stone of the cathedral itself, he loved with some thing akin to awe and reverence. His days were spent in the school under the shadow of the cathedral, in the care of the Vincentians, at St Patrick's College.

When Brian was twenty, his father died and in that same year, 1937, he joined the Jesuits. He did all the normal studies performed by young Jesuits at that time. In 1939-45, owing to the war, his opportunity of going abroad to study in Spain or France or Germany did not materialise. He was ordained priest on 31 July 1951 at Milltown Park.

After ordination he spent nine years teach ing at Belvedere, where he had been a scholastic for a year, and the remainder of his life was here in Clongowes. At this stage his mother had poor health and needed constant care. The younger sister developed some sort of paralysis and was confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life. The other sister had taken up nursing and eventually became matron of a hospital in London. But she too developed a form of illness that necessitated confinement to a wheelchair. For many years Fr Cullen spent all his Christmas, Easter and summer holidays attending to the three patients. This was undertaken without a word of complaint - it was really heroic work and I doubt if anyone heard a tiny grumble from him.
I also think that few were quite aware of the strain that was involved in his life, as he was working during term-time - for eight years he was prefect of the Big Study in Clongowes and then he worked for twelve years in Naas Technical College (1970-81) and Prosperous Vocational School (1981-82).

In 1968 he started the SRPA among the boys in Clongowes. This was a labour of love for Fr Brian. The Lord blessed him with a marvellous pair of hands that could make umpteen sorts of Christmas toys for children that were really works of art. These were sold on Union Day to raise funds for the SRPA. He worked very hard and was a keen judge of a boy's gifts and sense of responsibility. He liked the boys and they appreciated his ideals and what he was trying to do. His work was good for them. The SRPA was his brain-child in every detail, from start to finish. During the years when I was Rector, many past Clongownians asked me how Fr Cullen was. They were obviously past members of the SRPA. This association gave Fr Brian a great sense of fulfillment. He did trojan work in a very professional way and there is no reason why the work of the SRPA should not continue to prosper and thrive.

So, our prayers and the Mass this morning are in thanksgiving for the work Fr Brian Cullen did through the gifts that God gave him. This brought him great joy but also, I fancy, a certain sense of worry and pain, which no doubt eventually brought on the stroke that God, in his plan for Brian, asked him to carry until his death.

Luckily he was blessed by certain families who were very good to him - like the Powers of Co. Waterford, the Dowlings of Carlow and the Travers of Curryhills in Kildare. The Travers nursed him with extraordinary care and love. I speak for the Jesuits and all I can say is this: may the Lord reward them for their wonderful devotion and genuine kindness. It certainly mnade Fr Cullen's last five years on this earth that much more tolerable under such difficult circumstances.

We pray for Fr Brian, his cousins and those who loved him, and we offer them the comfort of our sympathy,

-oOo-

Fr Charlie Davy, Fr Hanley's successor as Rector of Clongowes, writes:

In the mid-sixties Fr Cullen started the SRPA. He had become aware of many old peo ple living within a few miles of Clongowes, some of whom were on their own and living in poor housing. He saw that responding to their needs could also be a schola affectus (a school of love) for the older boys.

For twenty-five years this great work became the focus for all his energies, skills and compassion. He built up a well-run organisation. Each year he made a careful selection from the members to form his committee. He taught them how to grow plants, make all sorts of toy animals, dolls, soldiers, lamp stands and so much else which were sold on Union Day to raise funds.
On Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays his white van could be seen around the country roads dropping off the boys in pairs to visit, clean, paint, chop firewood or just chat with
a old person. Eyes were opened, and hearts were moved to respond. Many boys attained a responsiblity that might not otherwise have been attained. The SRPA shed occupied a sort of extra-territorial status within the school! Prefects and teachers respected this embassy like status and never entered. The SRPA was not confined to Clongowes. A branch still functions in Rathnew, and for a time there were other branches in towns where former members lived. Brian wrote out a constitution to guide its development.

Cullen, James A, 1841-1921, Jesuit priest and temperance reformer

  • IE IJA J/24
  • Person
  • 23 October 1841-06 December 1921

Born: 23 October 1841, New Ross, County Wexford
Entered: 08 September 1881, Leuven Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained 25 October 1864, Cathedral of the Assumption of BVM, Carlow, County Carlow - pre- entry
Final vows: 02 February 1892
Died: 06 December 1921, Linden Nursing Home, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1883 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Excerpts and paraphrase from a notice which appeared in the newspapers on his death :
Early Education at Clongowes, and then at Carlow College where he was Ordained 1964. He was then appointed by the Bishop of Ferns Dr Thomas Furlong as CC in Wexford for two years. in 1866, at the invitation of the Bishop, he became a member of a community of Missioners comprising four Priests in Enniscorthy. He then joined the Society in 1881.

After his Noviceship his career may be divided under three headings : Literary, Missionary, Temperance work.
He is probably best known as the founder of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, which he started in January 1888. For sixteen years he watched over the development of his periodical, and starting offshoots such as “Messenger Popular Penny Library” which was the forerunner of the “Irish Catholic Truth Society”.
1904 He was sent to Gardiner St aged 63, and he worked there until his death in 1921. Here he began another phase of his work, that of Missioner and retreat giver. In this work he became known in almost every Parish in the country. In addition to bringing his work to England, he also spent two year long stints working in South Africa.
However, it is mainly his work in the cause of temperance that he is best known. He is sometimes called a “Second Father Matthew”. He had been a leading figure in the temperance movement of Ferns in the 1870s, and in 1885 founded the “St Patrick’s Total Abstinence Association” among the students at Maynooth.
1901 He inaugurated a branch of the “Pioneer Total Abstinence Association”. Confined at the outset to women only, it started with four ladies under the Presidency of Mrs AM Sullivan. However, after a homily he gave in Cork, so many men came to the Sacristy asking for the “Pioneer Pledge”, that he decided to extend the Association to both men an women. The Association made such rapid progress that at a public meeting in the Mansion House he could say that its numbers had reached a quarter of a million, and his Pioneer Catechism had by 1912 reached a circulation of 300,000.
Many messages of sympathy were received at Gardiner St from Bishops and Clergy in Ireland”. (cf https://www.ucd.ie/archives/t4media/p0145-ptaa-descriptive-catalogue.pdf)

“Extract from a paper Entitled ‘The Holy Eucharist in Modern Ireland’ read by the Right Rev Mgr MacCaffrey, President, St Patrick’s College, Maynooth, at the International Eucharistic Congress, Dublin 1932”.
The extract eulogises James Cullen for his spread of devotion to the “Sacred Heart” throughout Ireland, his work on the “Apostleship of Prayer” and the “League of the Sacred Heart”. It also eulogises his founding of the “Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart”, and his particular work in promoting the spiritual welfare of its Promoters, with the assistance of local Bishops and Priests, such that in his own lifetime, there was hardly a Parish in Ireland in which devotion to the Sacred Heart had not been established. This in turn left to a devotion to Our Lord and the Eucharist, replacing a spirit of fear with one of love and confidence. The “First Friday” practice, founded on a promise made to St Margaret Mary Alacocque, became widespread in Ireland, and led people to more frequently receive communion. ‘Holy Communion is not to be regarded so much as as a reward for a holy life, but as a means of becoming holy’, wrote Father Cullen.” (The Book of Congress p 161)

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Cullen, James Aloysius
by Diarmaid Ferriter

Cullen, James Aloysius (1841–1921), Jesuit priest and temperance reformer, was born 23 October 1841 in New Ross, Co. Wexford, the eldest of five sons and three daughters of James Cullen, a businessman, and Mary Cullen (née Bolger). He was educated locally by the Christian Brothers in New Ross before moving to the Jesuit college at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare, in April 1856. From 1861 to 1864 he was a student at Carlow college and was ordained a priest at Carlow cathedral on 25 October 1864, only five days after he had reached the canonical age. He was appointed curate in Rome Street Church in Wexford and worked closely with Dr Thomas Furlong (qv), bishop of Ferns. He became heavily involved in fighting intemperance, building churches, founding religious teaching institutions and retreats for nuns and priests, and launching the Missionary Institute in Enniscorthy.

Although he had been wary of the Jesuit order from an early age, disliking their association with the middle classes, his preoccupation with the spiritual exercises of their founder, St Ignatius Loyola, and his apostolic endeavours slowly led him to reverse his opinion: in March 1881 he made a vow to enter the order, enrolling in September 1881 at the novitiate of the Belgian province at Arlow, at the age of 40. The following year he enrolled to study moral theology and canon law at Louvain. In September 1883 he took his vows at the Jesuit House of Studies in Milltown Park in Dublin, where he became well known as a missionary of the Blessed Sacrament, a promoter of devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Blessed Virgin, and a temperance reformer. He was appointed spiritual father to the students at Belvedere College, Dublin (1884) and national director of the Apostleship of Prayer (1887), marking a further commitment to the spread of Sacred Heart devotion. In 1888 he began publication of the hugely circulated Catholic weekly, the Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which he also used to promote temperance. He produced his Catechism of temperance in 1892, and in the same year travelled to South Africa as a missionary, making a return visit in April 1899.

Extraordinarily demonstrative in his personal piety and organisational ability, Cullen established the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association of the Sacred Heart in the presbytery of the Saint Francis Xavier Church in Gardiner St., Dublin, on 29 December 1898. Over the course of the twentieth century it grew into one of the largest temperance movements in the world and claimed 500,000 members by the 1950s. They were labelled ‘Pioneers’ because of a novel method of pledging: Cullen developed the concept of adults (those over 16) making what was termed a ‘heroic offering’, pledging to abstain from alcohol for life, publicly identifiable by the wearing of a pin which depicted a bleeding Sacred Heart. Cullen's initiative was not only the product of an acute social conscience – his early endeavours in Wexford and his work in inner-city Dublin convinced him that much of the poverty and deprivation he witnessed was the result of excessive drinking – but also a belief that intemperance could only be fought by an absolutist life-long pledge, in contrast to the loose ‘en masse’ administration associated with the famed but short-lived temperance crusade of Fr Theobald Mathew (qv) in the nineteenth century. The Pioneers were organised on a parish basis under the guidance of a spiritual director and controlled by a central directorate of Jesuit priests based in Dublin. Juvenile and later temporary pledge branches were also introduced.

A strong opponent of British imperialism, Cullen closely aligned his argument for temperance with the political and cultural nationalism prevalent in late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Ireland. Although never a masterful orator, he aggressively pursued the temperance cause through a column devoted to Pioneers in the Irish Catholic newspaper which he wrote from February 1912 until his death. This portrayed Pioneers as the soldiers of Christ engaged in a battle against intemperance which was destroying Irish health, morals, and welfare, and demeaning Irish claims to be a viable political and economic entity. He continually claimed that ‘the only thing wrong with Ireland is the excessive amount of drinking going on’. At the time of his death there were 280,000 Pioneers in Ireland.

Cullen was also active in Dublin's inner city in promoting sodalities, religious leagues and social alternatives to the public house. He also placed exacting spiritual demands on himself including four hours of obligatory prayer every day. He died 6 December 1921 in Dublin; he was said to be elated on hearing of the signing of the Anglo–Irish Treaty, hours before his death. Over 200 priests and ecclesiastical dignatories attended his funeral in Dublin.

Lambert McKenna, Life and work of Rev. James Aloysius Cullen SJ (1924); P. J. Gannon, Fr James Cullen (1940); Diarmaid Ferriter, A nation of extremes: the Pioneers in twentieth century Ireland (1998)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James Cullen 1841-1921
Fr James Cullen was born at New Ross in 1841. He received his education at Clongowes, and he was ordained priest for the diocese of Ferns in 1841. For two years he served as curate in Wexford Town. In 1866 he and three other priests of the diocese founded the “House of Missions” at Enniscorthy.

In 1881 Fr Cullen entered the Society. As a Jesuit Fr Cullen is best remembered as the founder of the Pioneer Movement of Total Abstinence, which started in the Presbytery at Gardiner Street in 1898, with a membership of four women. Today its members number thousands, not only in Ireland, but across the sea in America and Australia, and anywhere an Irish Priest works on the Mission.

But his greater claim to fame may be found in the words of Monsignor McCaffrey, President of Maynooth, in a paper read at the Eucharistic Congress in 1932 :
“But, to the distinguished Jesuit Fr Cullen, the great Apostle of Total Abstinence, more than to any single individual must be given the honour of spreading this devotion to the Sacred Heart throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. A man of the highest spirituality himself, thoroughly convinced of the efficiency of this devotion to effect a spiritual revolution, and gifted with wonderful powers of organisation, he threw himself with ardour into the work, once he had been appointed Director of the Apostleship of Prayer and League of the Sacred Heart. Through the pages of ‘The Irish Messenger of the Sacred Heart’ which he founded, he carried through this campaign so successfully, that even in his own lifetime, there was hardly a parish in Ireland, in which the devotion to the Sacred Heart was not firmly established. He was also the founder of the ‘Messenger Popular Penny Library’, the forerunner of the ‘Irish Catholic Truth Society’.”

He died on December 6th 1921. Truly, when we think of the Pioneer Movement as it exists today, Fr Cullen’s epitaph might justly be written :
“Exegi Monumentum aere perennius”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1922

Obituary

Father James Cullen SJ

Father Cullen’s Life in brief:

1841 Born at New Ross, Co. Wexford.
1856-61 Student at Clongowes.
1864 Ordained priest at Carlow and appointed Curate at Wexford.
1866 Becomes one of the founders of the House of Missions, Enniscorthy.
1881 Enters the Society of Jesus..
1885 Founded a Total Abstinence Association among Maynooth Students.
1888-1904 Founder and Editor of the “Irish Messenger”, Editor of the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”--the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society.
1898 Founded the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association,
1904 Attached to the Church of St. Francis Xavier, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin,
1921 December 6th - Death. RIP

If the aim of Clongowes is to turn out great Catholics and great Irishmen - and what other aim has any Irish Catholic School? - then Father Cullen is the greatest of her children. His work falls under three heads - Catholic Literature, Temperance, and Mission Work. In the domain of literature he has a unique record. In 1888 he founded the “Irish Messenger” (the sum of one pound being advanced by the Provincial towards expenses !) He watched over its fortunes until 1904, and to-day the “Irislı Messenger” has a monthly circulation of over 300,000 copies, and is read by Irish Catholics in every quarter of the globe. In addition, he founded the “Messenger Popular Penny Library”, which was the forerunner of the Catholic Truth Society of Ireland. His Temperance Catechism - though it comes more under the head of temperance than of literature, had a circulation of over 300,000 by 1912.

His work for temperance began in the House of Missions, Enniscorthy. In fact, he himself has said that he entered the Society of Jesus because he hoped thus to give his undivided attention to the study of the Temperance problem. In 1885 he founded a Total Abstinence Society among the students of Maynooth College. But it was not until 1898 that he founded the association with which he is most identified in the public mind - the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, which to-day has a membership of over a quarter of 2 million.

In the conduct of missions and retreats, he travelled all over Ireland, and worked also in England and South Africa. In this branch of his life's activities, too, he had won his reputation as a young priest in Enniscorthy, and even to this day the old people of the diocese of Ferns talk of those woriderful missions preached by him then and of the great good they wrought.

Such in the barest outline is his life, Up to the time of his death he was still working, and, what is still more wonderful, he had that same interest in the live problems of the day which was his as a young man. About three years ago he visited us here in Clongowes. He heard of the Social Study Club, and at once was interested. He asked to meet the officials, took them for a walk in the pleasure ground, and talked to them of the importance of this new work. Later, speaking to one of the Community who was then President of the Club, he told him how interested he was in social work. “If I was a little younger I would attack it”, he said, “but I am afraid I am too old. It would hardly be worth my while”.

We had hoped that the writer who is engaged in collecting matter for a life of Father Cullen would be able to write a sketch of his career in this year's “Clongownian”. Unfortunately, however, this he found impossible at the last moment owing to illness, and we are compelled to content ourselves with this brief outline.

The beautiful appreciation of Father Cullen which follows is from the pen of an old Crescent boy, and first appeared in the “Irish Monthly”. To the editor of that periodical our thanks are due for permission to reproduce it here. For those who knew Father Cullen, his saintliness, his kindliness, his quaint, pleasant humour this beautiful sketch will recall one whom all looked upon as a personal friend. For those who did not have the privilege of his acquaintance, it may do something to explain the greatness of his personality and the astounding success of his world for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

-oOo-

Recollections of Father Cullen

It was in the year 1876 that I first I heard father Cullen's name mentioned. A kind friend, now dead, had invited me to spend some days at Raheny Park, Dublin. On the first evening he said to me at dinner :
“What drink will you have?” “Is there no good water in the neighbourhood?” I said.
“Oh! so you are a Cullenite”," said he; on seeing my puzzled look, he added “Don't you know Father Cullen, the Jesuit?” I told him I did not. Then he spoke in glowing terms of Father Cullen, a young Wexford priest, who was devoured with zeal, especially for temperance. He told me, further, that the Bishop of Ferns, having set his heart on diocesan priests giving Missions through the diocese, had put certain selected priests in a House of Missions, and among the first, or at the head (I forget which) was Father Cullen. The zeal and success of these priests was such - I hope nobody will be offended if I tell - that in ecclesiastical circles they were (half in joke and half in admiration) styled the Needleguns. (This was a new weapon put into the hands of the French soldiery in the Franco-German War of 1870, spoken of with most as much awe as the “Big Bertha” that bombarded Paris from 80 miles away, during Holy Week in the late war.)

Many a priest calculated to give name and fame to any institution passed through it; two only need be mentioned, His Grace the present Archbishop of Sydney and the subject these lines.

From the House of Missions Father Cullen passed into the Jesuit Noviciate; but, whatever else he left behind him, the divine zeal for Temperance, “like the scent of the roses, hung round him still”. . At any rate so much was I enraptured by my friend's account of him, that from that day forward I had my eye out for “Father Cullen the Jesuit”.

But it was a dozen years or so before I met him. In the year 1888, while I was one of the priests attached to the Limerick Workhouse, two doctors told me that I was threatened with consumption. Late in the month of May, or early in June, I obtained leave to go to Lisdoonvarna. Having got into the train I found only a few in the compartment; but huddled up in a corner, with a black woollen muffler round his neck, was a priest who seemed to me to be aged, and whose harsh cough at once awoke my sympathy, for I was only too familiar with it myself.

I was wondering where he came from, and where going to, when the train, drawing up at Ennis, I found him, like myself, changing into the little West Clare Railway. Oh, for the good old days of earlier years, when we took “the long car” here and drove over the magnificent country through Corofin, Kilfenora, and by Maurya Rua's Castle into Lisdoonvarna, as the afternoon sun was declining towards its bed in the ocean. Thomond of ancient times, with its windowed castles, its ferny hills, and bushy glens, is to my mind the most romantic land in Ireland. Or run in the mail car, if the old mail car is still running, of a summer's evening, for a remembrance that will last you all your life, from Lisdoonvarna by Quinn Abbey in its ruins, through Ruan in its loveliness, into Ennis.

We reached Ennistymon and I found my companion priest preparing to leave. “He is for Lisdoonvarna, on the same melancholy errand as myself”, I said in my own mind. But, no; a private car, in waiting, took him away. I sat in one of the public vehicles, as, bereft of company and interest, I jogged up and down the uneven road to the Spa.

That evening I was surprised to see the place full of priests, going along in soutane and cap, but all solitary and silent. I couldn't think what it meant. Happening, however, to see an old classmate of Maynooth, I stopped to inquire. He put his finger to his lips and whispered : “On Retreat!”

All the priests of the diocese were on Retreat. “Who is conducting it?” I asked hastily. “Father Cullen, the Jesuit; there he is”.

I looked, and saw my companion in the train. I may here add that, at the end of the Retreat, the same priest told me that he thought he never attended so beautiful or so elevating a one; and the subject matter that Father Cullen took was, “The seven steps of : the Priesthood”.

Of all the priests there Father Cullen and I were the only two not on retreat. I watched a favourable opportunity to approach him, I told him where I had first heard his name, and he spoke as charmingly and as delightedly of our common friend of Raheny Park as he had spoken twelve years before of him to me.

We had a high time of it for that week. Every moment that he was free we were off together. We talked of many things as “the bee through many a garden roves”; but when we came to talk of Temperance “we settled there and strayed no more”. At this winding up, I said to him:

“You have now a grand opportunity. You have started your beautiful magazine, The Messenger of the Sacred Heart, which God bless and prosper. Make it a vehicle of temperance”.

It was the first year of the Messenger; and if there is a mistake in the date I have given above, this will correct it. On its appearance I had written to him welcoming it; I had already been getting and circulating the English Messenger.

His answer was: “We must wait till we are fixed in the saddle”. And his final words at our parting on the last day of that week, when I was still insisting, gave this definite promise : “As soon as the circulation of the Messenger reaches 2,000 I will cry, in the words of Father Mathew signing the Temperance Register at Cork, ‘Here goes in the Name of God’.”

During the year I kept dropping him an occasional line, reminding him of his promise. Towards the end he wrote cheerily: “The circulation has reached 5,000; here goes in the name of God”; and the January number, 1889, had duly the beginning of the Temperance Crusade.

Somewhere about this time I had to go to Dublin. At Gardiner Street I learned that Fr Richard Clarke SJ, (the Oxford convert at the time Editor of the Month), would preach on the following day, the 3rd December, on St Francis Xavier. My heart gave a jump. Not long before that, at a critical moment Father Clarke had, all unasked, done me a seasonable and valuable service at a time I badly needed it. I determined at once to be present to hear him, and try to get a chance of saying one word of thanks to him viva voce, I had already written to him, and some letters: had passed between us, but I had never met him.

Next morning I was in good time at St Francis Xavier's. I begged the good Brother to take me where I could see, and not be seen - that the pulpit was all I wanted to see. He took me through corridors and doors, up flights of stairs the inner economy of St Francis Xavier's always reminds me of the Greek cave, where, when one enters, one never could find the way out. He took me, as I thought, up to the ceiling. I said, “O, thank you, Brother, this is grand; but will you come for me again, when the ceremonies are over?” He was good enough to smile at my evident fears and said he would.

With my weak sight I thought I was alone, and was exulting; but a low cough told me there was some one else there. I turned and saw Father Cullen, bent in his characteristic attitude of humility and thought, his cap pushed far down on his head and his Roman cloak about him. I told him what had brought me, and asked him to introduce me to Father Clarke, to say one word of thanks. “We must hurry, then, after the sermon”, he said, “and it must be only one word, for he has to go away immediately”.

I met him, had that one word, was satisfied and glad.

The next place I met Father Cullen was in Limerick, when the present Canon Cregan was the indefatigable Adm of St Michael's. Father Cregan had invited him to conduct a Retreat for the Women's Temperance Sodality and, knowing that Father Cullen and I were old Temperance friends, asked me to meet him, It was in the forenoon, with a brilliant sunshine pouring into the church, that, being put into the organ loft; I was in time to see Father Cullen in the pulpit. He was leaning out over the edge, and a subdued ripple of laughter was passing through the gathering. He was heaping ridicule on the drink fetish: “The baby is born, and there must be drink at the christening; the grandfather dies, and there must be drink at the wake. The horse has got a colic, or the calf has got wind in the stomach - send for whiskey. The boy gets his head clipped and, to prevent ‘getting cold’, he must shampoo with drink. If the day is hot - I'm thirsty, come, and we'll have a pint; is it freezing, come, and we'll have something to warm us. Are you going on a journey, put up a frost-pail. Have you a cough going to bed, put on a night-cap. Have you a pain in your tooth - oh, nothing like a drop to cure a toothache!”

It is singular how trifles remain in one's memory, when serious things, with the passage of years, fade away. I do not remember one thing more about that meeting ; but an incident happened about that time which I tell with some diffidence. It may serve, however, to put learned men “on their taw” about signatures to great things, when one finds a mistake in the case of a small signature.

He wrote to me one morning, saying: “I enclose you a letter, that asks how to establish a branch of the ‘Apostleship of Prayer’. Father Cullen then went on to say that he had a great deal of work pressing on him; and (with some roundabouts and apologies) asked would I write an article or two. My answer was: It was hard for one man to write what was in another man's mind; but I would do my best, and send them to him.

On considering the matter, I thought it would be well to divide it into three papers, and because of the subject, and for Father Cullen's sake, did my best; signed them with his name, and sent them to him. He forwarded them on to the Record, and in due time the first came back to me to be proofed, bearing my name as signature. I corrected it; and because the articles, written at Father Cullen's suggestion, were approved of by him; because I, not being sent, had not authority to preach on the subject, and because Father Cullen's name would carry infinitely more influence than mine, scored out my name, put Father Cullen's to it, and sent it back to the Record.

In a week or two I had a letter from'him, telling me how puzzled he was, when a friend, meeting him in Gardiner Street, spoke of his paper in the Record. He went on to say that at the first opportunity he hastened to find out what his friend had alluded to, and was “so sorry to see the paper with his name to it, that it was a shame”, etc, etc. I laughed at him, and said nothing.
Of course, when the first went on that line, the other two followed on the same rails - with his signature to them.

The last place I met him was at Sacred Heart College, The Crescent, Limerick. It is not many years ago, and again it is only a trifle. All my memories seem to be trifles, but happy trifles inseparably connected with friends, like “the old familiar faces” of poor Charles Lamb; and in the kindly spirit of the gentle philosopher, I make the avowal, with grey hairs on my head and the sands in the glass running low, that God has been kind in allotting to me all through life the truest and happiest friends that human heart could desire.

I forget what Father Cullen was doing at the Crescent - Temperance, I suppose. It was told in Waterford long ago of two brothers who took a hand in stealing sheep, when sheep-stealing was a hanging matter. One was taken, but through some loophole or influence, instead of being hanged, was transported. He served his time, and on returning, the first thing he saw as he set foot on the wharf, was his brother hanging on the gallows. His only comment, they say, was - “Mutton, of course!”

With Father Cullen it was Temperance, of course. He was at luncheon when I called. With the invariable charm and courtesy of the Society towards “an old Jesuit bay”, I was invited in to meet him. My very first look gave me joy, he seemed so hale and vigorous, I reckoned on years and years to come, bringing with them innumerable holy and fruitful works. We shook hands with delight across the table, and in a roguish vein he bent down and kissed my hand. But if he “reviled, I reviled him again”, for before he could withdraw it, I, too, had bent down and kissed his. We then rose up and laughed in each other's faces with gladness, like two schoolboys. God be with him! That is the last time we met.

I saw the noble Avondhu in its flood roll down from the mountains. There was sun shine about it; and on its heaving breast I read the beautiful words of the Holy Book: “I am black, but beautiful” ; black with the burden of riches it bore from its solitary wandering among the distant heights. God had placed riches there, and had bade the infant rivulets to take them in their charge, bear them up in their hands, and carrying them down, fertilize the waiting lowlands, throng. ing with multitudes of men and beasts. One rivulet, hearing God's call before the rest, springs forward, and leads the way; the others follow, all uniting in forming the glorious Avon-dhu.

So it is with the Temperance movement of each generation. The Sacred Heart is scattering its graces on the height. Men come and meditate. Over against is the expelled demon of Drink, having with him (as confessors only know too well) seven others worse than himself; showing the kingdoms of the earth, and crying in his lying voice, for he was a liar from the beginning : “All these will I give you, if, falling down, thou wilt adore me”. Alas! alas ! some poor fools believe.

But the Sacred Heart cries out: “He that will be My disciple, let him deny himself, and so follow Me”. And Father Mathew, in his time, with his vehement slogan,“Here goes in the name of God," springs forth on the height and leads on”. In the next season Fr Cullen, filled with love of the Sacred Heart, devotes a whole lifetime, with all the elan of the mountain flood, to the holy cause. Today men, whose names have not yet become household words, are as truly and wholeheartedly devoting themselves to the sacred cause of temperance: which, religion alone excepted, surer than any other, makes the rough ways smooth and the crooked ways straight.

With the vehemence of the grand old Irish river, they pour down the mountainside, bring ing from theirconversation with God, indelibly written on tables of stone, the peace and blessing of their Creator.

R Canon O’Kennedy

◆ The Clongownian, 1924

Clongownians in Literature

Father James A Cullen SJ - by Father Lambert McKenna SJ

In the “Clongownian”of 1922 there appeaed a very vivid sketch of that distinguished son of Clongowes, the Rev James Cullen SJ. The editor of that date prefixed to this a tolerably complete summary of the work of this man, whose varied activities affected millions of his countrymen. It is unnecessary, therefore, to recapitulate here the career of Father Cullen, but it would be a pity to pass over this biography which, though not the work of an old Clongownian, is still so intimately connected with Clongowes as to fall naturally under the heading “Clongownians in Literature”.

And first, a few words about the book in general before we consider in detail those parts of it which will particularly interest Clongownians. The first, the absolutely essential quality we demand from the author of a life, the primary interest of which is religious, is absolute straightforwardness. He must not fall into the error of imagin ing that because the subject of his work was a very holy man he must be presented to the world as a faultless paràgon. Still less pardonable is the modern error which would transmute charity into common bonhomie, austerity into mild eccentricity, and mistakes and errors into the most lovable qualities in their watered down hero. Father McKenna is utterly removed from either of these irritating attitudes of mind.

Father Cullen is, in every page of the book, a living human being. There is an abundance of detail to enable us to see him as he really was at each stage of his career. It is a record of growing, not a description of a born saint, for if it is true some. saints are born, all are made. Father McKenna shirks nothing, but puts down with frankness and understanding all the facts of this remarkable life, though they are at times puzzling and even disconcerting. But at the end of the book we find ourselves saying, with something a little like awe: “What a life of zeal, of labour, of prayer. If only there were a few more like him”.

The book is well proportioned, much better so than the average biography, and the writing is vivid and clear, and in parts beautiful. The author possesses that vein of quiet humour without which we dare say Father Cullen could not be wholly under stood. He has collected excellent and very complete materials and used them with great effect.

To Clongownians, naturally, the chapter on Clongowes Wood is the most interesting. Father Cullen came to us almost by chance in 1856, and was here five years. He entered in Elements, and until he reached Poetry skipped a class each year in his upward progress and yet found himself each summer an Imperator. It is scarcely necessary to add that in the Debates, the Literary competitions, and the academic dis plays, he was peculiarly distinguished. One good story is told in this connection.

When the subject of the Academy-day Essay (carrying with it a prize of £10) was announced, he found that it was an historical question, of which he was totally ignorant. At the same time, he knew his only serious competitor to be extremely good at history, though poor in graces of composition. He therefore approached this boy with the following novel proposal : I suggest you get up the historical matter and arguments. I will then use them to write two essays one for myself, the other for you. One or other of us will get the prize, which we shall then go halves in. His friend accepted the terms, studied up the matter, and wrote the two essays as arranged. The Master of Rhetoric, who was official judge of the essays, detected signs of James Cullen's style in both compositions. James, summoned before him, stood on the defensive : You have no proof. But all to no purpose. He was to be punished for deceit, etc. James appealed forthwith to the Rector, who admitted the case was not proved against him, but seemed inclined to temporise. James would have none of this: if he was not proved guilty. he was to be treated as perfectly innocent. He therefore did a most unheard of thing. He wrote a long protest to the Provincial in Dublin. He won his case, too, and loyally shared the prize, which was adjudged to the essay he had presented in his own name.

There is another story of a stolen swim which we would dearly like to quote, an episode in which James' audacity brought him even nearer to a flogging, in this case at least well deserved. He had indeed an over-developed liking for playing at Tribune of the Plebs; but apart from that, he seems to have been a studious and quiet boy. He was in after years a great believer in school games, but as a boy was a poor performer. He was, as one expects to find, very pious, more so than is natural in most boys, and it was while serving the Mass of Father Eugene Browne, then Rector of Clongowes, that he felt, as he tells us hinself, with great distinctness, that God wished him to be a priest. There and then his resolve was made, his promise given, and a decision taken which in God's Providence saved, it would seem beyond all doubt, hundreds and hundreds of the souls of his fellow-men.

◆ The Clongownian, 1999

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