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Allen, William, 1900-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/553
  • Person
  • 05 October 1900-15 May 1964

Born: 05 October 1900, Slaney Street, Wexford
Entered: 07 October 1918, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1937
Died: 15 May 1964, Talbot Lodge, Kinsealy, Dublin

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

by 1929 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
1927-1929 Sent to Australia, being assigned to St Ignatius College, Riverview as a teacher and Prefect of the Chapel.
1929-1931 Xavier College, Burke Hall as Prefect of Discipline and assistant Master of Ceremonies.
1931-1935 Returned to Milltown Park for Theology
1935-1936 Tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales
1936-1938 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius College, Milsons Point as Minister and Director of the Crusaders of the Blessed Sacrament. He also edited the “Aloysian”.
1939-1946 He was appointed to Burke Hall teaching and Prefect of Discipline.
1947 Back in Ireland and spent the rest of his life as assistant Director of the “Ricci Mission unit”, helping with the periodical “Irish Jesuit Missions”.

He was a man noted for his wit and acting ability, but did not seem happy or successful as a classroom teacher.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 2 1947
Clongowes :
Fr. W. Allen, of the Viceprovince of Australia, arrived in Dublin on 16th March, and is now teaching at Clongowes.
Irish Province News 39th Year No 4 1964
Obituary :
Fr William Allen SJ (1900-1964)

Fr. Allen was born in Slaney Street, Wexford, on 5th October 1900. He went to school first at the Mercy Convent, and later, when the family moved to Dublin, to the Christian Brothers School, Synge Street.
It was at a mission given by Fr. Tom Murphy, S.J. in St. Kevin's, Harrington Street, that Fr. Allen decided to become a Jesuit. Fr. Murphy arranged for him to see Fr. Michael Browne, of whom he wrote long after: “I was at once impressed and captivated by the sanctity of the priest”.
Fr. Allen entered in Tullabeg on 7th October 1918. After the noviceship he spent a year in the Juniorate before going to Rathfarnham and U.C.D., where he took his B.A. degree in 1924. For the next three years he studied philosophy in Milltown Park. In 1927 he went to Australia for his teaching, first in Riverview, then in Burke Hall, the preparatory school for Xavier, Melbourne.
In 1931 he returned to Milltown for theology, and was ordained on 31st July 1934. In 1935 he went to St. Beuno's for his tertianship, and in 1936 returned to Australia, teaching at St. Aloysius College, Sydney. In January 1937 he became Minister there, teaching, and in charge of the Crusaders and the Holy Angels Sodality. After some years he was changed to Burke Hall, prefecting and teaching, and in charge of the Apostleship of Prayer.
Fr. Allen returned to Ireland at Easter 1947, and went to Clongowes where during the summer he worked in the people's church. His Sunday sermons were appreciated by the people. However, already he was experiencing the defective hearing and consequent anxiety about Confessions, which were to restrict his work in the coming years. On the Status he was changed to Tullabeg, engaged in the work of the Ricci Mission Unit, as the Stamp Bureau was then called. He remained at this post till the end of his life, nearly seventeen years later. His heart was in Tullabeg, and although he greatly missed the philosophers when they went abroad in 1962, he was grateful to have been left in the place he liked best.
Shortly before Easter of this year he became unwell. An operation was found necessary, and was successfully undergone early in April. Throughout, he was in good spirits, “won all our hearts”, as the surgeon put it. He was sincerely appreciative of the kindness shown him during his illness by Fr. Rector, the doctors, nurses, and by Ours who visited him and supported him by their prayers. A good recovery followed. While waiting for a room in the convalescent home at Talbot Lodge, he spent some days in Milltown Park which he greatly enjoyed. He then went to Talbot Lodge, where every day he was up and about, and able to go out. But on Friday, 15th May, he collapsed and died.
Fr. Allen came of a family of whom two became priests - an Oblate Father, and himself a Jesuit - three became Christian Brothers, and three sisters became nuns in the Convent of the Incarnate Word, Texas.
He was a man of deep faith and simple piety. As a small boy, he used to serve Mass in the Franciscan Friary in Wexford. All his life he remained devoted to the service of the altar, training acolytes in the colleges, and later, when the scholastics left Tullabeg, instructing the small boys from around to serve in the people's church. It was with such younger boys that his work had mostly brought him into touch. His kindly ways, his jokes, won them to him, though their collective exuberance sometimes eluded his control.
The boys valued his kindliness. Some of them, some of their parents, kept in touch with him since his earliest days in Australia. Through the Advocate, coming each week from friends in Melbourne, through the college magazines carefully preserved in his room, through the catalogues and the Australian Province News, he followed with interest the careers of boys he had known, and the work of our Fathers in Australia.
In community life, he was always kindly, and, when in good spirits, cheerful even to infectious hilarity over stories, jokes, verses, sometimes of a nursery rhyme variety.
He preserved to the end and mellowed in that simple piety of childhood, a piety reflected in an exact observance of rule. In times of depression in these latter years, he sometimes, though always without a trace of bitterness, contrasted the little he seemed to himself to have achieved in life, with the accomplishments of others busy in active apostolate. He was consoled by the assurance that a hidden, prayerful life like his own, could do as much for God and souls as any absorbing apostolate.
He had learned well the lessons of his noviceship in Tullabeg, particularly about fidelity to the spiritual duties of rule. His day began with morning oblation and closed with visit after night examen.
In the people's church, which he loved so well and where he usually: said Mass, he celebrated with a prayerful reverence by which he will be best remembered.

Cullen, James, 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”.

Dargan, Joseph, 1933-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/847
  • Person
  • 21 January 1933-01 June 2014

Born: 21 January 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 24 May 1964, Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare
Final Vows: 02 February 1968, Catholic Workers College, Dublin
Died: 01 June 2014, Blackrock Clinic, Dublin

Part of the Manresa House, Dollymount, 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 : 01 September 1980-1986

by 2003 at Mwangaza Nairobi, Kenya (AOR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/joe-dargan-vision-and-task/

Joe Dargan: vision and task

It is rare for us to mourn such a servant of the Irish Jesuits as Joe Dargan. His looks were unremarkable: small, bespectacled, usually smiling. He was sturdy, a wing forward on Clongowes cup teams. His friends would describe Joe’s style of rugby as robust. It showed the steely determination hidden under a mild façade.

Wherever he went, he was landed with responsibility: starting with Third Line Prefect in Clongowes (he commented ”In 1958 when I volunteered to go to Zambia, I was told that my Zambia was to be Third Line prefect in Clongowes.”). He went on to be Director of the Province Social Survey, Rector of Emo, of Manresa (twice), of Clongowes, of Gonzaga, and of Belvedere. He was Master of Novices, Instructor of Tertians, Pastoral planning Consultant to the Irish Bishops, and also to the Major Religious Superiors (CMRS), director of the Manresa Centre of Spirituality, Socius to the Provincial, and Provincial. They never made him General, though it’s said that they thought of thrusting a bishopric on him.

You’d imagine that a man with such a gift for administration might be a nerdy type, with rows of secretaries ticking boxes for him. Joe was indeed a methodical man, who consulted wisely, prayed before making decisions, and stayed on the job till it was complete. For instance, he not merely designed the tertianship house in Manresa, but visited the site every day, made friends with the workmen, and so created a beautiful, functional building.

When, as rector of Belvedere, he had to raise funds for a school building, he showed his ability to balance the short-term and the long-term issues. As he put it to groups which he addressed: “A vision without a task is but a dream. A task without a vision is drudgery. A vision with a task is the hope for the future.” Parents were constantly reminded that education was the greatest gift they could leave to their children. With this vision before them, Joe and his collaborators worked on a 30-year plan. Part of the process entailed winning over all the constituents of the college: the Jesuit community, boys, teachers past and present, and past pupils. The target was four million pounds, and Belvedere passed it. If it has received generously, it also gives generously. Between their various projects Belvedere boys raise about a quarter of a million euro annually for charity. It is that vision of men for others, rather than lists of figures, that made these years a stimulating time for Joe Dargan rather than a begging bowl nightmare.

What people remember of Joe, however, is not so much his administrative ability as his kindness, and his readiness to give his time lavishly. He was every inch a priest, with a special gift for being with those in their last illness. It was probably this ease in his priestly role, coupled with his passion for sport, that underlay his friendship with Alex Ferguson of Manchester United.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life – those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male andfemale. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people’s names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude. Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God’s hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

A friend remarked that Joe was the most extraordinary of ordinary men, unthreatening, affable, and open to the Lord, who achieved great things through him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 157 : Autumn 2014

Obituary

Fr Joe Dargan (1933-2014)

21 January 1933: Bom in Dublin.
Early education at Dominican Convent, Eccles Street, Dublin, Belvedere, Rockwell College and Clongowes Wood College
7 September 1950: Entered the Society at Emo
8 September 1952 First Vows at Emo
1952 - 1955: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1955 - 1958: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1958 - 1961: Clongowes – Third Line Prefect: Teacher
1961 - 1965: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
24 May 1964: Ordained at Clongowes Wood College
1965 - 1966: Rathfarnham – Tertianship
1966 - 1968: CIR – Director of Province Social Survey
2nd February 1968: Final Vows at CIR
1968 - 1969: Emo - Rector & Master of Novices
1969 - 1974: Manresa House – Rector and Master of Novices
1974 - 1977: Manresa - Rector; Director Centre of Spirituality
1977 - 1979: Clongowes - Rector; Asst. Provincial (visitor)
1979 - 1980: Socius to Provincial
1980 - 1986: Loyola House - Provincial
1986 - 1987: Loyola House - Sabbatical, assisted CMRS
1987 - 1993: Gonzaga - Rector & CMRS General Secretary
1993 - 2002: Belvedere - Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning; Belvedere – Rector; Consultant to Bishops on Pastoral Planning (until 1997) Chair of Boards of Management of Manresa and Belvedere College.
2005 - 2014: Manresa – Vice-Rector; Tertian Director
2006 - 2012: Manresa Rector; Tertian Director
2012 - 2014: Vice-Rector and Tertian Director

Joe was not feeling well for some weeks and went into the Blackrock Clinic on March 23rd. Tests revealed extensive cancer. He accepted the results and the prognosis with grace and faith, continuing to reach out to people over the following weeks. There was a gradual decline in his condition and he died peacefully on Ascension Sunday morning. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Since Fr Joseph Dargan, or just Joe (as I came to know him), passed away on the day we celebrated the Feast of the Ascension, he has been pointing not to himself but to the God he loved. In the manner of his dying, down to the very timing, and at his funeral, he was asking us to grapple with the question in the first reading at the funeral Mass from Deutero-Isaiah: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?” He was inviting us to listen to the message of hope and encouraging us to live out of that hope. The words of St. Patrick's Breastplate have been reverberating in my mind these past days:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ in me.

These words represent the key to understanding what Joe desired, and the reality to which he pointed in all his interactions with us, when talking of God or mammon (in the form of Manchester United) - and everything in between.

The American Poet, Mary Oliver, in Honey Locust, describes a tree, native to North America, in blossom and the bees seeking the nectar:

The bees circle the tree and dive into it.
They are crazy with gratitude,
They are working like farmers.
They are as happy as saints.

I am going to frame my words around these lines.

The bees circle the tree and dive into it
This is the disposition that Fr. Joe brought to everything he did. He engaged fully. He dived into life, in whatever circumstances: in Manresa, in the then CMRS, in Gonzaga, Clongowes and Belvedere, in Mwangaza, in Loyola. And in whatever role, from Provincial to spiritual director, from Chair of the Board to lover of family, and so on.

And how he loved bis family: while I name only his brother Michael (or Mick) and his beloved sister Mairéad, they stand for all the family, those who have gone before Joe, those here present including the 18 nieces and grandnieces - not forgetting the nephews, including Joe the younger. He also enjoyed the deepest of friendships. And I have often thought that his great gift of being able to relate with women was modelled on the way that Jesus himself related to women in the Gospels, Joe engaged with all persons in the fullest way possible.

The bees are crazy with gratitude
Joe had almost zero concern for the material things of this world. As a. novice, I remember a fellow novice speculating one day that he thought that Joe had only one pair of shoes: in fact, watching thereafter, we never saw him in other than that one sturdy, black pair. That's not to deny that he didn't enjoy being able to stream the big football game - say Man U at home to Liverpool this season! But when challenged about such a worldly use of the computer, Joe would say simply, that the computer is merely an apostolic aid!' He was truly indifferent to worldly possessions. Given that significant business people who came to know him well, even to depend on him in some measure, would say that had Joe chosen a different path, that he would undoubtedly have been a very successful businessperson, we might ask ourselves, what is the source of his indifference to worldly goods?

The answer in significant part lies in the reading from Deutero Isaiah. Like the exiled Jewish people in Babylonia, so Joe needed to hear - and did hear at the deepest level of his being - those words from God through the prophet:

“I regard you as precious, since you are honoured and I love you. Do not be afraid for I have redeemed you. No need to remember past events. Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?”

These words were heard as being addressed to him - and to each of us! It intrigued Joe that the reading ends with a big question: “Can you, can we, not see it?” In the Ascension, God did something new with Jesus and it emerges that there is hope and that hope is grounded in the death, resurrection and ascension of the Son of God. And, in his dying on the Feast of the Ascension, God did something new in Joseph. Can you not see it?

Out of this was born the person that Joe became: a most grateful person.

When he was told some very few months ago that his illness was terminal, Joe was immediately filled with consolation and gratitude for the key people in his life - those he had met and loved, in his family, in the Society, in those extraordinarily rich friendships that he so enjoyed with such beloved friends, male and female. As the doctor actually spoke to him, those people's names and images passed before his inner eye and he was filled with joy and gratitude.

Most of us would have sunk at such a moment: not Joe, because the gratitude was to God and to those who were God's hands and eyes and ears for him in this life.

But, to be clear, Joe was not like a plastic or alabaster statue. As a young Jesuit student in Rathfarnham and Tullabeg and Milltown, he would come from his room, football boots in his hands, pay a visit to the Blessed Sacrament on the way to the pitch, pray intensely out of gratitude to God - and then go out on the pitch and hack down anyone who dared to try and pass him, leaving his opponent sprawling on the ground, with Joe standing over him, full of concern!

And in the spirit of consolation that sustained him in recent weeks, on being visited by Mr. Gerard Foley, currently headmaster of Belvedere, Joe's mischievous sense of humour enabled him to whisper, Thank God you came in to Belvedere when you did: that other fellow left an awful mess!'

Gratitude and grace - the latter understood as relationship with God - and consolation - but never without bite, never without humour!

The bees around the honey locust are working like farmers
Out of that spirit of gratitude, I suspect that unlike most of us, Joe wasted very few moments during his 81+ years. He gave his all to every project and to every person: in his presence, one never felt that Joe had to be elsewhere - you got his undivided attention.

From sticking faithfully to a physiotherapist's instructions, to thorough engagement with the Irish Province social survey in response to Vatican II back in the 1960's, to the meticulous attention to detail in the planning document, Our Mission in Ireland drawn up during his time as Provincial - strategic planning was a prominent feature of every work that he engaged in, not least with the CMRS - down to the legacy that is the tertianship today, co-created with his Dutch colleague Fr. Jan van de Poll - in all of that, the focus was always on the mission, to bring the love of Christ to the other.

Who knows how many lives he saved - I mean that in the deepest sense - through his love-enriched, Christ-focused interaction with so many people, bom of the Spiritual Exercises, of his love of the poor - witness his work in Africa, his work on the bursary programme in Belvedere, his reception of the orphans from Africa every summer - and of his love of the Church?

In the Letter to the Ephesians, read like Deutero-Isaiah at his funeral, St Paul prays for his “hidden self to grow strong”. Richard Rohr says somewhere that “the True Self is that part of you who knows who you are and whose you are, although largely unconsciously. Your False Self is just who you think you are - but thinking doesn't make it so”. Throughout his life, Joe took the risk of going deeper, below the ego, to discern “who and whose” we are. Joe lived the self-reflective prayer of Ignatius known as the Examen. He truly devoted himself to prayer and reflection. And so his “hidden self” grew out of and into God, into Jesus Christ, enriched greatly through his love of Mary, the Mother of God, and of the Church, and of the Society of Jesus.

Everything he did was to try to get us on the same path, knowing it was the way to genuine inner peace and contentment for each of us. In the prayerful words of the late Pedro Arrupe S), former General of the Society:

Grant me, O Lord, to see everything with new eyes,
To discern and test the spirits
That help me read the signs of the times,
To relish the things that are yours
and to communicate them to others.
Give me the clarity of understanding that you gave Ignatius'.

This became Joe's own prayer.

In a wonderful little piece, Leonard Cohen asks, “what is a saint?”:

A saint is someone who has achieved a remote human possibility. It is impossible to say what that possibility is. I think it has something to do with the energy of love. Contact with this energy results in the exercise of a kind of balance in the chaos of existence. A saint does not dissolve the chaos....but he is at home in the world. He can love the shapes of human beings, the fine and twisted shapes of the heart. It is good to have amongst us such (persons), such balancing monsters of love.

Joe was just such a person, filled with the energy of love and with that balance. He knew, of course, that it is in Christ that an ever deeper hope resides.

But this is not to go back to the alabaster statue. A Jesuit friend and I went out to dinner one night, in a restaurant very close to Manresa. (I remember it well because I paid!) This mutual friend put a little idea into our heads: why not call in to visit Joe on the way home, but not tell him why we were there together, leaving him with the impression that the Provincial had given us a very important task, on behalf of the Province, which we were not free to talk about! We didn't have to travel far into Manresa: there was Joe walking the upper path, rosary beads in hand. At every opportunity, for months after, indeed for the past couple of years, Joe never missed an opportunity to try to find out what was going on. He was innately curious. He loved to know what was going on.

A Board colleague of the time reminded me of a Board meeting in Belvedere in the days when Belvedere was well run!) when, as headmaster, I conveyed some information about an issue to do with rugby (of all things!). Joe, sitting next to me, rounded on me and asked if I was informing the Board of this matter or asking their opinion. A bit perplexed, I - allegedly - floundered and said I supposed I was informing the Board. Joe's two hands stretched out, in a familiar gesture of his and said: “Fine, fine, that's fine - because if you were asking us, I wouldn't agree with you!” Saintly, but as cute as a fox, wise as the serpent, simple as the dove.

Like his fellow Jesuits, he knew himself to be a sinner yet loved by Jesus: on his sick-bed he acknowledged that he had made mistakes in his life, but that these were forgotten and forgiven.

Those bees are as happy as saints
The integrity, the consistency of the spoken word and gesture, and the manner of his dying, confirm for us that Joe meant what he said, and said what he meant.

He understood himself and each one of us to be a new creation, and that in life and in death we give witness to the Resurrection. All this in faith and in hope. He made as his own Pedro Arrupe's prayer in his own illness:

Now more than ever I find myself in the hands of God.
This is what I have wanted all my life from my youth.
But now there is a difference:
The initiative is entirely with God.
It is indeed a profound spiritual experience
To know and feel myself so totally in God's hands!

In recent times, Joe was unable to celebrate Mass: a Sister friend suggested to me the other evening that this was his time to be, like Pierre Teillhard de Chardin SJ, offering his “Mass on the world”. Once, when in China, Teillhard had no bread or wine with which to celebrate Mass. He expressed his deep love for the Eucharist in his essay of that name, which begins:

Since once again, Lord .... I have neither bread nor wine, nor altar, I will raise myself beyond these symbols, up to the pure majesty of the real itself; I, your priest, will make the whole earth my altar and it will offer you all the labours and sufferings of the world.

Joe chose the funeral Mass reading from Matthew's Gospel because the words, “This is My body - this is My blood”, were the centre-piece of his vocation. These, he said as he faced death, are the most important words to say at that hour.

In the final lines of Honey Locust, Mary Oliver writes:

So it is if the heart has devoted itself to love,
There is not a single inch of emptiness.
Gladness gleams all the way to the grave.

A fitting epitaph for Joe, as God in him and throughout his life, says to us: “Look, I am doing something new, now it emerges: can you not see it?!”

Leonard Moloney

Joe Dargan: Three Memories

Brendan Staunton

First memory:
During my first year theology in Milltown, Joe asked me to come to Manresa on Sunday mornings and introduce the novices to literature. So I'd cross the city on my Honda 50, with Saul Bellow, Ayn Rand, James Joyce and Co., in tow. The rhetoric of fiction was closer to my existential concerns than the theological questions we were being fed. In fact, the fare was all answers to issues and battles fought long before our time. So the answers were stale. The waves of Vatican Two were approaching, however, onto Irish shores, and Milltown, broadly speaking, was receptive and open to the experiential and empirical. So Joe's invitation was a Godsend, and at the end of our two-hour sessions he would hand me a ten pound note, saying “that's for petrol”! (Less than two would fill the tank!)

Second Memory:
I'm about to go on Tertianship. Joe calls. He had been at a function in The Red House, where Dermot Ryan had complained about all the Religious going abroad to be trained for formation work Particularly the USA. Joe, Head of CORI, told him he had someone at home now who had trained in London. So the idea of Loreto House was born, and I was asked to set it up and get it going with two Sisters. And the rest is history!

Third Memory:
We are in Rome for a month's Conference on the Spiritual Exercises, attended by 101 people, mostly Jesuits, but also other religious and lay collaborators from 40 countries. The approach is mostly academic: content orientated; lecture style; dense and heavy. Starting with Fr General, the lecturers were all stately, formal figures from the Greg. After three long mornings, Joe raised his hand, and asked a question. A huge burst of applause broke out! Only Joe would have got away with it, as there was no offense heard, but the feedback hit the nail on the head. The fact of his being a previous Provincial probably helped too, and the talks and afternoon sessions became more experiential and participative.

Darlington, Joseph, 1850-1939, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/43
  • Person
  • 05 November 1850-18 July 1939

Born: 05 November 1850, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Entered: 10 July 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1889
Final vows: 15 August 1897
Died: 18 July 1939, Linden Convalescent Home Blackrock, Dublin

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

by 1888 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1896 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) making Tertianship

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Darlington, Joseph
by Bridget Hourican

Darlington, Joseph (1850–1939), Jesuit and academic, was born 5 November 1850 in Wigan, Lancashire, second son of Ralph Darlington (occupation unknown). He matriculated at Brasenose College, Oxford (2 December 1869) and graduated BA (1874) and MA (1876), after which he took orders in the Church of England. At Oxford he had been profoundly influenced by the leaders of the anglo-catholic movement, and, because of his advocacy of certain catholic doctrines, had to resign his parish. After a summer spent wrestling his conscience in the Rhineland, he was received into the catholic church in 1878, and came to Ireland as tutor to a catholic family in Tralee, Co. Kerry, where he met and was influenced by the Jesuit Isaac Moore. In 1880 he entered the Irish Jesuit noviciate and in 1885 was on the staff of UCD, teaching Latin and Greek and acting as assistant prefect of studies. He spent the rest of his career in UCD.

Appointed dean of studies and university examiner in English literature in 1890, he was for the next nineteen years (until the absorption of the old college into the new UCD) ‘the linchpin of what was at times a somewhat ramshackle conveyance’ (Gwynn, 36). He was professor of English until 1901, when he transferred to the chair of metaphysics (1901–9). Idiosyncratic, energetic, and a talented organiser, he was famous for his involvement with every phase of college life, and his concern for students’ welfare. His mannerisms – staccato speech, brisk rubbing of hands – became legendary, as did his perpetual refrain ‘Capital! Capital! Just my idea!’, which signalled his propensity to agreement. His eccentricity, pliancy, and good nature are illustrated by two stories that found their way into a number of memoirs: when a student informed him he was to be married, Darlington allegedly replied: ‘Just the very thing, just the very thing, I was about to do the same myself’; and when John Marcus O'Sullivan (qv) applied for a chair in philosophy, Darlington asked if he had any other subject, and on hearing that he had studied history in first year, said ‘Capital! Capital! You apply for history.’ O'Sullivan did, gained the professorship, and proved a great success. Darlington's students set traps to get him to agree indiscriminately and so contradict himself – possibly he played along, as he had a droll sense of humour. Most appreciated his interest in their welfare and his ‘almost miraculous power of radiating his own cheerful optimism’ (Howley, 504), but this view was not shared by his most famous student, James Joyce (qv), who immortalised him as the dean of studies in Portrait of the artist as a young man (1916). Joyce's dean is indeed brisk, chatty, interested, and courteous, but he is also unsaintly, with pale, loveless eyes, a hard, jingling voice, and a face like an unlit lamp. In one of the book's most famous scenes, his querying of a peculiarly Irish word makes Stephen Dedalus reflect bitterly on Ireland's subordination to Britain. Other students, however, thought Darlington the best assimilated of the English Jesuits in UCD – ‘though he had English eyes, he wore Irish spectacles. He could see our point of view and agree with it’ (Howley, 501–2). Later in life he was a strong supporter of Sinn Féin.

Darlington published little – most notable was probably The dilemma of John Haughton Steele (1933), a biography of the convert son of the Rev. William Steele (qv). An exponent of the theory that Shakespeare was catholic, he wrote between 1897 and 1899 a number of articles on this subject in the Irish Ecclesiastical Review, the Irish Monthly, and the New Ireland Review. His contribution to the history of the college, A page of Irish history (1930) was droll and lively, exhibiting his excellent memory for detail and grasp of the absurd. It was with characteristic humour that he suggested the volume be called ‘Whigs on the Green’, after the political tendency of UCD president William Delany (qv), SJ. Outside the college he played an important role as director of the Archconfraternity of St Joseph in Ireland and as editor of its newsletter, St Joseph's Sheaf. This confraternity, founded in France, focused on educating young priests. A Galway woman, Olivia Mary Taafe (qv), set up the Irish branch and persuaded Darlington to become involved. Shortly after the first issue of St Joseph's Sheaf (1 April 1895), Darlington was transferred to England for his tertianship (the year's course required before the taking of the final Jesuit vows) and his colleague, Fr Henry Browne (qv) took over the editorship, but Darlington remained involved with the society until 1923 and contributed regularly to the newsletter.

On the establishment of the NUI (1909) Darlington stepped down as dean and professor but was put in charge of Winton House and later University Hall, students' halls of residence, where he continued to work until a few years before his death in Dublin on 18 July 1939, aged 88.

Arthur Clery, Dublin essays (1919), 54–6; Society of Jesus, A page of Irish history: the story of University College Dublin 1883–1909 (1930); IER, xlii (July 1933), 109–10; Ir. Independent, 19 July 1939; John Howley, ‘Fr Joseph Darlington, S.J., 1850–1939: an appreciation’, Studies, xxviii (1939), 501–4; Alumni Oxonienses; J. F. Byrne, The silent years (1953), 33–5; Aubrey Gwynn, ‘The Jesuit fathers and University College’, Michael Tierney (ed.), Struggle with fortune: a miscellany for the centenary of the Catholic University of Ireland, 1854–1954 (1954); Richard Ellmann, James Joyce (1982); Thomas J. Morrissey, Towards a national university: William Delany S.J. 1835–1924 (1983); J. Anthony Gaughan, Olivia Mary Taafe, 1832–1918 (1995)

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland.
A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia.
Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of
admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

Irish Province News 14th Year No 4 1939

Obituary

Father Joseph Darlington

Father Joseph Darlington died at Linden Convalescent Home Blackrock, on the 18th July. His health and his memory had been failing for some years-he was almost 89 when he died - but his sunny and unselfish cheerfulness remained to the very end undimmed, and made everyone who had to do with him his friend.

He was born in Wigan in 1850, and educated at Rossall School, and at Brasenose College, Oxford. When at Oxford he came in touch with the leaders of the Anglo-Catholic movement, and was profoundly influenced by their ideas. He decided to take Orders in the Church of England, but before doing so he spent a year or more at the seminary which the Anglo-Catholics had established at Cuddesdon, in order that clerics might have some more instruction and training in their duties than were required for a University Degree. He always retained a strong and affectionate regard for his colleagues and teachers of this period. I remember someone saying in his presence that these “Ritualists were only interested
in externals. vestments and incense and candles and so on is not so," said he (it must have been almost the only instance in which he was ever known to contradict anyone) “I knew these men well, I was one of them, We wondered why it was that when we preached Catholic doctrines, the Sacrifice of the Mass, the Real Presence, the power of the Sacraments, and so on, nobody listened to us, while the Catholic churches. in which these same doctrines were preached, were crowded, We went to see, and we saw that everything in the Catholic Church, the vestments, the lights, the altar decorations, the pictures and statues, all spoke to the people of the supernatural and divine meaning of the doctrines. So we went and did the same.
His father, a well-to-do lawyer, secured for him a prosperous living, and his prospects in the Church of England were rosy. But his advocacy of Catholic doctrines brought him into conflict with his flock, who reported him to his Bishop. The young parson defended his beliefs, and the Bishop replied with much kindness : “I will not argue with you about the truth of your ideas. But I will put this to you - you are being paid a salary to teach the doctrines of the Church of England as set forth in the Thirty-nine Articles. And the doctrines you are teaching, whether true or not, do not seem to answer to that description.” Whereupon the young divine promptly resigned his benefice, and prepared to face the world penniless.
Not long after this he was received into the Church, and obtained a position as tutor in an Irish Catholic family. He had already, at the time of his reception, offered himself to the Society, but he was then too recent a convert to be received at once. It was largely the impression made upon him by Father Isaac Moore, S.J., that decided him to enter the Irish Province, which he did in 1880, two years after his reception into the Church.
Not very long before, while he was still in the Ministry of the Church of England, a colleague had said to him : “I can't go on as I am. I must be either a Jesuit or a Cowley Father.” Darlington had answered, horrified at the danger his friend was running : “Put the idea of being a Jesuit out of your head. That is a temptation straight from the devil! ” So the friend became a Cowley Father, and remained one to his death, having in the meantime written one of the best books in English on the Spiritual Exercises.
After his novitiate he did three years Philosophy at Milltown Park, and was assigned in 1885 to University College, which Father W. Delany was struggling valiantly and with success to put on its feet. He helped in the teaching and studied for a degree in Philosophy. He was already M.A. of Oxford, but he took his B.A. in the old Royal University in 1886 and his M.A. in 1887, the latter with First-Class Honours and a special Gold Medal. Then he went to Louvain for Theology, and after his ordination returned to University College. Here he remained, with the exception of his Tertianship at Chieri, until the Royal University ceased to exist, in 1909. He was, one may say, the mainspring of the College, and its wonderful success during those twenty years was more due to him, probably, than to any other one man. He was Professor of English first and of Philosophy afterwards, and Prefect of Studies the whole time. His energy was unremitting, and he had a wonderful power of taking a real personal interest in every person and thing he had to deal with. He was not a great organiser, but every teacher and every student knew that he had in Father Darlington a personal friend to whom he could turn in any difficulty or trouble, and who would spare no trouble to help him. His kindness was unbounded. Apart from his duties at the College, every student in Dublin who had got into trouble with his parents or with his scholastic superiors, or even with the police, turned to him as a matter of course, and never in vain. Not only was he helped, but he was made to feel that by appealing for help he had conferred a great favour on Father Darlington.
During these years, too, and indeed until in the last days his feebleness made it impossible, he helped numbers of non-Catholics to find their way into the Church. They came to him, sure of a sympathetic and understanding listener. His habit of agreeing with practically everything one said was a source of amusement to his friends, but it had a solid basis, and it served him well when dealing with the difficulties of others. His principle was that, just as there is an element of good in everyone, so there is an element of truth in almost every statement; and his plan was to seize on that and build upon it. A Protestant said to him once: “If I knew what is in the Blessed Sacrament, I think I could become a Catholic”. He replied: “You don't know, and neither do I. But Our Lord said, 'This is My Body,' and I believe Him. And if He says anything to me about it on the Last Day, I shall say, I didn't know what was there, but You told me it was Your Body, and I believed You.” That difficulty was settled. Another time an Anglican, engaged to a Catholic girl, explained that in his view the Church had three branches, the Romani, the Eastern, and the Anglican. "And now," said Father Darlington, “ suppose a bird is sitting on a branch of a tree, and he sees his mate sitting on another branch, what does he do? “Hop over beside his mate, of course”. This principle of fastening on what is good and true in any person or statement, and working on that, is of course entirely accord ing to the mind and practice of St. Ignatius. But what above all else gave Father Darlington the remarkable power he had over souls in trouble or difficulty was his absolute self-forgetfulness and self-devotion ; that he was, in fact, so completely a man of God.
When the National University was founded in 1909, he did not apply for a chair. So it fell out that of all the Professors of the old University College (not due for superannuation), he, who had done more than any of the rest to make the new College possible, was the only one not to figure in its Faculty-list. He devoted himself to the students at Winton House and afterwards at University Hall, with the same generous energy that he had shown at Stephen's Green for so many years.
He was Spiritual Father to the Community for something like thirty years. His exhortations were often a delight to listen to for their freshness of outlook and presentation. I remember the first one he gave, in Stephen's Green, He was the most genuinely humble of men, and really felt for the Community, condemned to listen to such a person as himself. He did not say this in so many words, but he told us that the Spiritual Father was appointed for the humiliation of the Community. “Among the Fathers of the Desert”, he read out of his manuscript, “it was the custom, for the humiliation of the Community, to appoint its most stupid member as Spiritual Father - and we have only to look around us to see that the same heroic practice still obtains in all its pristine vigor”.
His whole life was generously given to God and his neighbour and he has left a fragrant memory to his many friends. May he rest in peace (M Egan SJ)

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joseph Darlington 1850-1939
According to Fr William Delaney, Fr Joseph Darlington was the mainspring of the old Royal University and its success during those years 1889-1909, and indeed this was due in no small way to him. His energy was unremitting and he had a special gift of a personal interest in every person and thing he had to deal with, from his duties at the College, every student in Dublin who had got into trouble with his parents or scholastic superiors, or even police turned to him in a matter of course, and never in vain.

On retiring from the Royal University he became Spiritual Father in Leeson Street, an office he held for thirty years, giving exhortations that were a delight to the community.

He was born a Protestant at Wigan England in 1850, and while in Oxford came under the influence of the Oxford Movement. He took Orders in the Anglican Church, but entered the Catholic Church in 1878, becoming a Jesuit two years later.

He died at the ripe age of 89 on July 18th 1939.

Dillon, Edward J, 1874-1969, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 32nd Year No 3 1957

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

Irish Province News 44th Year No 4 1969

Obituary :

Fr Edward Dillon SJ (1874-1969)

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

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

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

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

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

Older brother of Peter Finlay - RIP 1929

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Peter Finlay Entry
Early education was at St Patrick’s Cavan. Admitted aged 15 by Edmund J O’Reilly, Provincial and his brother Thomas A Finlay was a fellow novice.
Note from James Redmond Entry
He studied Rhetoric at St Acheul, Amiens with Michael Weafer, Thomas Finlay and Peter Finlay, Robert Kane and Vincent Byrne, among others.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 2 1927

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

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

Leeson St :
Monday, November 20th, was a red-letter day in the history of Leeson street, for it witnessed the celebration of the Golden Jubilee of the House's foundation. In November, 1833. the Community came into being at 86 St Stephen's Green, where it remained until 1909, when the building was handed over to the newly constituted National University. The Community, however, survived intact and migrated to a nearby house in Lesson Street, where it renewed its youth in intimate relationship with the Dublin College of the University.
Its history falls this into two almost equal periods, different, indeed, in many ways, yet essentially one, since the energies of the Community during each period have been devoted to the same purpose, the furtherance of Catholic University Education in Ireland. A precious link between the two eras is Father Tom Finlay, who was a member of the Community in 1883, and ever since has maintained his connection with it. His presence on Monday evening, restored to his old health after a severe illness was a source of particular pleasure to the whole gathering. It was also gratifying to see among the visitors Father Henry Browne, who had crossed from England at much personal inconvenience to take part in the celebration. Not only was Father Browne a valued member of the Community for over thirty years, but he acquired additional merit by putting on record, in collaboration with Father McKenna, in that bulky volume with the modest title " A Page of Irish History," the work achieved by the House during the first heroic age of its existence. It was a pleasure, too, to see hale and well among those present Father Joseph Darlington, guide, philosopher and friend to so many students during the two periods. Father George O'Neill, who for many years was a distinguished member of the Community, could not, alas. be expected to make the long journey from his newer field of fruitful labor in Werribee, Australia. Father Superior, in an exceptionally happy speech, described the part played by the Community, especially in its earlier days of struggle, in the intellectual life of the country. The venerable Fathers who toiled so unselfishly in the old house in St. Stephens Green had exalted the prestige of the Society throughout Ireland. Father Finlay, in reply, recalled the names of the giants of those early days, Father Delany, Father Gerald Hopkins, Mr. Curtis and others. Father Darlington stressed the abiding influence of Newman, felt not merely in the schools of art and science, but in the famous Cecilia Street Medial School. Father Henry Browne spoke movingly of the faith, courage and vision displayed by the leaders of the Province in 1883, when they took on their shoulders such a heavy burden. It was a far cry from that day in 1883, when the Province had next to no resources, to our own day, when some sixty of our juniors are to be found, as a matter of course preparing for degrees in a National University. The progress of the Province during these fifty years excited feelings of admiration and of profound gratitude , and much of that progress was perhaps due to the decision, valiantly taken in 1883 1883, which had raised the work of the Province to a higher plane.

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

Kelly, Austin Michael, 1891-1978, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/228
  • Person
  • 20 September 1891-1978

Born: 20 September 1891, Blackrock, County Dublin
Entered: 29 February 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1929, St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, Sydney, Australia
Died: 11 October 1978, Caritas Christi Hospice, Studley Park Rd, Kew, Victoria, Australia - Ranchiensis Province (RAN)

Part of the Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia at the time of death

Younger brother of Thomas P Kelly - RIP 1977

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931; ASL to RAN : 22 March 1956

Vice-Provincial Provincial Australia: 1 October 1947-1 November 1950
Provincial Australia: 1950-1956
Superior of the Australian Jesuit Mission to Hazaribagh Mission India : 1956-1962

by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1922 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
Transcribed HIB to ASL - 05 April 1931; ASL to RAN 22 March 1956

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University onlne
Kelly, Austin Michael (1891–1978)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Kelly, Austin Michael (1891–1978)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/kelly-austin-michael-10674/text18973, published first in hardcopy 1996

Catholic priest; school principal; schoolteacher

Died : 11 October 1978, Kew, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Austin Michael Kelly (1891-1978), Jesuit provincial and missionary, was born 20 September 1891 at Blackrock, County Dublin, Ireland, fifth child of Edward Kelly, commission agent, and his wife Teresa, née Burke. Educated at Belvedere College, Dublin (1903-08), and at the National University of Ireland (B.A., 1911), Austin entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus on 29 February 1912 at Tullabeg and took his first vows on 1 March 1914. Following a short juniorate at Rathfarnham, he was sent in September 1914 to study philosophy at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England. He returned to Dublin and taught (1917-21) at Mungret College. In 1921-25 he studied theology at Louvain, Belgium, and was ordained priest on 31 July 1923.

After serving his tertianship at Tullabeg, Kelly was posted to Australia in 1926 as prefect of discipline and sportsmaster at Xavier College, Melbourne. On 15 August 1929 he took his final vows. He was minister (1928-30) and rector (1931-37) of St Aloysius' College, Milson's Point, Sydney, and founding rector (1938-47) of St Louis School, Claremont, Perth, the first Jesuit establishment in Western Australia. Cultured, deeply pious and meticulous, he was an outstanding headmaster, ever on the alert to encourage the initiatives of the young teachers he was training, even when he would not himself have done the things they were doing, or done them the way they did. He soon became one of the most prominent and influential churchmen in Perth, and a trusted adviser to ecclesiastical and secular leaders.

In October 1947 Fr Kelly was appointed by Rome to head the Australian province of the order, which, from his base in Melbourne, he steered towards final autonomy from the Irish Jesuits. In 1950-56 he had charge of the newly created Australian and New Zealand province. He judged that the increased membership of the order—which was growing towards its maximum of three hundred and fifty—justified expansion of its works, and he seized the initiative by undertaking the management of new schools, parishes and university colleges in Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane. Businesslike and energetic, Kelly exerted to the full the organising ability that his long experience in office had honed. His determination, rhetorical skill and wide circle of influence ensured that the works of the order, and with their success its morale, would flourish.

Some considered his standards impossibly high and his manner unduly autocratic. When he accepted, on behalf of the Australian Jesuits, the challenge of maintaining a foreign mission in Bihar, India, and when the first group of six were sent to Ranchi in 1951, a few critics warned that resources would be overstretched. In this enterprise, however, as in many of his projects, Kelly's thinking was far ahead of his time. He long held that the considerable achievements of the Australians in the Hazaribagh-Palamau region ranked among the most visionary and generous national gestures of the period. On the conclusion of his provincialate in Australia he was appointed superior of the Hazaribagh Mission, and set off in September 1956 on a new phase of what had, in many respects, always been a missionary career.

In Bihar, Kelly was in some ways ill-attuned to the national style which the Australian Jesuits had adapted to India, and his health had become impaired. But he doggedly saw out six years of administration, planning, exhortation and visitation; and he enlarged the foundations of the mission by liaison with an expanding number and variety of religious and secular 'co-missionaries'. In 1962 he returned to reside at the Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception at Hawthorn, Melbourne, where he was based (except for the year 1964 which he spent at Lavender Bay, Sydney) until he went in 1974 to Caritas Christi hospice, Kew. He died there on 11 October 1978 and was buried in Boroondara cemetery.

Impressively able, distinguished in appearance, urbane, energetic and imaginative, Kelly was a remarkable 'lace-curtain' Irishman who had become an enthusiastic and loyal patriot in his adopted country. He was impatient of the mediocre, a practical leader rather than a natural scholar, and he remained a staunchly private man, despite his whole-hearted pursuit of public goals and cultivation of a wide circle of prominent friends. Very dedicated to the educational and spiritual projects of his Church and order, he was ecumenical in outlook and sustained a lifetime cultivation of books, fine arts, music and theatre.

Select Bibliography
U. M. L. Bygott, With Pen and Tongue (Melb, 1980)
Sun News-Pictorial (Melbourne), 2 Oct 1947
Sydney Morning Herald, 12 Sept 1966
West Australian, 21 Oct 1978
Society of Jesus, Australian Province Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Austin Kelly was educated at the Jesuit school Belvedere College 1903-1908, and at te National University of Ireland (BA 1911) and entered the Society of Jesus 29 February 1912. After a short Juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle, he studied Philosophy at Stonyhurst, England from 1914. His Regency was an Mungret College 1917-1921. He went to Louvain for Theology, being ordained 31 July 1923. Tertianship was at Tullabeg, 1925, and he was solemnly professed 15 August 1929.
He was appointed to Xavier College Kew, as Prefect of Discipline and Sportsmaster in 1926, and then sent to St Aloysius College, Milsons Point from 1928-1937, being Rector from 1931. He was founding Rector of St Louis School, Perth, 1938, and was appointed Vice-Provincial in 1947, and Provincial from 1950-1956. Then he became Superior of the Australian Mission in Hazaribag, India, 1956-1962. Ill health forced his return to Australia, and to the Hawthorn Parish, Melbourne, 1963, where he remained until his death.
Cultured, deeply pious and meticulous, , he was a good rector in the schools, ever on the alert to encourage initiatives of the young teachers he was training, even when he would not himself have done the things they were doing, or done them the way the did. As Rector, he emphasised the importance of traditional Jesuit education, as outlined in the “Ratio Studiorum”, as well as the importance of producing good Christian gentlemen in the tradition of the English Public School.
In Perth, he soon became one of the most prominent and influential churchmen, and a trusted advisor to ecclesiastical and secular leaders.
It was during his term as Vice-Provincial that he steered the Province towards final autonomy from the Irish Jesuits. In 1950, the Region was created a full Province under Austin Kelly’s guidance. He judged that the increased membership of the Order, which was growing towards 350, justified expansion of its works, and he seized the initiative by undertaking the management of new schools, parishes and University Colleges in Hobart, Adelaide and Brisbane. Business-like and energetic, he exerted to the full the organising ability that his long experience in office had honed. His determination, rhetorical skill and wide circle of influence ensured that the success and morale of the works flourished.
Some considered his standards impossibly high, and his manner as unduly autocratic. When he accepted, on behalf of the Australian Jesuits, the challenge of maintaining a foreign mission in Bihar, India, and when the first group of six were sent to Ranchi in 1951, a few critics warned that resources would be over-stretched. In this enterprise, however, as in many of his projects, his thinking was so far ahead of his time.
In founding the Mission, he realised a lifetime ambition. He had always wanted to e a missionary, and in many respects he had always had a missionary career. It was recounted that when the question of when to make Australia a Province was being discussed, it was only he who wanted it in 1950. Many believed the timing was not right, but he wanted to start a Mission, and higher Superiors gave in to his wishes.
When he went to Bihar himself in 1956, he was in some ways ill attuned to the national style that the Australian Jesuits had adapted to in India, and his health became impaired. Bur, he doggedly saw our six years of administration, planning, exhortation and visitations, and he enlarged the foundations of the Mission by liaising with an expanding number and variety of religious and secular “co-missionaries”.
Impressively able as well as distinguished in appearance, urbane, energetic and imaginative, he was a remarkable “lace-curtain” Irishman, who had become an enthusiastic and loyal patriot of his adopted country. He was impatient of the mediocre, a practical leader rather than a natural scholar, and he remained a staunchly private man, despite his wholehearted pursuit of public goals and cultivation of a wide circle of prominent friends. Very dedicated to the educational and spiritual projects of his Church and order, he was ecumenical in outlook and sustained a lifetime cultivation of books, fine arts and music.

Note from Thomas Perrott Entry
He spent the rest of his working life at St Louis School, Perth. He helped Austin Kelly set up the school in 1938.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

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

Kelly, Thomas P, 1890-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/210
  • Person
  • 07 April 1890-29 July 1977

Born: 07 April 1890, Blackrock, County Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1926, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 29 July 1977, Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross Dublin

Part of the College of Industrial Relations, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Austin Kelly - RIP 1978

I year of Theology at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin before entry
Studied for BA at UCD

by 1916 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1945 at Cardigan Road, Leeds (ANG) working
by 1948 at SFX Liverpool (ANG) working
by 1950 at Bourton Hall, Rugby, Derbyshire (ANG) working
by 1954 at St Ignatius London (ANG) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 4 1977

College of Industrial Relations
On Friday morning, July 29, Fr Tom Kelly died in Our Lady's Hospice at the fine old age of 87 years. He had been steadily deteriorating and passed away quietly and peacefully just as he would have wished. Fr Tom was essentially a simple man prone to scrupulosity. He had endeared himself to the Sisters and Nurses who showed him much kindness at all times. He is sorely missed by his nephews and nieces, particularly Rose Maguire who was very devoted to Fr Tom.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981

Obituary
Fr Thomas P Kelly (1890-1912-1977)
As a scholastic he had the unpleasant job of Gallery Prefect in Clongowes (at least I think so) and had to help out in the big study when the priest in charge was sick. He made his tertianship in Tullabeg under Fr Bridge, 1925-26, and together with his brother Augustine, who afterwards became Provincial in Australia, he gave the Lenten Mission in the “People's Church”. It was said that the men preferred Fr Tom and the ladies, Fr Austin. He was a chaplain during World War II.

MacMahon, John R, 1893-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/519
  • Person
  • 27 August 1893-22 October 1989

Born: 27 August 1893, Blackrock, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1917, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1935, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 22 October 1989, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 8 September 1941-14 August 1947.

by 1929 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Civil Servant before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

General :
Fr. John R. MacMahon, Rector of Milltown Park since August. 1938. was appointed Provincial by Very Rev. Fr. General on 8th September. The best wishes and fervent prayers of the Province are tendered to him on his elevation to his new post of responsibility.
The best thanks of the Province follow the outgoing Provincial Fr Kieran, whose fidelity to duty, understanding ways and kindly charity during the many wears in which he guided the destinies of our Province will long be remembered with gratitude and appreciation. A special feature of his humanity was the quite remarkable devotion and charity which he ever showed to our sick.
We wish him many years of fruitful work for God’s glory and much happiness in his new post as Director of the Retreat, House Rathfarnham Castle.
Fr. Patrick Joy was appointed Vice-Superior of the Hong Kong Mission on 29th July.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
GENERAL CONGREGATION :
Letters :

Fr. Provincial to Fr. Vice-Provincial, 5, Borgo S. Spirito, Rome, 3-9.46 :
“The journey by air was a wonderful experience, the greatest comfort all the way, hardly anything that could be called ‘bumping’, and a feeling of complete security.
Times were :
Leave Shannon 5.58 am, Arrive Paris 8.45 a.m. Leave Paris 9.56 a.m. Arrive Geneva 11.23 a.m. Leave Geneva 2.25 p.m. Arrive Rome 5.18 p.m.
Met on arrival by Frs. Hannon and Canavan and Mr. Joseph Walsh, who brought his car to convey me to the Curia. Very hot here. Slept well last night under a quilt and a sheet; the blanket would have been too much. Fr. John Fahy here already. He was two days coming from Paris in a very crowded train a very trying journey. Fr. Hoenen arrived just after me - took twenty hours by train from Milan, far from pleasant. I am on the fifth piano, Frs. Hannon and Caravan one on each side of me, just beside the door out on to the roof. Furnishings very complete. Just now (1.25 Irish time) it is raining, a pleasant and cooling change”.

8-9-46 :
“We are still sweltering. The heat is unbroken. I am told that the newspaper gives yesterday's temperature as 40 Centigrade. I am living at the back of the house with an unobstructed view of Saint Peter's (two thirds of the façade and the dome) and the Vatican (upper storeys). The preliminary work of the Congregation is more extensive than I had expected, and so we do not expect to hold the election until this day week”.

Fr. Provincial to Fr. Vice Provincial, Rome, 18-9-46 :
“We went in five buses to Castel Gandolfo yesterday morning, leaving at 8.30 for the audience with the Holy Father at 10.00. My bus was number 4, and it had number 5 as a trailer. The day was hot, the climb stiff, and just as we got to Castel Gandolfo the floor of the bus burst into flames about a foot away from me. The exhaust pipe from the engine was under the passage-way between the seats quite close to the flooring, and got over-heated. I put my foot down on the flames and they went out; but the flooring had a glowing patch, so we shouted : ‘Fire ! Stop!’ They stopped and we got out and walked the rest of the way, about a quarter of a mile.
The Holy Father was most gracious and charming. He received every one of us individually at the Throne and said a few words to each. He said to me in English : ‘I bless your dear ones and your Province’.”

Rickaby, Patrick, 1861-1916, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2049
  • Person
  • 06 November 1861-02 January 1916

Born: 06 November 1861, Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, County Dublin
Entered: 30 July 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 15 August 1906, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 January 1916, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was raised at Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, Dublin , on the site where the Presbyterian Church stood later. He had been a soldier in the English army, and had spent some years with them in India and Malta.

He was by trade a shoemaker, and this was his work in the Society. He also had a wonderful gift of taking care of the sick. This he did at Tullabeg, where he watched over the venerable Charles Young who died in his 98th year.
He was also a shoemaker at Mungret, where he worked until his peaceful death 02 January 1916, and was buried at Mungret.
Owing to the somewhat sedentary nature of his work, he became quite stout, which hindered his work somewhat!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Patrick Rickaby SJ 1861-1916
Br Patrick Rickaby was born in Merrion Avenue, Blackrock, on the site where the Presbyterian Church now stands, on November 5th 1861. In his early life he was a soldier in the English Army, and saw some years of service in India and Malta. He became a Jesuit in 1891. He was by trade a shoemaker and worked in that capacity in the Society. He also had a wonderful gift of nursing the sick and devoted some years to that work in Tullabeg, where he nursed the venerable Father Charles Young, who died in his 98th year.

He had a subtle sense of humour. On one occasion when Fr Young had rung the bell previously rather often and needlessly to summon Br Rickaby, the later started to strop Fr Young’s razor. “What are you doing that for” said the patient from the bed. “Well” replied the Brother, “at the rate you’re calling me, you don't seem long for this world, and it will be easier to shave you now than when you’re dead”. The hint was taken and he was not summoned so often.

After joining the Society Br Rickaby grew enormously stout, perhaps owing to his sedentary life as a shoemaker. He spent the last years of his of at Mungret College, where he died on January 2nd, 1916, and was buried in the College Cemetery.