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Andrews, Paul, 1927-2018, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

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

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

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

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

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

Ar dheis Dhé go raibh a anam dílis.

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

Barrett, Cyril D, 1925-2003, Jesuit priest, art historian, and philosopher

  • IE IJA J/561
  • Person
  • 09 May 1925-30 December 2003

Born: 09 May 1925, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1942, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1956
Final vows: 02 February 1960
Died: 30 December 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at St Ignatius, Tottenham London (ANG) studying
by 1963 at Mount Street, London (ANG) studying
by 1964 at Church of the Assumption, Warwick (ANG) studying
by 1973 at Warwick University (ANG) teaching
by 1993 at Campion Hall, Oxford (BRI) teaching

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Barrett, (Denis) Cyril
by Patrick Maume

Barrett, (Denis) Cyril (1925–2003), Jesuit priest, art critic and historian, and philosopher, was born Denis Barrett in Dublin on 9 May 1925 (Cyril was his name in religion). He was the son of Denis Barrett, the last assistant commissioner of the Dublin Metropolitan Police. His mother died of cancer when he was aged three, and his father subsequently remarried; the two marriages produced four sons and a daughter. Young Denis grew up at the family home in Booterstown, south Co. Dublin; his relationship with his stepmother Evelyn was close and affectionate. The family background was well‐to‐do catholic with some landed gentry elements which might have been described as ‘castle catholic’ but which offered scope for self‐expression, often eccentric; like several of his ancestors, Barrett was noted for charm, eccentricity, and intellectual brilliance.

He was educated at Killashee school in Naas, at Ampleforth College, Yorkshire, and at Clongowes. He joined the Jesuits in 1942, underwent a Thomist training in philosophy at the Jesuit college in Tullabeg, and studied theology at Milltown Park in Dublin. The Jesuits recognised and encouraged his academic vocation, and his career took advantage of the wide latitude allowed to an imaginative Jesuit in pursuance of his vocation. He studied Latin and history at University College Dublin (the latter discipline, as taught by John Marcus O’Sullivan (qv), had a strong philosophical component, and Barrett recalled being introduced to political philosophy by studying Rousseau as being thrown in at the deep end) and graduated with a first class BA in 1947. After a year studying anthropology and the role of myth at the Warburg Institute, Barrett began a peripatetic teaching career, including three years at Clongowes, three years teaching psychology at Tullabeg, and a period at Chantilly (France). He also studied theology at Milltown Park. Barrett was ordained priest in 1956 and took his final Jesuit vows in 1960. He undertook advanced research in philosophy at the University of London, receiving a Ph.D. in 1962 for a dissertation on symbolism in the arts.

In 1965 Barrett was one of two founding members of the philosophy department at the University of Warwick, where he was successively lecturer (1965–7), senior lecturer (1967–72) and reader (1972–92). Shortly after his appointment to Warwick he established his reputation, first by editing a well‐received selection of papers by innovators in the philosophy of art and criticism, Collected papers on aesthetics (1965), then by persuading the notoriously reluctant Wittgenstein estate to allow him to publish a collection of notes by three students of Wittgenstein of the philosopher’s remarks on aesthetics, psychology and religion. Lectures and conversations on aesthetics, psychology and religious belief (1966) offered new perspectives on Wittgenstein’s aesthetic and religious interests, whose extent had barely been realised, and became the basis for an extensive critical literature.

Barrett maintained his involvement with Wittgenstein throughout his career, summing up his views in Wittgenstein on ethics and religious belief (1991). He maintained that the gap between Wittgenstein’s early and late views had been exaggerated; the importance Wittgenstein attached to value remained constant and the Tractatus logico‐philosophus, widely seen as an exercise in positivism, was in inspiration a document of moral inquiry. He did not call himself a Wittgensteinian (he was sceptical of the concept of philosophical discipleship) but was influenced by Wittgenstein in his eclectic preference for addressing disparate problems rather than seeking to build an overarching system, and in his interest in the nature of perception.

The mature Barrett held the Wittgensteinian view that religion could not be stated in propositional terms (i.e. as a set of beliefs) but can only be experienced as a way of life, though Barrett also maintained that this did not entail relativism between such ways; real belief was required. This view would have been seen as heterodox by large numbers of Christians throughout the history of Christianity (including some of Barrett’s contemporaries) but was part of a wider reaction within twentieth‐century catholic theology against what were seen as excessively mechanical and rationalistic forms of neo‐Thomism and of a desire to rediscover the approach of the early church fathers based on the view that reason might illuminate faith from within but could not create it where it did not exist.

Barrett disliked clerical politics and what he saw as the intellectual narrowness and social conservatism of the church hierarchy. He was hostile to the neo‐orthodoxy of Pope John Paul II; his comment in a public venue on the day of the pope’s attempted assassination by Mehmet Ali Agca (13 May 1981), that the greatest fault of ‘that bloody Turk’ had been not shooting straight (Times, 15 Jan. 2004), was occasionally cited by more conservative catholics as symbolic of the perceived deterioration of the Jesuits after the second Vatican council. Barrett’s friends recall, however, that despite his pleasure in flouting what he regarded as petty‐fogging rules and the constraints of his calling, he maintained a deep personal faith in God and was a valued and compassionate confessor and adviser; beneath his questing was an underlying simplicity.

He was a champion of various schools of modern art, particularly Op Art (in 1970 he published one of the first significant books on this form of abstract art, which uses optical illusions to focus the viewer’s attention on the process of perception). He was a regular visitor to eastern Europe where he combined religious activity with encouragement of those artists who were resisting official pressure to conform to Soviet realism; his trips were financed by eastern bloc royalties from his own publications (which could not be transferred into western currencies) and the profits from smuggling out disassembled artworks as ‘agricultural implements’. He also helped to mount several art exhibitions to popularise favoured trends, and established extensive (and hard‐bargained) relationships with London dealers. He played a significant role in building up Warwick University’s art collection, and at various times donated forty works from his own collection (including items by Bridget Riley, Micheal (Michael) Farrell (qv), and Yoko Ono) to the university. Barrett’s fascination with kitsch led him to produce a paper, ‘Are bad works of art “works of art”?’ (Royal Institute of Philosophy Lectures, vi (1973), 182–93), inspired by some of the religious art he encountered at Kenilworth Priory, Warwick. (Barrett’s answer was a qualified Yes.)

He did much to popularise modern art in Ireland through his frequent contributions to the Jesuit quarterly review Studies (he was assistant editor for a year in the early 1950s, and throughout his subsequent career wrote and reviewed for the journal on a wide range of topics) and other journals such as The Furrow and Irish Arts Yearbook. He produced a widely respected catalogue of nineteenth‐century Irish art (Irish art in the 19th century (1971)), and with Jeanne Sheehy (qv) contributed two chapters on the visual arts and Irish society to A new history of Ireland. VI. Ireland under the union, II. 1870–1921 (Oxford 1996) and an account of twentieth‐century art to A new history of Ireland. VII. 1921–84 (Oxford 2004). He also published monographs on the artists Micheal (Michael) Farrell and Carmel Mooney.

Although his flair for teaching and disputation was celebrated on campus, Barrett, like many old‐style academics, lacked administrative aptitude and in his later years at Warwick he was irritated by the increasing bureaucratisation and quantification of higher education. In 1992 he retired from Warwick to Campion Hall, the Jesuit college at Oxford, where he organised an exhibition of its art holdings, used the Latin‐language procedure in applying for a Bodleian reader’s ticket, and was a frequent visitor to the rival Dominican hall, Blackfriars. At Campion Hall he continued to work as a tutor, though he maintained that leisure (expansively defined as ‘life lived to its fullest’) was the proper end of human life and the proper state of mankind; he devoted as much time to it as possible.

He was a world traveller (wont to describe some of the ricketier charter planes he encountered as ‘Holy Ghost Airlines’), a gourmet cook who loved to entertain guests, a convivial drinker, and fond of betting on horseraces; he regularly attended the Merriman summer school in Co. Clare with his friend the broadcaster Seán Mac Réamoinn (1921–2007). He was a voluble critic of the provisional IRA. At the time of his death he was working on an analysis of the morality of war (he was always critical of the view that a just cause justified any means), a philosophical autobiography My struggles with philosophy, and a revision of the Spiritual exercises of St Ignatius Loyola. He also wrote poetry inspired by his reactions to the cancer which was killing him. Cyril Barrett died in Dublin on 30 December 2003.

Ir. Times, 10 Jan. 2004; Times (London), 15 Jan. 2004; Independent (London), 25 Feb. 2004;

Cremins, Richard, 1922-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/751
  • Person
  • 24 August 1922-21 February 2012

Born: 24 August 1922, Dublin
Entered: 05 October 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1961
Died: 21 February 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed : HIB to ZAM 03/12/1969

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :

Missionary Experience of the late Fr. Richard Cremins
Father Richard Cremins, SJ died on 21st February 2012 in Cherryfield Nursing Home in Milltown Park after a long illness. The funeral mass took place on Friday 24th February in Milltown Park Chapel, after which Fr. Cremins was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.
Fr. Cremins spent over 50 years working as a missionary in Zambia until a stroke brought him back to Ireland in 2006 where he remained until his recent death.
Fr. Richard Cremins was born in 1922 and attended Blackrock College in Dublin. He went on to study at university for 3 years before making the decision to become a Jesuit priest after being impressed by the spirit among the students of Milltown Park. Fr. Cremins taught in Belvedere College for 2 years before he was ordained in 1955. In 1957 Fr. Cremins was sent out to Zambia, then Northern Rhodesia, to work in the Chikuni Mission. He spent several months learning the local language, Tonga and was mainly involved with the primary schools in the area. He spent a year travelling around the country finding schools a job which required him to learn a second language, Bemba. In 1964, Fr. Cremins was sent to Monze to step in as principal of the secondary school for 6 months. He remained in the post for four and a half years until the appointment of Michael Kelly as principal. Fr. Cremins spoke fondly of his time as parish priest in Monze. “They were lovely people. Very nice” he said. He felt it was important to value the customs and traditions of the people in the area. He recounted an early experience he had of a woman who was having trouble with her husband and he had been asked to step in. He sat with them in their family home but realized that his presence there was enough. “They had their own way of settling these things. So I never tried to interfere and just let things take their course”. Fr. Cremins kept this stance throughout his time in Zambia. He did a lot of work in development in the area which included the setting up of Church councils in each area and also the translation of the Bible into Tonga. This occurred in 1970 after the events of Vatican II.
Fr. Cremins was most noted for his work in AIDS prevention and development in Zambia. He went to Lusaka, the capital, in 1970 and spent 12 years there working on development with particular attention given to the introduction of natural family planning. This followed the work of Doctor Sister Miriam Duggan who wanted to introduce the idea to the area. After the implementation of a programme in Lusaka, Fr. Cremins then moved to Malwai in 1990 where he spent 12 years working on a similar project resulting in the establishment of FAMLI. In 2004, he helped to set up an AIDS programme called Youth Alive which aimed at educating young people in Malawi about the risks of AIDS.
Fr. Richard Cremins enjoyed his work as a missionary and spoke positively of his experiences abroad. “I always had a principle that if you have to do something you might as well enjoy it and I always enjoyed my work whatever it was".

Fr. Richard Cremins, SJ 1922-2012
Dick was raised in Dublin during the post independence and post civil war years. He attended the Holy Ghost Fathers' Blackrock College and then proceeded to do undergraduate studies at University College Dublin (UCD). Afterwards he began legal studies spending one year at King's Inn, passing his first bar exam with first class honours. He was a formidable debater and was elected president of the LH Society (Literary and Historical Society), well known for the who's who of Irish politicians and professionals who had been members in their younger days. Dick resigned as president of the Society and discontinued his legal studies to join the Society in 1943. He followed the usual course of studies in Ireland doing regency at Belvedere and Mungret Colleges. After theology at Milltown Park he was ordained a priest in 1955.
In response to a request from Father General, the Irish Province formally assumed responsibility in 1949/1950 for missionary work in much of the Southern Province of Northern Rhodesia (later to become the independent country of Zambia). This led to the establishment of the Chikuni Mission in the Southern Province with a procure in the capital, Lusaka. Building on the great accomplishments of the Zambezi Mission and of Jesuits from the Polish-Krakow Province who had laid the foundations of Church presence in this area, the new arrivals for the Chikuni Mission quickly found themselves engaged in the work of mission development. This they did through the establishment of parishes, the consolidation and expansion of secondary and teacher training institutions, the management and growth of an extensive network of primary schools, and the advancement of women and lay leadership in the Church.
Throughout the 35 years of his period in Northern Rhodesia/Zambia, where he arrived in September 1957, Dick Cremins found himself involved in each one of these works, apart from teacher training. On completion of a period learning chiTonga, the major local language used in the Chikuni Mission territory, his first assign- ment was as Manager of Schools, in charge of supervising, improving and expanding the large network of Catholic primary schools for which the Mission was responsible. In an era when Church presence in an area tended to be closely linked to educational presence through a Church-managed primary school, this involved much hard bargaining with similarly placed representatives from other Christian Churches and colonial officials. Though he threw himself into this work with enormous verve, this was something that did not fit well with Dick's broader ecumenical vision. Neither did it give much scope for his manifest abilities, including his sharp understanding of the needs of a colonial territory that sooner rather than later would become independent.
The situation changed for him in 1959 when he was appointed as Principal of Canisius College, a Jesuit boys' secondary school which had commenced in 1949, much to the displeasure of the colonial authorities who protested at the time that the territory already had a secondary school for boys and so did not need a second one. But by 1959 the winds of change were already blowing in Northern Rhodesia and Dick saw it as his duty, not to challenge the colonial authorities, but with their (sometimes grudging) financial support to develop a school that would respond to the territory's future needs for well qualified human resources. His task in doing so was facilitated by the transfer of the teacher training component from Canisius to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College nearby, leaving Dick free to promote a programme of expanding boarding and teaching facilities (especially science laboratories and a library) at Canisius and to increase the number of staff.
A very significant development during the four-and-a-half years of Dick's tenure as Principal of Canisius was the commencement of 6th Form (A-level). Those who completed this programme would have spent almost fifteen years in school - this in a territory where by 1963 less than 1,000 (up to 200 of them from Canisius itself) had completed even twelve years in school. Equally significant, and an early sign of what would be a major con-cern throughout the rest of Dick's life, was his determination that girls should benefit from this development and be able to attain the highest possible level of education. This resulted in Canisius becoming the only school in Northern Rhodesia that offered 6 h Form education to both girls and boys - a noteworthy advance not only towards gender equity but also in Jesuit understanding of the need to ensure that the equality between women and men became a lived reality.
A further development was the active recruitment of a large number of lay teachers for the staffing of the expanding Canisius College. But more was at work in Dick's case, for here he found it possible to give expression to his pre-Vatican II vision of increasing the role of the laity in Church affairs. The strength of Dick's convictions in this area led to his appointment in 1964 as parish priest of the town of Monze and subsequently as chaplain to the Lay Apostolate Movement in the newly established Diocese of Monze. That same year, Northern Rhodesia's colonial status ended when it became the independent country of Zambia. Dick identified wholeheartedly with the new State and as soon as it was possible for him to do so adopted Zambian citizenship, even though this necessitated renouncing his status as a citizen of Ireland, the country of his birth. For the rest of his life, Dick remained a Zambian, a man committed to improving the status of women, and a man passionately concerned to give practical expression to Vatican II's vision of the importance of the laity and the involvement of the Church in the development of peoples.
Dick worked indefatigably for six years as parish priest of Monze town and for five years as promoter of the lay apostolate throughout the diocese. An outstanding legacy to his term as parish priest was the establishment by the Holy Rosary Sisters of Monze Mission Hospital. Dick always proved himself a staunch ally of these Sisters, some of them still fresh from the Biafran war in Nigeria. Always conscious of the dignity of women and the active role that lay and religious women could play in the Church, he supported the Sisters with deep practical love and respect (which they in turn generously reciprocated). Dick pursued these apostolic commitments in Monze Diocese at such expense to himself that he had to spend the greater part of 1976 rebuilding his health. When he was strong enough to return to Zambia late that year, his enduring commitment to the development of the laity resulted in his transfer to Lusaka and appointment, on behalf of the Catholic Hierarchy, as national chaplain for the lay apostolate and secretary for development. For the next seven years he spent the greater part of his time educating and training the laity, mobilising and energising lay groups, and advocating on their behalf. His constant concern was to ensure that Vatican II's vision of the role of the laity became a reality energetically adopted and practised, not only by the ordained ministry of the Church and by members of the Society, but also by lay-persons themselves. These years also saw his trail-blazing support for the National Council of Catholic Women in Zambia, with his unflagging insistence to the women who asked him to implement some of their ideas, "No; this is for you to do, yours are the voices that should be heard." His belief in the power of women was remarkably vindicated in 1982 when, because of the outspoken opposition of the Catholic Women's League to the Zambian Government's inclusion of communist ideology in the curriculum for schools at all levels, the Government capitulated and backed off from this development.
Dick's experience and reflections during this time brought into sharper focus for him the importance of the family. A prime concern here was to enable women to control the number of children they bore while observing the teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae about contraception. He was motivated here not just by loyalty to Church teaching, but also by his commitment to improving the lot of women and his anguish at the suffering women endured in bearing more children than their health, their means, the well-being of their already-born children or their prospects as persons who were fully equal to men, could sustain. He was further energised by his deep-seated conviction on the supremacy of human life and hence was driven by the imperative of preventing abortion and opposing its legalisation.
Both of these concerns led Dick to become a protagonist for natural family planning as a way that respected human dignity, while enabling women take more control of their lives and avoid abortions by not having unwanted pregnancies. He became skilled on the medical and social aspects of natural family planning and was soon recognised as a national and international authority in this area. His views did not always find acceptance with others, but this did not diminish their respect for his integrity, the consistency of his approach, and his manifest commitment to bettering the condition of women. His involvement in the area of natural family planning be- came more all-consuming when in 1983 he was appointed as Director of Zambia's Family Life Movement. He was to remain in this position until his appointment to Malawi, the second country that constitutes the Zambia- Malawi Province, ten years later. During this Lusaka period Dick also served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community of St. Ignatius. Throughout the latter years of that time, St. Ignatius' was the base for the newly established Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection, a faith and social justice think-tank which received wholehearted support from Dick's wisdom, experience, and vision.
In 1993 Dick was sent to Lilongwe in Malawi to set up a Jesuit residence there. Since a number of Jesuits were already working in the Malawian seminaries, Malawi was now recognised as part of the Zambian province, but there was no specifically Jesuit residence there. Dick first stayed with the Kiltegan Fathers for a few months as he surveyed the houses which came on the market in Lilongwe. He was responsible for the purchase and rehabilitation of the present residence of Our Lady of the Way, more usually known as 9/99, the official address. This house became the rallying point for a scattered Jesuit community whose members were working hundreds of kilometres away to the four points of the compass (Zomba, Kasungu, Kachebere and Mangochi).
However 9/99 was not merely a convenient staging point - one of the attractions was meeting Dick. At breakfast and especially after evening meal, one could be sure of a stimulating discussion arising on some point relevant to our mission that had been noticed by Dick and obviously pondered over by him. One might not always agree with Dick's point of view, but that made the discussions all the more stimulating. Dick continued the family apostolate he had animated so well in Lusaka and set up an official NGO called FAMLI, supported by overseas aid.
In Lilongwe in 2007, Dick experienced a massive stroke that ultimately led to his return to Ireland and admission to Cherryfield, the Irish Province's nursing home for infirm, disabled and recuperating Jesuits. Here Dick was to remain until his death in February 2012. But his approach to his transformed conditions was not one of self-pity. Instead, with characteristic determination and enormous courage, he succeeded in teaching himself to speak with some sort of clarity and in making himself mobile with the aid of a "walker" that had been designed according to his specifications for a person whose right hand was crippled. The strength of his resolve and his unfailing commitment to his priesthood were shown by the way he struggled every week to serve as principal celebrant at the community Mass. Despite his limited mobility, he succeeded in attending outside lectures and functions. He taught himself to use a laptop by tapping out messages with one finger of his left hand. And in an effort to build up a sense of camaraderie among his fellow-residents in Cherryfield and the wider community of Jesuits living in the Dublin area, he organised Scrabble and draughts competitions.
Dick put his hard-won computer skills to good use in these final years. From the darkness that must have enshrouded his own life, he regularly sent warm and supportive messages to colleagues who, like himself, were experiencing the cloud of unknowing. But even more, despite his limitations, he continued to press for the better- ment of women, loyal adherence to the teachings of Humanae Vitae, ever greater involvement in the official Church on the part of "outstanding lay Catholics who are to be found as leaders in every walk of life," and advocacy for a Church "where St. Peter might feel at home. "At a meeting just six weeks before his death, he expressed concern that Cherryfield might be obtaining its medical supplies from a pharmacy where the "morning-after" pill could also be purchased. His spirited contributions continued after his death - nine days after he died, The Furrow, the respected religious journal from Maynooth, published his article in support of the Irish government's decision to close its Embassy to the Vatican as he saw this as a step in the direction of making it possible for the Church to remain true to the simplicity of the Gospel.
Throughout his long and very full life, Dick Cremins emerged as a gentle person, kind and peaceful, who lived his life joyfully in the service of others and in pursuit of the highest ideals. At times, people could be upset by his sabre-sharp remarks or forthright statement of his views. But behind these there always lay his fearlessness in challenging accepted points of wisdom, his passion to see the Kingdom of God as envisaged by Jesus realised among us, his zeal for the genuine development of all peoples, his razor sharp mind and his powerful sense of humour with its love of irony, laughter and the joy of people.
Years ago, Dick was characterised as being shaped like a paschal candle - tall, thin and luminous. But his moral stature far surpassed his physical tallness. The Bible tells us that there were giants in the early days. But Dick Cremins shows us that giants are still to be found in modern days.

Duffy, Patrick J, 1814-1901, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/130
  • Person
  • 22 May 1814-27 July 1901

Born: 22 May 1814, Booterstown, Dublin
Entered: 15 August 1834, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 26 March 1848, Rome, Italy
Final vows: 15 August 1867
Died: 27 July 1901, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

by 1847 in Rome studying
by 1853 at Vals France (TOLO) studying to 1854
by 1856 in Crimea to 1857
Came to Australia 1888

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows he was sent to Rome and France for studied, being Ordained in Rome 26 March 1848.
1851 He was Minister at Clongowes under Michael A Kavanagh.
1854 He was sent as Chaplain to the Forces in Crimea, a mission he really liked, and where he had full scope for his zeal and charity.
After he returned from Crimea he was sent teaching at Clongowes for some years, and then sent to Gardiner St, where he worked for 29 years.
At Gardiner St, sinners were converted. Many who were caught up in the world saw a different path, and the sick and destitute were visited with great care. Those who hear him Preach, especially at a “Reception” or “Profession” of a nun were hugely impressed by his sincerity. It was said that when he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, it was as though he were speaking directly to the Blessed Virgin.
1879 He got a serious illness, and was ordered by doctors to complete change and rest. So, he was sent abroad for six months. he was a great letter writer, and his letters home during this six months contained glowing accounts of his experiences and vivid descriptions of the places he visited. On visiting Lourdes he spoke of his own delight at saying Mass there and was completely captivated by the Basilica : “Nor could you look at it, and walk through it leisurely, as I did on yesterday, without feeling that it was a work of lover - a work, I mean, of persons who had both the will to do it, the money and the skill, and who, prompted by an irresistible feeling of faith and love, and gratitude, were determined to stop at nothing!” During this six months, he visited Paray-le-Monial, Annecy and Switzerland as well, and eventually returned to Gardiner St, with an immense sense of gratitude for having been given the opportunity. He always communicate gratitude easily, and made good friends. Though some timed thought of as somewhat “rough and ready” he was an immensely sympathetic man, and he was clearly a diamond, who cared for anyone in trouble especially.
Following his experience of illness and the sense of gratitude, he was invited to consider going to Australia. He would have declined at an earlier time, so wrapped in his work and relationships. His response at this relatively late stage in life was “Come soldier! here’s a crowning grace for you - up and at it! Away from your country and friends, away off to the far off battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight! Fear not, I’ll give you the necessary strength, and only be a plucky soldier you, and show me what stuff is in you!”
1888 he arrived in Australia and straight away to St Ignatius, Richmond, and gave a series of Missions from there. He was then sent to St Mary’s North Shore. And so it was until his death, Retreats and Missions were his works.
He was a great enemy to self, and when advising on how to be happy he would say “Forget yourself, this is the secret. Think of Christ and His Cause only and leave the rest to Him!” He had great common sense too. He was entirely military in his ideas, and plenty of military references in his ordinary writing and publications, as seen in “The Eleven-Gun Battery, for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”.
He had just concluded his own retreat and was conducting one for the Sisters of Mercy at Fitzroy, when he turned on his ankle coming downstairs and fractured his hip. He had an operation, but got up too quickly and had a recurrence, and pneumonia having also set in he declined rapidly. He suffered a lot of pain, but bore it with patience, and his end was calm and peaceful on 27 July 1901 aged 88. His funeral took place at St Ignatius, Richmond with a huge crowd in attendance. His desired epitaph was “Here lies one that did a soldier’s part”.

Note from William Ronan Entry :
A Few years after his Novitiate he went with Fr Patrick J Duffy as a Chaplain in the Crimean War, where he worked for more than a year in the hospitals of Scutari Hospital (of Florence Nightingale Fame in the Istanbul Region) and other Military stations.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Duffy 1814-1901
In Australia on July 27th 1901 died Fr Patrick Duffy in the 88th year of his life and the 67th of his life in the Society. He was born in Dublin on May 22nd 1814 and entered the Society in 1834 at Stonyhurst.

After his ordination he was sent as a chaplain to the British Forces in the Crimean War in 1854, an event which was destined to colour his spiritual life and writings for the rest of his life.

After his return from the War, he spent upwards of 29 years of fruitful and zealous work as Operarius at Gardiner Street. As a preacher he was renowned for his earnestness and sincerity, and it is related of him that he recited the “Hail Holy Queen” after Mass, as if he spoke to the Blessed Virgin there present, so earnest was the tone of his voice.

In 1879 after a severe illness, he was sent by Superiors on a tour of the continent for six months. He had a facile pen and left us lengthy and vivid impressions of the various places he visited.

At the advance age of 74, when most men would be thinking of retiring and preparing fore the end, Fr Duffy volunteered for the Australian Mission. What was it that induced him to take this up. He himself reveals the reason in a letter written to a friend some years later :
“Oh, dear me! Had I hesitated when I got the invitation years ago, to break the remaining ties and quit all, what an unhappy man, comparatively speaking, I should be today! I saw then what I see now, the mercy which said ‘Come Soldier, here’s a crowning grace for you, up and at it. Away from your country and your friends. Away to the battlefield of Australia - a land you won’t like naturally, but in which I wish you to finish the fight”.

For about fourteen years he worked unceaselessly on missions and retreats throughout Australia. He always regarded these as “campaigns” and conducted them as “pitched battles”, due to his experiences as a chaplain.

In 1887 he embodied his ideas of the spiritual life in a booklet entitled “The Eleven Gun Battery for the Defence of the Castle of the Soul”, to which is added “A Day-book for Religious of the Art of leading in Religion a holy and happy life, and dying as a certain consequence a holy and happy death”.

Gaffney, John, 1813-1898, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/171
  • Person
  • 14 October 1813-31 March 1898

Born: 14 October 1813, Dublin
Entered: 13 September 1843, Leuven, Belgium (BELG)
Ordained: - pre Entry
Final Vows: 02 February 1860
Died: 31 March 1898, Milltown Park, Dublin

Younger brother of Myles Gaffney - RIP 1861
Grand-nephew of John Austin - RIP 1784

by 1847 in St Paul’s Malta

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Younger brother of Myles Gaffney - RIP 1861. He had been Dean at Maynooth, and he resigned that position in order to spend the last years of his life in the Order his older brother had chosen long before him. Their Grand-uncle was the celebrated John Austin, a remarkable Jesuit in Dublin towards the middle of the eighteenth Century.

He did his first Ecclesiastical studies at the Little Seminary of Beauvais, France. From there he went to the Irish College in Rome, and was there in the days when Cardinal Cullen was President, and they had a good friendship. He gained three Doctorates at the Irish College, Philosophy, Laws and Divinity. After Ordination he returned to the Dublin Diocese and was appointed a Curate at Athy, and then Booterstown. And then just before his thirtieth birthday, he Entered the Society 13 September 1843.

By 1847 he had been sent to the Malta station, and he remained there for some time.
After that he was sent to Gardiner St, and spent close on forty years there, and was noted as one of the most active and zealous members of the Society in Ireland. He was mostly identified by Mission work, but he was also devoted to poor schools, particularly for the Catholic youth, who were under intense pressure of proselytism, He was seen as a man who brought salvation to these people. He established a ‘ragged’ school in Rutland St in close proximity to one of the proselytisers schools. He was so successful in attracting students that he had to seek larger premises, building a school on the site which became the St Francis Xavier School on Drumcondra Road. These schools were popularly known as “Father Gaffney’s Schools”.
1884 Failing health meant he had to abandon some of the active work and retire to Milltown. he remained there until his death 31 March 1898.
He was a man of marked ability. He was a profound Theologian and Philosopher, as well as an exceptional linguist, especially in Italian and French. During his years at Gardiner St, he was well known in Dublin, and admired and esteemed by all who knew him.
When he was moved to Milltown, there was a demonstration to keep him at Gardiner St. Later, the illness which caused his retirement became more severe, and his last days were ones of great suffering which he bore with resignation and fortitude. He died aged almost 85, and had spent fifty-five years in the Society. His funeral was held at Gardiner St and there was a large attendance of the clergy in the choir, and the laity filled the Church. Dr Leonard, Bishop of Cape Town presided.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John Gaffney 1813-1898
The name of Fr Gaffney was a familiar one in the mouths of Catholics in Dublin in the ‘80s, and his memory will linger long as that of one who “rose in dark and evil days” to fight the battle of the Christian faith against unscrupulous opponents.

Born in Dublin on October 14th 1813, he was educated for the Church in the Petit Seminaire of Beauvais, France. After seven or eight years, he entered the Irish College Rome, in the days of Cardinal Cullen. He got a Doctorate in Philosophy, Theology and Canon Law.

On his return to the Dublin diocese, he was a curate first at Athy and then at Booterstown, but before his 30th birthday in 1843, he entered the Society of Jesus.

He worked for a time in Malta, but the greatest part of his life – 40 years – was spent in Gardiner Street. His main work was to fight against the proselytisers. With this object in view, he opened a school for poor children in Rutland Street, near a centre for souperism. So well did he succeed in his venture that he had to transfer to more extensive premises in Dorset Street, the site of the present day St Francis Xavier’s School. His efforts for the education of Dublin’s poor will cause no surprise when we recall that he was a grand-nephew of Fr John Austin SJ, who had done so much himself in this same cause at the end of the previous century.

Fr Gaffney died at Milltown Park on March 31st 1896. His elder brother, Dr Miles Gaffney had been Senior Dean at Maynooth College and had become a Jesuit in his last years, and predeceased John in 1861.

Gleeson, William, 1862-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/166
  • Person
  • 11 March 1862-30 March 1951

Born: 11 March 1862, Nenagh, County Tipperary
Entered: 04 November 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 31 July 1896, St Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1908
Died: 30 March 1951, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

by 1897 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 26th Year No 3 1951

Obituary :

Fr. William Gleeson died on March 30th, 1951, at St. Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner St., Dublin, in his ninetieth year, having been the oldest member of the Irish Province since the death of Fr. P. McWilliams in July, 1950.
He was born at Nenagh on March 11th, 1862, and was the son of John Gleeson, Clerk of the Nenagh Town Commissioners. He was educated at the Christian Brothers School, Nenagh, at Blackrock College, Dublin, and at the Diocesan Seminary, Ennis. He entered the Society on November 4th, 1880, at Milltown Park, where after his noviciate he completed his philosophical studies. Having taught for seven years at Clongowes he returned to Milltown Park for theology. He was ordained in 1896 in St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner St.
Having done his tertianship at Tronchiennes Fr. Gleeson returned to Clongowes for a further period as master and prefect. In 1900 he began his life-work as a missioner and retreat giver. During twenty-six years he made a distinguished name for himself in this field throughout Ireland. He was a vigorous and eloquent preacher and an indefatigable worker in hearing confessions, in visiting the sick and in rounding up the the straying sheep of the flock. He came to Gardiner Street in 1926 and remained there until his death. He will perhaps be best remembered for his work from 1927 to 1943 as organiser and director of the Sodality for the Dublin members of the Garda Siochana. In this capacity he displayed great zeal and untiring energy. The Gardai showed many times how much they appreciated his generous labours on their behalf and as a final tribute to his memory they claimed for themselves the privilege of bearing his remains, after the Office and Requiem Mass, from St. Francis Xavier's Church to the hearse, while a selection of their officers and men marched behind.
As will be evident from this brief record of his long life, Fr. Gleeson was always a strenuous worker, and he worked to the end. He wanted, as he often said, “to earn his daily bread and to die in harness”. In both respects his wishes were fulfilled. He concluded his annual retreat on March 12th. He had been up and about and said Mass as usual the day before he died. In a very true sense he fell asleep in the Lord.
When he was discovered, he was lying on his side, his head cupped in his hand, seemingly sleeping the sleep of the just. As his body was still warm, he was anointed by Fr. Superior. On the previous day he had said apropos of nothing “The Gleesons all die without much warning”.
When in 1930 Fr. Gleeson celebrated his Golden Jubilee in the Society at Gardiner Street, Fr. Macardle, who was then Superior, having paid a fitting tribute to the Jubilarian's versatility and success in the vineyard of the Lord, mentioned that in his earlier years he was an outstanding athlete and skilful in all games. As a scholastic in Clongowes he frequently proved himself a capable cricketer in out matches, while in one historic match against the military from the Curragh Camp, he turned what seemed a certain defeat into a glorious victory by scoring 120 runs, not out. Even at the age of fifty, when he was a seasoned missioner, those who lived with him at the Crescent relate that, when at home between missions, he would walk out to Mungret, play a soccer match with the College boys, walk back to Limerick, play a hockey match with the Crescent team and after it all would appear that evening at recreation as the most sprightly of the. community! Whatever his hand found to do, he did it manfully. He now rests from his labours, for his works have followed him.

Halpin, Timothy, 1879-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/174
  • Person
  • 24 January 1879-11 December 1951

Born: 24 January 1879, Crough, Kilmacthomas, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1901, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 30 June 1915, Innsbruck, Austria
Final vows: 15 August 1919
Died: 11 December 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1905 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1908
by 1913 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1917 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1918 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
After novitiate, juniorate and philosophy, and a year teaching at Clongowes, 1907-08, Halpin arrived at Xavier College, Melbourne, in September of that year. He had an effective but not spectacular career as a teacher, and hall prefect, 1911-12.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 27th Year No 2 1952
Obituary :
Father Timothy Halpin
Died December 11th, 1951
A sturdy figure, shod with galoshes and protected with a reliable umbrella against possible vagaries of even a fine June day, is a picture that would readily present itself to those who have lived with the late Father Halpin. To a word of friendly banter he would reply : “the Irish climate is uncertain, we must be prepared for eventualities”.
Small, as this detail may seem, it is characteristic of the man, and it reveals a trait in his character which goes far to explain the success which crowned Fr. Halpin's priestly work - consistent attention to detail.
Born in Kilmacthomas in 1879, he felt an early attraction to ecclesiastical life. In 1893 he entered the junior scholasticate, Blackrock, but, on his return for the summer holidays, his parents were opposed to his continuing there. Instead, he went to Mount Melleray with the fixed idea, in his own words, “of preparing himself for the Jesuit priesthood”. The urgent need of Australian dioceses was brought to his notice, so he offered himself to Dr. Maher for Port Augusta. The Bishop arranged that, on completion of his Philosophy at Melleray, he should go to the Collegio Brigoli, Genoa.
In 1898, having finished philosophical studies with 2nd place, he was admitted to theology. At the end of three years - theology, scripture, canon law - his examination mark was “optime”, but the old determination of the “Jesuit priesthood” came back, and, with Dr. Maher's full approval, he returned to Ireland, and entered the noviceship at Tullabeg, September 7th, 1901.
From his novice-master, Fr. Michael Browne, he learnt above all the value of obedience. One who worked much with him said : “once he knew what his superiors wanted, he just set aside his own will and did as directed”.
In spite of previous studies, Superiors allowed him the full course of philosophy, at Jersey 1904-1907; after which he taught for one year at Clongowes, and four at Kew College, Melbourne.
In 1912 he went to Innsbruck for theology, where he was ordained in 1915. His first Mass was served by the late Fr. Dan Finn and Fr. John Coyne, scholastics at the time. The war upset the normal course of studies. His fourth year theology was done in private at Kalksburg College, near Vienna and for his Ad Grad, he appeared before a board from Vienna, which included the veteran Fr. Straub, author of a tract De Ecclesia. He made his Third Probation at Starawies in Galicia, a house of the Polish Province. The long period abroad made him a master of many languages, and gave him an insight into Church problems, and Society methods of organisation, which remained a permanent inspiration for his later work.
Vienna was noted for the Sodality movement. Of this he made a careful study, applying the principles in the post of Sodality Director, which he held for some years, when he had returned to his Province. Indeed our Lady's Sodality always seemed to him the best guarantee of fruitful missionary work, if well established in a parish.
A former Superior of the Mission Staff paid this tribute : “I always felt sure that he would give his best, and was never disappointed. He would write to P.P.s for details of the coming work, which he would, then send on to his fellow missioners. Nothing would be left to chance”. The trait with which we opened “consistent attention to detail” was carried out in the big things of his life, because it ruled the little programme of each day. The same fellow-labourer said : “I could never think of him as missing a spiritual duty, His views on everything were supernatural”.
“The Jesuit Priesthood” was the tessera of Fr. Halpin's life, reading into the words, of course, all that the Kingdom of Christ involved : the special service of the Ignatian volunteers. So it was that an intense application to work followed him to the end of his life. He has left behind in neatly labelled envelopes a whole series of notes for mission sermons, proof positive of his thorough preparation.
“Inquisitive” is an adjective that might easily be attached to him. He seemed happy extracting information. But, the information thus gleaned entered into the wide array of facts to be used, some way or another, for the interests of the Church and the Order. Generals' letters. foreign mission Publications, Province News and Letters, from all these he had accumulated a vast stock of information. This he was ready to put at your disposal. Originality was not one of his characteristics, but he knew how to turn to best account what he had assimilated from other sources. This he did to the full in the mission field and the retreats. His life was spent at these works. He is still remembered as a forceful preacher and a stimulating retreat giver. Only God's Angel could tell the souls won to God by the kindly spirit incorporated in the pamphlet “Heaven Open to Souls”. To the end this was the consistent inspiration of Fr. Halpin, and we are sure that the welcome of many souls awaited him, when the Master's summons “Well done, good and faithful servant”, came.

Kirwan, Michael, 1884-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/222
  • Person
  • 19 February 1884-19 August 1942

Born: 19 February 1884, Waterford, County Waterford
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 23 June 1912, St Patrick's College, Maynooth, County Kildare
Final vows: 02 February 1930
Died: 19 August 1942, St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin

Had studied for BA at UCD before entry and then 2 years Philosophy and 4 years Theology at St Patrick’s College Maynooth before entry.
Tertianship at Tullabeg

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 17th Year No 4 1942
Obituary :
Rev Michael Kirwan SJ
He was born in Waterford in 1884, the son of the late Mr. Michael Kirwan. former Mayor of Waterford. He was educated at the Christian Brothers' School, Waterpark, and at Blackrock College, Dublin, and entered Maynooth, where, after winning Degrees in Arts and Divinity, he was ordained Priest in 1912. For the next two years he was Dean and Professor of St. John's, Waterford, and Diocesan Inspector from 1914 to 1919. In the latter years he attained his long-cherished desire of entering the Society and made his two years' noviceship in Tullabeg. After a year of study in Miltown Park he joined the staff at Gardiner Street Church where he labored until his death. He was Superior from 1935 to 1941. Among the varied activities to which he devoted his organising talents were the St. Joseph's Young Priests Society, having been personally associated with the foundation of every new branch of the organisation for the past twelve years. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul of which be was an ardent apostle from his first connection with Gardiner Street, guiding for many years until his death the destinies of the Boys' Club at Nelson Street, one of the chief activities promoted by the Conference of Blessed Oliver Plunkett never missing his weekly talk to the distressed of Ozanam House He also organised and placed on a successful basis the St. Joseph's Penny Dinners and Free Meals at Cumberland Street. Fr Kirwan was one of the best known and best-loved priests in Ireland, and the City of Dublin, where he worked for the past two decades, has reason to cherish his memory. A man of outstanding qualities of mind and heart, of a remarkable mental and physical energy, he crowded into a comparatively short life an amount and variety of work that surprised his friends. Of rare practical common-sense, of an exquisite gift for friendship and deep sympathy for the poor and suffering, he spent himself unselfishly for others. As a speaker he was most liked when most blunt and forceful, and he had the power of getting down to the plain man, whom he understood in all his ramifications, winning his heart. He was never at a loss when confronting the most diverse type of audience. His musical and histrionic talents were of no mean order. Keen on all manly sport, he was a powerful swimmer, and only last year added once again to his already long list of rescues from drowning.
He had been in hospital since April 8th, and had undergone an operation which seemed to be most successful. For some weeks prior to Fr. Gallagher's death, he had been out and about and seemed on the verge of complete recovery. But simultaneously with Fr. Gallagher's illness, he developed a pneumonic condition which caused grave anxiety for about ten days. He got over this, but later had severe attacks which pointed to the existence of a dangerous clot. However, with careful nursing, he seemed to be over this trouble when at 5.30 a.m. on August 19th, the fatal seizure came.
Universal sorrow was manifested all over Dublin and throughout the country when the news of his death was published. Messages of condolence were received from many members of the hierarchy. His Grace the Archbishop called to offer his sympathies and said Mass for Fr. Kirwan the next morning. The funeral was a remarkable tribute from Church, State and people. His Lordship the Bishop of Thasos presided, and about 200 priests and 60 nuns attended. Mr. de Valera, Mr. O'Ke1ly and the Lord Mayor of' Dublin were present. But again as at Fr. Gallagher funeral, the most touching tribute was from the poor, who, the preceding night, came in large crowds to touch the coffin and lay their rosaries and other objects of devotion on it.
On the same morning there was Office and Requiem in the Cathedral at Waterford, presided over by Right Rev. Dean Byrne Vicar-Capitular, and attended by many of Fr. Kirwan's fellow-diocesans. Innumerable messages of sympathy were received from private individuals and the many charitable bodies wuitil which Fr. Kirwan had been associated.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Kirwan 1884-1942
Fr Michael Kirwan was one of the best known and popular priests in Dublin, and indeed Ireland. He was ordained for his native diocese of Waterford, and he worked there as Professor in St John’s Seminary and also as Diocesan Inspector, before he entered the Society in 1919.

He spent all his life as a Jesuit in Gardiner Street, of which house he was Superior from 1935-1941. A man of outstanding qualities of mind and heart, of remarkable mental and physical energy, he crowded into a comparatively short life an amount and variety of work which astonished and edified his friends and contemporaries.

He died on August 19th 1942, and the long queue of people who filed past his coffin is a tribute to his genuine love and work for the ordinary man in the street.

Mulligan, John M, 1920-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/187
  • Person
  • 18 April 1920-29 May 1986

Born: 18 April 1920, Swinford, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954
Professed: 02 February 1981
Died: 29 May 1986, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bray, County Wicklow

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 61st Year No 3 1986


Fr John Mary Mulligan (1920-1943-1986)

18th April 1920: born. Lived in Swinford, Co Mayo. Studied for the diocesan priesthood at Clonliffe and Maynooth colleges. 7th September 1943: entered SJ. 1943-45 Emo, noviciate. Bypassed juniorate. 1945-48 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1948-51 Mungret, regency. 1951-56 Milltown, theology. 1956-57 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1957-69 Gardiner Street: 1957-60 assistant, Jesuit Mission office, also (1958-60) house bursar; 1960-69 assistant to national director, Pioneer TAA.
1969-71 minister of houses: 1969-70 Mungret, 1970-71 Gonzaga.
1971-86 curate in Dublin parishes: 1971-77 Finglas West, 1977-83 Halston Street and Arran Quay, all the while attached to Belvedere; 1983-86 Bray (Queen of Peace), while attached to Gonzaga. 29th May 1986: died.

John Mulligan was 24 when I first met him, in my first year in the noviceship, and his second, We looked on him as very old, not just because of the six-year gap between him and us boys just out of school, but because he had experienced a lot. He could entertain us with stories of his home in Swinford - he always had deep roots in county Mayo - and of his school days in the national school and in Blackrock college, which he loved dearly and spoke of always with affection. More than that, he knew Clonliffe, where he was classmate of many who
were to go into Dublin diocese. He could speak of Maynooth too, which he had left to enter the Jesuits. He seemed to be a man cut out in every way to be a priest. Even though his mother was alive and survived for many years, he was in a sense an alone man. His father had died when John was young and his only sister Kitty died tragically only two years
after our noviceship together. He was a bit like that legendary biblical figure Melchizedeck, who is remembered as a high priest and as a man without ancestors, without family, a man alone.
John did indeed cling closely to his family. He had cousins and relations all over Ireland, and he worked to keep in touch with them. He travelled to Cork and Wexford and Mayo and Dublin and kept all the different relations in touch with all the rest.
Yet there was the lonely priest about him. He had a clear public personality. He presented himself easily, warm, talkative, with a fund of entertaining chat. He had an extraordinary memory for names. He was a people's person. He loved people, wherever he went, in Finglas, Halston street, Bray, all around the country in the earlier years, he met people, placed them in their relations, and was enormously interested in them. He was indeed a man of considerable culture, and a clever man, which you discovered if you played bridge with him - he had a remarkable head for cards.
He was a very sharp chess player. He could finish the Times crossword as fast as anybody I know. He had a great store of literature by heart; loved to recite Macaulay's passage on the Church of Rome which would outlast empires; and the last paragraph of Francis Thompson's life of Ignatius Loyola, with its vision of the soldier saint.
But “culture” did not mean as much to him as people. On one occasion he was on a holiday with friends in Vienna, admiring the masterpieces of European Art in the Staatsmuseum. John made an excuse and slipped away from them, and was found later poring over the London Times in a coffee shop. He had calculated that the only newspaper available in Vienna that would cover the Irish general election - then at the counting stage - would be the Times : so he found a newsagent that sold it, and devoured it to satisfy his hungry curiosity as to who had got the fifth seat in the Laois-Offaly constituency. He loved Ireland, loved its people, even its politicians, loved them as he found them, as they are.
John's easy presence and talk, his public persona, stood him in good stead in the one work as a priest which he did superbly, the most important task in the life of a parish priest, namely visiting the parish. He was faithful to his district, visited everyone systematically, and this is not always easy. You may arrive in the middle of a good television programme, or in the middle of a fight between children of parents; you may be rebuffed or made unwelcome. But John persisted as the presence of the Christian community, of the Church, in going from house to house, and letting people know that he was interested in them.
As we think about the public person of John, we must ask how did he keep it up? There was another side to him. He had few and simple pleasures: reading the paper, doing the crossword, talking to friends. A few years ago he gave up two of the pleasures which meant a good deal to him, smoking and alcohol. Again one wonders about the private life that lay behind such a renunciation. It was a life hidden in God. Again you wonder how he was so contented in himself, happy with the second place. He was Assistant throughout his life: assistant to the director of foreign mis sions, assistant to the director of the Pioneers, assistant to this or that superior, assistant in parishes - at 66 he was still a curate. Yet one never felt an ambition in him, or a resentment at not having the top job. There was an unworldliness about John. It wasn't that he didn't see worldliness: he could be very funny about people who were too attached to money, whether clergy or laity. But he didn't rant against them, and himself he was open-handed and generous.
He had in the last months quite a sense of his final call. A couple of weeks before the end, in Lourdes, when he was wheeling an invalid around, he felt a stabbing pain and had to stop. He was found to have had a coronary attack; but he carried on, and did not talk about it when he returned to Ireland. One Saturday, in a house with friends, invited to play a boisterous game with children, he said: 'I can't anymore. My hands feel like sacks of potatoes.' A few days later in the sacristy he felt another warning pain, and before he went to bed he got in his car and drove into Gonzaga to talk - to say goodbye? - to his com munity. Then he went to bed and died peacefully in his sleep, as he would have wanted. He always said that in his family he couldn't expect to live to seventy. May he continue to remember us to God, as we remember him.
Paul Andrews

Nolan, Edward, 1826-1893, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/39
  • Person
  • 10 May 1826-11 January 1893

Born: 10 May 1826, Booterstown, County Dublin
Entered: 20 September 1850, Avignon, France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1863
Professed: 02 February 1867
Died: 11 January 1893, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia

by 1858 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying Philosophy
by 1859 at Vals France (TOLO) Studying Philosophy
by 1860 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying Theology
Early Australian Missioner 1866

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He collected the greater part of the funds for the beautiful Church at Hawthorn, and superintended the construction of the edifice.
For several years he was Rector at Xavier College, Kew, and also worked at different intervals at St Patrick’s, Melbourne.
He was a Priest of great energy and zeal, and his death was regretted by a wide circle of friends. He died at Hawthorn 11 January 1893.

◆ Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn Australia, 150 Celebration :

Fr Nolan SJ, Founder of the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn
Edward Nolan was born in Dublin on 10th May 1826. At an early age he attended college in Dublin with the intention of studying for the priesthood. He made his novitiate at Angers (France), took his degrees of theology at Louvain (Belgium), and entered the Society of Jesus on September 20th 1850.
After long and active service in teaching at different colleges in Ireland, he arrived in Melbourne in 1866, where he was assigned to teach at St. Patrick’s College, East Melbourne. On weekends he ministered to the people of Hawthorn. Here he came in contact with the redoubtable Michael Lynch who was determined to have a proper church built in Hawthorn and he had friends with wealth. In Fr Nolan he found someone who would extract it from them. With the land already donated by Mr. Lynch, fundraising plans to build a church were swung into action. Subscriptions flowed in, not only from the enthusiastic and generous Hawthorn Catholics, estimated at only 60 households at the time, but from non Catholics and from those outside the area. On this basis, the farsighted Fr Nolan planned a church to seat 1200.
Fr Nolan had little taste for set sermons in big churches, but had the quiet knack of addressing small groups in any situation. He had considerable knowledge of botany and some ability at medicine. Of engaging address, he had the knack of accommodating himself to all classes, and was equally at home in the mia-mia of the fossicker and the mansion of the squatter. He rode a horse called “Tobin”, which carried him everywhere. “Tobin” had a peculiar amble, which was a well-known warning to Catholics who were not what they ought to be. Father Nolan was a good religious man but it was his zeal, gentle piety and simplicity that won over the people of Hawthorn.
In 1871-72 Fr Nolan was sent on a begging mission to raise money for the new Xavier College to be built in Kew. He toured eastern Australia and even New Zealand, raising substantial funds and persuading many families to commit their sons to the new college. After 6 years as the first Rector at Xavier, and a short time in Sydney, he returned to Hawthorn as Procurator. Strange to say, he was never Superior of the Hawthorn community.
Even when in his declining years, he collected enough money to purchase a peal of bells to ring out across Hawthorn. When he died on January 11th 1893, from a ‘disease of the heart’ the bluestone church of the Immaculate Conception was as fitting a memorial as anyone could wish. Fr Nolan is recognised as the founder of the church, with an inscription in Latin on the front of the altar.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Edward Nolan entered the Society at Tullabeg, 20 September 1850, as a priest, where he also studied theology, was director of the Sodality of Our Lady and taught writing and bookkeeping. He was a founding father to Australia in 1866 with Joseph Dalton, taught at St Patrick’s College and performed pastoral work. During 1871-72 he toured Victoria
and New Zealand seeking funds.
He went to Xavier College, Kew, in 1878, teaching bookkeeping and being minister. He was appointed rector in 1880. and was also a consultor of the mission As rector, he was recognised as a financial manager and was experienced as a strict disciplinarian. He built the South Wing and developed the farm, hoping that the College would be self-sufficient. He shared his hobby of amateur pharmacy with the boys, and was responsible for making a clear separation of dayboys and boarders - neither group mixing except during class time.
After completing his term as rector in 1886, he spent three years at Riverview, as procurator and consultor, and he also had care of the garden and farm. From 1889-93, he was engaged in pastoral work within the parish of Hawthorn, Vic., where he was at various times, procurator, consultor, admonitor and finally, spiritual father.
He was acknowledged as a very zealous and hardworking priest, but over-absorbed in money matters. Superiors obviously made use of his financial expertise or interest, even though his accounts were not always left in the best condition. His fund raising techniques did not always please diocesan priests. One monument to him was the parish church at Hawthorn.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925

St Patrick’s College, Melbourne has just celebrated its Diamond Jubilee as a Jesuit College. It is the mother house of the Australian Mission.
On September 21st 1865, Fathers Joseph Lentaigne and William Kelly, the pioneer Missioners of the Society in Victoria, landed in Melbourne and took over the College.
On September 17th, 1866 , the second contingent of Irish priests arrived - Fr. Joseph Dalton, Fr. Edmund Nolan, Fr. David McKiniry and two lay brothers - Br. Michael Scully and Br. Michael Goodwin.

O'Brien, John FX, 1873-1920, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/757
  • Person
  • 22 June 1873-12 January 1920

Born: 22 June 1873, Castlebar, Co Mayo
Entered: 14 September 1889, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 1905, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died: 12 January 1920, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1899 at Enghien, Belgium (CAMP) studying
by 1900 at Leuven, Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1901 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was the son of a well known MP, JFX O’Brien, who had been sentenced as a member of the IRB to be hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the 1867 Rising. (He had also been an Assistant Surgeon for the Confederate Army at New Orleans during the Civil War, and he also later became President of the IRB 1882-1891, and MP for South Mayo 1885-1895 and for Cork City 1895-1906)

Early education was at French College, Blackrock and Clongowes Wood College SJ.

After his Novitiate he was sent for Regency to Mungret as Prefect and Clongowes as Teacher. He also studied Philosophy at Louvain.
1903 he began the long course in Theology and was Ordained in Dublin 1905, and Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1915-1917 He was Minister at Rathfarnham.
1919 He was Spiritual Father and Editor of “Irish Monthly”.
Early in his career he was affected by headaches, suffering much through his religious life. he died peacefully at Rathfarnham 12 January 1920.
He was very talented and had a good knowledge of Irish.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father John FX O’Brien 1873-1920
Fr John FX O’Brien was toe son of a well known Member of Parliament JX O’Brien who had been sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered for his part in the ’67 Rising.

He was born in Castlebar County Mayo, on June 22nd 1873, and was educated at Blackrock College and Clongowes. He entered the Society in 1889.

He was Minister in Rathfarnham from 1915-1917. In 1919 he became Spiritiual Father and editor of the Irish Monthly. From early on in his career he suffered from headaches and endured much pain during his religious life. He was very talented and very proficient in Irish.

His death took place peacefully at Rathfarnham on January 12th 1920.

O'Farrell, Andrew, 1894-1961, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/330
  • Person
  • 09 June 1894-14 November 1961

Born: 09 June 1894, Foxrock, County Dublin
Entered: 07 October 1913, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1931
Died: 14 November 1961, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1917 at St Aloysius, Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

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

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 37th Year No 1 1962
Obituary :
Fr Andrew O’Farrell (1894-1961)
Fr. Andrew O'Farrell was born in Dublin in 1894. He received his secondary education at Blackrock College and then entered the service of the Hibernian Bank. He worked for some years in the Head Office, College Green, and in after life maintained a close connection with officials whom he had known there, especially with the late Henry J. Campbell, who was his manager and later became General Manager. In 1913 he resigned from the Bank and entered the novitiate at Tullabeg.
At the end of his novitiate Fr. O'Farrell went for a year to Rathfarnham. Owing to his early entry into the Bank he had not matriculated and so did not go on for a degree, a regrettable decision in view of the great ability which he later showed. In 1915 he went to Jersey for philosophy, where his natural talent for languages at once showed itself. He rapidly acquired a thorough knowledge of French and a high degree of fluency in speaking it. He used to recall, with amused satisfaction, how the scholastic who taught him remarked : “Vous parlerez bien Français parceque vous êtes très bavard”. He also developed a great taste for French literature which lasted all his life. It is remarkable that all this progress was made in the short space of eighteen months, since in the spring of 1917, owing to the threat of conscription, all the Irish philosophers were recalled from England and the continent to Milltown Park.
Fr. O'Farrell finished his philosophy at Milltown and then did four years' teaching, the first at Clongowes, the remainder at Mungret. He returned to Milltown for theology and was ordained in 1926. After theology he did another year's teaching in Clongowes, then tertianship at St. Beuno's and in 1929 came to Galway, where the college had just been re-opened as an all-Irish school.
It was now that Fr. O'Farrell's abilities found full scope. He had always been a keen student of the Irish language, and so threw himself with enthusiasm into the work of the college and perfected his own knowledge of Irish by regular attendance at Irish courses in the Gaeltacht. In later years, though he no longer needed to attend courses, he visited every summer the Gaeltacht of Carraroe, where he became a familiar and beloved figure and usually supplied for or assisted the parish priest, In St. Ignatius Fr. O'Farrell also found the opportunity to make use of the facility in French which he had acquired in Jersey. He was a most successful teacher and on several occasions his pupils obtained first place in French in one or other of the certificate examinations. Though often hampered by ill-health, Fr. O'Farrell continued up to within a few days of his death to devote himself to the apostolate of the classroom. In the current Catalogue the words appear after his name: "doc. ann. 39". To those who have any conception of the value of Catholic education these brief words are a record of great and lasting achievement. At Fr. O'Farrell's funeral His Lordship the Bishop of Galway spoke with appreciation of his long and devoted life as a teacher and held it up to others as an inspiring example.
It was not only as a teacher that Fr. O'Farrell established himself in Galway but also as a priest. Though he was never one of the church staff, he did an immense amount of quiet work, visiting the sick, hearing Confessions and consoling those in trouble. He was most self-sacrificing in trying to help others and those who knew him intimately will agree that he nearly always had some task on hand, a job to be got, an interview to be arranged, information to be got, and that he was indefatigable in his efforts and often very successful, owing to the large number of influential friends whom he had, both in Galway and elsewhere. Mention must also be made of his work for the choir, which he directed from 1932 onwards. He was not a great musician, though an adept at sight-reading, and his interest in music was somewhat limited - he did not seem to care much, for instance, for orchestral music - but his taste in church music was sound and he insisted on accuracy of performance.
It has become somewhat of a commonplace to say of those who die that they will be greatly missed, but the statement can be sincerely made about Fr. O'Farrell. For over thirty years he was a familiar figure in Galway, usually on his bicycle, waving a salute to the many friends whom he passed, and almost always bound on some altruistic errand. He had an intimate knowledge of the life of the city and often manifested a humorous enjoyment of the complications that arise in any closely-knit community, but his comments were always tempered by charity, and indeed he would often express almost scrupulous regret if he thought he had gone too far in criticism. It is not only in Galway itself that his loss will be felt, but also in the remote and beautiful region in Iar-Connacht where he spent so many holidays. His goodness of heart, combined with his extraordinarily perfect grasp of the Irish language, won for him over many years the esteem and affection of the people of Carraroe and the surrounding countryside, and during his visits there, there was hardly a day but some messenger would come asking that “an t-Athair Ó Fearghaill” would come to some humble home to console the sick or to advise on some family problem. In his last moments it must have been one of Fr. O'Farrell's greatest consolations to think that those whom he had so befriended would often have on their lips and in their hearts the familiar prayer: “Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam!”

O'Loghlen, Desmond, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/691
  • Person
  • 03 March 1918-04 September 2003

Born: 03 March 1918, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1954
Died: 04 September 2003, St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia Mission : 27 November 1962
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03/12/1969

by 1951 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship
by 1952 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fourth wave of Zambian Missioners
Mission Superior Chikuni (HIB) 21 November 1962 - 1969

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Des (as he was known to his fellow Jesuits) died on 4 September 2003 at the age of 85, completely unexpectedly. His mother lived to be 101 and all thought that Des would follow suit. He had gone to the Mina Medical Centre with a touch of 'flu with another member of the community, and then he died.

He was born in Waterford, Ireland, in 1918, attended school at Blackrock College and Ballyfin and then entered the Society at Emo Park in 1936. The usual course of studies, arts, philosophy, theology, brought him to ordination in 1949 at Milltown Park, Dublin. For his tertianship he went to Paray-le-Monial in France, 1950/1951.

The second batch of Irish Jesuits to come to the then Northern Rhodesia in 1951 included Des who came to Chikuni to be Assistant principal of the newly opened Canisius College, 1951-52. He then went north to learn CiBemba for a year and came to Lusaka to work in the Regiment church for a few months before moving to St. Ignatius (1953-l959), doing parish work at Chilanga and Kafue, and being chaplain to Munali Secondary School and Chalimbana Teacher Training College. He became judicial Vicar for the Archdiocese. He moved to Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College to teach for a few months in 1960. He returned to St .Ignatius as Superior and chaplain as above.

He was appointed Regular Superior of the Mission from 1962 to 1969, first residing in Choma and then in Mazabuka in Moreau house. As Des never gave a snap decision but one which was cautiously thought out, where he lived became known as ‘Tomorrow House’. He returned to Lusaka to St. Ignatius in 1970 where he spent the rest of his life. Parish priest there from 1970 to 1977, he then became full time chaplain to the University Teaching Hospital, a devoted priest to the sick and dying. This was from 1977 to 1991 where he also built a chapel in the hospital. Even after retiring as official chaplain, his devotion to the sick took him twice a week to other hospitals in Lusaka, Hill Top, Mina Medical Centre and Mine Hospital etc. At the same time parish work in St Ignatius: Masses, funerals, marriages, occupied his ever busy life right to the end.

Des was a very hospitable person, sincere and genuine in his relationships with others. He was sensitive to the needs of others and had a great serenity about him. He never became upset, was 'unflappable' as the homilist at his funeral described him. He ‘hastened slowly’ and was known to arrive for meals or any other function always 'slightly late'.

He had a marvellous memory for people and occasions, and could be relied upon to remember who was who, and recall when such an event took place. ‘Ask Des’ was always the solution when one was looking for information about the past. In fact after he died, letters, newspaper cuttings, records etc were found in his room, in short, ample material to gladden the heart of the archivist!

He would never be rushed. Once when he was having a cuppa in the sitting room at St Ignatius, someone came to the parish office to see him without an appointment. He continued with his tea even pouring a second cup and was reminded that someone was still waiting at the parish office. He is said to have remarked ‘I am not a fireman’! But, despite that, he was always kind and understanding to all who came to him. He was the perfect example of a gentleman in his graceful old age who had spent 52 years of dedicated priestly service in Zambia and especially Lusaka.

O'Reilly, Andrew, 1903-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/673
  • Person
  • 24 November 1903-26 February 1979

Born: 24 November 1903, Galway City
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934
Professed: 02 February 1968
Died: 26 February 1979, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

Studied for BA at UCD

by 1936 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 2 1979

Fr Andrew O’Reilly RIP
It is with sincere regret that we have to record the death of one of the most respected and revered members of our community. Fr Andrew O’Reilly died on February 26 of an incurable illness, leukemia. His funeral Mass on Ash Wednesday, February 28, was concelebrated and attended by a very representative gathering of members of the Province. The chief concelebrant was his Rector, Fr Robert McGoran, assisted by the Vice-Principal, Fr Joseph Dargan, and Fr Bernard Murray.
Of Fr Andy we in the community could say “He was all things to all of us”. Always a friend to whom you could go when you wanted anything done. Elsewhere in this issue is an obituary notice. It was written by Fr Michael McGrath. Sincere thanks to him for such a fitting tribute. We include also two appreciations from dear friends, Maurice Semple, author of two books, “Some Galway Memories” and “Reflections on Lough Corrib”, and owner of the boat on which Fr O’Reilly spent his summer vacation, and Seán Beatty of the Columban Badminton Club, of which Fr O'Reilly was president.

Obituary :

Fr Andrew O’Reilly (1904-1979)

Fr Andy, as he was known by all, was a man without a spark of pride in him, yet in the last few years of his life, urged on and prompted by an American cousin, he did quite an amount of research on the family tree. Though three generations of O’Reillys have lived in Co Galway and Galway city, the O’Reillys were of Cavan origin. His greatgrandfather was Edward O’Reilly of Killanne between Shercock and Bailieborough. This Edward, who was a farmer, had a family of two sons and two daughters. One of his sons, Edward, became a teacher, moved south, and taught in Knockroon school between Headford and Shrule and lived in Headford. He married a Miss Kyne and had three children, a daughter Margaret and two sons, Alfred, who followed his father's footsteps and became a teacher, and Augustus, who moved to Galway and worked in the “Connacht Tribune”. Later, Augustus met and married a Catherine Nestor, whose family came originally from Gort. Augustus and Catherine had six children, Eddie, Andrew (our Fr Andy), George, Jack, Patrick and May. Both parents died whilst the family was still very young. The mother died in 1909 and the father in 1912, so their uncle, Father, later Canon, Andrew Nestor took charge of them. It meant however that the young OReillys hardly knew family life and had to be educated in boarding schools. So Fr Andy was in Banagher Convent, Blackrock College and Mungret. Andy felt the call to the priesthood and the Society. This was not surprising as the Nestor family had a tradition of giving sons to the priesthood. Fr Andy's granduncle, Fr John, was a priest of the diocese and died in Gort in 1853. Then as well as Fr Andrew Nestor, Fr Andy had another uncle, Fr John, who became a Jesuit in America where he died in 1942. Following therefore in their footsteps Fr. Andy entered the novitiate on September 1st 1919 before he had completed his sixteenth year.
He followed what was then the strict routine of formation and studies:
Noviceship 1919-1921 at Tullabeg
Home Juniorate 1921-1922 also at Tullabeg
University 1922-25 from Rathfarnham
Philosophy 1925-28 at Milltown
Regency 1928-31 at Clongowes
Theology 1931-35 with ordination 1934
Tertianship 1935-36 at St. Beuno's College, Wales
His first assignement after Tertianship was to St Ignatius College, Galway where he was to spend the rest of his life. For two years, he was Adj Praef Stud, Doc and Praef Spir Alumn, among other things. On August 3rd, 1938 he was appointed Rector but was also Doc and Operarius in the Church. Because the war intervened he held the office of Rector until 1947, a period of nine years. They were difficult years as finance was very tight because school fees were low and prices were rising. Yet he managed to save the wood panelling of the Church ceiling which was found to be infested with woodworm, as well as keeping the complex solvent. Whilst he fulfilled his duties as Rector most faithfully and conscientiously, with sound judgement and with kindness and consideration for everyone, I think it can be truthfully stated that he was never quite happy in the position and looked forward to the day his term of office would be finished. Being an essentially humble and self-effacing man, he disliked the limelight.
It was during his term of office that the Old Boys’ Union was founded and he also managed the affairs of the Columban Hall. This was because a Provincial had said that unless it paid its way it would have to be sold. By careful management and by doing most of the work himself, he managed to keep it afloat. In this way, he fostered music and dramatics in the city, for the Columban Hall was the only hall for such functions at the time. In his own strange way, he was very interested in these functions and made his contribution behind the scenes by acting as stage manager. His connection with the same hall continued to the end. Since the new School Hall was built, most of the former activities of the Columban Hall have been transferred to it, but Fr Andy continued to maintain the old Columban Hall. There had grown up a love-hate relationship between himself and that old building. From time to time, he would declare that he would gladly be rid of it, but at the same time all felt that he would be lonely without it.
When he ceased to be Rector, he returned to fulltime teaching, being the principal Latin teacher, through the medium of Irish, for many a long year. He was a man of tremendous practical abilities and skills and as well as his teaching, he was prepared to exercise his talents as electrician, carpenter, welder and general handyman in the house in his spare time. He even installed our first interphone system and did the same in Belvedere and the Crescent. Although he found preaching and public speaking difficult, he was always willing to step into the breach in the Church when help was needed. His whole life, though a rather hidden one, was nevertheless a very fulll one and one of service to others. He did not find it easy to mix with people, but when occasion demanded he was a most pleasant companion in any group. When he made friends his friendship was very sincere and loyal and again one of service. In return, his circle of friends was very loyal to him and truly loved him,
He was a man of prayer and most exact in the performance of all his religious duties but there was no outward show. He was a man who strictly interpreted his vow of poverty, sough permission for the gifts he received, never had superflua, never wasted, and used what he needed for his life and work with great care.
He was a man of great patience, self control and toleration and whilst he could get irritated and slightly annoyed, I don’t think anyone ever saw him lose his temper or get angry.
If he had one passion, it was his love of the Corrib River and Lake. He was never a great talker, but when he spoke of his trips and holidays on the lake he waxed eloquent. The Lake was obviously his earthly paradise. I think it was the peace, quiet and solitude of the lake that appealed to him, that and the companionship of those very dear friends, who shared these holidays and trips with him. May the Lord bless the Provincial who first granted him permission for such a holiday. He gave much happiness to Fr Andy. For whilst Andy gave unremitting service to the Society in Galway, apart from this pleasure we did not give him back much in return. Whilst he was teaching the Latin Classics down through the long years, from time to time he said he would like to visit Rome and Italy. Being the man he was, he would not ask for such a trip, but now it seems a pity that no one in authority ever said, “Andy, here is the money, Go”. Andy however did not look for earthly rewards.
His end was like the rest of his life, quiet, unobtrusive and without causing any trouble. He had been failing slightly for some months but no one paid much attention. He had always been so active, so sprightly, we thought that now in his 75th year, the years were catching up on him. However at the end of January it became apparent that it was something more than age. He was sent to the doctor who diagnosed leukaemia and he was put into hospital. There it was discovered after tests that he had one of the worst forms of that disease. Because his poor blood condition left him wide open to every and any infection he had to be pretty well isolated and his illness had to be kept quiet. Only the Rector and Fr Murray were allowed to visit him and then only for brief visits. He found the blood transfusions and drugs distressing and the haemorrhages and other side effects of his disease humiliating and then there was the loneliness of his isolation. As the month of February passed and he did not respond to the treatment it became obvious that there was little hope of his recovery. The Community arranged to say a Novena of Masses for him. The end came quicker than was expected on the morning of February 26th, the day the first Mass of the Novena was said. The Lord had answered but in a way we did not expect. Thus he entered his reward for his life of truly faithful service, and we can be certain he was welcomed by his Lord and Master with the words “Well done good and faithful servant: enter into the joy of the Lord”.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam gléigeal.

An Appreciation
It is only when one loses a friend to Death that the impact of his personality can be appreciated objectively. And so, with the passing to his Eternal Reward of Father Andrew O'Reilly, it is possible to consider him both as a priest and as a friend.
"Father Andy", as he was affectionately known to his friends, was firstly - and finally - a man of God, a faithful observer of the Rule of Saint Ignatius. This was reflected in his profound trust in Divine Providence and in his extraordinary sense of obedience and humility, Those of us who were fortunate to be close to him can truthfully and sincerely confirm that he was an inspiration - an example – on how to co-operate with Our Lord, and so, come closer to Him. And we are deeply, deeply grateful to Father Andy for this.
Who would expect that an expert in the Classics (having taught so many boys at Saint Ignatius College down the years the idiosyncrasies of Vergil and Homer) could also write to his friends in verse, while, in his unassuming manner, revealing himself as a skilled carpenter, electrician, and general handyman, whose talents were so freely made available to his Community and his friends ?
Father Andy had one particular interest, apart from his priestly vocation - his love for the Corrib country. Being a Galwayman, he had opportunity to visit it. For 21 years he sailed Lough Corrib from end to end, fishing, exploring and enjoying that peace and beauty so peculiar to that lake. In addition to his weekly visits during each season, he spent his annual fortnight's vacation in a boat, offering the Divine Sacrifice daily, on the lake. When he celebrated Mass on the 3rd August 1958 on a boat on the Corrib, it was the first time ever that such an event took place not alone on the Corrib but on any other lake in these islands. It was an historic occasion which pleased him greatly.
His ability to adapt himself in every company, his gentleness and his deep Christian convictions were an inspiration to many people around the lake. His passing has not only been a tremendous loss to his friends and Community but also a void on the Corrib scene.
May his gentle Soul find peace in his Divine Master and joy in the Happy Fishing Grounds.
(William F.) Maurice Semple

An Appreciation
Fr Andrew O’Reilly SJ, a Galway man, a community man, a priest, a friend and companion, slipped out of this world last month leaving with his friends and all who knew him wonderful and cherished memories.
Born in Galway 76 years ago. Went to school in Galway. Entered the Society of Jesus in 1919. Appointed to the teaching staff of Clongowes Wood College and ordained in 1934,
Returned to St. Ignatius College, Sea Road, Galway 43 years ago. Two years later he was appointed Rector. This position he held for 9 years and was also attached to the teaching staff of the College. He being a native Irish speaker, specialised in Irish, also Mathematics and Latin.
He was a quiet and unassuming man. A man of extraordinary and wonderful talent and ability.
Having attended to his priestly duties, he looked forward to overcoming any task great or small. He loved work and took delight and enjoyment in whatever he turned his hands to. His workshop was his paradise.
He was a builder, carpenter, decorator, electrician, painter, plumber, welder, in fact no task was too great and every job was a challenge.
He was associated with the management of the Columban Hall, Sea Road, and its activities including the Columban Players; Penny Dinners and Sewing Guild; Pantomimes (C.H.E.C.); Our Lady’s Boys' Club; Our Lady's Girls' Club; Irish Plays; Irish Dancing and the Columban Badminton club; the latter of which he was Honorary President of at the time of his death. : He was instrumental in reviving badminton in Galway in 1953 and his help and generosity were outstanding.
As a member of Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club, he was a navigator, an angler and above all he was a man of the Corrib. He loved the River Corrib and the Lake. He looked forward to cast off time on board the “Lady Corrib” each summer. For the first fortnight in August each morning he celebrated Mass on board the “Lady Corrib” in Golden Bay, Cong, where friends and neighbours and anglers prayed with him on board, on water and on land.
He has now cast off for his final voyage. His destination in his Final Reward.
He has left on the shore a multitude of friends. His hands will guide the rudder of each of us.
His guidance will be from the Higher Bridge. Ar dheis De go raibh a anam dilis.
Always remembered,
Seán Beatty

Toner, Patrick, 1910-1983, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/419
  • Person
  • 17 September 1910-21 January 1983

Born: 17 September 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Pymble Australia
Final Vows: 03 February 1947
Died: 21 January 1983, Lisheen House, Rathcoole, County Dublin - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Part of the Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at Westland Row CBS Dublin, and Blackrock College, County Dublin

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966
by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying
by 1941 at Pymble NSW, Australia - studying

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father Patrick Toner, S.J.

Father Patrick Toner, SJ, former Rector of Wah Yan College, Kowloon, died in Ireland on 21 January 1983, aged 72.

Father Toner was born in Belfast on 3 September 1910. His family was driven out of Belfast by the “pogroms” of the early 1920s and settled in Dublin, but in many ways he himself remained a Belfast-man, tenacious of any opinion or course of action that he had taken up.

In 1930 he interrupted his university studies to enter the Irish Jesuit novitiate, and he adhered firmly throughout his life to the lessons he learned as a novice. His closet friends used say that he arrived in the novitiate with a slight Belfast accent, but as the years passed this accent became stronger and stronger - more tenacity!

He arrived in Hong Kong as a Jesuit scholastic in 1937. In addition to regulation language study and teaching, he did a considerable amount of work for the refugees who poured into Hong Kong after the fall of Canton to the Japanese in later 1938, even spending a short period in much-troubled Canton.

In 1940 he went to start his theological studies in Australia, and was ordained there in 1943. Having finished his theological studies, he returned to Ireland to do his last year of Jesuit training, and to visit his family, to whom he was deeply devoted.

He returned to Hong Kong in 1946 and took up teaching in the Wah Yan Branch College under the headmastership of Mr. Lim Hoy Lam in Nelson Street, Kowloon.

In 1947, Mr. Lim retired from the administration of the school and Father Toner became headmaster. In 1951 the school moved to its new premises in Waterloo Road, dropping “Branch” from its title and becoming Wah Yan College, Kowloon. Father Toner as Rector and headmaster directed the move, and the great expansion of the school and the formation of its new traditions.

In 1964, having completed his period of rectorship, he transferred to Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, and taught there until 1976, taking charge also for some time of the Night School and of the Poor Boys Club.

This career of education, administration and pastoral work taught him much about meeting the problems that life presents, but it did not change his character. He arrived in the Jesuit novitiate 51 years ago as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted young man. He died last month as a cheerful, uncomplicated, deeply devoted old man. May there be many like him!

As might have been expected, Father Toner did not take kindly to the changes that multiplied in the Church during and after Vatican Council II. This never caused any breach between him and those who eagerly followed new ways; it did lend a special flavour to his confabulation with those who thought like himself. He and his dear friend Father Carmel Orlando, PIME, came closer than ever together as they pondered in company the wisdom of The Wanderer and sighed energetically over the antics of extremists.

In 1976 Father Toner left for Ireland. Soon after his arrival his health began to decline. He retained his mental powers and his cheerful spirit unimpaired, but his bodily strength faded gradually, but inexorably under the strain of arteriosclerosis.

He suffered a stroke on 20 January and died early the following morning.

Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated this evening, 4 February, at 6 o’clock in the chapel of Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 4 February 1983

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 20th Year No 2 1945

Frs. J. Collins, D. Lawler and P. Toner, of the Hong Kong Mission, who finished theology at Pymble last January, were able to leave for Ireland some time ago, and are expected in Dublin after Easter.

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong

Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983


Fr Patrick Toner (1910-1930-1983) (Macau-Hong Kong)

Fr Paddy Toner was born in Belfast, 7th September 1910. The family was forced to leave Belfast during the 1922 pogroms in Northern Ireland. The Toners were publicans. Paddy remembered those times and one incident in particular: One evening on returning from school, he entered their premises to find his father being held at gun-point. There were two men holding revolvers to his head, one each side. Paddy, twelve years old, dashed for the counter and flung a heavy bottle-opener at the raiders. The gunmen tried to get him, but his father managed to escape. This incident gave Paddy, the eldest of four boys, a special place in his father's affection. It also shows the stuff that Paddy Toner, most gentle and lovable of men, was made of.
As a boy at Blackrock College, when the late Archbishop of Dublin, John Charles McQuaid was President, Paddy made known to his mother his intention to go for the priesthood. We can understand his father being upset and totally opposed to this idea. No, Paddy would never leave him. He discussed the matter with the President of the College and on his advice, on leaving College, Paddy went to UCD - This would enable him to come to a more mature decision. His father hoped he would change his mind.
In one way he did change his mind: having finished First Arts, he applied for admission to the Society of Jesus and went to St Mary's, Emo, to begin his noviciate in 1930. In floods of tears, his brother told me, his father said goodbye to him just saying: “If this is what you want, my boy, you must have it”.
There were fifty of us in the novice ship that year, and I would say that to a man we would all agree that Paddy Toner was the life and soul of this large novitiate during those two years in the wilderness. He was heart and soul in everything we did - works, walks, recreations and, above all, football. When Pat donned his “shooters”, as he called the boots, one might look about for a pair of shin-guards.
He gained a year in Rathfarnham by going into Second Arts. We were together again for two years in “The Bog” and again he was always the bright ray of sunshine in the “L-o-n-el-y Life” that was ours - to use Fr B Byrne's description of it.
Then came the big break: In 1937 Paddy with three others set out for the Hong Kong Mission. For Paddy and for his family this was a traumatic sacrifice, but to China he went and he never looked back. To add to this, World War II broke out, and in 1940, instead of returning to Milltown Park for theology and ordination, he found himself bound for Australia. In 1945 he returned for tertianship in Rathfarnham. By this time Paddy Toner was Hong Kong to the core. Nothing would have held him back from the Mission. His work in Hong Kong will find space in this issue of Province News. His heart was there and remained there even after his retirement in 1977 through ill-health to join our Community at Rathfarnham Castle.
His last six years were a great blessing for us and for his family, but for Paddy they were years of gradual decline and patient suffering. He did not like Rathfarnham. In his failing health, it was too much for him. The small dining room especially was a trial on account of the noise, particularly on occasions when there was an invasion of visitors and people raised their voices - “Ear-bashers” he called them. He spoke little, but when, with a chuckle, he did mutter those few words, audible only to those very close to him, he said more than all the rest with all their shouting. Both in writing and in speaking, he had a most remarkable gift of brevity and crystal clarity.
Fortunately, during this time, he was well enough to be able to divide his time between Rathfarnham and Blackrock where his sister Maud lived. His brother Joe would call for him on Sunday afternoon and deliver him back on Thursday afternoon.. The only attraction Rathfarnham had for him was that he could say Mass there four days of the week.
His final year was spent in hospital, first at Elm Park and then for nine months at Lisheen Nursing Home, Rathcoole. His death occurred on Friday, 21st January. To the last he was peaceful and genuinely most grateful for every kindness. The Matron and staff at Lisheen House really loved him. His funeral Mass at Gardiner street with so many priests concelebrating was a fitting tribute and a source of great consolation to his family.
Paddy hears again from his heavenly Father welcoming him into his true home, the same words which his father said as he gave him to God. “If this is what you want, my son, you must have it”.

When Pat went in 1934 to philosophy, the Ricci Mission Unit was flourishing in Tullabeg and filling bags with used stamps turned Pat's thoughts to Hong Kong. He had not thought earlier of going to China.
He arrived in Hong Kong just after one of the severest typhoons to hit the place. That was in September 1937. A new language school had been opened at Loyola, Taai Lam Chung, in the New Territories and there he started his two years of language study. At that time Canton was taken by the Japanese and Fr Pat spent about a week there at relief work, working with Fr Sandy Cairns, MM, who was afterwards killed by the Japanese. He also visited the refugee centres opened at Fanling to receive the many thousands who fled from occupied China. In 1939 Fr Toner went to Wah Yan. Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher, he became an air raid warden. The outbreak of World War Il prevented his return to Ireland, so in 1940 he went to Australia for theology.
He reached Australia in September 1940 and taught until the Theologate opened in January 1941. After three years he was ordained by Archbishop Gilroy of Sydney and during his fourth year of theology he did some parish work and helped in Fr Dunlea's Boys' Town, In February 1945 he left Australia and after a three months' voyage, under war conditions, he arrived in Ireland which he had left nine years earlier. After four months helping in St Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner street, he went to tertianship in Rathfarnham under the old veteran of the Hong Kong Mission, Fr John Neary.
In August 1946 once more he went East. With seven others he embarked on an aircraft carrier, the “SS Patroller” and arrived in Hong Kong on 13th September to begin work in Wah Yan, Kowloon. On 31st July 1947 he became Superior of the College which at that time had 531 students.
Fr Pat’s tasks in Hong Kong besides teaching included being for a time Minister, Rector, Spiritual Father. After completing his time as Rector in Wah Yan, Kowloon, he was changed to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his work as a teacher he was for a time director of the Night School.
Fr Toner was changed from Kowloon Wah Yan to Hong Kong Wah Yan in 1964, where he taught until he returned to Ireland in June 1976.
Fr Toner was always a very exemplary religious, prayerful, charitable, ear nest and very hard-working. He was Superior of Wah Yan, Kowloon, first in Nelson Street and during these early years the small community lived in a private house, 151 Waterloo road, close under Lion Rock. When the new Wah Yan building was opened in 1951, Fr Toner was its first Rector and continued in this position until 1957. In 1964 he was transferred to Wah Yan, Hong Kong, where in addition to his duties as a teacher he took charge for a time of the Boys' Club from 1966 and of the Night School from 1968.

Yeomans, William, 1925-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2274
  • Person
  • 10 May 1925-08 January 1989

Born: 10 May 1925, Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 07 September 1942, Roehampton London - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: 31 July 1956
Final Vows: 02 February 1960
Died: 08 January 1989, London, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

by 1948 came to Tulllabeg (HIB) studying 1947-1950
by 1973 came to work at Veritas Communications Centre in Booterstown (HIB)