Brown, Thomas P, 1845-1915, Jesuit priest

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Brown, Thomas P, 1845-1915, Jesuit priest

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Dates of existence

09 October 1845-28 September 1915

History

Born: 09 October 1845, Newfoundland, Canada
Entered: 01 August 1866, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1881
Final vows: 15 April 1883
Died: 28 September 1915, Loyola College, Greenwich, Sydney, Australia

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 7 May 1883-2 February 1888
Mission Superior Australia 14 June 1908

by 1867 at Vannes, France (FRA) studying
by 1873 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1878 at Innsbruck, Austria (ASR-HUN) studying
by 1879 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) studying
by 1883 at at Hadzor House, (FRA) making Tertianship

Father Provincial 07 May 1883
Came to Australia 1888
Mission Superior 14 June 1908

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Owing to some delicacy he spent some time in France.
He was then sent as Prefect of Third Division at Tullabeg for Regency, and soon became First Prefect.
He then went to Stonyhurst for Philosophy, and then back to Tullabeg for more Regency.
1877 He was sent to Innsbruck for Theology with W (sic) Patrick Keating and Vincent Byrne.
He was Ordained at St Beuno’s.
During Tertianship in France (1883) he was summoned to Fiesole (the Jesuits had been exiled from Rome so the General was there) and appointed HIB Provincial
1883-1888 Provincial Irish Province, During his Provincialate Tullabeg was closed and Father Robert Fulton (MARNEB) was sent as Visitor 1886-1888.
1889 He sailed for Australia and was appointed Rector of Kew College, and later Superior of the Mission.
1908-1913 He did Parish work at Hawthorn.
1913 His health began to decline and he went to Loyola, Sydney, and he lingered there until his death 28/09/1915.
Note from Morgan O’Brien Entry :
1889 In the Autumn of 1889 he accompanied Timothy Kenny and Thomas Browne and some others to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Carlow College before entering the Society at Milltown Park, Dublin, under Aloysius Sturzo.

1869-1874 After First Vows he was sent to St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, where he was Prefect of Discipline and taught Writing and Arithmetic.
1874-1876 He was sent to Stonyhurst College, England for Philosophy
1876-1879 He was sent to Innsbruck, Austria for Theology
1879-1881 He returned to Stonyhurst to complete his Theology. he was not considered a good Theology student.
1881-1882 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College SJ as Minister
1882-1883 He was sent to Hadzor House, Droitwich, England to make Tertianship. During his Tertianship he was summoned to Fiesole, Italy, where the General was residing, and appointed PROVINCIAL of the Irish Province.
1883-1888 PROVINCIAL of the Irish Province. He was reputed to be a sound administrator, and he was only 37 years of age when appointed.
1888-1889 He returned to Clongowes as Minister
1889-1897 He went to Australia, and appointed Rector of Xavier College, Kew 1890-1897. he was also a Consultor of the Mission, and served as Prefect of Studies at Xavier College during 1890-1893. While at Xavier, he had the foresight to build the Great Hall and the quadrangle, which even by today’s standards is a grand building. He also planted many trees. However, at the time, money was scarce during the Great Depression, and many in the Province considered him to be extravagant. So, from then on, Superiors were always watchful over him on financial matters. Grand visions were rarely appreciate by Jesuits of the Province at this time.
1897-1898 Generally he did not seem to be a gifted teacher, and so he didn't spend much time in the classroom, However, in 1897-1898 he was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, where he taught and ran the “Sodality of Our Lady”.
1899-1901 He was sent to St Ignatius Parish, Richmond
1901-1902 He was sent to the parish at Norwood
1902-1906 He returned to the Richmond parish
1906--1908 He was sent to the Parish at Hawthorn.
1908-1913 Given his supposed administrative gifts, it must have been hard for him to do work that did ot particularly satisfy him. However, he was appointed Superior of the Mission. After a sudden breakdown in health he returned to Loyola College, Greenwich, and died there three years later.

He was experienced by some as a man of iron will and great courage, broad-minded with good judgement, a man whom you could rely on in difficulties, and with all his reserve, an extremely kind-hearted man.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Thomas Brown 1845-1915
Fr Thomas Brown was born in Newfoundland on October 9th 1845. He received his early education in Carlow College, entering the Society in 1866.

He was ordained at St Beuno’s, North Wales, and during his tertianship he was summoned to Fiesole and appointed Provincial of the Irish Province 1883-1888. He then sailed for Australia where he later became Superior of the Mission.

During his Provincialate in Ireland Tullabeg was closed as a College, and Fr Fulton was sent from Rome as a Visitor.

Fr Brown died in Sydney on September 28th 1915.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1915

Obituary

Father Thomas P (T P) Brown SJ

On September 28th of this year, Fr Brown, another of the old Rectors of Xavier, passed away. He was well known in the Eastern States, and much esteemed for his great qualities. He was a man of iron will and great courage, broad-minded, and of good judgment, a man upon whom one could rely in difficulties, and with all his reserve an extremely kind-hearted man.

Born in Newfoundland in 1845. he entered the Society of Jesus in 1866, and studied in Ireland, England and Germany, On the completion of his studies, after a short period of office at Clongowes, he was made Provincial of the Irish Province in 1883. He came to Australia in 1889, and soon after his arrival was appointed Rector of Xavier. Here he remnained till 1897, his chief work in Australia being done during this period. To him the school is indebted for the fine hall and the quadrangle, He was much interested in the plantations, and many of the trees now thriving so well were planted and tended with much labour by himself and Fr O'Connor. The troubled times following upon the bursting of the “boom” occurred during his rectorate, and made management of the school difficult, the number of boys falling very low. But he was far-seeing and not easily discouraged, and the spirit which he introduced lived; and those who have seen the school through many of its vicissitudes know what a debt it owes to Fr Brown.

His long reign at Xavier ended in 1897, after which he was occupied with parish work in Adelaide and Melbourne till 1908, when he was made Superior of the Jesuits in Australia. In 1913 his health completely broke down, and for the next two years he lived as an invalid - at the Novitiate and House of Retreats in Sydney. To the end of his life the very name of Xavier College seemed to be written in his heart. He followed the fortunes of the school with the most intense sympathy. He died on September 28th, and is buried beside Fr Keating, at the Gore Hill Cemetery, North Sydney. RIP

◆ The Clongownian, 1916

Obituary

Father Thomas P Brown SJ

Though Father Thomas Brown was not at school at either Clongowes or Tullabeg, he was long connected with both these colleges as a master and prefect. During his time of work in Clongowes and afterwards as Provincial, Father Brown was responsible for many improvements in the College. We take the following notice of his death from . an Australian paper :

On Tuesday morning last, Sept. 28th, 1915, Rev. Father T P Brown SJ, of “Loyola”, Greenwich, died, after an illness extending over nearly three years. Towards the end of 1912 he got a paralytic stroke. Though he rallied a little. now and again, from the first it was quite clear that in his case complete restoration to health was out of the question. At the time of his death he was within a few days of his 70th year, and had his life been prolonged for another twelve months he would have celebrated the golden jubilee of his career as a Jesuit.

The late Father Brown was born in Newfoundland, but went to Ireland when quite young, and was educated at Carlow College. On the completion of his secondary education he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, when not yet 21. Two years later he went to Paris for his juniorate, or further classical studies. This was followed by philosophy. He then returned to Ireland, and was head prefect of discipline for some years in St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore. He studied theology at Innsbruck, and St Beuno's College, Wales. After ordination he returned to college work in Ireland for a short while. In 1882 he went to England for his Tertianship, the further year spent by Jesuits in training after priesthood. Early in 1883 he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province.

We have given the bare outlines of his career so far - but, that one so youthful as he then was should be elevated to a position of such dignity and responsibility, clearly indicates that he had all along shown eminent qualities. His period of office as Provincial was one of unchecked progress for the Order in Ireland, With a foresight which did not commend itself to all at the time, but which every year has confirmed as wise, he closed a flourishing college, St Stanislaus; threw concentrated energy into Clongowes Wood College, a movement which has ever since leít Clongowes amongst the foremost, if not actually the first, institution of the kind in the United Kingdom. When he ceased to be Provincial, Father Brown went to Australia. He was immediately appointed to the Rectorship of Xavier College, Melbourne - a position he held for many years. His hand is visible there yet. Its noble assembly ball, its tasteful quadrangle, and the many features that make “Xavier” the best appointed college in Australia, are owing almost exclusively to Father Brown. When relieved of the burdens of office there followed some years of other scholastic work and missionary labours. In 1908 he had to take up government once more; for the General of the Jesuits called him to the office of Superior of the Order in Australia - an office which he filled till the illness began which brought about his death.

“To have known him”, wrote one of his former pupils, “is to have known what is best in man” - and these words express the thought of his many admirers. He was a bigmnan in every sense - big in stature, big in heart and sympathy, big in ideas and of unflinching fortitude. He was eminently a man of character, a man whose life was regulated by principles of the noblest type. His judgment was faultless, and up to a few days before his death one went to him with confidence in that his opinion on any matter would be invaluable. He was widely read in many branches, and few had amassed more information on useful topics. His taste was cultured and refined. At the same time he abhorred show. The world outside his own Order heard little of him. But the impression made by him on those who came into close contact with him will last as long as life itself. Judged by the severest test of human worth the opinion of those who know us best - Father Brown was a great man. This is the verdict of those who lived with him on terms of intimacy, of his pupils, of his religious brethren, and of his wide circle of admirers amongst the clergy up and down through Australia.

His Grace the Archbishop of Sydney presided at a Solemn Requiem High Mass for the late Father Brown, SJ, at St Mary's Church, North Sydney, on Wednesday morning.

“Catholic Press” (Sydney, N.S.W.), September 30th, 1915.

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

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

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Brown, Thomas P, 1845-1915, Jesuit priest

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