Burke Hall



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23 Name results for Burke Hall

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Allen, William, 1900-1964, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

by 1929 in Australia - Regency

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

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

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

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

Byrne, John, 1912-1974, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/987
  • Person
  • 29 February 1912-23 December 1974

Born: 29 February 1912, Gunnedah, NSW, Australia
Entered: 06 February 1931, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1947
Died: 23 December 1974, St Vincent's Hospital Darlinghurst, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He was the youngest of three children and his mother died when he was ten months old. His father remarried and place his three children in an orphanage. The Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart, cared for him at St Anthony's, Kew 1916-1926. In 1926 he was given a scholarship to St Ignatius College Riverview and then entered the Society in 1931, influenced by William Lockington.

1931-1937 After First Vows he remained at Loyola Greenwich for a Juniorate which he continued at Loyola Watsonia, studying English, Greek, Latin and Mathematics. Hen then studied Philosophy, during which time his sister drowned, and perhaps not accidentally.
1938-1940 He was sent for regency to Xavier College Kew,
1941-1944 He studied Theology at Canisius College Pymble and was Ordained 1944.
1945-1946 He returned to Xavier College
1946-1947 He made Tertianship under John Fahy at Loyola Watsonia
1947-1949 He returned to Xavier College, mainly teach Mathematics and being assistant Prefect of Studies
1949-1962 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne, teaching Senior Mathematics. He was also Minister and Librarian at various times.
1962-1966 He was at St Ignatius College Riverview teaching Religion, Mathematics and Greek, and also editing “Our Alma Mater” (1964-1966)
1966-1973 He was sent to Burke Hall Kew, teaching Latin and Religion, and was also Prefect of Studies in 1972, his last year there.

He returned in 1973 and was made Superior of the Provincial Residence and secretary to the Provincial. However, early in 1974 his health began to deteriorate and a tumour on the brain was discovered. He died at St Vincent’s Hospital after about six months

Carpenter, John R, 1901-1976, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1016
  • Person
  • 28 February 1901-01 August 1976

Born: 28 February 1901, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, England
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1939
Died: 01 August 1976, St Patrick’s College, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1927 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1930 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
When the Superior of the Mission - William Lockington - visited Lester House, Osterley, London, he impressed three seminarians, John Carpenter, Laurence Hessian and Hugo Quigley. All three joined the Austraian Province.

After First Vows he spent his formative years in Ireland, Jersey and Wales, and he was sent to Regency to St Ignatius College Riverview.
After Ordination he spent most of his time teaching at Xavier College Kew, Burke Hall Kew, St Patrick’s Melbourne and St Aloysius, Milsons Point. He taught mainly English, Latin and French. His very English accent accompanied with a daintiness of gesture, walk and taste meant that he was ripe for much ragging by the students, but he was generally liked.
Most of his teaching was done at St Patrick’s. On the death of the Rector there his administrative skills were noted, and in many places he served the community as Minister. The community bedrooms at St Patrick’s were very simple and primitive, and by moving him from one room to another, and with generous help from benefactors, these rooms were systematically renovated with little expense to the community. He had an eye for a higher standard of living. Whenever he became Minister he would invite the Archbishop to dinner, and soon the renovations would begin.
St Patrick’s was always a house of the warmest hospitality. He was the loving host and enjoyed the company of his guests. He had a flair for begging, with little subtlety. he approached wealthy and they responded generously to his requests. Above all he was kind and thoughtful to the sick and ministered well to their needs.
His spirituality was simple, but sufficient to strengthen him against any trials his own temperament invited. His retreats relied heavily on spirituality.

A car accident which involved members of the St Patrick’s community, including Carpenter, deeply affected those involved except Carpenter, who showed great resilience in the crisis. A wealthy friend of his had lent the car involved to the community.

John Carpenter was a light, that once encountered would never be forgotten.

Note from Hugo Quigley Entry
He was enrolled at Osterly, the house for “late vocations” conducted by the English Jesuits to prepare students for entry into various seminaries. There, with John Carpenter and Laurence Hession, he answered the appeal of the then superior of the Australian Mission, William Lockington, for men willing to volunteer for the Society in Australia.

Collopy, George, 1893-1973, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1072
  • Person
  • 05 December 1893-08 October 1973

Born: 05 December 1893, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 14 August 1915, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1926, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1930, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 08 October 1973, Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1919 in Australia - Regency
by 1925 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) studying
by 1929 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at CBC Parade College Melbourne and had then worked with the Customs department for a number of years before Entry at Loyola Greenwich.

His Jesuit studies were undertaken in Ireland and France and he was Ordained in 1926.
When he returned to Australia after his studies he was sent as Minister to Sevenhill and then Sportsmaster to Xavier College Kew.
1942 He returned to Sevenhill as Superior and Parish Priest
1942-1949 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview as Minister. As Minister at Riverview, he knew the boys well, and while not universally popular, he was considered fair. As a disciplinarian in the refectory he was without equal, and always in control of the situation. His concern for the health of the boys was well known, as was his concern for what he considered wasteful expenditure. At time he was perhaps not the happiest of men, but he was always doing his job. He was always where he needed to be, and if you needed something you wouldn’t get more than you needed, and perhaps less.
1949-1950 He was sent to the Hawthorn Parish as Minister
1950-1955 He was appointed Minister at St Patrick’s College Melbourne. This gave him more time to smoke his Captain Petersen pipe and a trip down Brunswick Street on a Saturday afternoon. However this situation did no last, as an accident involving the Rector and some other members of the community caused him to be appointed Acting Rector and later confirmed as Vice Rector (1951-1955) This didn’t eliminate the moments of reflective smoking or visits to the Fitzroy Football Club. Indeed it was said this was one of the happiest periods of his life.
1956-1961 When Henry Johnston had to attend a conference in Rome, he was appointed Acting Parish Priest at St Mary’s, Sydney, and he was later confirmed as Parish Priest.
1961-1968 He returned to St Patrick’s College teaching Religion, History, Latin, Mathematics and English. In addition he took on the job of Procurator for the Province, a job he held until he was almost 80 years old.
1968 His last appointment was at Burke Hall Kew.

He was very parsimonious with money, always critical of requests, and sometimes required the direct intervention of the Provincial or Socius. He also found it hard to adapt to the Church of the post Vatican II era. So, Community Meetings and Concelebrations were not congenial. He could be a difficult man, but he was reliable. In tough times he did the work that he was given as well as he could.

Conlon, Vincent, 1890-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1086
  • Person
  • 17 May 1890-14 November 1959

Born: 17 May 1890, Maclean, NSW, Australia
Entered: 07 September 1910, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1926, St Ignatius College Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 14 November 1959, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Brother of Felix Colon - RIP 1933

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1918 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1921 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1925 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Felix Colon - RIP 1933

His early education, along with his three brothers was at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was a good student and sportsman. He was a member of the First XV 19071909, and was a champion athlete 1908-1909. He was also prefect of the Sodality for two years and was recognised as a boy of seep spirituality and strength of character.

1910-1912 He was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg for his Novitiate
1912-1913 He was sent to Milltown Park for a Juniorate to prepare for University exams
1913-1917 He was sent to Belvedere College Dublin for Regency
1917-1920 He was again at Milltown Park and Stonyhurst for Philosophy
1920-1924 He was sent to Hastings for Theology
1924-1925 He made Tertianship at Drongen
1926-1937 He began a long association with St Ignatius College Riverview where he was at various times, Teacher, Second Division Prefect, Editor of “Our Alma Mater”, assistant Editor of the Jesuit Directory, Rowing Master, First Division Prefect (1927-1929 and 1932-1937 and 1939), and Third Division Prefect (1930-1931)
1938-1940 He was sent to St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1941 He was sent to Burke Hall as headmaster (1941-1942), Prefect of Studies (1943-1947) and Prefect of games and discipline (1949-1957. He was also a teacher of Latin and Mathematics.

He was a gentle quiet man, like his brother Felix, good with boys and at games. He was a diligent teacher, especially of younger boys. He paid great attention to detail. His classroom always had to be clean, boys were appointed to take class attendance, and homework was corrected with the greatest care. He loved cricket. He rolled and cut cricket creases until they looked like billiard tables, and he coached his teams with infinite patience.
He took ill one evening, went to the hospital and died the next day - all within one weekend.

Note from Richard Comerford Entry :
1967 The Rector of St Aloysius, Vincent Conlon finally succeeded in gaining his return to the College, and when he did he taught Religion, Geography and elementary Science.

Costelloe, Thomas, 1905-1987, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1115
  • Person
  • 18 May 1905-18 December 1987

Born: 18 May 1905, County Galway
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 03 December 1977
Died: 18 December 1987, McQuoin Park Infirmary, Hornsby, NSW, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1924 at Lyon France (LUGD) studying
by 1930 in Australia - Regency

◆ 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 Cloáiste Iognáid, Galway for ten years.

After First Vows his Jesuit studies were in Ireland and France (Lyon)
1928-1932 He was sent to Australia for Regency at Burke Hall Melbourne
1932-1935 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology and was Ordained there in 1935
1935-1936 He made tertianship at St Beuno’s, Wales
1936-1940 He then returned to Australia and initially taught at St Ignatius College Riverview and Kostka Hall Melbourne
1940-1952 He was appointed Rector of Xavier College Kew aged 33
1952-1954 He was made Rector at Sevenhill
1954-1960 He was appointed Rector of St Ignatius College Norwood
1960-1962 He was appointed Parish Priest at Lavender Bay Sydney
1962-1971 He was appointed Parish priest at St Mary’s North Sydney
1971 He returned to Lavender Bay and remained there until his death in 1987

He had reputed gifts in administration and finance and lay people appreciated his short sermons during Mass. His leadership position in the Province lasted nearly 50 years.

He was recognised as a skilful financial manager and handled the debt problem at Xavier College well. He sold land and removed the debt and the College never looked back. He began a massive building programme called the “Rigg Wing”, completed the Chapel sanctuary with a striking marble altar and he also reorgainsed the grounds. Similarly, he removed all debts in the Norwood Parish and School. At St Mary’s North Sydney he remodelled the sanctuary of the Church and built the Marist Brothers School.

Jesuits remember him as a community man, rarely away from the house. He loved company and a good story, had a sharp wit and enjoyed gossip.

Durnin, Desmond P, 1907-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1239
  • Person
  • 13 March 1907-06 January 1982

Born: 13 March 1907, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 18 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1942
Died: 06 January 1982, Methodist Hospital, Epworth, Richmond, Victoria, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

Older brother of Dermot - RIP 1980

◆ 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 CBS Synge Street, Dublin before he Entered at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg, 1925.

1927-1929 After First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle for his Juniorate
1929-1932 He studied Philosophy at Milltown Park Dublin and Tullabeg
1932-1936 He was sent to Australia and Burke Hall at Xavier College Kew for Regency.
1936-1940 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1941-1942 While awaiting a passage to Australia he worked at the Sacred Heart Church, Wimbledon, England
1942 He arrived in Australia on the Columbia Star and his next 40 years was spent Teaching and Prefecting junior boys.
1943-1950 He was back at Burke Hall and was Headmaster for six years
1950-1956 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview
1963-1966 He was twice at St Louis School Perth, having been there in 1949, and he was given responsibility for supervising the school that never was at Attadale. He furnished and set up Campion College Kew in its earliest days as a house for the university scholastics, mostly living at Burke Hall and teaching junior Religion.
In his later years he became a frequent visitor of the sick at Caritas Christi.

He was a great storyteller : The saga of the trip from England to Australia in 1942 avoiding German submarines; The calling of a gynaecologist Dr Quinlan when he had a heart attack; Many stories of how he uncovered crimes in the Boarding School. He loved an audience and there seemed always to be a time for a story. Being Minister at the house for Scholastics in studies was not quite his scene, but he was at times a source of entertainment for the younger men, and at other time a little frustrating. He was a humble, charitable and generous man. It was ironic that he, who had served the sick so well in a Catholic hospital was taken to the Methodist Epworth hospital in his final sickness, and it was there he died.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982


Fr Desmond Durnin (1907-1925-1982)

Fr Desmond Durnin, an elder brother of Fr Dermot – who predeceased him by a year and a month – was born in Clontarf, Dublin, on 13th March 1907. He began his early education with the Sisters of Mercy before his family moved to England. He went to St Michael’s College, Leeds, and on his family’s return to Dublin, to O'Connell Schools, Des Durnin entered the Jesuit noviceship in Tullabeg (September 1925). He was a quiet, gentle person, always cheerful and unassuming. Noviceship completed, he did not attend university, but with a number of others did a “home juniorate” in Rathfarnham under Fr Hugh Kelly (1927-'9). Next stop was Milltown, for philosophy, but only for a year. In 1930 Tullabeg was opened for philosophy, as the novices by then had been shifted to Emo, so with the rest of his year Des returned to Tullabeg.
One memory of Des in Tullabeg dates 1930-31, perhaps October or November. The philosophers were playing soccer one day in the wet, so the football became wet and heavy. Des took a header at the flying ball, hurt himself badly and was in great pain. His cries could be heard all round the kitchen courtyard. The philosophers found this somewhat unnerving as it reminded them of someone else. Michael Hegarty, a "late vocation” and a wonderfully holy man after a rushed philosophy course in Heythrop had returned to Rathfarnham to take charge of an “Irish month” and had gone out of his mind. The Juniors took turns to watch his bedside in his delirium. Seán McCarron was one of the stalwarts who carried out this trying task. Michael died without recovering from his madness: Des Durnin recovered from his head injury.
His four-year regency Des spent in Australia, to which Vice Province he was henceforth to belong. While there he was Burke Hall Preparatory School at Kew, Melbourne. In 1936 he returned to Ireland for theology and ordination, completed tertianship in 1941 during the world war, and awaited his return passage to Australia. During the war years shipping was scarce and submarines were active in all waters. Eventually however he found transport and was back in Burke Hall in 1942.
The 1940s were difficult and trying years for schools. Teaching staff and domestic help were hard to find, and after a couple of years his health gave way under the strain. There followed two years in Perth and four in Riverview, where he was an assistant prefect of discipline. He was recalled to Melbourne (1957) to supervise the opening of Campion College, which had been purchased for the Juniors attending Melbourne University. Four years later he was back in Burke Hall, where he was on the teaching staff till three years before his death, when Providence stepped in.
He described his change of life-style in a letter to a friend (1979): “Last year I had two heart attacks, the second one rather serious, and I was in intensive care for ten days. I got as far as the pearly gates, but St Peter said that they were too busy at the time arranging for Popes to get into heaven and that I would have to wait. However, the doctor told me that he did not want me to go into the classroom any more.
'The Lord is good, and I spend a good deal of my time in a hospital just across the road from us - a terminal hospital [Caritas Christi Home] for the very sick and dying. So far this month a patient has died each day, so it gives me an opportunity of praying and consoling the dying. Last year I received eight people into the Church, and all but one have already been called 'home'. Fr Austin Kelly died there last year: I had visited him there for 4.5 years”.
It would be impossible to recall all the good things Fr Durnin did in his life assigned to time. As a teacher and headmaster in Burke Hall he was most devoted to his work, and few men would have equalled or excelled him in efficiency, kindness and charity. The boys of Burke Hall were fortunate to have such a self sacrificing priest to look after them. A week before he died he had a serious heart attack and was taken to Epworth hospital in Richmond. There he struggled on bravely for a week, but eventually he answered the Master’s call and died very peacefully on 6th January 1982, The Carmelites of Kew, who are neighbours of the Jesuits, wrote:
“...just before 3 pm ... the Magi came quietly along, and took him in their train to the true and eternal vision of the Lord of life.
“Dear Fr Durnin was so closely associated with our monastery while at Burke Hall and later at Campion College, which are both our immediate neighbours at the back of our property here. He was a most faithful and kind chaplain and friend. In his regard we feel how truly St Teresa spoke when she said that the loss of a good priest was certainly a loss for the Church on earth”. [Further light on Fr Desmond Durnin is expected when Jesuit life (Australia) arrives.]

Farmer, John, 1914-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1273
  • Person
  • 07 April 1914-18 April 1993

Born: 07 April 1914, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 18 March 1931, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 08 January 1944, Sydney, Australia
Final Vows: 15 August 1947
Died 18 April 1993, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He entered the Society at Loyola Greenwich, and he completed all his formation and studies in Australia, including Regency at St Louis School Perth.

1944-1945 After Ordination and before Tertianship he was appointed to St Patrick’s College Melbourne.
1945-1946 He made Tertianship at Loyola Watsonia
1946-1955 He was sent to Campion Hall, Point Piper - a preparatory school for St Ignatius College Riverview which closed in 1954 - as a Teacher and Prefect.
1955-1956 He was sent to Burke Hall at Xavier College Kew.
1957-1959 He was appointed Rector of St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1959-1963 He was appointed Rector at St Louis School Claremont.
1964-1970 He was snt to St Ignatius College Riverview as Head of the Junior School
1970-1972 He was sent to Burke Hall teaching History and Religion.

More than half of his life was spent in schools as a teacher and responsible administrator. He was experienced as having a great interest in the individual student and a good teacher. He was considered a good Superior by trusting others and delegating authority.

1973 Apart from one year at Sevenhill (1976), he spent the rest of his life at St Ignatius College Church in Norwood, where he was not only assistant Parish Priest, but also more especially a Chaplain at Royal Adelaide Hospital and chaplain to Loreto Junior School.

His Jesuit brothers considered him to be a loyal, generous and unassuming friend. He was a team man, good in community, competent, simple, full of common sense and possessing a spirit of service. he was also a popular Retreat giver.

At Norwood he was experienced as a zealous priest, with a common touch and friendliness. His special gift was caring for the sick, devoted to bringing the Eucharist to them. His sermons brought comfort and support to people, he was constantly encouraging and shepherding the people of Norwood. He was a man who looked on the bright side of life, believing that everyone was special and had talent. Students to whom he was a chaplain appreciated his encouragement.

He was a selfless man who gave much to others. Even illness did not prevent him attending the sick and needy. His fidelity was most praiseworthy.

Ffrench, Gregory, 1903-1985, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/147
  • Person
  • 22 December 1903-02 October 1985

Born: 22 December 1903, Kirkcaldy, Fifeshire, Scotland
Entered: 31 August 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1934, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 02 October 1985, St John’s Hospital, Limerick

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1924 at Lyon, France (LUGD) studying
by 1927 in Australia - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gregory Ffrench entered the Society in 1921, and after novitiate in Tullabeg did juniorate at Fourvière where his health failed in the over-strict regime, and he returned to Rathfarnharn Caste, 1924-25. Now seriously affected by consumption he was sent to Australia where he worked at Burke Hall, 1925-26, and then moved to Riverview until 1928, where he was third division prefect. At Riverview Ffrench made a complete recovery and he returned to Ireland. His Irish colleagues described him as a quiet person, easy to talk to, a man of wide interests with a gentle sense of humor. He was a storehouse of knowledge, extremely well read, and had a very penetrating and accurate mind'. He was a tireless worker.
Amongst Ffrench's claim to fame in Australia was that he severely strapped a young boarder from the country who had been in Riverview only a couple of hours for walking on the front lawns of the College. Despite this, the young student, Charles Fraser, later joined the Society and gave most of his life to teaching at Riverview.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 60th Year No 4 1985


Fr Gregory Ffrench (1903-1921-1985)

Born on 22nd December 1903. 31st August 1921: entered SJ. 1921-23 Tullabeg, noviciate. 1923-24 Lyon-Fourvière, juniorate. 1924-25 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1925-28 Australia, regency: 1925-26 Melbourne, Burke Hall; 1926-28 Sydney, Riverview. 1928-31 Ireland, philosophy: 1928-30 Milltown; 1930-31 Tullabeg. 1931-35 Milltown, theology. 1935-36 St Beuno's, tertianship.
1936-38 Emo, socius for scholastic novices to novicemaster, 1938-39 Belvedere, editorial assistant, Irish Monthly and Messenger. 1939-42 Mungret, spiritual father of students; teaching. 1942-50 Clongowes, spiritual father of the boys; teaching, 1950-51 Crescent, teaching. 1951-62 Emo, retreats. 1962-85 Tullabeg, Eucharistic Crusade: assistant; 1970, regional director; 1973 director; also retreat work. 1985 Crescent. Died in St John's hospital, Limerick, on 2nd October 1985.

Entering the noviciate from Clongowes, Gregory Ffrench looked younger than his seventeen or so years, but his boyish appearance was deceptive. He was a mature young man with firmly held views which he was well able to defend. He was a quiet person - one never heard him raise his voice - but he could be quite decisive in his replies.
After his noviciate he was sent for a year's juniorate to Fourvière, Lyon, France. The over-strict regime there told on his delicate health, and after a year in Rathfarnham, seriously affected by tuberculosis, he was packed off to Australia. There he made a wonderful recovery, so that he was able to return to Ireland to complete his studies.
A quiet person, I said, easy to talk to, with a gentle sense of humour. Hence he made a very pleasant companion and a good “community man”, His spiritual life was in no way ostentatious, but it went very deep, and on occasion would flash forth in a phrase or a comment.
The last sentence of St John's Gospel is: “There were many other things that Jesus did; if all were written down, the world itself, I suppose, would not hold all the books that would have to be written”. In the same way I wonder how many books would have to be written to describe all the works that Fr Gregory Ffrench did in his day. It would be no exaggeration to say that from the day he entered the Society of Jesus, the amount of time he spent not thinking of things of God would hardly add up to one whole hour. As far as I could estimate, his mind was always set upon the work of spreading the Kingdom of God and the salvation of souls. For many years in all parts of the country I travelled and worked with him, setting up ‘pockets' of prayer at Crusader centres, giving retreats and missions, and organising various days: days of renewal, of Crusader work, of recollection, Never once in all that time did I find the slightest reason for saying that anything he did or proposed was unsatisfactory. To work with him was a great privilege, and a source of valuable experience. He was the easiest man in the world to get on with. His deep humility, I would say, was the foundation and source of all his wonderful qualities.
I don't think anyone could mention any virtue which Gregory did not possess. I imagine I could run through all the virtues like generosity, patience, tolerance, cheerfulness, prayerfulness, self-giving, and the rest, and find examples of these virtues manifested in his Christ-like living. I am inclined to think that he could also have been exercising virtues that neither I nor anyone else noticed. He was not in any way a show-off. For me he was the perfect example of what Christ asks of us when He says “Unless you become as little children you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Fr Ffrench was a storehouse of knowledge concerning almost everything that had to do with the spreading of the Word of God. He was extremely well-read, and his knowledge embraced every subject. He had a very penetrating accurate mind, and the conclusions he drew from his observations were nearly always correct. In his room, or on the road, or in school class-rooms, he was indefatigable in his work and in his service of those he judged would need his help.
He had wonderful sympathy for the hardships of the poor, and his practical way of helping them was remarkable - even to the extent of supplying them with foodstuffs from the manufacturers. The amount of help, both spiritual and material, which he gave to the people around Tullabeg is inestimable. In spite of being probably the busiest man in the Province, he could always find time to help people out of difficulties, even to the extent of taking out his car and driving them long distances, or otherwise arranging the solutions to their problems, even financial.
When at home he was constantly writing: typing guidelines for the Crusaders, articles for provincial newspapers, letters to persons in authority urging some reforms or calling attention to abuses. He had all the interests of the Irish province at heart.The story will never be told of all he did to keep Tullabeg going as a powerhouse of spirituality and as a viable retreat house. There are many who are now priests, or preparing for the priesthood, who owe their vocations to the interest Fr Ffrench took in them and the valuable help he gave them. In one family near Tullabeg, thanks entirely to his help, two boys are preparing for the priesthood.
He never seemed to tire or become in any way discouraged. The state of things never got him down': everything seemed to be simply a challenge to the work of saving souls, and he enjoyed the challenge. I never heard him complaining, but I frequently heard him rejoicing and praising God because of the work others were doing for Him.
For myself, when Fr Ffrench died, I felt that something which could never be replaced had gone out of my life that the whole world had lost something incredibly valuable. I asked myself: Who could take his place? ... and I have not yet found the answer.

Fitzpatrick, Daniel, 1910-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/661
  • Person
  • 27 October 1910-07 July 2001

Born: 27 October 1910, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1939, Leuven, Belgium
Professed: 15 August 1973
Died: 07 July 2001, Nazareth House, Camberwell, Melbourne - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Campion College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He is remembered as a very cheerful man with irrepressible zeal. he was born in Belfast and his father was an engineer who died on the famous Titanic when Daniel was very young. He was sent to Mungret in Limerick for his education. He had very fond memories of Mungret, especially his Jesuit teachers, like Mattie Bodkin, who had a significant influence on him. He entered the Society at Tullabeg and enjoyed the quiet country life there.

1930-1933 he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle for Juniorate at UCD, graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Physics and Chemistry. During that time (1931) he had already been assigned to the new Vice Province of Australia, and he was happy about that.
1933-1936 He was sent to Valkenburg Netherlands for Philosophy
1936-1940 He was sent to Leuven Belgium and Milltown Park Dublin for Theology, being Ordained at Leuven just seven days before the start of WWII.
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin.
1943-1948 He was eventually able to get passage to Australia. He went with three other Jesuits, and that journey came the stuff of folklore due to the hazardous nature of their journey. Because of the constant threat of German U Boats, they only travelled at night and very close to the African coast. The journey took five months. He arrived in Melbourne and was sent to St Patrick’s College to teach Chemistry and Religion. He also agreed to teach Science at Xavier College Kew in the afternoons after a morning at St Patrick’s., and for two years was Prefect of Studies at St Patrick's (1944-1946). he also managed to teach Science at the Presbyterian Ladies College in Victoria Parade. he liked teaching the girls and also the fact that this was an ecumenical venture.

1949-1972 He was sent permanently to Xavier College Kew and taught six classes of Chemistry every day with jo laboratory assistant. His commitment to his students was very high, and he would greet them cheerfully each day in a crisp white coat. He was highly regarded as a teacher, thorough, organised and convinced of discipline in learning. He demanded very high standards, did not like indiscipline and not much escaped him. Many recall him saying his rosary on the top verandah overlooking the chapel. While doing this he observed everything below and this formed the basis for many conversations with students. he may have been exacting, but he prepared many of his students for scientific studies at the University.

As well as a full class schedule he also had a weekend supply at Ferntree Gully, and during summer holidays he gave eight day Retreats.

1972-1986 At the age of 62 he embarked on a very different stage in his life. He had hoped to do Retreat work in Asia, ideally i Malaysia with Irish Jesuits, but this plan failed when he was unable to gain a permanent work visa. So he went to Hong Kong for work. The Catholic Port Chaplain had suddenly resigned and he was asked to fill in temporarily. This ministry lasted thirteen years when he was 75 years old.

With his natural cheerful and helpful style he won many friends among seafarers from many nations, Philipinos especially, but also Goans, Poles and Russians. He gave time to all and enjoyed their company. He loved people. He would set out daily into Hong Kong Harbour, scaling ladders to board ships, which he admitted was sometimes dangerous in rough seas. Talking to the men, making them feel at home, he would regularly promise to write to their family giving them news. This custom he continued for the rest of his life, especially at Christmas. He even made trips to the Philippines to meet the families of those men, enjoying the free service of Cathay Pacific Airlines or ships belonging to Swires. When off ship he was to be found in the Mariners’ Club where he socialised with everyone and presented the Faith in a very concrete and persuasive way, talking through people’s doubts and troubles with very convincing ease. He was apostolic and ebullient, often breaking into song and poetry. He formed good relations with the Anglican Port Chaplain and his wife, and they shared common experiences. he revelled in this life.

He was a very family oriented man, and when his mother died, he brought his step-brothers and sister to Australia, settling them into accommodation and schools and keeping an eye on them. After his return from Hong Kong, he would visit his sister on a Saturday night, and then go to the community. This was very important for both he and his family cherished.

1986 When it became difficult for him to board ships, it was time for him to make a third change in his life. He decided to return to Australia, and there he began a ministry to the sick and dying at Caritas Christi Hospice in Kew, and this he continued until the end of his life. From 1986-1989 he lived a Burke Hall, and from then on at Campion House.

He retired early each night and rose at 3am. After some prayers he went for a morning walk around Yarra Boulevard. He made this walk again in the afternoons, always with a rough walking stick. He went to the Hospice each morning and visited some before Mass and then others after Mass. he would then come back in the afternoons. He was very regular. his appearance was unique. He was small i stature and wore a big flannel check shirt with a baseball cap and sneakers, and baggy shorts in the summer. In winter the baseball cap was replaces with a Russian fur fez with earmuffs. his attitude was one of having time for all because everyone was special.

As he grew older his eyesight deteriorated, and just after his 90th birthday he fell and broke his hip in the hospice. They looked after him well at caritas and he learned to walk again, now visiting patients in his pyjamas. Eventually he accepted the move to Nazareth House, Cornell Street, Camberwell, Melbourne saying that there would be some work for him there.

He lived life to the full and had no fear of dying. He had a very strong faith and used joke that when he got to Heaven he would spend his first days running about looking for his father. He loved company but was never dependent on it. He loved sharing his theological and spiritual insights, or how the laws of Science helped him have a deeper understanding of the works of God in the universe. He would often reflect on the Goodness of God towards him, especially the gifts of nature and its wonders. He could see unity in diversity as he gazed at the night sky.

He was a great companion, one with whom it was easy to form friendship. It was claimed that one Irish Jesuit was a visitor to him at the Mariner’s Club. The two men were complete opposites, his visitor being rigid and fearfully conservative. However, they became good friends. He was also a great letter writer, keeping in contact with the may people he had met in his long life.

He was also obsessively ordered in his own personal life. His room was spotless, everything in its place, and pride of pace being given to a model of the Titanic. He had an infectious chuckle, especially as he held a glass of his favourite tipple in his hand. “What did the policeman say to the kleptomaniac - You better take things quietly”. Laughing at his own joke, he was oblivious to the fact he had told it on numerous occasions.

He had a joyful and adventurous spirit, and peace with himself, man and God. His zeal for finding new ways to minister to people in need with such commitment, his love of family and friends, was a powerful legacy to all who knew him.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
Note from Séamus Doris Entry
He was good friends with Harry Naylor, Joe Mallin and Dan Fitzpatrick.

Forster, John, 1870-1964, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1327
  • Person
  • 15 September 1870-01 January 1964

Born: 15 September 1870, Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 18 January 1891, Tullabeg/Loyola Greenwich, Australia
Ordained: 29 July 1906, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1908, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 01 January 1964, St Aloysius College, Milson’s Point, Sydney, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

FOSTER initially;

Brother of Thomas - RIP 1929

by 1901 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1902 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
by 1907 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne and he was the first Novice to enter at Loyola Greenwich in 1891, having been an apprentice draughtsman with Victorian Railways.

1893-1894 After First Vows he remained at Loyola for a Juniorate
1894-1900 He was sent for Regency first to St Aloysius Sydney and then Riverview.
1900-1901 He was sent to Vals in France for Philosophy
1901-1903 He went to Ireland and did two more years regency at Crescent College Limerick
1903-1906 He was sent to Milltown Park Dublin for Theology.
1906-1907 He made Tertianship at Drongen Belgium
1907-1921 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius Sydney, and he was appointed Rector there in 1916 following the resignation of Patrick McCurtin. During this time he had also become a keen photographer, and he left several albums of photographs of classes, picnics at Middle Harbour and Lane Cove, and of dramatic groups and choirs. He had a great interest in choral works and “Glee Clubs”. His skill as a hand writer, even as an old man, was a source of wonder to all who were taught by him. It was said he cold write the Hail Mary inside a small shell! Fountain pens and biros were “an abomination of desolation”! The steel nib was the only permissible weapon.

He was also a skilled carpenter and painter, and the bricks he laid in the junior yard towards the end of WWI were still good in 1964 before the bulldozers disturbed them for a new building. The Old Boys also tell of his prowess as a bowler and batsman, and even in his late 80s was a keen spectator of rugby and cricket.

He spent a short time at both Riverview and Xavier Colleges. he was Headmaster at Burke Hall 1924-1925 and from there he went to St Patrick’s Melbourne until 1932, when he was appointed Superior at Sevenhill, and he remained there until 1940. He spent a brief period at the Norwood Parish before returning to St Aloysius Sydney for the rest of his life, and he died teaching junior Religion.

By 1961 he had been a teacher for 50 years and at his death, a Jesuit for 73. Even in his old age, he caught the 6.25am tram to Lane Cove every morning to say Mass at St Joseph’s Orphanage. He still taught his writing classes, typed his exhortations which he gave regularly, and was also quite faithful to his Apostles of the Mass Sodality.

In his early years he wrote a book on the Mass “In Memory of Me”, and he was often quoted as an authority on the Mass. Towards the end of his life he produced a commentary on the “Anima Christi”, which found its way round the world, even to Pope John XXIII.

He was a man of the old school who scorned relaxation and concessions. Community duties were sacred even when he was a tottering old man. Until his death, he was still giving the scholastics their renovation of Vows, usually on the topics of poverty, obedience and devotion to Our Lady. He ultimately suffered a mild thrombosis after dinner on the Feast of St Aloysius. He went to hospital and then to St John of God Hospital Richmond where he lingered on for some months. There he found confinement to a wheelchair very restrictive. He had two further strokes than and died soon after.

Note from Thomas Forster Entry
He was a brother of John (RIP 1964) and was a master builder before he decided to follow his younger brother into the Society, He was invited to study for Priesthood but preferred to become a Brother. Both brothers were very intelligent and good musicians - their simplicity was deceptive and some underrated them. He Entered at Loyola Greenwich.

Harper, Leslie, 1906-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1410
  • Person
  • 26 September 1906-20 March 1969

Born: 26 September 1906, Paddington, Sydney, Australia
Entered: 18 February 1929, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 13 May 1942, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 20 March 1969, St Francis Xavier, Lavender Bay, North Sydney, Australia- Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Leslie Harper had only an elementary education, his family conducting a lucrative butchery. However, he went back to school, at St Aloysius' College and Riverview, to gain sufficient
education to enter the Society. He worked for some time as a photographers assistant. He passed the NSW Intermediate examination in 1928 at the age of 22.
Harper entered the noviciate at Loyola College, Greenwich, 18 February 1929, and went overseas for his studies, to Rathfarnham as a junior, Tullabeg, Jersey and Heythrop for philosophy, 1933-35. He returned to Australia for regency at Xavier College, 1935-36 and 1939, and at Burke Hall, 1937-38. Theology studies followed at Milltown Park and tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1939-44. He worked in the English parish of Preston for a year before he returned to Australia and the parish of Richmond in 1945. He was made superior and parish priest of Toowong, Qld, 1949-57, and then held a similar position in the parish of Richmond in the Melbourne archdiocese, 1957-64. He was a good parish priest - very paternal, kind and generous, well organised and enjoyed the authority and dignity of the position. While at Richmond he organised the building of the spire on the church.
He became unwell from heart disease, and joined the university scholastics at Campion College, Kew, as minister and assistant to the province bursar. He was much appreciated for his kindness and understanding and very positive in giving permissions, wide the phrase, “Oh, why not”. This attitude was in direct contrast to the rector who was more likely to deny requests. As his health deteriorated, he went to the parish of Lavender Bay, North Sydney, in 1968, when he died finally of a heart attack. Harper was not an intellectual, and always struggled with his Jesuit studies, but he was gifted in human relations. He loved being with Jesuits and was enjoyable company in recreation. He was most hospitable, and keenly felt any separation from his fellow Jesuits, especially when at Toowong. His cheerfulness and encouragement of others was much appreciated. He showed the zeal of a true pastor, knowing his people well, especially at Richmond.

Hughes, George, 1898-1930, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1463
  • Person
  • 22 August 1898-23 January 1930

Born: 22 August 1898, Rathgar, Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1916, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 23 January 1930, St Aloysius, Sevenhill, Adelaide, Australia

by 1920 at Petworth, Sussex (ANG) health
by 1921 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
George Hughes entered the Society, 31 August 1916, and after his juniorate, studied rhetoric privately at Petworth, England, and Sevenhill, Australia, 1919-21. He taught at Xavier College Burke Hall, 1921-22, and at Riverview, 1922-24. He returned to Ireland for philosophy at Milltown Park, 1924-26, repeating first year. After this, in ill health, he returned to Australia and Riverview, 1926-28, and then went to Sevenhill, 1928-29, for the rest of his life.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 5th Year No 3 1930
Obituary :
Mr George Hughes

Mr Hughes was born on the 22nd August 1898, and joined the Society at Tullabeg on the 31st Aug. 1916. He spent three years in Tullabeg, the third as junior, and was then sent to Petworth. In the following year he sailed for Australia, and put in a year's study at Sevenhill. A year at Xavier as prefect, and two at Riverview, prefect and master followed, he then returned to Ireland for philosophy. But the health gave way again, and in I927, he went back to Australia where he lingered for a few years, and died on Jan 23rd 1930, at the early age of 31.
St. Ignatius' Calendar writes of him : An invalid for many years, he had been unable to complete his studies for the Priesthood, but he was always a great model of patience and resignation to the will of God. After the Requiem service at St.Ignatius', the remains were interred in the Jesuit burial-ground at West Terrace”.

Lennon, Sydney C, 1906-1979, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/231
  • Person
  • 31 January 1906-10 October 1979

Born: 31 January 1906, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 07 February 1942, Craighead, Bothwell, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Died: 10 October 1979, Holy Cross Hospital, Myers Street, Geelong, Victoria, Australia

Part of the St Joseph’s, Geelong, Victoria, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Early education at CBS Synge Street

by 1952 in Australia

Second World War Chaplain

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Sydney Lennon received his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Dublin, and entered the Society at St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, 1 September 1924. During his juniorate at Rathfarnharn, 1926-31, he studied at University College, Dublin, and also gained a diploma in Gregorian chant from Solesmes Abbey. Philosophy studies were at Tullamore, 1931-34, and theology at Milltown Park, 1936-39. Tertianship was completed in 1940.
Lennon's Erst priestly ministry was as a chaplain with the British army, 1941-46, followed by a few years in the parish of Gardiner Street, Dublin. He was then sent to Australia, and after a few years teaching, went to Corpus Christi College, Werribee, 1949, to profess liturgy, elocution, voice training and chant. He was at various times minister, dean of students and bursar. He remained there until 1969, when he did parish work at Norwood, SA. His final appointment was as a chaplain to St Joseph's Mercy Hospital, Aphrasia Street, Newton, Geelong, Vic., 1978-79.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946

Australia :
Frs. Fleming and Mansfield (who is a member of the Australian Vice-Province) were able to leave for Australia via America in July.
Frs. Lennon and Morrison are still awaiting travel facilities.

Irish Province News 48th Year No 1 1973

Fr Sydney Lennon to whom we are indebted for the details of the tragic accident in Australia reported later, is an Operarius in our parish at Adelaide. He is engaged, with, other activities, in giving retreats, talks and conferences and participated in the recent Lombardi retreat which was attended by some 65 Australian brethren ranging in age from 91 to 20.

Irish Province News 55th Year No 1 1980

Obituary :

Fr Sydney Lennon (1906-1924-1979)

Sydney Lennon was always interested in music. Even while still a schoolboy in CBS, Synge Street, he acted as organist in his local church. From his noviceship onwards, he was choirmaster in every Jesuit house where he was stationed. For four years in University College, Dublin, he studied music under Dr John Larchet. On many occasions he visited Quarr Abbey, Isle of Wight, for courses in Gregorian chant given there by the Benedictines: he himself became an authority on gregorian or plain chant. These were the days when Frs John Bourke and Bertie O’Connell combined to bring gregorian chant and the liturgical movement to a high point of perfection in Dublin.
His choirs both at Rathfarnham and later at Milltown Park were in frequent demand by Radio Éireann for items such as the Lamentations and Passion music of Holy Week; also for the requiem Office and Mass on such occasions as the death of a Pope or Archbishop. At the requiem liturgy for Ours at Gardiner Street and Glasnevin Cemetery, the choirmaster was nearly always Sydney.
Even when he was in Tullabeg, doing philosophy, on the occasion of the Eucharistic Congress, he and his choir were called upon to sing the Russian texts for the Divine Liturgy in the Eastern rite which was celebrated in Gardiner Street. On a lighter note, he organised Gilbert and Sullivan operas in every house to which he was assigned. In Milltown Park, these were performed during the Christmas vacation for the inmates of the Royal Hospital, Donnybrook (popularly known as the “Incurables”); the Blind asylum, Merrion Road and the Magdalen asylum, Gloucester Street (now Seán McDermott Street).
Sydney was a perfectionist in all that he did

Fr. Syd Lennon died at 7 o'clock on Wednesday morning, 10th October, in Holy Cross Hospital, Geelong, Victoria, Australia. He had been admitted the previous morning following a bout of acute abdominal pain. This had been controlled but he remained somewhat confused during the day. Though his condition was not good he was not expected to die. There was a vigil Mass on Thursday at the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, celebrated by Fr Ambrose Byrne and 30 concelebrants. Fr Paul Keenan in his homily spoke of Syd's complete absorption in whatever work he was doing and of his deep interest in people.
The funeral Mass next day drew a very large number of clergy, the fruit of Syd’s 20 years at Corpus Christi College, Werribee. Archbishop Frank Little was principal celebrant, joined by Bishops Fox, Mulkearns, O'Connell, Perkins and Daly, together with 90 concelebrating priests. At the beginning of the Mass the Archbishop linked the name of Syd Lennon with that of Fr Albert Power, the 31st anniversary of whose death was 12th October.
Fr Provincial centred his homily on Syd Lennon the man for priests. In the congregation were Sisters from several congregations with whom Syd had worked over the years. Present also was a small group of people from Maryknoll where Syd had spent so many Christmas vacations during his time at Werribee. Some time ago he expressed the hope that he might be the first chaplain at St. Joseph's hospital, Geelong, to be buried in the little cemetery along with those he had ministered to over the past eighteen months.
Ambrose Byrne, John Monahan and Bill Daniel accompanied the hearse to Geelong where another Mass was celebrated by Monsignor Jim Murray and 23 priests in the chapel of the Mercy convent at Newtown. Jim Murray paid a worthy tribute to Syd in a ceremony which was a great act of thanks from Sisters and patients alike. Six of the priests carried the coffin from the sanctuary to the cemetery in the hospital grounds. There is to be a Mass in St Ignatius, Norwood, on Thursday, 18th October, with Archbishop Gleeson as the principal celebrant.
(Australian Province Fortnightly Report, no. 256)

The Australian newspaper, The Advocate, fills in some of the back ground to his Werribee and later years (acknowledgments to Fr PJ Stephenson, who sent a copy of this and the above extract):
Fr Lennon arrived in Sydney early in 1947 to teach at St Aloysius College, Milson's Point. He spent 1948 teaching at Burke Hall, Kew, before joining the staff at Corpus Christi College, Werribee.
He worked there for twenty years, the first ten as dean of discipline. He held the post of minister twice for short spells, and when he relinquished the post of dean, he became a popular spiritual director for many of the students.
During his time in the seminary, he was responsible for teaching gregorian chant, liturgy and public speaking. He also lectured in Scripture. Music played a large part in his life, both in choir work and directing orchestras
In 1970 he ended his long association with the seminary and on medical advice moved to South Australia, where he worked in St. Ignatius parish, Norwood. He also gave papers on liturgical topics to the Senate of Priests and other groups in the archdiocese of Adelaide.
For the last eighteen months of his life Fr Lennon was resident chaplain at St Joseph’s hospital of the Sisters of Mercy for their sick and aged sisters at Newtown, Geelong.

Martin, John, 1876-1951, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1676
  • Person
  • 19 October 1876-05 March 1951

Born: 19 October 1876, Wigan, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1910, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1912, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 05 March 1951, Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1898 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1903
by 1911 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
by 1912 returned to Australia

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Martin a man with a ruddy complexion and twinkling eyes, was educated at Mungret, and entered the Society at Tullabeg, 7 September 1893. After his juniorate, he studied philosophy at Jersey, 1897-1900. He taught at Clongowes and Xavier College, Melbourne, 1901-07, and also a prefect.
At Xavier he taught mathematics, English, Latin and French, and his classes were always attractive for the way he aroused interest in the subject. He was a firm teacher-no foolery in
his classes. but he was able to combine humour with severity. He delighted his class at times by reading them a story from Sherlock Holmes or the like. He enjoyed games and loved music.
Theology studies followed at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1907-10, and tertianship at Tronchiennes the following year. He returned to Australia to teach at Xavier College, 1911-15, and St Patrick's College, 1915-21. He did parish work at Richmond, 1921-28, where he was recognised as an indefatigable worker, before returning to teach at Xavier College until 1940.
He was also procurator of the mission and later of the vice-province. He taught at St Aloysius College, Milsons Point, 1940-41, and at Burke Hall, 1941-50. He was always a very retiring man, rarely seen at public functions, but good company for Old Boys, who sought him out in his room, smoking a cigar or a pipe, and together they shared memories of former days.
He was a kind and thoughtful person helpful to scholastics in the colleges. He was a good counsellor, always cheerful and good with more difficult members of the community. He was an expert teacher of French and popular with his students. He had great devotion to his work, and was admired as a preacher, although he did not particularly like the pulpit. He also had a fine singing voice. In his latter years he suffered from heart disease, but did not draw attention to it.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 26th Year No 2 1951

Obituary :

Fr. Martin died in Melbourne on 4th March. A native of Wigan, Lancs, he was born in 1879 and was educated at St. John's, Wigan and at Mungret Apostolic School. He entered the Society at Tullabeg in 1893 and studied philosophy at Jersey. After a year's teaching at Clongowes, he went to Australia, where he was on the staff of Xavier College, Kew for some five years. He did theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1909. His tertianship he made at Tronchiennes. He returned to Kew to resume work in the classroom till 1921. He was then made Province Procurator, a post he held till. 1935. He was transferred to St. Aloysius' College, Sydney in 1940. From 1942 till his death he was attached to Burke Hall, Preparatory School to Kew.
Fr. Martin was a man of charming manner and a great social success. A gifted singer and interpreter of Irish melodies, the “petit Martin” was a general favourite with the French. He was in constant demand as a philosopher in Jersey on the sac-au-dos or rustication days. He kept in touch with the Irish Province all his life. He and the late Fr. Flinn corresponded monthly with each other giving and receiving items of news affecting both Provinces. R.I.P.

McCurtin, Patrick, 1865-1938, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/282
  • Person
  • 01 February 1865-16 July 1938

Born: 01 February 1865, Tipperary Town, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 February 1883, Milltown Park, Dublin and Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 01 August 1897
Final Vows: 15 August 1900
Died: 16 July 1938, Mount Saint Evin’s Hospital, Fitzroy, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier College, (Kostka Hall) Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1899 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1889 for Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick McCurtin was one of the best prefects of studies the Australian province has ever seen, and perhaps the best all round educationist. He was a most dynamic and active presence in both New South Wales and Victoria, and made a deep impression on all colleagues, but especially non-]esuits. The Teachers' Guild of NSW benefitted by his services as member, councillor and president during the years, 1912-21. He was appreciated for his influence, wit and keen insight into all matters under discussion. He endeared himself to people by his unfailing courtesy and solicitude for the welfare of everyone. From 1914-16 he was the Catholic representative on the Bursary Endowment Board of NSW, a strong voice, with “breadth of view and clear outlook”, seeking equality for Catholic schools. McCurtin was also active during the school holidays giving retreats. McCurtin's early education was at Rockwell College before entering the ]esuits at Milltown Park, Dublin, 1 February 1883, After philosophy in 1888, he was sent to Xavier College, Melbourne, until 1894, teaching senior classes and assisting the prefect of studies. He returned to Ireland for theology, and was then sent to Belvedere College, 1897-98, before his tertianship at Tronchiennes. He returned to Belvedere in 1899 and was prefect of studies for 1901 before he left for Australia again, arriving at St Patrick's College as prefect of studies in 1901. When sending McCurtin to Australia, the Irish provincial, James Murphy, wrote to the mission superior, John Ryan, that he should be grateful to receive “an invaluable man, most holy and edifying, earnest, active and unsparing, methodical and practical”.
From 1903-10 he was prefect of studies at Xavier College before his appointment as rector of St Aloysius' College, 1910-16. It was during these years that college rectors expressed considerable concern about the insufficient quality of Jesuit teachers, especially for the senior classes. Many fathers were considered too old or unwell. McCurtin was particularly concerned that St Aloysius College was given poor quality teaching staff by a succession of mission superiors, hence its reputation for inefficiency. He believed that superiors did not believe in the future of the college. He was concerned about the lack of professionalism of Jesuits in education, and the lagging response of Jesuits to progressive changes in educational theory and practice. Furthermore, there was not money for secular teachers, and Catholic teachers were hard to find. Despite his concerns, St Aloysius' College was registered as a first class school in New South Wales and ranked among the best schools. The public examination results were good and the spirit among the boys most pleasing.
The question of poor teaching staff at St Aloysius' College led to the dramatic resignation of McCurtin as rector in 1916, when the mission superior transferred Dominic Connell, “one of our best masters”, to become parish priest at Norwood, SA. At the time there were very few competent teachers on the staff, and finances were not good, which made the employment of lay teachers difficult. McCurtin believed that the image of the school would suffer. Jesuit superiors, including the General, did not appreciate this resignation. After a further period as prefect of studies at Xavier College, and Riverview, 1917-21, he returned to Ireland, where he later became superior of the Apostolic School at Mungret and rector of the Crescent College, Limerick, 1923-31. Wishing to end his days in Australia he returned to do good work as headmaster at both Burke Hall and Kostka Hall. He died in St Evin’s Hospital after sustaining a heart attack. McCurtin was a striking figure-a small, slight, alert, active, dapper person. He was fond of flowers and beautiful things, was orderly and methodical, artistic with exquisite handwriting, and humorous, with great social charm. His Jesuit brethren found him to be a colleague with very definite opinions strongly held and, on occasion, vigorously expressed, but he was also a tolerant and kind character with a keen sense of humour. Because he was what he was, he found it difficult working with immediate superiors who did not possess his own qualities. As prefect of studies at Riverview, 1918-21, he experienced much frustration, anxiety and illness because of the disorderliness and apparent lack of enthusiasm for academic excellence. He showed special interest in the Old Boys of all the colleges in which he served. While in Ireland he kept up continual correspondence, especially with Xavier College and St Aloysius College. Former students praised him for his fatherly care, his spirit of broadmindedness and tolerance, and other good qualities that made him a universal favorite. They spoke of him as a dynamic personality, builder and developer, and a polished gentleman. During his educational work, Patrick McCurtin was continually involved with educational issues, both for the development of Jesuit pedagogy and Catholic schooling in Australia. Australia was fortunate to have had the services of McCurtin's considerable administrative ability and clear vision. He was totally professional in his approach to education, an attitude not always appreciated by his superiors. Together with James O'Dwyer, to whom he dedicated a marble altar in the Burke Hall chapel, he improved the attitude of Australian Jesuits towards academic achievement, while his contact with educational organisations and State committees of education gave the Jesuits wider influence in the community.

Note from Dominic Connell Entry
He was sent mid year to Manresa Norwood to replace Henry Cock. This resulted in a major drama when the Rector of St Aloysius, Patrick McCurtin, resigned in protest, claiming that Dominic was his only good Jesuit teacher

Note from John Forster Entry
He returned to Australia and St Aloysius Sydney, and he was appointed Rector there in 1916 following the resignation of Patrick McCurtin

Note from John Williams Entry
John Williams (RIP 1981) had a sad childhood. His Irish mother and Welsh father died leaving five small children, three boys and two girls. He was looked after by a relative of his, Father Patrick McCurtin, and was a boarder at Mungret.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 4 1926
College of the Sacred Heart Limerick : On May 16th, Fr McCurtin's appointment as Rector was announced. On the same day, his predecessor, Fr L. Potter, took up his new duties as Superior of the Apostolic School. During his seven years' rectorship the Church was considerably extended, a new organ gallery erected, and a new organ installed. A beautiful new Shrine in honor of the Sacred Heart was added, and a marble flooring to the Sanctuary laid down.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 4 1938
Obituary :
Father Patrick McCurtin
1865 Born 1st February in Tipperary town
1883 Milltown. Novice
1884 Dromore, Novice (Noviceship changed to Dromore)
1885-87 Milltown, Philosophy
1888-93 Kew (Australia) Doc., etc
1894-96 Milltown. Theol
1897 Belvedere. Doc. Cons. dom
1898 Tronchiennes. Tertian
1899 Belvedere. Doc.. Cons. dom
1900 Belvedere. Praef. Stud. Cons. dom
1901-02 Melbourne. St. Patrick's. Praef. Stud.. Cons. dom
1903-09 Kew. Doc. Cons. dom
1910-16 Sydney, Milson's Point, Rector, Doc. Oper
1917-19 Kew, Praef. Stud. Doc. an. 25, Cons. dom
1918-20 Riverview, Sydney, Preef. Stud. Cons. dom
1921 Clongowes, Doc. Praes. acad. sen., etc
1922 Rathfarnham. Miss. Excurr
1923-25 Mungret, Superior Apostol., Lect. Phil., Cons. dom
1926-31 Crescent, Rector. Doc. an. 37 mag., etc
1932 Australia, Loyola, Soc. Mag. Nov
1933-36 Kew, Min. Burke Hall, Doc. an. 42 mag. Cons. dom
1937-38 Kew, Min. Kostka Hall, Doc. an. 42 mag. Cons. dom

He went to Australia for the third time in the autumn 1931. Died Saturday, 16th July, 1938

Outside studies, etc., Father McCurtin spent only twelve years of his Jesuit life in Ireland. The rest, thirty-three years, was passed in Australia where he held with distinction many important posts including the Rectorship of Milson's Point for six years. He died when in charge of the newly established preparatory school Kostka Hall. He holds the distinguished record of forty-four years teaching in one or other of our Colleges.

Montague, Thomas, 1888-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/711
  • Person
  • 26 May 1888-10 October 1972

Born: 26 May 1888, Garvaghy, County Tyrone
Entered: 07 September 1908, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1921, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1925, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 10 October 1972, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

by 1916 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Thomas Montague was educated by the Vincentian Fathers at St Patrick's, Armagh, 1901-08, and entered the Jesuit noviciate at Tullabeg, 7 September 1908. He completed his juniorate at the same place, but ill health forced him to begin regency at Mungret, 1911-15, completed, 1918-19. Philosophy was studied at Jersey, 1915-18, theology at Milltown Park, 1919-23, and tertianship at Tullabeg, 1923-24.
He came to Australia in 1924 and spent 1925-31 at Xavier College, Burke Hall, and was headmaster from 1927. Here he began the Gilbert and Sullivan operas, put the boys into uniform and laid out the grounds, supervising the construction of the main oval and wide shovels and spades building up the banks that surround it.
He spent a year at St Patrick's College, 1934, and except for a further few years at Burke Hall, 1937-40, spent the rest of his life at Xavier College, Barker's Road, teaching mainly mathematics and French. He was prefect of studies in 1932, then minister from 1941-53, choirmaster, 1947-62, and director of the opera for about 25 years until 1968. He continued his work in the grounds and strengthened the banks that surround the chapel and those on the south wing. He frequently had a band of unwilling workers-boys with penals. The punishment took the form of filling up barrows with soil and wheeling them to wherever he wanted them. One of his choirs won a competition in the Melbourne Town Hall and the members took it in turn to carry the trophy up Collins Street around midnight.
Montague retired from teaching in 1969. He was keen on cricket and showed endless patience in teaching small boys how to bat. He coached teams at Xavier, and in one year, the First XI. He supervised the boarders' meals three times a day for over twenty years. He was a hard worker, always willing to substitute for someone else.
His direction of the Gilbert and Sullivan operas at the college were well appreciated by all associated with them. He loved the words, music, dances and stage administration. He was a good musician and knew Gilbert and Sullivan operas well. He taught the dances, and conducted the orchestra. To his opera students he was held in high esteem, even awe. He demanded high standards of the boys, and was a hard taskmaster, but the boys learnt discipline and teamwork as well as music accomplishments. The opera productions were not a lone production. For twenty years, from 1943, Montague had the assistance of the ever efficient and reliable Eldon Hogan as Opera General Manager and Stage Manager.
Basically, Montague was shy and retiring, but could be pleasant in community He was a man of few words. In the classroom he kept boys working, in the dining room he seldom spoke, except about table courtesy, at cricket practice his comments were short and clear. When he was annoyed with boys he needed few words to correct them, usually “nonsense” or “humbug” were quite sufficient to let people know his disapproval. He was certainly well respected. In the community he showed a sense of humour and enjoyed a game of billiards, but his usual terse comments were telling. In his latter years he read much, but never a newspaper, as he considered them a waste of time. Nevertheless, he always wanted to have news of the latest cricket score. He was certainly a powerful presence in the Xavier College community for many years.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 47th Year No 4 1972

The death of Fr Thomas Montague has occurred in Australia, October 10th, RIP

Nash, Robert, 1902-1989, Jesuit priest and writer

  • IE IJA J/300
  • Person
  • 23 April 1902-21 August 1989

Born: 23 April 1902, Cork City
Entered: 01 September 1919, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1934, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 21 August 1989, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

by 1927 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

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

Nash, Robert (1902–89), Jesuit priest and apologist, was born 23 April 1902 at Cork, third and only surviving child of Robert Nash (d. Southampton, 21 November 1901) and his wife Delia (née Kearney). He was brought up in Limerick by his mother and maternal uncle Joseph Kearney, a shop worker, and was educated at St Mary's convent school, St Munchin's day school, and Mount St Alphonsus College, Limerick, a minor seminary for the Redemptorist order. Nash was heavily influenced by his mother's fervent catholicism, which had been reinforced by her unhappy childhood and adult bereavement. He subsequently thought she was over-protective but that she did not exert any undue influence on his choice of vocation; he made the priesthood his life's ambition. After the Redemptorists decided that his health was too weak for the religious life, Nash approached the Jesuit order and entered the Jesuit novitiate at Tullabeg, near Tullamore, on 1 September 1919.

Nash took his vows as a Jesuit in 1921. After three years in the Jesuit training house at Milltown Park, Dublin, he was sent on the Australian mission, 1925–8, then returned to Milltown Park for four years’ theological study. He was ordained to the priesthood on 31 July 1931. He subsequently spent ten months’ tertianship at St Beuno's College in north Wales. His superiors retained him in Ireland out of consideration for his mother, who died in 1949. He soon became well known as a preacher and leader of retreats.

Nash's first article on spiritual matters appeared during his scholasticate, when his superior asked him to write up his trial sermon; he eventually published at least twenty-eight books, one of which (Is life worth while? (1949)) sold 100,000 copies, and more than 300 pamphlets. He had the gift of expressing himself in simple and direct language. Nash's world view was uncompromising: he preached a popularised version of Ignatian spirituality, with its emphasis on total commitment. Every moment was seen as participating in the fateful choice between heaven and hell; his compulsive writing reflected fear of wasting time. Even the mildest worldly pleasures came under suspicion as distractions from eternity or occasions of sin. This view lay behind his most notorious pamphlet, The devil at dances, which appeared during the clerically inspired campaign against unsupervised dance venues in the 1930s. Its opening description of a young woman at a dance hall, who notices that the attractive stranger with whom she is dancing has cloven hooves, was read literally by naive readers, producing widespread fear and scrupulosity. One of Nash's books was an annotated edition of St Ignatius Loyola's Spiritual exercises, which formed the basis for his extensive activities as a retreat master; his guides to prayer, such as The priest at his prie-dieu (1949), drew on Ignatian techniques of visualisation and were widely used in the formation of seminarians.

From 1951 to 1985 Nash wrote a weekly column on religious matters for the Sunday Press, the first of its kind in an Irish newspaper; in 1954–85 he also published daily ‘Phone calls’ (brief sixty-word reflections) in the Evening Press. During lengthy visits to Australia in 1956–7 and America in 1964 he provided the editor with a year's columns in advance – an indication of his professionalism, his fluency, and the extent to which he saw himself as preaching a timeless and unchanging message independent of day-to-day events. He calculated that he had written more than a million words for his column; in its latter years he was often accused of manipulating readers through fear of hellfire, but this discounts his utter conviction of the reality of the danger and his own duty to warn against it. He asked much of his readers, but no more than he demanded of himself; his life was so focused on its central objective that all other pursuits seemed trivial to him.

Nash's greatest popularity occurred during the 1950s, when readers could see themselves as part of a triumphant worldwide church battling uncompromisingly for the faith delivered to the saints. He was ill at ease with many developments after the second Vatican council; he acknowledged that the new relaxed approach was helpful in winning souls who might previously have been antagonised, but feared that excessive toleration of heterodoxies within the church and downplaying formal ritual might blind people to their spiritual needs. He never appeared on television: ‘the typewriter was the instrument I knew best so I stuck with it’ (Irish Times, 22 Aug. 1989). In 1980 Nash was a founder member of the third world aid group Action from Ireland (AfrI).

Nash retained a faithful, ageing readership until he ceased to write his column in 1985, declaring that it was time to say ‘What I have written I have written.’ He intended My last book (1983), a combination of autobiographical recollections and advice on prayer, to live up to its title (it concludes with meditations on death and heaven). He was lured back into print by admirers urging that if another book saved one soul it would be worth while; in 1986 he published My last phone call. Nash spent his last years in the Jesuit community at Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he continued to hear confessions until a year before his death. Early in 1989 deteriorating health led to his transfer to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross, Dublin, where he died 21 August 1989.

The vast contemporary popularity of Nash's writings, whose structured and fervent certainties contrast with the colloquial soothings of later Irish religious columnists, says much about the enthusiasms and restrictions of late Tridentine Irish Catholicism. Nash lived to see the aspirations he embodied condemned, ridiculed, or forgotten by a generation with less restrictive lives, new horizons, and different aspirations; he himself was virtually forgotten within a few years of his death.

Robert Nash, My last book (1983); Evening Press, 22 Aug. 1989; Irish Press, 22 Aug. 1989; Ir. Times, 22 Aug. 1989; Irish Catholic, 24 Aug. 1989; Sunday Press, 27 Aug. 1989; Monsignor James Horan: memoirs 1911–1986, ed. Micheál MacGréil (1992)

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Robert Nash joined the Society in 1919, and after initial Jesuit studies came to Australia and Burke Hall in 1925 as prefect of discipline and teacher. He loved his time there and was sorry to be recalled for theology in 1928.
He was later famous for his popular books on prayer, such as “Priest at his Pre-Dieu”, “Nun at her Pre-Dieu”, which caused a good deal of frustration among the intellectual professors who could not get their learned works published. His many pamphlets led Nash to being in considerable demand as a missioner and retreat director.
He returned to Australia, 1962-64, trying to start the popular Irish Mission, but it did not work. Nash gave house retreats at Watsonia, and amongst his points on one occasion he encouraged the scholastics to imagine the number of mortal sins being committed that night within a mile of the college. This taxed the imagination of the scholastics somewhat as the area within a mile of the college was still largely bush and farms. He must have considered the few farmers to be a sinful lot! Robert Nash remained productive in writing and preaching until almost the end of his life.
He was not lacking in confidence!

O'Callaghan, Joseph, 1895-1973, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1865
  • Person
  • 14 June 1895-16 May 1973

Born: 14 June 1895, Toolamba, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 30 March 1916, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Final Vows 02 February 1927, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia
Died: 16 May 1973, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Joseph O’Callaghan educated at St Ambrose primary school, Brunswick, Vic., and was a clerk for some years before entering the Society at Loyola College, Greenwich, 30 March 1916. His first appointment was to Xavier College, 1919-21, to perform domestic duties, and he spent the rest of his life doing the many odd jobs that crop up daily in any community.
He was at Burke Hall, 1921-36; Kostka Hall, 1937-39; and at the senior school of Xavier College, 1940-72. During this latter time, he was at various times, sacristan, in charge of the
garden, infirmarian, storekeeper, refectorian, caring for the farm, and assistant procurator. For many years he kept the boys' accounts and was a model of neatness and accuracy He also organised the annual Xavier villa.
At Burke Hall he was in charge of the staff, grounds, accounts and sacristy, as well as being buyer, and helper with prefecting. He was responsible for the building of the main oval, and also helped build the oval at Kostka Hall, a few years later.
He was a faithful worker, sometimes too direct for some people, but he was determined that any job had to be completed as well as possible. He was a keen Carlton football supporter. His daily walk around Kew was a feature of his life. He would rise at 5 am, and attend Mass at 6 am, either at Xavier or in the parish church. His health had been precarious with cancer for several years before his death, which he sustained with characteristic resoluteness.

O'Dwyer, James, 1860-1925, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1896
  • Person
  • 24 September 1860-29 October 1925

Born: 24 September 1860, Barronstown, County Tipperary
Entered: 01 October 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1895, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1899, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 29 October 1925, Burke Hall, Kew, Melbourne, Australia

Older brother of Thomas (Toddy) - RIP 1942

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1897 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship
Came to Australia 1901

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Early education was at Tullabeg. The distinguished William Delaney was Rector there at that time, and James proved himself distinguished while there, in the classroom and on the playground. he ended his days there as Captain of the College.

After his Novitiate he was immediately sent to Belvedere for Regency. A year later he went to Milltown for Philosophy. He returned to Regency, this time for six years at Clongowes, where he earned a reputation as a brilliant teacher.
He then went to Milltown again for Theology, was Ordained there in 1895 and then went to Drongen for Tertianship.
After Tertianship he returned to Clongowes teaching.
1901 He was sent to Australia and was immediately appointed Prefect of Studies at Riverview.
1904 He was sent to Xavier College Kew.
1906 He was sent to the Richmond Parish.
1908 He was appointed Rector of Cavier College Kew. and remained in that post until 1917. During his tenure Xavier took its place in the first rank of Australian schools.
1918 He was asked to play a leading role in the founding of Newman College.
He was then sent teaching at St Aloysius College Sydney, before becoming the first Superior at Studley Hall (later Burke Hall), a position he held until his death there 29/10/1925

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
When the Irish provincial, John Conmee, came to Australia in 1908, he was not happy with conditions at Xavier College. “It is from almost all aspects, a failure - enormous debt (£30,000), fails miserably and increasingly at exams, fails in all athletic contests ...”. He believed that the college needed an educational rector who would improve the college intellectually and spiritually and remove the debt. James O’Dwyer was appointed rector in May 1908.
He entered the Society at Milltown Park, 1 October 1880. His Jesuit training was at Milltown Park for both philosophy and theology, and tertianship was at Tronchiennes, Belgium. During regency he taught physics and mathematics at Belvedere College, 1883-86, and Latin, Greek, and mathematics at Clongowes College, 1886-92.
O’Dwyer first appointment in Australia was as prefect of studies at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, 1901-04, but it seems that, as he did not continue the policy of previous prefects
of studies, he did not win the approval of the rector, Thomas Gartlan. O’Dwyer certainly did not approve of student absenteeism for sporting functions without his approval. Both rector and prefect of studies were strong, determined men - O’Dwyer was transferred to Xavier College.
It was during his term as rector of Xavier College, 1908-18, that his best work in Australia was achieved. He became one of the few Jesuit educationalists in the history of the Australian Province. At Xavier College he improved the school numerically, financially and educationally. At a time when science was unpopular as a school subject, he elevated its status. He built the laboratory, introduced electric light, enlarged the cricket oval, improved the Rowing Club and laid down the tennis courts. He also re-introduced secular masters after an absence of fifteen years and began the St Vincent de Paul Society in 1909. He also taught English literature and history, and encouraged a professional attitude to the teaching of religious knowledge.
O’Dwyer was one of the strongest of the rectors of Xavier College with extraordinary energy and force of character. He was most outspoken on every issue, showing a wide vision of life and detailed his educational philosophy more clearly than his predecessors. He stressed that “the aim and ideal of our education is to turn out cultured Christian gentlemen”. This was the Jesuit ideal for three centuries, and it was best achieved by following centuries of tradition, while taking care to keep in touch with the improvements of the physical sciences. More than many rectors, O’Dwyer believed that Jesuit traditions and the British Public School image had much in common, and the Public Schools of Victoria were continuing this great tradition of turning out men of character much needed for the future of Australia.
In his many addresses to parents and students, O’Dwyer stressed that hard work and character formation were more important than success in examinations or gaining prizes. He wanted his students to rise above their environment. with minds trained in wisdom. True education for him involved the soul, the life of the spirit, which produced truth, reverence, modesty and holiness. Christ was presented as the moral motive for Christians, and the syllabus used in education ought to be the Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount. The importance of religious education was continually stressed.
At a time when religious rituals were exactly prescribed, such as the custom of daily Mass for boarders, O'Dwyer questioned whether this enforced practice did not turn the boys against religion. It took another 50 years before compulsory Mass ceased. He was also a champion of pedagogical excellence. He constantly mentioned the poor quality teaching among Jesuits in Australia, and asked Irish superiors to send good teachers, especially in mathematics and science. Very little change occurred. He wanted Jesuit scholastics to be trained in pedagogy for teaching, but superiors held to the old belief that Jesuit formation was sufficient for all Society ministries.
Apart from his work within the colleges, O’Dwyer was also influential within the wider community In Victoria he was the Catholic representative on the Board of Registration, and was sought after for sermons and lectures. He gave the Cathedral Hall Winter Lectures in Melbourne one year, and regularly spent his holidays giving retreats.
In addition, he was not slow to comment on the education system in Victoria, all the time advocating an academic environment that would assist students to progress easily to the university.
The strong leadership that O’Dwyer exercised showed him to be a man of great zeal and enthusiasm, inspiring confidence and trust in others. He was extremely loyal to colleagues, boys and the Church. He was not given to praising people to their face, choosing rather to express his appreciation of them to others. He wasted no time on compliments. He was never familiar and not easy to know well, but was admired for his personal strength of character.
O’Dwyer was very British in outlook and spoke eloquently about the importance of the Empire and patriotism. During the Great War, he proclaimed the privilege of lighting for the
rights of King and country Vice-royalty were always welcome at Xavier College during his term of office. He strongly supported the Public School spirit at the College, a spirit that, in England he believed, had produced the best leaders in the Empire.
After his term of office as rector of Xavier College, he was given charge of preparing for the opening of Newman College at The University of Melbourne, a task he performed with
distinction. He must also be credited for the real work in founding the preparatory school to Xavier College, Burke Hall, and was appointed its first headmaster, 1921-25 . He died in office much mourned by the Melbourne Catholic community for his dedicated service to the Church and education.
It took time to know O’Dwyer as a person. He was reserved to a degree, even shy, and though he would let you know what he thought, he scarcely ever let you know what he felt. He could appear largely unemotional and lacking the finer sensibilities, keeping these emotions and feelings to himself. He was a man of action, and was impatient of delays. Yet, at the same time, he had no time for censorious criticism. If he had a complaint against anyone, that person alone heard about it. He was strong, sincere, and straight. These qualities earned the respect of his colleagues, and they seemed to treat him the same way.

Note from Toddy O’Dwyer Entry
Brother, Sir Michael, assassinated by a fanatical Indian student, Udharn Singh, 13 March 1940, in Caxton Hall, London, for the massacre at Amritsar, 13 April 1919, while he was Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab. Over 379 protesters were killed and 1,200 wounded. The “Massacre” was officially condemned, and many Indians considered Michael a tyrant.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 1st Year No 1 1925
Studley Hall (Burke Hall) : The success of this school is mainly due to the late Father James O'Dwyer, who died on October 29th R.I.P.. His death is a big loss to Dudley and to the Mission, to which he rendered invaluable assistance.

Irish Province News 1st Year No 2 1926

Obituary :
Fr James O’Dwyer
Fr James O'Dwyer died on Thursday, 29th October, 1925. His loss was severely felt, not only by the Society in Australia, but by his brother priests and by all those who are engaged in the great work of education. The crowded congregation assembled in St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the solemn office and High Mass were celebrated on the Saturday after his death gave eloquent testimony of the high opinion in which he was held by the general public. Some of the leading Protestants of Melbourne took part in this tribute to his memory.

Fr. O'Dwyer was born in Co. Tipperary in 1860. At the age of sixteen he went to Tullabeg, then a flourishing College with Fr. Wm. Delany as Rector. Young O'Dwyer was equally distinguished in the class-room and on the play-ground, and ended his school days as Captain of the College. He entered the Society in 1880, and immediately after the Noviceship was sent to Belvedere as Master. After a year he returned to Milltown for Philosophy. At the end of the third year he was appointed to Clongowes, where, during six years, he earned the very highest reputation as a brilliant master. He made his Theology at Milltown, ordained in 18957 went to Tronchiennes for Tertianship, and when the year was over he again found himself a master at Clongowes. He remained there until 1901, when he sailed for Australia. He at once became Prefect of Studies at Riverview and held that office until 1904, when he was transferred to Kew. Two years later he had his first experience of Parish work at Richmond. It did not last long, for in 1908 he was appointed Rector of Kew. During his rectorship, which lasted until 1917, Kew took its place in the very first rank of Australian schools a position it still occupies. To play a leading part in the starting of Newman College in I9I89 was Fr. O'Dwyer's next work. For the two following years he was engaged in teaching at St Aloysius' College, Sydney, and then became the first Superior of Studley Hall. Except for one year, when ill health incapacitated him for active work, he held that position until 1925 when God called him to receive the reward of his great labours.
Fr. O'Dwyer was not only a great schoolman, but as a preacher and lecturer he held a very high place. He was also much sought after by religious Communities, and by the secular
clergy to conduct their retreats.
At the High Mass and Office at St. Patrick’s, on the Saturday after Fr. O'Dwyer's death, His Lordship, the Bishop of Sandhurst, the Right Rev. Dr. MacCarthy, presided.

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

At Kew, Dr, Mannix paid the following tribute to Fr James O’Dwyer “I was very sorry to hear of the death of my dear friend Fr O’Dwyer desire to-night to sympathize with the Jesuit Fathers, and to assure them that I should like to be allowed to share the loss they feel. Fr O'Dwyer was a man in a thousand. He was one of the greatest educational experts in Australia. The debt that Victoria owes to Fr O'Dwyer will never be paid - but his work still remains.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father James O’Dwyer 1860-1925
Born in Tipperary on September 24th 1860, James O’Dwyer went to Tullabeg at the age of sixteen. It was then a flourishing College with Fr Delaney as Rector. Young O’Dwyer was equally outstanding in classroom and on playing field, and ended his schooldays as Captain of Tullabeg. He entered the Society in 1880.

He made his name as a brilliant Master in Clongowes, where he spent six years as a scholastic. After his ordination in Milltown and his Tertianship, he returned to Clongowes until 1901 when he sailed for Australia. He at once became Prefect of Studies at Riverview.

In 1908 he was appointed Rector of Kew, a post he held until 1917. During his Rectorship, Kew took its place in the very first rank of Australian schools. He played a leading part in the starting of Newman College in 1918, and he became the first Rector of Studley Hall, a position he held until his death.

Fr O’Dwyer was not only a great schoolman, but as a preacher and lecturer he held a very high place. He was much sought after by the clergy for their retreats.

He died on October 28th 1925.

Sheil, Leonard, 1897-1968, Jesuit priest and missionary

  • IE IJA J/16
  • Person
  • 21 November 1897-09 February 1968

Born: 21 November 1897, Clonsilla, County Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1920, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1931, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1938, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Died: 09 February 1968, College of Industrial Relations, Ranelagh, Dublin

by 1927 in Australia - Regency at Xavier College, Kew
by 1933 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1967 at Mount Street London (ANG) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Leonard Sheil was educated a Beaumont, UK, but joined the Society in Ireland at the age of 23. Following novitiate and philosophy, he left for Australia in 1925, and worked at Burke Hall until 1928. Shell spent most of his life as a missioner in rural parishes in Ireland, and was for a time in charge of a mission team in England. Later he was loaned to Farm Street where he worked amongst the domestic staff of the big hotels, and his knowledge of foreign languages was invaluable.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Leonard Sheil is working near Doncaster for the spiritual needs of workers in the mines, chiefly Irish immigrants. He reached Askern on 14th August and is residing with a Catholic doctor at Station Road near the miners Camp. “We are installing the Blessed Sacrament on 17th August in the little church”, he writes, “The Camp is not a simple proposition. I'm told there are 700 men, and the great majority seem to be Catholics but most of them know very little of any language but Slav. The Irishmen seem very decent fellows, but I just missed a big batch who left the day I arrived”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949


Fr. Sheil, who is working for the miners near Doncaster, Yorks, writes on 10th October :
“I am still too much up to my neck in miners to be able to give a report of work here. Yesterday a huge Hungarian introduced himself to me during a miners' dance. Said he, ‘my ancestor was Irish. In the 14th century be went to Jerusalem on a Crusade, and returning by Hungary stayed there. My name is Patrick Thomas O'Swath’. He spoke in German, the international language here. The Irish are passing through Askern at present at an average of about 15 per week. They stay for three weeks, and each week brings two or three fine fellows. They are mostly very good compared to the average miners. We have English, Poles, Croats, Slovenes, Hungarians, Lithuanians, innumerable Ukrainians, half Catholic, half Orthodox, but all Greek rite. The P.P, lent me his motor-bike, so I go to the miners hostels around, and in bad German get them out of bed for Mass, eat at their tables, tackle them singly and in groups... At Askern the Irish have done some good work, up on the Church roof, cleaning gutters (me with them !) and with pick and shovel getting Church grounds in order. My chief need at present is a musical instrument, say a concertina. Several men can play but we have no instrument. I wish some of your good sodalists would send us one or the price of one”.

And on the 24th November :
I am in the Yorkshire coalfields now three months. The first month I spent making contacts, the second in regular daily visitation of twelve mining camps within a twenty mile radius of Askern. Now I am beginning a series of one-week missions in the camps, followed by the formation in them of the B.V.M. Sodality. I am in touch with about 4,000 men or more - three quarters at least of them are Catholics. They come from every nation in Europe, and German is the international language, though, as time goes on, English tends to replace it. Of the Catholics I should say that more than three-quarters have not been to the Sacraments for many years.
The English management of the camps does everything possible to help. But the men are in the main tough lads. As a Yorkshire priest said to me, if they weren't tough they'd be dead. The hostels in which they live seem to me almost perfect, and far better than one could expect; but the work is underground, and in heavy air accidents are continual. Lack of home life and glum future prospects make the men downhearted and reckless. I beg prayers of everyone. You would pity these continentals, most of whom were torn from their homes by German or Russian at the age of twelve or fourteen, and have wandered the world since”.

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 2 1968

Obituary :

Fr Leonard Shiel SJ (1897-1968)

An appreciation by Very Reverend Joseph Flynn, M.S.S., Superior, Enniscorthy House of Missions and Chairman of the Committee for Missions to Emigrants in Britain.

So Fr. Leonard Sheil has passed to his eternal reward. Even now I hesitate to use the expression eternal “rest” as that very word would seem incongruous were it applied to the Fr. Leonard that I knew. I knew him only in one sphere of his activities and then only for the last sixteen or seventeen years of his life. Perhaps it was his most notable activity and perhaps they were his greatest years - the years spent working for our fellow countrymen in England. Leonard Sheil was - and is a name to “conjure with” - I personally have no doubt that he was the original pioneer, the real founder of this work; and I would say that it was his extremely personal and delightfully unorthodox approach to this critical spiritual problem that laid the foundation of the whole complex of missions, chaplaincies, social services that blossom so vigorously to-day: they were first rooted in the stubborn soil originally worked by Fr. Leonard.
He drew a few of us, his confreres and others, into the work with him. We had been doing the best we could in the conventional types of mission from the last years of the war; we had seen the problem of enormous numbers of parochially unattached Irish; we hoped they would come to us in the few churches where we were preaching by invitation. It took Fr. Leonard to tell us, with conviction - and abruptness - to go in without invitation and demand an invitation, to go after the Irish instead of waiting for them to come to us, to give them an informal mission wherever we could find them : it was all very much fire first and ask questions after.
It did seem absurd and risky at first, but the point was it worked. So, as he led, we followed into industrial sheds, Nissen huts, Canadian Terrapins, public bars, dining halls, dart clubs, and, at least once to my knowledge, into a disused poultry-house. Perhaps he cast the first stone at the orthodox, conventional mission, but if he did he led the assault. Yes, he led and we followed but few were capable of keeping pace with him. Even physically it was difficult as he whisked about on his motorbike, a debonair, piratical, almost Elizabethan figure. But psychologically his enthusiasm, energy and rare determination gave him a head start over his more leisurely disciples.
I never really understood Leonard Sheil. His background, Mount St. Benedict's and Beaumont, and a few years as a teacher, hardly disposed him, one would think, to attract the “boys” - as he always referred to the Irishmen. Yet somehow he did and did it more successfully than some of us, who, apart from a few years in local colleges, had an identical background with the “boys”. But then Leonard Sheil had something else. When one exhausts all the other possibilities one is left with the conviction that it only could have been a seething zeal to get every soul for God that one man could get in one lifetime. Apparently he never questioned his convictions, he never had any fears about whether he would be well received or not, possibly he never wondered whether the thing was possible or not; he just saw work to be done for God and charged straight ahead to get it done - in top gear and at full throttle. That was Leonard, he swooped on the “lapsed” like a bird of prey.
Year after year at our annual meetings to consider what, if any, progress had been made, he was the life and soul of the party; with his frequent sallies and droll reminiscences he was the real catalyst in establishing dialogue between the many Orders and Congregations who participated. His mind was fertile and inven tive; only a few months before his death, in answer to a request, he sent me from his sick bed a plan for a modernised mission that would bear comparison with that elaborated at a seminar of many experts over a period of several days. And he sent it by return of post. By contrast, he could take up the unusual, the odd; the un orthodox and make it serve his purpose with effortless ease. Those who heard him address the Easter Congress, so frequently and so informally, on every aspect of missions, and generally to bring us back from the realm of fancy to the realm of fact, must have seen that he had enormous intellectual resources so long as the subject was one in which he was really interested - getting the “boys” reconciled with God. Those who saw some of his “Recollection” pieces on television must have noticed how he always got home the missioner's point - conversion to God. His talk on the Bible and particularly his talk on the man in orbit, then very topical, accomplished the same thing by very different means; he made his point like a man wielding a very long, very thin, very sharp dagger, he always penetrated to the inner heart of the matter.
It would seem that he excelled in the use of novelties : the two pulpit sermon, the house-Mass mission, the straight-from-the shoulder talk to the “boys” on a scaffolding five hundred feet above the ground. (I once thought I detected an envious look as I told him of hearing a confession two thousand two hundred feet beneath the surface of Staffordshire, in a coalmine, of course). Yet I am convinced that he was not interested in novelties per se. If any novelty or stunt suited his purpose he was brave enough to use it and had the savoir faire to bring it off with conviction. But all the time the man I knew had only one purpose, to get his “boys” back to God; anything and everything that suited that purpose was grist to his mill. He just wanted souls for God, it was as simple as that.
To those who knew Leonard Sheil well, it is quite useless to speculate about what made him “tick over”; for to them he was simply Leonard Sheil : he was such a character that his name was synonymous with his personality. As I have said, I did not know him well, I only knew one facet of a many-sided personality; but this I do know, where God's work was concerned he was quite without human respect, he was completely fearless, he was utterly brave. In this respect I think he was the bravest man I ever knew.

Sullivan, Jeremiah, 1877-1960, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2164
  • Person
  • 31 December 1877-17 December 1960

Born: 31 December 1877, Preston, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 08 September 1894, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia
Ordained: 26 July 1911, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1914, St Ignatius College, Riverview, Sydney, Australia
Died: 17 December 1960, St Vincent's Hospital, Victoria Parade, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission : 29 June 1923-1931.
Part of the Loyola College, Watsonia, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to ASL - 05 April 1931

by 1906 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1910 at Innsbruck Austria (ASR) studying
by 1912 in San Luigi, Napoli-Posilipo, Italy (NAP) studying

◆ Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University online :
Sullivan, Jeremiah (1877–1960)
by J. Eddy
J. Eddy, 'Sullivan, Jeremiah (1877–1960)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/sullivan-jeremiah-11800/text21111, published first in hardcopy 2002

Catholic pries; schoolteacher

Died : 17 February 1960, Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Jeremiah Sullivan (1877-1960), Jesuit priest and philosopher, was born on 31 December 1877 at Preston, Melbourne, tenth of fourteen children of Irish-born parents Eugene Sullivan, farmer, and his wife Mary, née Doran. Jeremiah attended the convent school at Heidelberg and St Patrick's College, Melbourne. He entered the Society of Jesus on 8 September 1894 at Loyola, Greenwich, Sydney, and was a novice under Fr Aloysius Sturzo. After studying literature and classics, he taught (1899-1905) at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, where he was prefect of discipline, debating and rowing.

In 1905 Sullivan sailed via Ireland to England to read philosophy (1905-08) at Stonyhurst College, Lancashire. He proceeded to theology, first at Milltown Park, Dublin (1908-09), then at Innsbruck, Austria (1909-11)—where he was ordained priest on 26 July 1911—and finally at Posillipo, near Naples, Italy. 'Spot' (as he was nicknamed) was back in Ireland, at Tullabeg College, for his tertianship (1912-13). Returning to Sydney and Riverview, he was prefect of studies (from 1913). In 1917-23 he was rector of Xavier College, Melbourne, where he was also prefect of studies (from 1919). During this period the college acquired Burke Hall in Studley Park Road, Kew.

In 1923 Sullivan became the first native-born superior of the Jesuits' 'Irish Mission' in Australia. He visited Rome and Ireland several times. As a superior, he consistently showed good judgement; he was mild and generous, but could be firm when necessary. The last superior before Australia was raised to the rank of a Jesuit vice-province at Easter 1931, Sullivan was better liked by his men than either his predecessor Fr William Lockington or his successor Fr John Fahy. He again spent some months at Xavier, as headmaster in 1931, and was the sole Catholic member of the fledgling Headmasters' Conference of Australia, which was founded that year. In 1931-34 he served as superior at the parish of Hawthorn. From 1935 to 1946 he lived at the regional seminary, Corpus Christi Ecclesiastical College, Werribee, as administrator, consultor, and professor of pastoral theology and philosophy. His students regarded him as a genuinely humane Australian priest. While rector (1946-52) of Loyola College, Watsonia, he continued to teach and became a father-figure to the many young men in training.

A handsome and striking-looking man in his prime, with a stately walk and a sonorous voice, Sullivan was all his life a prodigious reader. He was hampered from early manhood by indifferent health. His great power and breadth of mind, his joy in work and his capacity for doing almost anything well, drove him in his earlier years to attempt too much and do too many things. Spot was never narrow or petty in any of his actions, but kind, understanding and sincere. His peers and subjects respected him as a good leader. He was very reserved, a gentleman in every sense of the word, and deeply spiritual. Sullivan died on 17 February 1960 at St Vincent's Hospital, Fitzroy, and was buried in Boroondara cemetery.

Select Bibliography
D. Strong, The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography, 1848-1998 (Syd, 1999)
Society of Jesus Archives, Hawthorn, Melbourne.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Jeremiah Sullivan, one of fourteen children, attended school in Heidelberg and St Patrick’s College, East Melbourne, and entered the Society, 8 September 1894, at Loyola College, Greenwich. After his juniorate at the same place, 1897-98, he did regency for six years at St Ignatius' College, Riverview, before leaving Australia for Stonyhurst, where he studied philosophy, 1905-08. He studied theology for one year at Milltown Park, Dublin, then two years in Innsbruck, Austria, and one year at Posilipo, Naples. Tertianship was at Tullabeg.
He returned to Australia in 1913, and was appointed prefect of studies at Riverview until 1917, before becoming the first Australian born rector of Xavier College, Melbourne, until 1923. lt was during this time that the college won the football premiership, two cricket premierships and a dead heat at the head of the river. Burke Hall was also acquired.
Sullivan was afterwards appointed superior of the mission until 1931. He was later superior of the parish of Hawthorn till 1934, then professor of classics and church history at the
regional seminary, Werribee. His final appointment was to Loyola College, Watsonia, where he was rector, 1946-50, and lectured the juniors in Latin.
Commonly called “Spot”, he was a very handsome and striking looking man with a stately walk and rich, sonorous voice. He had a remarkable memory and was a prodigious reader. He was capable intellectually, a good superior with sound judgment, mild and generous, but firm when necessary The province liked him more than either his predecessor, William Lockington, or his successor, John Fahy. He had a great capacity for work, “was a gentleman in every sense of the word” and a deeply spiritual man.
He did everything in a big way. He was a man who was never narrow or petty in any of his actions. He was always kind, understanding and sincere, judicial and courageous in all his dealings, and one who was accepted by his peers as a good leader. As rector of Xavier College, his wisdom and understanding were much appreciated.
He was a learned priest, historian, classicist, and mathematician. He was also a reserved person who spent little time in strictly pastoral work. His end came suddenly, but he had been in poor and declining health for his last four years .

Tyndall, Robert J, 1897-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/424
  • Person
  • 05 September 1897-10 December 1988

Born: 05 September 1897, Monkstown, County Dublin
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1928, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1931, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 10 December 1988, Our Lady’s Hospice, Dublin

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

by 1923 in Australia - Regency at Studley Hall, Kew
by 1930 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Robert Tyndall was educated by the Vincentians at Castlenock and entered the novitiate in 1914. Regency was at Xavier College, Burke Hall, 1921-25. He looked after boarders, taught classes, ran the library and even managed junior cadets, all with great success. Tyndall had considerable capacity for friendship, from Archbishop Mannix to his smallest students. Many of these friends maintained a lifelong correspondence with him.