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54 Name results for California

3 results directly related Exclude narrower terms

Barry, John, 1818-1872, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/904
  • Person
  • 24 December 1818-16 July 1872

Born: 24 December 1818, Dublin
Entered: 15 February 1859, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Final vows: 02 February 1870
Died: 16 July 1872, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Boyle, Laurence, 1855-1881, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/938
  • Person
  • 08 September 1855-

Born: 08 September 1855, County Derry
Entered: 30 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 11 January 1881, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR, 1877

◆ Was noted as having LEFT Novitiate in 1877, but in fact joined the Turin Province and went to California to complete his noviceship.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Joined Turin Province and went to finish Novitiate in California

Chan Yiu-sing, Lúcás, 1968-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1042
  • Person
  • 07 June 1968-19 May 2015

Born: 07 June 1968, Wong Tai Sin, New Kowloon, Hong Kong
Entered: 08 January 1993, Singapore, Sinensis Province (CHN)
Ordained: 26 August 2006, Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, Hong Kong
Died: 19 May 2015, Marquette University, Milwaukee WI, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

by 2013 came to Manresa (HIB) making Tertianship
by 2014 at Leeson St (HIB) teaching ISE

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Society of Jesus diaconate ordination

Lúcás Chan Yiu-sing, a scholastic of the Society of Jesus, will be ordained as a deacon on the 31 July 2005 by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun.

Lúcás comes from a Catholic family in Wong Tai Sin and, as a child, was a parishioner of St. Vincent de Paul’s parish. He received his primary education at a nearby Franciscan school and completed his secondary education and matriculation at Ying Wa College. At the same time, he joined the Legion of Mary and was an active member until he joined the Society of Jesus.

Upon completing his tertiary education, Lucas started his teaching career, first as a student teacher at St. Paul’s Co-ed Secondary School, then as a full-time mathematics teacher at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He began seriously discerning his Jesuit vocation after participating in a three-week-long Jesuit South East Asia & Oceania Secondary Schools Administrators’ Programme, held in Manila in the summer of 1991. He was much impressed by the lifestyle and example of the Jesuits and other religious. After another one-and-a-half years of teaching, Lúcás applied to and was accepted into the Jesuit novitiate in Singapore.

Upon finishing two years of noviceship, he began philosophy training at the Holy Spirit Seminary College in Aberdeen. Two years later, he was sent to England to pursue a masters’ degree in educational management. In 1999,he went on mission to Cambodia and Macau for ‘regency’ where he was involved in both educational and social apostolates. In May 2002, he was assigned to Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in The Philippines to do theology and a masters’ in pastoral ministry.

After diaconate ordination, Lúcás will leave for Boston, in the United States, to begin a licentiate programme (STL) in moral theology.

The Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus cordially invites you to join our liturgical celebration at 3.30pm at St. Ignatius Chapel, Wah Yan College, Kowloon.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 24 July 2005

Two to be ordained to the priesthood

Reverend Peter Lo Pak-wing and Reverend Lúcás Chan Yiu-sing, will be ordained priests on August 26 at the Cathe­dral of Immaculate Conception by Bishop Joseph Zen Ze-kiun.

Lúcás Chan Yiu Sing, 38, was born to a Catholic family and was a parishioner of St. Vincent’s church, Wong Tai Sin, where he was a member of Legion of Mary until he joined the the Society of Jesus (Jesuits). After completing his tertiary education, worked, first as a student teacher at St. Paul’s Co-ed Secondary School, then as a full-time mathematics teacher at Wah Yan College, Kowloon.

He joined the Jesuits towards the end of 1992 and entered the novitiate in Singapore. After two years, he returned to Hong Kong and studied philosophy at the Holy Spirit Seminary College. From 1997 to 1999 he pursued a masters degree in education management in the United Kingdom before being sent on mission to Cambodia and Macau. He was then assigned to the Jesuit-run Ateneo de Manila University in The Philippines, where he studied theology and obtained a master’s degree in pastoral work management.

Following his diaconate ordination, Reverend Chan took up a licentiate programme (STL) in Moral Theology and Scripture in Boston, the United States of America. Over the past year, he has been involved in academic research on HIV/AIDS and was on the planning committee of The First International Cross-cultural Conference for Catholic Theological Ethicists, held in Padua, Italy last July.

Following his ordination to the priesthood, he will continue his studies in Boston and work at a children hospital. He will celebrate his first Mass at St. Ignatius Chapel at 9.00am on August 27.

Hong Kong-born Jesuit builder of bridges crosses to the eternal

Hong Kong born Jesuit Father Lúcás Chan Yiu-sing died unexpectedly on 19 May 2015 after collapsing at Marquette Hall, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the United States of America (US), where he had been an assistant professor of theology, He was 46-year-old.

Born on 7 June 1968, Father Chan was born to a Catholic family and was a parishioner of St. Vincent’s Parish, Wong Tai Sin, where he was a member of Legion of Mary. He joined the Society of Jesus in 1993 at the Loyola House Novitiate in Singapore and was ordained a priest on 26 August 2006 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Caine Road, Hong Kong (Sunday Examiner, 20 August 2006 and 3 September 2006).

The Jesuit publication, America, reported on 22 May that Father Chan received his PhD in theological ethics at Boston College in 2010. He also received of post-doctoral fellowships from Yale and Georgetown universities and was a member of the Catholic Theological Society of America as well as the Society of Christian Ethics.

Father Chan served as a consultant to the Bioethics Committees of two Catholic Hospitals in Boston, and as Asian Regional Director of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church.

Prior to joining the Marquette faculty he held academic appointments at Trinity College and the Jesuit European Tertianship Programme in Dublin, Ireland; the Jesuit School of Theology in Berkeley at Santa Clara University, California; and at The Chinese University of Hong Kong .

In his homily during the funeral Mass in Milwaukee, Father Stephen Tong, Jesuit superior for Hong Kong and director of the Xavier Retreat House, Cheung Chau, called him a bridge builder. He noted that in his two books - The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes: Biblical Studies and Ethics for Real Life and Biblical Ethics in the Twenty-first Century: Developments, Emerging Consensus, and Future Directions - Father Chan spoke of building bridges.

“Lucas Chan wrote about building bridges because he was a bridge builder,” said Father Tong. “The man whose spiritual and intellectual formation, began in Hong Kong and ended in Milwaukee, had built bridges as he moved to England, Singapore, Cambodia, Macau, the Philippines, the US, Ireland, as well as Italy and Germany.”

Father Tong noted that he built other bridges, “He wrote and spoke around the world on the bridge between Christian and Confucian ethics. He and I, for instance, wrote an essay on it for the Jesuit, Macau-based Chinese Cross Currents. He constructed this bridge out of the virtues and he knew how important these bridges were… He also built bridges between the Old and New Testaments, by teaching us that the 10 Commandments and the eight Beatitudes are the two moral pillars of our religious tradition.”

He said, “Most of all he built bridges among us. In this congregation today, there are his Irish friends, his Cantonese friends, his Boston friends, his California friends and, most importantly, his new found Milwaukee friends. He has friends everywhere…” He went on to say, “Because of his bridge building among us, we are not isolated but connected. Many of you know me through Lucas, as I know you. He ushered us across bridges to meet one another…”

Father Tong concluded, saying, “Now as before, he goes before us again, building bridges for us. He has not left us, he never will, he is just ahead of us, building bridges.”

May he rest in peace.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 21 June 2015

◆ Jesuits in Ireland

Warm tributes paid to Lúcás Chan SJ, RIP
Warm tributes have been paid by noted academics and theologians from Ireland and around the world to Fr. Lúcás Chan SJ (46), a Hong Kong native and Jesuit of the Chinese Province who died suddenly on Tuesday 19 May after collapsing at Marquette University, Wisconsin, USA, where he was Assistant Professor of Theology. Prior to joining the faculty of Marquette in 2014 Lúcás spent a number of years in Dublin. He was the Michael Hurley SJ, Postdoctoral Fellow for 2013-14 at the Irish School of Ecumenics at Trinity College, and during that time he lived with the Jesuit Community in Leeson Street in the city-centre. He also lived in Dublin from 2012-13 while completing his Jesuit tertianship in Manresa.
Lúcás is fondly remembered in the Leeson Street Community. Superior Brian Grogan SJ paid this tribute:- “Lúcás was a delightful man and a good community member. A beam of sunshine on dark days, he never seemed to lose his inner happiness, and radiated good humour. Kind and considerate, he looked out for the older members of the community in unobtrusive ways. Since leaving us, he continued to correspond with me and ask for details of the brethren. I think of him as a prodigious worker, rising at an ungodly hour, to pray, have breakfast and get to work. He would cycle to Trinity College where he lectured in the Irish School of Ecumenics. He was highly conscientious with students, taking hours over marking scripts and giving helpful feedback. Saturdays and Sundays found him in his office. His was a 24/7 pace: I often tried to get him to slow down, take time out, etc. But he couldn’t stop. And of course he was a rising star in the academic world. His writings form a rich legacy. Yet he could find time to become more proficient in Irish (Gaelic), and we had good fun in helping him to master it. We were quietly proud that a native of Hong Kong esteemed our native tongue so much! We have a well-known phrase in Irish: Ní bheidh a leitheidí arís ann. ‘His like will not be found again’. He was, perhaps more obviously than most of us, unique!”
Linda Hogan, the vice provost and chief academic officer for Trinity College, said it was a “tremendous privilege” to have known and worked with Lucas. She said that while he was only beginning to gain recognition in his area of work, “it was already overdue since his publications were significant and profound.” Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell described Lúcás as being “dedicated his life to serving God and being a man for others around the world.” Robert Masson, the department chair in theology at the university, said the community were “still reeling” from his death.”We anticipated that he would be a leading voice in the next generation of moral theologians and we were delighted to have him join our faculty”, he said. Fr. Jim Keenan SJ of Boston College who worked with him as part of a global network of moral theologians known as ‘Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church’ (CTEWC) explained how Lúcás was in deep gratitude for the work he was involved with, “more than anything he was very happy that he could be a part of something that meant the world to him and to others and he was excited by the way this work brought him into connection with others in his parishes, his classrooms, his conferences or his friends and family.” Fr Jimmy Hurley SJ has now returned to Ireland from Hong Kong where he was missioned for many years and where he met Lúcás for the first time. At a special event in Trinity College to mark the life of Lúcás and his work, he paid warm tribute to him as a friend, Jesuit brother and academic.
A pioneer in the field of theological ethics, Lúcás focused his work in the still-emerging area of biblical ethics left a strong imprint in the field. The young theologian was to the fore in the academic effort to translate biblical teachings to the moral lives of ordinary Christians. At the time of his death he was editing a text that brought together 24 biblical scholars and ethicists from 17 countries and planning a conference in Bangalore, India, for July that is to see dozens of prominent academics across Asia gather to discuss doing theology in a cross-cultural and interfaith context. Lúcás was a high school teacher before studying for bachelor’s degrees in philosophy and management, and later a master’s degree in international management. After completing a Bachelor of Sacred Theology at the Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines he earned his licentiate in theology at the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and completed a Ph.D. in theological ethics at Boston College. He was a recipient of post-doctoral fellowships from Yale and Georgetown universities and held other appointments at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley; Santa Clara University; and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Outside of his work in theology, Lúcás had an avid interest in photography, and he regularly captured images from the many theological meetings that he was part of around the globe. He spoke fluent Cantonese, English and Khmer, the official language of Cambodia. He is survived by his parents, brother, sister and niece and nephew. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a ainm dílis.
Niall Markey is a former Irish Jesuit novice and former teacher at Belvedere College SJ. He first met Lúcás in the Jesuit Novitiate in Birmingham and that was the beginning of a lasting friendship that transcended geographical borders. On returning from his funeral last week, Niall wrote this moving tribute to his dear friend.
“I am neither a scholar nor a writer. But what you read here is a very humble tribute to my late, great and dear friend, Fr. Lúcás (Yiu Sing Luke) Chan, SJ, who died May 19, 2015.
Believe or not, I learned of Lúcás’ death through a posting on Facebook. I will never forget the sense of shock as my heart sank into despair and disbelief. Lúcás and I were born in the same year with our birthdays only five days apart. He was the youngest. In the early days of our friendship, Lúcás told me that we would always be brothers, no matter where we went or however our lives turned out. That was true. When he told you something, he meant it.
I first met Lúcás at the Jesuit Novitiate in Birmingham, England, in September 1996. On the day he joined the community, he sought me out after supper that evening, and introduced himself as Lúcás, an “Irish/Chinese” Scholastic from Hong Kong. In the course of our conversation, he talked very affectionately about Fr. James Hurley and the other Irish Jesuits who were residing in Hong Kong at that time. As he spoke, it was very evident that he loved them dearly and attributed his Jesuit life to them. Later on that evening as I ascended the stairs to my room on the top floor, I noticed a black and white Irish Road sign on the wall outside my room. The sign read; “Ireland” with the pointer pointing towards my door and beyond. I felt quite elated in thinking that someone was trying to make me feel at home. Turned out, it was Lúcás and he was my new next door neighbor! Within a very short space of time we became good friends and I began to feel a sense of mutuality between us.
In the year that followed, new novices arrived at Manresa House. One in particular was a Scotsman named Mark. Within a short space of time, Mark and I became good friends, through Lúcás. As our friendships grew, Lúcás christened us “The Trinity”. Throughout the years we managed to stay in touch with each other, but not collectively. Lúcás was very instrumental in maintaining contact. Eventually in September, 2012, Lúcás managed to reunite all three of us in Dublin for what he called “The Reunification of the Trinity”.
In late 2001, I left the Society and relocated to New York. About a year after that I received an email from Lúcás informing me that he would be taking up a residency at Boston College. This is where he began his studies in Moral Theology. Over the years of his time in Boston, we stayed in touch. He came on visits. Sometimes for a couple of hours, other times he came for a few days. Nonetheless, they were precious. Last year, on my birthday I received a phone call from Lúcás informing me that he was at Kennedy Airport awaiting a connecting flight to San Francisco. His flight was waylaid and he wondered if I could join him for lunch in the airport. That was one of the greatest birthday surprises I ever received. It done my heart the world of good to see him.
The last time I saw Lúcás was December 30, of last year. I loved our meetings. This time we met up at the beautiful Church of St Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue in Manhattan. Prior to our meeting he told me to make sure I found a suitable place for us to dine as we would be celebrating Christmas and New Year. Like the food, the conversation was rich and wholesome. Lúcás was in great form – he was actually quite ecstatic. He spoke lovingly of his dear friend, James Keenan, SJ., being eternally grateful to him for believing in him as a moral theologian. I could see that Lúcás had finally come into his own as a Jesuit.
At Lúcás’ funeral in Milwaukee, the congregation consisted of family, friends, colleagues and Jesuits – all suspended in a state of disbelief. Fr. James Keenan, SJ, very appropriately began his homily by referring to Lúcás as a Bridge-Builder. His brother, Charles in his eulogy, described Lúcás as a ‘Gift From God’ to their family. When all was said and done, it was consoling to know that in our gathering, we were all commonly connected through Lúcás’ love for each of us. As I descended from the Church of the Gesu onto West Wisconsin Avenue, I was overcome by a great sense of grief and abandonment. As the evening light cast it shadows upon the churches magnificent facade, I decided to take a walk along the avenue in memory of Lúcás. Upon reaching the entrance door to Marquette Hall, in gratitude, I said a heartfelt farewell to my dear brother and friend.”

◆ The Jesuits of Canada and the US
Luke) Chan, S.J., who died at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis., on May 19, 2015. He was 46 years old, a Jesuit for 22 years, and a priest for 8 years. May he rest in peace.
Lúcás was born in Hong Kong, China, on June 7, 1968, where he spent his childhood and young adult years. Before entering the Singapore novitiate of the Chinese Province of the Society of Jesus in 1993, Lúcás attended Sir Robert Black College of Education (Hong Kong). Following philosophy studies in Hong Kong, Lúcás pursued degrees in education at the University of Birmingham (UK). He completed his first and second cycles of theology at Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines and Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Boston, Mass. Lúcás was ordained to the priesthood on August 26, 2006, and made tertianship in Dublin, Ireland.
Assigned to regency with the Jesuit Service in Cambodia, Lúcás was the first Chinese Jesuit to be missioned to apostolic work outside the province. He served as the acting director for Banteay Prieb, a vocational training school for the handicapped, near Phnom Penh. He completed a final year of regency at Matteo Ricci College in Macau. After completing doctoral studies in biblical ethics at Boston College in 2010, Lúcás held various fellowships and visiting professorships: visiting fellow, Yale Divinity School, New Haven, Conn.; international visiting fellow, Woodstock Theological Center, Washington, DC; adjunct assistant professor, the Chinese University of Hong Kong; international visiting Jesuit scholar, the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, Calif.; and Michael Hurley, S.J., Fellow, Irish School of Ecumenics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland. In 2014, Marquette University hired Lúcás for a tenure track position in its Theology Department. During his doctoral studies and teaching, Lúcás stayed involved with pastoral work, particularly with Chinese Catholics. He loved presiding and preaching.
Through his formation, studies, and teaching, Lúcás participated in the Jesuits' work in several different countries; this gave him a broad sense of the Society and its universal mission. Being comfortable with a simple lifestyle and possessing a keen intellect complemented his availability to go where he was called and where the need was greatest. A gifted academic, Lúcás was diligent, disciplined, and prodigious in his work. Veteran scholars in his field regarded him among the world's top ten moralists of his generation. At the time of his death, Lúcás had published two books and numerous journal articles. Perhaps it was his being a virtue ethicist that gave him the ability to gently blend intelligence with empathy. He possessed the admirable qualities of patience and understanding, easily formed friendships with people from different cultures, and had a natural
inclination to connect with older people. He always respected the other and was a faithful friend and strong colleague.

Chan, Albert, 1915-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/701
  • Person
  • 25 January 1915-10 March 2005

Born: 25 January 1915, Pacasmayo, Peru
Entered: 30 July 1934, Rizal, Philippines (MARNEB for HIB)
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 10 March 2005, Los Gatos, California, USA - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

by 1938 at Loyola, Hong Kong - studying

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His father brought him back from Peru at the age of 7 and he went to the Sacred Heart School in Canton. He joined the Society for Hong Kong because of his admiration for the Irish Jesuits he had met at Sacred Heart (1928-1934). Fr Dan Finn was the focus of his admiration.
He began his novitiate in Manila, and then he studied Latin and Greek.
1939 He came to Hong Kong and spent a year studying Calligraphy and Chinese Literature.
1940-1942 He taught at Wah Yan College Hong Kong
1942-1947 He was sent to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology, and he was Ordained there with Dominic Tang Yi-Ming (later Archbishop).
He was then sent to Harvard University in Cambridge MA for a PhD in the History of Ming China, which he finished c 1954/5
1955-1985 He returned to live at Wah Yan College Kowloon
1985-2005 He went to the USA

He was essentially a Historian of Chinese History. He was the author of many books, articles, writings and collections including :
“The Glory and the Fall of the Ming Dynasty” (1982); “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”; “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome - a Descriptive Catalogue.

Fr Freddie Deignan says : “He contributed many articles to the “New Catholic Encyclopaedia” (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644). He left behind an unpublished book “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”. He was well respected for his historical and academic contributions. He had built up a library of more than 70,000 books in his field (some very rare which he bought from used bookstores).

In his later days he concentrated on the Archives of the Jesuits in Rome. Then in 1985 he finally moved to the Ricci Institute for Chinese History and Culture at the University of San Francisco as a researcher, poet, calligrapher and writer.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 132 : Summer 2007


Alfred J Deignan

I was in Emo Park as a novice in July 1947 when the newly ordained Father Albert Chan came from Milltown Park to celebrate his first Mass with us novices. We thought that he was crying with joy right through the Mass until we discovered afterwards that his normal voice was very high pitched, like a wailing sound. This was my first encounter with Fr. Albert. I was to meet him many times afterwards in Hong Kong and in San Francisco.

He was born in Peru in 1915. His father was Chinese and his mother a Peruvian. They came to live in Canton and he studied in the Sacred Heart High School where he came into contact with a few Jesuits who were teaching in the school at that time. The Jesuit who impressed him most and who influenced him was the famous Fr. Dan Finn. Fr. Finn became the Professor of Geography in Hong Kong University and as an archaeologist found some important historical sites in Hong Kong. He was also a wonderful linguist. Albert often accompanied him in his diggings and like him, became an extraordinary linguist as he could read Latin, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese, Japanese, German, French and some Russian. He could speak fluently in six languages.

Fr. Dan Finn guided him in his process of discernment and in his application to the Society of Jesus when he graduated from High School in 1932. He always remembered with great affection Father Finn and carried with him until the end, his photo and some photos taken at the excavation sites. When he heard of the sudden death of Fr. Finn on 15 November 1936 while he was in London, aged 50, he was moved to write his first extant Chinese poem in his honour. He was then 20 years old. He composed many beautiful poems in Chinese later in life.

Albert entered the novitiate in Manila in July 1934 and took his first vows two years later. It is interesting that Fr. John Fahy, former Provincial of the Irish Province, and then Provincial of Australia, took his vows. After studying for his B.A. and a Master's degrees in the Sacred Heart College, Manila, he graduated and came back to Hong Kong for his regency in 1941. He was assigned to teach in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, until 1945. Then he left for Shanghai to study theology, but this was disrupted because of the communist revolution in the north and all the scholastics had to move from Shanghai. He was sent to Milltown Park in Ireland and was ordained there in 1947.

Fr. Albert was always very grateful to the Irish Jesuits for their warm welcome, their kindness to him and for their encouragement during these formative years. The Superiors recognized his talents, and he was sent to Fordham University for advanced studies in history, and later to Harvard where he obtained his Ph.D. in Chinese History in 1954. He returned to Hong Kong with his Ph.D. and humbly taught in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, 1954 58, and in Wah Yan College, Kowloon, 1958–60 while continuing to do some research.

In Wah Yan College, Kowloon, he discovered a kindred soul, a Chinese teacher of Literature and History who was an expert on rare Chinese books, Mr. Lau Kai Yip. They became great friends. While in Hong Kong, Fr. Albert went out each day to visit all the second-hand bookshops around and always returned in triumph and joy with some rare books which he had found and bought at a bargain price. Soon there were books everywhere - in his room, in the shower, and under the bed. Eventually they overflowed into the next room until it too was full. Some community members were very afraid that the floors would collapse under the weight! His intention was to build up a library of Chinese books for the use of future young Jesuits in China, a dream which, up to now, has not been fulfilled.

What has happened to his books? Fr. Albert was afraid that with the take-over of Hong Kong in 1997 his books would fall into the hands of the communist government, and all the books, which he so lovingly and carefully collected over the years would be lost. So they were packed into boxes and shipped to San Francisco. There were 80,000 volumes and they were housed in the University of San Francisco Ricci Institute. It is rated as one of the top 15 collections of Chinese History in the USA. Apart from these, he continued to collect books after going to San Francisco, and these ended up in 200 boxes in a friend's basement.

After 1960 he really devoted himself to research and attended many conferences at which he presented papers on Chinese history, especially on the Ming and Qing dynasties, and the history of the Jesuits in China. His doctoral thesis was published in 1982 - “The Glory and Fall of the Ming Dynasty”. And in 1969-76 he did a marvellous job on the Jesuit Chinese archives in Rome, cataloguing and writing a description of each book or document for the future benefit of researchers. This was published in 2002 entitled “Chinese Books and Documents in the Jesuit Archives in Rome”. This was the work of a great scholar and perfectionist. He also did research in the Jesuit archives in Portugal, Spain, France and England on Chinese and European relations in the 16th and 17th centuries. He contributed many articles to the New Catholic Encyclopedia (1967) and the “Dictionary of Ming Biography (1368-1644)”. He left behind a book which has yet to be published - “Peking under the Ming Dynasty”.

Fr. Albert was a poet and we have a collection of his poems. He was also a calligrapher of Chinese script and a connoisseur of Chinese tea. In 1985, when he went with his beloved books to San Francisco, he was appointed to the post of Senior Research Fellow of the Ricci Institute. As he got older his health declined and from 2002 he suffered from cancer and died on March 10h 2005 having reached his 90th year.

He loved people and had many friends. Whenever anyone visited him in San Francisco he gave them a great welcome and invited them to his favourite Chinese restaurant. Besides being an academic he was an expert cook, and so several cooking books can be found in his collection. I remember during Chinese New Year in Hong Kong, when the staff were on holidays, he was delighted to take over the kitchen and cook our meals, providing us with some beautiful and tasty dishes.

He was a humble and holy man who has left us with a wonderful legacy after his quiet, patient research on Jesuits in China and Chinese history for the help of future generations. We are indebted to him and are proud of him as one who began his life as a member of the Irish Province. There are now 18 scholarships set up in his honour in each of the Wah Yan Colleges, promoting Chinese literature and history. And a very good friend of his in San Francisco sent a donation to the Irish Province of $100,000 as an expression of his gratitude to the Irish Jesuits.

Conran, Joseph, 1913-1990, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/490
  • Person
  • 24 February 1913-23 August 1990

Born: 24 February 1913, Ballinrobe, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1948
Died: 23 August 1990, Kilkenny City, County Kilkenny

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

by 1967 at Holy Family Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1969 at Aston, Birmingham (ANG) working
by 1970 at Monterey CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1971 at Carmel CA, USA (CAL) working

Crowe, Patrick, 1925-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/826
  • Person
  • 05 March 1925-04 July 2017

Born: 05 March 1925, Edenderry, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1957, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1961, Clongowes Wood College
Died 04 July 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1977 at St Ignatius College Prep San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Paddy Crowe SJ – a quality educator
Paddy Crowe SJ died peacefully on Tuesday morning, 4 July, in the wonderful care, love and compassion of the staff at Cherryfield Lodge Nursing Home, Milltown Park, Dublin 6. At his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 6 July, former community member and friend Bruce Bradley SJ gave the homily. He was buried in the Community Cemetery in Clongowes, Clane, Co. Kildare.

Born on 5 March 1925 in Edenderry, Co Offaly, Paddy was the oldest boy in a large family. He was educated at Clongowes Wood College SJ in Co Kildare before entering the Society of Jesus in 1943. Early on, it was thought he would make a good professor of philosophy, but he had a more active interest in schools. He soon found himself working in education under various roles. At Clongowes Wood College SJ, for example, he became teacher, prefect, rector, and eventually headmaster.

He served as Director of Education Policy and Education Delegate for the Irish Province and worked at several other schools, including Crescent College SJ and Mungret College SJ in Co Limerick, and Belvedere College SJ, Gonzaga College SJ, and Greendale School in Dublin. Referring to his personality, Fr Bradley said: “He was an extrovert and had such a sense of humour. He was bravely adventurous, who loved to travel, have new experiences and make new friends”.

“Educational value,” Paddy said once, “is based largely on personal contact of good people with the young.” Fr Bradley, who worked with him for many years, noted: “In all the schools where he served, he was demanding and firm, but fair. He lived in the continual tension between the old and the new, always reading, questioning, and seeking to move on”.
One of his former students commented: “You always knew where you stood with Fr Crowe”.

Paddy was consultant to Fényi Gyula Jesuit High School, the only Jesuit school in Hungary, founded in 1994. He was heavily involved in the University of Scranton (USA) Scholarship Scheme, which led in time to his honorary doctorate in education, of which he was justly proud.

Later from 1998 to 2009, he returned to Clongowes where he lived among his Jesuit community; acted as spiritual father for students; assisted in a local parish and ministered to the Holy Family Sisters. His mind remained very alert as his physical health deteriorated. As one friend said of him: “He was a great man to have a conversation with but a terrible man to play scrabble with”. He also retained a great interest in computers and loved using up-to-date devices.

His passing is deeply regretted by his family, Jesuit companions, friends, former colleagues and his many students, some of whom posted warm tributes on Facebook. Fr Bradley concluded: “As Paddy arrives at last at the father’s house, we can rejoice with him and for him. Paddy, go without fear. Amen”.

Early Education at Edenderry NS; Knockbeg College, Carlow; Clongowes Wood College SJ

1945-1948 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1948-1951 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1951-1953 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1953-1954 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Third Line Prefect; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1954-1958 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1958-1959 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1959-1960 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Lower Line Prefect; Teacher
1960-1965 Mungret College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1965-1976 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Prefect of Studies; Teacher
1968 Rector
1971 Headmaster
1976-1977 St Ignatius Prep. San Francisco, CA, USA - Sabbatical
1977-1978 Loyola House - Province Special Secretariat
1978-1979 University Hall - Vice Superior; Province Special Secretariat; Director Province Education Policy
1979-1984 Belvedere College SJ - Working in Education; Director Province Education Policy
1980 Headmaster; Teacher; Education Delegate; Colloquium
1984-1987 Campion House - Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1985 Manager Gonzaga College SJ; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ; Vice-Superior
1987-1992 Loyola House - Superior; Education Delegate; Director Colloquium
1990 Central Province Admin; Asst Education Delegate; Chair Board Gonzaga College SJ
1992-1995 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Rector; Provincial Team
1995-1998 Belvedere College SJ - Principal of Junior School
1997 Chair Board Cherryfield Lodge
1998 - 2017 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Assists in Clane Parish of St Patrick & St Brigid
1999 Chair Board of Greendale School, Kilbarrack, Dublin
2001 Spiritual Father to Third Line
2006 Ministry to Holy Family Sisters, Clane, Co Kildare
2009 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Cullen, Richard, 1852-1874, Jesuit scholastic

  • IE IJA J/1138
  • Person
  • 22 October 1852-26 December 1874

Born: 22 October 1852, County Kilkenny
Entered: 21 December 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 26 December 1874, Santa Clara College, Santa Clara, CA USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1873

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Went to Novitiate at (Santa) Monica and died there shortly afterwards

Diviney, Andrew, 1930-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/593
  • Person
  • 11 February 1930-26 May 2006

Born: 11 February 1930, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 26 May 2006, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1978 at San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) sabbatical
by 1992 at Northridge CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007


Fr Andrew (Billy) Diviney (1930-2006)

February 1930: Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, Synge Street
7th September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 - 1952: Rathfarnham - Studied Science at UCD
1952 - 1955: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1955 - 1958: Clongowes - Teacher; Third Line Prefect
1958 - 1962: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1961: Ordained at Milltown Park
1962 - 1963: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1963 - 1977: Clongowes -
1963 - 1966: Lower Line Prefect
1966 - 1969: Minister
1969 - 1977: Teacher
1977 - 1979: San Francisco - Parish Ministry and Sabbatical
1979 - 1980: Loyola - Exec Officer of Marriage & Family Apostolate
1980 -1982: Milltown Park - Assistant to President and Treasurer
2nd February 1981: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1982 - 1983: Gonzaga - Minister; Director, Adult Education Registrar and Treasurer at Milltown Institute
1983 - 1991: Crescent College Comprehensive; Dooradoyle - Teacher
1991 - 2004: California - Our Lady of Lourdes, Northridge, Pastoral Assistant
2004 - 2006: Milltown Park - Praying for Church and Society
26th May 2006: Died in Cherryfield, Dublin

Liam O'Connell writes:
Andrew Diviney was born the third child of six, Michael, Angie, Billy, Margo, Ted and David. Nobody is exactly sure why Andrew ended up being called Billy, but as a young person that name stuck with him in his family and among his friends.

A picture of his parents was always prominent in Billy's room. His family were very important to him, and his strong affection for them extended to his nieces and nephews. He in turn was important to his family, and they loved the attentive, joyful and personal way he celebrated their weddings and religious profession and baptisms. When Billy's niece, Helen, entered religious life, Billy gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ, with a passage from Philippians inscribed on the front page. This passage was chosen for his funeral Mass and is a reminder of what was important to him in religious life.

Billy went to school in Synge Street, where he was in the scholarship class. He was twice the Leinster Schools 100 yards champion, and won the Lord Mayor trophy for athletics. He enjoyed school and always spoke of his Christian Brother teachers with admiration and great affection. He used to say that they were Great Men.

When Billy joined the Society in 1948 in Emo, he was a member of a large year of 22 other novices. His contemporaries include Joe Brennan, Joe Cleary, Tom Morrissey Conla O Dulaine and Frank O'Neill. Two others, Jimmy McPolin and Joe Shields died recently. Billy was a gentle and popular member of the group, and an outstanding soccer player. His contemporaries noted his lifelong gift for enjoying good company and appreciating other people.

In Mark's Gospel, when Jesus is baptised, we hear the Father taking delight in Him as He says, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased”. Delight and enjoyment and love are at the heart of God. Billy had this divine gift, the ability to delight in other people, and to enjoy and relish what others might have been too hurried to appreciate.

After studies at Rathfarnham and Tullabeg, Billy went to work for three years in Clongowes, and for two of these years he was the Third Line Prefect, in charge of the first and second year students. He still has good friends from these years. Billy then resumed his studies in Milltown, and, after ordination and tertianship, he returned to Clongowes in 1963, first as Lower Line Prefect and Minister, and then as a teacher of Mathematics and Religion. In religion class he taught the Papal social encyclicals, because he. believed that they were revolutionary and liberating, and his teaching method was based on the asking of questions and the querying of the students' assumptions. These classes often produced heat as well as light.

Life in large communities produced its own tensions, and Billy was one of those who oiled the wheels of community life at Clongowes. He turned the annual holiday, the community villa, from being an ordeal into a pleasure for his colleagues. A close Jesuit friend from these years says that Billy regularly took on difficult and unpleasant work, and this friend admired him for his lifelong faithfulness and integrity.

Many people only learn to identify the “good old days” years later and while looking backwards. They end up saying. Those were the good old days, 20 or 30 years ago, and we did not realise it. But this was not so for Billy. He had a great capacity to enjoy small things and his enjoyment was infectious. He took delight in people, and he knew at the time, that these were the good old days. Past students from Clongowes and Crescent remember these qualities of delight and enjoyment and encouragement. While in Clongowes, Billy would go on Saturday afternoons to the races with his elderly father, and this was important to both of them.

Billy was concerned for people who put themselves under undue pressure. I can remember him in Clongowes calming people down who were upset and overwrought, with an extended hand and the word Easy said in a soothing tone. He worried about those whom he described as Driven. He admired people with balance in their lives, and a word of great praise from him was when he described someone as Poised.

During a sabbatical year in San Francisco, Billy studied psychology, which he found personally enriching. On his return to Ireland he worked for a time with marriage counsellors and those involved in parenting courses. He organised a significant Irish visit by the well-known author and counsellor Jack Dominian. At this time he also taught religious knowledge to seniors at Belvedere.

Next he worked for a period as Registrar in the Milltown Institute. In 1983, when he was 53, he returned to teaching, at Crescent College Comprehensive in Limerick. Today people think of retiring from teaching at this stage of their lives, but Billy enjoyed his return to the classroom and was great company in the staff room, where he made many strong and lasting friendships, and these friends still quote his sayings.

During summer holidays Billy had ministered in parishes in the Los Angeles diocese, and when he retired from teaching he worked for 13 years in Our Lady of Lourdes parish in Northridge, California. These were great years, or as he would say himself 'marvellous years'. He treasured his priesthood, and he enjoyed the reading and work he put into preparing his homilies. He was happy to release his fellow priests by saying the Sunday evening Mass. Billy was loved and appreciated and the parishioners were able to express their gratitude to him in 2001 when Fr. Peter Moran and the parishioners celebrated in style the 40th anniversary of his ordination

In his 60's, Billy took up golf and played with Roddy Guerrini in a four-ball every Tuesday at Elkins Ranch, north of Los Angeles. It should not have been a surprise that the athletics champion developed an effective swing and a tidy golf game. But in golf, too, he never became a fanatic. Just as he never needed to be told that these were “the good old days”, Billy did not need to be told as a golfer to smell the flowers. At golf he enjoyed all of the small things, and he delighted in the company of his friends.

When Billy returned to Milltown fourteen months before his death, he faced serious health problems. The support of his own family was important to him at this time. In the last four years, Billy and his family had to cope with the death of four of his own brothers and sisters, and David is the sole surviving family member. Billy did not speak often about the things that were most important to him, but those who lived with him knew that he was strong and serene and happy as he prepared for the final journey, on Slí na Firine.

Billy died close to the feast of the Ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ, when heaven and earth are brought close together. We trust that the delight that Billy took in living, the delight that he took in his friends, and the delight he took in simple pleasures, will increase and flourish. We trust the God of Surprises to surprise him when Andrew Billy Diviney learns the length and breath and depth and height of the delight that God takes in his beloved son.

Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/827
  • Person
  • 14 September 1936-28 April 2017

Born: 14 September 1936, Phibsboro, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 01 February 1974, Della Strada Community, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 28 April 2017, St James’ Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1970 at Auriesville NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1971 at New York NY, USA (NEB) studying
by 1980 at Bronx NY, USA (NYK) studying
by 2004 at Bronx NY, USA (NYK) working
by 2011 at Seattle University ORE, USA (ORE) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Hugh Duffy – ‘a gentle Jesuit’
Fr Hugh Duffy SJ died in St James’s Hospital on Friday 28 April 2017, aged 80 years old. Born and raised in Dublin, Hugh won a senior cup rugby medal with Belvedere College SJ and entered the Jesuits in 1954. He spent several years in Limerick as a teacher and lecturer. He did his Doctoral degree in English in the United States and he worked in parish ministry and as a visiting professor there. Brian Grogan SJ gave the homily at his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 3 May.

Fr Grogan said about his friend and classmate, “This man was more there than the average man. He was able to reveal gold to other people”. He fondly remembered when Hugh went on to do his doctoral training after four bachelor degrees during a time when the Church was struggling to adapt to the times. His PhD thesis explored a fresh following of faith in a God who infinitely loves.

Regarding his life as a teacher, “Hugh struggled to liberate his students from destructive images of God. He had a passion for the genuine liberation of the human heart. He wanted people to know that they are loved and appreciated beyond words”. And he taught thousands of pupils in thousands of classes over his lifetime. A friend once noted: “He was a pet; he had soft eyes”. Fr Grogan also thanked his family for sharing Hugh with his Jesuit companions.

Referring to the Jesuit’s decline in health where he moved from autonomy to dependency, Fr Grogan remarked that “He did not yield to dark moods. He was humble and patient, and he offered his suffering for the Church and the world”. The Gospel for the funeral mass depicted Jesus asking his disciple Peter if he loved him, then commanding him to look after his flock. Fr Grogan imagined Hugh answering wholeheartedly, “Yes, I love you, Lord”.

“And so, Hugh found that dying is safe because God is safe, and all restricting images melt away. In his transfigured body, he’s able to dance and sing, and sing and dance, without a stick. And I think that laughter and merriment will be a large part of his contribution to the cosmic party.”

Damien Burke, assistant archivist in the Province, was also at the funeral mass. Hugh helped Damien in his work, identifying Jesuits from earlier days whom Damien would not have known. The very night before his stroke, Hugh was working with Damien on a pamphlet from Belvedere College SJ. “We were discussing a flyer for a 1953 production of the Mikado in which Hugh had a part – he was in the chorus. He was his usual lovely self, a kind and gentle Jesuit, and I really enjoyed working with him.”

A large number of Hugh’s family were in attendance including nieces and nephews who returned from many different countries. His nephew Ian spoke movingly about him. He said he would have made a great father so it was all the more inspirational that he had dedicated his life to the Church. And he raised a laugh when he talked about Hugh’s love of America and how he drove right across the continent from one coast to another – adding, “probably very slowly, but he did it!”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Scoil Colmcille, Dublin; Belvedere College SJ

1956-1959 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1959-1962 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1962-1965 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1965-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1969-1970 Monroe, Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship at Our Lady of the Martyrs
1970-1971 Rice High School, NY, USA - Studying for MA and MEd at Columbia University
1971-1979 Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle - Teacher; Transition Year Co-ordinator
1979-1980 All Hallows High School, Bronx, NY, USA - Doctoral studies in English at Columbia University
1981-1982 Fordham University, NY, USA - Doctoral studies in English
1983 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, San Francisco, CA, USA - Parish Work
1983-1985 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; 6th Form Master
1985-2002 Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle - Head of & Lecturer in English Department, Mary Immaculate College
1994 Chair English Department & Lecturer in English at Mary Immaculate College (UL)
2002 Sabbatical
2003-2004 St Thomas the Apostle, Hepstead, New York, NY, USA - Parish Work
2004-2012 Seattle University, Seattle, WA, USA - Visiting Professor in English and Theology
2012-2017 Leeson St - Assistant Chaplain in Cherryfield Lodge

Dunne, John A, 1944-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/773
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-27 December 2008

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 31 May 1979, Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 27 December 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Sandford Road, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

John Dunne SJ RIP
Fr John Dunne SJ died peacefully at 10:30 am on the morning of 27 December 2008, the Feast of John the Evangelist. He was commended to the Lord by the prayers of his sister, Anne, Jesuit colleagues and nursing staff.

John Dunne SJ
15 May 1944 – 27 December 2008
John’s early education was in Trim and Coláiste na Rinne, Dungarvan. After secondary school in Clongowes Wood College he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1962 at Emo. After First Vows, John went to Rathfarnham and studied Arts at ucd and later Philosophy at Milltown Park. He taught at the Sacred Heart College in Limerick before returning to Milltown in 1971 to study theology.

After ordination on 21 June 1974, he studied guidance counselling at Mater Dei and went as teacher and guidance counsellor to Crescent College Comprehensive where he remained until 1981. During this time he made Tertianship in Tullabeg and took his Final Vows on 31 May 1979. While in Limerick he studied computing and continued this interest, later beginning LayJay bulletin, forerunner to today’s He served in Galway from 1981 to 1987 as Rector, teacher, guidance counsellor and chair of the board of management. In 1987 John was appointed to Gonzaga where he was to spend the next fourteen years in roles as various as pastoral co-ordinator, guidance counsellor, teacher, librarian and Rector.

Following a year’s sabbatical, during which John spent some time at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California, and travelling in Asia and Africa, he moved to Loyola House in 2002 where he became Superior and Socius (Assistant Provincial).

John was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19 December following a short illness which was diagnosed at the beginning of October. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday 27 December, feast of Saint John the Evangelist.
May he rest in the peace of Christ

John Dunne SJ: funeral homily

The death of Fr John Dunne has drawn condolences from near and far, including, from Zambia-Malawi, Declan Murray SJ and Provincial Peter Bwanali. Also, there have been
numerous requests for the text of the homily which Brian Grogan SJ gave at the funeral mass in Gonzaga Chapel. Brian spoke warmly of John’s life and character, concentrating on three areas – the “three E’s”: the Enterprise of John’s life, his Endurance, and his Everlasting joy. Read the full homily below :

It’s impossible to capture a person’s life fully and I shall not try. But John loved photography: he lost 18 volumes of snapshots in the fire on Good Friday 2007! So I too shall be content with snapshots. I also note that at the Vigil we held for him last evening, friend after friend came up to the microphone and each gave us a distinct snapshot of how John had impacted on their lives. And the stories will go on and on. So I shall focus just on three areas:

The Enterprise of John’s life – this is the longer bit! His Endurance. His Everlasting joy. Three “Es” so you will know when I’m coming in to land!

  1. The Enterprise of John’s Life
    We celebrate a good man. Now that may seem obvious: but I believe that one should try to write a homily with the bible in one hand and the Irish Times in the other – which makes it hard to do any writing, but there you are! Now there are two things to note about today’s Irish Times: first, those of you who are worried about your stocks and shares should take my advice and not invest in Pringles (= a form of potato crisps), because the value of these shares has plummeted since John lost his appetite!

Next, the paper is full, as always, of the wrongdoings of many people: violence, deception, murder, rape, domination – the unsavoury side of humankind. Measure John’s life against that picture. True, his life was ordinary: he taught for 25 years, but many of you have taught for much longer. He was a Superior for 18 years, but that was nothing special. We had a famous man, a scripture scholar, who was once asked if he’d like to be a Superior. ‘No’, he said finally, ‘but I’d like to live like one!’ But in fact it’s an ordinary job of service, just as being the assistant to the Provincial is. An ordinary man: John was not an academic; he liked the quip: ‘You can tell an intellectual but you can’t tell him much!’

An ordinary man. A good man. 46 yrs of service as a Jesuit. His story is ours. We can relate to him: I speak to the ordinary among you – please remain seated! The others can stand!
There’s a book of short stories by Flannery O’Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. Good people are hard to find, and would that our world had more of them. Don’t take the faithful servant for granted! God doesn’t: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’

About 50 years ago John made a decision as an adolescent: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service. He would serve the world! ‘In all things to love and serve’ is an Ignatian phrase. It sounds fine, but he took it seriously and lived it out, year after plodding year, until Dec 19 of this year to be exact, after the end- of -year office lunch. He then went home and spruced up for a Christmas meal given by Anne, his sister. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum and do his Christmas shopping. Many of the gifts have yet to be given out.

To serve the world, through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it. It wasn’t easy. He loved the Society & the Province & the community, and he loved his family and friends. A loyal servant, he was ‘Ready for everything’ – It’s an Ignatian phrase, and he lived it. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial 6 yrs ago. Punctual, organised. He was out to work by 08.00, home for 6 p.m. day after day, not knowing what demands each day would bring.

In mid-Oct the doctors told him he could go home – ‘But no work!’ We were so amazed at his going back to work after hospital in mid-Oct that we thought he hadn’t understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did I learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that he ‘was going home to die.’

A Good Man is hard to find. Good people – ordinary good folk – change the world. This world of ours has been the better for John’s presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

As the second reading emphasised, our enterprises must be loving ones. Perhaps each of us is asked by God to reflect to the world a particular facet of the divine? So God asks one person to reflect energy, another justice, a third compassion, a fourth good administration and so on. I suggest John’s task was to reflect lovableness! That’s what I’ve heard most emphasised over these days. He loved his family and his friends and his Jesuit brethren, and in return he was well loved.

He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, care, prayer, compassion, love, for himself when sick. He couldn’t see why this should be. He was humble. He never knew over the last days that many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. That’s a nice tribute, to find others willing to lay down their lives for you! Check it out!! Don’t get me wrong: his loving was of the unique Dunne brand! He could be gruff; he could get mad with you! But the squall passed and blue skies returned.

John was uniquely present to reality. If he was eating, that’s what he was engaged in. If he was sorting out a mess created by someone, that’s what he was doing. He got to appreciate Buddhism during his sabbatical in 2001. He had Buddhist qualities: that of being full present to reality. He could also, like Buddha, enjoy life to the full, whether it was TV, DVDS, recliners, holidays, good company....In Jewish folklore, the single question that God will ask as we approach the pearly gates is: Did you enjoy my creation? ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ must have been John’s answer the other morning! Most obviously at table: the feast of flowing wine etc... – And the pouring cream! John enjoyed it all. I sometimes fantasised, as he put on more weight and several chairs gave way, that perhaps he was becoming a reincarnation of the Buddha...
It was hard to stay mad with him for long. In our little community of four we divide time into BC – before the conflagration – and AD, after the disaster. Well, when we got into our new house after much work on John’s part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. I proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment in order to choose who got what. ‘Fine’, said John as he ambled up the stairs, ‘I’ll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!’ But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out my computer problems after a long day in the office.
It was because he was so massively present that his death creates a massive loss. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. For John, his Yes was Yes, and his No was No! He could be devastatingly honest. I felt he used to contradict me a lot, and I said one day: ‘There isn’t a single statement that one could make in this house that won’t be contradicted.’ Immediately John shot back: ‘That’s not true!’
It’s time to move on.

  1. His Endurance
    Chardin wrote a book about the divinising of our activities and of our passivities. He divided life thus into two: what we do and what happens to us. For him, what happens to us is about 80% of our life experience, and his concern was how we respond.

We’re talking about the things that happen to us and how we respond. We’re talking about the sanctification of the ordinary, about the tradition in Christian spirituality that unavoidable suffering, patiently endured, is graced. We’re talking about the simple Morning Offering.

For John, as for all of us, there were the times he lived in: Post-war world. Dev’s Ireland. Economic development. Vatican 2. GC 31 – the Jesuit effort at genuine renewal. Subsequent turmoil in the Church and in the Society. Assassination of JFK and MLK. Communism and its fall. Northern Ireland Conflict. Rwanda. Palestine. Kosovo. Decline in vocations. The loss of many things cherished. The Celtic Tiger and its demise. Scandals and tribunals. Child Sexual Abuse.... The list continues. We can ignore it, get depressed at it, become cynical about it, or we can entrust our battered world to God and pray and do what we can about our troubled times. Ignatius speaks of ‘courage in difficult enterprises’ and John had that.

Moving along in this area of the things endured: Close to his heart was the death of his sister Margot. Last year there was the fire and the loss of everything. This year: His knee replacement; End of use of motorbike. It was hard for him but no complaining. Then his incipient deafness humbly acknowledged.

Then in October, his final illness. He was so massively practical about it: ‘The news is bad!’ ‘I’m going home to die!’ ‘This is how it is. We’ll see.’ He had in consequence to let go of his trip to the Holy Land in October, though he sneaked a trip to Fatima in early December!

You know the novel by P J Kavanagh: The Perfect Stranger? Well, over the past three months, John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast recently I said to him: ‘ You’re very patient.’ He replied: ‘What else can one do?’ ‘Well’ I said, ferreting around in my own feelings, ‘you could choose depression or rage or self-pity? ‘I’d hate that’ he said.’ Days before his death a visitor asked him how he was feeling? ‘Smashing!’ was the reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health – so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps I’m beginning to see the meaning of that. There’s so much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And I have been struck by all the good that has come out of this mess, this mess of sickness and of dying, which is not the way God intends things to be; I mean the love and care from others, in Cherryfield and right across the world. I think I believe more than before that God brings good out of evil, and that’s a blessing.

  1. His Everlasting Joy
    So much for the outer side of his life. But as the fox said to the Little Prince, ‘The things that are essential are invisible to the eye.’ At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! It took some faith to write that!
    What’s the Retirement Plan? For those of us who see our pension schemes fall apart, it would be good to know that there is one that won’t fail! Another John Donne, 1572 – 1631, (died at 59) to help us catch the mystery of how it is with him now: it’s from the Holy Sonnets, since not all his sonnets were such!

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what do we wake to? Firstly, there’s God, a God who is pleased with him and loves him. There’s the welcome and congratulations as he staggered over the line on the 27th, the feast, of course, of St John the Evangelist! The loveableness he was entrusted with is now perfected. The Lover gives all to the beloved! So says Ignatius at his mystic best... What is that like? Multiple overwhelmings... Later in this Mass we acknowledge: ‘We shall become like him, for we shall see him as he is.’

Next, I can imagine John looking around to see where the banquet is set! Then there’s the unalloyed joy of great companionship. Then agility of body. John’s body was worn out at the end: now Hopkins line comes into play: “This jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood/Immortal diamond/Is immortal diamond.” Then insights into the mysteries of God: his imagination caught.

Then a commissioning ceremony: asked by God to be caring still: to be a solid presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. ‘Placed over many things!’
John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating what we celebrate here: that Jesus Christ by dying destroys our death, and by rising restores our life. He is all Joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in St John’s gospel: ‘I will see you again and Your hearts will rejoice, And no one will take your joy from you’ (16:22).
May it be so for us all. Amen.

Losing John Dunne
In the consciousness of Irish Jesuits, the dominant mood this Epiphany is of loss. It is just a week since we buried John Dunne, who had been Socius (companion, secretary,
counsellor, support) to the last two Provincials, a cheerful, competent, selfless presence at the heart of the administration. Conscious of his terminal state with galloping cancer, he worked until he dropped, a good model of Winnicott’s prayer: ‘May I be alive when I die’. He had served Galway, Gonzaga, Eglinton Road and Sandford Road as superior; and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors as their president for many years. A crowd of friends, from all the chapters of his life, packed Gonzaga chapel to overflowing in a memorable funeral Mass, and responded warmly to Brian Grogan’s affectionate homily. It was a good send-off, one which John would relish. But the loss is heavy, most of all for his sister Anne.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009


Fr John A Dunne (1944-2008)

15th May 1944: Born in Dublin
Early education at Mercy Convent and CBS, Trim; Ring College, Dungarvan; Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1964: First Vows at Emo
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts
1967 - 1969: Studied Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1969 - 1971: Dooradoyle - Teacher at Crescent Comprehensive
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga College Chapel
1974 - 1975: John Austin House - Studied Guidance and Counselling at Mater Dei Institute, Dublin
1975 - 1981: Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1977 - 1980: University of Limerick - Computer Studies
1977 - 1978: Tertianship at Tullabeg
31st May 1979: Final Vows at Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle
1981 - 1987: Galway - Rector; Teacher; Guidance Counsellor, Chair, Board of Management
1987 - 2001: Gonzaga -
1987 - 1993: Pastoral Care Co-ordinator; Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1993 - 1998: Rector
1996 - 1998: Guidance Counsellor; Teacher
1998 - 2001: Information Technology Co-ordinator; College Librarian; Assistant Pastoral Counsellor; Teacher of Computer Studies
2000 - 2001: Minister; ECDL Course
2001 - 2002: Sabbatical
2002 - 2008: Loyola House - Socius, Superior; Province Consultor; Provincial's Admonitor; Provincial Team
27th December 2008: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Brian Grogan writes:

An Ordinary Man
John was born in Dublin, but the family lived in Summerhill, near Trim in Co. Meath, so he received his early education at the local Mercy Convent, and then at the CBS. His father was an army man, and he had two older sisters, Anne and Margot. He spent some time in Colaiste na Rinne, Dungarvan, and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Society at Emo in 1962, immediately after school, then studied arts, including archaeology, at UCD, 1964-1967. He studied philosophy at Milltown 1967-1969, when the Institute was just beginning. Following two years teaching at Crescent College Comprehensive, and three years of Theology again at Milltown, he was ordained on 21 June 1974, and spent the following year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest: he was later President of the Association of Guidance Counsellors in Ireland. He taught again in Limerick for the next six years, and took up a part-time course in Computer Studies in 1977: computers were to fascinate him for the remainder of his life. He was Rector in Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga 1993-1998 where he spent fourteen years in all: he was Superior in Loyola and Socius to the Provincial from 2002-2008.

All told, he taught for twenty-eight years and was a Superior for seventeen. He enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical in Berkeley, Thailand and Nepal in 2001-2002, where he developed an interest in Buddhism. He left behind several photos titled “The Buddha and I', and his gastronomic exploits made one wonder if he might become a reincarnation of the Buddha. His hobbies were photography and computers; he read no newspapers or serious novels, but was well informed on current affairs, and had a sharp mind and a good memory, as well as a sound knowledge of the Irish Province. He liked TV and DVDs, and his preferred mode of travel was the motorbike, which he relinquished only after a knee operation in May 2008.

After forty-six years of Jesuit service, he died at sixty-four, having been diagnosed with cancer in early October 2008. He spent a little over a week in Cherryfield, and was the first to die in the new building. He died, appropriately, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, after whom he was named. He saw himself as an ordinary man: he was not an academic, and liked the quip: "You can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!' But about fifty years ago he had made a decision: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service: he would serve the world through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it in the demanding times in which he lived.

A Good Man
There's a book of short stories by Flannery O'Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. As the media make clear in giving us our daily dose of bad news, good people do seem hard to find, and God doesn't take them for granted. The gospel text for his requiem was: 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' People who spoke at the Vigil in Gonzaga Chapel the night before his funeral said over and over: He was a good man! Ordinary good people change the world, and many testified that their world was so much the better for John's presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

John came across as a good man because of his love. He loved family and friends, but especially he loved the Society and more concretely the members of the Irish Province. Being a Jesuit was a fulltime reality for him, and it came across. A loyal servant, he was “ready for everything” as Ignatius would have wished. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial six years ago. Punctual and organised, he was at his desk early and working his way through the myriad mundane tasks that fall to a Socius - fifty per day, according to a survey! When the curia moved to Sandyford after the fire, he prepared his lunch daily from the leftovers of the previous evening meal and set off before 8 am, and was a genial Office Manager, with an inimitable style. “Carry on the good work!” was his usual phrase to encourage the staff in their labours.

When his diagnosis was confirmed in mid-October the doctors told him he could go home - “But no work!” In the community we were so amazed at his going back to work immediately that we thought he hadn't understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did we learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that “he was going home to die”. But instead he went home to serve out the remaining weeks of his life to the full. “In all things to love and serve” is an Ignatian phrase which sounds fine, but he took it seriously year after plodding year, until December 2008 - to be exact. After the end-of-year office lunch in the IMI he went home to spruce up for a Christmas meal given by his sister Anne. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum Shopping Centre to do his Christmas shopping. He never had the joy of distributing most of the gifts, which were found after his death. Many of us, I suggest, if we were told at his age that we had three months to live would leaf through A Thousand Places to See Before You Die and ask for an open credit card. Nothing wrong there, but John's loyalty and tenacity brought him in another direction.

Living to the Full
John enjoyed living. He was welcoming and hospitable, believing that enjoyment was to be shared. He engaged fully in whatever he was doing, whether it was a good meal, a sabbatical, a glass of brandy, an administrative issue, a DVD, a discussion, a computer problem, a rugby match on TV, a holiday with his sister Anne. It is said that part of Jewish belief is that eternal judgement will consist in a single question from God: 'Did you enjoy my creation?' To this John would have given a resounding Yes! This quality of complete engagement gave him a certain magnificent simplicity. His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No: he had little space for indecision, and would engage in robust discussion to bring things to conclusions. At his funeral Mass the Provincial, John Dardis, told of times when he himself would return enthusiastically from Rome with a bright idea on how to move Province affairs forward, If John didn't like it he'd bark out: “That's ridiculous! Won't work!” Yet he was open to persuasion and then embrace the project wholeheartedly.

Clearing his plate meant not only enjoying good food to the last bite: it also meant that he liked to delegate. When commissioned to get something done his strategy was to delegate rather than to do the job alone. So in early October last when Fr Jack Donovan died in London, John, who was in hospital at the time, was assigned to see to arrangements, and I got a call: “Will you take this over?” - after which John presumably moved on to the next task. He enjoyed this style of management, somewhat more, perhaps, than those at the receiving end of his phone calls! But it was hard to stay mad with him for long. When after the fire we got into our new house - due to much work on John's part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. It was proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment to choose who got what. “Fine”, said John as he ambled up the stairs, “I'll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!” But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out someone's computer problems after a long day in the office.

It was because he was so massively present to whatever he was doing, whether looking after others or discussing or relaxing, that his death creates such a massive sense of absence. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. Not for him the soft-footed approach: he could be devastatingly honest. I used feel that he used the contradictory mode perhaps a shade too much, and said one day:
“There's not a single statement that one could make in this house that won't be contradicted”. Immediately John shot back: “That's not true!” He could be gruff, “like an angry bear” as someone said “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall passed and blue skies returned. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

Enduring to the End
John not only enjoyed the good things of life: he also endured its painful side patiently. For him there was the post-war Irish scene: firstly de Valera's Ireland, succeeded by economic development, then difficult times, then the Celtic Tiger and its demise. Add into the mix the Northern Ireland conflict, political and financial scandals and endless tribunals. In the religious dimension there was the hope and promise of Vatican Two, and in the Society and the Province the hard-won renewal set in motion by GCs31 and GC32; all of this to be followed by turmoil in the Church and in the Society, and in our relationship with the Vatican, leading to the resignation of Arrupe and its aftermath. Locally there was the spectre of Child Sexual Abuse. The list could continue endlessly. How did John respond to these situations which were not of his making, not part of the plan?

In the seventies a commentator on religious life observed that the contemporary religious would suffer the loss of many things cherished: colleagues, vocations, institutions, thriving apostolic works etc. So it has been, and John's stance was to face the difficulties and diminishments within the Province and the Church honestly, without growing cynical or indifferent. Ignatius speaks of “courage in difficult enterprises” and John had that. He worked energetically against the corporate depression which can accompany diminishing numbers and their consequences. Long before GC35 he promoted the renewal of the Province with a project titled “Sparks Light Fires” and no one who attended Province events over the past decade will have failed to notice John's recurring bidding prayer for an increase in vocations.

Closer to home was the untimely death of his sister Margot. Then on Good Friday 2007 there was the Loyola fire and the loss of everything, including for him eighteen treasured volumes of photos of family, friends, Irish Jesuits etc. (cf the interview he gave to Paul Andrews, shortly after the fire, but not published until one year later - Summer 2008, Interfuse #136) It was his mammoth task with Bill Toner, John Maguire and others, to deal with the curial aftermath of the fire, to find new premises for the community, and to help each member to find appropriate ways of coping. This he did by gathering us regularly for a Revision de vie, followed by a Eucharist and a meal, together with some sessions in post-traumatic stress. He dealt with all of this in a healthy matter-of-fact way, though he used to refer to the fire as the elephant in the corner - something he had not yet fully integrated, despite his dedicated efforts at (retail therapy' on that Good Friday afternoon.

The Perfect Patient
In May 2008 he had a knee replacement; this meant the end of motorcycling, hard for him but there were no complaints. In August his incipient deafness was noticed and humbly acknowledged. In October, out of the blue, began his final illness. He was massively practical about it: “The news is bad!” “I'm going home to die!” “This is how it is. We'll see”. He had to let go of a planned trip to the Holy Land, though he sneaked a “pilgrimage” with his sister to Fatima in early December, and regaled us afterward with tales of the delights of a Lisbon hotel.

John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast, weeks before he died, I said to him: “You're very patient”. He replied: “What else can one do?” “Well”, I said, ferreting around in my own feelings and drawing on my Kubler-Ross theories about stages of dying, “you could choose depression or rage or self-pity?” “I'd hate that”, he said. Days before his death, when his breathing had become difficult, a visitor asked him how he was feeling. “Smashing!” was the one-word reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health: so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps those who were close to him saw something of the meaning of that. “Let them give no less edification in sickness than in health” for there was much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And good things came out of this tragedy of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself. he couldn't see why this should be. But people found him lovable, presumably because they experienced that he loved them. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential.

So much for the outer side of his life. What about the inside? At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had the slogan: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! John never got to elaborate on the Retirement Plan, for he was not an eschatological speculator, but perhaps he would have agreed with the earlier John Donne, 1572 - 1631, who wrote:

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what did he wake to? To the welcome and congratulations of those gone before him, Jesuits and family and friends, as he staggered over the line on December 27th. Then the multiple overwhelming by God: “the Lover gives all to the beloved” as Ignatius says at his mystic and cryptic best. Next, one can imagine John sniffing the air for hints as to where the great banquet might be set! Then there's the unalloyed joy of great companionship, the excitement of the vastness of the world of God, agility of body and so on. Then a commissioning - placed over many things and asked by God to be a caring presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating endlessly on the inside what we celebrate fitfully and in hope. He is all Joy.

Here is another farewell, different, spoken by Jim O'Higgins at John's Month's Mind, and copied as it was forwarded:

Fifty years ago the face of welcome
In his solid frame, from John the delegate
To call my name and he greeted me
To that large Kildare domain
The prefect later on, that John
sent out again to ease the tense
the taut and restrain the mini gangs

John the true disciple of Loyola
Guidance counselled young hope
from west to east and once again
he's called to mediate between
the grief of parents of the suicided child
Or the dumbfounded ire of the mother
of a manslaughtered son and the why
the what of that God of his
and his own priestly purpose
Or ask in whose image we are made
or where was The Virgin in the keep
at Lourdes on that drowning day

John, called to jollify and feast with
with friends, a Friar Tuck, called
Bonzo, Buster or, with bourgeois respectability, Fr. Bun
The love of Table talk in his so communitaire
of duties in an S.J. house or sitting
in a kitchen ,one leg on the bench
and, not quite a keg ,upon the table
Or in the deep affection of his
nieces and proud nephew in Dublin
six, fourteen, or four of Tullamore
And for the many pieces de resistance
He could rely on his beloved Anne to
see him well ensconced in some
exotic Resto or Hotel Excelsior
Or in sweet Silverdale
Or Long Island Sound

John gifted with the rooted gem
of insight in himself so he could discern
what he could do within
what was beyond his reach
he humbled hubris and defaced its mask
in a paradox of earthy tongue
relating us and our mere creaturehood
To Immanence and Who it was we served
Chuckling his falstaffian way
to his next set of minutes or report

John called to be the techie in I.T.
The Socius systems, Sounder out
The teller of the truth without the frills
And yet again being sent on far flung
Flights with postcards from the edge
in misspelt greetings from some land
remembering and reminding us
in that unsure hand of what we are to him
and we know now what he is to us

John who could be nothing but a goodly man
You leave us for a while on the day of your
own feast of John loved Disciple.

Another appreciation, different in style, from Michael Hurley:
The thoughtfulness of the following letter from John is deeply moving; the circumstances make it more so, and the strained light heartedness at the beginning and end makes it still more moving.

Dear Michael,
May we bury the hatchet for the moment in exchange for prayers for my tryst with the medicos, hopefully from tomorrow. Learnt this morning of liver trouble and bile duct blockage — yellow as a canary, I am. This is by way of communicating!
John A. Dunne, SJ (September 25, 2008 4.51 pm)

The bone of contention between John and myself was my continuing emphasis on communication in the Province, or, rather (as I experienced it), the lack of such communication: in particular between M and the rest of us. I had suggested a Curia Newsletter and sent him a draft of a letter about the matter - which I thought of sending to a Delegate - and later a draft of a few words I might possibly say at a Delegates Friday lunch. He didn't like my drafts, especially a suggestion that if we knew what was happening at IMI we might be less worried about whether our (sic) money was being used responsibly.

Preparations for the visit of the Assistant halted these discussions. What happened next was that Kevin O'Rourke, our Rector, sharing some of my concern, made arrangements for a visit here of three of the delegates; he did so independently but with the knowledge and encouragement of John. This turned out to be a very happy, successful, community event at which I took the liberty of broaching the idea of a Curia Newsletter.

John and I were not at daggers drawn, far from it, but his letter, so remarkably thoughtful, so magnanimous, did enable us, in the time he had left, to communicate not only amicably but affectionately. Which I trust will continue.

Farrell, Patrick, 1818-1876, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1276
  • Person
  • 14 February 1818-19 December 1876

Born: 14 February 1818, Glin, County Limerick
Entered: 20 February 1859, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Professed: 02 February 1872
Died: 19 December 1876, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Feeney, Peadar J, 1919-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/596
  • Person
  • 13 May 1919-22 February 2000

Born: 13 May 1919, Galway City
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954
Died: 22 February 2000, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

by 1979 at Manhattan Beach CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1986 at Santa Barbara CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1989 at Long Beach CA, USA (CA) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 105 : Special Edition 2000


Fr Peter (Peadar) Feeney (1919-2000)

1919, May 13th Born in Galway
Early education, Patrician Brothers and St. Ignatius College, Galway
1937, Oct 4: Entered the Society at Emo
1939, Oct 5: First vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg, studying philosophy
1945 - 1948: Clongowes, teacher, Cert. in Education
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park, studying theology
1951, July 31: Ordained priest at Milltown Park
1952 - 1953: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1953 - 1954: Gonzaga College, teaching
1954 - 1958: Clongowes, teaching, Dir. Dramatic Society
1958 - 1965: St. Ignatius, Galway, teaching, Rowing club
1965 - 1970: Clongowes, teaching, Dir. Dramatic Society
1970 - 1976: St, Ignatius, Galway, teaching, Games Master, Rowing Club
1976 - 1978: Belvedere, teaching
1978 - 1995: California, parish work
1955 - 2000: St. Ignatius, Galway, ministering in the community

Peadar was admitted to the University College Hospital, Galway, on 21st January. After surgery on 10th February his health continued to deteriorate. He died peacefully on 22nd February 2000, Feast of the See of Peter, aged 80.

Bob McGoran writes ...

Peadar Feeney and I entered the Society on the same day, October 4th 1937. We were pert of a group of six, who for various reasons arrived later than the usual September novices. I soon learnt that Peadar was a Galway city man, living only a stone's throw away from the Jesuit house. over the next few years I got to know his family well - father, mother, one brother and three sisters. My friendship with them continued over many years.

Peadar had many talents and abilities. Physically strong and hardy, he was an excellent oarsman, swimmer and diver. A fine Gaelic footballer, he had been selected for the Galway minor team. He was also a talented actor and had won various awards in Feiseanna and festivals at a national level. He had a fine tenor voice and he later became a fluent French and Spanish speaker. All of these stood him in good stead in his later work in the Colleges.

He spent almost thirty years of his life teaching in various colleges, especially Colaiste Iognáid and Clongowes. He was a strict teacher - possibly over strict. Not many of his pupils came up to the standard he expected of them. There was no doubt about his ability and knowledge of the subjects he taught : his more talented pupils invariably did well. But the poor progress of others often led to tension in the class-room.

Peadar was a happier person on the playing field or on the river. Here again, he expected a high level of dedication and application, He coached the rowing crews in Galway for a number of years with great success. An indication of this is given by one of the teachers whom I quote later on in this account.

Peadar's other great love was acting and the stage. His productions in both Clongowes and Galway were highly successful. In Clongowes, he was director in the Dramatic Society for the pupils for the two periods he was teaching there. In Galway a great deal of his leisure time was devoted to drama. He founded the highly successful Dominican and Ignatian Dramatic Society (the D&I) among adults, producing mostly Shakespearean and well-known plays such as “Macbeth”, “As you like it”, “The Barrets of Wimpole St.”, “Pride and Prejudice”, “Rebecca” and many others. He had a flair for discovering and developing talent in quite ordinary people and he insisted on high standards not only in the acting but in the staging, costumes and attention to detail. “Even a whisper” was one of his sayings “must be heard at the back of the hall”. Peadar was almost sixty years old when he felt the need to take a break from college life and seek a wider experience. Over the years, he had spent many Summer holidays helping in parishes in America. Now he felt the desire to go into full-time parish work there. He had become friendly with a Pastor in Manhattan beach in California who was glad to have him on a full-time basis. Peadar was very happy in this situation. However, when the Pastor was changed things were not working out so well. He got a change to Santa Barbara parish and a final assignment to Long Beach, a parish which was largely for Spanish-speaking people. Altogether he spent seventeen years in this Apostolate.

Peadar was a man of strong convictions and definite standards. In religious and spiritual matters he was an upholder of traditional values and practices. The liturgy was to be treated reverently, without undue haste. In church, his congregation - many of them daily Mass-goers - did not quite see eye to eye with him, but Peadar could not be budged from his principles, The Mass and the Breviary were sources of great strength to him and he was unfailingly faithful to them up to the time of his death.

At Peadar's funeral Mass, new ground was broken in the oration being delivered not by the usual S.J. but by one of the lay staff in the college, Mr Bernard O'Connell. Bernard had known Peadar for many years and grew particularly close to him in the period before his death. He spoke very eloquently of Peadar in both Irish and English. I finish this account with some short quotations from the sermon.

It was designed to be a five minute visit. Saturday afternoon afforded its usual tempting possibilities but having been sufficiently discommoded to visit a doctor about my back, I wasn't too inclined for temptation. It's a very strange sensation to talk to a dying man and hear him give you eminently sensible advice about your back and your health. But after the advice was proffered and duly accepted, discourse ensued. Five minutes became ninety. A conversation which concentrated on topics such as education, sport, music, the Coláiste, Galway and the call to the Society of Jesus was both rich and provocative

From his entrance into the Society of Jesus on October 4th 1937, Peadar set the highest standards both for himself and others. Meeting him on the Prom on vacation from the States he would despair at the state of the bay. He'd ask you directly what were you going to do about it? Not much, as it happened. But I did admire that righteous indignation of his. About Peadar's prowess as a rowing coach I admired the man that brought a Jes senior crew with just one sixth year aboard to within half a canvas of the Maiden Championship of Ireland in 1974. The winning Garda crew later beat its own senior crew that season. Subsequently, the Guards won the Petite Final at the Olympics and were timed fourth fastest in the world. And Peadar's fifth year lads nearly beat them.

Bob McGoran SJ

Finn, Cornelius, 1910-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/658
  • Person
  • 07 November 1910-

Born: 07 November 1910, Mallow, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1978
Died: 29 August 1993, Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed : HIB to ASL 05/04/1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at Mungret College Limerick, and he lived in the Apostolic School there, where boys interested in priesthood lived. he Entered the Society in 1928 at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1930-1933 After First Vows he was sent to Rathfarnham Castle to study at University College Dublin, majoring in Latin and English.
1933-1936 He was sent to Leuven for Philosophy where he also learned French and Flemish
1936-1938 He was sent immediately from Leuven to Innsbruck for Theology, where he learned German as well and made the acquaintance of Karl Rahner.
1938-1940 As war was begin in Europe he was brought back to Milltown Park Dublin to complete his Theology, and was Ordained there in 1939.
1940-1941 He made Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle under Henry Keane, the former English Provincial.
1941-1942 He spent this year in Liverpool at a parish awaiting a ship to Australia. He finally made the journey, but it was a dangerous trip, involving dodging German submarines, but he and his Jesuit companions arrived safely.
1943-1949 He was appointed Minister of Juniors at Loyola Watsonia where he remained for seven years. He was like by the Scholastics for his youth - only 33 years of age - and he was full of bright ideas and encouragement. He taught English, Latin and French there. He was also a great raconteur and rarely lost for a word. He was also engaged in giving Retreats at Watsonia to many groups who passed through Loyola. His cheerful presentation of the spiritual life had a wide appeal.
Among his innovations at the Juniorate was the introduction of a course in education (pedagogy) to prepare Scholastics for Regency. To prepare himself for this course he undertook a Diploma in Education himself at University of Melbourne, which included a six week training at Geelong Grammar School. He also instituted a Summer School on education for the Scholastics, inviting various experts to come and address them.
1949-1950 He began an MA himself at University of Melbourne focusing on the influence of the Spiritual Exercises on the poetry of Gerard Manley Hopkins. However at this time he was also appointed Dean of Students at Newman College left him not time to complete this MA.
1950-1952 He was appointed Rector at Aquinas College, Adelaide and was expected to develop this College. A stately home was purchased at North Adelaide and a new residential wing erected. By 1952 Aquinas had 40 resident students and 50 non-residents. During this time he also tutored students in French, English, Latin and Philosophy as well as carrying out chaplain duties. By the end of that year he had something of a breakdown and was given a rest.(1952-1953)
1953-1960 He was considered to have recovered his health sufficiently to be appointed the founding Rector at St Thomas More College in Perth. During 1954 he was expected to fundraise for new buildings there and this proved difficult. Meanwhile Archbishop Prendiville asked him to take over a new Parish at Attadale, where land hand been donated for a Jesuit school. He supervised the building of a parish school, St Joseph Pignatelli. By 1955 he was relieved of his parish duties to focus exclusively on the Newman College, which was due to open in March 1955. While unable to effect much influence on the grand design of the College, he did see to some of the finer details, such as the stained glass windows in the Chapel, the work of the Irish artist Richard King. He gave the College its motto “God's Servant First”, chose the first students and welded them into a community.
He was a very energetic chaplain to the Newman Society, holding the Annual Catholic Federation of Australia conference in 1958 - the first time for Perth. For some years he conducted “The Catholic Answer” programme on radio, and he continued to be in demand for Retreats and sermons. Overall he spent six years at this work.
1960-1968. He returned to Loyola Watsonia, somewhat tired to resume his former work as Minister of Juniors and Retreats. He spent much of these years between Loyola Watsonia and Campion College, including being appointed Rector at Campion for a new community for Scholastics attending University at the Dominican House of Studies in Canberra.
1969-1973 He began his long association with Corpus Christi College at Werribee and Clayton. It was to last 17 years. There he did what he had usually done, teaching English together with Liturgy and Scripture, and giving Spiritual Direction and retreats.
Between the end of Werribee and Clayton, he was given a sabbatical year in 1972, taking courses in San Francisco, Glasgow, Ireland and Rome. He was preparing for a position at the Catholic Education Office in Sydney helping teachers with catechetics. He took up this position in 1973 and resided at St John’s College.
1974-1986 His work at Clayton began in 1974. His first years were as Spiritual Director and then as Moderator of the Second Year students. This role involved tutoring. Students experienced him as quiet, diffident even, but sincere with integrity and deep spirituality.
1986 Following retirement his health and confidence deteriorated. After a year at Thomas More College and the Hawthorn Parish he spent his last four years at Toowong, where the climate was more suitable. He would return to Hawthorn and Queenscliff during the more oppressive Brisbane summers.

He was remembered for his Irish wit, his friendliness, his kindness, his wisdom and gentleness as a spiritual director, his “marketing” of the “discernment of spirits”, his preaching and his zeal in promoting vocations to the Society. he was a man of many talents but very humble.

Note from Michael Moloney Entry
Michael Moloney came to Australia as director of the retreat house at Loyola College, Watsonia, and worked with Conn Finn, 1964-66.

Flinn, William, 1815-1875, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1316
  • Person
  • 17 March 1815-21 May 1875

Born: 17 March 1815, Monsea, County Tipperary
Entered: 07 December 1857, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Professed: 19 March 1868
Died: 21 May 1875, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Fogarty, Philip, 1938-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/857
  • Person
  • 04 September 1938-26 November 2019

Born: 04 September 1938, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1957, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1978, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 26 November 2019, Sewickley PA, USA

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

Raised at Taylor’s Hill, Galway
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1962 at Chantilly France (FRA) studying
by 1972 at San Francisco CA, USA (CAL) studying
by 1973 at University of London (ANG) studying
by 1974 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1992 at Wernersville PA, USA (MAR) sabbatical
by 2009 at Pittsburgh PA, USA (MAR) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Living the Jesuit vision: Phil Fogarty RIP

The funeral Mass of Philip Fogarty SJ took place in Sewickley, Pittsburgh on Tuesday 3 December 2019. The celebrant was Michael Shiel SJ who had flown over with fellow Jesuit and socius Declan Murray SJ. Cathal Doherty SJ flew from San Francisco to join all those who had gathered to give thanks for Philip’s life of service. Because he suffered from severe heart trouble over the past 20 years Philip spent a good bit of time in the United States but he continued to work both in Ireland and the states, “a testament to his courage” as one Jesuit colleague put it. He was well known as a retreat giver and writer and for the past 10 years in Sewickley, near Pittsburgh in the USA. He spent the latter part of his life engaged in the spirituality apostolate, both at home and with the CSJ Sisters in the USA. Philip had lived a full life in the Irish Province. Much of the early part of his ministry was in education, he taught in Coláiste Iognáid and spent 11 years as headmaster of Clongowes Wood College. Writing in the Clongownian (1987) about his time there the late Michael O’Dowd (former deputy headmaster) said Philip ‘eventually built Clongowes in his own image and likeness’. On hearing of his death, the current deputy headmaster of Clongowes, Martin Wallace, penned a moving tribute for the school’s website, echoing Michael O’Dowd’s sentiments. “As Headmaster, Philip was the leader of a remarkable triumvirate that included Michael O’Dowd as Deputy Headmaster and Fr. Michael Sheil SJ as higher line prefect. Soft-spoken and pipe smoking, Philip ran the school with kindness and compassion, relying on the goodwill of all, but backed up by his two enforcers, to ensure that a culture of mutual respect reigned in every domain of the college. Fairness, consistency and respect for all were the pillars of his authority and it would be no exaggeration to say that he transformed the culture of Clongowes through his vision of what a Jesuit school should be, his communication of that vision at every opportunity, and through the way he lived that vision in his interactions with every person in the community.” Philip frequently wrote for The Sacred Heart Messenger and published with Columba Press and Messenger Publications. For the last twenty years, his health was increasingly compromised. But as his friend and current editor of the Messenger, Donal Neary, notes, “He had a wonderful approach to his ailments and he tried to live as positively and as fully as he could, enjoying the fact that he was constantly defying all the medical prognoses.” His most recent visit home was in April 2019, where he enjoyed a great visit with his sisters, family and the community at Leeson St. Over the past two weeks, he had been detained in the ICU of the UPMC hospital with significant medical issues, but was released home from there only last Saturday. He wrote saying he was very happy to be at home and expected to recover. However, he died peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of Tuesday morning, November 26th in the care of the CSJ Sisters at Sewickley, and he will be buried with them there in their community plot. He was 81 years old. “We are grateful for his life” says Donal, adding “and his fellow Jesuits and family give thanks for having known him and his friendship. May he rest in peace.”

Fitting tribute for Phil
Clongowes Wood College SJ celebrated the life of Philip Fogarty SJ with a special memorial Mass in the school sports hall, on Sunday 19 January 2020. Phil died last year in America on Tuesday 26 November. Jesuits, teachers, former staff, family, friends, pupils and past pupils all gathered to pay tribute to Philip who was headmaster in the school from 1976 to 1987.
Michael Sheil SJ said the Mass and gave the homily, which included a touching account of the many years he shared with Phil. And he made special mention of Phil’s ground-breaking re-imagining of Clongowes and its ethos as a Jesuit boarding school.”
Mr Cyril Murphy, Director of Liturgy in Clongowes conducted the Schola choir comprised of current students. They sang the Requiem aeternam introit and the Pie Jesu from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem. “ It felt like a homecoming requiem Mass for our former headmaster,” said Cyril, adding that “It was a very moving liturgy. To see the numerous past pupils flooding through the doors before the liturgy ever began was testament enough to ‘Phili’, as he was affectionately known.”
Phil’s sister Oonagh was present along with members of the Mc Keagney family who laid a framed portrait of Phil before the altar. The picture was later presented to Oonagh. Sr. Catherine Higgins, a great friend of Phil’s, travelled from the United States especially for the occasion. ”The whole event was a testimony to the affection and esteem in which Phil was held,” Cyril reflected, adding that “The pods of conversation and the reluctance of people to leave the sports hall after the Mass was over was striking in its manifestation of the legacy of goodwill which Phil left behind.”
One of those legacies was Phil’s promotion of an ecumenical friendship between Clongowes and Portora Royal School, Enniskillen which began 40 years ago. There is still a strong bond between the school and Ms Janet Goodall and family, long-time friends of Clongowes and Portora, attended the Mass. Present also were neighbours and friends from the King’s Hospital including Mark Ronan, the headmaster of King’s Hospital, his wife Fiona, Mr John Aiken, Deputy Head, Ms Jenny Baron and number of pupils.
Guests did eventually leave the sports hall moving to the refectory for a hearty Sunday lunch. Phil would have approved.

Early Education at Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway, Clongowes Wood College, SJ

1959-1962 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1962-1965 Chantilly, France - Studying Philosophy at Séminaire Missionaire
1965-1968 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 San Francisco, CA, USA - Studying Educational TV at St Ignatius College Prep
1973 Mount St, London, UK - Studying Educational TV at London University
1973-1974 St Asaph, Wales, UK - Tertianship at St Bueno’s
1974-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Audio Visual Organiser for SJ Schools
1975-1976 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Teacher; Promoting TV Ed in SJ Schools
1976-1987 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Headmaster; Editor “Clongownian”; Teacher
1987-1988 Sabbatical in South Africa (till Jan 1988)
1988-1991 Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway - Headmaster; Director Pastoral Care; Province Consultor (from Jan 88)
1991-1992 Wernersville, PA, USA - Sabbatical at Jesuit Centre of Spirituality
1992-1995 Sandford Lodge - Superior; Chair Young Adults Board; Provincial Team; Provincial Representative at NCIR; Chaplain to Jesuit Alumni/ae; Chair JVC Board
1994 Bursar
1995-1996 Leinster Road - Superior; Bursar; NCPI; Young Adults Delegate
1996-1999 Loyola House - Superior; Provincial Socius; Provincial’s Admonitor; Province Consultor; Provincial Team; Delegate Young Adults; Past Pupils Apostolate
1999-2019 Leeson St - Writer; Assists CLC; Assists LRA; Assists Cherryfield
2003 Hospice Chaplain (USA)
2009 Sewickley, PA, USA - Writer;19th Annotation Retreats in Parishes; Spiritual Direction; Assists the Jesuit Collaborative in Pittsburgh

Fulton, Robert, 1826-1895, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2321
  • Person
  • 28 June 1826-05 September 1895

Born: 28 June 1826, Alexandria, Virginia, USA
Entered: 01 September 1843, Frederick Maryland, USA (Marylandiae Province)
Final vows: 15 August 1862
Died: 05 September 1895, Santa Clara California, USA

Father Provincial of Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB) 28 May1882-14 July 1887.
Visitor to Irish Province of the Society of Jesus 1886-1888.

◆ HIB Menologies :
Note from Fr Thomas P Brown SJ Menology Entry
1883-1888 Provincial Irish Province, During his Provincialate Tullabeg was closed and Father Robert Fulton (MARNEB) was sent as Visitor 1886-1888.

Note from Fr Timothy J Kenny SJ Menology Entry
1882 He was appointed Rector at Galway, a position he held until he was appointed Provincial by the then Visitor, Robert Fulton (MARNEB) in 1888.

Gaffney, David, 1941-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/864
  • Person
  • 23 April 1941-06 May 2020

Born: 23 April 1941, Thomastown, County Kilkenny
Entered: 06 September 1958, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 June 1971, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1977, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 06 May 2020, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1963 at Pullach, Germany (GER S) studying
by 1974 at Guelph ONT, Canada (CAN S) making tertianship
by 1975 at Lusaka, Zambia (ZAM) working
by 1978 at Pleasanton, CA USA (CAL) studying
by 1981 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

David Ga(ney SJ: a gentle and dedicated Jesuit
Irish Jesuit David Gaffney, a native of Thomastown, Kilkenny, passed away in St Vincent’s Hospital on 6 May. He was 79. Due to current government guidelines regarding public gatherings, the funeral is private. A memorial Mass to celebrate David’s life will take place at a later date.

The condolences posted on the website display the high regard and warm affection which people had for him wherever he lived and worked. The same adjectives are used repeatedly: kind, wise, gentle, pleasant, peaceful, caring.

“We joined the Jesuits on the same day, September 6, 1958,” writes Barney McGuckian SJ; “He always edified me with his gentleness but also his tenacity in following the highest ideals of a Jesuit vocation. Gifted intellectually, he placed his God-given talents at the service of ordinary people, both as a writer and as a “hands-on” visitor to their homes.”

In the decades after he joined the Jesuits, David gained a great deal of intellectual and pastoral experience in many parts of the world. After an Arts degree in UCD, he went to Germany to study philosophy, returned to Ireland to study theology, then did further Jesuit formation in Canada before working for three years in a parish in Lusaka, Zambia.

He then worked in the United States in marriage counselling for four years before his definitive return to Ireland in 1982.

In the years since then he worked in marriage and family apostolates and as an editor of various publications. He was a regular columnist at the Kilkenny People and later with The Avondhu for a number of years, writing reflective opinion pieces regularly.

Regarding this work, Conall O’Cuinn, former Jesuit and Rector of Milltown Park, notes that in his articles David wanted to promote truly human values and “worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye-catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality...”

In all of David’s activities he worked with great grace and devotion.

Read below the appreciation by Conall. He had not known of David’s illness and so says, ” I write this piece as my way of mourning David’s passing, for a passing it is, into the permanent presence of Jesus who leads him into the Joy of the Father.” :

A Gentle Giant
I ‘met’ David first in 1989 when I sent him a letter from Zambia on hearing he had taken over the editorship of Interfuse, an internal Irish Jesuit Province magazine. I had had an article rejected by a previous editor, and, once David took over, I immediately resubmitted it for consideration. By return post, he accepted the article. Since then on he has remained in my good books!

David took his editing and writing seriously, and later, during the years I lived with him in Milltown Park, I witnessed him faithfully send out his articles to provincial newspapers which were still accepting spiritual reflections. He worked ceaselessly to ‘vamp up’ in his own mind his writing so that it would be more eye- catching, even if that aspiration was contrary to his retiring personality, full of a depth that promoted true human values.

His other ‘apostolate’ at that time was Parish Visitation. Day after day he left the comfort of Milltown Park in his legendary anorak, in good, bad, or indifferent weather – “you’d never know, it might rain, or turn cold “- to travel by car across to Cherry Orchard Parish to visit the parishioners in their homes. He went with such dedication that I am sure he had many fans over there who appreciated his sincerity and his unassuming and unimposing manner.

David did not like fuss. He came quietly into a room and left quietly. Ideal for him would be a chat with one or two people in a quiet corner, where his sense of comedy and humour would show. A gathering was enhanced and deepened by his presence, even if he never took centre stage.

Many will remember that driving was not his forte. Smooth transitions from gear to gear eluded him, and he kept the local garage busy in clutch replacement. Eventually, we got an automatic in the community, and he liked that.

David was a member of the Milltown Park Consult. I valued his quite, gently proffered, wisdom. He always looked for the kind step to take, never encouraging harshness, always advising to proceed with gentleness and prudence.

I will always remember him as a gentle giant. He was personable and encouraging, always able to meet you in a way you knew afterwards you had been seen, had been regarded, esteemed, and valued. You felt bigger, never smaller. He did not crush the bruised reed, not extinguish the flickering flame. May he rest gently in the bosom of his Lord.

Conall O’Cuinn 12 May 2020

Early Education at Thomastown NS, Kilkenny; Mungret College SJ

1960-1963 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1963-1966 Pullach, Isartel, Germany - Studying Philosophy at Berchmanskolleg
1966-1968 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD
1968-1972 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1972-1973 Manresa House - Socius to Novice Master; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1973-1975 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher
1974 Guelph, ON, Canada - Tertianship at Ignatius Jesuit Centre
1975-1978 Lusaka, Zambia - Assists in Matero Parish
1978-1980 Pleasanton, CA, USA - MA in Counselling at Santa Clara University & Parish work at St Augustine’s Church
1980-1982 Chicago, IL, USA - Marriage Counselling at Our Lady Mount Carmel Church
1982-1987 John Austin House - Marriage & Family Apostolate; Community Co-ordinator; Minister; Bursar
1987-2020 Milltown Park - Parish Assistant, Most Holy Sacrament, Cherry Orchard; Marriage & Family Apostolate
1989 Editor “Interfuse”
1992 Parish Assistant, St Vincent de Paul Parish, Marino
1994 Assistant Editor of “Messenger Booklets”; Family Apostolate
1998 Assistant Editor “Pioneer”
1999 Family Apostolate; Working in “Studies”; Writer
2017 Family Apostolate, Writer

Greene, Liam, 1942-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/777
  • Person
  • 24 September 1942-15 February 2008

Born: 24 September 1942, Dublin
Entered: 04 October 1964, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 January 1984, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 15 February 2008, St James's Hospital, James Street, Dublin

Part of the Campion, Hatch Street, Dublin Community at the time of death

by 1973 at Brussels Belgium (BEL M) studying
by 1974 at Cambridge MA, USA (NEB) studying - Harvard
by 1991 at Oakland CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Liam Greene RIP

Please pray for the soul of Fr Liam Greene SJ, who died unexpectedly Friday morning, 15 February 2008 after taking ill suddenly. He was 65 years old and was working with the
JUST programme in Ballymun. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Rev. Liam Greene, S.J.
who died at St. James Hospital, Dublin on 15 February 2008, aged 65 years.
24 September 1942 Born in Dublin
Early education at CBS, James’ Street. Studied English in UCD.
4 October 1964 Entered the Society at Emo
5 October 1966 First Vows at Emo
1966-1968 Milltown Park – Studied Philosophy
1968-1970 St. Ignatius, Galway – Teacher 1970-1973 Milltown Park – Studied Theology
1973-1974 Harvard (USA) – Studied Philosophy and Theology
21 June 1974 Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1974-1984 St. Ignatius, Galway – Teacher; Director of “Irish Studies”; Retreats; Regency 1978-1979 Tertianship at Tullabeg
17 January 1984 Final Vows
1984-1987 Tabor House – Retreats to young people; Chaplain to DIT, Rathmines; part-time lecturer in Communications
1987-1989 Attached to Tabor but resident at 73 Croftwood Park, Ballyfermot 1987-1990 Chaplain and part-time teaching at DIT, Rathmines
1990-1991 Oakland, California – Sabbatical; MA in Spirituality
1991-2008 Campion House –
1991-1993 Development Creation Spirituality Project; Assistant in Tabor; retreats for young people
1993-1996 Communications Centre; Librarian
1996-2000 Also Lecturer in Communications, Ethics and Psychology at DIT
2000-2001 Lecturer at DIT / RTE
2001-2004 Writer; Media analysis (RTE / DIT); Spiritual Director (SJ)
2004-2006 Writer; Media analysis (RTE / DIT); Chaplain: Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital; Spiritual Director (SJ)
2006-2008 JUST Project, Ballymun.
15 February 2008 Died in St. James’ Hospital, Dublin.
Liam collapsed at home in Campion House and efforts to revive him failed. Further attempt to revive him at St. James’ also failed and he was pronounced dead at around noon on Friday 15 2008.
May he rest in the Peace of Christ
Liam was a graduate of UCD, where he majored in English, before he joining the Jesuits. In addition to the above, he also graduated from Louvain University. Harvard University accepted Liam as its only European student the year that he went there. From then, and from his time in Berkeley in 1990, he had many American Jesuit friends.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 136 : Summer 2008


Fr Liam Greene (1942-2008)

Paddy Greene writes:
Liam Greene died unexpectedly on 15 February, 2008, in his community home, Campion House, Hatch St. He had not shown any signs of being unwell in the previous days, and, in fact, had worked with his students in the JUST Project in Ballymun earlier that week. His favourite text was: "I have come that they may have life, life to the full"(In.1 0, 10), and it can be said that his life here ended with him living it to the full.

Liam was born in Dublin on 24 September, 1942. His mother, Jane Landers, was a nurse from Cork, and his father, Michael Greene, from Tullow in Co. Carlow, worked in the administrative staff in UCD. Three significant events happened during Liam's teenage years that had a profound bearing on the rest of his life.

First, it was identified that Liam had epilepsy. Learning to live with an unpredictable illness which necessitated a variable dosage of tablets introduced a degree of uncertainty to his moods and energy. Indeed, the many attacks of a greater or lesser extent that he endured throughout his life made him all too aware how consciousness can be snuffed out so quickly. On the positive side, he became passionate in his determination to make as much use of the present moment as possible, in fact, to live life to the full. Situations, therefore, that stopped him doing so provoked in him a harsh response, something that was not always understood by others.

Secondly, his mother, in an attempt to offset the setback of the epilepsy, sent him to evening classes in the National College of Art. So, for five years, as the youngest student there during all his time, he studied all aspects of art from life drawing to painting to art history. From it he got a lifelong fascination with creatitivity, particularly how it manifested itself throughout the centuries in the fine arts, but also in outstanding individuals. Napoleon was his teenage hero.

Thirdly, the death of his brother, Gerard, in an accident left him numbed for a long time - why had he been left and not his brother? It also raised for him questions of meaning, ultimate meaning. It led him to seek to enter the Jesuits after his Leaving Certificate, but the Provincial, Fr. Tommy Byrne, felt it would be too hard on his mother to lose another son so quickly, and so he persuaded him to go to University and consider his vocation after his degree. This he agreed to do.

Liam studied Pure English in UCD with Old Irish as a minor subject. There in 1961, 1 had the good fortune to meet Liam - I had just come from Emo after Vows - and we remained friends ever since. Dermot O'Connor was with Liam in Pure English, and perhaps it was through our friendship with Liam a path to the Society was more fully opened. Anyway, at the end of his degree, in 1964, he joined the Society.

After Vows, Liam went to Milltown Park for Philosophy. They were the heydays of Phil McShane, Conn O'Donovan and Eamon Egan. Liam revelled in all the intense work on Lonergan from McShane and O'Donovan while he also loved the gentle, yet precise, probing and alternatives offered by Egan.

Full of energy and enthusiasm, Liam joined me in Galway for Colleges. First, he had a month's immersion in Connemara to brush up on his Irish. The family he stayed with - Peig, Colie and Bairbre - took him to their hearts and they remained his Connemara family from then on. In the school Liam revelled in teaching, where his expansive style and flair got a great reception from the boys. In the community, Sean Mallin, in his late incarnation as a radical theologian, became great friends with Liam. In 1970, Seán O'Connor, as Headmaster, began his innovative approach to education and Liam became a staunch supporter. Although he was in theology when the experiment ended in grief, Liam always believed that Seán had been on the right track.

Back in Milltown for Theology, Liam was part of the BRA (Basement Residents Association), one of the small communities into which the scholastics were divided as an experiment in more personal living. Situated in the basement of the Retreat House, it included among others Michael Hurley and Brian Lennon, and the rumbustious debates among them all were legendary. Liam spent a semester in Brussels; it was dark and wet and dreary, but it was enlivened by the presence of an Irish-American Jesuit from Newry.

The issue of Liam's epilepsy became a problem with Rome in his third year. Cecil McGarry, as Provincial, took his part, but the negotiation with Rome took time so Liam in his fourth year went to Harvard University in Boston. There he did an MA in Religion and Culture. He was in his element again with the ferment of ideas and people making a heady cocktail. It was there that the story goes that Liam being asked to do a module on statistics (he hated maths) declined, offering the excuse that Ireland was so small that it did not need statistics, as everyone knew everyone else. He got away with it!

His diaconate took place in Boston, where he was supported by Jack and Mary Ryan, parents of Jack Ryan of the New York Province whom Liam and I met on our first visit to the US in 1971. Then home for ordination - a time of sublime celebration for Liam, his parents and family.

After being appointed to the College in Galway, Liam became a teacher of Religion, English, Art and History. These subjects gave him ample scope to express his gifts and training in these areas. He was an inspirational teacher who could convey a love and passion for his subject in a way that has stayed with many of his students to the present day. Like many an artist, he was not the most organized of people in starting out, but, once launched, there was a sureness and flow to his discourse that was compelling. His love of learning is best exemplified in History, which he began to teach with the encouragement of Pádraig O Cúaláin, the senior history teacher. His early enthusiasm for Napoleon was now broadened to encompass the colours and shades of the European canvas and he delighted in telling the stories of the individuals, great and small, that peopled that crowded space.

Special Sunday night Masses for sixth years and their female friends became a feature of the religion programme. Liam, with his powerful homilies and the time and interest he gave to individuals, was a major contributor at that time. Also, he was an essential part of the team that organized and ran the Roundstone retreats where 6th years and a group of teachers spent an intensive few days in an encounter-group retreat. These had a profound effect on the 6th years, and, consequently, the atmosphere in the whole school benefited from them. Liam's love of conversations was an essential part of his ministry and enabled him reach a range of personalities often missed by the rest of us.

Learning through experience was central to Liam's approach to education, and so, school tours to the Continent where religious, artistic, literary and historical events had occurred were undertaken by him. Memorable trips to Spain and Italy, where John Humphreys and myself were the bus drivers, were followed by an annual journey to Paris starting on St. Stephen's Day. This week was filled with the Louvre, the Jeu de Paume, the Tuileries, Versailles and Chartres. To listen to Liam speak of the great works of art, or the wars of history, was to be taken into areas of life that were before only glimpsed from a distance. It was education at its best.

Musicals had been a tradition in Galway under Eamon Andrews and Kieran Ward. During the early 70's Bob McGoran and Murt Curry revived the tradition and Liam joined in with great gusto. He helped with the production, the lighting, the painting and stage design, the costumes. It was a great experience of what makes a Jesuit school such a demanding and rewarding place, and where a lasting influence is had on the students.

After ten hectic years in Galway, Liam was moved to Chaplaincy in the DIT in Rathmines in 1984. The change came as a shock to him and it took him a good while to get used to it. Living in Tabor House was a help to him as it brought him in contact with young adults. The work of a chaplain is so less organized than a teacher, and meeting students is very much a hit and miss business. Liam's ability to drink endless cups of coffee and hold long chats stood him in good stead. However, he was primarily a teacher, and when openings occurred in the school of Film and TV, he took them, as it gave him a chance to lecture, debate and then move into the direction of students in making films. Because of the long and broken schedule of third level, Liam's health during these years was uneven. The correct prescription of medicines for epilepsy is an art not a science, and Liam suffered as a result. Over-prescribing left him depressed and heavy, while the opposite risked the onset of an attack. But despite the setbacks, Liam always bounced back. It gave him the impetus towards what had not yet happened and an impatience with any structure that stood still. And yet, the number of close friendships among lecturers and students he made in those years tells of his real commitment at all times to the individual.

After Tabor House closed, Liam went to live in Cherry Orchard with Gerry O'Hanlon and Bill McGoldrick. Liam in his own way got to know the local people and befriended them. His sense of humour helped to lighten even the most difficult situations, and there were some tricky ones in Cherry Orchard! So the move later to Campion House, Hatch Street, was to a quieter place, although Liam missed the involvement with the local people. As a part-time chaplain in the Eye and Ear Hospital he was able to show his care for those in need. His interest in the students in University Hall led to friendships that lasted many years, and led to links with families in Florence, Rome, France and Lithuania. He even gave a retreat to Jesuits in Lithuania using an interpreter! At this time as well Liam took a renewed interest in his mother's relations in the Galtee Mountains in Co. Cork. He became a source of the family lore of the older generations that stretched back to Famine times, but especially the burning of the local “great house” during the Troubles. Being with them and the very personal way he had of saying Mass became a great consolation to them in times of pain and loss.

When Kevin O'Higgins started the JUST Project in Ballymun in 2006, Liam became a member of the team. He spent a few days a week there and once more his teaching abilities came to the fore. He was greatly involved with helping the students master the skills of writing and presentation in the programmes geared to help them gain entry to third level education. He was also in charge of the cultural dimension to the programme, introducing students to the galleries, museums and theatres of the city. His work with the post-graduate group led to wide-ranging debates on art, history and matters of faith. Liam was in his element again. And that is how death found him: in good health, in good form, in full flight, in work he loved. He went at the height of his powers to a place of greater and deeper connections and explorations. Among his papers was found the following piece:

The Green Wood and the Dry
I'm not saying the journey is over
I'm not saying the end is in sight.
I cannot even call up those metaphors for the end:
The chapter closing;
The folding away of the blanket;
The putting of affairs in order.

My affairs are not in order and they never will be.
I am always beginning to spring-clean
And it never comes to an end.

I'm just saying that I am beginning to forget.
Whether this is age, weariness
Or just simply the overloading of the system,
I don't know.

But this has been a week where the refrain
“Lest we forget” has been repeated over and over again,
(By some - only by some.)
And while it would suit me to forget
To get lost in the whole business of trying to keep up with now,
I would not like to be forgotten,
Especially by those who have heard very little from me
And for whom my whole life must have been a mystery,
As much a mystery to them as to me.

I see this piece as an introduction Liam intended for some reflections and recollections on his life that he never got to write. Perhaps more enduring will be the sculptures he carved in France in the last few years. Although an artist, Liam had never tried sculpture until he got the opportunity to participate in a class while on holiday in France. The teacher, Christine, was gifted and she prodded and poked Liam into committing himself to the work. In the first year came what I call the Pretty Face - an initial study in the craft. The next year came The Hand, tentative, reaching out, just failing to grasp, or something else. It is striking in the complexity of its symbolism of the human condition. Then followed the Job-like head filled with pain and anguish and a scream for help that he said was what he often felt in his life. But he also felt a lot more than that, because his final sculpture is that of a serene, wise, peace-filled face gazing from a place of immense peace and certainty. That was his last statement that stays with us.

I finish by remembering Liam's love of meals, of the gathering of family, of friends, like Joan and Cathal in Barna, with Connla Ó Dúlaine in Aran, of the community with Charlie O' Connor in Hatch St., of the gatherings for the sacred meal of the Eucharist that he put his heart and soul into. Now he is, I am sure, taking part in the Eternal Banquet and awaiting our arrival.

Healy, John J, 1909-1988, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1427
  • Person
  • 21 August 1909-21 February 1988

Born: 21 August 1909, Kanturk, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 03 June 1939
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 21 February 1988, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to CAL : 02 September 1929

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Joined CAL Province for health reasons

Hickey, Joseph M, 1854-1927, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1445
  • Person
  • 14 August 1854-06 January 1927

Born: 14 August 1854, Dublin
Entered 12 November 1874, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1888
Professed: 02 February 1894
Died: 06 January 1927, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1876; TAUR to CAL: 1909

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Joined Turin Province (for American Mission)

Ingram, Richard E, 1916-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/33
  • Person
  • 27 July 1916-06 October 1967

Born: 27 July 1916, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1951, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin
Died: 06 October 1967, St Ignatius House of Writers, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

by 1947 at Loyola College, Baltimore, Maryland, USA (MAR) studying
by 1949 at Seismology Institute California (Holy Family, Pasadena), USA - studying
by 1962 at Holy Family Pasadena CA, USA (CAL) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
America :
Fr. Ingram will avail of his travelling studentship in mathematics in the John Hopkins University, Baltimore (Maryland Province). He will study under Professor Murnaghan (an Omagh C.B. boy), a student of Dr. Conway at U.C.D., and head of the mathematics department there. He hopes to leave Rineanna on October 18th, for New York.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Fr. Ingram secured his Doctorate, D.Ph, in Mathematics, at the John Hopkins University, U.S.A. on 8th June, thus crowning success fully the two years of the Mathematical Studentship awarded him some years back by the National University. He will be lecturing at the Summer Course organised by Loyola University, Los Angeles, for the months of June to August.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948

Fr. Ingram remains in the United States for another year; he has accepted a Fellowship in the Californian Tec. at Pasadena, where he will have opportunities of research work in seismology under two eminent theoretical seismologists, Guttenberg and Richter and the distinguished instrument designer, Benioff.

Fr. Jeremiah McCarthy of the Hong Kong Mission writes from the U.S.A, where he is examining possibilities of setting up an Institute of Industrial Chemistry in Hong Kong :
New York, 23rd September :
“I have spent some time at Buffalo and Boston and at the Massachussets Institute of Technology. The Professors there were most kind, and I learnt a good deal. I expect to be here for a month or six weeks, visiting factories and Colleges in New York. I met Fr. Ingram at Boston. He was doing some work at Harvard. I have heard from several sources that he had a great reputation at Johns Hopkins. I went yesterday to the Reception for Mr. Costello at Fordham and the conferring of an Honorary Degree. Cardinal Spellman was there. In his speech Mr. Costello avoided politics, except to say that the Government would stop emigration altogether, save that they would still send priests and nuns wherever they might be required. Most of the speech was taken up with a very graceful tribute to the Society and its work. He referred to the debt of Ireland to the Society in times of persecution, and again in modern times, and hoped to see an extention of our work in schools and Colleges in Ireland. The address was broadcast”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949


Fr. Ingram, writes from Holy Family Church, 1501 Fremont Avenue, South Pasadena, California, 25th October :
“I am living in a parish rectory (not S.J.) to attend Cal-Tech. It takes me about 20 minutes to get to the Institute by street car. The nearest S.J. house is about 13 miles from Cal. Tech, more than 1 hour by bus and not practical... All my work to date is geophysics. I shall not leave U.S.A. until probably July.
You wonder what life is like in a Seismological Observatory. I report at the Institute in the morning at 8 a.m. and take in a lecture or two. If time permits before lunch I am taken out to the Pasadena Observatory and help in the morning work of inspecting the charts for earth tremors. As there are two or three small shocks nearly every day, this is quite a job. Then we shuttle back to the Faculty Club for lunch and back again to the Observatory in the afternoon - the professors supplying transport. At 5 p.m, we depart from the several different works that the Observatory is handling. I return to my parish to join the pastor and senior curate at supper. By the way, all pastors out here are Irish - very much so - mine played in an All-Ireland in 1911, and his friend, Fr. Masterson, was one of the greatest footballers Cavan ever had, playing for 6 years in All Irelands, etc., 1916-22”.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949


From Fr. R. Ingram, Holy Family Rectory, 1501 Fremont Ave., South Pasedena, Cal., U.S.A. :
“I have just missed a trip to the Marshall Islands and Hawaii. Shell Ox Co. is sponsoring a world-wide experiment op gravity observations to be taken simultaneously at many different stations. We had arranged a party to take the observations in the Pacific, they were to be made every 1 hour, and the Navy had agreed to co-operate by flying the personnel and instruments to the locations. But an automatic recorder was perfected by La Coste (the designer of the ‘gravy-meter’) and off he went alone. God bless American efficiency! Instead of fiying across the Pacific a party of us have charge of the observations for the Los Angeles region. We hope to get a lot of information.
I plan to leave the West for St. Louis at the end of July. I sail for Ireland with Frs. Kent and Keane on 7th September”.
(Fr. E. Kent has been acting as Assistant Chaplain in City Hospital, New York.)

Irish Province News 43rd Year No 1 1968

35 Lower Leeson Street
In the closing days of September we heard with sadness and shock the news that our Superior, Fr. Ingram, was seriously ill. He had gone to hospital with what appeared to be a slight but painful injury to the shoulder. Medical tests were soon to reveal that the cause of trouble was leukaemia in a form so acute that the end could not long be delayed. He died peacefully on the morning of Friday, 6th October. President de Valera was present at the solemn Mass of requiem, In the huge congregation representatives of the two Universities, of the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, of the Royal Irish Academy and of other learned bodies were conspicuous. Father Tyndall was celebrant of the Mass, with Fathers O Catháin and Troddyn as deacon and subdeacon. For the Month's Mind there was a Mass in our community chapel, celebrated by Father Troddyn and attended by the Ingram family... father and mother, twin brother and three sisters. These met later the Fathers of the house and expressed their deep appreciation of this small act of courtesy and gratitude. Perhaps the finest tribute to Father Ingram's memory was paid by a colleague in U.C.D. who said “He was the kindest man I ever knew”.

Obituary :

Fr Richard Ingram SJ (1916-1967)

“Dick” Ingram was born in Belfast on 27th July, 1916, one of twin boys. His father, John Ingram, was an Inspector in the then Department of Agriculture and Technical Instruction, who later was largely responsible for drafting the legislation which brought the present Vocational and Technical Education system into effect in 1930. Dick's mother, Edith Kelly, came of a Galway family which settled in Dublin.
His family moved to Dublin, after a spell in Cork, about 1922 and the children were sent to a private school in Rathgar where the intelligent lady principal was so much ahead of her time that the boys began Algebra and Geometry at the age of 8 or 9. So Dick had an early introduction to mathematics. He and his twin brother, Jack, went on to school in Belvedere. There he played Rugby pluckily on the fringe of the teams in his age-class, but cricket was the game which really attracted him, and he was on the Senior XI in his final year, 1933. In class, the fact that he shone less at languages than at mathematics kept him away from the top until he distinguished himself by taking first place in Ireland in Physics in the Leaving Certificate. He entered the Society at Emo that year, on 7th September, 1933.
One might say that he remained a novice, in the best sense, all his life. He never lost the regularity of observance of spiritual duties, the habit of punctuality, the non-equivocating acceptance of obligation and a considerable measure of simplicity, which mar ked him from then on. A fellow-novice recalls something which may illustrate this. Perhaps because he was over-studious, or perhaps from his cricket-playing, Dick had badly hunched shoulders. The Master of Novices proposed a remedy, and for months Brother Ingram was to be seen at voice-production every morning walking around resolutely with a walking-stick tucked through his elbows and behind his back, to straighten him up. Many years afterwards he would say his Office in the garden at 35 Lower Leeson Street, walking as if the stick was still there.
For some years after 1935 experimental-science degrees were out of favour for Juniors, so - despite his Leaving Certificate distinction - Dick did Mathematics and Mathematical Physics at Rathfarnham. He had a remarkable power of application to his studies, which became increasingly apparent and he seemed to feel almost a special vocation, rather than a personal ambition, to do well it mathematics. In this he succeeded, taking First Honours in all his examinations and being one of four Juniors who were chosen to do fourth years in 1938-39. Meanwhile, in his first year he worked at the Seismograph Station with Mr. (now Fr.) Joe McAsey, and was in charge of it himself for the next three years. Earthquakes were never quite obedient to the Juniors' order of time, and plotting their epicentre at odd and even late hours often provided a welcome break in routine. .
In the B.Sc. examination of 1935 Dick was disappointed to be ousted from first place by a few marks by Sheila Power, afterwards a colleague of his at U.C.D. as Mrs. Tinney, but he made no mistake the following year when he took his M.Sc, and beat her and all-comers for the N.U.I. Travelling Studentship in Mathematics. As the Second World War had just begun he was allowed to postpone taking up the studentship, and went to Tullabeg for Philosophy. Along with one other philosopher Dick took up an option given him by the Provincial, Fr, Kieran, of doing the three-year course in two years, and the whole time-table was re-arranged to suit them. Thus they were faced with the formidable task of beginning right away with the third-year as well as the first-year subjects. Having successfully negotiated this crash-course, and securing a further postponement of his studentship, Dick went straight on to Milltown Park in 1941.
In a sense he was returning home, His parents lived at Dartry, half-way between Milltown and Rathfarnham, and from then until his death, save during his four years in America, he seldom missed a Sunday visit to them. Dick was no socialite, and these visits were quiet family affairs which he valued for the pleasure he knew they gave to his mother and father.
Dick took his theology studies and examinations with the serious thoroughness he had given to mathematics, and passed the Ad Gradum successfully in 1945. He had been ordained on 31st July 1944 by the Archbishop of Dublin. He did his tertianship at Rathfarnham, 1945-6, under Father Hugh Kelly.
The time had come to take up the long-postponed studentship. This was no easy matter, for a great deal of mathematics can be forgotten in seven years devoted to other demanding work. Not only that but, during those years, Mathematical studies had moved away from the Cambridge Maths. Tripos pattern little changed from the end of the nineteenth century to the time Dick did his M.Sc. Now, after the war, newer approaches were in vogue. Dick. was not deterred, and he was fortunate enough to find a friendly sponsor for his postgraduate studies at Johns Hopkins, America's foremost mathematical university, in Professor F. D. Murnaghan, a distinguished U.C.D. graduate. He worked for two years under other mathematicians of world-wide reputation, and obtained his Ph.D. degree with distinction in 1948.
During the following year he did further work at the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena. He appears to have enjoyed this year more than any other in his life, save perhaps that spent later as a Visiting Professor at Georgetown University, Washington. He lived at the rectory of a friendly pastor whom he helped with Church work on Sundays and with whom he played a regular game of golf. “We both ‘shot in the middle eighties’”, he said on his return home. It was towards the end of that year that he was to have been flown by the U.S. Air Force to be an observer of a test atomic explosion in the Pacific. The trip, to his disappointment, was cancelled at the last minute because an instrument was found to do the observations automatically.
With his very high-ranking degree Fr. Ingram was sought after by many Jesuit universities in the United States, and he could have had various appointments had he wished to “push” for them, but instead he returned to take up in 1949 what was at first a relatively unimportant lecturership at U.C.D. Indeed, although he passed through several grades of appointment there, it was not really until 1966, when he became Associate Professor of Mathematics in Modern Algebra, that he was given a status in keeping with his qualifications. In his formal application for that post he was able to mention, in an incomplete list, ten contributions of research papers to scientific journals, as well as membership of the Council of the Royal Irish Academy and the Fellowship of the Royal Astronomical Society.
From 1949 to 1963, save for a further year in America (1961 62), Fr. Ingram was stationed at Rathfarnham Castle. He made his Solemn Profession there on 2nd February, 1951. He took charge again of the Seismogaph Station, re-organising its work on a thoroughly scientific basis. As a result of contacts he made in the U.S. in 1961-62 he was offered additional equipment in that year, but he judged it better that this should go to a new station at Valentia which then took over the Rathfarnham work, as is more fully reported in the Province News for January 1963.
That number of the Province News also gives an account of a visit through the Iron Curtain to Jena in Eastern Germany which Fr. Ingram made for a European Seismological Congress in Summer 1962. He attended many such conferences as representative of University College, Dublin. It was typical of him that he regarded them not as sight-seeing holiday trips, nor yet as instructive through the papers heard, but as occasions for making “fruitful personal contacts in one's own field”, as he said on his return from the last one he was at, in Oxford, this Summer. As a result, indeed, he had correspondence with mathematicians in many parts of the world. His friendly manner as well as the fact that he could talk and write on their own high level of knowledge helped him to get on well with these men, often scientists of inter national repute. He was not unaware either that this is a form of Christian witness regarded as essential for the Church by Vatican Council documents. One such scientist, Dr. Cornelius Lanczos, now at the Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies, writes of him in the Winter 1967 issue of Studies : “The premature death of this great scientist and much beloved human being left an irreparable void in the Irish intellectual scene”.
Dr. Lanczos's tribute appears at the end of a review of the book which occupied much of Fr. Ingram's time during the last five years, the monumental (672 page) Volume III of the Mathematical Papers of William Rowan Hamilton, which he edited with Professor Halberstam (of T.C.D. and Nottingham) for the Royal Irish Academy. Into this exacting work he put an immense amount of careful scholarship at a level which even the mathematically illiterate can infer from the review quoted. It was a consolation to Fr. Ingram's community that he had had the sati faction just before he fell fatally ill of distributing the first half dozen copies of the book to some of his professor friends.
How highly these friends and other colleagues regarded him is shown by a tribute published in the Sunday Press of 8th October, 1967 from the pen of Dr. J. R. Timoney, Professor in the Mathematical Faculty at U.C.D., reprinted in part at the end of this notice.
Fr. Ingram was mainly responsible for the foundation of the Irish Mathematical Teachers' Association in 1963 and he devoted himself with characteristic enthusiasm to making it the success it has become. A good deal of the work of preparing its regular News Letters was done, synonymously, by him.
Father Ingram was appointed Superior of 35 Lower Leeson Street in August 1963. It was not an ideal appointment. The office was a burden to him which his shyness especially made difficult. He felt responsibility too heavily : he was a poor conversationalist, and awkward in meeting strangers : he felt hurt if his authority seemed not to be respected or if his opinion was not asked for, even in small matters. These were defects of his qualities. His contacts with University Hall students illustrate both. On the one hand he was most thoughtful in arranging each year to, drive some of them out to Belfield for early morning maths lectures : on the other he was fussy about their tenure when they played in the handball alley at the back of 35. Again, although he was most anxious to be hospitable to visitors he found it difficult in practice to reconcile this with his own rather rigid attachment to an almost monastic way of life. But here, once more, his personal friendliness made up for the shyness which merely meant that nature had not made him the perfect “mine host”. He could and did win many hearts, even in occasional contacts. Thus, when the news of his death got abroad on Friday, October 6th, it was no matter for surprise to see the number of telegrams and letters of sympathy that began to arrive. Many of these were from priests, brothers and nuns for whom he had conducted seminars in the teaching of mathematics, and who now recalled above all his courtesy, patience and humility. But what was really astonishing was the number of neighbours in Leeson Street single-room dwellers for the most part, clerks, typists, shop-hands who stopped Fathers in the street to express their grief at the sudden passing of the gentle priest who had always a cheery good-morning or good evening for them as he hurried along. And nearly all of them said that they had only learned he was Superior of the house from the obituary notice in the newspapers.
Father Ingram's pupils praised him highly for the obvious care with which his lectures were prepared, but even more so for his accessibility and helpfulness out of class. He sometimes mystified them - as must happen with a difficult subject and a professor whose standards are high and exacting - and here perhaps there peeped out a little touch of natural playfulness which for the most part was kept controlled almost to the point of suppression. This was a pity, but for it the fault lay less with Dick than with a traditional system of formation less favoured today than formerly. It did not make him less a good man, a fine Jesuit or a holy priest.
Inevitably newspaper obituaries listed “Professor Ingram's” academic achievements. They remain on record. But those who lived close to him realised that between the status of priest and that of professor he esteemed the former faraway first. Those who served his morning Mass in Leeson Street could not fail to notice the care with which he vested for the altar, his scrupulous observance of the rubrics, the atmosphere of recollection that he radiated. And when in turn he served his priest-server's Mass there was a punctiliousness and decorum about him that would do credit to a novice. He said the Sunday Mass for the domestic staff and the greater part of his Saturday evening was spent in preparing the Sunday homily. Opportunities for Saturday confessions seldom came his way, but when they did he took them eagerly. The Director of Retreats could testify to the humble thankfulness of Dick on being assigned to give a retreat or triduum. His solicitude for the sick in nearby '96' or the Pembroke was just another characteristic of his priestliness. Late on Friday nights anyone who called into the chapel would become aware in the dim light of Dick doing the Stations of the Cross. His piety was never obtrusive but no one could fail to notice it. He could be seen at his rosary more than once a day, and his beads were seldom out of his hand during his last illness.
He liked simple fun at recreation, and the little light reading he indulged in was always of an uncomplicated kind. He enjoyed a good game of golf and almost to the day when he went to hospital to die he was a regular swimmer at the Forty-foot.
The fatal illness was mercifully brief, A shoulder sore all through the Summer did not improve under massage : in early September there was loss of weight and a general feeling of sickness and, finally, double-vision. On 20 September, having said Mass with difficulty, he went into hospital. Blood and other tests were made and meanwhile his condition deteriorated from day to day. A diagnosis of leukaemia was confirmed, and Fr. Shaw, (Spiritual Father) gave him the Last Sacraments on Saturday, 30 September. For the next few days Fr. Tyndall (Minister), visiting him regularly, found the Superior clear in mind only at intervals. Perhaps he did not fully realise how near he was to death. His one anxiety was about the effect his illness would have on his parents, both in their eighties. They saw him for the last time on Tuesday, October 3rd. Next evening he said, only half consciously, to one of his community : “I told them I was all right”. Under sedation all day on Thursday, he was deeply unconscious when two of the Fathers saw him and gave him a last blessing at about 8 o'clock. The special nurse who was attending him wrote afterwards :
“When I arrived on duty at 10 p.m, on Thursday night Father was in a coma and did not speak at all : he went deeper into unconsciousness towards Friday morning at 4.15 a.m. I had lighted the Blessed Candle and had said the prayers for the Dying, then the other nurses on duty joined me in saying the Rosary. Father seemed very peaceful in his last moments : at 4.30 a.m., without any struggle, he just gave a long sigh and his suffering had come to an end”.
It was the First Friday, 6th October. Father Ingram was just over 51 years of age.



It is an understatement to say that everyone connected with mathematics in Ireland, and many not directly involved in that discipline, has been deeply shocked by the almost sudden death of Fr. R. E. Ingram, S.J. The simple title “Fr. Ingram”, is used here for he was always referred to in this way during his life.
It is not necessary to recall the brilliant mathematical career and achievements of Fr. Ingram, for these have been dealt with in many places since his death. What is not so well known is the great human personality which was behind the kind and unassuming exterior which he presented to the outside world. He was kind, humble and always cheerful.
He was a simple man, without a trace of vanity, and although he had a very heavy work-load at all times, he seemed to have plenty of time to listen to all who approached him for help with their problems.
Not only his students will recall the kindly unhurried manner in which he dealt with their difficulties, but also many people who in recent years consulted him about unusual problems in computer programming.
The poser of a seemingly impossible problem who had given up hope, would receive, after a few days, a neatly written note containing an elegant solution.
Fr. Ingram was a natural priest, for such was his great humanity that although his deep simple piety was evident, one forgot that he was a priest. In religious discussion he was tolerant and open-minded but quietly firm. When he thought the occasion demanded it, he could be outspoken and bluntly critical.
The mathematics departments in University College, Dublin, and all interested in mathematics have lost a great and enthusiastic colleague by his untimely death. The best tribute his many friends can pay to his memory is to carry on his work in the many fields where he laboured.
The Sunday Press, 8th October, 1967.

Kearney, Brendan, 1935-2014, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/850
  • Person
  • 05 September 1935-24 February 2014

Born: 05 September 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981
Died: 24 February 2014, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1981 at Boston College High, MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical
by 1994 at Granada Hills, Los Angeles CA, USA (CAL) working
by 2003 at Redondo Beach CA. USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 155 : Spring 2014


Fr Brendan Kearney (1935-2014)

Brendan was born in Dublin on 5 September 1935. His mother was from Kerry and his father from Kilkenny. His Dad, known as “APK” was the author of a humorous series “Dear Sean, Dear Mama” that ran for many years in Dublin Opinion.

After primary schooling in Cabra Brendan went to Belvedere, 1947-50, and then transferred to Castleknock College, 1951-53, where his father was on the teaching staff. He won the Bodkin Prize at age 16 for a humorous essay which revealed his command both of language and of ideas. There is an important anecdote from his time in Castleknock: a Dublin accountant approached a member of the Province some years ago and asked “Isn't Brendan Kearney one of your outfit?” And he went on: “One of the greatest privileges of my life was to have sat beside him in Castleknock”. The details of why are not recorded, but one may presume that Brendan, who was a bright pupil, helped him over his academic difficulties, and perhaps in other ways. He was invariably willing to help lame dogs over stiles. He also had a tireless sense of humour: he could see the funny and ludicrous side of things, whether in the details of an outdated Jesuit formation or in public and ecclesiastical affairs. His humour made it easy for the slower student to catch on to needed insights, while his infectious laughter helped to defuse many a situation throughout his life, especially the final and painful phase of his life in Cherryfield.

He entered Emo at 18 on September 7, 1953: there were 25 in his year. He took Vows two years later. He then studied Arts at UCD, taking a high degree in Mathematics. While “math” as he called it attracted him, he also proved an excellent philosopher during his three years in Tullabeg, 1958-61. There he became an enthusiast of Bernard Lonergan's fresh approach to human understanding in Insight but suffered a breakdown as a result of his over-dedication to study. He spent four years in Regency, divided between Belvedere and Clongowes. Unfortunately he was knocked off his bike while stationed at Belvedere, and suffered meningitis. Aware that the medical thinking of the day might stand in the way of his ordination, he confided to his brethren that if he had to leave the Society, it would be in a box. His sense of vocation was strong and determined, and happily those in authority respected it as being from God. And so he stayed, but the question marks over his continuance and his capacity for sustained hard work must have been burdens for him. In fact while philosophy and theology wore him down, mathematical problems he could ttackle with zest and energy. Math, he would say, did not deal with the great issues of life and death, and so he could approach with calmness mere issues of numbers, angles and calculus.

Having fallen a year behind his group, he began theology in 1965, and was ordained on 10 July 1968 in Milltown Park by Dr John Charles McQuaid. His theological thinking was incisive, and he would ask searching questions of his teachers and fellow-students. His counter cultural side often manifested itself. One instance was his request not to be sent with the rest of the 'young men' to Lisdoonvarna for the summer holiday. This delightful village used come to life only after harvest time: in June it was moribund. Brendan's appeal, backed up by a promise that he would create no trouble if he were allowed stay in Milltown on his own, was dismissed, and so he joined what was called 'organised joy', Perhaps Brendan had had a premonition of what was to come: shortly before we arrived, a woman's body thrown from a plane was washed up on the local beach. This took away some of the joy of swimming there, allied to the fact that the beach in question was ten miles away.

In 1969 he returned to Belvedere and taught “Math” there for 20 years with a short break in Boston College High School, 1980-81. As a teacher he was especially helpful to the brighter students, and had a formidable reputation for his capacity to address abstruse formulae which his students would dig out to test him. One parent remarked that her son learnt Maths from Fr Kearney but how to pass his exam from another teacher. On the sports-field he was less than convincing as a coach, but one day with the Under-10s he pulled a player from the scrum and made him out-half. This was the making of Ollie Campbell's career as out-half for Ireland

He smoked a pipe at this stage, with the window of his room closed, while he wrestled with mathematical, scientific, philosophical and religious challenges. When I asked about the closed window, he confided that he feared oxygen intoxication! So he reeked of smoke, restricted entry to his Chess Club to those of club-sound mind and pleasing disposition.” He puffed his way peacefully through extraordinary times: Pre-Lemass Ireland and the Celtic Tiger; World War Two and the Holocaust, the Cold War, the Kennedy era, the aggiornamento of the Church and of the Society of Jesus, shifts in moral practice, the decline in vocations - so many worlds of rapid and unpredictable change, with which many others could not cope.

The Pastoral Director at Belvedere was once asked who had been most helpful among the teachers of religion during the eighties. He mentioned two, Brendan being one. 'He brought an intellectual dimension to his teaching which was badly needed at a time when RK was in free fall.' Brendan worked everything out to its foundations, and could thus make intelligible what otherwise had to be taken on faith. In class, he used CS Lewis's Mere Christianity to great effect, while he tore to shreds Bertrand Russell's arguments in Why I am Not a Christian.

His appointment as Editor of The Belvederian gave endless scope to his literary abilities -- he had earlier acted as ghost-writer for his father in some of the “Dear Sean, Dear Mama” exchanges. The only problem was that he could never put pen to paper until school was finished, which meant that often he got no summer break, and The Belvederian was dependably late. He rarely went to plays or films and was more passive than active in socialising.

Bolton Street and California
In 1989 Brendan was appointed Chaplain in Bolton St DIT, with the task of “lurking with intent' to engage students whose minds were usually on other things. A sabbatical year 1993-94 led to parish work in California for five years. This included a year in Brixton Hill in London. He returned to Bolton St in 1998 and worked there till 2004. Then he returned to parish life in Redondo Beach as Associate Pastor till 2010. He kept in touch with a wide circle of friends by email – no ordinary letters but ones which showed his inquiring and quizzical mind. Where he considered it appropriate, he would gently and wittily demolish what he judged false. It was a bit like watching a surgeon wielding a delicate but sharp instrument to excise a tumour.

His letters from the US were provocative, witty and often less than immediately intelligible. He illustrated everything with ducks and signed off with Quacks. A few illustrations of his “Kearney-isms”: “I don't have your physical address, so please check with Barbara, who is still living on your tectonic plate”. “Don't keep scanning the skies. I'll let you know when I get any news of my blood condition. QUACK”. For religion to be real it seems to need some humour and incongruity, What about the Aran islander who spends the day ploughing rocks, harrowing rocks, sowing spuds between rocks... Every evening he drags himself home to his cabin, looks at the crucifix on the wall, and prays this prayer aloud: “Arrah, Jesus, shure 'tis aisy for you. This is a prayer from a man of Catholic faith”.

It seems that during his time in the US, Brendan decided to leave his body to Medical Science. His motivation we do not know: was it the researcher in him, always pushing out the boundaries of knowledge? Or was it humility - a willingness to be given away? It was, one way or the other a serious matter, but not without its lighter side: while in the Leeson St Community in 2010 Brendan's behaviour was a puzzle to many of the older brethren. One of these came to hear of his decision to leave his body to science, and remarked quietly “I bet it's his brain they're after!” There was more in this perhaps than the speaker realized: Brendan had in fact a remarkably original mind.

The Final Years
Brendan was 75 when he returned to Ireland. A job was waiting for him, as Chaplain of the Eye and Ear Hospital, which had been held by Eddie and then John Fitzgerald. But there were already signs of his imminent decline, and he spent several months in Leeson St, which were uncomfortable for himself and the brethren. He moved into a higher level of quirkiness and unpredictability, and became less able to manage his daily life, telephone, computer, house keys etc. It gradually emerged that he had already had difficulties in Redondo Beach, and that he had relied on a good deal of support to do his daily tasks there. Everyone there loved him, and the ladies of the parish especially spared no pains to help him. “We all loved him so much” was the comment of the parish secretary in Redondo Beach when told of his death. He apparently was quite at ease in being served and looked after, whether by his family, which he cherished, or by others. His sister Ann regularly came to the Sunday Mass in Cherryfield with her friend Siobhán to play and sing.

“We all loved him so much...” This comment was repeated over and over by the Staff in Cherryfield where he lived from early 2011. Brendan may not have been everyone's “cup of tea” because some found it hard to adjust to his quirky and sometimes argumentative style. But why in general was he so well loved? Certainly because of his genuineness and simplicity, added to his sense of humour. He saw through the less agreeable turns of life, and found the humour deep down in them. He could indeed be awkward according as his mind failed through a succession of minor strokes.

When as his Superior I brought him to Cherryfield, he remarked quite simply, “This is my last address”. As the weeks lengthened into months and years, I used ask him how he was. “I never complain” he would say. And it was true, no matter how frustrated he must have found himself. Even when he lost most of his power of speech, he would greet his visitors with an expansive smile and his eyes would shine.

The Staff loved his playfulness. He had a fixation about ducks: he stitched duck badges on his clothes, collected pictures and toys of ducks, and signed on and off with “Quack”. One of the nurses brought him down to Herbert Park, where with great delight he fed the ducks. He was also loved for what can best be called his humility. He was highly gifted, but he never sought to raise his own status thereby. Besides his gift in the domain of math, he was at home in music, could paint, write well, carve a chess set, play serious Bridge, think things through, debate American history, read Little Dorrit and GKC with delight. He saw things, as Lonergan would say, from a higher viewpoint than many of us enjoyed, but he never laboured his gifts or made us feel inferior.

What of the “secret scriptures of the man?” What do we know of what goes on in someone's heart? Hopkins' line was verified in him: “There lives the deepest freshness, deep down things”. He prayed. He had deep faith and a strong and simple devotion to Our Lady. He was critical of errant Marian devotion, and believed that Mary's counsel is summed up in “See what I've brought you!” He suffered a great deal when no longer in control of his mind, but he had made his own Lonergan's account of the Law of the Cross - “Unavoidable suffering, borne patiently and in faith, is redemptive”. So it was for Jesus, and so it was for Brendan. This belief underpinned his statement “I never complain”. He lived without self-pity the various disappointments and trials of his life. To be officially retired, to be enduring progressive cognitive impairment, to be confined to a wheelchair, to be unable to feed himself, and yet never to complain, but instead to see the funny side of reality - this is quiet heroism. “Blessed are those who weep, for they shall laugh”.

His desk-mate in Castleknock of sixty years ago was right. It has indeed been a privilege to have had him as companion for the past sixty years.

Kearney, James F, 1896-1967, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1498
  • Person
  • 15 August 1896-22 June 1967

Born: 15 August 1896, USA
Entered: 15 July 1914 (HIB for Campaniae Province - CAMP)
Ordained: 26 August 1928
Professed: 02 February 1931
Died: 22 June 1967, San Francisco CA, USA - Extremo Orientalis Province (ExOr)

by 1954 came to Singapore (HIB) working - 1st group in Singapore with Patrick Joy 1953-1960

Keenan, Charles, 1904-1975, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1503
  • Person
  • 12 July 1904-05 June 1975

Born: 12 July 1904, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 06 April 1925, Los Gatos CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1943
Died: 05 June 1975, Belfast, County Antrim - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Part of the Gonzaga University, Spokane WA, USA community at the time of death

Transcribed CAL to ORE
by 1936 came to Milltown (HIB) studying 1936-1938

Kelly, James, 1935-2019, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/858
  • Person
  • 15 November 1935-07 December 2019

Born: 15 November 1935, Dalystown, County Westmeath
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 10 September 1981, Luján, Argentina
Died: 07 December 2019, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1969 at Jerusalem, Israel (PRO) studying and teaching
by 1974 at Larkspur. CA, USA (CAL) parish and teaching
by 1975 at Millbrae. CA, USA (CAL) parish and teaching
by 1975 at Auriesville. NY, USA (NYK) making Tertianship
by 1976 at San Francisco. CA, USA (CAL) working and studying
by 1977 at Quito, Ecuador (ECU) teaching
by 1978 at Arica, Chile (CHL) teaching
by 1979 at Asunción. Paraguay (PAR) and Buenos Aires, Angentina (ARG) teaching
by 1992 at Genoa. Italy (ITA) writing

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Putting the priestly ministry First: James Kelly SJ
At the funeral Mass for Fr James Kelly SJ, celebrant Fr Bill Callanan SJ respected the wishes of the deceased and refrained from delivering a eulogy. James’s “frequently expressed desire” for this, Bill explained, did not derive from a false humility. He explained: In my view it stemmed rather from James’ deeply felt sense of his priestly ministry, and of the central place held by the preaching of the Word of God in it. All too often, in James’ view, in funeral allocutions the preacher places his or her main emphasis on the merits or demerits of the deceased. This approach has often resulted in dwelling on the biographical details of their life history, singling out their successes and lauding their accomplishments. The result tended to be that little time was given to the message of the gospel which related most directly to those present, – What is the meaning of death for the Christian? Faithful, then, to James’s wishes, Bill’s homily took the Gospel reading about the resurrection of Lazarus and reflected on the meaning of death for the Christian, especially under the sign of hope in the resurrection. You can read the full homily here » A few words of biography – and indeed of eulogy – are in order. A Westmeath man by birth and upbringing, Fr James became something of a citizen of the world in the course of his Jesuit life. After entering the Society in St Mary’s, Emo, in Co Laois, he studied Classics in UCD and Theology in Milltown Park. But shortly after his ordination at Milltown Park in 1968 he began an itinerant academic career, studying and lecturing in Biblical studies in various parts of the world. He firstly studied scripture at the École Biblique in Jerusalem, the Pontifical Biblical Institute and then the Franciscanum in Rome. Over the following years he lectured and did parish work in various Californian cities before, in 1977, beginning a lengthy period, mostly as a lecturer in Scripture, in Latin America. He worked in Ecuador, Chile, Paraguay, and Argentina during this time. After his return to Ireland in the mid-1980s, James lectured in biblical languages in the Milltown Institute, but he also spent periods as a writer in Genoa, Italy.
In all of this active life of scholarship, James took very much to heart the call to bring the good news to all who came his way. He had a deeply apostolic vision of priestly life. In all respects he was a good scholar, a fine priest, and a faithful Jesuit.

Early Education at Ballinagore NS, St Jarlath’s, Tuam, Co Galway; St Finian’s, Mullingar, County Westmeath

1956-1959 Rathfarnham - Studying Classics at UCD
1959-1962 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1962-1965 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1965-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1969-1974 Jerusalem, Israel - Studied Scripture at École Biblique; Studies and Lectures at Pontifical Biblical Institute; Prepared for STD at Franciscanum (Jerusalem and Rome)
1974-1975 Larkspur, CA, USA - Assists in St Patrick’s Church
1975-1976 Millbrae, CA, USA - Assists at St Dunstan’s; Lectures one course at University of San Francisco
1976-1977 San Francisco, CA, USA - Parish work and Studying Spanish at Saint Veronica’s, Alida Way
1977-1978 Quito, Ecuador - Lecturer in Scripture at Catolica Università del Ecuador
1978-1979 Arica, Chile - Courses in Religion at Arica Antofagasta
1979-1980 Asunçion, Paraguay & Gesu Nazarone, Corrientes, Argentina
Mendoza, Argentine – Pastoral Work at Residencia, San Martin (Summers)
1980-1983 Asunción, Paraguay & Buenos Aires, Argentina - Lectures in Scripture in Asunción, Paraguay; Lectures for half year in Collegio Maximo de San José,Buenos Aires, Argentina
1983-1992 Milltown Park - Teacher of Hebrew & Greek in Milltown Institute; Chaplain in Milltown Parish, Dublin
1992-1996 Genova, Italy - Ministers in Church; Writer at Chiesa del Gesù
1996-1998 Gardiner St - Writer (6 months in Gardiner St; 6 months in Genoa, Italy)
1997 Orlando, FL, USA - Assists in Parish at St James Parish (3 months)
1998-2005 Crescent Church, Limerick - Assists in Church; Director of Sodalities BVM & St Ignatius
1999 Teaches Italian (adults) at Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle; Writer
2003 Assists in Church; Teacher of Hebrew to adults;
2005-2019 Milltown Park - Teacher of Biblical Languages at Milltown Institute; Writer

Kelly, Patrick, 1835-1887, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1508
  • Person
  • 12 April 1835-27 September 1887

Born: 12 April 1835, Clogher, County Tipperary
Entered: 17 March 1858, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Professed: 02 February 1876
Died: 27 September 1887, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Kelly, Patrick, 1920-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/779
  • Person
  • 21 February 1920-04 May 2012

Born: 21 February 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1953
Died 04 May 2012, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1986 at Chicago (CHG) studying
by 1987 at Roosevelt NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1989 at Sunland-Tujunga CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 148 : Summer 2012


Fr Patrick (Paddy) Kelly (1920-2012)

21 February 1920: Born in Limerick
Early education at Salesian Convent and CBS, Limerick
7 September 1937: Entered Society at Emo
8 September 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1942: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1942 - 1945: Studied philosophy in Tullabeg
1945 - 1947: Belvedere College - Teacher
1947 - 1951: Studied theology in Milltown Park
31 July 1950: Ordained priest in Milltown Park
1951 - 1952: Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle
1952 - 1953: Chikuni College, Zambia - Language school
2 February 1953: Final vows at Chikuni College
1953 - 1955: Kasiya Mission
1955 - 1959: Chikuni - Teacher in Secondary School and Teachers' Training College
1959 - 1960: Charles Lwanga - Teacher training
1960 - 1962: Chikuni - Manager of Schools
1962 - 1969: Mungret College - Teacher
1969 - 1985: Crescent College - Teacher
1985 - 1988: New York - Prison Chaplain
1988 - 1992: California - Church of Our Lady of Lourdes
1992 - 1994: SFX, Gardiner Street - Assisted in the Church
1994 - 2002: Sacred Heart Church, Limerick - Assisted in the Church, Librarian
2002 - 2012: Milltown Park - Assisted in the Community
4 May 2012: Died Cherryfield

Fr. Patrick Kelly was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 27th January 2012. He had got unsteady and it was feared he would have a fall. He settled in very well. It was only in the last few weeks that he looked gaunt and passed away quietly on 4 May 2012. May he rest in the Peace of Christ

Obituary Liam O'Connell and Michael J. Kelly
Paddy Kelly was born in Limerick in 1920 where his family lived in Patrick Street. He remained steeped in the history and lore and the sporting traditions of his native city. His father manufactured boots and shoes, and also wooden clogs for the large numbers working in the bacon factories in the city, and when Limerick expertise was needed to set up bacon factories in Russia, he exported these clogs as far as Russia, Paddy lived during eventful times.

When he was very young, both the mayor of Limerick and the former mayor were murdered near Patrick Street by Black and Tans, and theIrish civil war deeply divided his native city.

Paddy had two brothers and three sisters, and every year they spent the summer months in a lodge in Kilkee. There is a photograph from one of these outings of Paddy as a four year old, complete with a large sand shovel, surrounded by his parents and family and ready to make his mark on the world. Throughout his life as a Jesuit Paddy returned to spend time at Kilkee with his mother, and his sisters and brothers, and they have happy memories of the life and fun he brought to these holidays.

In his final years in Sexton Street CBC in Limerick Paddy did a retreat with Fr. Mackey SJ, who was famous for encouraging Jesuit vocations. Afterwards they remained in correspondence and four days after the declaration of World War II, on 7th September 1939, Paddy left home at the age of 17 to go to the Novitiate at Emo. The 19 young novices who entered then were to live through a time of emergency and rationing that was to last for several years after the war ended. One of the other novices was Brendan Barry who had been educated with Paddy in Sexton Street CBC. The writer, Benedict Kiely, also belonged to their year, and he recorded his impressions of Emo in his novel There was an Ancient House.

After Emo, Paddy completed an Arts degree in UCD in 1942, and after Philosophy at Tullabeg, Tullamore, he spent two years in Belvedere as a teacher and sports coach and while there he obtained the Higher Diploma in Education. He was ordained in Milltown Park in 1950.

While in Tertianship in 1951-52, Paddy was assigned to the Chikuni Mission, the mission territory in present-day Zambia that Father General had committed to the Irish Province in 1949. When he arrived with others on 31st August 1952, Paddy was a member of the third large contingent from the Irish Province who took up work in the Chikuni Mission and among the first to travel there by air. At that time, the work of the Mission across an area about the size of Ireland was still in its infancy and faced the enormous challenge of a shortage of human resources, not just for strictly evangelical work, but for all those other aspects that constitute life in virtually virgin mission territory. It's no surprise, then, that the records show that on 6th August, less than a week after his arrival, Paddy spent the whole of his first Saturday in Africa loading a lorry with bundles of thatching grass, or that a few weeks later he and Norman MacDonald spent some days building a teacher's house in one of the out-stations. This kind of active involvement with what had to be done on the ground was characteristic of Paddy, who seemed happiest when doing things, developing things, getting his hands dirty, and talking all about it afterwards. Again and again, the records speak of things that Paddy did - shooting a hawk, getting a reluctant grinding mill to work again, celebrating the day of his final vows by being a member of the community football team that scored a 2-1 victory over the boys at Canisius College.

As with other newcomers, Paddy spent a large part of his first months learning the local language, ciTonga, under the able guidance of Bob Kelly. While necessary for all who were working at Chikuni Mission, this was especially important for Paddy who was appointed in August 1953 as Assistant Parish Priest at Kasiya, a mission sub station which had been established about two years earlier some 40 kilometres from the central Chikuni Mission. Here he was to work alongside Fr. Maurice Dowling, one of the earliest Irish Jesuits to go to the Chikuni Mission. The fact that Kasiya is now a well-established parish, with about 15,000 Catholics and ten outstations, is a tribute to .. what Paddy and his successors were able to accomplish there.

On completion of two years of fruitful parochial work, Paddy was transferred to the Mission's central education apostolate - Canisius College which at that time comprised both the full range of secondary schooling and a two-year teacher training programme. Paddy's work was principally in the latter, in the areas of religious education, English and mathematics. That he was moved in this way from a successful and - to him congenial – directly evangelical ministry to that of education bespeaks the tensions that existed in the Chikuni Mission (and indeed throughout the Society in its long history) between educational and other apostolates, with the human resource demands of school provision frequently taking precedence over what many perceived as the more Kingdom-oriented work of direct evangelisation and parochial ministry. But as a true and loyal Jesuit, Paddy threw himself into his new sphere of activities and was to remain in these for the following five years. Being a teacher educator, he was one of those who accompanied John Counihan, John Fitzgerald, Charlie O'Connor and others who moved from Canisius College to the newly established Charles Lwanga Teachers College in 1959.

But just a year later, apostolic needs and the shortage of personnel saw Paddy being moved to another responsibility, this time as Manager of Schools for all the Catholic primary schools that fell under Chikuni Mission. The maintenance and development of these schools, ensuring school supplies, the posting of teachers and their accommodation, and fostering the development of new schools all became part of Paddy's job. And given his nature it was a job in which he revelled. He showed a child-like delight in facing the challenges of long journeys over difficult terrain, of getting building and other supplies to locations where there were no roads or bridges, of being firm but courteous with local headmen about the importance of having their own school, of mobilising community support in making bricks, drawing sand, and maintaining buildings, and of making sure that the appointed teachers actually turned up for duty and did teach.

Throughout the decade in which he so generously served the people within the area of the Chikuni Mission, Paddy remained very true to himself – always good-humoured and good-natured, generous in responding to requests, forthright in manner, sometimes very blunt in approach and expression, and yet always very private about himself as a person and what motivated him. He is well remembered as a loyal and faithful Jesuit, a deeply spiritual man who downplayed what he felt might be extreme expressions of his spirituality, always anxious to do more (though seemingly never concerned about being more) and always a good companion. He served Zambia's people well and they were the losers when circumstances brought about his return to Ireland in 1962 and the commencement there of almost a quarter century of teaching ministry.

In 1962 Paddy returned to Ireland to minister in Mungret College, where he taught History and Geography and was in charge of the Study Hall. Paddy was by nature an optimist, and visiting parents who met Paddy regularly received glowing accounts of how their son was doing. Unfortunately these assessments often had to be revised downwards when the same parents met with other less optimistic teachers. Paddy's nick name in Mungret was Gazebo - a gazebo being an exotic outdoor garden house, a place for resting and shelter, and Paddy lived up to this description, as he was a breath of fresh air in the lives of many of the students.

In 1973 when the closure of Mungret College was announced, Paddy and other teachers from Mungret transferred to the new Jesuit Comprehensive School at Dooradoyle. To this day the Crescent students remember Paddy with a mixture of amazement and affection. In Crescent he was nicknamed 'Ned' after the Australian outlaw, Ned Kelly, who did things his own way, and I think that this was a tribute to Paddy's originality and independence.

At Crescent Paddy became one of the founder members of the new Geography department. At this time when the syllabus was expanded to include more Geology and Human Geography, and Paddy's colleagues at Crescent never ceased to be amazed at the breadth and depth of his knowledge. He pioneered Geography Field

Trips and he became an expert on the Burren region in Co. Clare. He was also a great collector of valuable Geography books and of rocks, and he guarded them well. One day a group of teachers thought that they would build a Sun Dial, and began to wonder how. Paddy left the discussion briefly and returned with a book on 'How to make Sun Dials'. And his name - Paddy Kelly SJ – was written across the front of the book, in big black marker lettering, in case somebody dared not to return it to him.

Everybody he taught remembers Paddy's wonderful turn of phrase. Latecomers were warned not to 'shilly shally. In congested corridors between class periods, to the amusement of all, Paddy encouraged good order by booming out “file fast past fat fools”, or “hurry up you meandering tortoises”,

I have plenty of other pictures of Paddy: setting out on a Saturday morning from Dooradoyle on foot on a 20-mile-round walking trip to the Clare Hills; constructing unusual-looking but very comfortable garden seats; painting everything in sight; planting trees and daffodils, and cutting grass; fixing anything that was broken with carefully guarded tools; nodding during a conversation and saying "you're perfectly right and being positive and encouraging; sitting outside the back door in the evening, smoking his pipe, and looking the picture of contentment.

In 1985, at 65 years of age Paddy retired from teaching at Crescent, and left Limerick to work for a few years in the Prison Service in New York as a Chaplain, and then in a parish in Los Angeles, before returning to Gardiner Street and the Sacred Heart Church in Limerick, and finally to the Community in Milltown Park where he lived happily for ten years. In Gardiner Street some people did not care much for the added prayers and commentary he added to the liturgy, but many people loved the outgoing way in which he celebrated Mass. His Jesuit colleagues remember his optimism. There is a story that one morning in Gardiner Street, at breakfast Paddy was just too optimistic and charitable about everything, and an exasperated brother Jesuit remarked “Paddy you are so positive that you would speak well of the devil”, to which Paddy replied. “Indeed I would - he's a very hard worker”.

Paddy was often great fun, but he was serious too, and serious about things that he did not easily talk about, serious about his faith and his commitment to the Eucharist, nourishment from God for our journey, and especially as we prepare for the journey into the unknown. Two months before he died, Paddy moved to Cherryfield Lodge, and he knew that this part of his joumey was coming close. This was a time of special grace and acceptance for him. He was most thankful to the staff at Cherryfield, to the Rector and Milltown community, and to family and to old friends who stayed in touch. He died peacefully in Cherryfield on 4 May 2012.

Linahan, Michael, 1828-1869, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1577
  • Person
  • 12 June 1828-02 April 1869

Born: 12 June 1828, County Cork
Entered: 04 August 1859, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Died: 02 April 1869, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

MacSeumais, Anthony, 1910-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/524
  • Person
  • 23 September 1910-13 January 1989

Born: 23 September 1910, Waterford City, County Waterford
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 13 May 1942
Final vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 13 January 1989, St Joseph’s, Kilcroney, County Wicklow

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

Younger brother of Peadar - RIP 1996

by 1973 at Riegelwood NC, USA (MAR) working
by 1975 at Woodland Hills, Santa Monica CA, USA (CAL) working

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Letter from Fr. J. A. MacSeumais, R. A. F. Staging Post, Mauripur.
“I am still awaiting a plane for Singapore. However, there is a possibility that I may be away tomorrow. This Station is served by Dutch Franciscans from St. Patrick's Church, Karachi. I was in there on Sunday and met the Superior Ecclesiasticus of this Area, Mgr. Alcuin Van Miltenburg, O.F.M. He it was who made all the arrangements for the burial of Fr. John Sloan, S.J. Fr. Sloan was travelling from Karachi Airport to Ceylon, in a TATA Dakota when the plane crashed at Karonji creek about 15 miles from Karachi Airport. The Mother Superior of the Franciscan Missionaries of Mary and one of her nuns, Mother Anthony, an Irishwoman, were called to St. Teresa's Nursing Home, Karachi to prepare Fr. Sloan's body for burial. He is buried in the Catholic Plot at Karachi Cemetery where several other Jesuits are buried. I visited Fr. Sloan's grave on Sunday and I hope to obtain a photograph of it.
The German Jesuits had the Mission of Sind and Baluchistan, and after the First World War, it was taken over by the other Provinces. In 1935, it was taken over by the Franciscans. There is a magnificent Memorial in front of St. Patrick's, built in honour of the Kingship of Christ and commemorating the work done by the Society in this Mission. Under the Memorial is a crypt and in a passage behind the altar is the ‘The Creation of Hell’ by Ignacio Vas, a number of figures of the damned being tortured in Hell. Indefinite depth is added by an arrangement of mirrors”.

McGovern, Patrick T, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/288
  • Person
  • 28 October 1920-30 September 1984

Born: 28 October 1920, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1980
Died: 30 September 1984, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father McGovern, S.J.
Happiness through Love of All

Father Patrick Terence McGovern, SJ, member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, died almost suddenly after a heart attack in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in the morning of Sunday, 30 September 1984, aged 64.

He was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 28 October 1920. At the end of his secondary schooldays he felt himself internally called to the priesthood and the religious life. The call was not altogether welcome. He was enjoying the freedoms of early manhood to the full and had no wish to exchange them for the restraints of noviceship and scholastic life. After a severe struggle he listened to God’s call and entered the Irish Jesuit novitiate on 7 September 1938. He need not have worried. He accepted the foreseen restraints and duties of Jesuit life, but within these limits, he was to enjoy life to the full to the end of his days.

The happiness of a consecrated life is founded ultimately on love of God, trust in Him and zeal for His glory. There can, however, be supplementary helps. Father McGovern’s supplementary help was an ability to like very deeply the people he worked with or for. He liked the young men who came to him for temporary help and remained his friends for life. He made many lasting friends in his few years in Malaysia. He liked the soldiers he met as an acting chaplain in Malaysia and remained always rather prosodies. He liked, quite exceptionally, the young men with whose aid he founded the Industrial Relations Institute. When he was appointed to the Legislative Council he expected to be a fish out of water, but he soon found himself in the swim; he valued the immediate and continuing friendliness of his reception and he soon came to have a high regard for the hard work done by his fellow members and their devotion to the welfare of Hong Kong.

The early years of what was to be an usual life for an Irish Jesuit were notable in only two ways: he came to Hong Kong in 1947; then, instead of doing the customary period of teaching after language study, he received permission to go to North America for social studies - strong aspirations were already stirring.

He was ordained priest in Ireland on 31 July 1953, and returned to Hong Kong in 1955. The following decade was devoted to school work, with a few years of pastoral work and army chaplaincy in Malaysia. His interest in social work, however, remained keen. He worked for various voluntary agencies and in 1965 he became director of the Caritas Social Centre, Kennedy Town.

In 1968, with the help of a group of workers, he founded the Industrial Relations Institute (IRI) to train workers “for participation in free, strong responsible trade unionism” and to help them to recognize the dignity of their work. He remained director of the IRI for only a few years. As soon as the workers themselves were ready to take over, he resigned the directorship, but he retained a deep interest in the work of the IRI and a deep affection for those who were running it.

Meanwhile he had become a regular broadcaster of five-minute social comments on Radio Hong Kong. These comments were listened to, for he had no objection to being provocative.

One of his listeners apparently was Sir Murray Maclehose, then Governor of Hong Kong. Sir Murray invited Father McGovern to transfer his provocative comments to the chamber of the Legislative Council. Before long, Father McGovern made minor history by arriving on a motor bicycle for his first attendance as a Legislative Councilor.

He and Mr. Andrew So, appointed at the same time, were generally recognised as unofficial spokesmen for the workers and the underdogs of Hong Kong. Their speeches at open sessions bore this out fully.

Father McGovern was an exact observer of confidentiality. Even his closest friends knew nothing of what went on at closed sessions and preparatory meetings, or of what modifications he succeeded in introducing into legislation. His friends did know, however, that he was happy in his work and that he was not a man to be satisfied unless he was accomplishing something.

The high point of his official work came when, valiantly but unavailingly, he led the opposition to the amendment of the Abortion Bill.

In his last days, Father McGovern was deeply involved in the heavy round of official duties attendant upon the initialing of the Sino-British Declaration. Did this heavy work shorten his life? No one can say.

Yet these were not his last public acts. On the evening before his death he was asked to open the new premises of the IRI, and he came home that evening full of happy confidence that this was the beginning of expansion for his favourite work. Next morning he was dead.

At all the Sunday Masses celebrated that morning, before and after his death, prayer was offered that we may “wake up to our social responsibility.” It was a fitting accompaniment to the death of one who had devoted his life and his energies to accomplishing that awakening.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 October 1984

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Belvedere College Sj in Dublin before he entered the Society.

During the 1950s he was sent to the USA to study Trade Union Movements. So, in 1968 in Hong Kong he set up an Institute for trade union leaders, so that when McLehose became Governor, he was appointed an unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Among other things he brought in compulsory holidays for workers, and also on some public holidays.

He was the founder of the Industrial Relations Institute - a training and information Centre for trade union workers. he was also Director of Caritas Social centre in Kennedy Town. His most notable interventions were on housing policy, workers protection, taxation, abortion and education.

He was awarded an OBE for his contribution to his work in Hong Kong.

Note from Tommy Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that nbo toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He sent young Jesuits to work on social activities there - Patrick McGovern and Kevin O’Dwyer

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984


Fr Patrick McGovern (1920-1938-1984) (Macau-Hong Kong)

(Notes from material supplied by Fr Socius, Macau-Hong Kong:)

Fr McGovern died in Wah Yan College, 281 Queen's road East, Hong Kong, at 8.30 am on Sunday, 20th September. He had been coughing during the night, and at 7.30 called Fr Richard McCarthy to say that he was not feeling well and would like to see Irish Columban Sr Gabriel, a medical doctor attached to the Ruttonjee sanatorium. She came promptly with another doctor, Sr Aquinas. They saw that Fr McGovern's condition was serious and called an ambulance. Fr McGovern was anointed by Fr McGaley, but by the time the ambulance arrived he was already dead. He had had a heart attack some months earlier, and since then had twice been operated on for a growth in his left arm.
The newspapers, radio and television reported the death, and on the Tuesday morning (2nd October) the two English-language newspapers, South China Morning Post and Standard, carried editorials on Fr McGovern. The funeral Mass was celebrated in St Margaret's Church, Broadwood Road, Happy Valley. The chief celebrant was the Provincial, Fr Liam Egan, assisted by Archbishop Tang of Canton and Fr Enaudi, one of the Hong Kong Vicars General (the Bishop was away attending a meeting in Rome). Fr Enaudi gave the blessing after the Mass and Archbishop Tang recited the prayers at the graveside. Among the were the acting Chief Secretary, Mr Dennis Bray; the Attorney-General, Mr Michael Thomas; and the and Secretary for Security, Mr David Jeaffreson.
Fr Patrick McGovern: born in Dublin, 28th October 1920, 1926-32 primary school St Patrick's, Drumcondra. 1932-38 secondary school Belvedere. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-47 Milltown, completing academic studies (BA from NUI). 1947-49 Canton, learning Cantonese, 1949-50 Los Angeles (Loyola University) studying sociology and industrial relations. 1950-54 Milltown, theology. 1954-'5 Rathfarnham, tertianship. To Hong Kong.
Of the 29 remaining years in which he served the Hong Kong mission, four he spent overseeing and raising funds for the building of the church and hostel in Petaling Jaya. The remainder he spent in Ricci Hall (11 years), Wah Yan, Hong nearby Kong (9 years). Wah Yan, Kowloon (4 up years), and Cheung Chau (1 year). From the catalogues his most frequent assignments seem to have been with the Industrial Relations Institute, as promoter/director/counsellor (for 16 years); minister, and teacher/lecturer especially in sociology. About 1977 he became a member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (abbreviated to Legco), and about 1980 also of the Executive Council (abbreviated to Exco). These two bodies advise the Governor in his work of ruling the territory. About 1982 he ceased to be a member of Exco but continued as a member of Legco till his death.

South China Morning Post editorial, 2nd October 1984:
Good and faithful servant
The Roman Catholic Church has in mourners recent years often found itself in a dilemma in pursuing the rights of the common man. That it has been in the fray of social activism is unquestioned and while many a politician may have had cause to wish, like Henry II, to be rid of some turbulent priest, the state has learned to accept the Church's more militant stance. Hong Kong heard on Sunday with profound sadness of the death of Father Patrick McGovern, an Irishman of deep sensitivity, with a fine sense of social justice and a gift for rhetoric and wit that seems to be a mark of divine approval in those who hail from the emerald isle. Remarkably, it took a churchman to shake the conscience of the Government and Legislative Council on occasions far too numerous to recall, and it is fair to say that Legco would not have been the same without him. It is worth adding, that he and another cleric, the Rev Joyce Bennett, between them, provided the sharpest edges to the Unofficials criticisms in recent years, And in doing so, they gave a good example to younger members.
Father McGovern was ever the champion of the underdog and the working man. And his Irish background no doubt stood him in good stead, for no nation felt the yoke of its neighbour's domination and the bitterness of poverty and hardship like the Irish.
Yet Father McGovern was ever the gentle and courteous rebel who carried his convictions with a mixture of tolerance and tenacity that enabled him to win friends at every level of society. He was not averse to riding a motor scooter to Lower Albert Road, proudly displaying a Legco badge, though he graduated to a small Japanese car in later years.
Not content with sitting in Legco he was elevated for a time to Executive Council where no doubt he played the part of Devil's Advocate with relish. He will be sorely missed and certainly the pages of Hong Kong's last years will be embellished by some of his deft and darting prose. Many in Hong Kong will join in saying, well done, good and faithful servant.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985


Fr Patrick McGovern (M-HK)
(† 30th September 1984)

(Cf. IPN, October 1984, where the date of Fr McG's death was wrongly transcribed as 20th. The following appreciation was copied from Macau-Hong Province Letter no. 263 (10: 1984), which devotes almost six pages to him:)
Paddy was a very remarkable Jesuit for the diversity of his interests and the range of his activities in very different fields.
It would be hard to find a priest who was more devoted to the defence of the church and the spread of the Kingdom than he was. He liked preaching and his hearers liked his sermons which were eloquent, instructive and interesting without being too long. Most Sundays he celebrated Mass in one or other of the parish churches or convents in the neighbourhood and usually heard confessions also. One of the last things that he did on the Sunday when God called him to Himself was to ensure that somebody stood in for him to celebrate the Mass he was to have said in a nearby church. He often said that the most fruitful and enjoyable years of his life were those he spent in Malaysia in pastoral work and where he collected the greater part of the money that went to build our parish church in Petaling Jaya. During this time he was also a part-time chaplain to the armed forces which had suppressed the communist insurrection in that country.
His work among the soldiers made him sympathetic and understanding, and led him to see the basic goodness of men who are not remarkable for their piety: he often spoke about this.
Paddy was deeply attached to the Society and had a healthy interest in all its apostolates. When he concelebrated with the brethren (something he did whenever he could) he seldom failed to pray for the welfare of the Society and for vocations. On his appointment to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, which he accepted in the hope that as a member he would have greater scope to work for the under-privileged and workers, he said openly that without the support of the Society he could never have taken office.
He cherished community life and many of us during recreation enjoyed his presence as much as we miss his wit and good humour now. There were two things that he detested: cynicism and isolation. He seldom spoke harshly to others or of others but did not suffer fools gladly. A favourite topic of his during recreation was theology, and though he tended to
be conservative without being dogmatic, he was keenly interested in new movements in that field. He often said that when he "retired" and had the time to do so he had a great amount of reading to catch up with. During recreation while he listened carefully to what others had to say about the government and its policies, he was always very scrupulous not to divulge any confidential knowledge he might have had. Paddy had very varied interests. He could cook well when occasion required his doing so, and during his last year he would often
spend the better part of the late evening baking brown bread for the community; the result wasn't at all bad. But his dearest hobby was gardening and the cultivation of flowers and flowering shrubs. In his earlier years in the Society a member of the team of he was scholastics which constructed and planted beautiful rock gardens in Tullabeg and Milltown park. The bank of azaleas which now forms a pleasant contrast to the nauseating green exterior of Ricci Hall is the work of his hands - his also was the choice of colour for the exterior of Ricci Hall: 'spring green' he called it. The verandah outside his room in Wah Yan, the room in which he died, was a veritable shrubbery so many were the potted plants it housed. All these things go to show how he loved nature and its creator.
The Society expects its members to be well acquainted with the social teaching of the Church. Paddy made a study of the social encyclicals in some depth and used them extensively in his speeches in the Legislative Council, without giving explicit quotations. In his economic think- ing he had as little time for the Man chester School as he had for Marxism, and he was more than sceptical of the method of Marxist social analysis. His great interest was the betterment of the living conditions of the little man which he envisaged as his role in government by way of promoting faith and justice. This he will be remembered for by all who knew him.
There are numerous other things that could be said about him but there is one last remark that cannot be omitted. The Society in Hong Kong has traditionally set great store by hospitality, and during the years that he was Minister in three different communities Paddy always went out of his way to make guests feel welcome and at home. Not only that, but whenever he had the time he would take visitors on a sight-seeing tour of the territory by car and enjoy the outing as much as his guests. May the good Lord give him eternal rest.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 35 : Christmas 1984

Letter : Harold Naylor

Dear Editor,

When the sudden death of Fr. Patrick McGovern was announced on the morning of Sunday the 30th of September, two visiting Jesuits (from Manila and London) showed uneasiness, when they heard he had been a legislative councillor. No doubt they were thinking of the case of Ferdinand Cardenale in Nicaragua, and other cases of Jesuits being asked to step down from politics. I would like to give my opinion on the matter.

The spokesman of the Hong Kong Diocese, Fr. Michael Yeung, was quoted in the press as saying that Fr. McGovern “had been dedicated to social service throughout his life. There had never been an imbalance between his social service and his missionary work”. The Bishop was pleased with this work, as was the Provincial and the other Jesuits in Hong Kong. At his funeral, there were forty Jesuits priests, together with a great number of other priests: Italian PIME, American Maryknollers, French MEP, Salesians, Vincentians, Franciscans and Chinese Diocesans.

Fr. Liam Egan presided at the Requiem Mass, Fr. Einaudi (Vicar General) at the Last Absolution, and Archbishop Tang, S.J. at the Last Blessing at the graveside. All felt that the Church had lost a strong voice in civic matters and a powerful force in social and educational work. Some of his peers were at the funeral - people with whom he had worked for years in the legislative chamber and the back room. They included the Chief of Police and the heads of the Education, Legal Affairs and Economic Services Departments, as well as other civic leaders from the manufacturing, banking, legal and other professions.

John Swaine, an unofficial councillor, said: “He was able to inject a sense of conscience into our discussions, so that we looked beyond the mere text of policies and legislature to the human realities underneath”. That could sum up the thrust of his life: the use of his verbal skills to put the case of the common man before the executive and legislative branches of the administration.

Social issues and labour were his field. Since he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1978, by the then Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, he had systematically brought in labour legislature. “Paid Holidays” were first introduced through him, then rules on working conditions and compensation benefits. He was largely responsible for defeating the government's move to shelve the Llewelynn Report on fundamental education reform, and made history in 1983 by being the first “unofficial” to reverse a government decision.

He scored his first major success in settling the threatened strike of prison warders in 1975, much to the delight of the warders. After the riots of '76, he set up his Industrial Relations Institute (IRI) and actually died the day after being present at the opening of its new premises. He had served on the Government Salaries Revision Commission and on innumerable commissions against corruption, narcotics and many other issues of daily life in Hong Kong. His last contribution was the inclusion in the Sino-British Agreement (Sept. 1984) of the freedom of association of workers and of their right to strike.

How did all this happen? Well, it could be traced back to Fr. T.F. Ryan, who, when Superior of the Mission in 1948, decided that Paddy, who had been studying Cantonese in Canton till then, should not teach in the Colleges, but rather go to the USA to study the Labour Movement and social questions. He did so in 1949 and then went to Milltown for Theology. Returned as a priest in 1955, he taught English, History and Religious Knowledge in Wah Yan Hong Kong for two years, before going to Malaysia for two years. It was there that he felt the realisation of the ideals of his priesthood. Part-time Armed Forces Chaplain, he was always saying Mass for young adults, instructing young men in the Faith and helping to build the church in Petaling Jaya. He returned to Hong Kong to be Spiritual Father to the boys in Wah Yan until he became Director of the Caritas Social Service Centre in Kennedy Town in 1965. He stayed there until he founded the Industrial Relations Institute.

He had the distinction of being taken off the air" by the Governor, David Trench, who took offence at his provocative social comments on radio in 1965.

An unconventional man, he made history by turning up at the Legislative Council on his Vespa whilst the other councillors arrived in their chauffeur-driven cars. Later he used a small Japanese car. He dressed casually in an open-necked shirt, though he wore clericals on formal occasions.

In June 1984, Fr. Paddy was the only one to speak in Council against the lifting of rent controls: “Speculators are nursing their burnt fingers in kid gloves, but they are a hardy lot and have proved before that they can make a quick recovery at the sight of a possible cure or another quick buck”.

St. Ignatius recommended that we adapt ourselves to “time, place and person”. Hong Kong is a unique place and stands at a crucial moment in its history. It has just lost a brilliant spokesman for the worker and the ordinary person. He died without an enemy, even after eight years of public life. I feel that his death was like that of a singer at the last bar of his song.

Yours etc.,

Harold Naylor, S.J., 56 Waterloo Road, Hong Kong.

McKey, Michael A, 1852-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1725
  • Person
  • 19 August 1852-01 April 1916

Born: 19 August 1852, Tyrrellspass, County Westmeath
Entered: 19 February 1874, Milltown Park (HIB for Taurensis Province - TAUR)
Ordained: 1888
Final vows: 02 February 1894
Died: 01 April 1916, St Joseph’s, San José, CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed TAUR to CAL : 1909

McPolin, James, 1931-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/607
  • Person
  • 04 June 1931-09 October 2005

Born: 04 June 1931, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 04 September 1962, Frankfurt, Germany
Final Vows: 02 February1966, Rome, Italy
Died: 09 October 2005, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1962 at Sankt Georgen, Frankfurt (GER I) studying
by 1965 at Rome, Italy (ROM) studying
by 1979 at Gonzaga Spokane WA, USA (ORE) teaching
by 1990 at San Salvador, El Salvador (CAM) working
by 1997 at Zomba, Malawi (ZAM-MAL) teaching
by 2001 at Cambridge, MA, USA (NEN) Sabbatical
by 2002 at Venice, CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
James McPolin was born in Limerick and educated at the Jesuit Crescent College. In 1948 he entered the Society at Emo and followed the standard course of studies of the Irish province. After a year’s theological studies at Milltown Institute he transferred to Frankfurt a.M. for his final years of theology.

Jimmy as a scholastic always gave the impression of youth and energy. He was deeply interested in sports of all kinds and persuaded those of us studying philosophy with him to build a basket-ball court on which he tutored the ignorant among us in the rules of the game. He sailed through his Jesuit studies effortlessly and we were not surprised when he was sent to the Biblical Institute in Rome for a Doctorate in Sacred Scripture. Thus he lectured in Scripture for 23 years at the Milltown Institute, Dublin, alternating semesters for 3 years with the Biblicum in Rome. Subsequently he also taught scripture at Gonzaga University, Spokane, at the University of Central America (UCA, El Salvador) and at St. Peter’s Seminary in Zomba, Malawi. His textbook on St. John’s Gospel is still very popular with students of scripture.

He was elected as the representative of the Irish Province for the 32nd General Congregation of the Jesuits in Rome in 1975 and was deeply involved in drafting the document of that Congregation on the formation of our young men. He acted as the Irish Provincial’s delegate for formation for many years.

After serving as Dean of the Theology Faculty at Milltown Institute for four years he was appointed as President of the whole Institute. During this time he was transferred to a small community of scholastics living in poor quarters in the centre of Dublin city. During his seven years in that community he showed great concern for the difficulties of the poorer neighbours. His cycling to work every day to and from his office at Milltown, 6 km away, surprised many of his academic colleagues at the Institute.

In 1989 he moved to San Salvador in Central America where he worked as assistant priest in the Jesuit Parish, eventually becoming the Parish Priest. When he first arrived in San Salvador he was invited to visit the University community for a meal and spend the night with them because of the curfew. In fact there was some urgent business in the parish which prevented him from accepting the invitation. That was the night in which the six Jesuits in the University community together with their housekeep and her daughter were murdered by the army. Jimmy thus narrowly escaped sharing their fate.

On his return from San Salvador in 1996 he joined the small group of Jesuits who were teaching at St. Peter’s Seminary at Zomba, Malawi. He first studied the local Chi-Chewa language and then settled into teaching scripture for five semesters.

He had a very good relationship with the Malawian seminarians: he always greeted his class with the word “Wawa” which is a term of great respect in Chewa and which invariably elicited a loud response. He set himself up as coach of the football team and could be seen at half-time surrounded by a ring of players whom he harangued in a good natured way. He also endeared himself to the teaching staff by the jokingly provocative way he would express some outrageous opinion during meals at our ‘round table’ which would immediately spark a lively discussion.

His deep commitment to the Faith and Justice agenda proposed for Jesuits by GC 32 was very obvious in his homilies at the daily Liturgy – he would illustrate his point by telling stories from “a certain parish where I served”. He was referring to the San Antonio Abac parish in El Salvador where he served as parish priest and where one of his predecessors and several young people on retreat had been shot by the military a few years before.

When he returned to Ireland he joined the Belfast community for a year and contributed to their efforts in the reconciliation between opposing factions in Northern Ireland. This was followed by a year’s sabbatical at Cambridge, Mass. and then by three years in the parish at Venice, California where his fluency in Spanish was appreciated by the many hispanic parishioners.

A series of strokes starting in 2004 forced his return to the Irish nursing unit at Cherryfield and he died there on 9 October, 2005.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions :

In his homily at the funeral of James McPolin SJ, Michael O’Sullivan recalls a life dedicated to faith and justice in El Salvador, in Malawi and here in Ireland. He also remembers
Jimmy as a dedicated and innovative president of the Milltown Institute.
About two years ago Jimmy said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the years he was in El Salvador (1989-96) – despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there straight after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983-89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement.
Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba Julia) and her daughter (Celina), were murdered by an army death squad at the Jesuit residence on the grounds of the University of San Salvador. The Jesuits were murdered because of their commitment to the faith that does justice; the women, who had taken refuge with the Jesuits after their home had been damaged by gunfire, were killed so as to leave no witnesses. Jimmy could have been among the dead that night, 16 November 1989, given that he had deferred accepting an invitation to stay with the Jesuit community at the University until he had spent more time among the ordinary people. (2) Afterwards his concern to see justice done in the case of his dead Jesuit companions and the two women was viewed by him as a way also of promoting justice for the people of the country. In a letter to members of his family in Ireland in 1990 he wrote: “The future of justice is obfuscated by the fact that the trial of the soldiers for the killings is being impeded by false evidence of the military and by the collusion of the American Embassy and Government.” (3)
You may be aware of the memorial bell on the Milltown avenue in front of the Irish School of Ecumenics building. It was put up in honour of those who were killed that night. One of the dead Jesuits, Amando Lopez, had studied theology at Milltown, and was ordained to the priesthood in this chapel. You can see him in the 1965 ordination photo on the corridor outside this chapel. Another of the dead Jesuits, Ignacio Ellacuria, had done part of his Jesuit formation in Dublin as an ordained priest. The memorial bell will also always be a reminder of the third president of the Institute and the values that took him to El Salvador at that time.
Jimmy also narrowly escaped death at a subsequent date when he found himself under the table while army bullets were sprayed around the room. He was the pastor of San Antonio Abad parish, where a predecessor, and several young people on retreat, had been slain by the army in 1979. I stayed with Jimmy and the Jesuit community at San Antonio Abad during part of my time in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992. One day he asked if I would like to see the new houses he was having built for the poor. We headed toward a four wheel drive vehicle. Remembering that Jimmy did not drive in Ireland, and knowing I did not feel like handling such a large vehicle there and then in San Salvador, I asked him who would be our driver. He told me he would drive. He proved to be a very able driver, having become such out of his desire to serve the poor more effectively.
To understand the development of Jimmy’s commitment to economically poor and politically persecuted people it is necessary to know that in 1974-75 the Jesuits worldwide committed themselves to the work of justice as integral to the service of faith and that Jimmy was one of two Jesuits elected by his Irish colleagues to represent them in Rome where that decision was taken. Then in 1980 I asked him as a leading scripture scholar to review a book that was generating a lot of interest at the time, namely, Jose Miranda’s Marx and the Bible. (4) He told me later that reviewing this book led to a quantum leap in his Jesuit commitment to what had been decided in Rome some years earlier. Viewed from the perspective of spirituality as an academic discipline it can be said that his quantum leap of faith was facilitated by the practice of an intense reading experience. Other kinds of practices would evoke, express and enhance his conversion.
In that year, 1980-81, some of us here at the Institute – students at the time – thought the Institute should take an initiative to stop the intended tour of apartheid South Africa by the Irish rugby team. We held an all night vigil at the premises of the IRFU and collaborated with others in organising and taking part in protest marches on the streets. Jimmy, who was the Dean of Theology at the time, was one of very few academic and administration staff to join us. He also went on a placement to Brixton, England, around that time to work with marginalised black people. This commitment to black people reappeared strongly after his years in El Salvador when he went to live and work in Malawi (1997-99). One of his former Malawian students told me that Jimmy was a friend of the poor and oppressed, and that he lived what he taught from the Bible. This was also true of him in Ireland.
During his years as President of Milltown Institute he accepted an invitation from Seamus Murphy, now a member of the Philosophy Faculty, to live in inner city Dublin as a member of the Jesuit community called after Luis Espinal. Espinal was a Catalan Jesuit who had been murdered in Bolivia for his commitment to the faith that does justice. The Espinal community, which had been brought into being in 1980, the year of Espinal’s martyrdom, by Seamus, Kevin O’Higgins, the former Dean of Philosophy, and myself, when we were students at Milltown, and which was joined almost immediately by John Moore, then a Professor and Head of Department at UCD, was committed to simple living, was a friend to the flat dwellers in the local Dublin Corporation estates, and was a meeting place for social action groups. Jimmy used to cycle to and from Milltown in those years. He also participated regularly in protests outside the U.S. embassy against U.S. foreign policy in Central America, protests in which some staff and students at the Institute took a prominent part.
In line with how he understood and lived his faith and scholarship a defining characteristic of his Presidency was the way he enabled the teaching of liberation and feminist theologies to progress in the Institute. He welcomed me on the staff in 1986 and I am grateful to him for the support he gave me to teach these theologies. Una Agnew, the first female head of a programme at the Institute, and now Head of the Dept. of Spirituality, remembers his commitment to improving the situation of women, while Dominique Horgan, now the Archivist, remembers how he initiated the Adult Religious Education programmes, of which she was the first Director. This commitment to adult religious education is also reflected in the fact that during his years as President he taught scripture at the People’s College, which was located near the Espinal community. He did so there in order to reach out to people who at that time would not come to places like Milltown because of their social class, feelings about the Catholic Church, or educational attainment. Jimmy was a great success with such groups.
After his years in Malawi, following his term as President of the Institute, and his years in El Salvador, Jimmy went to Belfast to be in solidarity with those struggling for peace and justice there. During that time he also wrote a series of very fine articles on scripture texts for readers of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Then, given his language skills, and feeling for Latino peoples, he went to California to be a pastor in a parish with a very large Latino population. While there he suffered a stroke, and had to return to Ireland. More strokes followed. He died on October 9th. May he rest in peace, and may we be inspired by the way he lived the Institute motto to bring scholarship to life. Amen. Alleluia!

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006


James (Jimmy) McPolin (1931-2005)

4th June 1931: Born in Limerick
Early education at Crescent College, Limerick
7th September 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1950: First Vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1959 - 1960: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
1960 - 1963: Frankfurt am Main, Germany - Studied Theology
4th September 1962: Ordained at Frankfurt, Maine
1963 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1964 - 1967: Biblical Institute, Rome -D.S.S.
2nd February 1966: Final Vows in Rome
1967 - 1976: Milltown Park -
1967 - 1970: Professor of Sacred Scripture / Rome in alternate semesters
1970 - 1976: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture; Superior of Scholastics
1976 - 1977: Betagh House - Professor of Sacred Scripture at Milltown Park
1977 - 1978: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture
1978 - 1979: Gonzaga Univ., Spokane, WA, USA - Professor of Sacred Scripture
1979 - 1983: Milltown Park - Professor of Sacred Scripture; Dean Theology Faculty
1983 - 1990: Espinal community -
1983 - 1990: President, Milltown Institute; Lecturer in Sacred Scripture, Writer
1987 - 1990: Superior
1990 - 1998: El Salvador - learning language and parish work
1998 - 1999: Malawi - Lecturer in Sacred Scripture at St. Peter's Seminary
1999 - 2000: Belfast- Ecumenical and Reconciliation Ministry
2000 - 2001: Sabbatical - Faber House, 42 Kirkland Street, Cambridge MA
2001 - 2004: Venice, California - Associate Pastor, St. Mark's Church
2004 - 2005: Gardiner Street - Residing in Cherryfield
9th Oct 2005: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Father Jimmy McPolin was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on April 5th, 2004 for respite care following a stroke in the USA. While his mobility was poor at times he was self caring for the first six months. Then he was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on four occasions, having suffered more strokes. His condition deteriorated over this time and in the last six months to a year he needed full nursing care. In that time his mental state also deteriorated. He was unable to converse and was unaware of his surroundings. However, he did appear to know some of the staff.

Michael O'Sullivan writes:
Jimmy was a fellow Limerick man and past pupil of the old Crescent College. I did not meet him, however, until I went to Milltown to study Philosophy in 1974. I found our first meeting painful. I was struggling to come to terms with life in the Milltown of that era after three years in the company of many women friends at UCD, and he, in his role as “Superior of Scholastics”, did not understand that. But he changed. He was an architect of the Formation document at GC 32 with its focus on “the integrated character of apostolic formation”. He also got in touch with his “inner child” and would express this, for example, by dressing up as Santa Claus at the Christmas staff party in Milltown Institute in an effort to lighten up what could be an over sombre atmosphere. His preference to dress in grey rather than the customary clerical black meant that on one occasion at least he was taken for a Protestant minister. This happened when he visited my mother, who did not know him at the time. When she answered the door to him and lie asked her if she was Mrs. O'Sullivan, she replied that, yes, she was, but that she was a Catholic!

In a conversation with Jimmy about two years before he died he said to me that he felt most alive and of most use during the period he was in El Salvador (1989-96) - despite the awful suffering among the people and the deadly danger that shadowed his own life. He went there after his term as President of Milltown Institute (1983-89). He did so because of his commitment to and companionship with the God whose love makes the promotion of justice an absolute requirement. Jimmy had hardly arrived in the country when six Jesuits, a woman (Elba Julia) and her daughter (Celina), were murdered by an army death squad at the Jesuit residence on the grounds of the University of San Salvador. The Jesuits were murdered because of their commitment to the faith that does justice; the women, who had taken refuge with the Jesuits after their home had been damaged by gunfire, were killed so as to leave no witnesses. Jimmy would have been among the massacred that night, 16 November 1989, had he not chosen to spend time among the ordinary people before accepting an invitation to stay with his Jesuit companions at the University. (Jimmy shared this with me in El Salvador in 1991. He had also said this to his family in Ireland, according to his niece, Gráinne) Afterwards his concern to see justice done in the case of these companions and the two women was viewed by him as a way to also promote justice for the people of the country. In a letter to members of his family in Ireland in 1990 he wrote: “The future of justice is obfuscated by the fact that the trial of the soldiers for the killings is being impeded by false evidence of the military and by the collusion of the American Embassy and Government”. (The source for this quote is his niece Gráinne who had also spoken with other members of his extended family.)

Jimmy also narrowly escaped death on another occasion when he found himself under the table while army bullets were sprayed around the room. He was the pastor of San Antonio Abad parish, where a predecessor, and several young people on retreat, had been slain by the army in 1979. I stayed with him and the Jesuit community at the parish during part of my time in El Salvador in 1991 and 1992. One day he asked if I would like to see the new houses he was having built for the poor. We headed toward a four wheel drive vehicle. Remembering that Jimmy did not drive in Ireland, and knowing I did not feel like handling such a large vehicle there and then in San Salvador, I asked who would be our driver. He told me that he would drive. He proved to be a very abie driver, having become such out of his desire to serve the poor more effectively.

To understand the development of Jimmy's commitment to economically poor and politically persecuted people it is necessary to remember that in 1974-75 we committed ourselves at a global level to the work of justice as an integral part of the service of faith and that Jimmy was one of the two delegates elected by his peers to go to the 32nd General Congregation where that decision was taken. Then in 1980 I asked him as a leading scripture scholar to review a book that was generating a lot of interest at the time, namely, Jose Miranda's Marx and the Bible. ((At that time I was co-editing a magazine on faith and justice issues.) He told me later that reviewing this book led to a quantum leap in his Jesuit commitment to Decree 4 of GC 32. Viewed from the perspective of spirituality as an academic discipline it can be said that his leap of faith was facilitated by the practice of an intense reading experience. Other kinds of practices would evoke, express and enhance his conversion.

In the academic year, 1980-81, some theology students at Milltown Institute were strongly of the view that the Institute should take an initiative to stop the intended tour of apartheid South Africa by the Irish rugby team. We held an all night vigil at the premises of the IRFU and collaborated with others in organising and taking part in protest marches on the streets. Jimmy, the Dean of Theology at the time, was one of the very few academic and administration staff who joined us. He also went on a placement to Brixton, England around that time to work with marginalised black people. This commitment to black people reappeared strongly after his years in El Salvador when he went to live and work in Malawi (1997-99). One of his former Malawian students told me that Jimmy was a friend of the poor and oppressed, and that he lived what he taught from the Bible. This was also true of him in Ireland.

During his years as President of Milltown Institute he accepted an invitation from Séamus Murphy to live in inner city Dublin as a member of the Jesuit community called after Luis Espinal. Espinal was a Catalan Jesuit who had been murdered in Bolivia for his commitment to the faith that does justice. The Espinal community, which had been brought into being in 1980, the year of Espinal's martyrdom, by Séamus, Kevin O'Higgins, and myself, when we were theology students at Milltown, and which was joined almost immediately by John Moore, then a Professor and Head of Department at UCD, was committed to simple living, was a friend to the flat dwellers in the local Dublin Corporation estates, and was a meeting place for social action groups. Jimmy used to cycle to and from Milltown in those years. He also participated regularly in protests outside the US embassy against US foreign policy in Central America, protests in which some staff and students at the Institute took a prominent part.

In line with how he understood and lived his faith and scholarship a defining characteristic of his Presidency was the way he enabled the teaching of liberation and feminist theologies to progress in the Institute. He welcomed me on the staff in 1986 and I am grateful to him for the support he gave me to teach these theologies. Una Agnew, the first female head of a programme at the Institute, and now Head of the Dept. of Spirituality, remembers his commitment to improving the situation of women, while Dominique Horgan, now the Archivist, remembers how he initiated the Adult Religious Education programmes, of which she was the first Director. This commitment to adult religious education is also reflected in the fact that during his years as President of the Milltown Institute he taught scripture at the People's College, which was located near the Espinal community. He did so there in order to reach out to people who at that time would not come to places like Milltown because of their social class, feelings about the Catholic Church, or educational attainment. Jimmy was a great success with such groups.

After his years in Malawi, following his term as President of the Institute, and his years in El Salvador, Jimmy went to Belfast to be in solidarity with those struggling for peace and justice there. During that time he also wrote a series of very fine articles on scripture texts for readers of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Then, given his language skills and feeling for Latino peoples, he went to California to serve in a parish with a very large Latino population. While there he suffered a stroke, and had to return to Ireland. More strokes followed. He died on October 9h. May he rest in peace, and may we be inspired by the way he lived the Institute motto to bring scholarship to life. Amen. Alleluia!

From the homily by Derek Cassidy at the Funeral Mass in Gardiner Street:
I have no doubt in my heart or mind that this virtuous soul, at whose invitation we gather today in faith and prayer, is residing easily and comfortably in the hands of our God. It is also unquestionable that Jimmy's illness looked like a disaster and we watched as the person we knew and loved was leaving us over these past twelve months or so, we were stunned and amazed how one who so loved God and who was such a devoted friend and servant of His was so afflicted: God certainly put Jimmy to the test.

But in his own words, writing in his well-received and celebrated tome on “JOHN”, Jimmy reflects for us “the suffering of Jesus is an expression of love, for the Good Shepherd is on His way to lay down His life for His friends out of love” - not like the hired shepherd who would run away from suffering.

Wisdom concludes that “they who trust in the Lord will understand the truth, those who are faithful will live with The Lord in love; for grace and mercy await those He has chosen”. That is a verse that Jimmy took on as his leit motiv. He is one who trusted and who lived a faithful life, and now that Jimmy has gone home to the God who chose him, grace and mercy will embrace him. As he wrote in his book, “Jesus' death is a pass(ing) over to the Father, so that Death and Resurrection are inseparable; and the light of the Resurrection penetrates suffering and gives it meaning”.

St Paul confirms our Faith for us in the reading we have just heard. Because of the resurrection, death has no more power over us. We learn this message as we continually enter the waters of our Baptism and let the grace we received there be at work in our lives calling us ever more deeply into the Mystery of Life.

Writing in the introduction to his volume on John, Jimmy alerts us to the fact that the sign of the Fourth Evangelist is that of the Eagle, and reflects for us that this is because John had the MOST penetrating GAZE into the Mystery of God Made Man - of Jesus. We each have our own special memory of Jimmy. Mine centres around Jimmy's own gaze into my eyes - he had a way of looking into my eyes that invited trust and response in care. I often imagine to myself that this is a very Jesus-like gaze, as He (Jesus) looked at the Rich Young Man and loved him.

Molloy, Peter, 1832-1857, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/1748
  • Person
  • 26 December 1832-20 December 1857

Born: 26 December 1832, County Galway
Entered: 01 September 1857, Santa Clara University CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Died; 20 December 1857, Santa Clara University CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Moore, John J, 1858-1906, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1757
  • Person
  • 25 July 1858-27 January 1906

Born: 25 July 1858, Bellinter House, Co Meath
Entered: 13 September 1873, Milltown Park (HIB for Taurensis Province - TAUR)
Ordained: 1888
Final Vows: 08 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullamore, County Offaly
Died: 27 January 1906, Saint Joseph’s Church, San José, CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Morahan, Michael, 1914-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/527
  • Person
  • 18 November 1914-03 November 1992

Born: 18 November 1914, Shantalla, Galway City, County Galway
Entered: 17 September 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1946
Died 03 November 1992, Mayo General Hospital, Castlebar, County Mayo

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid community, Galway at the time of death.

by 1975 at Palmer City AK, USA (ORE) working
by 1988 at Greenlawn, Long Island NY, USA (NEB) working
by 1979 at Monterey Park CA, USA (CAL) working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

JESUITICA: The flies of Ireland
Only one Irish Provincial has had a genus of flies called after him. In 1937 Fr Larry Kieran welcomed Fr Hermann Schmitz, a German Jesuit, to Ireland, and he stayed here for about four years, teaching in Tullabeg and doing prodigious research on Irish Phoridae, or flies. He increased the known list of Irish Phoridae by more than 100 species, and immortalised Fr Larry by calling a genus after him: Kierania grata. Frs Leo Morahan and Paddy O’Kelly were similarly honoured, Leo with a genus: Morahanian pellinta, and Paddy with a species, Okellyi. Hermann served Irish entomologists by scientifically rearranging and updating the specimens of Phoridae in our National Museum. He died in Germany exactly fifty years ago.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 74 : Autumn 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995


Fr Michael Morahan (1914-1992)

18th Nov. 1914; Born, Shantalla, Galway.
Early education: Patrician Brothers and St. Mary's College, Galway,
17th Sept. 1932: Entered the Society at Emo
1934 - 1937: Rathfarnham Castle, studied Arts at UCD
1937 - 1940: Tullabeg - studied Philosophy
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1945 - 1946: St. Ignatius, Galway, Sodality work
1946 - 1961: Hong Kong
1946 - 1947 : Regional Seminary, teaching Scripture
1947 - 1948 : Studying Chinese
1948 - 1950 : Social Work
1950 - 1951 ; Regional Seminary, Minister
1951 - 1957: Prefect/Spiritual guide, Wah Yan College
1957 - 1961 : Social Service Officer, Hong Kong Police
1961 - 1973: College of Industrial Relations - Chaplain at Kevin St. Technical College.
1973 - 1975: Alaska - Parish work
1975 - 1978: New York - St. Francis of Assisi Church
1978 - 1992: Parish work at Monterey Park, California. Also part-time Chaplain at Knock,
Died in Knock 3rd Nov. 1992:

After 60 years in the Society of Jesus, Fr. Michael Morahan died suddenly on November 3rd, 1992. The end came unexpectedly in his beloved Knock, where he collapsed in mid-moming, and after being brought to Castlebar hospital, he died from a burst aortic aneurysm at 5.30 that afternoon. He was attended at the end by his close friend Fr. Dave Fitzgibbon from Knock who related that his last few words were to ask for his Jesuit crucifix which he held in his hands as he died. My he rest in peace.

Fr. Michael was bom near Barna pier on 18th November 1914 and he related how as a youngster he set out one evening on the sea in a washtub to row to America. Luckily he was rescued at that stage and he did not reach his goal until much later. The family soon moved to Shantalla, Galway, and Michael attended school at the Patrician Brothers primary school and later at St Mary's College secondary school. During this time, he served Mass at St. Ignatius' church, and in 1932 he joined the Jesuits at Emo, Co. Laois.

Michael studied Arts at UCD, Philosophy at Tullabeg and then would normally have gone to regency in one of the schools. However, it was 1940 and his wish to go to Hong Kong could not be granted because of the war. He went straight to Theology at Milltown Park where he was ordained in July 1943. After his tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle, he was sent to Galway in 1945 to do sodality work. In 1946 he finally arrived in Hong Kong aboard an RAF plane and went to the regional seminary where he taught scripture for a year.

The years in the seminary awoke in Michael a great desire to foster vocations and throughout his life he asked and encouraged many young men to join the society and the secular priesthood. He left many letters and cards from priests across the world who were grateful to him for this encouragement, and so his own world-wide mission is still being carried on.

In 1947, Michael took a full year to study Cantonese which he learned well, and this was to be extremely important in his future work. He did a lot of social work in the fishing village of Aberdeen in Hong Kong where a huge number of people lived on the water. He was involved in organising the people as a community, getting new fire and safety regulations into practice on the boats, starting the first primary school for the children, saving the local cemetery from being moved to the mainland, getting the first football field for the community, and I'm sure many other occurrences. He became known as the “King” or the “Mayor” of Aberdeen and was very warmly welcomed back much later even when he had been gone from Hong Kong for 20 years.

Michael's father had been an RIC sergeant, and it was probably arising from this that Michael's great interest in the police and their work arose. In Hong Kong, the rank and file police spoke little English which was the language of the officers. As the seminary was near to Michael, he began to visit and gradually to work with the rank and file police. These men frequently lived in atrocious conditions and there was great fear that many would be open to bribes and gifts from the communists in exchange for spying and working for them. Michael worked hard for them, even to the extent of taking out a trader's license, which he gave to a police widow when she was unable to get one for herself. Later, in 1957, at the request of the Police Commissioner, Michael was appointed Social Service Officer for the Hong Kong Police. He was so well remembered for his great work and his personality that a FAX arrived after his death bearing condolences from the present Commissioner of Police in Hong Kong.

Michael also linked up with the police when he was in New York from 1975-78, and he was a chaplain to the Los Angeles police during the last few years, giving a number of retreats and days of recollection.

In Hong Kong, Michael also served as minister in the Regional Seminary and as prefect and spiritual guide in Wah Yan College in Kowloon. Here he produced a number of plays and Gilbert & Sullivan operettas, and organised teacher training seminars for a number of years. He left many friends in Hong Kong and from all accounts had a very fruitful ministry indeed.

Due to a very bad ulcer on his ankle which refused to heal and which he had until he died, Michael came back to Ireland in 1961 and for twelve years worked as chaplain in Kevin Street College of Technology. During this time, he lived at the College of Industrial Relations, and he used to claim that he kept his notes in Chinese so that they would be absolutely confidential! He also gave many retreats and tridua around Ireland.

In 1973, the wanderlust came again and he headed off to Alaska to serve as pastor for two years in the parish of Tanana at the junction of the Tanana and Yukon rivers. He used to speak of the tremendous cold (minus 60 Celsius) in the winter and the difficulty of travelling to his other church which was a hundred miles away. He appeared on skis, on motor-sleds, on dog-sleds, and in aeroplanes. He gathered the children and adults who had not been confirmed or received their First Holy Communion and had them write to invite the bishop to perform the ceremonies.

In the twenty-four hour darkness of winter, he wrote of the dan ger of cabin-fever, and with a group of others, he founded a Shakespearian Society where they read and discussed a play each week. Again in Alaska he left many friends and invites to return.

From Alaska, he moved to a parish in New York for three years and in 1978 he began his twofold apostolate in Los Angeles and Knock. Each January, he flew to Los Angeles (sometimes with a month in England or New York) to the parish of St Thomas Aquinas where he worked in the church and particularly with the Chinese community. He also taught religion in grade school and took great joy in the children and the letters and prayers they would write for him. He returned to Ireland each July and would work at the Shrine in Knock from August to December 8th.

Michael was a very cheerful and outgoing man who loved meet ing people. He made friends in his work and on his travels, on buses and planes, in trains and by giving lifts in his car. He often wrote in thanksgiving for the tremendous reception he used to get from his many friends. And he kept contact with a great number of them, particularly with a number of priests and seminarians. He had friends in many places particularly on Mweenish Island near Cama in Connemara. He kept up his Irish and his Cantonese andyou never knew which language or poem he would come out with next. For he loved poetry and the natural beauty of the world. His photographs and his letters were full of the wonder of the marvel lous sights he had seen throughout the world and he chuckled when he told of having a genus of insect named after him. A Jesuit biologist, Fr. H. Schmitz S.J. from Germany discovered this minute bug, which looks like a household flea and is only a few millimetres long, in the mountains of the Belgian Congo and named it “to honour my earlier assistant Fr. M. Morahan of Hong Kong”. The genus is of the sub-family Metopininae and is called “Morahania palliata”

And for all his travel and his work in the latter part of his life which was outside the traditional institutions of the Society he was very committed to his Jesuit vocation and his Jesuit brothers. He was very conscious of being sent on his mission by the provincial and loved to retum periodically to his Jesuit community. An operation last January and the death in February of his last brother John knocked a lot out of him, but still he delighted in his work and was looking forward to returning once more to Los Angeles in 1993.

But he was proudest of all of the work going on in Knock and of the great friendship and welcome he received there from the cler gy. He felt the work was hard but tremendously worthwhile and I think that if he was to choose where he would die it would proba bly have been in Knock. He will be missed a lot by the people there and by his family and community in Galway. But people will mourn for him throughout the world recognising in him a man of goodness and a man of God..

Ár Dheis De go raibh a anam!


Moran, James, 1932-2016, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/816
  • Person
  • 17 August 1932-18 November 2016

Born: 17 August 1932, Ballina, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1951, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 18 November 2016, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

by 1966 at Salamanca, Spain (LEG) making Tertianship
by 1978 at Wilmette IL, USA (CHG) studying
by 1984 at Palo Alto CA, USA (CAL) studying
by 1985 at Barrington IL, USA (CHG) studying
by 1987 at Menlo Park CA, USA (CAL) working
by 1992 at Chicago IL, USA (CHG) working

Early Education at NS Ballina, Co Mayo; Mungret College SJ

1954-1955 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1955-1958 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1958-1961 Crescent - Regency : Teacher
1961-1965 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1965-1966 Salamanca, Spain - Tertianship at Collegio de San Estanislao
1966-1968 Belvedere - Teacher; Assistant Gamesmaster; Spiritual Father (3rd & 4th Years); “Newsboys Club”
1968-1969 Clongowes - Teacher; Lower Line Prefect; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1969-1974 Belvedere - Teacher; Assistant Gamesmaster; Spiritual Father; Career Guidance (5th & 6th Years)
1974-1976 Leeson St - Principal at University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin
1976-1977 University Hall - Community Minister
1977-1983 Chicago, IL, USA - Studies at Loyola University; St Joseph’s Parish, Wilmette, IL, USA
1982 Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Glenview, IL, USA
1983-1984 Palo Alto, CA, USA - Doctoral Studies at Palo Alto University; St Thomas Aquinas Church
1984-1986 Chicago, IL, USA - Studies at Loyola University; Parish work; Counsellor at St Anne’s Rectory, Barrington
1986-1991 Palo Alto, CA, USA - Post Graduate Training at Palo Alto University; St Raymond Catholic Church; Menlo Park
1988 Research in Family Therapy MRI at Palo Alto University
1987 Our Lady of the Rosary Rectory, Palo Alto
1991-1994 Chicago, IL, USA - Visiting Professor in Psychology at Loyola University; St William’s Church
1992 St Philip the Apostle Rectory, Northfield
1994-2016 Leeson St - Sabbatical (94-95); Lecturer in Education at Trinity College Dublin; Family Apostolate; Writer
1998 Vice-Superior
2002 Principal University Hall, Hatch St, Dublin
2003 Family Therapist
2015 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

A man for others
friends, and fellow Jesuits bade him a final farewell at his funeral Mass in Milltown Chapel on Monday 21 November.
Jim had a wide circle of friends associated with the various ventures he undertook as a Jesuit. They were active on Facebook when news of his death broke. Despite some bad health and a twice broken leg, Jim was quite an athlete. He had a passion for rugby, which he taught with gusto to many students down the years in various Jesuit schools. Ivan Morris, one of his former pupils, posted a photo of the rugby team Jim coached, a long time ago. He wrote: “55 years ago these old geezers were quite a decent rugby team! Sadly, our trainer Fr. Jim Moran passed away yesterday. We all owe him a lot. He instilled in us the ability to focus on our goals, gave us just about the right amount of confidence and enough back bone to last a lifetime.”
Similar sentiments have been echoed by many since his death. Preaching at his funeral Mass, his life-long friend Fr John Looby SJ recalled two stories that summed up Jim’s determination and desire to win, even though he would have roundly protested that ‘it wasn’t about the winning’. One concerned the handball games they used to play as novices. John said that although he himself was the better handball player, Jim worked out a strategy and a war of attrition that always resulted in Jim being the victor.
He recalled another occasion when Jim went off to Chicago to study and offered his rugby training services to a Jesuit school there, telling them of his winning accomplishments back in Ireland. His offer however was politely declined and he was told the school was already proficient at winning rugby games. So Jim took himself off to a neighbouring Jewish school where the same offer was gratefully accepted. Some time later his rugby team took on the Jesuit school that had spurned him and won.
Jim had a number of careers in his lifetime – teacher, coach, psychologist, family therapist, and finally lecturer in Trinity College Dublin. Wherever he went he made friends. “He never forgot his friends and I was to learn that his friends never forgot him,” said John, noting that this was especially true of his Jesuit brothers. John learnt in later years that Jim’s father had died before Jim was born, and his stepfather was instrumental in cultivating the talent he had for making lasting friendships. “Providentially his stepfather was a strong influence, setting an example that Jim copied for the remainder of his life. He was given great freedom and he confidently went out to meet new people and allow them into his life.”
The Gospel read at the Mass was that of the Good Samaritan, a fitting one for Jim who was, according to John and indeed all those who knew him well, “a man for others”. He was always quick to offer any help he could to those who crossed his path. Be it the mother in difficulty with her teenage son or the former student who needed some good advice. The music at the funeral was the work of the well known composer and musician Willie Hughes who played and sang in gratitude for the influence Jim had been on his life.
When he returned to Dublin from America in the ’90s, Jim was part of the Leeson St community. They had a large garden at the back-end of the large Georgian house, and Jim spent years lovingly and patiently transforming it. He planted trees and stunning rose bushes, and made arbours and boundaries out of bushes and flowers. It was a labour of love that to this day gives endless pleasure to those who visit the community house in the centre of Dublin.
John concluded by noting that Jim was a person who never saw events in life as mere chance but rather as due to “the providence of a loving God whom he loved and trusted in all his life”.
He served Him well. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Moylan, John, 1938-2012, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/750
  • Person
  • 01 March 1938-26 November 2012

Born: 01 March 1938, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1969, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 September 1985
Died: 26 November 2012, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1963 at Chantilly, France (GAL S) studying
by 1971 at Auriesville, NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1972 at St Gregory NY, USA (NEB) studying
by 1996 at Berkeley, CA, USA (CAL) studying

Nestor, John D, 1858-1942, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1822
  • Person
  • 03 August 1858-05 December 1942

Born: 03 August 1858, County Galway
Entered: 07 September 1876, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1890
Final vows: 02 February 1896
Died: 05 December 1942, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1877; TAUR to CAL : 1909

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Transcribed into TAUR Province 1877, and went with Joseph M Hickey and Laurence Boyle to California

Ó Dúláine, Connla, 1930-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/457
  • Person
  • 02 May 1930 - 10 January 2021

Born: 02 May 1930, Clontarf, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
FInal Vows: 02 February 1965, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 10 January 2021, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Coláiste Iognáid community at the time of death

Son of Éamonn Ó Dubhsláine and Eibhlín Nic Mhaicín. Studied at UCD
Ordained at Milltown Park

Born : 2nd May 1930, Dublin City
Raised : Clontarf, Dublin
Early Education at Scoil Cholmcille, Marlborough Street, Dublin; Belvedere College SJ
7th September 1948 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1950 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1950-1953 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1953-1956 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1956-1959 Crescent College SJ - Regency : Teacher
1959-1963 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1962 Ordained at Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin
1963-1964 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1964-2021 Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCG; Gamesmaster
2nd February 1965 Final Vows at Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway
1974 Vice Principal at Garmscoil Éinne, Cill Ronáin, Arainn, Co na Gaillimhe (Aran Vocational School)
1988 Lives at Trí Coinnle, Cill Mhuirbhígh, Inis Mór, Árainn, Co na Gaillimhe
1995 Seirbhís Eaglasta agus Gaeltachta, Oileáin Árann
1997 Church Service and Work in Connemara Gaeltacht; Director
1999 Berkeley, CA, USA - Sabbatical at JSTB (till Dec 2000)
2001 Áras Ronán; Inis Mór, Árainn, Co Na Gaillimhe : Gaeltacht Apostolate; Writer; Co-operating with FÁS; Editor of “An Timire”; Intercom
2010 Gaeltacht Apostolate, Inis Mór, Arainn; Writer
2016 Gaeltacht Apostolate; Writer at Cherryfield Lodge
2017 Prays for the Church and Society at Cherryfield Lodge


Connla Ó Dúlaine 2 May 1930 – 10 January 2021

In reading this sketch of the life of a remarkable man, the reader may like to keep in mind a question: If he hadn’t joined the Jesuits, what might he have done?!

An Mac Leinn
Connla was born on 2 May 1930 in Dublin and raised in Clontarf. His early education was at Scoil Cholmcille, Marlborough Street, Dublin, then Belvedere College SJ from 1941-48. On the 7th September 1948 he entered the Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois and took first vows two years later.
From 1950-1953 he lived in Rathfarnham Castle, studying Arts at UCD. From 1953-1956 he studied Philosophy in Tullabeg. His regency, 1956-1959, was spent at Crescent College, Limerick, after which he went to Milltown Park for four years of Theology. On 31st July 1962 he was ordained in Milltown Park Chapel, Dublin and from 1963-1964 was at Rathfarnham, making Tertianship.
From 1964 till his death he was attached to the Jesuit Community at Coláiste Iognáid, Galway. He was firstly a teacher and Games-master, and received his H Dip in Education at UCG in 1966. He taught Religion, French and Irish. He could speak German and Spanish and make his way through Greek and Latin. On 2nd February 1965 he made his final Vows at Coláiste Iognáid SJ, Galway.

An Muinteoir
I first made Connla’s acquaintance when I was a regent in Colaiste Iognaid 1962-65, and a friendship was established which survived, not without stresses, till his death at the age of 91.
A vivid memory: for reasons known only to his Superior and to God, he was Games Master: I was his Assistant, and when the School Sports were looming he assigned me the task of seeing to the practical details of the day, while he would prepare an artistic brochure, listing events and entrants. On the day I had an early lunch and was busy on the field with a small army of volunteers, but with a few minutes to go before the first event, there was no sign of Connla. I went off to search him out and found him in his room, absorbed in the works of Pearse and searching for a suitable quotation to adorn the Sports Brochure. We started late!
He had the capacity to become absorbed in the particular, sometimes at the expense of the general. This generated a certain level of frustration in the practically-minded. ‘Where’s Connla?’ was a recurring question. Driving with him was not an experience for the faint of heart: I recall coming back from a match with him: he was giving tongue on some matter of great importance, with his foot on the accelerator to match his passion. In the distance I could see the lights of a level crossing and begged him to slow down but he didn’t hear me: we came to a shuddering halt a few yards short of the barrier, and once the train had passed he was off again on a rhetorical flight. Another incident is recounted: driving on Inis Mor late at night with a companion, he suddenly turned off the headlights and proceeded in the dark. He explained that there was a car just coming down the hill from Dun Eochaill, and since Connla’s dip lights didn’t work he had turned off his headlights so as not to blind the other driver. Divine providence took over and all ended well.
A past pupil of his in the 1960s tells below of Connla bringing a group of students to see a film directed by Fellini, a man unafraid to use unusual techniques to bring audiences out of the closed circuits of their minds. Just before the film began, Connla stood up to explain to the audience what Fellini was trying to do, while his students melted away in embarrassment! Another story tells how he bought a piano in Prospect Hill in Galway, loaded it onto a horse and cart and drove slowly through the town, accompanied by a few students. As it came through the city Connla sat at the piano and played, to the delight of onlookers.

An tOileanach
In 1974 when Colaiste Iognaid ceased to be as an A-school, where all teaching had been through Irish, he asked to retire, and obtained the post of Vice Principal at Gairmscoil Éinne, Cill Ronáin, Arainn, Co na Gaillimhe (Aran Vocational School). From 1988 he lived at Trí Coinnle, Cill Mhuirbhígh, Inis Mór. From 1995 he undertook Seirbhís Eaglasta (Church Services) on the island and in the Gaeltacht: this work was deeplay appreciated by the Archdiocese of Tuam. He was appointed Director of FAS (Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta), Director of Oiliúint Bhaile (Home Schooling) and editor of An Timire, to which he was a regular contributor from 1954 onwards, with more than 60 articles to his name in all. His command of his native tongue was excellent, and his writing bright and imaginative.
Connla brought a world vision to all his work and lived an energetic life, very much associated with Galway, the Connemara Gaeltacht, the Aran Islands and the apostolate of the Irish language. He had wide-ranging interests, loved books and good conversation. He was blessed to the end with a fine memory, and his eyes would sparkle as he regaled listeners with stories from the past – mainly positive memories, it must be noted. He was larger than life, and he liked fun and laughter.
He cared deeply about other people, especially about those who were not well off. Shortly after he got the new house in Kilmurvey, a member of his community went from Galway to help him paint some rooms and put putty on the window frames. Connla couldn’t decide on colours, so his helper was idle and asked him one evening if he had a television. He said he had had one, but there was a lady nearby who was lonely and unwell, so he had given her his TV. When a drama group from Cois-Fharraige came to the island to stage a play, Connla put them all up in his house, about 20 of them: they slept on the floor or wherever they could find a space. Feile na nGael!
From 1999 till December 2000 he enjoyed a Sabbatical at JSTB, Berkeley, CA, USA, after which he returned to live in Áras Ronán, Inis Mór, Árainn. Having retired from teaching, he continued his Gaeltacht Apostolate, was a writer for Intercom, collaborated with FÁS and continued as Editor of An Timire. They were happy years. He became one of the island’s most colourful characters and his love of all things Irish found full expression. His hospitality was legendary, but the unwary visitor could be shocked by the state of the interior, especially the kitchen and the mysteries lurking within the fridge.

Fear Fise is Cultuir
His room in Cherryfield was an archaeologist’s dream: a profusion of books, papers, snacks, letters, bric-a-brac. He couldn’t refuse a new book. Two months before he died, I asked him would he like to have a copy of O Mianain’s Focloir Bearla-Gaeilge which had just been published. I got an enthusiastic Yes, and brought it to the door of a Cherryfield where Covid restrictions were in place. It arrived safely in his room, but he hadn’t the energy to take it out of its packaging and now I have it myself--a precious memento of Connla’s high mental acumen and deep love of the Irish language.
As a Gaelgeoir he suffered the lifelong frustration of finding that many of those around him did not share his passion and enthusiasm for Irish. In his earlier years this could lead to edgy exchanges, but later his endurance grew into mellowness, and I always found him willing to shift into English as my need required.
He spoke his mind, was strong and forthright in his interchanges, but—to my memory-- in ways that were tinged with humour. He didn’t store up resentment. At Mass one morning in Cherryfield when the celebrant’s volume was low, he called out from the back of the Chapel, ‘Can’t hear you!’ ‘There’s something wrong with the mic’ said the celebrant. ‘Something wrong with you!’ retorted Connla, to general merriment. Thoreau’s remark comes to mind: ‘If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away’. There were surely people who were bruised by his robust style, but he didn’t intend to hurt, and was sometimes puzzled at reactions to his exuberant initiatives.
Connla lived a very full and varied life. Full of energy, he had a world vision, and was never limited by local circumstances. He was a man of inspiration and spontaneity, unafraid to lead or to do whatever he thought of at each moment.
Bhi an-shuim ag Connla sa litriocht, sa cheol, i dteangacha eagsula, i scannain – go hairithe on Fhrainc agus on Iodail: bhi suim aige i ngach rud! Thug se daltai ar fud na tire ina ghluaistean bheag, agus thug se iad go Paras sa bhFrainc. Bhi se i gconai ag iarraidh fis nua a chur os comhair daoine, agus ni raibh teorann ar bith lena smaointe fein. Mhair se blianta fada leis fein, in a aonair, ach choinnigh se i gconai a shuim iontach i gcursai an tsaoil. Sagart ab ea e, agus fuinneamh agus saol Iosa a bhi i gconai i gceist aige.
Poet Mary Oliver has the line: ‘I don't want to end up simply having visited this world.’ Connla didn’t just ‘visit’ the world; he inhabited it fully and helped to co-create it. With Mary Oliver he would have added: ‘When it's over, I want to say: all my life I was a bride married to amazement… taking the world into my arms.’ A large part of his vision was the belief that the fullness and joy of life could be lived and expressed through the medium of the Irish language and Irish culture. When he moved to Inis Mor, where he spent more than 40 years, he still tried to bring a world-wide vision to his students, and succeeded very well.
Connla was open to all cultures: he loved opera from the Met, film, art. A past pupil tells that when teaching Irish in Second Year he brought in a tape recorder and the class listened and analysed the poetry of Ezra Pound reading his own poems in English. Connla loved culture in all its forms and felt very strongly that all culture and modern life could be appreciated and explored through the medium of Irish and Gaelic culture. He lived for the future and was not embedded in the past.

Leirmheas iar-scolaire
Féach cuid a scríobh Bernie Ó Conaill, iar-phríomhoide i gColáiste Iognáid is iar-scoláire de chuid Chonnla:
Fear mór a bhi i gConnla Ó Duláine SJ riamh, fear mór ar gach uile bhealach, mórchríoch le glór álainn, tuiscint leathan aige ar chultúr is ar ealáion an domhain, agus ar shaíocht, ar stair is ar chultúr na hÉireann ar fad. Cairde aige i ngach cuid den tír.

Ba Gael láidir dúthrachtach é le léargas caitliceach ar an saol, a d’fhág oscailte é don domhain agus cultúr nua a bhí ag oscailt sa tír ag an am. Mhúin Connla go dúthrachtach ó thaobh cúrsaí agus curacalam sa rang ach bhí tionchar neamhgnách speisialta aige taobh amuigh den seomra ranga.

Bhí léargas agus fís ag Connla faoi chúrsaí cultúrtha. Roinn sé an suim a bhí aige sa cheol, sna scannáin agus cúrsaí polaitíochta go fiail lena chuid ranganna. Ba mhaith a chuaigh Bob Dylan i bhfeidhm ar mo rang féin nuair a chuir Connla faoi dhraíocht muid le ‘Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands’. Ní féidir liom an t-amhrán céanna a chlos inniu gan cuimhneamh ar Chonnla ag tabhairt an draíocht isteach agus leadrán an lá scoile a bhaint dínn.

Ba fhear speisialta é Connla agus a bhealach féin aige le deighleáil leis an saol. Chuaigh sé ag dráma sa Taibhdhearc oíche amháin agus ní shásódh tada ina dhiadh sin é ach triail a bhaint as an mbialann Síneach nua sa mbaile mór. D’ith sé béile blasta agus bhí go maith go ndeachaigh sé chun íoc as an mbeatha. Chuardaigh sé a phócaí ,wallet, chuile áit beo ach ní raibh scriút aige. Thug bean an tí faoi deara mí-chompord an tsagairt. ‘Are you alright, Father?’ a d’fhiafraigh sí . ‘ I wonder would you mind taking these stamps in payment for that lovely meal?’ a d’fhreagair Connla uirthi.
B’shoin Connla!

Ní raibh fhios ag a chuid scoláirí cá dtreoródh sé iad, bíodh sé le Truffaut, Dylan nó le ceol an Riadaigh. Bhí sé Gaelach go smior ach oscailte don saol nua a bhí ag teacht chun cinn sa tír.
Thug sé slua beag againn chuig an scannan Satyricon ag Fellini lá sna laethanta saoire. Bhí an gnáth slua codlatach tagtha isteach sa Town Hall tráthnóna Luan; corrdhuine ag caitheamh agus an pictiúrlann beag leath lán. Gan choinne ar bith sheas an t-Íosánach suas agus thug sé cur síos ar shaothar Fellini. D’fheicfeá cloigne a chuid scoláirí ag imeacht síos sna suíocháin le teann náire.

Ní dhearna Connla dhá leath dhá dhícheall riamh. Bhí sé dílis mar shagart, mar Íosánach, mar chara agus mar mhúinteoir. D’oscail sé súile a chuid scoláirí agus speáin sé an domhan mór dóibh. Chloisfeá an racht mór gáirí aige i bhfad uait.
B’shoin Connla.

In 2016 he retired to Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, to pray for the Society and the Church, but he kept contact with his sisters, the wider family and a host of friends. Very much at peace with himself, he relaxed after supper on Sunday evening, January 10, 2021, and very peacefully went to God, after 58 years of priestly service. He was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin on 13 January. Due to Covid-19 restrictions, only a tiny number of his wide range of friends could attend his funeral.
The years in Cherryfield were hard for a free spirit such as his. He loved to be unfettered and unrestricted, but he bore his confinement bravely, and his coffee table after Mass in Cherryfield was always well-attended and conversation never dull. To relieve the monotony of his days we at Leeson St used invite him to celebrate feast-days with us. He blossomed in fresh company, told his stories to a new audience, and on the journey home always expressed an immense gratitude for being remembered.
The Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, conveyed his deepest sympathy on Connla’s death. He wrote: ‘Many years ago I visited Connla in hospital, and given how seriously ill he was, I never expected that he would be discharged. But happily he was, and went on to provide sterling service to his beloved people of Inis Mor. We regarded him as one of our own and a true and loyal friend.’
He is survived by his four sisters who stayed close to him over the years and brought him much-appreciated comfort in the final stage of his long life.
A frequent visitor to Cherryfield wrote the following tribute:
‘Connla is a person I will never forget. There is so much to say about him even after a short acquaintance. To me he epitomised everything that is wonderful about a long life and particularly a long Jesuit life well lived. He was kind, funny, erudite, hospitable and full of life. He was generous with his time and I and others learned so much just sitting at his feet. I wish I had met him earlier in both of our lives: to have known him at all was a gift beyond price.’

Ta laoch ar lar. Connla is sadly missed in Cherryfield, but he believed deeply in eternal life, and now that he is at table with the God of Surprises I imagine that the conversation is hilarious. Blessed are those who mourn, we are told, for they shall laugh. Connla brought many a smile to those around him in this life, and now his merriment rings out among those who like himself are gathered to enjoy the great festival.
Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam uasal!
Brian Grogan SJ

O'Brien, Desmond, 1936-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/685
  • Person
  • 22 September 1936-17 July 2007

Born: 22 September 1936, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 20 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977
Died: 17 July 2007, Mater Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1973

by 1963 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency
by 1971 at Swansea, Wales (ANG) studying

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Des O’Brien was born on 22 September 1936 in Dublin. He did his early schooling with the Christian Brothers in Monkstown obtaining his leaving certificate in 1954. That same year, he began his life as a Jesuit in Emo Park. After his novitiate, he did his juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle, obtaining a BA degree in Arts from UCD Dublin in 1959. Philosophy studies followed at Milltown Park from which Des obtained a licentiate in 1962.

For his regency he was sent to the then Northern Rhodesia. He studied Chitonga for a year at Chikuni and other mission stations. In 1963 he taught at Canisius College and the following year at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka. Completing his regency, he returned to Milltown Park for theology studies and was ordained on 10 July 1968. Tertianship in Dublin followed and in 1970 he went to Swansea University in the UK and obtained a diploma in social policy and administration.

Returning to Zambia in 1971, Des was appointed parish priest in Monze where he served until 1975. Among his many pastoral activities he began a strong youth club called the Red Arrows which was well known for its football success. He was then appointed chaplain of the lay apostolate for the Monze Diocese, living in Kizito Pastoral Centre from 1976 to 1980 and then at Charles Lwanga Jesuit community from 1980-84. He initiated renewal programs for the laity and traveled throughout the diocese giving workshops. During this time he also became involved with the charismatic renewal and provided steady and balanced leadership.

Des had a sabbatical in the United States in 1981, working on spiritual direction. On his return he was appointed national chaplain of the YCS and took his national team around the country in a minibus offering workshops in all the dioceses. As rector of Xavier House, he was able to provide care for the older members of the community and offer support for the novice director without interfering in his work. The late Paul Lungu often commented on how much he depended on Des’ support in his work with the novices.

The Episcopal Conference asked him to be national secretary for the laity while the Provincial appointed him as delegate of formation. He moved to Matero for a year but then went to Luwisha House which was more central for his work. In 1998 he was made superior of Luwisha House. He was a great man in community with his ready wit and happy demeanour. He was an excellent mimic and often had his companions rolling around in laughter with a few well chosen words and a little gesture. Since his job as delegate and superior took up more and more of his time, he withdrew from his position with the laity. As a delegate for formation, the young men found in him a great listener. However he could be challenging, but he was always fair and supportive. During his years in Lusaka Des offered regular courses on prayer and spiritual direction to the novice groups at Kalemba Hall as well as to the sisters’ formation program at Kalundu Centre. He was a fine teacher, entertaining yet substantial in the material he offered. Many Church personnel came to him for counselling and direction.

In 2000 Des moved back to Monze and took over Kizito Pastoral Centre, offering retreats and seminars as well as renewing the physical structure of the plant. The Bishop asked him to take care of the young priests of the diocese with regular meetings and direction. He was the chairperson of the organising committees for the celebration of the Centenary of the Jesuit arrival in the Monze Diocese. He kept the different committees working together. However towards the time of the big celebration at Chikuni he was quite ill with constant bronchial problems. He did not want to take his home leave until after the big event. When he finally went home it was found that he had inoperable cancer in his left lung. He underwent chemo- and radio-therapy but he weakened with time and eventually lost his voice. He was accepting of his condition and at peace with it. In an email in May he wrote: ’The picture is not bright but, thank God, I am very deeply at peace (even joyful!) I have no doubt that this is all the fruit of the many prayers being offered for me. I am ready for anything and in the meantime enjoying all the leisure I have’.

He tells how a woman from the parish in St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St., came up to him after a Sunday Mass in which he concelebrated, grabbed his hand and said: ’Thanks, Father, for the words’. Des was surprised and said to her, ’but I didn’t say anything, my voice is too weak’. The lady whispered in response, ‘Being up there silent on the altar with us every day is a powerful homily’. He entered the fullness of life on 17 July 2007.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007


Fr Desmond Francis (Des) O’Brien (1936-2007) : Zambia-Malawi Province

Jim McGloin writes:
Des O'Brien was born on 22 September 1936 in Dublin. He did his early schooling with the Christian Brothers in Monkstown obtaining his leaving certificate in 1954. That same year, he began his life as a Jesuit in Emo Park. After his novitiate, he did his juniorate at Rathfarnham castle, obtaining a BA degree in arts from University College Dublin in 1959. Philosophy studies followed at Tullabeg from which Des obtained a licentiate in 1962.

For his regency Des was sent to then Northern Rhodesia. He studied Chitonga for a year at Chikuni and other mission stations. In 1963 he taught at Canisius College and the following year at Munali Secondary School in Lusaka. Completing his regency, he returned to Milltown Park for theology studies and was ordained a priest on 10 July 1968. Tertianship in Dublin followed his fourth year of theology. In 1970 he went to Swansea in the UK and studied at the University College there obtaining a diploma in social policy and administration.

Returning to Zambia in 1971, Des was appointed parish priest in Monze where he served until 1975. Among his many pastoral activities at the parish, he began a strong youth club called the Red Arrows which was well known for its football success. After his fruitful time in the parish, Des was appointed the chaplain of the lay apostolate for the Diocese of Monze, living in Kizito Pastoral Centre from 1976 to 1980 and then at the Charles Lwanga Jesuit Community from 1980 to 1984. As chaplain, Des initiated many different formation and renewal programmes for the laity and traveled throughout the diocese giving workshops. During this time, he also became involved with the charismatic renewal and provided steady and balanced leadership in the renewal.

Des had a sabbatical in the United States in 1984, working in the area of spiritual direction. On his return to Zambia he was appointed national chaplain of the YCS, living at Luwisha House. In 1986 he was appointed rector of Xavier House while continuing his work with YCS. Des was a dynamic powerhouse in dealing with young people. He would take his YCS national team around the country in the minibus, offering workshops in all the dioceses of the country. As rector of Xavier House, he was able to provide care for the older members of the community and offer support to the novice director without interfering in his work. The late Paul Lungu often commented on how much he depended on Des's support in carrying out his work with the novices.

In 1992 Des completed his term as rector and started winding up as chaplain of YCS. The Episcopal Conference asked him to serve as national secretary for the laity and the Provincial had appointed him delegate of formation. He moved to Matero and lived there for a year, later moving to Luwisha House which was more central for his work. In 1998 he was appointed superior of Luwisha House. Always doing the work assigned to him diligently, Des threw himself into the work of the lay apostolate and the work of formation. However, he found that he could not do both adequately; he withdrew from the work with the laity to spend more time as delegate of formation.

From the men in formation who experienced Des as their delegate, you often hear that he was a great listener, that he could be tough and challenging, but that he was always fair and supportive. He managed to blend a concern for the well being of the individual and a concern for the well being of the Society, both of which were important for the delegate's job.

During his years in Lusaka, Des also offered regular courses, mostly on prayer and spiritual direction, to the novice groups at Kalemba Hall and to the sisters' formation programme at Kalundu Centre. He was a fine teacher, entertaining yet substantial in the material he offered. During those years many sisters, priests and lay people came to him for counseling and spiritual direction. His welcoming attitude and compassionate listening provided many with new strength and direction.

In 2000 Des moved back to the Diocese of Monze where he had begun his apostolic work and took over as director of Kizito Pastoral Centre. Once again he took on the work with great enthusiasm, offering retreats and seminars, renewing the physical structure and adding new facilities to the centre. The Bishop of Monze found in him a wise counselor and would often seek advice from him. The Bishop also asked him to take care of the young priests of the diocese (the under-fives), offering them spiritual direction, regular meetings as a group and other care. Des was also chairperson of the organizing committees for the celebration of the centenary of the Jesuit arrival in the Monze Diocese. In his usual well-organized and efficient manner, Des kept the different committees at their tasks and was able to organization a wonderful celebration of the centenary. Towards the time of the big celebration at Chikuni, however, Des was quite ill with constant bronchial problems. He did not want to move up his home leave until after the celebrations.

Although Des worked hard and was very efficient, he also gave time and enjoyed his community. He was welcoming and hospitable. He spent time with the members of the community at prayer, meals and recreation. He had a way of engaging and a sense of humour that were much appreciated. He also an ability to mimic others in their way of talking and acting that was never hurtful, but very true to life. Father General in a letter written to Des for his golden jubilee in 2004 said, “They (his fellow Jesuits) better than I can witness to the inner life that you nourished in prayer, for you could not have lived and served as you have done without a close relationship with Jesus”. Des did have a close relationship with Jesus, nourished by prayer and the Eucharist, a relationship he deeply desired and was willing to share with others.

When Des did finally go on his home leave in September 2005, it was discovered that his health problems stemmed not from bronchial infection but from an inoperable malignant growth in the upper part of his left lung. He underwent chemo and later radiotherapy to reduce the tumour. The treatment left him weakened and caused him to lose most of his vocal functions, but he was accepting of his condition and at peace with it.

In an e-mail in May, Des wrote: “The picture is not too bright but, thank God, I am very deeply at peace (even joyful!). I have no doubt that this is all the fruit of the many prayers being offered for me. I am ready for anything and in the meantime enjoying all the leisure I have”.

He also reflected on his life as a priest with limited ability to function as a priest in a recent issue of Interfuse (Summer 2007, No.132), in which he expressed the frustration he had in not being able to exercise his priesthood in the active way he had been used to. He relates this incident:

“One Sunday morning, having concelebrated a parish Mass, I walked down the aisle with my companion to the end of the Church to greet the congregation as is the custom. As we shook hands and greeted people, an elderly lady made a beeline for me and grabbing my hand, said, ‘Thanks, Father, for those words”. Surprised by this comment, I replied, ‘But I didn't say anything, my voice is too weak’. Learning over, she whispered in my ear, ‘Being up there silent on the altar with us every day is a powerful homily’.”

Des was very consoled by this. He had made a pilgrimage to Lourdes in September 2006 seeking healing but there was no physical change in his condition. However, he wrote: “I was much more at peace and much more accepting of what had happened to me. I am stiil substantially at peace as I pray daily, 'O God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change”.

Des then reflected in his article, “These few simple words connected me in an extraordinary way with the deeper mystery underlying my present circumstances which I had begun to sense but was resisting, how to be a priest without any normal or visible ministry”. That deeper Mystery guided Des throughout his life, in his active priestly ministry and finally in his silent priestly ministry. Des entered the fullness of that Mystery on 17 July 2007.

From a homily delivered by Clive Dillon-Malone on 25th July, 2007, at St. Ignatius Church, Lusaka:
There's a popular saying that "good goods appear in small packages". Well, this is certainly true of Fr. Des O'Brien, He was small in stature but, like our founder, St. Ignatius, or St. Paul - who were also short in stature - Des was tall in spiritual riches.

Des was always conscious of his height. He once told me how embarrassed he was in having to go into the children's section of shoe shops as the shoes in the adult's section were all too large for him! The late Fr. Bill Lane was a very good friend of Des and they used to joke one another about their height as Bill was also quite short. There was an occasion when, on his 50+ birthday, Des approached Bill in a jovial mood and said proudly, “I'm 50 today”. Bill replied: “Is that in centimetres or in inches?” On another occasion for a concelebrated Mass, Bill took an impish delight in handing Des an alb which was about six feet long! However, Des learned to joke about his height and he was quite capable to giving back as much as he got in good humour. He always had a great sense of humour and a gift for turning the simplest of happenings into amusing incidents. His ability to mimic others contributed to this and he was always good fun in a group.

Des was born in 1936 and he entered the Jesuits in 1954 at the age of 18. After two years of novitiate at Emo in Portarlington, he went to University College Dublin where he spent three years doing a pass B.A. degree from 1956-1959. I mention "pass degree" because, although Des was always a very hard worker, he was not intellectually gifted in the way that so many of his fellow Jesuits in his year were, who were taking honours degrees. Although he never showed any sign of resenting others, his lack of high-powered academic potential accompanied by his small stature left him with an inferiority complex against which he struggled throughout his life. After his university degree, he spent three years in Tullabeg in Ireland from 1959-1962 studying philosophy which he also found difficult. But it was when he came to Zambia in 1962 that his real talents began to emerge and, from then on, he continued to grow in self-confidence and in pastoral achievements.

Des had a great way of relating with children and he would laugh and joke with them at his ease. When he began learning ciTonga in Chivuna on his arrival in Zambia, he quickly became proficient at speaking the language on account of his relating with children. Although they would make fun of mistakes he would make, he learned from them and he could laugh at himself. During vacations, he would enjoy joining Fr. Joe McDonald down in the valley in Fumbo where he increased his ability to speak ciTonga.

In 1963, he moved into Canisius College where he taught for a year and where his ability to relate with young people shone, and where, he was in charge of the medical needs of the pupils. He told me once an amusing incident. When a transfusion group came to Canisius to collect blood, the boys were very scared of giving blood. In order to put them at ease, he told them to come and watch as he gave blood. There were all crowded around the window looking in, but just after giving blood, he fainted. The boys just ran!

In 1964, he moved to Lusaka where he taught for a year at Munali Secondary School before returning to Ireland where he studied theology for four years from 1965-1969 at Milltown Park. He was ordained a priest in 1968. After finishing theology, he went to the University of Swansea in Wales where he obtained a diploma in social policy and administration. The topic of his dissertation was, “The Primary School Leaver Crisis in Zambia”.

On returning to Zambia in 1971, he was appointed as parish priest in Monze, a ministry which he continued for five years, and during which his ability to converse fluently in ciTonga grew. Then from 1976 to 1980, while living at Kizito Pastoral Centre, he was appointed as Director of the Lay Apostolate in the diocese of Monze, and was also involved with the on-going formation of Zambian priests there. A further item that needs to be mentioned is that Des played an important role in the charismatic renewal in Zambia. He had set in motion the Charismatic Movement in the diocese of Monze, at Musaka Secondary School in Choma, and later in Lusaka.

From Kizito, he moved to Charles Lwanga Teacher Trainer College, where he remained for four years from 1980 to 1984. He had already become diocesan lay apostolate chaplain in 1976 and he continued with this work while at Charles Lwanga. He then went on sabbatical for a year in 1984 to Berkeley in California and, on his return, he resided at Luwisha House for a year during which time he was appointed as National Chaplain to Zambian Young Christian Students (ZYCS), a position he held from 1985 to 1993.

After his sabbatical, Des told me of a rather frustrating experience he had. Before going on sabbatical, he had burnt all of his retreat notes so that he might have a clean start with new material when he returned. Just after returning, however, he was asked to give a retreat which he accepted - but then, he suddenly remembered that he had destroyed all his notes and hadn't yet produced new ones! Needless to say, he regretted his earlier action.

By this time, Des' many talents relating to pastoral concerns, spirituality, managerial skills, and ability to assume authoritative positions were noted. In 1986, he was appointed Rector of our Novitiate, a position he held until 1992, and which he fulfilled with great success. He then moved to Matero for a year where he acted as Secretary for the Laity Section of the Zambian Episcopal Conference (ZEC). He held this position for three years until 1995.

In 1993, he moved from Matero to Luwisha House where he remained for seven years during which time he was also appointed Delegate for Formation of Jesuit scholastics. This is not only a very important position to have but a very difficult one as well - as the current Delegate for Formation, Fr. Charles Chilinda, will tell you. Des came to this position at a time when much suspicion and distrust had developed among young scholastics from a previous era, and it took a lot of skill and prudence to do away with built up resentment and bitterness, and restore a feeling of trust and confidence. He managed to do this very successfully. Indeed, it was noted that departures from the Society diminished during this period. He also did a lot to open up more flexible opportunities for different kinds of studies which was much appreciated.

Des was appointed as Superior of the Luwisha House community from 1998 to 2000. After that, he was appointed as Director and Superior of Kizito Pastoral Centre outside Monze where he remained until 2005. While there, he was not only totally dedicated to the development of spirituality programmes but he did immense work in planning and overseeing renovation and building extensions. In this respect, he was very talented in getting funding for different projects. He was also noted for his care and concern for his workers, and more particularly for those affected by HIV and AIDS for whom he obtained ARVs. During this time, Bishop Patriarca gave him the task of visiting his priests throughout the year which he did willingly, although he found it quite burdensome.

Des had become well known as a capable spiritual director and retreat giver over the years and he gave spirituality courses each year for many years at Kalundu Study Centre in Lusaka. The material of these courses was later published in book form under the title, “Lord, Teach us to Pray”. He gave courses in spirituality for many years in Kalemba Hall to religious in formation.

Des had always made himself available when asked to do anything. He found it very difficult to say 'no' to any request. However, he later admitted that he had to learn to say 'no' at times, as he was burning himself out. He was very conscientious and he put great preparation into anything he was asked to do. The negative outcome of this was that he ended up becoming so tense at times that he became sick just before an event.

Des had smoked a lot during his early years and he was aware of lung problems which he had developed. However, although he knew that he should have paid more attention to seeking medical diagnosis and treatment earlier, he left it too late. In September 2005, he went into hospital in Ireland where his condition was diagnosed as “malignant growth in the upper part of the left lung” and “inoperable cancer” for which chemo and radiation treatment were administered. For almost two years, Des underwent this treatment which was very painful and weakening. His response to his suffering was acknowledged by all in Ireland as truly admirable. He never lost his sense of humour and expressed his readiness to die once it became clear that this was inevitable within a relatively short period of time. I had visited him on a number of occasions while in Ireland in 2005 and, like so many others, I was truly edified by his positive resignation to the possibility of an early death. He soon lost his hair and wore a head cap for heat. He also became quite bloated as a result of medication. Up the end, he was determined to keep as active as possible but his energy was becoming less and less, and his ability to speak was seriously affected.

He was finally moved into the Mater Hospital for more on-the spot observation with the intention of moving him to a hospice for the terminally ill. He died more quickly than expected on the 17th July, 2007.

I've been told that Des loved looking after pigeons or doves when he was a young boy. Is it too fanciful to suggest that the Holy Spirit might have been among them in choosing Des even at this early stage for the Lord's work! May the Lord now welcome him home and reward him for his priestly ministry, and for the manner in which he has touched so many lives with his love and service. Amen.

Interfuse No 134 : Christmas 2007


An obituary from Zambia was published in Interfuse, September 2007

As an exact contemporary of Des O'Brien, standing humbly and powerlessly at the door of Gardiner St church, as his coffin was being carried out, it seemed to me that an era had passed away. It was a very different situation from that when first we met in 1954. I have vivid memories of him, while we handed in our belongings to the Socius, smiling greatly as a half-smoked cigarette was being abandoned. From then on he was part of our lives, and was diligent and cheerful, in a period that Fr Bill Johnston describes as “remote, strict, austere”. I would add the word “demanding”. Some time in his 2nd year, Donal O'Sullivan told him that he would give him vows and this assured him.

Later, he proved bright enough, but without a strong line of interest or the personal freedom to be an academic. He liked the study of history, and in class he and Paul Cullen became very friendly with a then corpulent young lady, later to acquire fame, Maeve Binchy. I wonder has she forgotten them! He liked greatly being “bird man”, and learned much about these creatures.

I don't think philosophy was his line of country. He looked after the altar boys and was very kind to them. Amidst a busy life, he may have remembered these now and again, especially the young Cantwell who died. He liked working with young people and the marginalized. (His achievements in Africa have been noted elsewhere).

His humour and liveliness were always in our background - which was something we took for granted. He enlivened many a scene for us. He was witty, a great mimic at least of certain people, and had wonderful acting ability. But he was also very shrewd and sharp. I recall several observations he made to me about myself, and they were correct. Similar remarks made to at least one other caused me some strain, though they were beneficial to the other. His judgement was good, and he had a sharp eye for traits in others that I never averted to.

He was always very true to himself. He could readily banter and give as good as he got. Sometimes some minor plans of his did not work out, but he could laugh at his misfortune. He could be serious and demanding with others, and behind the scenes smile at it all.

He developed an open, liberal train of thought, and some years ago swept me off my feet with his progressive thinking. How deep this was I don't know - it wasn't tested in any discussion. But then, people's attitudes come very much from their reading - from the people they rely on -, from their background and inclinations.

Some years ago, I said to him, “You never come to see us”, and he answered, “You never invited me”. Perhaps we are not as welcoming, as we should! We may feel too much that people like to be left alone.

I don't know what personal difficulties he had to cope with, as he tried to discover his deepest self. However there was a firm, unwavering core to his priestly commitment. His life could simply and profoundly be summed up by saying, “He served the Lord”. He was committed to Jesus, which was very evident in his final illness.

Since his return sick to Ireland, I met him fairly frequently. He was very friendly and we were at great ease - with a mutual looking up to each other. I admired his missionary experience and his ability to give. Whenever I said - many times - to him, “You've a severe blow to face up to”, he agreed, and added that he was ready for all. He added: “I never complained, and I'm not going to do so now”. Physically he resisted his cancer as long as he could, but eventually had to yield and nobly went away.

It is good for the rest of us that he has departed - to hopefully help prepare a place for us. It will be hard to find his leithéid arís.

James Kelly

O'Connell, Jeremiah, 1937-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/450
  • Person
  • 02 July 1937- 17 November 2020

Born: 02 July 1937, County Cork
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1969, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 17 September 1975,
Died : 17 November 2020, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM, 17 September 1975

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1955-1957 St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1957-1960 Rathfarnham Castle - Studying
1960-1962 St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1962-1963 Loyola, Spain - studying Philosophy
1963-1965 Chivuna, Monze, Zambia - Regency, studying language, then teaching at Canisius College, Chikuni
1965-1966 Belvedere - Regency, teaching
1966-1970 Milltown Park - studying Theology
1970-1974 Canisius College, Chikuni - teaching
1974-1975 Mpima Seminary, Kabwe, Zambia - teaching
1975-1989 Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia
1989-1992 Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia - Maintenance
1992-2004 St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia
2004-2005 Jesuit Community, Claver House, LeConte, Berkeley CA, USA - sabbatical
2005-2018 Mukasa Jesuit Community, Choma, Zambia
2018-2019 Lusaka House, Lusaka, Zambia
2019-2020 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - John Chula House

O'Ferrall, Michael, 1816-1877, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1901
  • Person
  • 14 February 1816-12 May 1877

Born: 14 February 1816, County Longford
Entered: 25 April 1835, Hodder, Stonyhurst, England - Angliae Province (ANG)
Ordained: by 1851
Final vows: 15 August 1857
Died 12 May 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1844 in Nice (LUGD) studying philosophy
by 1847 in Rome Studying
by 1857 in Rome Italy (ROM) studying Theology
by 1865 in San Francisco College CA, USA (TAUR) teaching

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He received a great part of his early and Priestly education before Ent. he was received into the Society by Peter Kenney 25 April 1835.

1847 he was studying Theology at Rome, and he was considered a rival to the great Passaglia.
1851-1856 He was sent Teaching Classics at Belvedere, and was also a Professor and Examiner at the Catholic University.
1856-1857 He was sent to St Eusebia’s in Rome for Tertianship.
1857-1861 He was made Superior of the new Theologate at 28 Nth Frederick St, but as this house only lasted one year, he was made Rector of Belvedere in August 1858, and held that post until 1861.
1861-1864 he was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius.
1864 He was sent to Santa Clara to preside over the English Department at the College there.
1868 He was appointed Socius to the Visitor in California.
1869 He returned to Ireland and was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius. He remained at Gardiner St until within a few months before his death, when he moved to Milltown and died there 12 May 1877.
He was eminent in Theology, Literature and Science. He had a reputation as a poet, his most famous piece was entitled “The Triumph of the Just”. A man of extensive knowledge, he was held in high esteem by the learned.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael O’Ferrall SJ 1816-1877
Fr Michael O’Ferrall was born in Longford on Feb 14th 1816. He had received a great part of his education before he was received into the Society by Fr Peter Kenney in 1835.

He studied Theology in Rome in 1847 where he was considered a rival of the great Passaglia. He was Professor and examiner in the Catholic University, and then in 1857 he became Superior of the new Theologate at 28 Great Frederick Street. This house only lasted a year and he then became Rector of Belvedere until 1861.

He was sent to California in 1864 where he presided over the English Department at Santa Clara College. He then became Socius to the Visitor in California in 1868.

Returning to Ireland he was stationed at Gardiner Street until a few months before his death, which took place at Milltown Park on May 12th 1877.

He was eminent in Theology, Literature and Science and was a poet of no mean order, his finest piece being “The Triumph of the Just”.

O'Flinn, Peter, 1822-1907, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1904
  • Person
  • 02 July 1822-03 November 1907

Born: 02 July 1822, County Down / California, USA
Entered: 15 January 1869, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1873
Final vows: 02 February 1884
Died: 03 November 1907, Manresa, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia

2nd year Novitiate at Stonyhurst England (ANG)
by 1871 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1872 at Roehampton London (ANG) Studying
by 1873 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) studying
by 1874 at St Ignatius San Francisco CA, USA (TAUR) working
Early Australian Missioner 1879

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
After First Vows and Ordination he was sent to California where he worked with great success as a Missioner.
Then Aloysius Sturzo recalled him and sent him to Australia, and he made his Tertianship in Australia.
The great work of his life was in Melbourne, where he died 01 November 1907

Tribute of His Grace Most Rev Dr Thomas Joseph Carr Bishop of Melbourne :
He said that after a long life spent in the service of God, the late Father O’Flinn now slept well. He had worked successfully at Hawthorn and Richmond, and his had been a blameless and unselfish life. His whole life had been a preparation for eternity, and they had every reason to believe that he was now happy with God.
He was past middle life when he entered religious life. Before coming to Australia, he had spent some time in San Francisco, and there to this day, many remember his blameless life. From his old parish in America, letters had been received by respected citizens enquiring as to the state of his health. That showed that his many good deeds had not been forgotten, ad that the memory of his charity had not died out.
In Australia they all knew that he had but one thought - the promotion of the honour and glory of God, and the salvation of souls. He never mixed in secular pursuits, but rightly confined himself to his ecclesiastical duties, and in them found his entire happiness. They might, therefore ask, why pray for him? Well one reason was because God’s ways were not like ours. His measure of human infirmities was not like ours. Though the Almighty only required human perfection, knowing the clay of which we were formed, still He would require satisfaction for every imperfection...........Martha said to Our Blessed Lord.. “I know that he shall rise on the last day”. That hope sustained us in life, enabling us to bear against the trials and temptations which beset our path through life. They would, therefore, remember Father O’Flinn in their pious prayers, calling to mind his good works, his wise advice, his kindness of heart, and his blameless life. They would pray that he might be speedily be admitted into the bliss of heaven.....

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Peter O'Flynn entered the Society at Milltown Park, 15 January 1869, as a secular priest, and from 1875-79 worked in the College of St Ignatius, San Francisco, doing pastoral work. He arrived Australia from America. 23 December 1879.
While in Australia he worked for a few years in the parish of Richmond, 1879-80, teaching at St Kilda House, Sydney, 1880-81, at St Patrick's, as a rural missionary, 1881-82, and at Richmond working in the Hawthorn district, 1882-83. For the rest of his life he lived and worked in the Hawthorn parish. He was superior twice, 1886-91, and 1895-99. He seems to have been minister at other times, and was in charge of various sodalities.
At one time he was a “persona non grata” to Archbishop Carr of Melbourne, for reasons that are not clear; but the archbishop preached the panegyric at his funeral in glowing terms, so he must have been forgiven. He recalled among other spiritual virtues, O’Flynn's good works, his wise
advice and kindness of heart

Note from Matthew O’Brien Entry
Matthew O'Brien was baptised at the Immaculate Conception Church, Hawthorn, 11 June 1902, by Peter O'Flynn.

René, Jean-Baptist, 1841-1916, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2043
  • Person
  • 22 August 1841-06 April 1916

Born: 22 August 1841, Montrevault-sur-Èvre, Maine-et-Loire, France
Entered: 28 September 1862, Angers France - Franciae Province (FRA)
Ordained: 1877
Final vows: 02 February 1881
Died: 06 April 1916, Los Gatos CA, USA - Franciae Province (FRA)

by 1881 came to Mungret (HIB) as Director of Apostolic School;
Rector: 1885 1880-1888

Roche, Ignatius, d 1639, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2057
  • Person
  • d 26 November 1639

Born: County Wexford
Entered: c 1703, Salamanca, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)
Died: 26 November 1639, Monterey, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
1726-1729 Superior of Irish Mission
1730 Rector of Poitiers

Writes from Waterford 08 January 1734 and 25 May 1739

A Book of the old Waterford Library SJ read “Ign Roche SJ” 1739

Shallo, Michael G, 1853-1898, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/700
  • Person
  • 13 September 1853-27 January 1898

Born: 13 September 1853, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin (HIB for TAUR)
Ordained: 1885
Final vows: 02 February 1891
Died: 27 January 1898, Santa Clara College, CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR: 1874

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - For American Mission

Smith, J Walmesley, 1904-1989, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2138
  • Person
  • 02 April 1904-05 April 1989

Born: 02 April 1904, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia
Entered: 25 March 1930, Loyola Greenwich, Australia
Ordained 16 June 1939, Los Gatos, California, USA
Final vows: 15 August 1954
Died: 05 April 1989, St Raphael’s Nursing Home, Lockleys, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier 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
Walmsley Smith was a man who experienced self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy, especially in his later days. This might seem hard to believe in a man who was so gifted intellectually. He was a good teacher of mathematics, and a man of wide interests, which included the garden and astronomy.
Smith was baptised, 10 April 1904, by Thomas Cahill, the first rector of Xavier College. He lived in Hawthorn, and carne to Xavier College aged eleven. After school he took out an engineering degree at Melbourne University 1930, joined the Jesuits, 25 March 1930, and completed his Jesuit studies in Sydney, Ireland and California. His regency was spent teaching mathematics to the juniors, 1932-34.
He left California on one of the last ships before the bombing of Pearl Harbour and settled down at Xavier College in 1941 to teach mathematics until he retired in 1973. For a
few years in the 1940s he was rowing master. For twenty years he was a member of the Mathematics Standing Committee for the Victorian Universities and Schools Examinations Board, 1948-68.
Testimony to his intellectual interests was his personal library, which contained subjects on mathematics, geography, astronomy, geometry and gardening.
This was followed by sixteen years of retirement, many of which gave him joy in pursuing his interests of music, gardening and reading.
His virtues were never conventional or conformist. He was not into being polite or particularly co-operative, and he certainly had very little time for suffering in silence. Greg Deming described him as a maverick who reached into the hearts of lonely and troubled boys. He also reached into the minds of clever and keen students, and he animated them to love and cherish their work. He developed a limp shortly before his 21st birthday as a result of an accident that resulted in a twisted foot. For the rest of his life he needed to use a stick, and with that stick he could give direction, gesticulate, and prod tardy scholars.

Stack, Daniel J, 1884-1959, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2144
  • Person
  • 07 September 1884-15 January 1959

Born: 07 September 1884, Dromcolliher, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1902, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 June 1917, Woodstock College, MD, USA
Final vows: 02 February 1921
Died: 15 January 1959, Loyola High School, Los Angeles, CA, USA - Oregonensis Province (ORE)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR : 1904; TAUR to CAL : 1909; CAL to ORE

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 3 1959
Obituary :
Fr Daniel J Stack (1884-1959)

(From the Oregon- Jesuit, March 1959)

Rev. Daniel J. Stack, S.J. suffered a stroke at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, California, on 13th January, 1959 and died two days later of a cerebral haemorrhage.
Fr. Stack was widely known in the Northwest, where he served as assistant pastor at St. Leo's Parish, Tacoma, WA., 1930-2 and at St. Francis Xavier Parish, Missoula, MT., 1932-3, and where he was pastor both at St. Stanislaus, Lewiston, Idaho, 1933-6, and at St. Aloysius, Spokane, WA., 1936-40.
Fr. Stack was born at Dromcollogher, Co. Limerick, Ireland on 8th September, 1884. He attended Jesuit schools in Limerick and entered the Jesuit Novitiate in Ireland on 6th September, 1902. From there, he transferred to the Novitiate at St. Andrews-on-the-Hudson, Poughkeepsie, N.Y., to continue for the mission work on the Rocky Mountain Missions. He taught school at Spokane and Seattle, Wn., for a number of years and on 28th June, 1917, was ordained to the priesthood at Woodstock College MD. The ten years after his tertianship were spent in teaching at Seattle, Spokane and Santa Fe, California.
In 1943 Fr. Stack was assigned as a teacher at Loyola High School, Los Angeles, a position he filled until 1948, when he became an assistant at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Hollywood. Ill health in 1955 led to his return to Loyola High School, where he was assigned as spiritual father for the community and confessor for several neighbouring convents.
Fr. Stack has three sisters living in Ireland, Sr. M. Stanislaus, Sr. M. Aloysius and Sr. M. Celsus. A fourth sister was overtaken by death as she was about to enter the religious life. Three of his five brothers were priests and all are now deceased, the last, Fr. James Stack, C.Ss.R. having died in Ireland in 1958.
Fr. Daniel Stack was a member of that now dwindling band of pioneers from foreign shores who volunteered for apostolic labours on the old Rocky Mountain Missions. He and those hardy veterans of the past founded the missions, schools and parishes which have been handed on to the Society. We owe them a debt of great gratitude.

Thoo Fook, Lawrence, 1938-2011, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2183
  • Person
  • 26 September 1938-22 February 2011

Born: 26 September 1938, Penang, Malaysia
Entered: 02 December 1958, Cheung Chau, Hong Kong (HIB)
Final vows: 07 November 1971
Died: 22 February 2011, San José CA, USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966; HK to CAL

by 1965 at Bombay, India (BOM) studying

Toner, Eugene Augustine, 1908-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2188
  • Person
  • 27 December 1908-13 October 1984

Born: 27 December 1908, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 21 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 07 June 1941
Final vows: 02 February 1946
Died: 13 October 1984, Duarte, CA, USA - California Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to CAL : 1930

Tyrrell, Michael, 1928-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/618
  • Person
  • 27 May 1928-28 June 2001

Born: 27 May 1928, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1961, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1964
Died: 28 June 2001, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB : 1978

by 1956 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency
by 1970 at Bristol University (ANG) working
by 1971 at Glasgow, Scotland (ANG) working
by 1972 at London University, England (ANG) working
by 1984 at Berkeley CA, USA (CAL) Sabbatical

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Michael Tyrrell was a Dublin man and before entering the Jesuits in 1947 he worked for a short time for Guinness’ Brewery, becoming proficient at barrel rolling! After philosophy in Tullabeg, he came to Zambia, Africa, first as a scholastic in 1955 for three years and then again in 1964 when he came back as a priest. The first time, he learnt the language and taught in Canisius Secondary School. He returned to Ireland for theology and for ordination which took place in Milltown Park in 1961. Before returning to Zambia in 1964, he obtained his Master of Arts in History. When he came back he hoped to get into the newly opened university in Lusaka to lecture in history but unfortunately this was not to be. He was in Canisius again teaching the A-level course and he also got interested in sports. With Br Aungier and scholastic P Quinn, he helped train the Canisius athletic team which won the National Inter High School Sports at Matero Stadium in Lusaka (July 13 1966) at which a few records were broken. It was a proud day for the school.

He liked to walk and he liked to talk; he would laugh at jokes among the brethren even those against himself at times, with the oft repeated expletive 'James' Street'. Being a walker, he organized a walk from Chikuni to Chivuna, a journey of over 30 miles. When the walkers arrived, weary and footsore, they saw a large notice put up by the Sisters, “Blessed are the feet of those …..”

Michael was quite disappointed in not getting into the university even though he was a successful teacher at Canisius. He moved into parish ministry in the Monze diocese, at Kasiya and Civuna parishes.

His health deteriorated, a condition which was not helped by a failure by others to appreciate that he was genuinely ill and not just suffering from imagination. While on home leave, a doctor friend put him straight into hospital for surgery for a rather rare stomach condition which had not been previously detected. A second operation was deemed necessary, the doctor warning the family that Mick might not survive the night. However he did survive and was advised not to return to Zambia.

When he recovered, he entered the university chaplaincy in the British Province. As Mick had always hankered after the academic life, the twelve years spent in London University were perhaps the most fulfilling and satisfying period in his life. His specialty seems to have been working with post-graduate students, with whom he relished hours of discussion and stimulating conversation for which he was amply qualified.

In 1983 he went to Berkeley USA for a sabbatical year. On returning to Ireland he gave retreats and directed the Spiritual Exercises. In 1987 he was posted to Gardiner Street where he remained until his death in 2001. While there he was chaplain to Temple Street Hospital, assisted in Gardiner Street Church and was Province Archivist for three years.

Michael was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 17 October 1998 with an unusual degenerative condition of the brain. He had a problem of mobility and in the last six months or so he was confined to a wheelchair. His condition was treated with. medication. In the last few weeks his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died peacefully at 9.30 a.m. on 28 June 2001, surrounded by his family and Jesuit colleagues’.

Note from Jean Indeku Entry
In 1955 he came to Northern Rhodesia with Fr. Tom O’Brien and scholastics Michael Kelly and Michael Tyrrell. They were among the first batch of missionaries to come by air and the journey from London took almost five days via Marseilles – Malta – Wadi Halfa (now under the Aswan Dam) – Mersa Matruh (north Egypt) – Nairobi – Ndola – and finally to Lusaka.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002


Fr Michael Tyrrell (1928-2000)

27th May 1928: Born in Dublin
Early education in St. Vincent's CBS School, Glasnevin and Mungret College.
Before entering, he worked for Guinness
6th Sept. 1947: Entered the Society at Emo Park
8th Sept. 1949: First Vows at Emo
1949 - 1952: Rathfarnham - studying Arts in UCD
1952 - 1955: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1955 - 1958: Zambia - language studies; teaching in Chikuni College
1958 - 1962: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31st July 1961: Ordained at Milltown Park
1962 - 1963: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
2nd Feb, 1964: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1963 - 1964: Milltown Park - Special studies
1964 - 1970: Zambia, Chikuni College - Teacher
1970 - 1971: Glasgow - University Chaplain
1971 - 1983: London - University Chaplain
1983 - 1984: Berkeley, USA - Sabbatical year
1984 - 1985: Austin House - Retreat Staff
1985 - 1987: University Hall - Chaplain, Pax Christi; Directs Spiritual Exercises
1987 - 2001: Gardiner Street
1987 - 1991: Chaplain Temple Street Hospital and Pax Christi
1991 - 1994: Province Archivist
1994 - 1995: Assisting in the Church; Chaplain in Temple Street Hospital
1995 - 1998: Assisting in the Church
1998 - 2001: Praying for the Church and the Society

Michael was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 17th October 1998 with an unusual degenerative condition of the brain. He had a problem with mobility and in the last six months or so he was confined to a wheelchair. His condition was treated with medication. In the last few weeks his condition deteriorated rapidly, and he died peacefully at 9.30 a.m. on 28th June, 2001, surrounded by his family and Jesuit colleagues

Frank Keenan writes...
In November 2001, the London University Chaplaincy in Gower Street, London, organised a memorial mass for Michael Tyrrell. The students to whom he ministered there have long since moved on to take up their professions, get married, begin families. It was a tremendous tribute to Michael's work among them to see the packed chapel to which so many returned that morning to express their appreciation and gratitude for what he had been for them in their student days. From those who could not be at the mass there were written tributes, including some from well-known names such as Baroness Helena Kennedy Q.C.

Listening to his former co-chaplains at the memorial Mass, it was striking how much he had been appreciated by them, not only for the services he offered the students, but also for the companionship and wit he had contributed to the community in Gower Street. There were those present also who had been touched by the wide-ranging retreat apostolate that Michael had developed in England. The Irish Province was represented by Jack Donovan, Parish Priest of Custom House London for the past twenty years, and myself from St. Beuno's in Wales.

Michael had always hankered after the academic life. After tertianship, he asked for and was given the opportunity to do an MA in the subject that was always his first love - History. On his return to Zambia he hoped he might find a place lecturing in the University, but this was not to be. He had had a successful record as a classroom teacher in Canisius College, Chikuni, but was not enthusiastic about resuming this career, possibly as a reaction to his disappointment at not getting the University appointment. He ventured into parish ministry in Monze Diocese, which was not really his charism, and so followed some rather unfulfilling years in Kasiya and Civuna parishes.

His health deteriorated, a condition which was not helped by a failure by others to appreciate that he was genuinely ill, and not just suffering from imagination. Providence came to his aid on the eve of his return to Zambia from home leave. A doctor friend was unhappy with Michael's state of health and asked him to visit his surgery the following day. As a result of this visit he put Michael straight into hospital for surgery for a rather rare stomach condition, which understandably had not been detected by the limited resources of the Zambian medical services. A second operation was found necessary, with a sobering warning - without this second operation Michael would die, since his digestive system had ceased to function; but, given that it would be a second operation so soon after the first, he would only have a fifty per cent chance of survival. Michael recalled lying in a coma after surgery and hearing the doctors advising members of his family to prepare for the worst, as the patient might not survive the night.

Michael was advised not to return to Zambia, where the medical facilities might not be available, should he have a recurrence of the problem. He entered the university chaplaincy service in the British Province, and there he seemed to have found his true niche. From what I observed when visiting him in London on my way to and from Zambia, he savoured at last being in the academic world. His speciality seems to have been working with post-graduate students, with whom he relished hours of discussion and stimulating conversation for which he was amply qualified.

I often wondered at the wisdom of his returning to Ireland, where he did not seem to have really been able to find the sort of satisfying and effective apostolate, which he had been enjoying in London. During the years when he was chaplain to Temple Street Childrens' Hospital he made himself totally available at all hours, although he must have found dealing with children much less rewarding than his post-graduates. Eventually he found the work too draining and accepted that he had to retire. The illness, which was to be final, must have begun to effect him at this time.

The deterioration in Michael's condition, which left him, finally, barely able to speak, had been going on over a number of years. At this period he struggled to master the computer under my, at times, less than sympathetic tutelage. It was only much later that I realised that when he said he could not remember the most basic instructions, this was a symptom of the illness that was causing deterioration in his brain cells. Michael tended to make light of the symptoms, and, consequently, was somewhat misunderstood during this period even by his friends.

There was a basic simplicity and a certain innocence about Michael which he never lost till the end. In Cherryfield, he would still respond to the old jokes, and although he could not contribute to the banter, he clearly enjoyed it as always. He once recounted an example of this simplicity, which revealed a similar unsuspected spirit of simplicity in the rather forbidding figure of J R McMahon, Rector of Milltown, Provincial and distinguished legalist. J R was provincial when Michael was being interviewed for entry to the Novitiate. On impulse, Michael invited J R to tea with his family, to which the latter agreed promptly. In due course J R turned up on his antique bicycle, joined the family for tea and charmed them all. We would cite this to Michael as an example of his trying to advance his career in the Society from an early age, which never failed to amuse him, since he always retained a freedom of spirit, which was the antithesis of any tendency to curry favour with the establishment for his own advantage. For me one of Michael's most endearing characteristics was his clear interest in and love for his family. He spoke to me often of his admiration for, and gratitude to, his parents in particular,

Among several photographs on display at the Memorial Mass was one of the young Michael walking in the Wicklow Mountains in the 1940s. He continued this passion right up to the time when he no longer had the capacity, even achieving his ambition to climb Mount Kilimanjaro in Kenya. A walking companion has written the following poem in memory of the enjoyment Michael derived from showing others his beloved Wicklow Mountains.

In Memory (of Michael Tyrrell SJ)

Mullacor and Mullaghcleevaun,
Tonelegee and Lugnaquila,
These Wicklow Hills evoke memories of you:
I see you striding with ease across the heather,
Side-stepping the squelchy spagnum moss and feathery bog
To disappear into the mists that swirl around their summits:
Or resting by the shores of mountain tarns,
Lough Ouler, Lough Tay, Lough Dan,
Art's Lake, where with Dunstan, we sipped cool wine
And wearied the sun with our talk:
Lough Bray, where you camped and prayed
Fighting the demon midgets with burning, smoking heather
Your great spirit lives on in these hills
And hovers over the still, dark waters of these lakes.
There is freedom from dis-ease here.
Rest peacefully, Michael.

Elizabeth Mooney SHC), July 2001

Walshe, John D, 1847-1930, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2227
  • Person
  • 18 March 1847-21 October 1930

Born: 18 March 1847, Leighlinbridge, County Carlow
Entered: 13 April 1873, Milltown Park, Dublin (HIB for TAUR) - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Ordained: 1886
Final vows: 02 February 1891
Died: 21 October 1930, San José, CA USA - Californiae Province (CAL)

Transcribed HIB to TAUR: 1874; TAUR to CAL: 1909

Ward, Séamus, 1935-2011, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/799
  • Person
  • 31 May 1935-22 February 2011

Born: 31 May 1935, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1953, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1975
Died: 22 February 2011, St Mary Star of the Sea, Key West, Florida, USA

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

Nephew of Eugene - RIP 1976

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1971 at USF San Francisco, USA (CAL) studying
by 1972 at St Michael’s Bronx NY, USA (NEB) studying

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Seamus Ward RIP
Seamus Ward SJ passed away in Florida yesterday, 22 February. He was staying at St. Mary, Star of The Sea Church, Florida. Earlier, he had had a fall away from the house on 18th February and broken his femur. He was badly shaken and was hospitalised. The doctors advised that he was unlikely to recover. He needed a breathing machine. Fr Conall O’Cuinn, Rector of Milltown Park, and Eoghan, a nephew of Seamus, travelled to the USA on Tuesday 22nd and were met at the airport and taken straight to the hospital. They were waiting for them before removing the breathing machine. There was time for prayers and singing Ag Criost an Siol and Soul of My Saviour. Seamus died very quietly and peacefully about 15 minutes later. May he rest in Christ’s Peace!

Burying Seamie
There was something astonishing about the obsequies of Fr Seamus Ward, whose death was reported in the last AMDG Express. Within the Irish Province he had a low profile,
partly because of his wretched health. He had taught in Bolton Street DIT, and served the Jesuit Refugee Service in Africa. Fr Tom Layden wrote of his “pioneering spirit, inquiring mind and independence of outlook”: a kind man, with an attitude of welcome and encouragement for those around him. He worked out of weakness, a real pastoral asset with which people could identify. His two funerals, one in Florida where he served a parish, the other in Gonzaga chapel, were memorable events, crowded with his kith and kin and friends who loved him and grieved deeply. In death as in life Seamus could spring a surprise.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 145 : Summer 2011


Fr Séamus (Seamie) Ward (1935-2011)

31st May 1935: Born in Dublin
Early education at Clongowes Wood College
7th Sept. 1953: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1955: First Vows at Emo
1955 - 1958: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1958 - 1961: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1961 - 1964: Belvedere College - Teacher
1964 - 1968: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
10th July 1968: Ordained at Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1969 - 1970: Rathfarnham - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
1970 - 1972: Fordham, USA-Studied Sociology; Assisted in Holy Family Parish, NY
1972 - 1974: Rathfarnham - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
1974 - 1978: John Austin House - Chaplain in DIT Bolton Street
2nd February 1975: Final Vows
1978 - 1979: Campion House - Chaplain in DIT
1979 - 1982: Rathfarnham - Curate in Wicklow parish
1982 - 1985: Dolphin's Barn - Parish Curate
1985 - 1986: Clongowes - Sabbatical year
1986 - 1988: Clongowes - Assistant Librarian
1988 - 1989: Ethiopia - Jesuit Refugee Service
1989 - 1991: Belvedere College - Refugee work: Cairo, JRS Rome and Ethiopia
1991 - 1992: Working with refugees in Sierra Leone and Somalila
1992 - 1994: Working with refugees in Mali
1994 - 2005: Belvedere College - Pastoral care of refugees.
2005 - 2011: Milltown Park - Parish Chaplaincy, USA
22nd February 2011: Died in Florida USA

Fr Seamus was at St. Mary, Star of The Sea Church, Florida. He had a fall away from the house on 18th February and broke his femur. He was badly shaken and was hospitalised. The doctors advised that he was unlikely to recover. He needed a breathing machine. Fr Conall O Cuinn, Rector of Milltown Park, and a nephew of Seamus’, Eoghan, travelled to the USA on Tuesday 22nd and were met at the airport and taken straight to the hospital. They were waiting for them before removing the breathing machine. There was time for prayers and singing Ag Críost an Siol and Soul of My Saviour. Seamus died very quietly and peacefully about 15 minutes later. May he rest in the Peace of Christ.

Obituary by Brendan Duddy and Noel Barber
Seamie Ward was one of 8 children. He had 5 brothers and 2 sisters who were at the heart of his life. He had a marvellous relationship with his siblings and with their children. I got to know him during our time in UCD. When I arrived in Rathfarnham, he took me under his wing and showed me the ropes. The regime was tight and he found the rules of the house somewhat oppressive but he did not take them too seriously. We all felt that we did not have enough time for study; most of us accepted this state of affairs but he did not. He would put his umbrella over his bedside lamp and read through Troilus and Cressida into the night. Serious would have been his fate had he been caught. While others dutifully made off on bikes on special free days, he usually had other ideas, bringing me on one occasion to the Shelbourne Hotel where his father awaited us and ordered toast in a magnificent silver bowl and coffee laced with brandy.

In days when it was presumed that one had to avoid any reading of material that was not 'wholesome', he had the nerve to borrow Joyce's Ulysses in the ritual brown paper bag which the kind librarian passed surreptitiously under the counter, On more regular lines he introduced me to O'Casey's plays and to Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon. He took a good degree in English, enjoyed the literary delights that were on offer and ignored what was not to his taste. There was an iconoclastic side to him which to some looked as if he saw all authority as authoritarian. There was a shyness which he concealed with a brusqueness that could be disconcerting but he was true gold as a friend. Philosophy in Tullabeg followed where the isolated life did not entirely suit him and literature rather than philosophy captured his interest but doing what was necessary he got through without much effort albeit with little joy but used his time to indulge his literary tastes and to make many excursions, licit and illicit. I then went to Zambia and he to Belvedere where an observer noted that he showed remarkable administrative talents as an assistant to the Prefect of Studies, the formidable Jack Leonard, whose approval and fulsome praise he won. He proved to be a severe disciplinarian and an exacting task master who exercised his authority with a firm hand. However, he won the admiration of the pupils if not their lasting affection. It was noticeable that a number of middle aged men turned up to his funeral – his former pupils from his Belvedere days; they remembered him with something approaching reverence.

His years in Theology were not entirely happy and a contemporary of his considered that his attitude towards authority hardened and he ended up asking to have his ordination postponed to the end of his fourth year. Following his Tertianship in 1968-69 he spent one year in the Dublin Institute of Theology, Bolton Street, before going to Fordham where he took an MA in Sociology. He then returned to Bolton Street where he remained until 1979. I worked with him there and once again he was my mentor and guide. He introduced me to all sorts of people: porters, sweepers, electricians, cooks, his friends in Sean Mc Dermot Street where I became life-long friends with his friends. With these people he was Newman's Perfect Gentleman at ease with all and generous with his time and energy to a fault. He took particular care of foreign students helping them to find their feet. He then spent 3 years (1979-82) as a curate in Wicklow. There he was wonderful with the children, the old folks and with pre-marriage couples. For recreation he took to the joys of sailing, most often with his brother. He moved to Dolphin's Barn in 1982 where he had three not very happy years. He became somewhat restless and spent a few years in Clongowes during which he was unfocused and dispirited.

Then he opened up a new life for himself with the Jesuit Refugee Service from 1988 to 1994. He served in Cairo, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somalia and Mali. A person who knew him well in his JRS days commented on his remarkable ability to live in the most austere circumstances, and to accept the hardship and isolation of his assignments without complaint, his great love and devotion to the poor and the weak and the excessive physical demands he made on himself. On the other hand it was noted that for one of his ability and sterling work he lacked self-confidence to a surprising degree and showed that below the surface there could be strong anger which would occasionally flare.

In 1994 he returned to live in Belvedere as a sick man in the grip of severe emphysema but he found a modus vivendi. To avoid the wet, cold Irish winter he began to do supply parish work in California and then Florida where he flourished as he did in Wicklow years before. He devoted himself to the poor and the weak; he gave of his time and people took the chance to pour out their hearts to him and he listened, gave sound advice and became the wise old man.

In the midst of his successful apostolate, he had a fall, went into hospital where, because of his underlying condition, an operation was out of the question. Inevitably he took a bad turn and died quietly and peacefully. As a Jesuit, he was not prominent and was never well known in the Province but despite his difficult middle years and the poor health of his later years he achieved a great deal at the frontiers.

Whyte, Richard, 1824-1891, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/2261
  • Person
  • 17 November 1824-14 July 1891

Born: 17 November 1824, Dunbell, County Kilkenny
Entered: 25 January 1855, Santa Clara CA, USA - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Ordained: 1862
Final Vows:15 August 1875
Died: 14 July 1891, Xavier College, New York, NY, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Came to HIB in 1869 to 1871 at Milltown Park and Clongowes