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Browne, Francis M, 1880-1960, Jesuit priest, photographer and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/7
  • Person
  • 1880-1960

Born: 03 January 1880, Sunday's Well, Cork City
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1915, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1921, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 07 July 1960, St John of God’s Hospital, Stillorgan, Dublin

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

Francis Mary Hegarty Browne

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1917 Military Chaplain : 1st Battalion Irish Guards, BEF France

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Browne, Francis Patrick Mary
by James Quinn

Browne, Francis Patrick Mary (1880–1960), photographer and Jesuit priest, was born 3 January 1880 in Sunday's Well, Cork, youngest of eight children of James Browne, flour merchant and JP, and Brigid Browne (née Hegarty; 1840–80), who died of puerperal fever eight days after Francis's birth. The family was well-off and owned a large house at Buxton Hill; Brigid's father, James Hegarty, was a wealthy tanner and a JP, and served as lord mayor of Cork. Francis attended the Bower convent, Athlone (1885–92), the Christian Brothers' college, St Patrick's Place, Cork (1892), the Jesuit college at Belvedere, Dublin (1893), and the Vicentian college at Castleknock (1893–7). He excelled in the classics and modern languages, enjoyed sports, and played on the Castleknock first rugby XV. On leaving Castleknock he made a tour of Europe with his brother William (1876–1938) (also a priest and photographer), and took many photographs, which even at this stage showed considerable talent. On his return in September 1897 he joined the Jesuits, and served his noviceship at Tullabeg, King's Co. (Offaly). After his father drowned while swimming at Crosshaven (2 September 1898), his education was overseen by his uncle, Robert Browne (qv), president of Maynooth College and bishop of Cloyne (1894–1935). Francis took his first vows 8 September 1899, and studied classics at the Royal University at St Stephen's Green, Dublin, graduating with an honours BA (1902). At university he was a contemporary of James Joyce (qv), and ‘Mr Browne, the Jesuit’ makes an appearance in Finnegans wake. He studied philosophy (1902–5) at Chieri, near Turin, travelling throughout Italy during the summer holidays and studying Italian painting. Returning to Ireland in 1905, he taught at Belvedere (1905–11), where he founded a cycling club, a camera club, and the college annual, The Belvederian, which featured many of his photographs.

In April 1912 he sailed on the first leg of the Titantic's maiden voyage (10–11 April) from Southampton to Queenstown (Cobh) via Cherbourg. Friends offered to pay for him to complete the trip to New York, but the Jesuit provincial in Dublin refused him permission. He took about eighty photographs on the voyage, including the last one of the Titanic's captain, Edward Smith, and the only one ever taken in the ship's Marconi room. The Titantic's sinking catapulted his work to international attention, his photographs appearing on the front pages of newspapers around the world. His name forever became associated with the Titanic and he assiduously collected material relating to the disaster, which he used to give public lectures.

He studied theology (1911–15) at Milltown Park, Dublin, and was ordained 31 July 1915. Early in 1916 he became a military chaplain in the 1st Battalion, Irish Guards, with the rank of captain. Present at the Somme and Ypres (including Passchendaele), he showed great courage under fire, tending the wounded in no man's land and guiding stretcher parties to wounded men. He himself was wounded five times and gassed once, and won the MC and bar and the Croix de Guerre. His commanding officer, the future Earl Alexander, who became a lifelong friend, described him as ‘the bravest man I ever met’ (O'Donnell, Life, 46). During the war he took many photographs, now held in the Irish Guards headquarters in London. He returned to Ireland late in 1919, completed his tertianship (July 1920), and was again assigned to Belvedere. On 31 October 1920 he cycled to the viceregal lodge to make a personal appeal for the life of Kevin Barry (qv), an Old Belvederean.

He took his final vows (2 February 1921) and was appointed supervisor of St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner St. (1921–8). Because of the damage done to his lungs by gassing during the war, he spent the years 1924–5 in Australia, making a 3,000-mile trip through the outback, where he took many memorable photographs. By now he and his camera were inseparable and he used it widely on his return trip through Ceylon, Yemen, Egypt, and Italy. Returning to Dublin in late 1925 he resumed his position at Gardiner St. and began regularly to photograph inner-city Dublin life, taking about 5,000 photographs of Dublin over thirty years. In 1926 he took flying lessons and took many aerial photographs of Dublin. He became an important member of the Photographic Society of Ireland and the Dublin Camera Club and was vice-president and a key organiser of a highly successful international exhibition of photography (the First Irish Salon of Photography) during Dublin's ‘civic week’ in 1927; further exhibitions were held biennially until 1939. Appointed to the Jesuits' mission and retreat staff, he was based at Clongowes Wood, Co. Kildare (1928–30), and Emo Court, Co. Laois (1930–57).

Many of these were of the great cathedrals of England, which had a particular fascination for him. With war looming, in 1937–8 he was commissioned by the Church of England to photograph the churches of East Anglia to enable their accurate restoration should they suffer bomb damage. In 1939 his offer to serve as chaplain to the Irish Guards was accepted, but he was refused permission from the Irish Jesuit provincial.

Travelling throughout Britain and Ireland, he continued to photograph and assiduously to practise the technical aspects of photography and build up an impressive array of photographic equipment, including his own developing laboratory at Emo. Most experts believe that his talent matured fully in the 1930s. Given a Kodak 16mm cine-camera by his uncle Robert, he shot a film of the eucharistic congress in Dublin in 1932, and made several subsequent films for state and educational bodies. In 1933 he visited the Kodak works at Harrow, north-west of London, and afterwards received a supply of free film for life and regularly contributed articles and photographs to the Kodak Magazine.

In the 1940s and ‘50s he photographed almost every aspect of Irish life – pilgrimages, ruined monasteries, great houses, and leading religious, political, and literary figures – and his photographs featured regularly in Irish publications. Much of his work dealt with new industries and technology, especially his fascination with transport: aircraft, shipping, and trains. A booklet issued by the Department of Health on the ‘mother and child’ scheme in 1951 was illustrated with his photographs. All his earnings from photography (c.£1,000, 1937–54) were forwarded to the Jesuit provincial treasurer and used for the education of Jesuit students.

As his health faded, he resided at Milltown Park from 1957, and many of his photographs from the late 1950s recorded the themes of old age and death. He died in Dublin 7 July 1960, and was buried in the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin cemetery, Dublin.

He took an estimated 42,000 photographs throughout his life, but his fame as a photographer was largely posthumous: most of his work lay unnoticed in a trunk in the Jesuit archives until 1986. His photographs were neatly captioned and dated but were mostly on deteriorating nitrate film, and a major restoration effort was required to transfer them to safe film. Photographic experts were astounded at the quality of the work, generally considering it the outstanding photographic collection of twentieth-century Ireland. Fr Browne had all the attributes of a great photographer: a natural eye for line and balance in composition (a talent developed by his study of Italian art) and an ability to anticipate the decisive moment. In photographing people his lens was never intrusive or exploitative, and his sympathy with his subject is always evident. Scenes involving children, in particular, are captured with a natural ease and dignity. He has been described as ‘one of the great photographic talents’ (O'Donnell, Life, 123) of the twentieth century, and compared favourably with the great French photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson. Since 1986 his work has been regularly exhibited, published in various collections compiled by E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, and featured in television documentaries.

Rudyard Kipling, The Irish Guards in the great war (2 vols, 1923), i, 136, 141, 145–6, 170, 182; ii, 173; Ir. Times, 18 Nov. 1989; E. E. O'Donnell, SJ, ‘Photographer extraordinary: the life and work of Father Browne’, Studies, lxxix (1990), 298–306; id., Father Browne's Dublin (1993); id., Father Browne: a life in pictures (1994); id., Father Browne's Titanic album (1997)

◆ Jesuits in Ireland :

Francis Browne
Few can claim to have seen as much in their life as Francis Browne, sailing on the Titanic, serving in World War I, travelling the world. Not only did he live it but, as an amateur photographer, he also recorded his life and experiences, allowing us today immeasurable insight into that period in our history.
Born in Cork in 1880, Francis Browne was the youngest of eight children. His mother died of puerperal fever not long after his birth and his father died in a swimming accident when he was nine, so Browne was taken care of by his uncle, Robert Browne. After finishing school in Dublin in 1897, Browne went on a grand tour of Europe, seeing France and Italy. For his travels, his uncle bought him his first camera as a present, and this began Browne’s lifelong interest in photography.
Upon returning to Ireland, Browne entered the Jesuit noviciate in Tullabeg. He studied at the Royal University of Ireland in Dublin, where he was classmates with James Joyce. In 1911 he began studying theology in Milltown. The following year, his uncle gave him a ticket aboard the newly built ship Titanic, to sail from Southampton to Queenstown, now Cobh. Browne brought his camera, as was his hobby, and took many pictures. When he arrived in Queenstown he would have continued on the crossing to America, but was told in no uncertain terms by his superior to return to Dublin. When word arrived days later of the sinking of the Titanic, Browne realised how valuable his photographs were and sold them to various newspapers leading to the publication all over the world.
Browne was ordained in 1915, and the following year was sent to Europe where he served as chaplain to the Irish Guards. During his time in the service, Browne was at the Battle of the Somme, at Flanders, Ypres, and many other places at the frontline of the war. He was wounded on five occasions, and was awarded a military cross and bar for valour in combat. During this time too he took photographs, recording life at the frontline.
Returning to Dublin in 1920, Browne experienced recurring ill health from his time in the war, and was sent to Australia in 1924. Never parting from his camera, he took countless photos of the places he saw on his way over, as well as in Australia. After returning, he was appointed to the Retreats and Mission staff, and travelled all across Ireland. By the time of his death in 1960, Browne had taken photographs in nearly every parish in Ireland. When his negatives were discovered, twenty five years later, there were in the order of 42,000 of them. Twenty three volumes of his work have now been published and the importance of his work has been recognised internationally.

The last parting: Jesuits and Armistice
At the end of the First World War, Irish Jesuits serving as chaplains had to deal with two main issues: their demobilisation and influenza. Some chaplains asked immediately to be demobbed back to Ireland; others wanted to continue as chaplains. Of the thirty-two Jesuits chaplains in the war, five had died, while sixteen were still serving.
Writing on 13 November 1918, Fr Frank Browne SJ describes the day of the Armistice:
Isn’t it grand to think that the end has come & come so well for our side: please God it will come for us at home soon, & equally well. Here all is excitement and rejoicing. I happened to be in Dieppe at the fateful 11 o’clock Monday last. I was at the Ordnance store outside which is a great railway siding... Eleven o’ clock was signaled by every engine furiously blowing its whistle. Then nearly all of them proceeded to career up & down the hacks – still whistling. On several of them men sat astride the boilers waving flats & ringing bells. This lasted for 20 mins. On the other side of the quarry Co. of Engineers burst a charge displacing several tons of rock, & then fired Verey lights & flares. But all this was nothing compared with the French outburst in the town. As I drove into the town our car was pelted with confetti by girls, all of whom were gay with tricolor ribbons. The Belgian emigres organised a march through the town with their military band and all the soldiers & Officers present. The bugles were blowing as they entered the main street, which was crowded with rejoicing people. Suddenly, the bugles stopped, & the Band struck up the Marseillaise. For a moment there was a kind of silence, then with a roar, the whole crowd of people took it up. Woman appeared at every window waving flags, & singing: assistants rushed to the doors of shops & joined in the great chorus: children shouted & sang & wriggled through the crowd. It was one of the most inspiring spontaneous demonstrations it has ever been my fortune to witness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 7th Year No 4 1932

China :

The Seminary Aberdeen :
The Seminary is now in full working order. We have all the ordinary exercises of our houses of studies circles, tones, etc. The students take kindly to the tones and are frank in their criticisms. A variant of the ordinary tones is a sermonette on the Life of Our Lord, We are using the Epidioscope and the beautiful slides which Father Frank Browne so kindly sent us. Thus a more vivid picture of the Gospel scenes is impressed on their minds. They have also given lectures to the village-folk with a Synoscope which Father Bourke brought out.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 35th Year No 4 1960

Obituary :

Fr Francis M Browne (1880-1960)

The song has it that “old soldiers never die, they only fade away”. Fr. Frank Browne was an old soldier who never said die. He just faded away for a few months until the King whom he served so long and so faithfully called him to the eternal colours on 7th July, 1960, in the 81st year of his life.
Francis Mary Hegarty Browne was born in Cork on 3rd January, 1880. He claimed two Alma Maters - Belvedere and Castleknock - and never lost his affection for both. There must have been militarism in his blood, and the instinct for noble deeds and daring exploits. He went the Ignatian way, entering the noviceship at Tullabeg in 1897. At the completion of his noviceship he was one of a group of brilliant scholastics studying for the Royal - Edmund Power, Patrick Gannon, Austin Hartigan and others. In after years he sometimes mentioned his ability to equal and even surpass in classical lore some of these literary geniuses. After three years philosophy in Chieri, Northern Italy, he spent seven years teaching in Belvedere and Clongowes - mostly in Belvedere. During this period Mr. Browne was the life and soul of Belvedere. The college was small in those days, numbering about 250 boys. There he endeared himself to many who in later years reached the top of their professions. It was there, too, that he became wedded to his camera. While doing full teaching he had cycling club, camera club and every kind of outdoor activity except games.
At the conclusion of this long period of colleges came theology at Milltown Park and Ordination in July 1915 at the hands of his uncle, Most Rev. Robert Browne, Bishop of Cloyne. During his theologate he rarely missed opportunities of long treks over the mountains. It was all a preparation for his duties as military chaplain. World War I broke out in 1914 and in 1916 Fr. Browne became chaplain to the Irish Guards in France and Flanders. He was wounded several times, returning home to hospital with severe shrapnel injuries to his jaw, On his return again to the front he served in the same Irish Division as Fr. Willie Doyle, and was close to Fr. Doyle until the latter was killed in August 1917. From then onwards until the war ended in 1918 Fr. Browne was with the Irish Guards and received several distinctions. As well as frequently being mentioned in despatches he was awarded the Military Cross and the Belgian Croix de Guerre.
Tertianship was in Tullabeg, 1919-1920, and then Belvedere College for two years. A visitation of the Irish Province took place just then and two appointments made by the Fr. Visitor - Fr. W. Power, U.S.A. were Fr. John Fahy as Provincial and Fr. Browne as Superior of St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street. Both were, in a sense, as a bolt from the blue. The advent of a young priest as Superior of Gardiner Street - especially one so dynamic as Fr. Browne-was quite unusual. He was the youngest member of the community. The quiet hum of church work became a loud buzz during his six years as Superior. He was a great churchman. As well as a very eloquent preacher, he was devoted to the confessional, Moreover he was a man of great taste and made many improvements in administration. But he worked himself to a standstill and had to go on a long rest. The long rest was a trip to Australia. It provided Fr. Frank with plenty of shots for his camera and matter for many illustrated lectures in which he was a specialist.
From 1928 until a few years before his death Fr, Browne was on the Mission Staff of the Irish Province. He was stationed in St. Mary's, Emo from the time it opened in 1931. This life gave him ample scope for his unbounded energy. He loved his rest periods in Emo and his camera provided a helpful and lucrative relaxation. His photographs of places of historic interest in every part of Ireland were eagerly sought after by papers like the Irish Tatler and Sketch. In his scholastic days he had made a reputation for himself as Editor of The Belvederian. Anyone who scans the volumes of that magazine will find some wonderful photographs. It was while there he accepted the invitation to go on the first leg of the maiden voyage of the famous Titanic, later sunk by an iceberg in the Atlantic. Fr. Frank's photos of the inside of this luxury liner were about the only ones extant.
It is hardly to be expected that younger members of any religious order could have a correct view of older members, seen and known only in their decline. It is for that reason possibly that these obituary notices appear. It is only fair that a man's life should be seen in its entirety, God does not look at the last decade of a man's life, or indeed at any one decade. God views the whole span, and so should we. Else we miss much that we ought to know for our encouragement. The Society has its menologies, and wants the lives of Jesuits to be known by succeeding generations. For this purpose the menology is read every day. In this rapid and complex world our dead are too soon forgotten. The Irish Province has had many devoted sons to whose favours we of today owe much.
What were the outstanding qualities of Fr. Frank Browne? They are here outlined in order of priority as the writer sees them after forty, if not more nearly fifty, years of acquaintance.
He was a most priestly man. To see Fr. Frank at the altar was most impressive. There was no sign of slovenliness, speed, distraction. From his ordination till his death he put the Mass first. This had one rather amusing aspect. The pair of shoes in which he was ordained he preserved to the end, and only wore them at the altar. They were known to his colleagues as “The Melchisedeck Shoes”. This, in itself, shows his anxiety to preserve the fervour of his early priesthood. There was always a dignity about Fr. Browne whenever he functioned in the church, A man of fine physique and carriage, he looked magnificent in priestly vestments. But there was no shadow of affectation, no over-exaggeration. It was simple, honest and devout.
This priestliness he carried into the pulpit. He was never cheap, witty, frivolous. His preaching was always impressive, his words well chosen, his examples apt. He had a very friendly and sympathetic approach to his congregation. His confessional was always crowded and never hurried. There was the kindly word for everyone. With the secular clergy he was extremely popular, yet always reserved and dignified. It is the truth that he never forgot he was a priest and a Jesuit. He might at times be demanding, but always in a pleasant way,
He was a brave man-brave in every sense of the word. As chaplain he was rewarded for his courage under fire. The soldiers admired him and the officers revered him because of his calmness under fire. An Irish Guardsman, still alive, wrote of Fr, Browne :
“We were in a church somewhere in Belgium and Fr. Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof already with many holes in it. Fr. Browne thundered out : ‘What's wrong? Why don't you listen? Which are you more afraid of - God or the Germans?”
In the home front, when he was in Belvedere College, 1920-1922, many a time when the crash of a bomb, thrown at British lorries passing down North Frederick Street, was heard, Fr. Browne was down to the scene at once to minister to any injured. People scattered in all directions, but he remained firm. In October 1920, because he considered it his duty, he made a personal appeal to the military authorities on behalf of Kevin Barry.
He feared no man and feared no man's views. He never gave in an inch on a matter of principle even to the point of being irascible. One can imagine the influence he excited on non-Catholics in the British Army, A high-ranking officer, later a Field Marshal and a Viscount, had the greatest veneration for Fr. Browne and always wore a medal of Our Lady that Fr. Frank gave him.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Francis (Frank) Browne 1880-1960
Fr Francis Browne was a colourful character, full of life and go. He was famous as a Chaplain in the First World War, being decorated many times for gallantry under fire. A soldier wrote of him “We were in Church somewhere in Belgium, and Fr Browne was in the pulpit. Shells began to fall all around. We began to look around and up at the roof which already had many holes in it. R Browne thundered out “What’s wrong? Why don't you listen to me? Which are you more afraid of, God or the Germans?”
Through the good offices of his uncle the Bishop of Cloyne, Fr Frank travelled in the Titanic, on her voyage from Belfast to Cork, where luckily he disembarked. Being an excellent photographer, he had taken snaps of the interior of that famous ship, which are the onl;y ones extant to this day.
As a chaplain he was equally popular with Catholic and Protestant, and counted among his friends the then Prince of Wales, later Edward VII and later again Duke of Windsor. A high ranking Officer, a Field-Marshall and later a Viscount had the greatest veneration for him, and always carried a medal of Our Lady round his neck, which he had received from Fr Frank.
His outstanding devotion was to the Holy Mass. The pair of boots in which he was ordained he kept apart to the end, and in no others did he ever celebrate Mass.
During his period as Superior of Gardiner Street he was responsible for many improvements in the Church, mainly the fine porch and new system of lighting.
The latter part of his life he spent as a most zealous and successful missioner
He died on July 7th 1960.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 2002

Farewell Companions : Dermot S Harte

Fr Francis Patrick Mary Browne SJ

If Fr J M O'Connor SJ had a rival for the “Mr. Belvedere” title, it might probably be Fr Frank Browne SJ - another distinguished Alumnus.

Frank was a good friend of mine. I cannot honestly remember where I first met him for he was the sort of person who seemed to have been around forever. He was so unique that everyone who met him felt that they had always known him. From his adventures aboard the “Titanic” and from his days in the hell of the trenches of World War I, when he was a Chaplain in the Irish Guards, he probably became Ireland's most prolific photographer. He was likely to turn up absolutely anytime, anywhere and very often in the strangest of places! I once encountered him on the footplate of a newly acquired locomotive (”The Maeve”) on the Dublin-Cork run covered from head to toe in coal-dust and sundry grime, having made the total journey in company with the driver and fireman and, no doubt, the inevitable camera!

The story of Frank Browne and the 'Titanic' is legendary. He travelled Southampton-Cherbourg-Queenstown (now Cobh) on the vessel during which time he and his camera did noble work! Not too surprisingly, he was prevailed upon to remain on board for the trip to New York. After all the unsinkable! Titanic was the newest and finest ship ever to sail the seven seas! Who wouldn't give their eye teeth for such a once-in-a-lifetime trip? He radioed his Provincial for permission and hoped for the best! The Provincial's return telegram contained five words: “Get off that ship! Provincial”. So an unhappy Frank remained on land whereas the “Titanic” never reached its destination but instead sank off Newfoundland taking with it some 1500 souls.

But there is another side to the saga of Fr Browne and the Titanic! My grandparents' home was in Sandymount directly across the road from the Star of the Sea Church. Early in the twentieth century the then PP prevailed upon my grandmother to accommodate the “Missioners” who arrived twice each year to conduct the Women's and the Men's Retreats. This was to be on a “one-off” basis but like so many “one-offs” the arrangement became permanent and scores of missioners were accommodated over the next 50 or so years. My grandparents died in the 1920's and early 30's and a number of my unmarried aunts and uncles remained. In particular, I refer to my Aunt Moya!

Eventually there arrived on the scene none other than Fr Frank Browne SJ. The main bathroom was immediately commandeered by Frank where all sorts of apparatus were set up by him to ensure that his photographic pursuits remained unhindered. 1 stayed in the old homestead in order to serve his Mass each morning.

One fine morning he and I set off for his Mass as two of my uncles were having breakfast in the nether regions to which they had been banished when a strange spreading “something” was observed oozing under the breakfast room door. The basement was flooding! Loud crashes were heard as ceilings fell down and chaos ensued! The dreaded Frank had put the plug in the bath on the third floor, connected the water to his Developing Tank - and taken off for the Church! So the unhindered water flowed down with fearsome results. How the priests were not banished for ever more - together with my Aunt Moya - must be the greatest miracle since Moses struck the rock! It did nothing to pacify my uncles and their wrath fell on the shoulders of my unfortunate aunt.

But it didn't all end there, for Moya composed a little ditty that started “Father Browne, he didn't go down”. After the retreats, and overcome by remorse for her disrespect to a man of God, she decided that she must be in a state of mortal sin and took herself off to confession. She told me that in confessing this dreadful sin she said to the priest, “Father, I had bad thoughts about a Missioner!” I'll bet that made her confessor sit up and take notice as he was a particularly close family friend! The poor man was convulsed with laughter when he discovered the nature of her “sin” and she was sadly disappointed at receiving a penance of only one “Glory Be”! But she immediately gave up smoking to atone for her temporary lapse from grace - as she saw it!

The last time I saw Fr Browne was on the platform at Limerick Junction station as he returned from one of his many adventures having immortalised on film whatever caught his attention at the time. Whenever I pass through this station, in my mind's eye his Great Spirit still stands there as it did a lifetime ago. I never forget to remember, and to offer a prayer of gratitude for his friendship. Fr Browne was called to his Heavenly Home on 7 July 1960 where no doubt he is still taking photographs, this time, I would imagine, in glorious Technicolour!

After his death over forty-two thousand of his negatives were discovered in Loyola House by Fr Eddie O'Donnell SJ. So the Great Frank who didn't go down, didn't go away either! With the aid of sponsorship from Allied Irish Bank all were restored and three of AlB/Ark Life calendars, including this year's, featured his photographs. I was amazed to see a photograph of myself in one of the earlier calendars taken, I believe, sometime during the '40's.

Seventeen volumes of his photographs have been published and exhibitions in the Guinness Hop-Store, throughout the country, and in the Pompidou Centre in Paris have featured his Dublin Photographs. His 'Titanic' photographs have been exhibited in places as far apart as Hiroshima, Seattle, Chicago, Lisbon, Bruges and Budapest.

I have a feeling that, somehow, he will still be around on the Last Day. What marvellous opportunities for really spectacular photography will then present themselves! I'll bet he is ready and waiting for the off - and is already champing at the bit!

◆ The Clongownian, 1918

Clongowes Chaplains

We should have liked to be able to give a series of letters from Army. Chaplains, Past Clongownians, and former members of the Clon gowes Community, describing their professional experiences. We made considerable efforts and received promises not a few. But in the end, all found that their life was too busy and too irregular to make formal composition of that kind possible, and they one and all shrank from the task. Very often, too, no doubt, there was the fear of the Censor in the background. But notwithstanding this we thought it would be of interest to many readers of the “Clongownian” if we pieced together from these letters the scattered fragments of news coll tained in them. And this is what we have done. We begin with Father Corr, who for several years most worthily filled the position of Editor to this Magazine, and to whom is due the magnificent Centenary Number, 1914

Father F M Browne SJ

Father Browne, who was a master here some years ago, but not a Past Clongownian is with the anc Battalion Irish Guards. He has certainly had considerable variety during his time at the front. He was within the salient of Bourloi Wood when it had its neck cut and barely managed to escape On this occasion he got the bar to the MC. Of this experienc he writes : never went
through any thing like it and I wish there had bee another Lady Butler to pair another Roll Call of th 2nd I G after Bourlon Wood It was one of the saddest sights have ever see Imagine a fair dark night, deep sunken road lined with tiny excavations, some of them covered with oil sheets, etc, and in the middle the wreck of our Battalion. I cannot tell you how many we were when we started nor how many when we ended, for it would be a crime against interfering DORA”. Of his bar to the MC he writes:-“The only thing by which I can account for it was my very narrow escape from walking into the German lines during or rather just before Bourlon”.

During his wanderings Father Browne has not been unmindful of the wanderings of St Brendan, the story of which he has told in his illustiated guide to Lough Corrib. He tells us that he came by accident on an early French poem on this subject, with a commentary, in a Flemish farmer's cottage. This, no doubt, will be an interesting and, we hope, valuable addition to his booklet on this subject.

One little tit-bit of information which he gives us shows how great a change the presence of Irish soldiers must make to a French parish from the religious point of view. “We had a great ceremony on Sunday last - 2,500 Irish, soldiers gathered for Mass in the Cathe dral of --- to honour the new Bishop who presided at the Mass. I said Mass, Father W Doyle preached. Several Generals and big people - all impressed with very great solemnity. We had a guard of honour for the Elevation and trumpeters to play the General's Salute from the organ gallery. Father Doyle preached a very eloquent sermon though he was strictly limited to 15 minutes”. What a sight for the poor French Catholics - the old ones amongst them, no doubt, were brought back in memory to the ages of Faith in the fair land of France!

Browne, Michael, 1853-1933, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/74
  • Person
  • 22 April 1853-20 November 1933

Born: 22 April 1853, Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 27 July 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 20 November 1933, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Note from Br Thomas Johnson Entry :
He was assisted in his last moments by his Spiritual Father, Michael Browne, and died 27 May 1900.
Note from James Dempsey Entry :
He finally retired to Tullabeg and he died there 03 October 1904. he was assisted there in his last moments by the saintly Michael Browne, Rector and Master of Novices.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 3rd Year No 1 1927

Jubilee : Fr Michael Browne
The official celebration in Fr Michael Browne's honour took place in Rathfarnham on the 29th September. After a good deal of College work, Rector of the Crescent, Clongowes and Tullabeg he was Master of Novices at three different periods and is now Spiritual Father to the fifty-seven Juniors at Rathfarnham and, whenever he gets a chance, spends, at least, seven days a week giving retreats,

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934
Obituary :
Father Michael Browne
Father S. Brown has kindly sent us the following appreciation :
On the morning of November the 28th died Father Michael Browne in his eighty first year.

He was born in Limerick in 1853 and was educated partly at Crescent College in that city and partly at Clongowes. On leaving the latter college he applied to enter the Society. Superiors thought him too delicate and rejected the application. He accordingly went to Carlow College to study for the priesthood. But the call was insistent. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes he tried again and this time was successful. He entered the Novitiate at Milltown
Park on the 7th of September 1877. The fifty-six years of his life in the Society were outwardly uneventful. He had relatively little contact with the outer world and shunned all
appearances in public. But within the Province he held nearly every office of trust and responsibility with the exception of that of Provincial. He was Master in the colleges (Tullabeg
1883-85, Clongowes '86 and Mungret 1891-94). During this last period he was Prefect of Studies. He was Spiritual Father in Clongowes ('96- '99) and later in Rathfarnham (1924-51). He was Rector of Tullabeg from 1920 to 1924, again 1918 to 1910. During these two periods of office he was Master of Novices. He was Rector of the Crescent (I905-7). Finally he was for eleven years Socius to the Provincial. That is surely a remarkable record.
But he will perhaps be remembered not so much for his eminent services to the Society as for his personality. For throughout his life he was known to be a man of deep and genuine holiness and there were many who did not hesitate to speak of him as a saint. Despite all his efforts to conceal it his austerity was well known. Especially in his Tullabeg days he was merciless to himself, Without being a very close observer one could know that he was all tied up with hair-shirts and chains. Indeed this was the origin of some of his characteristic gestures. Superiors had to exercise constant vigilance to see that he took sufficient food. He was more lenient in his later years, but even in his last year he sometimes made his meal of dry bread. He never smoked nor drank wine or spirits. He had schooled himself in the most rigid observance of “custody of the eyes.” He seldom, in fact looked at the person to whom he was speaking and he not infrequently made upon outsiders an impression of aloofness and indifference. There was indeed no little aloofness in his way of life. He made few friends and acquaintances. But his manner was by no means cold and repelling. He had a temper but it was under such stern control that few suspected its existence.
He was the most unworldly of men. He never read newspapers and took little or no interest in the little events of the day. He preached a lofty spirituality that soared high above the earth. One felt oneself among naked mountain peaks and breathed a somewhat rarefied atmosphere. Still humor, of a simple and homely kind, was by no means banished from
his Retreats and exhortations. He even courted a hearty laugh from his audience. He himself could laugh heartily in his deep bass voice and often when telling some amusing anecdote
the tears would run down his cheeks and his mirth would so choke his utterance that listeners sometimes failed to catch the climax or the point of the story. His memory held a great
store of such anecdotes centering very largely in Limerick, which always held a warm place in his heart.
He was always an intense student and a lover of books. He wrote, so far as I know, nothing for publication, but he accumulated copious notes, largely written in shorthand. Many
years ago he discarded large quantities of MS. material relating to his work as a master. He loved to pick up for a few pence in second hand bookshops books that appealed to him. His friends knew that books were the only gifts that would be acceptable. He belonged, one might say, to the Victorian epoch. In literature as in other things, modernity had no appeal for him. His taste was for history and biography and he seems never to have read fiction.
He went to God as straight as he knew how, without hesitations or compromises and regardless of the cost. He thought, as he lived, in straight lines, looking neither to right nor left. His character was strong and simple without subtlety and without crookedness of any kind. On subjects about which he cared at all his principles were fixed, his mind was made up. And as with principles of thought so with principles of conduct. Early in life he had laid down such principles for himself and to these he adhered undeviatingly to the end.
His spiritual life was hidden with Christ in God. One could only guess at its characteristics. It included certainly a great love for Our Lady and he never began an exhortation in the
chapel without reciting in full an Act of Consecration to her. Much of his time, especially towards the end, was spent in the chapel. All who really knew him were convinced of his great holiness.
As long as strength remained to him he worked unsparingly. I have known him to give as many as seven Retreats on end. During these Retreats he was the despair of the Sister who
waited on him at meals. In the last year of his life he was still giving domestic exhortations and lectures in various convents. He held the honorable post of confessor to the Archbishop of Dublin.
In his last illness, as long as his mind held good, he was his old self, concerned only about the trouble he was giving, and praying almost without interruption.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael Brown 1853-1933
Fr Michael was preeminently the Ascetic of the Province. His austerity was well known, in spite of all his efforts to conceal it. Especially in his Tullabeg days as Master of Novices, he was merciless on himself. He was a great believer in hairshirts and chains, and Superiors had to exercise vigilance to make sure he took sufficient food. Yet he was not a solitary, given over to lone contemplation. In his time, he held every administrative post in the Province, save that of Provincial, though he acted as Vice-Provincial on one occasion. He was untiring in giving retreats, even up to his last years, and was known to have given 7 retreats on end, without interval.

At the same time he was not a repelling character, rather he engendered great respect and affection. He had his sense of humour, and his deep laugh was familiar to all his listeners.

He went straight to God as he knew how, without compromised. His use of creatures was mainly by abstention. When he died on November 22nd 1933, after 56 years in the Society, one eminent fellow Jesuit remarked that Fr Michael Brown’s holiness was reminiscent of the old Irish monks, to which an equally eminent Jesuit replied “Nay more, his eminence was pre-Christian”.

◆ The Clongownian, 1934


Father Michael Browne SJ

Father Michael Browne, whose death took place at Rathfarnham Castle, on Monday, November 20th, 1933, in his eighty-first year, was one of the links that bound together Tullabeg and Clongowes. He was an Old Clongownian, had been a master and Prefect of Studies in both Colleges, was Spiritual Father and Rector of Clongowes and had been twice Rector of Tullabeg when it was no longer a secondary school. For over thirty years before his death, he had no direct connection with Clongowes. His name was hardly known to the later generations of boys here, but those who were at Clongowes in the late nineties realise that a great Clongownian has died.

Michael Browne was born in Limerick on April 22nd,. 1853. His early school years were spent in that city at the Sacred Heart College, then known as St Munchin's College. Having already a wish to become a Jesuit, he came to Clongowes in 1872, and, after two years here, he applied to enter the noviceship. Owing to his delicate state of health the application was refused It was a sore trial; but Michael Browne did not lightly abandon anything on which he had set his heart. He wanted to become a priest and succeeded in gaining admission to St Patrick's College, Carlow. His lungs were weak and his health did not improve, while the call to the Jesuit noviceship became more insistent. Heaven was stormed with prayers by himself and by his friends. It used to be told how his sister, who was a nun and who died at an early age, offered her life that Michael might be able to become a Jesuit. After a visit to Rome and to Lourdes, undertaken to obtain his desire, he asked again to be received into the Society of Jesus. This time he was accepted, and he entered the novitiate at Milltown Park, Dublin, on September 7th, 1877, three years after he had left Clongowes.

Before we write of the man, let us recall dates and occupations, for they are instructive. At the end of his noviceship. at Milltown Park, Michael Browne took his yows on September 8th, 1879. Then followed four further years at Milltown, one as a Junior, the remaining three studying philosophy. From 1883 to 1886 he was Prefect of Studies and Master of English and Mathematics at Tullabeg. He came to Clongowes in the Amalgamation Year, as Assistant Prefect of Studies and Mathematical Master of the Royal University students. From 1887 to 1891, he studied theology, for the first two years at Louvain and later at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1890. During his last year at Milltown as a priest he was a constant visitor to the Incurables Hospital, Donny brook, where the memory of his kindness and of his holiness was still fresh among the patients twenty years afterwards. In 1891, he was appointed Prefect of Studies at Mungret, a position which he held for four years, when he also taught the Royal University students at a time when they were bringing fame to Mungret. On leaving Mungret in 1895, he went to Chieri, Italy, for his tertianship. The next year found him Spiritual Father and a master at Clongowes. When Father Devitt left Clongowes in the summer of 1900, Father Michael Browne succeeded him as Rector, but it was only for a few months, as he was nominated Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg towards the end of November of the same year. During this period the late Father John Sullivan was a novice under Father Brownie's direction. They were kindred souls, and ever after novice and Novice Master had a lifelong veneration for one another. In the August of 1905, Father Browne was made Rector of the Sacred Heart College and Church at Limerick, This was, perhaps, the most active period of his very busy life, as, while Rector, he taught in the College, worked in the Church, and had charge of the three branches of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin the Children of Mary whom he addressed once a week, the Ignatian Sodality for young men and the boys' Sodality of Our Lady. In August, 1908, we find him again Master of Novices and Rector of Tullabeg. Three years later he was named Socius to the Provincial, a position which he held for eleven years, during which time also, he was an indefatigable worker in the Church at Gardiner Street, In 1922 he went to Tullabeg as Master of Novices for the third time, and in 1924 he was transferred to Rathfarnham where he was Spiritual Father and occupied in giving Retreats to within a few months of his death. It is a summary of over half-a-century which Father Browne spent slaving in the service of God.

Though holding most important positions within the Society of Jesus, where he earned universal respect and reverence, Father Michael Browne's life was to a great extent hidden from the outside world. But within and without the Society, the striking holiness of his life impressed everybody with whom he came in contact. One could not help noticing his complete other-worldliness. “God everywhere and in everything; a constant endeavour to be pleasing in His eyes, and to require nothing of Him except the means so to be” : such was the motive force behind the life of Father Michael Browne. Despite his efforts to escape notice he could not conceal his austerities. Hair shirts, chains and disciplines were part of his everyday life. His only rest during many years was a few hours on a plank bed. When Father Browne was a priest at Clongowes there was a tradition among the boys that their spiritual father slept on “boards and pebbles”, and the schoolboy phrase was not far removed from the truth. Indeed, Superiors, knowing that he worked very hard, had to be constantly vigilant to see that he took enough food. During Retreats, when urging his hearers to practise what they preached, he frequently mentioned the phrase said to have been used by a member of his congregation to a preacher who had taught stern self-denial : “When I heard you in the pulpit I despaired of salvation, but when I saw you at your meals I took courage again”. When one saw him take his food, the courage was all on Father Browne's side, for dry bread was the chief item of his unchanging menu, While this was his daily routine he astonished all by his capability for constant and trying work. He was known to have given as many as seven Retreats on end. More than once, when others engaged in the same work fell ill, he conducted two Retreats simultaneously.

Yet though he taught self-denial, he would not allow others to do anything rash in this respect : “Take your food”, he would say, “we must keep the engine going, if it is to do its work”. His war on self was relentless. It extended to everything in his life. Passing through Switzerland on his way to Italy, it was known that he did not raise his eyes to look upon the beautiful scenery, upon which he did not expect to have the opportunity of gazing again. It was not, indeed, that he did not like pleasing sights, for while at Mungret as a young priest he used to go to the upper storey of the College to admire the charming sunsets, and then would kneel down and recite the Te Deum. When at Lourdes he prayed that he might not witness a miracle, for he did not want to lessen the full merit of his faith. .

But this war on self was only one means which Father Browne employed to bring him nearer to God. In his eyes, prayer was much more important than exterior mortification. His constant union with God was remarkable. He spent a large portion of the day and many hours of the night in formal prayer. To the ordinary spiritual duties of a Jesuit he added many more to which he was ever faithful. He passed hours each day before the Blessed Sacrament, There, in meditation, he prepared the subject matter of his sermons and Retreat lectures, It was in the Chapel he recited the Divine Office, where in a quiet corner he usually knelt without resting on any support. He had a strong and tender devotion to our Blessed Lady, and from his early years he said the full fifteen decades of her Rosary daily. He once told a friend that the biggest thing in his early life had been his being made a Child of Mary. How really he took this was shown by his unbroken habit of reciting the short act of consecration used in the reception into the Sodality before every spiritual address which he gave. Never was anything allowed to interfere with his spirit of prayer and of recollection. Rarely, if ever, did he read newspapers or novels, unless when such reading was part of his work. This practice he recommended to others. To their questioning, about reading a book or a novel, nearly always came the same disconcertingly logical answer, by way of another question: “Does it help you to say your prayers?” Devotion to the Sacred Heart and to the Passion he held very dear. Among the saints he seemed to be especially devoted to St Teresa and St Francis de Sales, to St Aloysius and St John Berchmans. This last saint had a big place in his life. “What would St. John Berchmans do?” was a frequent question to guide those under his direction.

It was as a Spiritual Director that Father Michael Browne was chiefly known. For those who met him for the first time, and who had never come to him with a serious trouble, there was much in the strict custody of his eyes and a certain aloofness in his manner, which made them think that Father Browne was too cold and too much removed from them to be really helpful. Yet it certainly was not so. When he came in contact with a weak or troubled soul, Father Browne was kindness itself. He was fond of repeating the saying of St Francis de Sales : “You will catch more flies with a spoonful of honey than with a barrel of vinegar”. And again he would say: “I have not found any instance in the New Testament where Our Lord dealt harshly with the penitent sinner”. He dealt with those in trouble as did the Master. The poor around Gardiner Street knew that he was not cold, and felt that “Saint Browne”, as they used to call him among themselves, was their friend.

He would encourage those who had to struggle against temptation by telling them that he had a lifelong fight against a violent temper, and then he would urge the recital of Blessed Claude de la Colombière's Act of Confidence in God. Some of his sayings already mentioned show how Father Browne constantly employed the best method of the Spiritual Director, which consists in making the soul help itself. For him, Spiritual Exercises were always to be under stood in the Ignatian and literal meaning, a real striving after higher things. During Retreats and at other times, he expected a strong effort in response to his advice, yet he was ready to pardon failure which comes from weakness and not from lack of good will.

His marvellous memory held a seemingly inexhaustible store of anecdotes from history and biography, sacred and profane, of which he was a deep student. He was Victorian in his reading and conversation, and most of his stories were of people and of events of the last century. Archbishop Healy and Bishop O'Dwyer of Limerick, whose cousin he was, were the subjects of many a reminiscence. He had a great fund of anecdotes about Limerick, which ever had a warm place in his heart. His sense of humour, another help to holiness, often so overcame him when telling a story that the end was lost in the loud and hearty laugh so characteristic of him, while tears of mirth rolled down his cheeks. His wide reading served him well when preaching and giving Retreats. He prepared his matter most diligently, wrote out his sermons carefully, in which one saw the influence of Newman, with whose writings he was very familiar, but he never used a note nor a book in the pulpit or when giving a Retreat lecture. Yet he would recite a dozen verses of the Scriptures, or a large part of a chapter of the Imitation of Christ, or the full text of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius with faithful accuracy.

Father Michael Browne is dead. But he has left behind him among his fellow-Jesuits a lasting memory of great kindness, of severe asceticism, of very hard work, of a prayerful life and of remarkable holiness. To have known him is regarded as a privilege by those who were brought into familiar contact with him during life. To have been asked to pen these lines by the Editor of “The Clongownian” has been looked upon as a very great privilege by the present writer, who gladly pays this tribute to his old Master of Novices and to a loved and revered friend through many years.

May God give His richest rewards to Father Michael Browne who spent his life so generously in working for Him.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1934


Father Michael Browne SJ

It is our sad duty to have to record the 1 death of one, whose connection with Mungret goes back to the nineties of last century - Father Michael Browne. But, though it is many years since he was working amongst us, still the memory of him and of his saintliness has remained ever fresh and lasting among those who had the good fortune to live with him.

Father Michael was a Limerick man, born in that city in 1853, the son of the late County Court Judge, Daniel Browne. His early years were spent at the Crescent, Limerick, and then at Clongowes Wood College. On leaving the latter college, he applied to be admitted into the Society of Jesus, but, to his great disappointment, was rejected on the score of ill-health. Being determined to be a priest, he entered Carlow College. Here his vocation for the Society persisted. In response to its dictates, he applied again to be admitted into the Society, and, to his great joy, was accepted. He always attributed the success of this second application to the intercession of the Virgin Mother, and here we have the first evidence of that sweet devotion which was the predominating and all-pervading one of his life.

In 1877 he entered the Jesuit noviceship at Milltown Park. His ideals, like those of all novices, were very high, St Stanislaus was to be outdone, but, there was this difference with Father Michael, as his brethren can attest - he arrived where they. aspired and his striving after sublime perfection never lost the fervour of the noviceship days.

His noviceship finished, Father Browne continued on at Milltown Park, studying Philosophy for three years, and then departed for St Stanislaus' College, Tullamore, at that time one of the leading lay colleges in the country. Here he acted as Prefect of Studies in 1883. In the year of “the amalgamation with Clongowes”, 1886, he proceeded there, to act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. Theology absorbed his energies for the next four years, partly at Louvain, partly at Milltown Park, culminating in the long-awaited glory of the priesthood in 1891.

Mungret claimed him for the next three to four years, as Prefect of Studies. During these years, he had charge of the Sodality of Our Lady, an office that was especially dear to him on account of his tender devotion to the Virgin Mother. The following extract from the history of the Sodality is not without interest :

“Father D Gallery (the first Director) was succeeded by Father M Browne. By him the Sodality was directed for four years, and it owes to his assiduous care, the deep root it has taken in the College”. -(”Mungret Annual”, 1897).

From Mungret, he next set off for Chieri, Turin, there to go through his tertianship, the final moulding process of the Jesuit. He returned from Chieri to take up the Office of Spiritual Father to the boys and of Assistant in the People's Church. The kindness and saintliness displayed by him in these functions, won for him the “one post of distinction in the Society-Master of Novices”. This he held for ten years, at different intervals.

For three years he acted as Rector of the Crescent, Limerick, then was Novice-Master again, then Assistant to the Provincial. After eleven years in these duties, for the latter few of which he also exercised the ministry at Gardiner Street with great fruit and renown, he set out for Tullabeg once more, to fill the office of Novice-Master. After two years interval, he became Spiritual Father to the Scholastics in Rathfarnham Castle, which post he filled till his death. Though he had never been a man of robust health, owing to his natural delicacy and to his austerities, nevertheless he had successfully come through many a severe bout of sickness and had often been anointed. So his last illness was not looked upon with any great alarm at the beginning. But after a few days' illness, very little hope of his recovery was entertained, and he passed away, after a comparatively short illness, in his 81st year, on November 20th, 1933.

It would be an impertinence on our part to attempt to give an adequate estimation of Father Browne's lofty character within the narrow limits at our disposal. Suffice it to say, that, within the Order, he was held to be a man of great sanctity and of model observance, without, he was eagerly sought after, as a spiritual guide and Retreat giver by religious and clergy, and as a father confessor by the laity. May he rest in peace.

◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Michael Browne (1853-1933)

A native of Limerick city and a pupil of this college, entered the Society in 1877. Until the close of the last century, he was master, or prefect of studies or spiritual father to the boys in Tullabeg, Clongowes and Mungret. From 1900 onwards he was given one post of responsibility after another and gave distinguished service to the Society: Rector and Master of Novices at Tullabeg (1900-1905); Rector of Sacred Heart College, Limerick (1905-1908); Rector again at Tullabeg (1908-1911); secretary to the Provincial (1911-1922); Master of Novices (1922-1924). The remaining ten years of his life were spent as spiritual father to the community at Rathfarnham Castle.

For many years, Father Browne's duties brought him into little contact with the outside world. Apart from his rectorship at the Crescent, his work was within the Society. Yet, without realising it, Father Browne, in his lifetime, was known to many outside the Society as a man of singular holiness. It was he who formed the servant of God, Father John Sullivan in his noviceship days. Until death called both these priests away in the same year, 1933, the former novice-master and the former novice regarded one another with humble veneration. A biography of Father Michael Browne from the able pen of Father Thomas Hurley (master at the Crescent (1928-33 and 1940-52]) was published in 1949.

Cuffe, Charles F, 1878-1935, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1135
  • Person
  • 02 October 1878-09 December 1935

Born: 02 October 1878, Mountjoy Square, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1897, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 09 December 1935, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1904

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
He came from a well known County Wicklow family. Mass was said in their private Oratory at home for the family and those who lived nearby by priests from Milltown Park.

1899-1901 After First Vows he continued at St Stanislaus Tullabeg for a Juniorate
1901-1903 He was sent to Chieri Italy for Philosophy.
1904-1905 He was sent to Australia for Regency, and firstly to St Aloysius College Milsons Point
1905-1910 He was then sent to continue his Regency at St Ignatius College Riverview, where he was Third Prefect and orgainised junior Debating
1910-1914 He returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park and then made tertianship at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg (1913-1914)
1915-1920 He was sent teaching at Coláiste Iognáid Galway
1920-1921 He was sent teaching at Mungret College Limerick
1922-1931 He was sent back to Australia and firstly to St Ignatius Church Richmond, caring especially for the Church of St James
1931-1935 He was sent to the Norwood Parish and he was not in good health at this time.

He was a gentle and amiable man.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 11th Year No 2 1936

Obituary :
Father Charles Cuffe
Father Charles Cuffe was born 2nd October, 1878, at Mountjoy Square, Dublin. In 1889 he went to Mungret lay school, remained there a short time. and continued his education at Ushaw College, Durham. In 1895 he returned to Mungret. He began his noviceship at Tullabeg, 7th September, 1897.
He made two years juniorate at Tullabeg, three years philosophy at Chieri, and in 1904 we fid him in Australia, Praef. Mor. at St Aloysius College, Sydney. Next year he was transferred to Riverview, where he remained, Praef. Mor., etc., until 1910, when he began his theology at Milltown Park. Tertianship at Tullabeg followed. After Tertianship he went to Galway, where he taught, and worked Sodalities up to 1920, when he became Assistant Moderator of the Apostolic School at Mungret. The following year saw him once more in Australia amongst the “recently arrived”.
For about the next ten years he was stationed at St. James' Presbytery, Somerset Street, as Minister, and Director of a vast number of Parish works. At the end of that period his health began to fail, and, according to the Australian Catalogue of 1932, he was stationed at Norwood (Adelaide) with the ominous “Cur Val”, appended to his name. However, he did not give in. He remained at Norwood, getting through no small amount of work to the end. He died on Monday, 9th December, 1935. R.I.P.

◆ The Mungret Annual, 1936


Father Charles Cuffe SJ

To those who knew Fr, Cuffe in youth his death at the relatively early age of 57 may appear surprising, as nobody could have seemed more destined than he to reach a ripe and even venerable old age. But already in the year 1931 he had a heart seizure of a serious kind, from which he rallied, indeed, but never quite recovered. Hence for his friends the end was not unexpected.

It was not, however, on that account the less mournful for it was impossible to know him and not to grow attached to him. He had the qualities that conciliate affection the natural qualities of kindliness, helpfulness, generosity and seren ity of soul, the supernatural quality of solid virtue and piety.

Born in Dublin, Oct 2, 1878, he was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, 1888-89 and 1895-97. He entered the Novitiate, Tuliabeg in Sept. 1897 and took his first vows in 1899. In 1901 he went to Chieri in Italy to study Philosophy. In 1904 he made his first acquaintance with Australia where he taught and acted as Prefect (principally at Riverview) till 1909. In 1910 he commenced the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest in 1913. In 1915-16 he returned to Tullabeg for his Tertianship. From 1916 to 1920 he was on the staff of St Ignatius College, Galway. In 1921 he became Assistant Moderator in the Apostolic School, Mungret. The following year he took a last farewell of Ireland to find in Australia the final theatre of his activity and the place of his resurrection. He worked in St James' parish, Melbourne till the parish was relinquished to the diocesan clergy in 1931. He then went to Norwood. Shortly after arriving, he suffered that breakdown in health which the doctors thought must mean death within six months, but in point of fact took four years to complete its work.

Such is the dry-as-dust chronicle of events. It gives us little clue to the animating spirit of the life. Character and personality escape the chronicler of dates and occupations, yet it is just character and personality we would like to recapture and retain. The outstanding feature of his life as I remember it was a quiet cheerfulness which was proof against any trials; a steady dedication to the tasks of the day without any of that peevish fretfulness which dissipates energy and wears out the forces of soul and body; an extraordinary readiness to lend a helping hand to those about him. These characteristics seemed natural - an inheritance as it were or the result of early training. He was one of those rare beings who seem to have escaped the effects of the Primal Fall. No one could imagine him making an enemy or even losing a friend. He walked the quiet ways of life, doing good unobtrusively and winning affection unostentatiously. He was ideally suited to the parish work in which his last years of activity were spent.

The Melbourne Advocate in its obituary notice, Dec. 12, 1935, writes:

Fr, Cuffe needs no monument in stone to recall his fruitful labour for souls. He leaves an abiding memory in the hearts of all with whom he came in contact. For he was a most kindly and lovable priest, generous and deeply esteemed”.

I think it was Dr Johnson who said : “No man is on his oath in a lapidary inscription”. I suppose it is the same in obituary notices. But no one who ever knew Fr Cuffe will need an oath to accept this tribute. Every word of it rings sincere and true. It is the least, and not the most, that could be said of him. He was a good priest, a good religious, a good friend; and he will be remembered by all who had the privilege of his acquaintance till they too pass from the transitory to the eternal. May he rest in peace.

Darlington, Joseph, 1850-1939, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 9th Year No 1 1934

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

Irish Province News 14th Year No 4 1939


Father Joseph Darlington

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

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

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

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

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

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

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

Dennett, Francis, 1912-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1180
  • Person
  • 17 February 1912-15 September 1992

Born: 17 February 1912, Shipley, Yorkshire, England
Entered: 25 February 1928, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 26 July 1942, Heythrop, Oxford, England
Final vows: 02 February 1945
Died: 15 September 1992, St Joseph. Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Brother of Charles - RIP 1993

At age seven his family of two brothers and two sisters emigrated from England to Australia. His early education was at Footscray and Ascot Vale, and then at St Patrick’s College, Melbounre, where his father was a music teacher

He joined the Society in 1928 and after First Vows his studies took him to Ireland where he gained a BA at University College Dublin, then Philosophy at Chieri Italy and then England where he was Ordianed. General Ledochowski described Chieri as the most austere house in the Society, and Frank agreed but said it did not upset him as much as some other Australians.

1946-1953 He was sent to teach English, History, Economics and religion at St Ignatius College Riverview, and he was also in charge of debating and the Choir. His keen interest in History resulted in his publishing a textbook “Europe a History” which revealed his conviction that the Church had nothing to fear from a dispassionate examination of the facts of its history.
1954-1965 He taught English at St Patrick’s College Melbourne, and was also Prefect of Studies (1962-1965). He edited the “Patrician”, and his editorials were always full of wisdom, wit and grace.
1966-1967 He was sent teaching at St Ignatius Riverview
1968-1970 He was sent teaching St Ignatius College Athelstone, but his primary mission here was to look after his health.
1971-1973 He was sent to Canisius College Pymble, again paying attention to his health and caring for the grounds.
1974 He was appointed province Archivist and moved to the Provincial Residence in Melbourne

All during his long life he was a very faithful man and at peace with himself and the world round him doing the most humble of tasks. At the same time he was a scholar and well versed in Jesuit Spirituality, and this was demonstrated when he gave the Spiritual Exercises and in his writings, which were always clear, precise and informative. His memory for detail added richness to the narrative. For example, when writing on devotion to the Sacred Heart at a tie when it was becoming neglected he was able to capture it with a modern freshness of style and expression enkindling a greater devotion among younger Jesuits and understanding of this traditional Jesuit devotion. He also wrote “The Spiritual Exercises in Australia”, poems and historical articles. His eye for historical detail was meticulous and his knowledge and memory were prodigious.

He enjoyed the work as a Province Archivist, as it gave scope to his historical scholarship and precision. He was helpful to research scholars. His knowledge of the contents of the archives was also prodigious, as was his memory of the people and events of his own lifetime. With the assistance of Austin Ryan he compiled a short biography of every Jesuit who had lived and worked in Australia. His comments on each man were precise and accurate, frequently dispelling oral myths. His last major task was to catalogue the Archives so that others would be easily able to find material in the future.

It would be difficult to find anyone more regular in his life than Frank Dennett. He worked in the basement of the Provincial Residence seven days a week during three sessions, morning, afternoon and evening, broken only by an irregular outside visit to a bookshop,. He died at his desk.

He was a man with a strong sense of the frailty of the human condition and compassion for people. He bore his long illness with enormous courage and patience. He was a quiet retiring man, whose interests varied from the most serious intellectual subjects to sport. He was close to his family and corresponded fairly regularly with his siblings, especially his Jesuit brother Charles. His tasks as a Jesuit Teacher, Historian and Archivist, Cook and Administrator were accomplished with a great sense of obligation and responsibility, and each was performed as perfectly as possible. In his younger years the scholastics admired the way in which he sung the Easter ceremonies at Newman College Chapel, a task he performed most exactly and with obvious enjoyment. He had a fine singing voice.

He was a man who thought very little of himself and served the Society with great thoroughness.

Dwyer, Peter, 1879-1945, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/133
  • Person
  • 22 July 1879-21 July 1945

Born: 22 July 1879, Carrickmacross, County Monaghan
Entered: 07 September 1898, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 July 1913, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1916, St Mary’s, Miller Street, Sydney, Australia
Died: 21 July 1945, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1902 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1903 at Kasteel Gemert, Netherlands (TOLO) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1904
by 1927 at Prescot, Lancashire (ANG) working

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
His early education was at St Macartan’s College, Monaghan, Ireland, before he Entered the Society at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg 1898

1900-1903 After First Vows he was sent to Chieri Italy and Kasteel Gemert Netherlands for Philosophy
1903-1904 He was sent to Clongowes Wood College for Regency, teaching Latin and English
1904-1908 He was sent to Australia and St Ignatius College Riverview to continue his Regency.
1908-1910 He finished a long Regency at St Patrick’s College Melbourne
1910-1914 He returned to Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1914-1915 He made Tertianship at Tullabeg.
1916-1917 He returned to Australia and St Aloysius College Sydney teaching
1917-1919 He was sent to work at the Hawthorn Parish
1919-1922 He was sent to work at the Richmond Parish
1923-1928 He returned to Ireland and was appointed assistant Director of the Retreat House for working men which had just opened.
1928--1932 he was sent teaching to Mungret College Limerick
1932 he was sent to St Stanislaus College Tullabeg to minister in the People’s Church. He was virtually an invalid for the rest of his life.

He was well known as an amateur radio expert. He was a kindly, amiable man, but inclined to be hypersensitive which created some problems for himself and others. He found it therefore hard to settle in one place for very long. He was also a man of deep and simple piety.

He had been sick for about 10 years and his last six months were very painful. he demonstrated a great deal of patience during this illness.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 20th Year No 4 1945
Obituary :
Fr. Peter Dwyer (1879-1898-1945)
Fr. Dwyer died on the evening of Saturday, July 21st, on the eve of his 66th birthday. To any one who had kept in touch with him his death could not have been unexpected. In the early part of this year the doctor who attended him said that he had not much more than six months to live. About ten years ago he had undergone a very critical operation and had been suffering more or less constantly since. Within the last few years he had had to go into hospital several times.
In May his sufferings became more intense and more constant. He bore them with patience and resignation and gave much edification to all who had to do with him. He dreaded a long drawn out agony and had prayers said that God would take him soon. The prayers were answered. In the early part of July he began to grow visibly weaker, and those who saw him at intervals of a few days noticed the change.
On Saturday, July 21st, he was evidently near death, and the doctor said he would not live through the night. At eight o'clock the Rector of Rathfarnham Castle anointed him and gave him Viaticum and said the prayers for the dying, and a few minutes later he died without any struggle, having been conscious almost to the last. His body was brought to St. Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, on Monday evening, and on the next morning Office and solemn Requiem Mass were celebrated for him. The Rector of Rathfarnham Castle was Celebrant of the Mass, and Fr. Provincial said the prayers at the graveside. As the Theologians were on retreat, we could not call on them to do the chanting, but a composite choir, under the direction of Fr. Kevin Smyth, sang very impressively.
Fr. Dwyer was born at Carrickmacross on July 22nd, 1879, and after receiving his secondary education at St. Macartan's College, Monaghan, he entered the Society on September 7th, 1898. He studied philosophy at Chieri and at Gemert, and was then sent to Australia where he taught in our colleges at Sydney and Melbourne. He was ordained at Milltown Park in 1913, and in 1917 returned to Australia, where he did parish work at Richmond and Hawthorn. In 1922, he returned to Ireland and was appointed assistant director of the Retreat House for workingmen which had just been opened. In 1928 he went to Mungret and in 1932 was sent to Tullabeg as operarius in the People's Church. About four years later he under went the operation already referred to, and remained more or less an invalid henceforth,
Fr. Dwyer was a very amiable character who made friends wherever he went. He was a man of deep and simple piety. The last years of his life were filled with suffering, which he bore with resignation and hope and fortitude. May he rest in peace.

Fitzgerald, Maurice, 1907-1996, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/660
  • Person
  • 28 March 1907-16 October 1996

Born: 28 March 1907, County Waterford
Entered: 31 August 1923, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1938, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 16 October 1996, Marycrest, Kangaroo Point, Brisbane - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Manresa, Toowong, Brisbane, Australia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1929 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ 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 the Christian Brothers Waterford before Entry at St Stanislaus College Tullabeg.

1925-1928 He studied at University College Dublin gaining a BA in Latin, Greek and English.
1928-1931 He was sent to Chieri, Italy for Philosophy
1931-1935 He was sent to St Ignatius College Riverview for Regency
1935-1939 He was back in Ireland and Milltown Park for Theology
1939-1940 He made tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle Dublin
1940 He was sent to work at Gardiner St Parish in Dublin
He then returned to Australia at the Toowong Parish
1950-1961 He was then sent back to Riverview as Minister. He was remembered for his kindness, patience and equanimity, as well as for his efficiency and his Irish stories. The boarders well remember his supervision of the refectory and ringing the bell.
1962-1972 He was sent back to Toowong as Parish Priest at St Ignatius, Toowong
1972-1975 He was sent to Lavender Bay parish in Sydney
1975 He came back and spent the rest of his life in Brisbane. He was chaplain at the hospital and nursing home at Nundah. He eventually settled into the Marycrest Retirement Centre at Kangaroo Point.

He was respected by many for his pastoral work, his preaching, administration of the sacraments, his wise counsel especially to many religious sisters throughout Brisbane. he was also a practical administrator, erecting a purpose built school at Toowong to replace the hall below the Church.
He was also responsible for erecting a second Church in the Toowong Parish - Holy Spirit Church, Auchenflower, a modern construction intended for the post Vatican II liturgy. He is remembered there for his dedication and friendliness, his willingness to help anyone in trouble and for his interest in the youth.
He found the new theology after Vatican II quite hard to accommodate, especially in preaching, and he was grateful to the Archbishop of Brisbane, Dr Rush, for asking him to become chaplain to the Sisters of St Joseph at Nundah. The sisters there were very good to him, and he gradually regained some confidence in his ability to be a pastor and preach again. He loved the pastoral care of the sick and the rose garden there.

He died a happy and contented priest. he enjoyed the Jesuit weekly gatherings at Toowong in his latter years.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 92 : August 1996


Fr Maurice Fitzgerald (1922-1997)

1907: Born in Waterford
1923: Entered the Society at
1925 - 1928: Tullabeg Juniorate (National University of Ireland)
1928 - 1931: Philosophy at Chieri, Italy
1931 - 1935: Regency at Riverview
1935 - 1939: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1938: Ordained a Priest
1939 - 1940: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1941: Parish work at Gardiner Street
1942 - 1949: Parish work at Toowong, Brisbane
1950 - 61: Minister at Riverview
1962 - 1971: Parish work at Toowong. Superior/Parish Priest
1972 - 1975: Parish work at Lavender Bay, Sydney
1976 - 1993: Chaplain at hospital and nursing home, Nundah, Brisbane
1994 - 1996: Chaplain at Marycrest Retirement Centre

Fr. Maurice Fitzgerald was born in Ireland in 1907 and entered the Society there in 1923. Like a number of others from the Irish Province, he was transferred in 1931 to what was then the Australian Vice-Province, where, apart from Theology and Tertianship, he spent the rest of his life. Apart from over ten years in St. Ignatius' College, Riverview, his ministry was in parish or chaplaincy work, chiefly in Brisbane. For over 17 years he was on the staff of the Toowong parish, chiefly as parish priest, where he endeared himself to the people by his dedication, friendliness and willingness to help anyone in trouble. He was responsible for the building of a new Church in the parish. Due to ill health he had to retire from the strenuous activity of parish work and the last twenty years of his life were spent as Chaplain to a hospital and nursing home, conducted by Sisters. Here, too, he was much beloved. He delighted to keep in touch with his Jesuit brethren. At the time of his death, he was 89 years of age and had been a member of the Society for 73 years. The Australian Province owes a great debt of gratitude to Irishmen like him who left home and country to minister in a distant land.

Australian Provincial's Office

Harris, Richard, 1903-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/666
  • Person
  • 14 December 1903-24 February 1998

Born: 14 December 1903, Ardmore, County Waterford
Entered: 30 December 1922, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1935, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1940, Holy Spirit Seminary, Aberdeen, Hong Kong
Died: 24 February 1998, Canisius College, Pymble, Sydney, Australia - Sinensis Province (CHN)

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

Mission Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong: 03 October 1950-1957

Early education Mungret College SJ

by 1928 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1930 third wave Hong Kong Missioners - Regency
by 1937 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1938 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - working
Hong Kong Mission Superior 03/10/1950

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Father Richard Harris, S.J.

Father Richard Harris, SJ, died in Sydney, Australia on Tuesday 24 February 1998. He was 94 years old and a Jesuit priest for 62 years.

Father Harris was born on 14 December 1903 and entered the Society of Jesus on 30 December 1922. He first came to Hong Kong in 1937.

His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen where he remained from 1937 until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947 to 1951 he was rector of the seminary as well as professor of sacred scripture.

In 1950, Father Harris was appointed superior of the Society of Jesus in Hong Kong. He remained superior until 1957 after which he moved to Ricci Hall where he was warden until 1962. In 1962, Father Harris was assigned to the Church of the Assumption in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

In 1964 he was transferred to Australia where he worked in various places and in various capacities until shortly before his 93 birthday.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 8 March 1998

Note from George Byrne Entry
Requiem Mass for the repose of his soul was celebrated in Ricci Hall chapel by the warden Father R. Harris, S.J., on Monday, 8 January.

Note from Thomas F Ryan Entry
A man of striking initiative, he showed himself ready as superior to welcome initiative in others. “It has never been done before” always made him eager to reply “Let us do it now”. The plan for new buildings for Wah Yan Colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon came from him, though the execution of the plan fell to his successor, Father R. Harris.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He arrived in Hong Kong in 1937. His first assignment was to the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen, where he remained until the final months of the Pacific War. From 1947-1951 he was Rector of the Seminary and Professor of Scripture.
In 1950 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong and when he finished in 1957 he moved to Ricci Hall where he was Warden until1962.
In 1962 he was appointed to the Church of the Assumption, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
In 1964 he transferred to Australia.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Richard Harris was educated at Mungret College, Limerick, as a boarder, his family working a store in the small seaside village of Ardmore, Co Waterford. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 30 December 1922, being drawn to the Jesuits because of their missionary work in the Far East After the noviciate he studied at the National University, Dublin, gaining BA in Mathematics Latin and English.
Philosophy followed at St Antonio, Chieri, Italy, 1927-28, a place that tested his vocation because it was difficult to enter into the life of the community He, and others, found the place cold and austere, regimented and hard. He was challenged to develop and inner strength and a strong life of prayer at this time.
From Italy, Harris went to Hong Kong and Canton for regency, 1929-32. He spent the first year studying Cantonese in the Portuguese Mission at Shuihing, and it was another lonely time as he could communicate with so few people, and only ate rice. In Canton he also taught English in the Catholic secondary school. At this time two of his fellow Jesuit priests died of cholera.
In 1932 he returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology, and was ordained in 1935. Tertianship followed immediately after theology at St Beuno's, Wales, 1936-37. The following
year he returned to Hong Kong as professor of moral theology at the regional seminary, Aberdeen, teaching there until 1947. He was also rector of the same place, 1947-51.
In 1941 Hong Kong experienced many bomb raids with the advent of the war, and Harris heard confessions in the Grosvenor Hotel where he had many clients. During these days he
acted as chaplain and staff assistant, tending the injured and dying at the Queen Mary Hospital at Pokfulan just prior to the surrender of Hong Kong to the Japanese Imperial Army.
During the Japanese occupation Harris was a great source of strength to his fellow Jesuits. The community survived because of a bargain struck with some influential and rich Chinese who loaned bars of gold to buy rice and vegetables. The condition of the bargain was that the Jesuits had to repay two gold bars for every one at the end of the war.
During these years Harris nearly died from fever. As medicines were scarce, the doctor prescribed a dose of opium. Harris said that he enjoyed that experience. He was even given a
second dose!
Shortly after the Japanese surrender, Admiral Harcourt arrived in Hong Kong aboard the British flagship with an Irish Jesuit chaplain who sought out Harris and his companions. News of their safety was telegraphed to Ireland. After. six months rest and recuperation in Ireland, Harris returned to Hong Kong as rector of the seminary where he trained 60 seminarians who later worked as priests in South China.
He was appointed superior of the Hong Kong Mission, 1950-57, and became highly respected amongst the academic and medical community of Hong Kong, including the governor of the day, Sir William Gratharn, who granted the Jesuits two generous amounts of land on which to build two secondary colleges. They are the present day Wah Yan colleges in Hong Kong and Kowloon. In 1957 he was appointed superior of Ricci Hall, the Catholic residential hall of Hong Kong University. Five years later he was sent as parish priest of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, until 1964. He was there for only two years until the Malaysian government, which was Muslim and anti-Christian, demanded that the parish he closed.
Rather than return to Hong Kong, Harris chose to go to Australia as he wished to perform parish work and believed that opportunities existed there. In September 1965 Harris arrived in Sydney, and was greeted by Fr Paul Coleman. After a short time at St Mary's, North Sydney, he was sent to the parish of St Ignatius', Richmond, where he spent a pleasant and happy six years. He was also minister, and hospital chaplain.
He returned to St Mary's in 1971 performing similar duties until 1987. He became a very popular priest with all kinds of people and was a committed visitor to patients of the Mater Hospital, both public and private. He was in demand for his sound and experienced advice. He enjoyed keeping informed about world events and sporting results. He had three significant joys his worn Irish worn rosary beads, a small battered transistor radio, and a sip of Irish Bailey's. Harris said that he never had any regrets in his life, and thanked God daily for being a priest, and for being able to work with good health for so long.
For two years he became chaplain at the Retirement Hostel, McAuley Gardens, Crows Nest, and then moved in 1990 to Justinian House, Crows Nest, where his daily Mass was much
appreciated by residents and local followers. For the last year of his life he lived at Canisius College, Pymble, praying for the Church and Society He died suddenly after a severe stroke. and he was buried from St Mary's Church, North Sydney, his eulogy being given by his long time friend and supporter, Fr Paul Coleman.
He was a man of warm humanity kindly acceptance and intuitive insight into the needs of the human heart. He was a totally human person tinged with the stubbornness of the Irish, but had a sparkling wit. He encouraged and sustained all those who came to know and love him. He became an anchor and a symbol of constancy for those privileged to cross his path.

◆ 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

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948

On 22nd October were announced the appointments of Frs. Albert Cooney and Harris as Rectors of Wah Yan College and the Regional Seminary, Hong Kong respectively. The former who is still in Ireland will be returning soon to the Mission via the United States.

Kelly, Joseph S, 1902-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1514
  • Person
  • 05 February 1902-19 April 1979

Born: 05 February 1902, Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 01 February 1922, Loyola, Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained: 31 July 1936, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 15 August 1939
Died: 19 April 1979, Campion College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1928 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1930 in Australia - Regency

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Stan Kelly was educated at Xavier College and was a gifted student who showed signs of dogged determination in the face of opposition. He entered the noviceship at Greenwich, 1 February 1922. His Jesuit studies were undertaken overseas, first in Dublin, where he earned a classics degree. Then he was sent to Chieri, Italy, for philosophy. The fluency of his Italian during these years never left him, and helped him in later years with the Italian migrants in Melbourne.
His regency was spent at St Aloysius' College, Milsons Point, and he was in residence when the Harbour Bridge was opened, 19 March 1932. From Sydney he returned to Milltown Park, Dublin, for theology and was ordained, 31 July 1936. Kelly indicated that he did not enjoy his time in Dublin.
Upon his return to Australia he had a wide range of priestly ministry He lectured at the regional seminary at Werribee on two different occasions, 1938-42 and 1952-59. He lectured in dogma at the Jesuit theologate, Canisius College, 1945, and the following year was a chaplain to the Italians in Melbourne. He spent two years at St Leo's University College, Brisbane, 1963-65, school mastered at Riverview, 1943-44, and at St Aloysius' College, 1960-62, taught religion, Latin, English and social studies, and did parochial work in North Sydney and Richmond.
It was believed that Kelly enjoyed best his years teaching the Jesuit scholastics theology at Canisius College. During his seminary years he taught Latin, Greek, English, Italian, Mathematics, Church History, Psychology Ethics, and Dogmatic Theology.
He was a most meticulous person, well ordered and disciplined in his lecturing and preaching. He enjoyed a passionate love for John Chrysostom and translated his sermons. He was disappointed when he was unable to find a publisher.
With all his learning and his very precise mind, there was also a very simple piety, a deep devotion to So Joseph and a genuine readiness to help anyone in need. One virtue that he showed was his great obedience, especially to the Holy Father.
He had a great love for people and he loved visiting them, especially when he was involved in parochial ministry. He was also kind to the scholastics at Riverview - he would offer them cigarettes after recreation in his usual staccato-like voice “filtered or non-filtered”, packing cotton-wool or not at the end of the cigarette in the cigarette-making machine. Stories of encounters with Kelly usually produced much mirth. His “way of proceeding” was not always the most expected or usual.

Note from Walter Logue Entry
When teaching ethics to Jesuit scholastics, first at Watsonia, 1937-38, and then at Canisius College, Pymble, 1939-40, he was famed for his views on hunger striking. Stan Kelly sparked off the issue with an article in the December 1939 issue of The Canisian, in which he contended that hunger striking as an abstinence from necessary food, was intrinsically wrong. Logue contended that it had not been proved that abstinence from necessary food was intrinsically wrong. Kelly replied, but Logue was still unconvinced by the arguments proposed. It was suggested that this dispute contributed to Logue having a breakdown, disappearing one day and coming to himself confused, at Gosford.

Lawlor, Gerald P, 1907-1994, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/696
  • Person
  • 15 March 1907-17 January 1994

Born: 15 March 1907, Dun Laoghaire, County Dublin
Entered: 05 January 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1979
Died: 17 January 1994, St Xavier’s College, Bihar, India - Ranchi Province (RAN)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931; ASL to RAN : 12 March 1956

by 1930 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Gerald Lawlor was the fifth and youngest son of seven children. His father, James, had lived in London as a young man and had trained as a stenographer. His mother, Frances Teasdale, was born of a Protestant family, but later became a Catholic. His early education was entrusted to the Presentation Brothers in Dublin, and through the instrumentality of a Loreto Sister he came to experience Jesuit mission-preacher. Lawlor decided to become a Jesuit. He entered the Society at Tullabeg, 5 January 1925. His juniorate studies were at Rathfarnham Dublin, when he studied for a BA at the National University of lreland, graduating with honors. He studied philosophy at Chieri, Italy and at Tullabeg. During these years, Lawlor had a growing desire to become a missionary. He was at first interested in China, then Russia, and finally Australia. He was sent to Australia for regency for four years at St Aloysius' College, Sydney. He was a memorable teacher and well liked by the boys. In the autumn of 1936 Lawlor went to England for his theology studies at Heythrop College. He was ordained, 31 July 1939, just weeks before the outbreak of World War II, and returned a year later to Australia. The story of his trip on the boat, which rammed an enemy submarine, was recalled with exciting detail. After his return, he worked in the parish of North Sydney, taught philosophy at Loyola College Watsonia, and taught secondary students at St Louis School, Perth. He was then appointed socius to the vice-provincial, Austin Kelly, in 1947. In mid-January 1952 Lawlor was assigned to the new mission in India, where he was head of the department of English at St Xavier's College, Ranchi. Except for short periods, he was to remain at the college for the rest of his life. Lawlor was experienced as a man of genuine culture and innate courtesy, as well as a distracted, wistful person. He was a remarkable teacher, dramatising what was dull and making it come alive, by illustrating whatever seemed too abstruse or complex. He was also interested in and successful in directing a variety of plays with his own personal flair. He even wrote his own dramas that were well received. Another important ministry of Lawlor's was pastoral care for the English-speaking Catholics of Ranchi. He was experienced as a caring, assiduous pastor, compassionate to all. He was always available to people, his door always open, and his alms giving was most generous, even to the apparently undeserving poor. He was called the “Messiah of the Shunned”, a title given to him for his work with the Missionaries of Charity and for the rehabilitation of leprosy sufferers. He rejoiced in Vatican II, claiming that it gave him a real sense of freedom, but the movement of the Spirit never gave him fluency in Hindi. He was a true charismatic whose usual mode in every relationship was the theatrical-dramatic. Added to that was his personal aura, the air of mystery that seemed to surround him no matter where he went or what he did. The end result was that he always made an impact on people and situations. It was never easy to challenge his ideas and never easy for him to accept those of others. He was a man once encountered, never forgotten.

Note from John Phillips Entry
Regency was at Riverview, where, with Gerald Lawlor, he produced a notebook called “Notes on European History”, designed to remedy deficiencies in the presentation of Catholic aspects of history.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Extracts from a letter from Fr. P. J. Stephenson, Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne :
“... We had brilliant results last year. Xavier boys won 28 1st Class Honours and 68 2nd Class Honours in the December Examinations, 1947. Besides that, they won Exhibitions in Greek, French and Physics ; and four General Exhibitions and 2 Free Places in the University. That was a fine record for a class of about 40 boys. Five Xavierians joined the Noviceship this year : four were boys just left school. An Old Xavierian took his LL.B. Degree and became a Dominican.
Fr. Mansfield has been kept going since his arrival. He will be a great addition to our staff as he can take over the Business Class and the Economic Class. Fr. Lawler came over from W.A. about three weeks ago and has taken up the duties of Socius to Fr. Provincial. Fr. Boylan and his assistant Editor of the Messenger leave for Ireland and Rome soon”.

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 2 1977

Calcutta Province

Extract from a letter from a Jesuit of Calcutta Province, Darjeeling Region (Fr. Edward Hayden, St. Joseph's College, North Point, Darjeeling, Western Bengal)

I was one of the old “Intermediate” boys of the Christian Brothers, Carlow. I left off in 1910, 67 years ago, at the end of June. Yes, we learnt the Gaeilge. The Brothers - or some I met, one in particular, a Brother Doyle, was very keen on it. The others didn't teach it as it was only in the “Academy” that they began with languages: French, Gaeilge, Algebra, Euclid and of course English. (5th Book - Senior Elementary Class - was followed by the “Academy”). The Brothers had dropped Latin just before I joined the “Academy”. We were living at a distance of 5 Irish miles from Carlow, and I was delicate, so I often fell a victim of 'flu, which didn't help me to make progress in studies - made it very hard: but at that time the rule was “do or die”. There was only one excuse for not having home work done – you were dead! That was the training we had: it stood me in good stead through life; it is the one thing I am grateful for.
We had a number of Irishmen here, a handful: Fr Jos Shiel, Mayo, died in Patna. Fr James Comerford, Queen's County, died in Bihar. I met the Donnelly brothers, they were Dubliners. The one who died (Don) was Editor of the Sacred Heart Messenger. Many of his stories were about horse-racing - he must have read plenty of Nat Gould when he was a boy! (Nat wrote a number of horse-racing stories supposed to have been in Australia). There are three Irishmen in Ranchi: Frs Donnelly, Phelan and Lawlor. Fr Phelan has spent nearly his whole life in India. As a boy he was in North Point, and after his Senior Cambridge he joined the Society. At that time there was only the Missio Maior Bengalensis of the Belgian Province. The Mission took in half or more of north-east India - Patna, Ranchi and south of it, Assam, Bhutan and Sikkim - an area four or five times that of Ireland! Needless to say, there were parts of it which had no SJ within a hundred miles ...Down here in the Terai where I am “hibernating” out of the cold of Darjeeling, some forty-five years ago there was no priest. One or two of the professors of theology from Kurseong, some 40 miles away, used to visit this district at Christmas and Easter. It was very malarious. Catholics from Ranchi came here to work on the tea plantations. Then a Jesuit was sent to reside in it. Now the district has schools and Jesuits galore, also non-Jesuits. Great progress has been made. The Salesians took up Assam, the American SJs took over Patna. The Northern Belgians took over Ranchi and the Southern Belgians took Calcutta. (The Belgian Province grew till its numbers reached 1400. Then, about 1935, Belgian separated into Flemings - North - and Walloons - South). Ranchi was given to the North and Calcutta to the South. On the 15th August last year (1976) Calcutta was raised from being a Vice Province to be a full-blown Province. 100% of those joining the SJ now are sons of India. Madura in the south has been a Province for years. Nearly all the Europeans are dead: no more are allowed to come permanently unless for a very, very special reason, India has begun to send her sons to East Africa in recent years.
Fr Lawlor is Irish-born but somehow joined the Australian Province about the time it started a half-century or so ago.
Brother Carl Kruil is at present in charge of an ashram: a place for destitutes, in Siliguri. Silguri is a city which grew up in the last forty years around the terminus of the broad gauge railway and the narrow (two-foot) toy railway joining the plains with Darjeeling - one of the most wonderful lines in the world, rising from 300 feet above sea-level, 7,200 feet in about 50 miles and then dropping down to about 5,500 feet in another ten. Three times it loops the loop and three times climbs up by zig-zags. I seem to remember having met Fr Conor Naughton during the war. Quite a number of wartime chaplains came to Darjeeling. The mention of Siliguri set me off rambling. Br Krull remembers his visit to Limerick. (He stayed at the Crescent, 11th 13th June, 1969). He is a born mechanic. Anything in the line of machinery captivates him. He has to repair all the motors and oil engines – some places like this have small diesel generators which have to be seen to from time to time and all other kinds of machinery: cameras, typewriters etc. At present he comes here to do spot welding (electric welding of iron instead of bolts and nuts.
The PP, here is replacing an old simple shed with a corrugated iron roof by a very fine one with brick walls and asbestos-cement roof. Two years ago or so, the roof was lifted by a sudden whirlwind clean off the wooden pillars on which it rested. Since then he has been saying the Sunday Masses on the veranda of a primary school. In this school 235 children receive daily lessons and a small mid-day meal. The Sisters are those of St. Joseph of Cluny – all from South India. They are really heroines: no work is too difficult for them. They do all their own work and cook for us. Their Vice-Provincial is from somewhere in the centre of the “Emerald Gem”. They are growing in numbers and do great work, running a dispensary amongst other things. The church is very broad, approximately 90 by 60 feet. As no benches are used - people sit on the floor - it will hold nearly 450 people at a time. The altar is in one corner. :
Fr Robert Phelan (Ranchi Province) had a visit one night from dacoits (armed robbers), but with help managed to beat them off.
Ranchi had several of these raids last year. In nearly every case the dacoits managed to get some cash.
One night about two weeks ago a rogue elephant (one that is wild and roaming away from the herd) came to a small group of houses close by. A man heard the noise and came out. The elephant caught him by the leg and threw him on to a corn stack - fortunately. The corn stack of rice waiting to be thrashed was quite broad and flat on top! He was very little the worse for the experience. And that is the end of the news.
One more item: please ask the new Editor of the Irish Province News to let me have copies as (?) and send them by overland (surface mail). Even if they are three months coming, they will be news. God bless you and reward you handsomely.
Yours in our Lord,
Edward Hayden, SJ (born 15th October 1893, entered S.J. Ist February 1925, ordained 21st November 1933, took final vows on 2nd February 1936. Now conf. dom. et alumn. and script. hist. dom. at the above address).

McDonnell, Joseph, 1858-1928, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/572
  • Person
  • 28 March 1858-28 December 1928

Born: 28 March 1858, Rathmines, Dublin
Entered: 15 February 1877, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: 1891
Final Vows: 02 February 1897, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner St, Dublin
Died: 28 December 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Cousin of Robert I - RIP 1929 T Patrick - RIP 1918 and William Kane - RIP 1945

by 1896 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) making Tertianship

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :

Early education was at Clongowes.

After his Noviceship Joseph remained at Milltown for a further five years doing Juniorate and Philosophy, and then spent five years Regency at Clongowes Prefecting and Teaching.
He began his Theology at Mold, Wales (FRA), but the new Theologate opened at Milltown in 1889, so he moved there.
After Ordination he was sent to Mungret as Assistant Moderator of the Apostolic School, and the following year Moderator and Minister.
He was then sent to Chieri, Italy for Tertianship.
1898 On return to Ireland, he was sent to Belvedere for two years as Assistant Director to James Cullen at the Messenger.
1900 He was sent to Tullabeg as Minister of Juniors for two years, and then back to Mungret as Moderator of the Apostolics for four years. All during these years he continued to act as Assistant Director of the Messenger, and by 1900 he had begun to edit “Madonna”.
1906 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius for a year, then another year in Clongowes as Spiritual Father.
1908 He was sent to Belvedere, and he remained there until his death 28 December 1928. During his time at Belvedere he continued to edit the Messenger and Madonna publications, and continued as Assistant Director until 1914 when he was appointed Director. He was also Spiritual Father at Belvedere 1913-1921. The end came quickly and found him perfectly resigned.

As well as his formal work, he also wrote a number of spiritual books which were well received in Ireland and other parts of the world. However, it was his work as Editor of the Messenger that he had his biggest impact. He possessed all the qualities which suited him for this work, especially his own devotion to the Sacred Heart. Under his care the Messenger became the most popular publication in Ireland, and amongst the Irish abroad. He had a reals sense of the taste and needs of his readers, and so made the Messenger very attractive to a wide circle of readers. He also believed that the real soil for evangelisation was among the ordinary people, and so he catered chiefly for them. He tried to ensure that in the contents there was something that might appeal to the interests of each reader, and often someone who read only the article on natural history as their interest, ended up reading the whole issue. So there were readers across a wide spectrum of society. It was told that an English protestant bought several dozens of copies for hiw workers due to articles on farming! His own writings showed a keen literary taste. he was also an excellent community man, and he thoroughly enjoyed friendly banter on maters arising out of his work. He was considerate in his dealings with others, and despite his increasing blindness he was also very patient.

Father General, in his letter (p825) “de Cotedianis Pietatis Exercitis” of July 2nd 1934 refers thus to Father MacDonnell : “Anno 1925 in parvo nostro conventu Redactorum Nuntiorum SS Cordis Jesu et Apostolicus Orationis, P Josephus MacDonnell, Redactor Nuntii Hibernici ......”

Note from Edward Kelly Entry :
He was ill for a very short time, and died peacefully and happily at Gardiner St 07 February 1905. The Minister Father Bannon and Father Joe McDonnell were present at his death.

◆ Fr Joseph McDonnell SJ Past and Present Notes :
16th February 1811 At the advance ages of 73, Father Betagh, PP of the St Michael Rosemary Lane Parish Dublin, Vicar General of the Dublin Archdiocese died. His death was looked upon as almost a national calamity. Shops and businesses were closed on the day of his funeral. His name and qualities were on the lips of everyone. He was an ex-Jesuit, the link between the Old and New Society in Ireland.

Among his many works was the foundation of two schools for boys : one a Classical school in Sall’s Court, the other a Night School in Skinner’s Row. One pupil received particular care - Peter Kenney - as he believed there might be great things to come from him in the future. “I have not long to be with you, but never fear, I’m rearing up a cock that will crow louder and sweeter for yopu than I ever did” he told his parishioners. Peter Kenney was to be “founder” of the restored Society in Ireland.

There were seventeen Jesuits in Ireland at the Suppression : John Ward, Clement Kelly, Edward Keating, John St Leger, Nicholas Barron, John Austin, Peter Berrill, James Moroney, Michael Cawood, Michael Fitzgerald, John Fullam, Paul Power, John Barron, Joseph O’Halloran, James Mulcaile, Richard O’Callaghan and Thomas Betagh. These men believed in the future restoration, and they husbanded their resources and succeeded in handing down to their successors a considerable sum of money, which had been saved by them.

A letter from the Acting General Father Thaddeus Brezozowski, dated St Petersburg 14/06/1806 was addressed to the only two survivors, Betagh and O’Callaghan. He thanked them for their work and their union with those in Russia, and suggested that the restoration was close at hand.

A letter from Nicholas Sewell, dated Stonyhurst 07/07/1809 to Betagh gives details of Irishmen being sent to Sicily for studies : Bartholomew Esmonde, Paul Ferley, Charles Aylmer, Robert St Leger, Edmund Cogan and James Butler. Peter Kenney and Matthew Gahan had preceded them. These were the foundation stones of the Restored Society.

Returning to Ireland, Kenney, Gahan and John Ryan took residence at No3 George’s Hill. Two years later, with the monies saved for them, Kenney bought Clongowes as a College for boys and a House of Studies for Jesuits. From a diary fragment of Aylmer, we learn that Kenney was Superior of the Irish Mission and Prefect of Studies, Aylmer was Minister, Claude Jautard, a survivor of the old Society in France was Spiritual Father, Butler was Professor of Moral and Dogmatic Theology, Ferley was professor of Logic and Metaphysics, Esmonde was Superior of Scholastics and they were joined by St Leger and William Dinan. Gahan was described as a Missioner at Francis St Dublin and Confessor to the Poor Clares and irish Sisters of Charity at Harold’s Cross and Summerhill. Ryan was a Missioner in St Paul’s, Arran Quay, Dublin. Among the Scholastics, Brothers and Masters were : Brothers Fraser, Levins, Connor, Bracken, Sherlock, Moran, Mullen and McGlade.

Trouble was not long coming. Protestants were upset that the Jesuits were in Ireland and sent a petition was sent to Parliament, suggesting that the Vow of Obedience to the Pope meant they could not have an Oath of Allegiance to the King. In addition, the expulsion of Jesuits from all of Europe had been a good thing. Kenney’s influence and diplomatic skills resulted in gaining support from Protestants in the locality of Clongowes, and a counter petition was presented by the Duke of Leinster on behalf of the Jesuits. This moment passed, but anto Jesuit feelings were mounting, such as in the Orange faction, and they managed to get an enquiry into the Jesuits and Peter Kenney and they appeared before the Irish Chief Secretary and Provy Council. Peter Kenney’s persuasive and oratorical skills won the day and the enquiry group said they were satisfied and impressed.

Over the years the Mission grew into a Province with Joseph Lentaigne as first Provincial in 1860. In 1885 the first outward undertaking was the setting up of an Irish Mission to Australia by Lentaigne and William Kelly, and this Mission grew exponentially from very humble beginnings.

Later the performance of the Jesuits in managing UCD with little or no money, and then outperforming what were known as the “Queen’s Colleges” forced the issue of injustice against Catholics in Ireland in the matter of University education. It is William Delaney who headed up the effort and create the National University of Ireland under endowment from the Government.from the Government.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 2nd Year No 3 1927

Jubilee :

On February 15th Fr Joseph McDonnell completed his 50 years' work in the Society. He received numerous letters and telegrams from all parts of the world, the most valued being one from the General, commending him for the good example he had given, and for his 50 years' work. A week later a large gathering assembled at Belvedere to wish the Jubilarian many more years of devoted service.
Fr. McDonnell was Master and Prefect at Clongowes, he was Moderator of the Apostolics in Mungret, Superior of the Juniors in Tullabeg, Operarius in Gardiner Street ; but it is as Editor of the Messenger that his best work has been done. Under this personal care for the last 21 years the progress made and the good done by the Messenger is simply marvellous And the work was accomplished in spite of grave difficulties. For some years his sight has been Much impaired. But he is holding on and to-day takes as much interest in the work as he did 20 years ago. Fr McDonnell has written quite a number of devotional works that compare very favurably with the best of our day. He still edits the Madonna.
For many years he was Confessor at the Christian Brothers Novitiate, Marius. Lately the novitiate was changed to a place a considerable distance from Belvedere. But the Brother-General asked him to continue, and, at considerable inconvenience to himself, he consented.

Irish Province News 4th Year No 2 1929

Obituary :

Fr Joseph McDonnell

Fr. Joseph McDonnell died in Dublin on Friday, December 28th in his 70th year. For some years back he had been in very bad health, but, with characteristic energy and determination, he remained at his post in the Messenger office until a few days before his death.

He was born at Dublin on the 28th March 1858, educated at Clongowes, and on February 15th 1877 began his novitiate at Milltown. There he remained for seven years - novitiate, juniorate, philosophy, and was then sent to Clongowes, where, as prefect or master, he spent the next five years. He began his theology at Mold, but in 1889 the new theologate was opened at Milltown, and Fr McDonnell joined it. Theology over he went to Mungret as Assistant Moderator of the Apostolic School. Next year he become full Moderator as well as Minister of Mungret, and at its close went to Chieri for tertianship. In 1896 he began at Belvedere his long and most fruitful connection with the Messenger as Assistant Director, Fr J. Cullen being Director. Two years at Belvedere were succeeded by two others in Tullabeg, where he had charge of the Juniors, and then Mungret once more as Moderator of the Apostolics. He held this important office for four years. From 1898 to 1906 he continued at different periods to act, at a distance, as Assistant Director of the Messenger, and in 1900 began to edit the Madonna. On leaving Mungret he spent a year in Gardiner St. as Operarius, another in Clongowes as Spiritual Father, and in 1906 returned to Belvedere, not to leave it until his holy death. During the years that followed he continued to edit the Messenger and Madonna, but did not become full Director and Editor of the Messenger until 1914. From 1913 to 1921 he was Spiritual Father at Belvedere. In addition to his other occupations Fr McDonnell wrote a number of excellent spiritual books that are doing a great amount of good in Ireland, and many other countries, but it was as Editor of the “Irish Messenger” that his great work was done. He possessed to a marked degree those qualities which fitted him for this important post, and especially a great devotion to the Sacred Heart, and zeal for souls. Under his care the Messenger became the most popular publication in Ireland, and amongst the Irish abroad. He had a wonderful flair for the tastes and needs of his readers, and he made the pages of the Messenger attractive to a very varied circle. He realised that the most fertile soil for religion is the mass of the people. He therefore catered chiefly for them. Amongst the varied contents there was sure to be some item to appeal to every reader, and those who began to read because they took interest in natural history or astronomy ended up by reading the whole through. In every rank of life one found readers of the Messenger. For the simple people the little red book was a monthly library, and supplied matter for piety and for observation and discussion of the wholesome things of life. He was proud, for example, that an English protestant bought several dozen copies for his work-people on account of a series of articles on farming. He knew that it is possible to be “too good”!
In his own writings Fr. McDonald had a fine, forcible style, and showed excellent literary taste in “Meditations on the Sacred Heart” and other books. He was an excellent community man, and thoroughly enjoyed friendly banter on matters arising out of his work. He was considerate and gentlemanly in his dealings with others, and in spite of his blindness and
feeble health was most patient. The end came quietly and found him perfectly resigned. His hope was that on account of his affliction he would go straight to Heaven, and those who know how saintly was his life feel confident that his prayer has been heard.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Joe McDonnell 1858-1928
Fr Joe McDonnell will always be remembered in the Irish Province as the man who made the “Irish Messenger” what it is. He possessed to an eminent degree, those qualities which fitted him for this important post, reinforced by and rooted in an all pervading devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, and zeal for souls. He catered for the mass of the people, and under his direction, the Messenger increased in circulation under the Irish abroad.

He was also the author of a number of excellent spiritual books, the chief of which is his “Meditations n the Sacred Heart”.

He became the full editor of the Messenger in 1914 and remained at his post until a few days before his death, December 28th 1928

Towards the end of his life he was blind, and he expressed the hope that on account of this affliction, gladly borne, he would go straight to heaven on his death. Those who lived close to him and knew the saintlines of the man, had no doubt but that his hope would be translated into reality.

◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1929


Father Joseph McDonnell SJ

The “Irish Messenger” is the only national periodical of Ireland at home and overseas, reminding the wanderer of the Faith of the homeland, reminding those at home of sons and daughters on Canadian farms and in American cities, to whom they send the little red book month by month: it achieves thus a kind of Irish Communion of Saints and so has become a national institution worthy of a jest in a Sean O'Casey play.

Belvedere has the honour of being the home of this institution, and thus, although its late guide and genius was not himiself a Belvederian, it is but fitting that Belvederians should mourn his loss as a personal one. Old Belvederians will remember him as a kindly confessor, at one time director of the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin; past and present Belvederians will remember his generosity to the College Conference of St Vincent de Paul; even diminutive Belvederians will remember the free-day they celebrated two years ago in honour of Fr. McDonnell's golden jubilee as a Jesuit.

Father McDonnell was born in Dublin on the 28th March, 1858, educated at Clongowes, and on February 15th, 1877, entered the Jesuit Novitiate, which was at that time at Milltown Park. He studied philosophy at Milltown and pursued his theological studies at Mold and at Milltown. At two different periods he was Moderator of the Apostolic School of Mungret. From 1896 dates his connection with the “Irish Messenger”. He was at Belvedere from 1896-1898 as assistant director. Father Cullen being the director; from 1898-1906 be continued to act in this capacity, although occupying posts at Tullabeg, Mungret, Clongowes, Gardiner Street. In 1906 he began to edit. the “Madonna”. In 1906 be returned to Belvedere and there he spent his days until December 28th, 1928, in the achieving of his life's work, first as assistant-editor, then as editor of the “Irish Messenger” and director of the Messenger Office Publications. If one glances at a list of his published devotional works and pamphlets one will see that his was not an idle pen; if one studies the development of the “Irish Messerger” itself, of the “Madonna”, the coming into being of the “Gaelic Messenger”, the long list of books and pamphlets by distinguished authors published by the Messenger Office, one will get some idea of the gift of organisation, of the shrewd sense of needs and values that he possessed.

Fr. McDonnell was blessed with length of days, but these were not unclouded by sorrow. To a man of his keen interests his partial blindness must have meant many hopes unfulfilled, the narowing in of experience and the limiting of friendships; to a man of his position one would have thought it an insurmountable obstacle. His character, however was unsoured by this severe decree of Providence, and, buoyed up with an edifying courage, he worked on till the end. He was not petulant, he liked social intercourse, charmed many by his courtesy and a sympathy born of experience, liked to be “chaffed”, liked better still to pretend that he did not know that he was being “chaffed”. He was never a shirker. Although in the last few years of his life he suffered much from bronchial troubles during the winter months, he nevertheless kept to his task, was punctilious in attendance at religious duties, said Mass often in pain, and was cheerful always. Even when in hospital he used transact business with his secretary; and on the evening before his death sent for the assistant-director, Father T Ryan, to discuss the great business of his life. If by their fruits shall men be recompensed, Father McDonnell merits a reward exceeding great.

Mr. G. K. Chesterton, in an introduction to the recent translation of Henri Ghéon's study of the Curé d'Ars, points out that each nation contributes a characteristic outlook on Christianity and on Christian action, and adds that the Irish contribution is a purity in love and in hate which seems to be capable of reducing things to their simplest expression Now I think that this is a quality that might be re membered in estimating Father McDonnell's character and in explaining, too. how he made the “Irish Messenger” a national institution. He was deeply and simply everything. He was sincerely and unsophistically devout. He was wholeheartedly and undividedly absorbed in the “Irish Messenger” and in its interests, He was stoutly and, at times, singularly convinced of his ideas and policies. His devotion to his Alma Mater was unassailable and child-like. He had thus the two qualities necessary to the make-up of a good editor - thoroughness and simplicity: simplicity, in order to feel with the people; thoroughness, in order to be able to supply their needs.

But I prefer to remember him as one who had to bear a cross which, of all others, seemed too heavy to bear and yet bore it cheerfully and with courage. RIP


◆ The Mungret Annual, 1929


Father Joseph McDonnell SJ

(Mungret, 1892-1895 & 1900-1904)

On the last day of the year 1928, the mortal remains of a devoted friend of Mungret and its students were laid to rest in Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin. Past Mungret students, especially those of the early nineties and of the first years of the present century will remember with affection and veneration Father Joseph McDonnell SJ.

Father McDonnell was born in Dublin seventy-one years ago, and spent over fifty years in the Society of Jesus. He was a first cousin of Father William Kane SJ, who is so well known as a teacher, a friend and a lovable personality to the Mungret students of the past thirty years.

Father McDonnell first came to Mungret in 1892 as a young priest, and for three years had charge of the Apostolic School, fulfilling besides in 1894-5 the additional office of Minister of the College. In 1895 he went to Chieri (in Piedmont), a beautifully situated town in the South-Eastern slopes of the Alps, for his Tertianship, or third year's noviceship. Returning to Ireland in 1896, he was appointed to the duty of assisting the late Father James Cullen SJ, in editing the Messenger of the Sacred Heart, and two years later was placed in charge of the Junior Scholastics of the Society of Jesus in Tullabeg College. In 1900 he was again transferred to Mungret College as Director of the Apostolic School, where he remained till 1904. After a few years he was again sent to Belvedere College, Dublin, to resume his former role of Assistant Editor of the “Messenger”. In this position he soon made himself indispensable, and when, in 1914, Father Cullen, then very old, had to relinquish finally the post of Editor, Father McDonnell took over the complete charge, which he retained till his holy death, in December, 1928.

Father McDonnell's work as Editor of the “Messenger” is well known. In the short sketch of his life which appears in the March number of the Messenger, we read :

Owing to his secluded life and dislike of appearing in public, Father McDonnell was personally known to only a small fraction of those who were familiar with his name, but by hundreds of thousands not merely in Ireland but also in foreign lands, he was regarded with love and respect for the comfort and courage which he had brought to them through his writings.

During his second term in Mungret, in the moments which he managed to spare from his regular work (besides being Director of the Apostolic School, he was also Spiritual Father of the Lay Boys, and taught several hours a day), he edited the “Madonna”, which he had founded in 1900, about the time of his coming to Mungret. This has gradually attained a circulation which is now probably as large as that which the “Messenger” had when Father McDonnell first took over the editorship.

In the work connected with the “Messenger” and the “Madonna”, Father McDonnell laboured unceasingly during the last twenty five years of his busy and fruitful life. His health was never robust, and he always worked up to the full measure of his strength. During the years he spent in Mungret it was a well-known and regular occurrence for Father McDonnell, after any short period of extra work or unusual strain, to become completely exhausted, and to be confined to bed, taking little or no food. He had, however, great recuperative power, on which he seemed rather to pride himself, and was usually at work again in full vigour after a day or two. During the last two years of his life his health gradually declined, and his sight, never good, failed so much that he was quite unable to read. Hence, for many years before his death he transacted all his editorial work with the aid of a secretary, who read letters, manuscripts, and proofs to him and put in writing his replies and criticisms. Yet, notwithstanding weakened health and failing sight, he worked un ceasingly up to a week before his saintly death.

Father McDonnell never lost his courageous and hopeful spirit, his rare gentleness and courtesy of manner, his genial cheerfulness or his keen sense of humour. The spread of the devotion to the Sacred Heart was the passion of his life. “Few”, says the writer already quoted, “have spent themselves so unsparingly to make this devotion more known and appreciated, and few have done as much as he did to diffuse it through Ireland”. His apostleship was exercised mainly through the pages of the “Messenger” and the numerous pious publications of all kinds that gradually grew up around it as well as by his own numerous and excellent devotional books through which his name is principally known. Father McDonnell left his impress deeply in the customs and traditions of the Apostolic School. It was owing in no small part to his example and teaching that the spirit of piety and especially the devotion to the Sacred Heart, which has, since his time, been traditional among the Apostolic students, took such firm root in the College. Those who were privileged to be under his charge in Mungret will remember his fatherly kindness and patience, his gentle ness of disposition, and the never-failing courtesy and respect with which he treated even the youngest and most thoughtless of the lads of whom he had charge. His zeal for souls communicated itself to the boys ; and there can be no doubt that his spirit and example have had a very important in fluence upon the lives of many who are now priests in different parts of the world. Although without skill in athletic exercises, and having little knowledge of boys' games, he entered into all the interests of the boys of whom he had charge, and it was amusing sometimes to see his excitement over a football match or an athletic contest in which his boys were competing against some other section of the College. He showed the same zeal in organising excursions, concerts and debates, and in the strenuous work of the College theatricals, all of which he regarded as important factors in the training and formation of the boys.

It was under Father McDonnell's direction that the “Rules and Customs of the Apostolic School” were first drawn up. It was for the students of the Apostolic School, too, that he wrote the excellent little handbook for young ecclesiastical students, called “Daily Duties”, which breathes such a spirit of solid piety, and inculcates so well the practice of prayer, self-denial and zeal, which must be at the foundation of the character of the truly apostolic priest. When leaving Mungret, Father McDonnell confessed to an intimate friend that he “felt broken-hearted” at parting from his lads and the work he loved so well. He would not trust himself to take leave of the boys, or even to drive off by the avenue in the usual way. He went round by the “Black Walk” a quarter of an hour before the appointed time, and waited for the car at the College gate.

To the end, even amid the absorbing work of his editorship and writings, he never relaxed in his love for all his own past pupils nor in his interest in the Apostolic School. He was always ready to utilise his position as editor in favour of Mungret and the work it is doing. By very many of his old pupils as by many of the readers of his works, his death will be felt as a personal loss; and though his life was blameless and spent in the service of the Master whom he loved, his many friends will not omit to pray for his speedy admittance to his eternal reward. RIP)

E Cahill SJ

O'Carroll, Richard, 1807-1858, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1871
  • Person
  • 14 July 1807-14 February 1858

Born: 14 July 1807, Dublin
Entered: 18 September 1825, Chieri, Italy - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Ordained: 20 December 1834, Stonyhurst College, Lancashire, England
Final Vows: 02 February 1845
Died: 14 February 1858, St Francis Xavier, Liverpool, England, England - Angliae Province (ANG)

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
Early education at Stonyhurst

After First Vows spent two years studying Philosophy at at Dôle and Aix.
1834-1849 Taught at Stonyhurst, and was a Prefect. He was Ordained there 20 December 1834. He continued teaching at Stonyhurst, was Superior of the Seminary, and Missioner for a short time at Holywell, and then Superior of the Seminary again in 1845.
1849 Sent to St Francis Xavier, Liverpool. He became a distinguished Preacher, his religious and striking appearance in the pulpit adding weight to his impassioned addresses. Worn out by his work, he died there 14 February 1858, aged 51, and was buried at Gilmoss, attended by a great procession of the congregation by whom he was much beloved.

Phillips, John A, 1904-1987, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/1984
  • Person
  • 30 January 1904-18 September 1987

Born: 30 January 1904, Campbell Town, Tasmania
Entered: 10 March 1924, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained 07 September 1939, Heythrop, Oxford, England
Final vows: 15 August 1946
Died: 18 September 1987, Newman College, Parkville, Melbourne, Australia - Australiae Province (ASL)

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

by 1930 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
John Phillips received his early education in Tasmania before entering the Jesuit noviceship at Greenwich, Sydney, 10 March 1924. He did his university studies at University College,
Dublin, where his interest in history was enkindled. He then studied philosophy at Chieri, Turin, Italy.
Regency was at Riverview, where, with Gerald Lawlor, he produced a notebook called “Notes on European History”, designed to remedy deficiencies in the presentation of Catholic aspects of history. He is also credited for being the first Riverview debating master to admit that the GPS competition was the most important phase of the Debating Society. In this aim, Phillips was the first “team coach” of Riverview debating in the modern sense. It was during his term of office that the Lawrence Campbell Oratory Competition was established. In all three years of his leadership Riverview reached the final of the GPS competition and won two of them, 1935-36, and it also won the oratory competition.
It was during his theological studies at Heythrop College in England that his predilection for scriptural studies appeared. However, he was not able to return to Australia immediately after ordination because of the war. En route to Australia, a German torpedo hit his ship but it did not explode.
He began to teach scripture, but had no special training for it. He spent many years at Werribee and Glen Waverley. His grasp of biblical studies eventually became quite encyclopaedic, and he was rated highly among professional scholars.
In 1954 Phillips was asked to take over the Catholic Central Library after the death of William Hackett. Under his management it became more a bookshop than a lending library.
After his retirement from teaching, he gave his full attention to the library, working long hours into the night, catching the last tram home to the Jesuit Theological College. He became notorious for preparing his own meals, and eventually from malnutrition. His contemporaries had always respected his learning and zeal. As he aged, he mellowed, and a wide circle of friends genuinely mourned him.

Power, Patrick, 1867-1931, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/364
  • Person
  • 20 January 1867-11 December 1931

Born: 20 January 1867, Dublin
Entered: 10 April 1885, Loyola House, Dromore, County Down
Ordained: 30 July 1901, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1904
Died: 11 December 1931, Milford House, Limerick

Part of the Crescent College, Limerick and St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street community at the time of death

by 1901 at Chieri Italy (TAUR) studying
by 1903 at Drongen Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Power entered the Society in 1885, and came to Australia and taught at Xavier College from 1892, where he was highly respected, teaching senior classes and serving as assistant prefect of studies. For one year, 1896, he was prefect of studies, as the rector who was holding the position became overworked. He returned to Ireland at the end of 1898, and after tertianship worked in schools and performed mission work.

◆ Irish Province NewsIrish Province News 7th Year No 2 1932

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Power

Fr. Power was born in Dublin on the 20 Jan, 1867. educated at Castleknock, and entered the Society at Dromore on the 10 April 1885. Two years Rhetoric, the first at Milltown, the second at Tullabeg, were followed by three years Philosophy at Milltown, and then Australia for five years, He spent all of them at Kew, where he was Prefect of Studies. or
Vice-Prefect, for four of these years.
Two years Theology at Milltown and two more at Chieri brought him up to the Tertianship, which he made at Tronchiennes 1902-03. Then followed various positions at Mungret, Tullabeg, Gardiner St., and the Crescent.
In 1908 he was appointed Rector of the Crescent, held that office for four years, and then went to Gardiner St., to which house he was attached until his death. He died at Limerick on Friday 11 Dec, 1931.
For 4 years he was Rector, for 5 Miss, Excurr., for 8 Praef Stud. (an 11 Mag), for 13 Dir. EX. Spir,, and for 17 Praes. Sod. Obviously, he often discharged at least two of these duties in the same year.
From the above short sketch it will be seen that Fr. Power had his share in nearly all the duties discharged by Jesuit priests and scholastics and in all of them he played his part capably and well. But it was as a director of souls that he will be remembered for a long time, and by a great many. His zeal knew no limits, he gave himself no rest, night, noon and morning, whenever the rule allowed, he was on the move. It will not be known until the great accounting day all he did for souls from the end of his Tertianship to the day of his death 28 years later, especially from 1912 to 1931 when he was stationed at Gardiner St. The great weapons he used, alter the Grace of God that he brought down on the work by prayer and a holy life, were kindness, sympathy, encouragement. Scrupulous people especially found in him a kind and helpful friend, and people who were not scrupulous pointed him out as the priest who showed them the easy road to heaven.
“You will catch more flies”, writes St. Francis de Sales, “or with a spoonful of honey than with a hogshead of vinegar.” Assuredly there was no trace of vinegar in Fr Power's character, but there was abundance of honey. Or, to vary the expression, “his nature was full of the milk of human kindness.” He was the very reverse of that class of directors so severely condemned by St. Francis Jeronimo “Never until the Last Judgment will it be known how many souls have been lost for want of sympathy on the part of the ministers of God.”
Possibly some of our very wise critics will say that kindness and sympathy are very good in themselves, but they can be so readily abused and played upon by tricksters that they are dangerous gifts. That is quite true. But if Fr Power was very kind and sympathetic, he was also very shrewd. His eyes were wide open, He had a keen insight into the foibles
and failings of human nature, and when .any of the trickster class tried to make capital out of his kindness they quickly found out that they had made the mistake of their lives.
In addition to all this Fr. Power was one of the best and most practical Moral Theologians that we had in the Province. His advice on knotty problems was often sought from many and widely separated parts of the country. His numerous penitents and others could depend that his counsel was dictated not only by kindness, and by a keen insight into human nature, but that it was based as well on the solid principles of Theology.
With priests as well as with the laity he was an outstanding success and his retreats to the clergy were highly appreciated.
No wonder then that in most parts of Ireland, for his name and influence were widely extended, was Fr. Powers death sincerely regretted. People felt that they had lost a kind friend and a wise counsellor whose loss it would be difficult to supply. And this feeling of regret and admiration is shared by every member of the Irish province who know him and loved
him, and who were helped along the narrow path by the bright and cheery example that he ever gave thorn. May he rest in peace.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Patrick Power 1867-1931
As a director of souls, Fr Patrick Power will long be remembered. His zeal knew no bounds. It will not be known until the Day of Reckoning all that he did for souls, from the end of his tertianship until the day of his death, December 11th 1931.

A great deal of this work was done while he was stationed at Gardiner Street, from 1912-1931. With priests too, he was an outstanding counsellor, and his retreats to them were highly appreciated. He was one of the best moral Theologians we have had in the Province.

A deep rooted sanctity, combined with great natural kindness, aided by a clear intellect, all combined to make him the director of souls that he was.

He was born in Dublin on January 20th 1867, and he was educated at Castleknock College.

◆ The Xaverian, Xavier College, Melbourne, Australia, 1932


Father Patrick Power SJ

Father Patrick Power, who died at Limerick, Ireland, on December 11th, 1931, will be clearly remembered by Xaverians of 1892-1898. He was then a young scholastic. During the greater part of the time he was here he directed the College studies, and taught with brilliant success. He took a deep interest in all his boys - an interest which, in spite of distance and time, ended only with his life - or didn't end even then? The present writer can recall many a chat with Fr Power in recent years about the old days at Kew College. He was all eagerness to know as much as possible about his former pupils and it seemed that every name was clear in his memory,

Before coming to Australia he studied Philosophy for three years in Louvain, Belgium. On his return to Ireland for Theology after his period with us, he spent one year in Dublin, and then went to Italy-where, after a brilliant course in the higher studies, he was ordained priest. Subsequently, we find him a very successful missionary, well known all over England and Ireland. Later, he was Rector of the Sacred Heart College, Limerick. When his term of office as Rector expired, he was appointed to the staff of St Francis Xavier's Churclı, Dublin. In this busy centre of Catholic activities he laboured assiduously till stricken down by the illness which ended his so useful life. Father Power was a very impressive preacher. He never, indeed, affected the usual devices of pulpit oratory; but his sermons were packed with solid instruction, and enlivened by many a sally of native wit. So, it was always not only a pleasure to hear him, buthiis discourses left a lasting impression.

Perhaps it was as Confessor that lie did the greatest amount of good. When ever he revisited a town where he had once given a Mission, his confessional was besieged by grateful penitents. His mind was so clear and so well informed - his heart so kindly - that hundreds, both young and old, flocked to him for advice and direction. It may be said: truthfully that his arduous labours in priestly work shortened his life.

Those who had known better days, appealed specially to his sympathetic nature, and, in ways most unobtrusive and most tactful, he brightened many a life that would have otherwise been dreary. A wide circle of friends whose personal affection he had won, and many who were in distress, mourn the loss of him upon whose sympathy, judgment, and help they could always rely.

God give him the rest he deserved!


◆ The Crescent : Limerick Jesuit Centenary Record 1859-1959

Bonum Certamen ... A Biographical Index of Former Members of the Limerick Jesuit Community

Father Patrick Power (1867-1931)

Was born in Dublin and received his education at Castleknock College. He entered the Society in 1885 and began his higher studies in Dublin, His regency was spent in Australia where he was four years prefect of studies at the Jesuit College, Kew, Melbourne. On his return to Ireland he resumed his higher studies at Milltown Park but completed them at Chieri and Tronchiennes. He came to the Crescent in 1907 and in the following year was appointed rector, an office he held until 1912 when he became a member of the Gardiner St community to which he was assigned until his death. Father Power was an outstanding spiritual director in his day and was widely known to the clergy of Ireland through his many contacts made on the occasion of the diocesan retreats which he conducted. He died at Millford nursing home.

◆ SHC - Sacred Heart College Limerick 1932


Father Patrick Power

His friends in Limerick, and they were many, were grieved to hear of the death of Fr P Power SJ, which took place at the Sacred Heart Convalescent Home, Milford House, Limerick, on Friday, Dec 11, 1931.

Fr Power was Rector here from 1908 to 1912. Since he left Limerick he was attached to St Francis Xavier's Church, Gardiner Street, Dublin. Yet though it is nearly twenty years since he had had direct connection with the College and with the Church in Limerick, few who have worked here are so well remembered by all. While he was ill at Milford House, one heard from those who had known him, young and old alike, stories of his kindness, sympathy and encouragement. Both in Limerick and in Dublin Fr Power was remarkable as a director of souls, for to his kind and genial manner was added a very deep understanding of human nature.

He was widely known through the country by priests and religious for the Retreats he conducted for them, and also by the laity for his practical sermons as a missioner. From all sides came genuine expressions of regret at the loss of a holy priest, who had helped so many, without thinking of himself. During the past few years his active life was interrupted by short periods of illness, but as soon as his strength revived he was busy again at work for others. Last summer he came to Limerick worn out after some months of sickness in a Dublin hospital. At times he seemed to be regaining his health and he often spoke of returning to his post at Gardiner Street. But God willed otherwise, and for some weeks before his death on Dec 11, it was clear that the end was near. During the long period of illness, his gratitude to all who did anything for him and his resignation to God's will produced a deep impression on those about him.

Several of his former penitents came from Dublin for his funeral. After the Office and Requiem Mass at the Sacred Heart Church, presided over by the Most Rev Dr Keane, Bishop of Limerick, the long procession of those who remembered him so well, wended its way to the cemetery at Mungret College. The coffin was borne by members of the Ignatian Sodality, some of whom had been boys at the school when Fr Power was Rector.

May God reward him for his kind and useful life so generously given in His service. RIP.

Zenti, Francesco, 1814-1851, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2279
  • Person
  • 21 July 1814-16 February 1851

Born: 21 July 1814, Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy
Entered: 06 September 1840, Chieri Italy - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Died: 16 February 1851, Dublin - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Part of the St Beuno’s, Wales community at the time of death

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
On the dispersion of the TAUR Province in the Revolution of 1848, he was sent to England and lived at St Beuno’s College.
His mind became affected and he was sent to Hartfield House, Drumcondra, Dublin for treatment.
He had a few days clarity and was able to go to Confession and Communion, but a few days later he suffered a haemorrhage, died and is buried at Glasnevin