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Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/731
  • Person
  • 20 June 1920-05 May 1964

Born: 20 June 1920, Knockaney, Hospital, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambua
Died: 05 May 1964, St Mary’s Hospital, Choma, Zambia

Part of the Sacred Heart, Monze community at the time of death.

by 1955 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
It was about 11.30 that morning of 5 May 1964 that the hospital in Choma was asked by the police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realized that one of them was wearing a roman collar. On looking closer, she recognised Fr. Dan (who had a sister in Ireland who was a Sister of Charity). In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the church and Fr Luke Mwanza was on the scene within minutes and gave him Extreme Unction. The bishop had just arrived back in Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.

No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone and Choma it is mostly tarred road but at that time there was a stretch of about 25 miles remaining untarred. It was on this "dirt" road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The coroner at the inquest remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr Dan were Mr Mungala, his manager of schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of Ours, as well as the manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the inquest that, when he returned with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.

The burial of the three who died took place at Chikuni on Tuesday 6th May. At the end of the Mass, the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.

Fr Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He completed his secondary school at Mount Melleray (Cistercians). He admitted later in life that it was a retreat given at Mount Melleray by a Jesuit that set him on his way to Emo which he entered in 1938. During his formation years, his gifts were more practical than speculative: he liked working with wood and there is hardly a house in the Irish Province which has not got some evidence of his handiwork. He noticed things that needed to be done. There was a quality and finish about everything he set his hands to; he did indeed 'do all things well'.

It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the missions. He had not been many months in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) when he was hard at it, building schools and teachers' houses. From then until his death it is true to say that he had more than a 'finger' in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the churches he designed and built, for example Fumbo and Kasiya. Later, as education secretary, he really found himself and had much more scope for his talents. His mind was very orderly and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects’ drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left everything as if he were about to hand over to his successor.

Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him; at times they thought him off-hand, casual and blasé. He had little time for non- essentials, came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.

The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no 'spiritual frills' in Dan's life. Even in the novitiate there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much a "faithful and prudent servant" intent on service, indifferent to what people thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived with him in Monze for several years said that he never knew him to miss a spiritual duty, a remarkable thing in a man so busy.

Bishop Corboy said of him: "He was a truly saintly man – in the chapel every morning at five o’clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed his holiness and the love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in the office at 7.30 a.m. a day began that could have fully occupied two men, and that was true of six days in the week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch. On Sunday afternoon when he was free, he would visit some schools to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss, but may God's will be done’.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 3 1964

Obituary :

Fr Daniel Byrne SJ (1920-1964)

The Rhodesian Mission has had its calamities over the years but none as sudden and unexpected as the tragic death of Fr. Dan Byrne on May 5th last. Little did His Lordship Bishop Corboy think, as he bade farewell to Father Dan that very morning at Chikuni, that on the following day he would be officiating at Fr. Dan's burial in the cemetery at Chikuni.
A week before the accident Fr. Byrne had been in hospital at Mazabuka. He was treated for malaria and after a few days rest was back at work. On Saturday, May 2nd he attended a Conference on educational matters. The Monday following he took part in a meeting between a Delegation of Teachers and the Bishop, together with a group of the priests. This meeting, for which he had done a good deal of the preparatory work, lasted until afternoon. He was due in Livingstone on the Wednesday for yet another educational meeting. As his own car was in Monze garage for repairs, the Bishop offered him the use of his. On Tuesday 5th there was to be a Priests' Meeting at Chikuni, called by the Bishop; but Dan had been exempted from attending this. However, he did take His Lordship to Chikuni. On arriving at Chikuni, Dan said to the Bishop “Are you sure you wouldn't like me to stay for this meeting?” The Bishop assured him that it wasn't necessary and Dan left with his African passengers for Livingstone (180 miles).
It was at about 11.30 that morning that the Hospital in Choma was asked by the Police to send an ambulance immediately to a spot about 15 miles out on the Livingstone road where an accident had occurred. When the ambulance arrived back at the hospital bearing the two survivors who had been found still breathing, the Sister of Charity who met it realised that one of them was wearing a Roman collar. On looking closer she recognised Fr. Dan. In spite of the terrible shock, she immediately phoned the Church, and Fr. Luke Mwansa was on the scene within minutes and gave Extreme Unction. The Bishop had just arrived back at Monze from Chikuni when the news reached him.
No one knows exactly how the accident occurred. Between Livingstone there is mostly tarred road, but one untarred stretch of about 25 miles remains. It was on this dirt road that Dan was in head-on collision with another car coming from Livingstone. The Coroner at the Inquest, remarked on the deplorable condition of the road at the part where the collision took place. In the car with Fr. Dan were Mr. Mungala, his Manager of Schools, a loyal and devoted supporter of ours, also the Manager's nephew. In the other car were Mr. Nash, a teacher, and his wife, their two year old daughter and a Mr. Hassan. The only survivor of the accident was the child who escaped with relatively light injuries. No witness has been found although the man who first found the crashed cars said at the Inquest that when he returned to the scene with the police, the bodies in the Nash's car had been removed from the car to the side of the road.
The burial of the three who died in the Bishop's car took place at Chikuni on Tuesday, 6th May. The Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. O'Loghlen. Crowds came for the Mass; there were as many outside the Church as inside and for them Fr. Conway conducted a separate service. Many cars came from as far as Broken Hill and Livingstone, bringing representatives of Government and Education bodies. The Churches were also represented -even to Dan's opposite number in the Salvation Army! At the end of Mass the Bishop spoke of the universal anguish at the great loss sustained by the Church and the teaching profession.
Dan, who was 44, was born at Knockaney, near Hospital, Co. Limerick. He was at school with the de la Salle Brothers at first; then he went to Mount Melleray, where he completed his Secondary schooling. He admitted later in life that it was a Retreat given at Mount Melleray by one of Ours that set him on his way to Emo, which he entered in 1938. In the noviceship he was reserved, and shy. In Rathfarnham he had a broken head for some time, which perhaps forced him to turn his attention to mundane and practical things in the house and grounds. His gifts were more practical than speculative; he liked working with wood and there is hardly a House in the Province which hasn't got some evidence of his handiwork. Even when Dan was on a rest, it was more than likely that he would notice something that needed repairing. He noticed things that needed to be done. one remembers him looking in a calculating way one day at the old pavilion of the tennis courts at Milltown Park. Within a few days thie pavilion had been 'stripped down and in a matter of weeks it had been replaced by a bigger and (of course) better structure. There was a quality and a finish about everything he set his hands to; “he did, indeed, do all things well”. He was the perfect Sub-beadle, an office which he was burdened with from noviceship to tertianship. When Dan took office, there was a big reorganisation, unwonted order was introduced, everything was given its place and it was a delight to use the Sub-beadle's Press.
Dan taught at the Crescent and Belvedere. He was a good teacher, exacting, who was respected by his pupils. It was always hard to know what he thought about things; but one who knew him and worked with him said that he couldn't imagine Dan volunteering to teach for the rest of his life. In Theology, he was always abreast of the work and was better than average at Moral. He had begun in Milltown, to suffer from the anaemia which dogged his days to the end but of which he spoke little.
It was inevitable that Dan's practical abilities should have been recognised and used on the Mission. He hadn't been many months in Rhodesia when he was hard at it building schools and teachers' houses. From then till his death it is true to say that he had more than a “finger” in all the major (and minor) building activities of the Mission. Some of the Churches he designed and built for example those at Fumbo and Kasiya. Later as Education Secretary he really “found” himself and had much scope for his talents. His mind was a very orderly one and he never allowed himself to be snowed under by the mass of architects drawings, bills and letters that streamed into his office. It was the Bishop who said of him that he never knew a man who kept better files, for he could find any document in a matter of seconds. When death removed him so tragically from the scene, he had left every thing as if he were about to hand-over to his successor.
Dan remained always a shy man although he concealed it with a brusqueness that became more pronounced as he got older. This disconcerted people who did not know him : at times they thought him off-hand, casual, blasé. He had little time for unessentials; came to the point quickly and liked others to do the same. Often he had little small talk and could be preoccupied by his work. He was completely detached from personal comfort and convenience; at times he expected the same detachment and integrity from others, not doubting that others were as self-sacrificing as himself.
The same attention to essentials was apparent in his spiritual life. There were no “spiritual frills” in Dan's life; even in the noviceship there was a quality of robustness about his spirituality. That his devotion went deep is evident by the life he led. He was very much “servus prudens ac fidelis”, intent on service, in different to what men thought of him. He conquered all human respect early in life. One who lived for several years with him in Monze said that he never knew him to miss a Spiritual duty - a remarkable thing in a man so busy. And so he had lived since 1938. In the attache case which was retrieved from the wreckage of the car was found, as well as his few toilet things, a book for Spiritual Reading . . . Can we doubt but that he has already received that “unfading crown of glory” of which he read in the last Mass he said, a few hours before he died?
In a letter Fr. O'Loghlen said of Fr. Byrne : “From every point of view it is a terrible blow. He was a first class religious, and there is the consolation of knowing that if anybody was prepared to meet his death he was. The first thing I found in his bag was a book on the Mass which he used. In his work he was equable and capable. He will be very hard to replace”.
Bishop Corboy said of him : “He was a truly saintly man-in the chapel every morning at five o'clock with his Mass at six. He was unassuming and never displayed the holiness and love of God that inspired his whole life. Back in his office at 7.30 a.m, a day that could have fully occupied two men began, and that was true of six days a week. On Sunday he regularly said two Masses at out-stations, and returned here to Monze for lunch, On Sunday afternoon, when he was free, he would visit some school to inspect a building he was erecting. He never took a day off and never had a holiday. He is a great loss but May God's will be done”.

Very Rev. Fr. Provincial received the following letter :
Parochial House,
Fethard,
Co. Tipperary,
May 13th 1964.
Very Rev. and dear Fr. Provincial,
I would like to offer my sympathy to you and to the Fathers of the Irish Province on the sad death of Fr. Daniel Byrne S.J. in Northern Rhodesia.
It is a matter of regret for me that I cannot attend the Mass for him in Gardiner Street tomorrow. I have already offered Mass for him.
He was the first boy in whose vocation I had a hand as a young curate and he was one of the best. One could not fail to be impressed by his sincere piety, kindly disposition and twinkling humour.
I wish too to sympathise on the loss to the Mission of so competent a priest in educational matters. May he rest in peace.
With kind personal regards,
Sincerely yours in Christ, Christopher Lee P.P.

Carroll, Denis, 1920-1992, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/644
  • Person
  • 18 January 1920-29 October 1992

Born: 18 January 1920, Geashill, Walsh Island, County Offaly
Entered: 22 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, St Ignatiuis, Lusaka, Zambia
Died: 29 October 1992, Kizito Pastoral Centry, Monze, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Part of the Mukasa Secondary School, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners

Younger brother of John Carroll - RIP 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Denis Carroll, known to his colleagues as "Dinny", was born in Offaly, Ireland in 1920, into a large family of farming stock, with strong religious traditions. These traditions were far more prominent during his life than his agricultural background, though at one stage he took charge of the school garden in Mukasa. Five of his sisters entered religious life and his brother, John, was a Jesuit on the Hong Kong Mission.

After his schooling at Mungret College, he entered the novitiate at Emo in 1937 and went through the normal training, being ordained a priest in 1950. Two years later he came to Zambia and went almost immediately to the eastern province to learn ciNyanja at which he became quite proficient.

Dinny's life can be divided into two distinct ministries: the apostolate of the school and the apostolate of the parish, the latter being determined to a large extent by his proficiency in ciNyanja. He served in many parishes along the line of rail in the Monze diocese. He started his parish work, however, in Regiment parish in Lusaka around 1953. He came to Chikuni in 1956 as Rector of the community, teaching and supplying at Mazabuka, Choma and Kalomo. A bout of sickness took him to Ireland for two years and when he returned he was posted to Choma parish in 1962. Mazabuka and the Sugar Estate saw him from 1968 to 1975.

One would never have classed Dinny as a well organised person whose program of work was drawn up with meticulous care. Yet despite his fluid approach, one thing was uppermost in his mind while he worked in the parishes: the administration of the sacraments. He made them available to his parishioners and was always willing to administer them. He was conservative in his theology and never liked the phrase "the people of God". His vision of God's people was as a Sacramental People, a Eucharistic People. He saw the Eucharist as the centre of Catholic parish life. He himself had a very deep faith and reverence for the presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

He tried to serve the people as he found them, offering liturgies in different languages. He preached strongly and upheld the sanctity and sacramentality of Catholic marriage. In his parish work he believed in family-by-family visitation. In that way he got to know his parishioners, both adults and youth. At a later stage, many would consult him on their marriages and the advice he freely gave was, solely and loyally, from the Catholic point of view. He worked with the St. Vincent de Paul Society and engaged the services of some of his adult parishioners in the teaching of catechism to the youth.

While his move from parish work to school work in the mid seventies was partly necessitated by considerations of health, (his arthritis was making constant physical movement around the parish more and more difficult for him) nevertheless he had a firm conviction of the value of Catholic education. He decried the closure of Jesuit schools here and there, and he saw the practice of superiors of allowing young Jesuits to choose apostolates other than teaching as abdicating responsibility for the Catholic educational apostolate. For 17 years he liked teaching and was not happy at the thought of possibly having to give it up because of failing health. The Lord read his mind and Dinny taught right up to three days before his death. He was a fine teacher, attaining excellent results in all his subjects, English and English Literature, History and even ciNyanja. He understood the youth and had good rapport with them. From time to time the unwise and misguided behavioru of boys would depress him, but by and large he had the understanding and patience to accept such conduct in its own context. He took it for granted and did not judge them harshly. He often acted as mediator between them and the administration, thus earning for himself the title of "Peacemaker" while, at the same time, he would never compromise the Headmaster, his fellow members of staff nor the aims of Mukasa Seminary. At his funeral Mass, at least five of the concelebrants were Zambian priests who had been past pupils of his.

As a religious and Jesuit, Denis Carroll was a man of prayer and deep faith with a personal closeness to Christ in the Eucharist. He was loyal to the Society and interested in its growth and its apostolates. He was worried about how devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus seemed to have taken a less prominent place in the life of the Society. He felt that it should be more actively promoted and practiced by all.

Though failing in strength little by little, his death was sudden and very simple. He had gone to St. Kizito's Pastoral Centre for ten days rest as ordered by the doctor. While waiting for supper on the second day there, the Lord called him home to his reward on 29th November 1992.

"Criost an Siol" was an Irish religious phrase frequently on his lips. It means "Christ of the Sowing" and they are the first words of a beautiful poem and Eucharistic hymn which talks about Christ sowing and reaping and bringing us from death to new life. In a way, it sums up Dinny's life of faith and the work Christ did through him even though at times he might have uttered them in order to express mild exasperation.

Carroll, James, 1934-2006, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/645
  • Person
  • 12 February 1934-02 May 2006

Born: 12 February 1934, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 06 September 1952, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1971, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 02 May 2006, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Big Jim, as he was often referred to, grew up in Limerick Ireland and was of farming stock. He attended the Jesuit Crescent College in Limerick and entered the Society at the end of his secondary school. At school, he was a fine rugby player and would have gone far in that field if he had not entered the Society. After novitiate, he attended the university for his B.A. and went to Tullabeg outside Tullamore for philosophy.

Then he headed for the then Northern Rhodesia to Chikuni where he remained from 1960 to 1963. Here he learned ciTonga, the local language, taught in Canisius Secondary School along with performing the other duties which a scholastic in regency normally does. He returned to Ireland to Milltown Park for theology where he was ordained on 28th July

  1. On completion of tertianship, he returned to Zambia.

Jim was both able and adaptable. When he returned to Chikuni, he became Minister of the house and assistant parish priest. In 1969, he became rector and taught in Canisius again for six years. He then moved to the parish for five years as parish priest. He went to Monze as secretary to the Bishop, Rt Rev James Corboy S.J. in 1981. This he did for seven years and then became director of building for the diocese. This entailed buying supplies, supervising building, carpentry, electrical work and plumbing. He added wings to Monze hospital and built a chapel there. Outstations benefited from his ability with the building of schools and churches. A special building dear to his heart was the school for the handicapped, St Mulumba, in Choma. His interest in these handicapped children never waned and varied from helping to send a few of them to the USA for the Special Olympics (where some medals were won) to sending money on the 21st birthday of the school so that the children could have a treat.

Heart trouble brought him back to Ireland for two years from 1991 to 1993, where he did some pastoral work in his beloved Limerick. With improved health, he returned to Zambia, this time to a rural area, Chilalantambo, a one-man station on the road from Choma to Namwala.

Jim loved the place and the people. He extended an awning from the veranda of the house and here he met, talked to, chatted with, debated local affairs with the people from all walks of life, including Chief Mapanza himself who lived quite near. Coming from a farming family, he gardened and planted trees in all the places he lived. He helped the farmers around Chilalantambo, buying their maize and selling it in Choma to the Indian traders, bringing back seed and fertiliser for them. He organised schemes for the women for food production. His advice, usually good, was sought for and listened to.

On weekends, Jim would head out to an outstation to celebrate Mass for the people. Confessions, baptisms, church council meetings were all part of the Sunday supply work.

Being of a practical turn of mind, he had a no-nonsense approach to life and its problems and could be quite critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church. This, combined with his placid and unruffled disposition, did not endear him to everyone. In fact, some found him difficult to understand. He was a good cook and when you went to visit him at Chilalantambo, you were sure of a tasty meal.

After five years in Chilalantambo, he went to Ireland on leave but his health prevented him from returning. That was a sad day for him, for his heart was in Zambia. That was in 1998. He was posted to Gardiner Street, Dublin, where he joined the church team. He never complained about his ill health but would say with a grin, "Looking after your health is a full time job"!

His end was a no-fuss one. He was in bed in hospital and was talking to his sister, a nun, about the possibility of moving out of the hospital when he turned over in the bed and died. He loved Scripture and spent some time in Jerusalem during a mini-sabbatical which consolidated that love.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

Note from Bill Lane Entry
On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Note from Joe McCarthy Entry
Jim Carroll was with him for his last four hours of life. When taking his leave of Jim in his final moments, Joe revealed so much of himself in his final words: ‘I think you should leave me here, old chap; there are certain formalities to be undergone from here on’! Within minutes Joe had died

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
Br Sherry's passing was sudden. On Friday ‘Sher’ (as he was known to his friends) stayed in bed for the greater part of the day. He came to meals and evening prayer. The following morning saw him as usual at the early Mass. At about 1300 hours on Saturday he phoned the Sisters in the hospital. The Sisters and doctor came over. The crisis came at about 22.50 when Sher struggled to the door of Fr Jim Carroll’s room to say that he could not breathe. Sr Grainne arrived and started cardiac massage. But the Lord had called Sher to himself.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 128 : Special Issue June 2006

Obituary

Fr James (Jim) Carroll (1909-2005) : Zambia-Malawi Province

12th February, 1934: Born in Limerick, Ireland
6th September, 1952: Entered in Emo Park, Co. Leix, Ireland
1960 - 1963: Chikuni, Canisius, teaching, regency
28th July, 1966: Ordained in Milltown Park, Dublin
1968 - 1969: Chikuni, Canisius, minister, asst. parish priest
1969 - 1975: Chikuni, Canisius, rector
15th August, 1971: Final Vows in Chikuni
1976 - 1981: Chikuni, Chikuni parish, parish priest
1981 - 1988: Monze, secretary to the Bishop of Monze
1988 - 1991: Monze director of building for the diocese
1991 - 1993: Limerick, pastoral work
1993 - 1998: Chilalantambo, parish priest
1998 - 2000: Ireland, recovering health
2000 - 2006: Dublin, Gardiner Street, assisting in Church
2nd May, 2006: Died in Dublin

Paul Brassil writes:
The death of Fr. James Carroll has come as a shock to all who knew him. The major part of his life was lived out in Zambia where he served from 1960 until 1998. During that time he held inany posts of responsibility in various fields, as well as being a Consultor for both the Province and for the Diocese, a tribute to his ability and adaptability.

There is no doubt that his farming background played a big part in shaping his outlook and apostolate. He was always observant of the natural order, and had a sympathy for those who worked the land. In his pastoral ministry he set an example by planting trees and orchards and getting vegetable gardens under way as soon as he moved into a new parish. For the local farmers he helped organise the provision of ploughs, seeds and fertifiser and assisted them in the marketing of their crops. In this he was very much a faithful follower of Fr. Joseph Moreau the founder of Chikuni Mission back in 1905. Inevitably Fr. Carroll was involved in fighting drought and famine which recurred with dreadful frequency.

Towards the end of his studies in Milltown, consideration was given to sending him on for further studies in Moral/Canon Law. But the need for men back on the mission in Zambia prevailed. With hindsight this was a pity because his practical and down to earth approach to life could have tempered the academic approach more usual in those areas of specialisation.

His talents as organiser were called on to guide the building programme of the Diocese of Monze. In the course of his time in charge of that programme he was responsible for building hospital wards, churches, schools, houses and third level institutions. This meant having three separate teams of builders, carpenters, electricians and drivers. It meant buying, transporting, storing and distributing all necessary supplies. At certain times there were severe shortages due to political instability caused by the war in neighbouring Zimbabwe and the cutting of economic ties with South Africa. In overcoming these difficulties Jim showed great ingenuity.

Among his special interests was St. Mulumba's School for the Handicapped, where he collaborated with Sr. Phillippe in building and supporting various initiatives. It was in connection with St.Mulumba's that he was involved in the Special Olympics. This work was dear to his heart. He was also concerned with the Aids epidemic.

In his pastoral work, especially during his time at Chilala Ntambo, he had warm relations with the local Anglican community, both clergy and laity. At his house the Chief, Chief Mapanza, and other Government officials, could be found enjoying his hospitality and discussing local matters. His voice on these matters was listened to because of his obvious concern for the people. Despite his own poor health, endured for many years, he travelled extensively and regularly on bad roads to bring Mass and services to the far flung out stations of the parish. Jim mixed easily with the people; his fluency in the language greatly helped, as well as his empathy for their rural way of life.

In the course of his missionary life Jim was very interested in the promotion and formation of both diocesan clergy and religious life candidates. Many young seminarians spent extended time with him, getting to know pastoral methods, and learning at first hand parish work. He was very encouraging to the religious Sisters with whom he worked, sympathetic to their efforts and supporting them as best he could

As a young man, Jim was an outstanding rugby player and was considered a loss to Irish Rugby on his entry to the Society of Jesus. He was very athletic, and had a great interest in all kinds of sport. He certainly was a skilled hurler and rode the few horses that came our way bareback. He played many a round of golf and enjoyed the game. He walked the Dublin and Wicklow Hills with verve and energy throughout his time as a student in Rathfarnham and Milltown. He always retained an interest in the horses, and had the occasional flutter. On more than one occasion he mentioned that as a boy he had exercised the greyhounds for his father, In truth he was a real Limerick man in his interests and his skills.

Jim loved a good meal and was no mean cook himself. But for the most part he lived a life of frugality and simplicity especially during the years he spent alone in Chilala Ntambo. This was certainly true during times of famine, when all his available resources were employed for the alleviation of hunger in the area. It speaks volumes for Jim that he found willing allies among the Indian traders in his relief efforts, just another example of his ability to relate well with so many different people.

One special interest that grew with the years was his interest in Scripture. He had the opportunity during his brief stay in Ireland to give a number of retreats to laity and found this work very much to his taste. The role of the laity, as proposed by the Second Vatican Council, was vital for the future of the Church in his opinion. In fact, he was very critical of the institutional Church for its failure to allow and encourage lay participation in the running of the Church.

During a mini-sabbatical he spent some three months in Jerusalem at the Biblicum. This was very special for him; it gave him an abiding interest in the Scriptures and in the Holy Land, which he used with good effect in the various retreats he directed.

It has been a privilege and a blessing for me to have known Jim and experienced his support and kindness. I can only guess at the loss that his family are enduring. For Jim, his family meant so much. He followed their careers with intense interest, especially those of the next generation, and was proud of their achievements. He found in them a source of pride, support and love. May he rest in peace.

Clarke, Arthur J, 1916-1995, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/646
  • Person
  • 11 April 1916-08 March 1995

Born: 11 April 1916, Dublin
Entered: 12 November 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 08 March 1995, John Chula House, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After leaving school at Clongowes Wood College in 1933, Arthur worked for about five years in the Hibernian Bank. Later he enjoyed recalling his days as an oarsman in a crew of eight, racing on the river Liffey in Dublin.

Arthur took as his model and ideal his Master of Juniors, Fr Charles O'Conor Don, whose motto, ‘faithful always and everywhere’, Arthur took as his own. He was noticeable for his observance of rules, regularity at prayer, simple faith, thoroughness in his work – even polishing the floor of his room. He was outstanding for his charity especially towards those in trouble or unwell. These traits remained with him all his life. One who lived with Arthur said that he had a characteristic blend of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty.

When he finished tertianship, Arthur became socius to the Master of Novices for about two years and then became Minister at Clongowes Wood College for two years. The job of Minister seemed to have followed him in all the houses he was posted to.

1958 saw him in Zambia, in Chivuna where he studied ciTonga and acted as Minister. He was transferred to Chikuni, again as Minister, but after two years became Rector there, In the role of rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism. During his six years as rector, he was blessed with such outstanding heads of Canisius as Dick Cremins and Michael J Kelly. Arthur's vision for Canisius as a leading secondary school was influenced by his experience of Clongowes Wood College in Ireland. First, he wanted a proper house for the community. Though the actual building was the responsibility of Fr McCarron and Br Pat McElduff, the siting and design of the spacious community house are largely Arthur’s. Then came the expansion of Canisius with better quality classrooms and dormitories, a fitting dining room and kitchen. Arthur was deeply involved too in the design of the college chapel.

From 1967 to 1973 he was at Namwala Government Secondary School as teacher and later as Deputy Head. Arthur revelled in giving himself to the demands made on him: teaching, conscientious correction of assignments, availability to students, and counsellor to his fellow teachers. Becoming Deputy gave him the extra load of maintaining discipline and setting high standards of behaviour and work among the students. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity. He actually wore himself out and was then transferred to the smaller Mukasa minor seminary in Choma in 1974.

However, in 1974, he went on long leave to Ireland where he was exposed to new styles of living the religious life and nuanced modifications of traditional ways of expressing Catholic doctrine. Arthur became confused and deeply upset, as his simple faith had always delighted in accepting the traditional textbook expression of the Catholic faith which he had learnt in theology. So he held on grimly to his convictions for the rest of his life, as he continued to think and preach in scholastic categories. He found Mukasa too small for him after the vastness of Namwala and was moved after two years. His eight years (1976–1984) at Charles Lwanga T.T.C. gave him fresh scope for his zeal and energies. He enjoyed being in a large community house which he kept spotlessly clean during his years as Minister. His lecturers were meticulously prepared and all assignments corrected. He was tireless in supervising teaching practice. He worked hard to build up the morale of a small group of Catholic pupils at Rusangu Secondary School.

In the end he wore himself out again and was transferred to St Ignatius in Lusaka as assistant in the parish (1984-1990). He was especially devoted to hearing confessions and generous in answering calls on his time. When Fr Max Prokoph began to fail, Arthur was as assiduous as ever in helping him. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent towards the various strays and ‘inadequates’ who quickly detected in him and easy touch and flocked around St Ignatius.

He was moved to the infirmary at John Chula House as his mind began to fail even though his body was strong and healthy. It was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer’s took its inevitable toll. At the end, Arthur died quite suddenly. It was discovered that he had widespread cancer of which he never complained. He was never one to vacillate or waffle and when the time came he took his leave of life as he had lived it, with dispatch and no nonsense.

Note from Bernard (Barney) Collins Entry
Barney moved to Namwala parish from 1968 to 1973 with Fr Clarke as his companion in the community to be joined later by Fr Eddie O’Connor (and his horse). From 1973 to 1977 he was parish priest at Chilalantambo and returned to Chikuni in 1977 to be assistant in the parish to Fr Jim Carroll.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Arthur Clarke (1916-1995)

Arthur Clarke was born on April 11th 1916 in Dublin and went to school in Clongowes, After he left school he entered the Bank of Ireland, but was not fully satisfied. A close friend told me that both he and Arthur considered going to Kenya under a British Government scheme to grow coffee. On a solitary walking holiday in the South of Ireland Arthur stayed in a Trappist monastery and decided that this was what he wanted. A short stay with the monks led to their advising Arthur that “he was too introspective” for their way of life and directed him to the Society of Jesus. There he stayed until he died in the retirement home in Lusaka Zambia on 8th March 1995.

He entered the novitiate in Emo on November 5th 1938 and followed the usual course of formation, doing his regency in the Crescent College Limerick. After Tertianship he was Socius to the Novice Master and then Minister in Clongowes, where he learnt of his appointment to Northern Rhodesia in the normal way, by someone telling him casually on the way into the refectory.

Five of us travelled out by Union Castle to Cape Town. At the Rhodesian border in Bulawayo, Arthur, always a man of integrity, insisted on paying duty on all his new clothes, despite the efforts of the Customs to assure him that as all our goods and chattels were going to Chikuni Mission there was nothing to pay.

This illustrates Arthur's characteristic blend of a keen sense of the ridiculous with a stern sense of duty. When these two clashed, Arthur would resolutely do what he considered was his duty, while muttering the while that it was all a lot of nonsense, but we had to do it. This he applied to his stints as Minister in our communities. He made no secret of his dislike of the job, but laboured might and main to keep the house spotless, and turn out magnificent meals on big occasions, even though he was not at ease in celebrations. From time to time Arthur would recount hilarious incidents of his formation years, normally involving the deflation of some pomposity or affectation. The following morning there would be an attack of conscience resulting in a stern admonition to us scholastics to show more respect in speaking of the very people Arthur had been taking off the previous evening.

Arthur had a difficult time adapting to life in Africa at first, though not through lack of trying. He was of that generation which had done no studies outside Ireland and this must have been his first experience of another culture. He took a long time to shake free of the conventions of the Irish Province, many of which were ill suited to life in the bush.

Arthur became Rector of Chikuni where he ruled with an utterly unbiased if somewhat stern hand. Sean McCarron, in Zambia to build the Teacher Training College, would point out that even he had been taken to task by Arthur for some misdemeanour, leaving us mystified as to why he should consider himself immune to Arthur's sense of what was appropriate behaviour. In the role of Rector, as in the rest of his life, Arthur never once showed the slightest trace of malice, vindictiveness or favouritism.

After his stint as Rector, Arthur went to teach in Namwala Government Secondary School. The Zambian Principal, no doubt in recognition of Arthur's commitment to order and discipline, appointed him Vice-Principal and then allowed him to get on with running the entire school, while he pursued a more leisurely way of life. This seems to have been one of the happiest times of Arthur's life in Zambia and every indication was that he had excellent relations with the staff and pupils, due no doubt to his inherent kindness and generosity.

While stationed at St. Ignatius parish in Lusaka Arthur showed his compassionate side in his care for Fr. Max Prokoph who was deteriorating in health and required constant care around the house, which Arthur showed him to a remarkable degree of patience. Fr. Dominic Nchete, a Zambian priest, said that if for nothing else, this would assure Arthur's going straight to heaven. Ascetical in his own life, stern towards those for whom he felt responsibility, Arthur was surprisingly indulgent to the various strays and inadequates who quickly detected in him an easy touch and flocked around St. Ignatius.

For someone who led such an organised and full life, it was painful to see him slowly losing touch with the outside world as Alzheimer's took its inevitable toll. Increasingly it was clear that he did not recognise those who had lived with him over the years. At the very end Arthur died quite suddenly. He was never one to vacillate or waffle, and when the time came he took his leave of this life as he had lived it, with despatch and no nonsense.

Frank Keenan

Corboy, James, 1916-2004, Jesuit priest and Roman Catholic Bishop of Monze

  • IE IJA J/590
  • Person
  • 20 October 1916-24 November 2004

Born: 20 October 1916, Caherconlish, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 24 November 2004, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Rome Italy (ROM) studying
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Bishop of Monze, 24 June 1962. Retired 1992

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
The diocese of Monze was set up on 10 March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr James Corboy S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, Ireland, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of his own country of Ireland. It had a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. It was a daunting task ahead for the new bishop.

Bishop James was born in Caharconlish, Co Limerick, Ireland in 1916. He was the son of a country doctor who lived on a small farm. There he grew up appreciating nature and farming. He attended Jesuit schools and entered the Jesuits in 1935, followed the Jesuit course of studies, arts, philosophy, regency and theology, being ordained priest at Milltown Park on 28th July 1948. After tertianship, he went to the Gregorian University for a doctorate in Ecclesiology. Later as bishop he attended the Vatican Council and became really interested in theology, something that he continued to study passionately throughout his life.

He returned to Milltown Park to lecture and also take charge of the large garden. He always loved pottering around in the garden of any house he lived in. He became rector there in 1962.

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the Bishop of a newly set-up diocese of Monze in Zambia, where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. So on 24th June he was consecrated bishop in Zambia. For 30 years he was the bishop of Monze. The task before him as he saw it was fourfold: development, pastoral work, health and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. Monze hospital was set up and run by the Holy Rosary Sisters. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaids were already in the diocese. Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, and the teaching and healing ministry. The Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers are the chief male religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart – promoting vocations from the people themselves. So in 1966, he built Mukasa, a minor seminary in Choma to foster and encourage young boys who showed an interest in the priesthood. Boys came here not only from the dioceses of Monze but also from, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. Over 50 Mukasa boys have been ordained priests and several are studying in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters – Sisters of the Holy Spirit – in 1971. The Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. These local Sisters are involved in teaching, pastoral work, nursing and formation work among their own people. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Milltown Park, Ireland on the advice of doctors both here and in Ireland. Whenever anyone visited him from here, his first question invariably was: "How are the Holy Spirit Sisters”?

He regularised the eight mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more parishes. Development was another project close to his heart. With the help of Fr Fred Moriarty SJ Monze became the leading diocese in the country in promoting development

People found Bishop Corboy approachable, kind, caring and simple. He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. He was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would often ask 'which is the Bishop?'. He loved to pray the Rosary. He was a very shy man and avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably after doing a confirmation he would say, ‘Gosh, I’d love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze’.

On 24 October 1991 he was called to State House to receive the decoration of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service for his work in the Monze Diocese.

He retired as Bishop in 1992, worked for four years at St. Ignatius in Lusaka before returning to Ireland because of his blood pressure. A short time before he died in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, his nephew, Dr John Sheehan, was with him and thought the Bishop looked distressed and asked if he was in pain. Bishop James replied. "No. God bless you, and good bye"! He died on 23 November 2004, aged 88 years.

Note from Patrick (Sher) Sherry Entry
”Sher is a great loss. Apart from his work, he was a great community man”, said the Bishop of Monze. “He was part and parcel of everything that went on in the community. He was interested in parish affairs. He never stinted himself in anything he did. In community discussions he often brought them back to some basic spiritual principle’.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/celebrating-bishop-corboy-sj/

Celebrating Bishop Corboy SJ
The life and work of James Corboy SJ, Bishop of Monze, Zambia, was celebrated with the launch of his biography by Sr Catherine Dunne, in the Arrupe Room, Milltown Park on Thursday 24 January. It was a great occasion described by some there as a “reunion of the diocese of Monze”. Over fifty people attended the launch, including members of Bishop Corboy’s family, who had an opportunity to meet many of those who had known him in Zambia.

The Irish Jesuit Provincial, Tom Layden SJ, warmly welcomed the publication of Catherine Dunne’s book, ‘The Man Called James Corboy’, published by The Messenger Office and sponsored by the Irish Jesuit Missions. He recalled meeting Bishop Corboy, whilst studying for his Leaving Certificate at Clongowes, and he remembered how he spoke about the plight of farmers in Zambia with real concern.

The Provincial said reading the book he was struck by the impact Vatican II made on James Corboy and how its vision of the Church as the people of God was always to the fore in everything he did in the Monze diocese. It permeated his leadership style and his sense of purpose, he said.

He also referred to the fact that James was given the Tonga name of “Cibinda”, meaning a wholesome person who knows where he is going and where he is leading others. Listen here to his talk. (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/two-funerals-for-jesuit- bishop)

Two of James Corboy’s nieces, Joanne Sheehan and Ann Ryan, painted an intimate picture of their uncle, especially in his later years at Cherryfield, far removed from his beloved Zambia.

Ann recalled how she and he shared a great love of gardening, flowers and muck! She said he also took great interest in the progress of his great nephews and nieces. Indeed, his great-nephews, Josh and Alan, and his great-nieces, Anna and Alice, were all present and received copies of the book from Catherine Dunne.
Joanne Sheehan told of how there had been Jesuits in the Corboy family for nearly 200 years. She said her uncle “gave his whole life to other people and in that way he was a real Jesuit – a true man for others.” But he only ever claimed a tiny role for his work in Zambia acknowledging the tremendous group of Irish people who had made an enormous contribution to the country besides himself.

Damien Burke from Jesuit Archives provided a recording of Bishop Corboy’s own words from 1962 on the occasion of his consecration as Bishop, along with slides from his early life and time in Zambia. In the recording Bishop Corboy said that “Africa owes a tremendous debt to the Irish people” and thanked everyone for their continued prayers and financial support.
Sr Pius, an 89 year old missionary nun who worked with him in Monze, recalled his attempts to teach them about Vatican II on his return from Rome. “He said that the Council changed his life forever, and he talked about ‘communio’ so often. Something about him touched our hearts as he tried to teach us about the Second Vatican Council – even us ‘noodley’ heads were moved.” She said he valued people and valued particularly the wisdom of women. “We owe him a great debt.”
Sr Catherine Dunne also spoke and read an appreciation of the book from Sr Rosalio of the Holy Spirit Sisters, the order founded by the Bishop with the assistance of Catherine herself.
She said she was encouraged to know the book meant so much to people because, “many’s a time whilst writing it I heard his voice from behind me saying ‘have you nothing better to do with you time?’ I’m glad I didn’t heed that voice now”.
After the launch and a celebratory lunch, Sr Catherine spoke in depth to Pat Coyle of the Jesuit Communication Centre about ‘This Man Called James Corboy”: Listen here : (http://www.jesuit.ie/content/onsite/irish-jesuit-podcasts/the-man-from-monze).

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 37th Year No 3 1962

GENERAL
On April 18th the midday news from Vatican Radio contained the announcement that Fr. James Corboy, Rector of Milltown Park, had been appointed bishop-elect of the newly-created diocese of Monze, Northern Rhodesia.
The bishop of Monze entered the Society at St. Mary's, Emo, in 1935.. and from 1937 to 1941 studied at U.C.D., where he obtained his M.A. Degree in Irish History. He studied Philosophy at Tullabeg and taught at Belvedere 1944-45. His Theology was done at Milltown Park, where he was ordained in July 1948. After his Tertianship at Rathfarnham, he attended the Gregorian University, where he obtained the D.D. in Dogmatic Theology. Since 1952 he has been Professor of Fundamental Theology and Rector since 1959.
The diocese of Monze comprises the mission area assigned to our Province in 1957 and, before its constitution as a separate entity, formed part of the archdiocese of Lusaka.
Bishop Corboy left Ireland on May 31st for Rome and thence to Rhodesia. The consecration has been fixed for June 24th at Chikuni and the consecrating prelates are Most Rev. Adam Kozlowiecki, S.J., Arch bishop of Lusaka, Most Rev. Francis Markall, S.J., Archbishop of Salisbury, and Right Rev. Timothy O'Shea, O.F.M.Cap., Bishop of Livingstone.
The Province and the Mission received with great joy the news of the erection of the diocese of Monze and of the election of its first bishop, who can be assured of the good wishes and prayers of all for a long, happy and fruitful pastorate.

Milltown Park
It was during the same week that news came of the appointment of our Rector, Fr. Corboy, to the newly-created diocese of Monze. Our pleasure at this compliment to Fr. Corboy and at the progress it signifies in the development of Rhodesia was marred only by our regret to be losing so kind and capable a Superior. A special lecture was organised on May 9th, the proceeds of which were presented to the bishop-elect. We are grateful to Fr. Moloney of the Workers' College for speaking on the title “Education for Marriage, 1962”. At a reception afterwards in the Retreat House Refectory, the Ladies Committee and the Men's Committee both made presentations to Dr. Corboy. A dinner was given in his honour on May 23rd and after it several speeches were made. Fr. Patrick Joy, Acting Rector, took the opportunity to assure Dr. Corboy of the continuing support of all those associated with Milltown, including the Ladies Committee. Fr. Brendan Barry, having prefaced his remarks with the words “Egredere de domo tua”, congratulated the mission on the erection of the new diocese and the election of its bishop. Fr. Tom Cooney then rose to voice on behalf of the missionaries their pleasure at welcoming one so young and capable to the government of Monze diocese. In fact he had to apologise for mistaking the bishop-elect a few days previously for a scholastic. In more serious vein, he went on to trace for us the history of the whole question of the Province's responsibility for a mission territory, since the appointment of a bishop has always been the corollary to that issue. He told us that it all went back to before the war, when it still seemed that we could expand in China. When that proved impossible there was question either of a territory in Rhodesia or of educational work in Malaya. Eventually it was Fr. General who decided on our taking responsibility in Rhodesia. Fr. Cooney viewed Dr. Corboy's appointment in the light of all that development and he wished to pay tribute to the constant generosity of the home Province, towards Australia, the Far East and Rhodesia. Fr. Kevin Smyth spoke on behalf of the Faculty, remarking that he was glad to note the departure from usual practice in selecting the bishop not from the canonists but, as he said, from the theologians. To the speeches of the upper community Mr. Guerrini, our Beadle, added his “small voice” on behalf of the scholastics. He proposed his tribute in the form of a thesis. This thesis, he said, was theologically certain, since it met with the constant and universal consent of the Theologians - not to mention the Fathers. There were no adversaries, and he went on to prove his point from the experience of the last few years. Dr. Corboy then spoke. He expressed his attachment to Milltown and of the debt of gratitude he felt towards all who had worked with him in Milltown. He commended the diocese of Monze to our prayers.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Bishop James Corboy (1916-2004) : Zambia Malawi Province

Oct. 20th 1916: Born in Caherconlish, Limerick
Early education at The Crescent, Limerick and Clongowes Wood College
Sept. 7th 1935: Entered the Society at Emo
Sept. 8th 1937: First Vows at Emo
1937 - 1941: Rathfarnham - Arts at UCD
1941 - 1944 Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1944 - 1945: Belvedere College - Teaching (Regency)
1945 – 1949: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
July 28th 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1952: Gregorian, Rome - Studied Fundamental Theology
1952 - 1962: Milltown Park:
1952 - 1959: Lecturing in Theology and in charge of farm
Feb. 2nd 1953: Final Vows
1959 - 1962 Rector; Lecturing in Theology; Prov. Consultor
June 24th 1962: Consecrated Bishop of Monze, Zambia
1962 - 1996: Pastor of Monze Diocese.
1996 - 2003: Retired as bishop; returned to Milltown Park; writer, House Librarian.
2003 - 2004” Cherryfield Lodge.
Nov. 24th, 2004: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin

Bishop James Corboy Pioneer of Catholic Church in Zambia

From: Times of Zambia, 18 Dec. 2004 Written by: James P. McGloin, S.J. (Socius, ZAM Province)

Bishop James Corboy, S.J., the retired bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Monze, died in Dublin, Ireland on 24th November 2004. On 10th December a well-attended memorial Eucharist was held at the Monze Cathedral with Bishop Emilio Patriarca of Monze presiding. Bishop Raymond Mpezele of Livingstone and many clergy from the diocese and elsewhere concelebrated at the Eucharist. Fr. Colm Brophy, S.J., the provincial of the Jesuits, preached.

In 1962 the Diocese of Monze was established from the southern part of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. In March of that year Fr. James Corboy was appointed its first bishop. At the time he was a professor of theology and rector of the Jesuit School of Theology in Dublin. He had never been to Africa before. Looking from our perspective, it seems like a very strange appointment. However, the area of the new diocese was a mission area under the auspices of the Irish Jesuits based in Chikuni. These Jesuits ran the mission, Canisius College and Charles Lwanga Teachers' College in Chikuni along with seven other mission stations in the new diocese. Perhaps the Jesuit missionaries who were already there were thought too independent minded to accept one of their own as bishop. Perhaps it was thought that someone from the outside might bring a new perspective to the work. Whatever the reason, James Corboy, without any experience of Africa, was appointed the first bishop.

Bishop Corboy was born in the small village of Caharconlish in County Limerick, Ireland in 1916. Being from a rural area, he grew up appreciating nature and farming, an appreciation he kept all his life. He did his primary school in the village and got a good basic education. For early secondary school he had to travel to the nearest town. This meant using a bicycle to the train station, then by train to the town, then a walk to school, and back again each day. Since, his travel took so much time each day, his parents later sent him to a Jesuit boarding school to finish his education.

After his secondary school in 1935, he entered the Jesuits and was ordained a priest thirteen years later in Dublin. He went to Rome, then, and studied at the Gregorian University, receiving a doctorate in theology. Returning from Rome, he began his career as a professor in the school of theology, where he eventually was made rector.

At the time of his appointment as bishop, the great reforming council of the Catholic Church, Vatican Council II, began in Rome. Bishop Corboy attend all four sessions of the Council from 1962 to 1965. The Council had an immense influence on him. He was wont to say that, despite his doctoral studies, he never really studied theology until the Council. During the Council he studied and read theology, something that he continued to do passionately throughout his life.

When he was ordained bishop in Monze in June 1962, there were about twenty Jesuit missionaries working in the area, some Religious Sisters of Charity, and one eminent Zambian priest, the late Fr. Dominic Nchete. Bishop Corboy began inviting other missionary groups into the diocese to improve the education and health services of the area. The Holy Rosary Sisters opened Monze Mission Hospital (now District Hospital) and Mazabuka Girls' Secondary School; the Christian Brothers began St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka and Mawaggali Trades Training Institute in Choma; the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary managed St. Joseph's Secondary School in Chivuna while the Presentation Sisters managed Kasiya Secretarial College; the Sisters of Charity of Milan opened a mission hospital in Chirundu and the John of God Brothers began a rehabilitation centre for the handicapped in Monze. Many lay volunteers came from overseas in these early days to help staff these new institutions.

In the area of development a well-run diocesan office was opened in Monze which, among many projects, offered agricultural advisory services and courses throughout the diocese. The Monze Youth Projects, managed by the Sisters of Mercy, was opened, offering catering, tailoring and carpentry training. In almost every parish in the diocese a homecraft or tailoring centre was begun.

Much of this development took place during the initial, exciting years of Zambian Independence. Bishop Corboy's vision of a better Zambia for all its people went hand in hand with the vision of the newly independent government. His contribution was recognized by President Kenneth Kaunda, who awarded him the honour of Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service in 1991.

The bishop was also concerned with the pastoral development of his diocese. Besides inviting the Spiritans and Fidei Donum priests from other dioceses to open new parishes, he realised the importance of developing a local Zambian clergy. In 1966 he opened Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as a secondary school for boys considering a vocation to the priesthood. At present there are nearly 50 ordained priests from the boys who began their schooling in Mukasa. These priests work in the Monze Diocese and in other dioceses that send boys to the seminary. He also saw the need for Zambian Sisters and in 1971 began a diocesan congregation of sisters, called the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. Today the sisters have convents in Chikuni, Choma, Chivuna, Mazabuka and Monze and offer a variety of services in the schools, hospitals and parishes.

From the Vatican Council, Bishop Corboy learned deeply that the Church was not just bishops, priests and sisters. Rather the Church, to use the Council's great image, is the People of God. Bishop Corboy wanted a well informed Catholic laity in his diocese, good Christians who could run parish councils effectively, preach and offer Sunday services when a priest was not available, teach young people the essential truths of their faith and prepare them to receive the sacraments. During his time as bishop, St. Kizito Pastoral Centre outside of Monze was open to offer courses in Christian and pastoral formation for the people of the diocese. Oftentimes, the bishop himself would present much appreciated talks on scripture and on different theological topics.

When Bishop Corboy came to Zambia, he studied Citonga and had a passable knowledge of the language. Whenever he preached in the language he spoke simply but clearly and correctly. Even in English, he always preached simply and sincerely also. Every year when he came to Charles Lwanga Teachers' College, his homily was essentially the same. He remembered still his own primary school teachers, men and women, who were dedicated to their work and concerned about the children. Then, he told the Lwanga students that they had chosen a noble profession and how they could be a force for good in the lives of so many young people.

True to his rural roots, Bishop Corboy loved nature and farming. For a day off he might spend a few hours bird watching at nearby Lochinvar National Park. He always had a small garden behind his house in Monze and would often be found there watering or weeding. It is said that sometimes. visitors who did not know him would be told that he was outside. They would meet the old man working in the garden saying, "Brother, we would like to meet the bishop." He would tell them to go back to the office and the bishop would be there in a few minutes. Shortly, the bishop, out of his garden clothes, would introduce himself to the surprised visitors.

A very shy man, the bishop avoided large social gatherings when he could. Inevitably, after doing a confirmation at one of the colleges or parishes, he would say, “Gosh, I'd love to stay for the celebrations, but I have some important business to get back to in Monze." Although shy, the shyness did not deter him from working well with different organisations and groups of people. He was able to listen, to offer advice and to give his lay and religious colleagues plenty of leeway to do their work without interfering.

Bishop Corboy tried always to defer to the opinions of the Zambian bishops in the Episcopal Conference. Archbishop Mazombwe, in a condolence letter, recalled an event in 1973 when he had just taken over from Bishop Corboy as president of the Zambia Episcopal Conference. Bishop Corboy wrote to him, "I am not coming to the Executive Board Meeting of ZEC and I am not going for the AMECEA (the Bishops of all of Eastern Africa) Plenary Meeting in Nairobi. I am tired, I have been teaching mathematics at Mukasa Seminary and I will be in retreat." The Archbishop, who was then Bishop of Chipata, relates how he interrupted his own retreat and said, "My Lord, I have never chaired a ZEC meeting, this will be my first time. I need you. I have never attended an AMECEA Plenary Meeting, I need you.” Bishop Corboy's response was immediate and to the point. "I will come to the ZEC Executive Board Meeting, but I will not go for the AMECEA Plenary because there are enough African bishops with experience."

Looking forward to the day when a Zambian would replace him, Bishop Corboy had his dream come true in 1992, after thirty years as bishop of Monze. In that year Bishop Paul Lungu, S.J. succeeded him as bishop. From the 8 mission stations at the origin of the diocese, there were 21 parishes when Bishop Lungu took over, Bishop Corboy was able to hand over a well-established diocese with an active and effective body of Zambian clergy, religious and laity.

Bishop Corboy did not leave Zambia immediately on retiring. He moved to St. Ignatius Jesuit Community in Lusaka where he frequently helped in the church and served as librarian at the Jesuit Theological Library in Chelston. In 1996 when his health began to deteriorate, he returned to his native country where he continued his reading and writing until his death.
His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan, who worked for sometime in Monze Hospital, was with him when he was dying. Dr. Sheehan saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he could give him something for the pain. Bishop Corboy, in his typical way, held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew, saying, “No, thanks very much, I'm all right...and then continued, “Good-by now, God bless you”. Then he died. "Good-by. God bless you”-his final words to his nephew-but also to the people of the Diocese of Monze whom he loved so much and served so well.

Tom McGivern wrote in ZAM Province News, Dec. 2004:

The diocese of Monze was set up on 10" March 1962, an offshoot of the Archdiocese of Lusaka. Fr. James Corboy, S.J., at that time a professor of theology in Milltown Park, Dublin, was appointed to be the first bishop of the new diocese. This new diocese was three-quarters the size of the whole country of Ireland from which the new bishop came. It has a population of a million people, 16% of whom were Catholic. At that time there were 8 mission stations in the whole area centred at Chikuni. A daunting task ahead for the new bishop!

At the age of 43 he found himself appointed to be the bishop of the newly established diocese of Monze where the Jesuits had been working since 1905. On the 24h of June 1962 he was ordained bishop in Monze.

For 30 years he was the bishop. The daunting task before him was fourfold as he saw it: development, pastoral work, health care, and education. He invited a number of congregations to help him in this task. The Sisters of Charity and the Handmaid Sisters were already in the diocese. The Holy Rosary Sisters, Presentation Sisters, Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary, the Sisters of Charity of Milan and others entered into pastoral work, health care and education. Spiritans, Christian Brothers and John of God Brothers were some of the men religious groups who came to help in various fields.

As early as four years after becoming bishop, he put into effect a project after his own heart-vocations from the local people themselves. In 1966 he built Mukasa minor seminary in Choma “to foster and encourage young boys who show interest in the priesthood”. Boys came from the dioceses of Monze, Livingstone, Lusaka and Solwezi. At present there are about 50 of these boys who have been ordained priests and there are numbers in the major seminaries.

Another project very close to his heart was the establishment of a local congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit. In 1971 the congregation began and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Mary helped out in this venture. As the bishop wished, the sisters are now involved in teaching, nursing, pastoral and formation work among the people of the Monze Diocese. The last eight years of his life Bishop James spent in Ireland on the advice of doctors. Whenever anyone visited him from Zambia, the first question invariably was, “How are the Holy Spirit Sisters?”

As bishop, he regularised the 8 mission stations as parishes and set up 13 more. He also set up a development office in Monze, headed for many years by the late Fred Moriarity, S.J. Because of it, Monze became one of the leading dioceses in development in the country.

In Matthew's gospel when Christ sent out the Twelve, he advised them to be as clever as snakes and as simple as doves. Bishop James was extremely clever and yet very simple. To set up hospitals, schools, parishes, churches et al., money and personnel had to be found mostly from overseas. A frequent question on his lips to his secretary, the late Joe Conway, S.J. was, :Joe, has that cheque come through yet?”

When the war in Zimbabwe was raging, the Zambezi Valley was strewn with land mines, yet Bishop James drove down alone to Chirundu to make sure the people there were safe and to encourage them. After the war some government official wanted to close down the hospital there, but unsuccessfully, as he had to deal with Bishop James.

The bishop was a good theologian, and, for any important conference he had to give, he would retire to Chikuni to pray, read and prepare. Once sisters involved in health care had a day's seminar on the Theology of Healing. His phrase, "Healing begins at the door of the hospital” lasted with them for a long time.

People found him approachable, kind, caring and simple. Simple? He spoke simply (deceptively so, some said). He could explain himself in quite simple language, understood by all. He had to learn ciTonga in which he had a passable skill and even that was spoken simply but correctly. And he was unassuming. Often in a crowd, one would ask, “Which is the bishop?”

From Colm Brophy's homily at a Memorial Mass in Monze:

His nephew, Dr. John Sheehan—who worked here in Monze hospital—was with him when he was dying. John saw his breathing was very bad and asked him if he was in pain and could he give him something for the pain. Bishop James, in his typical way, said: “No, thanks very much, I'm all right”. - and then held out his hand and shook hands with his nephew John and said: “Good-by now, God bless you”. And then he died, That handshake, that “Good-by now, God bless you” was his “Good-by, God bless you” for all of us.

Diffely, Edward, 1916-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/501
  • Person
  • 10 April 1916-22 September 1993

Born: 10 April 1916, Cloonfad, Co Roscommon / Wood Quay, Galway
Entered: 07 September 1934, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 30 July 1947, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1950, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway
Died: 22 September 1993, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Eddie was born in Cloonfad, Co Roscommon in 1916. His family moved to Galway where Eddie attended St Joseph's College and later Coláiste Iognáid. He entered the Jesuits in 1934 and was ordained priest at Milltown Park, Dublin, in 1947.

He spent almost fifty years in the active apostolate, first of all as a scholastic in Clongowes and as a priest in Coláiste Iognáid and Belvedere; secondly in giving retreats and missions throughout Ireland; and lastly in mission work in Zambia. To all of these, he brought unbounded drive and enthusiasm.

Eddie was a conscientious and successful teacher, mostly of Irish and Religion. He had a tremendous capacity for motivating young people and drawing the best out of them. They followed his lead with enthusiasm and zest. Many of them remember him years later with gratitude and affection.

It was probably outside the classroom that Eddie exercised his greatest talent. He was strong and athletic with considerable natural talent for a variety of games. In each of the colleges in which he taught, his love for the Irish language and Irish culture was carried over from the classroom into a wide range of extra-curricular activities: Irish dancing, debating, hurling and Gaelic football. His interest in these continued through life. His great interest, however, was in rowing. As a schoolboy, he with a few others organised the first rowing crew to appear on the river for many years. This was in the early thirties and ever since the college rowing club has played a large part in the history of Galway rowing. One of the highlights of his life was his selection as President of the Irish Rowing Union.

He had a natural gift for friendship. Wherever he went, he made friends. A casual meeting would lead to further contacts, growing eventually into a close friendship which often lasted for life. His warmth and humanity and genuine interest in people broke through all barriers of nationality, colour, religious belief or social caste.

He loved company and social occasions and he enlivened every one of these. But it was not all fun. Many a time at one of these functions he would be called out by someone who had been away from the Church for many a year.

He was very faithful to the way of life he had undertaken. Number one in Eddie Diffely's book was his priesthood and Jesuit vocation. No one was ever under any illusion about his commitment to these. His faithfulness to the Mass and the breviary was absolute. He never omitted these no matter how crowded his day was.

What were his failings? It can be said that he had quite a few, most of them springing from a generous nature that was quick to react to any form of injustice. Cheek from a pupil in class or a motorist parking and blocking an entrance could produce a fit of rage and he would tear strips of the offender with typical Diffely eloquence.

His short two years in Zambia brought the same characteristics of this generous man with his gift for friendship and conviviality. He was a teacher in Mukasa, minister in St Ignatius and he gave retreats. Generosity and a desire to help deserving causes were always part of Eddie's apostolate. He took an active part in fund-raising to found a Cheshire Home for disabled people in Galway as well as other charities which benefited from his efforts – Simon, Samaritans and St Vincent de Paul Society.

He had a long spell of illness at the end of 1992 which left him weak and apparently beyond recovery. But he rallied and regained some strength. He was due to leave for England to visit relations in September and was looking forward to the holiday. But the Lord had different plans for him and took him to Himself the evening before he left. Thus he was active and generous to the end. The news of his sudden death came as a great shock to his family and to many people in Galway. Yet all were agreed that this is how he himself would have chosen to pass away among his own while still active and in touch with many people, with a minimum of fuss.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Fr Eddie Diffley (1916-1993)

10th April 1916: Born, Cloonfad, Roscommon
7th Sept. 1934: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1936: First Vows at Emo
1936 - 1939: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD
1939 - 1942: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Offaly
1942 - 1944: Clongowes - Regency, Teacher, H.Dip in Ed
1944 - 1948: Milltown Park, Theology
30th July 1947: Ordained by Archbishop J.C. McQuaid at Milltown Park
1948 - 1949; Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1949 - 1954; St. Ignatius, Galway - Teacher
1954 - 1962: Belvedere College - Teacher
1962 - 1964: Tullabeg - Retreats
1964 - 1966: Milltown Park/Rathfarnham - Retreats
1966 - 1968; Zambia - Retreats, Teacher, Minister
1968 - 1971: Manresa - Retreats
1971 - 1993: St. Ignatius, Galway - Minister, Teacher, Rowing Coach
22nd Sept. 1993: Died at St. Ignatius, Galway

In the evening of 22nd of September, 1993, Fr, Eddie Diffely was taken ill suddenly at St. Ignatius, Galway and within a few short minutes, he died in the presence of three or four of his friends in the community. Although Eddie had not been well for some while past, the news of his sudden death came as a great shock to his family and to many people in Galway.

Yet all were agreed that this is how he himself would have chosen to pass away: among his own, while still active and in touch with many people, with a minimum of fuss.

Eddie Diffely was born in Cloonfad, Co. Roscommon in 1916. Shortly afterwards, the family moved to Wood Quay, Galway. He was educated in St. Joseph's College, run by the Patrician Brothers, for whom he had a lifelong regard, and later in Coláiste Iognáid. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo in 1934 and was ordained at Milltown Park in 1947.

He spent almost fifty years in the active apostolate, first of all as a scholastic in Clongowes and as a priest in Coláiste Tognáid and Belvedere; secondly, in giving retreats and missions throughout Ireland, and lastly, in mission work in Zambia. To all of these, he brought unbounded drive and enthusiasm.

Eddie was a conscientious and successful teacher, mostly of Irish and Religion. He had a tremendous capacity for motivating young people and drawing the best out of them. They followed his lead with enthusiasm and zest. Many of them remember him years later with gratitude and affection.

It was probably outside the classroom that Eddie exercised his greatest influence. He was strong and athletic with a considerable natural talent for a variety of games. In each of the colleges in which he taught, his love for the Irish language and Irish culture was carried over from the classroom into a wide range of extra-curricular activities: Irish dancing, debating, hurling and Gaelic football. His interest in these continued through life. In Galway, he was a co founder of St. Kieran's Gaelic Football club, which flourished for a considerable number of years. His interest in Irish politics continued through life.

His great interest, however, was in rowing. As a schoolboy, he and a few contemporaries organised the first rowing crew to appear on the river for many years, this was in the early thirties and the college rowing club has played a large part in the history of Galway rowing ever since.

Rowing appealed to Eddie for many reasons, its competitiveness, its striving for excellence through regular training, the travel involved to various regattas, its whole social dimension. His immense enthusiasm conveyed itself to the boys and to the many coaches who helped him in the training. Rowing, more than any other activity, widened his range of friends, not only in Ireland - North and South - but in Britain and further afield. One of the highlights of his life was his selection as President of the Irish Rowing Union.

He had a natural gift for friendship. Wherever he went, he made friends. A casual meeting would lead to further contact growing into a close friendship which often lasted for life. His warmth and humanity and genuine interest in people broke through all barriers of nationality, colour, religious belief, social caste. He had an extraordinary ability for recognising people even after a lapse of many years and recalling not only their names but also many aspects of their lives - their families and relations, especially any who were ill or incapacitated, their careers and way of life. Despite the huge range of his friends, people somehow felt that Eddie had a special regard for them and treasured their friendship.

He loved company and social occasions. He enlivened every one of these, baptisms and weddings, anniversaries and club socials, even funerals, with his sense of fun, his swapping of yarns, his singing - both solo and as part of the general chorus. Consequently he was greatly in demand for all such festivities.

It was not all just fun. There was an aspect of Eddie's friendships known mainly by his closer friends. Many of these can recall times when in the midst of all the conviviality, someone would tap him on the shoulder and Eddie would be asked to see a person - man or woman - who wished to have a word with him. Right away, he would join whoever it was, go off to another room or into a hidden corner and would be away for quite a while. God alone knows the number of people - mostly men - some of whom had not darkened the door of a church for many years, who were brought back to friendship with God and to the practice of their religion through a chance meeting with him at a wedding or regatta. Others undoubtedly unloaded their problems or were consoled in times of bereavement or trial.

The impression might be given from all this activity that this was a disorganised life, each day a round of hectic engagements, carried out in haphazard fashion. In fact, it was exactly the opposite. Eddie was meticulous in fulfilling his engagements and went to great lengths to keep appointments. A close friend who travelled to Belfast with him on the Saturday before he died said that his main concern on the way home was to be in time for the Mass which he had arranged to say for the students in the school on the Sunday.

He was very faithful to the way of life he had undertaken. Number one in Eddie Diffely's book were his priesthood and Jesuit vocation. No one was ever under any illusion about his commitment to these. Where others of the clergy might appear on social occasions in casual dress, he invariably wore the clerical garb. One of his closest friends remembers his first appearance as President of the Irish Rowing Union at a function of the Ulster Branch in Belfast. Rowing in the North is largely the preserve of the various Protestant denominations and it was an unusual experience for them to be addressed by a Jesuit priest in full clericals. They were soon won over by Eddie's friendliness and laid-back manner and many of them became good friends of his over the years.

Another aspect of Eddie's priesthood was his faithfulness to the Mass and the breviary. These were never omitted no matter what other activities were crowded into his day. His Masses were offered sometimes in unusual surroundings - in factories, canteens, club houses and in the open air at regattas. One man I spoke to recalled a Mass offered at Fermoy regatta with the bonnet of a car as the altar near the finish-point of the races. During the Mass, a great cheer went up urging the Jes crew on to greater efforts. “Hold it, hold it for two minutes”, came from Eddie, and the crowd at the finish witnessed the scene of Eddie clad in vestments urging the lads on for a win. For him, Mass was part of daily life. Those who attended those Masses vouch for the fact that quite a number from other clubs joined in the prayers and celebration.

What were his failings? It can be said that he had quite a few, most of them springing from a generous nature that was quick to react to any form of injustice. Cheek from a pupil in class or a motorist parking and blocking an entrance could produce a fit of rage and he would tear strips off the offender with typical Diffely eloquence. Nor did it always end with mere words.

I remember, soon after I took over from Eddie as games-master in Coláiste lognáid in 1954, we were present at a match in Carraroe, featuring St. Kieran's and the local club. It was a crucial game and the excitement was intense. We were standing near a group of Carraroe supporters including a local business-man named O'Shea and the verbal battle between Eddie and himself got more and more heated. Finally O'Shea roared “If it weren't for the collar, I'd show you....” with various expletives. Eddie tore off his collar, followed by his jacket: they squared up to each other and if the crowd had not intervened, there would have been real damage done.

Such episodes only emphasised the general goodness of his life. Generosity and a desire to help deserving causes were always part of Eddie's apostolate. We were always aware of this but it was only after his death that the extent of his commitment became apparent. He was particularly interested in the Cheshire Homes for disabled people and took an active part in their fund-raising efforts to found a house in Galway. Apart from actual fund-raising, he was always available for Masses and functions of all kinds. After his death, a considerable sum of money was found among his effects and a long list of charities which benefited from his efforts - the Cheshire Homes, Simon, the Samaritans and the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

The last few years of Eddie's life saw a serious deterioration in his health, with was a continual source of concern for all his friends. The years of intense activity began to take their toll. Severe arthritis in different parts of his body, but especially in his legs, caused considerable pain which could only be relieved by regular injections, He had a long spell of illness at the end of 1992 which left him weak and apparently beyond recovery. But he rallied and regained some strength. He was due to leave for England to visit his relations in September and was looking forward to the holiday. But the Lord had different plans for him and took him to Himself the evening before.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Bob Mc Goran

Dowling, Maurice, 1896-1965, Jesuit priest, chaplain and missioner

  • IE IJA J/729
  • Person
  • 23 December 1896-27 August 1965

Born: 23 December 1896, Sallins, County Kildare
Entered: 31 August 1914, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 27 August 1929, Valkenburg, Netherlands
Final vows: 15 August 1933
Died: 27 August 1965, Lusaka, Zambia

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

1942-1946 Military Chaplain

by 1921 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying
by 1927 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1932 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship
by 1949 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - joined Patrick Walsh and Patrick JT O’Brien in Second group of Zambian Missioners
by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Maurice’s family used to spend a month in Skerries, an Irish seaside resort, in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl who was drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr Dowling was reading the evening paper, that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled "Bravo"! beside the passages and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way, sums up a characteristic of Maurice that he had already developed at that age, – he was modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896 in Dublin. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother Desmond behind. Both boys went to Clongowes Wood College for their secondary education.

At the age of 18, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg and followed the normal course of studies which were followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained in 1929 on 29th August. He spent some time in the colleges as teacher and prefect e.g. the Crescent, Limerick in the thirties.

As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area). He genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who died working for the Legion in Africa.

During the Second World War he volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was traveling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another nodding towards Maurice "He's had it"! (but in much more colourful language).
After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two Irish Jesuits volunteered in 1946 (Fr Paddy Walsh and Fr Paddy O'Brien) to be followed by two more in 1947, Maurice and Fr Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a Government school at Munali, Lusaka which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr Max Prokoph who had been instrumental in getting Fr Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, "I have never met a more loyal man". Fr Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.
While at Chikuni, he would travel south to Choma at the week-end to say Mass long before a mission was opened in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to Namwala to the newly built mission as the first resident priest bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. He later moved to Chivuna in 1964 and died in Lusaka on 26 August, 1965.

Fr Maurice had great qualities: his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal as Fr Prokoph remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and on the mission.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941
General :
Seven more chaplains to the forces in England were appointed in July : Frs Burden, Donnelly, J Hayes, Lennon and C Murphy, who left on 1st September to report in Northern Ireland, and Fr Guinane who left on 9th September.
Fr. M. Dowling owing to the serious accident he unfortunately met when travelling by bus from Limerick to Dublin in August will not be able to report for active duty for some weeks to come. He is, as reported by Fr. Lennon of the Scottish Command in Midlothian expected in that area.
Of the chaplains who left us on 26th May last, at least three have been back already on leave. Fr. Hayes reports from Redcar Yorks that he is completely at home and experiences no sense of strangeness. Fr. Murphy is working' with the Second Lancashire Fusiliers and reports having met Fr. Shields when passing through Salisbury - the latter is very satisfied and is doing well. Fr. Burden reports from Catterick Camp, Yorks, that he is living with Fr. Burrows, S.J., and has a Church of his own, “so I am a sort of PP”.
Fr. Lennon was impressed very much by the kindness already shown him on all hands at Belfast, Glasgow, Edinburgh and in his Parish. He has found the officers in the different camps very kind and pleased that he had come. This brigade has been without a R.C. Chaplain for many months and has never yet had any R.C. Chaplain for any decent length of time. I am a brigade-chaplain like Fr Kennedy and Fr. Naughton down south. He says Mass on weekdays in a local Church served by our Fathers from Dalkeith but only open on Sundays. This is the first time the Catholics have had Mass in week-days

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 18th Year No 1 1943

Fr. Maurice Dowling was awarded substantial damages with costs in the action against Great Southern Railways Co. which came before Mr. Justice Hanna and a jury in the High Court on 4th November. It will be remembered Fr. Dowling met with his serious accident 18th August, 1941, when the bus in which he was travelling from Limerick to Dublin in order to report for active service was involved in a collision near the Red Cow, Clondalkin.

Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948

Frs. Dowling and Gill will be leaving soon for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 1 1949

Frs. Dowling and Gill who left Dublin for the Lusaka Mission, N. Rhodesia, on 7th October reached their destination on 4th November; for the present they are stationed at Chikuni and Lusaka respectively.

Irish Province News 24th Year No 3 1949

LETTERS :

Fr. M. Dowling in a letter from Chikuni Mission, N. Rhodesia :
He says there are now 282 boys in the Central Boarding School ; and 60 girls under the care of the Irish Sisters of Charity. All are native Africans, 95% baptised and but a few catechumens. The staff consists of Fr. M. Prokoph, Principal of the School, Fr. Dowling himself, Fr. Lewisha, an African, two Sisters of Oharity, an English laymaster, and four African teachers.

“I am teaching Religious Knowledge, Chemistry, General Science, History and Maths. My classes vary in number between 45 and 50. We are rather understaffed and so are kept busy. The top classes at present reach a standard equivalent to our Inter-Cert. There is also a course for Teachers, and a Trades School for carpenters and brick layers.
The mission depends on us for its Catholic teachers and the number of Catechumens depends on them too. The mission is very short of men and many are old and ill. Many of the Polish Fathers have been out here 20 and 25 years without a break.
Normally the rainy season begins here in October and lasts till March. This year it has been a failure. We have had 18 inches of rain instead of our usual 35-40 and there is grave danger of famine in all Central Africa. Famine has already begun in Nyassaland.
There are six different African languages spoken by different sections of the boys. All teaching above standard IV is in English. Many are quite good at English.
The weather is pretty hot, which I like but some don't. It has averaged 95 degrees in the shade for a long time recently. I have lost two stone since I came here and gone down from 16 stone to 14. You wouldn't know my slender form!”

Irish Province News 41st Year No 1 1966

Obituary :

Fr Maurice Dowling SJ (1896-1965)

Fr. Dowling's death was a great shock even for us on the mission. His operation had been successful, he was making a good recovery, and then the end came suddenly and unexpectedly in a heart attack. Rev. Fr. Superior, who was in Lusaka at the time, was called by telephone and was able to give him Extreme Unction and recite the prayers for the dying. He died during the prayers without regaining consciousness.
The funeral, preceded by Requiem Mass, took place on Sunday afternoon. He was buried in Chikuni, as he certainly would have wished, beside Fr. A. Cox and Fr. D. Byrne, and close to the founders of the mission - Frs. Moreau and Torrend. Fr. Dowling had known Fr. Moreau, he had been with him for a few months before his death in January 1949, and had anointed him before he died.
There was a very big attendance at the Mass and funeral, for he had made many friends during his seventeen years in the country. They came not only from the neighbourhood but even from Livingstone, Lusaka and Brokenhill. They included boys whom he had taught many years ago and who were now young men of importance in Government positions, Sisters and Brothers of several congregations to whom he had given retreats, and many priests both African and European. His Grace the Archbishop of Lusaka and His Lordship Bishop Corboy were also able to be present as they had not yet left for Rome.
In his panegyric during the Mass, Rev. Fr. Superior paid tribute to Fr. Dowling's great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army and in the mission, and his reward must therefore be very great.
When Fr. Dowling came to Chikuni in 1948, there was only one secondary school for Africans in Northern Rhodesia, a Government school at Munali which had been founded ten years before. He played a big part in founding the second school, Canisius College. Speaking of his work in the college during the first few years, Fr. Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him: “I have never met a more loyal man”. He described how in the initial difficult days Fr. Dowling had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal. Loyalty then would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater and to his many friends as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. He was a man of whom it can be truly said that it was a privilege to have known him and to have lived with him.

Death of a Jesuit Friend
The first intimation our family received on Easter Monday, 1916, that the Volunteers had risen, taken over the General Post Office and other key buildings, was when a neighbour, Mr. P. A. Dowling, Registrar of the College of Science, knocked at the door and excitedly told us the news.
This morning (2nd September 1965) I attended a Requiem Mass in the Jesuit Church, Gardiner Street, offered for the soul of Fr. Maurice Dowling, S.J, second son of the neighbour who rushed to us with the news of the Rising. Fr. Maurice, though he had undergone a serious operation some time ago, had, I under stood, made a good recovery and it came as a great shock to his relatives and friends at home to hear that he died suddenly last month in Zambia, on Friday, 27th August, and was buried the following Sunday.
As I take a look at the ordination card, printed in Irish, he sent me from Germany in 1929, I notice he died - 36 years later on the anniversary of his ordination.
Maurice and his brother Desmond (his senior by a year or so) were educated at Clongowes. After the death of their mother early in her married life, Mr. Dowling eventually married again and it was when he and his second wife came to live on Anglesea Road, a few doors from where we then lived, that the two families became friends. We, as children, came to know the second family very well, only meeting Desmond and Maurice at holiday time and, in any case, they were older than I was by six or seven years. That age gap makes a great difference in early youth, later on it does not.
I recall one incident in the boyhood of the future Jesuit perhaps never known to his step-brothers and step-sisters - to whom he was always devoted as they were young children at the time. I myself was about 10 or 11 years of age, I suppose, and it was Mrs. Dowling who related the incident to me :
Both families used to spend a month or two in Skerries in the summer. Maurice Dowling was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was enjoying a read of the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” about the paragraph and silently handed the paper across to his son.
But the future Jesuit, teacher, Army chaplain, African missioner, was no quiet, retiring youth in other respects. Of a natural bright, cheerful, optimistic disposition, he was immensely popular with both girls and boys of his own age.
As a young Jesuit he learned to speak Irish fluently, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. But most important of all, he genuinely loved the language and when home on what was to be his last “leave” he was delighted to hear from me that there were in existence Irish-speaking praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn who had died working for the Legion in Africa and, if I recollect rightly, I gave him a copy of the prayer for her canonisation printed in Irish.
We only met him for a few hours on the rare occasions he came on holidays from Rhodesia. He was always very attached to his family, relations and friends. I could never keep track of all his cousins and friends he mentioned in conversation but I do remember the names of two friends, perhaps because I know both by sight, Fr. Leonard Shiel, S.J, and Very Rev. Fr. Crean, now P.P. of Donnybrook, but Head Chaplain in the last war in which Fr. Maurice also served as chaplain.
He loved to visit the home near Naas of his step-sister, Shiela and her husband, Paddy Malone, taking a great interest in their son and three daughters. The young man is now helping to manage the farm; one of the girls is in the Ulster Bank in Baggot Street, another is training as a nurse in St. Vincent's Hospital and the third is still at school.
Thus, another Irish priest dies in voluntary exile for love of the African people. Go ndeinidh Dia trocaire ar a anam.
Nuala Ní Mhóráin
From the Leader Magazine

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 126 : Christmas 2005

MISSIONED TO ZAMBIA : MAURICE DOWLING

Taken from some 50 “portraits” submitted by Tom McGivern, who works in the Archives of the Province of Zambia Malawi.

The family of Fr. Maurice used to spend a month or two of the summer in Skerries, a seaside resort in Co. Dublin. He was a keen, strong swimmer and one morning, as a teenager, he saved the life of a girl from drowning. He went home to lunch and never mentioned the incident. It was when the family had finished tea and Mr. Dowling was reading the evening paper that he came across a paragraph or two describing the plucky rescue by his son. Passing no comment, he scribbled “Bravo!” beside the passage and silently handed the paper to his son. This incident in some way sums up a characteristic of Maurice which developed at that age - modest in his achievements and helpful to others.

He was born in 1896. His father was the Registrar of the College of Science in Dublin. His mother died early in her married life leaving Maurice and his brother, Desmond, behind. Both boys went to Clongowes for their secondary education. At the age of 18, on August 18th 1914, Maurice entered the Jesuits at Tullabeg, and followed the normal course of studies followed by Irish Jesuits of the time. He was ordained on August 27th 1929. In the thirties, he spent some time in the colleges (e.g. the Crescent, Limerick) as teacher and prefect. As a young Jesuit, he learned to speak Irish, spending many a holiday in the Gaeltacht. He genuinely loved the language, and, when home on what was to be his last leave, he was delighted to hear that there were in existence Irish-speaking
praesidia of the Legion of Mary. He had a great admiration for Edel Quinn, who died working for the Legion in Africa.

Come the Second World War, Maurice volunteered as a chaplain. Just before departing, he was involved in an accident where he was thrown through the window of the bus in which he was travelling. As he lay on the ground in his own blood, he heard one of the rescuers say to another, as he nodded towards Maurice: “He's had it!” (but in much more colourful language). After the war, when the Jesuits in Northern Rhodesia were looking for men, two volunteered in 1946, to be followed by two more in 1947 - Maurice and Joe Gill. They came to Chikuni.

The Bishops had been endeavouring then to set up a Catholic Secondary school for Africans. There was only one secondary school for Africans in the whole country, a government school at Munali, which had been founded a few years before. In 1949 Canisius Secondary School opened its gates to the first class. Speaking of Maurice's work in the college during the first few years, Fr M Prokoph, who had been instrumental in getting Fr. Dowling for the mission and who had been his principal, said of him, “I have never met a more loyal man”. Fr. Prokoph described how in the initial difficult days, Maurice had stood by him on every occasion, always ready to help, never questioning a decision, absolutely loyal.

While at Chikuni he would travel south to Choma at the weekend to say Mass, long before the station was opened there in 1957; also to Kalomo still further south. Then back to the school for another week of teaching. In 1962 he went to the newly built mission in Namwala as the first resident priest, bringing with him some Sisters of Charity. Later, in 1964, he moved to Civuna.

Fr. Maurice had great qualities, his deep spirituality and union with God, his great zeal for souls, his kindness and courtesy to all, his optimistic outlook even when things looked by no means bright. He had a zest for life, his cheerfulness was catching. He was loyal, as Fr. Prokoph had remarked. Loyalty would seem to have been the source of his strength, loyalty to God as a priest and religious, loyalty to his country as shown by his deep love of it, loyalty to the Society as shown by his great respect for it and his dislike of even the slightest criticism of it, loyalty to his Alma Mater, and to his many friends, as shown by his great interest in all that concerned them. His life had been a full one, in the classroom, in the army, and on the mission.

Flannery, Denis, 1930-1999, jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/662
  • Person
  • 02 December 1930-08 March 1999

Born: 02 December 1930, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1949, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 08 March 1999, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969

by 1958 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Denis was born in Dublin, Ireland, on the 2 December 1930. He attended the Holy Faith Convent School and Belvedere College for his secondary education. He was a member of the photographic club in 'Belvo' and toured the many historical sites around Dublin in that capacity. In September 1949, he entered the novitiate at Emo, followed by the juniorate and philosophical studies after vows. Four scholastics from his year were assigned to go to Zambia for regency but Denis was not one of them. However, one of the four asked that he be sent to Hong Kong, so Denis was then assigned to Zambia. How Providence works!

When he came to Zambia he worked in Monze and then went to Fumbo in the valley for a year to struggle with Tonga while living with Fr Joe McDonald. Then he had two years at Canisius Secondary School, the beginning of his life-long contact with youth.

After his theology and ordination at Milltown Park on 31st July 1963, he flew out once again to Zambia, to Monze. Bishop Corboy of the newly established diocese of Monze (1962) saw the need for a minor seminary (a secondary school) to nurture young boys who might have a vocation to the priesthood. Fr Denis was asked to work there, so he went to Mukasa at Choma which was being built and opened the first Form 1 with the help of two scholastics, Frs Paddy Joyce and Clive Dillon-Malone. Denis remained Headmaster until 1970 putting Mukasa on a firm footing. He came again as Headmaster from 1986 to 1990 when the need arose. He moved to Fumbo for a year as parish priest and then returned to Monze to be a teacher and chaplain at Monze Government Secondary School for 14 years until 1985. With all his experience behind him, Denis now became travelling chaplain for the Catholic Teachers in the primary schools of the Monze diocese. He was also Diocesan vocations promoter and spiritual director of the Monze major seminarians. The diocesan Newsletter written by him for many years, always had 'full' pages for reading.

That was Denis the 'activist'. What about Denis the man?

He was a devoted priest and Jesuit, devoted to the poor and the sick. Wherever he went he had the Holy Oils with him ready to anoint the seriously sick.

He was a strict disciplinarian in the schools, whether in Mukasa or Monze Secondary. He knew the name of every boy in the school, even the hundreds in Monze Secondary. While in Monze one evening as he passed the Freedom Bar, he spotted a few Monze boys (boarders) enjoying themselves inside, out of bounds, of course. Out came Denis' note book and down went the names even though they scattered in the crowd. He did not have to ask anyone. Denis seemed to revel in adversity! Crises attached themselves to him. Someone once said that if there was no crisis, Denis would make one! Twice he came across dead bodies on the main road and like the Good Samaritan, he did not pass by. As headmaster, he could be quite radical in the sense that he would send home a whole class for infringements of discipline.

The Boy Scout Movement had a special place in his heart from the time he was a scholastic. He kept up this interest even in his busy life, becoming coordinator of the Boy Scouts in the Southern Province of Zambia.

Service was uppermost in his life. He was ready to drive down the Valley to Chipepo Secondary School for a Sunday Mass even after having had a church service in Monze in the morning. If a football match needed a referee, Denis was there. Sports and clubs saw him as active and at times dramatic! And he loved to regale his fellow Jesuits with the events and incidents (of which there were many!) in which he was involved, especially late at night. Midnight often did not register with him.

His last years with cancer were painful ones. Cherryfield in Dublin was where he was for many months. He hated to be alone and always wished for the company of his sisters, his fellow Jesuits and his friends. The Mass was central to his suffering life and he said or attended it each day in his room. In his last weeks, the way he carried his suffering became for those who were with him an example of great courage and faith.

Note from Paddy Joyce Entry
In August 1964, he came to Zambia for three years, the first year teaching at Canisius Secondary School, the second year he went to Choma with Frs Flannery and Clive Dillon-Malone to be the founder members of Mukasa Minor Seminary.

Indekeu, Jean B, 1905-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/733
  • Person
  • 21 March 1905-21 December 1984

Born: 21 March 1905, Neeroeteren, Limburg, Belgium
Entered: 23 September 1923, St Francis Xavier, Arlon, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: 21 November 1936, Kurseong, Darjeeling, India
Final Vows: 02 February 1941
Died: 21 December 1984, Pastorij Dormall, Halle-Booienhoven, Belgium - Flanders Province (BEL S)

by 1956 came to Chikuni N Rhodesia (HIB) working 1956-1970

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Jean (or John as we called him) Indekeu was born in the northern part of Belgium on 21 March 1905 of Jacques and Francine (nee Janssen). He went to the Jesuit College in Turnhout and, at the age of 18, he entered the Society in the novitiate at Arlon for the North Belgian Province. His first year of juniorate was at Drongen (1925/26) and the second year was his military service (1926/27). Early on his was destined for the missions and so at 23 years of age he began his philosophy in the south of India (1928-30) at Shembaganur (Madurai).

Afterwards he did his regency in Ranchi (1931-33) and his theology at Kurseong in Darjeeling Province (1934-38) where he was ordained in 1936. His tertianship was in Ranchi (1938). He taught for a while in the college there. After a number of years in ministry it seems that he clashed with the authorities in some development work he was involved in and was obliged to leave the country. Although an extrovert and an affable person, his natural reserve did not lead him to talk about it.

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

John went immediately with the others to learn Tonga under Fr Paddy Cummins in Chivuna. Although he found the language difficult, he used to take great care with his homilies and often sought local assistance. After a brief stay in Chikuni he headed to Kasiya where he opened up new Mass centres almost as far away as Namwala. He also made welcome additions to the facilities of the house. In 1958 he was sent to Choma where initially he used a camp bed in the sacristy until he got the house up. He furnished the Church and also went to build the neat little Church in Kalomo. He always excelled at putting up well designed Churches and took care with the décor and vestments which you could see even in his own personal appearance with his well trimmed beard and immaculate but not expensive clothes.

He was pulled back to Charles Lwanga TTC as minister and bursar where he looked after the brethren well. Later the first provincial, Fr John Counihan used to tell the story of how, as he was being transferred to Monze, went into to John and asked him where the week-end refreshments appeared in the books, which he had carefully scrutinized but failed to locate. Fr Indekeu replied laconically ‘Look under jam’. He took good care of the community and was an amiable support to some of the younger men who found the missionary life difficult at times. During this time his real solace, as he says himself, was the weekend supplies in Mazabuka where he was duly missioned together with Frs Tom O’Meara and Vinnie Murphy. He was largely responsible for the well designed town Church, as well as for the Churches at Nega Nega and Magoye. He was involved also in helping in the construction of the community houses of both the Sisters’ and Brothers’ schools.

While next on leave he became anxious about his aging mother who was then 97 years old. On his return he lived in St Ignatius in Lusaka and worked in the small township that sprang up with the building of the Kafue Gorge Dam. He was able to get suitable plots for Church and parish house as a result of his good relations with the international construction team, especially with the French engineers. He also worked with Fr Prokoph on the Luwisha House project and when he returned back to Belgium in 1972, at 67 years of age, he sourced substantial funds to cover the cost of its chapel.

He was in pastoral ministry for a number of years in Dormaal but he never forgot his time in Zambia. A couple of years before his death on 21 December 1984 a donation of a thousand pounds came for the Province library.

Joyce, Patrick, 1937-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/668
  • Person
  • 04 July 1937-09 July 2007

Born: 04 July 1937, Shantalla, Galway
Entered: 11 September 1956, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 25 June 1970, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 22 April 1977, Mukasa Seminary, Choma, Zambia
Died: 09 July 2007, Coláiste Iognáid, Galway - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 22 April 1977

by 1963 at Alcalá de Henares, Madrid, Spain (TOLE) studying
by 1965 at Chivuna, Monze, Zambia - Regency learning language
by 1976 at Colombière Centre, Clarkston MI (DET) making Tertianship

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Paddy Joyce was born in Galway, in the west of Ireland, on 4 July 1937. He went to primary school to St Brendan's and to secondary school at the Jesuit school of St Ignatius, both in Galway. He joined the Jesuit novitiate at Emo Park on 11 September 1956. On completion he went to Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin to the university where he studied Latin, French and Irish (1958 to 1961). This was followed by a three year course in philosophy, the first year at Tullabeg and the final two years at Alcalá in Spain, where he added Spanish to the languages he already knew.

In August 1964, he came to Zambia for three years, the first year teaching at Canisius Secondary School, the second year he went to Choma with Frs Flannery and Clive Dillon-Malone to be the founder members of Mukasa Minor Seminary. The third year he spent at Chivuna learning ciTonga, still another language.

He returned to Ireland to study theology at Milltown Park, Dublin where he was ordained priest on 25 June 1970. In 1971 he returned to Zambia, to Mukasa, for a short spell as a priest. From then on he took up the work he was to continue for the rest of his life, namely, pastoral work in the parishes. Apart from a break for tertianship in Clarkson MI, USA, he spent his time in Monze parish (1971 to 1975), in Choma town parish (1976 to 1980), in Nakambala parish (1980 to 1982), in ltezhi-tezhi parish in 1982, in Chikuni parish (1981 to 1987, and 1993 to 1995). He was sent to Nakambala parish again (1988 to 1993). These names and dates give but a faint idea of his parish work, his travels to outstations, baptisms, marriages and visits to the sick. Eventually he became an expert in Marriage Encounter.

In 1996 he took over the position of National Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association which he still held at the time of his death. Fr Paddy moved to Lusaka from this time onward until his death, apart from a renewal year at St Anselm's in England.

He had gone to Ireland for eye treatment in Galway but developed heart trouble and had to go to the Regional Hospital there for open heart surgery on 9 July 2007. He did not recover consciousness but died the next day, 10 July.

The above outline is a factual account of Paddy's 70 years of life and tells us a lot about him. As a boy at school he was a good footballer and always kept up an interest in the game. He knew who was playing against whom, who scored and how. He was quite enthusiastic in recounting the latest game he had seen on the TV. He was also a prize winning runner and an accomplished Irish dancer. This you will recognise when you see Zambian orphan children stepping out to the tune of 'The Walls of Limerick' !

Marriage Encounter and the Pioneers were to the fore in his later apostolic work but, apart from these, Fr Paddy was most faithful in bringing the sacraments to the sick and dying, especially to the AIDS patients in the nearby hospice of St Theresa. Nothing would stop him from this. The poor had a special place in his heart. Any alms he got from Ireland he gave to them and they always knew when Fr Paddy was at home. He was most assiduous in preparing homilies for Mass, supplying outstations on Sundays and never refusing when a call came. He was a pastoral man to his finger tips.

He was also a man of prayer, praying for his own family, for his Jesuit brothers, praying for his friends and the people he came in contact with. At the same time he enjoyed a game of golf, and liked a good joke, giving pleasure to the teller of a joke by his typical reaction. Here in Lusaka where he lived, Fr Paddy could be seen going for a walk in the cool of the evening with his rosary beads dangling from his hand. Fr Paddy has touched so many lives and he will be sorely missed.

Note from Denis Flannery Entry
Bishop Corboy of the newly established diocese of Monze (1962) saw the need for a minor seminary (a secondary school) to nurture young boys who might have a vocation to the priesthood. Fr Denis was asked to work there, so he went to Mukasa at Choma which was being built and opened the first Form 1 with the help of two scholastics, Frs Paddy Joyce and Clive Dillon-Malone.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 133 : Special Issue September 2007

Obituary

Fr Patrick (Paddy) Joyce (1937-2007) : Zambia-Malawi Province

Jerry O'Connell writes in the Zambia Province News:
Paddy Joyce was born on the 4th July 1937 in the city of Galway, Ireland and always maintained his allegiance to that county especially where Gaelic games were concerned. He completed his secondary education at St. Ignatius College, Galway in 1956 and entered the Jesuit novitiate, Emo Park on the 114 September of that same year. He followed the usual course of training of novitiate, juniorate (BA at University College, Dublin) and philosophy until the end of first year philosophy when a Visitor from Fr. General to the Irish Province closed the philosophate in 1962. Paddy did his second and third years philosophy in Alcala de Henares, Madrid, Spain. This brought out in him his fascination with foreign languages. But Paddy always retained a deep love of Irish culture. He enjoyed the stories, dances, songs and proverbs of the people. With his compatriots he was quite likely to presume on a continued knowledge of Irish and might similarly rattle off a phrase or proverb in Irish.

In August 1964 he came to then Northern Rhodesia as a Scholastic and witnessed Independence Day on 24 October. He served at Canisius College and studied Chitonga at Chivuna Mission. He was a member of the founding team who opened the doors of Mukasa Minor Seminary to pupils in 1966. From 1967 to 1971 he studied theology at Milltown Park, Dublin and was ordained on 25 June 1970. He returned to Zambia in 1971.

From 1971 to 1980 he served as an assistant pastor in Monze and Choma and completed tertianship in the USA. He took Final Vows in Mukasa on April 22, 1977. From 1980 to 1987 he spent short spells in Nakambala and Itezhi-tezhi and a longer time in Chikuni where he served as parish priest. There was a year's break on sabbatical. This was followed by periods in Mazabuka and Nakambala, and again in Chikuni as parish priest up to 1995. In parish work he had a great love and concern for all those to whom he ministered, especially the poor and disadvantaged and those suffering from AIDS. His family had endowed him with the upbringing and support, which was very apparent in his warm humanity and his love for the extended family.

Over the years Paddy developed a great fluency especially in Chitonga and learnt many proverbs used by the people. In the 1980s he successfully sat for the Grade 12 national exam in Chitonga. He was helped in his mastery of Chitonga by his readiness and desire to help the youth of the parishes, gathering them into clubs especially involving football. He would readily join in the games himself and he is still remembered today for that aspect of his apostolate. Paddy later studied Chinyanja when he moved to Lusaka so that he could continue with pastoral work in parishes. Perhaps it was his being rooted in Irish culture that gave him such openness to other cultures.

In 1995 he was appointed National Director of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association, a post he held until his death with one year's absence on sabbatical again, 1999-2000. He firstly moved to the Novitiate in Lusaka, spent a year or two working from Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, and in 2002 returned again to the Novitiate. This work suited him admirably because he had been a Pioneer himself from his school days, and he loved the opportunity to be involved in fostering the spirituality of the PTAA, and explaining it to groups. However, he found the annual National Meetings quite a challenge. He wasn't quite at ease about them and one of these may have contributed to his first mild heart attack about ten years ago. But this did not prevent him from doing his work and he was in the process of organising an international gathering of Pioneers in Zambia either next year or the year after it.

While in Lusaka, he offered himself regularly for Sunday supplies and, this past Holy Week, he presided at the ceremonies in Chinyanja in the Nampundwe area. He also presided at the Sunday Mass broadcast by Yatsani Radio. Over many years he was involved in Marriage Encounter and took part in a number of their meetings. As well as this he acted as a priest to his own family members by visiting everybody when at home and being open to all. Paddy valued his priesthood.

I spoke with him about six weeks before he went back to Ireland and he was quite concerned about a pending eye operation. He returned to Ireland for the surgery and while there he suffered a heart attack and underwent by-pass surgery. Unfortunately he did not come through the operation and he died in a Galway hospital on 10th July 2007. Paddy was at home in so many environments that we can be sure that he will feel welcome and at home in the place prepared for him by Jesus who is the way, the Truth and the Life. May his soul rest in peace.

Homily preached by Joe Keaney at Luwisha House, Lusaka:
Years ago, when I was a scholastic in Chikuni, one old Father said of another old Father, “That man is always blowing his own trumpet”. He then told me about yet another old Father who was a lot smarter. This man never blew his own trumpet but, throughout his life, was clever enough to have someone else blow it for him. Fr Paddy Joyce never blew his own trumpet and I think I'd be right to say that few others blew it for him.

I was still a schoolboy when I first met Paddy. He had already been a Jesuit for 10 years before I joined up. I knew his mother and his brothers, all of whom, except for Dominic, have since gone to the Lord. Paddy grew up in an honest, hard working and humble family in the Galway suburb of Shantalla. He attended the same school I did, Coláiste Iognáid, which was the only Irish speaking Jesuit school in Ireland.

Paddy joined the Jesuits in 1956 and brought with him to the novitiate a great love of Ireland and all things Irish. He loved the language, our country's rich folklore, its turbulent history, its sports, its music, its dance, its poetry and prose. Sadly, though, Paddy would have quickly discovered that for the most part these Gaelic interests of his were not shared or highly valued by the majority of his new brothers in the Society of Jesus. His fellow novices from the other Jesuit schools would have been far more interested in rugby and even, God help us, cricket, than in Gaelic football or hurling.

Paddy was blessed by God with average intelligence and, throughout the long years of studies, battled to pass his exams. At the same time, many of his peers would have been earning distinctions, and merits and doctorates, Poor Paddy often felt left out and, I suspect, grew up in the Society with a decided lack of self-confidence and low self esteem. But he stuck it out for 51 years with his learned Jesuit brothers until the Lord called him home this week.

God's call drew Paddy away from his native Galway and eventually away from his beloved Ireland to serve him in the Province of Zambia Malawi. For most of his working life he brought the Word to the Tonga people of the Southern Province before being transferred to Lusaka. They responded enthusiastically to his simplicity and non threatening manner. He was extraordinary successful and really mastered the language of the South.

Paddy Joyce was a simple priest who was never considered for the rank of bishop. He was never a Jesuit provincial, rector or superior. He was never on the news as a spokesman for the Church. He never published learned papers. He was never what we might call the star, never the bride, always the bridesmaid. In the Gospel we heard the invitation of Jesus, “Come to me all you who labour and are overburdened and I will give your rest”. Throughout his life as a priest, Paddy responded to that invitation. He was devoted to prayer. God constantly consoled him in prayer, breathing his love and joy and cheering up his gentle soul. Without that consolation there would have been many more cloudy days in Paddy's life.

This week the word of God was spoken to Fr Paddy Joyce more loudly than ever before. As he battled for breath and life after his surgery, the Word was inviting him to let go, to return home and to meet again his beloved parents, his brothers, Thomas McDonagh and Padraic Pearse - Paddy's heroes of the 1916 uprising - and maybe even the legendary Finn McCool and Cuchulan. The voice was whispering the promise of his prayer life, “You will find rest for your soul”.

What a surprise there was in store for Paddy as his heavenly Father gathered him in his arms, kissed him tenderly on the cheek and said well done my lovely little boy, faithful son of St Ignatius. You did an absolutely marvellous job for me. I wish you could have known all the time that your life and contribution are just as precious and important to me as that of Ignatius of Loyola, Francis Xavier, Fr Peter Hans Kolvenbach or Fr Peter Nathaniel Bwanali. I am so grateful for the way you spread my love amongst the Tonga people. I can't count the number of little ones you helped and lifted up on your journey through Monze, Chikuni, all over the Southern Province, in Lusaka and especially in the home of Mother Theresa in Mtendere. You opened the door to my Sacred Heart for thousands of my children in the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association. You enriched with my love hundreds and hundreds of married couples in Marriage Encounter. My little Paddy, you were a star, an absolute star.

I stand here before you this evening to blow Paddy's trumpet a bit. In the heel of the hunt this quiet nervous little man was, after all, a star. If we look at Paddy's life and assess it by the standards of the Gospel alone, we see he was, for sure, a star, an absolute star. In Matthew's Gospel Jesus beatifies all those who are gentle, the meek, the humble, the peacemakers, all those who mourn. These people are the sait of the earth, the light of the world.

When the disciples were squabbling one time about who was the greatest Jesus told them that to be great one must become the servant of all. Another time Jesus presented them with a little child, suggesting greatness and childlikeness were not far apart.

Paddy was a wonderful Jesuit and lived his three vows of religious life so well. He responded obediently to the wishes of his superiors and went where he was sent. His living of the vow of poverty should be an example to us all. He was never a snappy dresser and without the input of Una, his sister-in-law, would have been a total disaster. And as far as I know he never had any girlfriends. He was a great companion to us in the Society, especially with those willing to enjoy his charming stories and share his enthusiasm for sport. When I think about Paddy this week I realize we had a little saint in our company, the real salt of the earth. I wish now I had blown his trumpet a bit more loudly and a bit more often down the years.

Paddy died back home in Galway. I don't know if he would have wanted that or if he would have cared one way or the other. But I do know that nowhere on this earth did Paddy Joyce feel more at home and accepted than in the home of Dominic, Una and their children, back in the old home of Shantalla. In that house he was always a star.

We give thanks to God for his life, his simplicity, his humility, his compassion for the little ones, his enthusiasm, his stories and his great sense of fun. After his life of prayer he will have no difficulty recognizing the face of God. This week he has finally and fully found rest for his soul. Farewell for now, brother, and enjoy that rest.

Keenan, Francis, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/863
  • Person
  • 04 October 1929-22 April 2020

Born: 04 October 1929, Portrush, County Antrim/ Glenavy, County Antrim / Belfast County Antrim
Entered: 24 March 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1963, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966, Collège Saint-Michel, Etterbeek, Belgium
Died: 22 April 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM: 03 December 1969; ZAM to HIB 1999

by 1952 at Laval, France (FRA) studying
by 1957 at Monze, Zambia - Regency, teaching
by 1966 at Mukasa, Choma, Zambia - teaching
by 1967 at Kizito, Zambia - Director of Training Centre
by 1971 at St Louis MO, USA (MIS) studying
by 1993 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) Mission Office
by 1996 at St Beuno’s, Wales (ANG) working
by 2007 at Upper Gardiner Street (HIB) - working

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/fr-frank-keenan-sj-a-faithful-servant/

Fr Frank Keenan SJ – ‘a faithful servant’
Fr Francis (Frank) Keenan SJ died peacefully in Cherryfield Lodge nursing home, Dublin, on 22 April, 2020. He was an Irish Jesuit missionary who spent 30 years in Zambia. Due to government guidelines regarding public gatherings, a private funeral took place at Gardiner Street Church, Dublin, on 25 April followed by burial at the Jesuit grave in Glasnevin Cemetery. The main celebrant at the funeral Mass was the Gardiner Street Superior, Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, while Irish Provincial Fr Leonard Moloney SJ and Parish Priest Fr Gerry Clarke SJ concelebrated. His death is deeply regretted by his loving sister Bernadette, by his nephew John and his wife, Sally, and family, and by his Jesuit confreres and friends in Ireland and Zambia.
Francis was born on 4 October, 1929, in Portrush, County Antrim. He was raised in Belfast and in the village of Glenavy and attended St Mary’s CBS before entering the Society of Jesus at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois, in 1950. After taking his first vows, he studied in Laval, France, for two years followed by philosophy studies in Tullabeg and regency as a teacher in Monze, Zambia. Upon further Jesuit formation in Ireland, he studied Catechetics in Brussels, Belgium, and then returned to Zambia where he was a teacher of the local language at Mukasa Secondary School.
From 1967 to 1979, he worked in a variety of roles in Monze including Director of Catechetics, Parish Priest, Retreat Director and as Vicar General for Religious in the Archdiocese of Lusaka. He also studied Pastoral Theology at St Louis University, Missouri, USA. Later, he directed the Spiritual Exercises at the Jesuit Education Centre in Lusaka and worked in the Kizito Pastoral Centre in Monze before returning to Ireland in 1993.
Fr Francis was Director of the Jesuit Mission Office, Spiritual Director and Parish Assistant while living in Gardiner Street Jesuit community in Dublin. He was also a community member of St Bueno’s retreat centre in Wales for 11 years and directed the Spiritual Exercises there. From 2007 to 2017, he continued active ministry in Gardiner Street as Spiritual Director, Parish Assistant, Chaplain, Assistant Treasurer and Pastoral Worker. He prayed for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge nursing home right up until his death.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ, who gave the homily at the funeral Mass, noted that Francis grew up in difficult circumstances. He experienced the death of his father when very young and witnessed bombing in Belfast during the Second World War. His family supported each other and moved to Glenavy village about 15 miles outside of Belfast. He came to appreciate the gift of life and told his sister Bernadette in later years, “I have loved every day of my life”.
Fr O’Dwyer said that Fr Francis became very proficient in the Zambian language of Tonga and taught it for a number of years and wrote a book on grammar. He said, “Francis was very humorous and a very kind, considerate man.”
Fr O’Dwyer noted that when Fr Francis came home to Ireland after 30 years in Zambia he was a very committed presence among his community and very much appreciated. He said, “He was always very willing to offer Mass, hear confessions, and he had a very good reputation as a very compassionate and“He was also a very sympathetic preacher and explained the Good News in a very compassionate and understanding way”. Fr O’Dwyer referred to his chaplaincy work at St Monica’s Nursing Home in Dublin City, saying he was “utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry with the elderly”.
Fr O’Dwyer said, “He was a very faithful servant. Any work he undertook he did so with a great spirit of service and dedication. I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words: ‘Well done my good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness.'”
Mr Colm Brophy, art psychotherapist and former Jesuit missionary in Zambia, paid tribute to his late friend.
“Frank, as we called him in Zambia always wanted to be known as Francis. This I only discovered in Cherryfield. He was renowned for his sharp, even acerbic, wit coupled with kindness, hospitality and generosity. He did not suffer fools gladly and hated hypocrisy as the gospel hates it.
And so he could bring a person down to earth with a brilliant, yet highly humorous thrust of the verbal dagger. He was kindly towards wisdom and kept another person’s honesty close to his heart. I always enjoyed joining him for a meal over his years in Kizito.
He had four roles in Kizito’s. First, Kizito’s was built as a compound of family cottages where Monze diocese catechists and their families lived while following a two-year program. Then it became a diocesan pastoral training and retreat centre for a wide variety of groups. Francis was the director. One of the groups was the ciTonga language school. He wrote a grammar of, and taught, the local language for a period.
He also wrote a book for those directing the Spiritual Exercises of St Ignatius for retreats in daily life. He was also a great confident of Bishop James Corboy and a member of the diocesan consult. He dealt with a great number of different people coming through the centre and had a gracious ability to adapt.
His other time in Zambia was a number of years he spent in Lusaka archdiocese in the role of Vicar General for religious. It meant having the listening skills to sort out two sides of an argument where strong personalities were involved.
I miss meeting Francis in Cherryfield. May he rest in peace.”
A recording of the funeral Mass is temporarily available on the Gardiner Street website. Under recordings,
see the funeral Mass for 25 April. Click here for the link ».
Fr Frank spoke about his missionary work in Zambia with Irish Jesuit Missions in 2010. Click here to watch
the video ».
A Memorial Mass will be held at a future date. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a hanam dílis.

Full text of the homily at the funeral Mass
Francis Keenan was born in Portrush, Co Antrim, and grew up in north Belfast, the second youngest in a happy, close-knit and united family of 5 children with his parents John and Mary Agnes.
When Frank was only 7 years old, his Dad, John died suddenly at the age of 39. Just 2 years later, World War 2 began. As you know Belfast was heavily bombed especially in 1940 and the area where Francis and his family lived at the intersection of the bottom of the Cliftonville/Duncairn Gardens had a number of houses destroyed and badly damaged. I remember Francis mentioning to me once that sadly the local school survived unscathed and I said to Frank that his story reminded me of John Boorman’s film Hope and Glory set in London during World War 2. John’s school was destroyed in the London blitz and when he sees the bombed-out school, he murmurs “thank you Adolf”. Francis said to me I would have liked to have uttered the same words about my school!
Francis’ sister Bernadette said that because of the danger of bombing, she and Frank were evacuated from Belfast out into the country to the village of Glenavy about 15 miles west of Belfast very close to Lough Neagh. Bernadette was 5 and Frank was 10. They grew very close to each other and forged a deep bond between them. It would have been easy for Francis to opt to play with boys his own age but after the death of his father, under the care of his mother, the family grew very close and supported each other in their loss and grief. They had to pull together to survive. Out in the country, Francis grew to love nature and the countryside, something which never left him.
I can only imagine how the death of his father and his experiences of the mortal danger and evacuation had a profound effect on the young Francis and I believe it gave him a profound appreciation of how precious the gift of life is and that that gift is there to be fully appreciated and lived to the full. Frank much later in life told his sister Bernadette, “I have loved every day of my life”. At his birthday last year when he turned 90, Francis told his nephew, “Life is a gift from God, enjoy every moment”.
At age of 20 in March 1950, Francis entered the Society of Jesus, at Emo, County Laois. Bernadette told me that she and his family missed Francis during those 2 years. Francis spent 2 years in France, followed by 3 years philosophy in Tullabeg and then he went to Zambia, or as it was then Northern Rhodesia in 1957 where he spent 3 years. That was the beginning of 30 years spent as a missionary in Zambia, as a teacher as director of training of catechists, working closely with Bishop James Corboy in Monze. Francis became very proficient in the Tonga language and taught it for a number of years and wrote a grammar book of Citing.
I just want to turn to our gospel reading for today. “That is why I am telling you not to worry about your life and what you are to eat, nor about your body and how you are to clothe it. Surely life means more than food and the body more than clothing. Look at the birds of the sky. They do not sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them.” I wonder when Francis walked on the shores of Lough Neagh or on the savannah of Zambia, did he ponder and treasure those words of Jesus, knowing that with the love and support of family, of his fellow missionaries and lay catechists that one can keep going, and continue with our life’s journey and mission, despite the loss of a beloved father, despite have one’s home badly damaged by Nazi bombing. Those words of Jesus, “Will not my heavenly Father not much more look after you?” I believe that no missionary, Jesuit or lay could never undertake work anywhere in the world, without a sense of being called and accompanied by God and the prayers of family, fellow Jesuits and friends.
When Francis came home on leave from Zambia to his beloved family in Belfast, to visit the wee Ma and his sisters and his brother in England he regaled them with wonderful stories of the people he worked for in Zambia, whom he greatly loved. Francis was a very considerate and kind man. He referred to their houseman in Zambia as his gentleman’s gentleman!
After his 30 years of service in Zambia, he returned go Ireland. He continued his mission as director of the Jesuit Mission Office, working in spirituality and as a retreat director on the staff of St Beuno’s in north Wales for 11 years. He then came back to Gardiner Street and Francis was a committed presence and church priest. Always obliging for Mass and confessions, and a reputation as a preacher with a good message, and a compassionate confessor both in the confessional and for people who called to the parlour for confession. I am deeply grateful for his ministry when I was parish priest. Latterly, he was chaplain in St Monica’s Nursing Home around the corner from us in Belvedere Place and again he was utterly reliable and very faithful in his ministry to the elderly.
Almost up to the end of his life, Francis continued to visit his family in Belfast, and in particular, his sister Bernadette. He always travelled on the Dublin-Belfast Enterprise train and he was on first name terms with the train staff and was usually given an upgrade to the First Class carriage. This had many advantages, and one time he met the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins. Bernadette as she awaited Francis’ arrival was amazed to see him coming down the platform accompanied by the Irish President!
Frank lived a long life, he saw the darker side of life in the premature death of his beloved father and he learned to appreciate, rejoice and be glad. He was grateful for the most important aspects of life and loved both his natural and Jesuit families. He was a faithful servant who loved those who were entrusted to him. He trusted in God and in God’s providence.
I’m sure now the Lord will welcome him with these words, “Well done good and faithful servant, come and enter your master’s happiness”.
Fr Richard O’Dwyer SJ

Early Education at Star of the Sea, Belfast; St Mary’s CBS, Barrack Street, Belfast

1952-1954 Laval, France - Studying
1954-1957 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1957-1960 Monze, Zambia - Regency : Teacher at Chivuna Station
1960-1964 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1964-1965 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1965-1966 Brussels, Belgium - Catechetics Studies at Lumen Vitae
1966-1967 Choma, Zambia - Teacher of local language at Mukasa Secondary School
1967-1979 Monze, ZA - Director Kizito Catechist Training Centre
1968 Parish Priest St Mary’s Parish; Chair of Diocesan Catechetical Commission; Member of Diocesan Consult
1969 Transcribed to Zambian Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1971 St Louis, MO; USA - Studying Pastoral Theology, at St Louis University
1975 Retreats; Workshops / Seminars; at Kizito Pastoral Centre; CiTonga Language Course
1976 Vicar General for Religious, Archdiocese of Lusaka; Member of Archdiocesan Consul
1979-1984 Chelston, Lusaka, Zambia - Directs Spiritual Exercises at Jesuit Education Centre, Xavier House
1984-1993 Monze, Zambia - Kizito Pastoral Centre
1987 Superior
1993-1996 Gardiner St - Director of Mission Office, Dublin; Spiritual Exercises; Assists in Gardiner St Church
1996-2007 St Bueno’s, St Asaph, Wales, UK - Directs Spiritual Exercises
1999 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (05/01/1999)
2007-2020 Gardiner St - Directs Spiritual Exercises; Assists in Church
2010 Chaplain in St Monica’s Home, Dublin
2012 Assistant Treasurer
2014 Pastoral Work
2017 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

Lane, William, 1931-1998, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/671
  • Person
  • 29 July 1931-09 January 1998

Born: 29 July 1931, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1964, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1967, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died 09 January 1998, Chikuni, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 02 February 1967

by 1959 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Not long before Fr Bill Lane died, he was chatting with Fr Bob Kelly at St lgnatius, Lusaka. A young lady whom they both knew had died in a very sudden manner at U.T.H. Fr Bill remarked, ‘You know, Bob, that's the way I'd like to go, quickly and without fuss’. And that is the way it happened. On Friday, 9 January 1998, Bill was on his way to Chilalantambo with Fr Jim Carroll to give some Scripture talks to the parishioners. As they drove on that bumpy road, Bill suddenly stopped talking. Fr Jim was shocked to find that Bill was dead beside him. There seems to have been no intervening period of sickness or pain. His departure was, as he had wished, ‘quickly and without fuss’.

Bill was born in Tullamore, Co Offaly, Ireland in 1931. After school with the Christian Brothers, he went to Dublin University to study engineering for a year. At the end of that year he joined the Society in 1950. For his regency he was sent to Zambia and taught at Canisius for a year as well as learning ciTonga. After the usual course of studies, he was ordained priest in 1964 at Milltown Park, Dublin.

Returning to Zambia he worked in the Kasiya parish, then Mukasa Minor Seminary at Choma. From 1969 to 1973, he was education secretary in the diocese of Monze, responsible for a network of 80 primary schools. His organizing and administrative talents were recognized at this time. He was the last expatriate Education Secretary in the Monze diocese as the primary schools were handed back to Government.

Bill was moved to the Archdiocese of Lusaka. The late Fr Dominic Nchete asked, ‘Why are they moving our best men away from the diocese? Fr Lane knows how to work with our people’. He was asked to become secretary for communications (1978-85). He combined the job with the office of province bursar (1982-88). From 1990 until his untimely death, Bill worked for the Zambia Episcopal Conference first as secretary for catechetics and then as coordinator of the Bible apostolate.

Publishing was big in his life during all these years, to help people come to grips with Sacred Scripture, with methods of prayer and with the history of the Church in Zambia. His writing was clear and concise and very practical in the many booklets he produced. All Bill's activities were carried out with wit and good humour which made him a popular member of any group he was in. He could also be a devastating critic when aroused by what he considered hypocrisy. Bill considered himself to be politically incorrect in that he expressed his views honestly, rather than resort to making the right noises in the right places and he was aware that this did not enhance his chances for advancement through the hierarchy of the Society. In fact he never was a superior.

The number of people whose lives he touched was great indeed. He had a rare gift for reaching out to those whom others might have considered black sheep. His sensitivity to those who were ill at one time or another was another remarkable facet of his life. Bill was a gifted person who gave generously of his time and talents to the Church and people of Zambia for the forty years he worked in the country.

Throughout his years in Zambia, he preached and directed numerous retreats as well as helping at Kalundu Study Centre and in the Major Seminary. In his busy career he was always willing to help out in the parish, supplying Masses and other church services when needed. He was a good confessor and a no nonsense preacher.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
Fr Fred was a radio program coordinator. He recorded many programs in ciTonga and English for ZNBC. He coordinated with Fr Bill Lane and Fr Max Prokoph in this area.

MacDonald, A Norman, 1926-2005, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/681
  • Person
  • 26 April 1926-04 May 2005

Born: 26 April 1926, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1944, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1958, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 04 May 2005, Victoria Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Nakambala Church, Mazabuka, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1953 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Regency - fifth wave of Zambian Missioners
by 1967 at SFX University Antigonish Canada (CAN S) studying

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Norman MacDonald was born in Dublin on 26 April 1926. His mother died while he was still a child. However he had stepbrothers, three of whom came to see him while he was in Zambia.

He went to Clongowes Wood College as a young boy and had the nickname of 'Curley Wee', not after the cartoon character but because of his short curly hair at that time. After secondary school, he entered the Jesuits at Emo Park in 1944 and pursued the normal study course of arts, philosophy and theology. He went to the then Northern Rhodesia in 1951 as a scholastic, learned ciTonga and taught for two years in Canisius Secondary School, as well as being involved in brick making.

Returning to Ireland for theology, he was ordained priest at Milltown Park Dublin on 31 July 1958. After tertianship, he returned to Northern Rhodesia and was minister at Chikuni for a year.

Looking at his curriculum, Fr Norman was parish priest or assistant parish priest for over forty years. This was work he was good at and did well. He first went to Kasiya Parish (1961-1970), then to Mazabuka to Assumption Parish (1970-1976). His longest continuous stint was at Chilalatambo as parish priest from 1976 to 1993 – 17 years. He built a number of small churches at the outstations where he went to say Mass and over a number of years he was part of a team involved in translating the Bible into ciTonga.

He lived on his own over these years and established a daily routine for himself, everything in its place, an unchanging routine meticulously laid out. He was attached to Mukasa Community in Choma 60 miles away and would come in once a week to load up with supplies, arriving at a set time and departing next morning. Before he stopped smoking, it was a lesson in itself to see him prepare and light his pipe in the evening. Everything he did was carefully jotted down, things done, things to be done, in his round copperplate almost childlike handwriting.

He loved the game of rugby, for he was on the school rugby team as a boy, a solid fullback. In fact when he went on leave he opted for the winter months so that he could attend the rugby matches in Ireland.

A year spent in Chikuni parish brought him again to Mazabuka, this time to Nakambala parish in 1994. As he worked there, a day came which was to change his life. In early July he got a stroke, just as he parked his vanette and was getting out of it. He was incapacitated and was brought to John Chula House in Lusaka. His mind and speech were clear. Slowly he began to mend; he got to the stage that with a walker he could make his way to the dining room for morning tea. He was brought to Victoria hospital for treatment and there he fell out of bed and broke his shoulder. This really set him back and he seemed worse than when he came in at first. However he began again with physiotherapy and slowly, oh so slowly, he tried to get onto his feet again but with little improvement. He was aided to get in and out of bed and at night a minder was there, William by name. He complained of stomach trouble, an ulcer he called it and would take antacid tablets before bed. As the stomach pain got worse he was taken to Victoria hospital with his minder William. Stomach cancer was diagnosed. On the morning he was to be operated on, he asked William to hold his hand, and thus he died on 4 May 2005 at 05.10, a complete surprise!

His brother Paddy came from Australia for the funeral with Mass at Nakambala and afterwards Norman was buried at Chikuni. Fr O'Keeffe gave the homily in ciTonga and Fr Walsh in English.

During his period at John Chula house, from the time he came until he died, Fr Norman showed extraordinary courage. His sense of humour, his day-to-day acceptance of his condition and his lack of self-pity were the fruit of his inner life. A fellow Jesuit described Fr Norman as 'a nice person' in the sense that he had a pleasant disposition and was very pleasant to visit – and that does sum him up.

Note from Philip O’Keeffe Entry
And now the darkness of the open door into some small African house is reflected on the blue water across the river where he has now gone. Maureen and Bill, his parents are there to meet him. Rufina Mwiinga and Jennifer Ndima and Norman MacDonald and many many others are there too.

McDonagh, Francis, 1915-1993, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/518
  • Person
  • 21 December 1915-25 February 1993

Born: 21 December 1915, Salford, Manchester, Lancashire, England
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 25 February 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

by 1971 at Charles Lwanga, Zambia (ZAM) working

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Frank was born in Manchester, England, on 21 December 1915. His family moved back to Ireland to live in Dublin. He was 23 years of age when he entered the Society at Emo Park. He went through the usual studies of the Society and was ordained priest at Milltown Park in July 1951.

After tertianship in 1953, he was posted to Belvedere College in Dublin as Assistant Prefect of Studies, going on to be minister for five years and then rector for another six. As it is normal for rectors to be moved at the end of their term, Fr Frank moved to Gardiner Street Church in 1966 to work in the church there, with all which that entailed.

A big change of scene took him to Zambia in 1969 to Charles Lwanga Teacher Training College for a few years where he taught, was spiritual Father to the students, minister and also bursar. St. Ignatius in Lusaka had him for a year, as had Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma. Back to Lusaka to Chelston parish where he did church work and was also on the Nunciature staff as the ‘local collaborator’, a term to which Fr Frank objected. He remarked to a colleague, ‘My Vatican masters were either oblivious or unbothered that the Nazis had made the term “collaborator” a very bad word’. In 1975 he was minister in Chikuni and returned to Ireland the following year.

He was posted to Gardiner Street where he had been in the sixties. He was bursar and church worker, posts which he held up to 1990 when he was transferred to Cherryfield, the Jesuit Nursing Home, again as bursar and censor of books. This was his last posting as he died there of a heart attack in February of 1993.

Fr Frank was a kind man, right from his novitiate days, ready to help his fellow Jesuits. When he was at Belvedere College, he was remembered as ‘a kind, thoughtful and humane rector’. A good community man, his kindness went with him to Zambia and it is that quality that he is remembered by.

One who wrote a short obituary of him ended it thus: ‘He was an urbane man with a sure sense of humor and the ability to tell a story. Not an ascetic in the physical sense, he liked his drink and smoke and music. But there was in him the essential askesis of devoted service and of deep sympathy and concern for people. It is good to know that he considered his time at Cherryfield the happiest time of his life’.

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 76 : Christmas 1993 & Interfuse No 82 : September 1995

Obituary

Frank McDonagh (1915-1993)

My first memory of Frank McDonagh is from Tullabeg. I had been there just one year, straight from Emo, still a “post-novice” amidst scholastics, seasoned or even wounded by the Rathfarnham experience of those days, when he arrived; and he took me under his kindly wing to ease me into a life-style that he considered was more balanced and more in keeping with what Fr Neary would have called “the pooled wisdom of four centuries”. I doubt if I was a very docile pupil and at times he must have regarded me with mild exasperation; but his friendliness was indomitable.

I have always remembered his thanks at his first Mass reception to those who had prayed for him along the way: he had, he said, been often conscious of their help. Indeed for a man like him, older than his confreres and with wider secular experience, the scholastic years must have been quite difficult at times.

We met again in Zambia. For some time he was on the nunciature staff as “collaborator localis”. His Vatican masters, he remarked to me with some heat, were either oblivious or unboth ered that the Nazis had made "collaborator" a very bad word. He also served as Rector of Chikuni: I have a memory of him presiding with modest magnificence at an outdoor evening showing of O'Toole and Hepburn's Lion in Winter: honesta recreatio for tired missionaries.

He had already presided at Belvedere, A member of the com munity recalls him as a kind, thoughtful and humane Rector; that would surely be echoed by others who knew him then. I rather suspect that he privately enjoyed the fact that the rector of the great college was a “local” from around the corner in the less augustan Dorset Street.

He did two stints in Gardiner Street. He is remembered as an efficient and humane bursar, a good preacher with “good stuff”, a well-informed man you would listen to with respect.

He was an urbane man with a sure sense of humour and the ability to tell a story well. Not an ascetic in the physical sense: he liked his drink and smoke and music. But there was in him the essential ascesis of devoted service and of deep sympathy and concern for people. It is good to know that he considered his time in Cherryfield the happiest time of his life: felicitas in fine, pax in pascuo. Requiescat.

Stephen Redmond

McGivern, Thomas, 1927-2017, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/832
  • Person
  • 24 December 1927-14 January 2017

Born: 24 December 1927, Newry, County Down
Entered: 07 September1945, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1959, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 14 January 2017, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Raised in Newry, County Down and Galway.

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

Early Education at Coláiste Iognáid and Clongowes Wood College

1947-1950 Rathfarnham - Studying at UCD
1950-1953 Tullabeg - Studying Theology Philosophy
1953-1954 Lusaka Mission - Studying CiTonga language
1954-1956 Chikuni Mission - Regency : Teaching Religion, History, Maths; Assistant Games Master; Health Prefect for students; Scouts
1956-1960 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1960-1961 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1961-1972 Canisius College - Prefect of Discipline; Teacher of English and Latin; President Junior Academy; Photographic Society; Scouts & Cadets; Retreats
1971 Headmaster (1971-1972)
1965 Teacher of Geography and Geology
1972-1975 Teacher; Spiritual Father to House and students; Spiritual Exercises at Kohima Barracks (Kabwe); Consultor
1975 Choma, Mukasa, Zambia – Headmaster, teacher
1976-1982 Canisius College – Rector, Teacher
1982-1997 Luwisha House, Lusaka - Religious Education Inspector for Department of Education and Culture (to 1993)
1988 Revisor of Archives for Province
1993 Education Secretary, ZEC (1993-1997)
1995 Consultor
1997-2001 Choma, Zambia - Teaches English & Geography at Mukasa Minor Seminary, Choma
2000 Librarian
2001-2011 Xavier House, Lusaka - Minister; Works in JTL and Archives at Fr John Chula House (Infirmary)
2005 House Treasurer; Works Archives at Fr John Chula House (Infirmary)
2011 Prays for the Church and the Society at Fr John Chula House
2011-2016 Loyola House, Dublin
2011 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/tom-survives-a-battering-2/

Tom survives a battering
Galway-born Tom McGivern SJ was locking up Chula House in Lusaka, Zambia, on Thursday evening when he was set upon by a thug demanding money. Tom had very little, and
the exasperated thief bashed him over the head with an iron bar. The community found him slumped on the floor. He needed ten stitches to his head, but after observation and a scan in the ICU, the scene has improved. Fr McGloin reports from Lusaka on 10 January: “I’ve just returned from visiting Tom in hospital. He seems to be greatly improved. He recognizes people; he is talking, though sometimes he gets confused; he is eating quite well; he has walked to the toilet; he was sitting up for a while today. This morning the surgeon does not believe any surgery will be required. But pray for him. Aged 83, he faces a struggle.”

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/tom-mcgivern-sj/

Tom McGivern SJ: a man without guile
Michael J. Kelly SJ gives an account of his late missionary friend Tom McGivern SJ who passed away on 14 January, 2017 in his 90th year.
Just a month before his death, the British Journal Religion & Education referred to Tom as “father of Zambian RE” and elsewhere as its “hero”. During the years 1982–1993, he served as Zambia’s first Inspector for Religious Education. At this post, Tom was not only responsible for ensuring the quality of RE in all secondary schools across the country, but he also served as the chief professional and technical advisor to the Government on matters relating to RE.
Tom recalled very laconically his appointment to this post: “The word came to me through my superiors that I had been appointed as the Inspector of RE. So I packed my bags and headed to Luwisha House which was to be my abode for the next eleven years.” He responded very courageously to this challenge and was instrumental in developing a syllabus which, with minor modifications, is still in use today.
Sadly, Tom was not fully aware in the final years of his life how significant his work for RE in Zambia had been. What led to this was as a result of an attack by a thief which left him brain injured at his home in Lusaka, in January 2011. He was later repatriated to Ireland in September 2011 for more specialised investigations and care. Despite being away from his beloved Zambia where he had lived for most of his life, he showed much gratitude to everybody who stretched out a hand to help him. And it was in Cherryfield that, following a fairly short illness, he handed over his great self to God.
Furthermore, Tom had three great characteristics: his smile, his loyalty and his open childlike nature. In some ways he was the incarnation of a smile. It seemed to be there always, even when he had to reprimand or correct, as those who had him as a prefect of discipline can well recall. He loved a good joke – and he loved to repeat back to you any good joke you might have told him! Maybe it was because he was born on Christmas Eve that he had such a good sense of humour, such a realisation that there was plenty to smile about in life, even if there were also sad and disturbing things.
As for loyalty, Tom’s was almost legendary: loyalty to the Church, loyalty to the Society, loyalty to his companions and friends, loyalty to Zambia. If Tom was on your side, you were safe. He would never let you down. This loyalty showed itself in a very special way when he set out to do something on behalf of religious Sisters: if one of them let it be known that she had a problem, Tom would be off his mark at once, seeing what he could do to help.
And Tom always embodied in his person the words of Jesus, “Unless you become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” He was always a child and had all the loveableness of a child. When somebody would produce some sweets or a piece of chocolate, Tom would stand there, eyes opening wide, expectant like a child. Indeed, jokingly it was sometimes said of him that he showed himself, less as a man among boys but more as a boy among boys!
Finally, Tom was a great inspiration and model for all of his Jesuit brethren. He was the kind of Jesuit St. Ignatius of Loyola would have wanted him to be, the kind of person God had in mind when He created him. Like Nathanael in the Gospel, he was a person in whom there was no guile, a most lovable, kind, cheerful man. We in Zambia are poorer without him. The world is poorer without him, but heaven is better off for having him. Ar dheis láimh Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

◆ Irish Jesuit Missions : https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/518-irish-men-behind-the-missions-fr-tom-mcgivern-sj-rip

IRISH MEN BEHIND THE MISSIONS: FR TOM MCGIVERN SJ RIP
Fr Tom McGivern SJ passed on to his final reward on the 14th January 2017 in his 90th year. Encouraged by his friends and family, he had completed his biography in January 2011.The following excerpts are drawn from ‘As I Remember’ as Tom relates his life story weaving into it references to some of the momentous historical events of the 20th century.

Family values and Catholic education
Born on Christmas Eve 1927 into a family of two boys and two girls, Tom went to the Jesuit primary school ‘The Jez’ in Galway and then to Clongowes Wood College for second level education. He went to train for the priesthood in the Society of Jesus in County Laois, then known as 'Queen's County'. After his ordination in 1959, he went on to spend most of his life in Zambia.
In his biography, Tom comes across as a modest, straight talking and honest man. His parents Eileen and Edward, while very understanding, expected nothing less than the truth from their children. When young Tom was caught out in a lie about a visit to the local cinema, he was grounded and his punishment was to write out 100 times: ‘No lie can be lawful or innocent and no motive however good can excuse a lie, because a lie is always sinful and bad in itself.’
This Catholic catechism definition and punishment left a lifelong impression on him!

Into the silence
World War II had just ended when Tom began his Jesuit novitiate at the age of 18. A new life opened characterised by study, silence and prayer into which the ‘outside world’ only occasionally intruded.
Tom remembers Fr Frank Browne SJ, made famous for his rare photos of the Titanic when he sailed at the beginning of the ship’s only voyage from England to Ireland in 1912. An old man by the time Tom stumbled, covered in embarrassment, across his path in the chapel, Fr Browne had served as aChaplain in the trenches during WW I.
The novitiate came to an end after two years with the taking of perpetual vows of poverty, chastity and obedience.

On to university life in Dublin
As the newly arrived students at university, the young Juniors were given the oldest bikes to cycle from their seminary to the University. It was a punishing five miles each way. Rationing was still in place after WW II and the young men were given a tin of sugar lumps each month, used for sweetening the tea and as money for playing poker!
During this time, the Free State of Ireland left the Commonwealth and ushered in the birth of the Irish Republic.
A primary Arts degree was followed by a further three years of Philosophy—taken to acquire critical and precise thinking. The ‘how’ and ‘why’ of life were often on his mind. It reveals something of Tom’s twinkling humour bubbling up throughout his biography, that one assignment submitted was entitled ‘Man, the Laughing Animal’.

‘Go South, young man’
It was 1953 and the young Queen Elizabeth had ascended the throne. The Irish Province had been assigned to send men to Northern Rhodesia as the Polish Jesuits who usually served there, were now unable to travel after the fall of the Iron Curtain that divided post WW II Europe. Tom had volunteered to go on mission to Alaska but was instructed to travel south of the Equator instead to Zambia—then Northern Rhodesia, a colony of the British Empire.
Zambia is about nine times the size of Ireland and Chikuni Mission where Tom went to live, is roughly the same as the island of Ireland. Tom’s first task was to learn Chitonga, the language of the Southern Province.
Being understood wasn’t always easy. In class, teaching about the Holy Trinity and the four gospels, Tom once asked the students how many persons were in the Trinity. “ Four” they said, “ Matteo, Marko, Luka and Johanne”. He admitted he had a lot to learn about teaching but little did he know he was to spend 40 years in education (http://www.tandfonline.com/eprint/WgSDS2KHccxNSESQi9xb/full)!
The building of Chikuni mission was slow but steady in every sense of the word—from moulding bricks in the sun to bringing a meaningful understanding of Christ and religion to the people.
Following a period away from Chikuni and a one year Tertianship in Ireland and England in 1960, Tom returned to immerse himself in education. During that period he taught English, French, Geography, Geology, Literature, Mathematics and Religious Education.

‘The reluctant hero’
Across the years, Tom McGivern lived through the civil and political unrest preceding Zambian independence, rolled up his sleeves in the building of a fledgling nation and devoted his life to its growth along with his Jesuit brethren and members of other religious organisations.

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/520-michael-j-kelly-sj-and-the-man-with-the-beaming-smile

MICHAEL J KELLY SJ AND THE MAN WITH THE WELCOMING SMILE
Father Tom McGivern, S.J. Memorial Mass, St. Ignatius 28th January 2017
Fr Michael J Kelly SJ and a large number of priests concelebrated a Memorial Mass in Lusaka, Zambia for their friend and colleague Tom McGivern SJ. Presided over by Fr Emmanual Mumba SJ, Provincial of the Zambia-Malawi Province and attended by over 130 people including the Irish Ambassador Séamus O'Grady and his wife, a large part of the congregation were former students from four decades of Tom's teaching and religious sisters with whom he had worked.
The Homily given by Michael J Kelly SJ expresses the deep appreciation of Fr Tom's work and comradeship across the many years he served in Zambia.

Homily by Fr Michael J Kelly SJ
Friends, I welcome all of you very warmly to this memorial Mass for Father Tom McGivern who died in Ireland two weeks ago today. And as we remember Tom and celebrate his life, we think lovingly of his sister Mary and brother Eddie in Canada; of his nieces, nephews, relatives and their families in Ireland, Canada, and Switzerland; and of the thousands of people here in Zambia and elsewhere in whose lives he made such a difference for good. To all of them we extend our sincere sympathy. They have lost a great brother, a great uncle and a great friend, but they can be absolutely certain that Tom continues in his love for them and his concern that all should go well with them in every aspect of their lives.
It’s more than seventy years since Tom and I first met. The occasion was my arrival at the Jesuit novitiate in Ireland where Tom had already completed his first year. I remember it so well. It was five past four, the afternoon of Saturday, September 6th 1946, and Tom was the first Jesuit novice that I met. He immediately stretched out his hand – his hairy hand, I might say – and gave me a very warm welcoming smile, telling me that if he had stuck it out this long, then I should be able to do the same! That was the beginning of a friendship that lasted literally a lifetime and that was stronger than the brutal assault Tom experienced six years ago this very month, stronger than the death that took him from us two weeks ago today.
Most of us know what happened to Tom that fateful night in Chula House on the Airport Road - how when he was locking the security gate into the house a thief sprang on him and with an iron bar gave him a few hefty blows on the head. Because of his strong physique and the great care he got in hospital and subsequently in Chula House, Tom recovered to the extent that his life was no longer in danger. But damage had been done to his brain and as the months passed it became clear that he needed more specialised investigations and care. So it was that in September 2011 he was repatriated to Ireland, to Cherryfield, the Nursing Home there for elderly and infirm Jesuits. There he received the wonderful love and care that enabled him to live peacefully for the final years of his life, generally in reasonable physical health but with his mind gradually slipping away from him all the time. And it was there that, following a fairly short illness, he handed over his great self to God at half-past-ten in the morning on Saturday 14th January.
These were difficult years for Tom when he was away from Zambia and the people he loved, and when he could no longer remember people or events and needed nursing assistance in looking after himself. But some things remained with him: his great, broad beaming smile; his graciousness; his sense of fun; his gratitude to everybody who stretched out a hand to help him. And occasionally in the early days of his handicapped existence back in Ireland, I even heard Tom express this gratitude in Chitonga, as his faltering memory brought up words from the past: “Eh-hee. Mbubo.Twa lumba1.” Zambia was where he had lived for most of his life and Zambia was close to his heart up to the very end. And it was truly fitting that, although he did not die in Zambia, one of his many Zambian friends, Mable Chilenga, was with him, holding his hand when the time came for him to go home to God. Thank you, Mable, for being there at that time.
Here in Zambia we find it hard to think of Tom as being enfeebled, having difficulty in speaking, not being able to recognise people, weary and tired. That was not the Tom we knew. The Tom we knew was a vigorous active man; a great Jesuit and a wonderful priest; a loyal friend and delightful companion; a man of heart-warming kindness and immense concern for anybody in need, especially if that person was a religious Sister; always bright and cheerful; steadfastly loyal, true and trustworthy. And for more than fifty years he put all of these great qualities at the service of the people of Zambia, principally through education but also and more strikingly through the kind of person he was.
Tom spent almost twenty of his early years in Zambia at Canisius College in the Southern Province, as teacher, prefect, headmaster and Rector. Those who came under his influence there will always remember how he formed them into being persons of integrity and character, hard-working, honest, and fired with concern for others. It was he who established the Cadet Force at Canisius several months before Independence. As Captain the Reverend Thomas McGivern he had the privilege in September 1964 of marshalling these into a Guard of Honour for inspection by Kenneth Kaunda, who was then Prime Minister of what was still Northern Rhodesia, the very first Guard of Honour that the future President of Zambia ever inspected. And in later years, under Tom’s dynamic leadership, the Canisius Cadets won the top awards at army camps held at Arakan Barracks.
When Tom left Canisius he brought his vitality, practicality and deeply religious Christian spirit to his work at Mpima Minor Seminary and later at Mukasa in Choma. Through his life and work in both places he inspired many youthful would-be seminarians to commit themselves to following the Lord who had called them, wherever He might go. In this way, Tom played a significant role in bringing it about that today we have so many good Zambian priests. I don’t think he could have left us a finer legacy.
The next phase of Tom’s apostolic life (https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/517-fr-tom-mcgivern-sj- may-he-rest-in-peace)saw him breaking altogether new ground, both for himself as a person and for Zambia as a country. This was when he launched out into the field of Religious Education. He has the distinction of being the country’s first Inspector of Religious Education and through his dedication in this area over a period of more than ten years, he established RE on a sound footing within the Ministry of Education, raised it to a status comparable with that of other school subjects, and gave the teaching of it a tremendous boost in the schools across the country. Moreover, with the help of a group of very dedicated people, lay and religious, he also developed a syllabus for RE that has stood the test of time. Given that his own academic and teaching backgrounds were in English and Geography, all of this was a tremendous achievement on Tom’s part. What for somebody else would have been the work of a lifetime, he just took in his stride, seeing this as his way of serving God at the moment.
From the Ministry of Education Tom moved to the Zambia Episcopal Conference where for a number of years he put his long experience as teacher, administrator and inspector of schools at the service of the Church as its Education Secretary General. During these years he consolidated much that he had initiated in the field of Religious Education and made good use of his understanding of the workings of the Education Ministry to help the Catholic education system adopt and adapt to emerging education policies and new directives.

Three of Tom’s great characteristics were his smile, his loyalty and his open childlike nature. In some ways he was the incarnation of a smile. It seemed to be there always, even when he had to reprimand or correct, as those who had him as a prefect of discipline can well recall. He loved a good joke – and loved to repeat back to you any good joke you might have told him! Maybe it was because he was born on Christmas Eve that he had such a good sense of humour, such a realisation that there was plenty to smile about in life, even if there were also sad and disturbing things.
As for loyalty, Tom’s was almost legendary. Loyalty to the Church, loyalty to the Jesuits, loyalty to his companions and friends, loyalty to Zambia. If Tom was on your side, you were safe. He would never let you down. He was always that way, but this became even more characteristic of him as he grew older. And this loyalty showed itself in a very special way when he set out to do something on behalf of religious Sisters. Sometimes you hear somebody like Mother Teresa being referred to as the saint of the poor. I think Tom will always be remembered as the saint of the Sisters, whether those at the Marian Shrine, or the Sisters of Charity in Kabwata or Roma, or Sisters wherever: if one of them let it be known that she had a problem, Tom would be off his mark at once, seeing what he could do to help, even to the extent of pestering you or somebody else to come to her help. Ever loyal, ever faithful, ever energetic on the Sisters’ behalf.
And Tom always embodied in his person the words of Jesus, “Unless you become like little children you will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.” He was surely one of the children to whom our Father in heaven revealed the mysteries of the kingdom, as we heard in the Gospel today. Tom was always a child and had all the loveableness of a child. I can still see his eyes opening wide when somebody would produce some sweets or a piece of chocolate, wide-eyed and expectant like a child. Indeed, we Jesuits sometimes joked among ourselves that at Canisius and elsewhere Tom always showed himself, not so much as a man among boys but more as a boy among boys! Again, maybe he had this most endearing trait because his birthday was Christmas Eve when God gave him to the world 89 years ago as a most delightful Christmas present.
And underlying all this and giving it life were Tom’s deep faith and his total Christian commitment. Always and everywhere he was a man of God and a man of prayer; a man who endeavoured to praise, reverence and serve God in everything he turned his hand to; a man consumed in very practical ways by the love of God and who was always concerned that he should let that love have its full way with him.
Friends, I could go on forever talking about Tom, a man who was such an inspiration and model for all of us Jesuits, the kind of Jesuit St. Ignatius of Loyola would have wanted him to be, the kind of person our heavenly Father had in mind when He created him. But let me end by going back to my first meeting with Tom and that warm welcoming hand extended to me nearly 71 years ago. It is my earnest hope and prayer that when I too am called to our Father’s home Tom will be there with his lovely smile, stretching out to me the same hand, welcoming me home, and both of us hearing the reassuring words of the Lord Jesus, “In my Father’s house there are many places to live in. Your place is now ready for you. That’s why I am taking you to myself, so that where I am you also may be.”
Two weeks ago today, after a long and faithful life, Tom’s place was ready and the Lord Jesus came to take him to himself, so that where Jesus is Tom also might be. That is our assurance. That is our faith. And we express it in a short prayer in the Irish language, a language Tom knew and loved so well: “Ar dheis laimh De go raibh a anam dilis,” words which mean “may his lovely soul always be there at God’s right hand”.
Mu zyina lya Taata, ilya Mwana, ilya Muya Musaante2. Amen Author: Fr Michael J. Kelly, SJ

https://www.jesuitmissions.ie/news/517-fr-tom-mcgivern-sj-may-he-rest-in-peace

HOMILY FOR FR TOM MCGIVERN SJ BY JOE HAYES SJ

When I think of you Tom the image that comes to my mind is that of the reluctant hero reluctant because you are the last to realize that in so many of our eyes you are a hero. You spent your life as part of critical movements you did not initiate but which you did your best to move forward. You are a very private man about your inner dreams but I suspect that privacy didn't come from shyness alone but from a sense that the second reading is trying to communicate. "We are earthenware vessels, doing the best we can, but always appreciating we are part of a deeper movement, the movement of our transcendent God."
I found Tom in the midst of what I call the Chikuni/Canisius movement, the movement to educate potential male and female leaders to be ready to play key roles in the emerging Zambian State. Young Tom helped pupils deepen their appreciation of nature through his Geography classes. He helped improve their communication skills through his English teaching. He modelled the virtues needed as the young Zambia took more control of its copper resources. This is also the period where one saw Tom leading his troop of cadets as he inspired the youth to value a career in the uniformed services.
Tom then switched to participate into the movement to educate and encourage young men to become priests so that the emerging Christian communities would be served by their own people.
From there Tom was invited to help oversee the teaching of religious education in schools and from there to oversee the overall participation of the Christian Churches in their partnership with government in providing formal education for Zambian Children.
While here, Tom was drawn into another movement, the movement by Zambian women to claim their dignity and move towards a partnership with men that respected the unique qualities of each gender. Key players in this movement were the young members of women's religious orders.There Tom made many special friends and it was so nice to hear that one of those special friends was with him as the time clock ran out. Thank you Mable.
For the past few years Tom has been more consciously invited into the most important movement within which all the other movements get their meaning. To the eyes of mere experience we have seen the cruel assault, the movement into dementia, the loneliness of leaving behind his work and friends, the dying away from the place where he would have loved to have died. To the eyes of faith that invitation is one into the paschal mystery of Christ as the Gospel reading hints. "God working to make all people appreciate they are his friends, doing it Christ's way. Not focusing on our sins, our failure to live up to our potential but inviting us to be his ambassadors of reconciliation so that all will know they are God's friends."
I would imagine there were times that Tom, with Christ asked the question of God "My God, why have you forsaken me." But we sense too that many times he prayed with Christ "Father into your hands I commend my Spirit." Tom gave us glimpses that he was singing that deeper song when, amid the darkness, we experienced his smile, that smile that said a special thank you to those who visited, to those who cared for him in Cherryfield. A special thank you to his family and to those in the mission office.
Tom, you have walked the walk. Thank you for being a mentor, an inspiration, a friend

McGoran, Robert, 1920-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/633
  • Person
  • 30 May 1920-01 October 2007

Born: 30 May 1920, Belfast, County Antrim
Entered: 04 October 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955
Died: 01 October 2007, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008

Obituary

Fr Robert (Bob) McGoran (1920-2007)

30th May 1920: Born in Belfast
Early education at St. Patrick's N.S., Drumcondra, and Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
4th October 1937: Entered the Society at Emo
5th October 1939: First Vows at Emo
1939 - 1943: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy,
1946 - 1949: St. Ignatius College, Galway - Teacher
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
31st July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1961: St. Ignatius, Galway - Teacher
2nd February 1955: Final Vows at St. Ignatius, Galway
1961 - 1968: St. Ignatius, Galway - Prefect of Studies
1968 - 1973: Belvedere College - Prefect of Studies
1971 - 1973: Headmaster
1973 - 1984: St. Ignatius, Galway - Rector
1978 - 1984: Parish Priest; Parish Treasurer
1984-1990: St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street - Parish Priest
1986-1990 Parish Priest Parish Treasurer; Prefect of the Church; Director Social Services Centre
1990 May-July: Zambia - Musaka Minor Seminary, Choma
1990 - 1993: Campion House - Promoted Apostleship of Prayer and Messenger; Assistant Editor of An Timire
1993 - 2003: Galway
1993 - 1994: Rector; Promoter A of P and Messenger
1994 - 2002: Parish Curate; Promoter A of P and Messenger
2000 - 2003: House Historian
2003 - 2007: Cherryfield Lodge - Prayed for Church and Society
1st October 2007: Died at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin.

Bruce Bradley writes:
Bob McGoran was born in Belfast on 306 May 1920, and had County Down connections, but he was brought up in Dublin and educated first at St Patrick's NS, Drumcondra, and later at Coláiste Mhuire in Parnell Square. He was only 17 when he joined the Society at Emo in 1937. His long association with Galway, where he spent a total of 36 years after ordination, began, as a scholastic, when he taught there from 1946 to 1949. He was an immediate success, in the classroom, where he showed himself a naturally gifted teacher, and in the co curricular activities, which he threw himself into with characteristic generosity and enthusiasm. He had a great way with people, not least with the boys -- of all ages – in his care, but his humanity and unforced spirituality made a big impact on everyone who had contact with him.

It was no surprise that, after ordination in 1954 and tertianship, he came back to Coláiste Iognáid two years later, first as teacher and later as prefect of studies. It has been suggested that he was possibly the most versatile teacher in the Province, teaching almost every subject except modern continental languages. When a science teacher was needed, he enrolled in UCG for a course, so that he could fill the gap. He took over the games from Eddie Diffely and, in just one year, the college eight won the Anderson Trophy at Galway Regatta for the first time - a feat Eddie had greatly desired but never achieved. It was typical of him that, although not knowing much about rowing when he arrived, he effortlessly mastered his brief with the perfect result. All through his life he would do the same, taking on a diversity of new tasks, however unfamiliar to start with, and acquiring the necessary mastery without seeming to exert himself. Besides being prefect of studies, and subsequently headmaster, he ran choirs, produced operas, and raised funds for the construction of the Griffin Building. In those years, too, he led the school into the just-introduced (free education scheme. It was all taken in his stride.

Those who worked with him in those years recalled his way of getting others to work for him, his warmth and his marvellous smile bringing you along with him even against your better judgment. At the same time he had the steel to go above the Tertian Master's head when he badly needed one of the Tertians as an emergency replacement after Jack Hutchinson's heart attack at a Province meeting. When Michael Connolly refused, Bob appealed to the Assistant and duly got his man. He rarely took “no” for an answer, while managing to give no offence in the process.

In 1968, before the new building in Galway, on which he had worked so hard, was finished, he was transferred to Belvedere and served as first headmaster for five years. It is no surprise that he quickly commended himself to a new community of pupils and staff, as well as the Jesuit community, and he left many warm memories behind him when he returned to Galway. These were the years of student protest and the transition was not always easy. He wasn't above sending scholastics he trusted to do disciplinary battle on his behalf, which sometimes involved tricky assignments, but Bob's smile and innate decency disarmed any fleeting resentment felt by his subordinate and he was universally regarded as easy to work for .. and easy to live with. He brought the school through difficult
times of change in curriculum and discipline, restoring an ethos of personal care and approachability and re-establishing trust in authority after what some at least considered dark days that had gone before. A born teacher himself, his professionalism impressed his colleagues and he was an invaluable support to new teachers. He was respected by the boys for his good humour and his scrupulous sense of justice. Someone said of him: “He was fair to everyone and had no favourites”.

He returned to Galway for another eleven years in 1973, this time as rector and then parish priest. This represented a major transition into pastoral work and away from the school, although his continuing involvement with music and choirs formed a kind of continuity. In 1984 it was back to the centre of Dublin once more, first to raise £1 million for the new roof in Gardiner Street Church, then becoming parish priest and, latterly, working as director of social services, along with various other tasks, all assumed with Bob's steadiness and good humour. He is remembered as someone who brought the church and the parish through difficult times in the eighties, judging shrewdly what would work well, sympathetic to the traditional, but also keen to introduce innovation. The measure of how he was regarded was the warmth with which he was always greeted by parishioners and community alike, whenever he reappeared in Gardiner St after returning once more to the west.

Before returning to Galway for the last time in 1993, he worked in the promotion of the Apostleship of Prayer and the Messenger and was Assistant Editor of An Timire for three years. He continued that work in Galway for a few years as rector before becoming involved again in the parish full-time, as curate. He involved himself in everything in the parish - Parish Renewal, Marriage Encounter, the choir, neighbourhood liturgies, and a variety of other activities. In June 2004 he had a swimming accident when getting out of the water on a stormy day at Blackrock. This necessitated him being brought to Cherryfield, which, to his dismay, he was destined never to leave. He would fret about this, especially early on, asking those who came to see him: “When can I go home? I want to go home. Can you arrange for me to go home?' He died on 1st October 2007, a few days before he would have celebrated seventy years in the Society.

In his moving homily at the funeral in Galway, Conall O'Cuinn welcomed him back to what was certainly his true home on this earth. “God's grace”, he said, “was at work in Bob's life and, through him, at work in all of our lives”. He graced the Province and everywhere he worked with his great human gifts and, even more profoundly, with the profound spirituality which seemed so entirely part of who he was.

McKenna, Donal, 1933-2000, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/684
  • Person
  • 06 July 1933-24 May 2000

Born: 06 July 1933, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1955, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1966, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1973, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin
Died: 24 May 2000, Blantyre, Malawi - Zambia-Malawi province (ZAM)

Part of the Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 02 February 1973

by 1961 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
To walk into Fr Donal's room was like walking into a multi-purpose workshop. Apart from his bed and table and wash sink, there were pieces of machinery, electrical components, bottles of a variety of liquids, exercise books and other mysterious pieces of equipment. In a tribute to him it was said, ‘He was a good engineer, mechanic, electrician, scientist, teacher, agriculturalist, and above all a man of prayer’.

Donal was born in Dublin on 6 July 1933 into a family deeply connected with Irish history, for his father was Chief of Staff of the Irish Army for many years. He was educated by the Christian Brothers at O’Connell's School in Dublin, after which he went to University College, Dublin where he received a B.Eng. (Electrical). He worked as an engineer in Switzerland for a year. He then entered the Society in 1955. For regency he came to Zambia in 1960, learned ciTonga and then taught science at Canisius Secondary School.
Returning to Ireland to study theology, he was ordained priest in Milltown Park in 1966.

He returned to Zambia in 1968 and remained at Canisius Secondary School until 1982. During this period, apart from teaching and using his many talents in answer to the many requests made to him, he did the Post-Graduate Certificate of Education (PCE) at UNZA by correspondence. He was also Headmaster from 1974 to 1978. It was in 1978 that he handed over the post of headmaster to Mr Mooya Nyanga, the first non-Jesuit and Zambian headmaster. He then returned to being an ordinary teacher under the new head.

During this time too, he developed Chikuni Rural Industries (CRI) involving the manufacturing of soya bean inoculum, a bacteriological fertilizer. The extraction of oil from sun flower, the compounding of animal feed and an eight year crop rotation experiment, all came under the CRI. His ever-productive mind led him both to silk worm and mushroom cultivation. In recognition for his work at Canisius, Donal received the Order of Distinguished Service, First Division in the 1978 Freedom Day Awards from President Kenneth Kaunda.

He moved to Kasisi, just outside Lusaka (1982 -1990) as superior. He worked in the Kasisi Agricultural Training Centre where he developed the pedal water pump and the ox-cart with rubber wheels and a timber axle.

Then a complete change of scene brought him to Harare in Zimbabwe for one year as spiritual father in the juniorate. Not such a change of work really, since Donal, in the midst of a hyper-busy life, kept studying theology and spirituality at a deeper level which he used in his own life and in retreat giving. Sunday was his day for theological studies. One of his brethren remarked “If you were looking for a novel in Donal's room you would in all probability find Schillebeeckx!”

He was recalled to Zambia and sent to Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma as headmaster and superior from 1991 to 1996, back to the classroom and the grind of trying to make ends meet in a boarding school. He then returned to Chikuni as farm manager. In May 2000, he had gone to Blantyre in Malawi to give a retreat to the Sisters of Divine Providence. On the 24th, he collapsed at table and died.

In that full life, Donal always had time for people, was always warm and welcoming in the house and took great care of all visitors. Whenever anyone wanted help, Donal would immediately drop everything and come to the rescue – e.g. ZESCO electrical failure, water pump stoppage, ‘dead’ engines brought back to life. The autoclave in Monze Mission Hospital was maintained by him and when he decided to learn the computer he became an expert, and his expertise was often called on! He was most sensitive to the needs of others in all fields, whether spiritual or practical.

Note from Fred Moriarty Entry
When the young Fred Moriarty arrived at the Jesuit Novitiate he was surprised to find a pupil from his own school with him. That companion was Fr Donal McKenna who was two years ahead of him at O’Connell's School, Dublin.

Meagher, Daniel Louis, 1911-1980, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/245
  • Person
  • 18 August 1911-14 April 1980

Born: 18 August 1911, Dublin
Entered: 14 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1968, Sacred Heart, Monze, Zambia
Died: 14 April 1980, Mater Hospital, Nairobi, Kenya - Zambia Province (ZAM)

Part of the Chivuna, Monze, Zambia community at the time of death.

Older brother of Paddy Meagher - RIP 2005
Cousin of John P Leonard - RIP 2006

Mission Superior Lusaka Superior of the Poloniae Minoris Jesuit Mission to Lusaka Mission : (POL Mi) 11 August 1955
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Chikuni Mission: 01 January 1957

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners
Mission Superior Lusaka (POL Mi) 11 August 1955
Mission Superior Chikuni (HIB) 01 January 1957

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
‘Some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them’ (Shakespeare, Twelfth Night). These words in some way could be applied to Fr Louis (nobody called him 'Daniel'). In human qualities Fr Louis was very ordinary. He saw himself as a great 'chancer' (his own word), meaning that he was willing to try his hand at anything, though not highly gifted for anything in particular. In fact, he found the studies in the Society extremely difficult but he realized that they were a preparation for the works of the Society like preaching and retreat giving. His tremendous determination and great sense of mission carried him through these difficulties so that at the end of his training he was better equipped to carry on apostolic works than many others more talented than he was. He had ‘greatness thrust upon him’ as he was appointed superior of the Irish Jesuits in Zambia a few years after arriving there.

He had come to Zambia in 1950, one of the original nine Irish Jesuits appointed to come to Chikuni Mission. The appointment came as a shock to Louis but he faced up to the situation as he had faced up to all the difficulties in his life. He was also appointed Vicar General of the Monze diocese where he was so highly appreciated by all.

After school at St Finians and Belvedere, he entered the Society at Emo in 1931. For regency he taught at Clongowes Wood College and then proceeded to Milltown Park where he was ordained in 1944. Afterwards he went to the Crescent, Limerick, to teach there until he came to Zambia in 1950.

In the early 60s, he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis which crippled him increasingly until his death. It was in this that Louis ‘achieved greatness’ in the way he bore his illness for nearly 20 years. He could laugh and talk as if he had not a care in the world. He was an 'Easter person' who by word and deed reflected the good news of the victory of the Cross and of the joyfulness of the Resurrection. It is possible to resign oneself to suffering but it is a very different thing to bring sunshine into the lives of others at the same time. This calls for great faith, hope and charity. Louis retained a warm and appreciative interest in everyone to such a degree that all considered themselves to hold a special place in his heart.
He had a happy interest in the life of the secondary school at Chivuna and helped the community there through his visiting, his counselling, his concern for each one's welfare, for their academic achievements as well as their prowess in sports.

Finally when arthritis made him almost unable to walk, he made the journey to Nairobi in Kenya to see if anything could be done for his feet. While there in hospital, he was anxious to get back to Chivuna for the opening of the school term. However, cardio-respiratory failure was the final cause of his death there at the age of 68.
His remains were flown to Zambia and he was buried at Chikuni on 14 April 1980. The most noticeable thing about Louis' funeral was the manner in which the ordinary Tonga people seemed very clearly to take over the burying of their priest. It would have been unthinkable to bury Louis elsewhere, he who had lived and worked among them for 30 years

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 55th Year No 3 1980
Obituary
Fr D Louis Meagher (1911-1931-1980)
(The following piece, by Fr Socius, Zambia, is copied from the VPZ Newsletter:)
Normally I would ask someone else to write an obituary. But in this case I wish to do it myself; partly, I suppose, because my friendship with him goes as far back as 1948, when I was a schoolboy at the Crescent in Limerick.
Fr Louis died in the Mater hospital, Nairobi, on 14 April, 1980, having said Mass on the same day. Cardio-respiratory failure was the final cause of his death at the age of sixty-eight.
Requiem Mass was celebrated for the repose of his soul in the Metropolitan Cathedral of the Holy Family, Nairobi, with a cardinal and about 50 priests concelebrating. His remains were flown home to Zambia, and he was buried at Chikuni on 19 April. Though both Bishop Corboy and Bishop Munhandu conducted the funeral services, with nearly 50 fellow-priests concelebrating, I would say that the most noticeable fact of Louis’s funeral was the manner in which the ordinary Tonga people seemed very clearly to take over the burying of their own priest. It would have been unthinkable to bury Fr Louis elsewhere.
Ordained in 1944, Fr Louis taught for a while in the Crescent College and then came to Zambia in 1950, working principally in the Chikuni area till he was appointed Superior of the Jesuits of the Chikuni Mission in 1955. In the early 1960s he began to suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which crippled him increasingly till his death. His work as Vicar-General of the Monze diocese was highly appreciated by all. In recent years, as chaplain to St. Joseph's secondary school, Chivuna, Louis was the friend and inspiration to all.
At a special requiem Mass at St Ignatius, Lusaka, I was asked to preach the homily, in which I tried to highlight three outstanding characteristics of Louis - in an attempt to learn the meaning of his life. I would like to repeat these briefly:
His undiminished interest in other people: You would excuse interest diminishing through age or sickness; but in him there was none of these. Louis retained a warm and appreciated interest in everyone, to such a degree that they all considered themselves to hold a special place in his heart. And of course this deep interest enabled Louis to converse with absolutely anyone - on any subject under the sun.
His humility and freedom from conceit: In human qualities Fr Louis was very ordinary. He saw himself as a great “chancer” (his own word), meaning that he was willing to try his hand at anything, though not highly gifted for anything in particular. He would never have considered himself outstanding - a gifted preacher, an intellectual, a specialist, a famous Jesuit (!) or a holy priest. In God’s own wisdom it was the way he bore his illness for nearly 20 years that made Louis extraordinary. To listen to him talk and laugh you could easily imagine he hadn't a worry in the world, though he was largely crippled with rheumatoid arthritis. Such inspiring acceptance indicated a very deep spirituality.
“Let there be sunshine in my world together with you” are the words of a popular song today. And they apply very much to Fr Louis. It is possible for people who suffer seriously over a long period of time to find solace in the mystery of the Cross; but often such people communicate a faith which stays at the Cross. Louis however was definitely an “Easter person”, who by both word and deed reflected the good news of the victory of the Cross and the joyfulness of the Resurrection. It is possible to resign oneself to suffering, but very difficult to bring sunshine also into the world of others; this calls for great faith, hope and charity.
I think it was Louis’s remarkable ability to proclaim charismatically “Praise the Lord” with his crippled body that was his outstanding gift to us all.
In his obituary notice on Louis Meagher, Fr Tom O'Brien has rightly emphasised Louis' courage and cheerfulness in his sickness and often painful suffering during the last twenty years of his life. I would like to add that this courage and determination was something which was built into Louis's character during his years of formation and his early work in the Society before bad health came upon him.
Louis found extremely difficult not only the studies in the Society but also the preparation for many of the works such as preaching and the giving of retreats. Study for him was always a real grind, but he had tremendous determination and a great sense of mission and this carried him through, so that at the end of his training he was better equipped to carry on the apostolic works of the Society than many others who were endowed with greater intelligence and other natural gifts.
There was however one gift with which Louis was endowed to an extraordinary degree, and that was a very attractive and cheerful personality. This natural charm enabled him to make friends with people of every, age and sex. It was quite an experience to see Louis meeting strangers (sometimes unfriendly strangers) and in no time
they were at ease and enjoying his company.
When Louis came to Zambia he needed all his courage and determination. A few years after his arrival he found himself saddled with the job of religious superior of the Irish Jesuits here and that of vicar-general of their section of the archdiocese of Lusaka. These were difficult times for Louis due to lack of finance and other circumstances beyond his control. The appointment came as a great shock to Louis. I can well remember that for once he looked really down in the mouth. However he faced up to the situation as he had faced up to all the difficulties in his years as a scholastic. To a large extent he concealed all his worries and anxieties and he surprised us all by his ability to lead and to govern during those difficult years.
I would like to single out one special virtue which was very evident to me in his administration of the Mission. I was closely associated with him as a consultor for most of those years, and I can honestly say that I don't think that he was ever influenced by self-interest in any of the decisions he made. His likes and dislikes of other people (and like any normal person he had his likes and dislikes) never influenced his decisions. When he made mistakes they could never be attributed to selfish motives.
When sickness and pain came upon Louis it was no surprise to me that he bore it with courage and unselfish cheerfulness to the end. Louis was only continuing to live his life as he had always lived it.

With Louis Meagher’s death, the communities at Civuna have lost a great friend and a loyal support. The mission at large will miss him for his great enthusiasm and inspiration; but as Christ said to the Apostles, one feels that it is better that he should go to his Father because now he will help us all the more and his spirit will continue to inspire us.
“I only want to complete the work the Lord Jesus gave me to do, which is to declare the good news about the grace of God”. In Louis’ last days in a Nairobi hospital he still had one great wish, namely to return to Civuna and continue his apostolate. That was not to be; but the tributes at his burial at Chikuni were a sign that not only at Civuna but in the diocese as a whole, his life and work made a lasting impact on the people. About 50 priests concelebrated Mass with our bishop, James Corboy, and the bishop of the neighbouring diocese of Livingstone, brothers, sisters and the ordinary people in great numbers.
Louis could have called a halt twenty years ago when he first developed arthritis and the doctors declared that he had only a few months to live. But that wasn’t Louis Meagher. He fought against his illness every day since then, never giving in and never complaining, but took all the medical attention he could get, including the hip operation. Finally, when the arthritis made him almost unable to walk, he made his journey to Nairobi to see if anything could be done for his feet.
As a community man he was always cheerful and available. He was interested in everything that was going on in the parish; the numbers at Mass in each centre, the leaders, the catechists, development work and the youth. He had a deep impact on the life of the Secondary school and helped to form both staff and pupils into a happy community through his visiting, his counselling, his interest in each one's welfare, the academic achievements of the girls and in sport. Probably one of the best tributes to his time in Civuna is the formation of the new diocesan congregation of sisters, the Sisters of the Holy Spirit, who celebrated their 10th anniversary on Pentecost weekend (24th-25th May). They now have 12 sisters, all past pupils of the school; four are teaching here and others are still in training for their future ministries. They always came to him for advice and help, and the encouragement they received is evident in the very pleasant family spirit which they have developed: each one's personality and talents are able to be brought together for the good of all.
I think if there is one single lesson that Louis's life teaches it is this, . to use whatever talents the Lord has given us, perfect them through developing them for the sake of others, until we all attain maturity, contributing to the completed growth of Christ. It is no coincidence that Louis took to the Charismatic Renewal in the Church as a fish takes to water, and in spite of his ill-health, attended the local and national conferences and inspired many people by his presence. The Spirit of the risen Lord was certainly evident in him, but it was a light shining from the daily cross of physical suffering. May he enjoy a rich reward for his life of faith and service to others and may he always inspire us to go and do the same.

Moloney, Michael, 1913-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/252
  • Person
  • 25 March 1913-05 June 1984

Born: 25 March 1913, Abbeyfeale, County Limerick
Entered: 07 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1945, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1949, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 05 June 1984, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the St Ignatius, Lusaka, Zambia community at the time of death.

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

by 1965 at Loyola Watsonia, Australia (ASL) working

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Michael Moloney on coming to Zambia wrote a short 250 word account of his life, at the end of which he put: “He arrived in Zambia in May 1967 and was attached to Mukasa Secondary School at Choma. He spent x years there. He died at xx in 19xx...May he rest in peace”. PLEASE PUBLISH NO MORE THAN IS IN THIS ACCOUNT Signed: Michael Moloney S.J. 14 April 1967.

He had had four heart attacks before this date and this might have prompted him to write his own obituary! So brief! So succinct! That was Michael! Yet he lived another seventeen years, in Zambia, fully occupied.

Michael was born on 25 March 1913 in Abbeyfeale on the border of Co. Limerick and Co Kerry. His secondary education was taken in St Michael's College, Listowel, and at the Jesuit College of Mungret. He entered the Society in Emo in 1931, pursued the normal Society studies with regency at Clongowes Wood College. He was ordained in July of 1945 at Milltown Park, Dublin and after tertianship went to Belvedere College to teach for four years. He moved to Leeson Street as minister and editor of the IRISH MONTHLY which ceased publication in 1953. From 1953 to 1959, he was attached to the College of Industrial Relations (CIR) as director of the Cana Conference which organised pre-marriage courses. These were a liberating experience for many couples whom were deeply in love and full of hope and good intentions. The spirit prevailing during courses were happy - even hilarious at times, deeply spiritual in the best sense, full of the wisest insights he could muster from wide reading and from his sympathetic and naturally optimistic temperament.

In 1959 he went to Loyola University, Chicago, USA, where he gained a degree in social and industrial relations and returned to CIR. He began to have heart attacks during these years (1961-64). For four years he went to Australia as a director of a retreat house near Melbourne.

He arrived in Zambia in 1967 to teach in Mukasa Minor Seminary for a year before being moved to St Ignatius in Lusaka. He became director in the Zambia Institute of Management and spent eleven years at Evelyn Hone College of Further Education, becoming Head of the Department of Business Studies. He retired in 1981. He was kept busy at St lgnatius helping with pastoral work, preaching, marriage counselling, writing leaflets and pamphlets on Christian values in the modern world. He was very conscientious in his work and totally dedicated to whatever work he was asked to do. He highly valued his religious life as a Jesuit and was very loyal to the Church. He loved a challenge and was always ready to take up his pen to defend the Church. He started the Kalemba Leaflets to bring out the deeper aspects of our common faith.

He was a good companion and, as well as enjoying his own talk, he could listen to others. He had certain conventions to which he held tenaciously, but he was not hidebound nor narrow. On the contrary, he loved freedom and the liberty to express every truth and facet of life as it was, or as he saw it. He was essentially logical and exact and could be impatient when undue consideration was being given to illogical and incalculable elements in human behaviour. He rejected all nonsense.

On and off during his seventeen years in Lusaka, some health symptoms occurred that slowed him up and endangered his life.

He returned to Ireland threatened with gangrene on the toe. The time he spent before and after the amputation was no more satisfactory than could be expected. There were times when he wanted to die. His lifelong sense of friendship with Christ seemed to become more vivid in that last year or so. He worked over many thoughts for the defense of the faith and these he hoped to continue publishing in Zambia in the Kalemba Leaflets. That was not to be. He was sensitively cared for in Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit Nursing Home in Dublin where, in the end, his death came unexpectedly on 5 June 1984.

Note from John Coyne Entry
Fr Michael Moloney writes:
‘Fr Coyne took a very keen interest in what Jesuits had done in Zambia since the coming of Frs Moreau and Torrend for whom he had a deep admiration. Admiration for people who did "great things for Christ" was a permanent attitude of his. His standard for a Jesuit was that he should be "a saint, a scholar and a gentleman" and he clearly tried to exemplify that in his own life. He was a kindly man yet at the same time a puzzle to many. Many wondered what "the real John Coyne was like" because externally he seemed to be set in a conventional spiritual mould and to be rather formal in much of his behaviour, so much so that one cannot escape the conclusion that he was a man with a conflict between his personality traits and what he considered Jesuit spirituality demanded of him. In Zambia he was faithful to his afternoon stroll during which he would meet people and through which he made some friends whose hospitality he was pleased to accept".

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Moloney came to Australia as director of the retreat house at Loyola College, Watsonia, and worked with Conn Finn, 1964-66.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984
Obituary

Fr Michael Moloney (1913-1931-1984) (Zambia)

1931-33 Emo, noviciate. 1933-36 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1936-29. Tullabeg, philosophy. 1939-42 Clongowes, 1942-46 Milltown, theology. 1946-47 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1947-51 Belvedere, teaching. 1951-55 Leeson St., Minister, Ed, Irish monthly. 1955-59 Catholic Workers College, dir. Cana Conference. 1959-60 Loyola University, Chicago, stud sociology and industrial relations. 1960-63 Catholic Workers' College, lect and psychology. 1963-67 Loyola College, Watsonia, Victoria, Australia, dir. retreat-house.
From 1967 on: in Zambia. 1968-83 St Ignatius Residence, Lusaka, Zambia, dir Zambia Institute of Management (till 1970. then:) lect. Evelyn Hone College of Further Education/Applied Arts and Commerce. 1984 convalescing in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin, after hospital treatment. Died there on 5th June 1984.

To write about someone I knew as well as Michael is surprisingly difficult, I have little interest in cataloguing the events of his life, and no inclination, or right, to reveal the inner person I came to know so well. What then can be said? As a young man in the Society (1931-47) he was very well liked; comfortable and relaxed in a rather tense era; lively and zestful for life; stalwart in his convictions and strong in their expression. He worked hard, and was always good at mastering a subject accurately and expressing it clearly. After the years of 'formation we never lived in the same community again. Our relationship was full of absences, crowned by the final departure so well described by Jean Guitton: “From the angle of the living and of those who have not yet made the great journey, the absence of the dead is more than a sorrow. It is so incomprehensible, so ironical, to see them no more, not to be able to communicate with someone who was a substantial part of one's life, and who seems to have gone away one evening in a fit of madness leaving no address....
In the close community of the early years he would be remembered for his pleasant singing of ballads like “Ivan Skivinski Skivar” or “The garden where the praties grow” on days of celebration; and indeed how he would become voluble and expansive after one glass of the unnamed wine we used to get on rustication days! He was good company; and, as well as enjoying his own talk, he could listen. He had conventions which he held to tenaciously, but he was not hidebound or narrow: on the contrary he loved freedom and the liberty to express every truth and facet of life as it was, or as he saw it. His competence on formal occasions combined well with an unfettered and untrammelled spirit at other times.
He had an orderly mind, symbolised by his very clear and firm handwriting and the way he typed his letters, with seldom a misprint and never a faded or blurred ribbon. He was essentially logical and exact, and could be impatient of undue consideration being given to the illogical and incalculable elements in human behaviour. He threw out nonsense, We often disagreed as to what constituted nonsense.
Nevertheless, during one of the most fertile periods of his life he was dealing with what might be thought of as the most illogical and irrational area of human life - sexuality. Here his sound judgement rescued him from the then conventional attitude of clerics to marriage as essentially a legal contract with rights and duties. He knew instinctively that this was an inadequate and he could not accept the sexual apparatus as some kind of mechanical device, kept in a bedside locker, to be used or not according to a complicated set of philosophical and legalistic nostrums, devised largely by the inexperienced. Hence his pre-marriage courses in the CIR were a liberating experience for many pairs in love, and full of hope and good intentions. The courses, I understand, were happy, even hilarious at times; deeply spiritual in the best sense; full of the wisest insights he could muster from wide reading and from a sympathetic and naturally optimistic temperament.
I cannot speak with any assurance of the other long period he spent in adult education, in the Evelyn Hone Institute in Lusaka, He went through some difficult times with courage and faith, and kept working hard even when he felt some degree of disapproval and a sense of being undervalued. On the whole, though, my impression was that he got satisfaction from and gave satisfaction in his work there. He did not take too kindly to the onset of old age or the intimations of mortality: he was in fact rather disbelieving of its drastic effects. Those who die young have this advantage over us, I now realise, that they come to fulfilment when still fastened to their “own best being and its loveliness of youth” (Hopkins: The golden echo), and do not have to reverse of anticlimax and slow decay to get there. About twenty years before he died he had some trouble with heart and circulation. Then he went to Australia, where he was very active in retreat-giving, and made at least one rich and lasting friendship. Off and on during the sixteen years he spent in Zambia some symptoms occurred that slowed him up and endangered his life. When he came on holiday to Ireland he took things physical quietly, On villa in Achill he showed no tendency to climb the lovely mountains, but would kindly drive me to the foot and would stay below until I returned many hours later, on one occasion to find that he had had a very serious fall from the pier at Dugort. On the last villa we spent together at Banna Strand, Co Kerry, we took little exercise, he much less than I. He was contented to mooch about the dunes when it was fine, and look long meditatively over the Atlantic to the and setting sun.
When he came back some months ago threatened with gangrene in the toe, he was a very changed man. The time he spent before and after the amputation was no more satisfactory than could be expected. There were times when he wanted to die. His lifelong sense of friendship with Christ seemed to become very vivid in this last year or so. He worked over many thoughts for the defence of the faith: these he hoped to continue publishing in Zambia, as the Kalemba Leaflets. He was sensitively cared for in Cherryfield Lodge, where in the end his death came unexpectedly. I viewed his remains in Kirwan's funeral parlour. They did not look like remains, but like him: determined, and ready to spring into animated conversation at the right stimulus. I came by chance into possession of a record of Verdi's Requiem a few days after his burial, and will I hope always enjoy thoughts of him as I listen to its gentle and its thunderous passages. May he enjoy eternal life. the years
Michael J. Sweetman

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

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

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM, 17 September 1975

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

O'Driscoll, Cornelius, 1933-2015, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/844
  • Person
  • 31 July 1933-27 January 2015

Born: 31 July 1933, Wexford / Ballyhale, County Kilkenny
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1965, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Mukasa Seminary, Zambia
Died: 27 January 2015, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Grew up in Ballyhale, County Kilkenny.

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

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 15 August 1971

by 1960 at Chivuna, Monze, N Rhodesia - studying language Regency

Early Education at St Kieran's College, Kilkenny and Defence Forces (Cadetship and Commission)

31 July 1933: Born in Wexford.
Early School years in Ballyhale National School, Kilkenny
1945 - 1951: St Kieran's College, Kilkenny
1951 - 1954: Defence Forces - Cadetship and Commission
7th September 1954: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1956: First Vows at Emo
1956-1959 Tullabeg – Studied Philosophy
1959-1960 Zambia – Studied the language
1960-1962 Chikuni College – teaching, prefecting, games, helping in Parish
1962-1966 Milltown Park – Studied Theology
1966-1968 Zambia – Chikuni College, teaching
1968-1969 Mukasa Minor Seminary – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1969-1971 Chikuni College – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1971-1972 Tertianship: Liverpool/St. Bueno’s
1972-1976 Chisekesi, Zambia – Teacher; Prefecting; Games at Canisius College, Chikuni
1976-1978 Mukasa – Teaching; Prefecting; Games; Helping in Parish
1978-1981 Namwala; Chikuni; Chivuna, Assistant Parish Priest
1981-1985 SFX, Gardiner Street – Vocations and Church/Parish Work
1985-1988 Chikuni; Namwala – Teaching; Parish Work; Marriage Encounter
1988-1991 Namwala-Superior, Assistant P.P.
1991-1992 3M Course at St. Beuno’s, Wales
1992-1994 Namwala/Mukasa – Teaching; Parish Work; Marriage Encounter
1994-1995 Milltown Park – Directing Spiritual Exercises; Pastoral Work;
1995-2005 Galway – Church/Parish/Retreats
1997 Parish Priest; Librarian
2003 Prefect of the Church
2005-2006 Sabbatical (USA); Rome C.I.S. Course on Spiritual Exercises
2006-2010 John Austin House – Assistant Director Jesuit Mission Office; Assisted in Aughrim Street Parish
2008 Superior
2010-2015 St. Francis Xavier’s Church, Gardiner St. – Assisted in Mission Office; Spiritual Director, Legion of Mary
2015 Residing in Cherryfield Lodge, praying for the Church and the Society

◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Joseph B (Joe) Conway Entry
Two days before his death, Joe became semi-comatose and was moved to a nearby hospital run by the Sisters of St. John of God. While in this state, he spoke Tonga and also answered Fr O’Driscoll in Tonga who was with him the day before he died.

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/rip-fr-neil-odriscoll-sj/

RIP: Fr Neil O’Driscoll SJ
Fr Neil O’Driscoll died peacefully in St. Vincent’s Hospital on Tuesday 27th January, aged 81. The eldest of five children, he was born in Wexford but moved as a child to Kilkenny, the county that commanded his loyalty from then on. He was a fine figure of a man who never lost the military bearing that reflected his three years in the army, moving from cadetship to commission. Was it the example of the soldierly Ignatius Loyola that moved him to the next stage, entering the Jesuit noviciate at Emo? Or the fact that Neil, like his father, was born on St Ignatius’ feast, 31 July? As with Ignatius, what met the eye was impressive, but less important than the depth and gentleness that lit up his face when he smiled. He was a dear and delightful companion.
Of his fifty years of priesthood, he spent half in Zambia, first learning the language, then schoolmastering and parish work in Chikuni and Namwala. When Bishop James Corboy founded Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma, Neil went there as Prefect and teacher, and had a great influence on the boys there. His ability to encourage vocations and his good-tempered approach to teaching and to discipline made him a valued member of staff. I don’t think it is just coincidence that among his pupils there were two who later became Bishops and many others who were priests in various dioceses.
Neil was 61 when he returned to Ireland for a new ministry of giving retreats and running St Ignatius’ parish in Galway – he was the last Jesuit Parish priest. It was a good time for him. He always spoke of Galway with special affection; he found a warm welcome there and made many close friends. Meeting Neil you sensed a man who was happy in his priestly vocation, right up to his last years in Cherryfield. And he was a man of strong loyalties: to his family, his county of Kilkenny, his Alma Mater St Kieran’s College, and to the Jesuits, his comrades and spiritual home for sixty years of his life. May the Lord reward him.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 159 : Spring 2015

Obituary

Fr Cornelius (Neil) O’Driscoll (1933-2015)

Neil O'Driscoll died peacefully in St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin on 27th January 2015, aged 81. Like his father, he was born on the feast of St. Ignatius, something that may have had a bearing on his decision to enter the Society. He was baptised as Cornelius, though his Jesuit colleagues will ever remember him as Neil. But there are more significant things they will surely remember about him; his bright reassuring smile; the twinkle in his eye; his personal concern for his fellow-Jesuits and their work; the warmth, kindness and sincerity of his friendship; his gentle manner; the patient resignation with which he bore adverse health conditions; the uncomplaining way in which time and again he readjusted the course of his life in answer to the demands of his deteriorating health; his deep spiritual life, never paraded openly, but obvious in his great devotion to the Mass, the Blessed Sacrament and the Rosary.

The human context for all of this was the characteristic that first met the eye: Neil's impressive, almost military, bearing and the measured way in which he would deal with an issue. The years he spent in the Irish Army Officer Cadet Corps before entering the Jesuit novitiate made a deep impression on him and in God's surprising ways equipped him for some of the roles he would fill in the Society. A very early one, while still a novice, was to take some of his fellow-novices for drill, marching thern round in efforts to improve their carriage and bearing. This was at a time when Ireland was experiencing renascent Irish Republican Army (IRA) activity; so it is no surprise that when light aircraft were seen flying over Emo, the rumour went round that the Irish authorities were checking in case the Jesuit novitiate had become a hot-bed for training IRA recruits! Neither is it any surprise that Neil was affectionately known to so many fellow-Jesuits as “the Captain” - almost instinctively you wanted to salute him when you first met him!

Neil spent 27 years, or almost exactly one-third of his life in Zambia. He would certainly have remained longer if the problems with his health had not made it necessary for him to return permanently to Ireland in 1994. In 1959, he arrived in what was then Northern Rhodesia for his three years of regency, spent most of his first year learning Chitonga and the following two years teaching in Canisius College, the Jesuit secondary school at Chikuni, He returned to Ireland for theology and was ordained on 27th July 1965, along with two other stalwarts of the Zambia-Malawi Province, Frank Wafer and Frank Woda. Following his fourth year of Theology and then Tertianship, Neil returned to Zambia in 1967. There he found both national and church scenes greatly changed compared with the way they had been when he left in 1962: what had been Northern Rhodesia had become Zambia; the Diocese of Monze had been established, with James Corboy as its first bishop; and Mukasa, a Jesuit run minor seminary for Monze Diocese, had been opened in Choma.

Neil was always happy to be sent where there was a need. At the time of his return to Zambia the need was for dynamic teachers and exemplary role-models in the schools for which the Society was responsible. And so it was that he spent the next eleven years of his life teaching either in Canisius or Mukasa. His colleagues remember with great admiration the way he always gave himself totally to the job. Very cheerfully he would take on extra classes or deal creatively with double sized classes of 75 or more (necessitated by a shortage of teachers). And as might have been expected from such a fine figure of a man, he knew how to use his impressive presence to bring control out of what otherwise might have been bedlam.

In some ways these were Neil's best and most fulfilling years. He was totally engrossed in his work, never seemed to have a moment for himself, and clearly enjoyed almost every minute of the diverse demands of his teaching apostolate. Around this time he began to show the attractive personality trait that was to become his hallmark in later life - pausing in a reflective and somewhat ponderous manner when asked a question and then giving a characteristic "hmmm” before answering. But for Neil one great thing about these teaching years was that he was just too busy to be able to pay attention to the dark and nameless anxieties that were lurking under the surface of his personal life and that became such a heavy cross for him in later years.

As was not unusual at that time in schools in Zambia, Neil also had to provide back-up and support for his teaching colleagues and the school administration if there were any disturbances among the students. This was a challenge for him, often involving a situation where he did not feel comfortable or at ease. But invariably he provided courageous support and showed unswerving loyalty. The experience of such situations burned deeply into him, unsettling him in some ways, though in later life he could recall them with sardonic humour. Thus, in mid-March 1974, he was with Jerry O'Connell one Sunday evening in the Canisius Headmaster's office when they heard sounds of shouting and rioting that were getting ominously louder. Quickly, Jerry and Neil switched off the lights and remained low, letting the disorderly students pass by outside. All settled down that night, but ever after when he would meet Jerry, Neil would say in characteristic fashion, “Jerry, beware the ides, beware the ides of March”

The legacy that Neil brought with him into the Society as a cadet officer in the Irish Army stood him in good stead during the years of his assignment to Canisius. Under Tom McGivern, a cadet contingent, attached to the 2nd Battalion of the Zambian Army, had been established at the school in 1964 and flourished over the years. On his return to the school in 1967, Neil enthusiastically became involved with these Cadets - the records show him as “Lieutenant the Rev. N. O'Driscoll” for five years and then for a year as Contingent Commander until he withdrew gracefully from this position so that a Zambian could take charge.

In 1979 Neil moved from school to parish work, becoming assistant parish priest in Chivuna. He served in this position for two years before returning to Dublin to spend three years in Gardiner Street on vocations promotion and parish work. From there he moved back to Zambia, first to a teaching post for three years in Canisius, then to Namwala for five years as superior and assistant parish priest, and then once again back to teaching, this time in Mukasa for a year.

The background to these many adjustments and changes was Neil's uncertain health status. For a considerable period he suffered from the undetected condition of excess iron in the blood, something that necessitated regular replacement of his blood supply. It was this that eventually made it necessary for him to leave Zambia in 1994 and return permanently to Ireland, At the same time he had to withstand the almost unremitting onslaughts of what St. Ignatius called the "evil spirit”. This plagued the second half of his life with a great burden of nameless anxieties, apprehensions and uneasiness. Notwithstanding his fine presence, he disliked being in a position of responsibility as he felt it difficult to make important decisions. But for as long as he was able, he continued with his apostolic work despite the physical and psychological burdens that he was carrying. Unfailingly he also continued to show himself a warm-hearted and delightful companion.

That he never deviated from the steady paths of apostolic engagement and very agreeable companionship shows that spiritually as well as physically Neil was truly a man of God and a man of stature. This made a strong impression on his Jesuit colleagues as well as on the Zambian people. It is gratifying to be able to record that late in 2014, just some months before he died, former parishioners of his recalled with great appreciation the work that he and Frank O'Neill had done when they were running Namwala parish. Even today, more than twenty years after his departure from the country, the people of Zambia remember with affection and appreciation Neil's pastoral presence among them.

Neil was 61 when he returned to Ireland in 1994 to a new ministry of giving retreats and running the parish in Galway, This was a good time for him. He always spoke of Galway with special affection. Meeting him, you sensed a man who was happy in his priestly vocation, right up to his last years in Cherryfield. And he was a man of strong loyalties: to his family, his county of Kilkenny, his Alma Mater St Kieran's College, the people of Zambia, his fellow-Jesuits, and the Society that was spiritual home for sixty years of his life.

In his wonderful book Where To From Here? Brian Grogan envisages a person who has just died moving with Christ in a small boat into the unbelievably wonderful life that lies ahead and being welcomed on the other side at a crowded quay. Undoubtedly it was that way with Neil when, towards the end of January, he got into that boat and left us. And surely among those offering him a thunderous welcome when he arrived at the other side were the Jesuit colleagues with whom he had worked in Zambia and who had pre-deceased him in Cherryfield - John Fitzgerald, Dick Cremins, Paddy Kelly, Charlie O'Connor, John McCauley, Jim Dunne, Denis Flannery and, of course, Frank O'Neill – and the countless Zambian people to whom he was such an inspiration, guide and genuinely good person. Can't you see him characteristically raising his bushy eyebrows, smiling radiantly with his whole being, joy shining through his eyes, completely overwhelmed, unable to find a word, and a small sound coming from his lips -- "hmmm”? Neil, you were a great and wonderful companion and priest. We greatly took forward to the welcome you will have for us when the time comes for us also to get into the boat and cross with the Lord to where you are now.

Michael J Kelly

O'Keeffe, Philip, 1946-2007, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/792
  • Person
  • 12 June 1946-17 December 2007

Born: 12 June 1946, Ennis, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1963, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 June 1975, Ennis, Co Clare
Final Vows: 08 September 1980, Mukasa Seminary, Choma, Zambia
Died: 17 December 2007, St Vincent’s, Dublin - Zambia-Malawi Province (ZAM)

Part of the Xavier House Lusaka - Mazabuka community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 08 September 1980
◆ Companions in Mission 1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Philip was my friend. Our life's correspondence could easily fit in your smallest pocket. Many here might have lost contact with him because of his pocket size communications. Many here too can say he was their friend. Certainly I know many a person in Zambia who would say emphatically: Philip was my friend.

T'is many a night in the early nineties that I sat in the sitting room of St Kizito's Pastoral Centre Monze with the two Clare men with whom I was privileged to live, for Philip was born in Ennis, Co Clare on 12 June 1946. Two genuinely saintly men. The elder statesman, John Counihan, would stand up promptly at eight pm and announce ‘All right boys, I'll leave you to it. It's time for me to retire’. And he'd toddle off to his room to the Greek New Testament and Tonga New Testament laid out side by side on his desk – no English – and he'd prepare his homily for the following day. Meanwhile myself and Philip would switch off the serious stuff and put on a videotape, in those days it was the special Late Late Show tribute to Sharon Shannon - another famous Clare woman.

The long drawn out notes of the accordion are the years of love and struggle, the years of pastoral planning, the years of walking with, that Phillip did from the time he first boarded the plane in Dublin for Zambia 'in August 1970 with Joe Hayes and Stan Farrell. He walked with care and love in his own humble, shy, unintrusive manner. First in Mumbwa in the late 70's where he had to learn ciNyanja and some Shona. Then in Monze, Maamba, St Mary's Monze and finally Nakambala Sugar Estate, Mazabuka. While he walked unobtrusively yet he could lay down the law with people in a most fruitful and containing way. And his shyness could disappear like a cloud in a sunburst when he would sit and read for you with enthusiasm some favorite poetry or throw out one of his humorous and acute observations of the human situation. Or offer his funny, sometimes painfully frank, comments on a person's foibles.

Philip was very honest with himself and had no ambitions to power. He had a really hard time with his inner self. I know some of 'the intense personal agonies he went through. He was low and depressed a lot of the time. And still he could ride the waves of the unconscious and throw humour and good sense to his fellow travellers. Even here in hospital, the last time I spoke with him from Sheffield on the phone, he displayed his wry humour. I asked him how he was managing with all the visitors while feeling so weak – knowing also that in his very introverted nature he likes to put a limit on seeing people. ‘Well’, he says, ‘I'll tell you, it's like in the old days in Ennis when Duffy's circus used to come to town. They used to have this little tent where we'd have to pay sixpence to get in. People would come, half out of guilt and half out of curiosity to see the cow with six legs’. Then he paused. ‘Since they put me in this wheel chair – I'm still counting my legs’. He found it enormously difficult to retain the energy to keep going in his parish work. But he was utterly faithful to it.

And now the darkness of the open door into some small African house is reflected on the blue water across the river where he has now gone. Maureen and Bill, his parents are there to meet him. Rufina Mwiinga and Jennifer Ndima and Norman MacDonald and many many others are there too. There is a blaze of light from the warmth and love flowing out and around and inside that distant house on the other side. Of which we know nothing, just nothing. Philip has climbed the mountain and seen nothing on the slopes. And now he's reached the top and... well, we can see nothing.

A family phoned me recently asking me to pray for her husband dying of cancer. Of course I said I would. But I was aware of my own very uncertain faith. ‘Oh,’ she said ‘I'm glad we have you on board, I'm really glad we have you on board’. I thought to myself, ‘I may be on board, I may be in the ship, but the question is, “Is the ship in the water?” And if it is, what sea exactly are we setting out to cross?' I felt a bit like Jonah. Throw me overboard. Death brings up all these unresolved questions in us.

Philip was a man of faith. I look at you now Philip in wonder and admiration. Thank you for your friendship. May you rest in peace.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 123 : Special Issue February 2005

Obituary

Fr Desmond (Des) O’Loghlen (1918-2003) : Zambia-Malawi Province

3rd March, 1918: Born in Waterford, Ireland
7th Sept. 1936: Entered the Society at Emo
1944 - 1946: Crescent College, Limerick, teaching, regency
31st July, 1949: Ordained
1950 - 1951: Tertianship at Paray-le-Monial, France.
1951 - 1952: Chikuni, Canisius, assistant principal
1952 - 1953: Chingombe, Kabwe, Mpika, language study
2nd Feb 1954: Professed of four vows
1953 - 1959: Lusaka, St. Ignatius, pastoral work
1955 - 1959: Chaplain at Chalimbana
1956 - 1959: Chaplain at Munali
1959 - 1993: Judicial vicar for Archdiocese of Lusaka
1960: Chikuni, Charles Lwanga, teaching
1960 - 1962: Lusaka, St. Ignatius, Superior,
1962 - 1967: Choma, Regional Superior for Chikuni Mission
1967 - 1969: Mazabuka, Regional Superior for Mission
1970 - 1977: Lusaka, St. Ignatius, Parish Priest
1977 - 1992: St. Ignatius, Chaplain, University Teaching
1992 - 2003: St. Ignatius, Assistant PP, Hospital Chaplain
Sept. 4th 2003: Died in Lusaka, Zambia.

Des had been planning for home leave in 2004 and had gone to visit his brother, Dinnie, who was dying in Durban. On returning to Lusaka, he contracted a chest infection which, indeed, many had picked up. On September 4, he was driven to the clinic, although there was no sign of anything critical. However, his breathing suddenly became very acute and he was anointed. Shortly afterwards, he died.

Clive Dillon-Malone writes:
Des entered the Society after secondary school in 1936 when he was eighteen years old. He went through the ordinary formation of Jesuits: novitiate, juniorate at University College, Dublin, philosophy, regency in Limerick, theology, ordination in 1949, tertianship and final vows in 1954.

It was in the years 1950 and 1951 that the Irish Province of the Jesuits had been asked especially to help the Polish Jesuits in staffing their work in what was then Northern Rhodesia. The Irish Province responded generously and sent eight to ten men in each of these two years in order to lay a solid foundation for their work. Des was amongst the group that came in 1951.

He became Superior of Chikuni Mission in 1962, the year in which the late Bishop Corboy was ordained Bishop of Monze. While the greater part of Des's life was spent in the Archdiocese of Lusaka, he spent seven years as Superior of Chikuni Mission from 1962-1969 in the Diocese of Monze, residing in Choma from 1962-1967, and at the newly-built Moreau House in Mazabuka from 1967-1969. As a result Des, though in many ways a man of cautious bent, was closely associated with the energetic and far-sighted expansion of the early years of Bishop Corboy's tenure in Monze. During those years, many new parishes were established and Jesuits served in those of Mazabuka (1964), Chilalantambo (1967), Chirundu (1967), Nakambala (1967), and St Mary's Monze (1969). Charles Lwanga Teachers' Training College had opened in Chikuni in 1959, Mukasa Minor Seminary in Choma in 1966, and St. Kizito Catechist Training Centre in Monze in 1967. A Jesuit had also become Chaplain of St. Edmund's Secondary School in Mazabuka in 1964.

In Lusaka, the new residence at St. Ignatius was built in 1966. Des presided over a talented and generous group of Jesuits whose achievements he would have been the first to
recognise. He had the vision to encourage a number of younger Jesuits, who saw the need to do further studies, especially in anthropology, sociology, music and linguistics.

Des loved to recall stories of his travels in small aircraft using various remote airfields in different corners of East and Central Africa. He accompanied Fr. General Arrupe during his early visit to Zambia in 1965 and delighted in pioneering meetings with other Major Superiors, meetings which were the remote forerunners of the Jesuit Major Superiors of Africa and Madagascar (JESAM) and the establishing, years later, of the African Assistancy. It was at the end of his time as Superior in July 1969 that the famous meeting took place in Chikuni at which the Jesuits of Chikuni Mission agreed in a cliff-hanger of a vote to be part of the proposed new Vice-Province of Zambia (3rd December, 1969). Des was justly proud of his part in the setting up in 1969 of the Jesuit Novitiate at Xavier House in Lusaka, a novitiate which was soon to cater not only for Zambia and Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), but also for the five countries of the East Africa Region as well as the Nigeria-Ghana Region.

In 1969, Des was assigned to St. Ignatius Parish in Lusaka where he spent the rest of his life. From 1970 -77, he was the parish priest; then followed his long stint as chaplain at the University Teaching Hospital which he finished in 1991. During his time in Lusaka, he was also the vicar for the archdiocese of Lusaka.

He was always a man of caution. No quick decisions, no hasty moves. He looked ahead and planned carefully. Everything he did was done well and conscientiously. If mistakes were made, they were very few. He would go to any lengths to help and would see a problem right through to the very end. Despite his more conservative bent, he remained open to change and could joke about the internet, e-mails and computers which he acknowledged to be out of his reach. His good humour and wit were even more pronounced in his later years.

Punctuality was not one of his greatest virtues. In fact, arriving late for everything seemed to Des to be itself a virtue in view of his appreciation of the value of time. And he adamantly refused to be rushed. There is a true story of how, one day when he was taking his afternoon tea in the recreation room, a member of the community came in and told him that some woman wanted to see him at the reception area of the parish offices. As always, he enquired if she had an appointment and, when the answer to that question was negative, he continued taking his tea. About ten minutes later, the same member of the community returned to the recreation room. Seeing Des still taking his tea, he gently said to him: “I hope, Des, that you understand that there is a woman waiting to see you at the parish reception area”. His comment was: “We're priests, not firemen”.

Des was always available and so anxious to help everyone with his advice and wisdom. Well versed in Canon Law, he had a way of cutting through the legal technicalities and focusing on the persons involved. He felt for people in a special way and his pastoral sensitivity ran through everything he did. His pastoral work spanned three generations, and he had a phenomenal memory for people and places. He would take delight in telling young married couples of having married their parents and having known their grandparents. He touched so many through baptisms, weddings, marriage counselling, funerals, the sacrament of reconciliation and the Eucharist. He was always on call in the parish and his phone was seldom silent.

But perhaps his endless concern for the sick and the dying is what stands out more than anything else in his life. As Chaplain at the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka, Des will be remembered especially for his kindness to the sick and the dying and their families, as well as for his unfailing interest in the medical staff and their formation, especially the nurses and doctors. The Chaplaincy Centre with its Interdenominational Chapel which was the outcome of persistence and determination on his part is a lasting memorial to his far-sightedness in the face of many difficulties. When he retired from being official chaplain there after over twenty years, he continued to visit three smaller hospitals to cater to the needs of all patients without distinction right up to the end. He brought healing to so many on so many different levels. He was a living channel of God's loving care and concern for the suffering and the dying.

Des was a wonderful community member, always ready to share in whatever problems arose. He was a most pleasant, heartfelt and sincere person to live with, and always a gentleman in the truest sense of the word. He was kind, compassionate and gentle in all that he did. He might get angry with people at times for breaking appointments or coming late but it was a momentary frustration. He would always find a way of excusing those involved. He would get so sorry if he felt that he had hurt anyone and would go out of his way to put things right. He was incapable of becoming bitter or holding a grudge.

Des was a man of God and a man of the people. First thing every morning, he would be there in our small oratory with the Lord. Every evening last thing, he would be there in that same small oratory. But his contact with the Lord continued throughout the day in his contact with people. Des loved people and he loved the people of Zambia in particular. After coming to Zambia, he had become a Zambian citizen as a sign of his total commitment. It was his ardent wish to live and die here. He got his wish.

Roe, Francis, 1917-2003, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/613
  • Person
  • 09 December 1917-13 March 2003

Born: 09 December 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 March 1939, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final Vows: 15 August 1949, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 13 March 2003, St Vincent’s Hospital

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

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
After his novitiate, Br Frankie Roe was posted to Belvedere College to take charge of the Boys Tuck Shop. A fellow Jesuit, who was a boy at the school, remembers: ‘It was there that I first met him when I was a small boy of 8. He was in charge of the Tuck Shop and was to us a person of significance. But my main memory is of his kindness to the youngest boys and how he protected us from what seemed to us to be the giant marauding 11 year olds. Never would he allow the older ones to push us youngsters out of the queue. He consoled us when we were in trouble and encouraged us at all times’.

Br Roe, born in Dublin on 9 December in 1917, was the seventh of eight children, all of whom predeceased him. Among his brothers were two All-Ireland Handball champions and he himself was no mean performer in the sport. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and after schooling worked with Independent Newspapers.

He entered the Society at Emo in 1939. For 64 years he served the Lord in the Society in many places, in Ireland and Africa and in a variety of roles. He was refectorian in a number of houses, – Clongowes, Milltown Park, Loyola House, Tullabeg – twenty eight years in all. Added to that, he was also sacristan in the houses as well.

He decided to offer himself to the missions in Zambia. He came out for two years, 1977 to 1979, at the age of sixty. He worked at Choma Minor Seminary School as minister and library assistant and then moved on to Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze, as general factotum.

In everything he did he was a perfectionist – highly competent, diligent, and meticulous in the attention that he gave to his tasks, precise in word, deed and in every detail of his manner. All of these tasks he carried out effectively and industriously but almost always with a touch of the frustration that is the lot of the perfectionist. He had great difficulty reconciling himself to be among the ‘imperfectionists’ who populate our world.

He returned to Ireland and found the ideal position and with it something approaching happiness. In 1981 he became bookbinder of the Milltown Library. It demanded the skills that he had in abundance and afforded him an environment that suited his temperament perfectly. He applied his skill assiduously and took immense pride in his work that he carried out flawlessly and generously. He did all the work himself and no longer was he at the mercy of the shortcomings of others. He was truly master of all he surveyed in the bindery. In these years, his relationships with others blossomed. He greatly appreciated the librarians and they, in their turn, positively treasured him. Within the library staff the feminine balance seemed to have pleased him significantly. His departure from the library left a gap that will not be filled.

For two and a half years he battled with cancer uncomplainingly. In Cherryfield Lodge, the Jesuit Nursing Home, he found something approaching perfection, particularly in the staff, who were devoted to him, whom he so deeply appreciated and of whom he was so extraordinarily undemanding. He died on 13 March 2003 in St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Worked at Independent Newspapers before entry

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Br Francis (Frankie) Roe (1917-2003)

9th December 1917: Born in Dublin city
Early education at St. Columba's CBS School, Dublin
Worked for several years in the Irish Independent office
7th March 1939: Entered the Society at Emo
8th March 1941: First Vows at Emo
1941 - 1945: Belvedere College - Sacristan; Tuck shop
1945 - 1950: Clongowes College - Refectorian (boys)
18th August 1949: Final Vows at Clongowes
1950 - 1958: MilltownPark - Refectorian
1958 - 1962: Belvedere - Assistant Librarian, Sacristan
1962 - 1963: Loyola House - Sacristan / Refectorian
1963 - 1966: Tullabeg - Sacristan / Refectorian
1966 - 1977: Milltown Park - Refectorian
1977 - 1979: Zambia - Choma Minor Seminary: Minister; Library Assistant; worked at Kizito Pastoral Centre, Monze
1979 - 1980: Milltown Park - Sacristan; Ministered in the Community
1980 - 1981: Clongowes - Assistant to the Headmaster; Librarian
1981 - 1984: Milltown Park - Book binding
1984 - 1985: Cherryfield Lodge - Worked at Milltown Park Library; book binding
1985 - 2000: Milltown Park - Book binding
2000 - 2003: Cherryfield Lodge
13th March 2003: Died in St. Vincent's Hospital, Dublin.

Brother Roe was admitted to Cherryfield in November 2000, suffering from prostate cancer. His condition began to deteriorate in September 2002. He was admitted to St. Vincent's Hospital on 21" February, and he died peacefully three weeks later.

Noel Barber writes:
Brother Roe was the seventh of eight children all of whom predeceased him. Among his brothers were two All Ireland Handball champions and he, himself, was no mean performer in this sport. He was educated by the Christian Brothers and after his schooling worked with Independent Newspapers. Just over 64 years ago, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Emo on March 7th 1939. Over his 64 years in the Jesuits, he served in many places in Ireland and Africa and in a variety of roles. In everything he did, he was a perfectionist - highly competent, diligent, and meticulous in the attention that he gave to his tasks, precise in word, deed and in every detail of his manner. However, he was not only a perfectionist; he was also kindly and generous. After his novitiate he went to Belvedere. It was there that I first met him when I was a small boy of 8. He was in charge of the Tuck Shop and was to us a person of immense significance. But my main memory is of his kindness to the youngest boys and how he protected us from what seemed to us to be giant marauding 11 year olds. Never would he allow the older ones to push us youngsters out of the queue. He consoled when we were in trouble and encouraged us at all times. He was a most benign presence and we were sorry to see him leave at the end of our second year. He went on to many tasks, all of which he carried out effectively and industriously but almost always with a touch of the frustration that is the lot of the perfectionist. He had great difficulty reconciling himself to the imperfectionists, who populate our world.

However, he did find the ideal position and with it something approaching bliss. In 1981 he became bookbinder of the Milltown Library. It proved to be perfect for him. It demanded the skills that he had in abundance and afforded an environment that suited his temperament perfectly. He applied his skill assiduously and took immense pride in his work that he carried out flawlessly and generously. He did all the work himself and no longer was he at the mercy of the shortcomings of others. He was truly the master of all he surveyed in the bindery. In these years his relationships with others blossomed. He greatly appreciated the librarians and they, in their turn, positively treasured him. Within the library staff the feminine balance seemed to have pleased him significantly. His departure from the library left a void that will not be filled.

For two and a half years he battled with cancer uncomplainingly. He gradually spent more and more time in Cherryfield Lodge, until he became a permanent resident. There, as in the Library, he found something approaching perfection, particularly in the staff, who were so devoted to him, whom he so deeply appreciated and of whom he was so extraordinarily undemanding

In the Gospel from St. Luke that was read at his funeral Mass, Our Lord points out to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus that Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead; or as he puts it earlier in the same chapter, “Was it not necessary that Christ should suffer and so enter into his glory? No doubt the joy of discovering that Christ had risen blocked some obvious questions, such as “Why? Why should the innocent suffer? Why must Christ suffer? Why should the Passion have to precede the Resurrection?” The message of the Gospel is a stark statement of the Law of the cross. The cross is the way to glory; that cross that is a folly and a scandal, unintelligible in itself and acceptable only in the light of Faith, However, the message of Christ and the demands that it makes on us would be hollow if Christ himself did not take on the depths of human suffering. After all, the first readers of St. Luke's Gospel were facing persecution and some were prepared to die for their Faith. To those and many others who follow them to this very day Christ did not point out the narrow, difficult path while taking a different route himself.

All lives are configured to that of Christ. It is in accepting this that we mysteriously find full life. This was something of which Br, Roe was convinced and that he accepted in faith. It was this convinced faith that provided him with that serenity and calm with which he accepted his illness, the humiliating dependency on others, the enfeebled body, the weakening mind and ultimately his death that finally conformed him to his Master whom he served so loyally, unobtrusively and dutifully.

Sharkey, Brian, 1917-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/399
  • Person
  • 22 January 1917-28 October 1980

Born: 22 January 1917, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 05 November 1977, Canisius College, Chikuni, Zambia
Died: 28 October 1980, Lusaka, Zambia - Zambiae Province (ZAM)

Part of the Mukasa Seminary, Choma, Zambia community at the time of death

Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

by 1951 at Chikuni, Chisekesi, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - third wave of Zambian Missioners

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Fr Brian entered the novitiate at Emo on 7 September 1935 and went through the usual Jesuit formation. The war determined that the scholastics of these days would receive their academic and spiritual training – sound though perhaps unimaginative – within the shores of holy Ireland, uncontaminated by the philosophical stirrings on the continent. The utter dependability that was to be a characteristic of Fr. Brian's priestly life was noticeable during those years. Here was someone ready to help in picking potatoes on a cold November day, to rake the autumn leaves off the gravel in Rahan, a 'he-man' to fill up a crew for the row down the canal and the River Brosna to Shannon Harbour – the congenial Brian would never let you down.

In 1950, the Irish Province committed itself to the short staffed Polish African Mission, and, at the end of his tertianship, Brian was assigned to Zambia. For thirty years he labored in that field. He did not leave any lasting monument of brick and mortar, but no one could quarrel with this assessment written years after he had left Kasiya: “none of us touched the hearts of the people as Fr Brian did”.

His successors on the mission would be reminded again and again, 'Fatha Shaakee baptised me', 'Fatha Shaakee married me'. This was the more remarkable as Brian did not acquire a fluency in their language. The reason for their response and the depth of their feelings towards him may be gathered from this letter of sympathy from a Form 2 boy who met Brian once, on retreat. He wrote: “It's very sad that such a man should pass away. He was so kind and such a peace-loving man. He was always so eager to help the students. Even though we never lived together, my life has been changed by him”.

The most striking quality in Brian Sharkey that everyone noticed during his 30 years in Zambia, was what may be summed up as his benevolence. The list of places where he served is alone enough to show his availability: Chikuni 1950 to ‘53, Kasiya 1953 to ‘63, Namwala 1963 to ‘70, then, between 1970 and 1974 Civuna, Kasiya again, Fumbo, Kizito and finally Mukasa where he remained until his life ended. After one such sudden switch he remarked to a colleague, ‘You know, there can be the last straw’! But for him, his vows were a sure guide. At a discussion on obedience, he once said, ‘One may always state objections but if the superior holds to his decision, the subject should lay aside his objections and throw himself unreservedly into the task’. St. Ignatius, who wished his sons to be outstanding in obedience, would have been pleased with Brian's performance. He was pre-eminently 'the man in the gap', who could be called upon when there was an emergency to be coped with, an awkward vacancy to be filled, or a contrary person to be accepted.

His devotion to duty resulted in his having a remarkable personal interest in all those committed to his care, whether as parishioners or pupils. He knew each one by name as well as all the other members of that family, the places from which they came and their cross-relationships with other people. Detailed information of this sort was very valuable to him in his apostolate and was a matter of admiration and, at times, of surprise to his brethren. His devotion to duty likewise kept him working to the last. He was carrying a full teaching load of 24 periods a week with exam classes, right up to eight days before he died. He gave no indication that he was ill during the preceding months. The only thing that the community at Mukasa noticed as different from usual about him, was that he tired easily and went to bed early and that he was eating less and sometimes did not appear at meals.

As a result, his death, coming so quickly and without any apparent period of illness beforehand, was not only a great shock but a real puzzle to his colleagues at Mukasa. Yet, during the greater part of that year, he must have been suffering considerably at least from internal upsets and physical exhaustion, if not from actual pain.

His benevolence showed itself in many ways. His kindness to all was common knowledge and there was no limit to the trouble he would take to oblige anyone. His tolerance of the shortcomings of fallen humanity, both within and outside the Society, seemed almost a reflection of the Divine magnanimity. Consequently, he was hardly ever heard to utter a critical word about anyone. Finally, he was renowned for an unruffled calm which was proof against even the most provoking situations, or people. His keen sense of humour which led him to savour and to recount little human tales, if they hurt no one, kept him chuckling good-humouredly to himself.

When he was dying, he said to the rector of Mukasa, showing his concern for both the Rector and the boys: “I am letting you and the boys down”. He then went on to give him details of what he had planned to do in the classes that remained before the exams began and explained where his notes could be found. Long before the words ‘a man for others' became a catch-phrase, Fr Brian was a living example of such a person.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 56th Year No 1 1981

Obituary

Fr Brian Sharkey (1917-1935-1980)

I saw hardly anything of Brian Sharkey for the last thirty years or so while he was in Zambia. Although we spent all our scholasticate together, detailed memories of those fifteen years cannot be recalled easily at this distance. Many things have happened since 1950 and much has changed; including ourselves. However, some impressions of Brian are crystal clear to me and of importance. I may have forgotten the details but I remember the meaning. His life and attitudes revealed certain things to me so that I remember Brian with gratitude and pleasure. My memories, like the man, are of one piece. He appeared to me, remarkably, as a man of integrity and wholeness.
We met first in the Higher Line pavilion at Clongowes. The day was sunny and warm. Both of us - in the slightly dishonourable role of “twelfth man” in the senior cricket teams were “scorers” in the annual match between Clongowes and Belvedere. Brian, I remember, was very pleasant, welcoming and civilised; something I appreciated even then. I suppose there was a maturity about him which impressed even the very callow youth I then was. As I came to know him better I never had any occasion to alter that judgment.
We met again, to our mutual surprise at the portals of Emo. Although objects and events in that undoubtedly grace filled but quite fantastic noviceship are blurred in the memory (fish-bath, blue gravel, ice-pits, ambulacrum) I remember Brian, who was physically strong, as a great man with a mattock on sycamore roots and as a terrifying inside forward.
Much more importantly, I remember his as someone utterly reliable and stable at all times. Brian gave the impression from the beginning that he knew exactly why he was in Emo and had no doubts about it. Of course, everyone must have some doubts and I am sure Brian was no exception. He seemed however to be able to master the 'blues' better than the rest of us. Even then, I think the reason must have been apparent: he prayed much, perhaps constantly, with deep concentration. Prayer was an occupation at which he was at home.
The years of studies must have been difficult for Brian. He was an intelligent man, sensitive in judgment particularly where people were concerned, but he never made any claims to being academic. During the dark years of 1937 to 1940 when we were juniors in Rathfarnham, Brian bore himself cheerfully and honourably and encouraged others. He was present, at the little cove near Skerries, when Peter Cush was drowned. Brian was a strong swimmer and, if he had not been there, others perhaps would also have been lost.
I found it disturbing to discover - many years later, when it was too late to do anything - that Brian, during his philosophy in Tullabeg and his theology in Milltown, had to translate painfully the Latin textbooks into English before he could start work. He had particular difficulty with Génicot's moral theology: where, of course, he was concerned to be accurate. Then he had to sit out the lectures which, for the most part, were in uncompromising Latin, My heart bleeds for him and for the others who also suffered.
Yet Brian never complained or lost his air of stability and peace. His cheerfulness and sense of humour was constant and never seemed to wear thin, At the time, for everybody, obstacles in studies were many and by no means easy to overcome; for him they must have been enormous. He overcame them all.
Once again, the explanation must lie in his prayer; the quality of which one could guess at from his stillness and obvious concentration. His constant joy, cheerfulness and kindness too must have been the fruit of his inner union with the Lord. From his first day in Emo on, as I have said, Brian seemed to be quite sure why he was in the Society; to serve the Lord in His people. He went to Zambia in the calm certainty that he was called and sent by the Lord. The world was a better place for his being in it. May he rest now in peace!
J C Kelly

Fr Brian entered the noviceship, Emo, on 7th September 1935 and went through the usual Jesuit formation. The war determined that the scholastics of those days would receive their academical and spiritual training, sound though perhaps unimaginative, within the shores of holy Ireland, uncontaminated by the new philosophical stirrings on the continent. The utter dependability that was to be a characteristic of Fr Brian's priestly life was noticeable during those years – one to help in picking potatoes on a cold November day; to rake the autumn leaves off the gravel in Rahan; a “he-man” to fill up a crew for a row down the canal and the Brosna to Shannon Harbour - the congenial Brian would never let you down.
When Frs Paddy Walsh and Paddy O'Brien volunteered for the Polish Mission in Zambia, back in 1946, not one of us young Jesuits dreamed that their action would affect us. We were Mission-minded, but Hong Kong was Our Mission. In 1950, however, the Irish Province committed itself to aid the inadequately manned Polish Mission, and at the completion of his tertianship Brian was assigned to Zambia.
Most of the early Irish activity was centred on an area stretching from the Kafue river towards Livingstone, 200 miles to the south, and from Namwala on the Zambesi to 150 miles east. The district had but one Mission station, Chikuni, an important centre then but rather small in the light of later developments. The Christians then numbered a few hundreds; now they are numbered in thousands. The build-up was not easy, Cycling out on roads that were dusty in the dry season, clinging mud in the rains, to see to the burning of bricks for new schools, encouraging the teachers, organising the catechumenates, then back to Chikuni with its pit-latrine and solitary tin-bath, a struggling paraffin fridge and the tilley lamp, Brian and his associates of those early days faced, literally, the weariness, the fever and the fret, but through their tireless perseverance, in thirty years the Church has been transformed. As one not directly involved in the ceaseless activity but more or less sitting on the sideline, I feel free to express my deep admiration for their devotion.
Remarkable projects and impressive buildings now mark the diocese - churches, halls, schools of varying levels of education, hospitals and clinics - but not one of these is the work of Fr Brian. Has he then left no lasting monument? He certainly has. I do not think that anyone would quarrel with the assertion that none of us touched the hearts of the people as Fr Brian did. Years after he left Kasiya Mission, his successors would be reminded that “Fahta Shaakee baptised me ... Fahta Shaakee married me ...” This was the more remarkable as Brian did not acquire a fluency in their language. The depth of and the reason for their response may be gathered from a Form I boy's letter of sympathy (he had met Brian on retreat once). He wrote and I leave his words untouched), “It’s very sad that such a man should pass away. He was so kind and peace loving man. He was always so eager to help the students ... Even though we never lived together my life has been changed”.
In the expansion, manpower was often stretched thin and harassed Superiors often had to fill a gap at a moment's notice: but Brian was there. He was switched from Chikuni to Kasiya, back to Chikuni, to Fumbo, to Namwala, to Civuna, back to Namwala, etc. Yet he was no automaton: he felt it. After one sudden transfer he said to me, “You know, there can be the last straw”, and on another occasion, “I find this assignment very hard”. But for him, his, Vows were a sure guide. At a discussion on obedience, he once said, “One may always state objections, but if the Superior holds to his decision, the subject should lay aside his objections and throw himself unreservedly into the task”. St Ignatius, who wished his sons to be outstanding in obedience, would have been pleased with Brian's performance
When I was a first-year Junior, I remember a senior Junior (I) whose words of wisdom we held in reverence (and still do) saying, “Gosh, I'm convinced that the strength of the Society lies in the ordinary Jesuit”. The life of Fr Brian Sharkey would be a forceful argument in favour of that proposition.
He was always contented, and particularly so during his last years in Mukasa. It was a time of shortages but Brian was largely responsible for ensuring that things ran smoothly; and they did. When the end suddenly came, he worried that he was letting Jerry O’Connell and the boys down just before their exams. Long before the words became a catch-phrase, Fr Brian Sharkey was a living example of “living for others”.
D C