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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
Professed: 02 February 1955
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.

Cashman, Patrick, 1900-1969, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/89
  • Person
  • 02 July 1900-31 December 1969

Born: 02 July 1900, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1935
Died: 31 December 1969, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1928 in Australia - Regency
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Cashman was sent to Australia in 1926 as a scholastic, taught at St Aloysius' College, and was assistant prefect of discipline, 1927-29.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 2 1970

St. Ignatius College, Galway
On December 31st came the sad news of Father Cashman's death in Rathfarnham. He passed away quietly in the last hours of the old year. May he rest in peace. He came here from the Tertianship in August 1934 and after 33 years spent in Galway he left for Rathfarnham in September 1967. He was the most popular priest in the city, keeping in constant contact with the people and help ing them in every need. He was well known for the helpful advice he gave and was loved by all for his friendliness and good will. He was the originator of the plan for the houses at Loyola Park, and saw the plan carried through. He took a keen interest in the Wheelchair Association and when men could not find employment he was the man to whom they came and the one who found jobs for them. In his early sixties he had a prolonged period of ill health, was in and out of hospital, but on his return from the U.S.A., after a few months spent with his brother, a Parish Priest, he seemed to have been given a new lease of life. At breakfast, on the morning after his return, he was so overwhelmed with the warm céad míle fáilte he got that in his own inimitable way he quoted two apt lines from the “Exile's return” : “I'd almost venture another flight, there's so much joy in returning”. The move to Rathfarnham was a hard blow to him. As he said in a letter to a Galway friend. "I loved the people back in the West". He accepted it quietly and settled down to his life of retirement. Fine tributes appeared in the Connaught Tribune and Cork Examiner, but the greatest tribute of all was the profound feeling of sorrow and of personal loss shown by such a multitude of friends in Gal way. The people of the West loved him, too. A life-long lover of his native language he spoke it fluently, taking his place at table with the school fathers, so as to have a chance of speaking it.

The last week of January brought us new cause for grief. After a month in the Regional Hospital, Father Jack Hutchinson died of a heart-attack on Saturday evening, 24th January. On Monday there was a Concelebrated Requiem Mass, 15 priests taking part, including Fr. Provincial and Father Rector who was the chief Celebrant. His Lordship, the Bishop presided. During the Mass the choir rendered hymns in Irish. Fr. P. Meagher, Socius, read the Gospel and Father P. O'Higgins read the bidding prayers in Irish. The impressive funeral and the large number of “Ours” from all over the Province who followed his remains to the graveside were ample testimony of the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him.
Father Jack was here as a Scholastic, 1943-46, and as a priest from 1963 till his death. He suffered a severe heart attack at Easter 1968, and since then his health was never very good. During the last two years of his teaching career he was also Spiritual Father to the boys, and when he became Operarius in the Church, he continued on as Sp. Father to the boys in a number of classes. He paid frequent visits to the Regional Hospital, and it was while getting ready to visit a patient there on the evening of December 23rd that the heart trouble came, which led to his death, a month later. During that last month, his lovable personality and fund of humour contributed much to the happiness of his fellow patients. He was the life and soul of the ward, and the men grew very fond of him and missed him sorely when he died. He was the last of five from our former community to die within the short period of 18 months, and yet, accustomed as we had grown, in that time to death, we seemed to feel all the more keenly this fifth last good-bye. Ar láimh dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha :
Fr. Hutchinson's Sodality and the boys of the 6th year presented Rev. Fr. Rector with a chalice as their tribute to the memory of a priest whom they loved.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Cashman SJ (1900-1969)

One of the most lovable characters in the Province, Father Pat Cashman, went to his reward early in January. Truly it could be said of him that he was a man who was serenely at home in any company. "Cash" as he was affectionately known to his brethern, : was born in Youghal on July 2nd, 1900. He received his education at the Cistercian College, Mount Mellary. A “late vocation”, he entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 1st, 1921.
After Philosophy at Milltown Park, Fr. Pat was sent for Colleges to Australia and spent the three years of regency at St. Aloysius College, Milson's Point, Sydney. His Rector there in those years was Fr. F. X. O'Brien who returned home for a holiday some years ago and who is still hale and hearty at 86 years of age. Fr. Cashman won his way into the hearts of the Australians and he is still remembered with affection by those who were boys in those days.
In 1929 Fr. Pat returned to Milltown for Theology and was ordained on June 14th, 1932. The ordinations were early that year because of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. An older brother, Fr. William Cashman, who was a priest of the diocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, came to Milltown for the occasion. Having left Ireland when Pat was a child, he had to ask someone in Milltown which of the Ordinandi was Fr. Cashman. From 1933 to 1934 Fr. Pat was in St. Beuno's for tertianship and was a great favourite with all his contemporaries there.
The Status of 1934 assigned Fr. Cashman to St. Ignatius' College, Galway, where his life's work awaited him. He made his Final Vows there on February 2nd, 1935. He spent some years teaching in the Bun-ranganna and, while he was a kind and conscientious teacher, the control of his pupils was always rather of a trial to him. Not infrequently, pandemonium reigned, and as he used to say himself “Bím ag scread”. But, even though they played on him mercilessly as boys will do they were very fond of “Cashers”, as they called him. In his early years at Coláiste Iognáid he also acted as games' master.
It was as a “Church Father” that Fr. Cashman is best remembered in Galway, His innate kindness and sympathy and the utter sincerity of his character made him a “natural” for this ministry. People of every walk of life came to him for guidance and direction and he seemed to have a special charisma for attracting the local “characters”, many of whom he knew intimately. During all his years in Galway, he did great work to better the lot of the poor and underprivileged folk of the city. Sometimes, it must be admitted, he was imposed on by “touchers” who would come to him with a “hard-luck” story. But he had a natural shrewdness which enabled him to differentiate generally between the genuine and the spurious.
There is a terrace of houses off College Road in Galway which, in a way, is a perpetual memorial to Fr. Pat. He inaugurated the scheme by which a number of families built these houses by direct labour and at a reasonable cost. He was looked on as the patron saint of the scheme and the terrace was named Loyola Terrace in his honour. Later he tried to interest the poor people in breeding rabbits for food and profit, but this scheme was not a success.
As a confessor, Fr. Cashman was much sought after and he had tremendous patience with scrupulous penitents who can be a great trial at times. He was sorely missed when, through illness, he had to retrench this side of his work a good deal. He made a great success of the Pamphlet Box in the church, keeping it well-stocked with abundant and varied material suited to the seasons, Novenas, Retreats, etc.
Fr. Pat had a great fluency in Irish, though he rode rough-shod over rules of grammar and syntax, He delighted in talking to “sean-iondúirí”, as he called the old native speakers who lived in the vicinity of Galway. He would stop during a walk to chat to one of these and enquire about the current price of sheep or cattle or anything in which he knew they might be interested. In a conversation like this, he would be oblivious of time, and this could be irksome to anyone who happened to be out for a walk with him!
The stories about the friendly vendetta that went on continually between “Cash” and “Paddy O” constitute a saga. For a man of Fr. Paddy O'Kelly's many and varied talents, it was surprising how unfailingly he rose to the wily Cash's bait! Space does not allow of examples which we regret; some of them will doubtless continue to be recounted.
Fr. Pat's health had deteriorated, as a result of heart disease, and he knew that he was liable to have a fatal attack at any time. While taking adequate precautions, he kept on doing what good he could as long as God spared him, One of the greatest crosses he had to bear must have been his transfer from his beloved Galway after so many years there, yet he accepted the move like the fine religious he was. There was consternation in Galway when the news of his change was announced. Many old friends who had come to depend on him for advice and help felt that something had gone out of their lives that could never be replaced.
His change brought him to a very different environment in. Rathfarnham. Yet he settled in remarkably well, though he must have pined many a time for Galway and all he loved there. The Juniors were kind to him and they found in him an encouraging friend; soon he became a great favourite with them. He helped in the work of the Retreat House and his experience was invaluable. His was an intensely human character; there was nothing artificial or “phoney” in his make-up. Perhaps it was a wish of his that he would be laid to rest, when his time came, in Galway beside his old friend and mentor, Fr. Batt Coughlan and his sparring partner, Fr. Paddy O'Kelly. Indeed, that would have been most fitting, but it was not to be. After a concelebrated Mass in Gonzaga College chapel he made his last journey to the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin.
Is fada a aireoimid uainn thú, a Athair Pádraic. Go dtuga Dia solas na bhFlaitheas dod chaoin-anam uasal. Ní bheidh do leithéid arís ann,

Fr. Andrews kindly forwarded the following tributes from a lay man which appeared in the Connacht Tribune on the occasion of his death :

A Tribute
I am sure that it was with great sadness that many people, especially of the elder generation, heard of the death of Reverend Father Cashman, S.J. A few days before he died in Dublin, Father Cashman wrote, in a letter to the writer of this tribute : “How nice to be remembered by the old neighbours. I loved the people back in the west”.
He did, indeed and showed that love in a very practical way - efforts to obtain employment for unemployed, encouraging self initiative, guiding and encouraging carcers, giving financial aid (when he had it) to the widow and orphan. His practical sense showed itself in the encouragement he gave to the residents of Loyola Park, College Road, to combine other skills and build their own houses, which they did. Like that other gifted young Galway born Jesuit, Reverend Father Scully, S.J., who was responsible for building the Scully House in Dublin for old people and whom God in His wisdom and providence took from us at the height of his talents, Father Cashman's encouragement of Social Justice was practical, not theoretical.
He loved the Irish language and spoke it fluently whenever occasion presented itself. Father Cashman had a great gift of being at ease and on their ground, with the ordinary people, the very young, the teenagers, the busy housewife, the labouring man. Truly, he could “walk amongst Kings and not lose the common touch”. There was no condescension in Father Cashman's manner - he was homely, genuinely friendly, unpretentious in speech and manner.
In the pulpit preaching he spoke from his heart, without notes, gently, but firmly and very insistently urging the practice of prayer, confession, Holy Communion, Charity. He had not a great voice but he could rouse people with his thin, reedy, lilting Cork eloquence. He did not “pack” his sermons with too many points and he gave heart to people because he was sincere and earnest and listeners instinctively sensed this.
He was a familiar figure on the streets of Galway, so happy to be amongst the people, a real “Sagart Aroon” in his manner and appearance. He belonged to a long line of Jesuit priests and brothers who served the west generally and Galway particularly, for the greater glory of God. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam’.
P. Ó CATHÁIN

Garahy, Michael, 1873-1962, Jesuit priest and missioner

  • IE IJA J/556
  • Person
  • 20 October 1873-14 February 1962

Born: 20 October 1873, Cloghan, Birr, County Offaly
Entered: 07 September 1893, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 26 July 1908, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1912
Died: 14 February 1962, County Waterford

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

by 1896 at Stonyhurst, England (ANG) studying
by 1897 at Valkenburg, Netherlands (GER) studying
Came to Australia for Regency 1898
by 1911 at Drongen, Belgium (BELG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Michael Garahy spent part of his schooling at Mungret, and joined the novitiate in 1893. He did philosophy at Valkenburg, 1895-98, and then sailed to Australia and to Riverview, 1899-1904. He taught, looked after boarders and the Sodality of the Angels, all apparently well. When he was moved suddenly from the one class to another, the students of the class protested to the prefect of studies that they wanted him to stay and said, “My word sir, he does get you on”.
Returning to Ireland, his main work as a priest was preaching and parish work.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 12th Year No 4 1937

Rev. Michael Garahy, S.J., and Rev. Ernest Mackey, S.J. have been invited by the Most Rev. Bishop Francis Hennemann, P.S.M DD., to preach at the approaching Centenary Eucharistic Congress - which has already met with a good deal of opposition - to be held at Capetown, South Africa. Dr. Hennemann is Vicar Apostolic of the Western Vicariate of Cape Town and the Cape of Good Hope.
Word has come to say that His Lordship is to send full Faculties to the Fathers by air-mail-including power to confer the Sacrament of Confirmation-for the Catholics on Ascension Island and the Island of St, Helena, both of which fall under bis jurisdiction.
They will preach during Congress Week at the Pontifical High Mass and at the Mass Meeting for Men. There will be an official broadcast of these functions, which are to be held in the open air at a short distance from St. Mary's Cathedral.
During the course of their stay in South Africa they are due to deliver special lectures on Catholic Action and kindred subjects to Catholic Men's Societies and to Catholic Women's Leagues. Their programme includes also a series of missions and parochial Retreats throughout the Vicariate beginning at the Cathedral Capetown, as a preparation for the Congress, which is fixed to take place from January 9th-16th, 1938. A special Congress Stamp has been issued to commemorate the event.
At the close of the January celebrations they intend to continue their apostolic labours in the Eastern Vicariate at the request of the Most Rev. Bishop McSherry, D,D,, Senior Prelate of South Africa.
Father Garahy is well-known throughout the country since he relinquished his Chair of Theology at Milltown Park in 1914 to devote his energies to the active ministry.
Father Mackey has been Superior of the Jesuit Mission staff in Ireland since 1927. During his absence in South Africa, Father J Delaney, S.J., Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin, will take over his duties. Fathers Mackey and Garahy leave for Capetown on Tuesday, 24th August, 1937, and are expected back in Ireland about Easter, 1938.
Father Mackey has just received a cablegram from Bishop Hennemann asking him to give the Priests' Retreat at Cape Town

Irish Province News 13th Year No 1 1938

Our two Missioners to South Africa, Fathers Mackey and Garahy reached Cape Town on 23rd September.
The voyage was uneventful. They landed at Las Palmas and visited the centre of the Island.
Writing about the road, overhanging a steep precipice, over which they travelled, Father Garahy tells us : “I realised there was nothing between us and eternity except a few feet of road. It seemed to be a matter of inches when we crawled past other cars coming down.” They paid one more visit before reaching Cape Town, and Father Garahy's description is : “A spot of earth more arid than Ascension it would be hard to find outside the Sahara, and yet it grazes about 400 sheep and some cattle on one spot called the Green Mountain.”
Work began the very day after their arrival at Cape Town - a Retreat by Father Mackey to Legion of Mary, with five lectures a day. On the next Sunday, Father Garahy preached at all three Masses in the Cathedral, and again in the evening, The Mission began on Sunday, 3rd October, and from that date to Christmas the missioners had only one free week.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 2 1938

Our two Missioners, Fathers Mackey and Garahy, continue to do strenuous and widely extended work in South Africa. A source of genuine pleasure to them, and one that they fully appreciate, is the very great kindness shown to them by all the priests, not least among them by the Capuchins from Ireland. In the short intervals between the Missions the two Missioners were taken in the priests cars to every spot in the Cape worth seeing. They are only too glad to acknowledge that they will never forget the amount of kindness lavished on them.
In spite of fears the Eucharistic Congress in South Africa was an undoubted success, A pleasant and peculiar incident of the celebration was an “At Home” given by the Mayor of Capetown Mr. Foster, a Co, Down Presbyterian, to the Bishops, priests and prominent laymen. About 600 were present.

Irish Province News 13th Year No 3 1938
South Africa :

A very decided and novel proof of the success of the South African Mission is given by the letter of a certain Mr. Schoernan, a Dutch Protestant, who owns an extensive estate near Johannesburg. This gentleman wrote directly to the Apostolic Delegate for the Union of South Africa requesting that Fathers Mackey and Garahy should be invited to give a series of sermons and lectures to the non Catholics throughout the Transvaal. He had heard the sermons of these two Jesuit Fathers at the Catholic Congress at Cape Town, and concluded at once that the method and style of treatment of their sermons would make an immense appeal. He himself would be prepared to assist in the financing of such a scheme. “Surely”, he concluded, “Ireland could easily afford to forgo their services for a few months longer.”
The Delegate sent on the letter to Dr. O'Leary, Vicar Apostolic of the Transvaal. to answer. Dr, O'Leary explained that the two Fathers had to cancel many other invitations owing to pressure of work at home.
Mr. Schuman answered the Archbishop through Dr. O'Leary still pressing his own proposal.
The Press, including the Protestant Press, has been equally emphatic as to the success of the Mission. A contributor to “The Daily Dispatch”, a Protestant paper writes :
“A mission for Catholics in East London is now in progress at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. It is being conducted by two Jesuits, Father Mackey and Father Garahy, members of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus..... Hitherto, missions in this diocese have been preached, almost exclusively, by members of the Redemptorist Order.... , A Jesuit mission, therefore, is a change, because the methods and style of the Jesuits are different from those of the other Orders in the Church. There is not so much thunder about the Jesuits. They preach more the mercy of God than His anger and His justice. They appeal more to one's intellect and sense of reason than to the emotions.
It has been essentially a mission to Catholics. Controversial subjects have been avoided, but in the sermons there has been a wealth of information and teaching invaluable even to those firmly established in the Catholic faith. To those not of the faith who have attended the mission, the discourses of the two eloquent Jesuits must have been a revelation. I, a practising Catholic all my life, have heard many missions, both in this country and throughout Great Britain, but I cannot recall one in which the teaching of the Church has been so simply and so convincingly substantiated, or one in which the sinner has been so sympathetically, yet effectively, shown the error of his ways. The sermons were all magnificent orations in which facts, arguments, and reasoning were blended into a convincing whole.”
In another place the same contributor writes :
“Masterly sermons were preached by Father Mackey and Father Garahy explaining, as they have never been explained to the people of East London before, the object of man's life in this world, the difficulties he has to contend with......they have shown how the evils of the present day have all arisen from the misuse of men's reason, how the abandonment of God, and the development of a materialistic creed have set class against class and nation against nation, how man's well-being on earth has been subordinated to the pagan ideas of pleasure and financial prosperity........There has been nothing sensational or emotional in any discourse, but the malice of sin has been shown in all its viciousness.
It has been an education listening to these two Jesuits. The lessons of history, biblical and worldly, have been explained in language that carried conviction, and the teaching of the Church on the problems discussed has been put forward with unassailable lucidity.”

Irish Province News 37th Year No 2 1962

St. Francis Xavier's, Gardiner Street

The passing of Fr. Michael Garahy from amongst us has left quite a big gap in the lives of many amongst the community and staff of Gardiner Street. For some five months the care of him. day and night, had become a constant occupation for many and despite the attention he required and the trouble he could make at times, he won and held to the end the love and affection of all who were so devoted to him by his simplicity and personal charm which stayed with him until his death. He died on Wednesday, 14th February. He was with us all through his declining years except for the last five days when, where he was, meant little to him and the best that could be done became inadequate. Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anant. We take this opportunity to thank Fr. Mark Quigley for his appreciation of Fr. Garahy's life's work which is given elsewhere in this issue of the Province News, Very Rev. Fr. Visitor was present at the solemn Requiem Office and Mass at Gardiner Street on 16th February, having travelled up from Tullabeg where he was then on visitation; Fr. Provincial presided; Fr. Superior was celebrant of the Mass; Fr. Tyndall deacon; Fr. Mac Amhlaoibh sub-deacon; Fr. Raymond Moloney, Milltown, M.C. To Milltown Park we are indebted also for supplying the choir. We wish to record our thanks to them for their generous help on all occasions.

Obituary :

Fr Michael Garahy (1873-1962)

Fr. Garahy passed away peacefully on the morning of 14th February. On the 16th a very fitting tribute was given him by the presence of Fr. Visitor, the Very Rev. John McMahon, S.J., by a large attendance from the Dublin houses of the Society and by a great concourse of people. The Solemn Requiem was sung by Very Rev. Fr. M. Meade, Superior, with Fr, Tyndall as Deacon and Fr. McAuliffe as Sub-Deacon. Mr. Oliver O'Brien performed at the organ and rendered the Dead March as the coffin was carried out of the church.
Fr. Garahy was born on 20th October, 1873. He was a native of Cloghan, Offaly, and lived for a time with his grandmother in Birr while attending the Presentation Brothers school. He was also at Mungret during Fr. Vincent Byrne's rectorship, and at Mount Melleray. He entered the Noviceship in 1893, did Philosophy at Valkenburg from 1895 to 1898, was six years teaching at Riverview and one year at the Crescent, Limerick. He went to Milltown for Theology in 1905, and taught the Short Course there for a year before going to the Tertianship at Tronchiennes in 1911. He taught at Milltown again for two years till 1914 when he became Miss. Excurr, and was stationed at Tullabeg. In 1918 he went to Rathfarnham and was there till 1941 when he went as Operarius to Gardiner Street.
It was in 1914 the present writer knew him first. Of his previous life those of our time only knew of him by hearsay. For example we remember Fr. Martin Maher tell that when Fr. Garahy as a scholastic in Riverview was changed from a certain class, the class came to Fr. Maher, who was Prefect of Studies, to ask to have him left with them. “My word, sir”, they said, “he does get you on”. During the past fifty years and more, I think that as a great personality and because of his very distinguished work, Fr. Garahy has filled a very special place in the Province. As a preacher he was quite outstanding. His voice was powerful and melodious, a perfect instrument for the earnestness and conviction with which he spoke, His message was given in a straight-forward style with plenty of clear and solid doctrine. I think the subjects touching on the Incarnation and the Passion showed him at his best and most typical. Once when some of us went to University Church to hear his Seven Words, we heard a priest who had come in only for the last sermon or two say to another, what a pity they had not been there for them all. Eloquent and thundering in some mission sermons, he had a very intimate, conversational and pleasant way in instructions, and also in enclosed retreats, if one can judge by one retreat he gave to the community at Milltown. He was widely known and appreciated for his retreats to the clergy. Fr. C. Mulcahy once told us of the delight of the parish priest of Rahan, who said that Fr. Garahy had given them in Meath “a retreat full of new thoughts”.
His friendly way made him a great favourite with the parish clergy and with many of the bishops of his time. He found it easy to join in conversation with them, and to be interested in the lives and doings of ordinary people. He had no side and would discuss or argue a question with the simplest of people. He once brought me to Cloghan to visit his mother, a very old lady then. They were discussing the war and she was lamenting some act of the Germans in France. “Wasn't that vandalism now”, she said, “It was not, mother”, said Fr. Michael, and proceeded to explain and to defend the Germans' action. He had always a love for the Germans and would recall with pleasure his days in Valkenburg, and sing or quote songs he had learned there.
In our own communities Fr. Garahy was always a centre of interest, and often of liveliness and fun. He was full of interesting anecdotes of his life on the missions. As well as giving missions in Ireland and England, he had gone on a mission tour with Fr. Mackey to South Africa. He allowed himself to be easily drawn into argument, and would defend his point strongly or indignantly, but sincerely and without bitterness. He lent himself willingly to any simple fun that was going. When Fr. Eustace Boylan came from Melbourne, via Rome, full of life at eighty, and spent a memorable month or so at Gardiner Street, he found Fr. Garahy a perfectly sympathetic sharer in his ever-bubbling hilarity and good humour. On hearing that a fire took place in Newry during the evening devotions when Fr. Garahy was preaching, Fr. Boylan gave rein to his imagination in a few verses to the enjoyment of all :

    Fr. Garahy stood in the pulpit
And spoke to the crowd below,
And his eloquence rose to a terrible height,
As the next day's papers show.

But just as his soaring eloquence
Was going to soar still higher,
A puff of wind caught the last few words,
And the neighbouring house took fire,

And so in Newry nowadays
They brighten the streets at night
With prints of Garahy's fiery words
Instead of electric light

And watchmen heat their tea-cans
At funnels of gramophones
Fitted to discs that thundered forth
The missioner's fiery tones.

And later when 'twas learnt that 'twas
The Bishop's strong desire
That Fr. Garahy should come back
To set the town on fire.

The enterprising shopmen
Advertised the coming sales
Of fireproof frocks for the maidens
Asbestos for the males.

The more one thinks of Fr. Garahy, the more one feels the loss of him as a source of inspiration and happiness in the Province. His strong features could at times express sternness or indignation, but it was some thing evil or mean or unjust that would rouse him in this way. And his denunciation of wrong was effective. A well-known member of the con fraternity in Gardiner Street used to call Fr. Garahy “the hammer of the Society”. His normal expression, however, was one of kindness and the most natural, smiling friendliness.
Apart from the preaching activities already referred to, Fr. Garahy achieved the highest standards in preaching on special occasions. One recalls his Lenten Lectures, published in pamphlets under the title of Idols of Modern Society and a fine sermon on St. Peter Canisius. He gave a weekend retreat in Irish in Milltown many years ago, with Fr. Michael Saul, and gave at least one mission in Irish in Co. Kerry with Fr. Michael McGrath,
All his achievements left him the simplest of men, a man without guile. For the last two years Fr. Garahy's life has been one of inactivity because of his great age. He has needed special help. But in his decline he was gentle, serene and happy.
This grand man, Fr. Michael Garahy, goes from amongst us full of merits, to be greeted by a smile more winning than his own, of the Master he served so happily and so well.

McGrath, Michael P, 1872-1946, Jesuit priest and Irish language scholar

  • IE IJA J/1
  • Person
  • 1 February 1872-11 May 1946

Born: 1 February 1872, Aglish, County Waterford
Entered: 22 August 1896, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1907
Final vows: 02 February 1915
Died: 11 May 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1899 in Vals France (LUGD) studying
by 1913 at Linz Austria (ASR) making Tertianship
by 1919 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Had studied for 5 years at St Patrick’s College Maynooth before Entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 1st Year No 3 1926

The Irish Sodality : This Sodality is directed by Fr Michael McGrath. It grew out of the first week-end retreat in Irish at Milltown Park in 1916. After the retreat, steps were taken with a view to the formation of an Irish-speaking Sodality for men. Success attended the effort, and the first meeting was held in Gardiner Street on Friday in Passion Week. The Sodality soon numbered 400 members. In 1917 a second Irish-speaking Sodality, exclusively for women, was established. In a short time it was found advisable to amalgamate the two branches. The Sodality is now in a flourishing condition, and has every prospect of a bright future before it. In addition to the Sodality, there is an annual “open” retreat given in Gardiner Street to Irish speakers. The first of these retreats was given in 1923 by Fr Coghlan, he also gave the second the following year. The third was given by Father Saul.

Irish Province News 21st Year No 3 1946

Obituary :

Fr. Michael McGrath (1872-1896-1946)

Fr. Michael McGrath was born at Aglish, Co. Waterford, on February 1st, 1872. Educated at Mount Melleray, then at St. John's College, Waterford, and lastly at Maynooth, he entered the Society at Tullabeg on August 22nd, 1896, and later went to Vals for philosophy. He taught in the Crescent 1901-5. He was ordained with Fr. William Doyle and Fr. John Sullivan in Milltown Park by Archbishop Walsh in 1907. He made his tertianship at Freienberg in Austria, and then taught for five years at Belvedere. A course of Canon Law under Pére Choupin at Ore Place, Hastings, completed his long formation, and the rest of his life was spent at Milltown Park, where he was Professor of Canon Law from 1920 to 1932, Lecturer in History of Philosophy from 1924 to 1930, Professor of Patrology, Christian Archaeology, Liturgy and Ascetics from 1932 to 1946. The Irish language always remained Fr. McGrath's favourite study. He established the Irish Sodality of the Blessed Virgin at Gardiner Street in 1916, and continued to direct it until 1935. His edition of Amhlaoibh Ua Suilleabháin's Irish Diary for the Irish Texts Society (1936-8) will be a lasting testimonial to his mastery of Irish and English. He was, at the time of his death, engaged on the preparation of many other Irish works, some of which were nearing completion. Among these were an Irish translation of the New Testament (apart from the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles) with a detailed commentary, the Irish Missal of O'Hickey brought up to date, the Life of St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and the Lives of Distinguished Celtic Scholars. During his long years in Milltown his encouragement and advice were highly appreciated by many a theologian, and his hard. work and cheerfulness were a model to all.

Fr. Garahy has kindly contributed the following personal appreciation :
My acquaintance with Michael McGrath began at Mount Melleray in 1888. He had been there a year or two before my arrival. We soon formed a friendship which lasted during the year and a half I spent in that romantic retreat at the foot of Knockmealdown Mountain. I left Melleray at the end of the Christmas term for Mungret College. Michael McGrath remained on for another couple of years and then passed to St. John's College, Waterford. Later still he was sent to Maynooth, having won a free place in the National College. He had finished two years of his theology course when, with the leave of his bishop, he offered bimself as a candidate for the Society in 1896.
In Melleray Michael McGrath was of the quiet type, rather shy and retiring, but a sincere friend when one had succeeded in breaking through his reserve. He was a painstaking student, eager to absorb all the knowledge offered us boys in classics, the sciences and history. One advantage he had over the rest of us he had a fair acquaintance with the Gaelic. It was spoken freely in his native townland of Aglish, Co. Waterford. It was also the language of the little mountaineers who attended the National School at Melleray. I used to envy Michael McGrath when I heard him exchanging jokes in Irish with those youngsters on their way home from school. Irish was not taught in the College in those days, though we were living in the heart of an Irish speaking district. Melleray was not singular in that matter. The Gaelic revival did not come till several years later. When it did come Michael McGrath threw himself with all the ardour of his soul into the movement.
He and I met again in the Crescent after fourteen years. I was so taken with his enthusiasm for the language that I accepted his offer of instruction and within a few months found myself appointed to teach the first couple of O'Growney's booklets to & class of small boys in the Crescent. During the year I spent with him in Limerick he held the office of Prefect of Studies although still a scholastic. His whole hearted devotion to the duties of his office during that year was to be expected of the Michael McGrath I knew at Melleray—with his passion for study and his earnestness of character. What I did not expect and what was always a wonder to me was his unsparing self-sacrifice in helping the more backward boys to succeed in the examinations. What this cost him in time and in strain on his nerves only himself knew. We, his fellow masters, knew that he regularly sacrificed the couple of hours so badly needed after a hard day's work in the school room to this work of charity; and the wonder was how he escaped a nervous collapse.
At the end of the year he and I left Limerick for Milltown Park to begin our theological studies. The Gaelic revival was then in full swing. Milltown Park had caught the infection ever before our arrival, Fr, Lambert McKenna, Fr. J. F. X. O'Brien and Mr. Tomás Ó Nualláin were, I think, the pioneers of the movement in Milltown. It was natural that those of us who were anxious to master the difficulties of the spoken language should turn to Mr. McGrath for help. He had what we all lacked, a rich sonorous Déisi blas. I well remember his patience in helping us to acquire the correct sounds of the broad and slender vowels. Fr. B. Coghlan, one of our really great Irish scholars to-day, was an enthusiastic pupil, and so was Fr. Dominick Kelly, now for many years a distinguished professor in Newman College, Melbourne.
When Fr. McGrath returned to Milltown as a professor, I had already been transferred to the Mission staff. From that time forth I had few opportunities of meeting him. May he rest in peace”.
It is hoped to include an account of Fr. McGrath's Milltown career in the October issue.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father Michael McGrath 1872-1946
Fr Michael McGrath, while yet a scholastic, was Prefect of Studies at Crescent from 1901-1905.

Born in Aglish County Waterford on February 1st 1872, he was educated at Mount Melleray. He passed on to Maynooth and from there entered the Society in 1896.

Having studied Canon Law for a period after his ordination, the rest of his life was spent in Milltown Park, as professor in various faculties, Canon Law, Patrology, Liturgy and Ascetics. Normally a most kindly and lovable man, he could be most vehement in argument. For example, as Professor of Ascetics, when lecturing on the vice of curiosity, especially in religious, he used to refer to a Father (unnamed) notorious for this fault, and would almost have a stroke, so vehement would be his effort to convey his scorn for such pettiness.

He was a great Irish scholar, with a vast enthusiasm for the revival of the language. He edited the Diary of Amhlaoimh O’Sullivan for the Irish Texts Society. At the time of his death he was engaged in a new translation of the Bible, an Irish Missal, a life of St Aloysius Gonzaga and the lives of distinguished Irish scholars. He founded the Irish Sodality in Gardiner Street in 1916, and he continued to direct it until 1935.

His retreats were famous, being based on John Oxenham “Bees in Amber”, and there was hardly a convert in Ireland that had not heard his opening words : “Yo every man there openeth, a high way and a low”.

He was a model of observance, kindly in advice both as professor and confessor, and many generations of Jesuits owe him a deep debt for his faithful and patient service in their formation. He died on May 11th 1946.