Coffey, Christopher, 1830-1911, Jesuit brother

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Coffey, Christopher, 1830-1911, Jesuit brother

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Dates of existence

12 July 1830-29 March 1911

History

Born: 12 July 1830, Clane, County Kildare
Entered: 23 May 1858, Clongowes Wood College, County Kildare
Professed: 15 August 1868
Died: 29 March 1911, Mungret College, County Limerick

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was born at Trim but brought up at Loughanure, on the Meath and Kildare border.

At the time of Entry he had good knowledge of carpentry and building. In the 50 years he spent in the Province, he is in nearly all the houses, wherever a trusty man was needed to oversee and tale charge of a building project, or some important structural change safely through. So, he was at Crescent for the building of the Church there. He was also in Galway during the building of the Church there. Later he went to St Beuno’s in Wales during the construction of the new library there.
1887 By this time he began a special relationship with Mungret. He taught carpentry to a number of young men who came to the house to be trained as Brothers for the Missions. Later he went to Milltown as clerk of works for the building of the chapel there, and then back to Mungret to supervise the building of a new storey on the old buildings of the former Agricultural College.
Even though age had begun to undermine his strength he was still able to do a fair share of work by overseeing the work of others. He was a man of reflective and contemplative style, and his conversation often gave evidence of true insight and good judgement. Among the football and cricket students he was their oracle for the weather!
He was an observant religious, peaceful in his dealings with all, never querulous, and he bore the increasing infirmities of age with great patience. Winters became more taxing, but he always seemed to emerge from this season hale and hearty. Even toward his end, there had been hopes by all that he would be seen strolling thought the grounds and corridors. He said “If the east wind holds it will carry me off, if it changes I shall pull round again for a bit, please God”.
He died peacefully 29/03/1911, and after the Requiem Mass he was brought to the small cemetery and buried between William Frayne and David MacEvoy, and close to the grave of William Ronan.

Note from Francis Hegarty Entry :
He did return after some months, and there he found in Father Bracken, a Postulant Master and Novice Master, and this was a man he cherished all his life with reverence and affection. His second Postulancy was very long and hard - four years. he took the strain and was admitted as a Novice with seven others who had not had so trying a time as himself. He liked to say that all seven along with him remained true to their vocation until death, and he was the last survivor. They were Christopher Coffey, John Freeman, David McEvoy, James Maguire, John Hanly, James Rorke and Patrick Temple.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Brother Christopher Coffey 1830-1911
Christopher Coffey was born in 1830 at Loughanure, on the borders of Meath and Kildare. In 1858 he entered the Society as a coadjutor Brother. He had a good knowledge of building and carpentry, so during the half century he spent in the Society, he resided in those houses where building or structural works were necessary.

This he was at Crescent for the building of the Sacred Heart Church. Similarly he was in Galway for the building of the Church of St Ignatius. He was actually sent across the water to St Beuno’s for the erection of the library there. In 1887 his special connection with Mungret began.

In Mungret he taught a class of young men who had come to be trained as coadjutor brothers for the foreign missions. He interrupted this task to go to Milltown Park for the building of the chapel, but was soon back in Mungret to assist at the building of the new storey to the original house.

He was an observant religious “just before God, walking in all the Commandments of the Lord without blame”. In his old age he was remarkably edifying and cheerful under his disabilities.When hopes were expressed by his friends of seeing his familiar figure round the grounds and corridors for many more years, he used say “If the east wind holds it will carry me off; if it changes I shall pull around again for a bit, please God”.

He retained his faculties to the last, and fortified by the Rites of the Holy Church, he passed away peacefully on March 29th 1911, and he was buried in the cemetery at Mungret, close to the grave of Fr Ronan.

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830- (1830-)

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Irish Vice-Province of the Society of Jesus, 1830-

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Coffey, Christopher, 1830-1911, Jesuit brother

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IE IJA J/1062

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