- 8 January-16 December 1964 (Creation)
Level of description
Extent and medium
Name of creator
Born: 25 March 1906, Lisnagry, County Limerick
Entered: 01 September 1924, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939
Professed: 02 February 1943
Died: 02 November 1981, Hazel Hall Nursing Home, Clane, County Kildare
Part of the Clongowes Wood College, Clane, Co Kildare community at the time of death
Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 20 July 1959-1965
Early Education at CUS, Dublin and Clongowes Wood College SJ
by 1938 at Petworth, Surrey (ANG) health
◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Note from Arthur J Clarke Entry
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.
Note from Tommie O’Meara Entry
One summer on villa (summer holidays), the local parish priest was invited to dinner and was being introduced to the scholastics, one of whom was Charles O'Conor-Don (a descendant of the last High King of Ireland). He was introduced as ‘This is the O’Conor-Don’, when Tommie immediately pipes up ‘I'm the O’Meara Tom’.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 18th Year No 2 1943
The O’Conor Don, Owen Phelim O’Conor who died at Glenageary Dublin, on 1st March, was the last lineal descendant, from father to son of Roderick O’Conor, last High King of Ireland, who resigned in the 12th century. He was the second son of the late Right Hon. Charles Owen O'Conor and succeeded to the title on the death of his elder brother, Denis, in 1917. The new holder of the title is our Fr. Charles O’Conor, Minister of Juniors at Rathfarnham, the only son of the late Mr. Charles O’Conor K.M., Lucan House Dublin, and nephew of the late holder. He is the first bearer of an hereditary Irish title to be a priest, and not until his death will the title go to the son or grandson of a cousin of Owen Phelim O’Conor. This gentleman, Mr. Charles William O’Conor was once M.P. for Sligo and now lives in Herefordshire.
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 1 1948
Frs. G. Casey and C. O'Conor represented the Province at the Solem Requiem Mass celebrated at Kikeel Church, Co. Down on 22nd January for the late Fr. John Sloan, S.J., of Patna Mission (Chicago Province) who perished in the Dakota crash outside Karachi on the night of 27th December. Fr. O'Conor was the Celebrant. A brief account of his career appears below.
Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959
On 20th July Fr. Charles O'Conor, former Rector of Gonzaga College was appointed Provincial in succession to Fr. Michael A. O’Grady. The best wishes of the Province are with the Provincial in his new office, and to Fr. O'Grady the Province offers its gratitude for his services during his Provincialate. He will be remembered, beyond doubt, above all for his outstanding kindness, under standing and sympathy. His great and quite genuine charm of manner made personal contact between him and his subjects easy. They could always feel that their position was understood even if it could not always be improved. And these qualities extended themselves outside the Society and won for Fr. O’Grady and for the Province the goodwill, esteem and affection of everyone with whom he came into contact.
When he became Provincial in 1953 Fr. O’Grady was faced with a task which demanded gifts of this high order, The period of office of his predecessor, Fr. T, Byrne, had been one of expansion after the war. It was for Fr. O’Grady to consolidate. He found himself with a number of new enterprises-the Catholic Workers' College, the Mission in Rhodesia, Gonzaga College - which he had to see firmly established. This involved, among other things, a heavy building programme. It has been his great achievement that he courageously carried through this programme, though the toll on his health was at times very great. Besides the buildings at Gonzaga and the Workers' College, there were the preparatory school at Belvedere, the Pioneer Hall, the extension to Manresa and the renovation of Loyola, Eglinton Road, which was purchased as a Provincial Residence in his term of office. That, in spite of the expenditure involved, the Province is in a sound financial position is a tribute to Fr. O'Grady's generous use of his great personal gifts and to his inexhaustible patience and zeal.
Other activities recently undertaken which received his wholehearted en couragement were the Missions to Britain and to the Irish workers in Britain, the work of teaching Christian Doctrine in the Technical Schools, and the Child Educational Centre, which was started in his Provincialate and was finally established in its new premises in Northumberland Road last year.
He visited both China and Northern Rhodesia, and it was largely through his tireless negotiation that a satisfactory status for the Rhodesian Mission was worked out and the Mission of Chikuni created. He also saw the expansion of the Mission to the Chinese in Malaya. In both Missions he supported extensive building schemes of which the most ambitious were the new Wah Yan College, Queen's Road, Hong Kong and the Teacher Training College, Chikuni. And for all this the Province is grateful to Fr. O’Grady.
Irish Province News 57th Year No 1 1982
The Clongowes Community and boys suffered a grievous loss by the death of Fr Charles O'Conor. (See obituary notices, pp. 152 ff.] No one who reads this brief account of the man will wonder why we, his community, feel his passing so keenly, and share with all the people in the immediate and remoter vicinity a profound sense of loss.
Charles excelled in love of his neighbour. He could not offend in word or deed; he could not say or think present and a Jesuit Roman Catholic anything uncharitable; he was always priest was very well received. The Rector already to oblige; he was a humble man and Headmaster attended the annual who never gave the faintest impression of dinner of the Munster Branch of the being superior in any sense. He was Clongowes Union (28th November). always a pleasant companion and Like all other post-primary schools, gravitated towards the less popular, less Clongowes opened late (14th/15th attractive of his fellows. He was deeply September) on ministerial instructions. respected and beloved by all his fellow scholastics.
One could write of his tireless activity his great patience with himself, especially during the last few years when his memory was failing very and was causing him humiliating trouble in conversation, and that same patience with the poor arriving at our door, many of whom were humbugs with made-up hard-luck stories that went on With all inside and outside he showed the same restraint and respect: he himself all unawares won the greatest reverence from all the people around. Even the boys, thoughtless though they seem, regarded him with great affection and respect; and boys are seldom deceived in their judgments of their masters or superiors.
Fr Charles O’Conor (1906-1924-1981)
The present writer first met Fr Charlie in Tullabeg noviciate on 1st September 1924, in the days when an entry-list of 26 first-year novices was looked upon as quite normal. He and his family had made a great sacrifice by his following a religious vocation, as he was the last direct descendant of the third-last High King of Ireland. Turlough O’Conor. For the tiine, however, he was just one of us novices and went through all the noviceship experiments like the rest of us. Tall and ascetic-looking, but of rather frail physique, he took little part in team games, but was exceptionally good at tennis and very popular with everyone.
After the noviceship he went with the rest of his year to Rathfarnham and attended University College, Dublin, gaining there a BA degree with honours. for the next two years (1929-'31), still in Rathfarnham, he went on to gain an HDE and (something quite exceptional in those days) an MA in History. His dissertation was on Charles O’Conor of Belanagare, a distinguished ancestor of his who lived in Penal times. As a result of the two extra years in Rathfarnham, when his contemporaries had moved on to philosophy, Charlie was out of step with them for the rest of his scholastic career. After philosophical studies in Tullabeg, instead of teaching prefecting in the colleges, he returned to Rathfarnham and spent two more years there, assisting the Minister of Juniors and doing some teaching in the juniorate.
His theological studies in Milltown Park (1936-41) were interrupted by ill- health. At the end of his first year it was discovered that he had contracted tuberculosis, so he was sent to Petworth, where the English Province maintained a sanatorium. Here within twelve months he made what seemed to be a satisfactory recovery. However, when he resumed theology in Ireland, doubt arose over the permanence of this recovery, so by special dispensation he was ordained a priest at the end of his second year. After theology he went to Rathfarnham (his third time there) as a tertian, and on his appointment as Minister of Juniors stayed on (1942-50). During this period also he was “Province Prefect of Studies” (inspector of colleges).
Since about 1945 Fr Charlie was “vice postulator” of the cause of Fr John Sullivan's beatification. He played a great part in drawing up the necessary documents for the Judicial Informative Process held in Dublin and in Kildare and Leighlin. The cause entailed an enormous amount of correspondence not only with Rome but also with a very large number of clients both at home and abroad, some seeking relics and others informing him of favours received through Fr Sullivan’s intercession.
[The next nine years of Fr Charles’s life - his Gonzaga period, 1950-59 - are dealt with separately, below. His Provincialate (1959-'65) presently lacks a chronicler! Fr Brendan Barry was his Socius and successor as Provincial: had he survived, we might have had a first hand account).
When Fr Charlie ceased to be Provincial in 1965, he came to Clongowes, where he spent the reinaining sixteen years of his life. He was made pastor of the people's church and was given charge of the garden and the pleasure grounds. For many years also he taught religion to one of the junior classes, to whom he became guide, philosopher and friend. He interviewed the boys regularly in his room, and in later life many of them returned to thank him for the help he gave them when they had succumbed to depression.
Besides his voluminous correspondence connected with Fr John Sullivan, he was also indefatigable in writing to Ours, especially to those working on the missions in Hong Kong, Zambia and Australia. Many an exile was completely dependent on him for news of what was happening here at home. As guestmaster he always gave them a hearty céad mile failte on their return from foreign parts.
Fr Charlie occupied one of the rooms near the hall door and so was in constant demand as confessor at unusual hours, He heard confessions also for long hours every week-end, on the eves of First Fridays and all the Church holydays. However, probably the greatest demand made on his time and patience was in listening to all sorts of down-and-outs who came regularly to him seeking help both spiritual and temporal. Frequently they arrived at mealtimes, but never did he show any resentment at the inconvenience they caused him. He took very literally the words of the Gospel: “As often as you did it to the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me”. He was often asked also to bless invalids either in their own homes or in hospitals in Naas or Dublin or sometimes farther afield.
In the school itself he was in daily demand to superintend the swimming pool and showers. On half-days, especially when there were visiting teams Charlie was taken and put under to be catered for, this was a long and sedation. very wearisome chore in the steaming atmosphere of the baths, to the accompaniment of a constant din of high-pitched youthful screaming and shouting to their hearts' content. At the end of the exercise, he always insisted on doing the mopping-up personally, even though many volunteered to help.
A few years ago, his tuberculosis showed signs of returning, so he had to go to hospital in Dublin. Afterwards he spent some time recuperating in his home atmosphere at Clonalis, Co Roscommon. He began to suffer from two great disabilities: deafness and loss of memory. Though he was supplied with a hearing aid, it never worked very successfully. He was not mechanically-minded, and so found it difficult to adjust: for all practical purposes he discarded it completely.
With his loss of memory, another man might have retired completely into his shell, but not Fr Charlie. At times admittedly when talking to him, it could be embarrassing to have to hear and answer the same question two or three times in the course of a short conversation. As a result of these disabilities, he had to give up offering Mass and hearing confessions in the People's church, but these were the only concessions he did make. He managed to keep up all his other activities right up to the end.
On Sunday, 25th October 1981, at breakfast (7.30 am) he looked pale and sickly, and admitted to feeling unwell. He took merely a cup of tea and was led back to his room. The doctor was sent for and diagnosed a heart attack, but not one requiring immediate intensive care hospital. He saw Fr O’Conor's immediate need as rest, preparatory to transfer to hospital, and himself suggested the nearby nursing home, Hazel Hall in Clane. The consultant assented to this course, so there Fr Charlie was taken and put under sedation.
During his first few days in Hazel Hall he appeared very anaemic and listless; then by degrees he seemed to regain both his colour and his interest in everything: happenings at home, goings and comings. Various members of the community visited him daily, as did his sisters, four of whom survive.
On All Souls' day (2nd November) two of the community visited him and found him ever better than he had been on previous days. Within an hour or so, as afternoon tea was being brought to the rooms, word came back that Fr Charlie had suffered another heart attack, to which he succumbed. Next evening his remains were brought to Clongowes. Dr Patrick Lennon, Bishop of Kildare and Leighlin, received the coffin at the main door of the 1932 building. The senior boys carried it down the corridors, the others lining the way, to the high altar of the Boys' chapel, where his Lordship spoke the final prayers. Among the dignitaries present that evening were Dublin's Lord Mayor, Alexis FitzGerald, who had been one of Fr Charlie's pupils at Gonzaga, and the ex-Taoiseach, Mr Liam Cosgrave. Dr Dominic Conway, Bishop of Elphin (the O’Conor home diocese), presided next morning at the funeral Mass concelebrated by some seventy
priests. The then Taoiseach, Dr Garret FitzGerald, was represented by his aide-de-camp, and the Knights of Malta, attired in their robes, were well represented: Fr Charlie had been their chaplain. The coffin was then carried once more in by the senior boys to the hearse waiting on the main avenue, with the rest of the boys fining the route; then all proceeded to the community cemetery, where the final farewell was spoken by Fr Provincial. Tributes carne from far and near from all classes of people who felt his death as a real personal loss. May he rest in peace!
Fr O'Conor's Gonzaga period
In the spring of 1950 Charlie left Rathfarnham to take up residence in Milltown Park and to set up Gonzaga College in part of the newly-acquired Bewley property. He had been Province
Prefect of Studies for some years, but had never been on the teaching staff of any of our colleges. With the thoroughness and dedication that was characteristic of him, he set about this pioneering task leading to an ever-mysterious future whose outlines he could barely have glimpsed.
Those who were posted to Gonzaga in 1950 received more sympathy than envy from their friends. One of them told the present writer that the postal delivery of 31st July, which brought the unwelcome Status news brought also another letter - a line of welcome from Charlie with a their ten-shilling note enclosed. This kind personal consideration was a marked feature of his life.
The Rector of Milltown, in whose name the Bewley property had been bought, had entrusted the reconstruction of the house - the future school and residence - to a group of tradesmen who undertook to do it after working hours. By the opening date, 8th September, they hadn't finished the job. However, classrooms and toilets were ready. The brethren's rooms had each a bed, a table and a chair: community meals were in Miltown Park, Every night Charlie went down to meet the workmen and enjoy a smoke with them, despite the irritation their broken promises occasioned him.
The Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Charles McQuaid, had requested a school at the south side of the city. While meeting this request, the Provincial, Fr “Luigi” O'Grady, had decided that the Province should try to offer a preparation for third-level education other than that given by the Leaving Certificate and Matriculation courses of those days. A return to the Ratio
Studiorum was invoked, but it wasn't obvious how this was to be applied to the realities of Irish secondary education in 1950, when parents paid all school fees and university entrance standards had to be met. Charlie had his own ideas of what a school might be, and while not being a theorist, he had his own quiet way of converting his ideas into reality. I think he saw the school as ancillary to the home. Hence parents were invited to all school occasions, even to a cup of coffee after a Confirmation in the opening year, when standing-room scarcely existed for parents and boys. He had a deep personal interest in each of the boys and held private “chats” with them in his office. Many of them have told the present writer that they received help from him that carried them through post-school years.Charlie’s involvement in the school’s life was total. He taught Religion and supervised the lunchroom and the changing-room for games. He was constantly thinking of the immediate and future needs of the school, and planned community each change with great care, relying on listed arguments pro and contra before his decision, then really trusting in the power of prayer for every undertaking. Here his devotion to our Lady and confidence in her intercession was remarkable. When the theologians vacated the second Bewley house, variously known as Sandford Grove, Winkelmann’s and St. Joseph's, Gonzaga fitted it up as a classroom block. Charlie gave great care and attention to every detail of the plans for this, as he did for the building of the hall and library block, and on this latter he was more efficient than any clerk of works could be. Before the building was handed over, the whole community was paration for third-level education other asked to do a tour of inspection to note any omissions or defects; the result was a long list of 113 minor items for the builder's consideration.
As a superior, he was a man of his time. He expected co-operation with his ideas, though he listened to ours. It was possible to disagree with him without having a row about the matter. He was thoughtful and considerate for each individual. His expectations of others were high, but he never asked anyone to do what he himself was not willing to attempt
He had a real interest in people, indeed in all people, from the poor man begging for a shilling to those friends of his own family who were in a very different social class. He had a real love for the poor, evidenced by the fact that on one Sunday afternoon no less then 37 came to Gonzaga begging for a little help'. He didn't readily speak about himself, but one day he did tell us of his delight at receiving a letter from a woman in England, asking for his mother's name. She wished her child to take that name in Confirmation, because Mrs O'Conor had given this woman's mother a weekly gift of tea and sugar and the only new clothes she had ever worn,
In the community Charlie was very friendly, even though his shyness tended to make him seem aloof at times. His life with God may have affected his easy approach to people. It was certainly the hub of his life, about which all else revolved. The sincerity of his faith was an inspiration. He won the respect and affection of a large proportion of the boys and their parents, and the years have not blunted their perception of his simplicity, sincerity and saintliness.
A former pupil's appreciation
Mr Charles Edward Lysaght, born in 1942, was educated at Gonzaga and is a barrister and writer. He is the author of Brendan Bracken (1979) and of the following tribute, which appeared in The Irish Times and is reprinted here with a few excisions.]
Fr Charles O’Conor, O’Conor Don, was in every sense a prince among men. As the descendant of the O’Conor High Kings, he was heir to an aristocratic tradition which far antedated the Protestant ascendancy and stretched back beyond the Norman invasion. His forebears in the Penal days had paid a heavy price in worldly terms to hold on to their Faith. It was wholly in character that Fr Charles, the only son among ten children, should not have counted the cost of devoting his life to the priestly vocation in the Society of Jesus.
As a Jesuit he has a fruitful life. Before his ordination he read History at University College, Dublin, and did important historical research for his Master's degree on the history of his family in the Penal days. In 1950 he founded Gonzaga College and quickly established it in a position of eminence in Dublin life ... He was a man of vision and he realised the importance of establishing in Dublin a first-class Catholic day-school.
Of course he had his foibles. His picturesque turn of phrase and well-bred mannerisms evoked occasional mirth among the boys. He could be rigid in some ways and may have lacked an understanding of human frailty in dealing with the wayward. He was very much the child of the old preconciliar Church, where the maintenance of standards was considered as important as the apparent dictates of human compassion.
It was a recognition of Fr O’Conor’s achievement as first rector of Gonzaga that he was appointed in 1959 to be Provincial of the Irish Province of the Jesuits. ... When his term as Provincial ended in 1965, he returned to Clongowes and sought to promote for canonisation the cause of Fr John Sullivan, the convert son of an Irish Lord Chancellor, who had taught him as a boy at the school. He also acted as chaplain to the Irish Association of the Order of Malta, which his father, Mr Charles O’Conor of Lucan House, had helped to found..
The memory which abides is of the man himself, a gaunt delicate figure, shy, reticent, earnest and somewhat tense, who walked very much alone in God’s path through life’s journey. There was about him a graciousness and elegance, epitomised by his handwriting and use of language, which adorned all he touched. It went to the very core of his being and was combined with a deep spirituality and true humility. In his last years he accepted with true Christian resignation his declining mental powers and the great cross of not being able to say Mass. To have been taught by him and to have known him was an inspiration in life, for through that experience one could not help but feel closer to one’s God.
Name of creator
Born: 17 February 1911, Rosmuc, County Galway
Entered: 01 September 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 15 August 1946
Died: 02 May 1975, Vatican Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa - Zambiae Province (ZAM)
Transcribed HIB to ZAM : 03 December 1969
Early education at Mungret College SJ; Tertianship at Rathfarnham
by 1937 at Aberdeen, Hong Kong - Regency
by 1939 at St Aloysius, Sydney, Australia - health
by 1940 in Hong Kong - Regency
by 1946 at Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working - First Zambian Missioners with Patrick JT O’Brien
by 1947 at Brokenhill, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) working
by 1962 at Loyola, Lusaka, N Rhodesia (POL Mi) Sec to Bishop of Lusaka
◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
In 1926 and 1927, a team of three boys from Mungret College at Feis Luimnighe (Limerick Festival) swept away the first prizes for Irish conversation and debate. The three boys were native Irish speakers. They were Seamus Thornton from Spiddal who became a Jesuit in California and later suffered imprisonment at the hands of the Chinese communists, Tadhg Manning who became Archbishop of Los Angeles and Paddy Walsh from Rosmuc who joined the Irish Province Jesuits in 1928.
Fr Paddy was born in the heart of Connemara, an Irish speaking part of Ireland and grew up in that Irish traditional way of life, a nationalist, whose house often welcomed Padraic Pearse, the Irish nationalist who gave his life in the final struggle for Irish independence. Fr Paddy came to Northern Rhodesia in 1946 and felt an immediate sympathy with the aspirations of the younger and more educated African nationalists.
For regency, he went to Hong Kong, China, but a spot on his lung sent him to Australia where he recovered in the good climate of the Blue Mountains. Back in Ireland for theology and ordination in 1943, he once again volunteered for the missions, this time to Northern Rhodesia where he came in 1946.
His first assignment was Kabwe as superior and education secretary. Chikuni saw him for two years, 1950 and 1951, and then he went north to Kabwata, Lusaka as parish priest where he constructed its first church. From 1958 to 1969 he was parish priest at Kabwata, secretary to Archbishop Adam, chaplain to the African hospital and part-time secretary to the Papal Nuncio. He became involved in the problems of race relations, an obvious source of prejudice, and he had a hand in setting up an inter-racial club in Lusaka where the rising generation of both Africans and Whites could meet on an equal footing. His own nationalist background led him to participate in their struggle which he embraced with enthusiasm. When many of the leaders were arrested and sent to prison, Fr Paddy was a constant source of strength and encouragement, especially for their bereft families. He administered funds for their support which in large part came from the Labour Party in England. He was a friend of Kenneth Kaunda and looked after his family and drove his wife to Salisbury to visit Kaunda in prison. Within six weeks of Independence, Fr Paddy had his Zambian citizenship and at the first annual awards and decorations, the new President Kaunda conferred on him Officer of the Companion Order of Freedom.
In 1969 Fr Paddy had a heart attack and it was decided that he return to Ireland. As a mark of respect and appreciation, the President and some of the ministers carried the stretcher onto the plane.
Fr Paddy recovered somewhat and returned to Roma parish in 1970 but his health did not improve and it was felt that a lower altitude might improve things, so he went back to Ireland and Gibraltar to work there. The Papal Nuncio in South Africa, Archbishop Polodrini who had been in Lusaka, invited Fr Paddy to be his secretary in Pretoria. He accepted the offer in 1973. 0n 2 May 1975 Fr Paddy died in Pretoria of a heart attack and was buried there, a far cry from Rosmuc.
Fr Paddy was completely dedicated to whatever he did, especially in the African hospital where he ministered and he bitterly complained to the colonial powers about the conditions there. He had a great sense of loyalty to people, to a cause, to the Lusaka mission, to the Archbishop himself and to the welfare of the Zambian people and the country.
At the funeral Mass in Lusaka, attended by President Kaunda and his wife, the Secretary General, the Prime Minister and some Cabinet Ministers, Kaunda spoke movingly of his friend Fr Paddy. He said that he had had a long letter from Fr Paddy saying ‘he was disappointed with me, the Party, Government and people of Zambia because we were allowing classes to spring up within our society. Please, Fr Walsh, trust me as you know me, I will not allow the rich to grow richer and the strong to grow stronger’.
Archbishop Adam wrote about Fr Paddy who had worked as his secretary for eleven years: ‘It was not very easy to know and to understand Fr Walsh well. Only gradually I think I succeeded – sometimes in quite a painful way. But the more I knew him the greater was my affection for him, and the respect for his character and qualities. Apart from his total dedication, I admired his total disregard for himself, his feeling for the underprivileged and his deep feeling for justice’.
Note from Maurice Dowling Entry
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.
Note from Bob Thompson Entry
With Fr Paddy Walsh he became friends with Dr Kenneth Kaunda and other leaders at the Interracial Club. This was all during Federation days.
◆ Jesuits in Ireland :
A hundred years ago, Paddy Walsh was born in Rosmuc to an Irish-speaking family that frequently welcomed Padraic Pearse as a visitor. Paddy was the first Irish Jesuit missionary to “Northern Rhodesia”. He felt a natural sympathy with the leaders of the struggle for independence. When Kenneth Kaunda (pictured here) was imprisoned by the Colonials, Paddy drove his wife and family 300 miles to visit him in Salisbury gaol. As a citizen of the new Zambia, Paddy was trusted by Kaunda. He upbraided the President for permitting abortion, and for doing too little for the poor. Kaunda revered him, insisted on personally carrying the stretcher when Paddy had to fly to Dublin for a heart operation, and wept as he eulogised Paddy after his death: “This was the one man who would always tell me the truth without fear or favour.”
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. O'Brien and Walsh left Dublin on January 4th on their long journey to North Rhodesia (Brokenhill Mission of the Polish Province Minor). They hope to leave by the "Empress of Scotland" for Durban very soon.
Irish Province News 21st Year No 2 1946
Frs. O'Brien and Walsh reached Rhodesia on February 21st. They were given a great welcome by Mgr. Wolnik. He has his residence at Lusaka and is alone except for one priest, Fr. Stefaniszyn who did his theology at Milltown Park. Lusaka is the capital of Northern Rhodesia and is a small town of the size of Roundwood or Enniskerry.
Fr. O'Brien goes to Chikuni, which is a mission station with a training school for native teachers. Fr. Walsh is appointed to Broken Hill. where he will work with another father. ADDRESSES : Fr. Walsh, P.O. Box 87, Broken Hill, N. Rhodesia; Fr. O'Brien, Chikuni P.O., Chisekesi Siding. N. Rhodesia
Fr. Walsh, Livingstone, Northern Rhodesia, 16-2-46 :
Fr. O'Brien and I arrived in Durban on February 6th, having come via Port Said and the Suez Canal. The voyage was a tiresome one, as the ship was overcrowded - in our cabin, a two-berth one in normal times, we had thirteen, so you can imagine what it was like coming down through the Red Sea and the east coast of Africa. We had a large contingent of British soldiers as far as Port Said. They got off there to go to Palestine. We had also about six hundred civilians, demobilised service-men, their wives and children. We had ten Christian Brothers, two Salesian priests, two military chaplains (both White Fathers), six Franciscan Missionary Sisters going to a leper colony quite near Bioken Hill, four Assumption Sisters, and two Holy Family Sisters, so we had quite a big Religious community.
Our first stop was Port Said where we got ashore for a few hours. We moved on from there to Suez and anchored in the Bitter Lakes for a day and a half. There we took on three thousand African (native) troops, most of them Basutos. The Basuto soldiers were most edifying. There were several hundred of them at Mass every morning, very many of whom came to Holy Comnunion. They took a very active part in the Mass too - recited the Creed and many other prayers in common, and sang hymns in their native language, and all this on their own initiative. They are certainly a credit to whatever Missionaries brought them the Faith.
Our next stop was Mombasa, Kenya, then on to Durban. The rainy season was in and it rained all the time we were there. We arrived in Joannesburg on Saturday night, February 9th. We broke our journey there, because we were very tired, I had a heavy cold, and there was no chance of saying Mass on the train on Sunday. We were very hospitably received by the Oblate Fathers, as we had been also in Durban. I could not praise their hospitality and kindness to us too highly. Many of them are Irish, some American and South African. We remained in Jo'burg until Monday evening and went on from there to Bulawayo. We had a few hours delay there and went to the Dominican Convent where we were again most kindly received - the Mother Prioress was a Claddagh woman. We were unable to see any of the English Province Jesuits. Salisbury, where Fr. Beisly resides, would have been three hundred miles out of our way. Here at Livingstone we visited the Irish Capuchians. We were both very tired, so we decided to have a few days' rest. We have visited Victoria Falls - they are truly wonderful. The Capuchians have been most kind to us and have brought us around to see all the sights. It is wonderful to see giraffes, zebras and monkeys roaming around. Recently one of the Brothers in our mission was taken off by a lion. We expect to come to Broken Hill on Wednesday night. Most of our luggage has gone on before us in bond. We were able to say Mass nearly every day on the boat, except for a few days when I was laid up with flu. I think we are destined for the ‘Bush’ and not for the towns on the railway. It is very hot here, but a different heat from Hong Kong, very dry and not so oppressive. On the way up here we could have been travelling anywhere in Ireland, but they all say ‘wait till the rainy season is over’.”
Irish Province News 21st Year No 4 1946
Fr. P. Walsh, P.O. Box 87, Broken Hill, N. Rhodesia, 15-8-46 :
“On the day of my final vows I ought to try to find time to send you a few lines. My heart missed a few boats while I glanced down the Status to see if there was anyone for Rhodesia. Fr. O'Brien and I are very well and both very happy. I met Fr. O'Brien twice since I came out, once when he came to Broken Hill, and again last month when I went to Chikuni to give a retreat to the Notre Dame Sisters who are attached to our mission there. Chikuni is a beautiful mission. The school buildings there are a monument to the hard work done by our lay brothers. The brothers whom I have met out here have struck me immensely. They can do anything, and are ready to do any work. Yet they are wonderfully humble men and all deeply religious. I am well settled in to my work now, You may have heard that I have been appointed Superior of Broken Hill. I am blessed in the small number of my subjects. My main work continues to be parish work among the white population. As well as that I am Principal of a boarding school situated about eight miles outside Broken Hill. We follow the ordinary school curriculum for African schools, and we also have a training-school for vernacular teachers. Most of the work is done by native teachers. I go there about three times a week and teach Religion, English and History One lay-brother lives permanently at the school. He is seventy two years of age but still works on the farm all day. The farm is supposed to produce enough food to support the boys in the school (and sometimes their wives), The hot season is just starting now. It has been very cold for the last month. L. have worn as much clothes here in July and August as ever I wore in the depth of winter at home. Although we do not get any rain during the cold season, still the cold is very penetrating. It will be hot from now till November or December, when the rains come. We were to have Fr. Brown of the English Province here as a Visitor. (He was formerly Mgr. Brown of S. Rhodesia). He had visited a few of our missions and was on his way to Broken Hill when he got a stroke of some kind. He is at present in hospital. One leg is paralysed completely and the other partially. He is 69 years of age, so he will hardly make much of a recovery. It is difficult to find time for letter writing. I seem to be kept going all day, and when night-time comes there is not much energy left”.
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Departures for Mission Fields in 1946 :
4th January : Frs. P. J. O'Brien and Walsh, to North Rhodesia
25th January: Frs. C. Egan, Foley, Garland, Howatson, Morahan, Sheridan, Turner, to Hong Kong
25th July: Fr. Dermot Donnelly, to Calcutta Mission
5th August: Frs, J. Collins, T. FitzGerald, Gallagher, D. Lawler, Moran, J. O'Mara, Pelly, Toner, to Hong Kong Mid-August (from Cairo, where he was demobilised from the Army): Fr. Cronin, to Hong Kong
6th November: Frs. Harris, Jer. McCarthy, H. O'Brien, to Hong Kong
Irish Province News 50th Year No 2 1975
Fr Patrick Walsh (1911-1975)
In 1926 and 1927 a team of three boys representing Mungret at Feis Luimnighe swept away first prizes for Irish conversation and debate. Small wonder, since they were all native speakers. All three of them became missionary priests. Séamus Thornton, SJ suffered imprisonment at the hands of Chinese communists; Tadhg Manning is now Archbishop of Los Angeles, and Paddy Walsh was one of the six boys three “lay” and three “apostolic” - who joined the Irish Province from Mungret on the 1st of September, 1928.
The transfer of the novitiate from Tullabeg to Emo took place about a month before his first vows, Juniorate at Rathfarnham and UCD, and Philosophy in Tullabeg followed the normal pattern, but for regency Paddy went to Hong Kong. Before long, a spot was discovered on his lung and he was sent to the Blue Mountains in Australia, where he felt his isolation from the Society, but where he was cured. Ordination in Milltown (1943) and Tertianship in Rathfarnham completed his course and then, in 1945, an urgent cry for help came from the Polish Province Mission to Northern Rhodesia. Paddy O'Brien and Paddy Walsh were the first two Irish Jesuits to answer. There are about seventy three languages and dialects in that country, so they had to learn the one used by the Tonga people who inhabit the southerly region in which Canisius College, Chikuni, is situated. It was, however, after his transfer to the capital, Lusaka, that the main work of his life began. It entailed learning another language, Nyanja, and plunged him into pastoral work. As Parish Priest of Regiment Church, so called because it lay near a military barracks, and Chaplain to the hospital, he laboured untiringly for the spiritual and temporal well-being of his flock, with whom he identified himself. They were poor, sick and sometimes leprous. Father Paddy’s letters to the Press, exposing their misery and calling for action, made him unpopular with some of the Colonial administrators, but enthroned him in the hearts of his African people.
Their aspiration to political freedom found a ready sympathiser in one whose boyhood home in Rosmuc had frequently received Padraic Pearse as a welcome visitor: Leaders of the Nationalist movement, Harry Nkumbula, Simon Kapapwe and Kenneth Kaunda, were emerging: They trusted Paddy and he stood by them in face of opposition from Colonials. When they were imprisoned, Paddy administered the fund - largely subscribed by the British Labour Party - for the support of their wives and children. It was Paddy who drove Kenneth Kaunda’s wife and family the three hundred miles to visit him in Salisbury gaol.
When independence was won in 1964, Paddy took citizenship in the new Republic of Zambia (named after the Zambezi River) and its first President Kenneth Kaunda conferred the highest civil honour upon him, Commander of the Order of Companions of Freedom. With the destiny of their country in their own hands now, the new rulers of Zambia faced the enormous problems of mass illiteracy, malnutrition and poverty. Using their wealth of copper to enlist aid from abroad and finance huge development plans, they have made gigantic progress.
Paddy continued his priestly work in Lusaka until a heart attack struck him down in 1969. Though the air-journey would be risky, it was necessary to send him home for surgery. President Kaunda and Cabinet Ministers carried the stretcher that bore him to the aeroplane. BOAC had heart specialists ready at Heathrow Airport, who authorised the last stage of the journey to Dublin, Paddy FitzGerald inserted a plastic valve in the heart, with such success that Father Paddy's recovery seemed almost miraculous.
He returned to Zambia, but felt that more could be done for his beloved poor. He was very disappointed, too, by the passing of a law permitting abortion. Maybe, he had a dream of a Zambian utopia, and could not bear to think that it had not been realised. He returned to Ireland; worked for a very short time in Gibraltar, and, finally, went to Pretoria as Secretary to the Papal Nuncio in 1973. There he died suddenly on the 2nd of May, 1975.
It was as impossible for Paddy to dissemble or compromise as it was to spare himself in the pursuit of his ideal. The driving force of his life and of his work for Zambia was his love of Christ. In the retreat that Fr John Sullivan gave us before our first vows in Emo, he said: “Any friend of the poor is a friend of Christ. It is the nature of the case”. Paddy both learned and lived that lesson. An dheis Dé go raibh a anam
Irish Province News 51st Year No 3 1976
Fr Patrick Walsh (1928-1975)
“Fr Paddy Walsh was amazingly and touchingly honoured by the nation when President Kaunda preached a eulogy of him at a funeral Mass on 13th May 1975. The huge Christian love that ‘KK’ displayed in his talk was wonderful to hear. There were few dry eyes in the Church”. (So runs a letter from Fr Lou Haven, S.J., Zambia.)
A Zambian newspaper article (by Times reporter') featuring the event says:
President Kaunda has vowed that he would fight tooth and nail to ensure that the rich did not grow richer and the strong stronger in Zambia. Dr Kaunda broke down and wept when he made the pledge before more than 400 people who packed Lusaka’s Roma cathedral to pay their last respects to missionary Fr Patrick Walsh who died in South Africa. He revealed that Fr Walsh, an old friend of his, had decided to leave Zambia because “we had failed in our efforts to build a classless society”. In an emotion-charged voice, Dr Kaunda told the hushed congregation: “Fr Walsh revealed to me in a long letter that he was disappointed with me, the Party, Government and people of Zambia. He had gone in protest because we were allowing classes to spring up in our society”.
The President, who several times lapsed into long silences, said: “Please, Fr Walsh, trust me as you know me. I will not allow the rich to grow richer and the strong to grow stronger”.
To the Kaundas, Fr Walsh meant “something”. He came to help when the President was in trouble because of his political beliefs. “Fr Walsh looked after my family when I was away from home for long periods due to the nature of my work ... What can I say about such a man? He drove Mrs Kaunda to Salisbury to see mę while I was in prison ... What can I say about such a man?” ... he asked, In 1966, Dr Kaunda decorated him with the rank of Officer of the Companion Order of Freedom. He was a Zambian citizen.
Fr Lou Haven adds: “Paddy had been the support of the President's family when many of his friends deserted him during the struggle for independence. Dr Kaunda often had to be away from his family for long stretches during that time, rousing the people hundreds of miles away to a desire for independence, and sitting in jail, Fr Walsh was father to his whole family for years.'
Fr Walsh arrived in Zambia (then Northern Rhodesia) in 1946, as one of the first two Irish Jesuits sent out here, the second being Fr PJT O'Brien.
An ardent Irishman, deeply steeped in Irish history and culture, he nevertheless wholeheartedly answered the Lord's call to leave his beloved Ireland and to go to the ends of the earth’ to serve his less fortunate brethren. First, as a scholastic, he was sent to China, but because of his poor health there seemed to be little hope of him every becoming a missionary. He was sent to Australia to recuperate his health, then back to Ireland. There he heard the appeal for help in Zambia, where the mission confided to the Polish Jesuits was in great difficulties as a result of the war and then of the post-war situation in Poland. He offered himself immediately, and was accepted. Arriving here in February, 1946, he gave his all to his newly-found mission, firstly in what was the apostolic prefecture, then the vicariate, and finally the archdiocese of Lusaka. He was appointed superior, first in Kabwe (then Broken Hill), then, after four years, in Chikuni. Finally, he was transferred to Lusaka as parish priest in St Francis Xavier's (“Regiment”, today St Charles Lwanga) church, where he re-roofed the old church and built the first parish-house. In 1958 he became my secretary, acting at the same time as chaplain to what was then called the African hospital, and as parish priest in Kabwata, where he built the first church.
It was not very easy to know and to understand Fr Walsh well. Only gradually I think that I succeeded sometimes in quite a painful way. But the more I knew him, the greater was my affection for him, and the respect for his character and qualities. Apart from his total dedication and the efficiency with which he applied himself to whatever duties were imposed on him, I admired his total disregard for himself. This became so evident to me when I had to supply for him in the hospital during his absence. Only when trying to do what he was doing day after day, week after week, did I realise what a hard task he took on himself as a “part time” occupation. For years he used to get up shortly after 4 a.m. to bring our Lord to the sick and to comfort the suffering. Every evening, once again he used to go to the hospital, to find out new cases and to hear confessions. He took particular care in baptising every child in danger of death.
The second quality which I admired so much in him was his feeling for the underprivileged. On seeing one who was poor or downtrodden, he automatically stood by him, and would not only show his sympathy openly, but would do everything in his power to assist him. It was not just sentiment that made him take such a stand, but a deep feeling for justice, on which he was absolutely uncompromising. I know of one case when, in spite of his sympathy towards the “liberation movements”, he completely broke off relations with one of them: he was convinced that they had committed an act of grave injustice against those whom they were fighting
I think that St Ignatius, who had such a great sense of loyalty, found a worthy son in Fr Walsh. Once he had given his loyalty to people or to a cause, he remained 100 per cent loyal. He gave his loyalty to Zambia and her people: he was absolutely, 100 per cent, loyal to them: some might have reason to say 105 per cent. I think this was typically Irish, in the best sense of the word. He gave his loyalty to the Lusaka mission - he remained absolutely loyal to it. On a more personal level, he gave his loyalty to me as his archbishop, and he was 100 per cent loyal - probably 105 per cent. I must mention yet another of his loyalties: he came here to help the Polish Jesuits in their need, and he was and remained absolutely loyal to them. Being a Polish Jesuit, I can never forget this.
I came to bid farewell to him before his departure from Zambia in 1973. I could not stay until his actual departure from the airport, because it was a Saturday, and I had to be back to say Mass in Mumbwa. He accompanied me to my car, then suddenly took me by the hand. All he could say was a whisper: “Pray for me"...and he nearly ran back to his room.
God called him since to Himself, I lost a loyal friend, and Zambia lost a very loyal son,
- Adam Kozlowiecki, SJ, Chingombe, written on the first anniversary of Paddy's death
Name of creator
Born: 03 March 1918, County Waterford
Entered: 07 September 1936, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1949, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 02 February 1954
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.
Name of creator
Born: 24 December 1907, Rugby, Warickshire, England
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1942
Died: 20 August 1978, Kilcroney, County Wicklow
Part of St Francis Xavier's, Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin at the time of death
Early education at CBS Synge Street
Chaplain in the Second World War.
by 1934 at Hong Kong - Regency
by 1936 at Wah Yan, Hong Kong - Regency
◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He first arrived as a Scholastic for regency in Hong Kong in 1933. He was accompanied by Frs O’Meara and Ryan, and by two other Scholastics, John Foley and Dick Kennedy.
After a few months at the Regional Seminary in Aberdeen he was sent teaching at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, and he spent three years there teaching English and Catechism, and also looking after sports and games. he had outstanding gifts and took many artistic photographs and made a long 16mm film of the work of the Jesuits in Hong Kong, and of Chinese life in general. This film became very useful for talks on Missions later on.
In 1936 he returned to Ireland for Theology at Milltown Park, being Ordained in 1939.
He then went to make Tertianship in 1941-1942, after which he was sent to Tullabeg, looking after the Ricci Mission Unit and giving Retreats.
1943-1946 He became a Military Chaplain
1946 He began his work as Procurator of the Irish Mission in Hong Kong, and he was first stationed at Milltown Park. In 1950 he had to enlarge his work to incorporate the new Mission to Rhodesia (Zambia).
1974 He retired from this work and handed over to Vincent Murphy.
As Procurator he not only helped returned missionaries or those heading to the Missions. He was an indefatigable fundraiser, and he kept i touch with many missionary organisations throughout Ireland. Organising many “Sales of Work” he also raised interest in the work of the Irish Jesuits overseas.
◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 21st Year No 1 1946
Frs. Guinane, Pelly and Perrott C. have been released from the Army. Fr. Guinane is now Minister at Mungret, Fr. Perrott is posted to Galway, and Fr. Pelly is awaiting travelling facilities to go to our Hong Kong Mission. Fr. Martin, a member also of the Mission, was to have been released from the Army on December 12th, but on the 11th be met with a serious accident in Belfast (see letter below). Fr. Provincial went to Belfast on Wednesday, January 9th, to visit him at the Royal Victoria Hospital. Fr. C. Murphy hopes to start on his homeward journey from Austria on January 14th and to be released from the Army by the end of January.
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 4 1948
Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
We moved in on Saturday morning, 14th August. Fr, Superior (Fr. McCarron), Fr. Minister (Fr. Kearns), and Bro. E. Foley constituted the occupying force, and Fr. T. Martin not only placed his van at our disposal, but gave generously of his time and labour for the heavy work of the first day.
A long procession of vans unloaded until noon, when the men broke off for their half-day, leaving a mountain of assorted hardware and soft goods to be unpacked and stowed. By nightfall we had a chapel installed, the kitchen working, dining-room in passable order, and beds set up, so we said litanies, Fr. Superior blessed the house and consecrated it to the Sacred Heart.
Next morning Fr. Superior said the first Mass ever offered in the building. It was the Feast of the Assumption and a Sunday, so we. placed the house and the work under the Patronage of Our Lady and paused to review the scene. Fr. Provincial came to lunch.
The building is soundly constructed from basement to roof, but needs considerable modification before it can be used as a temporary Retreat House. The permanent Retreat House has yet to be built on the existing stables about 130 yards from the principal structure, but. we hope to take about twenty exercitants as soon as builders, plumbers, electricians, carpenters and decorators have done their work.
Fr. C. Doyle is equipping and furnishing the domestic chapel as a memorial to Fr. Willie, who worked so tirelessly for the establishment of workingmen's retreats in Ireland. A mantelpiece of this room has been removed, and thermostatically controlled electric heating is being installed. Lighting is to be by means of fluorescent tubes of the latest type.
With all due respects to the expert gardeners of the Province, we modestly assert that our garden is superb. Fr. Provincial was so impressed by the work done there that he presented us with a Fordson 8 H.P. van to bring the surplus produce to market. Under the personal supervision of Fr. Superior, our two professional gardeners took nine first prizes and four seconds with fourteen exhibits at the Drimnagh show. Twelve of their potatoes filled a bucket, and were sold for one shilling each. The garden extends over 2 of our 17 acres and will, please God, provide abundant fruit and vegetables.
From the beginning we have been overwhelmed with kindness: by our houses and by individual Fathers. Fr. Provincial has been a fairy-godmother to us all the time. As well as the van, he has given us a radio to keep us in touch with the outside world. We have bene fitted by the wise advice of Frs. Doyle and Kenny in buying equipment and supplies, while both of them, together with Fr. Rector of Belvedere and Fr. Superior of Gardiner Street, have given and lent furniture for our temporary chapel Fr. Scantlebury sacrificed two fine mahogany bookcases, while Frs. Doherty and D. Dargan travelled by rail and bus so that we might have the use of the Pioneer car for three weeks. Milltown sent a roll-top desk for Fr, Superior's use. To all who helped both houses and individuals we offer our warmest thanks, and we include in this acknowledgement the many others whom we have not mentioned by name.
Our man-power problem was acute until the Theologians came to the rescue. Two servants were engaged consecutively, but called off without beginning work. An appeal to Fr. Smyth at Milltown brought us Messrs. Doris and Kelly for a week of gruelling labour in the house. They scrubbed and waxed and carpentered without respite until Saturday when Mr. Kelly had to leave us. Mr. Hornedo of the Toledo Province came to replace him, and Mr. Barry arrived for work in the grounds. Thanks to their zeal and skill, the refectory, library and several bedrooms were made ready and we welcomed our first guest on Monday, 30th August. Under the influence of the sea air, Fr. Quinlan is regaining his strength after his long and severe illness.
If anyone has old furniture, books, bedclothes, pictures, or, in fact anything which he considers superfluous, we should be very glad to hear of it, as we are faced with the task of organising accommodation for 60 men and are trying to keep the financial load as light as possible in these times of high cost. The maintenance of the house depends on alms and whatever the garden may bring. What may look like junk to an established house may be very useful to us, starting from bare essentials. Most of all, we want the prayers of the brethren for the success of the whole venture, which is judged to be a great act of trust in the Providence of God.
Our postal address is : Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin.
Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978
After a period of illness and some disorientation, Fr Tom Martin died on Sunday morning, 20th August. We were saddened at this passing away of a warm-hearted member of our community and of a staunch colleague in our apostolate. He will be mourned by his many brothers in the society and by the many friends he made both through his work for the missions and more recently through his dedication to parish visitation. May he rest in peace.
Fr Thomas Martin (1907-1978)
Father Tom Martin died at St John of God’s, Kilcroney, on August 20th 1978. Although Father Tom had had some eye trouble for about two years before his death, the period during which he was very seriously incapacitated was, thank God, quite short. This was, more especially in his case, a great favour from God, for his life in the Society during about 53 years was full of profitable activity.
Born at Rugby in the Archdiocese of Birmingham on October 24th, 1907, Father Tom entered the Noviceship in Tullabeg on September 1st 1925. He spent three years of his teaching years (1930-1933) at Wah Yan College, Hong Kong. He studied in Milltown Park, where he was ordained priest on July 31st 1939. On completion of his Tertianship at Rathfarnham in 1941, he spent a year on the Retreat Staff in Tullabeg, where he had studied his philosophy many years previously. He was a Chaplain in the British Army, 1942-1946, during which he spent some periods of duty in England, France, Belgium and Holland.
On his return from the Chaplaincy there began for him the chief work of his life. While living in St Francis Xavier’s, Gardiner Street, his daily work for twenty-six years was that of Mission Procurator (1946-1972); and he was Assistant Procurator for our Foreign Missions from 1972 to 1976: in all thirty years of tireless work from which our Foreign Missions in the Far East and in Zambia derived continual help. His kindly manner and understanding of people enabled him to organise great help for his missionary work from the many lay people: who could speak sincerely and perhaps more eloquently even than his fellow religious, of his quiet and attractive efficiency.
Even when serious eye trouble prevented the continuance of “office work”, as Mission Procurator, he was blessed by God by being able to continue active work in Gardiner Street as sub-minister and assistant in parish work until he had to go into hospital a comparatively short time before his death.
May he rest in peace.
Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Content and structure area
Scope and content
A file of letters written during the year 1964 relating to the Chikuni Mission, Northern Rhodesia.
- Includes a copy of a letter from Irish Fr Provincial Charles O'Conor SJ, Mungret College, Limerick to the Superior of the Mission, Fr Desmond O'Loghlen SJ, PO Box 218, Choma concerning the possibility of opening a University at Lusaka. Remarks 'Should such a thing happen, I think it could raise a lot of very important considerations for us; and I would very much like to be kept well in the picture as to how things develop.' (5 March 1964, 1p).
- Includes a letter from Fr Desmond O'Loghlen SJ, St. Mary's, PO Box 218, Choma, Northern Rhodesia to Fr Charles O'Conor SJ concerning further news about the University project in Lusaka. Remarks 'So far the project is at the blue-print stage…At a meeting on Education convened by Bishop Corboy, I expressed the hope that we should be able to have some part in the University…However…Bishop Corboy is opposed to any undertaking which will take men from Monze Diocese' (24 March 1964, 2pp).
- Includes a letter from Fr Patrick J. Walsh SJ, Archbishop's House PO Box RW3, Ridgeway, Lusaka to Irish Fr Provincial Charles O'Conor SJ referring to the transition to self-government and independence. Remarks that it is going very smoothly 'One can already see the great difference it makes to have a Government which has the interests of all the people of the country at heart' (6 April 1964, 1p).
- Includes a list of science equipment from Tullabeg for transfer to Chikuni (13 May 1964, 3pp).
- Includes a circular letter from Fr Thomas J Martin SJ, Jesuit Foreign Missions, 20 Upper Gardiner Street, Dublin 1 concerning the death of Fr Daniel Byrne SJ following a car accident (19 May 1964, 2pp).
- Includes a memorandum written by the Superior of the Mission Fr Desmond O'Loghlen SJ, St. Mary's Catholic Church, PO Box 218, Choma, Northern Rhodesia concerning the addition to the residence at St. Ignatius, Lusaka (25 September 1964, 2pp).
- Includes a copy of a memorandum written by the Superior of the Mission Fr Desmond O'Loghlen SJ, concerning the manpower problem in the Chikuni mission (16 October 1964, 3pp).
- Includes a report of the Religious Superiors Association of Zambia (December 1964, 5pp).
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Conditions governing access
The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details: [email protected]
Conditions governing reproduction
No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.
Language of material
Script of material
Language and script notes
Physical characteristics and technical requirements
Allied materials area
Existence and location of originals
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Related units of description
Place access points
- Zambia (N. Rhodesia) » Southern Province (Zambia) » Monze » Chikuni
- Zambia (N. Rhodesia)
- County Dublin » Dublin City » Upper Gardiner Street
- Zambia (N. Rhodesia) » Lusaka Province (Zambia) » Lusaka
- County Offaly (King's) » Ballycowan (Bar.) » Tullabeg
- Zambia (N. Rhodesia) » Southern Province (Zambia) » Choma
Name access points
- Chikuni Mission (Subject)
- O'Conor, Charles D, 1906-1981, Jesuit priest (Subject)
- Walsh, Patrick J, 1911-1975, Jesuit priest and missioner (Subject)
- St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, Offaly, 1818-1991 (Subject)
- O'Loghlen, Desmond, 1918-2003, Jesuit priest and missioner (Subject)
- Byrne, Daniel, 1920-1964, Jesuit priest and missioner (Subject)
- Irish Jesuit Mission to Zambia, 1946-1969 (Subject)