Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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  • 梁德根神父 (潘)
  • Herbert Joseph Dargan

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20 April 1918-22 June 1993


Born: 20 April 1918, St Stephen’s Green, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1955, Loyola, Tai Lam Chung, Hong Kong
Died: 22 June 1993, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Peter Faber community, Belfast, County Antrim at the time of death.

Transcribed : HIB to HK; 03/12/1966; MAC-HK to HIB 19/11/1991

Youngest brother of Bill - RIP 1983; Dan - RIP 2007

Great grandnephew of Daniel Murray, 1768-1852, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Dublin

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong Mission: 21 June 1960-1965
Father General's Assistant for East Asia: 1966
Tertian Instructor, Tullabeg: 1978

Transcribed HIB to HK: 03 December 1966; MAC-HK to HIB: 19 November 1991

by 1956 at Ricci Hall Hong Kong - working
Mission Superior Hong Kong 21 June 1960
by 1966 at Rome, Italy (ROM) Assistant for East Asia
by 1977 at Regis, Toronto ONT, Canada (CAN S) Spiritual year
by 1978 Tertian Instructor

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :

Note from Daniel MacDonald Entry
At the Chapel of Ricci Hall, Catholic Hostel at the University of Hong Kong, a solemn Requiem Mass was offered last Thursday by Father Herbert Dargan, S.J. the present Warden of Ricci Hall, for the repose of the soul of one of his predecessors, Father Daniel McDonald, S.J., whose death occurred in Ireland on 14 May 1957.

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
He was born into the family of a prominent Dublin doctor. Following his education at Clongowes he was a pre-medical student before joining the Society in 1937. His elder brother Bill was already a Jesuit who was for many years procurator of the Irish Province, and his younger brother Dan also became a Jesuit and was head of the Pioneer Total Abstinence Association for many years. Yet another brother was a magistrate in Hong Kong.

He did his Regency at Belvedere College SJ and a HDip in Education, and then he was ordained at Milltown Park i 1951. After Tertianship he was assigned to Hong Kong. he began studying Chinese at Cheung Chau and was then appointed Warden at Rici Hall.. Later he was Rector of Wah Yan Hong Kong (1955-1957).
In 1960 he was appointed Mission Superior in Hong Kong (1960-1965).

He was appointed to the Board of Education which produced a white paper “Reorganization of Primary & Secondary Education”. He was Chair of the “Catholic Grant Schools Council”. He freed Fr John Collins for fulltime social work, set up “Concilium” with Frs Ted Collins, John Foley and Walter Hogan. he also set up CMAC in 1963. He sent Fr John F Jones for special training in Marriage Life. He also sent Fr John Russell to Rome for training in Canon Law. he was involved with rehabilitation of discharged prisoners and he visited prisons.
He was also involve din the Executive Committee of the Hong Kong Housing Society, serving on four of its sub-committees.
He was also involved in religious broadcasting and began regular internal Jesuit communication with the “Hong Kong Newsletter”.

At his Golden Jubilee with Fr Séamus Doris, he was contrasted as being “mobile”, whereas Séamus, who had never missed a class in teaching (1954-1982) was said to be “stable”. He served in Rome as Fr General’s East Asian Assistant (1965-1975), was then Tertian Instructor in Tullabeg (1977-1986), and then went to Belfast to work as a spiritual director of priests

◆ Interfuse
Interfuse No 82 : September 1995
Fr Herbert Dargan (1918-1993)

20th April 1918: Born, Dublin
Early Education: Clongowes Wood College, and pre-medical year at University College Dublin
7th Sept. 1937: Entered the Society at Emo.
1939-1942: Juniorate: Rathfarnham - UCD Degree
1942 - 1945: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1945 - 1947: Regency: Crescent College, Limerick
1947 - 1948: Regency: Belvedere College (H. Dip. Ed.)
1948 - 1952: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
31st July 1951; Ordained, Milltown Park
1952-1953: Tertianship
1953 - 1955: Cheung Chau - Studying Chinese language
1955 - 1957: Ricci Hall - Superior and Warden
1957 - 1960: Wah Yan College - Rector and Principal
1960 - 1965: Superior, Hong Kong Mission
1965 - 1976; Jesuit Curia, Rome, Regional Assistant for Eastern Asia
1976 - 1977; Sabbatical, Toronto Tullabeg:
1977 - 1986: Tertian Instructor (Superior: 1983-86)
1986 - 1987: Milltown Park - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
1987 - 1989: Manresa - Giving the Spiritual Exercises and Director of NCPI
1989 - 1993: Belfast - Giving the Spiritual Exercises
22nd June 1993: Died in Cherryfield Lodge.

It was in Herbert's last year in Belfast that I arrived there. As a member of the British Province I was soon made to feel at home in Brookvale and this was very much due to his presence. Herbert was first and foremost a member not of the Irish Province but of the world-wide Society of Jesus. It showed in the way that he welcomed Jesuits from any part of the world. His interests too were far from provincial.

During the cricket season he would ask to share my “Guardian”; he would be glued to the TV during the snooker matches, and loved to forecast the next shot. He was at his best when, with a glass of Bushmills in his hand and a cigarette in his mouth, he was telling stories about his friend and hero Pedro Arrupe or encouraging Paddy Doyle in his more extra-terrestrial flights of philosophic fancy.

My most vivid memory of him is at the British Province Assembly the Easter before his death, We invited him to Leeds knowing that it was probably the last time he would be able to visit his many British Province friends. He spoke about his life in Belfast and said that Brookvale was the happiest community he had lived in. He spoke straight from the heart of how the community members prayed with each other and tried to support each other in ministry. It was his best experience of community life. By the many who attended that meeting, his words will long be remembered.

Herbert Dargan was a very warm and loving person. The enlarged photograph that we have hanging in the community room at Brookvale captures something of the freedom and warmth of the man. It was a privilege for me to have lived with him in his last days.

Ron Darwen

Working with Herbert and with Paddy Doyle on his Armagh Priests Survey, I came to appreciate his enormous wisdom. He could listen attentively to a point of view and eventually, without ever claiming to speak from mere authority, he gave his opinion firmly and confidently but without arrogance. His long association with NCPI courses for priests had given him an insight into the lives of diocesan priests as well as a sympathy and understanding which they deeply appreciated.

Over a period of a year we visited nearly every priest in the 60 parishes of the diocese. We met regularly as a threesome and also with the sponsoring committee and it was Herbert who eventually wrote the section on the personal life of the priest. In the light of Pastores dabo vobis and subsequent Roman instructions, Herbert's understandings and insights can be seen to be prophetic. His was a demand for an incarnate spirituality based on a formation and support structure which were firmly based in reality.

All his life experience was drawn on - in Hong Kong and Malaysia, the Far East, Rome and as Tertian Instructor, This reflection went on to the very end.

He drove from Belfast to Milltown Park for the Province Assembly when he was clearly a dying man. The journey back had to be taken in easy stages, but it was a journey he wanted to make. He fulfilled his ambition

Senan Timoney

◆ The Clongownian, 1993
Father Herbert Dargan SJ

Death is sad because it is a parting, and partings are painful. But Jesus Christ has promised us that death is only a temporary separation, and that it is the gateway to eternal life. He has told us that this life is a pilgrimage and we are only pilgrims passing through.

We are here this morning to pray for a pilgrim, my brother Herbert, and to ask the Lord in His mercy to grant him eternal happiness.

We are here also to thank God for Herbert and for the good he was able to do throughout his life. He had a very varied life. As a young priest he went overseas to work on the Irish Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong. The first two years he spent in a language school, learning Chinese, which is a very difficult language for us in this part of the world. The same sound has a different meaning if spoken on a high, medium or low pitch of tone. I remember Herbert telling me that one morning he said to his Chinese teacher that he wanted to get a haircut that afternoon. So the Chinese teacher told him what to say and patiently got him to repeat it over and over again, so that he would get it absolutely right. That afternoon he went along to a hairdressers, and in his best. Chinese asked for a haircut. The barber looked at him, puzzled, and replied: “Me no speak English”, Herbert felt like coming home on the next boat, but he soldiered on.

The Lord was very good to Herbert, and gave him several gifts, including a level head, an understanding heart and a creative mind.

It was, I suppose, largely due to these gifts that for most of his life he was asked to take on important posts of responsibility. He held the offices of Rector and Principal of Wah Yan College, a large secondary school for Chinese in Hong Kong. He was then made Superior of the Jesuit Mission in Hong Kong, and in 1965 he went as Assistant to our Fr General in Rome where he was based for the next eleven years, with responsibility for the Jesuit Provinces of East Asia and Australia.

On his return to Ireland he became Director of the Tertians. Every Jesuit priest does a third year noviceship after ordination - this is known as his Tertianship, and Herbert was director of the Tertians for nine years.

After that, his main work was giving retreats, and directing twelve-week courses, under the auspices of the National Council of Priests, courses for the pastoral and spiritual life of priests.

When our Jesuit house opened in Belfast in 1988, he was one of the small community. Life in Belfast can be very stressful but he told me that he liked it very much, not only because he was living in a very happy community but also because the bishops, priests and people of Belfast gave the Jesuits such a warm welcome. The Lord also gave Herbert a good sense of humour and an ability to fit in easily with others. He was well-liked and had many friends from all quarters of life.

The first indication of his serious illness occurred when, one Sunday while he was saying Mass for the prisoners in Crumlin Road gaol, he collapsed suddenly. Some days later he received a letter from the prisoners expressing concern about his illness and saying how much they liked him coming to them. He was very touched by this. The day before he died he told me that two good friends of his, Terry and Linda, were coming from the United States to see him, and he added: “I wonder will I be alive”. In fact Fr Paddy Doyle (his colleague in Belfast) phoned them the news of his death. Terry was not able to get away but Linda flew the distance of five thousand miles and arrived at this church just as this Mass was about to begin.

Herbert was a very spiritual person, and several priests and people have told me that he gave them great help with their prayer life, through his talks and spiritual guidance.
With his wide experience and common sense, and his readiness to give encouragement to others, he was in much demand as a counsellor, and many priests, nuns and lay people used to come to him. Fr Doyle tells me that people were constantly knocking at the door asking to see him.

When he was diagnosed as having a tumour, he accepted the news bravely and with resignation and continued to work for as long as he could. He remained cheerful to the end.

At the moment like this my thoughts naturally turn to my parents, and I feel 'I should say and I know that Herbert would endorse this, that our mother and father, especially as they went on in years, were very grateful to God that three of their six sons became Jesuit priests.

Daniel Dargan SJ (Funeral Homily)


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Hong Kong Vice-Province, 1966- (1966-)

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Hong Kong Vice-Province, 1966-


Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong, 1926-1966 (3 December 1926-3 December 1966)

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Irish Jesuit Mission to Hong Kong, 1926-1966


Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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Worked in.

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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-


Dargan, Herbert J, 1918-1993, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/500

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