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Barry, Brendan, 1920-1972, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/60
  • Person
  • 09 May 1920-30 January 1972

Born: 09 May 1920, Limerick City
Entered: 07 September 1937, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1950, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1955
Died: 30 January 1972, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus, 5 August 1965-24 July 1968.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 34th Year No 4 1959

GENERAL
On 17th June Very Reverend Fr. General appointed Fr. Brendan Barry as Socius to Fr. Provincial in succession to Father John Coyne. Thus came to an end a term of office which had lasted for nearly a quarter of a century. This surely must be an easy record. Many members of the Province had known no other Socius and some of the younger generation might not have been able to name any of Fr. Coyne's predecessors. Provincials might come and go but Fr. Coyne remained, an abiding element in a changing world. In all, he worked under four Provincials; Fr. Kieran, during whose period of office he became Socius (22nd February, 1935), Fr. J. R. MacMahon, Fr. T. Byrne and Fr. M. O’Grady. On more than one occasion he deputised as Vice-Provincial. He had come to be regarded as an almost indispensable appendage of government, and then in June the appointment of a new Fr. Socius came as a reminder that even Socii are, after all, subject to the law of mutability.
At the celebration of his golden jubilee in 1956, Fr. Coyne said that his career in the Society had been a series of false starts and changes of direction. But these seemingly false starts, his interrupted classical studies, his years as Substitute to the English Assistant, as Rector of Belvedere and as Master of Novices were preparing him for what was to be the great work of his life. These experiences gave him an understanding of the day-to-day business of the government of the Society and of individual houses, and, of course, his impeccable Latin prose and mastery of curial style. At the same jubilee celebrations the Provincial for the time being and two former Provincials paid tribute to his skill in the dispatch of business, his loyalty, generosity and other personal qualities. To these the Province may add: his courtesy, tact, sympathy and good sense. The timid or diffident who considered a personal interview with Fr. Provincial too formidable found in Fr. Coyne the perfect intermediary. To all who had permissions to ask or MSS. for censorship or other small business to transact he was always approachable and gracious. The province takes this opportunity of thanking him and of expressing its admiration, not to say amazement, at the cheerfulness with which year after year he went about the infinity of his important but monotonous tasks. It also extends a warm welcome to Fr. Barry in his new work.

Irish Province News 47th Year No 2 1972
Obituary :
Fr Brendan Barry SJ (1920-1972)
Father Brendan Barry was born in St John's Parish, Limerick, on May 9th, 1920. He was an only child. His early schooling was at the Christian Brothers in Roxboro Road. At the age of twelve, he was sent to the Augustinian College, Dungarvan, as a boarder. However, after two years absence, he continued his secondary education with the Christian Brothers, Limerick. While there, he made a Retreat under the direction of Fr Ernest Mackey and one result of this was that he entered the novitiate at St. Mary's, Emo, on 7th September. There were in all nineteen novices in his year, of whom fourteen were subsequently ordained priests. He took his first vows on September 8th, 1939, a few days after World War II had erupted. For the next six years he lived in communities of scholastics who varied in number between forty-four and fifty-one. The years 1939-42 were spent at Rathfarnham where after three years study he took his BA degree with honours in English and and Latin. The next three years were spent at Tullabeg where he studied Philosophy.
Those who knew him in these early years remember him as a quiet, reserved, cheerful and occasionally gay young man who, like everyone else, accepted philosophically the small privations and restrictions which World War II made inevitable. During these years, his intellectual gifts were slowly revealed and his zeal was manifested in his work for the Men's Sodality, then attached to the People's Church. Two years of Regency, 1945-47, followed. These two years at Belvedere were years that lived in his memory. In later times, he often spoke of them with real affection. The value of Regency in bringing a scholastic to full maturity was manifest in his case. From now on it became increasingly difficult for him to hide his gifts. What was hitherto known to a few, now became common knowledge; he was a religious of regular observance, of unostentatious piety, of dedicated attention to the work he was given to do: teaching, prefecting or refereeing rugby football. He did all these things well, and, while he particularly enjoyed the company of his fellow scholastics, he became and always remained a good “community man”.
Such was the reputation he brought with him to Milltown Park in the Autumn of 1947; and meeting him there for the first time, I came to appreciate his quiet strength of character, his invariably cheerful disposition and his dedication to the work in hand. One of his Professors at that time described him as “a gifted student” and he passed his Ad Gradum examination in 1961 after 4 years of consistent application to his studies. As he had little interest in organised games, he found his relaxation in walking and swimming; and from this period dates his long association with the “Forty Foot” Swimming Club. His administrative gifts became apparent at this time and his appointment as Beadle of the Theologians caused no surprise. On July 31st, 1950, he was ordained priest by the Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. John Charles McQuaid, of whose policies and plans Fr Brendan was, in future years, to be such a stout defender and champion. His relationship with the Archbishop, which was at first necessarily indefinite, became in time confidential and and intimate. It was founded on the same virtue of Faith which in later years made him, what he sometimes jokingly called, “a Pope's man”.
Now this aspect of Fr Brendan's outlook was derived from his understanding of the mind of St Ignatius in founding the Society and in placing it at the service of the Church and of the Pope. In a letter to the Province in 1967, he wrote: “It is obvious our ministries will not be renewed without internal renewal, without a deep knowledge of the Ignatian idea of our vocation ... To develop (this) in ourselves we need to study the person and writings of St. Ignatius - in his autobiography and his letters, in the Constitutions and in the Spiritual Exercises ... This will ensure great co-operation among ourselves, with the diocesan clergy and the hierarchy, with other religious and with the laity ...” This letter, so full of high ideals and sane ideas, mirrors, as do few other things he wrote, the spirit of faith in the Church and in the Society which was so characteristic of him. He never saw the Society, which he loved dearly, as an end in itself, only as a means; never as master, but always as a servant at the disposal of the Pope and the Bishops and of the People of God. His faith in the Pope and the Bishops as successors of Peter and his fellow Apostles and as divinely ordained teachers and rulers of the Church, never wavered. And he saw the role of the Society in the Church to-day as being loyally and fully supportive of papal teaching and policy, in every field and in every detail, in every place and at all times. Much prayer and study, much discernment and self-discipline led him to lay aside all private judgment and “to obey in all things the true spouse of Christ our Lord, the Hierarchical Church”.
During 1952-53, he made his Tertianship under his former Master of Novices, Fr John Neary. He welcomed this opportunity to deepen his understanding of the Institute of the Society and of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. This understanding was to serve him well when he was elected as a delegate to the General Congregation in 1965. He attended both sessions of this Congregation, during the first of which, he was appointed Provincial of the Irish Province, an appointment which was announced on August 5th, 1965. To this office he brought the fruits of thirteen years of varied administrative experience, a year as Minister in Galway, followed by four years as Minister in Milltown Park. In 1952, he was appointed Superior and Bursar of the Apostolic School at Mungret College. In the early summer of 1959, his appointment as Socius to : Fr Michael O'Grady was announced. He continued on as Socius to Fr Charles O'Conor on his becoming Provincial in July, 1959. Fr O'Conor recalls those days: “Although Fr Barry had already been a member of the Province for over twenty years, it was not until 1959 that our paths first crossed, One afternoon towards the end of May of that year, we found ourselves leaving Eglinton Road together armed with the knowledge that we were to be Provincial and Socius in the near future. We were both wondering, no doubt, how this hitherto unforeseen alliance would work out. In the sequel it fared very well. Once the initial stages had been passed, we found ourselves firm friends and remained so ever since”.
In ordinary circumstances, it could have been expected that he would remain as Socius for a longer term. Apart from this being a tradition in the Province, Fr Brendan brought to this Office a knowledge and love of the Institute and an administrative capacity and experience of a high order. But it was not to be. Indeed, as subsequent events will show, the fragmentary nature of his apostolate was to continue throughout his entire career. In the summer of 1962, he was appointed Rector of Milltown Park in succession to Fr James Corboy. Thus, after an absence of four years, he returned to a house where almost a third of his religious life in fact was spent, In August 1965, his “apprenticeship” being completed, he crossed over the Milltown Road to take up residence in 85 Eglinton Road as Provincial. During his three years in this office he was responsible for many initiatives. In his anxiety to get the best advice on many, difficult problems, he set up the following : the Commission for Studies and Training of Ours; the Commission on Ministries, the Social Survey; the Man-Power Planning Commission; the Commission on our Brothers; the Advisory Committee on Comprehensive Schools. He saw clearly that, in regard to our apostolic works and the manner in which we conducted them, it was vital that we recognise that we were living in a world of rapid and profound changes and that we be ready to adapt our ministries and methods to meet these changes. In this connection, too, he stressed the value of community discussions on all our problems, local and provincial, for he saw that it was necessary not only to arrive at the correct solutions, but also to enlighten one another about the reasons for consequent changes. He knew that such discussions involved “self-denial in working together at a common task” but he also knew that they were, today, recommended to us all both by the Church and by the Society. His, too, was the final decision to build a new Retreat House with a Circular Chapel at Manresa, Dollymount. During his years as Provincial, he visited our Mission in Zambia and concluded a friendly pact with the newly independent Vice-Province of Hong Kong. Among the many assessments of his work in the Province up to this point, the following by his former Provincial and life-long friend, Fr John R MacMahon, summarizes what many members of the Province should like to say: “In a way I knew him well. As my Minister in Milltown, as my Rector there and as Provincial, he impressed me as being a loyal and efficient assistant, a prudent and kindly Superior and as a courageous and faithful ruler. I refrain from using superlatives, though they are richly deserved. If I wanted an ‘Imago optimi Superioris’, I would find it in him”.
Now, looking back over his life, I am of the opinion that if he was drawn to one Jesuit ministry more than another, it was to the giving of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius to priests, religious and to the People of God. As Minister and Rector of Milltown, he gave many a week-end Retreat. As Provincial he encouraged the holding of Seminars and other meetings for those engaged in this ministry. In his letter of September 1967, he urged Retreat-Directors not to spare themselves in trying to think themselves into the minds of retreatants, giving what is most suitable to young and old alike. It was fitting, then, when he was relieved of the responsibility for the whole Province, that he should, after a brief period as Minister and Bursar in the College of Industrial Relations, spend what were in fact to be his last years as a director of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. In this miniştry, he excelled, and he ran by faith to this work of bringing Christian life and hope to dead and despairing men and women, Between July 1969, and January 1972, a period of two and a half years, he directed three Retreats of 30 days-two to students at Clonliffe and one to the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Gortnor Abbey..seventeen eight-day retreats, seven six-day retreats, twenty tridua, several days of recollection, and one Novena of Grace. Right up to the end his one anxiety was that he would not have enough to do. His programme for 1972 already included six retreats in succession, between June and July, followed by a 30 day retreat in August and another in September October. He was booked, also, to give a third 30 day retreat to Loreto Nuns in Johannesburg, South Africa in December next. In all this, he felt confidently prepared; and how well prepared he was, is attested by tributes from religious in all parts of the country and of England.
The following will suffice as being typical of all: “I know that many of our sisters valued his personal direction and advice. I have been very much struck by the fact that he is so much regretted by
people of such different age-groups and of widely different views. He, undoubtedly, understood the young and was greatly trusted by them. They valued his honesty and appreciated especially his wide knowledge of Council documents. But, I think that he will be best remembered in our Irish Province for his retreats. In particular, I have heard many sisters mention a Superior's retreat which he directed, based on the Gospel of St. John, and, as he changed his retreat so often, this may not be the one you know. Every Sister I met who made that retreat has spoken of it as an exceptional spiritual experience”.
Before concluding this notice, it will be of interest to have a record of some of the judgments passed on his life and work by ours and by others for whom he worked. The following are typical examples : “Brendan was by disposition undemonstrative and retiring but he was incisive in his assessments of people and situations. He was most conscientious in regard to his work and very loyal to his friends. He could be sensitive in some matters and wonderfully resilient in others”. “He was somewhat reserved and he did not wear his heart upon his sleeve. But, there was no doubt about the depth of his sincerity and I looked on him as a true friend on whose sympathy and solid help I could rely. This may seem too formal, even frigid. It may give a false impression. Perhaps, I, too, don't wear my heart on my sleeve”. “I was always impressed by his great sincerity, by his balanced judgment, by his generous and completely detached spirit of service, by his simplicity, his kindly tolerance and his sense of humour”. “His was a sane and balanced approach, in his own homely style, he flavoured his talks with his own dry humour, e.g. ‘the modem superior can't be remote. If he is remote, they write him off! If he is not remote, his personal faults stand out - the boys know!’” “We have lost in Fr Barry a dedicated friend, an enlightened spiritual guide, whose humility and limpid sincerity were notable characteristics of his personality”.
For myself, in the quarter of a century that I have known him, I had come to see his fine physical stature as a living symbol of the greatness of his mind and heart. He had a mind that could go to the heart of any question and his judgments of men and affairs were rarely wrong. While he did not suffer fools gladly, he did feel and sympathised with the failures and follies of his fellow men. He was less interested in condemning a man than in seeking a practical solution to his problems. He was loyal to commitments and to persons. He was not a respecter of persons and friendship for him never degenerated into favouritism. He was, in truth, detached even from his friends. Though like most men, he had need of friends, in whose company he could relax and come out of himself and relieve the inner loneliness that dwells in the heart of every man. This loneliness is said to be more keenly felt by those whose ministry separates them from community life. In the last few years, Fr Brendan was always happy to return from his frequent ‘missionary expeditions to the Community at “35”, where he found a homely welcome and congenial company. The knowledge of this was not the least of this Community's consolations at the time of his sudden death at the comparatively early age of 52. The Irish Province has lost one of its really great men; his spiritual children have lost a sympathetic guide and his friends everywhere a man whose judgment and companionship were a source of encouragement and strength. May he rest in peace.

An appreciation by Most Reverend Dr. Joseph A. Carroll, President of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe
It is no easy tasks nowadays to give the Thirty Days Retreat. The classic material has to be adapted to the new mentality and up dated in accordance with the new insights in Sacred Scripture and Theology. It is as true as ever that the success of the Retreat de pends to a large extent, under God, on the qualities of the Director. Young people to-day are not particularly impressed with a man's erudition nor even with his eloquence. What they look for and are quick to recognise is his sincerity. Father Brendan was both erudite and eloquent but his outstanding quality, as we saw him, was hs sincerity. It was patent to all. When one adds to this an immense patience and capacity for listening, a complete dedication to the task, a large fund of common sense and a keen sense of humour, one begins to understand how the Thirty Days Retreat that could so easily be a burden was not simply tolerable but decidedly acceptable to our Second Year students. I have a distinct recollection of meeting one of them during the Retreat last year and asking him how things were going. “Father Barry”, he said “is terrific”. The fact that they asked him to return on more than one occasion to give a Day of Recollection is a measure of their appreciation. He will be greatly missed in the College. With his unassuming manner and the twinkling bashful smile he had won the affection of the Staff. We always welcomed him as an amiable companion during the Thirty Days he spent with us each year. May he rest in peace.

NB - Members of the Province may not have known that Father Brendan was on the staff of the Mater Dei Institute of Education, He gave occasional lectures to the students there on the spiritual life. Right up to his death, he frequently offered Mass in the Oratory of the Institute and preached a homily. The Director of the Institute, Father Patrick Wallace in the course of a recent letter writes: “To the students of the Mater Dei Institute Father Brendan Barry, SJ, was a man of God. He spoke so convincingly of the need for prayer, he treated every problem so calmly, he showed such respect for everyone who met him that one had to conclude that here was a man who had a deep experience of God in his own prayer life, who had received God's guidance in tackling the problems life had posed for him, who had reached the heights of appreciating the dignity of every man as a brother in Christ. In the homily delivered at the Requiem Mass in the Institute the celebrant spoke for us all when he said 'while we mourn the loss of Father Barry we rejoice that through him the Spirit of Christ was visibly active among us for so long'. The above sentiments are genuinely the sentiments of the students and the staff”.

Bathe, William, 1564-1614, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/913
  • Person
  • 12 April 1564-17 June 1614

Born: 12 April 1564, Drumcondra Castle, Dublin
Entered: 14 October 1595, Tournai, Belgium - Belgicae Province (BELG)
Ordained: c 1602
Final vows: 02 December 1612
Died 17 June 1614, Madrid, Spain - Castellanae Province (CAST)

Mother was Eleanor Preston
Studied Humanities in Ireland, Philosophy at Oxford and Theology at Louvain
Was heir to Drumcondra Castle. Writer, Musician and Spiritual Director
Died as he was about to give a retreat to the court of Philip II of Spain
“Janua Linguarum” edited 20 times and in 8 languages

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronolgica” :
Son of John, a Judge and Eleanora née Preston
Heir to Drumcondra Castle
Writer; Musician; Spiritual Director; Very holy man
Studied Humanities in Ireland and Philosophy partly at Oxford and partly with his Theology at Louvain.
Admitted to the Society at Courtray (Kortrijk) by BELG Provincial Robert Duras, and Entered at Tournai
(Interesting mention is made of him in Irish Ecclesiastical Record March 1873 and August 1874.)
After completing his studies he was made Rector at Irish College Salamanca
He died at Madrid aged 50 just as he was about to give a retreat at Court of Philip II
His “Janua Linguarum” was edited about twenty times and once in eight languages.
(cf de Backer “Biblioth. des Écrivains SJ” who enumerates his writings)

◆ Fr Francis Finegan SJ :
Elder son of John, of Drumcondra and Eleanor, née Preston, daughter of the third Viscount Gormanston.
He entered on his higher studies at Oxford but was prevented from graduating by the Oath of Supremacy. During his time at Oxford when he was still only twenty, he published ‘A Brief Introduction to the true Art of Musicke’. A Brief Introduction to the skill of Song' appeared a few years later. To these publications as well as his family's intimacy with Perrott, Lord Deputy of Ireland, William owed his reception at the court of Elizabeth 1. Eventually he renounced his inheritance in favour of his brother and determined to become a priest.
Studied for three years at Louvain before Ent 1595 Tournai
After First Vows he was sent to complete his studies at St. Omer and Padua and was Ordained priest c. Summer 1602.
1602 He was now named secretary to Mansoni, Papal Envoy to Ireland but the Irish defeats at Kinsale and Dunboy rendered Mansoni's Embassy superfluous. By early Spring 1603 he was in Spain. There were many requests for him to return to Irish Mission, but he remained in Spain until his death in at Madrid 17 June 1614.
He was the valued spiritual director of the Irish College, Salamanca and it was there he wrote in collaboration with Stephen White and others his “Janua Linguarum” which appeared in 1611. This book went into many editions in various European languages including English. The English version, which in turn went into many editions, was shamelessly pirated without reference to Bathe's authorship.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Bathe, William
by Seán P. Ó Mathúna

Bathe, William (1564–1614), diplomat, author, and Jesuit, was born in Drumcondra castle on Easter Sunday 1564, son of John Bathe (d. 1586), Irish solicitor general, chancellor of the exchequer, and grandson of James Bathe (qv), chief baron, and Eleanor Bathe (daughter of Jenico Preston, 3rd Viscount Gormanston, and Catherine Fitzgerald, sister of Thomas Fitzgerald (qv), ‘Silken Thomas’). He was educated privately in Dublin and at St John's College, Oxford; he left before graduation, probably on grounds of conscience. In 1589 he registered in Gray's Inn, one of the four inns of court in which candidates for the Irish bar were required to study. He attended the courts of Elizabeth and Philip II before commencing the study of theology in Louvain (1592), and entered the Jesuit order in Courtrai (1595). He acted as intermediary for O'Neill (qv) during the early stages of the nine years war. After ordination he was appointed adviser to Ludovico Mansoni, legate, later to Ireland. They reached Valladolid in December 1601 but did not proceed further after the fall of Kinsale.

Bathe never returned to Ireland. Two long letters written in June 1602, in Irish Jesuit archives, indicated keen support for fresh forces massing in northern Spain to free Ireland a jugo haereticorum (‘from the yoke of the heretics’). He maintained periodic contact with the court of Philip III. A brother, Sir John Bathe (qv), deeply respected in Old English circles, assumed the role of religious spokesman for his class for more than a quarter of a century; he too visited the Spanish court. A younger brother, Fr Luke Bathe, headed the Capuchin mission in Ireland in the 1620s and was a renowned preacher. William Bathe was spiritual director to expatriate students in the Irish College, Salamanca. He founded a sodality, ‘Congregación de pobres’, for the spiritual and temporal welfare of the poor of that city, and gained a wide reputation for conducting retreats and days of recollection in monasteries and seminaries. He died suddenly in June 1614 while holding a mission for government personnel in Madrid.

His Brief introduction to the true art of music, published in 1584 while he was a student in Oxford (reproduced by Colorado College of Music Press, 1979), and A brief introduction to the skill of song (1596; new ed. by Boethius Press, 1982), were among the earliest printed texts in English on the theory of music and song, and highlighted the ambiguities in mutation from one hexachord to another in a melody with a range of more than six notes. Aparejos para administrar el sacramento de penitencia (1614) reflected his pastoral work. His main claim to fame, however, was Ianua linguarum (1611) with its long preface on linguistic theory. At least thirty editions of this work were published. The most elaborate, A messe of tongues (London, 1617), Ianua linguarum silinguis (Strasbourg, 1629), and Mercurius quadrilinguis (Basel and Padua, 1637), included English, Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Spanish, Italian, and German versions. He used short pithy sentences in parallel columns to enable mature students to learn several languages simultaneously. He allowed no repetition of the 5,300 different items of lexis. His multilingual presentation was adopted by Ian Amos Komensky for his Janua linguarum reserata series. Bathe's first cousin, Christopher Nugent (qv), 14th Baron Delvin, used a small number of colloquial phrases in parallel Latin, Irish, and English columns in his Primer of the Irish language for presentation to Queen Elizabeth (1562). The primer followed a system used by English-born wives in the Kildare household to learn Irish from the early fifteenth century. As such the method predated the Aldine Press and the Adagia of Erasmus.

E. Hogan, Distinguished Irishmen of the sixteenth century (1894); S. P. Ó Mathúna, An tAthair William Bathe, C.I, 1564–1614: Ceannródaí sa Teangeolaíocht (1980); id., ‘The preface to William Bathe's Ianua Linguarum (1611)’, Historiographia Linguistica, viii, no. 1 (1981); id., William Bathe, S.J., 1564–1614: a pioneer in linguistics (1986); id., ‘William Bathe, S.J., recusant scholar: “weary of the heresy” ’, Recusant History, xix, no. 1 (1988), 47–61

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/jesuitica-5/

JESUITICA: First musical textbook
The first musical textbook in the English language, A brief introduction to the true art of musicke (1584), was the work of William Bathe, born in County Dublin, who became a Jesuit
in 1596. A genuine polymath, he had by that stage already taught mnemonics to Queen Elizabeth I, presented her with a harp designed by himself, and studied at Oxford, Gray’s Inn and Louvain. He invented a simple form of musical notation (presently being researched in Trinity by Sean Doherty), and as a Jesuit wrote a seminal book on linguistics, and was an important pioneer in popularising the Spiritual Exercises.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father William Bathe 1564-1614
William Bathe was born on April 2nd 1564 in Drumcondra Castle, the grounds of which is the present day asylum for the male blind, now in the charge of the Brothers of Charity.

He was a fairly close relation of Elizabeth I of England. As a young man he was sent as a personal messenger to the Queen by the Viceroy of Ireland. He became a great favourite of hers and used amuse her greatly by his skill in playing all kinds of musical instruments. He also entertained her by teaching her mnemonics.

His skill in music was both practical and theoretic. He invented a “harp of new device”, which he presented to the Queen. He also wroteb a treatise called “A Brief Introduction to the True Art of Music”. His name was also renowned for his famous book “Janus Linguarum”, a method of learning Latin or any foreign language, which ran into hundreds of editions iun most European languages, and held its place as a teaching method for centuries.

But his greatest claim to fame, and his merit in the sight of God was, that having spent some years at Oxford with no little distinction, being such a favoutite of Elizabeth, with a glorious career in front of him in the world, he returned to Ireland, surrendered his rights to his father’s extensive estates and entered religion. He became a Jesuit at Tournai in 1596.

He spent 19 years of most usefiul work in the Society, working in the Irish Colleges on the continent. Inspite of repeated requests, and his own desire, he was not released to work on the Mission in Ireland.

He died with a great reputation for sanctity in Madrid on June 17th 1614, at the early age of 50 years.

◆ George Oliver Towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members SJ
BATH, WILLIAM, a native of Dublin. After studying at Oxford he grew weary of heresy, and retiring to the Continent entered the Novitiate at Tournay, in 1596. When he had finished his studies at Padua, he was ordered to Spain, and appointed Rector of the College of his Countrymen at Salamanca. To the regret of all who knew his merits, he was prematurely taken off by illness at Madrid, on the 17th of June, 1614, aet. 48. He has left :

  1. “An introduction to the Arte of Music”. 4to. London, 1584.
  2. “Janua Linguarum”, 4to. Salaman ca, 1611.
  3. “A Spanish Treatise on the Sacrament of Penance”. N.B. This was edited at Milan by F. Jos. Cresswell, in 1614. 4. “Instructions on the Mysteries of Faith, in English and Spanish”. F. More in p. 112 of his Hist. Prov. Angl. has inserted a letter of F. W. Bath, in praise of F. Person’s “Christian Directory”.

Bradshaw, John, 1861-1881, Jesuit novice

  • IE IJA J/943
  • Person
  • 21 January 1861-15 December 1881

Born: 21 January 1861, County Cork
Entered: 17 August 1880, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 15 December 1881, County Cork

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
Was at Clonliffe before Ent.

Nephew of George Buckeridge - RIP 1904

Very talented.
Died at home in Cork of decline “Vovit Moriens” 15 December 1881.

Brangan, P Dermot, 1932-2021, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/351
  • Person
  • 20 July 1932-04 January 2021

Born: 20 July 1932, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1950, St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 18 March 1965, Tokyo, Japan
Final Vows: 15 January 1978, Japan
Died: 04 January 2021, Loyola House, Tokyo - Japoniae Province (JPN)

Transcribed HIB to JPN, 15 August 1967

Born : 20th July 1932, Dublin
Raised : Drumcondra, Dublin
Early Education at Coláiste Mhuire, Dublin
7th September 1950 Entered Society at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
8th September 1952 First Vows at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois
1952-1955 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – 3rd level studies at University College Dublin
1955-1958 Berchmanskolleg, Pullach, Germany - Studying Philosophy
1958-1960 Eiko Gauken, Yokosuka-shi, Japan – Regency Studying Japanese language
1960-1962 Hiroshima Gaukin, Hiroshima-shi, Japan - Regency : Teaching
1962-1966 Iesus Kai Dhudoin, Nerima-ku, Tokyo, Japan - Studying Theology
18th March 1965 Ordained at Tokyo
1966-1967 Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin – Tertianship
1967 Transcribed to Japanese Province [JPN] (15/08/1967)
15th January 1978 Final Vows in Japan

◆ Obituary and Tribute
FR PATRICK DERMOT BRANGAN, SJ
July 20, 1932 ~ January 4, 2021

Perhaps because there are too many “Patricks” in Ireland (and because his father’s name was Patrick), he was always known by his middle name “Dermot,” frequently shortened to “Derm.” His mail address, however, was “branganpatrick,” and it might have been the influence of St Patrick, the great British missionary to Ireland, that prompted the Irishman Fr Dermot Brangan to bring Christ to another island country, Japan.
He was born in Dublin on July 20, 1932, the last of five siblings, and was baptised four days later. As a teenager, Dermot attended an Irish-language high school, where he acquired a great love and appreciation for Irish culture and traditions. Surely these enhanced that enjoyable Irish wit that he carried with him throughout his life.
On graduating from high school at the age of 18, he entered the Jesuit novitiate at Emo on September 7, 1950. He was fortunate to have as his novice master Fr Donal O’Sullivan, a man known to be very wise and even “ahead of his times.” Three years of humanities (1952-55) at University College Dublin followed on his novitiate, and then he was sent to Pullach in Germany to study philosophy (1955-58). While there, he became proficient in the German language, which was to prove useful in his future community life among German Jesuits in Japan. In fact, someone mentioned that it might have been as a preparation for missionary work in Japan that he was sent to Germany for philosophy.
Having been accepted for missionary life in Japan, Dermot set out with a group of Irish Jesuits going to Hong Kong and fellow scholastic, Donal Doyle, who was also destined for Japan and would be a close companion for the duration of Dermot’s life and a valuable family contact on his demise. (Not even Donal Doyle could fill in the blanks about what drew Dermot to the Jesuits in the first place or why he took an interest in Japan.)
The missionary group traveled by train to Lourdes and then to Rome, where they met with Fr General Janssens at Villa Cavaletti and received Pope Pius XII’s blessing at Castel Gandolfo. They set sail from Naples, auspiciously enough on the feast of St Ignatius, July 31, 1958 and on a ship named “Asia.” Transferring to a smaller ship at Hong Kong, Dermot and Donal sailed on to Japan, stopping off overnight at Kōbe, unaware of the many years Dermot would eventually be spending in that port city. Their final port of call was Yokohama, where they were met by a Father from the language school in Yokosuka and were taken there for the usual two-year Jesuit language program.
After successfully adding Japanese to his familiarity with Irish and German, he was sent to Hiroshima in the summer of 1960 for the first stage of a long career teaching English to Japanese students. Hiroshima Gakuin had opened only four years earlier and was still struggling to set firm roots in the city that had rebuilt itself with surprising vigor from that fateful August day of 1945. While Dermot was teaching there, he was involved in an incident which threatened to leave a deep scar on the name of the school.
As a young scholastic not unfamiliar with mountain climbing, Dermot was asked to go along with the teacher in charge of a group of students on a trek into the mountains just after Christmas of 1961. Along the way the group got caught in an unexpectedly heavy snowstorm. Totally exhausted from plodding through the deep snow and with their destination stopover a mere 100 meters ahead of them, one of the students collapsed and died on the spot. The incident got newspaper coverage, and the young school was both saddened at the loss of a precious life and panicked over what might ensue. Public attention soon passed, but this tragic incident remained in Dermot’s heart as one traumatic downside of his two years of regency in Hiroshima.
The next step in his formation was four years of theology studies at the Jesuit Kamishakujii scholasticate in Tokyo (1962- 66), with ordination to the priesthood on March 18, 1965 at the hands of Cardinal Peter Doi in the newly erected Tokyo cathedral. Those were the days when the professors of theology were rapidly attempting to catch up with the spirit of Vatican II, some more successfully than others. It was also the time when Japan’s phenomenal post-war recovery startled the world with its flawless staging of the 1964 Tokyo Olympics.
Immediately after theology, Fr Brangan returned to his native Ireland for tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle in Dublin under Fr Michael Connolly (September 1966 to July 1967). Returning to Japan after that, he began a 27-year career that took him in and out of three Jesuit high schools, mainly teaching English and always being available for consultation with students and teachers. He was a good listener, always trying to understand and help.
The first assignment was to Kōbe to teach English and introduction to Christianity for nine years at Rokkō High School (1967-76). Then there was a twelve-year presence in Hiroshima (1976-88), where he served for six years as Superior of the Jesuit community at Hiroshima Gakuin and Chair of the school’s Board of Trustees (1977-83). During that time, the school celebrated its 25th year with the building of a new classroom wing, not without all the troubles and tensions that normally accompany such a project.
On finishing his term as Superior and Trustee Chairperson, he was awarded a year’s sabbatical, which he spent in a rather unusual way. To quote a letter which he wrote to Fr Provincial Awamoto on February 7, 1983:
“I would like to live for three months at Fr Oshida’s place in Nagano ken. ... Life there is extremely simple, primitive in fact. So whether I can stand it for three months remains to be seen. I would like to live with the greatest simplicity possible in terms of material things and spend a lot of time in prayer and silence for three months.”
The same letter asking for permission to live with Dominican Fr Shigeto Oshida’s group in a simple house in the Nagano countryside also contains a very revealing note about how he would like to spend the rest of his life:
“I would like to say that I do not wish to spend the rest of my life in a school. Put simply, I would like to get out of schools around 55 and certainly before 60.” (He was 50 years old at the time.)
After the three months with Fr Oshida, Fr Brangan’s sabbatical took him to Ireland and a renewal course at St Beuno’s in Wales. Despite that plea in the letter already quoted, he was told to go back to Hiroshima Gakuin. His four remaining years in Hiroshima (1984-88) were spent commuting uphill to the school from the Kōgo Catholic Center. Another letter to Fr Awamoto, dated September 6, 1984 shows clearly what he felt at the time:
“After being out of schools for a year, the prospect of returning to the high school situation in Japan was painful and crushing. Being asked to return to Hiroshima Gakuin, where I had been Board Chairman just one year before, and start working again with the staff, some of whom I had had painful dealings with as Chairman, was a hard blow which exacerbated my negative feelings. ... I found my teaching assignment very taxing in terms of physical and psychic energy.”
What, then, must have been his shock when in 1988 he was assigned to move to Taisei High School in Fukuoka, where teaching would be even more taxing than at the previous schools! However, great consolation was soon to come his way a year later. Beginning in April 1989, his teaching load at the school was lightened, and he was asked to serve as pastor of the local parish Jōsui-dōri, which had been entrusted to the Society. Even during his busy days in Hiroshima, his pastoral zeal had urged him to go to the Hiroshima Cathedral every weekend to help, mainly with hearing confessions. Now he was able to dedicate himself more fully to the work he mainly desired.
And he was good at it. Over the years serving in various posts of responsibility, he had learned how to get people to work together. The parishioners greatly appreciated his style of leadership. He remained at the Fukuoka parish until April 1992 (with a brief sabbatical interlude March to August 1991), then returned to the Taisei residence until 1994. By then he was 62 years old, well beyond the desire he had expressed to leave schoolwork “around 55 and certainly before 60.”
In 1994, Provincial Nicolás wrote to him, with profuse apologies, asking him to serve as secretary in the province offices, saying he had looked over the list of Jesuits “from top to bottom and up again to the top,” only to find that Fr Brangan was the only man for the job—but that he need work only in the morning and could have the rest of the day for pastoral work at St Ignatius Church!
But the moving around did not stop there. After two years in Tokyo (1994-96), he was sent back to Kōbe, this time as Superior of the Kōbe Community, which was comprised of both the high school and the parish Jesuits. He was to live in the parish during his six-year term as Superior (1996-2002) doing pastoral work in the parish and being named officially as associate pastor in 1998. Fr O’Malley was pastor, followed by Fr Sakurai. Being familiar with the Spiritual Exercises, Fr Brangan was often asked for retreats. His contacts with parishioners and former students also occasioned preparing couples for marriage and presiding at their wedding.
When his term in Kōbe was over, in 2002, Fr Renzo De Luca, Superior in Nagasaki, wanted someone to replace Fr Clarkson for pastoral work in the residence and retreat house, concomitantly serving as Minister of the small Jesuit community. After three years there, when he was now 73 years old, he was asked to return to Tokyo to live in SJ House and take over from Fr Barry as translator for the Japanese Bishops’ Conference. This he continued to do until 2009, when failing eyesight prevented him from continuing that work. He made a three-month visit to relatives in Ireland and Germany that year and another to Ireland and Vancouver, Canada in 2012.
He continued with regular pastoral work in St Ignatius and retreat work as occasions offered until, by the beginning of 2020, he showed signs of mental confusion, not being able to find his keys, or wandering into other people’s rooms looking for his things. He moved to Loyola House on January 24, 2020.
A year later, in the evening of New Year’s Day 2021, he collapsed in the chapel and was taken to a hospital, where he was found to have suffered from a left subcortical hemorrhage. There being no room for him there, he was transferred to another hospital the next morning, where he passed over to the Lord two days later, just before 10 a.m. on January 4, 2021. He was 88 years old and had been a Jesuit for 70 years. Due to the raging COVID-19 corona virus, a modest funeral was held in St Ignatius Church and live-streamed for simultaneous participation in Ireland, with Fr Doyle speaking.
In conclusion, though written 20 years ago for Fr Brangan’s golden jubilee in the Society, Fr General Kolvenbach’s encomium is still so fitting as to warrant its repetition here. Each of us can make these our own parting words to Fr Dermot Brangan:
“As I look back on your life, dear Father, I esteem the fine spirit of availability that you have shown so gently and so constantly. Your obvious love for the spiritual things in life has had and continues to have an uplifting effect on those in your care and on all those whom God places in your path. I thank God for your wisdom, your gentle graciousness, and your spirit of availability.”

By Robert Chiesa, SJ

Buckeridge, George, 1842-1904, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/967
  • Person
  • 19 January 1842-30 October 1904

Born: 19 January 1842, County Wexford
Entered: 15 July 1878, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: pre Entry
Final Vows: 15 August 1889, Australia
Died: 30 October 1904, St Ignatius College, Manresa, Norwood, Adelaide, Australia

Came to Australia with James O’Connor, Joseph Tuite and scholastic John O’Neill 1886

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
His Nephew John Bradshaw died a Novice at Cork (Milltown) 15 December 1881

At the age of 15 he went to Propaganda College in Rome, graduating D Phil 1862, and D Theol 1866.
When he returned to Ireland he was appointed by Archbishop Cullen as Professor of Theology at Clonliffe. He spent eleven years there teaching Dogmatic and Moral Theology and also Canon Law. He was known for his piety and asceticism during these years. He had no interests in titles, and longed to be released from his position at Clonliffe, but his request was often deferred. Eventually in 1878 Dr Cullen granted his request, and in July of that year he Entered the Society. 1886 He was sent to Australia where he worked in the Colleges and Churches of the Mission for eighteen years. He died at Norwood, Adelaide 30 October 1904.

Note from James O’Connor Entry :
1886 He was sent to Australia, and sailed with Joseph Tuite, George Buckeridge and Scholastic John O’Neill.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
He had studied for the priesthood at Propaganda College, Rome, graduating as Doctor of Philosophy (1862) and theology (1866). When he returned to Ireland, Cardinal Cullen appointed him a professor at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, where he taught for eleven years. After repeated requests for release in order to join the Society, cardinal Cullen granted his request in 1878, and he entered at Milltown Park.

1880-1886 After First Vows he gave Retreats and performed pastoral work at Milltown Park, except for a year teaching the Rudiments class at Clongowes, French and Italian.
1886-1889 He arrived in Australia and was appointed to St Patrick’s College, Melbourne as Prefect of Studies, and he was also involved in pastoral work
1889-1891 He went to Xavier College Kew as Spiritual Father and Assistant Prefect of Studies.
1891-1894 He was appointed Superior and Parish Priest at Hawthorn Victoria
1894-1896 He went to St Mary’s Sydney as Minister.
1896 He undertook Missions in the Adelaide parishes of Norwood and Hectorville, and then volunteered to work in the Indian Jesuit Mission at Changanasserry, Travancore, Kerala. When he arrived in India he found that an Indian Bishop had been appointed and the General ordered him to return to Australia.
1897-1898 He served at the Richmond Parish
1898-1901 He served at the Hawthorn Parish as Superior and Parish priest
1902-1904 He served at the Norwood Parish.

He was one of the few Jesuits in Australia to be nominated for a Bishopric, however another candidate was chosen.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973

Father George Buckeridge 1842-1904
George Buckeridge was born in the diocese of Dublin in 1842. At the age of 15 he went to the College of Propaganda in Rome where he had a distinguished course. In 1862 he was made Doctor of Philosophy, and in 1866, Doctor of Theology.

On his return to Ireland, He was appointed by Cardinal Cullen as professor of Theology at Clonliffe College Dublin. Here he spent eleven years. During those years he was known as Dr Buckeridge, but titles of distinction, even ecclesiastical distinction, had no attraction for him. He longed to cut himself off in the humble obscurity of a religious order, from all chance of ecclesiastical preferment. To this end, he petitioned each year to be released from his responsible position, and each year his request was refused. At last, during the long vacation of 1878, Cardinal Cullen granted his request, and on July 15th 1878, he entered the Society of Jesus at Milltown Park.

He went to Australia in 1886 where he laboured with an active zeal in the Colleges and churches for eighteen years, and died on October 30th 1904, in the Residence, Norwood, South Australia.

Counihan, Tom, 1891-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/461
  • Person
  • 11 October 1891-12 January 1982

Born: 11 October 1891, Kilrush, County Clare
Entered: 07 September 1909, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, Belvedere College SJ, Dublin
Died: 12 January 1982, Richmond Hospital, Dublin

Part of the Milltown Park community at the time of death
Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ
Awarded a BSc 1st Class at UCD 1914, and offered a Postgraduate Scholarship, which he did not accept.
by 1915 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 23rd Year No 3 1948
Frs. Counihan and Edward Coyne are acting as members of a Commission set up by the Government Department of Social Welfare, at the end of March, to examine Emigration and other Population Problems. The former is still working on the Commission on Youth Unemployment, while Fr. Coyne, who served on the Commission on Vocational Organisation appointed in 1939, and whose Report was published five years later, is at present Deputy Chairman of the Central Savings Committee, Chairman of the Joint Industrial Council for Beads Industry, Chairman of the Joint Labour Committee for Solicitors, Member of the Joint Labour Committee for the Creamery Industry, Member of the Council of the Statistical Society.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 2 1982
Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982)

I well remember Fr Tom Counihan coming to Belvedere in September 1916, when I was a boy in “prep”. We boys thought it strange that he should be so bald, knowing that he was only in his middle twenties. Our first impression of him was that we had a pleasant-looking fellow as our master, one who seemed happily disposed towards us and might not be too strict. Furthermore, on talking to us he gave us the impression of being kindly, and before long we discovered that he had a good sense of humour and could laugh just like any of ourselves.
As we got to know him better, we found that we had a master who would stand no nonsense and would expect us to listen to him and learn from what he had to say. He was strict, firm and determined, all with a view to teaching us and getting the best out of us. Behind all this we found him a most understanding teacher, scrupulously fair and prepared to listen to us. His subjects were mathematics and chemistry and he was a most competent teacher of both subjects.
Two very close and lifelong colleagues of his were in Belvedere to meet him on the first day he arrived: Fr Tom Ryan [d. 1971] and Fr Charlie Molony [d. 1978]. The former was dedicated to Dublin newsboys and particularly to the Belvedere Newsboys' Club, where he was much beloved by the boys. In later years he spent all his time working with the people of Hong Kong. The latter on leaving Belvedere spent most of his time in St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner street, and during his free time gave much support to the Old Belvedere Rugby Club, of which he was a founder member.
In his second year at Belvedere Fr Tom was assigned to the task of training the JCT. In the previous year, Mr Vincent Conlon, an Australian scholastic (d. 1959), had trained the team with such success that they won the Cup, beating our old rivals Blackrock in the final. Fr Tom had come to Belvedere from Clongowes, where he had played soccer. He knew nothing about the finer points of the game rugby, yet by sheer determination and dedication, he learned rugby skills to great perfection. Twice a week time we trained and on Wednesdays and Saturdays we had games against other schools. By the end of the season our team had greatly improved, especially in the art of passing the ball, and due to Fr Tom's efforts and enthusiasm we went through the Cup series winning all our games, thereby retaining the Cup, having played Castleknock three times in the final. The following year, Fr Tom trained us again with the same eagerness and keenness as in the previous year, and his dedication was so earnest that there was nothing we boys would not do for him. The result was that for the third year in succession we won the Cup, having beaten Blackrock once again in the final. It must be said of Fr Tom that for one who knew so little about rugby when he came to Belvedere, great credit was due to him for being the trainer of two consecutive Cup-winning sides. We schoolboys were conscious of his great devotion to our Lady of Lourdes. He knew by heart the days when she had appeared to St Bernadette, and rolled them off for us. He would expect a postcard from any boys going to Lourdes, and it would be seen later on his mantelpiece. If you went to Lourdes and failed to send a card, he would tell you so when next he saw you. He helped in the formation of the Belvedere Society of our Lady of Lourdes. Fr Tom was chaplain to the Belvedere Newsboys’ Club for many year later and endeared himself to the boys by his love and concern for them, They too regarded him as a friend whose advice they sought and respected. The young newsboys sold the Dublin Evening Mail and the Evening Herald barefoot on the streets of Dublin. The price of a paper then was one old penny, and a boy’s earnings for the evening were about a shilling, provided he had sold four dozen papers. Fr Tom gave many retreats to these newsboys, during which they came to know him really well, making friendships that lasted many years.
We Old Belvederians greatly enjoyed the retreats Fr Tom gave us in Milltown Park. He kept strictly to the Gospels and would talk to us for three-quarters of an hour without a note in front of him. We benefitted greatly from all he told us. To the Christian Brothers also he gave many retreats in their various houses: he was proud of his connection with them. One year he gave a retreat in the Clarendon street Carmelite church, a fairly big church. For five or six days he spoke to the people, having pushed the micro phone to one side.
He had a loud voice and used it to great effect in churches and oratories, the classroom and the playing-fields, I might add that he also used it in his own room, and when people knocked at his door he answered “Come in” with a voice that could be heard at the end of the corridor. Many visitors came to his room daily, some for a chat, some for advice, and some for confession. He would not leave his room in case he might miss one of these friends who needed him.
He had a great admiration for Frank Duff, who was a particular friend of his throughout life. He read Abbot Marmion's books and thought them excellent for spiritual reading. Fr Tom did not smoke, but to the end enjoyed his pinch of snuff, which he said kept him from dozing.
To me who knew him when he came to Belvedere and later visited him in his last days in Milltown Park and Richmond hospital, Fr Tom had changed very little. He came to Belvedere as one who was always happy, with a pleasant smile on his face, jovial and friendly, with a good sense of humour. Later on, he uttered criticism at times but laughed it off as a bit of fun. He would not spare those in high office: yet he had nothing but the highest praise for his own superior, who showed the utmost concern for his needs at all times.
We Belvederians well remember him as a true friend, one with a deep affection for us, whose wisdom and advice we sought and respected, who was deeply spiritual and put all his trust in the Mother of God. He told us: Devotus Mariae nunquam peribit, nunquam.
E.D.

Here is a viewpoint from the Far East:
As a student in the College of Surgeons, I first met Fr Counihan while on a week-end retreat in Rathfarnham in 1950. I was enthralled by his patriarchal manner, so understandingly human and yet so authoritarian and inspiring. He prided himself on voting Labour, and certainly was the working-man’s guru. Later on in the Society, I always had a warm spot in my heart for him. For three years in Rathfarnham I helped in the refectory by reading at meals for boys and men on retreat. Fr Tom and I got to know each other well.
He prided himself on Abbot Marmion, whom he had known. Everything said by Vatican II is in Marmion, he used to say! Perhaps the Belvedere connection was important here. He always had a predilection for Belvederians! This however did not restrain him from making caustic criticism. His witty tongue spared no one, and his prophetic denunciation covered all - Provincial and Taoiseach, superior and bishop - usually to the delight and enjoyment of listeners. With a whiff of snuff, the word of God was on his tongue. He claimed to be a priest to whom boys - and most ordinary men - listened. He had the wavelength of, and a charism for, people of the 1950s and 1960s. I remember his week-end retreats were based on the Sunday liturgy. The Mass prayers and Scripture texts were written out in his hand and placed on the board. His spirit was indomitable, forthright and courageous - to the edification and admiration of most people. A man of God for men, he told me he never visited anyone, as a visit was a waste of time, He was always available for anyone who called on him: many did call.
Surely he was a disciple of John the Baptist. May he pray for vocation to preach the word of God, to bring consolation to the desolate, forgiveness to the erring and vision to the down hearted.

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982

Obituary
Fr Thomas Counihan (1891-1909-1982) : Continued
†12th January 1982
Fr Thomas Counihan passed into eternal life in the 91st year of his age, having outlived his eight brothers and five sisters. The President of Ireland, Dr Hillery, and the Archbishop of Dublin,Dr Dermot Ryan, who had been a schoolboy under him at Belvedere, sent letters of condolence. The former spoke of the encouragement he had been given Fr Tom when he was minister for Education, while the latter noted the sustained interest which Fr Tom had taken in the welfare of many of the priests and people of the diocese. Many other hearts were moved to pay tribute, and several of these appear in these pages. The brethren rallied in strength to his requiem; Fr Tom had remarked some years ago, on the death of one of his years.Jesuit peers, that now there were no more colourful characters left in the Province. It was an ingenuous judgment: he himself was one of the great characters among us; an institution, larger than life, he sailed like a liner among tugs, bumping some and swamping others, and it was impossible not to notice him with awe, so certain was his course and so majestic. He was very human, full of contradictions, an extravagant personality, never dull, gleefully imitated.
He was born in Kilrush, Co.Clare, and went to the local Christian Brothers School; there began that interest in and respect for the Brothers which endured throughout his long life. “I saw Christianity in the Brothers in Kilrush. Their ascetic spirituality appealed to him, and in his latter years he used lament the softness and slackness into which he saw the Society slipping, and contrast us unfavourably with the Brothers. For thirty years he was their spiritual director and through direct contact and a large : correspondence had enormous influence among them. He loved them and trusted them, “When I die, the Brothers are to be told first, and a Brother will come and clear out my room: I want no Jesuits to touch it”. Given the state of his room, a small battalion would have been required for this labour of love, but Tom had no doubt but that the Brothers would have responded to the call.
He finished his secondary education in at Tullabeg. He moved on to UCD for three years, taking a science degree - he had obtained first place in Ireland in Chemistry while at Clongowes, winning a gold medal in the process. Because of the outbreak of World War One his further studies in science were interrupted, nor were they ever resumed. He went to Stonyhurst for two years philosophy, and returned in 1916 to teach in Belvedere. Among the pupils of that five-year period was Kevin Barry, whose confidence he won, and who sent for him the night before his execution.
In 1921 he began theology at Milltown Park, and was ordained after two years, a privilege granted to those who had spent many years in regency. After two further years of theology, Fr John Fahy, the Provincial of the day, seeking to remedy some urgent problems at Mungret College, sent Tom there as Minister instead of forwarding him to tertianship. Tom remembered the challenge well: there were three tasks assigned him; the ending of the food strikes by the boys; the cleaning of the house, and the reconciling of the opposing views of the Rector and the Superior of the Apostolic School. His principle for reform, repeated to me 55 years later in reference to Milltown Park was: bona culina, bona disciplina. “When. I got to the front door, I asked for water and a mop. I washed my way to my room! I found an excellent layman to take over the kitchen, and the whole atmosphere changed within a week. Everyone was thrilled: I examined every plate of food and every cup, and the Provincial said at Visitation that I was the best Minister he ever appointed”.
The following year saw Tom in tertianship in Tullabeg. He was remembered as “always jolly and gay, . and a good choirmaster”. In 1927 sent back to Belvedere, where he was Headmaster for six years. Highly respected and successful, he taught Maths and Science, coached successful rugby and cricket teams, and had great control over the boys. He had a lifelong interest in sport, and was good at games. To the end he recalled a Visitors versus Community match about 1930, when, partnered by Fr Matty Bodkin, he scored 97 runs. And during a school retreat in . 1954 at Rathfarnham, to illustrate the importance of determination, he told us how once, when playing Gaelic in Kilrush, he got the ball near the goal, lay down and yelled to his team-mates: |Kick me into the net!” He told me that he was excellent at tennis: “Cyril (Power) and I at were unbeatable: I stayed at the back and Cyril went to the net: I returned all the shots he missed”. Reminiscences of such feats, delicately tinted with passing of the years, consoled him in the time of his infirmity.

In the public eye
In 1933 his talents as preacher and as a 'man's man' were given full scope, when he was appointed to the Mission and Retreat Staff. He was stationed at Emo first (1933-41) and then at Rathfarnham (1941-'43), Although he once described himself as “patched-up second tenor” he knew he had a splendid voice and could pitch it at will: he made of it a most effective apostolic instrument. His clear faith, unclouded as it seems by even a moment's doubt, made his message clear and convincing. He liked especially his work with Fr Garahy: between them they attracted huge crowds. Tom developed hymn-singing and revelled in leading his congregation at Missions and Benedictions, although once, to general dismay, he failed to get the right note, and overheard a remark afterwards that he sounded like a bellowing calf. He claimed he could drown out the Rathfarnham organ; to which challenge Fr H. Croasdaile rose by putting on an 8 foot Diapason.
He was at the height of his energies in this period; he remarked once that he had had indifferent health till his mid-forties, and suffered from a distressing, though harmless heart complaint throughout his life, but now he was travelling the length and breadth of Ireland, moving from parish to parish, always available. “I came home once after giving a Long Retreat, and got a message to start another one that night, and off I went. I gave more and better retreats than anyone else. To give a long retreat you have to make it yourself and give good example. I never took a villa – too many retreats to give ...”
For many years Dr John C. McQuaid, Archbishop of Dublin, was his friend. “The Arch' as Fr Tom called him, engaged him to give spiritual nourishment to the seminarians in Clonliffe and so began a series of long retreats and lasting friendships with men of the diocese. His Grace asked for him to sit on the Government Commission on Youth and Unemployment (1943-50). His work as civil servant was obviously appreciated, for he was next appointed to the Commission on Emigration. The reports of both Commissions are published. Fr Tom had little to say in later years about their impact, “but at least I got all the members coming to confession and reading Marmion!” He was a fine public speaker and often addressed several meetings a week. His addresses were always full of Christian principle and conviction: the Labour men respected him, and Jim Larkin on his death-bed would have no one else but Fr Tom. We who came to know him only in his declining years would not have thought of him as a mediator; yet the daily arrival of a personal copy of the Irish Independent was a constant reminder that he had intervened to avert a newspaper strike. He was Chaplain to the Lord Mayor in the 1950s. He and "The Arch' fell out at a public meeting about the same time, because of a disagreement over policy. Happily good relations were restored at the time of Rathfarnham Retreat House's golden jubilee (1963).
His naive candour about his achievements ("Guess how many confessions I heard tonight!) added to his ex cathedra statements (I'm telling you ...) frustrated and annoyed many: those who disagreed with him found him difficult; patience was needed, but there seem to have been no shortage of patient men around, for the number of those who valued his friendship was legion. They valued his prayers during his lifetime too, and now have even greater trust in ' his power of intercession with God on their behalf. He had the ability to relate ' easily with young and old; doctors, : lawyers, bricklayers, priests – all could come and use him as consultant, moral theologian, as confessor and as friend. He was a great supporter of the Larkins and of James Connolly, and was sensitive to the rights of workers. He knew the social teaching of the Popes, and warned that anyone taking the encyclicals seriously would get into trouble. Men of vision and nonconformists often found in him an ally; institutions and officials which were failing in their duties found in him an outspoken and fearless critic. The lapsed called him 'the hound of heaven'; his zeal for souls sent him out on the streets to search for a relapsed alcoholic. He was sensitive, and visibly saddened if a penitent failed to keep the contract made in confession. He acknowledged that he good at helping the determined, but poor with the indecisive: he was grateful to be able to turn those with vocation crisis over to men like Fr Joe Erraught.

Retreat work
In 1950 he moved from Leeson street to Rathfarnham as Assistant Director of the Retreat House, and was equally effective both with men and boys. His years at Belvedere had taught him all the tricks of the schoolboy mind: in early 1954 we Sixth-years from St Vincent’s came trooping up the avenue towards the Castle, plotting all sorts of mischief. But the “The Coon” as we called him, dominated everything. He was impressive with his bald head and its odd bump at the back covered by a black skull-cap; but more by his voice and his kindly face. We knew he cared about us. He spaced us out, four to a bench, each with his own place, so that there would be no fooling in the chapel; he had a book which all must sign and this entailed going to his room, which ended in a chat and confession. His simple emphasis on the person of Christ was compelling. The tough grew silent, and that autumn, ten of the group went on for the priesthood.
For him the weekend retreats were times as of maximum effort. He was to be found after midnight of the opening night, patrolling Rathfarnham avenue with Br s John Adams, to catch the 'trailers - the nervous and the drunk. “The best wine comes last”, he'd say. He would see a man in the distance, go to him and lead him gently in. He became oblivious of time when dealing with the men in his room: Bishops took their turn in the queue, “I'm no respecter of persons”. Retreats didn't end on Monday morning: he encouraged men to return for direction. Marmion was most recommended; also Fulton Sheen. For spiritual ills, his remedies were crisp: frequent confession, penance and spiritual reading.
His penances were widely known was among the retreatants. “It's good for them to hear me (using the discipline)” he would say. The whole of religion is pain; you have to pay that price for the conversion of others. We are priests and victims. No man has ever refused to see me, because I suffered for them all. I used the discipline and the chain for the conversion of sinners. I got the idea from Michael Browne, my novice-master – he's a saint. A Bishop once asked me: “Is it true you use the scourge?” I said: “Yes. Do you?” I asked about his arthritis which had become so crippling towards end. “That's from the chains I wore.After a while the metal dug into the flesh and then affected the bone. Of course the pain is terrible, but I won't take anything to ease it. I must offer it to God, to make up what is wanting to the sufferings of Christ”. One felt that God must be impressed by his motivation. Not many could follow his ascetical path: “I didn't go to him for confession or counselling said one of the brethren, because I was afraid of his grá for the discipline”.
He came to Milltown in 1957, after some turbulence over the management of Rathfarnham, Again he was appointed Assistant Director of the Retreat House.
It may be noted that except for some work in England, he never travelled abroad: one may speculate on the scope of his life-work had he been assigned to Australia or to Hong Kong after tertianship. Priests' and professional men's retreat work, retained his connections during Fr Tom's time as Assistant Director. He continued to do outside retreat work retained his connections with the Christian Brothers, had time for innumerable visitors and penitents, and followed the fortunes of the English cricket team. His certitude about the rightness of his own convictions gave great security to many friends and penitents: “If you'll just do as I say, you'll be all right!' He loved company and friendship, and even in his declining years had a marvellous memory of persons met long ago. His correspondence was huge: requests for Masses and prayers were unending.
He loved the poor and was very kindly. As rector, I got into the habit of asking him for cash for the needy who came to the front door, and he never failed: sometimes he would give his pocket-money, while on other occasions he would tell a well-to-do penitent that money was needed, and it would be generously given. When he finally went into hospital the poor at the door mourned his departure. A side of him that was suitably hidden from most was his great generosity, thoughtfulness and sympathy for the really poor and those who have no one to champion their cause. He was never embarrassed to use his influence for them: he kept to the end a great interest in them and their families. He interceded with State bodies for the poor, and could be relied on to get jobs for the needy, with his vast network of friends, but more by his gift of persuasion. His remarkable memory for names and faces helped here. A correspondent who lived many years with him gives the following summary:
“One reason for his great apostolic success was that he kept his nose to the grindstone: his was the asceticism of being in his room, always welcoming and available. He took little exercise, and no holidays - nor did he take dessert, nor drink nor smoke cigarettes. All he allowed himself was a little snuff. He never, to my knowledge, read a novel, nor watched a film; he restricted his use of the radio to sport, and refused TV altogether. He went to bed at all hours, as the apostolate demanded, but was up often at 4.15 am. He had great devotion to the Stations of the Cross, which he said in the Chapel until his legs would support him no longer, and in his final years made them in his room, where he had a large set on the wall. He admired Fr Willie Doyle, Matt Talbot, and most of all his novice master, Fr Michael Browne – all of them great ascetics. He lived for the spread of the Gospel, and if he took a day off, he spent it with the Christian Brothers in Bray, hearing in dealing with them. confessions. A simple pleasure which he indulged to the end was the crossword. When stuck, he used ring up one of his friends for help, and the business of the city would be halted while the clue was worked out!”
In regard to Fr Michael Browne, another correspondent adds: “He told me he owed everything to Fr Browne, and that he had tried to build his life on his teaching. He said that whatever way Michael Browne spoke, of us you would be moved by what he said; for example, by the statement: God needs you, or We must be not only priests but victims. I think Fr Michael would have been proud of him: everything he undertook for God, he did well”.

The later years
From about 1970 onward, his arthritis gave increasing trouble, and we watched with awe his declining years, the slowly diminishing sphere of his activity. First a room on the first floor, so that getting to the door would not be too awkward. Then a handrail so that he could manage the stairs. Then a room on the Chapel Corridor when stairs became impossible. Slow walks up and down the drive with faithful and patient companion, Fr Brendan Lawler. Then confined to the room, a den of wild chaos: plants, dust, tattered booklets, snuff. We spent weeks wondering would he refuse the wheelchair. Then one day: “There are our stages in getting old, you know. First it's the room, then the chair, then even the bed, and then the box”. He wondered once if Fr Willie Doyle, whose photo he had in his room, would have coped well with the pains of old age, a harder asceticism than the freely-chosen austerities of youth. Lively and athletic as he had been, he never complained about the ever-increasing restrictions the Lord placed on him. He was blessed in his infirmarian, Br Joe Cleary, even if he seldom acknowledged it openly. Joe built him a padded chair, and it became his throne: there he sat and slept and prayed, and held court and heard confessions, read the Tablet and said innumerable rosaries - the 15 mysteries daily.
He loved Our Lady, and read a five-volume Life of her, written by the Ven. Mary Agreda, and used quote at length passages detailing “facts” known neither to scripture nor tradition. He kept all Mary's feastdays with great solemnity, and was deeply devoted to Our Lady of Lourdes and Bernadette. Little wonder that Frank Duff was a long-standing friend, and that Legion of Mary affairs were important to him. I like to think of of him being wheeled down the Milltown Corridor by Br Joe Cleary or Bill Reddy – the latter used to stand in for the infirmarian, and put up patiently with lots of abuse when Tom was in poor mood, and that Bill did so is a measure of the devotion and respect Tom inspired in so many. Anyway, down the corridor he'd come and swing into the refectory: anyone daring to obstruct his progress t got poked with a stick. Tom dominated the refectory from his chosen table, singing a hymn at the top of his voice, and delighted if he created attention or gathered a chorus. “They're all too dull in his here: look at them all with their solemn faces. They need to smile”. It was hard, even on a wet morning, not to smile at him, with his black knitted hat firmly on the back of his head, and his gown and coat covered in snuff. Perhaps he recognised that he was not a community man, and that in fact distances and chasms yawned between him and some of the brethren, and in his own inimitable way was trying to make up, by allowing himself to become a figure of fun. It was a source of lifelong hurt to him never to have been invited to give a retreat to Jesuits; he felt a lack of trust in the “management”. He ignored the fact that many other good men had also failed to receive such an invitation.
He was a convinced anti-feminist, though he gave many retreats to sisters in his heyday. He had an Aloysius-like respect for the Ne tangas, rejected female nurses, and would have no women in for confession: he was there for the men, and others could look after the weaker sex. Sisters crowding around the Milltown Institute notice-boards learned to scatter at his approach. In the chapel, if one happened to be obscuring his line of vision of the tabernacle, a stage whisper would float through the air and the guilty soul, breathless with adoration though she might be, had to slink further along her bench. He opposed the introduction women visitors into the refectory: in this he was not unique. But when the battle was long lost, he still continued a guerrilla warfare by protesting against any women who happened to be facing him: they should all face up the Refectory and away from him. In his last year, however, spent in the Richmond, had to submit to the ministrations of the female staff, and by and large bore it well. He used to boast at Milltown that he took a bath twice a year, whether he needed it or not: when the nurses took charge of him, they apparently decided that this boast had been true, and proceeded to give him an ether bath, “They removed four or five pounds from me. They're very wicked nurses; now I'll be a prey to all sorts of diseases which the dirt saved me from”. The nurses grew very fond of him and tended him with love: it is not clear just how much that love was reciprocated!
The obverse of that simple certitude which was a blessing to so many was a quality of intolerance with those who disagreed with him. He was an easy man to work with only while one was on his side. The tale is told of a retreat for priests at Milltown. Tom had not been assigned to give it, but he thought little of the man who had, So at the end of each talk he would lurk about at the door of the chapel and waylay one of the group and ask: “Well, what did he say this time?” One being told, he would snort: “Rubbish”, and proceed to give his, the correct, version. These remedial instructions were so comprehensive that one retreatant was left with the scruple that perhaps he should pay for two retreats instead of one, while another felt that he was excused from the obligation of the following year's retreat.
He had a clear eye for the faults of the brethren, and could articulate them in devastating fashion. As Headmaster he acknowledged that he would have got rid of a number of scholastics then teaching in Belvedere, while fifty years later he offered unsolicited advice of the same nature to me at the breakfast-table. In his early years with the Christian Brothers. he was idolised by many because he seemed so far ahead in his outlook: it was sad that growth stopped at some point such that the forward movement of the Society and of the Province since 1965 left him angry and embittered. He could see nothing but compromise and weakness in many developments, and felt that the original spirit of the Society had been betrayed. Perhaps not surprisingly, he seemed untroubled by any regrets for his sometimes scathing criticisms. Superiors bore the brunt of his wrath, and so I entered on the job of Rector of Milltown in 1974 with trepidation, but a reliance on the fact that he had a soft spot for me, having sent me to the novitiate. Thus began a breakfast-table friendship, something forbidden all others. Through good moods or ill we chatted about the issues of the day; as the years passed and his deafness (selective, some thought) increased, I was cast as passive listener: while he played the part of self-appointed admonitor of all who needed correction, from Father General down to the kitchen staff. The remarkable thing was that if one stood up to him and contradicted him, there would be a brief storm, after which he would ease up and laugh. It was said of him that he lived by indignation. Certainly he loved the ring of battle: Quem timebo? he would say. But while he took joy into the smash that put his opponent away, he could acknowledge a good return and passing shot too. I look back on my years with him as a great privilege: sometimes I wonder if his crusty exterior was a façade for an inner gentleness. When he left Milltown for the last time, en route first to Our Lady's Hospice and then, at his nephew's insistence, to the Richmond (where Harry, his nephew, was Consultant), I went to tidy his room, and found there the letter I had sent him in 1954, three days after my entering Emo. Why should that have meant so much to him? Another gentle touch came at the end of a visit to him in hospital, when he said: “I. hope I wasn't boring?” On another occasion I was sitting on his bed, chatting, and moved position after a while. There was silence for a bit, then he said: “Now you're sitting on my other leg”. When I took leave of him in September 1981, and said I'd see him in six months, he was silent, but I'd almost swear his eyes glistened.
Thus, like most of us, he was a man of contradictions. 'Quem timebo?' yet he could not bear to sleep alone in the house at night. A totally spiritual man, yet he feared death and could be thrown into panic by a heart condition which though distressing, he knew to be harmless. Likewise, he had his gentle side and his rough edges. The trick was to learn to roll with the punches. 'Whatever job they give you next, he said to the Province Delegate for Formation, 'I hope it won't be in formation: you're useless at it! Fourth-year Fathers had to learn not to take too seriously the admonition; "You're not fit for hearing Confessions, Leave that work to me: it's me they want."

The end
He cherished for long a desire to be buried with the Christian Brothers: opinions differed on the real reason: Was it his lifelong friendship with them, or the fact that Brothers are buried in individual graves, whereas Jesuits have a single mass grave? The latter would appear to be the true reason; he let slip one day that he was concerned that in 50 years' time 'people won't be able to find me in Glasnevin!' The presumption was that there'd be those around who would wish to know: some of his brethren would consider this an irritating conceit. But he operated with a different frame work from that currently in vogue: Fr Michael Browne had taught him the importance of sanctity: it was a goal to be achieved, not simply admired in the saints of old. The means were clear: constancy in prayer, asceticism, zeal for the Kingdom of God, and total faith in God's grace. Tom saw miracles of grace worked in his friends and penitents; it did not seem too strange to him to think that God would do likewise in himself, and that he might be chosen by God as a channel of grace for others after his death, just as he had been during his lifetime.
In 1979 Fr Tom celebrated his 70th year in the Society, and the occasion was marked by a lunch in his honour, at the close of which he made a speech. "Love and joy' he said, “have been the chief characteristics of my life.' His hearers were a trifle incredulous then, but not so now. He has entered into the company of Love and Joy, and laughter and the love of friends innumerable are his again. And I have little doubt but that as he looks down on our topsy-turvy world he indulges in the occasional comment, meant for Them, as to what remedial steps should be taken.

Delaney, Hubert, 1929-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/557
  • Person
  • 24 October 1929-01 April 2001

Born: 24 October 1929, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1948, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1966
Died: 01 April 2001, Mater Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin community at the time of death.

◆ Companions in Mission1880- Zambia-Malawi (ZAM) Obituaries :
Hubert Delaney was born in Dublin on 24 October 1929. After secondary school at the Christian Brothers in Dublin, Hubert entered the Civil Service for 15 months. However a higher calling brought him to the novitiate at Emo Park in 1948. He did the normal course of studies, B.A., philosophy, regency and then theology at Milltown Park in Dublin and crowned them with his ordination to the priesthood on 1962.

After tertianship, his life was lived in educational work. Up to 1974, secondary education occupied him, first at Belvedere College as prefect of studies of the Junior School followed by a year at Clongowes Wood College as teacher and higher line prefect. This was again followed by a three year stint as Headmaster at Gonzaga College in Dublin.
He moved from this into tertiary education and it was philosophy which absorbed his interests for the rest of his life. He lectured at the Milltown Institute in philosophy for eight years up to 1982. He continued lecturing but also studied for his M.A. in philosophy at Trinity College Dublin. He later obtained a Doctorate at Cork University and then went on a sabbatical 1989/1990. He went back to the Milltown Institute as lecturer and was also Director of the Lonergan Centre. He took a year off lecturing and went to Leeson Street as writer and researcher. For two years, 1993 to 1995, he was a tutor in philosophy at the Milltown Institute.

A complete change of venue brought him to Zambia, Africa, to the University of Zambia in Lusaka, invited by Fr Dillon-Malone, head of philosophy there. He stayed for a year lecturing and returned to Ireland to write but he first moved to Korea to lecture for a semester at Sogang University in Seoul. He was back in Leeson Street in 1997 as writer and doing research work again.

His health had not been good. He developed a serious heart condition and other ailments which hospitalised him several times. A stroke in March 2001 sent him to the Mater Hospital. Cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. All these led to his death on 1 April 2001.

Spontaneous testimony came from two of his former students who later became members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher, interesting, stimulating, challenging, but, most significant of all, he invited one to enter into a personal engagement and psychological growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator but also the pastor and the priest.

Friendship and service were two of Hubert's qualities. There were many on-going friendships with his former pupils and their families, as well as in the Jesuit communities in which he lived and in the family of his brother Peter. The Morning Star Hostel for ‘down and outs’, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House were some of the areas where Hubert was of service. He had a love of literature, of classical music and of football. He missed all these when he came to Zambia for a year. After all, he was 66 years of age when he came and it is so difficult to make new friends and to fit into a new culture at that age .However he was of service at UNZA when he did come. Hubert's life was one of developing the talents that God had given him, a life centred on his priesthood and on the Mass.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 108 : Special Edition 2001

Obituary

Fr Hubert Delaney (1929-2001)

24th Oct. 1929: Born in Dublin
Early education in St.Patrick's, Drumcondra and CBS, Richmond Street, Dublin.
1947 - 1948: 15 Months in Civil Service
8th Sept 1948: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept 1950: First vows at Emo
1950 - 1953: Rathfarnham, studying Arts at UCD
1953 - 1956: Tullabeg - studying Philosophy
1956 - 1959: Belvedere - Teacher, H.Dip in Ed. at UCD
1959 - 1963: Milltown Park - studying Theology
31 July 1962: Ordained at Milltown Park
1964 - 1964: Tertianship at Rathfarnham Castle
1964 - 1965: Crescent College, Limerick - Teacher
1965 -1970: Belvedere College: Prefect of Studies of Junior school
2nd Feb 1966: Final Vows
1970 - 1971: Clongowes: Higher Line Prefect and teacher
1971 - 1974: Gonzaga College: Headmaster
1974 - 1982: Milltown Park - Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1982 - 1985: Lecturing in Philosophy at Milltown Inst. studying for MA in Phil. Ed. at TCD
1985 - 1989: Doctorate studies in Philosophy at UCC
1989 - 1990: Sabbatical
1990 - 1992: Lecturer in Philosophy at Milltown Institute; Director, Lonergan Centre
1992 - 1993: Leeson St; Writer and Research
1993 - 1995: Tutor in Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1995 - 1996: Lecturer in Philosophy at UNZA, Lusaka Writer;
1996 - 1997: Lecturer in Philosophy at Sogang University, Seoul, Korea (Spring semester)
1997 - 2001: Leeson St; Writer & Research; Chair Virgin Mary School Board, Ballymun
1st April 2001: Died in the Mater Hospital, Dublin

In 1997 Hubert developed a serious heart condition, cardio myopathy, for which he was receiving regular medical treatment. Within the past three years he was hospitalised several times - to have an artificial knee joint fitted, a hip joint replaced and multiple skin grafts on his legs.

The state of his health had been declining noticeably since last September and even more so since February of this year. On March 21s he suffered a stroke and was admitted to the Mater Hospital, where cerebral apathy and liver disease were diagnosed. The combination of his many ailments led rapidly to renal failure, which was the immediate cause of his death.

Des. O Grady preached at Hubert's Funeral Mass...

Hubert has us all where he wants us now - gathered together with him as his sisters and brothers in our Father's house. We are brought together here by our love of Hubert and by the faith we share with him, our faith in the power and love of God who is the Father of us all: “the Father from whom every family, whether spiritual or natural, takes its name”.

We are brought together today by our sorrow and our need, by our desire for the support we find in the company of one another and by our need to pray for Hubert, to give thanks for the gift he has been to us, and to surrender him back to the Father. In doing so we echo the faith of Job, which is also the faith of Hubert: “I know that my redeemer lives... These eyes of mine will gaze on him and find him not aloof”.

Jesus lives now for Hubert as the one who has gone before him to prepare a place for him. We pray that Hubert will now hear the words: “Well done, good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord”.

We need not be in any doubt about Hubert's being welcomed into our Father's house. If we who are so poor in love always had a welcome for Hubert in our homes, how much more will our heavenly Father welcome him into his true home now. Unprofitable servants we may be, but beloved children first and last.

Our confidence for Hubert today is our confidence in the Father's love for him. That love has showered gifts on Hubert in this life, gifts that Hubert has turned to good account for us as our presence here today testifies more eloquently than anything I can say

If one looks through the official record of Hubert's assignments as a Jesuit priest Hubert's commitment to education is what stands out most of all. Hubert has worked at all levels of education - primary, secondary and tertiary, as well as in adult education. He taught in Belvedere, Clongowes, the Crescent, and in Gonzaga. He served as prefect of studies in the junior school in Belvedere and as headmaster in the senior school in Gonzaga.

In 1974 Hubert came to Milltown and began his career in third level education and I had spontaneous testimony to the value of his work there from two of his former students who are now members of the staff of the Milltown Institute. Both spoke of him as a wonderful teacher: interesting, stimulating, challenging, but most significant of all, as inviting one to personal engagement and growth. In his teaching he was not only the educator, but the pastor and the priest.

Hubert was able to teach so well because he himself was a lifelong student. And if we look at the topics of his MA thesis, “Imagination in Aristotle”, and his Ph.D. dissertation, “The Self-correcting Process of Learning”, we will realize that Hubert's study, though enjoyed for itself, was always focussed on the service of others. Hubert, like his Lord and Master, was among us as one who serves, and we have all benefited from the graces that God has given to Hubert.

That, as I said, is the official record. But off the record there is a whole parallel world of friendship and service; the Teams of Our Lady, the Morning Star, the Patricians, the Cenacle Retreat House, to name but some of the ones I know of Added to that there is his on-going friendship with many of his former pupils and their families, and, last but not least, his presence in his Jesuit communities and in the family of his brother Peter.

As we pray for Hubert today we can draw confidence from our faith in God and from the evidence of God's love in the gifts and graces he has showered upon Hubert, gifts Hubert turned to good account in his priestly life. Hubert's priesthood was at the centre of his life. He shared the word of God with us all and he gave of himself unsparingly. And at the heart of his every day and every work was the Mass.

There is so much more that could be said - his love of nature, and the joy and inspiration he drew from it - his doctoral dissertation about human development was entitled “The Tree of Life”. Then there was his love of literature. During the last few months he was reading again the novels of Jane Austen. Then there was music - mainly classical, and, of course, football.

Right up to the end Hubert enjoyed all of these. The day before he went to hospital for the last time, just two weeks ago today, he was, much against my wishes, let it be said, in Ballymun to chair a Board meeting of the Virgin Mary School, and then after than he spent the evening with his friends, Michael and Aileen Hardigan. The following day Hubert was too weak to get himself out of bed in the morning, and had to be taken to the Mater Hospital where, in spite of the best efforts of the doctors and nurses he died on Sunday morning of renal failure.

He died, yet he lives. He lives on in our hearts and our thoughts but also, we confidently trust, in our Father's home where he continues to work for us and bless us.

Dunne, John A, 1944-2008, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/773
  • Person
  • 15 May 1944-27 December 2008

Born: 15 May 1944, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1962, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 21 June 1974, Gonzaga College SJ, Dublin
Final vows: 31 May 1979, Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 27 December 2008, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Sandford Road, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-rip/

John Dunne SJ RIP
Fr John Dunne SJ died peacefully at 10:30 am on the morning of 27 December 2008, the Feast of John the Evangelist. He was commended to the Lord by the prayers of his sister, Anne, Jesuit colleagues and nursing staff.

John Dunne SJ
15 May 1944 – 27 December 2008
John’s early education was in Trim and Coláiste na Rinne, Dungarvan. After secondary school in Clongowes Wood College he entered the Society of Jesus on 7 September 1962 at Emo. After First Vows, John went to Rathfarnham and studied Arts at ucd and later Philosophy at Milltown Park. He taught at the Sacred Heart College in Limerick before returning to Milltown in 1971 to study theology.

After ordination on 21 June 1974, he studied guidance counselling at Mater Dei and went as teacher and guidance counsellor to Crescent College Comprehensive where he remained until 1981. During this time he made Tertianship in Tullabeg and took his Final Vows on 31 May 1979. While in Limerick he studied computing and continued this interest, later beginning LayJay bulletin, forerunner to today’s AMDG.ie. He served in Galway from 1981 to 1987 as Rector, teacher, guidance counsellor and chair of the board of management. In 1987 John was appointed to Gonzaga where he was to spend the next fourteen years in roles as various as pastoral co-ordinator, guidance counsellor, teacher, librarian and Rector.

Following a year’s sabbatical, during which John spent some time at the Jesuit School of Theology, Berkeley, California, and travelling in Asia and Africa, he moved to Loyola House in 2002 where he became Superior and Socius (Assistant Provincial).

John was admitted to Cherryfield Lodge on 19 December following a short illness which was diagnosed at the beginning of October. He died peacefully on the morning of Saturday 27 December, feast of Saint John the Evangelist.
May he rest in the peace of Christ

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/john-dunne-sj-funeral-homily/

John Dunne SJ: funeral homily

The death of Fr John Dunne has drawn condolences from near and far, including, from Zambia-Malawi, Declan Murray SJ and Provincial Peter Bwanali. Also, there have been
numerous requests for the text of the homily which Brian Grogan SJ gave at the funeral mass in Gonzaga Chapel. Brian spoke warmly of John’s life and character, concentrating on three areas – the “three E’s”: the Enterprise of John’s life, his Endurance, and his Everlasting joy. Read the full homily below :

It’s impossible to capture a person’s life fully and I shall not try. But John loved photography: he lost 18 volumes of snapshots in the fire on Good Friday 2007! So I too shall be content with snapshots. I also note that at the Vigil we held for him last evening, friend after friend came up to the microphone and each gave us a distinct snapshot of how John had impacted on their lives. And the stories will go on and on. So I shall focus just on three areas:

The Enterprise of John’s life – this is the longer bit! His Endurance. His Everlasting joy. Three “Es” so you will know when I’m coming in to land!

  1. The Enterprise of John’s Life
    We celebrate a good man. Now that may seem obvious: but I believe that one should try to write a homily with the bible in one hand and the Irish Times in the other – which makes it hard to do any writing, but there you are! Now there are two things to note about today’s Irish Times: first, those of you who are worried about your stocks and shares should take my advice and not invest in Pringles (= a form of potato crisps), because the value of these shares has plummeted since John lost his appetite!

Next, the paper is full, as always, of the wrongdoings of many people: violence, deception, murder, rape, domination – the unsavoury side of humankind. Measure John’s life against that picture. True, his life was ordinary: he taught for 25 years, but many of you have taught for much longer. He was a Superior for 18 years, but that was nothing special. We had a famous man, a scripture scholar, who was once asked if he’d like to be a Superior. ‘No’, he said finally, ‘but I’d like to live like one!’ But in fact it’s an ordinary job of service, just as being the assistant to the Provincial is. An ordinary man: John was not an academic; he liked the quip: ‘You can tell an intellectual but you can’t tell him much!’

An ordinary man. A good man. 46 yrs of service as a Jesuit. His story is ours. We can relate to him: I speak to the ordinary among you – please remain seated! The others can stand!
There’s a book of short stories by Flannery O’Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. Good people are hard to find, and would that our world had more of them. Don’t take the faithful servant for granted! God doesn’t: ‘Well done, good and faithful servant!’

About 50 years ago John made a decision as an adolescent: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service. He would serve the world! ‘In all things to love and serve’ is an Ignatian phrase. It sounds fine, but he took it seriously and lived it out, year after plodding year, until Dec 19 of this year to be exact, after the end- of -year office lunch. He then went home and spruced up for a Christmas meal given by Anne, his sister. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum and do his Christmas shopping. Many of the gifts have yet to be given out.

To serve the world, through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it. It wasn’t easy. He loved the Society & the Province & the community, and he loved his family and friends. A loyal servant, he was ‘Ready for everything’ – It’s an Ignatian phrase, and he lived it. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial 6 yrs ago. Punctual, organised. He was out to work by 08.00, home for 6 p.m. day after day, not knowing what demands each day would bring.

In mid-Oct the doctors told him he could go home – ‘But no work!’ We were so amazed at his going back to work after hospital in mid-Oct that we thought he hadn’t understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did I learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that he ‘was going home to die.’

A Good Man is hard to find. Good people – ordinary good folk – change the world. This world of ours has been the better for John’s presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

As the second reading emphasised, our enterprises must be loving ones. Perhaps each of us is asked by God to reflect to the world a particular facet of the divine? So God asks one person to reflect energy, another justice, a third compassion, a fourth good administration and so on. I suggest John’s task was to reflect lovableness! That’s what I’ve heard most emphasised over these days. He loved his family and his friends and his Jesuit brethren, and in return he was well loved.

He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, care, prayer, compassion, love, for himself when sick. He couldn’t see why this should be. He was humble. He never knew over the last days that many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential. That’s a nice tribute, to find others willing to lay down their lives for you! Check it out!! Don’t get me wrong: his loving was of the unique Dunne brand! He could be gruff; he could get mad with you! But the squall passed and blue skies returned.

John was uniquely present to reality. If he was eating, that’s what he was engaged in. If he was sorting out a mess created by someone, that’s what he was doing. He got to appreciate Buddhism during his sabbatical in 2001. He had Buddhist qualities: that of being full present to reality. He could also, like Buddha, enjoy life to the full, whether it was TV, DVDS, recliners, holidays, good company....In Jewish folklore, the single question that God will ask as we approach the pearly gates is: Did you enjoy my creation? ‘Yes, yes, yes!’ must have been John’s answer the other morning! Most obviously at table: the feast of flowing wine etc... – And the pouring cream! John enjoyed it all. I sometimes fantasised, as he put on more weight and several chairs gave way, that perhaps he was becoming a reincarnation of the Buddha...
It was hard to stay mad with him for long. In our little community of four we divide time into BC – before the conflagration – and AD, after the disaster. Well, when we got into our new house after much work on John’s part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. I proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment in order to choose who got what. ‘Fine’, said John as he ambled up the stairs, ‘I’ll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!’ But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out my computer problems after a long day in the office.
It was because he was so massively present that his death creates a massive loss. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. For John, his Yes was Yes, and his No was No! He could be devastatingly honest. I felt he used to contradict me a lot, and I said one day: ‘There isn’t a single statement that one could make in this house that won’t be contradicted.’ Immediately John shot back: ‘That’s not true!’
It’s time to move on.

  1. His Endurance
    Chardin wrote a book about the divinising of our activities and of our passivities. He divided life thus into two: what we do and what happens to us. For him, what happens to us is about 80% of our life experience, and his concern was how we respond.

We’re talking about the things that happen to us and how we respond. We’re talking about the sanctification of the ordinary, about the tradition in Christian spirituality that unavoidable suffering, patiently endured, is graced. We’re talking about the simple Morning Offering.

For John, as for all of us, there were the times he lived in: Post-war world. Dev’s Ireland. Economic development. Vatican 2. GC 31 – the Jesuit effort at genuine renewal. Subsequent turmoil in the Church and in the Society. Assassination of JFK and MLK. Communism and its fall. Northern Ireland Conflict. Rwanda. Palestine. Kosovo. Decline in vocations. The loss of many things cherished. The Celtic Tiger and its demise. Scandals and tribunals. Child Sexual Abuse.... The list continues. We can ignore it, get depressed at it, become cynical about it, or we can entrust our battered world to God and pray and do what we can about our troubled times. Ignatius speaks of ‘courage in difficult enterprises’ and John had that.

Moving along in this area of the things endured: Close to his heart was the death of his sister Margot. Last year there was the fire and the loss of everything. This year: His knee replacement; End of use of motorbike. It was hard for him but no complaining. Then his incipient deafness humbly acknowledged.

Then in October, his final illness. He was so massively practical about it: ‘The news is bad!’ ‘I’m going home to die!’ ‘This is how it is. We’ll see.’ He had in consequence to let go of his trip to the Holy Land in October, though he sneaked a trip to Fatima in early December!

You know the novel by P J Kavanagh: The Perfect Stranger? Well, over the past three months, John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast recently I said to him: ‘ You’re very patient.’ He replied: ‘What else can one do?’ ‘Well’ I said, ferreting around in my own feelings, ‘you could choose depression or rage or self-pity? ‘I’d hate that’ he said.’ Days before his death a visitor asked him how he was feeling? ‘Smashing!’ was the reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health – so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps I’m beginning to see the meaning of that. There’s so much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And I have been struck by all the good that has come out of this mess, this mess of sickness and of dying, which is not the way God intends things to be; I mean the love and care from others, in Cherryfield and right across the world. I think I believe more than before that God brings good out of evil, and that’s a blessing.

  1. His Everlasting Joy
    So much for the outer side of his life. But as the fox said to the Little Prince, ‘The things that are essential are invisible to the eye.’ At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! It took some faith to write that!
    What’s the Retirement Plan? For those of us who see our pension schemes fall apart, it would be good to know that there is one that won’t fail! Another John Donne, 1572 – 1631, (died at 59) to help us catch the mystery of how it is with him now: it’s from the Holy Sonnets, since not all his sonnets were such!

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
For those whom thou thinkst thou dost overthrow Die not, poor death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what do we wake to? Firstly, there’s God, a God who is pleased with him and loves him. There’s the welcome and congratulations as he staggered over the line on the 27th, the feast, of course, of St John the Evangelist! The loveableness he was entrusted with is now perfected. The Lover gives all to the beloved! So says Ignatius at his mystic best... What is that like? Multiple overwhelmings... Later in this Mass we acknowledge: ‘We shall become like him, for we shall see him as he is.’

Next, I can imagine John looking around to see where the banquet is set! Then there’s the unalloyed joy of great companionship. Then agility of body. John’s body was worn out at the end: now Hopkins line comes into play: “This jack, joke, poor potsherd, patch, matchwood/Immortal diamond/Is immortal diamond.” Then insights into the mysteries of God: his imagination caught.

Then a commissioning ceremony: asked by God to be caring still: to be a solid presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. ‘Placed over many things!’
John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating what we celebrate here: that Jesus Christ by dying destroys our death, and by rising restores our life. He is all Joy. This is how Jesus expresses it in St John’s gospel: ‘I will see you again and Your hearts will rejoice, And no one will take your joy from you’ (16:22).
May it be so for us all. Amen.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/losing-john-dunne/

Losing John Dunne
In the consciousness of Irish Jesuits, the dominant mood this Epiphany is of loss. It is just a week since we buried John Dunne, who had been Socius (companion, secretary,
counsellor, support) to the last two Provincials, a cheerful, competent, selfless presence at the heart of the administration. Conscious of his terminal state with galloping cancer, he worked until he dropped, a good model of Winnicott’s prayer: ‘May I be alive when I die’. He had served Galway, Gonzaga, Eglinton Road and Sandford Road as superior; and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors as their president for many years. A crowd of friends, from all the chapters of his life, packed Gonzaga chapel to overflowing in a memorable funeral Mass, and responded warmly to Brian Grogan’s affectionate homily. It was a good send-off, one which John would relish. But the loss is heavy, most of all for his sister Anne.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 139 : Easter 2009

Obituary

Fr John A Dunne (1944-2008)

15th May 1944: Born in Dublin
Early education at Mercy Convent and CBS, Trim; Ring College, Dungarvan; Clongowes Wood College
7th September 1962: Entered the Society at Emo
8th September 1964: First Vows at Emo
1964 - 1967: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts
1967 - 1969: Studied Philosophy at Milltown Institute
1969 - 1971: Dooradoyle - Teacher at Crescent Comprehensive
1971 - 1974: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
21st June 1974: Ordained at Gonzaga College Chapel
1974 - 1975: John Austin House - Studied Guidance and Counselling at Mater Dei Institute, Dublin
1975 - 1981: Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1977 - 1980: University of Limerick - Computer Studies
1977 - 1978: Tertianship at Tullabeg
31st May 1979: Final Vows at Crescent College Comprehensive, Dooradoyle
1981 - 1987: Galway - Rector; Teacher; Guidance Counsellor, Chair, Board of Management
1987 - 2001: Gonzaga -
1987 - 1993: Pastoral Care Co-ordinator; Teacher, Guidance Counsellor
1993 - 1998: Rector
1996 - 1998: Guidance Counsellor; Teacher
1998 - 2001: Information Technology Co-ordinator; College Librarian; Assistant Pastoral Counsellor; Teacher of Computer Studies
2000 - 2001: Minister; ECDL Course
2001 - 2002: Sabbatical
2002 - 2008: Loyola House - Socius, Superior; Province Consultor; Provincial's Admonitor; Provincial Team
27th December 2008: Died in Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Brian Grogan writes:

An Ordinary Man
John was born in Dublin, but the family lived in Summerhill, near Trim in Co. Meath, so he received his early education at the local Mercy Convent, and then at the CBS. His father was an army man, and he had two older sisters, Anne and Margot. He spent some time in Colaiste na Rinne, Dungarvan, and then went to Clongowes. He entered the Society at Emo in 1962, immediately after school, then studied arts, including archaeology, at UCD, 1964-1967. He studied philosophy at Milltown 1967-1969, when the Institute was just beginning. Following two years teaching at Crescent College Comprehensive, and three years of Theology again at Milltown, he was ordained on 21 June 1974, and spent the following year at Mater Dei, studying Guidance Counselling, which became a lifelong interest: he was later President of the Association of Guidance Counsellors in Ireland. He taught again in Limerick for the next six years, and took up a part-time course in Computer Studies in 1977: computers were to fascinate him for the remainder of his life. He was Rector in Galway from 1981-1987, and in Gonzaga 1993-1998 where he spent fourteen years in all: he was Superior in Loyola and Socius to the Provincial from 2002-2008.

All told, he taught for twenty-eight years and was a Superior for seventeen. He enjoyed a well-earned sabbatical in Berkeley, Thailand and Nepal in 2001-2002, where he developed an interest in Buddhism. He left behind several photos titled “The Buddha and I', and his gastronomic exploits made one wonder if he might become a reincarnation of the Buddha. His hobbies were photography and computers; he read no newspapers or serious novels, but was well informed on current affairs, and had a sharp mind and a good memory, as well as a sound knowledge of the Irish Province. He liked TV and DVDs, and his preferred mode of travel was the motorbike, which he relinquished only after a knee operation in May 2008.

After forty-six years of Jesuit service, he died at sixty-four, having been diagnosed with cancer in early October 2008. He spent a little over a week in Cherryfield, and was the first to die in the new building. He died, appropriately, on the Feast of St John the Evangelist, after whom he was named. He saw himself as an ordinary man: he was not an academic, and liked the quip: "You can tell an intellectual, but you can't tell him much!' But about fifty years ago he had made a decision: not to do his own thing, not to win public approval or to make lots of money. He chose a life of love and service: he would serve the world through the Jesuit Order. This was his enterprise, and he fulfilled it in the demanding times in which he lived.

A Good Man
There's a book of short stories by Flannery O'Connor: A Good man is Hard to Find. As the media make clear in giving us our daily dose of bad news, good people do seem hard to find, and God doesn't take them for granted. The gospel text for his requiem was: 'Well done, good and faithful servant!' People who spoke at the Vigil in Gonzaga Chapel the night before his funeral said over and over: He was a good man! Ordinary good people change the world, and many testified that their world was so much the better for John's presence, for his carrying out his freely chosen enterprise.

John came across as a good man because of his love. He loved family and friends, but especially he loved the Society and more concretely the members of the Irish Province. Being a Jesuit was a fulltime reality for him, and it came across. A loyal servant, he was “ready for everything” as Ignatius would have wished. He did all that was asked of him, especially when made Assistant to the Provincial six years ago. Punctual and organised, he was at his desk early and working his way through the myriad mundane tasks that fall to a Socius - fifty per day, according to a survey! When the curia moved to Sandyford after the fire, he prepared his lunch daily from the leftovers of the previous evening meal and set off before 8 am, and was a genial Office Manager, with an inimitable style. “Carry on the good work!” was his usual phrase to encourage the staff in their labours.

When his diagnosis was confirmed in mid-October the doctors told him he could go home - “But no work!” In the community we were so amazed at his going back to work immediately that we thought he hadn't understood that he was terminally ill. Only accidentally did we learn that on his discharge he had told the hospital chaplain that “he was going home to die”. But instead he went home to serve out the remaining weeks of his life to the full. “In all things to love and serve” is an Ignatian phrase which sounds fine, but he took it seriously year after plodding year, until December 2008 - to be exact. After the end-of-year office lunch in the IMI he went home to spruce up for a Christmas meal given by his sister Anne. That evening he gave in and went to Cherryfield. Two days earlier he had summoned up enough energy to go to Dundrum Shopping Centre to do his Christmas shopping. He never had the joy of distributing most of the gifts, which were found after his death. Many of us, I suggest, if we were told at his age that we had three months to live would leaf through A Thousand Places to See Before You Die and ask for an open credit card. Nothing wrong there, but John's loyalty and tenacity brought him in another direction.

Living to the Full
John enjoyed living. He was welcoming and hospitable, believing that enjoyment was to be shared. He engaged fully in whatever he was doing, whether it was a good meal, a sabbatical, a glass of brandy, an administrative issue, a DVD, a discussion, a computer problem, a rugby match on TV, a holiday with his sister Anne. It is said that part of Jewish belief is that eternal judgement will consist in a single question from God: 'Did you enjoy my creation?' To this John would have given a resounding Yes! This quality of complete engagement gave him a certain magnificent simplicity. His Yes was Yes, and his No was a definite No: he had little space for indecision, and would engage in robust discussion to bring things to conclusions. At his funeral Mass the Provincial, John Dardis, told of times when he himself would return enthusiastically from Rome with a bright idea on how to move Province affairs forward, If John didn't like it he'd bark out: “That's ridiculous! Won't work!” Yet he was open to persuasion and then embrace the project wholeheartedly.

Clearing his plate meant not only enjoying good food to the last bite: it also meant that he liked to delegate. When commissioned to get something done his strategy was to delegate rather than to do the job alone. So in early October last when Fr Jack Donovan died in London, John, who was in hospital at the time, was assigned to see to arrangements, and I got a call: “Will you take this over?” - after which John presumably moved on to the next task. He enjoyed this style of management, somewhat more, perhaps, than those at the receiving end of his phone calls! But it was hard to stay mad with him for long. When after the fire we got into our new house - due to much work on John's part, we found that there were two en-suite and two plain bedrooms. It was proposed in best Ignatian fashion that we should do a discernment to choose who got what. “Fine”, said John as he ambled up the stairs, “I'll take the en-suite on the left and you boys can discern about the other three!” But the same man would give his time and ability endlessly to sort out someone's computer problems after a long day in the office.

It was because he was so massively present to whatever he was doing, whether looking after others or discussing or relaxing, that his death creates such a massive sense of absence. Others of us are more peripherally present to what we do. Not for him the soft-footed approach: he could be devastatingly honest. I used feel that he used the contradictory mode perhaps a shade too much, and said one day:
“There's not a single statement that one could make in this house that won't be contradicted”. Immediately John shot back: “That's not true!” He could be gruff, “like an angry bear” as someone said “but a teddy-bear beneath it all”. He could get mad with “eejits” but the squall passed and blue skies returned. He travelled unencumbered by the baggage of resentment or self-pity.

Enduring to the End
John not only enjoyed the good things of life: he also endured its painful side patiently. For him there was the post-war Irish scene: firstly de Valera's Ireland, succeeded by economic development, then difficult times, then the Celtic Tiger and its demise. Add into the mix the Northern Ireland conflict, political and financial scandals and endless tribunals. In the religious dimension there was the hope and promise of Vatican Two, and in the Society and the Province the hard-won renewal set in motion by GCs31 and GC32; all of this to be followed by turmoil in the Church and in the Society, and in our relationship with the Vatican, leading to the resignation of Arrupe and its aftermath. Locally there was the spectre of Child Sexual Abuse. The list could continue endlessly. How did John respond to these situations which were not of his making, not part of the plan?

In the seventies a commentator on religious life observed that the contemporary religious would suffer the loss of many things cherished: colleagues, vocations, institutions, thriving apostolic works etc. So it has been, and John's stance was to face the difficulties and diminishments within the Province and the Church honestly, without growing cynical or indifferent. Ignatius speaks of “courage in difficult enterprises” and John had that. He worked energetically against the corporate depression which can accompany diminishing numbers and their consequences. Long before GC35 he promoted the renewal of the Province with a project titled “Sparks Light Fires” and no one who attended Province events over the past decade will have failed to notice John's recurring bidding prayer for an increase in vocations.

Closer to home was the untimely death of his sister Margot. Then on Good Friday 2007 there was the Loyola fire and the loss of everything, including for him eighteen treasured volumes of photos of family, friends, Irish Jesuits etc. (cf the interview he gave to Paul Andrews, shortly after the fire, but not published until one year later - Summer 2008, Interfuse #136) It was his mammoth task with Bill Toner, John Maguire and others, to deal with the curial aftermath of the fire, to find new premises for the community, and to help each member to find appropriate ways of coping. This he did by gathering us regularly for a Revision de vie, followed by a Eucharist and a meal, together with some sessions in post-traumatic stress. He dealt with all of this in a healthy matter-of-fact way, though he used to refer to the fire as the elephant in the corner - something he had not yet fully integrated, despite his dedicated efforts at (retail therapy' on that Good Friday afternoon.

The Perfect Patient
In May 2008 he had a knee replacement; this meant the end of motorcycling, hard for him but there were no complaints. In August his incipient deafness was noticed and humbly acknowledged. In October, out of the blue, began his final illness. He was massively practical about it: “The news is bad!” “I'm going home to die!” “This is how it is. We'll see”. He had to let go of a planned trip to the Holy Land, though he sneaked a “pilgrimage” with his sister to Fatima in early December, and regaled us afterward with tales of the delights of a Lisbon hotel.

John was the perfect patient. One morning at breakfast, weeks before he died, I said to him: “You're very patient”. He replied: “What else can one do?” “Well”, I said, ferreting around in my own feelings and drawing on my Kubler-Ross theories about stages of dying, “you could choose depression or rage or self-pity?” “I'd hate that”, he said. Days before his death, when his breathing had become difficult, a visitor asked him how he was feeling. “Smashing!” was the one-word reply.

Sickness is no less a gift than health: so said Ignatius rather tersely. Perhaps those who were close to him saw something of the meaning of that. “Let them give no less edification in sickness than in health” for there was much to be learnt from him on how to face sickness. And good things came out of this tragedy of his sickness and dying. He was amazed at the outpouring of concern, prayer and compassion for himself. he couldn't see why this should be. But people found him lovable, presumably because they experienced that he loved them. He never knew that in his last days many of the Jesuits in Cherryfield had said that they would cheerfully have taken his place – they were retired and ill, whereas he had still so much potential.

Joy
So much for the outer side of his life. What about the inside? At the end of all his letters as Assistant to the Provincial, John had the slogan: Working for God on earth may not pay much, but the retirement plan is out of this world! John never got to elaborate on the Retirement Plan, for he was not an eschatological speculator, but perhaps he would have agreed with the earlier John Donne, 1572 - 1631, who wrote:

Death, be not proud: though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so...
And soonest our best men with thee do go...
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more: death, thou shalt die.

So what did he wake to? To the welcome and congratulations of those gone before him, Jesuits and family and friends, as he staggered over the line on December 27th. Then the multiple overwhelming by God: “the Lover gives all to the beloved” as Ignatius says at his mystic and cryptic best. Next, one can imagine John sniffing the air for hints as to where the great banquet might be set! Then there's the unalloyed joy of great companionship, the excitement of the vastness of the world of God, agility of body and so on. Then a commissioning - placed over many things and asked by God to be a caring presence to the rest of us until we meet him again. John loved celebrations: he is now celebrating endlessly on the inside what we celebrate fitfully and in hope. He is all Joy.

Here is another farewell, different, spoken by Jim O'Higgins at John's Month's Mind, and copied as it was forwarded:

Fifty years ago the face of welcome
In his solid frame, from John the delegate
To call my name and he greeted me
To that large Kildare domain
The prefect later on, that John
sent out again to ease the tense
the taut and restrain the mini gangs

John the true disciple of Loyola
Guidance counselled young hope
from west to east and once again
he's called to mediate between
the grief of parents of the suicided child
Or the dumbfounded ire of the mother
of a manslaughtered son and the why
the what of that God of his
and his own priestly purpose
Or ask in whose image we are made
or where was The Virgin in the keep
at Lourdes on that drowning day

John, called to jollify and feast with
with friends, a Friar Tuck, called
Bonzo, Buster or, with bourgeois respectability, Fr. Bun
The love of Table talk in his so communitaire
of duties in an S.J. house or sitting
in a kitchen ,one leg on the bench
and, not quite a keg ,upon the table
Or in the deep affection of his
nieces and proud nephew in Dublin
six, fourteen, or four of Tullamore
And for the many pieces de resistance
He could rely on his beloved Anne to
see him well ensconced in some
exotic Resto or Hotel Excelsior
Or in sweet Silverdale
Or Long Island Sound

John gifted with the rooted gem
of insight in himself so he could discern
what he could do within
what was beyond his reach
he humbled hubris and defaced its mask
in a paradox of earthy tongue
relating us and our mere creaturehood
To Immanence and Who it was we served
Chuckling his falstaffian way
to his next set of minutes or report

John called to be the techie in I.T.
The Socius systems, Sounder out
The teller of the truth without the frills
And yet again being sent on far flung
Flights with postcards from the edge
in misspelt greetings from some land
remembering and reminding us
in that unsure hand of what we are to him
and we know now what he is to us

John who could be nothing but a goodly man
You leave us for a while on the day of your
own feast of John loved Disciple.

Another appreciation, different in style, from Michael Hurley:
The thoughtfulness of the following letter from John is deeply moving; the circumstances make it more so, and the strained light heartedness at the beginning and end makes it still more moving.

Dear Michael,
May we bury the hatchet for the moment in exchange for prayers for my tryst with the medicos, hopefully from tomorrow. Learnt this morning of liver trouble and bile duct blockage — yellow as a canary, I am. This is by way of communicating!
John A. Dunne, SJ (September 25, 2008 4.51 pm)

The bone of contention between John and myself was my continuing emphasis on communication in the Province, or, rather (as I experienced it), the lack of such communication: in particular between M and the rest of us. I had suggested a Curia Newsletter and sent him a draft of a letter about the matter - which I thought of sending to a Delegate - and later a draft of a few words I might possibly say at a Delegates Friday lunch. He didn't like my drafts, especially a suggestion that if we knew what was happening at IMI we might be less worried about whether our (sic) money was being used responsibly.

Preparations for the visit of the Assistant halted these discussions. What happened next was that Kevin O'Rourke, our Rector, sharing some of my concern, made arrangements for a visit here of three of the delegates; he did so independently but with the knowledge and encouragement of John. This turned out to be a very happy, successful, community event at which I took the liberty of broaching the idea of a Curia Newsletter.

John and I were not at daggers drawn, far from it, but his letter, so remarkably thoughtful, so magnanimous, did enable us, in the time he had left, to communicate not only amicably but affectionately. Which I trust will continue.

Dunne, Peter, 1917-1980, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/131
  • Person
  • 10 June 1917-31 August 1980

Born: 10 June 1917, Clonliffe Road, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1935, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1951
Died: 31 August 1980, St Ignatius, Lower Leeson Street, Dublin

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :

Note from Paddy Finneran Entry
He came to Hong Kong as a young priest with Peter Dunne and 5 Scholastics - Liam Egan, Paddy Cunningham, Matt Brosnan, Tom O’Neill and Tony Farren. He spent two years at the Battery Path Language School learning Cantonese.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 55th Year No 4 1980

Obituary

Fr Peter Dunne (1917-1935-1980)

Peter Dunne arrived at the noviciate, Emo Park, on 7th September 1935, slight of build, pink of complexion (the boys in Belvedere later called him “Pinkie”) and with a very thin crop of blond hair that fought a losing battle to survive the years of his studies. He told us, as one of the many stories against himself, that the doctor had said that his hair was only baby hair and there would be no aftercrop.
Peter was pious, coming, as he did from a family that made great sacrifices to let him go. His mother was a widow and his only sister was a Little Sister of the Assumption. Peter was an only son though his mother has quite a number of brothers. Peter's piety was entirely natural and was filled with an active cheerfulness that saw him in the middle of every novitiate project from weeding the lake to exploring the Caves of Killowen. He had a very urban background, yet he took readily to life in the country, and his interest in nature stood him in good stead during his time in the colleges'.
His arrival in Rathfarnham at the end of the novitiate was a real home coming for him, and his three years at UCD were made happy by the many occasions he had to visit doctor, dentist or cross the Liffey to his own territory at Clonliffe Road, Yet he found the university studies hard going, and it was only sheer determination and his own spiritual resources that got him through. Tullabeg was in many ways a rest for him. There was not the rush of concentrated studies or the physical exhaustion that came with the daily ride to the 'Acad' and back that pulled so many down physically. Besides a reasonably slow pace of philosophical studies, there were plays and 'skits' to be performed - and Peter was always somewhere around in the wings or backstage: there was fishing on the river and, above all, there was the Ricci Mission Unit that was so active in those years in Tullabeg. Peter made a great success of its activities, chiefly because he took the trouble to answer personally the many who sent stamps and tinfoil, thanking them and encouraging their work. One sack of stamps arrived from a regular donor, containing besides parcels of stamps a whole roast chicken-alas, too long on the way to be edible.
Though Peter did come to like country life, it was with great joy that he set out again for his beloved Dublin to spend two happy years (1943-45) teaching in Belvedere, only a stone's throw from his home in Clonliffe Road. College life was really his métier, and it was a pity that his later career took a different turning. He was at his best training the under-13s in Jones's Road or leading the Field Club to Bull island or Donabate. He had an infectious cheerfulness, and with him the smallest incident of the day could be turned into a saga worthy of Seán O’Casey or P G Wodehouse. He was very much a man's man, and more often than not his contacts were those he met in 'The Buildings in Foley Street, Gloucester Street, and the places where the families of the Belvedere Newsboys Club members lived.
Peter went to theology after only two years in the colleges, and here his interest in the poor again showed itself. He was put in charge of those who came regularly to Milltown for material help. He had a little but outside the door of the Minister's House with seats where he would serve meals to those who were down and out or in temporary difficulties. Some times they were in need of cash, and Peter was a shrewd judge of the genuine and the bogus, I well remember one irate lady who had asked particularly for financial help. Peter judged that a large plate of sandwiches would be better for her. Having thrown the plate on the ground, she went off down the avenue yelling loudly that she was leaving the Church because the priest would not give her the cash her condition required:
His assignment to Hong Kong must have been a difficult one for his family and for himself. Indeed, he showed nothing but cheerfulness and enthusiasm for the work before him. The Chinese language he found difficult, not being gifted with great facility in academic fields, but he quickly found his niche as minister of the Language School. His duties often took him to the city, and he came to know as many shopkeepers and hawkers as he had known in Dublin. It stunned his contemporaries, as it must have stunned himself, when he was appointed editor of a new project: a weekly magazine for youth in Chinese. Having neither a strong grasp of the language nor a style of life that could stand up to the rigours of meeting a magazine deadline every week, his health declined and he became a prey to anxiety.
One compatible job he did have at that time (the mid 1950s) was that of chaplain to the Hong Kong Volunteers. He really relished the opportunities it offered him, and his return from the annual camp was the occasion of endless uproarious stories of doings in the New Territories during the fortnight. He always had an ear for those in trouble, and I well remember the many cases of Irish soldiers in the British army who were referred to him. He would spend hours with them at the detention centre where they were imprisoned for fighting and other misdemeanours. There were young girls that had got into trouble whom he would visit at the "homes, and he always had a ready ear for the domestic staff when any of them bad problems, financial or otherwise.
He returned to Ireland to visit his ageing mother, and his indifferent health did not allow his return to Hong Kong. It did not however sever his connections with the East and the Chinese. He noted the needs of Chinese students living in Dublin, and gave much of his time to running a hostel for them - he called it Wah Yan House - in Dublin's Waterloo Road.
His motto could have been: “Do what you can and do it with all the strength that is in you”.
Three things impressed me particularly about Peter Dunne. The first was his obedience, which in the best sense of the word was “a blind obedience”. Secondly, his real humility, that made him think little of himself, and finally his great affection for the ordinary people with whom he always identified himself. My last memory of him was one Sunday after he had said Mass in a little country church near Cong. He came out to the churchyard, and going across to a group of young men leaning against the wall and chatting, greeted them with a bright “Goodmorrow, men. What's the fishing like in the lake these days?” He was all things to all men.

On his return from Hong Kong ,Peter spent the remaining 23 years of his life (1957-80) in Ireland as chaplain to the College of Technology, Kevin Street. Among his fellow-chaplains there down those years were Frs Laurence Kearns, Michael Morahan, Edmund O'Keefe and Brendan Murray.
In his early days at Kevin Street he took on a full work-load, teaching from 9 to 5 and even came back for more: from 7 to 9 pm. he attended to his bakery students. (At these late hours he used literally sit on one of the ovens!) This heavy burden of work was increased rather than diminished by the physical expansion of the College in the mid-1960s, when with the large new buildings, the student roll and staff numbers grew. When Peter first came to Kevin Street, it had only 30 whole-time teachers and less than a thousand students. Now (1980) it has about 200 whole-time teachers, and the students number over 2,000.
It is noteworthy that Peter’s heart attacks of c 1970 and 1972 followed this period of the College's growth and expansion, and were no mere coincidence. After these attacks, he had to adapt his life-style, take a less stressful pace of work, and even withdraw from class time-schedules. Instead, while undertaking full responsibility for teaching and chaplaincy work within the Bakery School, he had perforce to adopt a casual, by-the way approach to the students: loitering with intent' he called it, (Incidentally, for the last few years of his life the Bakery School, for both apprentices and student technicians, was running two shifts a day, 9 am-9 pm) Peter had an unusual gift, attested to constantly and appreciated by his Bakery School colleagues: that of being able to relate to the apprentice baker. The Bakers' Union, Dublin No. 1 Branch, sent a note of condolence on his death.
For a long time Peter ambitioned the setting up of a St Vincent de Paul Conference in Kevin Street: this in fact came about last Lent (1980). The “kids”, though not having time for meetings, offered two hours of their leisure time per week and did many a job of repair and renovation in the homes of the old, As regards his apostolic influence, being a fisherman, used to playing his fish for long hours, Peter was not out for a 'quick kill' or instant conversion: goo relations were more important. His philosophy, where students and staff were concerned, could be summed up in the ideal of the happy family.
The newly-elected President of the local Students' Union, at the grave side in Glasnevin, turned to a companion and said: “To me Peter Dunne was a unique priest”. A member of the Kevin Street staff said: “There are some people in this College that you wouldn't like to be seen talking to; there are some you wouldn't talk to, but everyone could talk to Fr Dunne”. May he rest in peace!

Hughes, Seán, 1910-2003, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/604
  • Person
  • 29 October 1910-19 June 2003

Born: 29 October 1910, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 02 September 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 29 July 1943, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 03 February 1947
Died: 19 June 2003, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

Part of the Loyola, Eglinton Road, Dublin community at the time of death.

Early education at O’Connell’s School

by 1935 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Seán Hughes (1910-2003)

29th Oct. 1910: Born in Dublin
Early education in National School, Fairview and O'Connell School (CBS), Dublin
2nd Sept. 1929: Entered the Society at Tullabeg
3rd Sept. 1931: First Vows at Emo
1931 - 1934: Rathfarnham - Studied Arts at UCD
1934 - 1937: Jersey - Maison St. Louis - Studied Philosophy
1937 - 1939: Mungret College - Regency (Choir Master)
1939 - 1940: Clongowes - Regency (Choir Master); Clongowes Certificate in Education
1940 - 1944: Milltown Park - Studied Theology
29th July 1943: Ordained at Milltown Park
1944 - 1945: Mungret College - Sub-Minister
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1946 - 1953: Mungret College
1946 - 1949: Minister; Lecturer in Philosophy
1949 - 1953: Teacher; Lecturer in Philosophy, Choir Master
3rd Feb. 1947: Final Vows at Mungret College
1953 - 1959: St. Ignatius, Galway - Rector; Men's Sodality
1956 - 1964: Province Consultor
1959 - 1965: Gonzaga College - Rector
1965 - 1973: Crescent College - Rector; President: Sod. BVM
1973 - 1974: Belvedere - Director, Secretariat Catholic Secondary Schools (1973-1977)
1974 - 1977: John Austin House - Bursar, Belvedere
1977 - 1984: Manresa - Minister, Asst. Director, Retreat House; Socius to Novice Director
1984 - 1995: John Austin House - Superior, Directed Spir.Ex.
1995 - 2003: Loyola House
1995 - 1997: Librarian; Treasurer; Directed Spir. Ex.
1997 - 2001: Assistant Treasurer; Directed Spir. Ex., Sacristan; House Historian
2001 - 2003: Resided in Cherryfield Lodge

Following his return to Cherryfield from four weeks in the Royal Hospital in May, where Seán regained some mobility, and his sharpness of wit returned, he took a sudden turn on June 16th during the night. His heart and kidney function deteriorated rapidly over the next few days but he entertained friends even on the previous Thursday afternoon! Seán on 19 June 2003, at Cherryfield Lodge, aged 92 years.

Dermot Murray writes:
Seán Hughes was born on 29th October 1910 in Dublin. He attended the National School in Fairview and O'Connell Schools before entering the Society in Tullabeg at the age of eighteen. Following the noviceship (Tullabeg and Emo) and his degree studies in UCD, he was sent to Jersey for Philosophy in 1934. Two years in Mungret, one year in Clongowes and three years in Milltown Park were followed by ordination on 29th July 1943. His fourth year in Milltown was followed by a year in Mungret before Tertianship in Rathfarnham, a return to Mungret in 1946 and the beginning of his life of service as a priest in the world of education.

After his seven years in Mungret, Seán went to Galway as Rector. Six year later he went to Gonzaga again as Rector and this was followed by eight years as Rector in Crescent, where he was deeply involved in the move to Dooradoyle and the setting up of Crescent College Comprehensive. On his appointment as Director of the Secretariate for Catholic Secondary Schools, Seán left Limerick in 1973 and, following a short stay in Belvedere, moved to John Austin House in 1974. He then spent seven years in Manresa before returning to John Austin House as Superior from 1984 to 1995. Then, at the age of 85, he moved to Loyola House where he spent six happy years before moving to Cherryfield House for the last two years of his life. He died on 19th June 2003.

In a letter to Fr. Provincial on the occasion of Seán's death, Mr. Seán McCann, General Secretary of ACS paid him this tribute:

“The history of School Management in Irish Post primary education cannot be adequately written without honouring the    memory of Fr. Sean Hughes'

There is no need in this obituary to go into the details of his work in the development of the structures of second level in education in Ireland. But it is worth quoting the words of Eileen Doyle in her book, Leading the Way in which she notes that”'the credit for proposing a managerial body that would represent the interests of all the churches is rightly attributed to John Hughes SJ”.

Seán worked very hard to obtain this. The fruits of his efforts – his among others - lie in the Secretariate for Catholic Secondary schools and in the Joint Managerial Body (MB), representing all secondary schools. And when he became Chairman of the Board of Crescent College Comprehensive, he was one of the founding fathers and the first Chairman of the Association of Community and Comprehensive Schools (ACS).

I first came to know Seán when I was a scholastic in Crescent in 1965 when Sean was appointed as Rector. He had already been Rector in Galway and in Gonzaga and some members of the Crescent community at the time thought that his appointment was another example of musical chairs. But they were wrong. I was a young scholastic at the time, beginning my second year of regency in Crescent. What struck me then - as it did in the years since – was that, despite his many and well known foibles, Seán was a Vatican 2 person and remained so until the end of his life.

I came to know him more deeply when he was Chairman of the Board of Crescent College Comprehensive and I was Headmaster. We became great friends and I became aware of the depth of his own spirituality – confirmed by the letters received since his death - and his wonderful humanity. He performed an enormous service to the world of Irish second level education. He had a wide range of friends and a wonderful sense of family; and he did love 'fine wines and foods rich and juicy' as Isaiah described the banquet that Lord would prepare for his people. May he enjoy it eternally in heaven.

Kavanagh, Joseph, 1913-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/197
  • Person
  • 05 February 1913-27 May 1982

Born: 05 February 1913, Dublin
Entered: 11 September 1931, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1949
Died: 27 May 1982, County Wicklow (in a car accident)

Part of the Gonzaga College, Ranelagh, Dublin community at the time of death

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 57th Year No 3 1982
Gonzaga
A phone-call about midnight of 27th/28th May brought us the tragic news of the death of our colleague, Fr Joe Kavanagh, What exactly happened is not entirely clear, but it appears that Fr Joe was involved in a hit-and-run accident while travelling on his Honda motor-cycle at about 11 pm near the Glen of the Downs, co. Wicklow. He was buried from St Kevin’s church, Harrington street, where he had been a curate for the past two years, and he got a send-off that he must have appreciated from his lofty position. A very large number of concelebrants, both Jesuit and diocesan, joined Fr Rector in the requiem Mass; the music was provided by Our Lady's Choral Society, of which Joe had long been a zealous and active member; two Bishops presided, the Most Rev Joseph A Carroll and the Most Rev Donal Murray; and among the congregation were the Lord Mayor (an old pupil) and Mr John Wilson (government minister and an old teaching colleague). We miss Joe very much. Though working in a parish he was always very much a member of the Gonzaga community, in reality as well as in spirit. He joined us as often as his duties would allow and was always a welcome, refreshing, peaceable presence. May he rest in peace.

Obituary
Fr Joseph Kavanagh (1913-1931-1982)

In the last issue of the Province News the editor had a few interesting words to say about the commissioning of obituary notices. In asking me to present a pen- picture of Joe Kavanagh he didn't have to do any serious arm-twisting: I, am more than glad to be able to pay my tribute to a man who was my companion for many years and whom I, among many others, will sadly miss now that he is gone.
Let us start with the timetable, as it were, of Joe's life. He was at school in Belvedere, entered the noviceship in Emo in 1931. This was followed by Juniorate in Rathfarnham where he pursued a French course with considerable success: philosophy in Tullabeg from 1937-1940, and from these years arises a clear memory of Joe working out, with marvellous patience and good humour, a quartet from Gilbert and Sullivan that was somewhat beyond the vocal range of those whom he was directing. The regency years were spent at Mungret (1940-42) where he was obviously very happy and very successful, but the exigencies of the time demanded that he move to Clongowes for his third year, to get his Certificate in Education. From 1943 to 1947 he was in Milltown for theology, and from those days too I can picture him at the piano preparing a motley caste for a brief season of operetta, or playing at centre-forward on the soccer pitch where he was no mean performer, and many of his contemporaries will remember that deft flick of his that was productive both of goals and serrated shinbones.
After tertianship in Rathfarnham Joe spent a year in Clongowes, followed by three years in the Crescent and then, in 1952, he came to Gonzaga where he was to remain until 1971. After this long period of teaching the rest of his days were to be passed working for the "Diocese' - seven years in the Blackrock area, where he was chaplain to Obelisk Park and also taught in the Blackrock Technical school, three years in East Wall and his last two years as a curate in Harrington street.
When Joe's remains were brought to St Kevin's Church on the evening of 29th May, his parish priest, Fr Dermot O'Neill spoke a few words and described Joe as “a nice, quiet, unassuming, hard working priest”, and most would agree that that is a very fair description. He always had this air of quiet about him; perhaps “serenity” would be a better word, or even “unflappability”. In my mind’s eye I can see him, good humoured and unperturbed, surrounded by a mob of unruly schoolboys or refereeing an under-10 rugby match with tremendous aplomb. There was an occasion when, in the act of refereeing, Joe fell backwards over a stray mongrel that had wandered onto the pitch: except physically he wasn't the slightest bit upset. Teaching, I suspect, was always a little against the grain for Joe. but he applied himself to this task over many years with admirable patience and dedication, and must have passed on much of his own great enthusiasm for the French language: certainly many of his pupils remember him with great affection and while they may beat their breasts a little for the merry dance they sometimes led him in the classroom they recall with gratitude his quiet tolerance and inspiration.
There was a period when Gonzaga took its cricket seriously, and this was one game that Joe particularly enjoyed. I remember him playing in the Staff versus Boys matches, tying up the opposition with a mixture of slow googlies and chinamen; and at other times he could be seen umpiring at square leg or behind the wicket, always perched upon a shooting stick.
When at last his teaching days came to an end and he moved out into the “Diocese” he brought the same calmness and application to his new duties. I know that as a curate he undertook very seriously the job of visiting his parishioners. But all the time - from 1971 - that Joe was working as a curate he remained a member of the Gonzaga community and this he was both in fact and in spirit; for hardly a week passed that he didn't join his brethren there, and they will now miss his quiet presence, his informed conversation and his generally optimistic view of world affairs.
Joe seems to have suffered from some sort of a chronic ulcer. Certainly, over the years he was taking something for this ailment or observing a mild diet. And yet I always regarded him as a man of rude health, a man who not all that long ago put-putted his way on his motor bike all the way from Dublin to some place north of Rome where the machine “packed up”, unable any longer to match the vigour of its rider. It was on his motor-cycle, in his 69th year, that he met his sudden tragic death, (27th May 1982), the victim, apparently, of a hit and-run accident around 11 pm in the Glen of the Downs, though the exact circumstances may never be known. .
For his funeral Joe got a great send off. St Kevin's Church, Harrington' street, was packed for the requiem Mass concelebrated by a very large number of both Jesuit and diocesan priests and presided over by two bishops. But what must have given him, watching from above, especial satisfaction, was the fact that the Gardaí spontaneously provided a cycle escort to expedite the funeral cortège to Glasnevin (he had worked with them in the parish), and that the music was provided by Our Lady's Choral Society of which he had long been an active and zealous member. His love for music had always been conspicuous. He was always the choir master, the organist, the musical director of shows and entertainments from novice to tertian, and even after. Nothing he liked better than to be seated a a piano when he displayed the extraordinarily wide range of his musical interests, at one time fingering a Beethoven sonata, at another belting out something straight from Tin Pan Alley.
There can be no doubt but that now he is a member, perhaps even the director, of a celestial choir and that he will continue to make sweet music to the Lord for all eternity.

Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983

Gonzaga
Fr Joe Kavanagh
Further light has been thrown on the circumstances surrounding the accident that ended in the tragic death of Fr Joe Kavanagh at Glen o’ the Downs on the night of 27th May 1982. The following reconstruction is based on the evidence presented in Bray district court on 7th January, at the hearing of the prosecutions brought under the Road Traffic Act against the two motorists involved in Fr Kavanagh's death.

The first impact
A woman was driving south in this area around 11 pm. There was a heavy drizzle. Some distance behind her was another car driven by a Mr Fiach McDonagh of Wexford, who thus described the whole occurrence. As he came around a bend on to a straight stretch of road he saw sparks come from under the car in front of him. The car appeared to be on the correct side of the road at the time, then swerved over to the right-hand side of the road and carried on some distance ending up in a ditch. It wasn't until he came level with a helmet which he spotted lying on the road that he realised that an accident had taken place. He turned his car round towards Dublin and stopped on the Dublin-bound carriageway, with his light shining full on the motor-cyclist, who was positioned with his entire body lying on the hard shoulder except for his head, which was on the roadway. A car came from the direction of Dublin: he stopped it and asked the driver to get help. Then he spoke to the priest on the ground and told him he was sending for help.
The car that he had seen sparks come from had travelled weil over a hundred yards down the road. He noticed some body get out, walk around the car, look and get in again; then it slowly began to drive away.

The second and fatal impact
Ms McDonagh went back to his own car and saw at the same time a car travelling from the Wicklow direction, This car kept coming even when it was in full view of the car stopped in the middle of the road. At the last minute it swerved suddenly to the inside of the stopped car on to the hard shoulder. Here it struck the bike and the man on the ground, swerved to the right-hand side of the road and ended up in the ditch on the opposite side. The impact had flipped the priest right up in the air and over, reversing his position. Two men got out of the car, both as it transpired ambulance men. When they saw the priest on the ground they went back to their car, took out a first-aid kit to do whatever they could, but found no pulse.

Kelly, Thomas P, 1890-1977, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/210
  • Person
  • 07 April 1890-29 July 1977

Born: 07 April 1890, Blackrock, County Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1912, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1923, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1926, Clongowes Wood College SJ
Died: 29 July 1977, Our Lady’s Hospice, Harold’s Cross Dublin

Part of the College of Industrial Relations, Dublin community at the time of death

Older brother of Austin Kelly - RIP 1978

I year of Theology at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin before entry
Studied for BA at UCD

by 1916 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1945 at Cardigan Road, Leeds (ANG) working
by 1948 at SFX Liverpool (ANG) working
by 1950 at Bourton Hall, Rugby, Derbyshire (ANG) working
by 1954 at St Ignatius London (ANG) working

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 52nd Year No 4 1977

College of Industrial Relations
On Friday morning, July 29, Fr Tom Kelly died in Our Lady's Hospice at the fine old age of 87 years. He had been steadily deteriorating and passed away quietly and peacefully just as he would have wished. Fr Tom was essentially a simple man prone to scrupulosity. He had endeared himself to the Sisters and Nurses who showed him much kindness at all times. He is sorely missed by his nephews and nieces, particularly Rose Maguire who was very devoted to Fr Tom.

Irish Province News 56th Year No 3 1981

Obituary
Fr Thomas P Kelly (1890-1912-1977)
As a scholastic he had the unpleasant job of Gallery Prefect in Clongowes (at least I think so) and had to help out in the big study when the priest in charge was sick. He made his tertianship in Tullabeg under Fr Bridge, 1925-26, and together with his brother Augustine, who afterwards became Provincial in Australia, he gave the Lenten Mission in the “People's Church”. It was said that the men preferred Fr Tom and the ladies, Fr Austin. He was a chaplain during World War II.

Kenny, Timothy J, 1843-1917, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/218
  • Person
  • 01 February 1843-04 August 1917

Born: 01 February 1843, Tullamore, County Offaly
Entered: 08 January 1872, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1883
Died: 04 August 1917, St Ignatius, Richmond, Melbourne, Australia

Older Brother of Peter - RIP 1912; Uncle of Paddy Kenny - RIP 1973

Father Provincial of the Irish Province of the Society of Jesus: 3 February 1888-2 December 1894
Superior of the Irish Jesuit Mission to Australia Mission: 1 February 1895-11 February 1901

by 1875 at Leuven Belgium (BELG) studying

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He was of a very old Catholic family in Tullamore. His older brother of Peter - RIP 1912

He spent some years studying at Louvain where he passed ad gradum.
When he came back to Ireland he was sent to Galway, and he worked hard in both the School and Church for many years.
1882 He was appointed Rector at Galway, a position he held until he was appointed Provincial by the then Visitor, Robert Fulton (MARNEB) in 1888.
1888 Provincial. He held this post for six years, and during that time he was sent as Visitor to Australia. He was a most successful administrator.
1894 He was sent to Australia. By 07 February 1895 he had been appointed Mission Superior there. He did this for six years as well.
1901 He was appointed Minister at the Sydney College.
1903 He was appointed Rector at St Patrick’s Melbourne, and he remained in this place until 1916.
His last two years were spent at Richmond, and he died there 04 August 1917. He had helped posts of one kind of Superior or another for almost 32 years.

Note from Morgan O’Brien Entry :
1889 In the Autumn of 1889 he accompanied Timothy Kenny and Thomas Browne and some others to Australia

Note from John Murphy Entry :
During his final illness he was well cared for in the community. His needs were attended to by Timothy J Kenny the Superior and George Kelly.

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Timothy Kenny was educated by the Vincentian Fathers at Castleknock, Dublin, and studied for the priesthood at Clonliffe and at Maynooth. After ordination, he worked in the town of Maynooth, and then entered the Jesuit noviciate in Ireland, 8 January 1872, at the age of 29. He revised his theology at Louvain, 1874-75, and taught at Galway, 1875-88, becoming its rector in 1882; he was also prefect of studies. It was here that he became a friend with the bishop of Galway, Dr Carr, who was later archbishop of Melbourne.
His energy and administrative skills were recognised, and he was appointed Provincial of the Irish province until 1894. He visited both the Austrian and Irish missions in Australia in 1889, with a view to negotiate a union. Far from deserving credit for the amalgamation, he dithered over it until the Austrians were out of patience.
Sent to Australia in 1894, Kenny was mission superior until 1901. He resided at North Sydney. After a few years as minister at Riverview, he was appointed rector of St Patrick's College, 1903-16. During that time his letters expressed much concern about the future of the college. He was a tired man, and the many problems of the college added to his depression. During his term of office, compulsory military training was introduced. Former students believed that the discipline learnt during cadet training raised their morale and improved their attitude towards one another.
He spent his last few years doing parish work at St Ignatius', Richmond.
Kenny was a man of many gifts, pious, full of zeal, and prudent, even too prudent, but kind and generous to the individual. He seemed to be a man of nervous temperament and lacking in self-confidence - the kind of Superior who is kept in office because he can be relied on not to give trouble. He spent half his Jesuit life in Australia. He brought to the problems of his age a mind attuned to the previous century, fighting against the perceived evils of his day, especially the abuse of the virtue of purity.

Note from Patrick Keating Entry
The Irish provincial, Timothy Kenny, while visiting Australia in 1890 believed Keating to be “the most admirable man I ever met”. That being the opinion that counted, Keating became the next Irish provincial

King, Henry, 1889-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/51
  • Person
  • 23 June 1889-31 August 1963

Born: 23 June 1889, Castlepollard, County Westmeath
Entered: 29 September 1911, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 15 August 1922, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1928, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Died: 31 August 1963, Meath Hospital, Dublin

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

Early education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

Had studied forBA before entry

by 1914 at Stonyhurst England (ANG) studying
by 1922 at Hastings, Sussex, England (LUGD) studying
by 1927 at Paray-le-Monial France (LUGD) making Tertianship

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 39th Year No 1 1964

Obituary :

Fr Henry King SJ

Fr. “Hal” King, as he was affectionately known in the Province, died very suddenly on 31st August, 1963, in the Meath Hospital, Dublin, following on a surgical intervention. He was actually engaged on retreat work in England and was due to give the thirty days' retreat to the students in Clonliffe College for the twelfth time when his prostate trouble developed with fatal results.
Born at Castlepollard, Co. Westmeath, on 23rd June, 1889, second son in a family of ten, he spent the years 1900-1907 as a boy in Clongowes. He excelled both in studies and games, was an exhibitioner in each grade in the old Intermediate and was on the house cricket XI. In his final year at College he won the Palles gold medal in mathematics as well as a first class entrance scholarship in mathematics to the University. Though received by the Provincial, Fr. John Conmee, in 1907, he did not enter the noviceship till four years later as his father, who was a dispensary doctor and justice of the peace in Castlepollard, objected, apparently, to his entering. From Clonliffe College he attended lectures in U.C.D. in mathematics and logic for his First and Second Arts, and in 1911 obtained his B.A. in philosophy. The year previous to his entry into the Society he spent at Winton House, a hostel for university students run by our Fathers in the south side of the city.
As soon as he reached the age of twenty-one he was able to carry out his long-cherished resolve to join the Society which he did on 29th September, 1911. After taking his Vows he studied philosophy in Stonyhurst, Lancashire, for two years and was then master and Third Line Prefect in his old alma mater from 1915 to 1919. In the latter year he began his theological studies first at Milltown Park and for the second, third and fourth years at Ore Place, Hastings. He was ordained at Milltown on 15th August, 1922 at the hands of Most Rev. William Miller, O.M.I,
Before making his Third Year probation at Paray-le-Monial in 1926-7 he spent one year at Mungret as prefect and one year as Higher Line Prefect in Clongowes. It was during this latter year that the College XV under his training won from the sister college Belvedere the coveted senior schools' rugby cup, an event that still evokes mingled feelings! After returning from Paray, Fr. King was made Socius to the Master of Novices a position he held till 1931, first at Tullabeg and, on the transfer of the novitiate in August 1930, at St. Mary's, Emo. From 1931 he was at Mungret College, first as Prefect and then as Minister (1932-36). For the next six years he was back again at Clongowes as Higher Line Prefect. In 1942 a new chapter in his career was opened and a new field to his priestly zeal. Writing the usual biographical details that are asked for from entrants to the novitiate, Br. King, as he then was, mentioned the “strong attraction he felt towards missionary work such as the hearing of confessions, the direction of souls and preaching”. This attraction was from 1942 to the end to be fully catered for. Up to 1949 he was based at Galway and travelled extensively giving the Exercises to religious communities and to pupils in boarding and day schools. Then at Milltown Park he worked in the same capacity, and for many years was also attached to the retreat staff there, busily occupied in giving priests' and laymen's retreats. He was also for some years Superior of missions and retreats.
True to the conception of St. Ignatius, Fr. King was never merely the preacher of a retreat; he was always the director; he gave spiritual direction its essential place in every retreat. He had made a close study of the Exercises, was well read in spiritual literature, and given his solid firm judgment was well qualified for the work of the discernment of spirits. Perhaps the best tribute to his competence as a retreat-giver and director was the fact that he was appointed to give the thirty days' retreat to the young students of Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, and held that position for eleven consecutive years. His spiritual influence on a great number of young priests and students of the Dublin archdiocese was undoubtedly very considerable: he came to be a sort of an institution at Clonliffe until his sudden death.
Fr. King was endowed with many social gifts; his charm of manner, his “gay and festive” spirit, his unruffled patience and good humour endeared him to a host of friends both within and without the Society and went to explain the ascendancy he exercised over externs. We end by citing a passage from The Leader of October 1963 in this connection:
“I had not the opportunity of meeting the late Fr. Henry (Hal) King very often, but for a short time I did meet him frequently. I thought that he was one of the most perfect human beings I have ever met. There was an impression of completeness, of serenity about him that in my experience was rather exceptional. I have not known very many Jesuits, but I have been very fortunate in those I have met. It was a blessing to know Fr. King. I am aware that many people, not only the hundreds who went annually to Milltown, but others who kept in touch with him by correspondence felt in his presence the grace of the Master. He spent himself in that cause, and there is none more precious”.
Requiescat in pace.

Lonergan, Cornelius, 1909-1963, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/743
  • Person
  • 06 December 1909-18 May 1963

Born: 06 December 1909, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1927, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 17 July 1938, Innsbruck, Austria
Professed: 02 February 1945
Died: 18 May 1963, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

Part of the St Stanislaus College community, Tullabeg, County Offaly at the time of death.

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

by 1933 at Valkenburg, Limburg, Netherlands (GER I) studying
by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 8th Year No 4 1933

Father T. Corcoran's labours in connection with the examinations for the Higher Diploma had scarcely concluded when he had to betake himself to Holland to preside at the second International Congress of Catholic Secondary Education. The meetings of the Congress took place at the Hague each day from 31st .July to 5th August.
Their Excellencies, the Bishops of Holland, were patrons of the Congress, which was attended by some 350 delegates representing the leading Catholic countries. Among the delegates were about 45 members of the Society from lands outside Holland. Prominent among the visitors were the Provincial of the Paris Province, with various Rectors and Prefects of Studies from our French Colleges. Père Yoes de la Brière, the Rectors of Brussels, Namur, Liege and other Belgian Colleges, Fathers Errandonea, Herrera and others from Spain,the French Oratorian Sabatier and various distinguished lay-men from Germany and Italy.
Cardinal Pacelli, in the name of the Holy Father, sent a long and cordial telegram of good wishes to the Congress , also the Nuncio Apostolic in Holland, who was prevented by serious illness from attending in person.
In the absence of the Nuncio the final allocution was delivered by the Bishop of Haarlem, after the Rector Magnificus of the University of Nijmegen and Father Corcoran, as President of the Congress had already spoken. Mr. J. O'Meara from Louvain Messrs. B. Lawler and C. Lonergan from Valkenburg acted as assistants to Father Corcoran at the Hague.
A splendid paper on “The Present Condition of Secondary Education in Ireland” was read by Dr. John McQuaid, the President of Blackrock College. All accounts agree in stating that the Congress was a brilliant success.
As the proceedings at the Hague coincided with the Biennial Conference of the World Federation of Education Associations, Father Corcoran was unable to be present at the functions in Dublin, but an important paper from his pen was read by Mrs McCarville, Lecturer in English in University College, Dublin. This paper expounded the Catholic philosophy of Education.

Irish Province News 38th Year No 3 1963

Obituary :

Fr Cornelius Lonergan SJ

On Saturday, 11th May, Father Con Lonergan was informed that he was incurably ill. He received the sober tidings with a light-heartedness and equanimity which astonished even those who had long known his solid spirituality. A year previously an operation had revealed a fatal cancer, but it had been thought right to withhold this diagnosis from him until his second visit to hospital. He died at St. Vincent's Nursing Home on 18th May. At his Requiem in Gardiner Street, and funeral in Glasnevin, an unusually large concourse of Jesuits from all the houses and colleges paid tribute to one of the Province's best-loved members.
Cornelius Lonergan was born in Dublin in December 1909, and after schooldays in O'Connell's and Belvedere, entered the Novitiate in Tullabeg on 1st September, 1927, In the opinion of his masters in Belvedere he was a boy of character and talent. Every morning he served the Mass of Father Joe McDonnell, the then Editor of The Irish Messenger, and Con's good friend. At the end of his three years in Rathfarnham, he went for philosophy to Valkenburg. There one of his professors was' Fr. Joseph de Vries, whose textbook of Critica Con himself was to expound so ably for many years in the Irish Philosophate of Tullabeg. Somewhat to Con's disappointment, he was given no period of teaching in the colleges, but went immediately to Innsbruck for theology; there he was ordained in 1938. By then Hitler's anschluss had taken place and the political outlook of central Europe was ominous. So Fr. Con and Fr. Brendan Lawler were recalled to Ireland, to finish theology in Milltown Park. One of his Milltown professors later commented on Fr. Lonergan's remarkable clarity of mind. Having successfully surmounted the Ad gradum, he went on to Rathfarnham Castle, where he was a member of the restored Irish Tertianship during its first year, 1939-40.
The Status of 1940 appointed Fr, Lonergan to Tullabeg, his home for the remaining twenty-three years of his life. His career as a professor began by a year lecturing on psychology. There followed two years of private study of psychology, diversified first by a period as Minister, and later by a spell in hospital with tuberculosis. Then two further years teaching psychology; after which he switched to “Critica”, the subject he was destined to teach with distinction until the suspension of the Tullabeg Philosophate in 1962.
Never was there a more conscientious professor than Fr. Con Lonergan, He read copiously and continuously. He was for ever revising and improv ing his course, subjecting his doctrine to relentless scrutiny, modifying it in the light of maturer thought, changing his presentation of it as a result of his teaching experiences. His lectures never became stereotyped. There were always new insights to be communicated, new difficulties to be examined and resolved, new efforts to achieve maximum precision and clarity. His class sometimes found it difficult to grasp the new point of view, and it was always necessary to be on the alert. But when the professor was approached in private for elucidation, he was affable and enlightening. As a examiner he was kindness itself.
On the retirement of Fr. John Casey in 1954, Fr. Lonergan became Spiritual Father of Tullabeg, and held that office until the end. His domestic exhortations were something to look forward to. It cost him more than an ordinary effort to overcome his natural reticence and modest estimate of himself, but the discourses which resulted were truly remarkable for their interest, originality and spiritual wisdom. Nobody had ever the slightest trepidation about approaching him for counsel or consolation, though it was not always easy to obtain access to him. Quite frequently the warning “flag” on his doorknob reminded callers of that indifferent health and weakness of constitution which required a daily period of rest and sometimes laid Con low for days on end. He succumbed easily to colds and flu, and having had one bout of T.B., wisely took pains to avoid a repetition of it.
This lack of robust health did not, however, materially interfere with his work as professor, spiritual Father, and holder of many minor offices as well. Every summer he gave one or two retreats to nuns and went to England for some weeks to enable a parish priest friend to have a holiday. Then he thoroughly enjoyed his own well-earned villa in Galway, where he appeared daily on the golf course, never lightly surrendering a hole to his opponent. The communities to whom he gave retreats were enthusiastic about them; the letter of Mother M. White, printed below, is typical of many testimonies, oral and written, made even during his lifetime. One can guess the qualities that made his retreats so memorable: the kindliness and sincerity of the Director in Confession and consultation, the sound and thoroughly spiritual judgments, the carefully-prepared, inspiring lectures. It is understandable that Fr. Lonergan was repeatedly appointed to give our Novices in Emo their annual short retreat; he was also extra ordinary confessor to the novices.
As a personality, Fr. Con was gentle and kindly almost to a fault, as the saying is. The fault in this case may have been a certain lack of drive and assertiveness which, in a man of his unusual ability, might have achieved quite exceptional results, say in writing, lecturing and research. But who knows? More “dynamism” (to use a word which often made Con smile) might have negatived the great good he undoubtedly achieved by gentler methods. He was a man of wide and truly humane culture interested and well-informed in literature, music, history, films and sport. One rejoiced to be near him at recreation or at dinner on talk-days. His conversation was sometimes fascinating, often witty; for he had a keen perception of the humorous in sayings, situations and characters. And he had a surprising store of excellent stories, though never one with a barb. But these gifts, as a rule, only appeared when he conversed with one or two. In a large group, he was pleasant, an interested listener, but somewhat self-effacing. Though he never obtruded himself, he was liked by all who got to know him. He was sensitive, but far too reasonable to allow his sensitivity to get the better of him. He was not the athletic type, but, as already mentioned, he played a resolute, well-studied game of golf. During the summer before he entered the Noviceship. Con and toured Ireland on a motor-bike. This mode of travel always attracted him; when about 1950 the professorial staff of Tullabeg acquired a rather powerful motor-cycle-and-sidecar, Con was one of the few people who could really master this formidable machine.
Fr. Lonergan's last year of life was not an unhappy one, though he must have suspected for months that the fatal disease was gaining. On his deathbed he expressed deep gratitude for the kindness he had received during that year, especially for the tactful, undemonstrative consideration of the Tullabeg community.
To the Father who anointed him, he smilingly remarked that the “count down” had now commenced. To one of his former colleagues he spoke jokingly about calling on the resources of Theodicy to enable him to face the end. His principal concern seemed to be the distress that his relatives felt about his approaching death. He himself was cheerful and unperturbed. All this was typical of him his wish to avoid anything that savoured of the “phoney” (his own word), but plenty of quiet courage, “joined with a lively faith and hope and love of the eternal blessings”. Whether he consciously adverted to it or not, Fr. Con Lonergan, it would seem, did in fact observe the Rule of the Summary which reads: “As in the whole of life so also and much more in death, let each of the Society make it his effort and care that God, Our Lord, be glorified in him and those around be edified....”

20 Upper Gardiner Street,
Dublin 1.
Letter of Mother M. White, Sacred Heart Convent, Mount Anville, to Fr. Provincial :
Dear Father,
Allow me to offer you the very sincere sympathy of the community on the loss of Fr. Lonergan, R.I.P. - and please count on much earnest prayer from us for the repose of his soul. The news of his death came as a shock to us as we did not know of his illness, and we realise that he must be a great loss to you.
Father gave us an outstanding retreat here in 1958 under very trying conditions (during the re-roofing of the house). Many graces were given to souls through him and since then we always considered him as one of our “special” Jesuit friends.
You have had great losses in the Province this year, but I expect the price must be paid for the wonderful apostolic work being down by the Fathers and Brothers.
With sincere sympathy and begging your blessing,
I am, dear Father, yours respectfully in Christ,
M. White, R.S.C. 22nd May, 1963.

Letter to Fr. Provincial from Fr. Geoffrey Crawfurd, parish priest of Holy Family Church, 226, Trelawney Avenue, Langley, Bucks :

Dear Father O'Connor,
I needn't tell you how shocked and sad we all were here in Langley to hear of poor Fr. Lonergan's death last Saturday. (I saw it in the Irish Press.) As you know he had come here every summer for the past four years and we were all looking forward to welcoming him here again this year. He really endeared himself to my parishioners by his kindness and obvious priestly goodness. Although we only heard the news yesterday evening I have already had a number of requests for Masses for his soul.
We shall all miss Fr. Con more than I can say. May I offer my deep sympathy to you and the Province. Please pray for me.
Yours in caritate J.C.,
Geoffrey Crawfurd

McGoran, Robert, 1920-2007, Jesuit priest

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

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

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

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 135 : Spring 2008

Obituary

Fr Robert (Bob) McGoran (1920-2007)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

McGovern, Patrick T, 1920-1984, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/288
  • Person
  • 28 October 1920-30 September 1984

Born: 28 October 1920, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1953, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1980
Died: 30 September 1984, Wah Yan College, Hong Kong - Macau-Hong Kong Province (MAC-HK)

Transcribed HIB to HK : 03 December 1966

by 1948 at Hong Kong - Regency

◆ Hong Kong Catholic Archives :
Death of Father McGovern, S.J.
Happiness through Love of All
R.I.P.

Father Patrick Terence McGovern, SJ, member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, died almost suddenly after a heart attack in Wah Yan College, Hong Kong, in the morning of Sunday, 30 September 1984, aged 64.

He was born in Dublin, Ireland, on 28 October 1920. At the end of his secondary schooldays he felt himself internally called to the priesthood and the religious life. The call was not altogether welcome. He was enjoying the freedoms of early manhood to the full and had no wish to exchange them for the restraints of noviceship and scholastic life. After a severe struggle he listened to God’s call and entered the Irish Jesuit novitiate on 7 September 1938. He need not have worried. He accepted the foreseen restraints and duties of Jesuit life, but within these limits, he was to enjoy life to the full to the end of his days.

The happiness of a consecrated life is founded ultimately on love of God, trust in Him and zeal for His glory. There can, however, be supplementary helps. Father McGovern’s supplementary help was an ability to like very deeply the people he worked with or for. He liked the young men who came to him for temporary help and remained his friends for life. He made many lasting friends in his few years in Malaysia. He liked the soldiers he met as an acting chaplain in Malaysia and remained always rather prosodies. He liked, quite exceptionally, the young men with whose aid he founded the Industrial Relations Institute. When he was appointed to the Legislative Council he expected to be a fish out of water, but he soon found himself in the swim; he valued the immediate and continuing friendliness of his reception and he soon came to have a high regard for the hard work done by his fellow members and their devotion to the welfare of Hong Kong.

The early years of what was to be an usual life for an Irish Jesuit were notable in only two ways: he came to Hong Kong in 1947; then, instead of doing the customary period of teaching after language study, he received permission to go to North America for social studies - strong aspirations were already stirring.

He was ordained priest in Ireland on 31 July 1953, and returned to Hong Kong in 1955. The following decade was devoted to school work, with a few years of pastoral work and army chaplaincy in Malaysia. His interest in social work, however, remained keen. He worked for various voluntary agencies and in 1965 he became director of the Caritas Social Centre, Kennedy Town.

In 1968, with the help of a group of workers, he founded the Industrial Relations Institute (IRI) to train workers “for participation in free, strong responsible trade unionism” and to help them to recognize the dignity of their work. He remained director of the IRI for only a few years. As soon as the workers themselves were ready to take over, he resigned the directorship, but he retained a deep interest in the work of the IRI and a deep affection for those who were running it.

Meanwhile he had become a regular broadcaster of five-minute social comments on Radio Hong Kong. These comments were listened to, for he had no objection to being provocative.

One of his listeners apparently was Sir Murray Maclehose, then Governor of Hong Kong. Sir Murray invited Father McGovern to transfer his provocative comments to the chamber of the Legislative Council. Before long, Father McGovern made minor history by arriving on a motor bicycle for his first attendance as a Legislative Councilor.

He and Mr. Andrew So, appointed at the same time, were generally recognised as unofficial spokesmen for the workers and the underdogs of Hong Kong. Their speeches at open sessions bore this out fully.

Father McGovern was an exact observer of confidentiality. Even his closest friends knew nothing of what went on at closed sessions and preparatory meetings, or of what modifications he succeeded in introducing into legislation. His friends did know, however, that he was happy in his work and that he was not a man to be satisfied unless he was accomplishing something.

The high point of his official work came when, valiantly but unavailingly, he led the opposition to the amendment of the Abortion Bill.

In his last days, Father McGovern was deeply involved in the heavy round of official duties attendant upon the initialing of the Sino-British Declaration. Did this heavy work shorten his life? No one can say.

Yet these were not his last public acts. On the evening before his death he was asked to open the new premises of the IRI, and he came home that evening full of happy confidence that this was the beginning of expansion for his favourite work. Next morning he was dead.

At all the Sunday Masses celebrated that morning, before and after his death, prayer was offered that we may “wake up to our social responsibility.” It was a fitting accompaniment to the death of one who had devoted his life and his energies to accomplishing that awakening.
Sunday Examiner Hong Kong - 5 October 1984

◆ Biographical Notes of the Jesuits in Hong Kong 1926-2000, by Frederick Hok-ming Cheung PhD, Wonder Press Company 2013 ISBN 978 9881223814 :
His early education was at Belvedere College Sj in Dublin before he entered the Society.

During the 1950s he was sent to the USA to study Trade Union Movements. So, in 1968 in Hong Kong he set up an Institute for trade union leaders, so that when McLehose became Governor, he was appointed an unofficial member of the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Among other things he brought in compulsory holidays for workers, and also on some public holidays.

He was the founder of the Industrial Relations Institute - a training and information Centre for trade union workers. he was also Director of Caritas Social centre in Kennedy Town. His most notable interventions were on housing policy, workers protection, taxation, abortion and education.

He was awarded an OBE for his contribution to his work in Hong Kong.

Note from Tommy Byrne Entry
During his term as Provincial (1947-1963) he sent many Jesuits to Hong Kong, and then in 1951 he started the Irish Jesuit Mission to Northern Rhodesia (Zambia). He also saw the needs in Singapore and Malaysia and sent Jesuits to work there - like Kevin O’Dwyer, who built St Ignatius Church in Singapore; Patrick McGovern who built St Francis Xavier Church in Petaling Jaya, and also Liam Egan, Gerard (Geoffrey?) Murphy and Tom Fitzgerald.

Note from Paddy Joy Entry
According to Fr Patrick McGovern “Fr Joy was a great man..... his virtue was that although he was an intellectual heavyweight, he stepped so lightly through this morass of problems that nbo toe was trod on. On the contrary, wounds and hurts, both personal and canonical were bound up so deftly that the cured patients not only improved relations with one another, but in the process of being helped gave their universal and unstinting respect to the man who did the helping. He became the focus of a vast diversity, and from all sides won confidence, respect and affection”.

Note from Thomas Ryan Entry
He sent young Jesuits to work on social activities there - Patrick McGovern and Kevin O’Dwyer

Note from Jimmy Hurley Entry
He became the Hong Kong SELA representative in 1979, succeeding Patrick McGovern.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 59th Year No 4 1984

Obituary

Fr Patrick McGovern (1920-1938-1984) (Macau-Hong Kong)

(Notes from material supplied by Fr Socius, Macau-Hong Kong:)

Fr McGovern died in Wah Yan College, 281 Queen's road East, Hong Kong, at 8.30 am on Sunday, 20th September. He had been coughing during the night, and at 7.30 called Fr Richard McCarthy to say that he was not feeling well and would like to see Irish Columban Sr Gabriel, a medical doctor attached to the Ruttonjee sanatorium. She came promptly with another doctor, Sr Aquinas. They saw that Fr McGovern's condition was serious and called an ambulance. Fr McGovern was anointed by Fr McGaley, but by the time the ambulance arrived he was already dead. He had had a heart attack some months earlier, and since then had twice been operated on for a growth in his left arm.
The newspapers, radio and television reported the death, and on the Tuesday morning (2nd October) the two English-language newspapers, South China Morning Post and Standard, carried editorials on Fr McGovern. The funeral Mass was celebrated in St Margaret's Church, Broadwood Road, Happy Valley. The chief celebrant was the Provincial, Fr Liam Egan, assisted by Archbishop Tang of Canton and Fr Enaudi, one of the Hong Kong Vicars General (the Bishop was away attending a meeting in Rome). Fr Enaudi gave the blessing after the Mass and Archbishop Tang recited the prayers at the graveside. Among the were the acting Chief Secretary, Mr Dennis Bray; the Attorney-General, Mr Michael Thomas; and the and Secretary for Security, Mr David Jeaffreson.
Fr Patrick McGovern: born in Dublin, 28th October 1920, 1926-32 primary school St Patrick's, Drumcondra. 1932-38 secondary school Belvedere. 1938-40 Emo, noviciate. 1940-43 Rathfarnham, juniorate. 1943-46 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1946-47 Milltown, completing academic studies (BA from NUI). 1947-49 Canton, learning Cantonese, 1949-50 Los Angeles (Loyola University) studying sociology and industrial relations. 1950-54 Milltown, theology. 1954-'5 Rathfarnham, tertianship. To Hong Kong.
Of the 29 remaining years in which he served the Hong Kong mission, four he spent overseeing and raising funds for the building of the church and hostel in Petaling Jaya. The remainder he spent in Ricci Hall (11 years), Wah Yan, Hong nearby Kong (9 years). Wah Yan, Kowloon (4 up years), and Cheung Chau (1 year). From the catalogues his most frequent assignments seem to have been with the Industrial Relations Institute, as promoter/director/counsellor (for 16 years); minister, and teacher/lecturer especially in sociology. About 1977 he became a member of Hong Kong's Legislative Council (abbreviated to Legco), and about 1980 also of the Executive Council (abbreviated to Exco). These two bodies advise the Governor in his work of ruling the territory. About 1982 he ceased to be a member of Exco but continued as a member of Legco till his death.

South China Morning Post editorial, 2nd October 1984:
Good and faithful servant
The Roman Catholic Church has in mourners recent years often found itself in a dilemma in pursuing the rights of the common man. That it has been in the fray of social activism is unquestioned and while many a politician may have had cause to wish, like Henry II, to be rid of some turbulent priest, the state has learned to accept the Church's more militant stance. Hong Kong heard on Sunday with profound sadness of the death of Father Patrick McGovern, an Irishman of deep sensitivity, with a fine sense of social justice and a gift for rhetoric and wit that seems to be a mark of divine approval in those who hail from the emerald isle. Remarkably, it took a churchman to shake the conscience of the Government and Legislative Council on occasions far too numerous to recall, and it is fair to say that Legco would not have been the same without him. It is worth adding, that he and another cleric, the Rev Joyce Bennett, between them, provided the sharpest edges to the Unofficials criticisms in recent years, And in doing so, they gave a good example to younger members.
Father McGovern was ever the champion of the underdog and the working man. And his Irish background no doubt stood him in good stead, for no nation felt the yoke of its neighbour's domination and the bitterness of poverty and hardship like the Irish.
Yet Father McGovern was ever the gentle and courteous rebel who carried his convictions with a mixture of tolerance and tenacity that enabled him to win friends at every level of society. He was not averse to riding a motor scooter to Lower Albert Road, proudly displaying a Legco badge, though he graduated to a small Japanese car in later years.
Not content with sitting in Legco he was elevated for a time to Executive Council where no doubt he played the part of Devil's Advocate with relish. He will be sorely missed and certainly the pages of Hong Kong's last years will be embellished by some of his deft and darting prose. Many in Hong Kong will join in saying, well done, good and faithful servant.

Irish Province News 60th Year No 1 2 1985

Obituary

Fr Patrick McGovern (M-HK)
(† 30th September 1984)

(Cf. IPN, October 1984, where the date of Fr McG's death was wrongly transcribed as 20th. The following appreciation was copied from Macau-Hong Province Letter no. 263 (10: 1984), which devotes almost six pages to him:)
Paddy was a very remarkable Jesuit for the diversity of his interests and the range of his activities in very different fields.
It would be hard to find a priest who was more devoted to the defence of the church and the spread of the Kingdom than he was. He liked preaching and his hearers liked his sermons which were eloquent, instructive and interesting without being too long. Most Sundays he celebrated Mass in one or other of the parish churches or convents in the neighbourhood and usually heard confessions also. One of the last things that he did on the Sunday when God called him to Himself was to ensure that somebody stood in for him to celebrate the Mass he was to have said in a nearby church. He often said that the most fruitful and enjoyable years of his life were those he spent in Malaysia in pastoral work and where he collected the greater part of the money that went to build our parish church in Petaling Jaya. During this time he was also a part-time chaplain to the armed forces which had suppressed the communist insurrection in that country.
His work among the soldiers made him sympathetic and understanding, and led him to see the basic goodness of men who are not remarkable for their piety: he often spoke about this.
Paddy was deeply attached to the Society and had a healthy interest in all its apostolates. When he concelebrated with the brethren (something he did whenever he could) he seldom failed to pray for the welfare of the Society and for vocations. On his appointment to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong, which he accepted in the hope that as a member he would have greater scope to work for the under-privileged and workers, he said openly that without the support of the Society he could never have taken office.
He cherished community life and many of us during recreation enjoyed his presence as much as we miss his wit and good humour now. There were two things that he detested: cynicism and isolation. He seldom spoke harshly to others or of others but did not suffer fools gladly. A favourite topic of his during recreation was theology, and though he tended to
be conservative without being dogmatic, he was keenly interested in new movements in that field. He often said that when he "retired" and had the time to do so he had a great amount of reading to catch up with. During recreation while he listened carefully to what others had to say about the government and its policies, he was always very scrupulous not to divulge any confidential knowledge he might have had. Paddy had very varied interests. He could cook well when occasion required his doing so, and during his last year he would often
spend the better part of the late evening baking brown bread for the community; the result wasn't at all bad. But his dearest hobby was gardening and the cultivation of flowers and flowering shrubs. In his earlier years in the Society a member of the team of he was scholastics which constructed and planted beautiful rock gardens in Tullabeg and Milltown park. The bank of azaleas which now forms a pleasant contrast to the nauseating green exterior of Ricci Hall is the work of his hands - his also was the choice of colour for the exterior of Ricci Hall: 'spring green' he called it. The verandah outside his room in Wah Yan, the room in which he died, was a veritable shrubbery so many were the potted plants it housed. All these things go to show how he loved nature and its creator.
The Society expects its members to be well acquainted with the social teaching of the Church. Paddy made a study of the social encyclicals in some depth and used them extensively in his speeches in the Legislative Council, without giving explicit quotations. In his economic think- ing he had as little time for the Man chester School as he had for Marxism, and he was more than sceptical of the method of Marxist social analysis. His great interest was the betterment of the living conditions of the little man which he envisaged as his role in government by way of promoting faith and justice. This he will be remembered for by all who knew him.
There are numerous other things that could be said about him but there is one last remark that cannot be omitted. The Society in Hong Kong has traditionally set great store by hospitality, and during the years that he was Minister in three different communities Paddy always went out of his way to make guests feel welcome and at home. Not only that, but whenever he had the time he would take visitors on a sight-seeing tour of the territory by car and enjoy the outing as much as his guests. May the good Lord give him eternal rest.
JJK

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 35 : Christmas 1984

Letter : Harold Naylor

Dear Editor,

When the sudden death of Fr. Patrick McGovern was announced on the morning of Sunday the 30th of September, two visiting Jesuits (from Manila and London) showed uneasiness, when they heard he had been a legislative councillor. No doubt they were thinking of the case of Ferdinand Cardenale in Nicaragua, and other cases of Jesuits being asked to step down from politics. I would like to give my opinion on the matter.

The spokesman of the Hong Kong Diocese, Fr. Michael Yeung, was quoted in the press as saying that Fr. McGovern “had been dedicated to social service throughout his life. There had never been an imbalance between his social service and his missionary work”. The Bishop was pleased with this work, as was the Provincial and the other Jesuits in Hong Kong. At his funeral, there were forty Jesuits priests, together with a great number of other priests: Italian PIME, American Maryknollers, French MEP, Salesians, Vincentians, Franciscans and Chinese Diocesans.

Fr. Liam Egan presided at the Requiem Mass, Fr. Einaudi (Vicar General) at the Last Absolution, and Archbishop Tang, S.J. at the Last Blessing at the graveside. All felt that the Church had lost a strong voice in civic matters and a powerful force in social and educational work. Some of his peers were at the funeral - people with whom he had worked for years in the legislative chamber and the back room. They included the Chief of Police and the heads of the Education, Legal Affairs and Economic Services Departments, as well as other civic leaders from the manufacturing, banking, legal and other professions.

John Swaine, an unofficial councillor, said: “He was able to inject a sense of conscience into our discussions, so that we looked beyond the mere text of policies and legislature to the human realities underneath”. That could sum up the thrust of his life: the use of his verbal skills to put the case of the common man before the executive and legislative branches of the administration.

Social issues and labour were his field. Since he was appointed to the Legislative Council in 1978, by the then Governor, Sir Murray MacLehose, he had systematically brought in labour legislature. “Paid Holidays” were first introduced through him, then rules on working conditions and compensation benefits. He was largely responsible for defeating the government's move to shelve the Llewelynn Report on fundamental education reform, and made history in 1983 by being the first “unofficial” to reverse a government decision.

He scored his first major success in settling the threatened strike of prison warders in 1975, much to the delight of the warders. After the riots of '76, he set up his Industrial Relations Institute (IRI) and actually died the day after being present at the opening of its new premises. He had served on the Government Salaries Revision Commission and on innumerable commissions against corruption, narcotics and many other issues of daily life in Hong Kong. His last contribution was the inclusion in the Sino-British Agreement (Sept. 1984) of the freedom of association of workers and of their right to strike.

How did all this happen? Well, it could be traced back to Fr. T.F. Ryan, who, when Superior of the Mission in 1948, decided that Paddy, who had been studying Cantonese in Canton till then, should not teach in the Colleges, but rather go to the USA to study the Labour Movement and social questions. He did so in 1949 and then went to Milltown for Theology. Returned as a priest in 1955, he taught English, History and Religious Knowledge in Wah Yan Hong Kong for two years, before going to Malaysia for two years. It was there that he felt the realisation of the ideals of his priesthood. Part-time Armed Forces Chaplain, he was always saying Mass for young adults, instructing young men in the Faith and helping to build the church in Petaling Jaya. He returned to Hong Kong to be Spiritual Father to the boys in Wah Yan until he became Director of the Caritas Social Service Centre in Kennedy Town in 1965. He stayed there until he founded the Industrial Relations Institute.

He had the distinction of being taken off the air" by the Governor, David Trench, who took offence at his provocative social comments on radio in 1965.

An unconventional man, he made history by turning up at the Legislative Council on his Vespa whilst the other councillors arrived in their chauffeur-driven cars. Later he used a small Japanese car. He dressed casually in an open-necked shirt, though he wore clericals on formal occasions.

In June 1984, Fr. Paddy was the only one to speak in Council against the lifting of rent controls: “Speculators are nursing their burnt fingers in kid gloves, but they are a hardy lot and have proved before that they can make a quick recovery at the sight of a possible cure or another quick buck”.

St. Ignatius recommended that we adapt ourselves to “time, place and person”. Hong Kong is a unique place and stands at a crucial moment in its history. It has just lost a brilliant spokesman for the worker and the ordinary person. He died without an enemy, even after eight years of public life. I feel that his death was like that of a singer at the last bar of his song.

Yours etc.,

Harold Naylor, S.J., 56 Waterloo Road, Hong Kong.

McKenna, Dermot, 1929-2020, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/859
  • Person
  • 18 September 1929-21 January 2020

Born: 18 September 1929, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 01 October 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1962, Milltown Park , Dublin
Final Vows: 08 December 1976, John Austin House, Dublin
Died: 21 January 2020, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early Education at O'Connell Schools, Dublin

1949-1952 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1952-1955 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1955-1956 Crescent College SJ, Limerick - Regency : Teacher
1956-1958 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Teacher; Studying CWC Cert in Education
1958-1962 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1962-1963 Rathfarnham - Tertianship
1963-1964 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Chaplain Belvedere Newsboy’s Club
1964-1974 Rathfarnham - Teacher & Chaplain at Bolton St College of Technology, Dublin
1969 Sabbatical
1970 Province Social Survey
1974-2010 John Austin House - Teacher & Chaplain at Bolton Street College of Technology, Dublin
1987 Vice-Superior
1991 Bolton Trust - Development Director & Secretary; Sabbatical
1995 Vice-Superior
1997 Chair of Co-operative Development Society
2010-2014 Gardiner St - Chair of Co-operative Development Society; Vice-President of Bolton Trust; Writer
2014-2020 Milltown Park - Chair of Co-Op Development Society; Vice-President ‘The Bolton Trust’; Writer
2015 Researching Ecology
2018 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/bolton-trust-at-25/
Dermot McKenna, just turning 84, is celebrating the silver jubilee of the Bolton Trust. He traces his interest in cooperatives to Maggie Thatcher. In 1987 Dermot was a chaplain in Bolton Street College of Technology,… and teaching management and industrial psychology to engineers, showing how people can achieve a lot if they organise in small groups.
In the terrible recession of the 1980s (not as bad as the one we are suffering now) he and his colleagues saw their graduates snatched off to jobs in the offshore island by interviewers sent over by English companies.
“After all our labours, off they went to work for Maggie Thatcher. A group of us used to meet over lunch, and eventually came up with the idea of setting up a kind of co-op, a company limited by guarantee. 25 years ago we formed the Bolton Trust which started in Bolton Street and spread to the other DIT colleges. Its mission is to foster entrepreneurship and grow sustainable indigenous enterprises. A lot of teachers joined in, salaried by the DIT but giving their services freely to the Trust. A key figure in the development was Rea O’Neill, who has put enormous work into it and is highly regarded in all the colleges.
“The ESB gave us an old hotel down on the docks where we could bring in people and they could set up their own companies. At first we used that as our centre – about 20,000 square feet, which was rather small. In 1999 the Bolton Trust took over the East Wall Enterprise Centre from the IDA, renamed it the Docklands Innovation Park (DIP) and formed a long-term plan to upgrade the extensive facilities and create a hub for enterprise and innovation.”
The DIP is now home to some 40 established companies, and it “incubates” a further 40 start-ups every year. Its tenants employ some 350 people. It is central, connected by road and rail in all directions, with excellent online and phone services in its modern and secure offices. It is well described as a dynamic entrepreneurial environment. In its meeting rooms you sense a buzz of young, technically sophisticated people whose horizon is the globe.
The Bolton Trustees still remember with gratitude the support of Dermot McKenna throughout its life (he is still Vice-President), and the financial help of the Irish Jesuit Province at a time when the DIP was just a bright idea, a sign of hope. It is an example of two of the three dimensions which Fr General seeks in our ministries: the promotion of justice and collaboration with others.

https://www.jesuit.ie/news/dermot-mckenna-sj-animated-by-vatican-ii/

Dermot McKenna SJ: animated by Vatican II
It was Vatican II above all that gave Dermot McKenna SJ, who passed away on 21 January, aged 90, the freedom to live out his Jesuit life fruitfully, according to Gerry O’Hanlon who gave the homily at the requiem Mass on 24 January.
The council brought with it “a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice”. It was all of this that allowed Dermot to “breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God”.
Fired by this new spirit in the Church, Dermot became engaged in technical education, especially in Bolton Street College of Technology. According to Gerry, Dermot threw himself into “direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded”, studying urban sociology and social psychology. Eventually he set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life.
Dermot passed away on 21 January 2020. You can read Gerry O’Hanlon’s homily notes here » Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

https://www.jesuit.ie/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Dermot-McKenna-Homily-notes-GOH.pdf

REQUIEM MASS FOR DERMOT MCKENNA SJ 24 JANUARY 2020
Homily notes by Gerry O’Hanlon SJ
After they had eaten, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.” A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep. When you were young, you used to get ready and go wherever you wanted to: but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands and someone else will tie you up and take you where you don’t want to go’
— John 21: 15-18
You can sense Simon Peter a bit impatient and uneasy as Jesus asks him three times, do you love me? Well, those of you who knew Dermot so well can imagine how blunt he might have been in his reply!
But as we gather to celebrate and give thanks for him, to mourn his passing, I think those words of love and of being young and old say a lot about someone we have all known, will miss so much, and of whom we have our own particular memories.
When you were young: I think first of his time as a young Jesuit, joining in 1947 – not so easy: a pre-Vatican II church that saw the modern world as its enemy, a Society of Jesus that had a tough, of its time, emotionally illiterate formation, a spirituality that focussed on an ascetic reading of the Spiritual Exercises, and a notion of obedience that often bypassed consultation and discernment. The camaraderie that existed among the foot soldiers was often accompanied by an anti-authority hostility and even anger.
And then the climate changed. The Church in the modern World of Vatican II, a retrieval of the mystical, more emotionally charged, and experiential version of Ignatian spirituality, the opening to finding God in all things and an understanding of the faith that does justice
– all this meant that Dermot could breathe in a way that wasn’t so easy beforehand, despite his idealism, his love of God. He found Paddy Doyle in Rathfarnham to be a kindred spirit in the 60s and 70s, and he became engaged in the main apostolate of his life, Bolton Street College of Technology, later to become the Dublin Institute of Technology, now part of a University.
It’s almost as if those changes in title – reflecting a struggle for parity of esteem on behalf of technical education, taken for granted in continental Europe but always somewhat second-class till then in Ireland – mirrored the kind of project Dermot and his colleagues were engaged in. In retrospect it seems to me that he – and they, including Brendan Duddy who is still with us today – were kind of unsung heroes, in first touch with the secularisation and secularism which we take for granted in Ireland today but which then was new, with a group of students who were often viewed as second best by wider society, and, as priests, in a role was really very un-clerical, demanding new responses.
Dermot and his colleagues had different ways of going at this challenge. Some preferred a more traditional, chaplain and pastoral/sacramental role, while others, Dermot among them, preferred a more direct analysis and dialogue around the world of work and all it demanded. Dermot studied in urban sociology, in social psychology, and with apprentices, students of professions, trades and crafts, taught and ran groups which took into account their experience of the world about them and tried to point to the values they might otherwise have missed. Above all, with the help of many staff members, and through his study of the Mondragon Cooperative project in the Basque Country in Spain, he eventually set up the Bolton Trust to help fund and support the cooperative movement in Ireland, his great passion in life – more of this later in the mass.
He was a great walker, hill walker, as well, and he often joined staff and families on walks on weekends. And so, over decades, this often hidden work, took shape: a real option for the poor, with Catholic Social Teaching at its core, but always in the humble guise of service, for believer and unbeliever alike, far from the critique of clericalism and entitlement which Pope Francis sees as such an obstacle to the gospel proclamation in these days.
And so at the banquet at the end – see Isaiah (25: 6-9) – this unsung work, these seeds scattered without apparent much fruit – need to be celebrated and told about.
And his family: his five brothers, Kieran, Padraic, Gearoid and Tome, all of whom are here today, as well as John who is in Canada and whom I got to know through Dermot, with Pat his wife, both of them wonderful people who would love to be with us today – would be part of this celebration, with their wives and children, and their children, as well as his cousin Angela. Dermot was a quiet and thoughtful presence in his family – well, they will admit themselves that it’s sometimes hard to get a word in edgeways when they’re all in full flow! – but he enjoyed the banter and slagging, often spoke about them, was proud of their achievements.

I had an email from John and Pat in Hamilton, Ontario, last night in which they wrote that they are with us in spirit today and that “Dermot was a special person and we all have great memories of him. We saw him in November and said our goodbyes to him then. His caregivers in the nursing home were caring and compassionate and gentle with him”.

  1. When you are older.... like many of us, Dermot found it hard to transition into older age, to leave his beloved NC road for Gardiner Street and then later Milltown and here in Cherryfield. As he said, close enough to his death, how come the birds outside Cherryfield were so happy and free and he was locked into his chair? He knew then, and also earlier in life, through his own insecurities and weaknesses, that he needed God’s mercy, the experience of the First Week of the Spiritual Exercises. He could be grumpy, stubborn, blunt, not mincing his words. One of my last conversations with him, familiar to many of you I’m sure, began with me asking how are you, and he replying, awful! But then, before too long, even with some confusion and fading memory, he was smiling and there was even the old familiar laugh. His traditional faith would have helped him: he did love Jesus, he knew that if God is for us nothing can be against us (Romans, 8: 31-35, 37-39). He knew, with Rahner, that all life is a giving-back to God of what God freely gives to us and that death is the last big gift we give, of our own life, like a little child jumping from a high wall into the arms of his mother or father.
  2. Life is changed, not ended –
    Our great hope of course is the resurrection, based on our faith in Jesus Christ. This is where the sophisticated Athenians walked away from Paul at the Areopagus, the Public Square – this was too much to believe! And yet Paul himself says we are the most foolish of people as Christians if there is no resurrection. There is a natural human longing for life and its continuance. And so we speak of heaven, sometimes in terms of eternal life, sometimes as the beatific vision, and sometimes – as I prefer – beatific life, a changed life, the fullness of life, in communion with God and all those we love. And so Dermot, we hope with a sure hope, has gone before us into this new life, with his virtues celebrated and his weaknesses healed, enjoying a table of good food and wine, getting more than the odd word in!
    Conclusion:
    It was a kind of running joke between Dermot and myself that when we ran into one another (we had first met when he trained the U-16s rugby team of which I was a member in 1964 in Belvedere!) he would greet me with something like, “Do I know you?”, with a twinkle in the eye and the smile and then laugh. And so it requires no great leap of my imagination to see that scene between Jesus and Peter now unfolding between Jesus and Dermot, as Jesus asks “Do I know you” and Dermot smiles, at rest, seeing, sensing the fullness of life that is before him.
    Amen.

Muldoon, Patrick, 1834-1891, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/1781
  • Person
  • 01 March 1834-23 March 1891

Born: 01 March 1834, Ballymahon, County Longford
Entered: 06 June 1858, Sault-au-Rècollet Canada - Franciae Province (FRA)
Final vows: 07 May 1869
Died: 23 March 1891, Holy Cross College, Worcester, MA, USA - Marylandiae Neo-Eboracensis Province (MARNEB)

Mulligan, John M, 1920-1986, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/187
  • Person
  • 18 April 1920-29 May 1986

Born: 18 April 1920, Swinford, County Mayo
Entered: 07 September 1943, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 29 July 1954, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1981
Died: 29 May 1986, Our Lady Queen of Peace, Bray, County Wicklow

Part of Gonzaga College SJ community, Ranelagh, Dublin at time of his death.

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 61st Year No 3 1986
Obituary
Fr John Mary Mulligan (1920-1943-1986)
18th April 1920: born. Lived in Swinford, Co Mayo. Studied for the diocesan priesthood at Clonliffe and Maynooth colleges. 7th September 1943: entered SJ. 1943-45 Emo, noviciate. Bypassed juniorate. 1945-48 Tullabeg, philosophy. 1948-51 Mungret, regency. 1951-56 Milltown, theology. 1956-57 Rathfarnham, tertianship.
1957-69 Gardiner Street: 1957-60 assistant, Jesuit Mission office, also (1958-60) house bursar; 1960-69 assistant to national director, Pioneer TAA.
1969-71 minister of houses: 1969-70 Mungret, 1970-71 Gonzaga.
1971-86 curate in Dublin parishes: 1971-77 Finglas West, 1977-83 Halston Street and Arran Quay, all the while attached to Belvedere; 1983-86 Bray (Queen of Peace), while attached to Gonzaga. 29th May 1986: died.

John Mulligan was 24 when I first met him, in my first year in the noviceship, and his second, We looked on him as very old, not just because of the six-year gap between him and us boys just out of school, but because he had experienced a lot. He could entertain us with stories of his home in Swinford - he always had deep roots in county Mayo - and of his school days in the national school and in Blackrock college, which he loved dearly and spoke of always with affection. More than that, he knew Clonliffe, where he was classmate of many who
were to go into Dublin diocese. He could speak of Maynooth too, which he had left to enter the Jesuits. He seemed to be a man cut out in every way to be a priest. Even though his mother was alive and survived for many years, he was in a sense an alone man. His father had died when John was young and his only sister Kitty died tragically only two years
after our noviceship together. He was a bit like that legendary biblical figure Melchizedeck, who is remembered as a high priest and as a man without ancestors, without family, a man alone.
John did indeed cling closely to his family. He had cousins and relations all over Ireland, and he worked to keep in touch with them. He travelled to Cork and Wexford and Mayo and Dublin and kept all the different relations in touch with all the rest.
Yet there was the lonely priest about him. He had a clear public personality. He presented himself easily, warm, talkative, with a fund of entertaining chat. He had an extraordinary memory for names. He was a people's person. He loved people, wherever he went, in Finglas, Halston street, Bray, all around the country in the earlier years, he met people, placed them in their relations, and was enormously interested in them. He was indeed a man of considerable culture, and a clever man, which you discovered if you played bridge with him - he had a remarkable head for cards.
He was a very sharp chess player. He could finish the Times crossword as fast as anybody I know. He had a great store of literature by heart; loved to recite Macaulay's passage on the Church of Rome which would outlast empires; and the last paragraph of Francis Thompson's life of Ignatius Loyola, with its vision of the soldier saint.
But “culture” did not mean as much to him as people. On one occasion he was on a holiday with friends in Vienna, admiring the masterpieces of European Art in the Staatsmuseum. John made an excuse and slipped away from them, and was found later poring over the London Times in a coffee shop. He had calculated that the only newspaper available in Vienna that would cover the Irish general election - then at the counting stage - would be the Times : so he found a newsagent that sold it, and devoured it to satisfy his hungry curiosity as to who had got the fifth seat in the Laois-Offaly constituency. He loved Ireland, loved its people, even its politicians, loved them as he found them, as they are.
John's easy presence and talk, his public persona, stood him in good stead in the one work as a priest which he did superbly, the most important task in the life of a parish priest, namely visiting the parish. He was faithful to his district, visited everyone systematically, and this is not always easy. You may arrive in the middle of a good television programme, or in the middle of a fight between children of parents; you may be rebuffed or made unwelcome. But John persisted as the presence of the Christian community, of the Church, in going from house to house, and letting people know that he was interested in them.
As we think about the public person of John, we must ask how did he keep it up? There was another side to him. He had few and simple pleasures: reading the paper, doing the crossword, talking to friends. A few years ago he gave up two of the pleasures which meant a good deal to him, smoking and alcohol. Again one wonders about the private life that lay behind such a renunciation. It was a life hidden in God. Again you wonder how he was so contented in himself, happy with the second place. He was Assistant throughout his life: assistant to the director of foreign missions, assistant to the director of the Pioneers, assistant to this or that superior, assistant in parishes - at 66 he was still a curate. Yet one never felt an ambition in him, or a resentment at not having the top job. There was an unworldliness about John. It wasn't that he didn't see worldliness: he could be very funny about people who were too attached to money, whether clergy or laity. But he didn't rant against them, and himself he was open-handed and generous.
He had in the last months quite a sense of his final call. A couple of weeks before the end, in Lourdes, when he was wheeling an invalid around, he felt a stabbing pain and had to stop. He was found to have had a coronary attack; but he carried on, and did not talk about it when he returned to Ireland. One Saturday, in a house with friends, invited to play a boisterous game with children, he said: 'I can't anymore. My hands feel like sacks of potatoes.' A few days later in the sacristy he felt another warning pain, and before he went to bed he got in his car and drove into Gonzaga to talk - to say goodbye? - to his community. Then he went to bed and died peacefully in his sleep, as he would have wanted. He always said that in his family he couldn't expect to live to seventy. May he continue to remember us to God, as we remember him.
Paul Andrews

Murphy, Conal K, 1902-1979, Jesuit priest and chaplain

  • IE IJA J/230
  • Person
  • 08 January 1902-14 January 1979

Born: 08 January 1902, Kilmainham, Dublin
Entered: 07 March 1929, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 31 July 1939, Milltown Park, Dublin
Professed: 07 February 1942
Died: 14 January 1979, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

Chaplain in the Second World War.

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - National Teacher before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 4 1941

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

Irish Province News 17th Year No 1 1942

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

Irish Province News 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 54th Year No 2 1979

Obituary :

Fr Conal Kieran Murphy (1902-1979)

Born on January 8, 1902 Conal entered the Society on March 9, 1929 and was ordained priest on July 31, 1939.Final vows 7 February, 1942. He died on the 14th of January 1979.
He was educated at CBS Synge St and at St Mary’s College, Rathmines; trained as a Primary Teacher at St Patrick’s College, Drumcondra and taught in St Peter’s National School, Phibsboro. After noviceship he completed his BA degree in 1932, did philosophy in Tullabeg, one years regency in Clongowes, theology in Milltown Park and Tertianship in Rathfarnham Castle.
After Tertianship he served as chaplain to the British Forces in England, Scotland, Algeria, Tunisia, Sicily, Italy, Syria, Egypt and finally Austria. After demobilization he taught in Crescent College Limerick 1946-51 then to Milltown Park where he was Director of the short-lived juriorate for Brother postulants and also Director of Missions and Retreats from 1951-67.
In 1967 he came to Manresa House as Adj Dir Exc Spir and Praef Spir NN.
That is the bare record. But what of the man? Conal K (he always used the “K” and liked to use it) was a friendly, quiet and most companionable man who loved a bit of gossip, especially if it had a political or educational flavour. He was interested in sketching and could pass a summer afternoon trying to get on paper his vision of the West Cork scenery. he was a vigorous walker but a problem for his companion; as his Master of Novices said, “he careens, dear and good brother” with the result that the companion found himself being forced into the ditch or on to the roadway.
Fidelity, loyalty, conscientiousness, honour are the words that spontaneously come to mind when thinking of Conal; superiors realised that he was literally “paratus ad omnia”; there was no demand on his time or services but would be met willingly and cheerfully. He was a voracious but selective reader and probably one of the best read men in the province in modern theology, dogmatic and moral. His great difficulty was in expressing what he knew and we lovingly recall his “what-you-may-call-it”: a phrase which took the place of nouns, common and proper, or verbs, adverbs, adjectives and indeed of most parts of speech. Unwary listeners sometimes found themselves utterly confused. However when he wrote out his thoughts he could and did write quite exceptional sermons and conferences. If he read the text, well and good.
Can I add much to the above jejune biography? Not very much, I fear, for Conal did not easily talk about himself, least of all about his war-time experiences. He had to be trapped into recalling even trivial reminiscences.
We who entered in September 1929 found him already there, our senior in the Society by some five to six months; our senior in age by some eight or nine years. He was helped somewhat in bridging the generation gap by the presence in the noviceship of another senior citizen, Fr Liam McElligott. Conal was our Beadle during the Long Retreat communicating by quite illegible notes which he either showed or handed to you. His years did not prevent him taking part, a rather ungainly part, in our football and drill. One of his rare disclosures about himself took place, I recall, when we were novices together. He admitted that at the fateful election of 1922, when he was in teacher training, he voted SEVERAL times AGAINST the Treaty.
Whatever were his political opinions in 1922, after 1942 he was a totally establishment man and British establishment at that. I think, however, that this was an expression of his sincere loyalty to his war time comrades rather than any political bias. Memories of his visits home on leave as chaplain are of the ceremony of opening a bottle of Jameson so that it could appear as for personal use to the Customs Officials, though its real destination was the officers mess. He had it in for the Arabs who stole his Mass kit; that was a sore memory.
Conal was invited to preach on Remembrance Day at the service in St Patrick’s Cathedral, an invitation which it gave him great joy to accept. In his sermon he made some references to the Christian ideals which inspired so many of his old comrades in the war. Subsequently, he heard with great satisfaction, I’m sure, that the Soviet Ambassador had formally complained about such references.
His loyalty to friends, in the Society, in the army and the many who met him in his retreat work especially members of the Diocesan clergy, the members of the Praesidium of the Legion of Mary to which he was devoted, the members of the Victualers section of St Joseph’s Young Priests Society was met with an answering affection and devotion. They will miss him. So too will his only sister Ursula to whom he was a most devoted brother. So, too, his brethren, young and old, in Manresa, did and do miss him.
May he be in the glory of his Lord to whom he gave loyal and dedicated service, and, one day, may we all be merry with him in Heaven.

Naughton, John, 1835-1911, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/301
  • Person
  • 15 January 1835-09 June 1911

Born: 15 January 1835, County Limerick
Entered: 16 April 1864, Milltown Park, Dublin
Ordained: - pre Entry
Professed: 15 August 1876
Died: 09 June 1911, Ms Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, Dublin

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

◆ HIB Menologies SJ :
He entered as a Priest, having been in the Limerick Diocese, and having been lent to All Hallows as professor of the Aspirants to various Foreign Missions.
He was a Novice under Luigi Sturzo at Milltown.

1866-1867 After First Vows he was sent to Louvain for further studies - Ad Grad.
1867-1871 He was sent to Galway as a Teacher of Rudiments and Mathematics, and also prefect of the Church. He was also Director of the Sacred Heart Confraternity and Operarius. For his last two years here he also was involved in the Missionary Band.
1871-1888 He was sent to Gardiner St as Operarius
1888-1890 He was sent to Milltown to direct Retreats and Missions.
1890-1894 He was sent back to Gardiner St as Operarius and Missions.
1894-1896 He was again sent to Milltown as part of the Missions group.
1896 He finally returned to Gardiner St again, and was President of the BVM Sodality for girls, being succeeded by William Butler and Martin Maher in this role. He remained in Gardiner St until his death 09/06/1911.
He was for many years one of the best Preachers at Gardiner St, and also a favourite Catechist on the Missions. Professional men especially liked his sermons, they were so well thought out, persuasive and elegant in expression, and full of quiet humour and funny stories. He was shy and retiring in style, very quiet, gentle and kind, fond of children, fishing and the sea.
For the last year of his life he was in failing health, and about 10 days before death he was moved to Miss Quinn’s Hospital, Mountjoy Square, where he died peacefully. Fathers Matthew Russell and Timothy O’Keeffe were with him at the time.

Note from John Bannon Entry :
On the evening of his death the Telegraph published an article on him headed “A Famous Irish Jesuit - Chaplain in American War” :
“The Community of the Jesuit Fathers in Gardiner St have lost within a comparatively short time some of their best known and most distinguished members. They had to deplore the deaths of Nicholas Walsh, John Naughton, John Hughes and Matthew Russell, four men of great eminence and distinction, each in his own sphere, who added lustre to their Order, and whose services to the Church and their country in their varied lines of apostolic activity cannot son be forgotten. And now another name as illustrious is added to the list. The Rev John Bannon....

Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid, 1915-2001, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/639
  • Person
  • 01 August 1915-21 July 2001

Born: 01 August 1915, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1948, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1951, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 21 July 2001, St Vincent’s Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1944 at St Mary’s College, Aberystwyth, Wales (ANG) studying
Editor of An Timire, 1971-1997.

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid
by Brian Mac Cuarta

Ó Laoghaire, Diarmuid (1915–2001), writer and lecturer on Celtic spirituality, and Irish-language enthusiast, was born 1 August 1915 in Dublin, one of three children of Michael O'Leary from Doneraile, Co. Cork, and Mary O'Leary (née Flood), from Co. Meath; his father was manager of McBirney's department store on Aston Quay, Dublin. Brought up in Glasnevin and educated at Holy Faith convent school and Belvedere College (where he acquired a lifelong interest in cricket), he joined the Jesuits on leaving school in 1933.

Under the influence of his Irish teacher at Belvedere, the layman Tadhg Ó Murchadha, Diarmuid's interest in the language developed. He took Celtic studies at UCD, gaining an MA (1939) for a thesis on ‘Eochair-sgiath an Aifrinn’, a text on the mass by the seventeenth-century priest Geoffrey Keating (qv). He was awarded the NUI travelling studentship in Celtic studies. Because of the war, the British Museum manuscripts had been moved to Aberystwyth, Wales; at the suggestion of Robin Flower (qv), it was there that Ó Laoghaire pursued further research. Ordained in 1948, in the 1950s he was responsible for the Jesuit students in Rathfarnham Castle, while engaged in research, writing, and work with the Irish-language community. Prefect of studies at Belvedere (1960–62), he taught Irish at Gonzaga (1962–77), and thereafter was a member of the Jesuit community, Milltown Park. He was awarded an NUI Ph.D. from UCD in 1967 for a thesis on the lives of the saints, in Irish, in the medieval period. This research led to scholarly publications in Celtica, xxi (1990), 487–522, and a critical edition of ‘The Liber Flavus Fergusiorum infancy narrative’ (M. McNamara et al., Apocrypha Hiberniae (Turnhout, 2001), 142–245).

As well as speaking immaculate Irish, and fluent in French and Breton, he was well known throughout Wales, for he talked regularly on Welsh radio, and appeared on Welsh television. He translated a collection of short stories from the best modern Welsh authors into Irish (Glór ár nGaolta: Rogha scéalta na linne seo ón mBreatnais (1992)). For his abilities in Welsh he was made a member of the Gorsedd of bards in the Eisteddfod, the Welsh cultural festival; he preached in Welsh on occasions. His wide knowledge both of the spiritual texts and of the history and contemporary situation of the Celtic languages made him a respected authority on the Christian heritage of the Celtic world. On this topic he lectured in Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Dublin, and elsewhere. His Milltown Institute colleagues honoured him with a Festschrift (Mac Conmara agus Ní Thiarnaigh (eag.), Cothú an Dúchais (1997)), which included contributions from scholars in Wales, France, and Ireland. His academic, linguistic, and cultural interests were deeply integrated into his personal faith and his sense of mission as member of an apostolic order.

He was dedicated to exploring and fostering the link between Christian faith and Gaelic culture. Along with his more strictly scholarly interests, he devoted much time and energy to supporting and enriching the faith of the Irish-speaking community. This project was greatly energised by the change from Latin to the vernacular in the liturgy of the catholic church after the second Vatican council (1962–5). He rendered long and faithful service to a wide variety of groups, including Cumann na Sagart, Conradh na Gaeilge, An tOireachtas, Pobal an Aifrinn, An Chuallacht, Scoil Ghaelach Bhrí Chualann, and especially An Réalt, the Irish-language section of the Legion of Mary. In recognition of his services to Irish-language groups he was awarded Gradam an Phiarsaigh (the Pearse award) in 1992.

As editor of FÁS (Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta, publisher of religious material in Irish), and through translations and other writings, Ó Laoghaire was one of those who ensured that a relatively varied spiritual and liturgical literature is available in Irish. Long a contributor, he was editor of An Timire (1972–97), the Irish-language devotional magazine founded by the Jesuits in 1911. A major contribution to the study of popular spirituality was his collection of prayers from the Gaelic oral tradition of Ireland and Scotland, Ár bPaidreacha Dúchais (1975), a book which has run into four editions. He died 21 July 2001 in Dublin. A catalogued bibliography of his books and pamphlets is in Milltown Park Library, Dublin.

R. Ó Glaisne, ‘Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire’, M. Mac Conmara agus E. Ní Thiarnaigh (eag.), Cothú an Dúchais (1997), 11–51

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 51st Year No 4 1976

Gonzaga
Many will have seen on the front page of the Universe (August 13th) the large photo of Fr D Ó Laoghaire swathed in the green robes of a Welsh Bard: he had recently been honoured by initiation into the Gorsedd of Bards during the National Eisteddfod of Wales at Cardigan, which he was also at tending as official delegate of the Oireachtas. An article by Nodlaig McCarthy in The Irish Times (August 24th) describes the event and expresses surprise that while “the fact that the honour was given in the 800th anniversary year to an Irish Catholic (sic) Jesuit aroused considerable media interest on the other side ... the only picture to appear in an Irish daily paper after the event was one of the Welsh rugby player, Gareth Edwards, who was also honoured on this occasion”. Fr Ó Laoghaire set off on August 28th to attend the Oireachtas Festival at Cois Fharraige, Connemara.

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 112 : Special Edition 2002

Obituary

Fr Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire (1915-2001)

1st Aug. 1915: Born in Dublin
Early education in Holy Faith, Glasnevin, and Belvedere College.
7th Sept. 1933: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1935: First Vows at Emo
1935 - 1939: Rathfarnham - Arts (Celtic Studies) at UCD
1939 - 1942: Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1942 - 1945: Alberystwyth - Doctorate in Celtic Studies (Ph.D. UCD 1967)
1945 - 1949: Milltown Park - Studying Theology
28th July 1948: Ordained at Milltown Park
1949 - 1950: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1950 - 1960: Rathfarnham Castle - Minister of Juniors.
2nd Feb. 1951: Final Vows at Milltown Park
1960 - 1962: Belvedere College - Prefect of Studies.
1962 - 1977: Gonzaga College - Teacher; Writer; studying Celtic Literature and Spirituality
1977 - 2001: Milltown Park - Visiting Lecturer at Institute; Editor An Timire; Studying Celtic Literature and Spirituality
1997 - 2001: Cherryfield Lodge - Studying Celtic Literature & Spirituality; Praying for Church and the Society
21st July 2001: Died in St. Vincent's Private Hospital, Dublin.

In 1997, Fr. Diarmuid's mobility was decreasing, and, as he needed assistance to walk, he took up residence in Cherryfield, where, even though wheelchair-bound, he was able to continue his many works dealing with Celtic literature and Spirituality. For as long as possible, he went to Milltown weekly for lunch. He passed away peacefully as he approached his 86th birthday.

Stephen Redmund writes....
I first got to know Diarmuid when I went to Milltown for Theology in 1947, in our “pilgrimage” to seven altars of repose on Holy Thursday in the pre-liturgical reform tradition, and as a guest at his first (or second?) Mass in the Holy Faith Convent in Finglas, and at the reception in his uncle's rambling “period house” nearby.

Many years later, we met again in Gonzaga, where he gently and devotedly represented an cultúr Gaelach (something far more than grammar and a few texts) to the boys. And, to their bafflement and delight, he revealed himself as a star batsman in “the English game”. I suspect that he counted the runs as Gaeilge.

Behind the gentleness and civility there was a passion for an Gaeleachas; he saw it as, in large measure, a vehicle, an expression of the faith. I think that, while he may have had reservations about the post-Vatican 2 liturgy, he was happy that it allowed him to celebrate Mass in the language of Ó Rathaille, Ó Clery, Keating, Ó Donnell, and Ó Brolcháin. He lived just long enough to see some resurgence of Gaeleachas in the religious celebrations for the millennium.

In 1966, Nelson's Pillar was very professionally and 'neatly' blown up. It was thought that Breton nationalists were involved. The Gonzaga community enjoyably indulged the rumour that Diarmuid knew them, or knew of them, from his pan-Celtic interests. Was it possible that our quiet scholar had such revolutionary contacts? For a while we looked at him as, I imagine, English Jesuits looked at Henry Garnet at the time of the Gunpowder Plot.

In 1968, I provided a mild sensation myself, by getting a song with an Irish lyric (Gleann na Smól) as far as the final of the National Song Contest. I like to think that Diarmuid was pleased that such a song came from a confrere of his. Did I show the text to him? My memory stickers. I do recall bringing him subsequent efforts produced with much page-flipping of Dinneen's Dictionary, since my Irish was not that good. He would shake his head sadly over this word or that ("Sorry, obsolete since the 17th century!"), or unpedantically concede me poetic licence.

He had a great sense of humour, at times directed against himself. For instance, the story about his visit to the doctor prior to his joining the Society, when the doctor asked him euphemistically had he passed water recently, and he replied that he had just passed over the canal. No great lover of British influence in Ireland, he must have enjoyed the irony of being a one-night guest of his Britannic Majesty's police in an Oxford air-raid shelter during the war, when he couldn't get into Campion Hall.

His most influential publication was his remarkable anthology, Ár bPaidreacha Dúchais. His introduction to this is a striking testimony to his Gaeleachas-articulated faith; one might call it a spiritual testament. When I asked his permission regarding publication by Veritas of my translations of fifty Dúchas prayers (Prayers of Two Peoples), he was graciousness itself. My last conversation with him was on the phone in connection with my hope that Veritas would publish sixty more of the prayers in translation. If they do, the book will be dedicated i gcuimhne dil chara agus sár-saoi an Ghaelachais.

Let me conclude by quoting one of his past pupils, Simon White, in a letter of condolence to Paul Andrews:

“My grasp of Irish was not good. I was aware of his efforts to help me....I never remember him being cross with me and he always displayed kindness....I count myself very privileged to have been able to share, as an altar boy, many early morning Masses alone with him. This was very special. He was one of nature's purest gentlemen. He had such a kind smiling way about him. Finding you were on the roster to serve his Mass guaranteed you a happy week.

He spoke Irish to all the other boys who could banter with him, and they enjoyed it...I was eternally grateful that he always spoke to me in English and made me feel at ease. His humour was, like himself, gentle and as sharp as steel....basically he was a lovely, lovely, man...I have never been able to satisfactorily unravel the meaning of the expression, Go neirí an bóthar leat. But I think it is a fond farewell one can wish him with confidence - that the road leads somewhere very special”.

-oOo-

Brian Mac Cuarta wrote in An Timire.... : Translation by Brian Grogan

Diarmuid O Laoghaire SJ died on July 21. He was a writer and lecturer on Irish spirituality, and active in the world of Irish for almost seventy years. Born in Dublin, he received his primary education in the Holy Faith School in Glasnevin and then in Scoil Phadraig, Drumcondra. He admits that he had no interest in or respect for Irish before his sixth year in Belvedere. He had an abiding memory of a moment in fifth class in Scoil Phadraig, when his teacher, Mr O Sithigh, son of the renowned footballer John Joe Sheehy, tired of young Diarmuid’s indifference, said jokingly, “O'Leary, you'll be the Professor of Irish in Trinity College some day if you're not careful!”

Everything changed when he met with a Belvedere teacher named Tadhg Ó Murchadha, who awoke in his heart a love for Irish language and culture which lasted till the day he died. Influenced by his teacher he founded a Cumann Gaelach in Belvedere. He entered the Jesuits in 1933 and was awarded an MA in Celtic Studies in UCD in 1939. His thesis emerged from a text on the Mass by Séathrún Céitinn (c1580-c1644), and won him an NUI Travelling Scholarship. Because of the Second World War the British Museum’s Celtic manuscripts were moved to the University of Wales in Aberystwyth, and on the advice of Robin Flower Diarmuid went there to study the lives of medieval saints written in Irish. He won his PhD in UCD in 1967. Many were his scholarly writings, and Celtic scholars from far and near knew and appreciated him.

He always said that Fr Donnchadh Ó Floinn influenced his thought deeply. Fr Donnchadh gave priority to faith over language but acknowledged the depth of faith in the minds of Irish speakers. This insight encouraged Diarmuid and gave focus to his life and work.

Diarmuid was one of a very few who were proficient in Irish, Welsh and Breton. He regularly attended the Welsh Eisteddfodd (Assembly), and was honored with the award of Draoi (Druid). He was interviewed often on Welsh TV. He lectured on Irish spirituality in Milltown Institute in Dublin and was Editor of An Timire from 1977-1998, and of FÁS - Foilseacháin Ábhar Spioradálta: in this post he edited many spiritual books. He gathered many popular prayers into Ar bPaidreacha Dúchais, which went into four editions. The devotion of our ancestors to the Mass is revealed in his pamphlet Our Mass Our Life.

Diarmuid was a member of the group who helped to advance Irish liturgy after the Second Vatican Council (1965). He played an active part in the life of Irish speakers as a member of organizations which included Cumann na Sagart, Conradh na Gaeilge, An Réalt, Cuallacht Mhuire, Pobal an Aifrinn. He regularly served on the Oireachtas, on the Irish-speaking pilgrimage to Knock, and on other Gaelic events. In his latter years he used go on vacation to Gort a'Choirce, in Donegal.

In1997 when he could no longer walk without help, he had to go to Cherryfield Lodge, where he continued to work until his sight failed him. It was heart-breaking for a man so at home in books to be able to read no longer, but he bore this loss gracefully and patiently. In his final year he tried to write a small prayer: It was illegible, but illustrates how he was thinking: ‘The prayer of a good Christian on their death-bed’.

-oOo-

Brian also wrote for the Irish Times of August 8th, 2001....

Writer and lecturer on Celtic spirituality and Irish language enthusiast, Father Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire died on July 21s aged 85. Born in Dublin on August 15, 1915, he was one of three children of Michael O'Leary, from Doneraile, Co. Cork, and his wife Mary (née Flood), from Co. Meath; his father was manager of McBimney's department store in Dublin, Brought up in Glasnevin, he was educated at Holy Faith Convent School and Belvedere Coilege, where he played cricket and acquired a life-long interest in the game.

Under the influence of his Irish teacher at Belvedere, Tadhg Ó Murchadha, his interest in the language developed. He took Celtic Studies at UCD, gaining an MA in 1939 for his thesis on a religious text by the 17th century author, Geoffery Keating, research which has been incorporated into the standard biography of Keating. He was awarded the NUI Travelling Studentship in Celtic Studies and subsequently pursued further research at Aberystwyth, where the British Library manuscripts had been moved because of the war.

He joined the Jesuits in 1933 and was ordained in 1948. During the 1950s he was responsible for the Jesuit students in Rathfarnham Castle, while still engaged in research, writing, and work with the Irish-language community. He was prefect of studies at Belvedere from 1960-62, and taught Irish at Gonzaga from 1962-77. Thereafter he was a member of the Jesuit community, Milltown Park. He was awarded a PhD from UCD in 1967 for a thesis in Irish on the lives of the saints in the medieval period, a topic which exposed him to the Irish contribution to Christianity in Europe at that time.

As well as speaking Irish, he was fluent in French and Breton, and was well known throughout Wales, where he talked regularly on radio, and appeared on television. He also preached in Welsh on occasions. He translated a collection of short stories from some of the best modern Welsh authors into Irish. For his contributions in Welsh he was made a member of Gorsedd, or bard, in the Eisteddfod, an honour which is bestowed on merit. As a lecturer both in Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology, Dublin, and in many other settings, he shared his gifts with others. His Milltown Institute colleagues honoured him with a Festschrift, Cothú an Dúchais (1997), which included contributions from scholars in Wales, France and Ireland.

A gentle, gracious and convivial man, Father Ó Laoghaire preferred to speak in Irish, but changed without demur to English as the company required. He could be droll, enjoying a story told against himself, together with his friend and confrère Father Séamus MacAmhlaoibh he used travel the country to Irish-language gatherings. He was dedicated to exploring and fostering the link between religious faith and Gaelic culture. Along with his more strictly scholarly interests, he devoted much time and energy to supporting and enriching the faith of the Irish-speaking community. This project was greatly energised by the change from Latin to the vernacular in the liturgy of the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council (1962-65).

He gave long service to a wide variety of groups, including Cumann na Sagart, Conradh na Gaeilge, An tOireachtas , Pobal an Aifrinn, An Chuallacht, Scoil Ghaelach Bhrí Chualann, and especially An Réalt, the Irish-language section of the Legion of Mary. In recognition of his services to Irish language groups he was awarded Gradam an Phiarsaigh in 1992. As editor of Foilseacháin Ábhair Spioradálta and through translations and other writings, he was one of those who ensured that a relatively varied spiritual and liturgical literature of Catholic provenance is available in Irish.

Long time a contributor to An Timire (the Irish-language devotional magazine founded by the Jesuits in 1911), he was also editor from 1972-1997. His collection of prayers from the Gaelic oral tradition of Ireland and Scotland, Ár bPaidreacha Dúchais (1975), was a major contribution to the study of popular spirituality. The book has run into four editions. His last scholarly publication, a critical edition of an apocryphal life of Mary from an Irish 15th century text, will be published in Belgium in the Corpus Christianorum series.

O'Holohan, John, 1923-2018, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/824
  • Person
  • 31 March 1923-19 April 2018

Born: 31 March 1923, Drumcondra, Dublin
Entered: 06 September 1941, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 28 July 1955, Milltown Park , Dublin
Final Vows: 02 February 1959, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 19 April 2018, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Brother of Colm O’Holohan - RIP 1998

by 1958 at Gandia, Valencia, Spain (TARR) making Tertianship
by 1994 at Orlando FL, USA (NOR) working
by 2001 at Simpsonville SC, USA (NOR) working
by 2004 at Lancaster SC, USA (NOR) working

Early education at Loreto Convent Bray, CBS St. Canice's NCR; Belvedere College SJ

1943-1946 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1946-1949 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1949-1952 Belvedere College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying H Dip in Education at UCD (49-50)
1952-1956 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1956-1957 St Mary’s, Emo - Assistant Socius; Bursar; Teacher; Confessor;
1957-1958 Gandia, Valencia, Spain - Tertianship in Palacio del Santo Duque
1958-1960 Mungret College SJ - Teacher
1960-1965 Belvedere College SJ - Teacher; Directs Conf VdP; Editor of “Belvederian”
1965-1966 Chivuna Mission, Zambia - Studying CiTonga
1966-1978 Chisekesi, Zambia - Teacher ; Spiritual Father; St John Berchmans Sodality; Editor “Canisian” at Canisius College, Chikuni
1969 Transcribed to Zambia Province [ZAM] (03/12/1969)
1978-1981 Mazabuka, Zambia - Teacher and Spiritual Father at St Edmund’s Secondary School
1981-1982 Sabbatical
1982-1986 Zomba, Malawi - Acting Rector; Professor of Moral Theology; Directs Pastoral Ministry at St Peter’s Major Seminary
1986-1987 Luwisha House, Lusaka, Zambia - Teacher at Juniorate; Writer, Director National Apostleship of Prayer, Edits Newsletter
1987-1988 Spokane, WA, USA - Pastor at The Ministry Institute
1988-1992 DeLand, FL, USA - Assistant Pastor at St Peter's Catholic Church
1992-2000 Orlando, FL, USA - Assistant Pastor at Holy Family Catholic Church
1992 Transcribed to Irish Province [HIB] (24/11/1992)
2000-2003 Simpsonville, SC, USA - Associate Pastor at St Mary Magdalene Catholic Church
2003-2009 Lancaster, SC, USA - Pastor at St Catherine Catholic Church
2007 Pastor at St Joseph Parish, Chester, SC; Pastor at St Michael’s, Great Falls, SC
2009-2018 Gardiner St - Writer; Chaplain St Monica’s; Locum in Mater Hospital; People’s Church in Clongowes
2014 Prays for the Church and the Society at Cherryfield Lodge

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/remembering-john-oholohan-sj/

Remembering John O’Holohan SJ
Fr John O’Holohan SJ died peacefully at Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin on 19 April 2018 aged 95 years. Prayers were said at Cherryfield Lodge on 22 April, and his funeral Mass took place at Milltown Park Chapel on 23 April, followed by burial at Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin.
Born in 1923, John grew up in Drumcondra, Dublin and was educated at Belvedere College SJ in Dublin City. He entered the Jesuit novitiate at St Mary’s, Emo, County Laois in 1941. He studied arts at UCD and philosophy at Tullabeg, County Offaly. He did his regency as a teacher in Belvedere while also studying for the Higher Diploma in Education at UCD. He was ordained in 1955 after further studies in theology at Milltown Park, Dublin. John continued to teach in Jesuit schools in Ireland and did his tertianship in Spain.
In 1965, John went to the missions in Zambia. There, he learned the Chitonga language, taught in schools, and ministered as Spiritual Father among other roles. He was transcribed to the Zambia Province in 1969. He continued to mission in Zambia except for a period as a key formator in St Peter’s Major Seminary in Malawi from 1982-1986. He was the national director of the Apostleship of Prayer in Zambia from 1986- 1987.
In his later years, John worked in pastoral ministry in the United States from 1987-2009. First in Washington state as pastor, then in Florida as assistant pastor, and later as associate pastor and pastor in South Carolina. In the meantime, he was transcribed to the Irish Province again. He returned to Ireland as a member of the Gardiner Street Community in Dublin where he was a writer among other positions. Notably, John celebrated his 90th birthday in 2013, and he finished the day by watching reports of the election of Pope Francis.
He moved to Cherryfield Lodge nursing home in 2014 where his family visited him very often, and he was most appreciative of the care he received there. John died peacefully on the evening of 19 April in the loving care of the staff at Cherryfield. He is deeply regretted by his sisters Dympna Cunningham and Nesta Tuomey, his brother-in-law Larry, his nephews, nieces and extended family, his Jesuit Community and by many friends in the United States.
Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

The Early Years – in appreciation of my brother John Terry O’Holohan SJ by Nesta Tuomey
As I often told you your influence on me when I was growing up gave me my strong faith in Jesus Christ and your loving chats about God and the saints so interesting and inspiring, they led me to know and want to love Him from an early age. When you took my sister and myself on walks in the Botanic Garden I particularly remember your stories about Wopsy, the little angel, who was always getting into trouble but when he saw the error of his ways he was penitent and tried to do better. He was the role model for me when I was as young as five or six and I loved hearing about him and all the adventures he had. When you were appointed to Belvedere College you would often bring the boys’ essays home with you and allow us to read them, even, at times, to allot marks in order of excellence. All very exciting and heady stuff for ones as young as we were then. Of course, you would put your own marks on the actual copies but it taught us literary appreciation and perception. I remember being intrigued by the letters A.M.D.G. written at the top of each copybook page. When I asked, you explained what the letters stood for – Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam which was the Latin motto for the Society of Jesus founded by St. Ignatius of Loyola and meant ‘To the greater glory of God’. We enthusiastically imitated the Belvedere boys and put A.M.D.G. at the top of our exercise copies until the Sacred Heart nuns at our school in Leeson Street gently bid us to desist.
Undoubtedly, you passed on to us your own fervour and love of St. Ignatius and when you were ordained you chose to spend your Tertianship at Valencia in Spain, despite the rigorous regime this would entail. When you returned to Ireland after a year away, you could speak Spanish and loved to tell us of St. Ignatius and how he came from a very wealthy family and what a proud aristocratic man he was. How when his leg was severely injured by a cannon ball at the Battle of Pamplona he courageously endured the agony of having it broken again and set without benefit of anaesthetic, rather than endure the mortification of walking for the rest of his life with a limp. During his long convalescence, as his leg slowly healed, he underwent a religious conversion. The only books available to him were the lives of the saints but, before long, he found them very much to his taste, and was inspired by the courage and sacrifice of the men and women who showed their burning love in their unconditional service of God. Giving up his great wealth, he resolved to live a life of poverty and sacrifice, doing everything to the greater glory of God, later founding the Society of Jesus. I read the books you gave me including the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius and learned discernment and how to make the right decisions but that was not until I had reached a more mature age.
Back in my childhood I very much liked hearing of St. Ignatius’s life and generosity and how when St. Francis Xavier was very strict on new novices and inclined to send them away from the seminary St. Ignatius always gave them a second chance and took them in again by the back door. That was the saint for me, I decided, he was just like Jesus Christ compassionate and ready to forgive and I found myself very much drawn to the order you had chosen to join. From what you told me I was aware that at the age of seven you knew that you wanted to become a priest and it was through your influence on your pupils at Belvedere that a great many joined the Jesuits and were ordained priests. I was no saint myself and in those early years when I used to complain about having to set the Sunday lunch table while my older sister sat listening to you, you told us the story of Mary and Martha, pointing out that in listening to Jesus and letting her sister cook and set tables ‘Mary had chosen the better part’, as indeed she had. But I could never really like Mary or Martha and would have much preferred to be sitting comfortably listening to your stories myself, particularly, when you had such a wonderful way of engaging our interest. You often told us the Bible was the most exciting book ever written, certainly it was the most blood thirsty too. The stories of David and Jonathan’s great friendship and Saul’s jealousy came alive when you told them, making me long to read them for myself.
You were always very generous with your time and I particularly loved the way you would keep front seats for us at the Belvedere College operas. How we loved Gilbert and Sullivan and came to know all the songs. I can still see you young and vigorous, your soutane flying out behind you, as you came smiling towards us. There were our ‘Lemmo’ parties when you financed a bottle of fizzy lemonade and the luxury of Mikado biscuits with jam and marshmallow topping. You would play cards with us, simple games of ‘Snap’ or ‘Beggar My Neighbour’ and there would be a sweet as the winner’s prize. My mother used to laugh and say you could see no wrong in us, I suspect she would have liked us to be more like model children but was forced to put up with the reality.
On looking back, it was on our walks as children and later when you came to spend your leave from Africa with myself, my husband and children, becoming their friend as you had become mine, that our friendship blossomed and grew. I am so thankful you entered into our lives from the beginning enriching them by your affectionate presence, always stirring us gently to an awareness of Jesus and telling us how important it was to put him first in our lives. Somehow you always saw the best in us no matter what and by your unstinting friendship and wise counselling helped us to become more worthy, less selfish, less self- orientated. Undoubtedly, you helped and guided so many others while abroad on the missions in Africa and during your time spent in America as a Jesuit priest. By your ministry you have touched so many lives. At 86 you returned home to Ireland, having been pastor to three parishes in South Carolina, where you had a driver who brought you to the distant towns to say the weekend masses. You took on so much having always expressed the desire to ‘work while there was work to be done’, always of the mind that you would go anywhere a priest was needed; in your eighties even offering your services on an American troop ship. When the officer with a smile in his voice asked, ‘Do you mind my asking, Father, how old you are?’ you told him your age, adding ‘Well, even if I can’t go on board I can set up a confessional on the dock,’ adding the sobering observation, ‘Many of those young soldiers will never come back from Afghanistan and it may be the only time they will have an opportunity to confess before death.’
With your passing, I feel as though I have lost my best friend but believe and take consolation from the fact you have gone to a better place and you are now with Jesus whom you served so faithfully and for so long. With all my love and thanks until we meet again.

Stephenson, James B, 1906-1979, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/410
  • Person
  • 16 April 1906-11 April 1979

Born: 16 April 1906, Dublin
Entered: 01 September 1925, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 24 June 1937, Innsbruck, Austria
Final Vows: 02 February 1941
Died: 11 April 1979, James Connolly Memorial Hospital, Blanchardstown, Dublin

Part of the University Hall, Hatch Street, Dublin community at the time of death

Early education at O’Connell’s School, Dublin; 1st year Arts at UCD and 1 yeat Philosophy at Holy Cross College, Clonliffe, Dublin before entry

by 1936 at Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria (ASR) studying

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - Holy Cross College Clonliffe before entry

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 54th Year No 3 and 4 1979

Obituary :

Fr James B Stephenson (1906-1925-1979)

During his years of formation James Stephenson was a sociable and cheerful member of the several communities of scholastics to which he belonged, and within which he was known simply as “Steve” or “Jimmy Steve”. It must be remembered that the communities of former times were more nearly semi-enclosed and rather more monastically organised than their counterparts of today. Consequently, those who were always willing to take part in community activities had an extra value in the minds of their fellows. In Rathfarnham juniorate Steve steadfastly supported the debating society, the Irish society, the mission society; with combined intellectual and social interest he enjoyed attending their meetings; he edited the mission annual, a house magazine. He made himself available for the occasional concert and play. He liked forming those little groups of (clerically dressed) hikers who emerged from the castle grounds on the Sundays of the academic year for a tramp up the hills; he had a friendly interest in his companions, enjoyed swopping anecdotes and jokes, avoided “talking shop” about his own studies. These qualities, much appreciated by all as they got to know him, provided a bit of a contrast with first impressions: initially he appeared as both small in stature and shy, for he was apt to blush for no reason at all; yet he: was not of a retiring disposition, for he was happy to be involved in the centre of things.
Jim Stephenson did his philosophy in two houses. He belonged to that cohesive group of philosophers who lived a semi-detached life in Milltown Park - mostly in the bottom corridor of the retreat house - and then moved to Tullabeg to conduct its own independent existence. Later on he did two years of theology in Innsbruck and two in Milltown. The Jesuit theologians at Innsbruck were a loosely-knit group assembled from several provinces, the Austrians being in a minority. Non-Jesuit seminarians, religious and diocesan, streamed in from neighbouring residences to fill up the large lecture-halls. Steve made friends easily with the Americans, and also found friends among the Austrians and other Europeans - but less easily, because he was hampered by the need to achieve some mastery of the German language so as to be able to converse freely with all and sundry. Those years were pervaded by a growing feeling of insecurity: there was a civil war in Spain; Hitler’s expanding Reich was close at hand; Austrian Jesuits were all anti-Nazi, but many discontented Austrians were not; there were apprehensions throughout Europe; old national antipathies were stirring and shifting; some Basques and Slavs expected and found sympathetic listeners among the Irish; others kept their thoughts to themselves.
As a schoolboy Jim Stephenson had been one of a class of exceptionally gifted boys, whose teachers had expected much of them in later years. In that class he could hold his own. However, his talents and tastes were on the literary side; his ability for the speculative aspects of philosophy and theology was good enough, but not out of the ordinary. Like many a scholastic he was conscientiously industrious, while also looking forward to the time when he would have his clerical studies done. During his second year of theology he achieved admission into the third-year group of ordinandi - some thing that would surely not have happened had his Provincial not assigned him abroad. He was ordained in Innsbruck and returned home willingly from exile to continue his studies at Milltown Park. Thus for two years he was counted among the fourth year fathers', whose external priestly ministries loomed large in those days. This he enjoyed: the tedium of sitting in a classroom alternated with the new interest of going on supply for Saturday confessions and Sunday Masses in so many of the city parishes.
Owing to the outbreak of war, the St Bruno's tertianship was discontinued and to replace it an Irish Province tertianship was squeezed into the middle corridor of the juniorate building at Rathfarnham. This hastily planned substitute arrangement worked fairly well. Although the location was déja vu and the year's probation seemed to drag on interminably, the sub-community of tertians, predominantly Irishmen with a few Australians and a few foreigners, maintained itself as a united group. There Steve fitted in agreeably and perseveringly along with the rest of us.
The preceding paragraphs are mostly concerned with the various groups of Jesuits among whom Father Jimmy Stephenson passed his years of formation. Much more should be said, but cannot easily be said, about all that he did throughout his life for the kingdom of Christ as a fulfiller of assigned duties and as a friendly, interested, personal adviser and counsellor. Let it be mentioned and asserted without attempt at description and assessment. Steve maintained a firm hold on his youthful piety; it enabled him to have sympathy and understanding with the plain children of God who had never been called to clerical training. His faith, like that of any good Jesuit, any good priest, was in his heart as well as in his mind.

Irish Province News 55th Year No 1 1980

University Hall
Fr James Stephenson (11th April, 1979)
Our last notes from the Hall (April 1979) mentioned that Fr Stephenson had gone into hospital “for tests”. In the event abdominal surgery proved necessary. The operation was considered successful, but chest and circulatory weakness prevented recovery from it, and Father died in the early hours of Spy Wednesday. Fr Brian Lennon was with him to the end, a kindness Fr Stephenson would have much appreciated: sincere thanks are due to Fr Brian and to Charlie Davy for their constant attention to a patient out in the relatively inaccessible Blanchardstown Hospital.
Because of the following Holy Week Triduum, the requiem Mass was celebrated in the Hall Chapel that Wednesday evening. Apart from a substantial Jesuit attendance and members of Fr Stephenson’s family, quite a number of former resident students were present, and a very large group of these came to the burial service at Gardiner Street on Good Friday and to the funeral. Their number, and the distance many travelled to be present, were a remarkable tribute to the Bursar's popularity here.
Fr Stephenson spent a year at the Hall in 1961-2, and came here again “to look after the books” in 1969. He quickly established himself in his ground-floor room-cum-office, which became a familiar place to students over the next ten years. It was the Bursar’s job to collect the fees each term (Father took lightly the occasional error of demanding them twice or even three times over), but as well he operated a mini-banking service; cashing pocket-money cheques, advancing the odd small loan, and so on. He was thus in frequent contact with almost all the students. He liked chatting with them, about their home places, their careers and their other interests, and he gave wise and helpful advice to quite a number. From the whole group in residence he would recruit early in each year a few new members for a unique institution, his Bridge Club. The only membership fee was a willingness to make up a Four even if it was inconvenient, and to accept a set of bridge conventions not known to any authority on the game. Those who came to play were rewarded with tea and sandwiches. Some remained in the “Club” long after they had left the Hall. Most of the members became loyal friends.
As Fr Stephenson's publishing activities were not mentioned in the obituary in the July-October Province News, we may refer to them here. The Hall itself is indebted to him for the University Hall Record of Students, 1913-1973, which (with the help of one of our Past) he produced for our Diamond Jubilee. Such records of the past were to his taste. He was one of the quite few Jesuits familiar with the early history of the Society in Ireland. Thus it gave him great satisfaction to be the principal compiler of the Obituary List by anniversary dates to be found in all our sacristies. He also composed an old-style menology of Irish Jesuits although, to his regret, this was never put into print. More demandingly, he was for over twenty-five years Editor of the Irish Jesuit Year Book. No account of his editorial methods and style in this connection would be too long to give here. One example is perhaps illustrative. Just after the election of Pope John Paul II, a voice on the telephone: “Can you trace that poem with the line, ‘And Freedom shrieked — as Kosciusko fell?’ The poem is there, not really entirely apposite, as “Tribute to Poland”, in the 1979 Year Book, which bears the Polish Pope’s picture on the cover. One other point: every single one of Fr Stephenson’s Year Books has at least one article on the Missions in Hong Kong or Zambia. This was a deliberate, quiet form of support for them in which the Editor firmly believed.
He believed also in the First Friday Holy Hour, which formerly he gave regularly, as he did now and then until quite recently at a nearby convent, although it taxed his limited strength. He was very proud of the finely printed edition of prayers for the Holy Hour which he had published some years ago.
Those who lived at University Hall and 35 Lower Leeson Street were the principal beneficiaries over the past ten years of Fr Jimmy’s delightfully-told stories and gleeful gossip. We miss him: a personality like his is irreplaceable.

Tormey, James G, 1903-1981, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/420
  • Person
  • 13 June 1903-16 January 1981

Born: 13 June 1903, Mullagh, County Cavan
Entered: 04 October 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1944
Died: 16 January 1981, Manresa House, Dollymount, Dublin

◆ Fr Francis Finegan : Admissions 1859-1948 - National Teacher before entry

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 22nd Year No 1 1947
Holland :
Fr. J. Tormey sends us the following news of Fr. C. Kock, who did his Theology at Milltown Park from 1938 to 1942 and his Tertianship in Rathfarnham from 1942-1943 :
“Fr. Kock is now finishing his first term at St. Ignatius College, 51 Hobbemakade, Amsterdam, a large school with about 1,000 boys. The country is recovering slowly from the effects of the war. Many things are still very scarce, and one hardly notices improvement, but it is there all the same..... Fr. Kock concludes his letter by asking for Irish stamps of the last two or three years, for which there is great demand in Holland”

Irish Province News 56th Year No 2 1981
Obituary
Fr James Tormey (1903-1932-1981)

He was born on 13th June 1903 in Mullagh, Co Cavan, and went to National School. Apparently the family moved to Dublin early in his life. He was the youngest of the Tormey Brothers, Auctioneers. In the Society he was known as Jim or James, but to his family he was Gerard. After training in St Patrick's, Drumcondra, he got a BA and taught in Milltown NS. It would seem that he was influenced by Fr Conal Murphy, and went to the novitiate in Emo on 4th October 1932. From there he went straight to Tullabeg for philosophy (1934-37) followed by a single year of regency in Belvedere, where he gained a HDip in Ed, theology in Milltown Park, where he was ordained in 1941, and tertianship in Rathfarnham (1942-43). In eleven years he had completed his formation. No doubt it was his degree and teaching experience before entry, together with his age (29 at the outset) which made this period up to five years shorter than that of his contemporaries.
After formation, the theatre of his activity for nearly thirty years (1943-72) was the junior school in the Crescent, Limerick, where as a qualified primary teacher he continued teaching young boys. For most of the time he was in charge of the junior school. When teachers questioned him about marking boys' examination papers, he would always say “Do your best for them”. That was what he himself did - his best. In 1972, when the junior school was nearly phased out (the senior school had already migrated to Dooradoyle and metamorphosed into Crescent Comprehensive) James moved to Manresa, where he did a five-year stint in the bursar's office. Failing health forced him to go easy: he gradually weakened, and finally departed this life on 15th January 1981.

Troddyn, Peter M, 1916-1982, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/421
  • Person
  • 23 May 1916-27 November 1982

Born: 23 May 1916, Rathgar, Dublin
Entered: 30 September 1933, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 19 October 1947, Clonliffe College, Dublin
Final Vows: 15 August 1951, St Francis Xavier, Gardiner Street, Dublin
Died: 27 November 1982, University Hall, Hatch Street Lower, Dublin

Older Brother of Billy Trodden - RIP 1984

by 1939 at St Aloysius Jersey Channel Islands (FRA) studying

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 58th Year No 2 1983

Obituary

Fr Peter M Troddyn (1916-1933-1982)

Peter was born in Dublin on 23rd May. 1916. He was the eldest of six children, five boys and one girl. His father, a civil servant, was a native of Maghera in Derry; his mother, née Walsh, was from near Ballina in Mayo. All Peter's uncles, his mother's brothers, were boys at Clongowes in the early years of this century. His initial schooling was under the direction of a Miss Haynes, a devout Church of Ireland teacher, and her two Catholic assistants. This little school was about one hundred yards from Peter's home in Rathgar. There he met, for the first time, one who was to be a fellow-Jesuit and life long friend, the late Fr Dick Ingram.
For a few years after leaving Miss Haynes's Academy Peter continued his education under the Irish Christian Brothers in their schools in Synge street, then a penny tram-ride from his home. In the autumn of 1929 his parents made a decision which was to affect his whole life. Peter and his two brothers, Billy and Gerald, entered Belvedere College.
Athair Diarmuid Ó Laoghaire writes of Peter as a boy at Belvedere:
“While he did not play games, he was a faithful member of the Cycling Club and an enthusiastic, talented photographer. He was active, too, in the Debating Society and in An Cumann Gaelach, of which he was a founding member. One memory of him is abiding: from his arrival in the school, he was an inveterate “asker of questions”. In this the child was father of the man; to the end Peter's keen intellectual curiosity was a noted characteristic: Over the years I myself have frequently witnessed his struggles with abstruse mathematical, Theological and even historical problems. He was all his life a seeker and searcher for truth.
In February 1933, Peter's father died. This proved to be a turning point in Peter's life. It was decided that he should sit for the Civil Service Examinations for Junior Executive Grade and at the same time complete his Leaving Certificate Course at Belvedere. Shortly after his , 17th birthday he passed both examinations with honours. However, during the Summer months which followed, he made up his mind to become a Jesuit and he entered our Novitiate at St Mary's, Emo, on 30th September 1933. He was one of seven Belvederians to do so in that year.
His noviceship came to an end on 1st October, 1935, when he made his first vows. He spent the three following years in the Juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle. He graduated from the National University, receiving his BA (Hons) in Maths 2014 Maths Physics. He was one of three to do so in 1938; the late Fr Dick Ingram and Fr Ted Collins of Hong Kong made up that distinguished trio.
While in the judgement of his contemporaries he would have benefited from further studies at the University, it was decided that he should start his philosophy course at the French House in Jersey. Here he spent one golden year, a year he often spoke of with affectionate appreciation. Everything appealed to him, the stimulating lectures of the Professors, the congenial company of the French scholastics, the climate, the diet and the all-round liberating régime. Here too, was kindled his love for France and things French. In later years he would return to France to carry on, for over twenty years, a hidden apostolate in a Paris suburb.
The outbreak of the Second World War on 3rd September, 1939, brought about the recall of Peter and his four fellow Irish Scholastics to Tullabeg. Philosophy as an academic discipline appealed to him and he excelled in it. And, as in the he played a full and useful part in all the activities of his fellow philosophers', games apart.
For two years, from 1941, he taught mathematics in Belvedere, edited the Belvederian and presided over the Senior Debating Society. He also obtained his Higher Diploma in Education. Then he spent one year at the Crescent teaching and prefecting and refereeing rugby matches for the very young boys! In addition, he was in charge of the new school hall, where his practical knowledge of electricity was a decided asset! In both Colleges he won the hearts of many a youth by his patience and his kindly interest in their boyish affairs.
He arrived in Milltown Park in Autumn of 1944 to commence his studies. Here his health began to deteriorate. He was rushed to hospital and underwent major surgery on 29th July, the eve of the Ordination Day 1947. He recovered slowly and was ordained privately at Clonliffe College by the late Archbishop John C. McQuaid on 19th October, 1947. He offered his first Mass in the Convent Chapel attached to Our Lady's Hospice, Harold's Cross.
But illness dogged him. He was unable to complete his Theology and retired to do light work in 35, Lower Leeson Street, and to Clongowes in the summer term of 1949. In the autumn of . that year he began his Tertianship. This final year of formation proved a trial for him, but he persevered until ill health forced him to retire once more, this time to Milltown Park where he took his final examinations successfully just before Christmas 1950.
Fr Peter arrived as a member of the Community attached to St Francis Xavier's church, Gardiner Street, in January 1951. On 15th August of that year Peter, he made his final profession. During the next eleven years Peter held posts of varying importance. He was for a time Assistant to the Province Treasurer, he preached frequently in the Church and during the Novena of Grace and always to appreciative audiences. Fr Daniel Shields takes up the story: “I was in the St Francis Xavier Community during the years when Fr Peter was in charge of the building of the present St Francis Xavier Hall. He was faced with many problems, not least, the financial problem, How was he to raise the large sums required to meet not only the building costs, but also the cost of installing modern theatre and stage equipment, seating, etc. Fr Peter with the expertise of a Rothschild banker came to the rescue. He devised a system of weekly “draws” which were so attractive and so widely supported, that the money so raised financed the entire undertaking. When the Hall was completed, Fr Peter recruited a group of voluntary helpers. These included skilled carpenters, painters, engineers, light and or sound experts and even a tailor! Fr Peter became the friend and Father of each. They came to him with all their problems, not least their religious problems. It is unbelievable the trouble he took in finding real solutions to a wide variety of such problems.
Fr Peter then turned is attention to providing accommodation for the members of the Pioneer Club, who had formerly been housed in the original Fr Cullen's Pioneer Hall in Sherrard street. He purchased a fine Georgian house on the East side of Mountjoy Square and had the entire building renovated, decorated and equipped to a high standard, The proceeds of his Weekly Draws' helped to finance this project also. The St Francis Xavier Hall and the Pioneer Club - Fr Cullen House - stand today }s monuments to Peter's financial genius, to his foresight and above all to his loyalty to his fellow co-operators and friends.
An tAthair Proinsias 0 Fionnagáin re- calls another activity of Peter's which, as has been mentioned, started in 1951: 'He undertook annually pastoral work at Gonesse, a parish north of Paris. There he won the trust and the approval of the Curé who invited him back year after year down to 1969. For two years he continued his summer pilgrimage, first at Milly-la-Forêt and then in Brittany, whither the Curé, for reasons of health, had retired. For the next three years, Fr Peter was too occupied with editorial problems to undertake any trips abroad. During his own time in France, Fr Frank met some of Peter's former fellow philosophers from his Jersey days. They all spoke of his gifts of mind and heart.
On the Status, 1962, Fr Peter found himself transferred to Clongowes as a teacher of Maths. He was then in his forty-seventh year, had been out of the classroom for seventeen years and was in very indifferent health. It proved to be a mistake. After two years it was my pleasure to welcome him as a member of the Jesuit team then manning the young College of Industrial Relations. He stayed with us until the Spring of 1966 when at the request of his old friend, Fr R Burke-Savage, he joined the Leeson Street Community as “Collaborator in Studies”. Incidentally, his religious Superior was none other than his erst- while companion at Miss Haynes's Academy forty years before - the late Fr Dick Ingram.
An tAthair Proinsias resumes: On his appointment in 1967 to the editorship of Studies - it might have been thought that he had neither sufficient experience nor. qualifications for that important position. His Provincial, Fr Brendan Barry, how ever, judged him to be eminently qualified and how splendidly justified was Fr Barry's judgement!
Peter proved to be an editor to the manor born. His was a fastidious sense of good English. The Autumn issue of Studies, 1968, left no doubt as to the accuracy of his judgement concerning the changes taking place in Ireland in the euphoria of the prosperous 'sixties. “Post-Primary education, now and in the future - A Symposium” - proved a brilliant success. Over 5,000 copies of this issue were sold. On this occasion Fr Peter showed himself to be a peritus among the periti.
For six more years, Studies under Peter's editorship maintained the highest standards of readable scholarship. In deed, the very excellence of succeeding issues concealed the nagging financial problems and worries and the wretched health that continued to affect the conscientious Editor. He continued the un equal struggle until the Spring of 1974, when he felt obliged to lay down his pen and vacate the Editor's chair.
His association with University Hall and with its students, which had begun in the Spring of 1966, now continued, Fr Jack Brennan writes: ‘Peter was happy in the Hall ... Surprisingly, perhaps, in such a private person, he enjoyed time spent with the students. He was extremely patient in listening to them. His advice was sure and often took pragmatic turns that sprang from his wide knowledge of fields in which they were concerned. His tolerance was of a high degree, and, occasionally he would inter cede in a caring way on behalf of a student who was in 'hot water'. For him the faults or failings of another were never the whole story. His sense of loyalty - often involving a considerable amount of work on his part - towards the students as well as towards his family being able to share some of his good and friends was striking. Confidentiality was also a key quality of his.
One very close to him all his life writes: “A thing that always struck me about Peter was his kindness to the domestic staff in the Houses in which he lived. I used to notice this whenever I came to visit him. They would speak of him very appreciatively and tell me about the many good turns he did them”. Fr Shields concurs with this: “The staff of St Francis Xavier's Hall looked on Peter as their friend. And when he left the Hall, they were lonely and upset, Meeting me, they would say, ‘Father, when is Fr Troddyn coming back?’" Such touching appreciation needs no comment. Nor did this characteristic escape Fr Jack Brennan's observation; “The domestic staff at the Hall held Fr Peter in high regard; they were glad to be able to attend to his simple wants with real affection”
There is one virtue which this very private person could not conceal from those few who knew him intimately. Peter was a genuinely humble man - a man who, with St Paul “in labours, in knowledge, in long suffering, in sweetness, in the Holy Spirit, in charity unfeigned, in the word of truth", showed himself a true Minister of God'. He had to carry the cross of poor health for most of his working life with the humiliations, misunderstandings and frustrations attached to it. His judgements and opinions did not always receive the consideration they deserved. Apart from St Francis Xavier's Hall and Fr Cullen House, his plans and dreams were seldom actualised. These apparent “failures' provided him with opportunities for the practice of humility and consequent self effacement. He was always more ready to blame himself than to question the wisdom of others.
Some final thoughts occur to me. Personal friendships meant a great deal to him, not for what he himself could get abut for the joy he felt at being able to share some of his good his advice or practical knowledge with someone, however lowly, in need. This must have helped him to a more correct appreciation of God's gifts to him self and of his duty as a Christian to help other members of the Body of Christ.
From his many serious illnesses, Peter grew in self knowledge and also in awareness of the care which the sick and convalescent needed. He demanded high standards of care for anyone ill and showed his concern and displeasure if he thought that those who were sick were neglected in even the smallest way. His genuine concern was shown clearly in daily visits, in all weathers, for three and a-half years until her death, to an aged aunt in Our Lady's Hospice. The staff and other patients admired his faithful kindness and concern for her welfare.
If I or other contributors to this obituary have said very little about Peter the Jesuit, it is because we have no reason to stress what was obvious to us all. As has been well said: “Peter was a Jesuit in the authentic lgnatian mould”. Ever an avid reader, he kept in touch with “Jesuitica” and like so many of his generation found it difficult to accept some manifestations of the new “pluralism”.
May the good Lord, who is gentle and lowly in heart, welcome Peter into the new home prepared with exquisite care for all who love and serve his heavenly Father.
Edmond Kent SJ

Veale, Joseph, 1921-2002, Jesuit priest

  • IE IJA J/584
  • Person
  • 07 March 1921-11 October 2002

Born: 07 March 1921, Drumcondra, Dublin / Ranelagh, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1938, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg
Ordained: 31 July 1952, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 01 December 1977
Died: 11 October 2002, St Columcille’s Hospital, Loughlinstown, County Dublin

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

by 1963 at Fordham NY, USA (NEB) studying

◆ Royal Irish Academy : Dictionary of Irish Biography, Cambridge University Press online :
Veale, Joseph (‘Joe’)
by Bobby McDonagh

Veale, Joseph (‘Joe’) (1921–2002), Jesuit priest and teacher, was born 7 March 1921 in Dublin, younger of two children and only son of William J. Veale, civil servant, and Mary Veale (née Mullholland), both of Dublin. After primary education at St Patrick's national school, Drumcondra, Dublin, and secondary education at CBS Synge St., Dublin, he entered the Society of Jesus 7 September 1938. He studied arts at UCD (1940–43), philosophy at Tullabeg (1943–6), and theology at Milltown Park, Dublin (1949–53), where he was ordained as a Jesuit priest on 31 July 1952, spending his tertianship at Rathfarnham (1953–4).

Veale taught at Belvedere College, Dublin (1946–9), and at Gonzaga College, Dublin (1954–72). As a teacher of English and religion, he was central to the conception and development of Gonzaga College as a school with exceptional academic standards, in which the emphasis, in practice as well as theory, was on education and expression rather than on examinations. He was the founder and inspiration of the school debating society, An Comhdháil. While working as a teacher, Joe Veale wrote several influential articles about education which were published in Studies, as well as a number of articles in the Irish Monthly including a number on literary criticism. His article ‘Men speechless’ (Studies, xlvi (autumn 1957)), which set out his philosophy and vision of education, was widely influential. During his years as a teacher he also made an important contribution to the recasting of the national English curriculum for secondary schools. However, his principal contribution as a teacher, and probably his most enduring significance, was where he would have wished it to be – in the classroom itself. A teacher of exceptional insight, ability, and dedication, he inspired in a generation of pupils a capacity for independent thought. His rare understanding of language, and his skill in using it, equipped a great many of his pupils with a greater ability than they could otherwise have had to analyse the spoken and written word, to evaluate ideas, and to express their thoughts effectively.

From 1972 to 2002 he was based at Milltown Park, where his activities included study, research, lecturing, and spiritual direction. He became an authority on the spiritual exercises of St Ignatius, which he directed in Ireland, Britain, and the United States. He lectured on spirituality at the Milltown Institute, gave retreats and conferences in many countries, and was widely regarded as an exceptional spiritual director. From 1976 to 1985, and again from 1986 to 1988, he was director of Jesuits in their tertianship. He spent extensive periods every year at Boston College in the United States.

While based at Milltown Park, he wrote extensively about Ignatian spirituality, including Saint Ignatius speaks about ‘Ignatian prayer’ (St Louis, 1996; published as part of Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits); contributions to three books on the subject; and numerous articles in The Way, Studies, Milltown Studies, Religious Life Review, and The Furrow. In an article (Catholic Herald, 24 Jan. 2003) Anthony Symondson wrote that Joe Veale ‘had a profound understanding of the exercises, went below the surface, and extracted the spirituality from a specific historical interpretation. He emancipated it from an encrusted tradition buried in the nineteenth century and allowed St Ignatius to re-emerge. He strongly resisted the tyranny of ideology.’

Joe Veale also wrote several articles for Interfuse, including ‘Eros’ (no. 102, summer/autumn 1999), and the penetrating and timely article ‘Meditations on abuse . . . ’ (Doctrine and Life (May/June 2000)). He died at Loughlinstown hospital, Co. Dublin, 11 October 2002. Joe Veale's integrity and commitment to seeking the truth in all its paradox and complexity obliged him to have an open mind and encouraged a similar aspiration in very many of those who knew him.

Sunday Independent, 10 Nov. 2002; information from Fr Noel Barber, SJ, rector of Milltown Park, Dublin; personal knowledge

◆ Interfuse

Interfuse No 117 : Special Issue November 2003

Obituary

Fr Joseph (Joe) Veale (1921-2002)

7th March 1921: Born in Dublin
Early education in St. Patrick's, Drumcondra. and CBS Synge Street, Dublin
7th Sept. 1938: Entered the Society at Emo
8th Sept. 1940: First Vows at Emo
1940 - 1943: Rathfarnham -Studied Arts at UCD
1943 - 1946: Tullabeg - Studied Philosophy
1946 - 1949: Belvedere - Teacher (Regency)
1949 - 1953: Milltown Park -Studied Theology
31" July 1952: Ordained at Milltown Park
1953 - 1954: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1954 - 1962: Gonzaga College - Teacher
1962 - 1963: Sabbatical year
1963 - 1972: Gonzaga - Teacher
1972 - 2002: Milltown Park
1972 - 1973: Assistant Director of Retreat House
1973 - 1976: Study / Research on Spiritual Exercises; Lecturer at Milltown Institute
1976 - 1985: Study / Research on Spiritual Exercises; giving Spiritual Exercises; Lecturer at Milltown; Tertian Instructor
1985 - 1986: Sabbatical - work in US and Africa
1986 - 1988: Tertianship Director
1988 - 2002: Writer; Visiting Lecturer in Milltown; Directed Spiritual Exercises in Ireland, Britain and the USA
11th October 2002: Died at St. Columcille's Hospital, Loughlinstown, Co. Dublin

Whilst visiting a friend in Brittas, Co. Wicklow on 27th August, Fr. Joe developed severe abdominal pains. He was brought to hospital, where he underwent an operation to remove adhesions.

He made slow progress after the operation. A week before his death, he suffered a stroke from which he did not recover.

Two reflections on the life of Joe have already appeared in Interfuse (Christmas 2002 and Easter 2003). The following is the homily preached at his Funeral Mass by Noel Barber.

Joe was born in Dublin 81 years ago. He was the younger of two children with a sister who predeceased him. He was brought up in Drumcondra and then in Ranelagh - prophetically, just outside the back gate of what was to become Gonzaga College. He had a lovely memory of his parents: of never seeming to have wanted anything for themselves, of never being elsewhere.

The family were devout, daily Mass-goers and attended the Lenten Sermons in this Church every year. He went to the Christian Brothers' School, Synge Street. He was happy there, performed well, made life long friends, and left with a high regard for the Brothers and for their teaching.

He entered the Jesuit novitiate in September 1938. When he spoke of his years as a Jesuit student, it was clear that they were not particularly happy. He was an introvert, shy, extremely sensitive and did not relish the rough and tumble of community life. He was never the easiest person to live or work with in the community. Be that as it may, throughout his life he obtained his social sustenance not from unselected colleagues but from his chosen friends. Academically, he was excellent. While some may have been superior in intellectual sharpness, in high seriousness he was without equal.

He taught in Belvedere from 1946 to 1949 and was a magnificent teacher. Even eleven year olds sensed something special about him. Those of us whom he then taught can now see that he was not just a teacher doing his task competently and diligently. It was important for him that we should write well, enjoy poetry, grapple with the demands of English grammar: for him these were not mere tasks for 11 year olds, they were the foundations of a humane life. The impact he made on us in those distant days is shown by the number that still kept contact with him. We all carry something of him with us. I still am unable to use the word “very” without a tremor of guilt and without hearing him say, “Very does not strengthen, it weakens the proposition”.

After his Ordination, he was sent to Gonzaga in 1954 where he taught for 18 years. The school was then considered by many, but not by Gonzaga itself, as Belvedere on the south side. It was young, small, perhaps, a little precious. It was a pioneering venture in Irish education, being relatively free from the exam system. As teacher of English and Religion, he honed his pedagogical skills, sharpened his vision and developed his philosophy of education. His commitment to excellence in thought and expression, his insistence on the highest standards, and the breadth and depth of his intellectual interests made him more than a memorable teacher; he was a profound educator. In those years he won many life-long admirers and friends. In the interest of honesty it must be said that his style alienated a few, and he left a casualty or two on the sideline. I had the good fortune to teach under him for three years. I deeply appreciate what he taught me, and have been ever grateful for his encouragement.

He founded and was in charge of the Gonzaga debating Society. The standard of debating was remarkably high. Participation in the society was an education in itself. On one occasion, I attended a debate against Belvedere on the right to join or not to join a trade union. The Gonzaga team was superb; the Belvedere team, unfortunately, did not approach the debate with Veale-like seriousness and was poor. However from the house there rose a young man who made a witty, irreverent and debunking speech that dragged the debate down to a Belvederian level and swung it in Belvedere's favour. Next morning I asked the great man himself what he thought of the debate. A pained look conveyed that my question was inappropriate. Then he said that the brat who had ruined the debate was going to become a Jesuit. The brat, Bruce Bradley, is concelebrating this Mass.

He exercised a national influence on the teaching of English and was largely responsible for reshaping the English curriculum in Secondary Schools. His widely influential article in Studies in 1957, Men Speechless was a masterpiece in which he made the moral case for Rhetoric and distilled his philosophy and vision of education.

In 1972 he left teaching to study Spirituality, seemingly trading agnostic-leaning adolescents for devout religious. He applied his ability, commitment and seriousness to spirituality as he applied them to his teaching. He became an authority on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Igantius, on the Constitutions of the Jesuits and Ignatian spirituality. He was a highly successful director of Jesuits in their Tertianship, gave conferences and retreats all over the world, was a treasured spiritual director and all the while producing learned articles, all beautifully written. He was a master wordsmith. On Friday, a French review landed on my desk containing a translation of one of his articles.

As a director and counsellor he so cultivated his talent for listening that, it became, with his teaching, his defining characteristic. Many found that listening enormously helpful. I received this letter from a Religious on the day of his death. “Fr. Veale's contribution to the Apostolate of the Spiritual Exercises within my own congregation was immense. His many articles and presentations to audiences around the world bear witness to his wisdom and insight. I am more than grateful than I can state for his friendship, perception, wisdom and encouragement over many years. His interest in the development of my own work in spirituality and theology was a great support. His belief in the work of the Spirit of God within was always life giving". I could quote similar tributes for a long time.

At 81 he was robust and active in writing and directing. I can think of at least two significant recent articles. His room bears witness to work in progress. A small thing, he was making out a new address book. The care that he took with this book was an indication of how much his friends meant to him; I always knew that he meant much to them but in the last weeks the manifestation of this has been overwhelming. The sense of loss expressed by so many underlines the depth of his friendships.

Six weeks ago he walked the strand at Brittas Bay on a beautiful morning with a friend from his Belvedere days, Gerry Donnelly. There is a photo of him taken about an hour before he collapsed. He looks splendid, so young for his years, no sign of the approaching attack. After his operation, there were times when a recovery seemed possible. On several occasions when I visited him, he assured me that he was completely at peace and asked for my blessing. Then came the stroke that swept him away in two days but not without a furious struggle. This was most distressing to observe on that final evening, but how much more distressing it must have been to experience. As so often, the end of life was not splendid, not at all consoling to contemplate. There was the enfeebled body, the confused agitation. These are brute facts but we have to place these facts in the light of Christ's death and resurrection. We believe that when Christ was weakest, most helpless and humiliated, he was at the point of entry into glory. So with Joe Veale; he has moved from his broken state into that place of peace and happiness that was prepared for him from before the foundation of the world. May the good Lord, whom he served so well and at some cost, bless him abundantly.

Interfuse No 114 : Summer 2002

REMEMBERING JOE VEALE

Ross Geoghegan

Ross Geoghegan is Professor of Mathematics at the State University of New York at Binghamton.

Author's Note:
I knew Joe Veale and had regular contact with him from the time I was eleven, when he first walked into my classroom in 1954, until shortly before his death in 2002. I also knew his parents slightly as neighbours. In the latter years he would visit my home in Upstate New York - each year for a long weekend. The 2002 visit was to have begun on October 18. I wrote these impressions on the day he died, 11 October 2002. A much shorter version appeared as an appreciation in the Irish Times on November 4, 2002.

In a sense Joe Veale only arrived in the world at the age of 33. Son of a quiet civil servant and a strong mother, he had finished school at Synge Street, and had entered the Jesuits at seventeen. His degree at UCD was in English - he was a contemporary of Benedict Kiely - but as a clerical student in those days his contact with such young literati must have been limited. He taught for three years in the junior school at Belvedere and followed the usual Jesuit studies.

Joe's first assignment was to teach English and Religious Knowledge at Gonzaga, then a new school where the oldest boys were fourteen (a class was being added each year at the bottom as these "big boys" grew up.) Gonzaga was being touted as an experiment in education. It was to follow a modern version of the old Jesuit ratio studiorum. The school would emphasize Latin and Greek over science, and the boys would take the UCD matriculation in their Fifth Year, thus freeing them for more liberal studies in their Sixth. They would not sit for the Leaving Certificate. These were the general ideas of its very little in the way of an educational philosophy behind the plan. It fell largely to him to fill the vacuum.

In his view the main purpose of education was to make people think and ask questions, even dangerous questions, about why things are as they are, how things might be made better, who benefits from the present set-up and who does not. And along with this was the need to be articulate, so that education was also about learning to speak well and write well. Gonzaga was a relatively expensive school and many of the boys came from well-to-do families. While he did not usually challenge the culture and complacency of upper middle class Dublin explicitly, his encouragement of formal and informal debate challenged the boys to think about their own privileged place in society, He was in fact trying to instil broader ambitions than successful entry into professional clubby Dublin life. He wanted these boys to make a difference, to become leaders who would create a better and more just society. Thus he was seen by critics as a slightly subversive teacher. Not all parents liked what he was doing, especially when a few impressionable boys took his ideas overboard. And indeed not all boys liked it. But in that period Joe acquired a cadre of friends among the boys who would remain his friends for life.

Joe always claimed that he saw little difference between English class and Religious Knowledge class. The latter was interpreted broadly: besides the entirely orthodox official curriculum, he introduced sociology and philosophy at a level which was a challenge to teenagers. Since there were no textbooks for this he wrote his own on densely typed foolscap handouts. In English, he was stern, sometimes almost harsh, in his criticisms of the boys' school essays. He supplemented the official curriculum with authors he admired. In the late fifties he was introducing the older boys to Chaucer, Hopkins and T S Eliot, had them read Cardinal Newman on education, V S Pritchett and F R Leavis on style. At the onset of the Lemass period he believed that economics was THE subject to study. J. period he believed that economics was THE subject to study, J. K. Galbraith's The Affluent Society, had just come out and Joe was recommending it to any boys with the stamina to read it.

This had lasting effect in certain cases.

In those formative years Joe made only one foray into public life. An article entitled "Men Speechless" which he published in Studies in 1957 was influential in educational circles. Later he became a leading figure in the Association of English Teachers and he played a role in the reform of the Department of Education's English curriculum, but that was near the end of his teaching career.

By the early seventies he had burned out, and wanted to leave teaching. The system of university entrance was being changed and there would be no room for the liberal Sixth Year at Gonzaga any more. He moved to Milltown Park and found a new kind of work within the Jesuits as a serious student, eventually a scholar, of Ignatian spirituality. His admiration for what was called the caritas discreta of Ignatius was boundless. I remember him using that phrase in a conversation in 1964; it was clear his serious study of Ignatius had already begun by then. Within the specialized world of people - mostly clerics – willing and able to follow the Spiritual Exercises in their full thirty-day form Joe became a famous director. His articles on Ignatian thought were widely read in those circles, and he was in demand for direction, retreat-giving and panel participation in Britain, Africa and North America. For the rest of his life he was abroad for about half of each year. Indeed, in his last ten years Boston College became his second home and the place where he seemed happiest.

Many of those whose spiritual lives he directed were nuns, and he developed an acute sympathy, even anger, for the way these women had been treated by the Church. Eventually, this anger extended to the treatment of male religious as well. In the awful scandals of child-abusing priests Joe saw one silver lining: he hoped for the collapse of what he called the "Cardinal Cullen Church" (though he did not wish the collapse to be confined to Ireland). He longed for a different kind of Church - communities of faith rooted in the gospels, caring and alive, respectful of all. He wrote a passionate article in Doctrine and Life two years ago about what the experience of religious life was often like: bleak and loveless. He felt this might explain things which could not be excused, but he blamed the hierarchical, narrow-minded and philistine culture of the Church's leadership, both in Ireland and worldwide, for creating this religious hell. He wrote about “private pain ... loneliness ... isolation ... the desert in the heart ... self-hatred ... rage ... having no say in the disposition of one's own life ... the longing for human contact ... touch ... the ache for tenderness and gentleness”. It puzzled him that this article was received in near total silence - even by most of his fellow Jesuits.

At the core of Joe's later thinking was the importance of reflecting on one's own experience. To a layman this seems obvious but in a different time Joe had to find his way there. He often said that the spiritual training he received as a young man was focused on dogma and method; drawing lessons from one's own experience was considered spiritually dangerous and inadmissible in a man of prayer.

Joe's Catholicism appears to have been wholly centered on Christ and the Mass. Whatever his private prayer life may have been, I cannot remember his ever admitting to any "devotion" - not to a saint, not to the Virgin Mary. (His admiration for Ignatius was not a devotion in that pious sense.) Indeed, as Joe got older he became interested in meditation and spirituality, wherever they were to be found, outside as well as inside Christianity. He held Islam in high regard, especially admiring its public prayer. At a conference in America on the relationship between Christian and Buddhist meditation he argued the (unpopular?) view that the gulf between the West and the East was such that “we do not know whether what they are doing and what we are doing are the same or different”. But to Joe the fundamental divide in the world was between those who pray and those who do not. He gleefully described meeting an African Moslem at a party in New Delhi who somehow recognized Joe as another member of that tiny minority who pray - perhaps the only other one in the room.

In his later years Joe enjoyed the little luxuries of food and wine. He invented two cocktails - the Westminster Cathedral and the Westminster Abbey, the second a watered down version of the first. He once told this to Cardinal Hume who appeared either bemused or not amused. For Joe this reaction added to the fun of telling the story.

Joe Veale died at 81, but he never seemed old to his friends. There was always a new idea, a new discovery, a new journey, a new experience. There was so much more he wanted to do.

POSTSCRIPT:
This was not in the original article but, since I am writing for Joe's fellow Irish Jesuits, I have decided to include it. It's an extract from a letter I wrote to another of Joe's close friends - a contemporary of mine - in September 2000. I'll quote my letter precisely as I wrote it then:

An interesting and enjoyable weekend visit from Joe Veale. He's in great form and excellent health for a man who will be EIGHTY in early March. He was a little more forthcoming, though not much, about a memoir he is writing on what it was like to be a celibate cleric in Ireland :in the thirties and the forties and the fifties and the sixties and the sixties and the sixties and the seventies and the eighties and the nineties” (stet - that's exactly how he put it). Whether the world will get to see this memoir I don't know. He says he'll leave a copy with his Provincial when he dies. The P. can do with it what he likes. I think certain others may get a copy - perhaps one other... Last year I asked him if he would show it to me and was told most certainly not. This year he showed me a two-page extract. Everything with Joe is a bit breathless, and as you can imagine the extract wasn't as shocking as the billing had led me to expect. It was an interesting few paragraphs, not on celibacy itself but on the feeling of self-worthlessness that he experienced as a young man as a result of receiving no praise from his superiors for his efforts as a teacher. I'm talking about his Belvedere days. He admits he developed self-confidence during the years we were taught by him. His written description of what this was like is dignified but rather sad for what it said about the monstrously unloving male institutions of the time. It starts, “I have been asked what could be meant by ‘By the year 1954 when I was assigned to teach in Gonzaga College my feeling of unworth was almost complete’”.

Interfuse No 115 : Easter 2003

A MAN WHO EMBODIED THE SPIRIT OF ST IGNATIUS : Joe Veale

Anthony Symnondson

Anthony is a member of the British Province. He wrote this article originally for the Catholic Herald, January 24, 2003. It is reprinted here with permission.

Four of the happiest years of my life were spent in Dublin in 1991-5. I was sent to study at the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology in Ranelagh and lived in the Jesuit community. Ireland was an entirely new and captivating experience. I regarded myself as a foreigner living overseas in a strange, unfamiliar land and made a resolution never to discuss politics, or jump to simplistic conclusions, and see as much of Ireland as possible.

This is a solipsistic start to a tribute to a valued friend, but Fr Joseph Veale SJ, would have appreciated a context and he did much to make me feel welcome. We occupied rooms on the same corridor and although he was shy and retiring and was rarely to be found sparkling at a haustus, we quickly came to know each other. He was insecure in large groups and sometimes found community life trying. Joe's hallmarks were an attractive and unforced holiness, discipline, humanity, and wide culture. He embodied the spirit of St Ignatius at its best and most authentic.

Joe came from a generation that usually entered the novitiate of the Society of Jesus through Jesuit schools. He was born in Dublin in 1921 and was educated at the Christian Brothers' School in Synge Street. He joined the Society at the age of seventeen in 1938. When he taught as a scholastic at Belvedere College his pupils noticed how much kinder and more approachable he was than some others who had come through the system. This was a characteristic that never left him resulted in vocations.

Joe was an inspired schoolmaster and spent eighteen years teaching at Gonzaga College on the South Side of Dublin. He believed that expression was more important than exams, and approached his pupils with high seriousness ameliorated by an interest in the individual. Fr Noel Barber, the Rector of Milltown, who had himself been taught by him at Belvedere, said at his funeral: “As a teacher of English and Religion, he honed his pedagogical skills, sharpened his vision, and developed his philosophy of education. His commitment to excellence in thought and expression, his insistence on the highest standards, , and the breadth and depth of his intellectual interests made him more than a memorable teacher; he was a profound educator”.

Joe believed that the demands of English grammar were not mere tasks but the foundation of a humane life. He contributed to the reform of the Irish Department of Education's English curriculum. I owe him an unexpected debt. Although I had written for years, I was never much good at it. I had composed a dense article for the Irish Arts Review and, after it had been censored by Fr Fergus O'Donoghue, he suggested I showed it to Joe. When it was returned it was transformed, covered in corrections in red ink with helpful notes in the margin, and two pages of analysis showing where I had gone wrong and how it could be improved. It was turned from a tedious slab of detail into prose. I don't know how the spell worked, but from then onwards I realised that I had been taught to write.

In 1972 Joe moved to research and writing in the Spiritual Exercises and the Jesuit Constitutions and he lectured in spirituality at the Milltown Institute. This was not merely an academic exercise but came to embody some of the most valuable work of his life. Joe was a realist and would not undertake tasks that were beyond his powers. If he discovered that he had done so, his professionalism led him to put them aside. He had a profound understanding of the Exercises, went below the surface, and extracted the spirituality from a specific historical interpretation. He emancipated it from an encrusted tradition buried in the nineteenth century and allowed St Ignatius to re-emerge. He strongly resisted the tyranny of ideology. It is planned to found a lectureship in spirituality in the Institute and publish two volumes of selected works in spirituality and culture. They deserve a wide circulation.

Joe was much sought as a friend, confessor, spiritual director and retreat conductor, and he gave the Exercises all over the world. He was an encourager and had the rare gift of investing others with a sense of personal value. But he had few illusions, and wrote and directed with unusual honesty. In a penetrating article published in Doctrine and Life at the height of the abuse scandals in the Irish Church, he controversially lifted the curtain on some diminishing characteristics of the religious life that he had perceived and experienced in his own life and that of others. “Can we imagine, just imagine, what private pain may have been rooted in a complex of loneliness, of isolation, of having no human being to relate to, the desert in the heart, the language of self-denial that twisted into self abasement, the self-hatred, the conviction of worthlessness, the unattended guilt, the rage at being done to, the having no say in the disposition of one's own life, the indignities of impersonal rule, the comfort of dependency that could suddenly reverse into angry rebellion, the living environment that was Spartan, the lack of amenity, the walls denuded of beauty, the 'spiritual' assumptions that dehumanised? And the longing for human contact for touch, for talk, for being listened to, the unavailability of spiritual direction, the ache for tenderness or gentleness?” Only a man open to God could make such admissions. Joe's holiness was forged by the cross. It gave him empathy with others similarly afflicted, and offered hope.

None of this struggle showed outwardly. He enjoyed the theatre and the cinema and could draw metaphysical themes from the unlikeliest sources. He was a delightful companion on expeditions. He looked forward to his annual visits to Boston College where he was eagerly expected. At the end of his life he discovered Africa and India, and was, hopefully, inspired by their vigorous Catholic life. Joe did not grow old. Christ shone through him, and his influence is lasting.

Zenti, Francesco, 1814-1851, Jesuit brother

  • IE IJA J/2279
  • Person
  • 21 July 1814-16 February 1851

Born: 21 July 1814, Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy
Entered: 06 September 1840, Chieri Italy - Taurensis Province (TAUR)
Died: 16 February 1851, Dublin - Taurensis Province (TAUR)

Part of the St Beuno’s, Wales community at the time of death

◆ Fr Edmund Hogan SJ “Catalogica Chronologica” :
On the dispersion of the TAUR Province in the Revolution of 1848, he was sent to England and lived at St Beuno’s College.
His mind became affected and he was sent to Hartfield House, Drumcondra, Dublin for treatment.
He had a few days clarity and was able to go to Confession and Communion, but a few days later he suffered a haemorrhage, died and is buried at Glasnevin