Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

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Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

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14 September 1936-28 April 2017

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Born: 14 September 1936, Phibsboro, Dublin
Entered: 07 September 1954, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 10 July 1968, Gonzaga College SJ, Limerick
Professed: 01 February 1974, Della Strada Community, Dooradoyle, Limerick
Died: 28 April 2017, St James’ Hospital, Dublin

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

by 1970 at Auriesville NY, USA (NEB) making Tertianship
by 1971 at New York NY, USA (NEB) studying
by 1980 at Bronx NY, USA (NYK) studying
by 2004 at Bronx NY, USA (NYK) working
by 2011 at Seattle University ORE, USA (ORE) teaching

◆ Jesuits in Ireland : https://www.jesuit.ie/news/hugh-duffy-gentle-jesuit/

Hugh Duffy – ‘a gentle Jesuit’
Fr Hugh Duffy SJ died in St James’s Hospital on Friday 28 April 2017, aged 80 years old. Born and raised in Dublin, Hugh won a senior cup rugby medal with Belvedere College SJ and entered the Jesuits in 1954. He spent several years in Limerick as a teacher and lecturer. He did his Doctoral degree in English in the United States and he worked in parish ministry and as a visiting professor there. Brian Grogan SJ gave the homily at his funeral mass in Milltown Park Chapel on 3 May.

Fr Grogan said about his friend and classmate, “This man was more there than the average man. He was able to reveal gold to other people”. He fondly remembered when Hugh went on to do his doctoral training after four bachelor degrees during a time when the Church was struggling to adapt to the times. His PhD thesis explored a fresh following of faith in a God who infinitely loves.

Regarding his life as a teacher, “Hugh struggled to liberate his students from destructive images of God. He had a passion for the genuine liberation of the human heart. He wanted people to know that they are loved and appreciated beyond words”. And he taught thousands of pupils in thousands of classes over his lifetime. A friend once noted: “He was a pet; he had soft eyes”. Fr Grogan also thanked his family for sharing Hugh with his Jesuit companions.

Referring to the Jesuit’s decline in health where he moved from autonomy to dependency, Fr Grogan remarked that “He did not yield to dark moods. He was humble and patient, and he offered his suffering for the Church and the world”. The Gospel for the funeral mass depicted Jesus asking his disciple Peter if he loved him, then commanding him to look after his flock. Fr Grogan imagined Hugh answering wholeheartedly, “Yes, I love you, Lord”.

“And so, Hugh found that dying is safe because God is safe, and all restricting images melt away. In his transfigured body, he’s able to dance and sing, and sing and dance, without a stick. And I think that laughter and merriment will be a large part of his contribution to the cosmic party.”

Damien Burke, assistant archivist in the Province, was also at the funeral mass. Hugh helped Damien in his work, identifying Jesuits from earlier days whom Damien would not have known. The very night before his stroke, Hugh was working with Damien on a pamphlet from Belvedere College SJ. “We were discussing a flyer for a 1953 production of the Mikado in which Hugh had a part – he was in the chorus. He was his usual lovely self, a kind and gentle Jesuit, and I really enjoyed working with him.”

A large number of Hugh’s family were in attendance including nieces and nephews who returned from many different countries. His nephew Ian spoke movingly about him. He said he would have made a great father so it was all the more inspirational that he had dedicated his life to the Church. And he raised a laugh when he talked about Hugh’s love of America and how he drove right across the continent from one coast to another – adding, “probably very slowly, but he did it!”

Ar dheis Dé go raibh a anam dílis.

Scoil Colmcille, Dublin; Belvedere College SJ

1956-1959 Rathfarnham - Studying Arts at UCD
1959-1962 Tullabeg - Studying Philosophy
1962-1965 Clongowes Wood College SJ - Regency : Teacher; Studying for CWC Cert in Education
1965-1969 Milltown Park - Studying Theology
1969-1970 Monroe, Auriesville, NY, USA - Tertianship at Our Lady of the Martyrs
1970-1971 Rice High School, NY, USA - Studying for MA and MEd at Columbia University
1971-1979 Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle - Teacher; Transition Year Co-ordinator
1979-1980 All Hallows High School, Bronx, NY, USA - Doctoral studies in English at Columbia University
1981-1982 Fordham University, NY, USA - Doctoral studies in English
1983 Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, San Francisco, CA, USA - Parish Work
1983-1985 Gonzaga College SJ - Teacher; 6th Form Master
1985-2002 Crescent College Comprehensive SJ, Dooradoyle - Head of & Lecturer in English Department, Mary Immaculate College
1994 Chair English Department & Lecturer in English at Mary Immaculate College (UL)
2002 Sabbatical
2003-2004 St Thomas the Apostle, Hepstead, New York, NY, USA - Parish Work
2004-2012 Seattle University, Seattle, WA, USA - Visiting Professor in English and Theology
2012-2017 Leeson St - Assistant Chaplain in Cherryfield Lodge

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

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

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Duffy, Hugh P, 1936-2017, Jesuit priest

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IE IJA J/827

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