Fahey, John, 1909-1988, Jesuit priest

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Fahey, John, 1909-1988, Jesuit priest

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17 June 1909-14 September 1988

History

Born: 17 June 1909, Running Creek, Victoria, Australia
Entered: 23 February 1927, Loyola Greenwich, Australia (HIB)
Ordained; 30 June 1940, Heythrop, Oxford, England
Professed; 15 August 1946
Died: 14 September 1988, Nazareth House, Camberwell, Melbourne - Australiae Province (ASL)

Part of the Xavier College, Kew, Melbourne, Australia community at the time of death

Early education at St Patrick’s College, Melbourne
1929-1931 Juniorate at Rathfarnham Castle

Transcribed HIB to ASL : 05 April 1931

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280 :
Early education was at St Patrick’s College Melbourne before entering at Loyola Greenwich 1927. As one of seven children, he seemed to like the quiet and calm of the Society, as it matched his personality, which was quiet and calm and sprang from a deep quality of determination and self-command. He was a powerful athlete and had a keen intelligence.

1929-1932 He was sent to Rathfarnham Castle Dublin to study English Latin and French at University College Dublin, though he did not take a degree.
1932-1934 He was sent to Vals France for Philosophy
1935-1937 He returned to Australia and Xavier College Kew for Regency, teaching Latin, Economics and English, and was also Second Division Prefect and Assistant to the Prefect of Studies.
1937-1940 He was sent back to Europe for Theology at Posillipo Naples and Heythrop College England, being Ordained 30 June 1940
1942-1949 He returned to Australia to teach Theology at Canisius College Pymble to the Jesuit Scholastics, and he also made his Tertianship at Loyola Watsonia (1945) and he went from that for a year to St Aloysius College Sydney. In 1947 he was appointed Chaplain to the Campion Society (a Lay Catholic Action Group founded in Melbourne in 1929 just before the Great Depression and the rise of fascism)
As a Theology lecturer he was greatly appreciated because he spoke slowly and notes could be taken He was also in charge of tones, reading at table and the refectory sermons. he encouraged the initiative of scholastics, but he warned them against heresy! The Scholastics enjoyed his company because he was a good listener and entertaining. His calm and equable manner kept him above any contention or discord. He was recognised particularly for his simplicity of communication and a great shrewdness.
1950-1953 He was appointed to Newman College as a tutor in Philosophy and Experimental Psychology, but after some disagreement with the Provincial Austin Kelly, he was assigned to Belloc House. (1953-1985)
1985-1988 He lived at Xavier College Kew

It was at the Institute of Social Order, Belloc House, Kew that he performed his most memorable and important work as a writer and social scientist. There were times when Catholic Social Teaching was eagerly sought by the faithful, and so John, along with other Jesuit colleagues, James Muirhead and Bill Smith, reacted to an important need. They lectured, organised Summer Schools, and edited and wrote for two periodicals “Twentieth Century” and “Social Survey”. After Vatican II, at the invitation of the Bishops, he travelled New South Wales and Victoria giving lectures of the social apostolate. He was also involve with the “National Catholic Rural Movement”, and lectured at the Mercy Training College on Philosophy in general and Philosophy of Education in particular.

He was highly respected as an academic and a wise priest. He taught Catholic and Social Theology to the students at Genazzano Convent for some years. He had a highly analytical mind, and was noted for his ability to sum up an argument. He was at his most influential when one-on-one with people, especially over a cup of tea. He was good at listening and stimulating thought in others. He was a Socratic educator, heuristic, helping people reflect on ideas.

He could deal with a great variety of people. His happier encounters were with such people as the bread delivery man on a Saturday morning whom he engaged in intellectual discussions. He accepted everyone as they were, and was open to all. There was no notion of self promotion. He only wanted to share his insights, and he did that in a competent and self-effacing manner. In everything he undertook he was effective. he had a passion for truth and a hatred for those who misled others by “easy hopes or lies”. Without rancour, he devoted himself to giving positive and solid instruction to those who would listen. In community, his strong sense of humour and gift of laughter made him good company. He was a humble and spiritual man.

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IE IJA J/1268

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