File 521 - Fr Donal B Mulcahy SJ

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IE IJA J/521


Fr Donal B Mulcahy SJ


  • 11 July 1930 - 1994 (Creation)

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60 items

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(22 April 1912-21 April 1994)

Biographical history

Born: 22 April 1912, Sandymount, Dublin
Entered: 03 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, Mungret College SJ, Limerick
Died: 21 April 1994, Cherryfield Lodge, Dublin

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

Early education at Belvedere College SJ

◆ Interfuse No 82 : September 1995 & ◆ The Belvederian, Dublin, 1995 & ◆ The Gonzaga Record 1995

Fr Donal Mulcahy (1922-1994)

12th April 1922: Born in Dublin
Education: Holy Faith, Glasnevin; Belvedere
3rd Sept. 1930: Entered Society at Emo, Co. Laois
4th Sept. 1932: First Vows at Emo
1932 - 1935: Rathfarnham, Arts at UCD, BA
1935 - 1938: Philosophy at Tullabeg, Co. Offaly
1938 - 1941: Belvedere College, Teacher and H.Dip in Ed
1941 - 1945: Theology at Milltown Park
31st July 1944: Ordained a at Milltown Park by J.C. McQuaid
1945 - 1946: Tertianship at Rathfarnham
1946 - 1953; Mungret College, Teacher and Spiritual Father to the boys
1953 - 1962: Gardiner Street and teaching Religion at DIT (Bolton Street)
1960 - 1962: Minister, Ministering in the Church
1962 - 1971: Manresa House, Superior
1972 - 1979; Consultor of the Province
1973 - 1977: Dooradoyle, Superior
1977 - 1983: Tullabeg, Superior
1983 - 1993: Gonzaga, Minister, Treasurer
1983-1985: Treasurer, Rathfarnham Castle
1983-1989: Milltown Institute, Financial Director
1993 - 1994: Gonzaga, living in Cherryfield
21st April 1994: Died

A perspicacious man my father would have called him - and Donal was a father to me for over 12 years. Perspicacious means: of quick mental insight, understanding, perceptive, reasoned, comprehending. The reading from the Book of Wisdom rightly celebrates Donal's wise common sense and his quality of judgement - totally caring, totally honest, never judgmental.

It was that wisdom that the boys in Mungret received when he was spiritual father, Latin teacher, Junior Cup Team trainer. The students in Bolton Street enjoyed that same wisdom during his time as chaplain there in the 50's. Those who were Province consultors or house consultors with him over the years experienced and appreciated it. It was this wisdom, deepened with prayer, that he brought to his community building, his genius for home making.

Donal's home making career began here in Gardiner Street in 1960 and it was this trade that he continued to ply as Rector in Manresa from '62, Minister in Crescent from '71, Rector in Dooradoyle, which he built from scratch in '73, Superior in Tullabeg at Rahan from '77 and as minister/bursar in Gonzaga from '83 up to last summer. In all of these places he enhanced the physical surroundings, and community facilities, with an eagle eye to financial rectitude! In so doing he freed his fellow Jesuits for their work, with confidence that there was a warm home to return to and be refreshed humanly and spiritually. The second reading could not be more apt to describe Donal's philosophy and way of life.

Let love be genuine, hate what is evil; hold fast to what is good; love one another with brotherly affection, outdo one another in showing honour, never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in your hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer, contribute to the needs of the saints, practise hospitality.

Communities in Donal's care lived in that atmosphere. His nephews, nieces and grand-nephews/nieces will attest to his deep interest in their well-being, academic, sporting, career prowess, his shrewd assessments and warm encouragement. We Jesuits received the same concern and help. Truly a man who overcame evil with good.

The loyalty and generosity Donal showed to everyone, high and low, is legendary. The contacts he made through the Garden Fetes in Manresa and Tullabeg, the custom he gave those who were loyal to him, the reliability of his husbandry and hospitality, reminded me of the Gospel scene, where Jesus tantalised his friends only to enrich their understanding and grasp the real meaning of life. Donal lived that hospitality that made people “stay awhile” and break bread with him.

But despite all this, Donal was not perfect, you'll be sorry to hear. And if ever you watched TV with him, it is something to hear you would get..... in the form of quite disconcerting snoring! followed by an awakening and the question...,”Did I miss much” or “tell me what has happened so far!”. I understand such a characteristic was shared with his brothers: I do not know if it is hereditary! But I'm sure his sense of humour is, and his enjoyment of the simple things in life: there was nothing he liked better than a good variety show with wholesome humour. He was even addicted to the Late Late Show, God help us, Glenroe and the Rose of Tralee, the highlight of the year, along with Tops of the Town. He enjoyed a good “who done it” novel, or his fishing when on holidays.

Donal's untiring humanity is borne out in the courage he had in overcoming his speech impediment and the crippling arthritis over so many of his later years. Can any of us remember him complaining, making demands, being inconsiderate of others? The manner of his dying typifies his character, no fuss, minimal disruption, the choir didn't even get a day off school!

Donal's last words to me Thursday evening, about 20 minutes before he died, were, “There's nothing I need and thanks very much for coming” - a typical response from him.

My last words to you, now, Donal are: “Thanks for being there, so many times, for so many of us in our need. You revealed the Lord in the hospitality of the home, in the breaking of the bread for us, may you now be "at home", as he breaks bread with you”.

John Dunne

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File containing Donal Mulcahy’s admission papers and correspondence with provincials concerning his renunciation of property and his years of work at Tullabeg, Gonzaga College and the Milltown Institute.

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