File 349 - Br James Owens SJ

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IE IJA J/349


Br James Owens SJ


  • 1931- 1975; 2019 (Creation)

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32 items

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(14 August 1913-15 August 1978)

Biographical history

Born: 14 August 1913, Laurel Villas, Limerick City, County Limerick
Entered: 12 March 1932, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Final Vows: 15 August 1946, Milltown Park, Dublin
Died: 15 August 1978, Croom Hospital, Croom, Co. Limerick

Part of the Sacred Heart community, Limerick at the time of death.

Educated at Crescent College SJ

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 53rd Year No 4 1978

Crescent Church, Limerick
This summer will be remembered as the one in which we lost two of our Community within a few short hours. Brother James Owens died on the evening of August 15th, and Father William Hogan in the early hours of the following morning. Both deaths were quite unexpected. Brother Owens sustained a heart attack while undergoing a slight leg-operation in Croom Hospital. Father Hogan, while doing a holiday supply with Fr Bernard Rowley in Frimly, Surrey also had a severe heart attack, and died within a few hours.
The funeral Mass of Brother Owens, on August 17th was concelebrated by a large number of Jesuits, religious and secular priests. On the 23rd August the concelebrated Mass and funeral to Mungret cemetery of Father Hogan took place. At the Mass for Br Owens Fr J Dargan represented the provincial; at the Mass for Fr Hogan the Provincial was present. On both occasions Father Superior preached the homily. In both cases the Bishop was represented by Canon Tynan. Father Hogan’s work in the Crescent brought its special “tone” to the ceremonies: the funeral procession through the Church to the muted tones of the dead march was very impressive. The procession was comprised of large numbers of clergy, relatives, the members of the Sodality in their blue cloaks, and the general public. Later we learned that at the time when Fr Bill’s remains were being taken to London Airport a Mass was being concelebrated at Fr Rowley’s church in Kent: among the concelebrants were the English Provincial, two members of the English Province and two members of the Irish Province.

Obituary :

Br James Owens (1913-1978)

A letter from the Sacred Heart Church, the Crescent, Limerick, included the following:
"On August 17th 1978 the Funeral Mass of Br Jimmy Owens was concelebrated by a large number of Jesuit, religious and secular priests. The Congregation included a large number of Brothers, as well as family friends and members of the general public, Father J Dargan represented Father Provincial, and the Bishop was represented by Canon Tynan. Father Superior was the chief concelebrant; and the funeral took place to the cemetery in Mungret.
Brother Jimmy Ownes died unexpectedly at Croom Hospital, Limerick, on August 15th, 1978.
He was born in Limerick on August 14th 1913. He entered the Noviceship in Emo on March 12th 1932, and pronounced his First Vows there on March 13th 1934.
From 1934 to 1951 he was Refectorian at Milltown Park. Those of us who studied Theology there remember well his quiet, cheerful character. His devotion to his job and his efficiency in performing it are best attested by the fact that they went almost unnoticed. The dining room - the ‘Refectory’ - is, unhappily, a place we become really aware of only if it is neglected or inefficiently managed. In Jimmy’s day you just went into the Refectory, sat down without reflection, and ‘got down to it’: everything needed ready at hand in the cleanest of environments.
On August 15th 1946 Brother Owens pronounced his Final Vows in Milltown Park. He was Refectorian in Clongowes for almost nine years: 1951-1957 and 1959-1962. The two years 1957-1959 were spent as Refectorian in Rathfarnham Castle. The years 1964-1967 were also spent at Clongowes and he was in Galway 1967-1975.
The last years of his life were spent in his native city, Limerick: in the Crescent from 1975-1978; and he died unexpectedly there in Croom Hospital on August 15th, 1978”.

Father Cassidy writes from the Crescent:
“Brother Jimmy Owens came to the Crescent three years ago - where he had, as a boy, completed his Secondary Education up to Leaving Certificate. From his arrival in 1975, although his health was already greatly impaired, he carried out his duties, spiritual and practical with an affability and cheerfulness that gave no intimation of his physical troubles. He had an established ability to deal with all problems with peace and acceptance. When he died one felt that he had done well the particular work given him in this world, and slipped away as quietly and unobtrusively as he would have wished. The tender and affectionate regard with which he was held by the public and by members of his own family was abundantly evident at his death. May such gentle and good men be always with us”.

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Material relating to Br Jimmy Owens SJ including correspondence with Irish Fr Provincials, personal record, and application to join the Society.

Photograph of Fr Cyril Power SJ, Br Jimmy Owens SJ and Marcella (Smith) Hargrove outside the castle at Clongowes Wood College SJ, County Kildare (June 1967). With note from Fr Charlie Davy SJ (12 February 2019).

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