File 104 - Br Kieran Corcoran SJ

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IE IJA J/104

Title

Br Kieran Corcoran SJ

Date(s)

  • 1956 (Creation)

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3 items

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Name of creator

(01 September 1869-08 November 1956)

Biographical history

Born: 01 September 1869, Ballycumber, County Offaly
Entered: 08 October 1891, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Final vows: 15 August 1902
Died: 08 November 1956, Clongowes wood College SJ, County Kildare

◆ Irish Province News
Irish Province News 32nd Year No 1 1957

Obituary :

Br Kieran Corcoran (1869-1956)

With Br, Corcoran there passed away a figure that had become something of a legend in the life of Clongowes. We of a later vintage lived with him and saw his passing; but who, with a solitary exception, can recall his coming over fifty years ago, or indeed can think of a Clongowes without that stalwart figure moving impressively about its lawful occasions? For even till about a couple of years ago, when his heart attacks became more crippling, he bore himself upright as always, and though his work became more and more curtailed, he sought employment about the house, and it is not so long ago since one saw him, as ever, in the midst of buckets and crates of eggs making his weekly tally! After three months as a Postulant he joined the Noviceship at Tullabeg in 1891, whence he was posted to Galway in 1893, taking his first Vows in the October of that year. From 1893 to early in 1904 he was stationed in our Gardiner Street house and the list of positions he filled makes impressive reading. There he pronounced his final Vows in 1902, and from there he left in February of 1904 to begin his unbroken half-century and more in Clongowes Wood till the day of his death. Jubilee succeeded Jubilee, and on his Diamond one in 1951 he was favoured with a letter from the hand of Very Rev. Father General; and in 1954, the Golden Jubilee of his sojourn in Clongowes Wood, was marked by celebrations and many messages of congratulation.
The maintenance of the fabric of the College was his prime care all those years, that and the employing and supervising of the small army of artisans and servants involved in that care. This he did with conspicuous skill and mastery and he could rightly claim (if ever he thought of it) that his activities vitally touched the lives of masters and boys, asleep or awake at many points. How much of that is simply taken for granted in a big institution and how small the meed of recognition! The host of daily, almost hourly, activities involved in "maintenance" of a large and sprawling and, in places, antiquated building who thinks of them? The endless inspections and checking; the planning ahead; the expert knowledge in many fields; the sudden improvisations called for and demanding sound judgment; crises in lighting or heating or drainage systems, all these involve considerable responsibility and systematic care. Suffice it to say that through all the years of his stewardship Br. Corcoran was seldom or never unequal to the heavy task laid on him by day or by night. For he was thorough in all he did, deeply conscientious and rigidly systematic. Only the best workmanship, whether it was sweeping a Gallery or slating a roof could pass muster with his eagle eye. Workmanship of the best, materials of the best and a job that would last “to and through the Doomsday's fire” if necessary was what he demanded, and he had the knack of getting these from his staff. And he never spared himself physically in his endless routine of daily and hourly inspections. In fact so rigid was his sense of routine that one could almost infer the time of day from his passing, whether it was in and about the building or “beating the bounds” on his daily perambulation of the main and Kapolis avenues! As a result the spick and span state of walls and floors and ceilings everywhere in the place from endless scrubbings and paintings and polishings were justly the admiration of his Brethren and of visitors. He took a pride in his office, and had he been capable of boasting he could justly have pointed to the myriad of improvements he effected (the walls of the Lower Line Gallery were in whitewash when he first came!) throughout his fifty years as an enduring monument to his memory.
And sustaining and inspiring in all this was his sterling worth as a Religious. He impressed all with his deep Faith and simple and genuine piety; his unfailing presence and punctuality at every religious duty; bis reverence for the priestly state and his considerateness for others. In pressing forward for the good of the College he never lost sight of the claims of the individual, and in the exercise of the considerable authority that rested with him he strove for fairness. The handicap imposed by frequent heart attacks must have been a galling one to a man of his disposition, and his endurance of this; his uncomplaining acceptance of God's will, especially in the last year or two, when he had often to keep to his bed or his room, was impressive to those who had any dealings with him.. Characteristic of him was his rejoinder at the very end to one who counselled him to say his prayers internally" instead of vocalising them (as was bis wont), “Oh, but one would have to be very sick to do a thing like that!" And to a visitor leaving his room at night he motioned with his hand to the alarm-clock beside his bed and murmured, "The clock, the clock, wind it! For meditation! It was set for half-past six, and this was the day before he died.
Fully conscious to the end, and in his 87th year, he passed away without pain on the 7th of November in the room he occupied so long in the very heart of the School he served for half a century with such fine loyalty, and with young life pulsating all around him. On the 9th he was borne to his grave down the long avenue so familiar to him in his unvarying daily walk, the community and entire school preceding the coffin. May he rest in peace!

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Brother Kieran Corcoran 1862-1956
Br Kieran Corcoran was identified with Clongowes for over fifty years. The maintenance of the fabric of the College was his prime care, together with the running of the whole place, both Castle and College, Methodical, efficient, though kindly with all, he managed the domestic staff and got astonishing results out of them. As a result, the spick and span state of the walls, floors and ceilings everywhere in the place, from endless scrubbings, polishings and paintings, was justly the admiration of his brethren and visitors.

Sustaining this continual effort was his religious spirit. He impressed all with his simple faith and deep piety. He had a natural dignity which commanded respect and reverence for his cloth.

He entered Tullabeg as a novice in 1891, and in 1954 he celebrated the golden jubilee of his stay in Clongowes. He died on November 7th 1956 in the room which he had occupied for over half a century, in the very heart of the school he had served so well ad majoram Dei Gloriam.

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Catalogue entry, memorial card and obituary for Br Kieran Corcoran SJ.

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