File 61 - Fr Patrick Bartley SJ

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IE IJA J/61

Title

Fr Patrick Bartley SJ

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  • 1930; 1941 (Creation)

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2 items

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(05 December 1879-09 May1941)

Biographical history

Born: 05 December 1879, Grange, County Limerick
Entered: 30 July 1894, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 28 July 1912
Final vows: 02 February 1915
Died: 09 May 1941, Milltown Park, Dublin

by 1903 at St Aloysius, Jersey, Channel Islands (FRA) studying
by 1906 in Saint Joseph’s College, Beirut, Syria (LUGD) studying oriental language

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 16th Year No 3 1941

Obituary :
Father Patrick Bartley
Fr. Patrick Bartley was born near Boher (Grange), in Co. Limerick on December 5, 1879. He attended Crescent College, Limerick as a day pupil for some years, but at the early age of fifteen he entered the Noviceship (Tullabeg) in 1894. After the Noviciate he crossed over to the Juniorate in the same house, commencing his studies for the Royal University of Ireland examination which he passed with high distinction till he obtained his M.A. Degree (Classical) in 1901. He was then sent to St. Helier in Jersey, where he studied Philosophy for two years. In 1904 he was appointed to Belvedere College, Dublin, as teacher, Assistant-prefect of Studies. But in the following year he was one of a small group chosen to study Oriental Languages at the University St. Joseph, Beirut, Syria. In 1906 he returned to his native land - and county - acting again as teacher for two years in Mungret College, Limerick (1907-1909). In September, 1909, he began the study of Theology in Milltown Park, where he was destined to spend most of the rest of his life. He finished his Theological course there in 1912. Tertianship in Tullabeg followed immediately (1912-13), after which he was again sent to Mungret College to resume his teaching career and act as Assistant Prefect of Studies. In 1915 he was appointed professor of Church History and Hebrew in Milltown Park. In 1918 he became professor of Philosophy, helping to inaugurate our Irish Philosophate. When this was transferred to Tullabeg in 1922 he took over the chair of Scripture in Milltown Park, which with Hebrew remained his appointed task till the end. From 1923 onwards he also acted as Prefect of Studies. On May 9, 1941, he died. Such in outline was his career; and it shows that he was preeminently a student and scholar, leading what Cicero calls the vita umbratilis. It gives, however, but an inadequate idea of the depth of his erudition or the singular charm of his character. Only those who had the privilege of living in intimate daily intercourse with him could fully appreciate either his encyclopaedia knowledge, which a marked reserve together with a deep humility concealed from unobservant eyes, or that gentleness of disposition which made him one of the most loveable of men. It may be doubted if anyone ever detected the least manifestation of anger on his part by as much as a gesture. This did not spring from weakness of character or the lack of decisive views. On the contrary, for he had very strong convictions and a quiet obstinacy all his own. But he lacked inclination towards or aptitude for any kind of strife. It would have been difficult to pick a quarrel with him, if anyone ever had the desire, which was never the case.
No doubt much of all this serenity was natural to him, the result of a wise sagaciousness which made him see the foolishness of all brawling. But there was obviously much more than that in the unwavering victory of good humour, kindliness and tolerance over all the instability, pettiness, jealousy and selfishness which seem to adhere to the very bones of fallen humanity. Father Bartley was as little given to parading piety as to parading learning. Yet one felt that it was there, deep, solid and efficacious, making one who was by nature a
gentleman, by grace an every way admirable and wholly religious. The patience with which he bore the more than ordinary share of sickness that came his way was further proof of this. As a quite young man he appeared to 'enjoy perfect health. In his early years in Tullabeg he was both fond of, and skilled in, all out-door sports and recreations. Tall, lithe and very swift of foot. he excelled in football and tennis, while he was an excellent swimmer and one of the champion walkers of the community. But before he had finished his University studies - while preparing for his M.A. degree - he began to suffer from some internal trouble which necessitated at least one major operation and some lesser ones. To outward appearance he made a complete recovery. Yet it was soon apparent that the old physical energy and vitality were gone. He grew more and more sedentary in his habits as the years went by, until a short solitary walk was almost all the exercise he cared for. Falling a little into flesh in consequence, he had the air of one with whom all 'was not well in spite of his impressive size and fine appearance. Yet no word of complaint was ever heard from him, and until forced to take a change or a rest by the doctor, he kept so consistently to the even tenor of his days, and, above all, was so cheerful and good tempered, that few would suspect him of being ill at all. Only towards the end did his looks betray how rapidly he was ageing and failing. And even in his last sickness, when it was clear that he could not recover, he retained to the end the tranquil serenity which had always characterised him. His whole life was of a single pattern - but a rare and noble one. Few men of his calibre can have lived quite so unknown to the outside world. But few will be more regretted or missed in the circle where he moved.

◆ James B Stephenson SJ Menologies 1973
Father Patrick Bartley 1879-1941
Fr Patrick Bartley was born near Boher County Limerick on December 5th 1879. He entered the Society at the age of fifteen in 1894. Having read a brilliant course in the Royal University Dublin, he studied Oriental languages for some years in the University of Beirut.

From 1915-1941 he spent his life in Milltown Park as Professor of Scripture and Prefect of Studies. A man of child-like simplicity, in spite of his great intellectual ability, he was ever regarded with affectionate respect by generations of theologians at Milltown Park.

He died on August 9th 1941, some years before his brother and fellow Fr Jesuit Stephen Bartley.

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