File 89 - Fr Patrick Cashman SJ

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IE IJA J/89

Title

Fr Patrick Cashman SJ

Date(s)

  • 1944; 25 March 1947 - 31 December 1969 (Creation)

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21 items

Context area

Name of creator

(02 July 1900-31 December 1969)

Biographical history

Born: 02 July 1900, Youghal, County Cork
Entered: 01 September 1921, St Stanislaus College, Tullabeg, County Offaly
Ordained: 14 June 1932, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final vows: 02 February 1935
Died: 31 December 1969, Rathfarnham Castle, Dublin

by 1928 in Australia - Regency
by 1934 at St Beuno’s Wales (ANG) making Tertianship

◆ David Strong SJ “The Australian Dictionary of Jesuit Biography 1848-2015”, 2nd Edition, Halstead Press, Ultimo NSW, Australia, 2017 - ISBN : 9781925043280
Patrick Cashman was sent to Australia in 1926 as a scholastic, taught at St Aloysius' College, and was assistant prefect of discipline, 1927-29.

◆ Irish Province News

Irish Province News 45th Year No 2 1970

St. Ignatius College, Galway
On December 31st came the sad news of Father Cashman's death in Rathfarnham. He passed away quietly in the last hours of the old year. May he rest in peace. He came here from the Tertianship in August 1934 and after 33 years spent in Galway he left for Rathfarnham in September 1967. He was the most popular priest in the city, keeping in constant contact with the people and help ing them in every need. He was well known for the helpful advice he gave and was loved by all for his friendliness and good will. He was the originator of the plan for the houses at Loyola Park, and saw the plan carried through. He took a keen interest in the Wheelchair Association and when men could not find employment he was the man to whom they came and the one who found jobs for them. In his early sixties he had a prolonged period of ill health, was in and out of hospital, but on his return from the U.S.A., after a few months spent with his brother, a Parish Priest, he seemed to have been given a new lease of life. At breakfast, on the morning after his return, he was so overwhelmed with the warm céad míle fáilte he got that in his own inimitable way he quoted two apt lines from the “Exile's return” : “I'd almost venture another flight, there's so much joy in returning”. The move to Rathfarnham was a hard blow to him. As he said in a letter to a Galway friend. "I loved the people back in the West". He accepted it quietly and settled down to his life of retirement. Fine tributes appeared in the Connaught Tribune and Cork Examiner, but the greatest tribute of all was the profound feeling of sorrow and of personal loss shown by such a multitude of friends in Gal way. The people of the West loved him, too. A life-long lover of his native language he spoke it fluently, taking his place at table with the school fathers, so as to have a chance of speaking it.

The last week of January brought us new cause for grief. After a month in the Regional Hospital, Father Jack Hutchinson died of a heart-attack on Saturday evening, 24th January. On Monday there was a Concelebrated Requiem Mass, 15 priests taking part, including Fr. Provincial and Father Rector who was the chief Celebrant. His Lordship, the Bishop presided. During the Mass the choir rendered hymns in Irish. Fr. P. Meagher, Socius, read the Gospel and Father P. O'Higgins read the bidding prayers in Irish. The impressive funeral and the large number of “Ours” from all over the Province who followed his remains to the graveside were ample testimony of the esteem in which he was held by all who knew him.
Father Jack was here as a Scholastic, 1943-46, and as a priest from 1963 till his death. He suffered a severe heart attack at Easter 1968, and since then his health was never very good. During the last two years of his teaching career he was also Spiritual Father to the boys, and when he became Operarius in the Church, he continued on as Sp. Father to the boys in a number of classes. He paid frequent visits to the Regional Hospital, and it was while getting ready to visit a patient there on the evening of December 23rd that the heart trouble came, which led to his death, a month later. During that last month, his lovable personality and fund of humour contributed much to the happiness of his fellow patients. He was the life and soul of the ward, and the men grew very fond of him and missed him sorely when he died. He was the last of five from our former community to die within the short period of 18 months, and yet, accustomed as we had grown, in that time to death, we seemed to feel all the more keenly this fifth last good-bye. Ar láimh dheis Dé go raibh a n-anamacha :
Fr. Hutchinson's Sodality and the boys of the 6th year presented Rev. Fr. Rector with a chalice as their tribute to the memory of a priest whom they loved.

Obituary :

Fr Patrick Cashman SJ (1900-1969)

One of the most lovable characters in the Province, Father Pat Cashman, went to his reward early in January. Truly it could be said of him that he was a man who was serenely at home in any company. "Cash" as he was affectionately known to his brethern, : was born in Youghal on July 2nd, 1900. He received his education at the Cistercian College, Mount Mellary. A “late vocation”, he entered the Society at Tullabeg on September 1st, 1921.
After Philosophy at Milltown Park, Fr. Pat was sent for Colleges to Australia and spent the three years of regency at St. Aloysius College, Milson's Point, Sydney. His Rector there in those years was Fr. F. X. O'Brien who returned home for a holiday some years ago and who is still hale and hearty at 86 years of age. Fr. Cashman won his way into the hearts of the Australians and he is still remembered with affection by those who were boys in those days.
In 1929 Fr. Pat returned to Milltown for Theology and was ordained on June 14th, 1932. The ordinations were early that year because of the Eucharistic Congress in Dublin. An older brother, Fr. William Cashman, who was a priest of the diocese of St. Paul, Minnesota, came to Milltown for the occasion. Having left Ireland when Pat was a child, he had to ask someone in Milltown which of the Ordinandi was Fr. Cashman. From 1933 to 1934 Fr. Pat was in St. Beuno's for tertianship and was a great favourite with all his contemporaries there.
The Status of 1934 assigned Fr. Cashman to St. Ignatius' College, Galway, where his life's work awaited him. He made his Final Vows there on February 2nd, 1935. He spent some years teaching in the Bun-ranganna and, while he was a kind and conscientious teacher, the control of his pupils was always rather of a trial to him. Not infrequently, pandemonium reigned, and as he used to say himself “Bím ag scread”. But, even though they played on him mercilessly as boys will do they were very fond of “Cashers”, as they called him. In his early years at Coláiste Iognáid he also acted as games' master.
It was as a “Church Father” that Fr. Cashman is best remembered in Galway, His innate kindness and sympathy and the utter sincerity of his character made him a “natural” for this ministry. People of every walk of life came to him for guidance and direction and he seemed to have a special charisma for attracting the local “characters”, many of whom he knew intimately. During all his years in Galway, he did great work to better the lot of the poor and underprivileged folk of the city. Sometimes, it must be admitted, he was imposed on by “touchers” who would come to him with a “hard-luck” story. But he had a natural shrewdness which enabled him to differentiate generally between the genuine and the spurious.
There is a terrace of houses off College Road in Galway which, in a way, is a perpetual memorial to Fr. Pat. He inaugurated the scheme by which a number of families built these houses by direct labour and at a reasonable cost. He was looked on as the patron saint of the scheme and the terrace was named Loyola Terrace in his honour. Later he tried to interest the poor people in breeding rabbits for food and profit, but this scheme was not a success.
As a confessor, Fr. Cashman was much sought after and he had tremendous patience with scrupulous penitents who can be a great trial at times. He was sorely missed when, through illness, he had to retrench this side of his work a good deal. He made a great success of the Pamphlet Box in the church, keeping it well-stocked with abundant and varied material suited to the seasons, Novenas, Retreats, etc.
Fr. Pat had a great fluency in Irish, though he rode rough-shod over rules of grammar and syntax, He delighted in talking to “sean-iondúirí”, as he called the old native speakers who lived in the vicinity of Galway. He would stop during a walk to chat to one of these and enquire about the current price of sheep or cattle or anything in which he knew they might be interested. In a conversation like this, he would be oblivious of time, and this could be irksome to anyone who happened to be out for a walk with him!
The stories about the friendly vendetta that went on continually between “Cash” and “Paddy O” constitute a saga. For a man of Fr. Paddy O'Kelly's many and varied talents, it was surprising how unfailingly he rose to the wily Cash's bait! Space does not allow of examples which we regret; some of them will doubtless continue to be recounted.
Fr. Pat's health had deteriorated, as a result of heart disease, and he knew that he was liable to have a fatal attack at any time. While taking adequate precautions, he kept on doing what good he could as long as God spared him, One of the greatest crosses he had to bear must have been his transfer from his beloved Galway after so many years there, yet he accepted the move like the fine religious he was. There was consternation in Galway when the news of his change was announced. Many old friends who had come to depend on him for advice and help felt that something had gone out of their lives that could never be replaced.
His change brought him to a very different environment in. Rathfarnham. Yet he settled in remarkably well, though he must have pined many a time for Galway and all he loved there. The Juniors were kind to him and they found in him an encouraging friend; soon he became a great favourite with them. He helped in the work of the Retreat House and his experience was invaluable. His was an intensely human character; there was nothing artificial or “phoney” in his make-up. Perhaps it was a wish of his that he would be laid to rest, when his time came, in Galway beside his old friend and mentor, Fr. Batt Coughlan and his sparring partner, Fr. Paddy O'Kelly. Indeed, that would have been most fitting, but it was not to be. After a concelebrated Mass in Gonzaga College chapel he made his last journey to the Jesuit plot in Glasnevin.
Is fada a aireoimid uainn thú, a Athair Pádraic. Go dtuga Dia solas na bhFlaitheas dod chaoin-anam uasal. Ní bheidh do leithéid arís ann,

Fr. Andrews kindly forwarded the following tributes from a lay man which appeared in the Connacht Tribune on the occasion of his death :

A Tribute
I am sure that it was with great sadness that many people, especially of the elder generation, heard of the death of Reverend Father Cashman, S.J. A few days before he died in Dublin, Father Cashman wrote, in a letter to the writer of this tribute : “How nice to be remembered by the old neighbours. I loved the people back in the west”.
He did, indeed and showed that love in a very practical way - efforts to obtain employment for unemployed, encouraging self initiative, guiding and encouraging carcers, giving financial aid (when he had it) to the widow and orphan. His practical sense showed itself in the encouragement he gave to the residents of Loyola Park, College Road, to combine other skills and build their own houses, which they did. Like that other gifted young Galway born Jesuit, Reverend Father Scully, S.J., who was responsible for building the Scully House in Dublin for old people and whom God in His wisdom and providence took from us at the height of his talents, Father Cashman's encouragement of Social Justice was practical, not theoretical.
He loved the Irish language and spoke it fluently whenever occasion presented itself. Father Cashman had a great gift of being at ease and on their ground, with the ordinary people, the very young, the teenagers, the busy housewife, the labouring man. Truly, he could “walk amongst Kings and not lose the common touch”. There was no condescension in Father Cashman's manner - he was homely, genuinely friendly, unpretentious in speech and manner.
In the pulpit preaching he spoke from his heart, without notes, gently, but firmly and very insistently urging the practice of prayer, confession, Holy Communion, Charity. He had not a great voice but he could rouse people with his thin, reedy, lilting Cork eloquence. He did not “pack” his sermons with too many points and he gave heart to people because he was sincere and earnest and listeners instinctively sensed this.
He was a familiar figure on the streets of Galway, so happy to be amongst the people, a real “Sagart Aroon” in his manner and appearance. He belonged to a long line of Jesuit priests and brothers who served the west generally and Galway particularly, for the greater glory of God. Ar Dheis Dé go raibh a anam’.
P. Ó CATHÁIN

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A file relating to Fr Patrick Cashman SJ including information on his health and letters from friends and penitents when a decision was made to transfer Fr Cashman from Galway to Dublin, asking Irish Fr Provincial to reconsider his decision. Includes catalogue entry.

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The Irish Jesuit Archives are open only to bona fide researchers. Access by advance appointment. Further details: [email protected]

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No material may be reproduced without the written permission of the Archivist. Copyright restrictions apply. Photocopying is not available. Digital photography is at the discretion of the Archivist.

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1999

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