File 186 - Fr William Hogan SJ

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IE IJA J/186

Title

Fr William Hogan SJ

Date(s)

  • 12 August 1930 - 24 February 1978 (Creation)

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55 items

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Name of creator

(12 January 1912-16 August 1978)

Biographical history

Born: 12 January 1912, Kilkenny, County Kilkenny
Entered: 13 September 1930, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Ordained: 31 July 1944, Milltown Park, Dublin
Final Vows: 03 February 1947, St Mary's, Emo, County Laois
Died: 16 August 1978, Camberwell, Surrey, England

Part of Sacred Heart community, The Crescent, Limerick at the time of death

Early Education at Clongowes Wood College SJ

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

Fr William Hogan (1912-1978)

The sudden death of Father Willie Hogan came as a great shock to all who knew him, and especially to his contemporaries and near contemporaries. To them he was more than a long experienced and successful missionary and retreat giver. There was always, for most of us, the remembrance of the joined and moving hands, the pleasant smile, the readiness for a laugh - and the awareness that Willie knew what his work was.
Father Willie Hogan was born in Ossory on January 12th 1912. He entered the noviceship in Emo on September 13th 1930. After taking his First Vows he went to Rathfarnham Castle to begin the normal course of studies. His Degree was in Classics. After finishing his Philosophy in Tullabeg he spent two years teaching: one in Clongowes and one in the Crescent, Limerick. During his Theology in Milltown Park he was ordained priest on July 31st 1944. His Tertianship was at Rathfarnham, 1945-1946.
On leaving the Tertianship in 1946 he began at once what was to be his life-work: he spent a year based at Emo on Mission and Retreat work. Tullabeg, however, was to be his permanent base. He was on the staff there for Mission and Retreat work from 1947 to 1971. This great work came to a quiet, apostolic conclusion when, in 1971 he went to the Crescent, where his work had many of the characteristics of the many past years: the pulpit, the confessional, the sermon at Mass, the visiting of parishioners. He remained at this work until his unexpected death while on supply work in England. He died on August 16th 1978.

Father Matthew Meade, his strict contemporary, had also the more intimate knowledge of Father Willie which came from working with him and directing his mission assignments for about twenty-four years. Father Meade has sent us an appraisal of Father Willie's work: the appraisal is all the more significant because it is free from all customary phrases, and is clearly the remembrance of the personal qualities of a long and faithful missionary.
Father Meade's tribute is followed by some words of appreciation of Father Willie’s work in the Crescent, 1971-1978 :
“Quite a representative body of the Province attended the burial obsequies of Father Hogan in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick on Wednesday, August 23rd. In my opinion (and I knew him from the time he entered the Society until the time of his unexpected death) the few words spoken by Father Stephen Bates, principal celebrant of the Mass on that occasion, summed up very accurately the Bill Hogan whom I had known and studied with and worked with and whose mission assignments I had directed until he joined the Crescent Community: meticulous attention to detail, thoroughness in the carrying out of everything entrusted to him, absolute giving of himself completely to everything he did were the ‘Hall Mark’ of his whole life in the Society. These are excellent qualities and Father Hogan was blessed in being assigned to the apostolate of the Retreats and Missions staff straight after his Tertianship where he could use all these qualities to the best advantage and which he did for some twenty five years. There was no area of this apostolate which he did not take in his stride in Ireland, England and in USA. Bill was ‘Paratus ad omnia’ as our Novice Master, the late Father John Coyne, used say every Jesuit should be.
I do not think one would remember Father Hogan for his sense of humour. He took everything too seriously. But on this account he could at times be a source of hilarious humour. Few of his contemporaries can ever forget the laughs he gave us in Tullabeg when he acted in our Christmas plays. He was utterly uninhibited and our Rector Father Hugh Kelly, complimenting him on his performance on one of these occasions used a phrase which was a very accurate summing up of an act which brought down the house by saying to him: ‘Well, Mr. Hogan, you really outstripped yourself’. On the stage, as in all other things he put himself into his part with complete earnestness. This was sometimes dangerous for his opposite number as in ‘The Private Secretary’ when his part called for a show of anger with his Secretary. Bill worked himself up to such a state of anger that his secretary, Lol Kearns, had to jump out through a window to save himself from serious injury having been hunted and hammered all over the stage.
Many will also remember how his whole personality changed when he was assigned the position of ‘Father Instructor’ of the Tertian Brothers. So seriously did he take this appointment that at times in his exhortations, he was moved to tears.
All these incidents were typical of one who was scrupulously meticulous in everything to the last detail all through his life. Even during the last years of his life which he gave to so many activities in the Sacred Heart Church, Limerick, when his health was failing and his energies were ebbing, he could never adapt himself to his condition and to his years. He died as he had lived in harness and pulling his weight to the full, right up to the end. Very fitting was the tribute paid to him by the words so nicely spoken by Father Bates and by the large numbers of the faithful of Limerick and representatives from the Province as well as Limerick priests and the priest for whom Bill had been supplying when his sudden illness and unexpected death occurred. May he enjoy eternal rest and the rich reward of his total giving of himself to God's service in the Society of Jesus”.
Matthew Meade.

Fr Cassidy writes from the Crescent :
Fr W Hogan came to the Crescent in 1971 where he had served many years before as a scholastic. As a priest he took a most active and conscientious part in all the activities of the house and church. His work in the confessional and on the altar was of the highest order. His generously practical courtesy towards the members of the public will be remembered for a long time. Constantly he visited them in hospitals, and was forever thoughtful of those occasions that were important to them personally. Few could have managed The Sodality of Our Lady with greater thoroughness or understanding of the needs of the members. He even had time to look after the social side of things, organising from time to time little parties, and bringing people on trips, even abroad. As one Sodalist said “We usually wait till people are dead to appreciate them. This one we appreciated while he was alive”. Every Autumn found Fr Hogan engaged in the quite heavy task of organising and running Mission Week. Since this is an enterprise involving a remarkably varied schedule, great numbers of people and a very large money flow, it is quite a daunting job. Fr Bill, in spite of not too robust health waded through the work at great cost to himself, but always with the ultimate in courtesy to those with whom he worked. More even than his great efficiency, his friendly and gracious attitude to the people, marked his contribution to the annual event. After all, Mission Week is something of An Autumn Festival for a number of generous people in Limerick. Indeed in these days of monotonous canned entertainment it provides lots of variety, of the peoples own making. In addition it establishes links between the Church here and great numbers of people. Fr Bill, in being so totally acceptable to the people in what was so genuinely a community work, in the modern sense, showed an adaptability that was admirable.
From the point of view of the Jesuit community we can add that we have lost a truly great member. In addition to his work which was universally held in the highest esteem, there was his personal contribution to the community. He was for ever concerned with the welfare of the house, and was a most sociable, genial and sincere companion. Quietly forthright, he had an understanding of people which was a peace making faculty. We will remember him for his firm and gentle goodness.

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